Thursday, September 03, 2015

Time Out Thursday – Summer has ended with a bang, or in my case…a burn!

Pink Heart Society columnist Barb Han is talking about how an injury made her reassess her pace of life...

The school year is in full swing in Dallas for both of my kids and my relaxed, figure-out-dinner-after-I-get-my-daily-word-count, lazy days of summer ended rather abruptly almost three weeks ago with my daughter’s first day of school. 

It was more of a hard fall into the new school year since I’d been getting up at 8-ish for most of those blissful sun-filled ten weeks of break without sitting for what feels like hours each day in carpool lines, or running around at night shuffling my little bug to her afterschool activities, the others can now drive themselves. 

The hectic nature of the school year started before that first day. Uniforms needed to be sized and then purchased. Schedules needed to be organized and coordinated. And there always seems to be a mountain of paperwork that needs to be filled out with each new school year. In an attempt to get everything done and get as much time writing the cattlemen series I’m working on (and loving!) for Harlequin Intrigue, to say I’ve been rushing through my errands is an understatement. 

And that’s when it happened…

The idea to have a family brunch at home a week ago Sunday seemed like a win at the time. I made spinach, ham and cheese omelets that were to die for. And then there was bacon. My husband usually wraps a few pieces in paper towels and throws them in the microwave for his fix. But this was Sunday. It was Brunch. And I wanted fancy. For me, that means breaking out my slotted pan (so the grease can drip to the bottom and the bacon will be just the perfect amount of crispy) and a 400 degree oven.

But I was still in hurry-up mode. 

So, when I pulled the pan from the oven and spun to my right a little too quickly, the grease (yep, four hundred degree bacon grease) poured onto my left forearm, literally curled around my arm and then dripped onto the floor. 


It didn’t hurt right away (I later learned that I burned my nerve endings, which is why it didn’t really hurt until day 3 when they started coming back) but it did start to feel almost unbearably hot within fifteen minutes. A trip to the local Urgent Care facility followed with lots of pity from the nurse and doctor, and a prescription for a magic cream (seriously magic cream that pulled all the heat out). 

For the week following the Bacon Incident of 2015, I was forced to slow down. Driving became a little challenging, so I didn’t do it unless I had to. I asked my husband to help me go to the grocery and cook some dinners. He was more than happy to pitch in. Even my kids wanted to do whatever they could to make it better. So, I let them. I canceled social engagements because it was all I could do to get through the day. My life was reduced to only the things that absolutely had to get done. 

I escaped into the story I was writing because it took my mind off the pain, the scarring to come, and the fact that my arm might never look the same again. 

And you know what? 

I actually had a great week. And that got me thinking. What if I kept my schedule to a minimum for the rest of the school year? 

It’s not realistic to cancel every appointment or social engagement all the time. After all, teeth have to be cleaned and it’s just fun to meet up with friends for lunch on occasion (and good for the soul!). But I’m starting this school year with a new appreciation for my schedule and I vow only to do the things that are really important to me and the people I love. I’ll ask for help when I need it and let others pitch in often (because I’ve found they actually like feeling helpful!). 

And, most importantly, I will take time every day to appreciate being healthy! 

What about you? Have you recently had an experience that gave you a new appreciation for your health? Tell me about it in the comments…

Barb's latest book, Texas Prey, is out now:

The hunted becomes the hunter as the past threatens a small Texas town once again… 

Rancher Brody Fields stops cold when he receives a plea for help from Rebecca Hughes. The onetime love of his life, who was abducted along with her brother fifteen years ago, now believes the kidnapper has returned to tie up loose ends. Rebecca needs Brody's help bringing the kidnapper—or killer—to justice. 

For Brody, the job is risky, but the real danger is their unexpected Texas-sized attraction. As they uncover answers to difficult—and deadly—questions, Brody has a question of his own: Can he trust the woman who once shattered his heart?

You can find out more about Barb Han's writing on her website and Goodreads. Follow her on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest for regular updates and pretty pics!


  1. Oh, gosh, Barb! Sounds like a horrible way to learn a lesson. Hope you're healing smoothly and quickly. And keep those great books coming!

    1. Thank you so much, Julie. I'm definitely grateful for modern medicine and magic burn cream! It'll be all healed before I know it.

  2. I'm gonna add this to my list of reasons why cooking is dangerous and microwave bacon is my friend;) Sorry for your accident, Barb. I have degenerative disc disease in my lower back and it's been a tough summer. I'm going to follow your advice and appreciate the things I can do...and delegate the rest!