Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What's Happening in My World?

Rain, strain, and pain.

Payback for minor accomplishments -- Unable to walk when I got up, severe leg pain, back pain, and hand pain.

Now, I'm headed to the pharmacy to pick up some refills.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Monday Morning Drag

It is a new dance, I think. You get out of bed and one leg drags along beside you. The right calf muscle refused to cooperate this morning. Yep. Just didn't want to get up. So, I hobbled along and dragged it with me. Felt pretty much like the devil had a fork in it.

No idea.

But it is Monday. And it is a drag. Lights went out at 3 a.m. Yes they did. I turned them out so I know. I was watching old movies all evening. I watched one called Sitting Pretty with Robert Young and Maureen O'Hara. It was a delightful and funny movie. The last one was one I vaguely remembered from my youth - Bunny Lake is Missing. It was a really good movie and I couldn't turn it off. I watched Tobbaco Road and found it both insulting and sad. I'd never seen it before. I wonder if anyone ever realized back then that it was an insulting jab at the south? Wondered if anyone ever wondered it that was real and if so, how it got that way?

It is no wonder that the conception of Southerners is so rude in so many places. I've met people all over the world who looked down their nose at me because I was from "The SOUTH" and said so to my face. When I was young it shocked me and I didn't understand it. But I didn't watch a lot of movies. It wasn't until I was older that I realized where much of the intellect of those idiots had been developed.

Anyway, I went to bed at 3 and got up at about 9. My usual six hours seems to be the norm. I had virtually no back pain and very little leg pain. Only when I got up. My neck, on the other hand, it a pain.

I'm going to get dressed and get some stuff done, I think. I am getting hungry and have to take my meds so maybe some lunch will be nice. I wonder if my favorite restaurant is open? No fun going alone, though. And I don't really feel like treating everyone. But I could do it.... I may.

Ok, gone for now.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Morning After Christmas

I went to bed late last night, probably around midnight. I was in total pain by then. Lower back, upper back, legs, and hands. I've only had that much pain at one time in the last year around memorial day when the upper back pain started. Let me just say that around 1 a.m. I was beside myself.

I finally got to sleep but I don't know what time it was and I woke at around 8 or 9 a.m. It is now noon. I've done nothing but lie on the sofa and mess with the computer, reading bizarre articles and changing my photo here. Back is hurting but the pain is minimal for me... meaning I'm not cringing and wincing. But I'm not moving very much.

I like those sappy paintings of families having fun in the snow or of warm rooms where you just know people will be entering laughing. Just nostalgia, yearning for something I vaguely remember and long for again. The eternal longing to go home is very nearly overwhelming for me at times. I don't think they tell you this when you are growing up. No one says, "Oh, by the way, there will be a day when you would give your right arm to go home one more time and it will be forever impossible because home will be gone. Just remember that." I'm telling you now just in case no one told you either.

I had my children here for the last two days and I think it probably was the closest to a normal holiday we've had in a long time. If Mike had not been such an ass it would have been perfect. He has his moments where he is just great and then, boom. His present was to be money. Well, as of Friday, my debit card stopped working. The bank was closed. I offered to write a check and he said he couldn't get it deposited until Monday. I know, I should have done it before the holiday closing but I have to work and couldn't get to the bank before they closed. But he seemed ok with it. I did get him some gifts but not a lot. I think he got a bit upset about it but he was reacting to everything and bickering with Dave and anyone else who crossed his path. A couple of times I had to threaten to kick him out. He just doesn't recognize jokes very well. And he and Dave never get along anymore. That's both their fault but it gets tiresome. Dave gets tired of listening to Mike's idea of amusing comments. They are usually insults they banter back and forth. I hate it. It is juvenile. If Mike could take the rejoinders it would be fine but he can't. Dave's are usually better. Dave tried very hard this weekend not to do that and succeeded pretty well in not letting Mike get to him but Mike has no brakes. He takes every single thing personally and assumes any suggestion of a criticism is directed at him. Even when it isn't. So, anything he could pick at he picked at. I had to stop him a couple of times to tell him everything was not ABOUT him.

I'm at the point now I just tell him he's nuts and he needs to get over it. Sorry, but I've had it. I can't take care of him and he needs to get a grip and just get over it. Life is not kind and neither is most of the world. I'm not going to be here forever and I'm tired of being in the middle. The rule is now, and has been for some time, if you can't keep your mouth shut and say something nice, then do not come to my house. I don't want to hear it.

Ok, that was unexpected...

We had a good dinner and we sat around a bit. Cleaning up the mess was fun.... right. Dave and Becca stayed after everyone else left and we played a couple of games. I was just so tired but I did enjoy the games.

Now, I'm going to get dressed and try to go take Mike and Patricia to lunch and give him his present. That will soothe the troubled waters of Mike's mood. Really, take him to lunch and he is ecstatic. The boy loves buffet better than anything.... except computer games. Which is why he wants money.

I hope your morning after is more normal than mine.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


A whirl of activity! I got up yesterday at 7:30 and got started. By noon, I'd made a trip to Sam's Club to buy items for the dinner today. Got a carrot cake. I also got four rotisserie chickens for lunch yesterday. One I refrigerated to put in the dressing today. It smells heavenly.

I also made a stop at Office Depot to see about a printer/fax/scanner. They had BARGAINS! HP for $99. They were not wireless so I didn't buy one. However, the one I wanted was wireless and was $200 at Office Depot. The same printer was cheaper at Sam's Club. So, after dropping off the food, I went back to Sam's and bought the $200 printer for.... $139.

Once back I had to run around getting started on the dinner for today. I made the dressing to have it ready to put in the oven this morning. I made brownies, two lemon pies and a banana pudding... in 4 hours.

Around 3 some six foot elves showed up. Let me tell you, it warmed up in my living room. They were bringing Christmas items for Patricia and her daughter. I'll have some photos later. They are having Christmas with our family. She is new here and has no family or home at the moment. Patricia is the woman who's baby was killed this summer. I was wrong about the age of the child. It was six weeks old. Anyway, they are having their holiday with us.

Last night, after opening presents and eating supper we played Clue for a couple of hours. That was fun. Becca won once and I won twice. Usually Mike does really good at it but he was off his game last night. They want to play more games tonight. I do not know how I'll hold out. Last night when I finally got to bed I was in so much pain I couldn't hardly stand it and I was exhausted. I only got about five hours sleep, disrupted by leg and back pain. So, I'm tired today.

Patricia and Becca helped in the kitchen yesterday and they are cooking other items today. Becca at her house and Patricia where she is staying. They will be here probably in a few hours. My dressing smells so good, I may not need anything else by the time they get here.

I was up at 7:30 in terrible pain. I can't get it under control. Can't lie down very long at all. Walking it the only thing that helps. Seems to stop the shooting pain but the lower back still hurts. I have a slight headache but I'm dressed up for the day.... black skirt, white sweater, hair up with a red bow and my faux pearl necklace and real pearl bracelet. LOL, all dressed up and no where to go and no one to impress.

I've had numerous calls today. My sister-in-law called and I was glad to hear she has met someone she was excited about. She has virtually no family left. Both parents dead, Jerry gone, their younger brother has nothing to do with any of his family and hasn't for years. She has only her son and daughter. But at this point in our lives, we know that their lives often leave us isolated. She is six months older than I am. Jerry's cousin called. If you remember her mother, Janie died earlier this year. So, I'm glad Sandra feels she can still call me. I forget to call her at times. They left us alone for so long that it doesn't occur to me. But now, they want that contact. Mike calls her here and there and I try to encourage that.

My aunt called to chat and tell me what a good day she had yesterday with her family. I'm glad that she did. I've talked to Becca and Mike several times about respective food issues.

My table looks nice. If I'm blessed with another Christmas, I'd like that darn dinning room painted and carpeted and cleaned out by next year. It looks nice when it is all fixed up. I'll even fix a place for my Christmas village. God willing.

I've been listening to Elvis' Christmas music. Jerry and I were both Elvis fans for years. I still love his gospel and Christmas music. Unfortunately, some of it is very difficult to hear. But I always feel that it isn't Christmas until I play Blue Christmas. Isn't that crazy? I always had to play that first. Jerry laughed about it. Last year I didn't play it at all and this year, I didn't dare until today.

Now, I'm going get up and walk. My back is killing me sitting here. I can't sit for very long before I'm miserable. The snow is melting and when I went for a walk I saw that the blanket on the roof was sliding off in sheets. It was very odd because everyone else's roof still had most of the snow left on their roof. Now theirs is beginning to melt but mine is probably gone. The roads are also clearing fast. The ground was not frozen so the snow won't stay long. It is currently 32*F here.

I hope all of you are having a lovely day. I'll be back again either later or tomorrow. I am hoping there is church tomorrow so I can go.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Woman paralysed 23 years ago 'cured by British spiritual healer' | Mail Online


This is tremendous! I watched all the videos and it just got more and more amazing.

But I do get annoyed by headline writers. Only a non Christian would write that kind of headline. Christians do not believe people heal people. We believe that God heals people and that those who lay hands on a person and pray for their healing are a conduit through which healing power is delivered. God does the work through the hands of people.

Still don't believe. So explain this event to me. Scientifically, medically she was paralyzed. It is not a hoax that the accident occurred, that she was paralyzed from the waist down. Then, twenty-three years in a wheelchair, documented.She had no feeling in her legs, could not feel when she was touched. She's a Christian vocalist who's appeared in public all that time, but paralyzed. By now, her muscles have atrophied. Yet, she suddenly gets up, unsteady to be sure, but in a short time, she is able to lift her legs up and down.

And weeks later, she visit her mother, walking... in some nice 3 inch heels.


Even the news media can't figure it out.

Never mind.. you don't have to explain it to me. I know how.

The Day Dawned

Wednesday dawned sunny.. and a bit earlier. The solstice has come and gone, sending us downhill toward Spring. Or maybe uphill... I suppose it depends on your perspective. I'm hoping it is downhill because that is a faster trip.

It is amazing how a little sunshine can lift your spirits and that even a tiny lift is welcomed. I was on my way to work and wondering what was different about today. Then I said out loud, "THE SUN IS SHINNING! Thank the Lord!" Really, this is the gloomiest place on earth. The cloud cover is just horrible in the winter. In the last two years, I don't look at the weather map so much to see the weather as to determine if I'll get even a sliver of sunlight. I know there is a place to check how many days of sunlight we get but I can't remember where it is. I'll have to Google it and see. I'm betting we're only getting half a year.

I had very little leg pain yesterday and last night. I did get awakened by pain in my calf this morning. I do not know what causes this pain. It is inexplicable. My feelings are that some of my muscle pain is due to taking Lipitor but I know of no way to document that except it occurred after I took it. I had to go off because it caused memory loss, too.

I have a headache. I think some of these are caused by my high blood pressure. I take medicine but I don't think it is working at times. I'm supposed to take my readings every day for a while. I keep forgetting it! I do good for a couple of days and then I forgot again.Must do that habit thing and see if it works. It only takes a few minutes and there is no reason for me not to do it first thing in the morning.

All right, I'm going. I need to do the neck exercise and see it that will help. Then, work... always work.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Home for Lunch

I came home for lunch today because my usual lunch companion, Carolyn, is off from now until the new year. So, the rest of the week I am on my own for lunch.

I don't mind. I like coming home. I don't like eating sandwiches all the time but it doesn't matter really. I guess if I wanted to cook I could. I just like being at home where I can sit in the quiet and not think about anything but how badly the carpet needs cleaning.

I used ice on my back again last night and I also put it on my shoulder. I think it may have helped that a bit too. But boy my knees are really not good today.

There is a restlessness in me I can't define. I have a lot of things running through my head that I want to do but I can't seem to find the motivation to actually do them. I remember getting this way a long time ago and I'd start a project that kept me occupied for days. But everything seems to be something I shared with Jerry. It isn't the same not having him to talk to about what I'm doing.

It is crazy because I don't actually ever remember talking to him about my sewing, or writing, or crochet. I must have done because now it feels as if I am supposed to and can't. Or maybe it is because those things I could do with him sitting in the room with me and feel his presence even though we never said a word. I just don't know.

I'm going to pull out my crochet again. I have a couple of pieces I never finished that I could finish now. I could get a movie out and let it run while I work on it. Maybe the big thing is that I'm not organized. I let too many other distractions interfere. I do that with my writing, too.

No answers. Just speculation.

It's Morning . . . Again

Another day is done and I have this and two more before my holiday vacation. I must try the motto of the Little Engine That Could. "I think I can. I think I can."

Trouble is, vacations have a way of being far too short and not being as much fun as you first imagine they'll be... at least mine do. This year I do not know what I'll be doing. This is the first long Christmas vacation I've taken since Jerry died. I had one the Christmas before his death. O.k. we are not going there today.

I'm tired but I seem to have the leg pain to a level that I'm not tossing and turning all night and I'm able to move around without cringing or hobbling too much. My knees, however, are not happy at all with things. They are very bad this morning, both of them.

There is a trick to walking if you have a bad leg or hip. "Up with the good and down with the bad." This works brilliantly. . . unless you have two bad ones. Then, well, I don't have one for that. Sit down and scooch?

Well, into the mines, me hearties. I've got piles to shovel before I sleep.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Man with No Feet

"I complained that I had no shoes until I met a man with no feet."

I met a young woman tonight who's five month old child was murdered this past year by the child's father. When she wrapped her arms around my petite Sarah I did not have to wonder what she was thinking.

What I have lived was hell on earth. I can't begin to imagine that hell.

Right now stop whatever you are doing and count every blessing you have... leave none out. And imagine tomorrow when you wake up that every single is one gone.

Don't you dare feel sorry for yourself for the next 24 hours.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I'm home today. Didn't go to church. I had planned to go last night but my leg pain got to the point I thought I'd have to go to the hospital and beg for a shot. It was simply nearly impossible to walk. I made the mistake of going shopping and that just made it even worse.

I am positive this pain in my leg is sciaticia. Maybe not 100% but most of it. I sent a note to my pastor and asked them to pray for me. Then, at midnight last night I finally went to the freezer and took out my ice packs. I have several in there. I wrapped it in a small towel, stuck it in the band of my pj pants and went to bed. Once it thawed, I got another. My leg is better this morning, with little pain. I've been icing it again today. But most of the pain in my entire leg is gone. Still have some burning sensation in my calf but believe me, that is nothing.

I'm cooking my lunch, listening to Christmas music. I have the lights on my tree, my nativity put out. I still have the decorations to go but I thought I'd have help with that. Nope. So, I'll just have to do it on my own I guess.

At this point, I do not think I will bother with all this again. I've seen Sarah once. She could care less about the tree. She played with her doll house.

Last night I took her presents to her house for Christmas morning. Her mother was telling her and she wanted to know if she could open them. She told her not until Christmas Day or she's send them back. Sarah told her mother that Santa would be pissed.

No, I do not use that term. But apparently her parents do.

I just finished my lunch, which I prepared for myself, by myself. I don't care much to eat at home. I dislike cooking for myself. It is just a waste of time since I don't enjoy eating alone. I usually just eat a sandwich. Today I made some mixed veggies because I wanted some. And I fixed a piece of spicy chicken (Buffalo chicken strips by Tyson). It was . . . ok. Then I had M&M's.. dessert, ya know.

I still have a headache. So off to do the neck exercise or find something to stop this head/neck ache.

Only four days to work this week. YoooHOOO!

It took two hours to finish this entry!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Video gaming systems and energy use


All right, folks! You all own them. You all play them. Guess what? You pay even when they aren't being used.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Long Journey Through the Valley

I finished downloading the grief blog posts. There are 208 pages of entries. I do not think there will be anymore to download. No, I'm not "over it". Re-reading the last two years of posts, I realized that it won't ever really be over. He's always going to be gone. I'm always going to be wounded by it. I'm sure there will be other posts where I express grief over that thought.

To be unable to feel loss means you are unable to feel life. To experience the greatest joy, you must also experience the most devastating heartache. I believe we are designed to feel wounded at the loss of a loved one. Were we to feel nothing at that loss, we would also not have felt the love for that life. Whether you believe in a Creator or not, it is how we are made.

There is no cure for what happened to me and Jerry. He won't recover. I can't escape it. I can tamp down the images and thoughts that have nearly driven me insane. I can turn away from photos, shut off music, and look away from couples our age who remind me that I'm never going to grow old with Jerry. We won't watch Sarah grow up together. Nothing can fix it. The knife continues to twist with each memory, each image.

Somehow, I've managed to get some clarity of thought the last week or two. I don't know where it came from nor if it will last. I only know that while I've been reliving that long journey through the Valley of Death that it was my first trip truly alone. Jerry was not there to hold my hand. He could not lift me up or carry me when I was unable to walk. I could not call him when I needed him. I did but he did not answer. When I stood on the edge and stared into the darkness about to engulf me, he was not there to wrap himself around me and shelter me from the horrors. He always, always, always sheltered me.

There will be those who say "God was with you. He never left you." I will agree with you. He doesn't usually leave any of us. There were many days when I did not believe God was anywhere. On those days, I did not want to survive. There have been other days when I felt that He stood by me. Those are the days that I hung on the hardest. Psalms 23 says, "Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me." Most days you don't feel any comfort. No where does it say that I don't have to make the journey. It does not say He makes it easy. It does not say He stops the pain.

I don't understand how you can take this trip and show no outward signs. There should be scars that cause people to stare, or oozing sores that make them cringe. There aren't. At least, not visible to anyone but you. You see them when you look in the mirror. Sometimes there are small signs, nearly unnoticeable - lines where there had been no lines, clothes that hang, rings that won't stay on your fingers, strands of hair that are suddenly a different color. Nothing major except it is another loss you can't control. It won't be fair.

Everyone must travel the road I am on. Unless you die young, someone close to you will die. And if you live long enough, you may walk this way more than once. It will be painful. It will be unfair. It is inevitable. I suspect it does not get any easier with each passing.

Even as I write this I struggle with what I am trying to say because words are so very inadequate to describe this trip. There are no road maps, no signs. No one can tell you which way to go. Everyone will give you books on the journey but in all honesty, you will have to write your own story, make your own way, redraw the map.

There are regrets. I know, I know. We are not supposed to have regrets. But they are there and they are hot irons that are forged in the heat of the moment and during the journey they sear our souls. I know of no way to avoid them. I had no opportunity. I'm giving you opportunity.

I've said before that everything you care about is within ten feet of you. Four feet from my bed are two portraits of my family - Jerry, Mike, Dave & me. If I could recall a single day of my life, it would be those days, when my sons were young, my husband was healthy, and I was happy. We were happy.

I don't expect happiness to find me again. I'll settle for peace.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


The snow is falling lightly on the wind. We have a ground covering and it is 23 degrees out. I was going to church but I don't like crossing the twin bridges when they can freeze. It isn't fun on a sunny day for me but when there is ice, I don't want to cross them.

I sit here in my bed, under my electric blank and keep one eye on the window, which is mostly a white since I'm not directly in front of it and the sheer blurs things. It is warm but not comfortable. My upper back hates it. I rearrange the pillow periodically to make things a bit better. I could go get on the couch but honestly, it isn't much better after a bit. It is a cozy couch. You can have a lovely nap on it. But for long term sitting, it isn't good.

I have to get a new heater for the den. Or I have to have the current one serviced. We have to do that every year. It gets annoying. It won't light. So, no heat in there. I would have liked it this morning. I could sit at the dinning table and watch the snow fall and be on the computer. I have a couple of meds I need to go pick up at the pharmacy but I'm not inclined to go out.

I'm in a strange land today. It is white and cold and windy. I can't really see any paths but I know they are there. I have several to choose from but at this point I'm wandering aimlessly around, creating tracks a blind man could follow. Not that a blind man would be wondering around out here. But if he were. . .

I don't know where I'm going but I feel as if I'm going somewhere. If I could get rid of the constant pain in my extremities I'd feel almost normal. And yet, I never trust these episodes of near clarity. They are deceptive. Usually the entryway to difficult places. While I am an adventurer at heart, I've learned that most of my personal adventures are less than fun.

There have been a lot of adventures, too. But I can't remember them all. It is very frustrating. I've been praying for some of the good memories to return. The moments when we were enjoying our life. They haven't. I can't look at photos still. I have his portraits on the wall and I do stare at them for hours. I want to see his face, touch his cheek. See him smile at me. Other photos are not to be borne.

Change directions. In that direction lie jagged cliffs that will break you in pieces.

No, I'll stay here, walking in circles. That is the least damaging to the psyche. I feel like I could take a nap but I don't take naps and it is early for that. I have a mild headache on top of everything else. Probably a result of neck pain. I have to get up and exercise my neck to see if it helps. It actually usually does!

I'll be around. I actually do have to leave for a bit to get meds. I don't like going out in this but I have to have it before dark.

Hmmm, that's an interesting path over there. I think I'll try that and see where it takes me. {Looks back, waves and pulls the furry hood of her coat more snugly around her head}

See ya!

{Snow blows across the path, obliterating her tracks.}

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mom's Helper

Mike came over to do his laundry and has spent the afternoon helping me put shelves in the garage. There are really good. We used left over lumber that I saved with an eye to shelves. I have enough to add about four or five more. We simply cut them to fit between the studs in the garage and nailed them in. I put up another small cabinet that I had sitting on the floor out there that Jerry had made for us to use in the small bathroom. It is now on the wall next to the garage door. These will all give more floor space because they aren't in boxes all over the place. I want to get all my bits and pieces of screws, nails and other small items and put them in containers on the shelves.

It was nice being able to use Jerry's saw and my new drill. Mike, with direction, can do a lot of things. And working with his hands is something he truly enjoys. His help will allow me to do a lot of the minor jobs around here. Although, he and I are planning to build some shelving in the study now that I've been thinking about it. Over that area where I'm repairing the wall I am considering putting in shelves. I need them and they will hide any flaw in that wall when I'm done. It is a bit of a wasted corner anyway. Even with as a bedroom it was only big enough to have a night table there.

If they come out right, I'll do shelves on either side of the bedroom window in my spare room as well. That will allow me to get rid of that huge bookcase.

I love doing this kind of work but it is impossible for me to do it alone. Jerry and I loved making things together. I usually did the planning and holding things up but he did the sawing, nailing, and lifting. Without someone to do that, I'm limited. Mike seems willing to help, if I can get him up in the mornings.

I was going to work in the study on that wall but the shelves wanted doing first. By doing that we cleaned out a nice area to work in. The garage is so cold, though! I need a heater in there, I suppose. They make large heaters for work areas. And we aren't in there so much that it will impact my utility bill.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Reliving the Past

I spent the latter part of the evening, from around 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.going through the blog looking for the grief posts. I've made it through the December 2009. . . again.

It is time consuming because I have to read every post to see if it is something that pertains to what was going on with me. The experience is very odd. I don't know exactly what I feel re-reading many of them. The dark and heavily emotional posts are difficult because those images are still real. I do not know how I survived those nights lying in the dark hallway, or sitting in that dark house surrounded by memories that had become enemies. I remember the darkness so very clearly. It was tangible. Sometimes it seeps out again.

The memories are still horrible and I dare not dwell too long on them. Last night I read two posts where I acknowledged I was angry. I was angry all over again but it was tempered by an understanding of the anger. People failed me. I've become more accepting of failure because of that. It doesn't hurt less.

It is the nearly normal posts that surprise me. They are normal in that I seemed to step out of the darkness for a moment. Some of these made me angry. How could I be that way when two days before I was nearly catatonic! Then I remembered that every minute of every day I lived on the edge. I clung to anything normal I could find. I was posting a lot, anything and everything that captured my mind for even a minute. That is why those posts sound so silly now. That was when I could find some relief from the barrage of memories and press down the terrible pain that was always just below the surface, seething. It is still there, buried deeper, like a slumbering volcano. They say that at some point it will go dormant.

I'll begin work on the second year this weekend. I really have no idea where to go with this. It is a glimpse of the madness that stands silently behind the closed doors or our minds, waiting for something to flip the latch and set it free.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I sat up past midnight last night. I didn't actually realize I was doing it. I began downloading posts beginning with the one where Becca posted that Jerry had died. I'm only downloading those that actually have something to do with the Death and my subsequent roller coaster ride with that entity.

I spent a lot of time reading the posts and learning a bit about myself in the process. Some were very difficult to read. Some....I don't know. It was almost as if someone else were writing them. I do not see how any could possibly be of any help to anyone else. And I'm not sure they are worth trying to publish. They are too close to be done with any skill.

But I'm putting them in one document. I'm not even halfway through the first year of posts. Not every post was about grief or death, which seems very odd to me since every waking minute of my life was surrounded by it. I seem to recall that I would actually have a problem at times finding something that wasn't about death or dwelling on my mental state, or the chaos of my emotions. I didn't think I was angry much either but I think there were times I got angry about some things. I was very angry at the way people seemed to ignore me, as if I wasn't there and they didn't care. Not my family and not even the online contacts. The people I saw regularly were the worst, these were people I expected more from but who failed miserably and never even noticed their failure. I got angry at the excuses other, more concerned, made excuses for them. Even me!

Anyway, I'm working on pulling it all together. No promises. There are some stories authors can't write.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday into Wednesday

I'm glad I have a garage. It is cold as ice in it but I'm glad I have it. When the howling Siberian Clippers and the snow comes I'll be doubly glad. Already the weather is biting.

I went to Carolyn's after work yesterday and worked on her computer. She had a lot of junk that was really slowing her system down. I'm not sure she isn't going to have to reformat her drive. There is something that I couldn't remove and I think it is the problem. People, don't download those toolbars! I'm telling you, the are not good. Not even Bing! They serve no real purpose and if you download every one, i.e. yahoo, google, bing, and everyone that goes with every social site where you're a member, you will not be able to see the screen anyway. For heavens sake, I don't care how cute they are do not, do not, do not download those smiley toolbars! I promise you that you will see your spam escalate. I promise you will see your system slow to a crawl. I have warned the whole department dozens of times here. But every six months or so we still end up with someone getting a crash because of some hidden program dropped by "Wiley Smileys" or his kin. One former employee had to have her computer reformatted twice in a year because of Wiley Smiley and some games she'd downloaded. We have another where they were going nearly monthly to clean her up because she played games all day and they were infecting the system. You'll do it anyway, but you've been told.

Once done there I went home and got a hot shower. I was so cold! Her house seemed very cold to me but it was also just bitter outside. I live about three blocks from her so it wasn't far to drive but the car was cold, nonetheless. Once home I got a very hot shower and got in bed. I watched some shows on Hulu... actually just one, Castle. Once that was over I tried to read but I was just sleepy.

I had horrible pain in my leg most of the night. When I got up it was terrible but about 30 minutes afterward it abated to a mild level. Nothing helps. I don't know what I can do but if it were not for that, I could sleep just fine. I think it is sleeping on my back that is causing the problem. But sleeping on my sides causes pain in other areas. On the left side it hurts my neck and gives me a terrible headache. On the right side, my hip is unbearably painful.

So, I didn't sleep well and I had a bad dream on top of all that. I don't feel good this morning at all. I am finding it hard to work because I'm sleepy. I am tempted to ask my doctor to send me on a sleep study. Something really needs to be done.

Now, it is Wednesday and I'm about a third through my work day. It can't end soon enough for me. I almost called in because I felt so bad. Once the pain subsided enough I decided to come on to work. Now, my brain wants to shut down and sleep.

I'm going to grab a bunch of files and get busy sending notices.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Home Revisited

I was asked by someone who saw my post of Home if there was a spiritual meaning behind the film. I've thought long and carefully for a couple of days. I've researched the Bible, websites, and my own view of the world I live in. I found that for me the answer is yes, a profoundly spiritual one. 

Of course, I believe there is a spiritual message in everything. When I was 18 an amazing woman of faith told me if I listened and watched, I could see and hear God in everything. I was astounded by that then but it challenged me to pay attention. It began a practice in me of actively trying to see God's hand and hear his voice in every event I witnessed and every place I visited. Sometime it is hard and the message is not always clear at first but I've never found it untrue.

As a Christian it is up to me to hear it. And as a Christian, I suppose it is up to me to point it out when I see it or hear it. To everyone, believer and unbeliever alike. I can't make you hear me. I would only ask that even if you do not share my spiritual views you at least hear my voice. You don't have to agree with me or comment. 

I believe the Lord is coming back. I believe it is inevitable. Everything I see tells me this. However, I believe that He left us in charge of this place. It was a place of great beauty designed to sustain us indefinitely. I believe that was His plan. I believe what we are doing is as horrible a sin as murder because we have perverted his plan in every way, even by destroying the womb He placed us in.

Is this right? Is it fixable? Those are questions we should be asking. In my personal belief system as a Christian, I do not believe we can stop the Lord coming back but if we believe that all sin is wrong then we are obligated to make every attempt stop what we are doing to ourselves AND our planet. Just because I believe there is an end coming does not mean I am absolved of responsibility. If anything, my responsibility is greater. But no matter what faith or lack of faith you possess, we are all responsible for the world we live in by God's grace.

As I have grown older, I have watched in growing horror at what we have done and are still doing to this beautiful gift we were given. I realize that IF the Lord tarries and my granddaughter is allowed to grow up she will never see the teeming forest of the Amazon. She will never know the taste of icy cold spring water on a mountain shrouded in old growth forest. She will never be able to swim in an equally cold creek whose water is clear as crystal and freezes giggles out of her. She will never gaze on an unpolluted sky. Soon, she may never even be able to see a whale in its natural habitat. This is unconscionable.

For me, there is a profound spiritual meaning to the destruction of our planet. I am connected to it. It is the home I was given and I was given freedom to explore her beauty unfettered. No restraints on climbing mountains to watch the sun set or rise. No restraints to swimming in her oceans. We are free to till her soil, eat from her bounty, and when it is time to return to our Father, our forms can rest beneath her soil and returned from whence it came – earth. It is a closed environment where everything was intended to recycle. For our souls, this is a temporary home but still home.

I'm a old earth creationist. I believe God was careful in His creation. Time means nothing to Him. He had eternity to make this place. That is not an issue for me. I don't care what your position on the time line of creation is... God did it if it took seconds or billions of years. Why is that important to any of us? God cares naught for time. I believe the Bible and I believe it supports a long creation. But neither is an issue that God spent a lot of time on. He clearly indicates time is useless because it is going to be destroyed! People waste more time discussing the clocks than taking care of the important stuff, like other human beings! That is what we are supposed to be doing, caring for one another! What is the point of counting hours? God didn't create clocks.

I believe that He left us in charge of this place, to care for it and the inhabitants of it. It was a place of great beauty designed to sustain us indefinitely. That was His plan. What he took such care in creating out of love we have polluted out of greed. What he took such time in creating, we have destroyed in an amazingly short time. All of us, believer and unbeliever alike have destroyed it. I believe what we are doing is a sin because we have perverted His plan in every possible way, even by destroying the womb he placed us in.

Is this right? Is it fixable? Is there enough time left to stop it? Those are questions we should be asking. Whether we can stop the end of the world is, at this point, moot. Our actions will not stop His coming but my job is to work while it is still day. I am a steward and it is my responsibility to do what I can do to honor what He has given me. I am to do my best to aide those who share my world.

God cared enough for the whole creation that he put not only Noah and his family on the ark, he put animals on the ark! He put the planet in a washing machine to clean it up. He had no desire to destroy all he had so carefully built. And it means so much to Him that when this earth is destroyed, He has every intention of rebuilding it. This planet meant something to God. When He decides to return, what will He find? It will be so bad He already has to plans to create a NEW Heaven and a NEW earth. The old one isn't fit to re-inhabit! We have corrupted not only ourselves, but out entire world.
Is there scripture for this? I believe so.

David said in Psalm 24:1 The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;

Who are we to think we have a right to destroy what belongs to God? It isn't yours to destroy!

Deuteronomy 20:19 “When you besiege a city for a long time, while making war against it to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an ax against them; if you can eat of them, do not cut them down to use in the siege, for the tree of the field is man’s food.

This is in the Law of God. But then, so is "Thou shalt not kill." We've never respected those Laws but they were designed to keep us and the planet healthy and in balance. God knew before we came here what it would take to live here. Adam and Eve were supposed to exist in a healthy world. The garden of Eden was not just a small plot of ground. It was this planet. No other planet has been located with the conditions found on this planet. It was perfectly balanced to sustain US. What a mighty God and what a beautiful plan. And immediately, we corrupted it.

Isaiah 24 is a clearly indicates why this is happening, who caused it and for what reason. This is a small but very telling section of that chapter.

Isaiah 24:4-6
       3 The land shall be entirely emptied and utterly plundered,
      For the LORD has spoken this word.
       4 The earth mourns and fades away,
      The world languishes and fades away;
      The haughty people of the earth languish.
       5 The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants,
      Because they have transgressed the laws,
      Changed the ordinance,
      Broken the everlasting covenant.

       6 Therefore the curse has devoured the earth,
      And those who dwell in it are desolate.
      Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned,
      And few men are left.

For those who say the Bible is not prophetic, think again. We caused this to happen. We are responsible. And it won't stop time ending. But does that mean we can't do anything and should allow it to just continue unabated, with no attempt to correct it? Can it be stopped? The destruction, in my belief, can't be stopped. It is too late. This broken covenant was between God and man. He'd care for us, sustain us, provide us with a beautiful home. We had only to follow Him. We immediately set about changing the ordinances and transgressing the laws. You know the ones designed to keep us healthy and in balance? Ordinances: a law set forth by a governmental authority: a prescribed usage, practice, or ceremony (MW Online) You have these in your local government. They are set up so people don't have pig farms in the back yard or the city park. That'd be unhealthy!

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

I still believe in the power of the Almighty. I can't convert the whole world. I can only give my witness and live according to the laws and ordinances that were set forth. I can do my best to do what He intended for me to do. I am only one. But in the film, at the end it says that one person can make changes and if every ONE makes changes, then we can see a difference. We may never be able to restore anything but to do nothing? “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” James 4:17 (New KJV)

It is up to me to say what I believe. It is up to me to do my part in changing my world, both physically and spiritually. I can pray all day for the rivers to be clean, for my safety of my children. I do not desire to see the effects of petroleum distillates in my children. But every time I dump chemicals in the water or on the ground, I'm contribution to the destruction. You can't eat the fish out of the Ohio River where I live. They are poison. What have we done? Did I do that? We all did. Pay attention to how many times greed is mentioned in this film.

I don't care what your religious beliefs are. You are responsible for the state of this planet if you live here. You are responsible for whether or not we have peace among our nations. You are responsible for your life at the end of time. But my job, as a believer is to speak out. I am a citizen of this world. I have a residence waiting elsewhere. But what if I die tomorrow, BEFORE the end of everyone else's time? There are still people living here! What gives me the right to leave it in a state they can't even survive in? None. And yet, it has been happening for thousands of years.
I am not a preacher. I am a lowly southern girl raised by people who lived off the land. I was born where trees grew thick and tall and smelled heavenly on a summer day. In that part of the world, they replaced trees when they where cut. Men farm the trees there for a living. I remember the smell of rain on those summer days and I marvel at how little rain falls now. I miss the smell of ozone in a summer thunder storm because the changing climate no longer produces many such summer storms. The clouds that cover my area are usually void of rain. I won't teach my Sarah to fish. What is the point? She can't eat it.

I believe we are living in the last days of time. That does not excuse our continued destruction of this planet because of our greed. We are not only destroying the planet we are destroying our PEOPLE. They are souls. If I die tomorrow, God has taken me to my eternal home. You are left here to continue defiling the home of millions. And your flip answer maybe that since I think God will destroy it all why should we care? Because it is the right thing to do.

It is a spiritual issue. I am deeply grateful for this place. I could sit and watch the trees and birds for hours and warm myself in the sun. I could sit on the beach and listen to the sound of the waves crashing on shore. All my life, I loved to sit on the porch and listen to the raging storms, watch the lightening, laughing at the thunder. No, I do not worship the creation. I worship the creator. I see Him in all of that. The works of His hands are beautiful to me.

And I'm furiously angry that man has destroyed it, continues to destroy it.There is a place in me, when I see those denuded mountains, sullied lakes and rivers, disappearing wet lands that wants to lash out at the people who did that. I can't. It would do no good. I can only attempt not to be one of them. But think about it. If I am that angry... how angry is God?

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Downhill Side of Friday

Wheee! I have about two and a half hours to go! I will be off until Monday. I have been pretty exhausted all week but I'm so looking forward to the weekend I don't care. I did not want to get up this morning. I think I sat up too late but I was reading and watching stuff on t.v. and chatting with Kat for a short time. I turned things off at 10:30 but got sidetracked with something I was reading. One of the e-zines I mentioned yesterday.

I went to the doctor today to followup on that medicine he wanted me to take a month ago but which made me stay awake. Mainly I wanted him to know why I didn't take it and that I thought I had found the culprit to the worsening depression and the severe anxiety attacks. He didn't say anything really. I told him I'd been off of it for two weeks and that I was 100% better.. compared to what I was before anyway. He suggested Yoga for the stiffness. Bah humbug.

I was sitting in his office looking at this thing on the wall. It was a shelf with a coat hook on it. I studied it for several minutes and decided I can make one of these. I am going to buy myself a router. I can make this shelf easily and put it in my bathroom with a towel rack underneath instead of the hooks. It will be sturdier and easier to hang than a simple rod and will give me the added shelf for anything I need. In fact, I think I could make this where there is more than one shelf. And I think mine will be far prettier than the simple one in his office. AND if I'm really brilliant, I could put a mirrored back on it. I do love building things.

Now if I could feel rested I think I'd feel pretty good.

I signed up for a writing clinic. I don't know how it will go but I'm trying to get some things to do for the long dark months ahead. Again, the day was mostly overcast and gloomy. Although, at six a.m. this morning the sky was really light. I was surprised because usually when I've been getting up it has been rather dark... at least to me.

For now, I'm going to get back to work. Hope you all have had a nice Friday. May your coming Saturday be sunny and warm... will it will be somewhere. Probably not here.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Time, Prayer, and a Hot Shower

The week has just not been very much fun. I know, I say it all the time. Even I'm bored with me. But I've just been exhausted and my joints have been so painful - hips and knees especially. I don't know what I can do about other than complain. And since I live alone, there is no one to say I can't.

The traffic is just horrendous. This is not a large town. But you would think that for the last week every person with a car has decided to take to the roads at 7:30 in the morning and at 5 in the evening! And they are stupid! They drive too slow, don't signal, tailgate, dart out in front of you. All manner of idiotic things. I just want to get to work and get home... all in one piece.

I'm trying to read some this week. Since the depression and anxiety are better, I find I can focus a little better. Not much. I'm so sleepy I can't stay awake at times. I went to Reason's to Believe and downloaded some online magazines. I printed them off because I still like printed books and magazines.

The founder of Reason's to Believe is Hugh Ross. He is an astral physicist who has a truly wonderful testimony about his conversion. When I was in college studying geology and anthropology and struggling with my faith. I found his book, The Creator and Time and The Creator and The Cosmos. These books are brilliant at giving the scientific explanation of creation and showing how it is supported by the Bible.

I've also been reading a book by Beth Moore Praying God's Word. It is a difficult book for me to read but I've had too many books fall into my hands by unexplainable means to not read it. Laugh if you want. I've been "sent" certain books to read when I needed them. There are four books, the three here, that I can definitely say were "sent" to me. No one gave them to me either. I bought each one but the story behind each purchase is how I know they were placed in my path. So, I'm trying to read this one.

Now, I think I'll find that hot shower. I said today that I needed to build myself a heated pool. Carolyn, my friend and coworker smiled and said, "Yes, and hire a pool boy."

She may be on to something.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Night Meanderings

I am about to go to bed for the evening. I came home from work and got a hot shower and got in bed, as I do every evening. The heat from the electric blanket has not helped much the last couple of days. I guess this weather has just tied me up in knots. My back, knees, hips and feet just hurt. Hot water helps but one can only stay in the bath so long. I've done some reading and watched tv shows.

The depression abates and clarity returns but slowly. I am filled with that constant sadness that never fully goes away. It settles around me like a cloud. Remember the kid in the Peanuts comic who had this cloud that followed him? We all laughed about it. It isn't funny. I can't shake it. I do things to keep me occupied but I'm never really happy. I exist in some halfway state, able to pretend for short times that "I'm fine. I'm going to be fine. I'm happy."

People say things like, "You're better." "You sound better." "You feel better." I truly get so tired of it. They have said it for almost two years. These days I simply lie. Yes. Lie. I'm not ashamed of it. I'm not even sorry. I'm forced to lie or people keep telling me "You'll get better." This further tires me because it forces me to continue to lie. It is exhausting to keep up appearances.

I would never have believed that people did this to widows. To expect us to wake up one day and say, "OK! I'm better now. They're dead and not coming back and so I can live my life now as if it was all just a bad dream. No problem! I'm fully recovered and my old self."

We will never ever be ourselves again. The person we were, the one you knew, is dead. It isn't a joke. It isn't going away. It isn't going to change. We are not who we were. And we don't know who we are anymore. We will not laugh at the same jokes. We will not plan in the same way. We will not look at anything with the same eyes. We will not laugh so easily. We will cry more. We will not care about your petty squabbles with you family because we know the price.

I heard a woman this past weekend being so rude to her husband in a restaurant. They looked much older than I. He was trying to help her. She was so nasty to him. I simply wanted to tell her she was a ugly harridan who ought to have to sit out in the cold so other people didn't have to look at her or listen to her. He sat at a table alone with another man while she sat with some women and acted like they were fresh cream. My gut wrenched and I wanted to slap her.

We feel hate much easier, too. We see injustice and cruelty with a clearer eye. Death is reflective. In him you see who you really are and you cringe from it. And the ugliness in others is much more sharply defined.

I hate holidays. Mama had a stroke Dec 24 1973 and died Jan 2 of 1974. Daddy died in late November or early December - I was in finals in 1990. Jerry died in January 2010. My life is filled with bitter and broken Christmases and New Years.

I thought today that if I were truly brave, truly bold I'd catch a flight to Tahiti and lie on the beach for the whole week. It is summer there and warm. The only lying I would do would be on the sand.

I'm not brave or bold anymore. I'm terrified.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Another NaNo Ends

The month ends with my total count at just over 12,000 words. A pitiful attempt by my standards. I'm not beating myself up. I was a bit disappointed at first but talked myself out of it. It is all about learning and growing in my writing.I am fortunate to have had another opportunity.

The month in the Pen wasn't as much fun as it usually is either. I think I just wasn't in the right frame of mind to do it this year. October was stressful with all that construction and I was exhausted by the first week of November. Then, I was so depressed and stressed I couldn't cope. So, lesson learned. Don't try NaNo when under extreme stress or when remodeling a house.

For all those who participated and got your purple ribbon, congratulations. For those of you who didn't quite make the goal, you can take another shot next year.

Now, I'm going to bed. I'm really tired. I've been taking my medicines early in the evening rather than waiting until 9 p.m. I think it is helping. I'm sleepy by 10 and that's a good thing. It is the muscle relaxant that does it. Anyhow, I need to go to sleep.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Good Night

It has been raining all day and the garage is once again full of water.

The house felt quiet and peaceful when I came in tonight. That's always a good thing for me. I hated to go out again but I did. I came home, after going to Office Depot to buy ink for the printer, and I chatted with Doug for a bit on gmail chat. We just visited a bit. We had not talked in weeks. He went out of town for the holiday with his wife and children visiting northern Indiana. It was a nice chat.

As I lie here in my bed, beneath my warm electric blanket, in my new flannel pj's I hear the rain falling with a vengeance. It is a good sound, one I have loved all my life. I don't know why I love storms or the sound of them but it 's a good sound to me. I think in the middle of a storm I am more at peace than at any other time. Maybe because the storm surrounds me rather than raging inside me.

I got an email from Kat, who got home before the weather turned.

I'm about to turn out the lights and try and sleep. I slept pretty good last night. I am hoping that stopping the melatonin is going to help. I haven't slept well since until last night. We'll have to wait and see.

Monday Again

The long vacation weekend is past. Thanksgiving wasn't much to write about but I got to spend some of it with my children. Mike helped on Friday doing some of the inside repairs. I'll start working on mudding the wall this week in preparation to sanding and painting. It is going to take me some time to get it all done. But I don't have anything else to do.

Kat left this morning headed back home. We had a great time visiting. I think I talked her half to death but this is what happens when you have no one to talk to much. When you get with people who listen you tend to babble. She's a good listener.

Kat is such a lovely person and having her for the weekend made for a nice break from my usual isolation. Honestly, we mostly talked or wrote. I let her use my desktop computer to do her NaNo writing while she was here so she wouldn't lose any writing time. She will probably finish NaNo tonight after she gets home and if she writes tomorrow she'll probably go over. I think she said this was her first year getting this far and I remember how thrilling that is.

Don't forget to save your certificate to your computer, Kat!

I'm not going to even bother with any more counts. I simply lost the desire somewhere along the way. I have started the story in a new direction but I've stalled out again. Can't seem to get beyond a few pages at anything I do.

I did sleep better last night but it is probably because we got up and were going all day. We went to the riverfront, then went lunch with Mike and sat around and talked in the afternoon. And I took my muscle relaxant early, around 6 p.m. I'm going to try that again. I think I was doing that last year and it was when I was sleeping much better. I can't remember why I started taking it at 9 p.m. I'll have to look back over my blogs and see if I can find a reference.

O.k. time to get busy. Hope your Monday is a good one.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mystery Guest Revealed

My Multiply friend, Kat arrived around 2 p.m. this afternoon from the Chicago area. We went to a late lunch at El Charro's and have spent the afternoon talking. We went by Becca's to drop off a dress I bought her and introduce Kat to them. At the moment, Kat is using my desktop to work on her NaNo novel and I am here posting this blog.

Tomorrow we are going to do a bit of sightseeing. There are some pretty places to see in Evansville. After that, maybe lunch and then some more talk?

Anyway, now you all know. I'll try and have photos tomorrow from our rounds. Hope you are all having a good weekend.

Who's Coming?

What a busy week it has been! I worked here at the house all day yesterday. Mike helped me get some things sorted... worked the saw mostly. We put down some baseboards that had to be replaced. We finally got the boards over that huge hole in the study. The study is still quite a mess but the repair job is coming along. I'm quite an impatient person so it isn't coming along fast enough. Particularly since I'm having company today!

Yes, the mystery guest will be here probably around noon or shortly after. If SHE hasn't has lunch I want to take her to the place you all hear me rave about, El Charro's.

I've been getting calls from my aunt trying to cajole the name of the mystery guest out of me. LOL, but I told her it was a secret to be revealed today. Sometime.

The only hints I gave her were that my friend from multiply was coming. She asked me if it was Grammy Blicktx. She said if it was, she was going to be on the first plane here to meet her. My aunt is a devoted reader of Grammy's devotionals and is dying to have a lovely sit down with her at some point. I told her no, it wasn't Grammy.

She asked me if it was Jilly, too. I refused to tell her. I told her she must not be reading the comments!

If she'd been reading the comments everyone is making she'd know it wasn't Jilly because Jilly made the statement she wished it was her! LOL. So, like the rest of you, I've made her wait but have given you all two names to cross off.

Let me say that I'd love for everyone of you to visit someday. I have plans, God willing, to travel next year to Britain to see the four of you who are there in one go. LOL, you'll all have to put your heads together to help me once I 'm there. I have no idea where everyone is but really it isn't that large a country and surely I can get to Jilly, Cass, Wendy, and Katey... did I leave anyone out?

Oh, even thinking I might be able to do that is exciting! I am praying for my employer not to lay me off this month. If that happens, all bets are off on traveling.

And of course, I want to meet Cassandra, in Illinois and Kat in Chicago and well, I'll have to arrange with my aunt to travel to Texas to see Grammy. LOL, I don't think she will let me go there alone.

I'm going to do some more cleaning now. Things are still in disarray and really, I don't feel the house, inside, is presentable! The outside looks so good now the insides looks even more shabby!

Hope you all have a lovely Saturday and I'll be back later with the answer to today's question. Who's Coming To Dixie's?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day

I just got up and got a cup of coffee. It is pouring down rain outside. I am alone at home. I presume my extended family are all celebrating somewhere today. Mike just called and I will go get him in a bit so he can do his laundry and go to lunch with us. We're going after three so Phyllis can join us.

I was just thinking of what I have to be thankful about. I glanced up at our family portrait on the wall and remembered other Thanksgivings when it was just the four of us and how nice it was to have Jerry in the living room drinking coffee and watching that stupid Thanksgiving Day parade playing down the hall, followed by ball games and the boys and I playing games or me cooking in the kitchen. Later we'd watch movies. I was thankful for that. I was happier than even I knew in those days. I'm briefly thankful and profoundly bereft that it is all gone. And I am devastated I can't ever recapture, relive, or recreate those times.

For a moment I wondered how Jerry would have handled this situation. Fear for him, even now, as if he were still here and could experience it, flicks at me. I think he would not have survived it. Then I think, no, he might have been just fine. He'd be with his Sarah today if he could and I'd be a distant memory. Maybe he'd be happy and enjoying life. I like to think so. He'd need someone to take care of him.

I am thankful I am alive. I am not thankful Jerry is not. I am thankful for 12,802 days with Jerry but it was not enough. I am sorry I did not make them better days.

For now, I'm sitting in my bedroom typing this blog and listing to the sound of the rain. I love the sound of rain and it sounds soothing and lovely on the roof. Later, I'll join Mike, Dave, Becca, Sarah, and Phyllis for dinner and oddly enough we will not laugh and talk over the meal and remember good times. We'll eat and go home. We do not care about this day anymore. We are a ship with a rudder, drifting about trying to find meaning in the day and failing that, we put ashore on one of those tiny Islands of Happiness that are scattered throughout the Sea of Misery.

I truly wish I can tell you I'm happy and all is right with the world and it is a wonderful place to be. But I can't. I can tell you that life is about loss. It is the things we lose that make the most impact. The greater the loss, the more powerful the blow. And we can't escape the losses.

We get over happiness easily. We do not get over loss so well. And when we lose a part of ourselves, we do not recover. If we lose a leg, we limp. If we lose our eyes, we stumble into walls.We do not recover. We simply learn to adapt. For that we can be thankful. We are not required to be happy about it.

My Sea of Misery image came to me after I went to bed the other night and I lay in the dark and saw myself running aground some distance from shore. I got out of my leaky boat and swam to the tiny stretch of white sand where I dragged myself ashore and lay back on the warm sand to recover from my stormy journey. I looked up at a leaden sky. Not one with white fluffy clouds and azure skies. Still, I thought, I'd found an island to rest on.

I got up and looked around. It was a pitiful island for an Island of Happiness. Trees were straggly and scrawny, not enough foliage for a decent shade. But then, there wasn't a decent amount of sunshine either. The fruit was ok. There was no shelter and no one to play in the surf, to talk to, to sit by a fire and enjoy the silence.

Still it was a small Island of Happiness. I hadn't drowned in my Sea of Misery. For now I was alive. I was glad of that but as I looked around I knew that I wouldn't be here long.

One couldn't stay long on any Island. We are forced back into the Sea of Misery at some point to sail to the next Island.

We can imagine them, there in the distance, filled with excitement and laughter and adventure. We can actually see the tops of verdant trees swaying in warm breezes and lovely green mountains we imagine scaling to look out over beautiful valleys. We do not see the miles of Sea between because we do not believe life is about loss. For us, life is about the pursuit of happiness, a never ending chase for an elusive place that we can only taste for a moment. And while we are there, we fail to value it for what it is. A gift, so brief and yet so powerful that we constantly pursue it again once it is gone. It always disappears once you reach the Island. That is what drives us back into that surging Sea.

While you sit around your table today or sit with your family doing whatever you usually do on this day, get this image in your mind. The place you stand is an island. It is a small island. You will only be permitted to stay here for a few hours or days or maybe a week. Take pictures. Say the things you have never said, may never have said, dreamed of saying. Give all the hugs, kisses, and pats you possibly can give. Laugh until your side hurts and tears stream down you face.

Because when you leave that place, you can't come back.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday Week's End

It has been raining all night and is still raining. Not an auspicious beginning to a holiday.

I will be off four days after today. Thank goodness. I have so much to do. We're thinking we may cook after all... I don't really want to but not everyone will be able to be together. Phyllis has to work until 3 p.m. I thought David had to work too but last night he said not so if he doesn't then we will go to lunch at 4 p.m. That would work. But if he works, he would go in at 2 p.m. You can see the dilemma.

I slept terribly. Since I've stopped the melatonin I'm not sleeping as well. I am going to give it a couple of weeks. I can tell I'm not as depressed or as anxious. However, I'm exhausted. Once thorough thanksgiving, I can try and taper off the St John's wort for the depression. If that works, then I can try the doxepin again to help me sleep. I'll just have to take it very early in the afternoon. I'd forgotten I did that to combat the hangover the next morning. If all goes well, I should be able to sleep and not have that terrible anxiety and depressive episodes. One thing at a time, however, right now sleep is a problem.

I still have my cold and feel lousy. Sore throat and cough. I have a headache, too. Sleep could and is probably a factor in that. I am trying to drink a lot of water since I've been taking a cold medicine. They tend to dehydrate you.

Last night I kept waking up. I don't know the times but since the mornings are always dark I have trouble keeping track of it. I do not use a lighted dial clock. If you have a sleep disorder you don't use lights of any kind in your sleeping area. Anyway, I went to bed about 12:30 and woke around 2 a.m. Then, sometime later I woke again and went to the bathroom thinking it was around 5:30. I was very groggy and everything was hurting. When I got back to bed I hit the clock and the voice told me it was around 3:30 a.m.! I got up at just after 7 a.m. for work. I could barely do that.

I am hoping they let us go early today. Our executive director has left the agency and she used to let us go around noon on the last work day of holiday weeks. I'm not expecting it this year... not for my department.

I have not been writing anything. This cold has kept me down for over a week now. And I felt as if I was in a minor flare with the fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. Pain has been higher, particularly at night, as the weather has changed.

Becca asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Nothing. I can't think of anything I want or need. All that I would have is beyond reach. I do not feel any sense of the holiday season. I don't care to go shopping. I don't care to celebrate anything. I suppose I'm thankful for my family, my home, and my job. But I can't honestly say I care about celebrating anything.

My house guest will be here for the weekend and I am looking forward to that. I'm going to buy some hot chocolate to get read for a nice long chat. I will reveal all later. One must have some secrets to make this blog a bit interesting and keep people reading.

I'm at work and so probably should get back to it. It will be a long slow day for all of us with the rain.People won't come in much and work slows to a crawl because you don't want to start a big project before a holiday and have to interrupt it.

With that, I will leave you now. More later....

Monday, November 22, 2010

Holiday Gift

I have a chest cold. That thing that started last week in my head? Yes, that cold. It has migrated south, apparently looking for warmer weather or better pickings. Now it has become a chest cold. Upper respiratory infection they call them these days. Whatever.

Fortunately, my cold is breaking up. I've been taking medicine that will loosen the congestion. But a broken cold is miserable just the same. You cough a lot, just more productively. And I feel lousy and can't stay home from work. Thank the good Lord I only have to work three days this week. We're going out for dinner on Thursday so I don't have a ton of cooking to do either. And I may have a house guest on Saturday. It's a secret. I'll tell you later when detail are hammered out.

Today between 2 & 4 they are supposed to deliver my last new washer and dryer. I say last for a reason and you'll just have to read the other blogs for the last two weeks and watch the videos. I'm too tired to relay the details again. Suffice it to say, before buying a new washer and dryer, measure, and jump up and down on your floors.

Ok, off to eat something and head to the mines. I fervently pray that all clients stay home today. I hope they begin to celebrate early and simply not want to be bothered. Everyone, pray with me! LOL, I do not need anymore drama.

Old Sea Story

There's an old sea story in the Navy about a ship's captain who inspected his sailors and afterward told the chief boatswain that his men smelled bad. The captain suggested perhaps it would help if the sailors would change underwear occasionally.

The chief responded, "Aye, aye, sir, I'll see to it immediately!"

The chief went straight to the sailors' berth deck and announced, "The captain thinks you guys smell bad and wants you to change your underwear." He continued, "Pittman, you change with Jones; McCarthy, you change with Witkowski; and Brown, you change with Schultz. Now GET TO IT!"

THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS: Someone may come along and promise "Change," but don't count on things smelling any better.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Long Week Behind

It has been a very odd week I've had. And I feel as if I am unable to relate it all. Bit strange for me, isn't it?

Last weekend, as you know, Becca spent helping clean the house. I was really not well the whole weekend and my depression and anxiety were out of bounds. I had a washer and dryer delivered on Wendnesday - those new front load stackable ones. By that night I knew they were not going to work. Sounded like a Huey helicopter in my laundry room when it went into a spin cycle. Dryer worked beautifully but the washer I could only use on one cycle to keep it from bouncing. As I spent a ridiculous amount to get multiply cycles, I called and was told to exchange them.

On Thursday I want to the story, negotiated a deal to exchange them for the traditional top load machines, the washer without an agitator. By then, I was truly sick with a cold. Stuffy nose, tired, and achy. I think earlier in the week I had actually run a low grade fever but can't be sure. But I broke out into an all over sweat twice on Tuesday. Sarah was sick with a similar issues at the same time.

Saturday I got up feeling as if I were getting better. I'd started taking a cold medicine. I also stopped taking melatonin. Those of you who have been reading for a while know that I've taken this for some time to help me sleep, in fact, I may be been taking it since shortly after Jerry died but can't remember. Anyway, one day this week I was researching side effects of my medicines. I do this periodically because there is always a chance that a medicine formerly considered safe now is found to have some disturbing side effects. I discovered that with the melatonin this week. Depression and anxiety were listed as well as headache and some others. I've taken this natural supplement before but not for as long as I've been taking it. So, in light of my symptoms in the last year, rather than getting better I elected to stop it immediately. For the last two days I've felt much better emotionally and mentally. Not perfect, but better. And no, I'm no sleeping much differently.

I say this all the time. Check everything you take for possible side effects and recheck them periodically. There may be some thing that shows up later that was not known. And, medicines you take may interact but not be known until you take it! I won't take it again. Too risky. I knew something was wrong but could not pinpoint it. That was the only medicine I had not checked recently.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ideas Still Drift By

On my way to work I had a glimpse into a twist that would probably let me continue to work on my NaNo novel. The character Jack is the same one I began with. In light of last year, it is not impossible to catch up... but it would be painful. But quitting is a bit more painful than the attempt would be. Here's the opening bit called "Hunting Party"

When Jack arrived a Bob Tynan's place they were all standing around with their hands in their pockets while Lisa Tynan made the rounds with hot coffee and smiles. As she gave them the gift of both, each smiled in return and wrapped their hands tightly around hot cups since they couldn't wrap them around Lisa. Deer season had officially opened.

Each year Bob called in his best friends, fifteen guys with guns. At some point in a distant memory, they'd formed an informal hunt club. Jack couldn't remember the name of it, just that you had to like to hunt to be there and you had to be Bob's friend. The last was no mean feat.

Jack studied the group. Most were standing around in the yard, laughing and talking. Half a dozen were on the porch with Bob - Cary Lewis, Marty White, Don Hopper, Will Davis, Travis Hinley, Deven Elpers, and Harvey Randall. Here he paused.

Harvey Randall stood silent, leaning against the porch rail in his bib overalls and alternately blowing across the top of his cup and sipping his coffee. He was probably the oldest of the bunch at 65 but he missed nothing. His eyes moved around the group and Jack was certain he would be able to repeat nearly every conversation of anyone within six feet of his position.

Harvey was a former sheriff of Riker's Mill who had been both feared and loved. After a gunshot had nearly crippled him ten years before he'd been forced to resign. Recovery had been slow but he'd been as stubborn about that as he had been in his job. After he recovered he'd decided to work his farm full time. He told everyone it was easier work but just as frustrating.

As Jack stepped onto the porch, Lisa sidled up and handed him a coffee and his smile. She smelled of some kind of exotic flower. He marveled at how a woman could smell that good at five in the morning. As she moved away, the scent followed her.

Deven stood between Jack and Harvey. He was a well liked kid around town. Clean cut, tall and muscular from several years of wrestling in high school, a member of the track and baseball teams. He was the youngest in this group at 19 and the next stop in Lisa's orbit.

"Here ya go, Deven, honey," she smiled brightly and paused to lean against his arm. Her voice was as smooth and soft as silk. He shuffled his feet and blushed hard as Lisa rubbed against him. He took the cup and Jack could see he was shaking a bit.

Lisa laughed a bright bubbly laugh and stroked his arm. "Better get that under control, sugar. Your aim will be way off."

It was said so softly that Jack doubted anyone but he and Harvey could hear her. But anyone could see that Deven was clearly uncomfortable. Lisa certainly knew it.

From the yard a voice called, "Deven, come here, boy."

Adam Elpers knew which side of the tree the moss grew on and rumor had it he knew more about Lisa Tynan than Bob. He was 15 years older than Deven and more of a father figure than a brother. Adam was the one who had shown up at PTA meetings and parent/teacher conferences while their mother lay dying with cancer and their father was either driving a truck, dead drunk, or in jail. He had been a member of the group for more than 10 years.

"Hey, Jackie boy!" Bob slapped him on the back with a resounding smack. "We been wonderin' if the new lawman would show up. How ya been?"

Jack hated Bob's nickname for him. Bob knew it and abused it but they'd been friends for nearly three decades so it wasn't likely to stop soon. "Fine Bobby boy. And why wouldn't I show up? Just because I've been elected sheriff doesn't mean I can't hunt dear with the same expertise as I hunt criminals. Besides, as I recall, I still hold the record for points. I have to defend my title."

From the yard, David Wallace called out, "Yeah boy! While you were in Iraq ole Bobby thought sure he had a chance to break your record but most he got was a 10."

Chuckles went around the yard and porch. Bob flushed. "Always another year." Lisa handed him an fresh cup of coffee and smiled up at him. He draped his arm around her shoulder. "Besides, in some circles a ten is the best."

More laughter followed and Harvey stood up. "Y'all gonna stand here and gab all day are we gonna hunt?"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Wednesday and I do have a cold. I've felt bad since last Friday.

I've got the house relatively clean. The washer and dryer arrived today and were being installed when I left for work. My sister, Phyllis, was there to sign off when it was completed. Tonight I might be able to do laundry... that's be nice. I miss the sheers in the living room. It is very exposed feeling without them.

I dreamed last night that one of my legs was shorter that the other. I was trying to buy shoes or put on shoes and was having trouble walking. Very strange dream and I'm sure it means something profound but for the life of me I can't think what. I already knew I was an emotional cripple so no surprises there!

I went to bed early last night... nearly 6 p.m. My aunt called at 6:30 and asked what I was doing. I said, "I'm in bed." She was surprised but I was just so tired. This cold and everything else has just sucked the life out of me. I was asleep early and the delivery people woke me at 7 a.m. to say they were on their way.

I just got back from lunch. The washer and dryer are way to large for my laundry room if left unstacked. So, I have to get the wall done it that room this weekend and get the water leak fixed. It is barely enough room to move in there. I'm going to try and fix the faucet myself first. Then if that doesn't work, I'll call the plumber.

Now back to work.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Favored Authors - English

I posted that list of novels that is going around. Jilly jokingly noted I don't care for the classic British novels. In defense I have to say, British novelist are some of my favorites! I just don't like the long winded ones...

Here is a list of British novelist, some who are my favorites. Many, particularly those near the top, I've read everything they ever wrote. Some I've only read a few of their novels.

Most Favored
PD James. She writes looooong novels but I love to read her.
Agatha Christy is a favorite.
Dorothy L. Sayers... adore her Lord Peter Whimsey.
Mary Stewart - grew up reading her novels and loved them
Cecil Day-Lewis (Nicholas Blake) I love his character Nigel Strangeways.
John Creasey as a teenager I loved his novels about The Toff.
Margery Allingham and her novels about Albert Campion - love the BBC movies about him.
Arthur Conan Doyle - Love Holmes
Susan Howatch
Victoria Holt

Read and liked for the most part:
Colin Dexter - liked his dective, Inspector Morse... the BBC movies are good too.
Josephine Tey - read a couple of her's
Elizabeth George - read several but she writes loooong novels too
Anne Perry - read a few of her's and they are pretty good.
Ruth Rendell - read a few
Galdys Mitchell - read several
Ellis Peters - read some
Patricia Wentworth - maybe one of her's

There may be more that were not on the lists I consulted. Sometimes I pick up a novel by a person I've never heard of and read it. If I liked it I may look for more by them.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I got notes from several of you. My aunt even called. Just so no one thinks I've gone to Bedlam, I am struggling to get back on my feet. If someone would grab the handled that stops the spinning I might manage it.

The bathroom plumbing to the tub began leaking on Thursday. TJ came and worked all day Saturday and most of Sunday trying to get it stopped. He was successful only in slowing the leak down. I now have a huge hole in the study wall that will need to be repaired. I could stand in it.

But that's easy. I called a plumber this morning. I'm home waiting on him. He will be here sometime today.

Becca came and helped me clean the kitchen, living room, my bedroom and hallway. This established some order and got a lot of dust eliminated. I even took down my curtains and shook them out, since I still don't have a washer. But getting it cleaned and ordered helped greatly.

I've realized this month that I'm very obsessed with order and cleanliness. I couldn't handled the mess for a second and it got worse and worse. I've had several meltdowns. When the tub started leaking on Thursday, I thought I'd lose it. When TJ couldn't fix it, I was angry because I had not followed my gut on that plumbing since the second week. Anyway, now, my stupidity is costing me more. And I have to repair a large section of wall in the study. It's fine, the ceiling is damaged some how... I am hoping it is not a leaky roof since I just spent thousands on that.

Anyway, the house smells better. After it was done I had to go shower at Becca's and she and Sarah spent the night with me. When we came back in even she noticed the difference in the way the house smelled. I still have two rooms to fix. Study and den but I'll work on them this afternoon if I get the plumbing fixed by then.

The final straw to my saga? I loaned Mike the car to go to church last night. He is not able to get to church unless I go and I have not been in six weeks. We go to another town and no one can come and pick him up. But last night he went.

When he came home I opened the front door and he came in. He was dressed in black and was wearing an old jacket of Jerry's. And I realized he was taller. Shocked, I told him, "You're as tall as Dad now!" He looked at me over his shoulder and in a blinding flash it was Jerry standing there. I fell apart. I had to put my arms around him and hang on to him so he wouldn't leave me. It was horrible, horrible, horrible.

Mike seems to have suddenly grown about three inches and in the black clothes and his mannerisms I see Jerry. When he walks away from me, it is Jerry walking away. Sometimes he gives me a look that only Jerry could give. It isn't that facially he looks that much like him, he does resemble him strongly, but it is everything else.

Becca told me when he got out of the car to go into his apartment, "Mom, you know the older he gets the harder it is going to be on you?"

I said, "Yes."

There is no way to recover from this. None. So, I need your prayers, badly, just to survive it.