My Own Murder

Life has been overwhelming of lateā€¦still. I have been piling too much on my plate, and I realized after the fact that I even missed doing a blog post last weekend! This packed schedule will pass, but not for some time yet.

What am I doing?

I’m working on getting my new business off the ground. The process starts with bleeding money, never having enough time, and always being on the job. From there, it progresses to bleeding less, thinking you have some downtime (but not really), and telling yourself you need to be off the clock sometime. After that, it slowly works to some semblance of balance, or what you come to believe balance looks like.

As of today, I’m still in the second stage. Most of my time is spent on the phone (yuck!), managing people, or dealing with all the admin behind the scenes. I spend a lot of time in my cave of an office when I’m not out in the field helping with the work or driving between job sites.

The office is not really a cave, it has windows, but the ones where I work have the tint film on them, making even sunny days seem cloudy. To keep myself from becoming a zombie, I make it a point to go outside periodically to take in the weather and warm my bones in the sun if it is a nice enough day.

New Friend

There is a crow that hangs around outside. I think it is the same one, and I’m choosing to believe so, regardless of any evidence. Its name is Mark, and I have been trying to make friends with it. There is a slightly mangled slice of bread in the loaf at the office specifically set aside for this purpose.

Thus far, my offers of friendship remain open and unaccepted. My presence is greeted with trepidation, and Mark flies away before I can fully present my bread-ball gifts. I don’t know if Mark returns to partake of the snacks or if the little sparrows hanging around have been hoarding the bounty.

Either way, I will continue my efforts. Mark will appreciate my generosity and tell his crow friends. When you see the car driving around with a murder of crows following in its wake, you will know I have achieved my goal. Okay, maybe I don’t want them associating my car with me, but I will figure that out once I make friends with Mark.

Photo by u042eu0440u0430 on Pexels.com

One step at a time. Happy weekend all!

Early Mother’s Day

The sun is finally out in Washington, and it emerged with a vengeance. There are some in my life who dread the heat, especially at night when trying to sleep. I, on the other hand, have been ready for these temperatures for at least a month. There might be some thunderstorms tomorrow, but other than that, the upcoming week is looking wonderful. I will enjoy it while it lasts.

Today, we spend a fair portion of the afternoon indoors at an early Mother’s Day lunch. We like to go out on Saturday rather than Sunday to avoid the restaurant rush. No one likes waiting, and the packed establishments become very loud with everyone crammed in together. It is much easier to schedule a leisurely meal a day early to enjoy our time together instead of adding frustration.

This year, my sister is adding some Mother’s Day joy to another family. She has long desired to give of herself (literally) in some way. She donates blood, is on the marrow registry, and even tried to donate a kidney once. That last one did not work out, but late last year, she connected with a couple looking for a surrogate, and things progressed from there.

It is sweet to see their excitement through interactions with her. Their mingled hope and fear at the start developed into a general excitement. Within the coming month, she is due, and the parents are fully prepared to drop everything and drive the three hours up from Portland if she goes into labor early. I’m betting on two weeks from tomorrow.

Pregnancy has risks, and I will always worry about what she is taking on with such an undertaking, but she is happy and content with her decision and has the support through the surrogacy process that she needs. I could never do it, but I’m glad she has had the opportunity to give this gift to someone.

On that note, happy Mother’s Day to all!

Sports Saturday!

After three events and over twenty thousand steps, I am still tired from yesterday!

The day began early with the Jamboree for the Federal Way National Little League teams. My company (not the author one) sponsored the organization this year, so I arrived early with my mascot to celebrate and support the players. As my mascot has a giant globe for a head, yesterday being Earth Day was a bonus.

From there, I scooped up my nephew, and we headed to
Seattle for an extended double-header of soccer. The OL Reign played at 12:30 at Lumen Field. They started strong, with two early goals from Balcer, but they kept letting the Red Stars back in the game. There are some things to look at on the defensive side, but the scoring came through on the day with a final score of 5-2. For a team that has struggled to put away their shots, this was a nice change.

After a bit of rain at the start, the sun came out for the Reign.

I called the day an “extended double-header” because we had about five hours between games to kill. Dinner would take up some before the Sounders played at 7:30, but a good chunk of available time remained. Earlier in the week, I saw an ad for the WNDR Museum in Seattle. The pictures looked cool, so I thought we would check out the art. Unfortunately, this one has put me off of future “art experiences.”

The price was steep, coming in over $70 for one adult and one youth admission. I saw this on the website in advance and have been to museums worth such admission prices. This was simply too small to justify the price tag. The main attraction had a separate waitlist clocking in at over two hours. I could have spent two days at the WWII museum in New Orleans, but the WNDR was smaller than the brewery restaurant we went to for dinner. You could read everything, interact with each section, and still not add up to the wait for the main event. My nephew was nowhere near entertained enough to stretch it out that long.

We gave up waiting, I kissed my money goodbye on a lesson learned, and we went to get some ice cream instead. Next time, I’m saving my $70 and will take it to Pike Place Market instead. I would have loved to try some of the items there, maybe getting a gift or two. We walked from the museum to the market, then back past the stadium for dinner, meeting up with the rest of the family.

Our evening capped off with a Sounders victory. At 1-0, and the goal not coming until around the seventy-ninth minute, the game was not nearly as decisive, but it was fun either just the same. Back to the light rail for the ride home, and I had passed the twenty-thousand-step mark for the day. With his shorter legs, I’m sure my nephew exceeded my number.

I need a nap just thinking about it again!

Happy Birthday (to me)!

I have never celebrated Valentine’s Day because my birthday is so close. One year I was supremely irritated because the holiday fell on the weekend closest to my birthday. My family tried to go out for a birthday dinner and it was insanity. Parking was impossible. There was an almost two-hour wait to get into any restaurant. I was in my teens at the time and had a teenage breakdown (not so bad where my parents went into “don’t make me turn this car around” mode).

Since that day, I have been hyperaware of the holiday’s proximity to my desired family meal day. The latter is this afternoon, and we are going to a local Korean BBQ place. This will be my grandmother’s first time trying it, so we’ll see what she thinks. I suspect she will like the sweeter marinades the best and not care as much for the spicy sides. 

A friend also sent me the flowers in the main picture, which was very thoughtful. Other than that, I’m planning to take it pretty easy this weekend. I’ll polish another six to ten chapters of Hidden Strength to send off to my alpha readers. I have just over twenty chapters left to send, so I’m hoping to get those out before the beta feedback for Hidden Promise comes in. 

Though, I should also reach out to the cover artist if I want to have that done in time for the April newsletter…Okay, maybe “take it easy” is a bit of an overstatement, but these are busy times, and there are only so many days between deadlines! 

Sounders Season Starts Early!

*Game spoilers if you haven’t watched yet!*

This month kicks off the Sounders’ MLS season, but this morning the fun started a little early. Last year the team won the CCL trophy and earned a spot to represent CONCACAF in the Club World Cup, a tournament including the champions from each of the world’s soccer/football regions. They are the first USA team to participate with the first US coach, and today we had the first MLS shot on goal in the tournament. 

The Sounders were underdogs going in, and the MLS is not considered a top league in the world. While expectations were not high, I think most Sounders fans believed they could win and advance to play Real Madrid. For eighty-eight minutes, the rest of the world wondered too. 

It was, unfortunately, not the day for that next piece of history to be made. A messy play, a bad deflection, and Al Ahly scored in the final minutes of the game. Until that moment, I thought they could sneak one past the goalie and get the win. They played better in the first half and held off against some nice counters in the second half. For a team whose season ended in October and who only had one practice game to prepare, they looked really good out there. 

I wish those last two subs had come on sooner (my expert, “I’ve played rec soccer a few times” opinion). I think they could have used fresh legs out front earlier than that to regain some of the pressure they put on Al Ahly in the first half. The finishing was also lacking, which is the only piece worrying me. Last season, they lost too many games because they couldn’t get the shots on target. 

Overall, I feel good about this MLS season and getting back to the Sounders’ playoff ways. The first game is on the 26th, and I will be there!