For a good number of years, those muscles were in pretty good shape. Now...well, they might not have atrophied completely, but if I don't start using them more often, they will.
If you come here much, you know that the Pearl family has been growing by leaps and bounds in the last few years. When I started this blog, I had only one married son and his wife was a few months away from giving birth to twin daughters. Since then, 3 more daughters-in-law have joined the family, and the grandchild count currently stands at 14 (with the addition of a new grandson just last month).
I have had so many great topics to explore here--so, so many--but ever since we moved down to VA so that we could see our kids and grandkids on a regular basis, it seems like I've been too busy living life to write about it. I mean, here are some of the things I've wanted to write about, from the deep and serious to the frivolous and mundane:
1. My dad's amazing last week on earth and his beautiful passing into eternal life, about which I have not been able to write in full (and the second anniversary of his death is fast approaching)
2. My mother's trials since losing her husband of 60 years, her frightening health decline, and the astounding (practically miraculous) way she has bounced back recently
3. My saintly baby sister and her husband, who lovingly took my mom into their home a year ago and are more responsible for the improvements in her health than any of the medical procedures she's had done
4. Pearl family birthdays and anniversaries (there have been many which I have not gotten around to documenting)
5. The births of new Pearl grandbabies (we got a new grandson in June, named after my husband's dad, and another one in October, named after my husband!)
6. Family parties (including a fun shower I hosted for my daughter-in-law when she was about to have a boy after 4 girls in a row--and which I thought was practically Pinterest-worthy, but I might have been giving myself too much credit!)
7. Notre Dame football weekends this fall, with our boys
8. More installments of the house tour, wherein I show you some of the rooms of our new house in VA (which I am slowly but surely starting to consider HOME, after leaving a beloved Colonial on a quiet street in NH, where we'd lived for 26 years, about a year-and-a-half ago)
Those are just a few of the things I imagine blogging about...and then before I know it, it's time for a bone-tired Grammy to go to bed and another day has passed without a new blog post.
Sometimes, I really do wonder if the whole blogging phenomenon is about to die off and go the way of VHS tapes (and even DVD's). I mean really, who needs those anymore, now that there are new-fangled smart TV's that allow you to stream just about anything you want to watch? And who wants to bother to visit a blog, when so many former bloggers are on Instagram, offering much-easier-to-digest posts that don't take quite as much time out of our busy lives as a full-length blog post does?
For whatever reason, however, I'm not quite ready to leave the blogosphere, a place where I've "met" so many amazing people who seem like friends. I've been blessed in countless ways since I set up shop here in 2011. So instead of giving up, I think I'll just dust this blog off and spruce it up a bit, and maybe find the mojo to keep at it.
I'm not sure if I'm ready to give my site a whole new look (even though I've heard that it's best to have a mostly white background...and mine is, as you can see, very GREEN). But there are a few improvements I can make. After my most recent book club post, which was all about writing, I got to thinking that perhaps it was time to update my "author photo." The one I've been using for a long time now--here at the blog, on Goodreads, on my Amazon author's page, etc.--is one that my husband took of me back in 2012, shortly after the publication of my first novel, Finding Grace. We thought I should be sitting at my laptop, with my trusty cup of coffee at my side, looking very "writerly." So, this was the pose I assumed.
Also, I have a smaller laptop now and bigger glasses. I have 14 grandchildren and back then I just had 2. And I no longer live in NH, where the photo was taken, so I no longer have that spacious dining room with the red walls and outdated-but-I-still-love-it wallpaper border.
On Halloween, 11 of our 14 grandkids and their parents came over to go Trick-or-Treating in our new VA neighborhood (which is just about the most perfect neighborhood for that activity I have ever seen: it's flat and well-lit, with hundreds of houses situated very close together, wide sidewalks, and minimal outside traffic).
A cute pair of Trolls: G-Man as Branch and Princesa as Princess Poppy
(these are the two oldest children of son #3 and his wife Preciosa).
Pumpkin as the Cowardly Lion, Paquita as Dorothy, and Peanut as the Scarecrow, along with
the parents of those adorable triplets--son #4 as the Tin Man and his wife Braveheart
as the Wicked Witch.
Before they got here in their killer costumes, I wanted to test out the expensive digital camera my husband gave me as a gift years ago. I'd lost the battery charger for it, and for ages now I've just been snapping photos using my cell phone. I'd finally gotten it up and running again, and I wanted to see how pictures turned out using the "smart portrait" mode. So I took this picture of my favorite guy while he had a "Why are you doing this?" look on his face.
And I took this selfie.
And that doesn't include my newest apron, this buffalo plaid flannel number that I was wearing when I took the picture of the others!
I have gotten so used to the old picture up there at the top, which I associate with anything having to do with my writing activities. And I really love the Irish-green color of the sweater I'm wearing in it. But I feel like it's not really "me" anymore.
So what say you? Should I use the selfie-on-the-stairs pic here at the blog--or perhaps get my husband to take an updated one for me? Or should I just leave well enough alone and be forever 54? Should I change my blog's background, get rid of the green? Your thoughts? (I realize your thoughts might be something along the lines of, "I don't care!" But you guys are so nice, you probably won't say that!)
Dust blog: check. Stretch blogging muscles: check. Let's see if I can keep this streak going!