Catching Fireflies

finding magic along the way

Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up

Let’s face it. Monday’s are rough. The end of the freedom that came with the weekend, the start of a long week, the return to work. To help ease you into your week, I wanted to share a little something that made me smile.

The Perfect Writerly Gift

What do you get a writer on such a momentous birthday as the big five-oh??

Why, a vintage, mint condition dictionary, of course!
With a magnifying glass to help these old eyes read it. 😊

This is the 2nd edition Webster’s New International Dictionary of the English Language, unabridged, originally published in 1934. This particular copy was printed in 1943.

It is beautiful! And mammoth! Picture that giant dictionary that held a place of honor in the elementary school library, the one that you were allowed to approach only with permission.


The edges of the pages still have a multicolored design that is only slightly faded in spots. The pages are clean and crisp with very little signs of aging. The binding is tight. And there is no attic odor like you get with so many old books.

With over 600,000 entries and a 400 page Reference History of the World, this tome will meet every possible word I could throw at it! It list definitions in chronological order for each entry so there are many definitions that are obsolete.

Filled with thousands of illustrations and full color plates, it is a feast for the eyes.


Thanks to Mr. Webster, for such a fabulous celebration of the English language!

I will cherish this for all my days!

Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up

Let’s face it. Monday’s are rough. The end of the freedom that came with the weekend, the start of a long week, the return to work. To help ease you into your week, I wanted to share a little something that made me smile.

Birthday Week! The Big Five-Oh!

This is it! The Big Five-Oh arrives this week!

There will be celebrations.

There will be wine.

And as a gift to myself, there will be the cover reveal for my second novel!

Coming July 2018!!

Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up

Let’s face it. Monday’s are rough. The end of the freedom that came with the weekend, the start of a long week, the return to work. To help ease you into your week, I wanted to share a little something that made me smile.

1 week to 50!

In the last days of my forties, I found that I am still able to learn new things.

I have always been a planner. As the only non medical personnel of group of physicians and CRNAs, I wear a lot of different hats. I live by my planner and juggle multiple projects at a time. There are always a lot of moving parts in any medical office and I never take time off that hasn’t been planned days if not weeks in advance. It is just too difficult to stay on top of everything if I do.

I approached this holiday weekend with many balls in the air- a long-term data measurement project that has been weighing heavily on my mind, a retirement party for one of our physicians, a staffing shortage, and of course, my usual day-to-day work. In addition to the day job, I had plans to focus on final edits for my second book this weekend, something that would fill the hours that were not dedicated to the Memorial weekend projects around the house. Oh, and of course, our 24th anniversary would require some celebration too!

The universe had other plans.

Wednesday night, our cat, Bailey, bit my leg. Now before you ask what I did to him to make him bite me, let me explain that our boy has had some issues over the last five years or so. He suffers from anxiety and is medicated both with oral meds and a calming collar. Our boy actually lives in his own room with a baby gate, more to keep the other cats out than to keep him in. (He weights 20 pounds and could jump the gate in a heartbeat if he chose to). So my boy was purring as I went through the normal nighttime ritual of putting him to bed for the night and a second later, he lunges at me and bites my leg. After I was done swearing, we cleaned it with alcohol and went to bed.


I happened to already have a routine doctor appointment scheduled the next morning so I had my doctor look at the bite. She prescribed some oral antibiotics which I began right away. She told me if it worsened to go to the ER for an IV of stronger antibiotics.

By Friday morning, the side of my calf was red, swollen and extremely painful. So, being a good patient, I went to the ER on the way in to work. I texted my boss to tell her I might be late.
Despite my insisting I was fine, both my boss and the ER doctor refused to let me go to the office after my treatment. I was told to go home, elevate my leg and rest.

Upon hearing that this was my fate, I immediately started to come up with reasons that I had to go to the office. As I lay in the ER, hooked up to a drip of antibiotics, leg throbbing, I was helpless and felt the grip I had in all my juggling balls failing. I finally had to accept defeat and allow people I work with to help me. More than help me, I had to let them do my job. (And they did, for which I am so grateful!)

I followed instructions, went home, elevated my leg all day, etc. The next day, my leg had worsened, and I found myself back in the ER for another IV. The doctor that day flat-out told me that if I didn’t promise to go home and elevate my leg for the rest of the weekend, she would admit me.

Suddenly, everything was out of my control. No party for my retiring doctor, no swinging by the office to do some work to catch up for my unexpected day off, no sitting at my desk working on edits. I found myself not only laying in the ER for over ten hours with nothing but my phone and a book, but forced to bond with my couch and said book for the remainder of the weekend.

And I am surprised to report that by Sunday morning, I had somehow released my anxiety over not being allowed to work, and started to embrace the forced relaxation.

As Monday night rolled around (holiday weekend here in the US), I found that instead of the usual end-of-the-weekend angst over everything that would be facing me at the office the next morning, I was feeling relaxed and okay with starting the week already behind on my to-do list.

As I contemplated this strange sense of peace, I realized that for the first time in a very long time I had found myself with no choice than to let someone else take the reins. I realized that I had been holding on to my control over so many things in my life that I had convinced myself that it was the only way to ensure that things went smoothly. This weekend, I was forced to let that go, to let Jesus take the wheel so to speak. And despite this, despite my being completely sidelined, everything worked out.

So in the final weeks of my forties, I am learning how to let go, to relinquish the tight grip of control that I had come to believe was required to keep my life in track. Was there extra work waiting for me when I got to the office? Oh, yes. But I managed to keep my cool and forgive myself for not getting it all caught up within an hour of my return. Am I technically a week behind for my book release? Yes, I am. And that is okay. Sometimes our health and sanity has to take priority over self-imposed deadlines.

The trick will be remembering this sense of freedom  and continuing to allow myself to ask for help and relinquish the reigns from time to time. I may not always be able to do that but I promise myself to try. May my next 50 years be less stressful, and may I let go every now and then just to see what happens. 🙂

Many people have asked me what is to become of my cat… He will live out his days in a life of luxury at our house. He is my mush. He just had a moment. 🙂

Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up

Let’s face it. Monday’s are rough. The end of the freedom that came with the weekend, the start of a long week, the return to work. To help ease you into your week, I wanted to share a little something that made me smile.

2 Weeks to 50!

I learned this week that I can sometimes forget the things that I have learned. As many of you who have followed my blog over the years already know, I have strived to get out of my own way and let myself write. It took decades for me to realize that I was often the biggest obstacle in my own path. This week that lesson came home to me again.

The day job has been supremely stressful the last few months. A huge time-consuming project has landed squarely on my desk and it is up to me to somehow carve out the time necessary to complete it. Of course, I still need to do everything else that typically fills my 40 hours each week… So I have been coming home exhausted from trying to cram 40 pounds of work into a 20 pound box. There is just no energy or imagination left to work on my writing when i get home.

Add to this that lately it seems every moment of the weekend is already spoken for. Chores and errands we can’t manage to cram into the week fill what little down time we can find.

Needless to say, my husband and I are both feeling a bit stale and un-artistic!

One morning last week I found myself complaining to him about not having any time to work on my book. I said this to him as I alternated between strolling down the virtual aisles of Amazon, checking the feed on Facebook, and trying to feed Simon’s hungry cats in a game I have grown addicted to.

It was like a light switched on when I realized what I was doing. I put away my iPad which has been connected to my fingertips as of late. (When I get stressed I drown myself in games and goofing off.) I think I actually heard that gadget sigh with relief as I closed it in the drawer!

I picked up my manuscript and squeaked in an hour of polishing before work. I did it again the next day and the next. And lo and behold, the forward momentum has started again!

I am not going to sit here and bash the electronic age and how mindlessly we all seem to connect to it and disconnect from real life. We need ways to decompress and sometimes you just don’t feel like talking! But when you find yourself lamenting your lost time, and complaining about how you can’t carve out a minute to do what really kicks your skirt up, it is time to reevaluate how you spend the few free minutes you get each day.

In my next fifty years, I plan on spending more time on the things that get me fired up (in a positive way!) and less trying to clear the boards on candy crush. I will still play the occasional game, don’t get me wrong, but it will be after I have put some time in with my work in progress, or goofed around with my ukulele or fiddle, or read a few chapters for fun, or sewed another quilt block. Mindless i-pad-ing will come after I have done things that actually feed my soul.

See… older dog, still learning new tricks! 🙂

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