Busy busy little bee . . .

So over the past few weeks, it seems like I’ve picked up a few followers to this blog! Thanks everybody! If you are so inclined, take a second to introduce yourself in the comments. I love making new Internet friends!

This week has been crazy busy here at the Calvin homestead. The good news is that everyone is (finally) well. My daughter and my husband were both sick as dogs the end of last week and into this one, but they are now both on the mend. Thank goodness. I really hope I don’t get it – I’ve been crossing my fingers so much that they might get permanently stuck that way one of these days.

This weekend is another meeting of my wonderful writing group. I love meeting with them, but I have to say, I’m a bit stressed about this upcoming one. I’m still struggling through chapter two of my story (which sounds pathetic, I know) and, due to the sick folks at home and an ever increasing work load and my day job, the creative juices are just not flowing. I know where the chapter needs to go. I have a goal for what needs to happen and what the characters need to do. It’s just getting that onto paper without it sounding terrible. That’s the hard part.

I am very much a perfectionist, so it’s hard for me to allow myself to do things wrong at first so that I can figure out how to do them right later. That’s what the writing group is for. And nobody, other than those five people, will ever read the “bad” version. Once I get it finished and revised, I can take the first draft and have a bonfire party. There will be singing and dancing and lots of marshmallows. Can’t have a bonfire party without s’mores!

In addition to that, I will have to carve out some time to look over the chapters that the other members of the group have submitted for critique. *sigh* It’s times like this I really wish that there were more hours in the day. But it will all get done somehow. It always does. I’ll just have to ignore the house cleaning for another week or so. Please pray for my family. 😉

Ah, technology . . .

Can’t live with it, can’t live without it.

There have been some major technological advances this week at the Calvin Homestead. My husband and I have similar takes on how technology seems to be invading every aspect of our lives. Let’s take, for instance, my husband’s cell phone. He is lucky enough to have a cell phone plan through his employer, which he is allowed to use for personal reasons as well as work-related ones. His old phone was . . . well, there’s no nice way to put it. It was just sad. The cover was cracking. The battery would barely keep a charge. You couldn’t put it on vibrate. Or receive text messages. My husband mocked me mercilessly when I decided to upgrade my cell phone to a Smart Phone, saying that all the extra features were silly. In his mind, all you need a phone to do is make phone calls. Period. End of story.

Except it’s not. His boss decided that he was due for an upgrade (since he’s NEVER had one) and surprised him the day after New Year’s . . . with an iPhone 4. My Luddite husband was in dismay. He had figured out how to answer phone calls, but couldn’t find where to place a call himself. All the icons on the screen were overwhelming to someone who had had the same tired flip phone for ten years. After a few days, though, he learned more about what the phone was capable of and admits that it’s a really cool piece of technology. Even if most of the features are, in his mind, pointless.

And then there’s me. I have finally broken down and bought myself an e-reader. Earlier this week, I became the proud owner of a Kindle Fire. I thought for sure that I would be the last person on earth to ever get one. I hated the thought of e-books. Give me a printed, paper and ink bound book any day. I hate the way that brick-and-mortar bookstores are going out of business, that our Borders is now an empty husk of a building. E-books were the enemy, responsible for the closing down of one of my favorite places to go.

Yet, there were several reasons to break down and actually get the Kindle. I have had two friends now, one already published and one almost published, who are releasing their books strictly in e-book format.  The one who is already published is getting ready to self-publish his second book. My other friend is going through a publisher, working with their e-book line. While I can use the Kindle reading app for my home computer, it would be nice to have something to be able to take the books with me.

So far, I have to admit that the Kindle Fire is pretty nifty.  It makes me wonder why I was so resistant to the idea. My husband is also really enjoying his iPhone, despite swearing up and down that he would never have one. I guess we’re finally becoming modern after all!

Christmas Eve . . . the countdown begins . . .

So it’s one day before C-Day and, for the most part, I’m ready. Still have a bunch of wrapping to do, but not an overwhelming amount. Everything will get done and, hopefully, the kiddos will have a good Christmas.

My kids are a constant source of . . . not sure what to call it. Entertainment? Amusement? Inspiration? Take, for example, what happened a few mornings ago. My daughter and I were getting ready for the day. Suddenly, she cries out that I needed to come up to her bedroom. She was scared of something that was in her closet. Upon further inspection, we found the culprit – a tie-dyed former pillow case that had been made into an Indian costume for the Thanksgiving program at her school. Apparently, part of the tie-dye pattern looked like a skeleton’s head.

I didn’t want to mock her for her fears. I remember very well what it was like to be irrationally afraid of simple things. When I was small, there was a book about a house that had been abandoned and boarded up. The house had a face on it – the windows were eyes, the door was a mouth, etc. – and the illustrations made it look both sad and slightly angry at the same time. I kept thinking that this house was going to come after me. I couldn’t keep that book in my room and for several days, I needed to sleep with my bedroom door open so that I could see my dad down the hall, sitting in his recliner watching television. Nothing bad could happen as long as I could see my dad, right?

I remember that my mom never got irritated with me, even though it must have been frustrating. After all, how could this cartoonish, boarded-up house be scary? How could it possibly come after me? There was no explanation for it – I was just terrified. My mom was completely understanding and did whatever I needed to get over my fear.

My daughter’s costume is now packed away and, hopefully, my daughter won’t have to worry about skeletons in her closet until she’s much older.