Sunday, January 05, 2014

Reflection and Contemplation . . .

2013 Reflections:

I received a much needed raise from my day job at the beginning of 2013. I graduated from college in May, obtaining my second associates degree—this time in Web Technology.  I contracted a with new Web site client in April—a small manufacturing company in Brevard, North Carolina. But with writing there wasn’t much except the occasional blog and school assignments. I did write about five pages on a new Lana Malloy novella. I came up with a couple of new book ideas. One is a paranormal suspense and the other a science fiction—like I needed more ideas to add to my list of to-dos. Way to go, Kim! I made up for the not writing with reading. I haven’t really kept up with how many books I’ve read but I know it was more than one a month averaged out. I also lost a very good friend in January 2013. Ann Burr was like a second mother to me. She had been sick with Alzheimer’s disease and in a nursing home four hours away for the last few years. I wanted to go see her but then I didn’t because I didn’t want to remember her that way. I have missed her more than I can ever express though. I will always remember the summers we spent together before she got sick.

My husband, Lee, became a stay-at-home husband again.  Before I was laid off he stayed home and worked on his art and kept house, but then he went back to work to support me while I attended college and he continued to work for a couple of years after I acquired another job. Lee does a great job with all the cooking and cleaning. He cooks almost all our meals and he helped me a lot with Christmas dinner. He did what I like to call the grunt work. He peeled and cut the potatoes, chopped the onions and helped me shell the boiled eggs.  He kept the dishes washed so I would have room to mix and cook. I know I’m a very lucky woman. He is also starting to carve again and he has sold about 4 pieces of art in the last few months. When we get his new page up and running, he will be a very happy man.

My youngest son attained a job closer to his home. No more driving over 30 miles one way to get to work for him. I'm so happy for Travis because he had looked for something in Hendersonville for a couple of years at least. He is now the store manager at Burkes Outlet with aspirations for advancement. He works very hard and deserves success. Travis found out he was diabetic in 2013 but he has handled it well. He wasn't over weight as he had already been dieting. Now he's 150 pounds which to me is too skinny for his frame and I admit it worries me a bit. Travis is also my reading buddy and keeps me supplied with books although I probably have hundreds in my own collection that I haven’t read yet. What can I say? He has very good reading taste. For Thanksgiving, Travis and Austin invited us to Laura’s House, a restaurant in Chimney Rock where the owners' and employees' families get together in the restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner. We all had a good time there. Travis and Austin also went to Kelsey's Restaurant & Lounge Killer Theater--a 1920's Theme--in November. Travis lost his 11 year-old female Lab, Lacie, to cancer in December. He loved that dog so much. They still have their male dog, Luke, and a new cat named Dexter.

My oldest son drives a delivery truck for a tire company and was able to come to Asheville on one of his trips in October and we  to were able to have lunch together at Olive Garden but he wasn’t able to make it up for Thanksgiving or Christmas. We had planned to meet at Laura’s House Thanksgiving, but he wasn’t able to bring his sons and decided not to come. Brandon works most holidays and he has been going through a lot emotionally—a marriage separation which breaks my heart for him. He is a strong man and I know he is working through it okay. I just wish he didn’t have to go through it at all. He takes great care of his kids and they love him very much. For work, Brandon also does some beautiful granite counter top work and marble flooring work from time to time. Brandon is the father of my two grandchildren, and I’m sure they keep him jumping as well.  They all called on Christmas to wish us a Merry Christmas and to thank us for their gifts.

Bryson who is 3 thought Christmas was his birthday again because of all the presents he received. Patrick who is 16 is the captain of his school's football team. Patrick spent a few days with us during the summer. We had a good time and love having him every summer. We just wish we could see them more.

Our two West Highland White Terries are thriving. You can probably tell by the pictures I posted here and on facebook. Scooter, our male Westie, is 3 years old and Harley, our female, is 17 months.  Harley is now larger than Scooter. She weighs 18.8 pounds and Scooter weighs 18.2. She feels heavier than that but she’s not fat. She is a little longer and taller than Scooter and she is muscular. They both play very hard.

Contemplating 2014:

First of all, I would like to wish all my family, friends, and readers much success, health, and happiness for 2014 and all the years to come. I want to see my children and grandchildren more than I did in 2013, and I plan to keep my resolutions.

My New Year’s resolutions were to lose weight (which means workout more), write more books (those that are in different stages of completion), update mine and Lee's Web sites, and actively look for more Web site clients. I plan to write out my goals and making objectives for reaching those goals. I have heard that if you write them out and make a plan that you are more likely to obtain your goals.

I will need to update our Web pages before looking for more clients. I’ve been procrastinating about it for a while. I did work on mine some in September 2013 while trying to teach myself WordPress software. About the time I completed my pages, they upgraded the software and when I upgraded, it messed up everything I had done. I think I had rather create the pages from scratch. When I say mine, I have two and Lee has one. The one I really need to work on is for my Web design business (because I have never created it), but I would like to update my author’s site with a new look too. I have a couple of ideas I plan to use for my design page and Lee’s art page that I think will look better and not take as much time to create. All of Lee’s images need to be completely revamped. Most of Lee’s art images were not taken with a digital camera, so they need to be scanned and that’s what I have procrastinated about the most.

As for the writing part, I plan to start next week by rereading the book I have three quarters completed and finish writing it, and to also finish writing the novella I started in 2013. Next, I plan to finish writing “For the Love of Money”.  I will go from there with my book writing, just going down the list on my Works in Process page on my Web site. My plan is to also write in my blog more, at least once every three months. This post will be my winter 2014 post. My next post will be March or before.

The most important and most difficult part of my New Year’s resolution for me is to lose weight and workout for my health. I have gained so much weight in the last few years and need to lose 30 to 40 pounds. I weigh more than I ever have in my life, and that’s including when I was pregnant. I hate all my recent pictures and hide from the camera whenever I can. When I can’t, since I’m the one who downloads all digital photos, I make sure they get no further. I don’t think my eating is the biggest problem though I am trying to cut down on carbohydrates and eat more protein. I know I don’t get enough exercise. When I was attending college full time, I sat in class during the day and sat in the chair at home doing homework until bedtime. Then when I went back to work, I was still going to school part time. My job is at a desk most of the time, so it has pretty much been the same routine. Now, I’m done with college, so I need to start exercising. I have a treadmill and exercise weights for working out. I just need to get into a routine of using them. The plan is to get up a little earlier and exercise before work. Pray for me and wish me luck at accomplishing my 2014 goals. It's going to be hard but I'm determined to persevere.