In an earlier blog, I mentioned my problems with organization, how I use baskets and notebooks and colors to keep track of all my stuff and what I should be doing. In THE MATCHMAKERS OF BUTTERNUT CREEK, Gussie uses different totes for the various sections of her life. Yes, I took that from my life. I had one tote for school–a very large one–another for church, and many others for volunteer activities.
Today, I mostly use my totes for shopping and realize anyone looking at them would learn a great deal about my life. One is from an anniversary of the founding of my college sorority at Kansas State. Whenever I carry that, I make sure my hair looks good, my shirt is clean, and my shoes don’t look too ugly. I do that because living here in Austin, I fear a young collegiate Theta will see me and think, “I didn’t think alums looked that bad.”
I have another with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) logo on it. This is a communion chalice on a St. Andrews Cross. That cross is on its side and looks like the letter X which causes people to ask me if I’m a member of the temperance league.
Another tote has this written on it: “My hero can kick your hero’s . . .” Well, I’ll allow you to fill that in so I won’t insult any readers. I have totes with Romance Writers of America conference themes and one with the symbol of one of my publishers, all of which might tip people off that I’m a writer.
Many years ago, my dear mother-in-law gave me a tote with “Cats and Books” on it. That pretty well fills in my other interests: pets and reading.
What’s your favorite tote? What does it tell people about you?
Yes, I know I’m late with this but I’m going to a party for a 2014 graduate this afternoon and began to reflect on graduation.
I don’t have good memories of my graduations. I was one of 428 in high school and sat between two guys I’d never seen before. I graduated from college in January and didn’t return for the June ceremony. My friends tell me the speaker was a famous physicist and they didn’t understand a word he said after, “Congratulations.” Nor did I attend the HUGE ceremony when I received my master’s from the University of Louisville. However, I promised I’d attend after I earned my M.Div. in a class of thirty. Unfortunately, because I’d taken my classes mostly in the summer to complete the degree, no one recognized me in the pictures of the class and identified me as Hilda someone.
However, I’ve attended many more. As a high school teacher, I always felt graduation was a celebration of attainment, meeting the goal. Many time, I was one of many in the audience. In Fort Bend County, TX, I always volunteered to escort the class forward. In other schools, attendance by faculty was required but, again, I never minded that–well, except for the times it was held on the football field and we processed in over wet soil and were attacked by flying insects as well as various pollens that had us scratching and sneezing.
But with every one of those, I felt such pride, both in the completion of all those years of study and in the awareness that young people I’d taught were going out into the world, speaking fluent Spanish, I hoped, or perhaps that they’d find a use for the language.
So to all those who graduated, from Rogene and Becky to Sam and Luke and today to Jon, congratulation and Godspeed.
Took the car in today and found out the fact that I cannot read the speedometer because it is hidden in a deep well is a design problem which cannot be fixed because it IS in a deep well with no additional lighting. In September, George bought me a 2003 Mazda which is a really great car but I fear a myriad of speeding tickets lurk in my future. Also, it’s–sigh–white. I’ve decorated with with a Kansas State Power Cat magnet on one side and a University of Louisville Cardinal on the other but I still can’t find it in the parking lot the way I could my yellow car. In fact, I’ve stood next to white cars clicking my remote to unlock the doors and cursing (only in the nicest way) that the battery in the remote must be low. Fortunately it only takes a few minutes before I realize it is not my car and move on to the next white car.
Little by little, I’m checking off tasks. I got the extension of income tax paperwork in to the IRS Wednesday, the health insurance straightened out and in my name, information to Social Security, and many thank you notes written to our dear and generous friends. I’ve worked on my novels a little but am still having trouble getting a read on the love interest in the fourth Butternut Creek novel for which I’m attempting to put together a proposal with a brain low on creativity.
But I’m doing better. For example, George loved olives. The sight of the olive bar at H-E-B only makes me sad not burst out in tears. Those breakdown have been frightening for the ladies at the nearby sushi counter.
I’m also reading the other books that have been nominated for the RITA in my category. They are wonderful. I’m honored to be in that group.
Next Monday, I have two events on this blog. On Monday, I’ll start the day highlighting the cover of Alexa Bourne’s newest novel. Later in the afternoon, I’ll tell you about Kris Fletcher whose first published novel–A Better Father–was available a week ago. Great book! To my delight, Kris will blog here on Tuesday. She’ll be telling us about the changes in her life as a published author with edits and promos at the same time she deals with her twenty or thirty–or maybe five–children. Hope you’ll stop by.
My friend Ellen assures me that pets feel the emotion of their owners and react.
Okay, I accept that about dogs. Our Pepper would run whenever she thought George and I were about to argue because she could feel the tension between us. Many a fight ended before it started because we laughed when she took off down the hall. Our Dreamer would get on my lap and quiver when I cried. She never did any other time.
But cats? Ellen assures me they do and I might believe her now.
We have two incredibly spoiled tuxedo cats (I may have mentioned them before). Maggie hasn’t slept with us for years and Scooter only bothered George at night. But during the last weeks of George’s latest and last illness, both cats slept with me. It wasn’t a matter of there being more space on the bed. They cuddled with me. Scooter used my legs as a pillow and Maggie slept against my side. This lasted for two weeks after George died when they quit.
So what do you think? Did the cats pick up on my sadness and worry? Were they comforting me? I think so. I believe they were using their warm little bodies to keep me warm, to keep me company. It helped.
And here’s a picture of Kansas State’s Rodney McGrudder
The football team of my alma mater, Kansas State, is ranked number one in the BSC poll.
Collin Klein is the top player in the running for the Hiesman trophy.
And he’s on the cover of Sports Illustrated with an article about the top player on the top team inside. You do know about the SI jinx, right?
If you think he and the team are feeling pressure, it’s not even close to the stress I’m feeling!