About Jana Hassett

Growing up a Friday the 13th baby can be stressful without permission to use your magic wisely. But my journey has been full of once-in-a-lifetime adventures and a joy (for the most part). I've raised two daughters; have two grandchildren; created my own very successful line of beadwoven jewelry and ornaments; had leadership positions in political organizations; worked for a member of Congress; been a Journalist with a weekly column; a Book Reviewer; and now a Blogger. Over time this blog will contain my writings, book reviews, magazine articles, and ramblings (known as a platform) I'll use for the Historical Fiction I've started writing. Please ask questions, make comments, and suggest writing ideas. I value your input and ideas.

Fall Foliage 2017

Another great week in Southern Utah. The weather cooperated and outdoor events went swimmingly.

If you enjoy Fall Foliage watching tis the season.  We went up to Brian Head on Saturday, but most of the Aspen is burnt. Not from the fire, from hot and dry winds the weeks leading up to the season. 

JR Hassett

SR 143 To Brian Head

But there is fire damage along the road and there is still damage along the road up to Brian Head from Parowan, but mostly safe. There is still one section about Mile Post 13 that is one way and controlled by a light – be patient.

After exploring upper Cedar Breaks, Tracy decided he’d like to try the Tushar’s east of Beaver, UT.  A friend had been up there the beginning of the week with his Jeep group and found things in great condition.  It’s about 30 miles north of our place and another 20 miles East. 

JR Hassett

Above Puffer Lake

There are two great areas to explore.  There wasn’t much traffic and little to no wind – great for photography.  We both enjoyed the new adventure and plan on going back.   The foliage is about 4-8 days from peak, but there’s heavy winds predicted for the area so it’s hard to know if the leaves will last. 

While it wasn’t perfect timing, it was great to find a new place for fall foliage runs.  We used to visit Boulder Mountain every year.  It’s nice to find someplace new.

JR Hassett

Puffer Lake

How To Establish a Writing Habit

Have knee replacement surgery.

Today is a day for patience.  I’m going to have to find a lot of that in the next 6 months.  After x-rays of my left knee, there is knee replacement surgery in my future (as soon as I can get it done).  I’ll have to be patient with myself, my spouse, and the world.

That’s going to require a change in several planned activities in the next 6 months.  First an MRI tomorrow to see if the pinched nerve in my lower back will relax itself after I start walking on my knee correctly.  Then a visit to the Surgeon on Oct. 2nd.  We’ll not be going to the Moab Rock and Gem Show mid-October, nor the Hurricane Rock and Gem Show in early November.

The goal will be to be up and mobile for the Homestead Christmas Show in December.  And since I’ll be doing a walk, sit, walk, sit routine until then, I should have enough sitting time to get merchandise done especially for that show.

I’m grateful to have a new housekeeping service to keep things up to snuff.  And Tracy is smiling about having to cook for two weeks.  The first thing out of his mouth – “remember you have to eat whatever I serve”.  Let’s hope for take-out.

If all goes well, I should be up and walking so I can enjoy the Quartzsite and Tucson Rock Shows and do a little rockhounding with Tracy in the mix.  The left knee joint is bone on bone and will never get better until something is done with it.  So – here I go.

But this also means I’ll have no excuse not to write every morning.  And by the time I would be back up and thinking of doing other things I should have a wonderful morning pattern of writing established.  30+ days usually sets a pattern.  I’ll take it.  I want to blog, write Historical Fiction “Eliza B” and my Children’s Book on #Enough.  Won’t all happen in six months, but could get very close.

I’m going to use my platform to write these stories, so stay tuned – – – – – – – –

 

 

My Summer Rewrite –

I’ve spent a great deal of time this summer thinking about writing and my blog.  Should I change it? Should I quit? Should I change the focus, or how about giving it one?

We spent almost the entire month of August on the road, and I had lots of time to reflect on what I really want to do.  I decided on two efforts – writing and basketry.  And then realized I could, in some ways, put them together. So that’s what you’re going to see in the coming months.

I’ve been working on a picture book to go with my #enough baskets and am enrolled in a class on how to create them.  Wow – that’s another project on its own.  And I’ve almost finished a class on guest blogging and becoming certified as a guest blogger.  We’ll see where that goes.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy my refined focus and will let me know what you think in the comments.   I need and appreciate your feedback.  And if you have specific topics you’d like to see let me know that as well. 

Until next time - -   Jana

How to befriend someone 50 years later –

About a year ago I got a text message from someone asking if I was Jana Justice that graduated from Helix High in La Mesa California in the 60’s.  Turns out it was the daughter of my high school buddy that I hadn’t seen or talked with in 50 years. Needless to say, I was shocked and delighted to hear from her and over the next year we chatted and texted.

Her in-laws were planning a family reunion for this July 4th just 50 miles from here and could we get together during that time?   We planned to spend 2 ½ days together, see some sights, and “catch up”, and that we did.

I laid awake the night before we were to meet, wondering what I’d say, what would we talk about? What did we have in common after all these years.  I’m picking up a perfect stranger and bringing them into my home for 2+ days, is that okay?  Many questions, but no answers not until we actually stood face to face.

I’ve lost so many loved ones in my life I wasn’t as emotional as she first appeared.  She was so excited to see me and get a hug.  It’s always been unconditional love between us, for lots of reasons.  I helped a very shy, but fine human being, crawl out of her shell her last years of high school, and she and her family were my life-line to sanity and values.  But I wasn’t sure I’d remember enough of the details she seemed to treasure to make this trip a good one for her.

Over the two days we talked about all kinds of events.  I stopped trying to come up with things to talk about and just had a conversation with her.  I asked about her brothers and their well-being.  She talked a lot about her daughter that lives with her and how they make that work.  And I shared some events from my life the last 40 years, but not the really private ones.  I didn’t talk about the things I regret. And I didn’t share my abject failures.

We had a nice time together.  We weren’t goofy teenagers any more, but we were both happy (I think) with where we are now.  There was something else nagging at her, but she never did express it. The trip meant a great deal to her and I was glad we made it happen.  We vowed to continue our conversation as we move along.  I’m looking forward to the next chapter, maybe I’ll know more what question I should have asked.

Any ideas what I should have asked?  Do comment.

Until next time – – –

Vera Wang Quote

Coming from a dysfunctional family has its benefits.  When I look at the piles of historic black and white photos I can make their story anything I want.  Their eyes speak out yet their tales are silent. Yes, the many historic photos are my treasures because I can make them into any type of person I want – and I will.

Since momma died I’ve been searching for me – who am I? What do I want to do? What is my passion? Now that the only person that really truly cared about me has passed away who cares about my joys and sorrows?  I do.  I must.

A fellow writer shared a Vera Wang quote this week that helped give me some focus.  “When you have a passion for something then you tend, not only to be better at it, but you work harder at it too.”  She was born June 27, 1949, the same day but different year than my husband and oldest daughter.  The universe is full of Synchroncity, if we pay attention.

I know who I am, and I know what I want to do (write a historical fiction based on my family) and I know that my passion for helping people can occur in many ways.  What I need to do now is be open to that one new friend that I can help and will in turn help me.  They are out there, in the meantime, I’ll stay true to my vision and goals as I continue to learn to be flexible in the execution of those passions.

Until next time – – –