Info Dump

springflowersRich usually reads my blog posts before I submit them. He will occasionally talk me out of one – like the last one I wanted to post. He said it seemed more a mishmash of information rather than a cohesive post. He was right, and I nixed it.

However, that gave me the idea to do a post consisting of random thoughts, so here we go …

The first item is a tough one: My brother passed away unexpectedly last week. He was a kind man who loved to laugh and loved to make people laugh. I considered doing a post about him. There are many funny stories to tell, but you didn’t know him, and you sort of had to be there for the funny, so I just want to put it out into the universe that he was a good man, and he will be missed. He was only sixty-one.

Age: In April, I am going to be sixty. I haven’t been shy about saying our son is now twenty-eight, and I am a grandmother, but I never mentioned that I didn’t have him until I was thirty-one. I think using Susan Hunter for my avatar may have given the wrong impression about the person behind the image. It wasn’t intentional. I simply didn’t have a current photo when I first began blogging, and I didn’t want to have one taken. I still don’t. Besides, I like the overall branding that came about for my books by using “everything Susan” and everything pink.

A public service announcement: When you are self-employed, be sure to watch your taxes. (Sad story deleted here.) The bottom line – just make sure you hold enough money back – and stop blaming your accountant for missing the big picture even though you told him last fall what your totals for the year would be.

Weather: Can we be done with winter now? I nearly fell on ice again yesterday. I’m ready for spring flowers, and I’m ready to start writing out on our deck again.

Books: I can’t stop reading. I’m sort of out of control. I finally read Creativity For Sale by Jason Surfrapp. This is the book in which I sponsored page 105. Remember? “Two sassy women from Ohio. One finds criminals. One finds dead bodies. They should meet. Books by Maddie Cochere –

I’m still satisfied with the wording I chose, and I’m especially pleased that I was able to write the books and have the two women meet, thereby giving the ad substance. If you’re an entrepreneur, or looking to launch a business or website, or simply want to be motivated to work harder within your business, this is a great book to read. Jason has an engaging writing style, and I appreciated his willingness to share what worked and what didn’t as he embarked on his own creative endeavors.

Creativity_For-Sale1_smYes, that is a pathetic excuse for a snowman, but that is what Ohio is right now. Sloppy and messy, and we need more sunshine. Most people take a picture of the book on the beach or some other lovely locale. I’ve got nothing but the poor snowman with dog biscuit eyes.

Miscellaneous: I haven’t won the lottery yet, I think I’ve turned the corner on a bout of bronchitis, and I’m making spaghetti for supper tonight. I’m going to start spring cleaning soon. The spring cleaning might be a post of its own. I have a feeling it could turn into an adventure.

End Info Dump

Feel free to dump some info of your own into the comments!

78 thoughts on “Info Dump

  1. So sorry to hear about your brother. My thoughts are with you. What a difficult time it must be for you and your family.

    I don’t really know where to go from there for such a serious issue, so I’ll just say I’m ready for spring in Ohio, too. Pronto.

    • Thank you, Carrie. Last week was a difficult week, but I am at peace with his passing. It helps to think that he and Dad are off fishing again. I’m assuming there are fishing ponds in heaven.

      And yes, now we have ice rain after I shoveled more snow an hour ago. Come Spring!!

  2. So sorry to hear about your brother, Maddie. I have no siblings, but I love my fake brothers and sisters.
    In July, I will be sixty, and two of my “sisters” turned sixty last year.
    Hope you’re feeling better. I hate this weather.
    My Chanukah short story collection, “Silver Dreidels,” came out Presidents’ Day weekend (better late than never).
    I finally went back to work on Monday only to find out that I had two days off that I needed to use this week or lose them. So I’m off for two days and will go back Thursday.

    • Thank you, Nancy. I’ll definitely look up Silver Dreidels. I really enjoyed Mr. Short, Dark…&Funny. Sixty is a good age, and what a nice surprise to get two days off. Have fun!

      • Thanks, Maddie–I’m so glad you enjoyed “Mr. Short, Dark…& Funny,” y’know? (Lol). I’m enjoying the first day off although I was so tired from working yesterday that I didn’t get too much done. Spring is coming…the first spring training game for the Reds…I mean the Red Wolves…will be on in a little while.

  3. I am soooo sorry to hear about your brother. My heart goes out to you and your family.

    I loved the data dump. I, too, have been reading like crazy lately. And I, too, am ready for Ohio’s winter to be over. Except that Ohio winters are great excuses to stay inside and read. Conundrum…

    • Thank you, Juliann. This weather has been so gloomy, it makes it easy to hunker down and read all day. I’ve read 22 books for the Goodreads Challenge so far, and I have five more in progress. I suspect I’ll slow down once the weather breaks. If it ever breaks!

  4. Your random thoughts resonate with me: My brother passed away a year ago Christmastime — he was 57. He left behind two great kids and a great wife; a simple, rugged, great person. I just turned 62: I had my first son when I was 31, my second when I was 37. I don’t care for my blog photo either, but guess it was time to be who I was and not worry about the rest. I made spaghetti Saturday night and sloshed through inches of fresh snow this morning. Are we related??

    • I’m sorry to hear about your brother, Claudia. You and I are certainly related in spirit. I always feel a bit of kinship when I read your blog. And I like your blog picture – it’s such a happy picture. I’ll probably break down sometime this year and have one taken.

  5. They say when it rains it pours, which I think demonstrates that even nature needs to dump from time to time. I am truly sorry to hear about your brother, Maddie. Sometimes as we sort through the emotions it’s hard to think in a linear way about other things. This info dump is like dumping all the Legos onto the floor and tryng to make something of it. I’m glad you did it, and appreciate you thinking enough of your readers to share it 😉

    • Thank you, Ned. My brother was the type of person who certainly wouldn’t want us to grieve too long, but to rejoice for him. I did feel the need to let friends know he is gone, but also that I have an acute awareness that life goes on, and humor plays a part in who he was and who I am, so there will be no crying on my blog. He would want me to break out the whoopee cushion and make everyone take a turn on it.

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

  6. I’m so sorry to hear about your brother, Maddie. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. What a rough week.
    As for info dumping, I think it’s the perfect post idea. Sometimes, I think we just need to do that, and the blog is the place for it. Sometimes things tie together on their own anyhow in a way you wouldn’t suspect or couldn’t plan. I remember that “Creativity for Sale,” book. That’s great it worked out with your book release. That was meant to be, and so was that snowman! I need to get more reading in. I’m short of my goal so far!

    • Thank you, Amy. This is a better week, and I find myself smiling rather than crying when I think of my brother. He left really great memories behind.

      I like when people share random bits of information on their blogs. It’s more of a glimpse into their lives. I threw the snowman together to make my granddaughter laugh. She didn’t call, so after being rained on and semi-melting, it ended up holding my book. You keep reading! We have all year to reach our goals. 🙂

  7. Maddie!!!! Big hugs lady. So sorry to hear about your brother. If he was anything like you, then I know you are right that he would rather you laugh then cry. So glad you are happy with your ad. I will be curious to know if it helps in any way. Love you lady! ❤

    • Thank you, Jackie. For sure, he would rather we laugh than cry.

      As I read Jason’s book, I couldn’t help reading all the little ads at the bottom of every page. I even went to a few of the websites. I doubt I will ever know what effect the ad will have, but it’s pretty cool to know it’s out there. I’m glad I did it. Love you, too!!

  8. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    As for turning sixty, it has no direct connotation with being, feeling ‘old’. Society seems to want us to feel old from the get go. Your experiences as a daughter, wife, and parent should have made you well aware of the ‘you’re too old’ conundrum. Seems like regardless of how young chronologically we are, or young we feel, others want us to feel old by telling us that we are ‘too old’ to do many of the things we find enjoyment in; like watching a particular TV show, eating ice cream right from the container, stumping through a puddle, or wearing a specific piece of clothing.

    Think young! (and yah, slurp a few spaghetti noodles tonight to remind those around you!)

    • You’ve been around my blog long enough to know I think young! Rich and I act like we’re twelve years old most of the time. The spaghetti noodle slurping went well, and Rich pronounced the dinner a success. 🙂

  9. Oh gosh. I’m so sorry about your brother. 😦

    It sounds like you’ve been pretty busy. Fellow self-employed person telling myself the same thing about taxes here, but I’m not always successful, haha.

    I hope you enjoy your spaghetti! 😀

    • Thank you, Kay. It’s nice to see you again.

      This is the first time in over fifteen years that our accountant and I got our signals crossed. Ugh! But the spaghetti was good!

  10. Maddie, I’m so sorry to hear about your brother. This is very sad news indeed and I’d really like to hug you right now xxxx I like the comment you made to Carrie about he and your dad fishing in heaven – this reminds me so much of my family.
    I haven’t won the lottery yet either, but the best I can do is send you a little bit of my sunshine 😀

  11. I’m so sorry to hear about your brother, Maddie; it always hurts the most when they pass away unexpectedly. -hugs-

    Though I’m glad to see you’re reading again! I remember you saying that you haven’t been doing much of that, so it’s good that you’re sinking your teeth back into books. 🙂

    • Thankfully, it was sudden and he didn’t suffer, but yes, it’s pretty rough when when unexpected. Thanks for the hugs.

      I’m loving reading again. I want to read everything! 🙂

  12. Pingback: Spring Cleaning! | Zen Scribbles

  13. As with every one else I am sad to hear of the loss of your brother and so young, you do know that 60 is the new 40 don’t you!!!! I was pleased to see your blond, sassy avatar pop up in my rss feeds I went straight to it to see how you are doing. You have had a few ups and downs but spring must be just around the corner for you, so things will look up, you can get out on that bike again and let the wind blow your cobwebs away.

    • I do believe you are right – 60 *is* the new 40! In my mind’s eye, I am still in my twenties. There are always ups and downs here, but I am the eternal optimist. I get up with a happy outlook that each day will be a good day, and I bounce back pretty quickly from trials. Yes, I am looking forward to riding the motorcycle and allowing the wind to blow my cobwebs away! 🙂

  14. BTW Maddie, our combined birthday is tomorrow, I will be 73 and Jack will be 83, so if 60 is now 40 that makes us 53 and 63, and I still feel younger than that… 🙂

  15. Maddie, I am sorry about your brother. I bet he was wonderful, after all, you are:)

    I’m 46 and I have an eleven year old step-grandson. Most people think he’s my nephew though. Don’t know why, they just do. Yet, people think my 35 year old brother is my son. Of course, I did raise him since he was 12 when our mother passed so I kind of get that one. <<my info dump:)

    • Thank you, Valerie. You are so sweet.

      Age is a funny thing. At Rich’s mother’s funeral, people thought our son was my husband and Rich was my father. I am six years older than Rich, but he looks old and I look young. 🙂

  16. Condolences regarding your brother. May pleasant memories bring you smiles.

    Don’t feel bad about not winning the lottery, after all, I haven’t won either. In terms of the weather = get this – my wife is cruising in the Caribbean, and I wasn’t allowed to go!

  17. I love your info dump, Maddie. I’m so sorry about your brother. He was so young. My dad passed away when he was 63, which is my age now. Yikes! You need to come visit us. Our weather is fabulous. I need to post pictures I took two days ago from the lot across from us. I do love your dog-biscuit-eyed snowman salesman, though. 🙂

    • It does give you pause, doesn’t it. My dad passed at age 53. When I was 53, I simply couldn’t imagine that he was gone at such a young age.

      I would love to come to see you! I love the four seasons here, but winter gets very tiring by the end of February. It’s time for sunshine and flowers. I’ll look for your pictures!!

  18. Bitter sweet.
    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother.
    But I am glad to be reading a report of random news from you. Thanks for the book recommendation. I’ll have to check this one out.

  19. Maddie ♥ I am so sorry for your loss. Though I never met your brother, your description makes me think you two were a lot alike….spunky and fun to be around. My heart to yours ♥

    As for this crazy weather….nuff said there. Today we have the sunshine though it was just 17 degrees (F) this a.m. Still it is the SUNSHINE!

    One of us MUST win the lottery. Thanks for the reminder to buy a ticket this week….once the ice goes away!

    Hugs to you, friend ♥ Keep writing.

    p.s. I am going to check out the “Creativity” book! And I love your snowman! Makes mine look very scrawny! But at least I got out there and built one, right?

    • Thank you, Paula. My brother was a nut like me for sure. 🙂

      The sun was out today, and almost all of our snow and ice (so much ice!) melted. It will be in the high forties this week, and that is a heat wave in these parts.

      I’m writing! That crazy Mama is out of control buying lottery tickets. I have to figure out a way to reign her in! Or let her win. 😉

  20. I am so sorry to hear about your brother it seems 2015 has taken loved ones from so many of us already, I lost my gran and Rhonda her dad, though I think I can speak for Rhonda when I say it was time for us to let our loved ones go but 61 really is no age at all these days, though there will be tears and dark days I hope that those funny stories will bring happier memories to mind when you think of him xxx

    • Thank you, Paula. I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother and Rhonda’s dad. It has been a sobering start to a new year.

      I do believe I only have good memories of my brother. I don’t ever recall him being mad at me – even when we were kids. He was always a bit of a dweeb and quite good-natured.

      I hope you are doing well. Hugs to you.

  21. So very sorry about your brother. It is never easy to lose someone you love.

    So if 70 is the new 50, then 60 is the new 40! Enjoy being 40 all over again!!
    Hope your spring is softer and kinder than your winter has been.

    • Thank you, Traci. It is hard to lose a loved one, but I am grateful to have peace with his passing.

      Other than a few aches and pains, I do feel 40 all over again. 🙂 We’re nearing 50 degrees finally, and I’m believing the warmer weather will help all of us. Hope all is well with you.

  22. Dearest Maddie, I just felt like paying a visit and am so glad that I did. ( I am following but didn’t get this post.)
    So sad for you, Maddie. It must be so hard to lose a sibling . Even if we had to be there to get his humour, it doesn’t mean you can’t write about him. You are a writer after all. And there must be a story or two lurking back there in your subconscious. I wrote a letter to my dad updating him on what he has missed and what was going on in our little world. I felt so much better afterwards. Blogs are for friends, but also an electronic journal. Write it out Maddie.

    Ps I love your Susan Hunter picture. That’s how I will always see you.

    • Hi Mary. I’m always so pleased to see you.

      I have a Halloween story in one of my books that is ripped from my teen years. It involved my brother, his old 40’s pickup truck, my girlfriends, and a lot of eggs thrown at houses. It never occurred to me at the time that I would be immortalizing a memory of him in print. He was a Bigfoot hunter (for real!), and the Sasquatch in another book was homage to him as well.

      Maybe one day, I’ll write something about him, but for now, I’m content to go forward with my books and hold my memories of him close.

      P.S. – I hope you never change that happy avatar of yours. It is how I see you always, and it cheers me. 🙂

  23. I’m so sorry for your loss. Cyber hugs! Never an easy thing.
    Sometimes one just needs to write it all out for anyone to hear. It makes one feel a bit better.
    Age is just the numbers you have been on this Earth. So be as young as you want to feel. 🙂 I really thought you were less years. 🙂 I hope I have as much spunk as you when my years reach sixty. 😉 I love your blonde picture as well! 🙂 It adds mystery to “who is this author” ? 🙂 I hope time heals your wounds and if I could send some sunshine weather your way I would. We are getting spoiled here for the next week, 60s and 70s. 🙂 YES! Sending more hugs!

    • Thanks for the hugs, Julia. All three of my brothers think/thought they were comedians. The comedy act between those three would fill volumes. It is really impossible to think of my brother now without smiling. He made everything an adventure.

      Yep, the big six-oh. I can’t believe it, but I’m not freaked out by it. As you say, it is just a number. I think it’s kind of cool that I “came to writing” at a later age. It makes it all the more fun for me. It never mattered if I succeeded or failed. It was just something to try … and it’s been a blast! 🙂

  24. I’m sorry about your brother. I’m sure he was funny and the memories in your head are, or will become, joyful ones.

    Also, 60 is a nice round number to be.

    Keep on writing!

    • Thank you, Piper. I visited with my sister this week, and both of us could only laugh and smile when talked of our brother. He was such a card.

      I’m ok with sixty. 🙂 And I’m still writing!! Hope all is well with you!

  25. Nice dump! That reminds me, I haven’t had a dump in a while. My blog is just a dump on which I haven’t dump for a while now. Must get back to it. I tink my photography has taken over my blogging. Not my novel though. That’s still going, however I think I need to take a chainsaw to it. That might even be a post soon.

      • Believe it or not I’m still making changes that create plot holes and long tentacles that need fixing. Blasted thing is never ending. I was hoping to do that photo shoot for the cover closer to the finishing date but my model friend is probably wondering what’s become of that. I should give her an update, too.

  26. Maddie, warm thoughts and lots of hugs from over the pond. This too shall pass, wise ones say. Not that it makes things easier, but somewhere in those four simple words there is an ounce of truth.
    If you are looking for some reading material, I’m always happy to swap ideas! I’m looking to buy “We are pirates” by Daniel Handler, what do you think??
    All the best, OG&Bs

    • Thank you. I understand and agree completely – this too shall pass. To be honest, I’ve never had as much peace as I do now with the passing of a loved one. Even his wife is doing well. He was just that type of person, and he would want us to continue to laugh and smile when we think of him – so we are. 🙂

      Oh, “We are Pirates” looks like great fun! I had no idea Handler was Snicket. Look at those reviews! They are all over the map. However, this is the type of book I enjoy. I think I’ll put this one on my list to read soon. Thanks for pointing me in that direction!

  27. This is what you were telling me bits & pieces off before I got caught in my own whirlwind of bad stuff. 😦
    Now I feel like an extra-jerk. So sorry to hear about your brother.

    • No. No. No. No jerkiness feelings whatsoever! I am the #1 person to understand how the stresses of life mess up all good intentions.

      By the way, that is my favorite avatar of yours to date. So pretty and cheerful!

      • I think you’ll like the story behind this one. She was the first piece I sold on my own. She’s like a quilted character based off of many friends and relatives all mashed together. The hat was a little nod to my mother. She used to wear a straw hat with a pink ribbon in the summer because lupus gives its sufferers sensitivity to the sun. Still, she loved that hat & swore it would be a fashion statement rather than a requirement for her.
        You know how my stuff is. It all has a story.

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