Monthly Archives: March 2013

That’s about the thighs of it

Today I gave my thighs a special treat. 

I let them see the sun.

That’s right: I, judgment-free goddess of kindness and acceptance, let my pasty thighs feel the kiss of the sun on their generous bulk, unshadowed by even the sheerest wisp of disguising fabric.

Don’t get me wrong; I love my thighs. They are sturdy and strong. They’ve given me a lifetime of uncomplaining service. They support me in even my most madcap schemes. But they’re so, shall I say, uncompromising in their breadth.

All right, all right, I do judge! These stalwart darlings are downright, well, pudgy. And maybe just the teensiest bit lumpy. And let us not forget that their color – a shade that would make the belly of the deepest-water fish swell with pride – kind of emphasizes those other. . . attributes. I confess that I have hidden them from the light of day for, oh, years.

But no more! If I’m going to bust my booty getting out and running around the neighborhood anyway, I might as well reveal all to anyone who might be glancing my way. Why should my shoulders get all the glory, rosying up under the sun’s caress while my poor unappreciated thighs smother under wraps? Why should my arms and back get to soak up all the vitamin D, just because they were born into a more elevated situation? It’s not fair; it’s not right!

So that’s it. Our days of hiding are over. From now on, like it or not, I’m wearing shorts.


Stephen King says it’s important to write every day; he suggests at least 1000 words a day, although he requires 2000 for himself. I agree with him. If someone wants to be a successful author, it’s vital to write every day, no matter what.

However, agreeing with him hasn’t changed the fact that I don’t do it myself. My writing is unpredictable; I’ve never yet been able to get myself on a schedule. Even so, in the past two years I’ve completed and published one novel, and I’m in the process of preparing two others for publication. Twenty-two months ago, I hadn’t started even one of these stories.

My goal is to get both of the unfinished stories published by my birthday, August 28, this year. Realistically, I think I can have them both done even before that, if I just stick with it. 

Sticking with it has always been a challenge for me. At least that’s a story I’ve believed about myself. I have a habit of thinking of myself as a quitter. For example, I still think I was a quitter in my marriage. After all, I quit after only twenty years. I didn’t stay the course; I left before death did us part.

Dr. Phil says that, whatever we believe about ourselves, we will miss all evidence to the contrary. I believe him. For example, three times in the last two years I’ve stayed a different course and written 50,000 plus words in 30 days. That’s a tough task, but not once did I quit. My challenge is to let myself see that evidence that I am not a quitter. My first book is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kindle and Nook. . .  how is that possible if I’m a quitter? The rough draft of the sequel is done. So is the first major rewrite of my third manuscript. How are these things possible if I’m a quitter?

They aren’t.

So maybe it’s time I cut myself some slack. Maybe I don’t do it how Stephen King suggests. Maybe I don’t have the same time every day carved out, when I put my butt in the chair and stay put until I’ve pounded out my 2000 words.

I am still moving forward, making my dreams a reality, in my own time and in my own way. I guess that’s good enough for me.

Tomato Fever

The days are getting warmer, longer, and sunnier. And, as happens every Spring, I’ve been stricken with my own peculiar form of insanity. It involves dirt, seeds, plants. . . . 

This year, it’s tomato insanity. I thought I had it bad last year, when my sister and I planted 9 different kinds of tomatoes, one of each plant. But our garden didn’t do so well, and even with all those plants, we didn’t have enough tomatoes to satisfy my life-long tomato craving. And to make matters worse, my sister, who has never before appreciated the joys of home-grown tomatoes, decided she wanted her fair share.


Never say I overreact. 

It is March tenth. We’ve already sprouted ten seedlings from the seeds we saved last year (all the same kind of tomato, last year’s clear favorite, Pineapple Pig). However, not content with that, I’ve also planted four seeds each of thirteen new varieties. They have names like Torinjina, Copper River, Banjan Rumi Orange, Wapsipinicon Peach, Grinch Cherry, Black Icicle, Champagne Cherry. They range in size from smaller than a grape to over a pound. They came from Iowa, the Ukraine, Bali, Afghanistan, France., from right up the road in Napa Valley. The rainbow will be well represented.

We have no idea where we’re going to put all these tomatoes. We have a small city lot with too much shade. And don’t for one minute think we stop at tomatoes, oh no! this year we’re trying some rare Asian Winged Beans, Tepary Beans, and some other beans that we saved seeds from some other year, but we’re not quite sure what they are. . . so far, we’ve got at least two of these mystery varieties growing tall and strong.

We haven’t yet planted the zucchini, the three kinds of cucumbers, or the many mystery seeds we’ve saved, the ones labeled things like “tiny super sweet melon” and “Unknown but delicious orange squash”.

But we will.

To blog or not to blog

This whole blogging thing is intimidating. In the first place, to imagine for one tiny minute that some random selection of people in the world – people I’ve never met – will have any interest whatsoever in my life, and the things I have to say day-to-day . . . that seems like some kind of craziness.

In the second place, to imagine that every day, or four times a week even, I can come up with something to say that will be interesting to this random selection of people. . . . well, it just seems nuts, somehow.

And yet this, apparently, is the world I live in now. 

I remember when I was a kid, dirty to the knees in good Ohio farm dirt, scraped from the trees I climbed daily, stained from the apples I stole from the neighbors trees,  sticky from the tomatoes I shanghaied from my mom’s garden. I ran carefree around the neighborhood until dusk swooped down at nine or so on muggy summer nights and the fireflies lit up the backyards. I never worried that my mom, or some stranger in a slow moving car, might want me. I certainly never imagined a world in which countless strangers might care what I had to say on any given topic.

And after all, it wasn’t the slow moving car that got me. It was the baby-sitter’s dad. It was the brother – “not quite right”, as my mom phrased it – of my sister’s friend. And because they got me, maybe I have something of value to say to people I haven’t met.  Maybe the healing journey I’ve been on for forty-plus years might be useful.

And who knows? Maybe the things I research in my spare time – the stuff about healing herbs, about under-the-radar cancer support, about healthy eating and raw honey and running fast instead of far for weight loss – maybe they could encourage someone I have yet to meet. Maybe there are people out there who are looking for someone who doesn’t have a PhD in intimidation, but does have a scarred up soul. Maybe someone else has lost herself to the joy of planting way more tomatoes than she has room for. Maybe someone else has tried – and failed – two times to start a running program, and then tries a third time anyway. Maybe, just maybe, somebody out there wants to know that somebody else out here messes things up all the time, goes to bed at night, struggles to get up in the morning, and still believes that this will be the day that we create something better.

It’s for that person, whether it’s just me, or whether it’s a friend I’ve yet to meet, that I’m writing this blog.