September sucked. Seriously, I have not had a month that bad since April 2011 when I had a miscarriage, my grandfather died, and we found out we owed $8,000 in taxes all in the same week. Last month gifted me a second-story bathtub that leaked through the ceiling twice (thankfully only into the garage) and weeks of dealing with plumbers, contractors, and insurance agents only to find out no one has any idea why it leaked. The good news is that the mold problem wasn’t too bad and we can put the $14,000 renovation on hold because my garage ceiling waterfall may not happen again. Moving on, we unwittingly hired a nanny who was 7 1/2 months pregnant (she did not look pregnant in the interview a few weeks before). She is on maternity leave now. We conducted the search for Mary Poppins. Again. Did I mention my daughter has started experiencing pretty severe stranger and separation anxiety? No? Well, the timing couldn’t be better. Speaking of my daughter, I had to schlep her, sick, to Seattle to see my grandmother who is in hospice for pancreatic cancer. While you never know, that was likely the last time I will see her. So many feelings. Upon my return, my laptop and Blackberry, apparently too depressed to endure my company any longer, entered a joint suicide pact. The Blackberry has been laid to rest, but I am fighting for that laptop and all of the baby photos and writing on it (revised manuscript, anyone?). I am told I will have it all back tomorrow. But, Obamacare won’t cover the cost. And speaking of insurance, my root canal and multiple fillings burned through all of my dental benefits for the year and presented me with a $1500 out-of-pocket expense and 4+ hours in the dental chair. (But, oh, the drugs….) Because of all of the personal drama (and there is loads more, but it’s not my dirty laundry to air. I just get to enjoy the aroma), I narrowly missed making my work deadline. Awesome.
– Intermission – thanks for bearing with me through that. So cathartic –
But, there was one day, in the middle of the month, when all was right with the world and my writing world. I experienced the fabulous trifecta of having my last blog post retweeted by some writers I respect considerably, I won third place in my first-ever flash fiction contest, and I got the One Lovely Blog Award from the wonderful Rita Barton. When I came across Rita’s blog, I temporarily thought of stalking her. She lives an hour away from me and has a lot of similar interests. She is an incredibly talented artist, not to mention down-to-earth, yet very cool. I have been searching for people like this since I moved down to SoCal a year and a half ago. I have yet to meet her in person (I am kooky, sometimes, but not crazy, so I don’t do stalking), but I find reading her blog is like sitting down with a like-minded person, something that helps ease my Bay Area exile. Anyhow, I was honored to receive the One Lovely Blog award from her and now have the joy of passing it on.
First, however, I am to tell you 7 little-known facts about myself. I tend towards oversharing, so this could be difficult:
1. I was pulled up onstage during a Blue Man Group performance in Chicago. I had to feed them Twinkies, though they were Twinkies Lite. I’ll admit it, I judged a little. But, just as I was contemplating how disgusting a light Twinkie would taste, bananas shot out of the breastplate they had put on me when I sat down. The audience erupted into a single chorus of “Ewwwwww!” I have a Polaroid to remember the moment by.
2. Blue Man Group was not my first theatrical performance. Childhood me longed to be an actress (and a writer, always a writer), but I was the mole in the first grade play. The gist of the story was that I was trapped in my hole because a rock had rolled over it and all the other forest animals tried to rescue me. When the rock was moved and I popped up, the audience laughed. I ducked back down behind the rock. I am a sensitive soul and to this day I have no idea why they laughed, but it crushed me and my acting dreams.
3. I met my husband on a blind date 14+ years ago. He was coming to DC where I lived and a mutual friend set us up. I would have married him on the first date. Marriage hasn’t always been easy, but I still feel that way.
4. In 4th grade, despite attending a Catholic school and being taught by a nun who was unkind to me many days, I wanted to be a nun. Actually, I wanted to be a priest and do mass, but also be the caretaker nuns are. I had a little book that listed out the different parts and prayers of a mass and I would conduct mass in my room or the backyard. Pretty sure the Catholics will now think I am going to hell.
5. My go-to karaoke song is “Livin’ on a Prayer,” primarily because one can screech it and still be tolerated.
6. My high school celebrity crush is now married with child. Said child is in my son’s preschool class. Every time I see this man or his adorable wife, I am simply unable to look at them. My behavior mortifies me, yet this week’s preschool open house confirms I still suffer from some social anxiety affliction that means I must pretend they do not exist. (What is wrong with me?)
7. I want someone to enter me as a make-over project on that show “What Not to Wear.” I am raising the flag and admitting that this postpartum, sleepy lady could use some serious fashion help. Volunteers?
And now to share the One Lovely Blog love:
1. Antonia Murphy – I have recently gotten to know Antonia a bit via Twitter and I love her writing. She is funny, smart, and seems to have a similar worldview to me. I like the reverence she shows for the culture she lives among and the deeper meaning she can draw from most any event. If she lived closer, I would add her to my must-stalk list in a heartbeat. Luckily, her geographical undesirability makes her safe from my pretend stalking.
2. Victoria R. Miller (a.k.a. Off Grid Writer) – she is another Twitter mate I’ve made lately. She is incredibly supportive, kind, and lives a pretty badass life off the grid and on a farm. Plus, she knows a good cocktail when she sees one. Not so far away that I won’t consider pretend stalking.
3. Karen C’s Serendipity – I’ve been reading Karen’s blog for something like 5 years now. Hard to believe it’s been that long. She has a beautiful way with words and razor-sharp insight. She is one of my all-time favorite bloggers.
4. J – Like Karen, I have been reading J’s writing for somewhere around 5 years. She is an amazing poet – raw, searing truth. She offers that and humor in her day-to-day posts, too. But I love the poetry best of all (please share more ;). J is a solid friend, a beautiful woman, and an amazing mother.
5. Aubrey -Aubrey finds inspiration everywhere, which inspires me. She tends to write vignettes about people in old pictures or postcards and I love the places her mind travels and the beautiful way her words take you with her.
6. Andrea Uptmor – I found Andrea’s blog somehow through the haystack that is WordPress. She is funny and introspective. I love her posts about yoga and Buddhism because I invariably learn something new. Actually, I just love her posts generally.
7. Shelli Johnson – Shelli is the published author of Small As a Mustard Seed. What I love about her blog is that it covers everything in life, from writing to cooking, and does so in an uplifting and inspirational way. I often find myself smiling after reading her posts.
I feel truly blessed to have been given this blog award by someone whose blog I enjoy so much and to be able to share the writing of these wonderful women with you. (Sorry, men, but the ladies carried the day.)
And, for the record, October is off to a much better start than September. *burns sage to rid the house of any residual bad juju*