An American Highlander

Travels Through My Mind

Year in Reveiw December 21, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — charismaloy @ 9:51 pm

100_1158So, I just had an anniversary of sorts. In the early moments of 20Dec2012, I cleared customs in St. John’s and was enveloped in the arms of a wonderful, sweet lady who was willing to fight for me. Few people in my life have actually demonstrated that willingness as clearly as her staging a sit-in in front of the international arrivals gate. That’s when I knew that I had been right all along. I had come home. Some fourteen hours later I was finally able to walk through the front door and found myself exhausted and hungry but surrounded by two people who desperately wanted me. Not for anything I could give them, or any chore  that I could do, they wanted me for me.



Because of these beautiful, loving people, I have spent the last year in discovery.    I have reacquired my passion for photography and my fascination with the  qualities of light. I have discovered that I have a near savant skill in massage, and  my dear ones have been known call me the “Knot Whisperer”. I have also become  a rock and roll DJ on the local community radio and thanks to the miracle of the  internet, am developing a worldwide fan base. I spent this Christmas season with  crochet hook of various sizes in my hands as I created warm and beautiful things  for the precious ones who take such excellent care of me.



The best thing about this last year has been the freedom to learn who I am, to finally drop the masks that I have hidden behind in my life and truly be myself. As regular meals became a normal part of my life, and having the weight of being responsible for EVERYTHING was lifted, I learned to breathe. I learned to play without fearing that someone would think me juvenile, and I learned to flirt.

If you asked someone to describe me a year and a half ago, you may have heard “stick in the mud”, “fuddy duddy”,  or for those who were trying to be nice, “stressed”, “haunted”, or  “lonely”. The ones who were truly honest would have used certain vulgarities to describe me. There were very few people around whom I felt safe enough to drop my defenses and I can only say that I wish they could see me now.

Now, my face sees more smiles and silliness than it does glares and defensiveness. My vocal chords are used more for giggling than growling. I never thought I would see the day when I would giggle, but I find that I have too much happy now and it sneaks out in giggles.

I still have stories in my head, and am jotting them down in folders so that I can explore them later, but right now? For the first time in my life I actually don’t want to hide from my life. I am sure the novelty of it all will wear off and I will get back to my stories, but at the moment I am taking a lesson from my four-legged pack members and living in the moment.  943562_201958509951167_523119041_n

I will try to connect here a little more often. Today I just wanted to celebrate the new me. And see if anybody is even still following this blog.


A whole new world December 31, 2012

Filed under: Getting to know me — charismaloy @ 7:45 am


I feel as though I have floundered in terms of writing, and certainly in terms of maintaining this blog over the past few months. Don’t worry, I swear that I have really good reasons. At the beginning of the last round of ROW80 I set goals that, quite honestly, had more to do with non-writing stuffs than writing stuffs. In reality, I should have abstained from joining that round, as I knew what was coming up during that time period.

There has been major upheaval in my life over the last year or so, to the point that I intimated in a previous post that I would be looking to remove myself entirely from the storm that was building around me. The storm continues to roil, but I have placed myself out of it’s reach. I am well ensconced in a warm and restful home, thoroughly surrounded by folks who love me. I can’t remember a time when I have been happier or felt better about myself.

I have many stories to tell, but I am still in the middle of adjusting myself. A new time zone, proper diet, somewhat normalized sleep schedule, and a serious drop in my stress levels all combine to create a very drowsy Charis. I do intend to jump in on the next round of ROW80, but I am thinking that I may end up jumping in late.  In the meantime, I will enjoy myself as I recover from severe burnout. Right now my only writing goals are to get some editing done and try and get back into the blogging rhythm.


Leaving the city behind. November 24, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — charismaloy @ 9:59 pm

I have to give kudos to Wyoming folks. I have been traveling for the last week, and being the independent gal that I am, I have no issues opening doors or holding them for others. So, I don’t usually notice beyond a passing “thanks” when somebody holds the door for me.

Today I crossed the border into Wyoming and stopped for gas. As I headed in to prepay, a gentleman in front of me (about 20 feet) held the door and waited with a smile as it dawned on my travel stiffened legs that they should move faster.  I finished paying, and turned to go and another gentleman, who was headed in, saw me coming just as somebody at his car hollered at him. He quickly grabbed the door before turning to his friend at the car, so that he could be sure to hold it for me. I reached the door as he turned back and flashed a brilliant smile.

I do love it when I know I have finally left the city behind.

I have been horrendously busy for…. well, I lost track. I do still exist though. That being said, I drove 16 of the last 24 hours, and I am beat, so not really an update. Also, the horrendously busy isn’t over… so probably not going to get to a decent post very soon. I swear, there is an end to this horrendously busy. It is even in sight… be patient my friends, I shall return.  🙂



Snakes and spiders and wasps…. Oh my!! October 11, 2012

Filed under: ROW80 — charismaloy @ 12:34 am

Wow, I keep feeling like I am overwhelmed with STUFF that I have to get done, but I was quite productive this week and am feeling really good about myself *looks away from the pile of stuff that goes on next week’s list*.

Monday being a federal holiday, I had to take care of my paperwork yesterday instead. On my way back into town, I stopped and talked to a guy about getting the appliances out of my shed, and then got that package shipped off. That was a load off of my mind, as I keep forgetting it. Since the guy is coming for the appliances on Monday, I had an extra push to get the shed cleaned out.

Today was an absolutely lovely day, warm enough to work outside in a t-shirt, but cool enough to be in the shed. I got the swamp cooler drained and made sure the pump was high and dry. Surprisingly, I did not see my friendly little garden snake. I usually see him when I am on that side of the house. I think I scared him last time.

I did get to see the wasps though… Every summer, I get three or four wasp nests attached to the front of my house. Usually I hose them down with wasp spray, but this year I just never got around to it. While I was cleaning out the shed, I noticed a couple of small nests in there, so I grabbed the shovel and went about knocking the nests loose. We had snow this time last week. The wasps are long gone right? Uh… no. I got three of the nests around the place knocked down before it happened. Yup. Knocked one down that still had wasps in it. Lucky me, the buggers were disoriented and didn’t realize I was the homewrecker…. I backed off and let them fly away before going for the next one. That one had posted a guard, and I thought it the better part of wisdom to let him win the day. I am planning a sneak attack after the first hard freeze….

Of course, what western shed is without it’s share of spiders? Webs everywhere, but I managed to sort a pile of loose wood for some friends who have a wood stove, a pile of leftover parts from when I re-plumbed my house has been set aside for Habitat For Humanity’s Re-store, and I found yet another stash of rocks from my rock collection.  The remarkable thing is that I only tried to wrap my hands around a spider once. It waved frantically at me and then scurried away.

Okay, Last weeks goals are still up, but only because I don’t want to come up with new goals midweek. The “work on alter-ego’s job” goal will remain on the list until I am entirely caught up there, although I have made headway on that. Also, the note/timeline transfer will remain until my notes are safely transferred. I really need to change my pictures, but these ones are a good visual to stay on task, so they stay until I find another. I know, they are getting boring. I promise to hunt for new ones in the next few days. I am also going to try and get a few things done that will go on next weeks list if I don’t accomplish them.


Now…. What have I accomplished???

First the overall goals for the round:

Complete Preparations for the BIG ADVENTURE.

Continue to make progress on Alter Ego’s Job. (one day, I will introduce you :))

WRITE! Something!! Anything!! 

Last round I was frequently thrown off track by a varying work schedule and the rest of the drama of real life. This round, I intend to take those both into account. Each Sunday (possibly Monday) I will post my goals for the week, planning them around my work schedule and other anticipated life drama, and listing the goals by priority.

For this week: Saturday starts a four-day weekend, so to plan accordingly…

Tuesday – Friday:

  • Work on Alter Ego’s job if brain is functioning sufficiently,  did 3 pages Tuesday   

    Story board with notes for 4-5 books. Chaos

  • if not, then finish getting the bedroom sorted and thinned. Am steadily working my way around the room. 
  • Get Package sent off for repairs Complete!!
  • get paperwork filed  Complete!!
  • Gather/haul garbage Wednesday night. (that thinning process accumulates trash too fast!) Complete!!
  • Get guest post written!! Complete!!

Saturday – Tuesday:

  • Work on Alter Ego’s job That is what I am headed for after I post this.
  • When a break is needed in daylight hours, begin shed clean-out.  Complete!!
  • When break is needed after dark, continue to transfer story notes to timelines Nothing on this yet

The mad writer looking far too much like her father…. in the midst of transferring story notes tooooo…..

The timeline! back when there was only one piece of butcher block running down my hall….. there are two now… soon to be three…

So, I am off on this week’s adventures. I hope to maintain sanity by tackling them one at a time. I will attempt to make a midweek blog each week that is not an update, but that is yet another adventure and my plate is already overflowing….