Don’t Get To Excited, I’ve Been Reminded Yet Again

property of alifefromasuitcase IMG_4201This morning I was all smiles getting on the train for my commute to work. I plugged in my music, escaping to Carli Bruni station on Pandora, my gut telling me not to be so excited or happy.

I got a whole call from daughter one while enroute, so I sent a text telling her I’d call her back when I arrived at work. I did, and she slowly filled me on all that’s been happening since she left Nebraska to come to California for 30 days. My jaw dropped, the details I don’t want to share.

I walked away from my desk, and outside the building grasping for air. As if that wasn’t enough, number two called to tell me she needed to talk to me about the wedding – her mostly having doubts about her guy… (we are meeting for lunch).

What’s happening?

{photo I took last night at seven, a view from my room after a rainy stormy day in San Francisco}

 

 

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An Attraction Is A Beautiful Thing

propertyofalifefromasuitcaseThis morning, like any other, I got on the train, plugged in my headphones, and tuned the world out while I commuted to work. The weather, a crispy, sunny day in San Francisco, the commuters less than normal-I suppose due to Spring Break for some of the schools.

Anyway, we were stopped at a light, in a neighborhood I adore, mostly Victorian style homes lining the streets, also trees still in existence, not like the neighborhood I live in, where investors are buying properties and getting rid of greenery for the sake of added parking spaces.

We were stopped at a red light. I noticed a man, maybe in his late twenties, in his jogging sweats and hooded sweatshirt, waiting on top of the stairs for someone to answer the door. A nicely dressed—in business attire—a young girl opened the door, and the expressions on their faces were priceless as they made eye contact. Surely something any one of us has experienced at least once in our life times. They didn’t hug, nor kiss. He simply walked her down the stairs, and around the corner to a coffee shop.

As the train began to move, I could see them smiling and talking, her blushing, him over the moon…The few seconds in time making me smile.

{photo I took in the lobby of the building I work in}

 

A Scene From A Movie

property of alifefromasuitcaseOn Saturday my youngest suggested we go to Monterey to show her sister the wedding venue. Mind you neither I, nor her sister wanted to go. But we did just to humor her since verything lately seem to upset her.

Just to set the tone: The trip is nearly two hours away from the city, and both of our cars were in no condition to do the road trip. However, we got our coffees and pastries from Starbucks and hit the road at 9:30.  Along the way discussion about marriage came up, and suddenly everything mentioned about it by my oldest wasn’t positive. Especially when the younger one validated the negativity by telling us that both of  her bridesmaids were having marital issues as well. I simply listened, since I was focused on driving and getting to Monterey with my weary car.

By the time we reached the town, my youngest was upset, my oldest annoyed and I couldn’t believe that everyone in my engaged daughter’s circle were having problems in their marriages. She showed her sister the venue, they shared some ideas, not at all agreeing, comments about how awful being married continued to come up,  the entire time,, I kept my comments to myself. I was busy processing it all.

I pointed out an antique store down the street from the venue, and suggested we go inside before lunch to see if we can find table decor for the venue since the theme nowadays is very Gatsby. While inside, the song Sway came on, and although the three of us were tense from all the negative conversation outside, we hummed to the tune, Sway being our favorite song, and a classic connection the three of us shared. I smiled to myself, not making a big deal of it all. I was glad that for 3 minutes the three of us agreed on something…

The Not So Pleasant End To An Evening

lightsI try to be mindful of everyone’s feelings, I really do. Because of this, I tend to walk on eggshells when trying to get something done.  So, I avoid at all cost visiting my mother because my brother lives with her. (Yes, he really does), and he has a tendency not to make anyone feel welcome in her house.

Case in point today. My daughters decided to surprise visit her, and told me after the fact they had done just that. I was working from home and didn’t really want to go over there. But for the sake of family time I did.

Usually, the minute I walk in through the door, I get the dirty look, followed by mumbling, and I am almost certain six different curses placed upon my head-all of them by my brother.

Anyway, I took a seat, with the corner of my eye noticed he was simply tolerating the visit. Usually he hates people tramping through the house when he had just cleaned it. I got the impression that was the case for this particular visit. The second sign we weren’t welcome into the house was him increasing the volume to the television set, watching Family Fued or something not so significant, airing nightly on television. The third, he never once spoke to any of us. We were all there for my mother anyway, and tried our best to ignore him. At ten, after twitching, sighing, eyes-rolling, he told us we had to leave.  My daughter merely reminded him that she was still visiting with her grandmother, and that this was her last weekend in California for a while, her comments pissing him off enough to lose it with us, turning the evening to s***.

My daughters walked out, my mother started to cry, and I stood by letting him scream and rant like he normally does. That’s how Friday night went.  I hope to wake up from this nightmare soon…

{photo I took of lights in a restaurant in Stanford several weekends ago}

Is It Wrong To Be Happy At Home Alone

property of alifefromasuitcaseFor years, I’ve had someone with me in the house. My hubby never travelled anywhere alone, and my girls were too close, always coming around, after college and such.

Recently, my mother-in-law moved to Los Angeles, and my hubby promised he would visit her at least once a month, for a few days. He left Saturday early morning, and I actually looked forward to the alone time. I went to Napa on Saturday, came home and wrote mostly throughout the night, went to bed at three, and Sunday I did my yoga, made a healthy breakfast for myself and while listening to French classics, I wrote the entire day. Monday I made dinner for myself, and sat on my bed, with my doggie, and wrote, again listening to my favorite music. He comes home tonight.

I realize how wonderful this is, and will probably encourage him to take the four-day trips down to Los Angeles on a monthly basis. You see, we downsized after my girls moved out into a studio apartment, so having space and privacy is never an option when we are both home. Although now, this has opened up a new can of worms…Is it wrong to be happy at home alone?

{photo I took of the sky last night, after the rain, the sun came out}

Not Much I Wanna Say

propertyofrawsilkandsaffronSometimes you just don’t want to say anything. That’s how I feel today. But since I committed to adding something on this, at the very least every other day, here it is. My oldest came over Friday afternoon, we celebrated my brother’s birthday. Saturday we went to Napa to celebrate daughter no 2 birthday. Sunday I wrote the entire day. End of story.

{photo I took in Napa around five in the afternoon, overcast but hot day}

 

 

A Funny Thing Happened At Work

propertyofalifefromasuitcaseThis morning, I decided to go into the office much later, since I have dinner plans somewhere near my job. I woke up feeling great. The weather bright sunny warm day ahead, and even my commute was pleasant-all the trains and buses connecting perfectly.

I grabbed my mug and walked to the kitchen to get coffee like I always do. I usually keep my headphones in. But one co-worker tapped me on the shoulder to ask a question:

He wanted to know what happened to the pretty employee on our team?  I said, I’m right here. And he said, yes you are still good-looking but the pretty one, the one all the other employees here lust over. (Picture my face) I forced a smile, and walked away wishing I could just bunch him-not so hard, but enough to let him know how rude that was. But then again, I am a confident person, so his observation is his loss. 😉

{photo I took in San Francisco during one of my lunchtime walks. What a cool bow and arrow}

 

 

 

Lots Going On Keeping Me Busy

propertyofalifefromasuitcaseI can’t believe we are almost half way through March. Easter is around the corner, so is Spring and I get the feeling every one of us is so caught up in life, we don’t know what day of the week it is unless we look at our smart phones. (Okay I know I am exaggerating but you get the point).

I’ve got a few deadlines to meet if I want to market my novels. Meaning signing up for the London Book Fair, and the Book Expo America just to name a few. Then I’ve got to plan a trip abroad, more research for book 3. At the same time finishing the editing for book 2.  This part of my life I am super excited about, and to be honest I think all of this keeps me going.

The rest of the stuff not so much.  I’ve got a couple of back to back birthdays to plan, a baby shower or two to attend very soon, dog to the groomers and annual checkup, my dental six-month check up, taxes, and a cataract surgery for my mother to work through. And of course make more deposits for the wedding and such. Oh and get my Mother-of-the-bride dress before the Spring/Summer season ends. This one I am really dreading because the poor mother-of-the-brides are always expected to dress old, silvery, subtle and just plain boring. This is going be a challenge for sure, because I am still young enough to dress as such, and the only dress I found which complimented-let’s just say my assets-the girls gave it a thumbs down, it had hints of white and that’s a no-no.

Have I bored you enough?

{Photo of the view from my office window in San Francisco after we moved around, reconfiguring wok-spaces.}

 

 

 

How Do People Act Their Age?

propertyofalifefromasuitcaseI hate the term ‘act your age,’ because I have no idea what that means. Honestly, why do people say that?  Other than to make you stop and think about what it is you are doing at that very second. Maybe to get a grip. In all reality it means nothing as far as I am concerned.

This term came up a lot from my editor, who while working through book 2 said to me many times ‘Do forty-some-odd-year-old women really act like that?’  or ‘your main character needs to act more mature,’ or ‘do women in their forties go out for drinks with their friends?’ or ‘I can’t believe a women in her forties thinks this way.’

You get the point.

I so desperately wanted to ask her how is it she thinks women in their forties should behalf? I mean is there a manual?  Some by-laws written somewhere that says we need to act a certain way IN THIS DAY AND AGE?

I thought the new 50s were the 40s, the 40s the new 30s, and so on. So, then if 40 is the new 30, my depiction of the main character is on point. Where has she been her whole life?

Her comments bothered me enough to get out and do field research. I went to eight bars, in eight weeks, different nights mind you. I talked to women of all ages, more so the one’s over 40. I held a focus group at a winery, again with women over 40, and watched films, classics and new to see how women have evolved through history. And I gotta tell you, I am on point, especially talking about a woman over 40. I can also talk about women over 20 since I have two daughters, and I can depict men of all ages perfectly fine.  So, what am I missing?

Any thoughts about why an editor would find it hard to believe that a woman over 40 could act a little  immature and someones insecure?

{photo I took while waiting for the bus a couple of days ago on Sansome street in San Francisco. Love that bar and yes I am over forty and yes I do go to bars with friends}

 

 

I Have Trouble Looking Forward To The Weekends

Articles-27-02-15-610x620My oldest came back from Nebraska three weeks ago to help the clinic where she worked train her replacement. The idea of her coming back was exciting at first, since I figured the three of us, my youngest, her and I would spend quality adult time together, shopping, talking, cooking, and even walking, just being together.

I don’t know what I was thinking, or who I was fooling, for believing in quality family life. Times have changed and I’m getting older, yearning, longing for the simple days where we ate together without looking down at our cell phones, made dinner from scratch, walked through a park and watched a move, cuddled under a blanket, and yes it’s the twenty-first century I am referring to.

Far, far, far from it.

My oldest has changed. She’s been changing this past year, into someone I don’t like much. I guess her explanation that she is years behind after comparing herself to a roommate of theirs in Nebraska, justifies her actions. She is loud, over-bearing, bullying, demanding, and at times very selfish, even though I know deep down she has a good heart. Something terrible has happened to her personality, and I worry that this is the future, and she is everything I expected her not to become.

The last few weekends, I’ve tolerated her, and her up and down emotions. This weekend, I made no effort to get out of my way to see her, hiding mostly in my apartment, writing. She came by unannounced, on Friday while I worked from home, demanding lunch. She napped, and then left. Today was a repeat, except she spent more time on her cell phone, and only stopped because the battery died and she didn’t have her plug, her mood very angry as the day unfolded. She ordered her sister to text her friends so she could stay connected, and then left again almost abruptly to charge her phone and get her beauty rest. Her requirement a good eight-hour sleep each night. Although, that seldom happens. She is often under her covers texting, and scrolling through the internet.

I was relieved to discover from my youngest that they would be  busy tomorrow, because the older one wants to spend the day with her father, who is making a special trip to the city to be with them.  He is another story. I think I am relieved a little that I will spend tomorrow doing what I love best-taking a walk along the coast, breathing in some fresh air, and recharging my body and my soul.

I am tired…

{I don’t know where I found this photo, but at this moment it expresses my mood perfectly}