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It’s Complicated…

itscomplicated-620x325Marriage is a complicated thing, isn’t it? You either love the person your with, or you want to set their underwear on fire while they’re still wearing them, and these two emotions interchange throughout a single day. Sometimes multiple times a day. There is rarely an in-between.

I – having been married going on 29 years – know a thing or two about this odd phenomena, and I am here to tell you, marriage or even just living together, is not for the feint of heart. Very often, it’s not even for the steadfast and sturdy!

My parents were not well-suited. Their marriage ended before I was six, and both went on to have second failed marriages, and in the case of my father, who went through three ex wives, (that I know of) before he married one who liked him enough to stick with it till he passed away a couple years ago. She’s a really nice lady. She’d have to be to put up with my father! My husband’s parents could tell the same story. Needless to say, the odds of long-term marriage were stacked against us, if one were to believe the statistics, and one usually does.

As if that weren’t enough to keep things from moving past the first date, we have very little in common regarding interests or activities. So much so, that we have a running joke between us – If I like it, he doesn’t and vice versa.

I’m serious! If he thinks something is funny, it’s usually because it’s repulsive, and I am not a repulsive comedy person. He likes the kind of rock & roll where people are beating on their instruments and screaming at each other, while I really love 50’s & 60’s oldies, classic rock, and classical. I love the ballet, & opera, he loves motorcycle racing, I want to sit and knit, crochet, or weave, and he wants to run, jump, lift weights and train for Crossfit. You get the idea.

So what can we attribute to our ability to beat the odds, and stick it out? I believe there are more important things than parents experiences,  stats, and little things in common. For me, it’s the big things, like politics, religion, morality, and a mutual understanding that God and family come first. Nothing else matters anywhere near as much as those, and if you don’t have those big things in common, your chances of a successful long-term relationship are slimmer than ours, believe it our not!

Another big deal for me is being married to my intellectual equal. That is HUGE for me. I could never be married to a man who was a nice guy with a great body, if he isn’t very mentally stimulating. Let’s face it… one day, the body and the looks are gonna go, and he may always be a nice guy, but if I can’t have an intelligent conversation, fugetaboutit! I guess I’m a cerebral kind of person. But here’s the cool thing… so is my husband! He drives me up the freaking wall 23 hours a day, 6 days a week, but we have the BIG DEAL things in common, and we can TALK about important stuff!

But that’s us. It may not be you. We have some friends who are at total opposite ends of the spectrum where politics and religion are concerned, but they have a crazy amount of little things in common, and they simply avoid the big issues. I personally could not live that way. Why? Because if it’s important to me, I tend to be passionate about it. If I’m passionate about something, I promise you will hear me talk about it. If I can’t talk about it, you are probably not going to like my attitude much, because I do NOT like walking on eggshells.

It’s like this blog – I have so many interests and activities that I participate in regularly, that you would not believe one person would even want to be involved in so many different things at once. And yet you don’t see me posting all that much about those things. What you do see, are things that I am passionate about. My husband is the same way. Lots of little things, a few big things, and we are still here. Still together, after all these years. Either that, or we’re just stubborn… Could be stubborn!

What about you? What are you passionate about? What works for you in your relationship? What do you have to avoid to keep the peace? What do you have in common with your significant other? Feel free to comment below, as I do enjoy hearing from my readers!

As always, Many blessings!

C.A. Bennett – Writer

Processing… Processing…

brain-signals1Y’all have probably seen the movies where some computer wiz sits in front of a keyboard and monitor, as he or she begins typing codes, passwords and such, into the system, right? The camera zooms in on the empty black DOS screen, the wiz starts typing in random letters or numbers which usually show up as ***** onscreen, and in no time, there will inevitably come a message which says, “Processing… processing…” and the next thing you know, everything explodes into a whirlwind of computing awesomeness, and the world is once again, safe. Well I was thinking about that this morning as I was standing in the kitchen, whipping up a batch of pumpkin bread batter.

At this point, you may well ask yourself what this has to do with the price of tea in China, and my answer to you would be – absolutely nothing. However – it has everything to do with the way my brain processes things. See – whenever I have to write an essay for a class I’m taking or when I have a nasty case of writer’s block, my automatic response is to head to the kitchen and bake something. Usually a few loaves of good yeast bread, because its a very physical thing, with all the kneading and stirring and so on, and that helps me kind of connect the little dots of information and ideas swimming around in my head into an intelligent and usually insightful matrix that I can then put on paper, or a computer screen, whichever the case may be, and I’m good to go. So much so, that it’s not even a conscious decision anymore, it’s just what I do. I think today is the first time I’ve actually really analyzed the process of processing.

Anyway – My youngest son, who I’ve written about previously in My Son Who Has Autism, never did get the hang of riding a bike when he was little because of motor skill issues, but has since overcome many hurdles, and in the past few days, expressed the desire to get a bike and learn to ride it. I think that’s really cool, and we will be taking steps to make that happen. In much the same way as my baking/writing relationship, my son has things he does in order to get things straight in his head. One of those things, is to research his interests on YouTube. So much so, in fact, that when he decides he wants to learn something, he literally learns everything about that thing, and then some things he will probably never need to know.

I told you all that to tell you this; when you’re going about your daily activities, and find yourself stuck or frustrated because something isn’t working out, it’s always a good idea to stop – take a step back – research – make something – or call someone just to talk. More often than not, when you go back to it, you’ll be a lot more focused, informed, and maybe you’ll even have thought of something you couldn’t even grasp before. Why? because our brains are essentially squishy little computers that occasionally need some alternate input to process what we want it to. It’s good exercise to get your little synapses fired up and running better, and you’ll be glad you did.

It’s a lot like that with faith too. You don’t really make your faith stronger if you don’t take it out and exercise it regularly. In other words, are you just kinda hanging out, letting life get the best of you and taking your beatings, or are you stopping, taking a step back and exercising your faith by praying and spending time in the word?

You know, this morning, we were getting ready for church like every Sunday – by the way, we very much look forward to church – and got all showered, dressed, fed, and – bibles in hands, we headed for the car. Except this time, something happened that we didn’t expect. The gas tank was on flat empty, the little blinky fuel light was on, and we were sitting there looking from one to another, trying to figure out how we’d missed making sure there was enough gas in the car. Unfortunately, there just wasn’t anything we could do about it, because I’m flat broke till till Tuesday, when I get paid. We were all very disappointed, but decided God would understand, and went back to the house, somewhat long in the face.

I told our son it was okay, we could do some bible study here at home, and we’d just go next weekend as usual. My husband, on the other hand, was worried. He has classes tomorrow and needs that car. So what did he do? He took a step back, assessed the situation and decided there wasn’t enough in our gas-monster Ford F250 to make it the 50 miles round trip it would take to get him there and back, but if he could get the gas from there to my econo-box Buick – TA DA!!!! Light bulbs, and synapses were firing left and right, and BINGO! We have a winner!

So what happened? We exercised our faith by praying, and letting God handle our problem, and we exercised our brains by stepping back long enough to see what other options would work. Of course by the time it took to do all this, we would be way too late for church, but that’s alright, God is cool like that. He let us know that He is present in our lives right here at home, and always helps us when we need Him, which of course, is always.

Well – time to go check the Pumpkin Bread! Happy Processing!

C.A. Bennett – Writer

 

The Deadline Approacheth!

All you need is motivation.

False! You need fear, and a fast-approaching deadline!

 

So this entire past week, I’ve been staring at my desk and it’s vast array of writing implements; 1956 Royal Aristocrat Typewriter, 1982 Smith Corona WP 1100, ACER laptop, and a host of notebooks, pens, pencils, highlighters, etc. and I’ve written NOTHING. Okay, that’s not true, I wrote a few pages of random ideas in my main notebook, But have I typed anything remotely related to my book?

Nope! Nada! Zero! Zilch! Zip! Zowie!

So not cool.

Then – as I was reading through “On Writing” by Stephen King…

You: “What?! Still?! How long has it been, for God sake?!”

Me: “Okay, yes – I’m STILL reading it. Hey, It’s been a busy week, okay?! Don’t judge me! Remember Thanksgiving?”

You:”Fine, whatever…”

Me: “Yeah! Thank you!”

Anyway… it hit me – probably because I read it in his book – what I need, is a an actual HARD DEADLINE! Not the namby-pamby, wishy-washy, “I’m hoping to have it finished in a few months” nonsense I’ve been telling people when they ask that ever-present and ever-annoying as H-E-double-hockey-sticks question:

“Oh hey! How’s your little book coming along? Are you still working on that?”

Yes. Yes I am. Thank you for asking.” *grumble, mumble, teeth gnashing, grumble, and skulk away*

So yeah. The deadline. I have decided, that my deadline is March 1st, 2017! Now if my math is correct, and I assure you it is – I have 94 days in which to finish my book. I have about 48,000 words to go. That’s 510.5 words per day.

That is TOTALLY DO-ABLE!

How do I know? Because I can typically – when no one is driving me batty talking incessantly – *cough*-Rob-*cough*- write between 1,500 – 2,000 words per day. Interestingly, I found out that is Stephen King’s daily goal – 2,000 words per day! Of course he does it by 11:30 in the morning, and I’m usually sitting here till about 5 pm. But again… *cough* Rob *cough*.

Love my husband, I do. Want to stuff a sock in his mouth on occasion? The thought has occurred to me.

Were my house larger than 900 sq feet, I would reserve a room and lock myself in each day until my goal is met, then come out and get on with my life. Such as it is…. it is not, and I must have my office in the only space available – the dining room. You’ve seen pictures. You know. If you haven’t and you don’t – feel free to take a walk though my older posts. Should you feel so inclined to buy me a bigger house with a room of my own… well I’m okay with that. But for now… I suffer as any good artist would. I’m kidding! Kinda…

So wish me luch, and keep your fingers crossed, but don’t hold your breath, because I refuse to be responsible for anyone who turns blue and passes out as a result of waiting for me to meet a self-imposed deadline, thank-you-very-much!

Ta, darlings!

C.A. Bennett – Writer

The Aftermath

peanuts-thanksgivingWhen I embarked on this magical journal we affectionately refer to as “Thanksgiving” over a month ago, (yes that’s correct, my family actually began the planning process for a ritual gathering, and feast complete with the sacrificial poultry in early October, because they – not me, this time – are nuts) I had no clue that I would spend the day after, aka Black Friday, in a food-induced coma that would last nearly twenty-four hours. Seriously, I have been sitting in the same chair, looking at the same computer, for the past twelve hours, doing absolutely nothing whatsoever. I can’t even remember what I’ve been looking at, or reading, with the exception of this hilarious video of How Kids React to Typewriters.

I swear, I’m not making this up! I actually ate fairly sparingly yesterday compared to years past, but what I did eat, mainly consisted of sugar, or bread, or – God help me – a deadly combination of both in the form of that all-time holiday staple – Monkey Bread. Add the homemade caramel candies I’d prepared the night before, and the pecan pie my eldest son brought, and by 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon, I had a case of sugar overload so bad, I thought I was going to die. Like – literally – go to the hospital with a case of instant diabetes that kills you on the spot, happy-thanksgiving-thank-you-very-much – D.I.E.

I had the shakes

I was totally exhausted and weak all over

I had a headache

I was dying of thirst

Then it hit me – the past couple months, I’ve been attempting to avoid sugar as much as possible, then all at once, completely bombarded my system with the stuff by direct consumption and topped it off by carb-loading, which of course, turns straight to sugar in your body. I also had too much coffee and a cup of tea, not nearly enough water and zero protein. Oh good. Caffeine + the Sugar Mother-load, dehydration and nothing to help metabolize this toxic combination. Awesome idea, Crystal. Good job!

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we attack obviously unhealthy concoctions with reckless abandon at least twice a year – Thanksgiving and Christmas in my case – all in the name of holiday cheer? I have a two part theory;

1. Commercialism.

2. Tradition –  which in many cases stems from commercialism.

All that aside, I had a very nice time with my family, with the exception of the gratuitous – and also traditional – thanksgiving argument between my mother and I on our differing cooking techniques, which unfortunately took place in the middle of her front yard this year. I’m not entirely certain we were overheard by any of her neighbors, and it didn’t come to blows, so I suppose it’s was fairly well ended, when I conceded the match in favor of not ruining it for the rest of the family, which consisted of all five of my grown kids, my husband, and a variety of significant others. Any other day? “Look out, mom, them’s fightin’ words!”

Here’s the kicker… we have exactly thirty days till we do it all over again.

Happy Post-Thanksgiving Food Coma Day, folks! Many Blessings to all, and to all a good bite!

C.A.Bennett -Writer

On Being Thankful – A Short Post

history_thanksgiving-aToday, being Thanksgiving, I wanted to say I am so thankful to God for always taking such good care of me and my family. If y’all only know the things that have happened this year, and how the Lord has brought us through it, you’d never doubt Him and His mercy!

I’m so thankful for each and every family member and friend who has stuck by me through every version of myself that even I didn’t know existed, good and bad! If there’s one thing the past eleven months have done, it’s to reinvent who I am and how I respond to hardship!

I’m also thankful for the time I’ve had to devote to writing my book. It’s been very productive, and I am looking forward to seeing it through to what I have faith will be a successful career of many years and many more novels! I do so love to write, after all!

Happy Thanksgiving & Many Blessings to all!