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

Midway

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

Vertigo

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.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Out

Not sure when I'll be back. However long it takes to sort my life out. If I can.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sick and Tired

The shower is leaking inside the wall at the shower head and at the faucet. I have to have a plumber come and redo the plumbing.

I called TJ a few nights ago and he is coming up this weekend. My intention was to have him finish up things like repairing some drywall damage in some of the bedrooms, painting doors and walls, and any other odds and ends. I called last night and he said he'll take a look at the shower plumbing. It wouldn't be so bad but the plumbing that was originally in the wall was perfect. I paid to have the shower put in in 1991. It was copper and nothing was wrong with it. I don't know why they ripped it out but now, the pvc is falling apart in there. If TJ can't fix it, it will cost me a small mint to get a plumber. over $500.

It just doesn't end. I'm sick. I'm tired.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

To All Who Served, We Thank You!


What a Mess

It is so bad I do not know where to start. And some things are still to be done. I called TJ and he is coming this weekend to tie up loose ends. I hope. I'm going to get him to do the minor repairs that are left. Holes in the walls, damaged drywall. And if I can get Becca to come and help do clean up, I might be able to stay sane.

I really wish Sue still lived nearby. I might be able to get it sorted out. Frankly, when I look around, I can't figure out what to do. It is all so confusing and messed up that I'm just over whelmed.

I have to be at court at 7:30 for jury duty. I am hoping they will decide I'm either too stupid or too smart to be a juror. While it would be an interesting thing to do, (I've never done it before) I do not know if I can sit all day an listen to a bunch of lawyers yap at one another. We'll see.

I have too much work waiting to miss a day to be truthful. This is just one more lousy aggravation. I decided yesterday, I'm not going to worry about getting caught up there until January. Why kill myself to hand the job to someone else all neat and tidy and a month ahead? I've done 12 years at this job. I've been given every dirty job no one else wants to do. So if I get shuffled out, the favored can figure out what to do with it all.

Have to go so I can eat before I go to court. I'm really tired and my back is hurting this morning.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Decision of the Day

Most of you know I do NaNo every year. That's where you attempt to write 50,000 in 30 days in November. I have a row of winner gifs on the right of the page for four years running. As of today, I doubt there will be a 2010 winner gif. Rather than tell the story twice, I'm including a post of a conversation I had with an old pal in the Pen. If you've read the blog for more than a year or two, you know that one thing I always do during NaNo is play on the forum boards in a room call The Smoking Pen Bar & Grill on the NaNoWriMo website. It is a fictional place where you create events and characters. Serge has been a fixture for awhile, the psychic bartender. LOL, and he a good friend, to have. It is a mental break and fun during a stress filled month. I am including my post today from the Smoking Pen 2010. Just simpler and much easier to read.

I stepped into the Pen and looked around. It was nearly empty at the moment, only a few writers here and there, pounding away at their laptops or frantically writing with pen on paper. I winced at that. I could think of nothing more painful than having to write that way these days. It was a thing I no longer did without pain.

"Good Morning, Madam."

I gave him a small smile and slid onto the bar stool. I stroked the top of the shiny bar, enjoying the cool feel of the finished wood. "Morning, Serge."

He placed the coffee in front of me and waited. I sipped and remained silent.

"You'll regret it, you know."

I nodded. "I already do but I think it is probably for the best."

"You could change track, go in another direction, start over."

I laughed. "You sound like everyone else for a change. That's unexpected."

He shrugged. "Hey, in here I'm who you want, no, who you need me to be."

"Well," I said, "today, I need no pressure. I need to be able to go home and go to bed without worrying about word counts. I hate the stupid story. It was a bad choice. There is no story there. I'm just writing meaningless crap. I don't want to write like that. There is too much else to do that matters."

"Do it for the pleasure."

"That's just it. I'm not having fun with this. When it stops being fun it is time to run." I looked at him. "I do not know if I'm going to ever write anything else. I've felt this coming for a while now. Something happened to me. I don't know what. I just know I can't do it. Not this time. Maybe never."

"Get some rest before you make a final decision," he said, wiping the bar between us.

I laughed. "Rest? They carry that at Wal-mart?"

"Major construction is done. Your brother has gone home. House is empty. Now rest."

Shaking my head and pushing my empty cup to him, I said, "Maybe that's the problem. For a little while, I had someone in the house to talk to and laugh with and do things for. There was sound in the house. You know, I remember saying once that happiness was islands in a sea of misery. You sail from island to island, only allowed to stay briefly at any one of them. Life is a series of losses. We learn to accept them and sail on or we go nuts and drift aimlessly in that sea. I can't afford to go nuts. I need a port."

"Madam, will I see you next year?"

I laughed. "I'm not a prophet nor a seer. Unlike some people, I do not know what comes next. I don't know if you'll see me tomorrow. But I'll be around. If I feel like it I may pop in during the month. But storywise, I'm pretty much finished."

He nodded, reached out and squeeze my hand. "Vaya con dios, amiga."

I slid off the stool and smiled. "Hasta luego, querido."

The door of the Pen closed quietly behind me. I sighed and sailed down the street.

And that is probably that.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sunday Again Passes with a Monday Chaser!

I began the blog on Sunday morning around 8. As you can see.....it didn't get finished.

Sunday Morning

I'm always thankful for another day, particularly when I get an extra hour sleep. But my body didn't notice. It woke up at 5:52 or 6:53 the old time and the same time I wake up every morning. I went to the bathroom and then I lay back down but was up by 7:30 the new time.

I woke up missing Jerry. I pulled out the computer to read emails to forget how I was feeling. It is only slightly successful.

Another NaNo day is here and I'm still behind... but I did do some catchup last night. I finally had to stop because I couldn't keep my eyes open. My doxepin with the Melatonin is very effective, more so than the muscle relaxant, in fact. I'm probably very deficient of Melatonin.

Now it is Monday again. I'm so tired. The time change has really messed me up. No matter when I go to sleep, I wake at the same time. Now... an hour earlier. I fought it this morning.

I had a virtual write-in last night and was able to get my word count up but it is still not where it is supposed to be. I hope to catch up more tonight and maybe by tomorrow's write-in at the Library I'll be where I need to be.

Randy is getting the little things done. I believe all the outside work is completed. The yard is getting cleaned. I cleared off the back patio yesterday and will be considering how to rearrange the paving stones for summer. He made back steps that are movable so when I take up the patio I can reset the stones under the steps to level them up.That will be really nice. I may pour a small slab of concrete there to really get it stable. The steps are really nice. I can even sit potted plants on them because he made them wide. I'll get photos after the clean up this week.

He will be working inside today. Getting the laundry floor cleared, finishing the bathroom sink and cabinet and trim. And final plumbing issues. Nearly there.

Oh, I really hate for him to go. It has been a mess and stress but having him here has been such a comfort and a help. It will be very lonely without someone to sit and talk with in the evenings. And someone to make me laugh at silly stuff. The other day he was working in that laundry room. I told him he has such a gift for building and that I believe that his talent was a gift from our grandfather, who was a master builder. He looked at me and deadpanned, "I wish he'd been a banker." It is that kind of humor that he handles everything.

I keep missing Jerry so much. I went by the cemetery yesterday. I just wanted to go so badly. Never a good idea. Will it ever, ever, ever stop carving a hole in my chest to see his name on that stone?

Must get back to work. The day is loaded with work and I'm tired so I have to keep moving.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Short Week Ends

I'm tired. Very tired. I did get a shower at home last night but well, I didn't like the shower head. I want my old one back. It saved water and gave me better water pressure. The new one is wasteful and a weak spray.

The floor wasn't ready, the sink wasn't ready, the toilet wasn't ready. But he is getting there. I swept and mopped the kitchen and hallway. They were simply beyond bearing. Every surface of the kitchen was covered in something. I cleaned it up. At least I could make coffee this morning. He's nearly done with the outside. He and Mike were taking trash to the dump as soon as they got the trailer loaded. If I'm lucky, more will be completed by the time I get home.

Tomorrow, I'm going look for a washer/dryer. I'm disgusted because there probably won't be one as low as I was getting that set. We'll see. Has anyone had those stack units that were built together? You can't separate them. Everyone says they are a lot of trouble. But they are cheaper.....

I have a headache and don't feel well but I'm 3418 words in the hole.Tomorrow is the 10,000 mark - where I should be. So, tonight I must get the word count at least in half to avoid a major problem tomorrow. Remember 1667 a day? Add that to my current deficit. That is what it will be at midnight if I don't get it done. The daily total is not hard if you do it but once you start losing ground it is not fun.

My story sucks. I've written myself out of a plot. Ok, so A= Jack and B = Nicole each get letters from a dead C = Wendy (best friend to the B and fiance to A) C has been dead for at least two years. So what? LOL, really so what?

Riker's Mill has become a millstone. Seems easy to set things there. I know the town. Sort of. I know the people... four stories are set there. So what?

My point is WHY? I know HOW it could happen, a valid reason that has nothing to do with malice. But C met an untimely end in a car wreck. Okaaaayyyy. So what?

I need to talk to Doug. He's good at working these things out. He really is an evil, conniving, mercenary. I always find it makes sense after he'd instructed me in mayhem.




Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dust is Settling....

All over the furniture. I've just stopped cleaning because I can't keep up.

The laundry room floor is ripped out and most of the wood for the new floor is down. I won't put on floor covering until later when I can do the kitchen. I'll get some kind of mat for the room and go with it. Cutting the old floor out made a huge mess in dust.

The new washer was standing in the laundry room and the new dryer on the new porch when I left this morning. He moved those water pipes and drain across the room (about 6 feet) and fixed some problems with the drains.

That is something the plumber was going to charge $1100 to do. It took Randy about 1.5 hrs and $20 in materials and another trip under the house. There is running water in the bathroom, a toilet and vanity. There is a window to frame out before the shower can be used and some caulking.

The house outside has only a few more touches to be done. I suspect by the weekend at the latest, most, if not all will be finished and Randy will be flying south.

I'll miss him. He's so funny to be around. But I will also be glad to get my house in order. That may take a while. It is absolute chaos and confusion. I can't find anything. Everything is covered in dust and stuff sitting around.

I've had time to write but mentally I'm not with it. I'm now 2085 words down. That is 1667 for today and my shortage of 418. Not bad under normal conditions but not a great start. I'll catch up only if my story takes off.

What I've learned is that I do not like my environment disrupted. It is extremely stressful. The confusion around me caused a mental confusion that is even more scary. Not being able to structure that environment sent me into an emotional meltdown I couldn't understand or control. I did not like it. Going to bed with things out of place and waking to them out of place and coming home from work with them out of place was profoundly nerve wracking. For it to last weeks,well, by the end of the second week I was in a bad way. Read the blogs, you'll see it. Disorder prevents my functioning on virtually every level. This was not a happy finding. If I can't fix it, I can't function.

Now, the end is near and no one, positively no one, is happier than I. But it will take me weeks to get things back together.

Now is when I need the vacation!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NaNo Count and Other Stuff

Well, I managed to get just over 1400 for day 1. Current word count stands at 1942. I couldn't post anything last night because the site was not letting me in. That is annoying to say the least. Still I got it posted this morning. I now have to do the next 1667.

Randy is tearing out the laundry room floor. We have to pick up the new washer and dryer today so we have to have a floor to put it on. It is just nuts how everything is done in this house. Floors glued on top of floors! Nuts. Anyway, I don't think it should take more than today. I hope. I pray.

Now, into the breach. I wish I could do more to help Randy. He's working so hard. Say a few prayers for him.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Keep 'em Coming!

I awoke to a sound outside and went to the back door to see what was going on and check to see if Randy was all right. He hurt his back Saturday moving the washer. I told him he needed hand trucks but oh nooooo, they didn't need hand trucks. Anyway, I have been concerned about him.

TJ was standing looking down at Randy on the ground. Randy was half under the house. TJ said, "Don't go in the bathroom! It's stopped up. It is a mess in there!" That was an understatement. Fortunately, it was contained in the toilet.

I had to take my sister, Phyllis, to work this morning at 5:30 a.m. I went to the bathroom before I left and I noticed it was sluggish. We've had problems with that toilet for years so I thought I'd come back and plunge it out to clear it. I didn't beat TJ to the bathroom this morning. It was ugly.

After they got the lines cleared, they found that that toilet is not properly vented through the roof. So, they have to fix that.

I also found that Mike's habit of lowering the blade of the mower resulted in his chopping off the cap on the clean-out line in the front yard. My clean out was open, probably resulting in something getting in the line and blocking it.

One more in a long series of disasters. Dear God... will it ever end?

I will deal with the bathroom floor another day. I'm not happy and it is too late to deal with it now. Jerry and I laid the last one. I laid a floor in Phyllis' rental unit. I can lay a floor in my bathroom. It isn't hard to do. It is labor intensive. Thankfully, I know how to run saws and drills. That will be a project for the summer. They will put a floor in the laundry room today or tomorrow, put on the final piece of ridge cap, finish the gable on the north side, and hook up the plumbing. As for the rest of the bathroom, I don't know.

Nano has officially started. I went to the Meet & Greet last night and it was very nice. Nine of us showed up. There were three 14 yr olds, three college students and three of us over 30. So, a good balance. Five of the nine I knew already and two I was familiar with. Altogether, we enjoyed it, I think.

There are scheduled write-ins at the library and I'll try and get to some of them. The daytime hours are out but there are three evening ones. So, I'll try to do those... if this mess is ever straightened out.

I have no idea what to write, if I'll write. The desire just isn't really there. Anyway, I've said I'll try.

All right. I have to dress now. I think I have to go to the supply store . . . again.




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