Lists and Chores

Excerpt from Book 4 of 40 Something, coming out in November 2016

Rose

copy-of-40something-6To Do List

  • Coffee with the girls at 11
  • School meeting at 1
  • Grocery shopping
  • Pick up Aiden and Jessica at 3
  • Make a roast for dinner
  • Put on a load of towels
  • Pay the bills

I bite on the end of the pen and twirl it along my lips. I know I’m forgetting something. I reach for the oversized calendar, where all the kid’s appointments are written out in different colours. It is filled with words; pink one’s for Alexis, red ones for Isabella, blue ones for Aiden and the odd purple word for Jessica.

I find today’s date and … Why I don’t check the calendar, before making my daily to do, list is beyond me. Isabella has a dentist appointment after school and Aiden has a football game at a school in the next town over. I scratch out picking him up at 3 and text Jessica to tell her I won’t be able to pick her up from school. I add pick up Isabella and take her to the dentist for 3:30 onto the list, then, pick Aiden up at 6 from the school.

If I throw the sauce together now and dump it in the slow cooker, I’ll only need to make the pasta when I get home. I text all the kids and Gus, Dinner @ 7.

Having dinner, as a family, every day is important.

As if on cue Alexis texts, I have a class tonight. I slam my thumbs onto the letters as I text back, why isn’t it on the calendar? She answers back with a quick, why does it matter? I respond with It just does.

I don’t expect her to respond, and she doesn’t.

I reach for a pile of different coloured pads of paper. A different colour for each of the children and Gus’ Honey Do List. I divide up the various chores between the children and make notes about those things that need to be brought to their attention, like Isabella not picking up her clothes off the bathroom floor – again – or Aiden leaving his skateboard at the bottom of the stairs – again. One day these messages will get through those thick skulls.

I look at the items on the lists. All the mundane chores, which I know I’ll end up doing because they are all too busy to help out. The excuses are endless: Too tired. Have too much homework. Have to be somewhere else. Forgot to do it. They always have a reason why they don’t complete their tasks and the work falls to me.

Over the years I’ve tried different incentive and punishment ideas to get the kids to do their chores. It lasts for all of a week, if I’m really lucky, then it’s back to me doing everything again. When I think about the planning, keeping track, and cost associated with each failed idea, I cringe. It’s so much easier to do the work myself, than to try to get them to do any of it.

Anger descends onto my shoulders and I clench my teeth. There is so much to do and no matter how much I run around cleaning up after everyone, when I turn around, it looks like I’ve done nothing. Absolutely nothing. Most times when I look behind me, the mess is bigger than the one I’d just cleaned up. I look at the pad’s of paper with the lists laid out in front of me, each item yelling to be completed first. Why do I even bother? I know I’m going to end up doing every chore on those lists. Still, maybe one day, hell will freeze over and God willing, they will complete one item written out. I keep hoping.

Maybe I should go on strike.

An image of garbage flowing out of the windows and doors, flashes in my mind’s eye. Piles of laundry, dirty dishes, and stuff strewn around the place becoming the stuff of horror movies. I feel overwhelmed by the thought and all energy drains away, leaving a deep tiredness behind.

I don’t have time to be tired.

I get up. Best to keep moving. I have to deal with the pile of dirty dishes on the counter. Who was supposed to empty and fill the dishwasher last night? I glance at yesterday’s chore lists as I open the dishwasher and proceed to empty it of clean dishes to make way for the dirty ones. Aiden. I don’t think that boy knows how to empty the dishwasher, let alone fill it.

My phone’s alarm starts beeping, interrupting me. It’s ten thirty and I need to be leaving the house in 10 minutes. I quickly finish up and start the dishwasher before heading out the door.

Always so much to do and nothing ever gets done.

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Purpose of this Blog

This blog is a look at the characters in a new novel about being a 40+ year old woman in today’s world. The novel, like all literature, draws from real life but embellishes it, changes it, and merges it together with fantasy. You won’t find a 100% true story on the blog or in the novel. I welcomes any parenting or dating stories you would like to share for the book, but please understand the story will only be a jump off point as I’m not about to publish anything exactly as it happened. Email her today at Shannonpeel01[ at ]gmail [.com]

Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PMShannon Peel is the author of THIRTEEN a book about a boy and his mom caught behind enemy lines when soldiers attack their North American hometown. The story asks the question, what if it happened here?

For more information check out her website. www.shannonpeel.com

Date Night With the Hubby

Excerpt from 40 Something. A book about life, family, children, marriage, dating, careers, rivals, sisters, friends, technology, abuse, love, and so much more.

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Rose

I pull into the driveway and park the van. My head is throbbing with the beginnings of a headache. I lean back on the seat’s headrest and close my eyes. Just for a minute. Only a minute.

Bang

“Moooom.”

My eyes shoot open, an electric shock jolts me and my heart pounds in my chest. I feel a wave of blood moving through my body. I’m getting light headed and dizzy. What the? I turn and my son’s face is looking at me through the driver’s side window. I put my hand to my chest breath deep and push the button to open the window, nothing happens. Right. I turn the key in the ignition and put the window down.

“Aiden. You scared me. What?”

“Aren’t you coming in? You’ve been out here for almost an hour.”

An hour? I look at the time on the dash. It’s been almost an hour since I parked. The groceries! I panic. Meat, frozen pizzas, milk, cheese. I flick the switch unlocking all the locks on the van and the back door rises up.

“Grab some groceries and take them into the house. Where are your sisters?”

“Awwwwe do I have to?”

“Yes. Your sisters?”

“I don’t know. Inside.”

I grab a few bags and yell for my three daughters to unload the van and put the groceries away because I’m running late. They whine while doing it. I don’t care.

“Well if you hadn’t fallen asleep -” Aiden starts and I just glare at him daring him to continue. The boy’s not dumb, I’ll give him that.

I have to get ready Gus will be home soon.

I run upstairs to jump in the shower, shave, wash my hair, the whole nine yards. I have less than an hour to look gorgeous. Not an easy feat at 40. After 22 years, four kids and an extra 100 lbs I am not the slim beautiful 18-year-old girl my husband married. I know Gus still loves me. He says my curves and stretch marks make me that much more real and attractive to him. More cushin for the pushin he teases me and I try to believe him, I do.

My husband doesn’t have an ounce of fat on him, thanks to good genes and a physical labour job as a contractor, he even still has most of his hair. I see the women lingering around him, flirting with their eyes, trying to get my husband’s attention. He claims never to notice because he only has eyes for me. Ha. I just bet he didn’t notice when Melissa Rempkin walked right into him at church and then looked up with puppy dog eyes.

“Ooops sorry Gus. You sure are a solid one aren’t you?”

I could have ripped her eyes out and I would have too if the pastor hadn’t walked by at that very moment. I mean, I can’t have him thinking I’m a jealous, violent, irrational, woman, now can I?

I get out of the shower, look at my naked body in the mirror and cringe. I’m plump. Round. No, not rounded, round. My waist is larger than my hips and my hips are round. Remember in the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie, when the girl eats the gum and becomes a big fat round blue berry and needs to be rolled out by the umpa loompas. No, not the Johnny Depp one, the original one, the one made before, before I was born. The one with, what was his name? It’s been so long since I saw it. Gene Something… Simmons? Hackman? Oh I don’t know.

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“Moooooom.” My son’s voice coming through the door.

“Whaaat?”

“You forgot the Nacho cheese dip. How are we supposed to have a movie night without the nacho cheese dip?”

“I don’t know. You have to make do. Now leave me alone or give me your game system.”

I start getting dressed. Nothing fits the way I want and I hate how I look. After trying on four dresses and a pantsuit I settle on a black sac of a dress. It might as well be a tent. My hair at least is cooperating. I wished I’d had time to go to the hairdressers this afternoon and get it done up really nice, but with driving the kids around, the groceries, getting the house cleaned up, laundry, the list is endless.

There that should do it.

I dig in the bathroom closet for my make up box. I hardly ever wear any, there is little to no point. I rarely go out and when I do, no one cares what I look like. Lack of daily practice is making a mess of things and I feel like a clown. Too much eye shadow and the lipstick is too bright.

“Mom. Aiden is being a little shit, you have to get him under control.”

“Language Alexis, watch your language.”

I turn to see my eldest daughter looking gorgeous and dressed to the nines in a blue patterned skirt with a matching blouse and her hair cascading over her shoulders. She’s 19 and looks a lot like I did when I married Gus. I look at my slim daughter with her indented waist and perky breasts and sigh.

Just wait I think, twenty years and you’ll look like me.

“And where do you think your going tonight?” I ask.

“Out with Cameron.”

“Which one is Cameron?”

“The blonde with the pick up truck. You know he goes to the University, he’s studying to be a lawyer one day.”

“Oh right him. What happened to the one whose an electrician or something? I like him.”

“Dan? I’m seeing him tomorrow and before you ask I went out with Richard last night.”

“How do you keep them all straight? I can’t even imagine dating more than one man. You’re not sleeping with them all are you? Don’t forget you can catch diseases and worse they’ll think you’re a whore and no man has ever fallen in love with a whore. You really should just pick one or else people will think you’re a slut or something.”

She has heard me say these things a hundred times already and I can see from the glaze over her eyes that she isn’t listening. Why do I bother? I just want her to be happy. Not like her aunt Charlene or worse Charlene’s new friend Lindsay. I wouldn’t worry so much if she’d just find a nice boy. A boy who is like Gus and would take care of her, protect her. It’s a dangerous world for girls. It just is.

“Mom. Enough. Aiden. That little spoiled shit you call a favourite.”

“I do not.”

She rolls her eyes. I hate it when she rolls her eyes.

“Everyone knows he’s your precious little boy and that he’s an entitled pain in the ass who at this very moment is trying to make nacho cheese sauce in your kitchen with your favourite pot. Thought you might want to know.”

With that she turns on her heel and walks out the door.

Trying to make nacho cheese sauce? Oh no, what does that mean?

I hurry downstairs and there is my son with cheese all over the counter and a pot of burning cheese on the stove.

“Oh Aiden.”

“I wanted Nacho Cheese sauce. Gerry likes Nacho Cheese sauce and I told him there would be some.”

I grab the pot off the red-hot stove element. Right then, the smoke detector goes off and Gus walks into the kitchen.

“Ready to go on our date honey?”


On Being 40 Something

Baring my soul

Ebooks

Paperback

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Purpose of this Blog

This blog is a look at the characters in a new novel about being a 40+ year old woman in today’s world. The novel, like all literature, draws from real life but embellishes it, changes it, and merges it together with fantasy. You won’t find a 100% true story on the blog or in the novel. I welcomes any parenting or dating stories you would like to share for the book, but please understand the story will only be a jump off point as I’m not about to publish anything exactly as it happened. Email her today at Shannonpeel01[ at ]gmail [.com]

And yes…. Dating stories about women behaving badly are welcome too, as my characters are flawed and handicapped when it comes to dating.

Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PM

Shannon Peel is the author of THIRTEEN a book about a boy and his mom caught behind enemy lines when soldiers attack their North American hometown. The story asks the question, what if it happened here?

For more information check out her website.www.shannonpeel.com 

 

Teenagers, Can I Give Them Away?

Rose’s Teenagers Drive her Crazy

Rose is a character of a chicklit novel. 

I love my children, I do. I swear I do.

It’s just, well. Who are these people who live in my house? One minute they are my sweet amazing well behaved children, the next they became these things. These hormone driven crazy Teenagers who can drive a sane woman, well, crazy. I’m on my way to the looney bin I tell you.

Take my oldest, Alexis. I endured 26 hours of labour getting her into this world, that on top of a difficult pregnancy where I thought for sure my stomach was just going to come out my mouth I was retching so much. Ever have the stomach flu? Well this was that for months on end. I thought for sure I was going to die, so did the doctors. I ended up in the hospital with tubes feeding me the nutrients she needed to grow.

She has been a struggle every day since she was conceived.

The day she turned 13 she became an absolute nightmare. It’s been world war 3 in our house as she tries to get away with everything from wearing too much make up and too little clothes to staying out after curfew getting drunk and high. I swear if I’d known how hard headed she was going to be I would have left her at the hospital, or maybe just named her donkey.

Next came Isabella and she is my dream child. Easy pregnancy, well by then they’d invented these pills for morning sickness and I was popping them like gummy candies. They are a God send. I gained so much weight I thought I was going to burst. The labour was a struggle at first and then the monitors started going off. I thought for sure she was dying, I was scared. Well, she was in distress, so I was wheeled into the O.R. for a c-section. Seriously, you should consider booking one of these the day you find out your pregnant. Much easier way to get that baby out of you and into the world.

Isabella was a model child, until 14, when she met a boy and not just any boy. She had to fall for Johnny an 18 year old rebel with long multi coloured hair, a tattoo and facial piercings. At one point I counted 7. Can you imagine having someone punch 7 holes into your face? Not to mention what that kid did to his ear lobes.

Well, I thought Gus was gonna shoot him the minute he saw the boy. We don’t own a gun, but Gus was ready to go buy one. From that moment on she’s been a struggle with outrageous requests, which Gus and I put a stop to. No way is my daughter walking around with a nose ring, or any part of her face pierced, her body tattooed or her hair any colour but the rich brown God intended. For mercy’s sake. Give that girl one inch and she’ll be headed to hell.

Jessica was my third girl. She was always a quiet serious little girl. Such an easy child. She never gave me any trouble as a toddler or preschooler. She brings home the best marks from school of all my children. She’s perfect really. Quiet, studious, smart, and keeps to herself. Always reading or doing homework in her room I rarely ever see her.

When she became a teenager not much changed. Well, her moods became a little darker at times and she seems to mope more than I’d like, still she is doing just fine.

Then came Aiden. Finally a boy.

My pregnancy was so easy, barely any morning sickness and I had so much energy. Labour was a breeze and he was here, finally. I love my girls, however I wanted to give Gus a boy so badly. Right from the minute that boy could move he was into everything. I was forever running after him. It was exhausting. Busy, busy, busy that boy. He’s grown into a talented athlete, a natural Gus says. At 13 he’s already on the school Football team. There isn’t any sport he couldn’t excel at.

He just turned 13 and I am beginning to see the Teenager signs already. He stopped hugging me, I was quite upset the first time it happened, but he’s becoming a man you know and a mother has to expect these things. He hangs out with friends after school somewhere, but I am not sure exactly. I find it quite frustrating at times. I need to know where he is at all times I tell him, of course he doesn’t listen. Such a boy my Aiden.

I enjoyed my children’s toddler years, preschool years, elementary years. They were always so sweet, so loving, and we’d have so much fun together. Now, oh my. God give me strength to make it through a day without wanting to strangle one of them, especially Alexis and Isabella.

Being a mother is wonderful, I’m just wondering is there a place I can send them for their teen years where I could visit on occasion and then when they are normal again they can come home?

Just asking.

Buy the novella – Sunday Dinner From Amazon.

Purpose of this Blog

This blog is a look at the characters in a new novel about being a 40+ year old woman in today’s world. The novel, like all literature, draws from real life but embellishes it, changes it, and merges it together with fantasy. You won’t find a 100% true story on the blog or in the novel. I welcomes any parenting or dating stories you would like to share for the book, but please understand the story will only be a jump off point as I’m not about to publish anything exactly as it happened. Email her today at Shannonpeel01[ at ]gmail [.com]

And yes…. Dating stories about women behaving badly are welcome too, as my characters are flawed and handicapped when it comes to dating.

 

Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PM

Shannon Peel is the author of THIRTEEN a book about a boy and his mom caught behind enemy lines when soldiers attack their North American hometown. The story asks the question, what if it happened here?

For more information check out her website.www.shannonpeel.com 

 

Rose – The Romantic One

When you write a novel you have to know your characters inside and out. The more developed the characters, the more believable and empathetic they are. The aim of any good writer is to draw the reader in by making their characters relatable.

For this novel there are a number of characters and each one has their own back story, personality, likes, dislikes, and attitudes. Rose is one of these characters.

Demographics

Name: Rose Fischer
Age: 40 years old
Status: Married
Occupation: HomeMaker
Children: Four. 3 Girls 19, 17, 15  and 1 Boy 13.
Body Type: Plump

Personality

Rose is a traditionalist. She is the quintessential homemaker who got married young and had kids right away. Her life revolves around her children and her husband. She goes to church every Sunday, has the perfect cleaned house, and a schedule the busiest professional would be hard pressed to keep up with.

She has no idea of her own self as she lives for those in her care. She controls everything in her life and believes that she is living life the right way and others need to smarten up. She loves her friends, however she is not always in agreement with their choices.

Marriage

She met her husband in high school and married him soon after graduation. Her and Gus have been married for 21 blissful years in Rose’s opinion. She can’t see her life with anyone except Gus. He is her rock and he works very hard to provide for his family. They work as a close knit team giving their children the perfect suburban life.

Family

Rose is close to both her parents and her in laws. Every week she has a number of family demands, the children have activities and Rose hosts both families for a weekly family dinner.

She has two older sisters, one is an executive in New York and the other is a lawyer. Her sisters recently moved their elderly parents to the city into an assisted living facility. Rose thinks she did it to make things harder for her because she knows Rose can’t get to the city very often.

Two of Gus’ brothers are married and one is still single. His oldest brother brings his family to the weekly dinners, his other older brother lives in Chicago and his younger brother travels the world for work.

Likes and Dislikes

Rose likes doing things for her children, cooking, baking, sewing, fixing, driving, tutoring, and whatever else they need. She reads romance novels every night before bed and has seen every romantic movie ever made.

Rose doesn’t like it when her plans are disrupted.

Man

Gus is her life. He has been a good husband and together they have created a life they are both proud of. He is romantic, hard working, God fearing, and family focused.

The start of Rose’s story

Buy the novella – Sunday Dinner From Amazon.

Purpose of this Blog

This blog is a look at the characters in a new novel about being a 40+ year old woman in today’s world. The novel, like all literature, draws from real life but embellishes it, changes it, and merges it together with fantasy. You won’t find a 100% true story on the blog or in the novel. I welcomes any parenting or dating stories you would like to share for the book, but please understand the story will only be a jump off point as I’m not about to publish anything exactly as it happened. Email her today at Shannonpeel01[ at ]gmail [.com]

And yes…. Dating stories about women behaving badly are welcome too, as my characters are flawed and handicapped when it comes to dating.

 

Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PM

Shannon Peel is the author of THIRTEEN a book about a boy and his mom caught behind enemy lines when soldiers attack their North American hometown. The story asks the question, what if it happened here?

For more information check out her website.www.shannonpeel.com