Monday, August 30, 2010

The Dryer in My Head

It tumbles. That's the analogy. I'll clear it up at the beginning. Mainly because if I don't you will think I'm simply crazy. I do nothing simply.

I was for about 24 hours, nearly happy. I got frightened on Saturday because the thought had even occurred to me! Never say you're happy or nearly happy or could be happy. I'm paying for it today. I asked for it, of course. I can't seem to get my head on right. Can't seem to keep a check on my emotions. Disappointments abound.

Sunday was a stressful day, not a day of real rest.
I was feeling very shaky and emotional Sunday morning. I went to church, spent the afternoon reading stuff online and watching t.v. shows on Hulu. I went to church Sunday night and dear Sis. Powell asked me to sing. I did. It was fine. The last time I sang that song was Sunday night, Jan 11, 2009, our anniversary. I announced that it was our anniversary and that my husband deserved a hand because of all the stuff he'd put up with for 35 years. I will never forget the smile on his face. Jerry would be dead in 10 days. Amazing the kinds of things you can remember. But I forgot to get hairspray at the store yesterday. I forgot to pick up my medicines from the pharmacy. I forgot to get fabric softener. Life is truly filled with trivial details better forgotten. Most of the crap we deal with just doesn't matter.

Last night, I just wanted to see him, for five minutes, to just hug him, rub his cheek, talk to him about all the things that I was dealing with, to hear him say not to worry, even though he knew I would. I said as much to the air. I said I knew it was impossible. I agreed that if I saw him it would only make things worse. I mean, that's why we don't see people after they die. It would be a constant reminder that we can't touch them or be with them in any real way. We can't be hugged or kissed or hold hands. I can't imagine a more horrible nightmare. To see someone you are connected to by heart, mind and body and not be able to reach them. Stephen King couldn't write it.
I admitted it but it didn't change a thing. 

So, I dreamed. I dreamed he was there. I could feel the skin of his cheek under my hands. I rubbed his shoulders and arms and hands as if I was trying to absorb the feel into my own pores. I hugged him. I kissed him. I snuggled against his side. He never spoke that I can recall. And I woke up this morning not sure of what day it was or what time it was and feeling cheated and anxious. And tired, as if the effort to hold on to him had been too much.

I feel as if I'm being tossed in all directions. I can remember as a kid getting at the top of a hill and rolling down. We came up laughing and ran back up to do it again. It isn't fun anymore. I don't like the dizziness. I feel as if nothing is stable and secure and that the whole world would collapse at any moment. Is this what insanity feels like? I only write this because I thought if I did I might understand it a bit better. Or that some of the fear would dissipate. It hasn't worked so far. Because it is fear. An overwhelming sense of no control and no stability. This is a high wire across the Grand Canyon and there is no net. It is the Ferris Wheel with no brakes.

Jerry took me to the fair right after we first married and moved into our own apartment, probably in the fall of 1974. We rode all kind of rides. I had ridden a Ferris Wheel once in my life when I was about 10 and never wanted to again but he talked me into riding this double Ferris Wheel. I was terrified but he convinced me it would be fine. It wasn't. I got so frightened I couldn't open my eyes and I thought it would never end. Afterward, I went home and was sick to my stomach and had to go to bed. I've never ridden another one. I wish I could stop this one and get off.

It is all confusing. I stay confused and that is the most frightening thing of all. When I woke up Saturday, I was clear headed and thought that maybe things were going to be better. I had this notion on Saturday that the world was going to stop tipping on its axis and knocking me down.
I fluctuate between a sense of light ahead and an all encompassing darkness. I can't keep the light long enough to feel safe. This isn't depression as I know it. This is something else. Is this grief? I don't know. I don't know what it is. Maybe I'm the one whose dead.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Outlook

I had a pretty good sleep last night! Wow...I was exhausted and when I went to bed went to sleep as soon as my lights went out, which was probably around 11:30 or a little after... I think.... Anyway, I slept hard until this morning. Had several dreams I think and woke up with a "bad" feeling. I hate dreams that you leave you feeling like that because you feel you have missed something or forgotten something or ... or something. Getting up with gloom hanging over you head is so unpleasant.

I lay there for a bit contemplating who'd go with me this morning and if I really thought I could go by myself. Yes, I can but I so want to take Sarah and I know that it isn't going to happen so I am always disappointed on Sundays. It never changes. I call, no one answers or if they do, they aren't going.

Maybe you can be a Christian and not go to church. But if I believe the Bible it instructs up to GO to God's house regularly. I understand the sick and infirm and those unable to go. God understands all that. He understands where I've been living for a year and a half. I've missed a lot. But I assure you my desire often dragged me there, even though at times I felt worse for going. If someone had gone with me, I'd have gone more. There is a something in me that longs to be where God is. I know, I know, He's WITH us. But there is something, perhaps the thing that drove King David to the temple, that calls to my heart to go. I don't think people realize that church attendance is not to bless them so much as it is to bless God. It is a way that honor is given to God. A day and a place set aside solely for Him. To abandon that is to tell God we're too busy to be bothered. Our life is much too important to give him a single day.

So, I go, alone if necessary. If no one goes, I want to go. But I want them to go, too. I want them to have that same desire. I've accepted it isn't going to happen. My desire is to honor God, to let Him know how much He means to me. I don't want to be so busy that God has to get in line for my complete attention.

Then, my phone rings and there is ever faithful Mike. Despite his problems. Despite his falling off the path at times, there is this thing in Mike, too. This desire to be there. He has always had it, never lost it, in fact. If he were a better driver, I'd let him take my car on days when I'm physically not able to go. But he's just terrible and I can't have anything happen to my car. But he goes with me. And in that, he honors me and his Dad. It is what we wanted for our children. I guess we did one thing right.

So, I'm off to church. I am not going to do anything this afternoon but take Mike to the store. I'm coming home and getting comfortable and not answering my phone. I did all the cleaning I need yesterday. Today, I want to rest.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Passed the Middle

Sunshine in my window. I hate being stuck inside. I went out and watered some of the flowers last night. The only thing really left is the Four O'clocks and marigolds. I have a few moss roses the rabbits didn't eat and two Lantanas that are just about a foot high but blooming. Everything else the heat or rabbits got. Next year... pot gardening. The ground work is way to much work.

I thought that as you got older time seemed to speed up. I haven't found that true this year. Since Jerry died days seem to drag along and so do weeks. It makes it very difficult sometimes to get through them. I should be grateful. So many times I remember thinking that life was just whizzing by and there wasn't enough time. Now, it isn't whizzing by and there seems to be more time but I have no energy or mental cohesiveness to do anything.

The weather is changing. I woke with aches and pains. My left foot. I have to have the bunion on that foot looked at. My right hip has hurt for days but more so this morning. My lower back. Yesterday a co-worker's back went out and I sent her home. Mine had been flaring up and today, when I woke I thought I might not make it either. We both have sciatica. Then, my upper back aches a bit.

Now you've had the rundown we'll move on.

It is Thursday and tonight is Writer's meeting. I'm only expecting two people. We used to be six and the summer seems to have just sent us in all directions. I am adjusting I think to not having it but I miss it. And I find I'm not writing without the stimulation of writing talks.

Must think about an online group soon.

The change in the way I take my meds at night seems to have done a couple of things. I'm sleeping a lot better. As a result, I'm not having such strong emotional bouts at least. Sleep is the only thing I know that helps with that and the fibro. And I'm not as groggy in the early evening! Duh!! I hope I'll get a routine established this week and then make myself do more in the evenings. I was even having trouble when I went to church at night. Driving back home was just a huge task because I'd be so tired but not able to sleep once I got home and ready for bed.

NaNo is around the bend. Thirty days of madness. I'm looking forward to it this year, hoping it will break this tendency to procrastinate. I usually come out with the bones of a good story that turns into a rotting corpse before the year is out. I'd like to change that. I didn't think I could do it at all last year and I very nearly didn't. But I don't want another NaNo like that one. It was an horrible way to write. And without my NaNo buddies I do not think I could have done it at all.

Dave and family came by last night and we had sandwiches. They came while I was watering plants. Mosquitoes are terrible out and we didn't stay out. I despise those nasty pests. I had Dave take some of the sand from the sand box and cover the wet area where my air is draining. I have to go get some pipe and dig a drainage trench. I'll see if Mike can do that for me this weekend. He's good at stuff like that when I can get him moving.

Well, work calls. Has an ugly voice. Hope everyone has a beautiful day!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Today Is. . .

I didn't know when I got up. I had to look at the computer to tell me the day. This is frequently the case now. I never know what day it is unless I look at a calendar. I don't remember things that I think I should remember. It is all the same, day after day.

I had a stressful call from an attorney on my job yesterday. The guy is a public attorney for the poor. Woman doesn't want to pay rent she owes and he said she shouldn't have to for a list of reason. I don't care personally but I'm under federal regs to do certain things. The guy was virtually yelling at me before I got him of the phone, doing the usual badgering game. It took me hours to calm down. I nearly had an anxiety attack and I don't know why.

David's job is going to end soon. I do not know what they will do if he doesn't find something else right away. I've had all I can take of the up and down and I suspect that is what the frequent anxiety attacks are signaling. I'm having them more frequently and they are lasting longer.

I had a meltdown last night after I'd held on as long as I could. No, I can't fix it without drugs that will prevent me from working. I have to work.

Mike's computer is now fixed and he took it home. I probably won't see him very often. He too has no reliable income. He is selling plasma again but anything can happen to mess that up, a broken vein, sickness, high bp, all kinds of stuff. They don't seem to get that I can't pay everyone's bills.

I'm waiting on an official estimate for the bathroom. I don't know when they will do it but I'd like to just get it done... yesterday. I getting more and more concerned that I'll have to sell the house and leave here. There is really no reason but the job to stay. And a job is the thing I'd need to leave. They are few and far between for everyone.

I'm off to work now. Another long trying day unless something happens to change it.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Morning Musing

Amazing but I probably got the best sleep last night that I've had in, well, I can't remember when. I'd have to go and check the blogs. I'm sure I've ranted ad nauseam about it. I don't feel tremendously better but I wasn't so exhausted when I got up.

I was so miserably sore yesterday. And my poor hands! Every time I wash them in warm water the palms feel as if they are scalded. No, I did not burn myself. I just pushed the more for four hours and held the self-propel leaver down with my right hand and the emergency shut off bar with the left. The handle of the mower is metal with no padding. I'm going to see about some kind of padding or some kind of gloves with padded sides against my palms. They are really painful still.

Anyway, why did I sleep well? I've been taking my evening medicines art 6 every evening so I don't forget them. I have an alarm to remind me. This includes my flexiril and melatonin, both help me sleep. The last two nights I have taken those to medicines at 9 rather than six. At six when I take the other things, I simply put them back in the minder and take them at 9. I think it has helped. So, I'll be doing that for a while. The melatonin is supposed to be taken early but I always wake up before the alarm at 6:30  anyway so I don't think it matters much. Although, this morning, I woke up only when the alarm went off and I wasn't as exhausted.

Mike came home last night. I went to lunch with him today. He stayed up all night and is exhausted. He said he didn't get up yesterday until very late and couldn't go to sleep. He will go to bed very early tonight but I don't know if he is going to make it until then. I am supposed to pick him up at 5 and take him to my house. I don't know why. He wants to try and get his computer running. I do too! He won't need to have me run him around after work so much.

I took Sarah to church last night. She is just a pistol, let me tell you. She started talking in the car and didn't stop all night. She has so much to say. On the way home she told me she used to be a brown bird and could fly. I told her that I'd like to see that. She said the next time she was a brown bird I could watch her. She was also once a mountain climber. I have no idea where that came from but I had just told her that when I was 4 I loved to climb trees. LOL, it is true, ask my aunt. I am hoping Sarah won't take that after me.

I will stop for now. I am at work and just came back from lunch. I may be back later tonight. But my plan is to work on catching up on sleep to see if this pain gets better. The pain in my back  around that spot come back last night and it was pretty bad for a while. It still hurts today, just not as much. But I've learned anything I push, pull, or lift is going to cause me a lot of trouble.

Toodles for now.

Friday, August 20, 2010

End In Sight

It is almost here! Another week of work will be done in a couple of hours. What a horrible week it has been. I've just not had a day since last Friday! I'm hoping this weekend is better. Two and a half hours and I'm out of here.

I didn't cut the yard last night. I just didn't want to mess with it
. So, I still have to get it done. The good news is Dave may have sold that other car! I'm so thrilled by that. The guy tried to . . . well that term is politically incorrect but much more colorful. . . negotiate him down on the price but my big old salesman stood firm and got his asking price. The guy will pick it up tonight. The money is MINE since I bought the Nissan. Not much money but $400 is pretty a good deal for that car. It needs work and Dave was up front about it. I'm thinking he knew that the motors in Geo's are very good and thought he'd get it for nearly nothing. We had another buyer if this one fell through. Becca's mom was going to buy it when they come down in September but I really need the money now. Have to pay for that service call on the a/c!

I thought about it today. Did you know you can get so tired of being sad. And if something can't be changed there isn't much you can do to fix it. I know, everyone says find something to do. I have lots I could do if I could find a way to get my head around it and didn't have to come back to reality. But I have no desire to really DO anything. I don't care if I go anywhere or not. I don't read anymore. I can hardly write most days except to blog. I don't care for television and only watch HULU when a show I like is out... maybe six a week? And when that is done, I go to bed. I get up and go to work. On the weekend, I sometimes sit on the sofa all day and read blogs and other sites. I pick up around the house, do dishes when it suits me or when I can't stand them anymore ( I don't have a dishwasher), and I do my laundry at the end of the week while I'm sitting on the sofa. I don't call people. I managed to get to church about three or four times a month if I'm not in pain.

I've lost a file at work and I've looked everywhere. I do not understand how it could just disappear. I know where it was and there is no reason for it not to be there. I've looked all over the building and so have my co-workers. It has just evaporated. Now I have to call the client in and get the paperwork all over again. And she is crazy... seriously crazy. No one wants to deal with her and she will raise Cain about this. I don't want to lie to her but I also don't want to tell her the file is 'lost'. She's mentally ill and gives us enough grief about stupid things. What will happen is I'll get all the documents all over again and the day I finish it, someone will walk in and say "Look what I found."

I've prayed for it to be found. God is the finder of lost things and I've always prayed that way about such things. So, I'm giving it two weeks and will see what happens. If it is in this building it will show up. If it isn't, the we have a more serious problem.

I saw my videos of Sarah were very dark and I don't know why. The room was dark but I must have had the setting too low for the lighting. Glad you all liked them.

So, the weekend of sitting around begins soon and I still have work. I'll sign off for now.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nearly There!

Weekend is in sight and that's always a good thing. I woke up because my air conditioner didn't sound right. I could hear it running but nothing coming out. I waited 15 minutes and finally turned it off. Then, I waited again and turned it back on. It seems to be running correctly now but I'm going to call the H&AC guy and have it services to see if anything is wrong NOW instead of when it is 10 below.

The last time something went wrong was the year before Jerry died and it was freezing outside. They had to come out in the middle of the night to get it going and then come back the next day to put a part on it. I fear it may be time to replace it and I really don't like it. This one cost $3500 over 10 years ago. They aren't good for more than that usually.

I bought some pretty beads when I was in Cave City, KY at Wal-mart. I stopped there for something and decided to try making one of those beaded watchbands that are so popular. I was going to do it at the hotel in the evening but as you all know, my weekend was less than I had hoped it to be. I figured I'd do it at home.

It has been nearly a week and I haven't touched it. But last night, I turned on a television show and sat and made this watchband and a bracelet to match. I think it came out quite well and I'm going to get more beads and try my hand at different colors. This one, as you can see, matches my top this morning. Since I wear a lot of blue of these shades it will be nice to have my watch band match. I have three similar bands I bought but they are different colors. This band and the matching bracelet cost me about $8 to make but I paid, I think $10 for the bought ones.

Off to work now. I have a long day ahead. I'm really tired this week. Having problems when I go to bed at night. But that has been ongoing since Jerry died. I no longer think there is a solution. I don't know what it is called... Grief, depression, melancholy, sadness. A rose by any other name.

Hope everyone has a good run to the weekend.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Village Blacksmith

Got this in my email and had to share. So funny!

The village blacksmith finally found an apprentice willing to work hard for long hours. The blacksmith immediately began his instructions to the lad, "When I take the shoe out of the fire, I'll lay it on the anvil; and when I nod my head, you hit it with this hammer."

The apprentice did just as he was told. Now he's the village blacksmith.

And I've worked for those people!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Feet Hurt

Tonight, when I get home, I'm going to put something on my feet and knees. They hurt when I walk on them. I walk as if I'm on eggshells and it feels like something will break if I move very fast. That or I'll be groaning from the pain. Actually, I wore good shoes in the cave and even when I was stranded I had them on. My calves hurt, too, but that is probably from lack of use. I demanded that they carry me up that steep path. The heat dehydrated me and so I am sure the muscle pain was inevitable.

Other things are hurting. Once you realize how very alone you really are it changes things a lot. I'm taking the St. John's Wort regularly, morning and night. I doubt what I feel is depression. It could be but I don't think so. I suspect it is just defeat. It hurts, it is hopeless, and it is hobbling. Like my feet, I can't move forward very well.

I had a weird dream. I was preaching somewhere. LOL, I do NOT preach. I do NOT do public speaking unless forced by my job. But some preacher sitting in the minister's area kept interrupting me. He was very rude. I'd say something and he'd contradict me and started to "preach". I do not remember anything he said. I was beginning to think I'd not be able to get to my point, which was very important, for me if not for the congregation in the dream. I kept having to talk around him. I did finally reached the end with some effort.

His name? I don't know. Never remember seeing him before and he didn't look like anyone I knew. He is that nagging, haranguing voice that won't shut up. He sits in a place of authority but is not in authority. He never talked to me directly. He couldn't get up and stop me either, just pontificate to the audience. And I finished my "sermon" despite him.

I woke up. Time for work.

Monday, August 16, 2010

New Plans

My aunt and uncle called me today. I will be meeting them in Louisville next month for the quartet convention. My musician uncle is a fan of gospel quartet. I'll meet them Friday night and come home on Sunday. It is only a two hour drive from here so it won't be an exhausting drive. And one hopes the weather will be nicer by then.

I'm getting new tires before I go.

Monday Sundown

The sun slopes into my living room window right now. I have been reading my email and my dad sent me a nice video that I just watched. I've seen one like it before but had forgotten it. I'm giving you the link here. I wonder when humanity become so afraid of the most basic of human contact that we stopped it. It is a pity and someday, if I get brave enough, I'd like to do this. It is amazing the joy that becomes contagious when people began to participate.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Jiggity Jig

I am home again. I left this morning at 6:30 am. and arrived about 9 a.m. I had awakened about twice during the night and when I woke up at 6 I decided that I'd had enough. I had packed everything the night before and had only to dress, comb my hair, load the car, and drive away. I did just that. I didn't even stop for breakfast anywhere.

Now, I'm tired and just want to sleep. I guess I didn't rest well or something. I have a headache, too. I ate when I got home but I think I'm going to check out the fudge. I tried some last night and it was scrumptious. I'll have a glass of ice cold Coke and some fudge.

I'm really disappointed that the trip turned out so badly. I had wanted to see several things but ended up doing pretty much nothing. And it cost me more. Anyway, maybe later in the year when the leaves are turning would be a good time to go back to see the caves. I also like walking nature trails so that would be much cooler than what I could have done yesterday. I also saw several places I could stay that are much closer to civilization and the sites than where I stayed. The wax museum lady said that Diamond Caverns was far more beautiful than Mammoth. And I'll go back to the Wax Museum.

But I probably won't go alone. It isn't much fun.

Now, I'm tired and just want to sleep. I guess I didn't rest well or something. I have a headache, too. I ate when I got home but I think I'm going to check out the fudge. I tried some last night and it was scrumptious. I'll have a glass of ice cold Coke and some fudge.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Just Keeps Getting Better

I went on the free tour because by the time I got there all the major tours were sold out. Who knew. They sold out while I watched! But it was ok. Half an hour and some photos. I should have brought my camera because Becca's little digital just can't do what film can in low light conditions. But I got photos of the cave. Not much else.

I left there and on the way back stopped at this odd little shopping area. (I'll post photos later.) They had a fudge shop. Yes, I bought a pound. When I got back in my car, it wouldn't start.

The nice fudge man, whose wife worked in the wax museum that I didn't get to go in because my car broke down, jumped me off and pointed me to a station to have it checked. When I got there I gassed up and asked them to check it. I parked and turned it off. That was at 12:41. It never started again. I called all over to find a battery because this place didn't stock one for my car. Everything was closed or didn't have it. Not even Wal-mart. No one had a battery for a 2007 Ford Focus. I was at this station nearly 2 hours. i have a rode service that was supposed to help me. The people on their service list didn't answer the phone. The man at the station called around and finally found one. I paid the station people to tow me to where I could get one. They were cheaper than my deductible.

They towed my car to Glasgow, about 13 miles away to an Autozone that stocked it. By now I've nearly broken into tears half a dozen times and am nearly dead from the 100 degree heat I've been standing in for the better part of two hours. The wonderful guys at Autozone installed the battery and check the system to be sure it was charging. I paid for the battery around 4 p.m.

I stopped back at the Cracker Barrel to eat. I just got in. I'm nasty from dried sweat. My shirt was actual wet during all that mess. I'm going home tomorrow. It has now cost me well over $300 most of that is in auto repair. I've seen a long dark tunnel and a fudge shop and five giant chickens. I have a new battery. I seriously doubt I'll be taking another such trip.

Hi Ho, Off to Explore We Go

Why is it that no matter cheap the hotel, the beds are usually very comfortable. I've stayed in a lot of hotels and never once have I slept on an uncomfortable bed! And this one is king-sized. I had a lot of good pillows too. I have a hard time finding a pillow that I can sleep on because of my neck. I forgot to bring mine but there are five on this bed and two were perfect for me. I don't have a neck ache this morning.

I fixed a coup of coffee and now I'm going to find food. Then I have to decide which cave to visit! They are everywhere. Cost is anywhere from $5 to $50 depending on the tour of Mammoth. There are about a dozen tours of Mammoth alone! Depending on how long you want and how difficult. The "Wild" tour is the most expensive. Won't be doing that. But I'd like to do the historic tour. It is two hours but there are stairs and it said "moderate" in the difficult column.

Yes, Riete, the hotel had this nice packet with all kinds of brochures and coupons. Some other commercial caves have discount coupons for them. They call this Cave Country. Karst topography, which I'm sure Riete knows about, causes the caves you find here. This is where underground water sources have carved out great caverns. Mammoth is 365 miles of cave. That's just one cave in this area. I am going to drive through the park as well, if I can. They have camp grounds and hiking trails, which I will not explore in the horrible heat we have.

Nina, I'm 100 miles from Nashville. If I do this again, you can plan to join me! At the rate I'm going, I'm going to have a very large party if I do this again. Two ladies I work with said if they'd known I was coming, they'd have come with me. LOL, wonder if I could get a hotel discount with a group? All together, I don't think this is a very expensive getaway. I'm going to probably come out spending less than $300. The hotel, while not plush, is serviceable. I would bring Lysol to kill the musty odor of seldom used rooms if I stayed here again. This room is usually about $80 a night but the double room was less because there was only one of me. $55 was what they were charging me. LOL, so, deluxe room for $55 a night? I'm good with it. And again, they went out of their way to put me somewhere else.

I'm going to have to remember photos. I keep forgetting but last night I was not doing well at all. This is an emotional roller coaster and I'm not happy with it.

Off to breakfast now. Back later with news!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Bad Starts and Stops

I left home around 3:30 this afternoon and drove down to Horse Cave, Ky. It was an uneventful journey and since my cell phone seems to not be working it is a good thing. I don't know why it says I have no service but it does. I'm right on the interstate and there are towers all over. There's no reason.

I arrived at the hotel around 6:30, about when I thought I would. I got lost on the way. Mapquest had routed me the shortest distance and somewhere I missed a turn. I was off the interstate by then and this was a country road. It was long, rural and I got upset. I've been able to go all over the world with no help. I can't find my way around 2 hours from home? I stopped when I eventually found a small burg grocery and asked a lady with a bag of bread for directions. I was minutes from the interstate and half an hour from my destination.

I found my hotel with no trouble. It was cheap but not plush. And the room they gave me had a view of the brick side wall of the room opposite. It was hot. I decided to go get something to eat and find Wal-mart to see about a phone card while it cooled down. I drove about 20 miles to get there. Along the way I found giant chickens standing next to the road. Oh, about eight foot tall... yes, and I'll probably go back and get photos.

Once back at my hotel the room was even hotter. I called the desk clerk and told him I couldn't stay in that room. The air had been running for three hours. I got so hot I thought I was going to be sick. My car was cooler turned off than that room. He was going to change the air conditioner unit out and I told him it was late and I couldn't stay there on the chance that the next unit would work and if it didn't it would be even later. Then, he basically begged me to let him move me to another room. He did, a much larger room, downstairs room and he put a fan in the room to cool it down faster. It took about half an hour but the new room cooled down and I was able to turn off the fan. It is a king-sized bed, jacuzzi tub, shower, and sofa. I have free Wifi, too. This room lets for about $30 more but I have it at the cheaper rate because of the problems. My view is of the truck stop... if I open the curtains. But it is way cooler.

I've sat here for hours watching television and I have no idea what I was thinking to take this trip. I'm going to bed now and maybe when I get up things will be a bit more clear. At the moment, I'd rather be home, sleeping in my own bed. I don't know how I'll sleep since I don't have my cd player and can't put on my cd to go to sleep but the air conditioner is loud so maybe that will help.

I"m going for now.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I'm home tonight, alone. I've just watched two SciFi t.v. shows that like. A writer's meeting was scheduled for tonight but everyone cried off. I suspect, as with all things, the Writer's Asylum is closing. It's o.k. I've felt it for a while. I still like my friends but their lives have become so hectic and no one is able to meet on the same night anymore. Tonight, only Doug and I would have been here and we both said there were things we had to do. I had an appointment to help Dave get a car.

Doug and I met last night at the Midwest Writers Guild meeting and talked a bit afterward at Barnes & Nobel. I think I mentioned before that next September the MWG is hosting a writer's conference here. Sept 30-Oct 1. Doug is telling me to get one of my novels done so I can maybe pitch it to an agent. That gives me a year. Maybe he's right. We'll see. I am looking forward to the conference. I've never been to one and this is sounding really good. It will be local at the Marriott on Hwy 41, probably 2 miles from my house. We'll see.

I've sat here tonight in a bit of a funk. I'm not depressed. Not really. I'm pretty empty at the moment. I don't know what I feel. Life isn't much fun. I don't know exactly what it is all about.

I've been reading these grief books a little every day since I can't seem to read a whole book anymore. I mentioned once that everyone gives them to you when someone dies. They're all full of fluff about holding on, going with the flow, keeping your chin up, looking up, looking at the positive. The truth is they don't really know which end is up. Everyone on the planet is affected differently. I'm sure they've all been very helpful in some ways. The ones I got in the mail quarterly were probably the most helpful of all in that the let you know that what you were experiencing was "normal" and you weren't actually going crazy even though you thought you were. But there is nothing in the books to tell you how to live. I think they think they do.

I can't tell you either. I'm here, now, and I've read them. I've listened to all the people who think they know. No one has a flipping clue. Breath in, breath out, eat, sleep, work. One foot in front of the other. Mark another day off the calendar. Scream, kick, pound the floor, sob until you can't breath. Then start over. Gradually, the intensity lessens but the horror, the pain, the torturous memories do not go away simply because you decide to look at the world through rose colored glasses and smile sweetly and say oh my do you remember.... If that works for you, peachy. No, you simply lock the trunk in the attic and close the doors to your mind and hope to God no one goes in there. You do stop beating yourself up. You learn to live with all the blame, or guilt, or remorse, or whatever your poison is. Not because you want to. But because you don't know how to do anything else. You look at photos on the wall and ask "When are you coming home?" And you mean it.

You end up sitting in your living room in a funk, not knowing what life is all about and why you're here. And you're not sure if you really care. What's the real point. I'm not sure there is one.

I'm trying to discover what I really want. We've all sat around and said, "If I had the money I'd. . . ." "If I had the time I'd . . ." No you wouldn't. Because it doesn't matter. Not really. It is meaningless. The smiles across the table, the shared joke, the hand squeeze, the backward hug at the kitchen sink, the back rub when you're tired. That's what's important. Not the new car, the big screen t.v., the latest gadget. We were never into that stuff much, mostly because there wasn't enough money. But we'd much rather take a day trip to the mountains, a picnic to the park, a camping trip to the forest, a holiday with family. It is the only thing you're going to have left at the end of the day. Leave behind all the fancy homes, expensive cars, electronics, and huge bank accounts. You missed it. They will be gone in a generation and no one will remember who they belonged to.... well they won't belong to you anymore and you will be forgotten. Ah, but remember that camping trip where the tent flooded.

I bought David's car tonight. I could have let it go, told him to figure it out. It wasn't much. A used car, less than 2000. His car needs more repair than it is worth. So, I cleaned out my savings account for the last time. It is only money. When I'm dead they will spend it. So why not now when I can see the benefits. I came home and felt strangely empty. As if I had sprung a leak and everything has poured out of me and there was nothing left. And I realized that it doesn't really matter. Life, my life and Jerry's life had never been measured by what we owned or had in the bank. Neither Jerry or I cared about those things. We gave to our church, not just our tithes but offerings because we wanted to help buy pews, build a new building, lay a parking lot. We loved our church and we loved God and wanted to do something. We gave to our children when we should have said grow up and go to work. Because we'd struggled and remembered the bad debts, bad checks, low wages, nearly empty larder. What were we going to do with it anyway? When you're dead you can't spend it. Someone will. Maybe that is how he was thinking that last year. I don't know.

"When are you coming home?"

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Just for Fun

Your Home is Lively
Whether you live by yourself or with many other people, your home is always buzzing with activity.
You are likely to have water boiling for tea or a fire burning in the fireplace.

You live in every area of your home, and you really savor your time there.
You could never feel at home in an empty or quiet house. A home should be enjoyed to the fullest.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Another Week Ahead

I didn't really want to get up today. I wanted to lie in bed with my shoulders and hands hurting. I helped Mike in the yard on Saturday and I moved some stones out of the yard. They're landscape kind of stones, heavy and awkward to move. They have lined the drive and flower beds for 20 years, being moved as the need arose. I'm done. I'm not moving them anymore. I'm getting rid of them. My friend at work asked me if she could have some and I said all you want.

Mike went to Connie's to meet her folks. She said she is going to teach Mike to sign. Her parents are totally deaf and it is their only way to communicate. It will be good for Mike to learn to sign. We thought about it when he was young but with all the other learning problems and no way to get help with the hearing issue we never did it. It might have helped him if we had done it. 

He seems so happy and relaxed around her. Very quiet and calm but she seems to be a quiet person. I have several concerns. Mike's not just hearing impaired, he's learning disabled. He had very real issues with it. My biggest concern is Connie has never been to church in her life. Well, think about it. Her parents were totally deaf. If there is no ministry to reach out to them, they wouldn't understand anyway.
Mike's whole life has been filled with it. I do not want him to lose that. I don't think she'd deliberately keep him out but it is easy to fall away. We really like her a lot and it is always good to see Mike happy. 

Of course, Dave, Becca and I are all walking on eggshells in fear he will be hurt again. Dave, who is very macho and never shows any concern seems to be worried about it this time. But then that last crazy person really did a number on all of us. I don't really think I can handle that anymore. I'm tired of seeing him hurt and I keep asking how much someone like Mike has to suffer before something good happens to them.

I'm really tired this morning. And wishing I had the time to take off. If all goes well, I will try again to go somewhere for the weekend. I really wanted to go this weekend but I felt like I should stay home and see how Mike was doing and learn something about this woman he's seeing. I'm glad I did.

As I said, we like her a lot and I do think she is a very grounded and positive person. She divorced her husband after 18 years of marriage. He had an affair with his boss. She told me that she would have tried to work it out but he said he was bored with her. They have three daughters and he doesn't bother to see the two youngest. The oldest one has gone to live with Connie's parents because she's angry with her mother for divorcing her dad. Mike told me yesterday that as a result of the affair, the guy lost his job and was now employed at Wal-mart (for those who don't know a huge discount department store in the US -- low prices, low wages). I guess what goes around comes around. Connie got the house and car.

So, my plan is to try for this coming week. I really want to find a good hotel and relax. I've told Kat to think about coming down one weekend and we can do something together or just sit around an talk. Maybe when it cools off some. The patio is nice then. And my other friend here, Just Cassandra (who is only about two or three hours from me) and I are planning to meet in Vincennes once the weather cools a bit. Too hot to sight see at this point. I've never been to Vincennes so don't know what there is to do there. Nina is around Nashville. I should try and pop down there, too. She mentioned it. It is only about three hours to Nashville from here. I know nothing about Nashville but I suspect she could point me to something interesting. And a good hotel. You know that is the hardest part. Some places are nasty and smelly. But you don't know till you get there. Some are in really bad areas but if you don't know the area you won't know it's dangerous.

So, I got some places to run away to and friends there to meet. If they keep the invites open. And if I get really adventurous, Grammy and Nancy are the next distant. And of course, I am still planning to go to England next year. I've told everyone that is my treat to myself. Over there is Jilly, Cass, Katey, and Wendy! I hope I didn't leave anyone out? These are the ones who've issued invitations.

I got to meet Lisa and Cheryl earlier in the summer and that was so nice. We had a nice picnic in the park and got to visit. Both are fairly close by. I should make plans to visit them, too. I love the fall and spring because that is the best time to do weekend trips. I just have used up so  much of my vacation and all my sick time. I've got to stop  getting sick!

Did I mention I spent Sunday afternoon at Doug's house. He invited me on Friday and I said I'd go. So that got me out for a few hours, too.
This is the second time I've had a chance to talk with Sharon and she is just so sweet. Both of them are just so very nice to me. Doug has been a really good friend this past year and a half, going to lunch now and then and having him as a part of the writer's group, letting me use him as a sounding board for my story knots, emailing to check on me. So it was really nice to sit and talk with both of them about the writing and what had been going on with all of us. I really enjoyed it.

I've spent most of the day writing this in hit or miss fashion. It is rather long but is the summation of the weekend. I got to bed about midnight.

Oh, my mother fell and has a severe head injury. They've put her in the hospital but I don't know how bad it really is. Apparently, bleeding on the brain. She is always falling you may recall if you have been reading the blog long. This appears to have been at church and she may have hit her head on the pew. I'm just not sure at this point. Keep her in your prayers. I think my sister, Stuck in the Middle, has posted it on her blog, too.

Hope you all have a good week. I'll be around here somewhere.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Saturday Starts Early

Six-thirty! That is just sinful!

I woke up at 6:30 a.m. Pain in my hands and feet stabbed at me. I tried to go back to sleep but it wasn't happening. I got up and got some java in my veins and grabbed the laptop. I read a bit, had some breakfast. All before 8:30! For several hours now I've been writing, working on The Dream Stealer. I'm stumped in some areas. I don't really know what I'm doing. I have never written about psychic spies before so I suppose anything goes but you can't have limitless power and abilities or you just have another comic book
superhero. I'm not looking for that.

I also am writing from multiple viewpoints. I've never done that but it seems that there are some scenes that have to be written from specific people's view. I think it will be fine but who knows!!! I just get annoyed at the thought of putting a lot of work in something that is not going to work at all. Toss me the title of well known books with multiple view points please.

I read a lot of Carla Neggers and Iris Johansen and both write from multiple viewpoints but usually one a couple. Although, Johansen has three major characters she switches between. I have my villain, however, and I have to show some things through his eyes. So, a quandary.

I really don't want to do anything today but I promised to take Becca to have Sarah's portrait done but she called and said it would be Monday evening before they can do it. They are having car problems and I am probably going to have to help them get a car. He has to have a way to work. A car is cheaper than my having to pay their bills.

I got sleepy and lay down here on the sofa to take a nap and just as I got to sleep, of course, the phone rang. So now, with not enough nap, I'm awake again. As I started back on this, it rang again. My aunt called from Atlanta. My sister and niece are there today. I know they'll all  have a good time.

Currently the temperature is 81 degrees at 11:29. I may go out and finish the yard. Mike didn't finish it and it really needs cutting. If I don't get it done soon, it will be impossible. I have my sister's mower and so I could have it done in an hour or so.

Since I've been in this spot now for over four hours and have little to show for it, I'm leaving now. I don't really want to do anything but I have this ethic that says sitting doing nothing is wasteful.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Cook Out, Eat In

Dave grilled burgers and we sat in the dinning room and ate them. I've got to get the house sorted out. It was all very casual, even when Connie had the mayo explode in her face. It was a squeeze bottle and when she opened it for some reason it just blew back on her. She laughed it off and so did the rest of us.

It was a pleasant evening and we got to chat with her while Mike cut grass and Dave grilled. She's quite down to earth and friendly. Both parents are deaf and so she seems to "get" Mike and some of his behavior. Amazingly, Michael was calmer than I've ever seen him. Didn't act as if he was on pins and needles all evening. She has a very calming influence.

And yes, they met at the library, of all places. Being a book person, I find that a bit more acceptable than meeting on FB or in a chat room.

We're all quite impressed with her. I'm not sure how she took us. Becca and David both seem to like her.

We'll see how it goes. I really can't stand seeing Mike hurt again. It is devastating every time. He's so unhappy with his life and feels so unworthy of anything good happening to him. It is why he gets involved with such terrible people. He doesn't think he deserves any better and settles for whatever he can scrape up. He always wants to "help" them.

Anyway, keep him in your prayers. I know virtually nothing about her as a person. She seems very nice, well spoken, clean, and has a sense of humor. And she understands him in a way few people do.

I'm off to bed now.

Friday Rolled In

Wow, I thought yesterday was Friday all day long! And this morning when I got up I sat for several minutes on the bed asking what day it was. No one answered and I had to get up and walk around a minute before I realized I had to be a work in an hour. I do this more often in recent years and it bothers me. I need to get a calendar and hang near by and mark the days off. I suppose it is a product of the disruption of my life. I don't know which end is up either.

I was invited out to dinner last night with Mike and his new girl friend. I know!  What new girlfriend?  You know he was going to get married a month ago. But God is very good and that came to an end. I'm sorry but I won't go into details, just know that I've had the most awful month with this flack. For those knowledgeable in Biblical things you can refer to Genesis 26:34 & 35. The last three weeks have been a nightmare and had Michael married that girl it would have been even more so. I tried telling him when he brought her to meet us that he was rushing things and that something wasn't right. It wasn't. She was CRAZY! I mean it. She was seriously disturbed. So last weekend he just ended it. And she has harassed him and Becca and Dave for a week with nasty text messages and messages left on their Facebook pages. I really hate Facebook. Too much information is out there and any freak can just waltz in and you can't hardly get rid of them. It took us two weeks of changing Mike's passwords on every account, blocking numerous people and even then she was texting people who were his friends and his messenger and phone books. She'd apparently gotten the numbers of his friends when he used her phone to call some of them and send text messages.

She had been taking 40 mg of Prozac and it wasn't working and they changed her to Zoloft. I learned later that she was drinking. HELLO! Not crazy, INSANE. You can't take antidepressants and drink. Alcohol is a depressant. No wonder she was off the charts.

Anyway, Mike is seeing a friend he met recently . . . at the library! Where he hang a lot! She is older than he by about 6 years. They invited me to dinner last night and SHE paid! If you knew my family you'd know why that is such a shock. Most of the women Mike has dated could barely support themselves. This last one said she needed a man to support her so she could quit work because she was too sick to work. When she said it I thought "who're you? I work every day sick! Ain't nobody going to be taking care of me!" I know why she was so sick now!

Anyway, Mike said that the new girl, Connie invited me along on their "date". I about passed out. She is pretty and she has a good job, she was smart and OMG, she was NORMAL! I have to tell you when Mike was telling me he was seeing someone else he said, "Mom, she isn't fat, she has all her teeth and she's stable." And he was right. (The teeth thing is because the last couple of women he's dated had very bad teeth. Rachael has "meth" teeth and if you haven't see that you haven't missed anything.) We went to a nice restaurant and had a nice dinner and she paid! Over my protest but she paid.

The girl is a district manager over 3 restaurants and apparently loves her job. Her parents are both deaf and so I think she sees some of their problems in Mike. I fear she is not really aware of just how many other problems Mike has but if they like one another and she treats him with respect, I'm ok with it. I just hope she's not in any rush to marry. 

As for me, well, I'm glad the week is over. I do not know if I'll go away this weekend. I haven't even decided on where. I'm so exhausted by all that has been going on I just want to sit in the quiet and not think about it. But a part of me wants to go somewhere and see fresh things. I could just get in the car and drive somewhere. LOL, that is how Jerry and I used to do it. We'd get up and say, "Let's go to...." and we'd go. Pack the kids up and a lunch and go. I suppose if the weather is nice I could do that tomorrow. Get up early and just go. I could go to the caves at Marengo... but they're about the same distance away as Mammoth. It's a thought.

My yard is a disaster. Mower still not fixed. Mike is getting my sister's mower and cutting it this evening so I'll have company while he does that. If it is nice we can sit on the patio. Tomorrow night Becca and Connie have decided to cook supper!

I'm so ready to go home now that I can't sit still. I have an hour and 15 minutes to go. IT is driving me nuts. I'm going end here. I'll let you know how the evening goes.

Another Writing Site

I have been, as I said, cruising the web mindlessly this past week. As a result I've found several new sites that I think are really interesting. I'm going to post the links in my link section as I have time to review them but here is probably the coolest for my writing buddies.

Archetype: The Fiction Writer's Guide to Psychology

Truly an interesting and helpful site. I can't wait to utilize some of the things there. I've been reading some of the articles as well. There is a really cool plot generator and a couple of other generators that look interesting. I plan to use tomorrow to delve into my writing.

I met Doug for lunch today. We discussed his new idea for a story. He presented a piece at our last writers' meeting (he, me, and Cassie). It is a strange story and one I'll be interested to see how he handles. He sent me a note saying the lunch had helped free up his thinking on it. I too find it helpful to toss my ideas at someone and have them point out the flaws. He invited me to his house for lunch on Sunday. I'm looking forward to that. You may recall I went last winter and spent an afternoon with he and his family. I like his wife and it will be nice to talk with her again.

Mike is supposed to come by and cut the grass and Dave will come later and cook out. I suspect it will be a late evening with all the kids. Tomorrow I think we plan to go to the zoo. And tomorrow night Becca and Connie plan on cooking supper for us all.

These are the kind of evenings Jerry would have loved so much. He loved having the boys around with their girlfriends and wives. Sarah would be darting all over and he'd be chasing her if he was feeling well. It is very hard to do these things without thinking this way and remembering.

I've been praying this week. In fact, I had a good old fashioned prayer meeting on Wednesday night. Those of you who do not understand such things, don't worry about it. Those of you who don't understand what a Pentecostal means by prayer meeting, don't worry about it either. But those of you who know and understand will know what I mean when I say there was a mass exodus in which several spectators were trampled. It won't be on the news. 2 Corinthians 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;

I am going to plan for next week for my get-away. This week I just had too much to deal with and I couldn't get my head together. And I really want to get to know Mike's friend a bit better. I don't want to be blindsided again. It would be wonderful for Mike to meet someone who was just a really nice person and actually cared about him in the real sense of the word.

So, a busy weekend planned. I must write some since I seem to be feeling better.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

This May Be the Place


Follow the link and take a look at where I'm thinking about going. It is only a little over two hours from me and I wouldn't necessarily lost a day of work. I could, in theory drive down on a Friday night and come back Sunday afternoon.

You can check out all the stuff there is to see there. And I love caves. There's even horseback riding which I simply love. I'm still not sure though. I have to find a good hotel and I'm really funny about it. Hotels can be really good or really bad. Do I want a pool? Probably. Do I want Wi-fi? Pretty sure I do. Do I want atmosphere and ambiance? Well, it'd be nice. But the last doesn't necessarily and usually doesn't come with the first two.

My biggest problem is going alone. I don't in the least feel excited about going. But this is a really nice area. I just would hate it to be chock full of tourist.

Well, more later. I am considering this weekend or next. Strongly leaning to this weekend.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Monday Melt Down

It was a long tedious day. I'm exhausted. Currently, I'm sitting in my bed wearing my hideous pink and white tank top set which you will see in an upcoming video and satin p.j. shorts.

I had a mild headache for a bit this afternoon. I forgot to go to lunch. My lunch buddy is on vacation and I just kept working until I realized I had not eaten. I finally got away about 2:30 and picked Mike up to take him to sell plasma. We ate first and I went back to work. But I didn't feel well until I came in and got my shower around 6:00. I got off at five and picked him up. I stopped and bought some flowers for the cemetery, two adorable dresses for Sarah that were on sale at Family Dollar, and a wall clock for my living room. The old one died some time ago and I just keep forgetting to get one. It was only $5 and is rather pretty. I took Mike home and on the way back stopped to put the flowers on the grave.

I never stay long there. Can't. But as I rode through the grounds I am struck again at how very beautiful that cemetery is and I thought again about taking a walk there after work in the afternoons. It is hilly and from his grave to the back gate is just over half a mile by one route but probably half that by another. The routes go all over the place. I have to remember to get Becca's camera and do a video sometime of the routes through there. It is a city cemetery and well maintained. Right now they are working on the entrance closest for me and I'd have to go to the back entrance. But if I stopped before going home it would be light enough and not so out of the way.Of course, this is all supposing I do it. I do not like going there regardless of how beautiful it is.

Now, I'm considering what time to turn off the lights. My mower is still in the shop and I can't cut the grass, which is getting rather high and will soon get me a ticket from the city guys. I am hoping to have it this weekend but I guess self-propelled gears must be difficult to fix. Maybe I'll get a new mower.... ha! But it means my yard is not pretty or pleasant to sit in. And the mosquitoes are not fun at all.

I thought for awhile that I was not going to get home. I felt really bad and needed to lie down. I can't believe how very tied I am. No reason for it. All I did all weekend was sit on the sofa and read mindless stuff online.

I found a site call Futility Closet. Here is the link Link It is fun reading but I sat and read it all day Sunday. I couldn't move and didn't even realize how long I had been sitting reading until I looked around and the room was dark except for the computer screen. Very interesting site, anyway. But don't spend six hours reading it.

I'm going now. In the distance I hear someone calling my name. I believe it is the brownies on top of my refrigerator. They have soft, wee, little voices and sound like gooey chocolate. I believe the baritone I hear is the milk... or maybe the coffee... no, milk.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Damned Tomb

I feel as if I've started over. Not in a good way, as if I'm where I was months ago, a year ago. I'm very depressed and yes, I'm taking St. John's Wort. Sometimes, depression is not for any reason that can be fixed. I have not recovered from the episode Wednesday night. Not completely anyway. It feels as if I'm standing on the edge of a pit.  My inclination is to sit down and hang on before something topples me in. Or maybe it is too late for that.

I didn't go to church today. Aside from my mental state, I am having problems with the arthritis in my back, hands, and feet. My feet feel crushed when I get up. And my hands, particularly my dominate left, feel the same way off and on. I'm using Valtoran on them as well as my knees and back. It does seem to help but it takes several hours and there is no permanent fix.

I don't really know what to do with myself. Take eating lunch alone today. I couldn't wait to get out of the restaurant. Or thinking about going somewhere alone. I was looking at Mammoth Cave as a destination. It's about an hour from here. I used Google Earth because you get such great definition in the map and you can zoom in and it will show landmarks, historical sites, parks, hotels and well, everything. Problem is when I do that and see how very beautiful it is I realize I can't go there. There is no sense seeing anything that you can't share. It is pointless, at least to me.

People wonder why I take my children everywhere, even now that they are adults. It is because the pleasure of seeing someone you care about enjoy something, of sharing that pleasure with them is what makes living bearable. A sunset means nothing if you are sitting by yourself. A forest is just a bunch of foreboding trees if you walk alone. I don't know why people think I can just pack up and go somewhere by myself and expect me to do anything but sleep for days. I can do that here, in my house, free. I do it every day.

I don't want to go anywhere. That hasn't changed. I see very little purpose. I can do everything in a hotel room I do here except here the kitchen is open 24 hours if I want it to be. And if I feel like screaming and hitting the walls I can and there are no complaints. Yes, I have. And I don't have to be nice and smile and pretend I'm a nice person having a great time. I don't have to lie and say I'm fine just to get everyone off my back. I'll give you an example. People call and say "what are you doing." If I tell the truth and say, "Nothing" they don't like it. They don't get it. They expect you to be doing something, reading, writing, walking, talking, working at some mindless activity, watching t.v. I do none of those things most of the time. I do nothing. I'm usually doing what I'm doing right now. I am sitting here and the only thing I've done is sit and stare at the room since I got up at 9:30, read a devotional, prayed for about 30 minutes, read a couple of blogs, went to and came home from lunch alone, played two games of solitaire and wrote this post. That's in 6 hours. I don't know what I did with the rest of the time. I just sat here.

But no one wants to hear me say that is all I've done. I'm doing nothing but sitting on the sofa in the living room looking at the walls and photos. People want me to talk. I have nothing to say, really. They want you to be "normal". To laugh, tell jokes, smile, talk about stuff. I just ate a brownie and am drinking coffee. No, not homemade, out of a box. Yes, with walnuts. Yes, it was fine. Same coffee as usual. Yes, I'm going to attempt church. I feel fine. I don't know what everyone else is doing. Yada, yada, yada, yada. I've had three calls that went the same way. I listened. I hung up and went back to staring at the walls. No, there is no one to talk to, to share a joke, to ask questions, to plan a trip, or most terribly, no one to respond when you say "remember when".

Yes, I lived in a damned tomb.

Some Good Things are Free

Grammy Blicktx had to get a new computer and her Beloved Husband had to reformat. She mentions in her blog today that they now don't have some programs they had and really liked. I thought of when I got my laptop and couldn't use a lot of programs I  have. But I knew about a lot of free things that would work on my new system. I didn't think they would be as good as they have turned out to be but I'm sold. I now use MS office only at work for the most part.

If you are not opposed to free stuff but are concerned about their value and problems they may cause, a good place to find them is and PC World, they review them all the time. PitstopPC is a great place to to get information on free items and their drawbacks and they have several free system scans that will find weaknesses in your set up.

Here is the list of items I have on my new laptop that cost me nothing and work as well as the more expensive software. I've had NO problems from any of these items and I've used some of them since before I had my desktop...that's about 5 years.

  •  is free and does EVERYTHING MS Office does.
  • Avast Anti-virus is free and works as well as Norton... I've been using it five years. Never been down because of a virus since I started. There are several other free anti-virus programs but do look for reviews before installing. There were some in the past that actually had viruses. I've stuck with Avast because of the I've had no problems, it catches bugs, and the reviews just continue to be good.
  • is free and does amazing things with photos. You can play for hours with this thing. If you've used other photo programs you're ahead of the game.Gimp is another free one on a par with Photoshop. I've never used it because of the learning curve and time involved to learn it. My artist friends may like it.
  • E-Sword is free and excellent for Bible work.
  • yWriter  is free and a wonderful program to help you put a novel together.
  • Google Earth - is free and more fun than a barrel of monkeys to play with and it is great for getting directions and maps to places you want to go. The street view takes you to the ground so you can look around the neighborhoods.
  • Spybot - great little spyware program I use to clean off my computer weekly. I've been using this for probably 8 years.
  • Auslogics has a FREE defrag program that works in about 3 minutes on my huge drives. (That is only a small exaggeration) Better than Microsoft's built in.
  • Firefox - free browser
  • Xmarks free little browser program to keep your bookmarks sync'd and accessible whichever computer you log in on. I have it on both computers and the one at work. I never have to say... Oh, I saved that link on my other computer!" And it works on Chrome and IE (for diehards). You can open the xmarks organizers and arrange your bookmarks, edit them or delete them, synchronize it with the server and when you are on your other computer, it will synchronize those and do all that work for you!
  • Google Chrome - lightening browser - free. Works really well. More improvements on the way. We'll see
  • Gmail - best email program if you want to get less junk. It is what I use for all personal email. Virtually NO spam and it goes where it is supposed to go. Also has a desktop offline feature so always can read email later if you can't be on line long enough. I have hotmail and yahoo but  gmail wins hands down in the spam/junk department. I now use Yahoo for those places that  require an email address but from whom I do not wish to get trash in my inbox. Hotmail is similar but that is for places I actually want to try a newsletter to see if I like it. I am able to redirect my hotmail to my gmail without giving my gmail address away. ;) I love Google in all it's forms! Brilliant thinkers there.
There you have it. Free programs! They all have worked well for me. No problems. I can't say that about some of the purchased programs I've used. More than once I've bought one that caused conflicts, or I had to call tech support to get it set up. None of these required this. And as far as I can recall, the help files are more than adequate... but I can't recall using them much except to learn how to use the programs!