The lions of March


There’s that saying “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” It’s usually in reference to the weather, but for me it’s effected me inside more than outside.

The last day of February I came down with a cold, my first cold of the entire winter season. I’ve had colds before, I’m familiar with and can handle the constant sneezing, coughing, nose blowing and proverbial trail of kleenex I leave in my wake. What I was unprepared for was waking up this past Friday morning with a horrible earache and partial deafness in my left ear.

I took some ibuprofen to dull the pain and as I’ve dealt with plugged ears before, I knew it would unplug eventually. Unfortunately, by the end of the day I felt worse and by Saturday, I knew continuing to hope for the best might not be the wisest course. So I drove myself to urgent care, was told my ear wasn’t infected (thankfully!) and left with a prescription for antibiotics. Once home I took more pain meds, my prescription and went back to bed, the place I’d been spending much of my time since Friday morning.

Despite my discomfort, I know how fortunate I am that I work from home and am able to rest as needed. I’ve managed to get work done because I can sit down somewhere comfortable to do it and don’t have to worry about making anyone else sick. Even so, I’m not getting done as much as I’d planned for March.

I’d planned to make March my lion month, my month to roar and get things done! Write about more Amesbury businesses, work on my clay projects, expand my freelance writing, start spring cleaning and so on. Alas, I’ve been too tired to focus on much of that and I fear I’m falling behind. I can catch up, I’m tenacious and determined enough to, but first I need to get well.

Today I woke feeling more human and functional than I have in several days and for that I’m truly grateful! I’m still moving a bit slower than usual, Jazz seems worried I’m dying and ibuprofen is my best friend but I know I’m on the road to recovery. Every improvement, even minor ones, are major victories. Even so, I’ve dealt with enough lions of March and I’m ready for some nice, fuzzy lambs!

The Tenacity of Roses

Some very tenacious rose blooms

Some very tenacious rose blooms

A few months ago I had to do some serious pruning on the rosebush growing by my kitchen window. The bush is actually two types of rose bushes planted almost on top of each other for reasons I don’t understand. The previous owners of my house did a lot of things I will probably never understand. Somehow both rose bushes survive within each other and produce their unique blooms periodically through the season. One bush makes small, dark red blooms and the other makes larger, orangey-pink blooms that reach up quite high. I don’t quite think the colors work together but as they grow with little help from me, I’m not messing with it.

The bush had become overrun with vines that were not only strangling it but threatening to climb up the outside of my house if I didn’t get things under control. Following an afternoon of mowing in the hot sun I decided I’d tackle the vines since I was already sweaty. The vines were tangled around almost every branch of the rose bushes and other nearby undergrowth so it took considerable yanking and cutting to get them all out. In the process I also had to cut back a large amount of the rose bushes because they were sagging into the yard. Once free of all the vines, the rose bushes looked rather sickly and pathetic and I wasn’t certain they’d recover.

To my surprise, the rose bushes survived and their branches remained covered with bright green leaves. I received yet another surprise a few days ago when I saw that a handful of the orangey-pink blossoms had sprouted from the top of the bush. I’d completely failed to notice that it even had new buds! When I looked at it last night I saw that the smaller, dark red bush had also produced one little bloom further down among the tangle of bushes. I am so very impressed that the bushes found the strength to bloom once more after being nearly strangled to death by vines.

In my endless search for lessons and meanings in every new experience I concluded that the tenacity of roses is something to aspire to. Those roses kept growing despite the hardships they faced. Those bushes created new buds and blooms even when other natural elements had tried very hard to bring them down. Even amid the rain and gray skies, their colorful petals burn brightly and their fragrance is soft and sweet. Roses have thorns to protect themselves but they’re never afraid to share their beauty with the world. A rather unique demonstration of nature’s eternal sense of balance.

Writing Every Word

JulieAnn on Twitter

My friend showed me this and it made my day!

Twitter is my favorite social media tool. For the first several months I was on Twitter I only had a handful of followers. Then I read some tips on how to get more followers and went to work. I started following accounts that felt like celebrities to me. As I am in love with Boston and Massachusetts, I looked up area businesses and residents. I would follow them, read their tweets, click on any links in the tweets and quote them with my own comment. I found this activity very enjoyable and educational. The reward was that some of them would actually follow me back! Within a week I’d gained almost 100 new followers.

There are tons of helpful sites that talk about gaining Twitter followers but I am not one of those sites. I only know what I did and why. Twitter is my way of connecting with the state I love and with fellow writers, artists, parents and animal lovers. I write every single word of my Tweets and I don’t use auto-follow back or auto-reply or whatever else there is. If I Tweet you, it’s because I physically typed out the words. Not all my Tweets are exciting but they’re all 100% written by me.

I’ve just recently discovered Hootsuite and every morning when I get up I schedule enough Tweets to get me through to lunch. At lunch I compose and schedule more and then sometimes I schedule them to post through the night. I write every single one of those posts and I try to make them sound unique and interesting. I’m still trying to get the hang of promoting myself without feeling conceited about it and I try not to repeat myself. I never know what Tweet will grab someone’s attention but I’m always glad when any of them do! Here’s the link to my profile on Twitter if you’re curious: JulieAnn on Twitter

If you’re wondering about the woman behind the written words, check out my video page because Jazzmin and I just made a little movie tonight!