I have reasons for telling you all about my failures. One, of course, is that I do try to be honest, and if I didn’t admit to my failures, there would be big gaps in my blog. Big. Gaps. Also, I don’t want anyone to think that their life is disappointing in comparison to mine. I have been horrified in the past to discover that some people had the idea I live a charmed life. Nothing could be farther from the truth! So, with that in mind, I will do a brief recap of the last three days.
Saturday, which happened to be our thirty-fourth anniversary, we had a chai party to get ready for, but I’m not going to pretend I did much about it. Lucy did the baking and the men did the setting up. I had a lot of other stuff do, mostly revising a book I hope to pitch next weekend, if I can ever get anyone to answer my question about how to set up an interview!
During the chai party, our dear friends Jim and Joan came and I had a very enjoyable but sweltering couple of hours hearing all about their recent trip to Kenya. By the time I came back inside, it was late, and I needed to make sure I was ready to play in church and then tune my autoharp. I had already emailed out my selections, keeping to my new strategy of using one I have already learned and learning one new one each week.
I had already printed out my new hymn, but when I went to find the music for the other, one, I didn’t have it. It wasn’t in my binder and there was no file for it on my computer, yet it was on the list of hymns I had already played! I must have played it from my one autoharp hymnbook, but I’m not actually sure where that is at the moment . . . . So, instead of tuning my autoharp, I spent the time figuring out an autoharp arrangement for the other hymn.
As I was doing so, I realized something. Last fall, this task took me several hours each time. It was so tedious and stressful. Now, it takes less than half an hour, normally, and is usually pretty straightforward. Progress!
Playing in church went well, and then in the afternoon I made what for me is a momentous decision. My original plan for supper fell through, which meant I needed a new plan. I did not want to have to go out and buy different food. I remembered that last Christmas, my parents had given us a restaurant gift card and that we’d never used it. All I had to do was find it! Going out to eat is a BIG DEAL for this family. I read recently that the average American family eats out 4-5 times a week. We do not eat out that much in a year, except for fast food stops when we are traveling!
Furthermore, even if we wanted to eat out more often, and could afford to do so, we are mostly limited to doing during the summer on Sunday. During the school year, we have company every Sunday here at home, and weekdays Walter works every evening. He also works Saturdays! So you can imagine how strange it was for us to find ourselves sitting at a table in Texas Roadhouse at suppertime yesterday.
We all had a delicious dinner, even if the poor waitress made a mistake in almost everyone’s order. Because we eat out so rarely, when we do it feels like a celebration! I guess it was kind of an anniversary celebration for the whole family.
This morning I got a phone call from a neighbor letting me know that there were two raccoons in one of our trees. Raccoons look like bandits for a reason. They are bandits! We do not want raccoons in our neighborhood. So I got the boys up and asked them if they could do anything. What they did was shoot at the invaders with BB guns until they finally decided they didn’t like our yard and our pine tree so much after all. I have no idea where they went, but I hope they won’t be back!
After Saturday night’s hymn failure, I decided to work on a hymn for this weekend today, so I wouldn’t be rushed. I was pretty proud of myself for doing it, until I realized that I won’t be playing this weekend because I’ll be out of town! At least I have the arrangement done now.
For most of the day, I was pretty focused on preparing for the writers’ conference I’ll be attending this weekend. I was updating one of my book proposals, and I realized that the website and blog information on it was incorrect. In fact, I realized that my writing blog was deleted when Mary redid my website. So, in order to update my proposal correctly, I needed to go to my website and add a new blog. Easy, right?
Several hours and a bucket of tears later, my website was in shambles. I was trying to spiff it up and add a blog. Instead I turned it into an incoherent mess that is all but useless. If Mary or Flynn were here, I know they could probably fix the problem easily, but they are NOT here so I am thinking I maybe shouldn’t even admit I have a website on my proposal!
I finally got so upset about the website situation that I decided to figure out clothes instead. One is supposed to look “professional” when one goes to a professional conference. I haven’t been to a conference of this type for three years. The problem is that in my daily life, I have no need whatsoever for “professional” clothes. I save a few items that are a step up from Walmart t-shirts and put them aside for wearing to conferences, but that doesn’t mean that I necessarily have “outfits.”
So this evening I pulled out everything that I thought might work and tried to come up with two outfits that I could wear on the weekend without embarrassing myself. The problem is that no matter what I wear, I look like what I am–a frumpy middle-aged housewife. For some reason, this did not improve my mood. It’s going to take a whole lot of fake confidence to pull off a “professional” look this weekend!