Balance in Life


 On March 2nd I received my first vaccine against COVID-19. I received the MODERNA vaccine which, 2 weeks after the 2nd shot is over 94% effective. My 2nd vaccination is scheduled for March 30th. As an essential worker my husband has had both of his vaccines, also MODERNA. I’d heard people say that their arm was very sore so I really rubbed and exercised my arm and between that and the gentle touch of my provider, RN Shawna Shidler – no sore arm.

 Our little mountain village’s public health department has done a great job of getting the vaccine out. Our health care providers were getting their first vaccinations before Christmas. Since that time other essential worker and folks 65+ have had the opportunity to be vaccinated. Now, in March, the 60+ year-olds and food handlers are being offered the vaccine. I will feel much safer this summer when our little village is inundated with visitors as well as the seasonal people who will be returning with the warm weather.

Other parts of my life unrelated to the pandemic that make me smile:


                                 Whimsical delight

                         Dogs and snow make smelly fun

                                    Cozy fireplace


 Life is so satisfying with numerous different facets – I have zoom meetings with other town board members as well as with my writing communities from all over the world. I belong to two writing critique groups with members from all over the United States.  OMG I clearly remember how unpleasant it was when I lived in suburbia and drove in traffic for an hour (each way) to get to my writing critique group.  I write for our newspaper. I write books. My books are all self-published so far. My colleagues who are published find it satisfying ‘just to be published’ – even if no one has heard of their book or the publishing house. We’ve a tiny local publisher. He has self-published his own books and given authors that he’s published copies of their books as payment. There is no publicity outside of a review in our little local newspaper.  

 That’s not self-satisfying to me; though I realize that being able to say that they are a published author may be all that’s important to them. Too, most people likely do not have all the many required resources that we have gathered over the years of publishing. This is a time consuming, expensive, frustrating endeavor. My husband is a computer expert. His skills are immeasurable. We are constantly learning, together, moving forward with our publishing and for us this is satisfying. Our current move forward is to make Mountain Mutts – Joy’s Tale well know out in the world.

 We are in the process of ordering new books – another slow, expensive process. Bruce calls me to look at his computer screen every so often to approve something. It’s often challenging when we disagree how something should look. He is also learning how to put hyperlinks on my website (that he built) which will be easy access for the buyer to purchase our books through Amazon or PayPal. He made a YouTube movie of me reading parts of Mountain Mutts – Joy’s Tale.

 In-between sitting at the computer we talk as we walk our dogs on the nature trail and take care of other aspects of life. I hear him back from town just now having gotten gas, been to the dump and post office. He’s washing his hands and slicing our loaf of fresh bread (that he made this morning) for our sandwiches. The soft bread with crunchy crust is perfect. We sit together in the sunshine at the back of our cabin. We eat. We talk. We enjoy our beautiful mountain surroundings.


 It’s almost always comfortable out here, even in the middle of winter as long as it’s sunny. Joy sits with us in case we drop some food – she’s on it, the little foodie. Hope can’t usually relax outside in the drippy days because she is afraid of loud noises. When the icicles break or the snow falls off the roof  it can be loud and frightening to Hope’s little puppy dog ears. Bruce and I talk about what’s going on with our kids. Our daughter texted both of us this morning and our son phones each of us regularly and he and I text almost every day. I appreciate our grown offspring keeping in touch. I also appreciate how my husband and I are on the same page not having the need to be immersed in their lives. My mother-in-law didn’t give us that grace. She felt the need to be connected with us at all times. If my husband wasn’t at the office she thought we needed to all be together. It got to be quite suffocating. Balance is always important.

 We happily live just outside of town, a 4 minute drive.  I am happy for days without leaving home. Yesterday, I went into town and actually talked with people. I did find it a nice change. It’s hard not to run into folks at the post office and most everyone is starved for connections outside their household. I also went to CLIMB to get the picked up and heat, cheese enchiladas, for dinner.  Co-owner Jerry was telling me how the 5th anniversary of his and his chief wife’s restaurant is approaching. As we chatted I got to thinking that I should do my next newspaper column on CLIMB’s upcoming anniversary. I emailed Chef Linda my questions. She was grateful for my idea and quickly responded – technology is so helpful when it works.

 Balance is so important. I so appreciate the work aspect to my life and I am not referring here to the never ending housework (which my husband also does – no hired help for us). For me all play would be just as out of balance as all work. I appreciate getting paid for my work. Hearing from my readers how my writing and my photography affects them, keeps me motivated and growing.

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 This is Crystal Peak. She is visible from my writing nook, our living area, garden, front deck and nature trail. Looking out on our view makes me smile. I am so happy; feeling so blessed with so many different aspects to my full life. Being grateful is paramount to being happy. I am.

Do you think about your life having different components? What keeps you motivated and growing?

 “May you live all the days of your life.”  J. Swift

Living in the Mountains

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