Sorry About the Weather, It’s My Fault

An Adirondack chair under a grape arbor in the snow

Ice, snow and freezing temperatures are all part of my birthday tradition.

The weather is really awful for most of the U.S. today, and I take full responsibility for it. If you go back through history you’ll see a long line of snow and ice storms and mind numbing cold temperatures on January 28th (plus or minus about 5 days). I can confirm this phenomenon has gone on since the 1970′s. How do I know? It’s my birthday.

I was born during a deep freeze, just after a snow storm. As a kid nearly every one of my birthday parties was rescheduled at least once because of the weather. One party wasn’t held until March because a pipe burst at the restaurant and there was major damage.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “But it’s the end of January ~ of course the weather’s going to be bad!” You have a point. But, if we were to schedule a birthday get-together two weeks after my actual birthday, the weather will be bad that day too. I have years of facts to back me up on this.

So I apologize for any inconvenience I’ve caused. Trust me, I would put an end to this craziness if I could. The best I can do is hope you all stay safe and warm.

On a slightly related note, one year ago today I said I was looking at making some changes. Then things changed a hell of a lot more than I planned. They aren’t done yet, but I think I’ve got a little better idea where they’re going. Thanks to all of those who’ve hung around over the last year. Stick around to see what happens next.

2013 in Review

Normally I’m a pretty nostalgic person. I get a little sad at the end of the year over all the good times that had passed, the loved ones we may have lost, and the blessings we were granted. Not this year. Nope. I will be grateful when the clock strikes midnight and 2014 has finally arrived and the Year from Hell as breathed its last.

Last year as 2013 started my hubby and I toasted to the new year with our girls over sparkling cider with the hope that our family would be back home in Pennsylvania. Well we are, but it didn’t go down the way we hoped…

2013 Graphic

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong /

Who would have guessed just over two months later I would lose my job, and with it the sole source of income for the family. Unemployment in the state we were living in topped out at less than $400 a week, and I had made more than that…much much more. Needless to say things went from bad to worse pretty fast. We moved to our home state to be closer to family and where there is a lower cost of living. A good idea but it took my kids away from the schools and friends they knew and forced them to start over in a location we weren’t (and still aren’t 100%) comfortable with.

Fortunately my husband found a job in the industry he worked in before we moved away. He’s not making what I made, but it’s income and a fresh start and that’s what counts.

Then there was the violent meeting between my husband and a large deer while he was on the way home from work one night that totaled our car. It’s a fairly common occurrence here in Pennsylvania, but one we could have done without, especially this year.

I know it sounds like it, but it wasn’t all bad. I’ve spent more time with my daughters. I’ve been cooking more. My girls seem to like and it. I’m getting to cook with the girls and teach them a few things, which they seem to enjoy – but it can be hard to tell sometimes with a 15 year old.

Let’s not forget I wrote my first novel. It still seems strange to type. I’ll be working on editing that and writing the next one in January. I don’t know where it’ll take me. Hopefully someone will read what I write, and I’ve got some ideas on how to get it out there, but at the moment telling some stories and getting them out of my head and on the page is the important part. I mean it doesn’t make much sense to plan on publishing and marketing when you don’t have a finished story yet. So I’m focusing on one step at a time.

It’s so hard to look back and realize everything that happened I know it’s just a bump in the road. I know we’ll get through this. We’re together and that’s the most important part. Our family and friends are being really supportive and that’s huge.

Despite everything that happened in this year we’re still hopeful. Things will get better. It doesn’t change the fact that 2013 sucked.

Here’s hoping 2014 is better. Happy New Year All!

Happy New Year written on a black top hat

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/

Lorie’s List for 12/20/2013

To get us in the Christmas spirit, this week’s List is made-up of three of my favorite holiday videos. They’re black-and-white stop-animations from the 1950′s, and they’re a bit of a tradition in my hometown. People used to wait for them to come on TV each year and gather around each time they came on. When VCR’s were in every home people would rush to record them and then send the tapes to family members living out-of-town.

Today the station posts the videos on-line each year for everyone to enjoy. I am sharing them with you.

I find Hardrock, Coco, and yes, Joe, absolutely adorable. And if you are anything like the me, you’ll catch yourself humming Suzy Snowflake’s little theme song for days! Enjoy!

If you have any ideas or if you’d like to Guest Write The List, I would love to hear from you! Send me a note here and we’ll get you on the blog!

Merry Christmas Everyone!


Lorie’s List for 12/13/2013

This week I’m only highlighting one story because it tickled me so much. I’ve taken classes and learned sign language on-and-off over the years, then a few years ago I worked with a great graphic designer who happened to be deaf. She was a lot of fun and was really patient teaching me sign language so we communicate.

We talked about work, kids, I even explained the technicalities of music to her once. She told me how frustrating it was attending school events not wanting t,o but occasionally needing her kids to interpret for her. It was a lot of pressure and a lot to ask of a child. Which is part of what makes this little girl so special.

  • This KODA (Kid Of Deaf Adults) Signed Her Christmas Concert for her parents while the rest of the kids in her kindergarten class did all the cute little hand motions they learned. She’s adorable too! No one knew she was planning on interpret the songs for them, which makes it even more special, she just wanted to make sure her Mommy and Daddy enjoyed the show as much as everyone else did. I’m sure they did!

I think the next time they’re looking for someone to interpret for the deaf at a state funeral, they know who to call!

If you have any ideas or if you’d like to Guest Write The List, I would love to hear from you! Send me a note here and we’ll get you on the blog!

Have a great weekend everyone!


I Did It or A NaNoWriMo Final Update

I did it. I can hardly believe it, but I did it. I wrote my first novel. I did it in the crazed 30 day haze known as National Novel Writing Month. Now that I’ve done it I don’t know that I’ll do it again. Not because it was hard (which it is) or because it doesn’t fit my writing or lifestyle (it really doesn’t), but because I got out of it what I needed to, the knowledge that I could write a novel.

National Novel Writing Month Winner 2013 Banner

National Novel Writing Month Winner 2013 Banner

Note I did not say a good novel. What I wrote it pretty awful at this point. It needs major rewrites and editing, and that’s OK. Because I realized during NaNoWriMo this time (this was my third attempt) that the first draft doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs written down. The good part comes later (hopefully).

I, like a lot of us, have a lot of stories that I want to tell. But I have gotten so afraid that they aren’t going to come out the way that I want them to, or that people won’t like them, that I’ve been afraid to tell them. Thanks to those crazy 30 days in November of 2013 I’ve gotten over a lot of that. Maybe not completely. I’ll still be nervous sharing what I write, but aren’t we all? It’s like exposing part of our souls, and that’s tough no matter how you look at it, but before I can do that I have to actually get the stories out of my head and on to the page. This is something I now know I can do.

So look for more blog posts as I make my way back from my writing crazy writing adventure. I learned some interesting things about myself, about my writing process, a lot about how far I’ll go to procrastinate, and maybe most importantly – how far I’ll go to make sure my story gets told.