Sunday, July 7, 2013

Defeated by Rain But Giving Away a Rainbow (Yes, a GIVEAWAY!)

by Leann

I just looked at the extended forecast for our area and though we have been drenched by buckets of rain in the last week,even more is on the way well into next week. I nearly burst into tears when I saw that little icon appear every day until July 15th!

After so much trouble haggling about house plans since we moved here last August, the minute we got what we wanted on paper, the monsoons hit. We have a hole dug on our property but every step since has been painstaking and stressful.

First the footers that support the hole in the ground had to be redone three times because of weather. Then, the first blocks of the foundation were put in and more rain hit. We had to wait. They finally got them in and were
at the point where the rough plumbing needed to be done and it rained. And rained. And rained some more. With a small break in the weather, that step was completed. But then there had to be a test of the line by an inspector. More waiting. Done, passed and then, if we thought we had rain before, we were wrong. It just won't stop. But our hopes of building a
house any time soon sure has. The next steps are to finish the foundation and that requires dry weather. We can do nothing, and every day my husband goes out and pumps water out of the hole in the ground while we wait.

It is such a helpless feeling. On top of it all, I got sick and cannot kick it, plus my kitty Marlowe had a short relapse with 2 days of seizures. I am feeling as if my life as been put on hold. When you have no control over such circumstances what do you do? I have busied myself with work, but writing a book requires an enormous amount of energy. I feel drained and keep looking to the sky for the sunshine we need--in more ways than one.

When you are low because of circumstances you cannot control, what do you do? How do you cheer yourself up when you have no friends or family nearby to help you out? What I'm trying is to give something away. If you'd like a hardcover book club edition of my latest book, The Cat, The Mill and The Murder, leave me a comment with a creative suggestion on how to shake the blues. I'm offering a rainbow in hopes of getting one back.

Random winner will be chosen so make sure and leave me your e-mail addy so I can contact your for your address!

61 comments:

Brenda Rumsey said...

I have two suggestions for you. The first is from a friend who's mother never seemed to be depressed in her old age. She told him son, the secret is, when your feeling down go and find someone you can do something nice for...it makes you feel better. (That's what your doing.)
The other one comes from my son. He always tells me, "Don't sweat the small stuff...oh, and everything is the small stuff".
Just remember...this too shall pass...smile.
grandmabkr at yahoo dot com

Marsha Bachmeier said...

Find some babies and snuggle up! :) (Preferably babies you know! :O Wouldn't want ya to go up to stranger's kids and get all lovey dovey on them!) lol I work in daycare and my love cup is always full! =) Their smiles and giggles are the best! Or look through old photo albums and/or home movies. I always laugh at the memories and often at myself for how I was dressed or my hair style or whatnot. :D If all else fails, go shopping! ;-) It may not solve your problems, but it may make you feel better (at least temporarily!

Good luck in kicking the blues booty!
kidisitor@yahoo.com

Barbara Thompson said...

There's always someone else who is in worse she as or or situation than you. Usually, they're not hard to find. Encouraging them always lifts my spirits. I read my Bible or an encouraging book a sometimes just kneel and cry out my heart and have a good talk with the Lord. Thank you for sharing and entering me in your giveaway.
Barbara Thompson
barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

Barbara T. said...

Do something to to make someone else happy. I make and send cards. Others call. Some do a visit, lunch, baked treat, whatever. Listen to the troubles of others. No matter how bad I think things are in my life at the moment someone is facing much worse.

Nancy said...

Leann, my favorite is to read a book and get into a character's life. Sorry, not very creative on my part.
( ncroessner @ comcast dot com)

Lisa Ks Book Reviews said...

I read once about a woman who write little notes that say things like "I know times are hard right now, but know you are not alone. Someone is thinking of you" and then she leaves them in random places like grocery store shelves or bookstore shelves...anywhere someone can find them. The thought being, someone who needs it will find it and know they are not alone.

Elaine said...

Cuddle a kitty! Always makes me feel better. Hope things improve for you soon.
Take care
E xo
Elaine.butcher@gmail.com

Cyndy said...

It is easy to stay in a rut. Try to do something you can control - plan a vacation, volunteer, etc. Another thing that may brighten your mood could be to buy coffee for the person in line behind you. It is such a great feeling making someone else's day.
cyndyranzau at hotmail.com

Denise Z. said...

Sorry you are struggling. I'm a big believer in the Serenity Prayer - accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. You can't change the weather, but you can change your response to it. Don't forget about self-care - are you eating right, getting enough exercise, doing things for *you*? When I'm in your spot, I hit the gym harder. Plus I go shopping! I like the above comment from Lisa K's Book Reviews about leaving supportive notes in random places, that's a day-brightener. I wish you luck on the home construction (and please feel free to send that rain to New Mexico). dz87507 at gmail dot com.

MaryAlice said...

I'm so sorry at everything that's happening to you. I know how discouraging life can be. Sometimes everything goes wrong at the same time. I'm disabled because of circumstances out of my control and sometimes I just want to stop trying. But, what brings me back is reading. I get into the lives of those wonderful characters and my day gets brighter. So, please remember the people who depend on all you wonderful authors that brighten our lives and keep us going. Thank you for your wonderful books, MaryAlice :)

Kathleen Chrisman said...

I hope the rain stops for you soon. When I am really low I like to eat something that is special. Something I don't eat on a regular basis. Something decadent. It lifts your mood and often brings back good memories.

Joanie said...

Leann, I wish I could hug you right now, because I've been exactly where you are. I know it's not fun, but as hard as it is to believe "this rain, too, shall pass". We built our last house in 1992--the year Hurricane Andrew hit. We weren't in the hurricane zone, but months before--in April--they dug the foundation. Then nothing for three weeks as it rained. The last week in May they were able to pour all the cement. Then it rained every single day in June--every single day.

We live in a state that suffers multi-year droughts on a regular basis, but the one year we started building it was like we suddenly moved to a rain forest. We finally started seeing progress in July, and I hounded our builder constantly because EVERYONE was behind. Ultimately, we were in the house a couple of weeks before Halloween.

Really, happily ever after will come.

So what did we do to not drive ourselves nuts? We used the time to stay very focused. I asked the builder lots of questions while he wasn't busy--rain will make days “not so busy.” And I wrote down everything so I wouldn't forget any tiny bit.

I found out the order things would be done once the rain ended, and tried to learn the names of the contractors who would be doing the work. When the rains did stop, I contacted my builder regularly to find out when the next contractor--and yes, I used the person's name so the builder would read my request as more personal--would be at our house working. I made cookies and tea to take to the workers, and mentioned who the next crew was to do the next phase.

My conversations and cookies with the contractors may have slowed things down for a minute, but the effort paid off. Most contractors know one another, and they gave me the heads-up on whatever I needed to know to keep the next guys working. Each group of contractors also tended to tell the next group(s) about the iced tea and chocolate chip cookies I brought out for the crews, too. I had several contractors ask if I was "the cookie lady" before I could even get the cookies out of my car. I had to figure that helped my house jump a few steps in line when other builders were all fighting for contractors to come in and make up time for other homeowners, too.

We used rainy days to stay ahead on decisions about carpet or light fixtures or appliances or sinks. In a computer file we listed names of the items, vendors, bar code numbers at the stores--everything. When it came time to order, we had everything decided, and had every item of information we could possibly need. Only one wrong item came in; due to the manufacturer’s error. The mistake was a higher quality item than ordered, and we ultimately got it for the cheaper price if we wouldn't send it back.

Staying organized gave us a feeling of staying in control of what we could control, with the added benefit we were always ready when the next building phase opened up. Equally important, we told ourselves over and again "the house will take five months". That's what the builder said when we signed the contract and--with us staying on top of things--it only took 5.5 months.

It's like writing a book. You can say I'll write X number of wpd, but if you miss a day or two it could feel like you've failed. Instead, you can make a weekly or monthly goal, so days you write more balances out days you can only write a little or none at all. Ultimately, you have to write those 70,000 or 80,000 words--and, overall, it will likely take the same amount of time it always has to write that length of a book. Small goals get plans back on track when things go off, but focusing on the final goal, making sure you're getting closer by doing everything you can, keeps the feeling of moving in a positive direction.

After our experience, I can honestly tell you that the unexpected 7-1/2 weeks of rain only made us move in 2 weeks later than originally planned. Hang in there, Leann. Stay positive. Stay organized. Stay tough. The sun will come out tomorrow. :)

Anonymous said...

I,too, am trying to get a house built. Silly me. I thought it was going to be fun. Reading cozy mysteries helps me take my mind off things.

lynettek51(at) yahoo(dot) com

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Brenda. On my wall in my dorm room many moons ago, I posted a sign that said, "Don't sweat the small stuff. And it's ALL small stuff." You brought back memories! :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

I've been lingering over pictures of my granddaughters so far away. Other pictures are all packed somewhere, but I can scroll through the ones on my phone!

Leann Sweeney said...

There a MILLIONS worse off and I try to keep that in mind. It does help to remember that! Thanks, Barbara!

Leann Sweeney said...

So true, Barbara T. I'll shake all this soon! Thanks so much!

Leann Sweeney said...

I started a book by one of my favorite authors, Peter Lovesey last night and got lost in the story for awhile. (And I also watched an episode of Midsomer Murders!)

Leann Sweeney said...

That's a great idea, Lisa. Thanks. I WILL do that! :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

I have been cuddling my poor Marlowe, who is going through a very rough patch right now. He had more very severe seizures last night--the worst he's ever had--so it really shook me up. He had more this morning, but was actually walking around and eating afterward, or more like stumbling around. I am very worried about my boy so he and my other kitty and dog are getting lots of attention.

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Denise. Great ideas. And I would send that rain to you in a heartbeat if it were in my power!! You need it! We don't! :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks MaryAlice. I am so sorry for your struggles and I truly understand those ups and downs (I have Lyme). I started a great book last night. And thanks for your kind words about our books. Reading has always been a haven for me, too!

Angela Holland said...

When I am down I pick up a book and start reading as that always makes me feel better. Thank you for the chance to win.

griperang at embarqmail dot com

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks for all the kind and helpful words, Joanie. It's so good to know someone went through something very similar and came out on the other side. I know we will have our home one day. And man, I wish that sun would LITERALLY come out tomorrow!!

Leann Sweeney said...

Lynette, we're in it together! And WRITING a cozy mystery better work for me! :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Angela. Reading all these comments has helped me so much! Thank you again!!

Katreader said...

I'm so sorry. Dealing with homes and weather and issues issues out of your control is just so frustrating. I know. The process for buying my current house was a nightmare-the closing got pushed back, then the owner died...out of state...without a will...and I needed to get out of my rental house. Fortunately, it all worked out-but I said I'm never moving again-they're going to just drag my corpse out of here!

I'm in another frustrating situation now-I'm off work because of a knee injury. They're still debating if it's workman's comp or not. But nothing obvious can be found wrong, but I still have trouble walking. I'm going to have to go back to work soon, but I'm not sure I can do my job. But at the moment, nothing, aside from PT is being done. So I wait.

So what do I do? I lot of times I sit staring into space doing nothing. Sigh. I should be cleaning and organizing-that never happened. LOL I have read a lot and spent LOTSof time just playing and cuddling with my fur kids. I also worked on a craft project-but should have done more. I don't know where the time goes?

Think good thoughts, cuddle Marlowe, and try not to dwell on what you can do nothing about!

Sue Farrell said...

When I'm depressed I cuddle with my doggies and kitties (2 of each) in my huge chair and a half recliner and read a good book. Eating something really special helps, too---if one isn't on a diet.
sue farrell.farrell@gmail.com

Leann Sweeney said...

So sorry Kat. Buying, selling, building--all SO STRESSFUL! And I am so sorry about your knee. You are just waiting on other people to decide your fate. I think Marlowe having seizures again really pushed me over the edge. He had a very rough night and morning but now seems to have enough medication in him. But no promised us a rose garden, right? Good luck getting some answers on your knee. You must be so frustrated with "the system!"

traveler said...

It is a tough situation. When I feel miserable I cook meals for friends, and bring gifts to others who are infirm. It makes me feel better and cheers others up.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading some of the suggestions that people have given you and most are exactly what I would have given . My Mother just turned 94 this year and one thing she always told me is that there are so many nice people in this world but you have to go out and met them! In this day and age, meeting them in person is not always necessary,doing what you are doing now is a perfect way to relieve some of your anxiety. I would suggest, if I may , to contact one of your friends you feel comfortable with and correpond with them. When ever I feel hurt, angry, dissapointed, I always either text or pm one of my friends, with "I really miss you", I am so angry now can you kick some serious butt for me" ,and or, " I am so sad, I feel like crying" etc.. She always contacts me when she can and that makes me feel wonderful! Nicole gpoirier@inetwireless.ca

Leann Sweeney said...

Made lasagna (the crockpot recipe I developed for The Cozy Chicks Kitchen book!) Definitely need comfort food!! :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

I am cuddling with all animals and will be having my own special lasagna! Thanks Sue!

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks so much. I made enough lasagna for an army so maybe I can share! :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Nicole. I texted my daughter. Hated to bother her on her vacation, but she always has soothing things to say. She's very special and really my best friend--she and my sister!

Leann Sweeney said...

Kat, I replied below. Am a little brain dead so didn't hit reply when I answered. Thanks so much!

Libby Dodd said...

Take a day and leave. Go some place. Think about other things. Just enjoy being together.

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Libby. I would love to if I didn't have a very sick kitten and a very sick me! But I would LOVE to be on an island right now. Hawaii sounds nice. :-)

SueAnn said...

Oh, Leann.....I so hear your pain ! we live on 2 acres...a huge woods and creek...I feel like I live in a Zoo without cages...lots of animals....some I do not want! And, I am far enough away form anything..that a drive is like a trip! So....no family, no close friends...all I can do is go outside and walk......I go up and down our 300 foot drive...sit by the woods...stare at trees and birds..and do not think! At all! It is the thinking..that can kill you! And I mosey around in the back 40 for a bit....eventually...I can "feel" it is time for me to get back to whatever it was I was doing...and that awful, mad/sad, lonely...frustrated feeling..has gone.....
My grandpa use to say......go put your hands in some dirt..even if you just "riffle"(his word), with it....Seems the dirt...has a way of re-connecting us to where we came from..where we are, where we will be going...or something like that.....so...sometimes..when I am feeling like you are..if I don't walk, I "riffle"......
Just think of the pioneers.....they managed to get a house built....with wild animals and Indians.....so...a little rain (HAHAH! We are swamped in Ohio), would be nothing for them....I sometimes try to imagine I am like they were..and what would I do? They survived.....so I guess I will too...and you will too....Not easy..not always fun.....but it gets done..and you are still there....
the3beersus@yahoo.com

ANNETTE said...

Music, for me it is either Big Band/Swing or Early Rock. When I feel stressed I listen to music. And of course if we could find a sponge large enough, we could just soak the rain right out of the dirt.

Just a passing thought, Texas is still in the TERRIBLE DROUGHT. Since you left, it has not improved. But Leann, I believe it is really mean of you to go out there and get more rain than you need.

annettena@yahoo.com

Shirley said...

I am reading your book today while doing laundry. Clean sheets cheer me up, also popcorn and a glass of wine!

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks SueAnn. I got busy in the kitchen since I am SO allergic to outdoors. The smells of the meat sauce I made and the work of putting a lasagna together helped me feel better. This house doesn't make it easy to cook (no counterspace and all my cooking stuff is packed away). Plus, Marlowe is resting comfortably after a very rough night where I slept maybe an hour tops. Now, if I could just keep my eyes open to work on my book!! :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

Oh, Annette, that drought has been going on forever! You guys need the rain. I wish I could box up just what rain we had this afternoon and send it to you--along with all these dark clouds and thunder. They had a drought here LAST summer (of course). Well, guess what? IT'S OVER.

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Shirley--great minds!! I washed towels this morning and loved folding them while they were warm and I had POPCORN this afternoon. Cannot have wine with the medications, but two out of three isn't bad! :-)

Shirley said...

Leann,hang in there. We all love you and your books. I think this one is my favorite!

Kaye Killgore said...

Leann, I'm so sorry life is handing you lemons. Hugs to you. I'm not at all original, when I'm down I read and get lost in the book, and I always know that there are other people worse off than I am. So, bug hugs to you.

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Kaye. What would we do without books?? They do save us from ourselves! :-)

Lori Ruth said...

I can't help you with a creative idea, but when I'm down I read. It takes me away from my problems. Please give Marlowe kisses from me. Sending good thoughts & prayers.

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks so much. Kisses delivered. :-)

Brooke said...

Leann,

So sorry you're having so much trouble! It's very easy to get down when things aren't going the way we planned. I think you're already doing something wonderful by trying to brighten someone else's day with your wonderful giveaway. Besides, your books bring joy to so many of us each day! Getting lost in a book, taking a hot shower, watching an old movie you love...all these things help me when I'm feeling low. I hope things look up for you soon! Big hugs :)

Brooke
brookeb811[at]gmail.com

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks so much, Brooke. I did a little cooking and my kitty is doing somewhat better, but guess what? It's RAINING.

Donna Jean Eno said...

Hi Leann,
There are a few things I do when feeling blue;
1) read a good book
2) make a card and send it to someone who may also need some cheering up.
3) make a point of smiling and wishing others that I encounter, like at the store, to have a nice day. I know this may sound crazy but wishing others well helps boost your own happy endorphins. Hope this help.
Donna Jean Eno
donnajeaneno@yahoo.con

Ginny (aka Mia Burke) said...

As I go this journey called life I can share what I have done, with consideration with my own physical issues and beliefs. I found one author I found very good Her name is Joyce Meyer. I started watching her show about 5 years ago when I realized I was facing a complicated surgery. The hospital is very famous for orthopedic surgery in Boston called New England Baptist. During the time of waiting (it takes months to do a custom knee) I was asked to use CD to listen to help me. The book is called Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster: A Guide of Mind-Body Techniques along the cd Peggy Huddleston's Relaxation/Healing CD Here are a couple of things I found to help me in my mood.
Ask friends to think good and positive thoughts to help (I pray)
I am led to remember that I have felt safe before, and how to touch into it now
to help during the surgery. I asked friends (after I told them the time and date) to "think" of me, visualize a warm blanket or fleece visually feeling the love of friends.
Ok, so that is really a specific program to surgery, but I have found so many things in it to calm myself, put things in perspective
Talk to friends. Don't feel like you are complaining. Your friends love you and they care that you are down.

It is amazing what reading a good book does.
Remember a wonderful time in your life. Some it is having children, some it is how they got engaged (I always laugh at mine)
Call a friend who need to lean on you! You are a witness to others. I can't tell you how many times I have used this time to tell people how much they mean to me and some times I will recount an event.
This sounds strange, but remember those whom you loved that have passed. I found feeling those bitter sweet memories have let me realize I have moved forward before in more difficult situations.
You are woman...hear you roar! Start a conversation to your "blue self"
I call it "I have lost my joy! Where is my joy?!" Yes, my mood has a personality. Several years ago I lead a women's ministry program with a class I called "Where is my Joy?" I found Joyce Meyers book very helpful and I was able to really look at the topic. It was well received and the top class of the day. It works for me because I have an organized mind (of course I can't say I have an organized life! LOL) so I had to begin with myself and think .... what gives me joy?

I have started a "bucket list" of sorts. Things to achieve before it is too late. It is simple things, it is travel, having a wonderful garden.it is most thing that I CAN achieve within my physical and financial position. My first bucket list item was to visit Savannah and stay in a B&B (I have never stayed in a B&B). I have been wanting to do this for over 20 years and then 3 years ago my husband said...let's do it. Well can I tell you even though we brought food to eat and skipped meals and saved, saved, saved. I cried when we were finally checked in. I had my doubts to this bucket item. A wonderful memory, downright gleeful.

I am just too long winded... in closing I hope you will find the answers here helpful. Look deep into a flower and realize how complex it is and let your mind wounder. The shape of the petals... etc. etc. Fine joy in the divine.

Start listing all the good things that have happened today, a good cup of coffee, Meeting friends for dessert night....and all the thoughts and memories you have made. Remember, your friends and relatives. The ones that make you laugh, the ones who have an incredible life, a cousin who is like a sister. What you are grateful for. I have started asking my husband "what was the best part of your day today?" A little switch up on the usual "how was your day?"

Sorry I was so long winded but I find, women especially, sometimes feel they "don't have time" for these feelings and that is just not the case. Make an effort to "find the joy" and soon your joy will find you.

Aurian said...

Hi Leann, if the weather is going to be so bad for such a long time, can your husband just not build some posts and put tarps on them to keep the foundation dry? Instead of having to pump it dry daily?

If I am sad or in a bad mood, I just watch a musical movie I love, like Grease or Mama Mia, and that makes my mood better. Also, re-reading a favourite book is good therapy.

Tammie Wheeler said...

Leann, so sorry you are having a rough time. Your books bring me such happiness and comfort, I hope that you can find that,too, in your reading. My favorite thing to bust the blues is to laugh. Not a chuckle or a grin, but a real gut-busting laugh. I watch a favorite movie or go to LOLcats. I have a weird sense of humor, so you might not enjoy what I enjoy: the first Austin Powers movie, Strangers with Candy, or a David Sedaris book. It's a great stress reliever.

Rachelle21 said...

I am still catching up with my husband in the hospital. I got to draw a picture of a little girl, yesterday, whose grandfather is dying. The little girl and I colored it together. It was a little something and it made me forget for a few minutes. I have the book and look forward to reading it soon.

Leann Sweeney said...

Great ideas. Thank you! Sorry not to reply sooner but my cat and I have both been pretty darn sick. We are on the mend after a lot of medicine! :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks so much, Ginny. You have such a wonderful spirit! Sorry to be so long in replying, but of course stress leads many times to illness. And both my precious kitty and I got very sick. We are both on the mend now, thank goodness!

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Aurian! Wish tarps were an option. This weather has been so bad, three huge trees were uprooted in the lot next to ours because the soil is so saturated. So the rain also comes with wind--and there is no tarp big enough to really protect the hole. It would fill up like a swimming pool liner and then it would have to be pumped out, too. We hear the weather will be improving (maybe) next week. Fingers crossed!!

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks so much Tammie! Laughter is a wonderful cure for what ails me. This week laughs have been in short supply because I've had bronchitis and kitty Marlowe has been close to death twice because of severe seizures. But both of us are getting better! And The Daily Show comes back after a couple weeks off. I DO love The Daily Show to get my dose of laughter ! :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Rachelle. I hope your husband is okay. Sending positive energy your way!! (And doing for someone else or sharing a moment like you did is powerful medicine!)