Wednesday, January 20, 2016



I’m relying on occasional primal screaming to get me through this suddenly busy period.

Where did all this come from? I do like to stay busy and avoid being a slug, but I think of January as a month of hibernation frequently. No time for slugdom this year. For that much I am in fact grateful.

You may recall from previous posts I went on a road trip adventure the first week of the year. Then last week it got around to snowing. Literally was to be expected. Figuratively … well, two business opportunities dropped themselves in my lap. I said yes / let’s move forward to both. When it rains it pours. When it snows it blizzards.

Incidentally, I have just learned the giant snowstorm predicted for this weekend has been dubbed “Jonas”. To which I ask the question, “Kevin, Joe, or Nick?” Could a member of the media please contact the brothers for comment? And also … we didn’t use to name winter storms. We had the Blizzard of ’78 and we were happy with that moniker. Did the Freezemeister get jealous? What up?

I’m so confused. And overwhelmed.

Let me back up for a sec. In December I signed up for an online nutrition class. Because I can and because I got a deal. I’ve been in the nutrition business for years – sales / marketing currently and manufacturing prior to that. I figured I’d fill in any gaps and have another credential to leverage. The class is available on demand, but live webinars started January 4. I knew I probably wouldn’t get to the material in the midst of the holidays, and I was right. There are perks and advantages to attending live, though, including routine and discipline. There are quizzes and homework and a couple of offline lessons in addition to the twice-a-week class.

It’s not a huge workload or anything. It’s not. But I’ve already had to say more than once this month, “Yes, you can come over in the afternoon. I’ll be home, but I’ll be on the computer and unable to answer the door / talk to you from 2:00 to 3:00 or 3:15.”

First we lost water. Completely. Then intermittently. My dad, aka MacGyver, came over and, well, MacGyvered some things. I live in the boondocks with well water and I like it that way. Following troubleshooting and finagling, it was determined that most likely there was a “hole in the bladder” in the tank. Should I write a song titled “Hole in the Bladder”? Maybe not. Anyway, we have friends in the biz who replaced the tank quickly and at a fair price. The water pressure is now at levels not experienced in years. Awesome.

Then I sold the ping pong table that has been occupying space in its original box in my garage since the dawn of time. (Space never got cleared in the basement for it. Life happens.) Hooray for Facebook selling groups. The transaction went smoothly but required minor coordination and a second trip when the buyer’s first vehicle wasn’t large enough.

Decluttering. It does a body good.

Next the Garage Door Fairy (what, you didn’t know that was a thing?) has been working on replacing the automatic opener for the secondary door. It was non-functional when I moved in many moons ago. It’s like a dream come true to have a working opener for that door.

This morning I was looking out the window while making my mocha protein shake and contemplating when the tree work we have on the to-do list will be accomplished. Plastic orange ribbon is tied around several trees to mark them for removal. The emerald ash borer strikes again! It was a matter of when, not if, around here. A storm or two over the years has struck as well. We contemplated marking the trees with orange spray paint, but since the relative who will be doing the work is colorblind, a ribbon is a much more effective means of communication.

Hey! Can you see this?

It’s cold and snowy today, so I was thinking, “Hmmm, I wonder when it will be decent enough weather to get that done?” Within the hour said relative called and set it up for tomorrow. It’s like he heard me! Awesome.

I called an audible on my schedule for the day. I put on warm clothes and duck boots and headed into the yard. My typical Christmas lights setup requires running heavy duty extension cords through the grass to the end of the driveway. Those cords run close to some of the marked trees. If not for the impending arrival of the Tree Removal Fairy and friends, I would leave the cleanup for more pleasant weather. It was 17 deg F last time I looked. I came close to frostbite on my hands, primarily due to stubbornness and not wanting to schlep through the house to swap out gloves. But I prevailed. Cords cleaned up and stored in the garage. Lights in the vicinity cleaned up and thawing out inside the house. And I found a new home for this lady:

It took some deep thought and conversation with a robin perched high in one of the healthy trees. I wandered through the area near the cherub statue that gets kicked over regularly by marauding bands of deer singing Jersey Boys. But Reading Angel does not have time for such nonsense. She has books to read. She is now residing near the back corner of the garage. Frank Valli will probably find her anyway.

Line through the yard formerly occupied by an orange extension cord.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Wrap up in a warm princess blankie and breathe some more.

All of the aforementioned is in addition to slow progress (but it’s progress!) being made on packing away Christmas decor … the nutrition business trucking along … a full social calendar … and getting ready to dodge Winter Storm Jonas Brothers while heading  to the “Brennan” premiere. Nah, nothing much on my plate.

The “Jesus Calling” devotional is so often about letting God guide your day. Amen. I have far less control over it than I think or sometimes would like.

I am overwhelmed by good things happening.

I am overwhelmed by what to do next and what to leave by the wayside.

But it’s all going to be okay.

For more on being Overwhelmed from my writing partners, see Sue Bowles at and Leisa Herren at

Shameless plugs …

* Jenn’s nutrition business can be found here.

* She is also booking venues to host a screening of the independent feature film “Brennan”. (It’s free to the venue.) Contact her here if your church, school, community center … pretty much anywhere with a screen and sound system … is interested in hosting.

Now on to the dance party ... you know I had to do this ... come on, this is some stellar writing ...

I'm hot
You're cold
You go around
Like you know
Who I am
But you don't
You've got me on
My toes (toes, toes)

I'm slipping into the lava
And I'm trying to keep from going under
Baby you turn the temperature hotter
Cause I'm burnin' up, burnin' up
For you baby

Come on girl

I fell (I fell)
So fast (so fast)
Cant hold myself back (back, back)
High heels (high heels)
Red dress (red dress)
All by yourself
Gotta catch my breath

I'm slipping into the lava
And I'm trying to keep from goin' under
Baby who turned the temperature hotter
Cause I'm burnin' up, burnin' up
For you baby

Walk in the room
All I can see is you


Staring me down
I know you feel it too

I'm slipping into the lava
And I'm tryin' to keep from goin under
Baby who turned the temperature hotter
Cuz' I'm burnin' up, burnin' up
For you baby

Slipping into the lava
And I'm trying to keep from going under
Baby who turned the temperature hotter
Cause I'm burnin' up, burnin' up
For you baby

Burnin' up in the place tonight
And the brothers singing loud (and were feelin' right)
Get up and dance (don't try to fight it)
Big robs for real (and that's no lie)
Stop, drop and roll (and touch the floor, to keep from burnin' up)
More and more
I got JB with me (laying it down)
Come on boys bring the chorus around

I'm slipping into the lava (burnin' up, burnin' up)
And I'm trying to keep from going under (yeahhhh)
Baby who turned the temperature hotter (come on nick)
Cause I'm burnin' up
Burnin' up for you baby
Burnin' up, burnin' up
For you baby

~ Jonas Brothers’ “Burnin’ Up”

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