Hey Lou Writes

The Grey Matters


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My Dream is My Plan “A” (Thanks Mom and Dad)

This post is dedicated to my parents. Not only are they the most iconic, beautiful people who had the best photos taken of them … they are also genuine and supportive and they have taught me more in life than I could have dreamed possible.

dreams, living your dreams, not giving up, parents

my dad- senior year of college

parents, dreams, living

my mom- around the age of 25 and my sister Jessica

Have you ever heard anyone talk about what they’d really love to do… like become an artist, a journalist, a glassblower… whatever it is! More often then not, they have a “regular” job they aren’t too happy with and they consider this dream of theirs to be plan B.

“If things go well… if all the planets line up…if I get lucky, etc.”

Here I am today saying that if you don’t consider your DREAM TO BE YOUR PLAN A, then you aren’t dreaming in the right way. It’s entirely true. It’s as cliche as the day is long, but you guys, we only live once. One time. Uno. One go around – and it’s up to us to make the most of it.

My parents have always taught me this. They’ve also taught me that money can buy you ZERO happiness. Zero. Having enough love to support you throughout your day is what we all need. They’ve taught me that, too.

And if that isn’t enough, do the old “When I’m 80” test.

When I’m 80, I do not want to look back at my 9-5 (unless that’s my dream- which I know for some people, it is) and wonder why I was willing to sit under a florescent light (think Joe vs the Volcano…) and go through papers and not move throughout the day. When I’m 80 it won’t matter if I spent up to a year in my 20’s very poor, hungry and not sure of what was to come next. It WILL matter if I wasted it and became unhealthy and unhappy and unfulfilled in the process. 

Think about that. It doesn’t even take the “when I’m 80” test sometimes. Sometimes all I have to do is think, One year from now, will this matter? 

When Greg and I stay up late and drink coffee and chat under Christmas tree lights -because we have a Christmas tree up all year round- this is usually what we’re talking about. I imagine my parents did the exact same thing when they had all these surprise daughters, a pastor’s paycheck, and rice and beans. They were the poorest of the poor… but they say they’d have it no other way. They started out living in a rented basement. They had my older sister way sooner than planned. My dad still became a pastor. They made things work. They were skin and bone, quite frankly. But they had love.

my mom, pregnant (both age 24)

my mom, pregnant (both age 24)

This is something that brings tears to my eyes. I get very emotional, realizing that my parents are REAL people. Have you had the same epiphany? In these photos, my parents are MY AGE or younger. They were once in their early 20’s and they had dreams, worries, and they were scared of making  mistakes and raising a family.

Sometimes I look at these pictures and it just hits me how similar I am to them. Right now, this very day, I am so much like my parents. It’s hard to believe they were once my age. They once had a life without Melinda. They cried when they found out they were having twins (partly because of happiness, partly because they had no idea how that would work.)

they still enjoyed a little wine, like we ALL have to do

they still enjoyed a little wine, like we ALL have to do

Because my own parents have such a rich story, one that I love to hear and one that I don’t mind living in my own way (being poor and young and in love), I have a certain way I want to live my life.

I’m BLESSED enough to have parents who support what I want to do. Never once, not ONCE, have they told me that I should consider such and such job, because it would pay well. Instead, they hear me say I want to be a writer and they say, “Okay. You better spend plenty of time and effort on it, then. We believe in you. As long as you are doing what you love and what God have given you as a spiritual gift.” They are really big on that- spiritual gifts. I truly believe that mine is writing. My sister and husband are in a band; their spiritual gifts are obviously music.

I told Greg long ago I’d never ask him to get a job that meant wearing a tie. That means a whole number of things, but most importantly, Greg hates wearing ties. That’s one way we keep ourselves happy. He supports my writing enough to tell me, “Don’t get a 9-5… if you’re working full time, make sure it’s something you love. Focus on your writing. Spend time on it every day. It will be worth it.”

Today I read Amanda’s blog over at The Lady Okie and it really got me thinking. I am in a similar situation as she is… I’m about to be unemployed. It’s scary.

But that’s what happens when you drop everything for a farming internship that pays next to zero, and then they don’t have winter work. That’s kind of how the farming world works. I wanted to be outside and learn… and now, well, that part of my life is about to be over. For the first time ever I don’t have the next job lined up. I’m choosing to believe that this is one of those Blessings In Disguise my mom is ALWAYS talking about. More time to write, right? More time to read… right? If I really spent 8+ hours a day on my DREAM, then being unemployed would probably pay off in the end.

In the meantime, I don’t mind having no extra money. I don’t mind following in the footsteps of my parents and drinking cheap wine with Greg over a meal we planted out in our garden. We’re taking time to spend less. We’re enjoying more that way. It’s surprising, isn’t it? The less you have, the more you enjoy things.

Talk about a blessing in disguise.

before there was the twins....

before there was the twins….

Plus, having no money builds character. Kind of like going through an ugly duckling phase in middle school. Yup, built all my character. ;)

I refuse to stop writing just to get a job that’ll solve all of our money problems. I am willing to sacrifice now so that when I’m 80 or older, I’ll  look back and smile and say, “Wow, I really went for it, didn’t I?” I want to take that risk because without risks, what is life, anyway? A flat line means dead. Let’s spice it up a little and have our highs and lows, because that means we’re alive. (think hospital monitors…)

And if you are blessed to have parents like mine, that’s awesome. Let’s get together and talk about how awesome they are. If you have always had issues with your parents pushing you toward something you aren’t passionate about, then let me be the person to tell you that life is too short and precious to waste on something that doesn’t give you a reason to wake up in the morning with a smile.

You Only Live Once doesn’t mean taking crazy stupid risks and living in the moment. That’s selfish. It means taking care, believing in yourself and others, and trusting that it will all be okay. It means working hard to achieve a goal. It means being true.

Thanks Mom and Dad, for teaching me this. I love you guys so much.

iconic

iconic

today :)

today :)

Love,

the appreciative Lou

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New York Revisted {Part 3}

nyc, rock climbing, silly, writing, fiction

top of the world again

The good.

The bad.

The ridiculous/silly/fun/not really ugly at all.

Here’s a simple list, just to finish off sharing my trip to NYC with you.

IN NYC YOU CAN:

1) Climb up a huge rock, that looks way bigger in photographs, and feel really cool. (see above!)

2) Have a standoff between a lobster and a chihuahua. (Melissa has this little pet… Brutus… he and I don’t see eye to eye.)  (Also- Sea food on the coast… bring it on. Sea food in New Mexico? Kind of creeps me out.) …and eat some realllllly awesome food, cooked by the Williams kids.

sea food, lobster, nyc, writing, fiction

guess who won

lobster, cooking,

YEAH MAN (Chris making more delicious food… he’s the best cook I know)

sea food, coast, NYC, writing, fiction

Melissa and her GF crabcakes… YUM!!

3) Take a picture, all the while, your feet are soaking wet. Literally, soaking. But you don’t care so much, because you are in an awesome beer garden and listening to a live band.

nyc, rain, silly, writing

we failed to dance :( but YOU try when your feet are sopping wet

4) You can take the train all the way back to the airport. After riding it a few times a day, every day. I like the public transportation thing, but it’s hard to handle the crowds and the noise. Am I a wimp?

nyc, revisited, writing, fiction

goin home

There you have it.

Good night folks. This non-city gal is going to bed, to dream of quiet backyards and ratless sidewalks.

But I miss my sibs-in-law, always.

And because of them, a little part of me will always, actually, love New York City.

<3 Lou

 

 

 

 

 

 


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New York Revisited {Part 1}

nyc, writing, new writer, short stories, the good

metro card

This past week of my life can and should be divided into three parts.

The good.

The bad.

The ridiculous. (and kind of ugly)

Today I will focus on the good.

Yes, I’ll admit it. NYC had a few good qualities. A few good traits.

And just like last time, one of those traits was family. I love my sibs in law. Chris and Melissy are the best and they were great hosts.

Another is the museum. I finally had a chance to walk around the MET. This art museum could takes weeks to walk through.

My favorite room was the Degas room. I grew up with his paintings all over the place and I was once a dancer, therefore, add on the nostalgia. His work is beautiful.

degas, nyc, met, art, writing

no flash allowed!

When we were standing among all the ballerina paintings, I exclaimed, “This is my favorite room!”

And Greg, almost in unison with me, said, “This is probably my least favorite room.” 

Go figure.

Anyway.

Another GREAT thing NYC has to offer? An outstanding farmer’s market. Chris, Greg and I walked around, bought some honey and strawberries, and sat in the grass to eat it all up. What a wonderful afternoon!

nyc farmer's market, honey, writing

happy as a clam

honey, nyc, writing

you know I <3 my honey (finished the jar while I was there. no joke)

Next up on the good things about NYC list…. LATTES WITH FOAM ART!!! woop woop  I can’t get over it. You could call me easily pleased.

foam art, lattes, nyc, writing

so pretty!

It’s become a tradition for me to get a bag of roasted almonds. I love these little guys. Do I want to think about how old and/or unsanitary these nuts just might be? Not really. So I indulge once a year and enjoy every last sweet and salty nut.

nyc, writing, roasted nuts

yes, I am nuts 4 nuts

Who knew? A beach in NYC? Call me an idiot, but it had never really occurred to me that the Big Apple was a place where bikinis showed themselves and ocean waves covered your feet. I only picture a dirt city. Being that there is so much coastline available, however, I came to realize that one great aspect to living in this city is, in fact, the beach. The weather was perfect. We played catch with a football. We had a blast!

nyc, beach, the good, writing

melissy aka mermaid

I finally got to pose like this:

nyc, beach, writing

yay

NYC is the only place where I can truly enjoy jazz music. (otherwise, you couldn’t really call me a die hard fan of the genre) We went up to a bar called Dizzy’s, listened to live music, had THIS VIEW the entire time, and I drank the best dirty martini of my life. That, my friends, was a lovely night in the city. I must give credit where credit is due.

nightlife, jazz, nyc

so prettttty

In order to have more to talk about in the upcoming NYC blogs, I will end here:

I LOVE THE FACT THAT YOU CAN WALK TO SO MANY PLACES!!!

I love walking. LOVE IT.

The train, not so much. But whenever we strolled a few blocks, had a few miles to go on foot, I had a smile on my face.

walking, nyc, the good, writing

walkin with meliss

That’s all for now, folks.

Love, Lou


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NYC, It’s Time to Redeem Yourself

I’ve been to New York City twice.

And it was never on my list of places to go. Ever. 

However, The Big Apple earned a spot on said list when my sister-in-law Melissa (aka Bills, aka Melissy) moved there. And yet again when my brother-in-law Chris (also aka Bills) moved there, too.

I love the Williams kids.

new york, writing, reading, fiction

I love them! Chris, Greg, Melissssy

My first NYC trip was filled with love/hate.

I LOVED spending time with Melissa. She is funny, witty, puts me in a good mood, and I can truly say she has become a sister to me.

new york, travel, writing

mel w and mel w (kind of weird, our names are only different by TWO letters.)

I HATED being freezing cold. This may have been my own fault. I didn’t exactly pack enough warm clothes (a constant problem of mine and I never seem to learn…) but I hadn’t expected for the weather to break records. Yes, it was a record breaking cold weather weekend for good ol’ NYC.

new york, writing, reading, fiction

I’m freezing and wet

writing, fiction, young adult ,new york

again, freezing and soaking wet

But another thing I did enjoy…. seeing the restaurant from YOU’VE GOT MAIL!!!! One of my favorite movies. Here I am, just feet away from where Kathleen Kelly waited and waited for her e-mail penpal.

you've got mail, writing, ficiton

yay YGM

And I liked seeing the restaurant from Seinfeld. That was pretty cool, too.

new york, writing, fiction

I’m hearing a bass guitar….

Oh, and I hated breaking a “bench” that actually turned out to be a shoe rack.

new york, embarrassment, double jointed

broken bench. we left.

And this creeper, who awkwardly posed behind me in this picture, where I’m wearing a new pair of rain boots… since, yeah… it was raining the entire time.

writing, fiction, new york

hey, man

I thought I’d never return. I was done with the city. The train was a little too loud… the pace was a little too fast…

But return I did. The second time I was with Greg.

And again, the bad weather broke some kind of record. I was freezing. Possibly even colder than the first visit.

Greg and I got lost in Central Park and had to walk 80 blocks to make up for it.

I could feel my bones freezing.

BUT…. I cherish the time I got to spend with both Chris and Melissa. THAT made the trip worth it.

writing, fiction, new york

subway

I love these two brothers, who have a very special relationship.

new york, brothers, writing, fictiion

<3

I liked climbing this tiny boulder, that looked huge in the photo.

writing, fiction

on top of the world

I liked eating ice cream (I know, we were crazy to eat ice cream in the freezing cold) in Brooklyn. I sort of felt like I was in Newsies. Minus the paper route. Plus the ice cream.

brooklyn, new york, fiction, writing

yum

I reallllly liked being there with family (both times.)

new york, fiction, writing

oh, the bright lights

And swinging in Central Park.

writing, fiction

weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

New York may be too loud, busy, impersonal and freezing cold/wet, but I’ll give it another try because two of my very favorite people live there.

So…. I’ll be going there in less than a week.

I’m ready for New York to redeem itself.

(I hear there’s a cidada infestation that only happens every 17 years…. I’m pretty sure this is happening only because I booked a ticket)

Hopefully this time I won’t break anything, I’ll be warm, and I won’t get 80 blocks lost.

I’m comin’ for you.

And can’t wait to see you, Bills.

fiction, writing, new york city

sisters 4eva

Love, Lou

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I

 


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The Boys!

Sick of reading about baby chickens yet? Good. Me, either. :)

My sweet and cute nephews came by to visit the other day. Oh my gosh. It was soooo fun.

Therefore I’m blowing off the topic for the Blog Everyday in May Challenge and writing about them instead!

Carson, the future farmer, was so good with the baby chicks. He was gentle and didn’t drop them. He seemed to love the chickens. When I told him their names he smiled and said, “That’s silly.” Which it definitely is.

chickens, raising chicks, nephews, writing

so cute!

chickens, writing

he loved her :)

Landon, on the other hand, really loved the chicks, but was more hesitant to hold one. He’d ask to hold one, and when I held a chick out to him, he’d start to say, “No thank you!” It was super sweet. He did pet them very gently.

nephews, raising chickens, writing

petting the chicks

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just lookin ;)

raising chickens, nephews, writer

baby chicks make anyone smile

Then we went out to the garden. And man, were these two little boys excited. They both had a turn to pick garlic. Carson wanted some lettuce to eat later and he even picked spinach and ate it straight from the garden! Smart, I tell you. :) I am always a proud aunt, but it was an especially great moment in time! (Every time I asked Carson if he still wanted to be a farmer he’d say, “Um, I don’t know!” Which sometimes means yes, and sometimes means no. I guess I’ll just have to keep on keepin’ on and show him what it’s all about. Then he can really decide!)

nephews, gardening

exploring

garden, garlic, raising chickens

So proud. So amazing.

All in all, it was one of the most special days I’ve ever had. I loved being able to show the boys something new and fun. Their smiles mean the world to me.

Love, Aunty Lou

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Bowl Cuts: A Family Affair

I just want to take the time and close out this lovely Monday with this:

A family of bowl cuts.

My grandmother let me know that I wasn’t the first one to have such a hair cut, although, it’s not hard to see who actually pulled it off.

bowl cuts, short stories, ficiton

Grandmother Linda, always glamorous

Then, my dad joined in.

bowl cuts, family, short story

ah, the 70’s

And last but not least….

here it is again…

fiction, past, young adult, fictiion

my own glorious bowl cut

Some families bond in other ways.

Mine obviously bonds by common hair cuts.

Love, Lou


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It’s The Little Things In Life

It’s the little, everyday things, that make life good. Today was such a good day. Nothing exceptionally exciting or amazing happened, but absolutely nothing bad happened, and a few nice things happened. My morning consisted of making breakfast and coffee with Greg, finishing up our spring cleaning, and listening to great music. I then joined Greg for his lunch at work, took some stuff to Goodwill, and returned back home to do a little more cleaning. Next Alex and Meredith came over, we had dinner, and that was pretty much it.

Amazing day. I can’t help but smile. Here are a few images I captured:

My new boots made me happy. They were affordable and comfy… keeping me warm all day long!

new author, hey lou, short stories, ya fiction, novels

Yay, boots!!

Our beautiful backyard! I came home, hung some clothes up on the line (how cool!!) and enjoyed the weather. Birds were flying above me… I just love being home <3

My backyard... I'm so lucky!

My backyard… I’m so lucky!

This tree is in my backyard. It’s crazy… it’s so picturesque!!!!!!!!!!

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The coolest tree ever

Yes, it’s the wild west here in Albuquerque. We have tumbleweeds! I saw this one on my way home an snagged a pic. I’m glad it didn’t blow in the wind and stick to the front of my car!

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huge tumbleweed!

Meredith and Alex made me laugh as we sat around and ate dinner!! Love it!! BFFL (best friends for life!) (I just made that up…. I think)

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alex and mer

My husband, Greg, sittin’ by my side and looking great! Could life get any better?

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Lou

I submit that it cannot!!

Can you see why it was an awesome day? I had a lovely scenery to gaze upon, fun friends and family at my table, and a tumbleweed blowing in the wind! It truly is the small things in life.

I hope you enjoyed your day, too!!

<3

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The other Lou