Tuesday, December 11, 2018

End of the Year Hustle

The family got through mom's possessions.  We got them divided up, organized and sent off to the appropriate sibling or charity.  This includes the difficult task of dividing up her jewelry.  Saturday was a very long and emotional day.

Now I'm working on gifts and projects.  I had five student worker gifts to make - can't say what at this point.  Since Sunday I've gotten four of them done.  I'm hoping to make the last one tonight.  I'll take pictures of them as they are new patterns and then ask my husband to please wrap them. 

This is the rest of my immediate needs for crocheting:

  • 3 baby bibs - moved up because the publication changed the date for the issue they're going in
  • gift for my daughter's boyfriend - again can't say
  • blanket for the woman who organized my blog post
  • slipper socks for my niece
  • scarf and hat set for a client
I think these are the immediate needs.  I am still working on a blanket for my niece which I may submit to the publication - I may be too late for the issue.  I have to check since they rearranged dates of issues.

I'm hoping to get all of these done within the two weeks.  After I get these done, I'm going to think about making things for the markets I'm hoping to participate in.  However, I have a lot of writing things to get done as well.  

I'm sure I'm going to be bouncing back and forth between tasks.  It's all a balancing act for me to keep moving forward in both of these areas.  

I've been feeling too scattered so I wrote up a to do list for my writing.  I need to break down some of the tasks into pieces so I can check them off but I'm hoping with the list, I'll be able to focus a little better and spend less time bouncing around and more time accomplishing things.  

Work is winding down for the end of the semester so this means I can think about more things.  I've also got a long eleven days off over the holidays.  I'm looking forward to this as I'll actually have about three days in the house alone.  I'm hoping those will be productive days for writing.  On the days where I'm sharing the house with other people I'll work on things like posting patterns on Ravelry or marketing as that is easier to be interrupted than writing.  

I'm also hoping to start going through some of the photo albums of my mothers.  This is going to be a task as there are dozens of them if not hundreds.  Without a doubt there are thousands of pictures to look through, determine if they are good enough to scan, and pick the ones the family will be interested in.  My mother was a prolific photographer who snapped shots of everything.  Collectively, we've already decided we can't keep them all and there isn't time to scan them all.  Still it's a big job and will take time.  I'm hoping to take a few hours on one of my days off and work through a number of them.  

After I get done with the pictures, the next thing will be the slides.  This is going to be time consuming as well.  Both my parents took a lot of pictures.  This means I've got lots of slides to go through from the beginning of their marriage to about the 70s (I think).  This will be slow going as well.  

All of this should keep me very busy through the end of the year.  I'm hoping to rest a bit during my eleven days off and come back to my day job a little less stressed.  I'm also hoping to get quite a bit of work done while I'm off. 

Friday, November 30, 2018

Life and Other Complications

Saturday I'll be at the University Wisconsin Whitewater vendor sale from 10 - 3 signing and selling my books and some crocheting.  I'm concerned because the reader event I went to at the beginning of the month was a bust financially so I'm hoping this event is better. 

I've almost got all of my mom's stuff divided up.  A few more days for people to look at the pictures and then I'll print.  Next Saturday there will be a physical dividing of things. 

Mom had a lot of jewelry so I'm working on that next.  If I can get it all organized, I'll be handing those things over next weekend.  But it's a lot of going through and figuring out so I'll have to see  how things go. 

A friend contacted me last night to ask about a book contract she was offered.  It wasn't a bad deal but in reading the fine print I suggested she contact a lawyer to have it clarified.  Some of the terms were not the best. 

My author I've been helping has updates she wants me to make.  I'm hoping Sunday but I'll have to see.  I need to finish the slippers I'm working on so those may have to take priority.  I have one and a half socks for the paid ones.  I have one pair to finish for the requested (from my niece).  There's one more paid project to work on so I'll have to see how my time goes.

At some point, I need to get mom's paperwork all together and organized.  I've got it in piles so I need to organize those piles.  Then it's a matter of hanging on to some of it for a year and then discarding.  Some of it will have to be kept for longer. 

There are times I feel like I'm drowning in tasks.  My day job has been super busy and life has been the same.  This leads to a lot of stress for me.  I'm hoping for the holiday break to clear up a number of things. 

Christmas is always hard for me and this year it is more difficult.  I find myself teary and emotional - defaulting on irritable because it's easier to cope with.  I know this is grief but part of me is very impatient with myself because I have so much going on right now I don't have time to fall apart.  I'm coping.  I'm tackling one thing at a time - though I have my moments.  I know it will all get done and I know people will understand if it takes longer.  Most of my deadlines are for me - I've already put off editing / publishing a book because of all the chaos in my life.  It's a matter of giving myself time and reminding myself to take a step back when I need to. 

I know when I accomplish a task it helps ease my stress.  Right now I've got photo albums galore in my office.  My task - scan all the good ones and distribute to the family.  The problem - the clutter is driving me crazy.  It's a constant reminder of all the tasks not done yet.  But if I get mom's stuff and jewelry organized, I'll have time to work on the next step - the photos.  Behind the photos I've got thousands of slides which are going to need converting to digital.  I know this next year is going to be busy - very busy.  One thing at a time and checking things off my to do list.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Grief

Last month I was neck deep in helping a non-fiction author get her stuff published, getting Wayfarer Resolve published and a variety of other tasks when my mother started a health crisis. 

Sadly my mother passed away 10/12/2018.  This led to a ton of tasks when I was not at my best.  Writing got set aside.  I don't easily or lightly set aside writing because it balances and grounds me. 

Here I am a month later saying where did October and most of November go?  I know I went to my day job and worked through arranging the funeral, clearing out her apartment, and well you get the idea. 

I attended a book signing (my first) the first weekend in November.  The tasks associated with my mother's death and estate are wrapping up but I'm left feeling unsettled, sad, and crabby.  I'm all for finding a nice recliner and curling up in a cave somewhere no one can bug me.  Reality is that isn't going to happen. 

Writing is my sanity.  But I've not had time for writing.  This is never good.  I've got a manuscript in my bag and I started edits on it.  I've read on my phone using my kindle app to highlight grammatical errors I find as I read familiar friends (i.e. my published books). 


Over the last month, I've found little writing things to keep me sane.  This has helped with my grief and my stress.  I may not be able to climb into my comfy recliner in the luxury cave (yup totally have it designed with high speed internet and a large hot tub), but I am able to pick up writing tasks to ground me while I work through my grief.

Last weekend with other family members, we went through my sister's house where mom lived prior to her health issues.  We sorted, took pictures, and discarded all of her things.  My niece struggled with memories and grief.  I shoved it all away, keeping the feelings squashed to get through the task at hand.  However, when I got to a box of stuff from her office, I discovered a stack of correspondence.  Some was letters from my sister who lives a few hours away.  The rest were all the cards her grandchildren had sent her.  She kept them all because the meant something to her.  

This simple thing - nothing worth keeping - cards with short little blurbs from family.  Yet I knew if mom were in the room, she would have said these were her most precious possessions.  This broke my reserve and brought tears to my eyes.  There was no point in keeping them but they spoke to me.

There are a few more tasks to work through, scanning pictures, figuring out slides, and so on.  Once we distribute her things among the family, her estate will be done for the most part.  The funeral and all the work will be behind us.  A part of me doesn't want to let go of these last few tasks but I know like all the other times it's difficult to let go - it's time to let go.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Wayfarer Resolve

#OnTour with @SilverDaggerBookTours | #SilverDaggerBookTours

~~&&~~#BookTour & #Giveaway~~&&~~
WAYFARER RESOLVE by Eileen Troemel
#SciFi #Romance #Wayfarer #NewRelease @EileenTroemelAuthor

In this final installation of Wayfarers, Decker and Adara face an attack on their homeworlds as well as on their children. A clan member from Phelan’s clan attacks Addy and Zoe while Adara and Decker deal with riots and attacks on the home world. Phelan’s clan member is at fault. Will this break down the clans? 

Out exploring their sectors of space, Adara settles into being Mathair Naclan - mother of the clans. At the home planets, Hal, Dimitri, and others cope with vandalism, sabotage, and racism. The Humans only group rises with violence and hate to attack the Wayfarers from within.

Sentenced to hard labor, prisoners are placed at Tom and Angeline’s manufacturing facility and Monroe’s mining operation. Though facing punishment for breaking the terms of being with the Wayfarers, Bernard Lundquist still runs operations on Hometown. 

Bias within the Wayfarers and against the Wayfarers frustrates Adara as she and her admin council defend against the Humans only group. The family is threatened by the people Adara rescued. Can they find a way to peace or will the prejudice tear apart the connections Adara and the Wayfarers are making?

Goodreads:


~~&~~~~&~~~~&~~~~&~~


Author Links

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Giveaway
2x $5 Amazon , Print Copies of the first three Wayfarer books

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!
https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/wayfarer-resolve-book-tour-and-giveaway                                                                                               
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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Wayfarer Resolve Tour!


Wayfarer Resolve
Wayfarer Series #18
by Eileen Troemel
Genre: SciFi Romance 

In this final installation of Wayfarers, Decker and Adara face an attack on their homeworlds as well as on their children. A clan member from Phelan’s clan attacks Addy and Zoe while Adara and Decker deal with riots and attacks on the home world. Phelan’s clan member is at fault. Will this break down the clans? 



Out exploring their sectors of space, Adara settles into being Mathair Naclan - mother of the clans. At the home planets, Hal, Dimitri, and others cope with vandalism, sabotage, and racism. The Humans only group rises with violence and hate to attack the Wayfarers from within.

Sentenced to hard labor, prisoners are placed at Tom and Angeline’s manufacturing facility and Monroe’s mining operation. Though facing punishment for breaking the terms of being with the Wayfarers, Bernard Lundquist still runs operations on Hometown. 

Bias within the Wayfarers and against the Wayfarers frustrates Adara as she and her admin council defend against the Humans only group. The family is threatened by the people Adara rescued. Can they find a way to peace or will the prejudice tear apart the connections Adara and the Wayfarers are making?






Wayfarer Aegis
Wayfarer Series .5

Wayfarer
Wayfarer Series #1

Wayfarer Clans
Wayfarer Series #2

Wayfarer Immemorial
Wayfarer Series #3
Wayfarer Negotiator
Wayfarer Series #4
Wayfarer Wedding
Wayfarer Series#5
Wayfarer Trials
Wayfarer Series #6

Wayfarer Destruction
Wayfarer Series #7
Wayfarer Freedom
Wayfarer Series #8
Wayfarer Salvation
Wayfarer Series #9
Wayfarer Expansion
Wayfarer Series #10

Wayfarer Acceptance
Wayfarer Series #11
Wayfarer Convictions
Wayfarer Series #12
Wayfarer Limits
Wayfarer Series #13
Wayfarer Contentious
Wayfarer Series #14

Wayfarer Home
Wayfarer Series #15
Wayfarer War
Wayfarer Series #16
Wayfarer Evolution
Wayfarer Series #17

  “It’s been seven hours and twenty one minutes,” Frey whispered as Jolen held her. “They’ve missed nursing twice now.”
  “Everyone is working to find them,” Jolen said rubbed her arms, tried to comfort her.
  “I can’t breathe,” Frey said rubbing her hand between her breasts.
  “You have to,” Jolen said. “You have to keep hoping. Harry needs you.”
  “He fought hard,” Frey said. “He used the self-defense training. We both did. It didn’t help.”
  “I know,” Jolen said. “Do you remember how many came in the house?”
  “Seven,” Frey said frowning. “They shoved all the other kids in a room, locked them in. They pointed phase rifles at my children.” Temper started to flush her cheeks.
  “Do you know how many were outside,” Jolen asked.
  “No,” Frey said. “We heard the detail fighting. Tray came in by us but they shot him without warning when they got into the house.”
  “He’s going to be all right,” Jolen said reassured her. “What happened next?”
  “They put the kids in our bedroom,” Frey said. “They ordered us away from the babies but Harry refused. I refused to go.”
  “Did they speak,” Jolen said.
  “One man spoke,” Frey said. “He spoke and the others did what he ordered. Harry fought. The man who spoke ordered two men to hold him while others beat him. I thought he was dead. I fought, I tried to stop them hurting him but they threatened my babies with their phase rifles.”
  “Was there anything distinctive about the man’s voice,” Jolen asked. “Did he have an accent, say words a particular way, or stutter?”
  “No. He spoke softly like he didn't want his voice to be recognized,” Frey said.
  “Do you remember any distinctive features about them,” Jolen asked.
  “Two of them were over six feet but not by much,” Frey said closing her eyes. “Three were shorter than Harry, they might have been women. The last two were between five ten and six foot. The three shorter ones were bulky but I think it was an attempt to prevent us knowing they were women.”
  “Why,” Jolen asked.
  “When they put Harry down and me next to him, those three shorter ones took the babies,” Frey said. “The man in charge, he seemed to think it beneath him to carry babies.”
  “Frey, you’ve been wonderful,” Jolen said. “I’m going to step out. Regan and Rowena are coming back in to sit with you. Before I go, I want you to know, you are safe here. You are in a private room at the Healing Center. There are several squads of fighters surrounding you. Outside of those people, we’ve got neighborhood watch patrolling the nearby neighborhoods.”
  “Where are the rest of the children,” Frey asked.
  “Libheanna has seen to them,” Jolen said. “She set them up in a space across the hall. They are secure.”
  “How many of the detail died,” Frey asked.
  “The count is up to four now,” Jolen said. She patted Frey’s shoulder as she shook her head burying her face in her hands.



Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!




Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Waiting for the Tears



I keep thinking I should have something profound to say, something to share which will give meaning to ... well death.  In reality, I'm so busy right now I am not sure most of the time if I'm coming or going.  I'm dealing with the latest cluster of tasks for mom.

G Walter, Grace, Bud,
Eunice, Joan & Harley
First it was oh no she's going to the doctor / ER / hospital in Madison!  My cluster of tasks included getting time off work and trying to keep up with the most vital tasks.  I needed to make sure there was food, gas, and other things.  Sitting with her, giving her time to rest while still making sure she knew I was there.

I hate hospitals - I hate them.  The smell, the sounds, the people.  I hate them.  Shoot me in the head before you take me to one to die.

The next cluster of tasks had to do with - mom's dead.  Now we need to notify... everyone who ever knew her.  We had to make the choices for the funeral and arrangements for people to get there.  No one tells you the million and one decisions you have to make when in reality your mind is still busy trying to process ... everything.

Joan holding Aimee
Going back to work was a relief - a hint of normal in an otherwise chaotic time.  I knew what was on my desk - mostly.  I knew what was expected.  I really spent more time being supported by the people there - did I need anything?

With a small break, the next cluster of activities was post funeral - what to do with the pictures, the flowers, the cards, the money... Let me tell you - if you love someone - plan your damn funeral down to the minutest detail so they don't have to think about it but only have to follow directions.  Tell them the songs you want, the words you want said - whether religious or irreverent.

Joan & Virginia
Post all of this crap - I'm still not slowing down.  I had a writing event to go to.  It was a good experience in that I met a lot of interesting people.  It was a crappy event in that the organizer had no clue on how to organize.

Now I'm dealing with will / finances cluster of tasks... life insurance, closing bank accounts, retirement, sorting out her things.  It's never ending - but reality is life goes on.  I want to have that moment - where tears fall and I feel all the sorrow but all I feel is numb and a need to organize and get the most recent cluster of tasks done.

This weekend is pay weekend so I'll be working on budget, errands, and cleanup from last weekend which will involve working on a newsletter.  Next weekend is going to my sister's house to organize mom's things.  This will lead to the next cluster of tasks - dispersing those things according to her will and her wishes.

I tell people I'm fine or that I'm hyper irritable (to which a good friend asked how would we tell).  In reality - I don't know what I feel - I'm too busy taking care of the different cluster of tasks.  Like it has in the past - it will likely be something ridiculous which sets off my tears.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Grieving

It's a pay week so lots of errands and chores to do in the house.  About half of them are done.  Now I'm turning my attention to other tasks.  I have a lot of writing tasks to do as well as start with going through my mother's photos.  Plus I'm going to a reader event next weekend so all of the prep for it has to be this weekend.

In reality, all I really want to do is curl up and sleep.  For the last three weeks sleep has been sporadic.  As well as dealing with my own grief, I've been helping others cope with their grief.  I find myself wrung out and exhausted.  I know this means I need to take some me time and everyone has their own idea of what that should be.

For me, it means clearing things off my to do list.  It comforts me and helps me feel like I'm productive.  For instance, the photos are all cluttering up my office.  In reality my mother loved to take photos but as she got older and less steady, the quality of her pictures declines.  She also took a ton of nature pictures which no one really wants.  They really only meant anything to her.  If I work on the photo albums I have, will it make me feel better?  I don't know.  It sure won't hurt and I could maybe clear out some stuff from my office.

All sorts of people have been telling me how I should grieve.  I know they mean well but in general what works for other people doesn't really work for me.  I figure my own way of doing things.

Part of my grieving is to write - posts like this one and the last one.  I express myself well (generally) in words.  Sometimes to just put it on paper helps.  It's out of my head and I can move forward.

Today and tomorrow are going to be about doing what I need to do for me.  I'm not sure what those things will be but I'll figure it out as my mood evolves.

I've told people I'm hyper-irritable.  Mostly I think I've reach the stage where I need quiet.  I've been surrounded by family and people for a lot of days.  At some point, I always need quiet and alone.  There's something about being quiet and alone which helps me.  I can hear my own thoughts and feel my own feelings without having to support anyone but me.

I'm sad my mother is dead but I KNOW she's at peace and with my dad.  This doesn't make me sad, it's a relief.  It's a relief to not worry the moment I see the assisted living facility on my phone - to wonder - is this another fall or another problem?  The worry is gone.  At the same time, I find myself thinking - oh mom would like ... and about the time I get that far, I realize mom's gone.  The moment hits me hard.  At the same time, I know it's okay.  It's supposed to hurt and it's supposed to be sad and it's supposed to be a relief.

I don't expect anyone to grieve the way I do - though I'm sure there are similarities.  This is a process and I've taken the first step through this jungle of emotions and responsibilities and tasks.  The first wave of it has rolled over me.  I'm looking within now to assess where I'm at and how I feel.

Working on my to do list distracts me but at the same time helps me.  This weekend will be about working through some of those items.

End of the Year Hustle

The family got through mom's possessions.  We got them divided up, organized and sent off to the appropriate sibling or charity.  This i...