“Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So, love the people who treat you right, forgive the ones who don’t and believe that everything happens for a reason.

“If you get the chance, take it.

“If it changes your life, let it.

“Nobody said it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.”

Harvey Mackay, though often attributed to Dr. Seuss

A Tribute to Gary of Bereaved Single Dad Blog

It’s been a while since I wrote a tribute piece; all the more reason to cobble one together.

Tonight, I wish to honor Gary of A Dad trying to cope with the loss of his Partner and becoming a single parent. Real, authentic, and (in his son’s words) a muppet; Gary mixes relatable humanity with life lessons and heartwarming morals.

I fall flat, I’m certain, but here is my effort to replicate his style and pay tribute to his daily blog posts.

Meal Plans

close up photo of man cooking meat

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

Had to use a photo from the free media library as I didn’t think to take my own today. Was too busy putting out flames.

“So, last time I used the grill, I noticed it was really dirty. I pushed all the burned stuff into the bottom through little holes, but then saw I couldn’t get it out without taking the grill apart…”

My husband and I were between work and night, between school for the boys and free time on the computers, between dinner and eating it.

Evening had come without meal plans, as usual. I’d searched the freezer for what meat might be hiding and discovered chicken breasts from the mad rush to stockup last March. Surely if I could defrost them enough we could grill them the rest of the way, I thought.

“…Well, when I closed the grill cover, those old pieces all caught fire…”

Hm, my husband said, I wondered why I smelled smoke.

He hadn’t seen the entire grill in flames. Thankfully.

While the fire died down so the gauge didn’t read 750 degrees I mixed up a sauce for the well-done chicken. Oil’s good for a sauce, and vinegar, and this bottle called Pizza Seasoning and salt and pepper… Turns out oil’s also good for a second round of incineration.

So, dinner was also between: between raw and burnt black.

It’s not bad if you put barbecue sauce all over it, one son said at dinner. His piece of chicken was more sauce than bird but he ate it.

Life doesn’t always turn out how you plan either. Sometimes you plan a wonderful dinner. Sometimes it’s a good idea to get takeout. Most times, at the between times, you make do with what you’ve got.

And perhaps pull out the barbecue sauce.

——

If you’d like a better representation of Gary, visit his site. The poor guy’s only got a few thousand adoring fans.

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens

“And what do I hope for? Health and happiness, mostly.

“I hope scientists find a cure for a virus that feeds upon human organs, drowning the lungs and clotting the bloodstream. I hope that as scary as circumstances might get, we all learn new ways to be. I hope for learning from the stillness. I hope for gifts in the silence. I hope to hug again, to travel, and be unmasked from every mask I’ve ever worn. I hope to pet my neighbor’s new puppy, to gather friends around the campfire we’re building in the potager, to hunt for agates and run from black flies again. I hope to have guests and readings and workshops in my new home. I hope no one has to fear losing their home. I hope people find their passion in their work and community. I hope simply to live as fully as I can.”

Charli Mills, Founder of Carrot Ranch

This and That and a Blogging Schedule

My thoughts have been all over the place. Efforts to unite them into a powerful subject that can conquer the evil antagonist prove fruitless. So, faithful readers, you’ve a mismatched mess of pottage from which to sup after your travels through the desert:

First, I’m inclined to mention the elephant in the world, Coronavirus. I’ve been home for about 2,365 days. People ask me how it’s going, by way of polite conversation. They don’t ask in person, of course, unless you count our shouts from porch to sidewalk or car window to front yard.

Many areas Out There are stranger. Yet, inside our house is just the same as usual for me. It’s one of the perks of being a stay-at-home mother with internet. I’m also realizing how a tailbone injury, surgery, impregnation, bedrest order, and C-Section delivery have all prepared me for The Long Dark of Coronia.

Hey; I’m looking on the bright side of things.

~

I’m exercising again, too. Yes, I count if I did so today and yesterday. Many stars need to align for exercise to happen, so I may not be consistent. I’d like to align my stars (aka children) to either go with me or stay asleep around 6:30 a.m. so that I might try this exercise thing outside our four walls.

~

The Kickstarter for our online dice store wrapped up nicely. If you contributed, thank you!! If you’d like gaming candles, dice, dice sets, figurines, or some of the music dice from the kickstarter; go to Game Master Dice or shoot me a message.

Speaking of, Coronaphant has been running amok of our supply chain. Downside? Shortages and closures. Upside? We’re still open and shipping while others are not. Washing your hands and working from home helps, people. -We just can’t get some of the regular products in at the moment.

~

I’d like to try gaming with friends. I understand that many games are available as apps. We have Ticket to Ride and know something like chess would be easy. Have any of you tried games online with friends? What works well? Are they freeeee?

~

Despite deciding I need a plan for this ol’ blog, such a plan is still not forthcoming. I’ve grabbed bits of idea-fluff here and there but not a substantial soup. Here’s a rough idea so far:

Monday – Quote. I have them scheduled till July, anyway.
Tuesday – Currently, it’s poor Ron the postman. Once he’s finished, I’ll do poetry.
Wednesday – My IRL observations with a weekly review.
Thursday – An Open Day for poems, shares, an interview, or book review. Ooh! Maybe I’ll have guest posts.
Friday – Terrible Poetry Winner.
Saturday – Announcement of the next prompt for terrible poetry. As fun as being terrible is, I anticipate this evolving into a different prompt soon.
Sunday – Carrot Ranch’s 99-word prompt answer.

I know we’re all busy holing up, but let me know if you’d like to contribute a story or interview. Let me know if you think my schedule’s potty as well; can’t no one ever say Chelsea’s not open to new ideas.

Pottage

Look at that pottage. I’d rate it a birthright or two.

—————-

For slightly more organization, here’s last week’s stuff:
Wednesday, April 8: Instead of going political, I shared a photo of my fifth son.

And, shared Pam Webb’s virtual book launch of Someday We Will!

Thursday, April 9: An update on life at home.

Friday, April 10: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Joem18b and Bruce!

Saturday, April 11: Announced the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is a parody of a popular song, Coronavirus edition. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, April 12: Re-blogged Stuart’s post from Storyshucker, “Hand on the Plow.”

Anarchists and Aliens,” in response to Carrot Ranch’s prompt.

Monday, April 13: An inspirational quote by Anne Copeland.

Tuesday, April 14: An update on a day in the life of COVID-19 from the day before.

And, “Going Postal, V.” Poor Stan.

Thursday, April 16: Today.

I also posted on ye olde motherhood site. I wrote a limerick, “Mother of Three.”

 

Photo Credit: Pottage stolen from Brand New Vegan‘s recipe site.

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens

Let’s Make Some Order in This Chaos

I haven’t felt like writing. My busy blog-posting indicates otherwise, except that I’ve mostly written about Real Life. The world of fiction is not a place I want to go now that it’s knocking on my door and popping into my e-mails and being re-posted on my social media.

Dystopia is one of my favorite subjects. I intend to write a science fiction and/or futuristic novel someday. Maybe I’ll do Skinwalkers or Since the Bombs Fell or “Open the Sky“… But, like I said, that future is here. It’s not so intriguing when I’m living it.

I think I assumed I’d not be alive during a post-apocalyptic scenario.

I definitely assumed I’d be fit, well-armed, well-stocked, and driving an army Jeep.

It’s not quite as awesome to be wearing pajamas, carrying around postpartum baby weight, caring for five children, and occasionally driving a minivan.

The day-to-day sitting around involved with Coronavirus is precisely why they never showed Jack Bauer using the bathroom in his 24 hour days.

white tissue paper roll on white wicker basket

Maybe if TP was in short supply in one of the episodes, they would have included a bathroom scene.

I do better in the midst of chaos; needing to grab that last Clorox wipe, save the child from uncertain school days, or stumble to the wall while the world shakes. When all is calm and all is bright, I stay awake as anxiety gnaws at my conscience. What if we get sick? Will the boys ever have school again? What, exactly, do we do in a stronger earthquake?

My husband says worrying does nothing. I say it’s all I can do. If I don’t remember to worry about it, then I am doing nothing. He then says something about the Serenity Prayer

Which helps me realize that waiting may be difficult, but it may be what we all need to do right now. Realizing this helps me realize I need a plan besides buyworrypanic. Realizing all of those things helps me realize I ought to accept the things I cannot change and write up a schedule for life and blogging.

It may be infrequent, but I’d like to include the following:

  1. Interviews with my friends, especially those who have published and wish to share their work(s).
  2. Book reviews of the books I will get myself to read, especially if I manage to read the work(s) my friends have published.
  3. More poetry.
  4. More fiction.
  5. Bad poetry, of course. I think we need it.
  6. Some creative projects outside of writing. I art on occasion. I could share more.
  7. Favorite books, music, art, people, whatever.

I never have time for me when the children are home all day, so my chance of daily posts is not very high unless I schedule ahead. Still, I need this outlet. Twofacebook may have a lot more people on it now, but it’s mostly chainmails and reposts. No one likes my informational statistics on COVID for some reason…

If you have ideas of other things I could include on the blog, let me know. If you would like to be interviewed, let me know. As always, thank you for joining me on…

Well, thank you for joining me on my blog, anyway.

—————-

Here’s the past week:
Wednesday, March 25: “Going Postal, II,” the second in my serial story about Ron the postman.

Friday, March 27: Wrote an update on the Coronavirus situation ’round here.

And, crowned the winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Ruth!

Saturday, March 28: Announced the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is Springtime, or Autumntime. PLEASE ENTER!

Monday, March 30: Posted just after midnight with another Coronavirus update.

And, shared Gary’s inspirational quote.

AND, wrote “Desert Dreams” for Carrot Ranch’s prompt

AND AND, visited the new Saddle Up Saloon and Poet Tree, where I was interviewed. Head on over to leave a poem from the prompt “off shoot.”

Tuesday, March 31: “Going Postal, III.”

And, wrote yet another Coronavirus update.

Wednesday, Date: Today.

I also posted on my motherhood site. I think. I’ve scheduled a few poems over there, like “Mother of Two” and “The Busy Person’s Poem.”

 

Photo Credit: Pexels and GIPHY

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens

“For me I’m convinced life is like swimming to an ever receding island. If you stop you sink. But as hard as you swim you can never get to the island. It’s completely frustrating. Then slowly you realise that you can find smiles and happiness while you swim, it’s not all dependent on that island. Need to enjoy the journey.”

“Down side to this is that I CANT SWIM…..but it’s the thought that counts.”

Gary, in the comments of Lisa’s inspirational quote

“Every persons’ definition of happy may hold a different meaning. I feel it’s important that you recognize what that meaning is for you and once you have defined it, understand that it is up to you to walk toward it.

“It’s so very easy to blame those around us or circumstances we find ourselves in for our happiness. What we do not always realize is that we have control of nothing but our inner voice and a choice. A choice to make our lives more amazing than we thought possible.

“Your happiness depends on you, and while it may not always be clear or it may seem like a dark path to walk, when we realize the light comes from within, the search for it elsewhere is no longer required.”

-Lisa J, “Define Your Happy and Walk Toward It