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Daylight Saving Time begins TODAY! I am thrilled, dear reader. Crossing this threshold of the year is the kick in the pants I need to get moving and grooving, especially after the challenges of COVID, Hurricane Ida, and the dark, wintery season. I am ready to tackle the remaining days of this school year, to get back walking on a more regular basis, and to announce some changes in my life that will be taking place soon. Frankly, I could not be more excited about the time change.

Yesterday afternoon, my friend Helen and I went to the movies to see The Batman. This is the film where Robert Pattinson plays Batman and has to outwit the Riddler. It was awesome, and I love Pattinson as Batman. Do you know what is more awesome than the movie? Helen has officially moved back to Louisiana after living out of the state for 12 years. YES! In addition, she lives in Hammond, which is super close to where Shelly and I live, so we get to see her all the time. We have all been friends since high school.

This weekend, our area experienced a cold snap after weeks of warmer temperatures. Normally, I would be bummed, especially since I just put my plants back on the porch last weekend. However, it gave us a pleasant opportunity for my hubby to build a fire in our fireplace. This is the first weekend, this entire winter season, that we could enjoy a cozy fire in the fireplace. When Hurricane Ida caused the tree to hit our house, it knocked off our chimney stack. We just got it reinstalled this past Tuesday. What an unexpected treat!

The day is young, and I am looking forward to accomplishing a few tasks, attending a Baby Sprinkle for my friend Melissa, and going for a walk in the beautiful sunshine. What are your plans on this Sunday, dear reader? Whatever you choose to do, I hope it brings you some joy. Happiness!

“With the coming of spring, I am calm again.” ~ Gustav Mahler

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It has been two weeks since the dreadful time change took place amidst my current season of sacrifice and the onset of colder temperatures. Not surprisingly, I am riding the struggle bus. Normally, the weekend before Thanksgiving is a time of jubilant celebration since it kicks off a much-needed week-long vacation from my day job. Not so this year, thanks to Ida. It will now begin at 3:20 pm on Tuesday afternoon.

My teacher friends and I have to make up all the days we missed in the wake of Ida’s destruction even though we were definitely not on a vacation. If it sounds like I am grumbling, I am (a little), along with all of my teacher friends, the students, and their parents. I admit, we are somewhat spoiled and love our holiday breaks. But, please, do not misunderstand, I am grateful and appreciate any time off that we do get to stay home. However, this school year we really need our Thanksgiving break after dealing with COVID (still dealing with it), Hurricane Ida (still dealing with it), and the end of Daylight Saving Time (still dealing with it).

Most of my dear readers know that the next four months will be tough on me. I have to push myself not to surrender to my sofa once the sunlight disappears. The last couple of years I have immersed myself in activities (a play, movie marathons, NaNoWriMo, holiday fun lists, etc.) so as not to succomb to the season of SAD. So far, the only side effect has been going to bed earlier than usual and not getting a good night’s sleep. I do not sleep well in general, so this has been challenging. I find myself relying on Melatonin in the middle of the night to fall back to sleep and an additional cup of coffee to make it through the work day.

On a Brighter Note

My hubby and I went out Friday night with our fabulous friends, Shelly and Kerry. We always have a terrific time together, and this was no exception.

We attended Starry November Night in the middle of Downtown Hammond. The event included live music, train rides, a wine walk, vendors, and local businesses interacting with the community. It was an incredibly enjoyable evening, and exactly what I needed to stave off post-show blues and to avoid the siren call of my couch. The four of us chose to dine at a new restaurant, Son of a Biscuit, to kick off the evening. It is an easygoing establishment featuring a pun-filled menu of eggscellent choices. We were taken care of throughout the meal by a wonderful waitress named Camryn. Of course, our meal would not be complete without first ordering a cocktail. I chose Feeling Peachy, and let’s just say, after consuming it, I definitely felt peachy keen. We skipped appetizers and ordered entrees which was a difficult decision because everything on the menu sounded mouthwatering. I finally decided on Bacon Shrimp Mac N Cheese (homemade mac n cheese topped with grilled imported shrimp and bacon with a biscuit on the side). It was scrumptious! Needless to say, we will all be back in the future.

After dinner, we strolled through Downtown Hammond, enjoying the sights, the sounds, popping in and out of several shops, and stopping by a vendor booth or two. I enjoyed eating a yummy cupcake and topped it off with a deliciously hot Butter Rum Latte from PJ’s Coffee. I encountered so many lovely friends, former co-workers, students, and their parents, many who I have not seen in ages. It was awesome catching up with Ava who I taught a few years back and is currently in college, my super nice friend and former co-worker Angie (also met her husband David), and the sweetest parents, Marie and Robert, who I have known for years. I taught their son Cameron when he was in 2nd grade and in 8th grade. We also made a point of stopping by Wonder Collective Gifts where my friend Tweety, who is an artist, had some of her amazing artwork on display.

While visiting the Hammond Regional Arts Center, I said hello to my sweet friend Tara who I recently shared the stage with in The House on Haunted Hill at the Columbia Theatre. It was the first time seeing her since the show ended its run last weekend. Hopefully, it will not be the last. We both plan to audition at the beginning of December for the play Puffs.

Starry November Night was a wonderful way to start the weekend. I am looking forward to Barry and I getting together with Shelly and Kerry again soon. We already have several outings planned for the upcoming weeks.

Welcome to Night Vale

If you happen to be a fan of podcasts and The X-Files, consider checking out the wonderfully weird, Welcome to Night Vale. Alex, a castmate from The House on Haunted Hill, recently introduced me to this otherwordly podcast that includes a radio show format with cool music for the weather segment. The episode running time is around 30 minutes. I would highly recommend you start at the beginning with the pilot which sets the stage for mysterious malarkey.

I am counting down the hours until Tuesday afternoon, dear reader. I am thrilled to have a few days off to relax, recharge, and regroup. The year is quickly coming to an end, and I need to assess 2021 to look at what worked, what did not work, and how I want to begin the new year. Will I carry over items into 2022? Or, will I start the new year with a clean slate? Those questions and many more will need to be answered by the end of December. As of right now, I will enjoy what remains of this beautiful Sunday, and I hope you will do the same. Happiness!

“The soul that gives thanks can find comfort in everything; the soul that complains can find comfort in nothing.” ~ Hannah Whitall Smith

Hanging out with SWOLEman the Snowman and his little snowman buddy at Downtown Fitness (Starry November Night)

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Today is Sunday, 01 November. Today is a pretty significant day. It’s a brand new month, the time changed (fall back one hour), it’s All Saints Day, and it’s the first day of NaNoWriMo. Like many people, I’m profoundly affected in a negative way by the shorter days, diminished light, and colder temps of late autumn and the winter months. Once it gets dark, I tend to want to head for my bed and sleep which is obviously not a good or productive practice. However, I find that if I’m involved in a project of some kind, I can handle the next four months better, and I avoid total hibernation.

Last year, I tried to participate for the first time in NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month and failed terribly. At the time I chose that endeavor I had no idea that I would be in my first play. I could not wholeheartedly commit to both my first role in a play or my first novel, so instead of writing 50,000 words in one month, I wrote 1,505. Acting in my first play won the majority of my time with NO regrets. The silver lining (always can find the silver lining) was I actually tried, failed, and now I’m giving it another try. Why not? 

I decided that NaNoWriMo will help me with another writing project I started in September. My hope is with the help of the NaNoWriMo community, more time, and support from my other writing group, I’ll meet my writing goal this year. 

In Other News:

  • Kelsi and I are in the process of rescheduling our Zoom conversation about our Halloween Fun Lists. We were supposed to converse on Thursday; however, Hurricane Zeta landed in Louisiana, leaving damage and hundreds of thousands without electricity. Well, Kelsi was one of many who had damage (minor, thankfully) and lost power which did not get restored until yesterday. 
  • My treadmill is finally up and running. When Shelly was given a treadmill many, many months ago, she gave me her old one. I’m so grateful, especially with it getting dark earlier and the onset of cold weather. I don’t mind walking in the dark, but I despise walking in the dark when it’s really cold. 
  • On Saturday afternoon, I will be attending an in-person audition intensive class in New Orleans with casting director, Matthew Morgan, of Morgan Casting. I’m super excited! I met Matthew for the first time in one of Lance’s workshops. He’s an awesome guy with a wonderful reputation as a casting director. I’m looking forward to taking an acting class and working with Matthew.  
  • In three weeks, I will be on vacation from my day job for one whole week to celebrate Thanksgiving. It will be a much-needed staycation. I CAN’T WAIT!

November is also a time that many people focus on gratitude. I don’t post much on Instagram, but during this month I’ve been toying with the idea of posting photos expressing my gratitude. I greatly enjoyed having something festive to do daily during the month of October, so the thought of doing something daily throughout November is appealing to me. Of course, I should be writing daily (wink wink). Do you do anything special in November or when the time changes, dear reader? Happiness!

Daylight saving time: Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket.”

~ Anonymous

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