This Week’s Menu, August 14, 2016

Modern studio background, sepia look

Menu for the week of August 14, 2016

Breakfast: Pancakes, a late breakfast since it plans to rain all day
Lunch: Skipping lunch
Dinner: Roast turkey (It’s a small bird.)

Breakfast: Breakfast burrito
Lunch: Pasta salad
Dinner: Sausage and peppers with rice

Breakfast: Leftover pancakes
Lunch:  Tabouli
Dinner:  Turkey leftovers

Breakfast: Bagels with schmear
Lunch: Grilled cheese sandwiches
Dinner:  Red beans and rice

Breakfast: Oatmeal
Lunch:  Turkey salad sandwiches (I’ll be freezing whatever meat is left and saving some for the dogs.)
Dinner:  Cheeseburgers

Breakfast: Cheese omelette
Lunch:  BLT
Dinner: Fried trout

Breakfast:  Breakfast out (We almost always have breakfast out if we’re hunting garage sales.)
Lunch: Soup and salad
Dinner: Taco night

Our heat wave is on hiatus. There’s a good chance of rain every day for the next 10 days. I’m not complaining. It’ll still be in the mid 90s but that’s better than the 109 we had last Friday.

The constant chance of rain means most of my work will be indoors. On my to-do list is to finish refinishing a dvd cabinet we bought at a garage sale. I also want to repaint the ceilings in the main living areas of the house before the cabinet refinishers come in.

There are other jobs on my list, but those two have priority.

Yesterday, I spent HOURS doing one tedious task I had put off for a long time. I cleaned out my email boxes. I deleted more than 25,000 emails. The last time I cleaned them out that thoroughly was 4 years ago.

It made me sad and sometimes angry. Some of the people who had emailed me over the years had stopped corresponding with me all together. I have no idea why. I had even gone so far as to try to reconnect, but I never got a response.

Others (mostly authors) were hugely popular on social media and now I never hear about them. Did they switch careers? Burn out? Die?

A couple of people did die and that made me relive the fateful days I learned of their deaths.

There was one troubling trend in the deleted emails. I had a lot of people asking favors–sometimes big favors. I love being able to help when I can, but many of these people were nearly strangers. I have a hard time asking for favors, and here was a whole passel of strangers more or less demanding my time or my artwork. Maybe I look like a patsy for a sad story.

There were good memories in those emails too, but they seemed overshadowed by the many people who contacted me to get something for nothing. It’s a sad commentary.

Have you ever cleaned out your email box of old emails? Are there people on that list that no longer talk to you?

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  1. Damn it, Maria, this is something I need to do, and now you’ve made me feel guilty–clearing emails. A crate of beer and a very long playlist is called for. Probably start with ‘telltales’ and online newspapers before moving on to the personal. Ref your thoughts on various people, it’s another layer of wisdom, I guess.

  2. I can count on one hand the number of people I’ve met in this biz who turned out to be genuine friends. Don’t ask me how many have claimed to be my friend simply to get information or job recs or favors from me or to tell other people I was their buddy; I can’t count that high.

    I cleaned out 1936 e-mails this summer from the last pro account I had. I read every one of them again, too, so I could be sure there wasn’t anything I missed. 90% of them were people asking for something from me — free signed books, cover quotations, job recs, insider info on editors, the works. Collectively it was rather disheartening to take in. The good news is that since I went freelance as a ghost writer almost no one I know or worked with in the biz (present company excepted) speaks to me. I guess I’m too grubby now, lol. So anyone who e-mails now generally doesn’t have a hidden agenda.

    I was reading an article this morning that said all we need are five friends, which includes the spouse or partner. I wonder if that’s valid — what do you think, Maria?

    • Lynn: I have to be honest. Reading through some of those old emails depressed me. There were so many fakers and ‘friends’ who turned out to be fakers. Too many times it was a ruse to get something from me.

      re: grubby
      LOL! I noticed the same response when I switched away from writing fiction. There’s comfort in familiarity and now I had become an outsider.

      re: five friends
      I’d heard a similar theory years ago. I think it’s true too. I’m wary of people with “too many” friends. There’s something unnatural about it, as if it were a deliberate construct to further their goals.

      I can count on one hand the number of people I can trust not only with my life, but with my secrets, and I’m good with that.

  3. That’s a task I’ve been meaning to do and just keep putting off. I sometimes keep mean or nasty emails from people as a reminder to not let them get too close to me again, if at all. I try to stay open to people and relationships changing and improving etc, but I’ve learned I need to watch my back. And my heart.

  4. I’ve been working on deleting emails too off and on. I had emails back from 2011, now I think I’m up to 2013 so I’m making progress. It is interesting how we lose touch with people over the years.


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