The First Snow Day of 2022

What an utterly unexpected and incredibly lovely surprise!

And quite a nice way to start the new year, I think.

Until yesterday, forecasters predicted this fast-moving snowstorm would go south of us, but here it is. And I am so happy.

I hadn’t planned a busy day today, anyway – Graham’s off of work until tomorrow – but I think I shall officially declare today a Snow Day, and spend it reading, drinking tea, generally lazing about in my pajamas, and gazing out on this beautiful and fleeting winter landscape.

Yes. Perfect.

Sunday Supper #5: Happy New Year!

Hello, 2022! It’s lovely to meet you, and I hope you’re kind to us. Like, seriously. Please.

That’s pretty much where I am today. We had a lovely Christmas, and a very low-key New Year’s Eve and Day, and this evening, I’m mostly just pondering possibilities and wondering what this newest of years will bring. I’ve not made any Very Big Plans, though I have jotted down some goals, especially in regards to my creative work. More to come on that, and I think it’s going to be exciting.

But for now, I’d like to leave you with wishes for a wonderful, fulfilling, peaceful, exciting, creative, memorable, and most of all, a happy New Year. I hope you do cool stuff, make mistakes, learn, grow, draw, paint, dance, cook, eat, sing, read, write, and just generally live the best you can. And if you ever need a cheerleader, know I’m here, in your corner, even from the other side of the world, and I think you got this, whatever it is. Make 2022 a good one, y’all, and I’ll do the same.

Oh, and for supper: Taco Bell. Don’t judge. What’s a good year without a few tacos? 😉

Making (Musical) Christmas Memories

Hello from the other side! Of Christmas, that is. We had a wonderful holiday – busy, but so good, and I’m grateful for it. We ate lots of delicious food, spent time with my parents and a few good friends, and made so many happy memories.

And, you know me. Of course, there was music. So we made some musical memories, too.

I mentioned in a post a few months ago that Graham had really taken to the mandolin my Dad brought the last time my parents visited. This visit, we were able to actually sit down and play a couple of songs. It was so much fun, and so cool to see Graham get more comfortable. And luckily, my mom took a couple of videos. I wanted to post them here, because good memories, and especially good music, should always be shared.

This one’s an old gospel song I used to hear all the time growing up.

And here’s a new classic.

Both songs were keyed a little low for me, but it made things a little easier on Graham, so it’s all good. 😊 I hope you enjoyed listening!

And I hope you had a lovely holiday – or, just a lovely weekend – as well!

Five Lessons I’ve Learned in 2021

As 2021 comes to a close, I’m spending a lot of time reflecting on what I’ve learned, what I’ve accomplished, what I haven’t, and how I want to set goals for 2022.

I didn’t always do this. I’m not a great planner, and sometimes it hurts to think about missed opportunities and bad moments from the previous year. But 2020 changed everything. I want to set goals. I want to make things happen and keep improving myself. I want to live every day with purpose, and live knowing that I’m doing my best. 2020 showed the world just how fragile life – and all of the things we’ve built around ourselves to be comfortable and happy – can actually be. So, here I am, looking back on this last year, and planning for the next one, knowing that all of my moments and all of my dreams are precious.

So, that was a big lesson from 2020. And I’m thinking tonight about what I’ve learned in 2021.

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Be gentle and patient with yourself.

Life’s hard enough without having your own self as a critic and an enemy. Things won’t always turn out the way you want them to. You can try and still fail. You can fail to try, and then have to deal with the consequences. That’s not a moral failing, or a sign that you’re not a good person or capable. That’s human. We’re all human. We are worthy of our own kindness and grace.

Life may get in the way of your plans. Make them anyway.

I had some big creative plans for this year, and though I’ve made a little bit of headway on them, they clearly haven’t materialized yet as I wanted them to. For the first half of the year, there was a bigger issue – an issue that affected more than just me – that required my full attention. So, I gave it. And it mattered. It made a difference. I made a thing happen. It meant changing up what I thought I’d be doing with my time this year, and that’s okay. I’ve still taken steps forward. And I’ll continue to take steps forward, even if they’re tiny ones, until I see my goals become real.

Failure is a teacher.

To be fair, I think I’ve always known this. I think we all do, but it’s a lesson we have to learn over and over, because it sucks to fail. There are few things harder for a human, I think, than to do your best and still not succeed. But it happens. And it will happen again and again. There’s nothing for it but to learn from it and take those lessons forward to the next task. If you’ve failed, at least you’ve tried, and if you’ve tried once, you can try again.

Every single second is a chance to start over.

Don’t give up on a day because you had a bad morning (or lunch hour, or just a bad moment). I’ve had to really contend with this, in the last year. It’s so easy to lose motivation, ambition, willpower – even hope – when things go south. But every breath you take is a chance to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start again. Don’t wait. Don’t waste precious seconds of your life.

You’ll be scared. Do it anyway.

Hit send on that email. Type “Chapter One” on that blank page, and then keep typing. Send that text, make that phone call, book that ticket. If it’s important to you, do it, even if it scares you. You’re afraid because you care. And because you care, it’s worth doing. So do it.

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It’s been a strange year for me. So many ups and downs, moments of absolute relief, and joy, moments of abject fear, of sadness and worry. But it’s been good. I’m glad to be here, to be alive and to be working and loving and trying and singing and dancing (badly) and eating and breathing. And so as I close out my 2021, I look forward, and know that every step I take matters.

Snow Bust

Well, I’m not even surprised. It’s a running joke in the DC metro area and Northern Virginia that we live in a snow hole. It can snow all around us, and we’ll see nothing but clouds.

And, yeah…

Let me back up.

See, about a week ago, the weather powers that be were predicting 1-3 inches of snow today. Not enough to cause major problems, but enough to coat the ground and look nice. And, living in Virginia, I’ll take what I can get in terms of snowy weather. But, as usual, over the last few days, predictions dwindled to perhaps an inch, then maybe a dusting, and now, nothing at all. Nary a flake nor flurry to be found.

Sigh.

Am I disappointed? Yes, I am. But there’s a lot of winter left, and I’m nothing if not an eternal optimist. This one’s a bust, but tomorrow is always another day.

Thank you for 500 followers!

What a wonderful milestone to reach on this first Friday in December! I’m so grateful to each of you who read my work and keep coming back for more, and so happy to be part of this amazing creative community. I’ll be celebrating tonight with a glass of bubbly and some Christmas movies, and I’ll be back on Sunday with a new Sunday Supper post. So come back and visit! 😊

In the meantime, I wish each of you a very lovely weekend!

First Flurries!

We got our first snow flurries of the season this morning! They didn’t last long, and it would have been pretty impossible to get a picture anyway, but they were enough to put me in a very happy mood today. So, here I am, musing about winter, and working on November’s short story. It’ll be posted tomorrow, so stop by then and give it a read.

And in the meantime, I hope you’ve been having a good Monday, too. 😊

Happy Friday, y’all!

I haven’t had much time to write today. It’s been a busier week than I’ve expected, and I’m really just happy it’s Friday. I’m hoping for a more relaxed weekend, putting up Christmas decorations and prepping for Thanksgiving. And speaking of Thanksgiving…

Do you think Annie’s excited?

(Picture’s from a few years ago. I wasn’t in the room when it was taken. I hear she was actually having more fun than she appears to be. With Annie, sometimes it’s hard to tell.)

Winter Is Coming (…to Virginia, that is.)

It’s beginning to feel a little wintry around here! (If you’re new or just stumbled across this blog: Hi! My name is Katie, and winter is my favorite season.)

Not quite cold enough for snow, but most of the leaves have fallen off the trees, and yesterday the sky was cloudy and silvery gray. I know some of y’all have already seen your first snowfall, and I am super jealous. But I think we have reason here in Virginia to hope for some white stuff in the coming months.  

In the meantime, I’m just enjoying the cooler weather and trying to decide how early is too early to put up Christmas decorations. This week’s fine, right? RIGHT?! (I don’t know why I’m asking. I’m just going to do it anyway…)

On sleep, and how I’m bad at it.

Some of you may recall a post from August of 2020 – Three Insomnia Haiku. And well, folks, here we are again, in the Land of Little Sleep. At this point, I feel like I must be among its most frequent and loyal inhabitants.

The facts are these:

  1. I have never been a good sleeper. Not once in my entire life.
  2. I’m apparently a good enough sleeper that I don’t qualify for heavier sleep aids (and I don’t really want to use those anyway), so melatonin and chamomile tea it is.
  3. They…don’t really work.
  4. See Number 1.

I don’t know how many of you know the feeling of staring endlessly at your ceiling in the dark, or of tossing and turning and never quite finding that comfy spot on your pillow, or of flipping through the channels trying to find something (anything) that might bore you to sleep or drown out the invasive anxieties running through your head. But if you’re dealing with any of that, then know that I am with you, my friend, and man, it just really, really sucks. And if you’re not, consider yourself lucky and enjoy that blissful rest you’re getting.

Why am I writing about this now? No idea, honestly. It was just on my mind. It’s been on my mind all day, as I’ve groggily moved from task to task, never quite focusing completely and thinking way too much about the possibility of maybe, just maybe crawling into bed tonight and closing my eyes and cozily drifting off with a purring Gatsby snuggled up beside me.

But I digress.

Or do I?

You know, I’m honestly not sure. I’m sleepy, y’all.

At any rate, if anyone has any clever tricks for falling (and perhaps more importantly STAYING) asleep, feel free to share them! At this point, I’ll try just about anything. Except warm milk. Ew.