Why was Kid 1 wearing shorts in cold weather?
She wore shorts because she was in the kitchen drinking coffee, comfy and warm, and I dragged her to the back yard to model the shawl for me for about a minute. 🙂
Is there anything you can’t do?? Seriously!?
Ilona, you are this uber tea connoisseur, chef extraordinaire, knitting freak, research guru and writing goddess… you save puppies, deserve mum of the year accolades, and still find time to keep your legion of fans happy on the speaking circuit and online!
It’s rather intimidating! Develop a flaw, so the rest of us mere mortals don’t appear so lacking in comparison! 🤣🤣Rebecca
So let’s talk about this a little bit. What you see on this blog is a small slice of my life, carefully curated and chosen for the maximum entertainment value.
A few days ago, Gordon opened the garage door and a red eared slider ran into it. This turtle saw a human and ran toward him. Its shell was broken at the edges. It looked like something gnawed on it. It had parasites. Flies laid eggs inside the broken shell and maggots were swarming. We put him into a spare terrarium, called Kid 2, who dropped everything, drove down to San Marcos, picked up the turtle, and took him to wild life rescue. They accepted it and are cautiously optimistic about its chances.
You didn’t get the pictures of the turtle because Gordon still can’t get the image of swarming maggots out of his head. That slice of real life was too ugly for the blog. Yesterday Kid 2 came over and cried in the living room, because someone she knew died. That didn’t make it to the blog either.
What you see online, on the blogs, on Instagram, on Twitter, is not the complete picture. Sure, I finished a shawl, but I have a sweater in the craft room which has 1/2 of a sleeve and I will likely never finish it. And yes, I’m a good cook, but we’ve been ordering out a lot in the past couple of weeks because we are on a deadline, so instead of yummy dinners, we get Firehouse Subs.
There are empty bags in my bedroom on the side of my bed. I’ve been meaning to throw them away or put them up for months now. I will have to do it today now that I wrote about it. I just never gotten to them. Why? It would take a grand total of 5 minutes.
The point is, I am a real person with loads of flaws. I’m not a perfect mother, not a perfect wife, not a perfect friend, and if you piss me off, I can be a horrible bitch. Never let yourself feel inadequate because of what you see online. Never put anyone on a pedestal just because they appear to have an orderly life and their house seems perfect on Instagram.
My work desk down in the office is pristine. I’m typing this from our study, where Gordon and I play computer games. This is what my desk here looks like.
Life is messy. That’s okay. We all do the best we can.
My desk at home is picture perfect. I’m afraid of Zoom meetings. The rest of my house, controlled chaos.
Ah, the virtual Zoom background is your friend. No one will ever see the mess behind me in either my home or work office!
My fear is, what if one day Zoom has a glitch and the background fails mid-meetings!
Where I used to worked, everybody kept their cameras off during meetings. Unless HR was involved. But if HR was involved your appearance was the least of your worries.
During one meeting though, my foster kitten walked across my keyboard and turned on my on my camera. Good thing I was dressed. My hair however….ick.
I’m not horribly vain, but when webcams are at keyboard level, instead of eye level at the top of your screen, it’s super unflattering. Like it makes it look like you’ve dozens upon dozens of pounds. Seriously, to the consumer engineers of laptops, don’t do that. Make it stop. Ventilation fans should also be on top through the keyboard area, not underneath too to keep things cool.
If it’s just friends, I’ll video chat them with my hair pulled back, in my PJs, with hair dye on my head, or whatever and I don’t care. If it’s an organizational meeting, class, etc. while I don’t do super dressy, I want to look nice.
For both meetings, I also put my laptop on a tower of books to fix the webcam at the keyboard level, so the webcam is more at eye level. That’s a cheap easy fix for the issue, unless I need to type and them my hands are all ghostly. WooooWoooooWoooo.
I set up in my bedroom (only spot I can shut the door and get quiet from other areas of the house), angled so folks just see artwork on the wall if my zoom background fails me. But I still straighten the bed, and make sure there’s no weird awkward I’m half dressed scenario. Because murphy’s law is a thing. Stuff goes wrong. You yank the cable on the laptop and it goes flying, your cats come in and are cats. You knock over things in terror of the spider that just descended from the ceiling in front of you.
Jesse Wendel says
Spider!! Ick, ick! That’s a certain way to get me running from my Zoom call. Arrrgh!
I’m with you. Outside, as long as they stay away from me, they can live. Inside, they must die. I have a good spider-smacking-until-dead cat which helps.
This is EXACTLY what I needed to see today; thank you for the reminder!
I think i must love that one inch piece of scrap paper between my computer and the refrigerator, can’t rember how long it has been in my life.
Thank you for sharing this post as well as the others on this blog.
It adds another dimension to your books to get a little insight into how they come to be and what obstacles you encountered on the way and whatever else.
Hope the turtle will be fine, he is lucky to have run to the right place for help.
I am also glad that you got to do some knitting amidst everything else.
Thank you for sharing the realness! I’ve been working from home and using a blank wall for my background on video conference meetings because I’m afraid of showing coworkers what my house really looks like. We’re all just doing our best to survive in the moment.
Thank you so much for writing this. And I hope Kid 2 has something to keep her mind off the loss.
Lora Tyler says
I love your blog. I love the simple perfection that I see. I realize there can be nasty moments because that’s life! No one is perfect…. Thank you for letting us in on some of the more real moments too. I like all you write and your blogs are a wonderful breath of fresh air. Thank you!
I love your books, your blog and all your flaws.
Life is messy, what you share brings much joy and kinship from shared experiences. I would never assume to think that any of us, can have a perfect life.
Colleen Whitley says
Indeed, we need to do what we can and if that means a pile of unmatched socks in a laundry hamper for a month…well at least I don’t have mice. Nothing for everyone to feel guilty about as we all have different priorities.
I once had a guest from my mothers’ group come for tea back when our babies were around 12 months old. She spent the time sitting on the floor picking up bits of lint from the carpet. Meanwhile, I had a clean kitchen, toilet and had made fresh cookies BUT I hadn’t vacuumed. Needless to say she never came back and I have since refused to let someone make me feel inadequate. Pick your battles.
Reminds me of when my children were little. I went round to one of my friends’ house and my toddler pointed to the one piece of lint on an otherwise spotless carpet and said, ‘dirt,’ in a surprised voice. I felt so embarrassed, particularly as my living room carpet was so messy one piece wouldn’t stand out. We still laugh about it though, along with the embarrassment she felt when I showed her my pepper plant and her toddler picked the one pepper it had managed to grow; whilst it was still the size of a walnut.
I love your blog and the stories you share and think you seem like a great family. Humans aren’t perfect. I know I am not so I don’t expect others to be perfect either. We each have our own skill sets and admire people who have skills we don’t. I’m not the creative type – it doesn’t come naturally to me – so I admire those who are.
Thank you and Kid 2 for rescuing the turtle ???? Making your corner of the world a little bit better with your kindness.
I’m sorry to hear Kid 2 friend died. It is especially hard when a young person passes. Hold the good memories close to you and they will live on in your heart.
“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight” – Kahlil Gibran
Thank you for sharing ❤️
Aw, real people. I eat with my pod most nights, sharing cooking duty, and usually at the kid house as then there are 4 adults to wrestle the 2 kids to bed (9 and 5 and terrors at bed time). My bestie says the other night as we’re getting ready to leave, why don’t you have us over to your place sometime. The kids would love it. I gave her my best flat look and intoned “that would require cleaning, wouldn’t it?” We both broke down in hysterical laughter. And I’ve no real reason for not having a spotless house other than lack of interest. Lol
Ok we get it…you are as human as the rest of us. That is good to know. Everyone has warts and gas sometime…we (your reading audience) understands we all live in the real world. But you are special in that you share small slices of your life with us and we really appreciate it because it makes our drab lives a little brighter and happy. So thank you for participating with us to get through this trauma we call life…
Thank you, and thank for taking care of turtle a lot of folks would not have troubled
I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for your insight and the patient explanations to your fans. We’re a bit of a fanatic (and also flawed) book-devouring horde ????.
I see a familiar pup toy (orange squeaky ball) and pet brush! Pichu pup loves her spa days when she gets bathed, brushed, nails filed, and tooth cleaning at home, followed by a treat, of course!
Lady Pichu is adorbs!! And deservedly so—all that pampering has her looking such a diva.
I have been cleaning out my clothing and bringing it to Salvation Army.
Yea!! Guess who bought 4 tees and 3 sweaters at the Salvation Army the same day. And a pair of flower earrings. So it sort of evens out.
Thank you and Gordon and Kid 2 for saving a turtle.
I had turtles when I was very small .
Smithers and little Nell.
Smithers loved opera. He got very excited and would stretch his neck out to hear the opera. My mom who loved opera , said he was a cultured turtle.
I have tried to be less judgmental and kinder to everyone. Listened more.
We all have our coping strategies, sometimes it works, sometimes I break out the cookies.
I have eaten a lot of cookies.
Your books are one of my coping strategies.
Emerald blaze was the only new book I bought this year. I loved it . Will buy Blood Heir .
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
I paraphrase this quote by Southern pastor Steve Furtick when one of my friends runs themselves down. Well, I usually say “Stop comparing your training video to other people’s highlight reel.” Same diff.
Ilona doesn’t need to be on a pedestal, but all those things really are worthy of admiration. Even when they don’t happen all the time.
Condolences to Kid 2. This is a sad time.
This is something I’ve always loved about House Andrews. The absolute honesty when things arent as great as they seem.
They are the reason I no longer get annoyed when I wish a book series would continue, the reason I am fine if a book I was looking forward to wasn’t what I expected. You never know what the people on the other end are going through.
Ellen D says
Glad I’m not the only one on the clean house issue. Husband tells me co-workers want pics of Delilah our new kitten. Told him I had to clean up the background first.
Thanks for the reminder that no one is perfect! I’ve finally realized that striving for perfection is one of the things that keeps me from finishing something, especially something new. Now I just try to get better at the things I enjoy and let go of the things that cause stress that I don’t have to do…like pay the taxes. ????
Suzanne Ledford says
I see two Wet Brushes which are THE most amazing brushes ever and the only ones that I can use on my curly mop without wincing in pain as I pull out the tangles! ????????????????
Debi Majo says
???????????? thank you for what you did for the turtle ????
“ Life is messy.“ That says it all. As much as I enjoy your online presence, I know it’s not the extent of your life. Thank you for the entertaining bits that you deem appropriate to share with us. I am sorry about Kid 2’s friend. I hope that she can find some comfort in the good memories that are left behind..
Word! Thank you for pointing out that posts are not everything about you.
We get a slice. And very much enjoy it ❤️????
Mary Peed says
Speaking as a historian, I say this all the time. No one is perfect. The man who wrote so movingly about all men being equal was a man who owned other people as slaves and had a decades long affair with a woman he owned… Who just happened to be the half sister of his dead wife.
Give me one “hero” in history and I’ll point out why they were “just” human, who fought and learned from mistakes and left their dirty dishes in the sink… Besides doing what they are known as a hero for.
Also, I’m very sorry for Kid 2’s loss. May her friend’s memory be a blessing.
> Give me one “hero” in history and I’ll point out why they were “just” human, who fought and learned from mistakes and left their dirty dishes in the sink…
Challenge Accepted: Fred Rogers
Sorry. I get what you were saying. I just had to point out that there has been at least one person who not only didn’t leave dishes in the sink but probably washed any dishes already there.
Besides Fred Rogers deserves to be celebrated. 😀
Sharon H Barrett says
If you could see my work spaces and my home, you’d think, wow, she’s super neat! And then I’d show you the storage room in our garage. UGH.
Susie Q. says
I was very organized at work. My productivity numbers were higher than any one else in the department so my boss asked me why. I showed her how I customized the spreadsheet they sent me listing my files by adding extra columns to keep track of things and used a date and sort systems to make sure that I prioritized my tasks. They forced the attorneys and other paralegals to use my system which was not great for my popularity. An attorney made a nasty remark about how I probably had my food sorted alphabetically. I laughed my head off. He gaped at me. I told him I’m organized at work because that’s what they pay me for. At home, I don’t get paid to be organized, so its a mess. Perception and reality so seldom match.
Thank you for the blog. Especially now, it keeps a lot of the BDH going when times are tough. Thank you even more for pulling aside the curtain and showing us the reality behind the Wizard of Oz.
Thanks for sharing your reality with us. It does help to know that others are human too.
OMGosh poor tortoise! Mine loves us, but then again he’s been with us for 34 years, so he does come to me when he sees me open the backdoor. I had a rabbit that had the maggot issue and later formed lesions. Over 20 years and I can’t get it out of my mind either. And my dog died yesterday and it sucks! What doesn’t suck is your writing, so when we tell you you are fantastic it is because it is helping us with our sucky lives. Thanks for being an inspiration and letting us see behind the curtain. xoxo
So sorry about your pupper.
Jodi Morgenstern says
Thank you. We just found out a few weeks ago he had tumors around his lungs. It was just that fast he went downhill. His name was Angus and he looked like a cross between a Corgi and a German Shepherd. The sweetest rescue dog we’ve ever had. Thank you for caring.
Justine Birmingham says
Thank you for this post. Every little glimpse into your life is precious for us. And pedestal or not, you became our idols!!!
Brittany V. says
Say it louder for the people in the back!
Humans as social creatures crave acceptance and community. Comparing ourselves to others is an unfortunate evolutionary trait that is made worse by the Internet. Reminiscent of Alessandro’s revelation that his rich playboy type lifestyle is curated.
Joe K. says
Ah a human! Get her!
Seriously this post is probably my favorite so far. The “down to earth vibes”… we feel them. And it’s nice to know that someone who is “famous” (imho) is just like “us”. Though I think you’ll finish the sweater too now that you talked about it.
Thanks for being a person for us. It’s refreshing.
Also what games? Just curious.
Everybody has a neater house than mine. I am positive of that.
I find I have a ridiculous tolerance for cat hair. Since I have two large long-haired cats, I get a lot of it. I don’t bother to sweep it up until I have drifts in the corners. Then I dispose of half a trash can of the stuff and start over.
The house looks great all spiffed up, but I just can’t get up the energy to keep it that way.
I am getting better about putting my paperwork away properly. It makes such a difference when tax time comes around. But I’d still rather not bother.
Oh, well, better is not wonderful, but I was terrible before, so I’ll take it.
OBTW – When I say large, I mean it. That table is 36 inches wide and Karat fills it rather nicely. (3 guesses who she’s named for.)
Bahzell is a bit smaller, but loses more hair…
Such cuties!! Just curious, is Bahzell from David Weber character or something else?
Commander Karat from Sweep of the blade? Mauds’s book.
Lynn L says
Thanks for entertaining us with fun things. We all have messy laundry rooms, cat yak on the floor surprises, and stuff that needs putting away something pleasant or funny.
Haha we’ve got cat yak right now.. I can’t pick it up when it’s fresh. We call it “hock” ????
Love that message! Have you heard of BTS? They have very similar messages in their music.
Thank you for this post!
Alejandra C Geiger-Ortiz says
Thank you for everything you do. From your blog posts to your amazing books to your advice. It really helps my day and makes things a little better to read your blog and books. My whole family loves your books, but I check you blog daily (at least). So just thank you. I hope you and your family stay safe and healthy. Please realize how much what you do helps and means to a lot of different people.
That comment reminds me of two things.
1. The movie “Bridesmaids” where Kristen Wiig’s character gets up absurdly early, goes puts on makeup, then gets back and bed and pretends to wake up like that so her boyfriend can ask how she can look so perfect first thing in the morning.
2. The new Jumanji movie from a couple of years ago. One of the teenage girls is lying down about to take a selfie, and she repositions things around her until she gets the best shot. When she takes the shot, she captions it something like she just got up or something, yet she’s got perfect makeup and her hair is styled.
Point is, until you live with someone, you can’t know how much of what they show you (especially on social media) is A) all of them, much less B) the accurate version of them.
Ellen Solensky says
As always you tell your truth. Important things that must be said. Good.
Is it okay when i still think you are awesome? Because i do 🙂
For a second I thought the owl figure by the Kleenex box was a Totoro figurine. “My friend Totoro”, is a Japanese animated film by Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. My favorite of their works. Though I really like almost all of Miyazaki’s work.
Lynn Thompson says
Thank you for the post, Ilona Andrews. So you are human being not a robot. Okay, I will still enjoy your blog and stories anyway. ????
I spent 10 years doing demented elder care (mother) and learned every one sees things differently and to choose what was important to me and mine. “Why bless your heart” really is an amazing saying. Whatever you choose to share is fine with me.
Thank you for rescuing Gordon’s wild turtle. Wildlife rehabilitation is very difficult and unsung job. My family and ex husband still have not forgiven me for showing up to my third grandfathers sudden funeral years ago with a pocket of baby squirrels I was rehabbing. Well they had to be fed a bottle every 4 hours and I was required to be there. Turtles are challenging to rehab.
I have 2 wet brushes too, I love them.
Inga Abel says
Wait!!! Whaaaat?!? You are a real person and not perfect?!?
Your BDH won‘t beliiieeeve that!!!
I’m happy you guys saved that turtle. It’s so kind and caring … and hugs to kid 2’s loss …I like stopping in at this blog for the updates and vibe from the community. Going through some things at work and COVID numbers climbing again… my state (MA) got added to my mom’s state’s (CT) travel
Advisory this week, right before we were set to visit. It’s just a real bummer of a time.
But then there’s good stuff… I started binging “What we do in the Shadows”… lol I guess it’s probably not everyone’s cuppa, but I am entertained!!
Love What we do in the Shadows!
That “messy” desk would horrify my mother and make my sister’s eye twitch but it makes me feel seen.
40+ years ago when I got married, one of the older women in my church advised me to buy a big rug for every room. That way, she said, you can easily push the dirt under the rug and no one notices.
My rule of thumb for cleaning: Mop the kitchen floor only when the dog starts sticking to it.
Oh, I like that one. A new rule of thumb for the kitchen floor.
That makes me laugh. I knew a lady who actually did sweep her floor and shoved it under the rug. I would rather scrub toilets than do floors so it gets done about every three weeks or when I can’t stand it any more. By the time the project clutter is cleared up and put away, who cares.
The post is also good to remember that other peoples’ troubles and challenges are entirely valid, and to try not to minimize or judge them by my standard or scales. Bff reminds me of this when I feel bad about sharing my gripes (single non-parent) compared to her challenges of parenting two rambunctious stubborn kids (especially during COVID). It is a good reminder that people can be unnecessarily hard on themselves.
Condolences for Kid 2’s loss.
Thank you for being real. I will take it over canned interactions every day, especially when it’s coming from a set of authors who always deliver.
Patricia Schlorke says
The joys of real life. This reminded me of a bookmark my mom use to have with a mouse which has its head face down on a desk with the drawers of a file cabinet opened, papers everywhere, and the caption “I finally got it all together, but I forgot where I put it.” ????
I like the saying “Organized people are just too lazy to look for things” ????
I ❤ the “MomBoss” sign ????
Mary Greenawalt says
To quote Winston Churchill: “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” You are perfectly You!
Letha Owens says
I always knew you were human, or you couldn’t write such humanly poignant stories.
Don’t worry about perfect. The BDH wouldn’t love you half as much if you were.
Mikhail Vapnik says
You have nesting dolls on your desk! Because of course you have nesting dolls on your desk. Brought a smile to this fellow displaced Russian’s face. 😀
Stephanie Gasior says
I have two of those wet hair brushes on my desk as well (purple and gold). They are great!
Thank you. We will just have to find another use for that pedestal. I feel better about my mess on the back porch.
So to recap, you, too, are human, eh, Ilona? I think we all knew that. I also think that you are, at heart, a kind and warm and loving person who is doing her best to entertain the masses as we all go through this horrible pandemic and all the situations it has caused together.
I am personally almost insane with all that’s going on, but I seek out things that can make me smile, because a day without a smile is a wasted day of my life. I look around until I find something, and when you post something you find amusing enough to share with us, I smile. I’ve read your books so many times that I can quote many of them. They make me smile. I watched the leaves turn colors on the trees and fall to the ground because they’re pretty and they make me smile. Some days, that’s all the smiles I get. Nobody has any idea why I’m still alive, nobody has any idea how long that will last. Nobody has any idea how to prolong it. When we finally got our wills and all the legal papers about what will happen if I’m unable to speak for myself signed yesterday, it was a relief, but we have no idea how long it will be before all that is necessary to be read and done. But I smile when I read your blog. I have enough flaws that I don’t need to read about yours. I love what you post. You find amusing and amazing things to say, and you post them, and you make us all smile, no matter the subject.
Sending warm wishes, a virtual hug, and encouraging smiles your way. It sounds like you are dealing with many things in difficult times. I enjoy smiling at the little things, but will start to follow your approach to consciously seek out things to smile at each day.
Also, a good blog is the best of “reality” tv. You control how much you show to us, so we know no one is invading your privacy or shaming you for entertainment sake. It
Makes it easier to have a peak into someone’s life.
April White says
Well said. Thank you for for tanking the time to share little slices of your life with us. Your post as almost always make me smile and some days a smile is desperately needed in these pandemic times. As for being perfect – I’m doing all my Christmas shopping online, and as I write this I have a leaning tower of Amazon boxes that I’ve been intending to do something with all week. It would also take just 5 minutes but…
Thank you for reminding us you are just as human as the rest of us. As I tell all my fellow humans: Be kind, especially to yourself.
I was going to ask if that really was your desk or a stock image, but I recognize the glass you’re using for tea, as after you mentioned it in the blog I bought a set for my sister-in-law because she drinks tea every day. She decided they weren’t her style and sent them back for something else.
I thought they were pretty. What does she know, eh?
Susan D says
One of the blessings of being retired is that I don’t need to care if my video callers see the unpacked boxes waiting to be dealt with. We moved into this house two years ago. Maybe I’ll get to them.
This blog and the people who post on it have created a community. When I read what is going on with the BDH it is like keeping up with friends. In this time of social distancing ect, that is a great gift.
You’re a human being, but one with some amazing abilities. I had read Rebecca’s letter as teasing. The shawl was lovely. I needed a comfort read while I was sick this past weekend, so of course I read Ilona Andrews. Every time I read The HL stories, I love them more. Take care.
William B says
Firehouse subs are yummy, just saying.
I love that you are real and raw!
Susan Brown says
I love that you addressed this issue. Far too often people accept what they see on social media as “real” when in fact it’s absolutely not! There is not a person out there that is social media perfect! Love your work!
Some of us like the happy stuff you share and heck the life updates where you talk about your kid and how Covid took a toll. I come here for a smile and to share a little of your life. Also the two Combs on that desk make me smile.
Jana S. Brown says
Thanks for keeping it real. And those are seriously the best brushes! 🙂
Actually, that was a wonderful piece, thanks!
Oooh I have the same planner! Isn’t it SO PRETTY!
The imagery from the turtle makes me extraordinarily sad and slightly queasy. I love turtles. I used to rescue them from roads a lot when I lived in rural Virginia. Now that I live in Texas I usually wring my hands when I see an armadillo in the street.
I’m glad y’all got him/her to the wildlife rescue.
Appreciate this post!
Also, I have the same detangler hairbrush, works great. haha!
While I was covid-sick, mint tea helped with breathing, kept me hydrated and my stomach calm. Your writing kept me entertained and blog in touch with as much reality as I could handle. I should have said it sooner, wright and I will read it, my dear.
If it helps, I finished very few of my knitting projects and those who are completed, although technically accomplished, I like them challenging, are impossible to wear for various reasons.
Herds of dust bunnies compete with overly enthusiastic mess for space on my desk. They just might suffocate my laptop to death. Thankfully, they didn’t escape Monty Phyton.
Sheryl Winters says
I add to much stuff to my writing area. Extra books, extra pencils, craft projects. You name it, I feel it should go here. Then it gets cluttered, I clean it out, rinse and repeat.
Your doing great. No worries here.
I don’t even want to take a picture of my desk. I’m too ashamed!
Chantay Hadley says
I totally understand about the deadline driven- bad eating thing.
Whether it’s a manuscript I’m formatting or one of my books about to drop, its a 3 day to several week DoorDash/Grubhub/goPuff stint. I gotta wonder is there a better way? Some food service specializing in food delivery for authors?
Maybe this should be a new business per the cartoon movie Robots “see a need, meet a need.”
I miss Robin Williams. I know that was random. Also one of my many flaws.
You guys are still awesome. I make it a point to refer your blog to several new authors that come to us.
This article is one of the reasons why. You’re real. That outweighs any flaws but I adore why you wrote it. Because you’re real.
2020 needs more of that.
Mireille Hay says
Thanks for this. I hate virtual meetings because everyone can see your face all the time. Before in meetings we would concentrate on the speaker and some of us could hide away in our corner. Not with Zoom, MS Teams etc. There I am front and centre all the time. I didn’t realise how expensive my face was until now. Practicing poker face constantly now ????
thank you for not sharing photos of that poor turtle. And I appreciate your carefully curated glimpses. ????
Thanks, it is important to remember that you portray the best online – we appreciate the entertainment value.
Do we get a picture if the turtle makes it? 🙂
Bill G says
Thank you; that’s well said. We all have a tendency to look at others, imagine they’re as perfect as they’ve striven to present themselves, and find ourselves wanting. None of us are perfect, and we should not judge ourselves harshly.
Thank you so much for this…
lately I turn around the house and I pretty much can’t find my house keys (thank God the husband has his spares), I’ve misplaced my Apple pen which I desperately need to do my artwork, my bedroom is a mess and I can’t find the energy to care…
yeah, I guess I do the best I can… thanks for reminding me of this.
Larry Hoffman says
I leave my Christmas Tree up all year around. We move it from my office to the living room after Thanksgiving.
That’s fine no one can do everything you guys or even you in particular can and keep everything magazine worthy. It’s impossible. Hearing that you two are normal and have normal problems makes the blog and everything that much more special IMHO.
Yolène Clément says
I love your last line. I’m a very organised person at work but to say my house isn’t tidy is an understatement…
It is very reassuring to know that you aren’t perfect and have flaws but for my part, I never believed you were. For once, I do believe you are human and we aren’t perfect. Perfection is boring and to be as creative as you are, you can’t be perfect and boring isn’t an adjective I would describe for your books. 😉
Your desk is still a lot more tidy than mine. Tell me you clean it up a bit before taking the picture ? ????
A clean desk is a sign of a cluttered desk drawer
We know you’re not perfect. We love you two anyway
Thanks. I feel really messy right now. This helped.
Thanks for that glimpse. I commandeered the front room in our house for my computer/book room. I have a desk/credenza piled high. Two walls of books, plus dozens more piled everywhere. I like this space, but feel guilty sometimes. It never seems to get straight, whatever that is. I would never have the courage to take a photo and post it. You might ban me.
I saw Candice Bergen in an interview during her Murphy Brown days and it gave me words to live by.
She said she complained to her mother once that (paraphrasing) “You raised me to believe I could have everything and it just isn’t possible!” Her mothers response? “I said you could have everything. I didn’t say you could have it all at once.”
I remind myself of her words when I start focusing on all the things I haven’t done (or finished). It helps.
As someone who has “don’t talk to me days” I get you.
You mean…not everything we see online is true? Whoa. I might need more coffee.
That’s just an excuse. I was going to have more coffee anyway.
This year has really brought home to me how much humans hate complexity when they’re stressed. We don’t want to have to think things through. We just want to coast along in our preferred lane and accept everything we already consider true at face value.
This is why I want more coffee right now. I have thinking to do. Ugh.
Wow that desk looks clean compared to mine! I share a L shaped desk with my serger and sewing machine. When I sew, I sew all over the house.
Lol, two hair brushes? Go go Messy!
Carie Murphy says
Thank you for being real. Way too many people confuse fake life (on social media) for real life. Real life is messy and great and hard and….I enjoy your blog!
Thank you ???? – Life is messy and we never know everything that is going on. It is about how you try to live your life while surviving the chaos of reality (good and bad). I find inspiration and humor in you blogs.
Sarah P says
Mmm, firehouse subs sounds good. Maybe my new lunch plan today.
Yay for the turtle!
Deepest sympathy to Kid 2 on the death of her friend.
Jean Morgan says
Thanks for this posting, Ilona as sometimes we all see the other side of the fence where the grass is greener. It’s good to be reminded that we all are human and do the best we can. Appreciate the reminder
Thank you for reminding us all that we are human and that anything we see online is really an illusion. So many people struggle with comparing themselves to the perfection they see on social media/the internet not realizing it is a posed snapshot depicting a thin slice of reality.
Life IS messy!! Love this quote “The point is, I am a real person with loads of flaws. I’m not a perfect mother, not a perfect wife, not a perfect friend, and if you piss me off, I can be a horrible bitch.” Life happens it is how we deal with the good and the bad, defend the defenseless, and ask ourselves at the start of each day — ‘What good can I do this day’– That is what counts, not how spotless our house is.
Thank you. This falls into the category of things we all know but sometimes we need to hear them from someone else. It doesn’t take much to make us feel inadequate, and its reassuring to know that people we admire also struggle with the bags beside the bed.
I know you’re not perfect cause no one is.
I will say, in my opinion, you make all your work pretty damn perfect ????
What I do really like about you is you’re AUTHENTIC.
(I’m a horrible bitch if you piss me off) ????
In this day and age, that’s becoming more rare…
I see you and appreciate you..
Don’t ever change ????
We still love you and are grateful for everything you’ve given us so generously and for everything you do that keeps brightening our lives.
Cindy Montalbano says
barbie doll says
Thank you for not being perfect and admitting it. Too often social media and media in general shows a moment in time when we hopefully look good. Right now I am rather ragged and most of the people I know are in the same boat. You are realistic and down to earth and that is why your writing is fun. Again thank you
Thinking about your daughter and her friends family. She sounds like such a loving, empathetic person.
Judy Schultheis says
I used to have a sign on my desk that said “Mother of Dragons”. If you knew my daughters, you’d know why. I got rid of it when Game of Thrones became popular, because it had absolutely nothing to do with that.
I still have several of my collection of frogs, my glass pens, my necklaces and my scarves, not to mention a whole bunch of other stuff on the desk. The only things I can consistently find are my writing pens and my financial paperwork, which are the only things I actually need to find.
Well, sometimes I need my God jar – but that’s been sitting in the same spot on top of said desk since I got it. It really helps to write a matter down if the only thing left for me to do is worry and put the note in the God jar. That’s done more good for my nerves than paying my last loan off did.
And even your messy desk is a good deal neater than mine.
and if you piss me off, I can be a horrible bitch
Thank you for this.
pat roos says
totally get this. plus your desk looks way better than mine. (and i cleaned it recently)… people are full of wonder and of flaws.
Alison Parker says
All your flaws make you (universal you) who you are and as long as you try you best, and be as kind as possible, you will be able to live with yourself. That’s the story I tell myself so my head won’t explode from all the inner voices having a go at the mistakes I make. The rules of the Baylor Agency do have a tendency to run through my head along with the the laws of robotics to do no harm as often as possible.
Your flaws and how you deal with them made you my favorite set of authors. I know you can do wrong but generally expect you to be amazing.
Love to you, Gordon, Kid 1 and Kid 2 to deal with all the issues in your life.
Thank you, as always, for being you ❣️
You will see regular people in MN wearing shorts during the winter. We pretend we live on the beach ignoring our freezing reality all the time. Nobody complains or makes comments. As a kid I use to walk to school with my hair wet so that it would freeze — it was fun.
Alicia Milan says
I tell my children and more sensitive friends that social media and blogs are a carefully selected highlight reel. It’s not reflective of any kind of whole picture. We all have our own flaws and issues. Most of us don’t care to share those parts on the daily. Enjoy them for the entertainment they are and don’t use them as a model for comparison.
You two are great, everyday people and that is why I have enjoyed your blog so much for all these years. Other authors – mostly – use their blogs for advertising only. I have been concerned that yours would drop to that due to increase in business and fan base. I’m glad it hasn’t as of yet. Your snippets of life are fun to share. I truly hope that turtle makes it and I greatly appreciate the effort your family went through for a single little life. Virtual hugs to your daughter. It’s so horrible to lose someone you care for! Thank you Ilona and Gordon for your work and for sharing.
Judith C Stanton says
Please continue to be an imperfect being. This is one of the reasons why you and Gordon write such wonderful books that I gift to my friends and re and reread them. That slice of realism makes all the difference in your novels, as your characters come across as individuals with depth instead of cardboard cutouts. With all of their faults, Nevada, Catalina, and Dina fascinate me. They accomplish so much, but at remain so human with their depth of concern for other living beings.
K D says
Kid 2 has my deepest sympathies. It’s been a hard year
I was very encouraged by your blog.
Thank you. 🙂
Thank you for your picture of coffee table. You have made me feel better about my house and all those crocheted market bags that just need the yarn woven in to be finished.
I buy all your ebooks, thank you. Just write as fast as you can, no pressure but I am 80 years old. ???? My Mother would have loved your books.
Where is the love …
I hear what you’re saying & have to confess it gave me a develop a flaw moment …
The love is … in those soundless screams … when you were by your childs side … when you shared daddy’s coming … etc
Thanks for sharing paths of sanity with us AND getting us to smile while we’re trekking … ???? ???? 2 ???????? …
hippo birdie 2 ewes
Amazingly said, and thank you for this slice of reality. We may all feel great some days, bad others, envy the neighbor or the close friend but ultimately we are who we are and personally, I feel great about who I am. Life is good ????
Ms. Kim says
I love this desk picture. I’m thinking how I can make my desk look like it. I love the colors, the calendar book, the tea cup (which I now have). It is the perfect look for a desk. Ok, I’m ignoring your point. But I really like your desk.
That reminds me. I gotta make sure I get that bag of plastic grocery bags in the car so I can recycle them at WM. ????
P.S. I won’t tell you about the dozen or so plastic sweater bags of sweater knitting projects begging for some knitter (ahem, me) to pick them up, finish them and find them a forever home.
Your readers have the best comments! So entertaining. I needed those laughs. Thanks for being as normal as the rest of us and reminding us, in case we missed it, that real life is supposed to be messy. Well, the exception to being ‘normal’, might be that amazing writers brain! Oh yeah!
Daniela C says
I understand what you are doing and I appreciate it. However leave me my fantasies 😉
Heather Bennett says
Tell Hubby not to feel bad about itching over the squiggles, I’m a CNA and deal with all sortS of nasty ….fluids and the one thing I can’t do is deal with maggots, there a big Nope for me!!! Even writing/reading about them gives me the heeby-jeebees!!!
Thank you for sharing that 🙂 Great thoughts for life and also… I love when people share their unfolded laundry or cluttered desks like this in little moments when someone else is having a hard time because I think it helps everyone feel like it’s okay to be human and to feel comfortable passing the favor on later with others when they feel overwhelmed. Curating normally makes great sense, but I absolutely love this post! Thanks
Theodore D. says
Ilona, I don’t care…
Thank you for sharing your little slice of life with ‘the rest of us’ because it helps me feel a bit more connected and human.
I don’t blog or knit or write very well and my life is in shambles… yet, no one sees my problems because they only enjoy trumpeting it to their friends about how much better off they are than I am. I shut people out because of the jerkishness that happens.
Thank you for making me laugh, for helping renew my connection with emotions and for sharing your little bit… it helps me to know that things aren’t all bad and aren’t perfect, either… it helps me to grasp reality and enjoy fantasy stuff when it comes my way.
Thank you 🙂
The worst part about self-isolating for over six months is that we live in echo-chambers populated by our insecurities, misconceptions and flaws.
Theodore D. says
I’ve been working the entire pandemic because I’m an essential worker. The isolation is because of people and activities that I decline to be included in (drinking, carousing, etc.)
When I took the job I was separated from friends because they took a different one, as well. We gamed, hung out and were at least social… now we don’t even chat and our days off are so different.
And the new job has everyone in a town that is 30 minutes away and we are put on furlough if the bosses even THINK we have been “in contact.”
Yeah, it all sucks…
And, thanks for the reply 🙂
I looked in on the blog because I needed a break from the pressure I was putting on myself today. On top of real life interrupting my perfect little plan, I hit a wall writing a short paper as part of a group project. Normally I can pound out a cohesive idea, but not this morning. Thank you especially for sharing the picture of your desk and for reminding everyone that life can be messy. It’s easy to forget that daydreams are pleasant diversions and that reality isn’t always bad or good , it’s just life taking us in unexpected directions. I hope you’re having a lovely and productive day.
I rarely post commons on websites but this post drove me to post. Thank you, thank you, and thank you again.
Thank you for the wonderful books, I read you books over and over whenever I run out of new books to read.
Thank you for taking the time to blog and let us readers into your life just a little bit.
But the biggest thank you is for this specific post. Thank you for reminding us that no one is perfect and usually only the best parts are posted online. Thank you for giving us a tiny glance into your “real life” it was greatly appreciated.
A different turtle and maggot story – maybe even more gruesome? Several years ago I had several Ornate Desert Box Turtles. They are probably the most carnivorous and scavenging of the box turtles. They came running when they were fed live grubs or meal worms. One day they didn’t come out from under a thick hedge. I could hear them rustling the leaves. Later that afternoon a strong smell emanated from the hedge, something was dead. I couldn’t see what was in there. Using a rake, I pulled a reeking White Wing Dove out from under the hedge. It was full of maggots. My turtles were devouring the maggots and what remained of the carcass.
Uwu! I saw an Umaru-chan on your desk!! That’s cool.
My desk is a mess; my room is a mess. It was agreed unanimously that said chaos be moved to the garden enclosure. Now my messy desk/workstation is located in my garden surrounded by Papaya, pomegranate and lemon trees.
Voila, controlled chaos!
On a serious note, thank you for the grounding post.
I love your little “Himouto! Umaru-chan” figurine. Too cute!
Aman Sidhu says
We support you. Everyone is flawed, we wouldn’t be human if we weren’t. It’s why I love your characters so much. They have glaring personality flaws but their intentions are good. That’s normal for most people. I was explaining to a good friend what I find attractive in books, is reading about characters who are neither fully light or dark. People are messy, emotions are messy and you capture that so well in your writing.
Keep fighting the good fight and take care of yourselves.
Linnaea Murray says
I couldn’t take working from home in my dining room and not having a dining room anymore, so I converted the weird little sitting room in my bedroom into an office. It looks amazing, especially in my teams meetings.
But, I had to move nearly 5 years of “I’ll just deal with disposing of this later” stuff out of that room. Which means right now, my living room looks like a hoarder house and I can’t even tell you how much it is stressing me out.
So, yeah, totally get it. Thank you for sharing what you do. And not sharing the maggots. *shudder*
Thank you so much for the flaws post! We are home in our little boxes doing the best we can and thinking that everyone is doing a better job. As usual, I appreciate your words.