As I thought of my blog entry this morning dishes came to my mind.My best friend commented the other day that I had a lot on my plate.That is a funny saying when you think about it. I do love a buffet or a pot luck when one can fill a plate with a variety of food. Of the items chosen there are always the ones that exceed your expectations and those that don’t.There is the sweet , the savory and the bitter. There are the foods you go back to for seconds and the ones you avoid.Full plates can be a positive thing , something to be very thankful for. But the saying means something else. A lot on our plate means we are dealing with many challenges, many areas requiring our attention and our energy.A full plate can mean we are stretched to our limits with cares and concerns , worries and responsibilities that seem to be heaped upon us. In that case my plate appears to be quite full these days. And for sure some of the things on my plate I would prefer that they not be there. Some I would load up again given the choice and some I would avoid.My full plate includes having my Dad staying with us for awhile as we determine his ability to live on his own. My heart breaks for this man who is strong, independent and stubborn. He is lonely and his vision is declining which limits and changes his ability to do the things he has always done.For the first time in his life he must give over some of his control and that is difficult to witness.And it is difficult to be the daughter trying to help him navigate this. I will not list the other challenges on this same plate but will say sometimes the plate is hard to carry and other times I can put it down. Now to the cup overflowing. For the last week or so I have been bursting with news I could not share. Last night I saw the news release and can now say that Headliner has been shortlisted for a New Brunswick Book Award in the Mrs. Dunster fiction category. What happy news for this New Brunswick author.I share this category with Meghan Rose Allen and the late Raymond Fraser. I am honored to be in such company. Congratulations to the other authors in the other categories. I look forward to the lead up to the May 25th ceremony and am pleased with the attention my seventh book will get. I also look forward to book number eight, Fear of Drowning coming out in May. I have yet to see the final cover draft and the interior before it goes to print but anticipate this next step in the process I’ve been lucky enough to experience seven times already. Spring is almost here. Snow and ice are melting and the sun is getting stronger. The earth waits beneath the snow and will be tilled and seeded. The lake waters wait beneath the ice and will welcome me again. These days will unfold ,the plate I carry will empty to hold other things and my cup will overflow with many blessings. For both dishes I am thankful.