Keeping It All Together

Weird.  I wake up and my heart’s practically racing.  I get out of bed and the mind’s already running ahead, shifting through all I have to do.  Kids.  Baby.  Dog.  Food.  Writing.  Email.  Edits.  New proposal.  Book.  Events.  Cleaning.  Laundry.  Baby.  Bills.  Bills.  Headache.  August.  Book tour.  Publicity.  Baby.  Boys.  Homework.  Grades.  Worry. 

And the sick, sinking feeling takes over.  The anxiety hits like a big wave. 

Have to stop, take a deep breath, do a shoulder roll, shrug off the stress and the tightness in my chest.  Things are fine.  Everything’s fine.  Don’t look at everything at once.  Just focus on one thing at a time. 

And then the phone rings.  The cell phone vibrates with a text.  Baby’s crying.  Boys are fighting. 

What do you do when life feels crazy?   I exercise, or try to find a little time to read.  Reading is my favorite escape.  Reading really relaxes me, makes me feel whole.  Safe.  Sane.  But I haven’t been reading a lot lately due to all the other demands but I swear, I’m reading today…even if it’s just for a half hour!

With reading in mind, I have two prizes for my blog readers–copies of Liza Palmer’s wonderful new novel, A Field Guide To Burying Your Parents.  You know I’m a huge Liza Palmer fan and this is a fantastic read.  Along with Liza’s novel, I’ve got a little Starbucks card and some sweets, treats and JP reader goodies for the winners.  So tell me how you’ve been and what you’re doing today or this coming week, and you’re entered to win.  The contest ends Tuesday night midnight and I’ll announce the winners Wednesday morning in the comments section. And even if you’ve won before, or won recently, still post because anyone who shares a comment can win.  I just wish I had a copy of Liza’s book for everyone!


  1. Hi, Jane,

    I’m with you with life being crazy these days. I’m also with you regarding reading–it keeps me sane and somewhat happy. When I can, i like to climb into bed with my Zoe and Mika, my yellow Lab and white Boxer, and cuddle and read…a good book and two lovable and loving pups always cheer me up!
    The good book right this moment is Deanna Raybourn’s THE DEAD TRAVEL FAST.

    Hang in there! If there ever was a wonderful, competent SuperMom, it’s you! <<>

  2. Reading is also one of my favorite ways to relax and escape the daily stresses. I love when a book just pulls me in, and when I’m not reading it, I’m thinking about it and can’t wait to get back to it.
    I love having a day with no plans and I can just hang out and relax. It’s working for me this way today – I’ll have time to do a little house cleaning and then have down time to read! Yea!

  3. Wow, your post today really hit home. There are so many demands and chores to do….always! Just trying to focus on each duty and find the beauty in living in the present moment. Hard to do while bill paying…but at least we’ll have electricity, trash pick up and a roof over our heads for another month!!

    I teach preschool and my hours have been increased (another blessing) so I’m using today to plan my week’s activities for the little ones. I have also been asked to pour wine at this weekend’s upcoming Zinfest (I live in Paso Robles, CA), so I’m studying up on my zins. Grateful for work, my healthy family and to be living in such a beautiful part of the country.

    Enjoy your blessings as well♥

  4. I was doing great till I read your first paragraph – which made my own heart race:)!

    Reading is my stress reliever as well (and I often do it WHILE exercising – which people question all the time), but I love to read and have to do it every day….my escape. I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction lately, but I’m ready for a good story! I love spring and summer – that’s usually when my favorite authors publish their books! Can’t wait for yours.


    BTW – sounds like you need more than a half hour of reading:)!

  5. Reading and working jigsaw puzzles always relaxes me. Snow is almost gone so I’ll pick up some of the trash in the yard (where does it all come from?)

  6. Morning Jane!
    I love reading your blogs. They are so spot on!

    When I am feeling overwhelmed or stressed (I have one in high school and one in college) I LOVE to Facebook… calms me and makes me feel connected to my friends but in a way that I can control. I also love to read!

    Right now I am reading a Debbie Macomber book- her Cedar Cove series latest… 92 Pacific Boulevard.
    I love the characters and that it is set in the Pacific Northwest! That is just ONE of the reasons I fell in love with your books!!
    I love the Seattle area.

    Have a great week, don’t sweat the small stuff and Facebook- feel free to comment on my Facebook anytime! It’s fun!
    Take care!

  7. When my kids were actually kids, I’d drop everything and take them to the park to play. I could read on and off while watching them, could participate when needed/wanted, it tuckered them out, and everyone was happy. When they were older, we often had their friends over for the afternoon, so that gave me a bit of breathing space (not much) at times too, although then I would be baking/cooking for them. Still, everyone was happy.

    I have learned that the housework can go out the window. My house is tidy enough for company that drops in, but it isn’t as clean as it used to be. I get to it when I have time, but I try to push myself to clean by inviting company over. Again, it doesn’t always work but occasionally I DO wash walls, stovetop vents, etc.!

    As several authors have said, “Don’t sweat the small stuff!” Now mind you, paying bills is not “small stuff”. Many a time I’ve awakened and scared myself silly that I didn’t pay a bill on time (when the money was actually in the account and I just didn’t get around to it). Luckily, I’ve “just made it” several times, but it’s sheer stupidity on my part for allowing it to happen in the first place!

    Remember: this too will pass. My kids are 24 and 22 now, and I STILL don’t have a Good Housekeeping home, nor will I ever! There’s too many more things in life to enjoy (like reading!)!!!

  8. Amazing how crazy things can get and we have to maitain sanity… For me, I like to do anything crafty like crocheting and making candles. Reading is also a great escape 🙂

    Have a great Sunday!

  9. Enjoying my Sunday. Started day with a 5 mile run. Housework–yuck.
    Reading Michele Scott’s Happy Hour. It is a great book.
    I recently read Liza’s Conversations with a Fat Girl & Seeing Me Naked. I loved both books. I am definitely a fan.
    I can’t wait to read her new one.
    Hope you have a great. Roll with the punches.

  10. Hi Jane!
    I have just finished reading Odd Mom Out and it’s my first Jane Porter book! I don’t know how I have missed the others but now I’m really excited to have a new author that I love so much.
    I know so well that cycle of worry that goes around in yours and my head. My kids are older but the problems, as they say, just get bigger with age. I’m a single mother because I was widowed at 51 and had two teen-agers. Not easy! It’s been a few years and now we have college! Older (98 and 95!) parents also add to the mix of worry.

    Anyway, reading is truly an escape and I’m glad to have your books to find!

  11. Reading, writing, and lists – oh the lists! Getting all those projects out from the swirling cyclone in my head and onto a crisp white sheet where they can be systematically checked off – that is my Valium.

  12. Jane, it does seem the older we get our ‘to do ‘ list get so much longer and much more urgent.
    Today I picked up the yard debris. Last week was a bad one with some stormy weather and it made a mess of the yard.
    Yesterday the family went and saw Alice in Wonderland at the IMAX. I thought it was pretty good.
    Monday I have to take my youngest daughter who is home on Spring break to her endocrinologist. i also want to stop by the blood bank and donate. Thursday my dog is having surgery. So that is how my next week is mapped out.

  13. I can relate to the craziness. This week has been so hectic at work. Reading and going out for a long bike ride is always my way to cope

  14. Hi Jane,
    I often feel like I am doing a million things at once but getting nothing accomplished. My treadmill helps me keep my mind clear and working the jigsaw puzzle keeps me sitting still for at least 10 minutes at a time.
    I looked for Liza’a book yesterday at Barnes and Noble. They were sold out. Did you buy my copy? 🙂
    I’m going to try and sit down to read and not pop up after 2 minutes! I’m currently reading The Opposite of Me. It’s a fun read.
    Relax and Read!

  15. I feel for you Jane. I feel the same way most days, and I don’t have to write a book or do half the things that you do. Kids take a lot of time and energy, but I would be bored to death if I didn’t have them! This last week hasn’t been a good one. I have been sick and miserable and now my kids are coming down with it. So we’ve been relaxing in the house getting plenty of sleep and fluids. I have been doing a lot of reading while they nap. That seems to help ease my mind and relax when things get stressful. Just because the kids are sick, they still (unfortunately) fight just as much!

  16. Well it doesn’t help that Father Time stole an hour from you while you were sleeping! I swear it takes me a few days to get used to that one little hour. I wish I had answers to all those stress-spots. I just trudge through it doing the most timely thing first–the old “squeaky wheel”.
    I never feel like I can catch up on anything until the kids go to bed; that’s when the real work starts.

    Anyone who gets Liza’s new book will be a HUGE winner. It’s an excellent read. I could hardly put it down!!

    Enjoy your Sunday, Jane.
    Hugs, Shannon in Tustin

  17. Does listening to books on cd count for that half-hour? Or are you going to hold baby in your lap and read out loud to him? All reading is good. Just want to say thank you for the writing you do and the life you share with us. I let my teenager read Mrs. Perfect lately so she could understand that judgemental-types and peer pressure do not go away. Self-love and coping skills are needed at all ages.
    hugs, karla

  18. For me reading and knitting are great stress relievers. Knitting has the added bonus of keeping my hands occupied so I’m not tempted to mindlessly eat my way through the stress!!

  19. Hey Jane!! Hah, when life feels crazy what do I do?? I head for the hills… on a drive (usually) – although I almost went on an early morning 3 hour jaunt up the Haiku Steps today (it’d been worth the $250). But, I think the bottom line of what makes me anxious is that I AM doing all of those things that help me relax and avoiding the things I NEED to do. Like my Physics test today. It’s open book, but the math problems are ridiculous, I mean seriously ridiculous!! Somewhere along the line I convinced myself that procrastination allows me to do my best work. It’s a lie, but I still believe the lie. :0) My professor was right though… physics is not something that can easily “cram.” Oy vey ~

  20. Hey Jane, glad you were able to slow the heart rate down with a good book. When I get all freaked out, I read or I write. This weekend, I read a couple of books, which I wasn’t able to do for a while. Finished Robyn Carr’s Angel’s Peak, and immediately started her next, Moonlight Road. I am loving it. I love the town of Virgin River. This fictitious town is just what the doctor orders, so next time you feel like getting away, maybe you should take a visit. I am also reading Joss Ware’s Beyond the Night. I love this town too. Actually, I am re-reading it, and it is like I have never read it. She is an amazing talent as well. I am almost done, and will be starting Embrace the Night Eternal, which is the next book in the Envy Chronicles. You should check her out too.

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

  21. Jane, I totally know how you feel. I feel like no matter how many things I accomplish, there is always so much left on the to do list. I love to relax with a nice hot bubble bath and a book in one hand a glass of wine in the other. I don’t get to relax this way often, but it’s heaven. I have to admit, when I’m stressed, I eat. This is the one way you DON’T want to deal with it…as many of us know! 🙂 I hope things settle down for you Jane.

  22. HI Jane,
    Your blog was again, right on the money. I was having a major stress moment earlier this morning and let out a screech from upstairs. My kids and husband said, “what was that?!?” I said, “that was me, freaking out, thank you very much.” Stress has taken over a lot lately.

    Reading is a fantastic escape from my stress and my life. I think I may be doing it a lot this week. I have a horrible week ahead and I really, really wish it were next Sunday today.

    I hope you get a few moments of you-time today. I know I need a little more for me too.

    Have a good week. I truly hope the stress let’s up for us both.

  23. I feel the same way today! Son has been home from college this past week and he doesn’t drive, so today I had to pack up the car and get him loaded and took back to school, he stayed up most of the night and he is tired and doesn’t want to help! College is an hour away, so I had to drive him back and then drive back home! I just got back and I feel relieve that he is back on campus! Also it a rainy day! I am going to spend the night reading myself to unwind!

  24. Hi Jane,

    I know the feeling of being busy. This is my last week of student teaching in 5th grade and then I start my next rotation in 1st grade. It’s busy between lesson planning and course assignments, but working with the kids is really rewarding.

    When I get overwhelmed, I try to escape with a good book for a little while. I’m still finishing up Eat, Pray, Love and then I have Shadowland by Alyson Noel and Look Again by Lisa Scottoline waiting on my “must read” shelf. Books are my favorite indulgence.

    Good luck managing the craziness!


  25. Sometimes it just sucks…and you just have to start with the loudest screaming child and work your way around, pacifing as you go with food, tv, hugs, a march order for the yard, to give yourself some brainspace to come up with a real plan and a good LIST. Its NOT fun and those are not proud parental moments, but then some parenting is more about ALL surviving, unharmed and fed than looking pretty. And cleaning ought to be way down on anybodys list, at least it is on mine. But like most of the ladies here, to make things work and preserve my sanity, I delegate, make lists, read, walk and go to bed early when its bad – this too shall pass…

  26. Like you and others, I read! I also recently like to get away by watching a Netflix movie. And, with Spring around the corner (we hope), I will be able to get out in the garden. Pulling weeds is great for getting my mind off of “things” and just being.

  27. I hide in my bedroom with a book. On occasion I have even been known for putting my earphones to my itouch on and ignoring it all. lol. I know…good mom award not coming to me anytime soon. But they are safe, healthy, and happy kids so really, where’s the harm in trying to find just a little bit of sanity? Stay strong, Jane!!


  28. Yes, Jane reading is the best therapy. It is my entire escape from anxiety, problems and constant worries. It carries me away to another place where no one can reach me. You are doing a great job and your panacea of reading will always be the best option.

  29. Unfortunately when life feels crazy I eat! Yes, that’s right. As you know I am 7 months pregnant. My goal was to only gain 20 pounds. Really? Is that possible? I started out great,in fact, losing, because of morning sickness. But one not to be behind (or is it without a big behind), I soon caught up and am now at approximately 20 pounds and I have 3 months to go…shit! I am so nervous for my ob appt. next week. I know she is going to scold me. But, here’s the thing. I am not eating as much as I’m gaining. Does that make sense? I am gaining so quickly it’s frightening. Help!

  30. I spent the morning enjoying the nice weather were having on my porch with a cup of coffee. I have alot to do visist my husband in the hospital. Then I will come home to sit outside and finish reading a book called The Sparkling One by Susan Mallery. Then I’ll have dinner with my 2 kids and my son’s girlfriend. So thats is my day. I also have to put together my daycare for tomorrow is another workday. I wish you could read more but the book your reading sounds very interesting. I’ve never read a Liz Palmer book. I’ll have to put her on my list. Have a wonderful day and week.

  31. Today I celebrated my littlest guy’s 4th birthday. It was bittersweet for a number of reasons, but most of all because it is also the birthday of my stepfather who just passed away a month and a half ago. So we celebrated the joy of a 4 year old, my last baby, who was just a short time ago smaller than your wee little Mac.

  32. Hi Jane,
    you read my mind…I worry too much. I worry about my daughter, grades, homework, things that need to be fixed around the house and all the money it’s going to take, blah, blah, blah. I think you are right and we have to try and focus on just one thing at a time, but it’s sooo hard sometimes. Exercise definitely helps, and I try and pray a lot too. Here’s to happy and relaxing days ahead!!

  33. I’ve been cleaning, watching “American Idol,” cleaning some more, knitting, reading “Citizen Girl,” etc. My parents were in town this weekend for my 2 year-old’s birthday and our 6 year anniversary. My husband and I got to “paint the town” last night. We kept it low key, really…Dave and Busters and Cheesecake Factory. 🙂 Today we had a party for the baby and it was fun but very busy and crazy. I don’t think I can handle any more parties in our home. In the middle of the party, our new piano arrived. Too funny! I still can’t believe that my younger son is 2 (or will be this week). He was just born!!!

  34. This past week was crazy around here too. My mother-in-law is in the hospital; it’s not looking good. My hubby’s job is so unstable. I just want a week with a bit of sunshine. No Rain! No Snow! Just Sun. This time last year I was in Florida on Spring Break with my twin daughters. It was wonderful! We got away from all the problems that were going on. If I could get some warm weather and some sun I sure would feel better!!

  35. we are still doing bathroom renovations so we go to a friend’s place to sleep at night and go across the street to another friend’s place to use the washroom and and… it is hard on the nerves for me. Tuesday we leave for Calgary to dog sit for my sister and her family while they go to the USA. I get to shop and shop, wahoo!! Take care Jane.

  36. hi jane,
    usually if i need a moment to escape, i either take a small walk outside or i love to spend a few minutes reading: even if it is only one chapter! i have also been known to send a short funny text to my friends and see who has a funny response.
    recently one of my best friends suffered a broken hip. she is doing really well, but has dr.s’ orders to “relax”. i took her all your books that i currently have so she can escape for awhile each day! thanks for brightening our days!

  37. When life is crazy, I check your blog! 🙂

    Seriously, life seems so overwhelming right now; I’m just so short on time! My husband has been trying to help. He has been making sure that I can take off for a little bit on the weekends. Yesterday he picked up one of our sons after I took him to a ham radio club meeting all morning so I could go meet you – I’m so glad it finally worked out!

    I enjoy reading when I can take some time (or waiting for carpool). One of my favorite aspects is that reading requires nothing more than a book. No ‘stuff’.

    I love it when someone recommends a book to me. It frustrates me that I can walk into a book store and walk out with nothing, because again, overwhelming. I guess I just need a smaller pool to choose from… I have not read a Liza Palmer book but did look up the book from post #14 (The Opposite of Me) – I will add that one to the list. I need to keep going until ‘She’s Gone Country’ comes out!

  38. Yes, this sounds familiar! The days just never seem long enough to me. I guess it’s better that way than being bored though. To help me with stress, I turn to music and the treadmill. It seems to get my mind off of things.

  39. Hi Jane: I have been dealing w/sick kids lately, so life could be better. I hate seeing my kids feel miserable. I’m hoping that this week is better for them. I just finished reading, The Help, which was great!! If you haven’t read it, you should. It’s one of those books that are hard to put down and you find yourself missing the characters when you’re done. Great read.

  40. I I find that day dreaming is the best way to get out of it, or at least take a break. Sketch out the design for the perfect house, plan an amazing voyage or even think up the perfect man.

    Just finished reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini and started a Sabrina Jeffries.

    I was lucky enough to go to the Tucson Festival Of Books this weekend and saw many amazing speakers. Julia Quinn, wow… she’s cool. And, Brenda Novak mentioned that you, Jane, were donating a fabulous prize to her diabetes auction in May. Can’t wait to see what it is!

  41. I will be registering my firstborn for kindergarten tomorrow. Gulp. I have all the forms (eleven of them!!) filled out (I think). Can’t believe she’s already such a big girl.

  42. HI Jane,
    I have been overwhelmed with work. I now do the scheduling and it’s alot of work! I was overwhelmed last week but this week feel good about it. I have made a list and graph and can mark off things as I go. Brilliant if I don’t say so myself!

  43. March 14,2010… Baby Thomas is two months old today! Our first and only Grandchild visited us in OUR home for the first time yesterday!(He brought his parents and puppy.)
    We put up a sign on the garage door to commemorate this “historical” day…had a fruit topped sponge cake for us grownups, and when not holding Thomas, we went out for a stroll down the street to the water then up the hill and around the block back to our home. Life is good!

  44. It is Spring Break week at the university where I am employed so this week will be easier. I am taking a couple of vacation days at the end of the week and having a girls day out with my best friend.

  45. Your plate is definitely a full one and I don’t know how you do it. You are so dedicated to all that you do, including your fans and it’s probably what holds you together. I am so lucky not to have any stress in my life. I love my computer because all my friends are in it. Waiting for spring here for gardening and trips to the beach with the books. Life is good…Ruth

  46. Whew, OK… I think I finally have a handle what is going on this week.

    I drive carpool and volunteer at orchestra at the elementary two mornings this week, there is scouts on two afternoons and one morning, I volunteer monitoring the middle school kids during all three lunches one day, I drive carpool after school for the elementary two days, Science Fair is this week and football starts tonight.

    I am already tired!

  47. Jane,

    Just remember it’s not the boys, the baby, ringing phones, bills, pets or even life that is stressing you. It sounds like your brain is in overdrive that will alone cause you to jump into a panic or anxiety mode. Find someone to watch over the little one and the boys for a few hours. Go to a place near some water and just sit and relax. DO NOT READ at this time of relaxation as this is the perfect time for you to just empty your mind of all stress and empty the clutter. Water such as the ocean or a running river will always clear ones mind. Take a deep breath and enjoy the fresh air. Believe me this is such a wonderful thing to refresh ones soul. I do this at a local state park that is within a 30 minute drive from my home. The river is flowing all the time, takes my breath away and it’s as beautiful as anything you could see on tv or any travel brochure. I also love to hike and it’s the only way down to the riverbed and I always feel so recharged after such a little time to myself. It’s all good Jane. You just need to stop and take a breath of fresh air and to remember life is great and you are doing a fantastic job at being YOU.

  48. There is always soooo much to do!
    I have spent a lot of time and energy cracking the homework whip lately since my kids were sick two days last week and we have been battleing with my middle schooler who tends to “forget” to do his homework. That has exhausted me! Sometimes I am thankful that God blessed me with ONLY two of my own since I wanted more! He knew what he was doing! We are also working on getting our old house ready to sell as we had rented it the last two years.

    Usually when I am stressed I take my little dog and go to bed! I know that excercise is a better way to deal with it but that is what I do! A little quiet time can do wonders. I just think of how much I will miss this craziness now when they are grown up. Maybe! LOL
    Watching a funny show helps too!


  49. I try to take deep breaths and think calming thoughts. Exercise or a walk or riding my bike (when the weather is nice!) definitely also helps. Oh, and writing/journaling–putting it all down on paper always makes things look better.

  50. Reading is a favorite way to relax of mine too. Just 15 minutes definitely can be relaxing. I also like will cook or bake and that will take my mind off of things.

  51. I just returned from a weekend in Beaverton. My daughter won a trip from Seventeen mag and Nike. It was insane. There were so many things to do…it was fun but busy and now I am home and there are a zillion things to do. So. First I ate two Girl Scout cookies. Don’t ask. Then I played a game of MahJong. Usually I take brief moment to read but today this worked.

  52. I absolutely understand the insanity of life driving you crazy! These past couple of months have been so stressful and so overwhelming for my hubby and I as we have started fertility drugs and have yet to conceive. We are about to go in to see a fertility specialist next week to determine our options and see what we need to do. It’s all so overwhelming and crazy!!!

    When things get too crazy, I also try to get some exercise in and I read. When things get even more than that, I call a friend and vent!!

    Hope things get a little less crazy for you!


  53. Jane, you are so good to us!!!

    I read, quilt and garden to relieve stress. I could not imagine not reading every day.

    I am literally just back from a lunchtime walk down to my local Chapters book store. I had a couple of books in mind…. Mrs. Perfect, Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky and a new release by Susan Wiggs, The Summer Hideaway. Much to my disappointment, neither Mrs. Perfect nor Not My Daughter were in stock. I did pick up the Susan Wiggs release and I think I will end up ordering the other two online. Just no immediate gratification that way, something to look forward to.

  54. Oy, the stress. I’ve been super stressed recently as my account at work went bat-crazy. I’ve been logging the craziest of hours and then squeezed in a 1 day writing conference to boot. As a result, I have an agent who wants to see my yet unfinished book that I said (what was I thinking!) could be done, rewritten, and polished to the hilt by mid-May. And did I mention my mom’s having surgery – maybe 2, depending on whether or not she has ovarian cancer (as yet, still unknown.) Oh yeah, I get it.

    What do I do? If I knew, would I be this stressed? I actually do better under stress in the short term because there’s less room for fartin’ around. I dunno. I pray. I sing, of course, but I’m usually doing that anyways. These days it’s Irish tunes in line with the time of year and that wonderful Easter music. I pet my cats – instant stress reliever. And then I buckle down and endure. This too shall pass.

    Hang in there, friend.

  55. Hope your day gets better. Sounds like you are really mult-tasking. This week of ‘spring-break’, my 7 yr old is in the country with my partents and her cousins. She really enjoys it because she gets to run around and get diry.

    For me, I started reading ‘The Last of the Mohicans” by James Fenimore Cooper. The way he writes and describes the smallest things is incredible. I can’t wait to really get started where it just sucks me in and I can’t put the book down.

    Happy reading!

  56. I am back to work today after a nice relaxing spring break. Had a wonderful holiday, but wish the timing had been different…because heading into such a busy time, I now feel like I’m a week behind instead of rejuvinated!

    Monday’s are always the worst, aren’t they?

    I’m sure I will be feeling that overwhelming anxiety as the week goes on. How do I deal…not very well, I’m afraid. My mind is too busy to read, but I will try to sneak away tonight for a workout as you suggested!

    Hope your week gets better!

  57. This week my granddaughter celebrates her first birthday. Well technically it’s her date of birth but she was 4 months early so she shouldn’t have been here until July. The little sweetie has been feeling poorly so hopefully she is on the mend. I’m just getting over a stomach thing so I haven’t done much of anything lately. Over the weekend I finished the last two J.D. Robb books and enjoyed them as usual. Right now I’m reading an anthology with Debra Webb, Catherine Mann and Joanne Rock stories, it’s called Bet Me. It’s been pretty good. I like all three authors so I knew I would enjoy it. I hope everyone has a wonderful St.Patrick’s Day.

  58. And just when I think my day is the worst, someone comes along and shows me my day ain’t so bad after all.

    Thanks Jane for sharing your morning experience with the rest of us busy folks.

    Here’s to a better tomorrow.

    Not trying to win, just saying thanks for sharing.

  59. I am so glad I read this blog. No wonder I can’t sleep at night. I haven’t been reading. I am going to start right now. I had the craziest week and I am looking for some sanity! Thanks Jane! I have never read Liza Palmer can you believe it.

  60. It sounds like you are very busy.
    I have been busy around the house for the last couple of days trying to do some spring housecleaning, but right in the middle of this my mother-in-law brought my husband and I some harlequin dolls and we love them, so planning where to put more dolls. We collect dolls.

  61. Hi Jane!

    This week between various kid type appointments i am reading two books for Romcon judging. More than halfway thru the first one and loving it so that’s good. Otherwise busy busy with work and errands every day. Seems like there is always somewhere to be or something to do.


  62. Jane,

    When my life gets crazy, as it so often does, I pull out my camera and go for a walk and take pictures. It makes me focus, no pum intented, on whats in front of me and allowm head to clear. If for some reason I can’t go out with my camera I love to put up a good book and read.


  63. I’m with you – I hate that anxious feeling. It’s so hard to avoid! But I usually quiet it with some reading or some time with my kids (when they’re not fighting…) I also love a good movie or a good workout!

  64. When I am stressed, I go for a long walk with my MP3, if I can get away. I also like to bask in the quiet after my kids go to bed and husband goes to work.

  65. Reading has always been for me the ideal way to lose myself. When the weather warms up I take long walks and then comeb ack clear eyed and read to my heart’s content. Hope your week works out smoothly.

  66. Well I feel like I’m cheating a little…but I had the doctor put me on anti-anxiety pills. So far, so good. Life has been INSANE lately. My husband just started at American Ambulance and he and I are working split shifts now, we hardly ever see each other. Which makes for a great romance life on the weekends…but a crazy life at home. Like you said, homework, crying, worry, dinner, laundry! Dishes? We were joking about how we’re going to have to slurp our coffee off a plate since all the cups were dirty and both of us were too tired to care. Anyhow, you’re awesome Jane. I just finished Mrs. Perfect (one I somehow missed in all the chaos) and I LOVED it. Good job.

  67. I have just been working and have to work the rest of the week. I do get to babysit my cute 2 year old nephew, though. That’s fun. 🙂

  68. Love Liza Palmer’s books too! Today I had a great day out with my girls. We went to the American Girl store and it was so great to see the experience through their eyes. They had fun looking at everything for the dolls and playing. They each walked out with a new doll for their birthdays (March and April). Their Aunt also bought them each a birthday outfit. We then had an amazing lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. I have a piece of Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake in the fridge calling my name LOL!

    Sending many hugs your way,

  69. I totally agree with Becky (Comment #47) If your life is inundated with words, maybe a break from words is what you need.

    When I feel stressed, I put the books down and the writing aside for a while and take a quiet walk or spend time alone by the shore. Only after my mind is clear, can I enjoy reading for pleasure. That being said, I’m having foot surgery next week and I’m looking so forward to sitting quietly and reading my way through the huge stack of unread books that are next to my bed. It’s easy to be stress free when your family needs to wait on you hand and foot for a few weeks!

    Take time for yourself and spend time just loving your family!

  70. Jane,
    Sounds like you are a busy lady and lots to do. I feel for you, take a deep breath and relax. It will all get done.

    I helped a friend today who is moving from NC to TX. I am feeling a little sad about her leaving but will get through. People come into our lives for a reason and I truly believe that we will stay in touch and our friendship will continue even after she is settled in TX.

    Tomorrow is another day of helping, watching my two nieces tomorrow night while Mom does a church activity and then Wednesday is booked taking a work colleague to her eye doctor surgery and picking her up after and taking home. I will be glad when Thursday gets here to stay home for a bit and maybe read!

    Take care and have a great week!


  71. When I get a chance, I lock myself in the bathroom, light the candles, perfume the water and read until I look 89. When I can’t, I wrangle my 6 year old son and y 4 year old daughter and we bake or cook together. When all else fails, I head out with my trusty laptop and write until my eyes blur from exhaustion and my head is empty.

    I can’t wait for you to make a return visit to Portland!

  72. Hi Jane! I hear ya on being stressed out! I will be headed up to Mt. Vernon from Bothell for my final weekly vet visit and then hopefully I’ll only have to go once a month until my dog (my baby!) is full healed. The poop thing fell off my back deck and shattered her leg. Now in order to make sure she didn’t end up a 3-legged dog I have now racked up a bet bill over$2000.00!!! Then a week after this happened my other dog escaped the back yard and was hit by a car and died. 🙁 so, needless to say on top of all te other stresses of everyday life and then all of this it has been a rough couple of weeks. So, I feel your pain and hope your days get a little easier soon! 🙂

  73. Wow did this ever sound like my normal day! Glad I’m not the only one swirling in the pool of craziness.

    I’m trying to recover what was my home before the kids’ spring break last week. I determined to enjoy the time with them without harping on them to clean up their messes constantly…and yes, it seems like it’s constant…I just let the house go and enjoyed the week with them. I’m paying for it now though! And the baby doesn’t quite understand my need to clean!

    Ask the older two, my 12 and 10 year old, what we did for spring break and they’ll say it was boring…well boring included their poor old mom roller skating for the first time in 20+ (don’t ask how many pluses in that 20 plus) years. Whew! The funniest part was that they played the same music from when I was a kid! Oh, minus WipeOut…and no roller skating is quite complete without that song! But what a blast to the past..other than I have my equilibrium isn’t quite what it used to be. Of course, I’m balancing way more now than when I was 12!

    So Jane, I recommend a trip to your local skating rink! If you’re like me, you’ll hurt too much the day after to do anything BUT read!

  74. I love taking a hot bath and reading in the tub…You can handle it all Jane, just take a few minutes for you and you’ll be fine.

  75. Crazy life is right! I teach special ed, and tomorrow we’ve got “open school” – aka Parent-Teacher conferences. Which means a more than 12 hour day at school…add in travel time, and I seriously might as well sleep at the school tomorrow night!

    Then in addition to that, I need to work on at least 20 pages or so of a script for playwriting class – I was supposed to turn in tonight, but I was able to postpone by a week (thank you allergy attack!) – which hopefully will allow me to get my brain back into “I can do this!” mode after seeing perfection on stage on Friday night!

    Add to that emotional crap surrounding friendship and what’s going wrong if anything/why I’m being seemingly ignored, and yeah…

    Total cray cray!

  76. Ahh Janie! Life is so full of stress isn’t it?

    This weekend I spent tied in a knot because I’d quit my job due to a psycho who is making my life hell. Saturday my boss talked me into staying. I’m still afraid of the psycho, but at least maybe my boss will have my back.

    My baby is ready to fly the coop, but I’m not ready for her to just yet.

    All that and I’ve nothing to read!

  77. OMG Jane! Busy Bee! 🙂 Let me know if you need a Personal Assistant! I’m cheap, (copies of your new books?) and Local! LOL. So this coming week I only work 2 days……. Woohoo! So tomorrow I’m off and Friday. Tomorrow I have a bunch of things to take care of. Cancel DTV, switch to Comcast, find a new Doctor, Make a dentist appointment, Wash my car, lunch with an old friend. Dinner for my nephews birthday. Wrestling meet for another nephews birthday……. Omg. Now I’m getting frazzled! But…….. i calm myself with lists. I love love love lists! I’m one of the most organized people ever and whenever I feel overwhelmed I make a list and check things off. It makes me feel accomplished, calm, and in control. :)YAY! Also……… someone at work handed me a book to read so my goal is to actually read it since this girl is trying to make an effort to “be my friend”. Even though I have two on my bedside table I cant get into. I think subconsciously I’m waiting for “She’s gone country”. Haha. I miss reading……… anyhow! Have a good week! And make a list! Even Santa likes to do it!


  78. 1 more week of Cheer Competitions, this week we are in Tacoma and last week Portland. I was hoping your events were swapped around. 🙂

    I shared Flirting with Forty with a Co Worker last week and she opened it up on sunday and finished it that night.

    Herpraise for you, was that you can put in words what most of us moms wonder if it is just us and the book was like therapy for her.

    Jane you do an amazing job with words. Now of to finish my homework. I just learned how to use video on demand on amazon for class. Was actually pretty neat.

  79. I’ve been cooking a lot of recipes from Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet. It seems to consume all my time lately.

  80. Without a doubt- reading really calms me down. I also will start cleaning the kitchen…something about a shiny, clean sink makes things better!

  81. Ahhh! And you still find time to blog! I’m impressed. We’re building a house, which takes up all my time, then the kids, then the guinea pig had to go the the ER two days in a row with a UTI, then the hardware store again, then my daughter missed the bus, then etc. etc. I’m finally catching up on emails (sort of.) A bubble bath and a good book sound like heaven right now.

  82. For me it’s simple. I just remind myself that my kids are only going to be living at home for a limited amount of time and when the house is quiet and clean, no chaos or laundry or muddy floors, and instead they are off at college or with their own families, I will probably sit in my quiet, clean, non-chaotic house and miss these days SO much and look forward to the times they come over with their friends or families so I can cook for them and babysit their kids and clean up after my grand kids hang out with my soon to be adult kids and even do some laundry.

  83. I love to go for a run outside with my iPod. It’s so refreshing. And being by water. It’s so rejuvenating for me to “see” water as often as possible. Luckily we live near water and some of the houses in my neighborhood our on water (not mine unfortunately) but I love running by our marina. Reading is also a biggie. It’s a wonderful escape from all the worries of life. Having the sun come out and a nice mild day will do wonders for my mood!

    Thanks for all you do and all you share with us!

  84. Take a BIG deep breath and make lists…lots of them. That is how I survive. Do I get everything done every time, well no. However it does make me feel better to put things in order and know that I have prioritized. It always amazes me when I look at the big picture how much more easily things are to combine and accomplish. When I feel organized, I feel strong. Chaos breeds stress.

  85. Hi Jane!
    I am doing great so far this week but it is only Tuesday;)I just have to tell you I love your’s and Liza’s books. They can completely distract me from everyday life and let me relax! So thank you for your great writing!! And if you could I would love to be entered to win this book:)
    email bangersis(at)msn(dot)com

  86. Hey Jane,
    Thank you sharing! Now I don’t feel like the only one with craziness! Some days are just like that!
    Then reading some of 80 something posts from your readers! WOW! We are all busy… busy and trying to get through each day.

    I take a few deep breaths, make my list, and then start my day! I make it a great day!
    Today was easier, it was a beautiful day, the sun was out!

    We are slowing down a bit! It helps when my son is focused on one sport, not four!

    When I get a chance I always grap for a book I am reading to ease things going on in the busy day! Reading helps me breathe! Love to read!

    Make it a GREAT week!

  87. This week is a busy one for me – doctors, taxes, work, etc, etc. The only way I can cope is by taking one thing at a time & just moving forward!

  88. Everyone, thanks for your patience as I struggled to get to the computer to announce the blog contest winners! Life kept getting in the way–sick kids, missing babysitters, trip to Pasadena tomorrorow…never mind actually writing, but at least I’m here now. 🙂

    First, I couldn’t just pick two winners. I couldn’t. I love Liza’s book and love all of you and I ended up picking 8 winners because I wanted as many of you to read her new book as possible. This means I’ve got to buy 6 more copies but everyone will have theirs in the mail by Monday if you respond promptly.

    The 8 winners are:

    #1 Debora H
    #9 Denise
    #14 Jill W
    #22 Michelle F
    #42 Kathleen
    #63 Jennifer
    #76 Annie
    #88 Dee

    So send me your addresses by Monday or I’m picking new winners. I already have a stack of mystery prizes here that have gone uncollected. So email me and let’s get you this great book and other goodies.

    Love to all and thanks for chatting!


  89. Hi Jane,
    I so understand your feelings. I am as well in one of those moments in life when you feel so overwhelmed that I have a hard time shutting my mind even at night and if I can sleep I have so many laborious dreams that I wake up more tired than when I went to bed.
    This week is March Break in Canada, but even though the house is a mess and I have work to do I have planned a different activity everyday with my girls and some friends. At the end of the day those are the things we will always remember, not the house work.
    For me as well reading is a big escape. It kept me sane when my kids were babies and it still does. I have read both Liza Palmer’s books and just loved them. Can’t wait to read the new one.
    Take care and I hope that your load of things to do can feel a little lighter tomorrow.

  90. Hi Jane,

    When you talk about keeping it all together, I know exactly what you mean!!!! Life can make so many demands on us! I hope you get a chance to read. It’s what helps me get away too!

    Good luck and take a deep breath!


    Micole Black

  91. I am embarking on my own writing career. My first book is comming out April 20th and I am feeling the pressure of what to do next. How do I get people to read it? How do I know if people even know who I am? Will they like it? Will they hate it? Not to mention, it’s very steamy and I worry about what people will make of that! Then I also have to worry about all the non book stuff like my day job and laundry and family and…where’s Calgon when you need it?

  92. Jane,
    I have been out of town, but as usual you have such good subjects. Exercise is how I cope with life, and of course escaping into books (Emily was right!). I just finished On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, and Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay, both good books! While my husband watches basketball in these March madness weeks I will be reading, and I am going to look for Liza’s book. We were visiting (read that checking up) on 89 year old mother-in-law, so it would be a a good read for me.

  93. Congrats, winners! I’m so happy for you…yeah, right…keep telling myself that and that my turn will come…yeah, right…be happy for them…yeah, right…okay, I am…really…well, maybe…well, okay…have a great time reading and enjoying your surprises…I’ll be ok…yeah, right…honest…just having fun with you…it’s late and their isn’t anyone to whine to here…or who would want to hear me whine;)Happy Reading!

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