Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Running on Empty with The #FatChick #aging #MyWANA #ASMSG


Welcome to another installment in the ongoing saga that is my life as a forty something fat chick. That's right. I'm The Fat Chick and today it's confession time. With all I have going on in my life, I now find myself at a crossroads and unsure of where to go.

I take that back. I do know where I want to go and where I need to go with my life and my career as an author, publisher and retiring veterinarian. It's the sheer number of things on my "to do" list that's holding me back. I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off for the last six months or so, trying to take care of four pen names and everything that goes with them, work over forty hours a week as a veterinarian in a very demanding pet hospital, take care of my household, two cats and hubby and get myself on a healthier track.

I'm failing at all of it.


Okay, so it's not that bad, but I'm not making the strides I need to in each area. Instead of concentrating on each point and completing it to the best of my abilities, I've been spreading myself out too thin trying to do it all. I'm getting no where fast and running out of gas. Hence the title of my post tonight.

I'm sure you all figured out I didn't write this post early enough to go out early in the morning. Instead we all meet here late at night after I got home from a ten hour shift at the vet hospital. I took last night off for some "me" time and much needed sleep. It was hard but I managed to stay completely off my computer. I didn't blog, tweet, share the posts on Triberr, or do any promotions for the books I have out now. 

I feel guilty about it too. I know I shouldn't, but I do. That's the problem. I have to let that go and concentrate on ME now. All the good progress I made in the control of my diabetes, weight loss and blood pressure are being erased by my bad habits now. Enough is enough.

I'm taking the bull by the horns again and re-evaluating my priorities. Two of my pen names will have to go on "vacation" while I work with the other two to get out the summer anthology. That means some of the fans of the Bigfoot erotica written by Tawny Savage will be disappointed to have to wait another two months for her next novella—but so be it. I can't put my best work out there if I have nothing left to give.



While I love to write these posts each week, I may have to skip one or move it to another day. I can no longer commit myself to projects just for the idea of getting my brand out there, when in fact I can't give any more of myself. If I can't give my all to a project, it's not fair to the others involved nor to myself. I want nothing more than to succeed in this, but the direction I'm going right now is not the way.



Look for the new me over the next month. I'm looking forward to seeing what I can get accomplished now that I've given myself permission to just say NO.

Until next time,
~The Fat Chick

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The #FatChick Discovers Another Cousin of The Seven Witches of Menopause—Insomnia #aging #MyWANA


It's Tuesday once again and time for some sharing from this forty something year old fat chick. In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm "The Fat Chick" and this is my chance to share with you the craziness that is my life now that I'm in my late forties.

I'm not one of those broads who's constantly worried about getting older. In fact, I WELCOME it. I don't always enjoy what I have to go through during this stage of my life, but all of it is a part of me and my life journey. Of course it's all fodder for my books and my blogs. LOL!

Well, fodder isn't quite the right word here...fair game is more like it. ;) I mean that. I don't have a lot of secrets in my life anymore. I've exposed most of them through my characters in the books I write as myself or my alter egos Lia Michaels, Stephanie Ryan, and Tawny Savage. The raw emotions and their life challenges have all been what I've lived through. Through them, I've worked through my various issues, one at a time. It's the best form of therapy for me. 


However, there's one thing plaguing me as of late. I didn't think I'd have to deal with this since I've been battling Sleepy Witch of Menopause off and on for some time. Unfortunately, she's taken a backseat to her older cousin, Insomnia. 

It's become so bad lately, I'm finding myself losing track of what I'm doing during the day. Without enough full, deep sleep, I just appear to go through the motions. I can't think, my words jumble, and I can't follow conversations going on around me. This is no good when you're trying to pull information out of a tight-lipped pet owner about what's going on with their animal.


Normally my mind is going around four or five sentences faster than my mouth, but not when Insomnia comes calling. That witch turns my brain to mush and I can't remember what happened five minutes ago let alone five days ago. This is the most frustrating feeling for me. I used to pride myself on being able to multitask and zip through my day. Now I'm lucky to make it through my shift at the veterinary hospital and get through everything on my to do list.

I'm not sure why this is happening to me. I've been working on my diet and weight loss program. My blood sugar is fairly well regulated. I drink my water throughout the day and only have caffeine once or twice a week and that's early in the day. So why am I being plagued with sleepless days and nights? 

Insomnia is even interfering with my nap time folks! Something has to be done and fast! LOL

Seriously, the more I look at my life, the more I realize I'm under a tremendous amount of pressure and stress. My husband is retiring from the Coast Guard at the end of the summer and we're moving to another state. A new life, new job, new everything is in front of me and I'm scared shitless. 

I've moved and changed jobs before, but at this point in my life, I'm worried that I can't cut it. I'm not digging being a veterinarian anymore but it's all I've done for the last twenty-one years. It's what I've worked for my entire life from the age of nine up until now. I've reached the point where I've accomplished all I'm going to in this profession. I want more from life than being an old woman shuffling to work every day to poke and prod my patients. 

It's time I moved out of the way and let the young whipper snappers waiting in the wings take over. They've watched me and learned what they need to in order to make the job their own. It's time I let them do it. That's the part that scares me. What if I didn't teach them enough for them to survive? What if I let them down and they fail?

All of these thoughts and questions run through my brain each and every night along with my publishing deadlines, finding new ways to promote my books, make new connections and friends and help them promote their work...

It never ends. I have to find another way to divert my mind and body from obsessing over all of this. Life will go forward no matter what I do or freak out over. It's time I accept that, and roll with the punches. Until I do, I'll just keep awake for as long as I can, just like the kids in those Freddy Krueger movies. The song in the video below always reminds me of those movies and it's pretty spot on for how I'm feeling right now. 

Enjoy!
Until next time,
~The Fat Chick



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The #FatChick Smashes A Common Myth About Women Over Forty #aging #libido #MyWANA


Welcome to the Memoirs of this Forty Something Fat Chick here at Not Enough Time in the Day. This week I'd like to address the commonly held notion that once a broad hits the big FOUR OH, her sex drive runs for the hills, never to be seen again.

If you believe that bad boy, you're just asking for a smack in the face ala Cher in Moonstruck.



Personally, I think this particular myth was started by a group of men that wanted to keep control of their wives, girlfriends and daughters. They didn't want them to find out what really happens to their body when they reach the start of their fifth decade of life. (Yes, when you hit forty, you start the fifth decade if you count the years birth to 10 as decade #1, 11-20 as decade #2...get the picture?) ;)

Why did they want to keep this info from the women in their lives? Simple. They were used to being the alpha males, the one to control if, when and how often they did the deed with their women. There's no way they'd allow their bodies to be used as instruments of pleasure. No no no. It wouldn't do to allow the weaker sex to control what happened in the bedroom. They may end up unlocking their inner freak and we wouldn't want that now would we? hehehehe

I joke about this because I've met women who've actually bought into this crap. They've convinced themselves their once active libido has left the building. Oh don't get me wrong. These females are becoming less interested in the same old sex they've had with their partner for years. They want to feel the curl your toes, full body shuddering, screaming every obscenity in the book pleasure that comes with diving into the sexual unknown.

Why do you think the Fifty Shades books were so popular with "Mommies"? The little bit of taboo in those pages gave them permission to explore their own naughty fantasies and not feel like they're too old to do it. Trying out a little light bondage with silk scarves and ties was enough to restart their engines and show them they could take over in the bedroom if they really wanted to do it. 

Personally, I've never understood it when friends told me they were too tired to have sex or they could do without it all together. Once they turned forty, they found they had a widely accepted excuse at their disposal. They could blame it on their age and their partner would have to accept it.

Right?

WRONG! 

At forty-seven, my hormones may be out of whack, but they sure as heck didn't damper my interest in sex. In fact, I found the opposite is true. I want sex all the time. I've become equal to those twenty-somethings that hump like bunnies 24/7. Not that I get to do that, mind you but if given half a chance I just might! LOL!

So is my reaction the exception to the rule? NOPE. It's perfectly normal and it's time we take back our sexuality and just enjoy it. Why do you think there are so many cougar tales out there? More and more older women are tossing aside the old vanilla routines and going for the younger dudes who can keep up with their need to explore their down and dirty side.

It's time to stop hiding behind the menopause excuse and get your freak on! Tell your partner exactly what you want to explore with them and DO IT!

Until next time my hotties!
~The Fat Chick

Friday, January 10, 2014

#FurbabyFriday: Pets That Bite Without Warning Are a Hazard and a Liability #pethealth #veterinarian #MyWANA


Welcome to my first Furbaby Friday post of the new year. It's been a while since I wrote a piece for this feature segment but events at work last night got my brain running on overdrive and I had to share.

I worked the late shift at the veterinary hospital last night. The day went pretty well until the second to the last patient. It was a cat we've never seen before and the owner didn't bring any records from her other veterinarian. My receptionist and technician only had the information the owner provided on her client information sheet and verbally during the check in process.

The cat presented with a common ailment: conjunctivitis. This is usually due to the feline herpes virus and something we can help the owner manage quite easily—most of the time. The cat was very calm and allowed me to perform a full oral exam, listen to his heart and lungs and palpate his abdomen without any problem. I even went back and showed the owners the amount of dental disease present and recommended a comprehensive oral assessment treatment plan for them to consider after we get his conjunctivitis under control. 

This is where the visit turned ugly. 


Without warning, the cat viciously clamped down on my right hand and removed a nice little chunk of my flesh. Within seconds of that, he went back to being a quiet patient as if nothing happened. What shocked me the most was the owner's reaction. She apologized and said, "Yeah, that's why he's been banned from two other veterinary clinics."

Really? I could've used that bit of information a little earlier than AFTER my hand is injected with all the bacteria residing in the cat's mouth! My injury wouldn't have occurred at all if the owner told my staff or myself this cat's history. We need this information in order to give the best care possible. We have to keep the patient safe as well as the owner, the staff and the doctor.

The history is a very important part in this case because the cat gave absolutely no warning he was upset. His ears were not laid back. He was actually purring during the exam. His eyes were not fully dilated. There wasn't a growl, hiss, swipe of a paw or anything to lead me or my staff to believe he would turn on me. 

I didn't do anything painful for this animal either. No injections. No deep palpations of sore limbs. Nothing.

Pet owners it is your responsibility to inform anyone who comes in contact with your animal any behavior or health issues. YOU are legally responsible if your pet injures another person, especially if you allowed the contact to take place knowing full well the danger you put everyone in during the encounter.

The lesson learned here for my staff and myself is to ask more pointed questions about the patient's behavior. Even if we have to ask repeatedly to get the owner to be honest about it, we'll do it. If we tick some folks off by that they'll just have to take their business elsewhere. We don't have to take this sort of thing when all we want to do is help keep their pet healthy.


To those people who think I should have known the cat would turn on me because I'm a veterinarian—you must've missed the part where I said the cat bit me WITHOUT WARNING. This same thing could've happened to a child in this owner's home. If this animal has a history of biting like this, it can be considered a menace and a danger to people. Animal control can step in and remove the animal from the house to be euthanized.

I don't want that thing to happen to any of my patients but if this sort of behavior is "normal" for this cat, these owners have to seriously consider their options. The first one would be to see a veterinary behaviorist to see if there is anything to be done to curb the biting. Cat aggression is out of my expertise and I always refer my clients to specialists for help on this one.


If they refuse to do that, they need to be more proactive about keeping all encounters with this cat safe for everyone. Not allowing the cat to interact with house guests is a good idea. Informing veterinary personnel about the cat's short fuse and will bite without warning is a MUST each and every time.

This is the third bite I've received in my twenty-one year career that's bad enough for me to be worried about my ability to heal quickly and without additional intervention. By that I mean I may need to have surgery on my hand if this bugger gets infected. I'm on medication now and flushing the wound twice daily, but that may not be enough. Depending on the "bugs" living in that cat's mouth, I could be in for a hell of a medical nightmare.

This is the sort of thing that makes me happy I'm looking at retiring this summer. Injuries like this now take longer for me to bounce back from simply because I'm getting older. I don't have time to be laid up from a potentially career ending bite wound.


Take home message: If you have a pet that's a biter or has shown any aggressive tendencies in the past with family, strangers or other veterinarians, PLEASE be sure to give full disclosure to the next vet and their staff. It will make things so much easier and safer for your pet and everyone else involved.

Until next time,
~Dr. Tammy

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The #FatChick's Discovered the Wonderful World of Naps #aging #MyWANA


Welcome back to this week's edition of Memoirs of a Forty Something Fat Chick. This week I'd like to share a secret...

I love naps.



I swear as soon as the clock struck midnight on my fortieth birthday, not only did my bladder shrink to the size of a walnut, my vision wet out the door, I had more hot flashes than a Vegas pole dancer, but my body immediately wanted to drop off for some zzzz.

WTF?


Actually, I'm not really complaining about that one. I've found a power nap in the afternoon can give me that added boost I need to get through the rest of the day. I'm starting to rush through eating my lunch at work so I can whip out my travel pillow and take a siesta. Remember when we were in grade school and we had quiet time where we could just lay our heads down on the desk and take a break?  Yeah, that's me EVERY DAY now. I kid you not.

I live for that little nap and if I can get an hour in...well, let's just say I'm absolutely over the moon. For some reason, being able to get that bit of "me" time not only recharges my batteries, but it makes me think I'm doing something decadent. Sure the house is a mess, but this broad needs to hug her pillow for a bit before she even THINKS about tackling the dishes and the laundry.


When I finally got my butt into the doctor in September, I had taken the art of napping to the extreme. That's when I knew something was wrong with me. The little power naps weren't helping. I found myself dozing off for HOURS and losing an entire day. That wasn't healthy for me or for my marriage. Now that I have my weight loss program going and my diabetes is nearly controlled, I'm back to just dabbling in the dream world during the day and saving all the power sleeping for the nights curled up with the hubby.

Speaking of that—Goodnight my peeps! it's 1:33am now and time to curl up and dream a little dream.

Until next week,
~Tammy



Monday, January 6, 2014

#OhMy! Monday: Author @PiperPunches Shares a Bit About Herself and Her #Debut Release


Welcome to Not Enough Time in the Day and the return of our Oh My! Monday spot. This week we have author Piper Punches stopping in to tell us a bit about herself and her debut novel The Waiting Room. Here's the blurb...

Waiting rooms tell stories. They are a medical purgatory. Some sit in the waiting room for hours to be shone the light, graced with blessings. For others this is the final holding room before they are delivered into hell; facing uncertainty, despair, sadness, even death.

Available on AMAZON.com
When Charlotte receives a note on the day of her mother’s funeral containing a cryptic message, she is confused and intrigued. Although she knew that waiting rooms told stories, she never realized that part of her own story resided in this seemingly neutral environment.  But, then again, why should she be surprised? Her mother had secrets. Charlotte knew this.  She just didn’t know how life-altering those secrets could be. . .

A stunning debut novel from Piper Punches, The Waiting Room weaves a tale that reveals the complexities of family, the invisible bonds that connect people, and the pain that can reverberate through the choices we make. Told from several points of view the story becomes clearer and clearer with each turn of the page that the secrets we keep aren’t always ours to take to the grave.



Welcome to the hot seat, Piper. So happy you could join us today.
Thank you. I'm excited to be here. In fact, it's the first of three stops I have planned with you and your alter egos. ;)

That's right! We'll give more details about you next visits at the end of the interview. Why don't we get things started with one of the most common questions asked of all writers—what or who inspired you to start writing?

To quote Maya Angelou, "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." People inspire me to write. Everyone has a story inside of them; something that can be embellished and explained that challenges the way we may view that person's actions or choices. Telling other people's stories and studying human nature deeply and intimately is what inspires me to write.

What are the recurring core issues in your stories? Why do you think you are drawn to these types of characters/plots again and again?

When I write a story I strive to peel apart the layers of my characters. I want you, the reader, to see their flaws, experience their brilliance, and cringe at their bluntness. Issues that tend to appear over and over again in whatever I write are issues of conflict and turmoil. Not just between the characters, but the conflict and turmoil that resides within my characters. I don't write stories that are sugar-coated. It's not in my nature. I prefer my characters to be sweet and sour. 


What are your favorite fiction genres to read from?
I tend to read general fiction titles that are more character driven rather than plot driven. Examples? Let's see. Just this year I have read A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra, Five Grounds by Scott Rempel, and And the Moutains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. However, I also really enjoyed The Passage and The Twelve, both by Justin Cronin; once in a while I cross genre lines. 


Besides reading and writing, what activities do you enjoy in your leisure time?
I love to quilt! It's a hobby that helps me relax my mind and be creative in a completely different way. I am currently working on an Amish style quilt that is probably going to take me my entire life to finish. 


I also love to workout. I know. I am one crazy – bleeeeep!  It may be cliché, but I don't feel like I can start my day off right without hitting the gym. I actually use this time to think about the direction I want my stories to go. 

What’s your day job? Do you like it? Why or why not? How has your job affected your personal development? How has it affected your writing life?

Oh, my goodness! My day job has changed so much over the past several years. Currently, I write full-time, while teaching music to preschoolers part-time. I started a music business six years ago that became quite successful, but over the past two years I have pulled back and drastically reduced the number of preschools I offer my program to simply because I have had the opportunity to make an income from writing. 


The day job that influenced my writing the most would have to be my time as a social worker at a domestic violence shelter. For eight years, I worked alongside some amazing women, helping countless other women and children create safe, violence-free lives for themselves. The work was tiring and burnout is what led me to leave, but the stories, the pain, the hope, and the sadness that I witnessed during those eight years shaped the person I am today. They helped me understand that human beings are not one-dimensional and unless you have the same experience as someone else you can't possibly judge them. 
Get your copy from AMAZON

In one or two sentences, give the core premise behind your story.

The Waiting Room is about learning to let go of the past, embracing the future, and learning to see our loved ones as three-dimensional people with their own experiences that shaped the person they are today. It is a story about a woman seeing her mother as a more than a caregiver, but a human being capable of fault and error.

What is the theme at the heart of your story?
In a word: forgiveness. Forgiveness is something that I think everyone struggles with at one point or time in their lives. Either they cannot let go of someone treating them poorly or they can't forgive themselves for choices they made that altered the course of their lives. All the primary characters in this book struggle with past choices and in some cases this struggle paralyzed their future and interfered with their ability to form meaningful relationships. But, once these characters let go of grudges and decided to forgive themselves hope begins to filter into their lives. 



About the Author

Piper Punches lives in the far west suburbs of St. Louis with her husband and two daughters. The Waiting Room is her debut novel. Piper is excited to connect with her readers and encourages everyone to stop by her website and say hello. In the meantime, she is currently working on her second novel, 60 Days, which will be available April 2014 and a short novella, Missing Girl, available January 2014.




CONNECT WITH PIPER PUNCHES


Look for Piper to visit with my alter ego Stephanie Ryan on Through Stephanie's Eyes January 16th and with me again on Behind Closed Doors on January 26th.




Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The #FatChick Makes Plans for the New Year Filled with Changes and New Adventure #amwriting #MyWANA #ampublishing


Happy New Year and welcome to Not Enough Time in the Day. I'm the "Fat Chick" here to once again share a bit of life after the age of forty. If it's your first time here...welcome and thank you for stopping in. If you've been here before, please forgive me while I fill in the others for a few minutes...and thank you for coming back! ♥♥♥

I discovered many things in my life changed the INSTANT I turned forty. I'm not kidding. From my vision to my ability to take off the weight I gained over the holidays, from snapping back after illnesses—everything in my world changed. Not for the better either but I'm getting through all that and making it better for myself. What I share here on this blog is my journey through it all. Whether it's good, bad, or downright miserable, I'll share it as it happens.

Like many people, I thought about making resolutions for the coming year, but with a huge list of events already ahead of me, I thought it was best just to step back and take note of how far I've come so far.

In September I was diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure basically due to my obesity. It's all documented in previous posts. So far I've lost just under thirty pounds and have my blood pressure almost perfect thanks to diet, exercise and a mild diuretic. My goal for this part is to be off the diuretic by September 2014. One year on my new plan is enough time and so far, so good!

I hope to be thirty pounds lighter by June when the hubby and I fly to Denver for the RomCon University and RomCon readers convention. Sixty pounds in a year is a manageable goal and I'll definitely feel a lot better breathing in those altitudes! This last year it was rough for me and was another wake up call to get healthy.

By September 2014, I hope to not have to worry about being diabetic. Yes that's a bit of a tougher goal to achieve, but if I can get the weight off, and continue with my diet and exercise plan, it is achievable. I'm leaving that on my list.



Time to buck up buttercup and accept the fact I need trifocals. Period. End of story. Even though my last driver's test showed I didn't need the vision restriction, it's the fine print that's killing me! There are some fabulously sexy frames out there now. I can rock the sexy librarian look better than anyone! Bring it!




I'm forty-seven years old. Time to accept the fact I won't have children of my own and more than likely won't adopt. It gets harder and harder for those in my age bracket to adopt kids. You wouldn't think it would be with all the kids who need homes with loving parents, but it is. This is the "curse" I bring to my younger hubby. If we by chance get to adopt, then it's our destiny to do so. I'll not force the issue and make myself feel less of a woman any longer.

Oh those Seven Witches/Bitches of Menopause will continue to plague me throughout my perimenopausal time right through the actual crazy hormonal upheaval. Whatever! I've had hot flashes since I was in my twenties. I've always been a bitch and the moodiness is a constant pain in my backside. They won't take over my year as I have my fabulous hubby by my side. He's seen me at my worst and he's still hanging around. Must be love. ♥♥♥

So in between having to run to the bathroom every 10 minutes, turning up the volume on the phone and televison, squinting to read fine print even with magnifying reading glasses, and sitting in front of an industrial sized fan to get through the hottest of flashes, I'll keep going. I get to go into semi-retirement this summer while hubby fully retires from the Coast Guard. We'll be moving to the beautiful Seattle area and starting a brand new life and career running our own publishing company. 

Life is as they say...GOOD for this old broad. Take care my friends. I'll see you all next week.

~The Fat Chick