A Pitcher’s Worth

blog lemonadeAny mom knows that when a child gets focused on something–the school dance, the biology test, the red-haired girl in algebra class–that something acquires the proportions of the zombie apocalypse. What we choose to focus on can take over our entire awareness, our reason, our internal landscape from horizon to horizon.

The media counts on this, and similarly counts on the fact that our brains, being wired to ensure our survival, are drawn to notice and blog rose trellisrecall that which is dangerous, scary, or threatening. I strongly suspect it’s easier to get into our wallets when we’re afraid, and easier to shut down our reasoning powers. As a result, more than ever, I don’t own a TV.

But I do own an imagination, and a sometimes formidable sense of determination. As seductive as it might be to fill up my emotional CPU blog sleeping kittywith the gender wage gap (white women earn 73 cents on the white male dollar, minority women earn 52 cents, and YES, that’s for the same work, and YES that has been illegal for 50 years), or with other even bleaker realities, today, I’m not going to let that Undertoad grab my ankles.

Today I’m doing two things differently. First, I’m limiting my Facebook time to my pages, rather than cruising the streamgeneral feed, and getting my buttons pushed left, right, and center. Second, I’m listing in pictures ten wonderful things that are true and available to me on this ordinary old summer day. You’re welcome to add to the list. To one commenter, I’ll send a signed copy of Thomas–The Jaded Gentlemen, Bblog iced teaook I. Thomasblog bard hair daydancing_450DSC02082blog friendly pup



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47 comments on “A Pitcher’s Worth

  1. I took my kids to the community pool yesterday and it was perfect. The water was sparkling and clean and warm. They were both thrilled to be there and happy when we returned home. Happy kids = happy mom.

    • I also think there’s something real to be said for that big dose of Vitamin D we get in the sun. Yes, we need sunscreen, but Vitamin D does great things for everything from insulin metabolism to mood. And there’s no tired like a “played at the pool for hours” tired. Good use of your time, Mom. Well done!

  2. I too have decided to cut back on FB time and enjoy doing other things over these coming warm months. Love spending time with my grandsons….taking them fishing, enjoying the pool, and just overall relaxing and taking in the sunshine.

    • I don’t think I’d even BE on FB, but for the fact that I can interact with my readers there. Most of family isn’t on FB… none of my friends. When I realized that, as I was typing yet another rant about some congressman’s baloney, or TV scandal, I decided to cut myself mostly loose from it. I need the time to write books, if nothing else.

  3. Amen. Lots to worry about and obsess over, but there is so much to also appreciate and enjoy. I try to really appreciate a warm day that is sunny with shade, not too humid, and not too buggy!

    • So far, Maryland has been willing to tiptoe up to summer, with temperatures hovering below 90, and most days having a breeze. That means I can still sleep at night without AC, and those are my favorite nights–windows and doors open, merry breezes bringing the scent of honeysuckle… lovely!

  4. Oh! My favourite kind of post. My friends and coworkers are always giving me a hard time for being cheery. Not “rainbows and ponies” cheery, but “silver linings” cheery. There has to be a silver lining to every situation, right? Though sometimes it can be hidden and take considerable searching.

    To add to your list I would have to say…
    • FaceTime with Fave Niece and Fave Nephie and watching them learn to walk, talk, and torment each other.
    • Homemade ice cream on a hot summer day.
    • Watching my very prolific watermelon plant grow…and grow…and grow! I think I’ll be overrun come late summer!
    • Planning trips for the rest of the year: Colorado with my oldest girlfriends (we’ve known each other for nearly 30 years!); New York to celebrate Fave Nephie turning two and Fave Niece turning one; London in October for my birthday. 🙂
    • Longer days and endless California sunshine, and while we do need the rain, maybe not as much as the Midwest is getting.
    • The smell of laundry brought in fresh from the sun. Mmm… Delicious!

    So many things!

    I do understand the need for a break from social media. Studies have shown how a “vacation day” from all electronics refreshes and recharges a person. I have done that on occasion and feel much more human the next day. The sound of birds and crickets and LIFE bring me back in touch with my inner self.

    • That London trip will require a thorough report, you know. I haven’t been for a while, except to pass through on my way to Heathrow. My favorite thing to do is Apsley House, right on the southeast corner of Hyde Park. The Duke of Wellington still lives there, but THE Duke of Wellington’s museum is there. Quite a guy!

  5. Fabulous post!
    I decided last week to cut back on FB time.
    My club is hosting our annual Speciality show and a lot of exibitors are using FB as an opportunity to advertise their dogs to the judges. This doesn’t sit well with me.

    I have spent my time reading several books, posting review and getting ideas for future blog posts. I am reading contemporaries — and really enjoying them.
    I have enjoyed spending time with my husband-we’ve gone out to lunch, spent time on the back deck and watched a few movies. We have a few Baltimore Orioles in the yard and their song is wonderful.
    Am walking the dogs every morning and have caught up with a few friends while we are out & about.
    And Celeste has learned to sit and stay! Such progress in a year. She can stay in the sit position correctly for over 2 minutes! We are almost ready for our next level of competition. 🙂
    And I am SO looking forward to my daughters homecoming next Saturday! Can’t wait to hug her!!

  6. I could–if it wasn’t so uncommonly cold outside today–take some of my *shelter* mags outside on my patio and read. We have a wonderful retractable awning so no matter how hot and sunny, it’s a great place to read or look at the wildlife or have a wonderful Sunday summer meal. As it is, I’m going to read the Sunday paper (yep, the physical paper)and we’ll have take out.

    Good move to not let FB push your buttons. My personal FB is much pretty dormant and I only care about my chamber choir’s FB page. It always amazes me folks will post crap on FB they would never say in public in real life!

  7. That pitcher of lemonade looks yummy. I’ve never made any, so I think today I’ll search for some recipes and experiment this week to get the perfect mix of tart with a bit sweet. On Sundays I let myself relax – which most often means read – currently I’m reading Theresa Romaine’s ‘Season for Desire’ – I’ve got the windows wide open enjoying the breeze – looks like the predicted storms are holding off for a while.

    • That is my stream, Amary. The sight of it is lovely, but at night, when the lightning bugs are out, and the moon rises, the sound of the water lapping over the rocks is the sound of home to me.

  8. Sun tea!!!! It boosts my spirits so much. I also have decided to limit Facebook time. I actually turned down an offer to manage a social media account because I realized how stressful this thing called social media is. Back to my authors and my wonderful books!

    I also had a delightful day yesterday sharing a picnic lunch with my husband and my puppy. What a pleasant wonderful day it turned out to be. All for sitting on a wonderful blanket with some lovely snacks and sandwiches . Sun shining breeze blowing grassy hill.

    I have a daughter studying neuropsychology, she warns me often of the stress filled world the Internet has become and to let go often. I am following her good advice

    Thank you Grace for the kindness you share

  9. The amazing Baltimore County Public library is open on Sundays and I’m headed there now for some treats 🙂

  10. As my world gets smaller due to age and disability I’m glad that I have my computer and TV. But that doesn’t mean that I have to watch everything that is put out there. But there are a few worth my time.

    I enjoy my computer too although it’s really not much more than a glorified dictionary, encyclopedia, and gamer system.

    I’m not on FB nor do I want to be. I have too many unhappy relatives I’d be checking on all the time. I don’t say ignorance is bliss, but sometimes it is peace of mind (smile).

    Looking forward to THOMAS whether I win it here or buy it next week. But Daniel Banks’ story is the one I’m really looking forward to.

  11. I always look forward to my annual trip to the UK. Each summer my son and I pick a new country to visit along the way we spend a week in England. This year I’ll be heading to Stirling, Scotland. As I live on an island summer also means lots of beach time

  12. I always look forward to my annual trip to the UK. Each summer my son and I pick a new country to visit along the way we spend a week in England. This year I’ll be heading to Stirling, Scotland. As I live on an island summer also means lots of beach time reading

  13. Ice tea, books, hammock and dogs. What can be better than that. Positive and good thinking too! Not dwelling what is wrong, but concentrating on what is right with you, your family and your world. Did I say AMEN? Amen.

  14. I met a group of women yesterday who all share an interest in Outlander. I knew one woman from another group, but the rest were all new. I work from home and find I need the company of women. It was a blast at a Scottish themed tea and I have enlarged my group of online friends who live logically.

  15. It’s not feeling much like summer here in England today, but the sun is trying to break through the clouds. If I could upload a picture that reflects the wonderful things in my life I’d post one of my lovely parents who came to have lunch with my family today. They are quite elderly now and my dad is not very well nowadays, but they have been my stalwart supporters through good times and bad and have never doubted me or stopped believing in me. They represent everything that is good about my life because without them I would not be where I am today. They don’t really ‘get’ Facebook and social media, because to them it is far more important to telephone or visit people than to ‘FB’ them. We can learn much from their attitude. I realised the other day that the only way I have connected with one of my friends in the last few months is by sending her extra lives on Candy Crush! Thanks for helping me to stop and think about the amazing things in my life today. I must go and phone my friend now and make a plan to see her….

  16. I’ll two! Repotting wilted plants and bringing them back to life on a summer morning and iced coffee when the jobs done!

    Looking forward to meeting Thomas! Right now, I’m giving my attention to Worth and Wyeth.

    All the best!

  17. Well Sadly i have been doing a bit too much Facebook work but it has been a lot to promote my passion which is creating, I have been doing fabulous little sculpted works on glass and burlap and various other materials and enjoying it each one coming out better then the next. I have also been using Facebook to help me start getting my dream of opening a theater in my home town a reality. Sadly the quizzes, drama posts and cute cat videos also get me at times. But today I am happy and blessed and after my little boy who just got over being really sick wakes up i am going to take him out to teach him how to play catch with the scoops and wiffel ball.

  18. My foray into the world of FB has saved me this past year of major life changes– I caused my loss of home and garden due to my inability to see what was around me, shrinking world because of increasing debility, lowered income/increased expenses by new living situation, harder than ever to connect with the outside. So while I greatly appreciate all you listed, I think I would not have survived if I had not had the world and “conversation” with such a wide range of people with such a wide range of interests as seen on FB. I steer clear of rants and try not to let anything humans do outrage or surprise me. Be at peace, accept what is, change what you can, all will be well, be surprised at the joy one finds in unexpected places. Breathe in each moment until they run the final credits and the screen goes to black!

  19. Had lunch in the sun today, a total pick me up. Something about blue skies with warm sun on my shoulders makes me so happy.

  20. My Amazon parrot sitting on my chest, asking to be scratched, and making mumble-y approving comments while I do.

    Also looking forward to the last week in June/first of July where I get to spend a whole week doing fun things with my hubby…geocaching and going to a museum and driving the back roads of the Midwest!

  21. My husband and I live in a relatively close-in suburb of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Yesterday we made the easy drive to one of the many city lakes in Minneapolis and rode our bikes around the lake. It was a glorious day and a well spent couple of hours. There are many more trails to explore and we vowed to make this a regular practice throughout the summer and fall.

  22. All I can add to this is spending time with my daughter and grandkids, and playing with my cats, the inside ones, the outside one, and the two that come and go. I admit that I am on Facebook, that’s where I follow many authors, attend Facebook author chats, attend book release parties, and hopefully win books and other prizes. In fact I’m thinking seriously about ordering some of the Scottish Orange Marmalade that was in the gift basket I won from you, it was so much tastier than that made in America. I have cut back on Facebook quite a bit though I usually leave it up on my laptop in case my daughter wants to contact me via Facebook chat/message. This past Thursday my 13 year old granddaughter and I went to three different Goodwill stores and the Book Cellar in the basement of the Central Library hunting books. The Book Cellar now sell paperback romances for a dime each or 12/$1, I bought 29 romances plus three or four other books. I’m so looking forward to reading Dancing In the Duke’s Arms when it comes out next month.

  23. Snort! I took a day off Facebook and missed the drawing! I don’t spend much time on the computer – email and Facebook – and I don’t comment or post very often. But you have a very good point. I try very hard to avoid negative people and media. My mother despairs when I don’t know what’s happening in the news. I despair that all she watches is Fox News. I’ll admit, I enjoy TV and record some favs. Never watch live TV. I love going dancing with my significant other, walking around my neighborhood, snuggling with the cat, reading, working in the yard with my Mom, visiting with neighbors and I volunteer for a few organizations and my church. I have a good and happy life and I’m enormously grateful for same.

  24. Music! It always lifts my spirits or somehow manages to bring my deepest and most buried feelings to the surface. Oh, and sunshine, it’s been raining more than normal and I really need my sunshine!

  25. Right there with you on the no TV and Ad Blocker and Ad Blocker Plus on my browser. Tea with friends? Check! Happy Cats? Check! Books…a must. Off to preorder my next favorite book by you & Carolyn Jewel.

  26. For me Facebook is mostly for wishing friends happy birthday. I tend to ignore any and all political or religious posts.

    Some Happy things:
    1) Thomas on my Kindle last night right past midnight made me do a happy dance. 🙂
    2) One child is home for the summer the other came home for a few weeks and is back taking classes and actually getting paid to work in a research lab at the University.
    3) Texas has had a lot of rain which was desperately needed – just maybe not so much as once in some areas. The positive results include massive numbers of wildflowers, green grass and trees, the Highland Lakes (not those Highlands – I wish) are filling up and looking like lakes no puddles and streams.

  27. Thomas (Jaded Gentlemen 1) just turned up on my Kindle and I am enjoying it, though I did have to check a few things in David’s book and the family trees to get everyone placed. Your charmingly casual attitude toward chronological order keeps us on our toes 🙂 I LOVE pre-orders. By the time the book magically appears on my Kindle I have forgotten when I ordered it and have the pleasure of a lovely surprise.

  28. It was finally warm enough recently to have lunch on an outdoor patio! What a treat after a cold winter! It’s these small pleasures that make our days enjoyable.

  29. I don’t have FB but I have cut back on my online time. I’d add a big pitcher of Sweet Tea to that lemonade. I’dd hammocks and more leisure time appreciating and enjoying all the wonderful thigs summer has to offer. The things I complained about missing all winter long. 🙂 And just living in each day. Enjoying what’s happening now instead of worrying over tomorrow. Thomas is on my TRL.
    Carol L

  30. Dear Grace:
    I read all the time. Now that I have retired, really all the time. From Nora Roberts to Ayn Rand, Jude Devereaux to Adriana Trigiani, I love to fall into wonderful stories. Yesterday I bought Kiss Me Hello, finished it today and loved it. I had never read a book by you before, so I looked you up. What a thrill to realize that you have written so many books that I will enjoy in the (near) future. Thank you for your compelling story. A new fan,

  31. What a wonderful post and message! So true. I’m right there with you in being TV-less. I’m also (luckily, I think) FB-less, and iphone-less (my boss hates it).

    My contribution to your list:
    *the gorgeous smell of linden blossoms permeating the air right now
    *the noisy birds that have replaced my alarm clock these early summer mornings
    *my Kindle, cats and tea (right now a cup of Stash’s organic Yunnan) – is there any better combination?!?

    Beautiful pictures, btw, and the barn one looks like it was taken here (the Bluegrass).

  32. I love your selections. Add my cat on my lap while I read, my dogs walking with me, and local community theater. A friend and I went to see a production of the very silly Radio Gals and enjoyed ourselves immensely.
    Please don’t add me to the drawing. I’ve just finished Thomas digitally and am trying to limit my print library.

    • Oh, please add air conditioning to the summer pleasures. Temperatures are in the mid to upper 90s and may reach 100 this next week.