The 5 am Work Out


Happy New Year! Another calendar is turned to January. When I worked in an office, I always loved those desk calendars. I’d make notes all over it. By the end of the month, the page would be covered in notations, squiggles, or whatever. But when I ripped the page off and found a blank month waiting for me, all possibilities were open again. I’m in love with the blank page. Hence, my career choice as an author.

Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

We all know I like to exercise. Naturally, I try to encourage the Noodges to exercise too. Noodge 2 does. She works out with a personal trainer for fitness reasons and to help with a medical condition she has. Noodge 1 will exercise, but usually with a little persuasion from me. I want them both to be healthy and happy. Exercise aids in both of those things.

Teens today have pretty tight schedules. The advanced classes they take so their college applications look good require hours of homework. They have extra curricular activities, jobs, and a social life. Noodge 2 wanted to increase her cardio time, but didn’t know how to fit the workouts into her busy schedule. I suggested to workout before school.

I’m an early morning exerciser. In fact, I’m a morning person. My best time for everything is early. Noodge 2 is a night owl like the Coffee King. My early morning exercise suggestion was met with an eye roll.

We belong to the local YMCA. I offered to go to the Y twice a week with her at 5. She agreed. A new habit was formed, and I couldn’t have been more excited. I’m honored my teenage daughter wants to work out with me. Teens usually want nothing to do with their parents unless money is involved.

I will say, getting up at 4:45 (the Y is three minutes from our house, thankfully) to the alarm clock in winter is no easy task. I might do mornings, but I don’t do cold and dark very well. But I won’t bail on her or on Noodge 1 on the days he joins us. (When both of my kids come to the gym, my heart swells.) If they want to skip the gym, that’s fine, but I won’t cancel.

I’ve made encouraging my children’s interests part of my mothering goals. I attend the opera because Noodge 1 wants to go. I’ve attended the Pride Parade in NYC with Noodge 2 and three of her friends because she wanted to see that parade. Have you ever been to the Pride Parade? I have certain images burned on the back of eyelids I can’t unsee. Growing up in my house our whims weren’t exactly indulged. I wanted to do things differently for my kids.

Hence, the 5 a.m. workout.

aruba2018beachchairsRecently, we vacationed in Aruba. I love Aruba. “One Happy Island.” Put a visit there on your bucket list if you haven’t been. You won’t be sorry. Of course, the resort had a gym. And Noodge 2 and I found ourselves on the treadmill several times that week. Me and my girl. I grew ten feet tall when I looked over and saw her working out – with me.

That’s the key. She wants to be with me. My children are about to embark on the real world. Noodge 1 is only months away now. Even though he must go, I will miss him dearly. In the meantime, while they are still mine, I get to soak up the small moments in their company. And if that company is 5 a.m. in the gym, bring it on.

With this new year in front of us, remember to hug your kids a little more. Make time for the things they like to do even if you don’t. Tell them they are amazing, because they are. And if you have to, set the alarm clock and go to the gym. At 5 a.m.

Happy New Year. Love to all.


A New Adventure

I’m always up for an adventure. Well, almost always and it depends on the adventure. I’m not sleeping in the woods for all the chocolate in the factory. But when it comes to writing adventures, I’m pretty much in.

Pull up a seat. I’m going to tell you a little story. A long time ago, in a place not so far away, I worked for a mobile DJ company. It was one of my favorite jobs. I got to play music, dance, and eat at the weddings of total strangers and they paid me to be there! I worked with some fantastic people and have kept in touch with a few of them over the years. Decades, in fact. I am eternally grateful for that opportunity.

So here I am with the guys I DJ’d with circa 1994. Yes, I was the only girl. It was cool. And yes, I took a picture of a picture. This one is framed. Wasn’t even going to try and remove it. 

Recently, I was asked to be a part of NJs Best DJs owned and operated by my friend and amazing DJ, Dave Nase! Dave has asked me to come on board and handle the writing of his blog. This was an adventure I couldn’t pass up. I’m thrilled to be included.

Dave and I hanging out, present day, and getting the blog ready. Excuse my deer in the headlights look. 

NJs Best DJs offers a very personal approach to event entertainment. The blog will be dedicated to not just information about DJs and music, but help and advice on all areas of the wedding industry. And of course, we’re going to have a little fun while doing it.

Once the blog is live, I hope you’ll stop by and say hi just so I can see a few friendly faces even if you aren’t planning any event at the moment. (I’ll let you know exactly when that’s happening.) But if you or someone you know are in those planning stages, poke around. We might just have the information you’re looking for. And between you and me, you won’t find a better entertainer than Dave.

I’ll still be blogging here with my editing tips and adventures in motherhood. And don’t forget, my next book, A Second Chance House will be out soon. I won’t be neglecting my editing clients, but like I said, I couldn’t say no to Dave.

Are you ready for a new adventure? What’s on your bucket list for the new year?


Do Overs

This is my crack. Kidding. Not crack. Just chocolate.

My first day back to work in 2015 didn’t go quite the way I planned. I had organized my desk and my calendar. I blocked out time to write a short story I’m going to enter in a contest, time to come up with clever blog posts for all of you to read, and time to work on Welcome to Skull Mountain, book three in the Gabriel Hunter series due out in the spring. (Thanks for letting me plug it.) Then the Universe laughed at me.

Noodge 1 must have his high school I.D. with him at all times while on the school campus. Every morning, I ask him if he has it. Yesterday he didn’t realize he had left it at home until we were at the bus stop and the bus was coming. Yes, I take him to the bus stop. I live in the country. The bus stop is no where near our house, the bus comes before 7 and we don’t have sidewalks or street lights. I might not trust my Noodge to have his I.D, but I trust everyone else less. I had to drive him to school. I took a deep breath, didn’t panic, knowing I could make up the time elsewhere.

Every morning I take Munson out to play. An eight month old German Shepherd puppy needs to run. He loves to chase leaves. I let him have at it while throwing a tennis ball into the mix. Munson was in his glory and full of mud which I didn’t realize until he was dripping on my floor and getting mud all over the walls. Have you ever tried to clean a 60 lb puppy? Munson lives from a place of “are we playing a game?” and “can I eat it?” Another deep breath, but now I missed my yoga class. I didn’t panic. I’ll just eat fewer calories.

At lunch time I burned my food because Munson needed to go out. More leaves, more mud, fighting with the prong collar. A nap was in order, but I don’t take naps. In fact, I hate sleeping. And my writing time was being gauged into.

Instead, I put a candy dish full of Hershey kisses on my desk. Comfort food. I’ve never put a full bag of candy within arms reach of my computer before. If I’m going to eat the chocolate at least I can walk downstairs to get it. But my stress level was up and chocolate releases serotonin in your brain as well as increases the numbers on the scale, but the kisses are wrapped in pretty Christmas foil and I’m bummed the holidays are over. I have to search for a holiday movie on Netflix now and what happened to my Christmas music?

Then, Noodge 2 sent me a text around 1:30. She didn’t feel well. She wanted to come home from school. My new year hadn’t gone the way I planned. I wanted a do-over. And candy.

Remember do-overs? Do-overs allow you to make mistakes, try something out, and not worry about the results because you can just shout “do-over” again until you get it right. The best games I played had a do-over option. Do-overs mean there is still a chance for your plans to turn out the way you hoped. Do-overs make me think of hot summer days, cherry ice-pops dripping down your hand, running across the parched earth kicking up dirt in your wake and filling the air with your laughter. Do-overs are about childhood when you still have all the chances to live the life you dream about.

Today was my do-over and every day I wake up. Today is another chance to write those stories, practice yoga, laugh with my Noodges, wipe off the dog, and eat the chocolate. That’s the only “do-over” I need.

Losing My Job

I used to think I’m sentimental, but maybe I’m not. Tell me what  you think.

I don’t save much and by that I mean just about anything not nailed down. I’ve mentioned before I grew up in a museum which means if it didn’t look good on display or I couldn’t hide it from my mother then it got tossed.

I pretty much do the same thing. I never kept my children’s baby teeth. That grossed me out so I flushed them after the tooth fairy left the proper change under the pillow. I kept school art work for awhile, but after one box I grew tired and worried about storage space so I nixed that idea. I mean, are my kids really going to want every picture they drew at 5 when they’re my age?  I doubt it. I do have all the report cards, but the school went completely paperless. Do I print out the report cards now? Okay, okay, I did.

Husband has many antiques around that have been in his family for generations. I gave up trying to sell them but those that don’t merit display are tucked away and covered with a sheet.

I don’t have old boyfriend’s jewelry. I don’t keep all the cards I’ve ever received. I toss every Christmas card we get with the first of the New Year. Sorry. I do hang them up around the family room from the day after Thanksgiving until January 1 though.

What does this say about me as I look around my house? I have pictures of my children when their smiles were missing their front teeth, photos of my wedding day, now so long ago. I keep the rocker Husband made me as a birthday present. Tucked in my jewelry draw are all the necklaces and bracelets Daughter made me along with a poem written by Son when he was in the 6th grade. Propped on my desk keeping me company while I write are a collage photo box Son made me and duct tape flowers from Daughter as a Mother’s Day present.

Maybe I’m more sentimental than I thought. Looks like I’ll have to resign from the museum.