Looking for answers to life's questions

You have my apologies. “What for, you ask?” I can’t seem to find the grinder that has ground my work here to a halt. What does it look like and where is it hiding?

Is the grinder in this load of laundry waiting to be finished?

Is the grinder in this load of laundry waiting to be finished?

In trying to keep up with blogs I follow, I am sadly ground down as well. I’m outnumbered and you have so many wonderful posts I want to read. Nothing else is getting done. My energy has waned and the cogs in my brain are slipping.

Is it in the pile of laundry waiting?

Is it in the pile of laundry waiting?

You’ll usually find me spinning in circles trying to figure out what needs to be done next. There are four quilt tops on my machine in different states of readiness for me to sandwich and quilt. No small task in there. Yesterday, I tried to seal the wood on a plant pot holder I had out front last summer to gray the wood. I dumped an entire can of sealer on the porch when I lost my balance trying to move it. Fortunately, I managed to contain the spill enough to finish the job.

Room is smaller than the work to do in it. Could the grinder be in there?

Room is smaller than the work to do in it. Could the grinder be in there?

My daughter needed my help with her move and that has taken more chunks of time. Friendships need nurturing and groups for handwork and quilting are vital to my mental health. It all takes time and energy.

Helping my daughter with the move. Several days of packing here.

Helping my daughter with the move. Several days of packing here.

There are things I want to write about, but don’t, so I write nothing. There is a battle waging internally about what should be done about this.

Could the grinder be in this box of photos to be gone through?

Could the grinder be in this box of photos to be gone through?

Of the 250 people who follow my blog, the most that read it are less than 30. I follow less than 50 because I want to read the blogs I follow. They have become very dear to me and it would be like losing friends. I cannot bear to part with friends.

Could all these books waiting to be read be hiding the grinder?

Could all these books waiting to be read be hiding the grinder?

Maybe the grinder is hiding here in all the yard work waiting for me to do.

Maybe the grinder is hiding here in all the yard work waiting for me to do.

Where do I need to go to find that grinder? How do you manage not to come to a grinding halt?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of that Grinder" (76)

  1. I hope you are okay after your spill, no injuries? Is your daughter settled? Thank goodness you have your son with you to take a bit of the burden from your shoulders with the chores.

    I am sure there are a few gems on that bookshelf that would help you unwind and possibly spark some ideas, that is if you could find the time to slow down enough to pick one up.

    I too have been so busy that finding time to blog has been harder for me as well. Not sure if you noticed but since the April challenge my posts have been late or completely missing on a few days. I started a post for tomorrow where I’m going to apologize in advance if my posts become less frequent for a while because I feel a burnout coming on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, so I’m not alone in the struggle to keep up. I barely get one a week. They are going 3 weeks apart now. I have ideas but no energy to put them into play. I have so much work to do here, like you, it’s hard to get a direction with so many to go. I rarely get time to read and the quilting will have to wait until the yard, house painting and pressure washing get done. Part of my requirements here. I didn’t fall, just stumbled. We did get my daughter moved in. Totally exhausted. And my son has been a gigantic help. You don’t need to apologize to me for slowing down. Sometimes we just gotta do what we gotta do.

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  2. Although I rarely have time to comment I do read your blog, Marlene, and I think of you as a friend. I’ve had lots of “grinders” – good ones – lately but I’m still here 🙂

    Alicia
    spashionista.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know you are still there and that’s been my problem. I can rarely get to the blogs I want to read. I have 594 blogs to read from the last few months. I miss finding time to read yours. It’s good to know you are there too. Sometimes I wonder if I should just throw in the towel. 25-30 readers is not a good statistic

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  3. Sometimes Marlene we simply need to let it be what it is. Small accidents, in my experience anyway, are ‘slow down’ warnings. If ignored you are gifted a bigger accident – or an illness. Possibly it is time to put a chair in the garden and sit in it. Preferably holding one of those unread books. Perhaps it is time just to sit in that chair and appreciate all you have and let the rest be for a bit. When you feel like having a potter, potter. When you don’t, don’t. All things pass and this will pass also. You know this. Just breathe, just be. xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wise words, Pauline.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Pauline, you are so wise. I thought the same thing myself. The outside needs doing because of the Homeowners association requirements. So everything else has to wait. My daughter hired men to move her but there was still a lot of work to do and with her Fibromyalgia and work schedule, we had to pitch in. My son did a lot to help as well. But today I did laundry and worked on quilts. Then back to blog reading. I’m going to have to let something go. I don’t know what it will be.

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  4. Oh, a PS. The grinder will be found when the time is right 🙂 xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I would say you need to let go of some things my friend. As ‘thecontentedcrafter’ said, little accidents are telling us to slow down. So slow down. The yard, the books, even the blogs, are not going anywhere. Take a breath, slowly and deeply. Sit and sip a cup of tea or your choice of whatever. Look around and admire all your hard work, then relax. We want you around for a long time. It’s time you let some stuff slip by and think of you for a while. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are all so good to me. I think the quilting will have to take a back seat for awhile. HOA requires the yard work so that’s not an option and now that my daughter is settled again, I can take my time getting to outside done as long as they can see I’m working on it. I have to rest more than I like which takes more time. Hoping things get better now. Ready for a slowdown.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post! I lost my motivation for pretty much everything as I went through another Michigan winter. The warm weather and sunshine has lifted both my spirits and my energy levels!

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    • Thanks so much for stopping by. Motivation is intact but the energy to carry it out is missing. A Michigan winter would do me in too. I’m also solar powered so the Pacific NW is hard on me but I turn on every energy efficient light in the house on gray days. Rocking music helps too. My problem has always been trying to do too much and the body says no more. Like you, I do more when the sun shines and it’s not hot. Stopped by your blog. Looks like you like to read as well. The writing and the reading have been on the back burner way too long. I’ll try and get over again soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Josh and I actually talked about this the other night when he asked how I manage to get so much done even though I sleep more than he does, so I’ll let you in on my secret, too. I take things one bit at a time. I figure out what all really needs doing and then break it down into the smallest logical pieces. And then I attack. It’s a lot less daunting that way, at least for me. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. It sounds as though you need to slow down and spend some time with your buds on that fabulous bookcase, Marlene. OMG…I thought I was the only one with that many TBR books. 🙂
    Breathe deep and take things one task at a time. You’ll get it done…what’s the rush anyway? xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, Jill I have 4 more bookcases and my kindle. I love to read and rarely have time except before bed if I’m not too tired. I always get time to journal and one inspirational story. But the list has become longer each day. The only rush is the HOA. They’ve been breathing down my neck all winter to get things pressure washed and painted. Thank goodness my son is here. Maybe soon I’ll get time to read again and write. I miss it.

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      • We might just be related! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I always tell people the only reason I have a kitchen is because it came with the house and wouldn’t it make a good library. 🙂 Love books, need more time to read. Jackie at “tobreatheistowrite” has been writing the most wonderful mystery that I’m hooked on. I get a chapter a night from any book before sleep and that’s it. Not enough. I’m going to have to do audio soon. 😦

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  9. It’s nice to see your post, Marlene, but I too worry that you need to slow down and give yourself a break. The list of things to get done can seem endless, but if they never end, we feel hopeless and defeated.

    I’m sorry you lost your balance but I’m quite relieved to hear that you are okay.

    As for losing friends, the people who care about you will be there whether you reply to their blogs or not. It’s impossible to nurture all friendships, all the time and that’s okay. Perhaps you could read but not comment for a few weeks so that you stay connected but don’t overwhelm yourself. Everyone who writes a blog knows it takes time and energy to comment and stay in touch. We’re all here for you. Breath. Rest. Come on back when you’re ready. xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Alys. Everyone has been so kind and helpful. It’s good to know I’m not alone with this. So much has been going on that some days I find I don’t even breathe often enough. Hopefully, now that my daughter is settled again, I can back off a bit.

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  10. Marlene, one thing I can always count on in your posts is humor. You have such a sly way of slipping it in to serious considerations. It sounds like your “grinder” has been busy with other tasks. Take care my friend.

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    • Thanks so much Missy. Glad to see you here. Without humor, we have nothing worthwhile. I go out of my way for funny. Hope you are doing well in your new place. Funny how everything is always changing.

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  11. It is so difficult to keep up-I know exactly what you mean. I try to keep up on some very special bloggers and now only blog about once a week. It is not a perfect situation but the best I can do. Hugs!!♡

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad I’m not alone in this. I have so much other work to get done that I can’t keep up with all those that follow me much less all those that I follow. Trying to decide how to cull this to a manageable endeavor. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. ps I like the new look on your blog!

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  13. I think I found your ginder. It was lodged in my motivation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m very motivated, just ground down tired. Just not sure which area is doing most of the grinding. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sorry, it’s an awful feeling, and it’s tough to get out of. This might sound silly, but I find doing a marathon of a sitcom — especially a classic one, Like “I Love Lucy” or “Bewitched” lets me relax in a way that takes me out of it, at least for a bit.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m with you on the marathon of funny. I took myself to a cafe to spend an hour with a cup of coffee and a notebook yesterday. Heavenly. A change of pace and time alone. I thought you were funny when you said my grinder was hiding in your motivation. It’s that dry humor I get. It’s something I would say. 🙂 Life needs to be laughed at a lot more.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I absolutely agree! 🙂 Sometimes laughter is our only defense against it.

        It’s so tough to break out of routine, but I’m glad you did and got a little recharge. Keep doing nice little things for yourself like that. They add up 🙂

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  14. Hi Marlene! Listen to all the wise people above. Taking care of yourself should come first. The rest is just stuff. Where are we going for lunch today? Know that I’ll be there! 😉
    Take it easy and be well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We will have a salad at the regular spot I’m going to have to take some down time. I’m more relaxed already. I hope you are having a wonderful time. Good to know you are online. 🙂

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      • I hope there is some ginger broth. I will see you at our regular spot! Take care and relax.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks. Sabine. Have to go to my daughter’s place first and rescue her vacuum and step stool. She left at 10 pm and couldn’t fit one more thing into her car much less carry them down the stairs. She would stay in a dog house if it meant not moving again. Too physically demanding for her. Don’t think I’ll do it again either. Have some fun and eat some pancakes for me.

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  15. You ‘nme both. The phrase “The mills of God grind slow” comes to mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. A daily meditation practice is a great way of learning to stop, breathe and just be, without the need to “do” anything. Even if just for 10 or 15 mins a day, it helps put everything else back in perspective and priority without the need to find that grinder :).

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right on this. Most days I feel like I’m drowning in “to do’s” The list is endless and the writing has suffered. That’s where I work things out. Free form writing and gardening are meditative for me. I’ve also made some changes in the blogs I follow so yours will come to me directly and not just through my reader. Thanks for stopping by Stephanie.

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  17. Everyone has times when everything just seem to grow over their head. At least I know I do. Things usually set itself right after a while.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You said that so well! That’s just what happened. Too much too fast but all good. It’s the writing that suffered from all the other commitments. Needed time to think and write. Think I’ve figured out how to get there. I have my son living here now and my routine is all out of whack. New routine now necessary. Thanks for stopping by.

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  18. NotAPunkRocker said:

    Lots of good advice here already, but I will say I went through something similar not too long ago, which I am sure you remember. Life overload. Take things as they come and know we are here when you are ready to get back to us. No rush, no worries, except to make sure you are OK ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now that I have my daughter moved into her new place, I can breathe a bit easier. Making my list of priorities That will help too. I just got stuck on the writing. Thanks for stopping by. Brain is not working as well since my son moved in. Too many distractions.

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  19. I just wandered over from A Kitchen’s Garden because I noticed your name and loved it! Then I read about your missing grinder, having done its job in your life, and identified with you immediately! I’ll certainly be back, in part to see if you have found any solutions! Thanks!

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    • Thanks for stopping by Bev, That’s how I’ve found all my good friends. I find them following someone I like. I’ve been following C since we met at WP in Portland, OR. I adore her and though my writing has ground to a halt, I am still trying to keep up reading my favorite blogs. I’ll pop by yours as well.

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  20. Clare (EcoFriendlyLink on Pinterest) said:

    Marlene, I think TheContentedCrafter said it all – beautifully.
    There is only so much time, and circumstances make even less time available. I have never worked out how so many wonderful bloggers find time to blog so often (I don’t).
    Do what you can, and carry on being a wonderful person – that’s what is important, not how often you blog.
    Loved your post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Clare. Miss writing to my friends but there are so many projects that need doing, can’t find the time to write about them and read everything. I’ve let go of a lot of blogs that no longer interest me , (obviously not yours.) to find more time. I’m going back to old posts and catching up and the timing seems perfect. Pauline is a wise soul. Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and let me know.

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  21. Thank you for posting this. I have been feeling overwhelmed for a couple months now. It can be suffocating and distressing. After complaining about the 500 unread email messages in my blogging account after my Canada road trip, my blogger friend Sarah, at Anglo-Saxon Celt Creates suggested (only partially joking) that I accidentally hit “delete.” I fretted for about three weeks, then when it went up over 600, I did exactly that. Wow. It felt so good.

    I’m back up to 375 unread messages. And each one is link to someone’s blog or a blog comment, so they take a long time to clear. A friend here in Portland said “Well, you don’t have to read each one thoroughly, I’m sure the bloggers will understand.” And yes, you all *will* understand. You are all wonderful. The thing is that I *want* to read the posts. I can’t tell you often I begin a post telling myself, “Crystal! Now listen! Just scan the photos, click “like” and move on!” Before I know what’s happening, I’m giggling at the post and already typing a comment. Derrick at derrickjknight and Andrew at Have Bag Will Travel are two that I try so hard to resist and can’t!

    Anyway. I have no advice. This is a distinct dilemma for me and I wholeheartedly sympathize.

    So here is what I will offer though: help with the yardwork for HOA. We could kill two birds with one stone (ugh, all that killing!) and get the place cleaned up AND a long overdue visit. What do you say?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m ready for the visit. I have a gift card for Gustav’s 🙂 I’m taking my time with the yard. But I’d love for you to come by and see the challenge. 🙂 Now that we have Heather moved into downtown, I’m getting a bit more rest. And I deleted the blogs that don’t ever drop by mine so they will never miss me. I never miss my regulars even if it takes awhile.

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  22. Not sure I have any useful advice for you, Marlene; my life, too, ground down to a near-halt for a while these past months. (maybe your grinder was lodged in my backpack as I went from my Aunty’s to my friends’ and back??) And many of my interests just had to be ignored. I read nothing from early January to early May – a first for me to not read for even a week since I was four years old! So today I read a whole book and over the past two days another. Now I feel better. 🙂

    What I am planning to do, because I am not willing to give up things I love (although I did bite the bullet and give away my plants and furniture; I wasn’t giving up the yarn, etc.) is this: I am working on a list of what needs to be done (cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, etc.) and what I want to do (sew, knit, crochet, etc. etc. plus I hope to finally fit in music practise again and some language study – I dream big and try not to beat myself up if I only get partway down the road I envision). Next I will figure out what can be done in the early mornings, as we don’t have breakfast before 10:30, so I am free until just before 10:00. The ‘have to’ items I can do in the afternoons and any internet stuff most evenings.

    I’m thinking that if I sew for a couple of hours one day a week, I will at least end up with something, and so on . . .

    But I agree with everyone above, that it’s so important to take some time just to rest and do things we love, like read in a coffeeshop. Hearing of your HOA requirements and knowing of our condo board’s same, I can’t help but long for the days when I lived in the country and no-one bothered us about the cosmetic stuff. I’d be there again in a heartbeat, if I could. But for now, it’s the condo . . . I tend to love untrammelled nature more than too-regulated appearances, but I know I’m outnumbered on that one and I do love harmony over conflict.

    Here’s to your finding an interesting path through the thickets, Marlene. And do write about it, will you? I may need to check out that path myself (assuming I can find it lol) ~ Linne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by and reading Linne. I think we are having similar struggles with time for all the things we want to do. I have time, but often not the energy so more rest is required. I like the untrammeled look as well and would be in the country if I could drive further. I’m a list maker too. I planned to sew on Monday but ended up with 2 neighbors visiting. I will never turn that down. It’s why I moved here. For a community. When life is a bit harder, community is essential. I know you are finding that too. With all you have been going through with your aunt and mother, your virtual community is a lifeline. I think something more is going on. Everywhere I look, people are in transitions they were not expecting or fully prepared for. In the last 6 months, my son, daughter, and sister have moved again. I have been here less than a year. It’s like we are all being ground down just a bit but maybe it’s to make room for something better. I miss finding time to write or maybe it’s the quiet time to write that I’m not getting. I’ll keep checking in with you in hopes you are still moving forward and all is well. Your care and concern are valuable to me. Hugs.

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      • Thanks, Marlene; I think you are right that some of our challenges are similar; that’s often the way, isn’t it?

        Maybe the answer to people dropping in is to hand them a wee sewing ‘kit’ with needle and thread and you can sew together, unless, of course, you are machine stitching. I’m hoping to get to some hand stitching soon, but have taken on a contract job, so now am not sure how time will be worked out. So much for retirement, eh? But it’s a good thing and I’ll post about it soon.

        My virtual community (my Virtual Village, as I don’t care for the word ‘blogosphere’) has gotten me through some big challenges. I don’t know what I would do without it. For me, life will change without warning one day and I will be moving full speed into Plan B. Not looking forward to that, but it’s the reality.

        That’s a lot of moving in your life, isn’t it? (your family, too, I mean) I’m not crazy about moving. I’ve moved so often all my life that I don’t have a ‘home’ to return to. My connections have mostly vanished while I’ve been here in Edmonton so long (came in ’99 for four months; still here). I’ve made a handful of new friends, which is nice, but it’s nicer to know people who can remember with you, at least I find it so.

        I have been thinking a great deal about Colette O’Neill from Bealtaine Cottage; she bought four acres, I think it was, over ten years ago and has completely transformed it from a pretty barren wetland to a gorgeous forest with three ponds and at least one stream. She planted over 1,000 trees! I think it would be a good project for one’s later years; to have a piece of eroded, logged-over, whatever, land and turn it into a bit of paradise. If more people did that, imagine . . . I agree with you that it feels like something is coming (and there have been many prophecies that indicate that); interesting times, but a wee bit scary, I find.

        Love and Light to you, Marlene, and lots of warm hugs. ~ Linne

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve read this reply from you several times now. There are so many fine points to answer to. I agree with you, I don’t like blogosphere either. My “virtual” friends have been a Godsend. They know me better than many “real” friends. Of course, like you, they are fewer and farther between. My son mentioned that the main reason he would miss my last husband, was he was the only one left who could say, “yes, I remember that” when talking about his own father. Very few people knew my first husband and that connection was hard for my kids to lose. He died at 42. I just trudge on through putting one foot in front of another as life hands out lessons to learn.
        A few years ago, before the dizziness set in, I would have like to make my home an oasis as well. I do the best I can with borrowed land and try and make it lovely for the next person. There is always change coming and we don’t really like change. Only little changes, and if we don’t make the changes we need, they world turns sideways to force the issue. Lots of hugs to you as well, Linne. Do take care of yourself.

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  23. Dear Marlene, I know just how you feel. Life can sure grind us down at times and I too am so frustrated at the lack of writing time. I keep thinking I need to quit blogging as I just won’t get my memoir written, and then I think I can’t bear the thought of losing dear friends such as yourself. So here we are. You have had so many huge life changes recently and if you are anything like me, things catch up with you later and then it all hits. Oh I am rambling. I just hope you are feeling more rested now and I wish I could give you a huge hug…so am sending a cyber one instead ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the hug, Sherri. I needed that. I’m sorry and glad that you have some of the same feelings. Every morning it takes a while to set priorities for the day. Blogging always seems to come in last. Who knew that getting everything you wanted in life would make time speed up to a race. 🙂 And so I trudge on. You are my lifeline out there in blogosphere.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ahh…well Marlene, the support is mutual 🙂 And I’m so glad you are in such a good place in your life. That’s the most important thing by far. More hugs… xo

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  24. Don’t beat yourself up about it. The different aspects of our lives come in waves, ebbing and flowing, and you just have to go with the flow. I think you’ve chosen wisely to nurture the community relationships that you are forming. And having time for you, just for you, to do nothing and not feel guilty about it. That is a goal of mine that I’m working towards, just giving myself permission to let things slide if that’s the way its unfolding. I’m honored that my blog is one that you read. Thank you for that.

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  25. I am playing catch-up! I can so relate to this post!!! I am in hte garden and finding that is where my spare time is….on time to read and I have found I mostly read those that take the time to get to know you:-) Others just read and scoot….those, I tend to not visit:-) but I am glad they do visit….hope your life slows down,too:-)

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  26. I can relate to this post in so many ways!! And I am so grateful for our connection…you ground me…and you uplift me 😉 Hope you are “present” in whatever task you decided to do. I think I get scattered thinking about all I have/want to do. I have to get better at committing to whatever I am doing at the moment…the rest means nothing! Much love my friend ♡♡

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  27. […] take time to read many blogs and have chuckled to wonder what happened to Marlene’s grinder  or the next gorgeous painting taking shape over at The Contented Crafter, what adorable sewing […]

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  28. If ever there was a poster child for ‘Excemplirary Multi-tasker’, it is *not* me. I have a bunch of stuff on the go, lot’s of things get started, or mearly planned but few come to fruition or still more get half done when my attention gets off to something new. I can never seem to do the same one thing for long. I want to do everything, all the time. Naturally that doesn’t work out to well.

    One reason I didn’t want to post in May and early June is because I didn’t have time to read all the others. Like you, I have about 25 or 30 that are very dear to me and I want to read each and every post they write. If they’re backing up, I don’t think I deserve a visit from them on something I’ve written. So I simply abstain until I catch up better. I just think being a good Blogger means being a good community member too. I’m really happy you’re part of my little community Marlene xk

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    • I think we are cut from the same cloth. I have so much going on that some times, I forget to breathe. I have to be reminded. My son says we are outnumbered. It’s why I only write once a week or two. If someone writes everyday, I can’t usually keep up. So I miss a lot. I have a list 2 arms long and it just doesn’t get shorter. They are doing inspections here on our homes to make sure everything is as it should be. I have so much to get done outside and it will be 92 degrees here again today. Just can’t work in that kind of heat. Tomorrow, I’ll do it tomorrow. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. So the posts are a bit slower in getting done. Winter is better for this. 🙂 BTW, I think I’m a genius. :))))) You’ll understand soon.

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