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The metaphorical storm of kids’ illness, anyway. Last week, my daughter was home sick Tuesday and Wednesday and then sick again on Saturday; my son was home sick Thursday and Friday. This week, so far, no illness. Here’s hoping it stays that way.

Other things I am grateful for today: a roof over my head, warmth, clean clothes, hot tea (well, it’s hot when I brew it, anyway; one of these years I’ll get one of those coaster things that keeps your drink warm for you), and people who love me. All the basics.

Oh, yeah — and the actual wintry mix storm of last night has passed, too.

icy dogwood branch

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Last night, we got our first bit of wintry mix — mostly rain, trace of snow that stuck around on the grass for a little bit after the sun came up. The kids were incredibly happy to see the snow. (Me, I told them to make sure they caught their buses this morning because I wasn’t driving anywhere!)

Anyway, it was nice to see a winter trying to be winter, and it’s always good to see happy children. (Also on my gratitude list right now: the smell of the bread that’s about to come out of the oven.) What are you grateful for this week?

front yard with snowRead the rest of this entry  )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Last day of Inktober. I hope you all have enjoyed it.

Today, I actually used the Inktober prompt, friends. And this post does double duty as my weekly gratitude post. I’m grateful to Mr. Jake Parker for creating Inktober, to all the many artists I’ve seen participating over the years, and to all the people who’ve encouraged me and commented this month. Thank you all!

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

Fall . . .

Oct. 24th, 2016 03:49 pm
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fall leaves
It’s been windy and cool the past few days. Makes a nice break from that almost-80 it was trying last week! I just wish the weather would settle down.

Little things are pleasing me today: the girl’s first soccer win yesterday, getting my e-mail cleaned out, looking forward to some D&D after a few months of primarily board games.

Oh, for reference, I took screenshots of my actual avatar for Habitica and the pet page with the name showing. Fine, you can still think it looks like a cat. But it’s a fox.
avatar

ghost fox

So what are you grateful for today?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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maple just touched with fall colorTwo weeks from tomorrow, the annual debauchery writing fest commences. Fifty thousand words, thirty days.

Yeah, I might aim a little higher than that this year. But first, I still have to finish Treachery.

Anyway, I’m grateful for a wonderful local group of writers, and for children who like writing too. What are you grateful for today?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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sun through the treesThis is probably going to sound silly, but I parallel parked today when I visited the library. I was dropping off some books to donate, so I wanted a close parking place. The only one available required parallel parking.

I realize this is a skill most people learn when they are decades younger than I am. However, I have literally never before properly backed into a single-car space, then turned the front of the car so I would be parallel to the curb. And today, I did it.

Also? It got cold enough last night that there were no gnats at the girl’s bus stop this morning!

And … our neighbor has a couple bookcases sitting by the curb, free for the taking. My husband asked where I thought they could go. After some thought, I pointed out a couple places in the dining room. Is this ideal? No, but it’ll do for now.

So those are a few of the things I’m grateful for today. What are you grateful for?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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It’s a small thing, I know, but I was getting rather tired of it being 90 degrees in September. This week, the highest it’s supposed to reach is 75. Not only that, but the humidity has dropped as well.

trees with fall colorLeaves are turning. Stores have apple cider for sale. Kids are thinking about Halloween costumes.

So weird — it’s like PA saw the calendar and flipped the switch when the autumnal equinox hit. Yes, I am grateful.

What are you grateful for this week?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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As is probably obvious by now, I track years by school years as well as calendar years. Gives me twice as many new years! Of course, I’m rarely ready to start new projects when the new year rolls around, but I do have a burst of energy and attempted organization, so with luck, this’ll mean that I actually get Treachery finished this month. Helping in this are two apps, both of which I’ve mentioned before: Freedom (to keep me off the Internet) and Scrivener for iOS (so I can write even away from the computer).

bee on sedum flowersRead the rest of this entry  )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Two-headed monster

(First thing)
Last week, I told the kids we’d do what they wanted for the last day of summer. They opted for the Da Vinci Science Center, so that’s where we spent the afternoon. (Morning was library, comics and gaming store, and ice cream shop for lunch.)

Which means that the kids are back in school now. Huzzah! This, of course, is what I’m grateful for.Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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One of the main reasons I do these gratitude posts on Mondays is to remind me that I have so much that is good in my life. This can be an especially valuable reminder on Mondays — our culture has built up a sense of dread about starting the week, so this is my attempt to counteract that. Not always easy, especially when I’m having a rough day. Or a rough week.
all out and all in

So here are a few bright spots in this day:

  • The temperature is under 80°, and it’s breezy. Yes, it’ll be back above 90° later this week, but right now, it’s lovely.
  • The part to fix our broken toilet was about $2.75 with tax, and the toilet is working now.
  • Verizon Wireless support on Twitter is trying to help me get my data plan sorted out after much frustration on my part. (Fruitlessly, it turns out, but they tried.)
  • My friends encourage me on rough days.
  • I got lovely new art supplies last week and took some time to play a bit this weekend!

What are you grateful for this week?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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air conditioning unit

Our air conditioning unit is old and battered (a bit over 40 years old, just like the house, although the house is far less battered and rusty), but it still mostly limps along. Carrier builds good products.

Every now and then, however, there is a hiccup in life. In this case, the proximal cause was probably the belt in the furnace that needed to be replaced. However, the service technician also cleaned the condenser coils out as well as the clogged air filters. (For the record, I do clean the filters twice a year.)

Now the house is cooling down again, and my brain is starting to feel capable of thought once more, as it is no longer stewing in its own juices.

What are you grateful for today?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Wow, that happened fast.

It’s been cooler here than the middle of the country, for which I’m grateful, but it’s also been beastly humid with lots of thunderstorms.

stormy weatherRead the rest of this entry  )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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hosta buds

This year really seems to be flitting by. I wish I had more to show for it. Despite not having completed projects yet, however, I feel more on top of things. My writing feels more solid. I have plans for where I want to go with my career, which was never a high priority before — I tended more to the “spaghetti on the wall” method.

Family life feels more grounded, too. I still have days when I totally lose it with my kids because they interrupt one too many times, but I’m happy to plan time with them. My daughter and I have actually agreed on one hour a day that she gets my attention, to draw or play or whatever, and because I can plan on this, it doesn’t feel like an imposition. There are still things I want to add in, but we’ll see how that goes, little by little.

I’ve managed to actually complete a craft project (I’ll post about it on Sara’s blog), and I’ve got a couple others on tap to start.

In other words, right now, I feel settled. I don’t know if I’m really as on track as it feels like, but I’m definitely making progress and doing all the things that are priorities in my life. (Well, maybe I could spend more time with friends.) For all of this, I’m grateful.

What are you grateful for today?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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hosta leaf

Every now and then, I think I should water the yard. I worry about my blueberry plants (now with a dozen berries!) or the petunia that my daughter’s class gave me. And then, this being Pennsylvania, it pours. We’ve been here almost a dozen years, and I still find it weird — will always find it slightly tone-deaf — that people can worry about a drought if it doesn’t rain for two months (usually July and August). Two months does not a drought make. (It does, however, lead to times when it’s not ridiculous of me to wonder whether I should water the plants.)
Read the rest of this entry  )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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I don’t usually post recipes here, but I made these on Saturday — not the first time I’ve made them, either. We used to eat the shells with a savory filling while I was growing up. It occurred to me that it’s been years since I made them, so I indulged this weekend. Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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mixed bouquet

Last week, I didn’t plan on getting much work done, what with it being the last week of school for the kids. Sure enough, I did lunch with my daughter’s class, plus the annual outing with the kids for ice cream. Also did a trip to a library in a neighboring town, plus ran through the car wash because the girl really loves that.

And, of course, different flowers are blooming. Last week marked the end of the peonies for this year, but the rose is blooming, as are the red hot pokers, and the Monarda (bee balm) will be starting soon. Clematis is budding, too. Not expecting anything from the crape myrtles until next month, though. So what do we do with this bounty of blossoms? Well, the girl wanted to take flowers in to her teacher. Hence, the bouquet.

Now we’re back to remembering how to deal with Mom wanting to work with the kids at home. We’ll get it straightened out by the end of the week, I’m sure. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying their enthusiasm.

What are you grateful for this week?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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We went from this:
Robin eggs

to this:
Baby birds!

Most of the time, Mama Robin’s still sitting on top of them, so I was lucky to get this shot this afternoon.

Today, grateful for the turning of the seasons. (Also very happy because of the fun concert at my daughter’s school this afternoon.)

What are you grateful for today?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Spring continues, and the weather doesn’t seem to be sure what it wants to do. It rained most of last this week. This week looks to be mostly sunny, but cooler and much windier. Also, lots more pollen. We’ve moved on to pine pollen predominating, I think.

azalea in bloom

On the other hand, we’re still getting beautiful displays by plants like our azalea bush, and the peonies are starting to bud out, so I’m looking forward to their fragrance soon. (I take extra antihistamines for it. Yes, I’m still and always grateful for all forms of modern medicine!)

The other thing I’m really grateful for today is supportive friends, the ones who encourage me to stretch myself and who are there with words of encouragement if things don’t go as I’d hoped. You know who you are. Thank you!

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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If you’ve visited my website recently, or if you subscribe to my newsletter (and if you don’t, why not?), you’ve already seen the new cover I got for Bodyguard of Lies. Isn’t it beautiful?

Bodyguard of Lies cover

Designed by The Cover Collection


So this week, among other things, I’m grateful for professional cover artists. What are you grateful for today?

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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April went fast, didn’t it? Actually, the first third of the year vanished fairly quickly. I know I’ve been doing things (taxes always seem to rob me of early April), but the time always manages to surprise me.

Tonight, my daughter’s Brownies troop (Girl Scouts) are doing a Mother’s Day dinner. We were warned to bring appetites and told “all bets on diets are off 🙂 desserts will be served!” Which, of course, is why I’m posting my blog now, rather than doing it during her meeting while I wait for her (my usual m.o.). So, time with my daughter — first thing I’m grateful for today.Read the rest of this entry  )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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