Sunday, November 22, 2015

Friendsgiving and a Full House

My mother had three kids and married a man with three kids, so needless to say, I came from a big family. I also grew up on shows like The Brady Bunch and Eight is Enough so I always envisioned having lots of kids someday. The holidays were always fun and exciting, especially when my cousins, aunts, and uncles were included in the festivities.

Then once I grew up and had kids I realized that I am NOT a Brady or a Bradford. Quite frankly, kids make me kinda crazy, so I stopped at two. I would never have those crowded (but cozy) Christmases of my youth, but that was okay. I'd have my sanity. Right? (Shut up.)

Last summer, we were blessed with a third child (can an 18 year old be referred to as a child?) who unexpectedly joined our family after having been in foster care through most of her teens. Bethany rounded out our brood and has made a great addition to our family. Trust me when I say she brings enough fun, excitement, and yes, chaos to the house. Most of the time it's welcomed chaos. ;)

Today, she planned a friendsgiving celebration, inviting her boyfriend and numerous friends and coworkers. There were appetizers, relish trays, turkey with all the trimmings, pies (pies, and more pies), and lots of people.

This unexpected girl who joined our lives has given me a full house after all and I wouldn't want it any other way. I'm not a Brady or a Bradford, but I am a Samples and this is our world.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


I sat down yesterday and began writing another book. I've had about a half-dozen ideas come to me in the last few months, but this one was inspired by a book my husband was cackling about a couple weeks ago. I looked at him and told him I found the opening paragraph to my next book. He looked at me like I was crazy, but since that's not a new thing for us, I just grinned and began typing in an empty Word doc. I read back to him what I'd written and he kinda gave me a blank stare and one of his "whatever works for you, honey" looks. God bless him.

Writing for me has been way tough for the last year. Between Lyme bacteria literally drilling into my brain, medication has taken quite a toll on my memory, as well. Disease has skull-fucked me into oblivion and I'm pissed about it. (Yeah, so much for that peace I talked about in the last blog, huh?) When I'm pissed, I become motivated. So yesterday, I sat down and wrote over 2,000 words in a new story. New characters, new story line, new everything. It was hard and it's probably crap and will be edited into something completely different from what I'm writing now, but I have more voices needing to be heard.

It's encouraging to know the characters are still there and even more encouraging that they want to tell their stories. But most encouragingly, I've been writing like a mofo. I'll take it!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Fall ramblings

I'm pretty sure I should have been a fall baby. I love this season. I love everything about it - the sights, the colors, the sound of whistles on a football field, the cooler temps, the smell of leaves burning, even the evenings that begin before supper time.

This year, as my physical limitations have kept me pretty grounded to home, I'm learning to become content with my own company. We did a lot of home renovation the last couple months, so I've been enjoying the new digs. It's amazing to me what a little color change and new energy can do to a space.

As I've been spending more time by myself, I've opened my mind and interests a little, exploring meditation and various pagan traditions. I have friends and family who dabble in alternative faiths and it has fascinated me to learn more about other people's practices and rituals. (Before anybody freaks out: no, I'm not worshiping Satan or praying to toast with the shadow of the Virgin Mary burned into it. Relax.) I've just been paying more attention to the elements around me - the moon, the tides, the stars and nature, in general. I've been paying homage to family and my ancestry as well. In doing this, I'm also trying to remove some of the clutter from my life - physically, spiritually, and emotionally. It's been wonderfully freeing for me.

While I do still have a ways to go with my Lyme treatment and subsequent testing for co-infections, I'm finding a lot of peace in letting go of the things that don't matter in the long run. I shredded stacks of old files, papers and notes I no longer needed. I've purged a lot of clothing, personal care products I admitted I'd been hoarding, and many other things that have been gumming up my life. 

I'm finding ways to bring calm and peace to a life that is anything but calm and peaceful. I'm learning that a lot of it has to do with choices. I can choose to be chaotic or I can choose to let things go. Don't get me wrong. Sometimes, you need to be involved and it can create chaos until all the parts fall into place, but I'm trying to do better about choosing peace.

As we head into the holiday season, I wish you peace and lots of wonderful memories with loved ones.