Nan Reinhardt, Author

Grown-up love stories, because we’re never too old for a little sexy romance…
Browsing This Life…

Silver Disobedience

May10

Dian Griesel has started a fabulous new website geared for folks over 50 called Silver Disobedience. She interviewed me for a feature spot and it’s up on the website this week. Check it out–so much fun!

 

Once a Month Works…Right?

April30

Yeah, it’s been a month since my last post here. Frankly, it’s been a crazy month where life happened while I was making other plans. Mostly, I’ve been writing. I’m on a deadline and so that’s been where every writing moment has been spent. When I wasn’t writing my own book, I was editing someone else’s. Been a busy month for Editor Nan–good news because, you know, they’re paying me and there is that damn $1K/month health insurance bill that has to be paid. But between work and writing, I’ve pretty much been a hermit. I did get to meet up with my bestie/writing buddy and we had a writing day at the library in the town in between the lake and her house. It was grand to spend time with her!

In other news, we got the lake cottage open for the season and it’s been grand to work and write there. Our kids have been up and that’s been double fun because Son is just nuts about the lake, DIL is fast becoming quite the little lake girl, and Grandboy loves all things lake. He’s kind of getting into fishing–lots of curiosity about it, so Poppy and Daddy took him down to try out the new bait net this past weekend, and he was delighted to be able to hold a crappie in his hands. In fact, the kids are turning into such lake people that they decided to buy a summer place, too. We are beyond thrilled that they’ll be just down the road from us. Isn’t that fun?

 

When we “decorated” the lake cottage (and I use the term decorated very loosely), I used some old photographs that my MIL gave us. I framed them in black and white frames and hung them collage-style in the living room. Old pictures of Husband at the lake with his grandparents back in the ’50s and ’60s and several of Son when he was kid at the lake in the ’80s and ’90s. Husband figured out that Grandboy is the sixth generation of Reinhardt to be at our lake. Isn’t that cool? To commemorate that, I’m going to use the three photos below to make a 3-picture framed set for both us and the kids–aren’t these darling? My little fishermen!

All in all, life is hard, life is good, life is sad, life is joyful, life is busy, life is lovely… how about you? What’s news?

 

Staying in the Moment

March30

On Wednesday, I posted this to the Word Wranglers blog–take a minute and read it. I’ll wait here.

Are you a Phubber?

Oh, good, you’re back! Then today I read this article on a phenomenon called “phubbing,” which is the habit of snubbing someone in favor of a mobile phone. We’ve all done it. Some of us do it. I tend to do it most at breakfast because I’m tracking my food on my WW app or checking points for food or… okay checking to see what’s coming in the mail and yes, okay, checking Twitter and Instagram. I don’t have Facebook on my phone because I was spending too much time there. Starting to think maybe Twitter needs to go, too…hmmmm.

Then last night, I caught myself looking at my phone while I was sitting across from my sister at a Maundy Thursday gathering at church. She said something to me and I looked up from my phone and had to ask her to repeat it. She didn’t say anything about the phone, but the look on her face clearly said, “I’m here, whoever’s texting you is not.” She may not even have been thinking that, but man, oh man, that’s what I saw. So I turned turned off my phone, dropped it into my purse, and focused. I focused on my sister and the meal we were eating, I focused on the service, which was beautiful, and I focused on helping bring warm water for the feet/hand washing. I shared communion with my tablemates and passed the peace with my fellow worshippers. I sang. I prayed. I helped clean up. I didn’t touch my phone again until I got into my car in the parking lot, where I turned it on long enough to text Husband that I was on my way home. The beauty of that service and the joy of the fellowship stayed with me all the way home and then I was able to share it with Husband.

Yeah, there’s a lesson there. Be in the moment. Enjoy the here and now because this particular moment isn’t ever going to happen again. Nothing on Twitter or texts or Instagram is as important as what’s happening right in front of me. Or as important as anyone I love.

Gratitude for today:

  • Last night’s service
  • Spring is here, but I could do without so much rain
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Husband is done with the taxes

 

 

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Gratitude When It’s Hard to Be Grateful

March12

I gave up being dissatisfied for Lent and man, oh, man, is life ever testing me on that one. It’s been a tough week–Son is trying very hard to finish up his PhD thesis in preparation for defense next month, their house is in serious disarray as the contractor gets the kitchen remodel finished up, and we had a terrible tragedy in our family. My niece’s daughter died of an overdose last week. At 24 years old, her life was sad and spiraling downward due to addiction and bad choices, but no one deserves to die so young. We are all heartbroken for her mother–I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child.

Amidst all this, I’m thinking that all I want is to move–and yes, slapping myself each time I get the urge to check Zillow for houses closer to Son. How selfish is it really? He’s moved to the same town we live in after 15 years of being 2000 miles away, so a 30-minute drive is nothing. But I’ve been wanting to move to a different area and to a one-story house for quite some time, so this is not new, but it’s also not the time, and the longing for it sure doesn’t make my Lent promise any easier.

However, in January, I committed to a year of peace, a year with no big decisions, no major changes, no life overhauls. We need a year where nothing happens. We need twelve months of simply living and enjoying the here and now. Then, maybe we can figure out what we want to do next. So, the Lenten sacrifice of dissatisfaction is key here. I think when I find myself being dissatisfied with anything at all in my life, I’ll simply stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and do a couple of rounds of gratitude.

To that end:

  1. Son is nearly done with his thesis!
  2. I’m one-third of the way to finishing my first novel for Tule Publishing.
  3. In another month, we can open the lake house–yay!
  4. Grandboy is always such a little charmer–that face…he’s so precious.
  5. My niece has lots of support from friends-she will survive this.
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We’re Not Hopeless Old Farts…Truly

March6

So right off, I love my phone carrier–we have great service, great coverage, and our bill doesn’t make us hyperventilate each month. I wanted to get that straight right off because now, I’m going to complain a little. Not a rant…I promise.

I’ve been after Husband to upgrade his flip phone–he’s had it a long time and he was borrowing mine to text Son or check the weather or the incoming mail or to get directions or to Google something while we were out and about. It was getting kind of silly for him not to have his own smartphone. Then this past weekend, Son gave him a nifty little device that lets you see into tight spaces, but it needs a smartphone. In a nice way, I said, “Well, you can’t download that app to my phone, but I’d love to get you your own phone for your birthday. What do you say?” At last, he said, “Okay, let’s get me a smartphone, but I want one exactly like yours since I already know how to use it.”

Great idea. So, we went online to our carrier and in a few quick clicks, we’d upgraded his old flip phone to a way-cool Android that was as close to the one I have as we could get. Turns out, it didn’t change our bill at all except to add the price of the phone to next month’s bill along with a $30 setup fee. (This is significant, I promise.) No problem. Husband was actually getting kind of excited about it. We arranged to pick it up at the store, so we waited the couple of hours indicated to get a text telling us it was ready. Well, we never got one. So after about three hours, we just toddled into the store, told them why we were there, and the young man who greeted us, checked his little tablet and found us immediately. “Sure, let me go get that phone for you.”

Now, our expectation was that things would happen much as they always had when we upgraded a phone–the customer service rep at the store would activate the new phone and then move Husband’s contacts and photos over from the old phone to the new one. Um, not so much. He dropped the unopened box into a bag and handed it to us. “There you go.” He couldn’t even be bothered to fluff up the tissue paper that came with the fancy bag–it was tossed into the bottom under the unopened phone. Nice.

So we asked, ” Aren’t you going to set it up? Move his contacts over?”

With a pityingly look that clearly indicated he thought we were hopeless old farts, he replied, “Nope, we don’t do that here anymore. Just turn it on and that will activate it.”

“But…but…what about his contacts?”

Another glance over our bent and arthritic bodies at the other workers that no doubt included an eyeroll, he said, “Well, you can try getting them off the old phone”–said in a tone that clearly indicated the old phone was probably something Alexander Graham Bell once played with–“but I’d guess you’ll have to re-enter them all. Sorry.”

And with that, he returned to his friends, who were yukking it up over one of them singing like a street corner do-whop group. Oh, I think there was a “Have a nice day,” as we hobbled out the door.

Well, holy shit. Thanks guys for the great customer service and we’re guessing the #30 setup fee we paid you was for the effort of dropping the unopened box into a bag. Yeesh. Oh, and as we got into the car, the text arrived telling us our phone was ready for pickup, then another saying someone had picked it up. Yeah, thanks for that.

However, there is a happy ending here because we may be doddering old seniors, but we figured it out. We couldn’t get the contacts to transfer via USB or through the the Cloud, but we experimented and discovered I could Bluetooth the contacts that he wanted from my phone since we share a lot of the same people in our lives, and then all he had to do was add the ten or so he had that I didn’t. So there, you smug little putzes. Just because you were raised on technology doesn’t mean you have ownership of all of it and you don’t need to treat those of us who are older than forty like we’re clueless. We’re not. Just FYI, Bill Gates, the guy who invented Windows, is 62. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple is 57 years old. And check out these stats from Medium.com. Boomers are online, we’re everywhere, and we’re the ones who have money to spend. Don’t treat us like we’re idiots. Try to remember that we’re the people who taught you how to use a spoon and a potty…just sayin’.

Gratitude for today:

Husband has a new phone! YAY!

Nice breakfast with my friend/mentor Sandra today.

Novel is moving along.

Found a really nice bummin’ around Riesling at Kroger.

SIster Pam is coming home!

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Late for Lent

March1

Well, Ash Wednesday was a couple of weeks ago–on Valentine’s Day this year, which was kinda interesting. Anyway, usually, I post during Lent about what I’ve given up and how that’s affecting my life. I’m late to posting about it this year because I committed February to featuring authors of Seasoned Romance on the blog, and it didn’t seem fair to shove in with my own stuff. But the blog is mine again.

I did give up something for Lent this year, but it wasn’t wine or social media or chocolate. This year, I gave up being dissatisfied. That may not sound all that courageous, but trust me, I’ve been spending a lot of time lately feeling sorry for myself. I recognize it and I hate it, but I do it. So on February 14, I committed to being happy right where I am. I have everything I need–not everything I want, but that’s a dark and frustrating path to head down, so I’m just not going to do it anymore. Well, at least not until after Easter. Then all bets may be off, although I hope not.

I’ve let the things that aren’t going right in my life overwhelm my appreciation for all the things that are going right. In the interest of maintaining my Lenten promise, I’m not going to list the things I’ve been struggling with for the past couple of years. Instead, each time I post during Lent, I’m going to name five things that I’m very satisfied with–things in my life and circumstances that make me unreasonably happy or even just mildly happy. Sometimes, yeah, I may be typing the list while I’m gritting my teeth, but, by golly, I intend to be joyful this Lenten season.

So, things that fill me with joy today:

  • Husband. After almost 45 years of marriage, he is still the heart of my heart.
  • Son and Grandboy and DIL–the loves of my life and what joy that they are now living so close!
  • Sister PJ and Brother Bud. We have history and it’s so important to have at least one person in your life who’s known you your whole life. Those people becom fewer and fewer as we grow older. I still have two.
  • My dear girlfriends–you know who you are. I couldn’t begin to find joy without you all.
  • Writing, which fills up a place in me that cannot be filled in any other way.

Still Rollin’ Along

November16

Liz and Nan’s big Madison adventure continued today, but our adventurousness sorta stayed in the fiction realm. We went to breakfast, then came back to the hotel and set up in the lobby to write. We stayed put there, each of us writing and occasionally stopping to share a paragraph or ask one anothers’ opinion or discuss a word choice. Or even, ask for a word! We ended up skipping lunch and writing from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It was amazing–I got a fabulous start on novel 1 for Tule and Liz–ta da!! Liz finished her book that is due to Harlequin Heartwarming on December 1!! YAY!

At 4, we closed up shop and headed to town to wander a bit–we needed to walk and breathe fresh cold Indiana air. Then we headed to the Key West Shrimp House for an early fish supper. It’s been a great writing day. Liz is delighted to have put The End to the first draft of Cass’s story and I’m pleased as I can be about the great start I have on Colin’s story. Now, we’re just hanging out in our cozy hotel room–a fire in the fireplace and the gray, gloomy day out of sight and out of mind.

It was good for me to be down here with Liz, writing and keeping my mind occupied. Today would have been my dear Dee’s 62nd birthday. All day, I’ve been thinking of her and remembering when I was down here with her when she turned 55. We had a great time at the Clifty Inn. Man, do I miss her.

But all in all, with the lovely hotel, delightful folks we’ve met, and the successful writing we’ve gotten done, we’re declaring this Writer’s Retreat a complete success! Now, we’ve got to decide where we’ll go next . . . stay tuned!

 

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Rollin’ . . . Um, Writin’ on the River

November15

Hey, it’s Liz and I just took over Nan’s computer! It’s Wednesday, and I gotta say, we have written a ton of words here on the river. This afternoon, we came down to the dining area of the hotel lobby and have been here for a couple of hours. Nan’s talking about thousands of words and I’m saying “yeah, yeah, yeah….”

Liz at Lanthier WInery among the 100s of Christmas trees!

It’s been a rainy day–good day to write.

We’ve been winerying, coffeeing, and writing. It is fun. There is homesickness around the edges of the fun, always, and it’s kind of like the best of two worlds. It’s a good time traveling with a good friend and eating at all different kinds of restaurants that wouldn’t thrill our husbands, but the other side is going home to where our hearts are.

For now, though, we have more wineries and more words to roam through and discover. Hope you’re enjoying our trip! 🙂

 

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On the Road

November14

We had a great day in Madison! Spent the day wandering around–fun late lunch at a coffee shop in town and then two wineries for tasting. Loved, loved The Ridge–a little winery tasting room right on the Ohio River. Delish wine, lovely hostess, and beautiful view of the river. The Ridge is actually the winery I was thinking of as I imagined the Flaherty brothers’ tasting room on the river. It lived up to all my expectations. I’m excited to use this little river town as the basis for my stories.

Liz says it’s been a fine day and she is so right. Somehow, we are the best of traveling companions. She’s crazy about our hotel, which has turned out to be such a delightful place. And she loved the Ridge Winery! We met a lovely couple of folks who were so jacked to meet “real romance authors.” We took full advantage, of course, and showered them with swag and a complimentary book each. Fun!

Right now, we’re sitting on the second-floor sun porch of the Riverboat Inn, watching the Ohio and eating our impromptu supper of cheese, crackers, bread and summer sausage and apples. We’ve had our complimentary glass of wine from the little bar downstairs and it may be time to write for a while. Here are some pics from our day–more tomorrow! Here are some pics of the day…enjoy!

 

A Teenager Trapped in an Old Body

October20

So, I’m back with more body stuff, which just irritates the heck outta me. Although I’m truly okay with getting older, I really hate the physical stuff associated with aging. Flagging energy, a genetic proclivity for arthritic joints, occasional memory lapses, saggy underarms, the damn diverticulitis flares, and scary heart stuff. For some reason, even though fall is my favorite time of year, it also seems to be the time of year when body issues rear their ugly little heads. I wonder if it has anything to do with being a fall baby–maybe it’s my body’s way of acknowledging that I’m a year older. Who knows?

Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

Anyway, this fall, it’s my boobs that are showing their age, just like the rest of me. I had a bad mammogram, so I went back for a recheck, which showed microcalcifications in my left breast that the radiologist feels he needs to do a biopsy on. Apparently, they’re “indeterminate.” So on Monday, I’ll be having a stereotactic breast biopsy done and I can’t resist putting up the drawing that goes with the explanation of the procedure because seriously, one look at this and what else could you possibly want to know? Yikes!! I guarantee you that whatever you have planned for next Monday, you will be having a better time than me.

Believe it or not, that drawing does not show the worst part of this as far as I’m concerned. Worse even than having my boob hanging down through a hole in cold metal table and squeezed between two plates, is the fact that I’ve had to go off the anti-inflammatory med that keeps my arthritis pain at bay. I am discovering, much to my pained non-amusement, that these drugs really do work! They are what keep me moving so that my joints don’t just decide to turn in their notice. When I move, I’m good. So, I’m dealing with the pain in the best ways I know how without the meds–lots of water, keep moving, no sweets or alcohol, and prayer. I probably should’ve put prayer first on the list because it is the one thing I’m doing most of.  The good news is that only about 30 percent of these procedures show any malignancy, so I’m counting on being among the vast 70 percent whose tests come out negative for cancer. So if you have a few good-news vibes to toss my way, I’d sure appreciate them. Oh, and since I’ve brought this all up, I promise to report back when I know anything about the results.

In the meantime, here’s my gratitude for today:

  1. Husband, who is so sympathetic and helpful and loving. He’s the best.
  2. Friends who keep reassuring me with their stories about the 70%–they give me endless hope.
  3. Son, who would take on my pain if he could–God, I love my kid.
  4. Beautiful fall days, with blue, blue October skies and cool breezes.
  5. Medical innovations that make early detection possible.

 

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