Monday, December 31, 2012

The End of 2012

This is my last post of an old and miserable year. There are no words that I can write that even begin to express how glad I am to see it end. It could not even end on a happy note. Thursday I will bury another part of my life.

I will hope for a bright and happy New Year for you all.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Deadly December

My mother died today. I wish I had something to say that was meaningful and profound. I don't. I hate December. Her parents raised me and I called her mother Mama. Mama had a stroke on December 24, 1973 and died January 2, 1974. Daddy, my mother's dad, died December 10, 1990. His sister died in December. My husband, Jerry, died January 29, 2009, ten days after our anniversary. Is it any wonder that I await the Big Three holidays with absolute dread? I'd love to find something joyful in the season but it is pretty much horrible.

I am actually not feeling much of anything but a kind of depression. I recognize this for what it is and I know I'll have to be careful for a while. I will be leaving on Wednesday to go home for the funeral. They're trying to do it on Thursday but lets face it, New Years Day is not the best time to arrange a funeral.

I'm ready to adjust my calendar to eliminate December. Maybe January, too.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Let's Ban Everything!


I do not know why it is so difficult for legislators, politicians or whatever, to see that banning something never works. A negative action never creates a positive outcome.

Banning alcohol did not stop people from obtaining it and it created a whole new segment of society: organized crime on a grand scale. Interestingly, the World Health Organization reports here, Alcohol, that "The harmful use of alcohol results in 2.5 million deaths each year." The drug that was once banned and is now sold legally across the nation kills more people than guns!

Drugs are a perfect example of a "no solution problem". You can ban them but banning drug use has not stopped usage and created a second segment of society: drug cartels. Those who want them, buy them illegally and use them. There is no way to register street drugs. There is no way to identify where they came from if people won't talk. There is no way to control usage because usage is in the control of the user. Drugs are rampant in this country. According to this LA Times post 37,792 died in 2010 from illegal drug use and that was only a first estimate. The number was expected to rise.

However, according to Datablog in 2011, there was  "12,664 murders in the US. Of those, 8,583 were caused by firearms." So... should we consider much more than firearms? I mean, knives, hammers, crowbars, automobiles, drugs, oh... and axes, of course. (See Responsible Parties).

According, to the Datablog  report gun violence is trending down! And for those who want all the stats on illegal drug use here is a report that probably cost millions to prepare from dozen of agencies. National Drug Control Strategy This is a comprehensive report prepared for the President for 2012.

Banning anything as a means of control is notoriously ineffective. In the case of guns, this is ludicrous  We have the technology in place to exert control over who owns a gun. Every gun sold can be tracked to the person bought it. Licensing can be monitored with a national database if they want to do so. Criminal records should already be in a national database where they can be cross referenced with gun purchases. More than one criminal has bought a gun through regular channels. Of course, then you have to start documenting those with violent tendencies and mental disorders. This should keep most law enforcement agencies pretty busy just keeping track of the legal guns. Of course, it still won't prevent the illegal ones from finding their way into the hands of the violent criminal or insane.

So, lets ban all drugs, every conceivable weapon, vehicles that travel over the national speed limit, and all alcohol. That will definitely insure that law abiding citizens won't be able to hurt anyone. As for the criminal element... they'll do exactly what they're doing now - purchasing illegal weapons and guns and drinking and driving.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Responsible Parties

I read this article after my friend +Chris D posted it on her Facebook page: Anger as French psychiatrist is found guilty after patient hacks man to death

This post is just my thoughts on this timely subject. The article relates that a psychiatrist got a one year suspended sentence for failing to recognize her patient could be dangerous. He escaped his therapy session in hospital and while free, he murdered his grandmother's boyfriend with an ax. Not they have prosecuted the doctor for failing to recognize the danger. I'm not sure she didn't recognize the danger but she is responsible for what happened?  I'm not convinced of that.

One of two things will happen once you start prosecuting people for "not recognizing the danger" a mentally disturbed person presents to others. First, a lot of people, mostly harmless people, will be brought before a panel of mental health professionals who will be terrified to get it wrong. That alone is scary.

Second, the truly dangerous won't be able to find medical help anywhere and their families will be held accountable and fined because doctors will be too afraid they will be sent to jail for a misdiagnosis or for not recognizing a danger. Mental health care is already in a sad state.

A third scenario could come about if wisdom prevails... apparently several other doctors actually recognized that the situation was so serious with this patient they "suggested" she give the patient to someone else. She refused. Note, doesn't it sound as if a "team" was involved in his treatment and that his behavior had escalated? Why wouldn't a team force this doctor to remand her patient to a more secure institution under someone else's care? When other doctors were aware that the situation was dangerous or the patient was not being helped why are they not also questioned or even charged? He was known to be dangerous by everyone!

For days I've read articles suggesting that Adam Lanza's mother did nothing to protect society. Immediately people began to lay blame on the mother. Why didn't she ask for help? Why didn't she do something? Why did she have guns? It must be her fault he killed all those people, right? A recent article suggested she had begun to take steps to have him committed and this may have been what sent him over the edge. But how do we know she hadn't tried to handle things in some way?

I can't begin to know what this woman was living with for years but based on what is now known, she's handled it alone for a long time, growing more and more frightened of what was happening to her child. The most recent months must have been a boiling cauldron of fear in her home. If reports are true, she had begun steps to have him committed. She had reached her limit. How sad it came too late and her head was blown off before she could get the help she needed.

As a parent, I don't think any of us want to believe we have insane children. But this isn't the first time children have harmed parents. It is the first time they managed to harm the parent and nearly two dozen others. She should have asked for help? Really? From whom? Does the public really know how difficult getting help for this sort of thing is? Obviously, not.

A few decades ago some political know-nothings dumped mental patients on the streets to fend for themselves. Funding, you know, and there was adequate help out there without having to institutionalize folks who could dress themselves and wipe their own bottom. Never mind that most of the time many of these institutionalized patients didn't know their own names or what planet they were on. They became the homeless, rooting around in garbage cans and sleeping where they could find a warm cardboard box.And the processes of getting help for new cases... unbelievably difficult.  The process of getting someone committed is nearly impossible. For good reasons and bad ones.

The Adam Lanza's of the world are capable of coherent, even highly intelligent activity. The majority of people who knew him appear to have never seen a violent action or more than a passing weirdness. Are they to blame for this tragedy because they failed to recognize that he was a danger? No. Is anyone capable of identifying psychopaths? No. And we don't really know what Adam Lanza was suffering from, at this point. There is no diagnosis.

I suspect there are many more of these children out there. There are many more of these mothers and fathers out there. What do you really think is going to happen when they try to get help?

The doctor in France made the wrong decision probably in the belief that she could help. She's responsible for not recognizing her limitations.

Adam Lanza's mother is probably guilty of being a mother who loved her son and simply could not believe he'd ever hurt anyone...until it was too late. Had Adam not killed his own mother, would we crucify her for his actions? I believe we would.

Blaming others is a coping mechanism for people who don't know what else to do. I do not think other people are responsible for an insane person's actions. I do think we should take steps to protect ourselves and others but I know that generally, it is a waste of time. Ask anyone who has been harassed by a disturbed person living next door how difficult it is to get help to stop it. Adam Lanza is a murderer. His mother is one of his victims and I suspect she was a victim for a long time before he killed her.

The problem here is not guns. The problem here is we can't know who will go on a rampage and murder our children. Instead of spending millions enforcing a ban on owning guns,why can't we spend millions finding way to prevent another massacre at the hands of people like Lanza? He isn't the first to do this. Find ways to actually help families of the mentally ill rather than closing doors in their faces, tying them up with years of red tape, and making them out to be the monsters.

Evil will always find a way. Please note that the mental patient in France used an axe to murder his victim. Evil will use any means necessary to kill, steal, and destroy society. Our job is to find ways to combat evil.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Reaching The Pinnacle

Tuesday, second day of the work week when we look with relish at a past Monday and longing toward an approaching weekend. I basically envision myself climbing this steep cliff, hands bloodied, nails broken, gasping for breath and stretching to grasp the pinnacle of Wednesday and drag myself over the top so I can roll down the gentle, grassy slope to Friday evening.

I'm contemplating how on earth I can skip Wednesday and just get right to that slope.

Whatever. Week is not half done but I am.

I noticed the ticker at the bottom says I've topped 20,000. What? No trumpets? No parade? No ticker tape? No balloons, streamers, or cheers? Well.

Still, I like seeing stats. One thing I noticed right away was that my post from 2008 "A Little Bit of Gun History" had hits. This may seem random but if it does you live in a cave. I actually didn't remember writing it and had to do read it. I found it interesting but then questioned my sources. Really.

It has been a horrendous week for the people of Connecticut. And probably for most of the nation. I've avoided all news but a minimum number of articles reporting it. I'm not watching videos, tributes, and reading interviews with survivors. I have a six year old grand-daughter. I can't be dragged into the hell these parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings are living. I simply can't. I see a shinning, smiling face with sparkling eyes of a bubbling little girl that holds my heart in her hands. I am totally incapable of dealing with this horror because her face is superimposed at every mention of this horrible disaster. The promise of Christmas has been obliterated for the survivors and there is no fixing it. I can only pray for them, pray for us all.

I still have no tree up. No decorations, either. I moved things around over the weekend with the help of my sons. We put the freezer in the garage. I am amazed at how much of a relief that was! I need it but it is such a nuisance to have in the house. I still have to clean out a closet for David. I'm planning on doing that this week. Unfortunately, the events of the weekend left me almost completely unable to move on Sunday. I pushed hard Thursday through Saturday to get this done, not stopping for much of anything. The price was pain that is not on any scale. I could barely walk at all Sunday and movement of any kind was misery. 

I bought stuff for our Christmas dinner. Thankfully, I have the weekend to prepare so it shouldn't be such a rush. I have to put up any decorations soon or I might as well not bother.

May I be perfectly honest? I really, really, really do not like holidays anymore. Truly. Even though I enjoy Sarah's excitement and pleasure I truly find them unbearably painful and tedious. I don't have anything to celebrate. I'm thankful for my family and my home and my job every day of the year but the memories I have of holidays are all bad and getting through November to February is just very hard.  

We don't even bother much with gifts anymore. I mean, I usually give the boys their gift in the form of money weeks before the holiday, at their request. They buy what they want. No one but my aunt generally buys me anything, maybe my sister who lives here, but other than that, I don't unwrap a thing. There is no one special for me to buy for but Sarah and I do that all the time anyway. So, in essence I'm putting myself through a grinder for nothing. It is very disheartening when all the things that sparkled and shone in your life is pretty much tarnished and rusted out and you no longer feel important to anyone. 

And with that, I'll stop. I have an hour to get my work done. It isn't enough. But tomorrow I will reach that pinnacle, Wednesday. I'll bandage the hands and drift down the hill... one hopes, to the weekend when I'll be off four days, work one and be off another four days. For that, I am truly thankful.



Friday, December 14, 2012

Playing Possum... Not Really

I've had a few comments about my last blog  and my run in with a dead possum. The photo you see on the left is the animal in question. Americans will know this animal best as they are fairly common road kill and the Beverly Hillbillies frequently ate it. Yes, you can eat that thing.

Possums are marsupials. Yes, just like kangaroos. No, as far as I know they do not hop. They tend to be nocturnal in nature but I have seen them in the day time. I grew up seeing these critters... alive and dead. They are ugly and nasty dispositioned creatures with very sharp teeth. I've never seen it but they tell me when frightened they will fall over and play dead, thus we get the quaint euphemism "Play possum".

 Here's a charming fellow obviously not playing dead.



Imagine coming upon such a creature in your yard, in the dark. Yes. Well, the one I came upon was only a shell of itself as the maggots were turning to flies already. The fur had retained its shape, right down to eye holes because it was in a corner and well sheltered by some blocks. So when I bent down, I just saw something staring.. sort of . And I wasn't expecting him in my garage.

This was one possum who wasn't playing dead.

I know I brought joy to my son by the event and I suspect some of you have been highly entertained by the blog post.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

It's A Plan

The middle of the week has arrived and I'm in a dark place. I've been trying to figure out when life became such a chore.

That was the start to a blog yesterday that I was unable to finish. Today, I'm better, thanks to some praying friends. Life is still a chore but the well hasn't run dry. Of course, those that know me know it will break down just as I need a bucket full.

I took off today at noon and I will take off tomorrow at noon. I have to do some things to get my house in order. I can't even put up decorations because of all the stuff piled in the dinning room. I want the dinning room organized so I can have Christmas dinner with my family. I don't want to be sitting around the living room with paper plates.

Mike and I spent the afternoon cleaning out the garage... for about the sixth time in four years. I feel better when I do that. Yes, I know its weird. It looks a lot better. Not that it is sorted out, it will be easier for David, as well since his work gear will be in one spot. I need to get my garage door lock repaired. It works but it has a pin missing that makes it hard to lock.

I also have a couple of other chores to do and I think getting them done will make me feel better. However, the efforts in the garage, that took about three hours, is now beginning to be felt. I'm aching in my neck and shoulders and back. I'm going for a hot shower now and then some supper. I will work half a day tomorrow also and I am hoping to get my dining table after lunch and get everything decorated this weekend.

Oh... must tell this. We had to wear mask to clean the garage. There were mouse droppings everywhere. They had been in the bird seed that I forgot we had and I'm guessing they're well fed. Well, for days we have been smelling something in the garage. Dave said something was dead. I told him it was the mower. He will often leave the grass bag on the mower full and when the grass rots it stinks terribly. I've emptied it more than once and nearly fainted from the rotten grass smell. Anyway, I was cleaning out the corner where we have a lot of left over lumber from the remodel and I was sweeping out a pile of leaves... I thought. But they wouldn't come out. I leaned over.... and screamed and ran.

A opossum was staring at me. He didn't come out and I realized that the source of our smell was a dead animal! I knew that something was getting in the garage through an opening where we had removed a door and covered over it. We had it blocked with a piece of lumber but not enough to stop wildlife. I had caught a stray cat sleeping on top of the grass bag of the mower and told Mike to put up another board outside until I can block up that hole. He did... weeks ago. Mr. O'Possum paid the price for B&E.

Mike said he wished he'd had a video camera. Mean old boy.

So the garage is sorted and cleaner. Needs a good hosing down but we'll think about that this summer.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

At the Top of the Hill

Sunday is generally accepted to be the first day of the week. Really, look at the calender. I'm good with that. It is a good way to start the week. For me it is church and time to do absolutely nothing. That's what I've done today. I've lain around all afternoon with my hair piled high.

Sarah has been here since Friday. When she's in the house it is fairly chaotic because she must, at all times, be the center of attention. This is one of the hazards of being an only child. Still, she's a relatively sweet child.  Anyway, after church she announced she was going to my sister, Phyllis' house. So, we vassals have had a little break from the Princess.

I start my week very much behind in the work. The last two weeks have simply made it impossible to stay ahead or even keep up. There are some things I have to get done and I am hoping that there will be fewer stresses this week.

However, one kind of figures that if Sunday is the top of the hill, the rest of the week is all down hill. That's not an auspicious start.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Waiting for the Warming

My Dream Room
The house is warm and I wish I could just stay here and curl up with my warm throw and nap. The temperature gauge on my desktop says it is 36 degrees outside.

I'm waiting on a repairman to arrive to give me an estimate to have the gas log I bought connected in my den. They were supposed to contact me at 7:30 a.m. to tell me when they'd arrive. It is 7:51 a.m. and I've not heard a word. I thought they'd be done before eight and I could go to work without missing much. Probably not going to happen and I'm annoyed. I've been trying for two weeks to get someone to give me a repair estimate!

Most of you know that the last couple of weeks have been very stressful and I wish I could say I've been stoic through all of it. My pain escalated to fairly awful proportions and by the time I got that under control other stresses had multiplied and I was in a pretty bad way.

I started Monday... well, you can read the blog. I did make an attempt, really. I've managed to get through most of this week without a total meltdown or going off the deep end. You pick the analogy and it'll probably be just as good as mine. Anyway, Tuesday I plodded along finding some revelatory thoughts along the way. And I kept trying to keep my eyes on something besides the problems. Admittedly, I found few things that weren't a problem but I was able to find small blessings that usually go unnoticed and unlauded.

So, my goal is to continue looking at the seemingly mundane and small things I often overlook. Today I'm nearly done with the week and for this I am so thankful. My pain levels have fallen considerably. Maybe leaving off the medicine for a month reset my system. Maybe I was in a flare. Maybe, maybe, maybe. I don't care. I'm thankful pain is at a two today.

Sarah spent the night last night and Dave took her to school this morning. She would not go to bed so we were all a bit tired. Becca has some kind of bug and so she thought it would be better if David kept her. I always feel better when Sarah is in the house and I'm always so thankful when that happens.

I'm thankful I have a job and can pay the bills. I don't know what I'd do otherwise. I'm thankful for a bunch of online friends who stop by or email me when life is hard and give me sympathy, virtual hugs and encouragement. The sympathy lets me know they understand, but the hugs and encouragement serve to remind me that I should keep going and look up. It isn't easy.

I'm thankful see my son smiling and laughing and acting like himself. How is it that we can't see other people's unhappiness when it is staring us in the face? I'm not thankful his wife divorced him. I am not thankful others are wounded. I know the pain of permanent loss. I'm thankful that both of them are still here. When people divorce they often say things like, "I'm sorry we ever met." I'm not sorry. Had they not met I would not have two very important people in my life, particularly at at time when my life was as dark as a tomb. I'm very thankful these two people met and gave me Sarah. And I'll be always sorry that they could not make it work.

It is now half past 8 and still no call. I think I'm going to go to work and call another company. It is so annoying but the den is an icebox in winter and I have some things I want to do in there. Once the heater is connected it will only take minutes to warm up. At the moment... I have to wait.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Best Laid Plans

I did really try to make Monday a positive day. I started out thinking it would be better and I actually felt better until later this afternoon.

I'm generally a caring person and I tend to want to help people. I'm a sap for a good sob story and I usually take people at face value. That has never done me a single moment of good. I am the one who ends up with a metaphorical black eye while the other fella walks away with a smirk on their face because I was a schmuck.

I think I've finally learned a lesson that I believe God has been trying to teach me for a long time. Sometimes, no matter how much you love someone or care about them, if they don't want to be loved or cared about, nothing you can do will help them and it will never be enough in their eyes or it will never be what they want. The best you can do is throw in the towel and turn them over to whatever fate awaits them. These are the truly hopeless.

Every journey we take has a purpose and a point. Some of us recognize it right away while others take a bit longer. I do not believe in randomness or chance meetings. There is an ultimate destination and every person you encounter along the way means something to your journey. Perhaps the person will only have a slight impact on you but it matters. That person you bumped into as you left the store may have delayed you just seconds but that delay was important for some reason, for you or them. That person had some impact for some purpose you don't see. The detour you had to take prevented a delay that could have cost you or someone else something serious or took you on a route where you avoided a disaster.

My own experiences have proven this to me repeatedly. I know that in my case, there have been people placed in my path that were profoundly important that they be there. Many times I actually examine how every person I know has affected my life. It always surprises me. Some people I've run into, not because I was supposed to meet them, but because they were supposed to meet me. There is a subtle but profound difference in the two situations. I've had a couple of times in my life with I clearly knew I had been put in someone's path to be there for them, not for myself, but for them.

I believe God positions people in opportune places and times. That, just as he steers the stars, so too he steers our lives as much as we will let him. And he will go to great lengths to bring out the good in our life that he intended. But there are those, who no matter how much good comes their way, no matter how many good people reach out, no matter how many open doors they happen on, no matter how many sunny paths are laid at their feet... they will always choose something else. They will always take the path that looks easiest but which deprives them of something of value. And when failure comes, they will always place the blame on others.

 I do not understand it but I am at a place where I'm trying to accept it. I do not accept defeat easily. Those who know me know I do not give up on people I think are of value, in whom I see some potential good. But I'm there. I finally am at a place where I realize some people, by their own will, are not worth the effort it takes to help them.

 There is an old saying, "God helps them who help themselves." As my Mama used to say, it isn't in the Bible but it ought to be.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Do Over

As you know, I hate Mondays. They are the worst day of the week. Today I'm taking a slightly new tack. I get the chance to start over and try again. My weekend was fairly insane, as weekends go, and I was so miserable with pain yesterday that it felt as if I didn't have any time off at all. So, today I start a new work week in a new month and we'll see how it goes.

My pain level today is tolerable. Meaning, I have some mobility issues but if I sit very still I don't notice what hurts. I hate having to evaluate my pain levels.

"What level would you say your pain is today, Miss M?" 
"Oh, well, maybe a 5?"

I don't know what level it is! I don't know how high it can go but sometimes a 10 just doesn't seem like a accurate value. Sunday a 10 would have been lovely. Today, I'm giving it a 5 and hoping that the trend is declining.

It is currently 61 degrees and I heard it was supposed to get up to 71. Actually, I read it on the Weather.com site. Um... this is December. Wait.... I'll take it. Heat helps and 71 sounds pretty good. Only, the sweater I have on might not be the best choice for today.

I'm off to the mines, now. Maybe I can have a better week this week.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Upheavels

Sunday afternoon. I usually have a quiet afternoon with no company but David moved in this weekend. The divorce was final this past week and he had to move out. I spent Saturday afternoon and evening moving  furniture around, switching the study to the smaller room so he'd have a bigger room. The desk is huge and takes two people to disassemble, move, and reassemble. Then I had to reconnect all the electronics: computer, printers, modem, router, phone. I had problems with the internet on the desktop but the laptop worked fine so I don't know what caused it. It took a few hours for it to correct itself. Needless to say, today I'm in a very bad state. I think the weather may be partly responsible. It rained sometime during the night.

It was after midnight before I went to bed. This was because Sarah wanted to go "home". Sarah is with us this weekend as it is his weekend. She goes home tonight. It was difficult because she simply refused to go to bed. Normally, it isn't a problem but she no longer has her own room so it made it hard for her to know what to do. I'm going to have to do some additional shifting. I'm thinking the study will go back to the den/dining room. It was there, once, long ago before both the boys were grown. I liked it then. I'd like it again but I also want to be able to sew back there. At the moment, it looks like a Goodwill collection point. Of course he says he'll be getting his own place in a few months. I don't know. This job is a temp job and he as no idea what he'll do next.

So, this Sunday afternoon has been loud with cartoons, drums, and Sarah running all over asking questions, cooking a birthday lunch for Spot, and just being Sarah. I'm exhausted and in desperate need of a lie down.

David seems more his old self. I didn't really know why David became distant and cool to everyone. I'm still not really clear on what happened. Family members often commented on this fact but I didn't really see it. I do now. It is confusing. I'm not happy with the divorce. I'm glad he's more like my David but to me, divorce is a failure and not something to gloat about. I care very much about my daughter-in-law and I see a little girl who wants to go home to her "family" and can't. Ever. I see two people who got along well, who liked doing the same kind of things. I see a family forever changed. I see the ripples of a stone dropped in the lake.

Oh, I suppose many will say I am over reacting or I'm being overly dramatic about it. You go on. I'm a child of divorce. I never knew my father after the age of five and I have no memories save that of his leaving. I remember that day in high definition. It is always with me, just beneath the surface of other memories. I'm probably the only person left alive who remembers that day. Of course, David isn't going anywhere. Her mother isn't going anywhere. Her parents didn't marry just to insure legitimacy. They loved each other and they adore their child. Children don't know or care about these things. They only know who they love. But the effects of divorce are always there.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Things that Blind You

It is often easy to focus on the negative in any situation. At least, it seems pretty easy to me! I seem to always have bad stuff to say.

Today on the way home from the eye doctor, I was so annoyed with my oldest son, Mike. I took him with me because they were going to dilate my eyes and my last experience was less than joyful. I was nearly blind outside. He waited in the car. I was there two hours! I only saw the doctor 30 minutes of that. I was astounded as how long I had to wait. And let me tell you, the little Missy tech assistant who ran a couple of test before I saw the doctor needs to develop a personality! That woman was so rude. She rolled her eyes at me two or three times and huffed and puffed.

Once I was done, I was waiting to be checked out. I called Mike on his cell. I could see the car in the parking lot. I told him I didn't know how much longer I'd be but that I hoped it wouldn't be long because I was waiting to be checked out. Twenty minutes later, I came out, ready to go and he was gone!

I was standing in the parking lot with no coat and NO SUNGLASSES. It has been a bright sunny day and now was late afternoon. I called and he was at home! His place is just around the corner from this office. I flipped my lid. He was supposed to drive me home. I was so annoyed when he got there but then he was nasty because I was angry about being left. I told him to get out and I would drive myself. That made him madder and he was ranting at me. He made it sound as it were my fault. I finally had to tell him if he yelled at me one more time he could walk home. He's lazy and that never goes over well. Oh, he was just so ugly! I took him home and he wanted to slam my car door! Wait till he needs to borrow that car again.

For those who do not know a thing about Mike, this is not unusual behavior but it is not common. My guess is he's sleep deprived again. However, I do not tolerate it because that is is his choice but I don't have to be treated that way. He forgot who pays the rent I suspect. And tomorrow, when he's thinking about that lunch date we had... he'll remember.

So, I drove him home with the cheap sunglasses I have in the car from the last time. Since it was much later in the day this time I was all right, although it still wasn't any fun.  I started thinking how focused I was on Mike's nastiness. There is always something negative to blind you. It gets old.

On the way home I was pondering this. So, I turned my thoughts to the exam. The doctor said my eyes show no sigh of Plaquanil toxicity and I don't have to be seen for another 5 years. I just have to see my regular doctor every 6 months.

So, I said, "Thank you, God, for a good report."

Eyes Wide Open

I have an appointment today with an eye doctor. Yes, I had an eye exam a few weeks ago. My annual check up... did I blog about it? Can't remember. Anyway, they dilated my eyes then as they usually do.

They are sending me to a specialist to be checked for Placquanil toxicity. Precautionary at this point. This is the RA medicine I take and it can cause blindness  with prolonged use. I've been on it for about 5 or 6 years. So, if they find I have it, I have to stop taking it immediately.

Guess what? Today this new doctor will also dilate my eyes! My last experience was horrible so today, I'll take Mike with me and he will drive me home. I was virtually blind last time for hours. I had to drive in bright sunlight without adequate sunglasses. I stopped and bought some but they were not enough. My eyes were so dilated that there was no visible color, just two huge black pools. Freaky.

I shall let you know what happens.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

In the Still of the Night

I was headed to bed and decided to stop in for a quick post. I've had a long day and I'm tired but I still don't feel well and I don't know if I can sleep.

I saw my doctor today. Actually, my pain levels were a bit better but I went in anyway. She wants me to try Cymbalta for the pain. I'm leery of this as I never know what a medicine will do to me. There are only two medicines I can take for RA. One is Plaquenil  which I currently take, and the other is Methotrexate  a common RA/cancer drug. She wants to consider starting me on that but she's holding off because you have to run so many test when you take that one.

I'm allergic to sulfa and apparently, ALL RA medicines contain sulfa. What's that about? I'm surely not the only person allergic to sulfa. So, if those two medicines do not work for me what then?

Cymbalta has numerous side effects. My friend took it for 5 weeks and had to stop because she started bleeding from "everywhere" she said. It apparently is also a blood thinner. Wonderful.

I saw on the flyer about it that migraine medicines can't be taken with it. Ah, that's really nice as I have severe migraines and take a med for it when I have one.

So, while the doctor offered some ideas, there appears to be nothing they can do for me in reality.

I have to finish reading the flyer and check with the pharmacy to see if there is anything else I take that would conflict with Cymbalta. Do not assume your doctor knows this stuff. They do not always know. I've had more than one give me a med that can't be taken with another med I was on. I always ask the guys handling the meds. That's what they're trained for.

G'nite. At least it is Thursday tomorrow. Two more days to get through.



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wrecked Week

I've had a horrible couple of days. My pain has skyrocketed to the point that I thought I was going to be sick last night and have to go to the ER. I never remember hurting this bad before. I've sent a message to my doctor's office asking if there was anything they could do but I haven't heard a word yet. I may not until tomorrow.

I'm so far behind in my word count for NaNo that it is impossible for me to ever catch up at this point. Even if I felt all right I don't think I could do it. I am working all week and by evening, I'm fairly wiped out. I had a write in last night and got a lot done but  the cost was high. I was very sick when I go home. I have another tonight but if things don't improve, I doubt I can do it. There is a final one on Friday evening unless everyone is finished.

Am I disappointed? I don't know. I don't think so. Things have been so bad lately that it is hard to feel bad about not winning. It would be nice to do it but I'm beyond caring now.

I haven't been blogging as much but I've been when I've been able, I've been working on NaNo. Blogging just hasn't been on my agenda. In fact, I wrote a post last week just before the holiday and forgot to send it. I did that today so there will be two post for today but actually there is only one. I told you things were crazy.

I'm going to work till noon today but I may go home and not come back the rest of the day.

Sleep on the Ledge

This has got to be one of the most hectic months that I can remember. And I have been more tired than I ever remember. I'm so tired all the time I can barely move and yet I have to move. I have to be at work by 8, get off at five and on nights I have a write-in I'm out the door by 6 and home again around 9.  I've slept late every day for the last several weeks. Fortunately, I've managed to get up and dressed and out the door in time to get to work, usually five minutes late. I don't know what's up with that. It could be the stress level is too high I suppose and my body and mind simply are not able to keep up.

NaNo is nearly over and honestly, it probably is over for me already. I don't see making even 20,000 at this rate. I just have no story and I'm so tired at night that I'm not really able to think enough to write. 

I know I say I'm tired a lot. It probably sounds nutty. But honestly, there is no describing this tired. You never feel rested. Always I feel as if I need to go to bed. It has been a long time since I actually woke up without having an alarm clock wake me up. I'm using two alarms now. Even when I've slept I'm only able to go about 4 hours before I feel like I need sleep. 

One more day this week and I will have 4 days off. I'll do some writing but I am going to try and get all the sleep I can and see if it helps. I will be spending lunch with the boys and my sister and Sarah on Thursday but after that, I'll spend the weekend alone.Each year I have hoped that some of the pleasure I always got at this time of year would return. This year I think I realized that it isn't going to happen. I do not feel there is a point to it. All the traditions I kept alive have disappeared and the effort to do traditional things for my own entertainment is simply not worth the disappointment. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving & Ten Feet

Thanksgiving Day 2012 started for me at 8:30 a.m. I more or less crawled out of bed. Well, I was upright but I was able to shuffle, in tiny small sliding steps to the bathroom and then to the kitchen. That is what passes for walking for me for about an hour a day. Gradually, I will be able to pick up my feet and actually move my legs forward from my hips,  hopefully without pain. Normal graceful steps don't arrive until around 10 a.m. every morning. I might or might not be able to put on shoes with a heel. That depends on if my feet don't feel broken. 

Today is sunny and the Weather.Com icon says it is 42 degrees out there. I am supposed to have lunch with my fractured family around 11:30 today at a restaurant. Traditions are gone. There is no family get-together for us anymore. We don't watch parades, play games or sit around laughing at each others antics. We haven't for a long time. I no longer cook lots of food and goodies. We will eat and return to our respective abodes. Becca and Sarah will go to her family for the rest of today and tonight. 

The year 2009, the year Jerry died, was a horrible year and every year since it has only gotten mildly more tolerable. I know everyone thinks, "Good grief, woman, its four years. Get over it already." It is easy for you to say. Unfortunately, the very nature of death is unremitting separation. You can never get back what you lost. For the ignorant and shallow I remind you to remember what it felt like to lose your favorite cell phone and you had no way to replace it for a week? Well, multiply that by a million years and you might come close to feeling what normal people feel when they lose actual people they love. If that is a stretch, you're a sad mess. I digressed there but I know someone will read this that just won't get it. 

I've come to hate holidays in a way I never dreamed possible. I am forced to remember years of family reunions where a hundred people surrounded me in this great big bubble and we laughed, talked and ate and laughed and talked and ate. We all went home and felt connected and we could deal with the next year because we'd do this again. And then they all died and it stopped. 

So, I gathered my small family around me and the bubble shrank but we still got together. Sometimes we went to my siblings and we had a bigger bubble and everyone laughed, talked, and ate and felt connected. And then they all splintered off and moved away. I moved actually. So I gathered my small family and we had our own special holiday with each other. We laughed, watched the parades, I cooked and we ate. We played games while Jerry slept in front of the ball games. And then he died and the world shrank even smaller and I realized I couldn't get through the next year.

We've tried to maintain a holiday tradition. The year before he died we began to go out so I would not spend days preparing and cleaning up. I could have a day off. We continued after Jerry died. My sister misses the old way and every year wants to go back. She even volunteered this year to cook. I realized that I didn't really care anymore. 

This year, my son and his wife have divorced. Three people I love dearly are now splintered and drifting away. I look at Sarah and I realize she will never know those hundred people family reunions. She won't know the smaller ones where my siblings and our families get together and enjoy being a weekend of laughter and good food. She won't even have a small family joining hands to give thanks for a year of good things. Maybe years from now she will have a family and she can read some of my stories about what it was and maybe she can recapture it. I hope so because there is a lot of joy back there. There was much to be thankful for and to celebrate.

Why such a depressing blog? Because I want you to think about what you have surrounding you. I want you to look around that table and think. Turn off the cell phone and think about the faces you see surrounding you. Really look at them. Talk to them. Laugh at unfunny jokes today. Tomorrow it won't matter. 

I realized what was important seconds too late. Thanksgiving weekend 2009 was my epiphany. Every year, I remind myself and I re-post that moment for any who may pass this way.


".....I sit in a room that is approximately 9x10. The realization came to me tonight that all that matters of all that we do or say can be found within ten feet of you. And we usually stay close to what we love. But we don't notice it. It is silent and we don't really notice. Unless at some point it disappears. A void opens up.

I suppose the answer would be to look around and see what is within ten feet of where you sit right now. Reach out and grab it. Don't let go. If you do, it will begin to drift away, beyond your reach. Until you can't reach it anymore."

If you do nothing else today, look around and whisper prayers of thanksgiving for all that you have surrounding you. Give sincere and prolific thanks for the blessings of people who love you. Tell them you love them. Thank them for giving you their time, love, and countless hours of frustration, laughter, and joy...to you. Tomorrow, you can go back to your cell phones and endless shopping for a bargain. Today is the best bargain you'll ever have and once it is gone, you can't get it back.





Monday, November 12, 2012

Prayers of Thanksgiving


Lots of my Christian friends have been doing the 30 days of thanks this month. I didn't elect to do it because I made another commitment and have limited my posts and time spent here. 

In my personal life I try to pray a prayer of thanksgiving everyday. On bad days I may pray a prayer of thanksgiving several times a day. I joked once that when I get in a hot shower I spend the first five minutes  of it saying Thank you God, for hot water. I may have said it jokingly but it is not a joke. I do it. If you hurt like I do, you pray the hot water never runs out. 

So, while I haven't posted a daily "thanks" post every day, I'm thankful for every day and this is how I generally pray on a daily basis. 

"O merciful and Holy God, 

Thank you another day of life. Thank you for every blessing and every trial. For through both you show us your care. 

Forgive us for our sins. Bless our nation with honorable leaders who exhibit integrity and honesty. Bless our people with a desire to seek truth in all our ways and demand integrity of those we have placed in charge of this nation.

Bless those who disagree with my beliefs and forgive those who belittle me for them. Forgive me if I have returned their actions in kind and help me not follow that path. Remind me if I stray and teach me good manners.

Keep me focused on right principles and help me to live what I believe without shame or fear. Give me the courage and strength to stand in the face of challenges to my faith and my character. Help me to always speak truth without shame, regret and without apology.

Let the love of God shine forth in my life. Remove all obstacles that block or dim that light. 

May I spread peace wherever I go. Let peace flow out of me to those who walk beside me. Let it follow in my wake to those who stay behind. And let peace flow ahead of me to those I have yet to meet. 

And let every word be established in the earth.

Amen"

Making Sense

Sometimes making sense of things just doesn't happen. Believe me when I say this. I've been doing it for years. You start in one direction only to end up somewhere else is the most frustrating experience but trying to figure out how it happened is a waste of time.

I've been writing a long time but before I could even write I was creating stories from the Sunday comics. Mama said I'd sit on the look at the pictures and "read" the story. Once I started to write, I'd write stories. At 14 I wrote my first novel. No, I don't still have it. Lost in a move long ago. But I've been writing things a long time. So it shouldn't be that difficult for me, right? Sigh.

I started this NaNo as I have the last six - not knowing what I was going to write. Well, five actually. One year I actually knew in advance. Anyway, generally I don't know. This is the first year it ever scared me. Crazy, right? But here I am 11 days in, nearly three days behind on the word count, with a story that I am not enjoying.

All right, I've got all the advice. It isn't bad advice. I just don't want it.

Change the point of view. This is a hideously painful process. I did it once and while it was the right thing to do, now is the absolute worst time to do it. The ensuing stress is not helpful at all.

Kill a character. While I agree Jim should be killed, once you start killing characters you don't know very well you inevitably find you actually need them later. I'm not into zombie novels so I'll hold off on the murder for just a bit.

Put a polar bear in the story. This actually works, by the way. I've done it. But alas, there is no logical reason to put them there and it would only create further road blocks to go around.

Add another character. Well, this is going to happen at some point but I don't really know what the story is about and so I don't know who to introduce. I already have half a dozen folks wandering around with no purpose.

Give them a purpose. Easy for you to say.

Start a new story. This isn't as far-fetched as it sounds. Um.. maybe it doesn't sound far-fetched to you. Anyway, I might but I'm not eager to do so. I mean, think about it. I've got a story that is stalled and I start a new one, that I also know nothing about, and it stalls. So I start another...well, you see my concern.

To tell you the truth, I'm tired, really, really tired. I think I'm in the middle of a fairly rough fibro flare. I simply want to lie down and rest all the time but I can't. I have to go to work and push through the day and by the time I get home, I'm so exhausted I can't move. I push through everything. After about three days of that kind of activity, I lose my ability to cope and control of my emotions. And I am plunged into a depression that takes days to overcome.

I don't think my writing is improving now. In fact, I feel like it is regressing. When you can't think clearly for days at at time, communication becomes basic and there is a huge problem coming up with the words to express yourself.

There is a part of me that whispers, in the dark when I'm about to go to sleep, that I should just stop writing. Forget the whole thing. Let it go. I'd eliminate a plethora of stress. Besides, I have other talents I can use that I don't struggle with as much.

Stop writing?

How about I stop breathing.

Right.

Write.





Saturday, November 3, 2012

Another Weekend Done Done...

It simply flew by! The whole week simply went by so fast I couldn't even see it, let alone remember it.

I've had a lot going on. I nearly backed out of everything on Wednesday. We had another family crisis and we were just feeling the pressure from it. I had no idea what I was going to write for NaNoWriMo and that was due to start at midnight on Wednesday. When I went to bed that night, well before midnight, I still had nothing.

I went to work on Thursday. I had sent out prayer request to every person I knew who I felt would pray for me and I don't mean just a "God bless Dixie" prayer. I really needed someone to fix this mess I found swirling around me.

Thursday at work a phrase I'd stumbled on the night before in my stress induced haze began to take shape. So I spent breaks building on it and I was pretty happy by the time I got to my write-in that night.

Spending time with other WriMos is always energizing. I have a really great group this year. They're smart and witty and just interesting to be around. There were four of us there and it went well for me.

I felt a bit better and some of the family chaos ended and we've made some decisions on how we're going to handle future issues. David will probably move home soon and try to put his own life back together. I'm sorry for this. I just can't fix other people's problems anymore... I guess I never really could.

So, I'm at the end of day 3 of NaNo and I'm about 800 words from the daily count. It isn't where I want to be but as of today, I really hate the story so I'm in a bit of a pickle. It is hard to write what you hate. Once you've invested 5000 words in something you really do not want to have to start over. And honestly, I like the opening scene of the story. But there's no place to go and that is a bad thing.

Tonight, I've got Sarah spending the night. She's been here all day and that's a nice feeling. She went to the morning write-in and was just so good. The afternoon we had a few runs to make and we spent time watching Scooby Doo videos we bought. At the moment, she's been doing some drawing, writing and watching some dinosaur videos. I've done a bit on the story but I'm basically at a stand still.

I got an email today from someone who told me not long ago I used to be the most optimistic. I emailed back and simply said there is nothing to be optimistic about. To be honest, I have no idea who he's talking about. I don't recall ever being an optimist! I've always been the first one to say that the world is not going to get better. Life is going to get harder. People are going to get worse.

Now I'm going to try and get 800 words so I can put the thing to bed.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Run to the Weekend


Remember that busy weekend I had a couple of weeks ago? I'm in a time warp.

My brother called around 4 p.m. on Friday and said he was in town for the weekend. It was unexpected but he's always welcome. He drives a truck and sometimes his route brings him  through here. David's car had broken down and he had to use mine Friday so he headed to the truck stop to pick him up. I got off at 4:30 Friday, so I rode home with my friend Carolyn.  Dave and Bill walked in right behind me so it worked out well.

I had the NaNoWriMo Meet and Greet I had to be at by 6. I got a shower, and got my gear and David dropped me off, my brother along for the ride.  On the way Dave's wife called. She was with a friend and they ran out of gas. She expected him to drop everything and go help them. Remember, his car is in the shop and I have a meeting I'm on my way to and can't stop.

I got there around 5:30, found a few early arrivals and chatted for a few moments then got my supper. By 6:30 p.m they had been filtering in and gradually working their way to filling up the tables in the area where I was sitting. I'd wander around the place and when I found them I just asked them to move once they finished eating. Eventually, by 7p.m. we had 27 WriMos in Panera Bread.

I made a little speech welcoming them and how this was the largest turnout I'd seen in the 6 years I'd been doing NaNo. I gave out my goodies bags and told them what the items were I'd provided. And then I simply turned them loose to visit among themselves. It was really amazing. Everyone had a really great time and mingled and chatted until 8 p.m.

I got home and spent some time visiting with my brother and answering the email response from the WriMos expressing their excitement over the kick off. It was a resounding success by all accounts.

Saturday... I hit the ground running. I was up by 9:30 and relaxed until about 10. My brother and I had plans to go to lunch with my sister and Mike. Dave's car was in the shop and he still had mine. So I met him at the shop and he got his car. I left there and picked up Mike and headed back home and my sister had arrived. We left to get gas and headed to Cancun, our favorite Mexican restaurant. We left there at 1 p.m., my sister headed to work and I stopped on the way back and picked up Sarah. We came home and spent the after noon and evening watching movies, talking and entertaining Sarah. I took her home around 9:30 and Mike and got back around 10 p.m.

This is my last chore of the day. It is now 11:48 and I still have to brush my teeth. Sigh. I'm tired. In the morning I have to take my brother to his truck and then head to church until noon. I believe I'll come home and crash then.

My back and right leg have been giving me fits for several days and my left hip feels like it is trying to lock up. Did I say I'm tired. NaNo starts in four days.

Someone loan me some energy.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rolling Down Hill

I am in the process of doing just that.. at least it feels like it. Remember that I am the municipal liaison for my region of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and have a kick off planned for Friday evening. I did this last year and had 19 people. It was nice and I enjoyed it. Well, I had everything lined up with a local business and wasn't expecting more than 20 people. Last night I went over 23 RSVPs. The local business backed out. I was up until midnight rushing around getting notices out to everyone of the relocation.

Now, first off, I felt like I should find another venue from the beginning but I figured it wouldn't be a problem. Really didn't think anyone would be showing up. Today, I have more RSVPs and I'm looking at around 30. 

If you go back to my last year's post about this time, you will find that on my way to the kickoff then, I was concerned suddenly that everyone registered could show up. That happened to be over 100 people. The thought horrified me. It does this year, too.

 I have four days to go and the number is climbing. I have 25 gift bags. Not 30. So between now and Friday night I need another 25 made. I think I can do it but it is going to be close. I have to go buy ink! Yikes. Most of the stuff I can print off but it takes time and I don't have a lot of that. None of it is complicated or expensive except as the cost of the items. It is the time involved in creating them, cutting them out, and bagging it. 

Idea... I need Friday off. Yeah! That'd do it. We'll see. The positive is that if I pull this off, it will be a lot of fun. And the TGIO WILL be somewhere I can get a room. Hopefully the library.

At any rate, I suddenly feel like I'm rolling down hill. Someone needs to reach out and grab me. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Minds of Children

If the world can survive until this young lady becomes an adult, the world will see an amazing leader in Canada! 
And if there are other adolescents with this kind of concern for their nations who will make the effort to change it, the nations might just survive. 



Sunday, October 14, 2012

How I Spent My Weekend

It was an insane Saturday. I was up at 7 a.m. and went to the hospital. I the ultrasound on my gall bladder, x-rays of my hands and feet, and they drew about 8 vials of blood. Then I dashed back across to the east side of town to take care of a bill. It was around 8:30 or  9. I stopped at Sonic for breakfast. My blood work and ultrasound had to be fasting so I was getting hungry. I turned around and went back to the west side, stopping at the house to pick up NaNo signs and continued on, picked up my first son so he could help me get some furniture I had seen beside the road for sale and bought. I headed back to the east side, stopping briefly to drop off said signs for a patron, before continuing to the far east side to pick up second son.

The three of us went north to Menards to rent the truck. We went west to my house to get the furniture (dresser, chest, and bunk beds for Sarah's room). We followed the owner to a second house on the south side to get the second bunk. He'd originally planned on keeping it but the room was just too small for a bed and sewing machine. On the way the mirror flew off and shattered on the road. Yes. We got the bed and went back to second son's house on the east side to unload truck.

We went back to my house to get my car, unload the mirror frame. I'm going next week to have the mirror that is sitting against a wall in my study installed in the frame. We once again headed north to turn in the truck, drop second son off on the east side, and first son and I came back to my house. He did several errands for me and then it was 6 p.m. when I took him home.

Second son, wife and Sarah came by around 8 to do up laundry in prep for his trip to Indianapolis for job training. He'll be there a week. I am praying this will be a good job for him and lead to other things. Pray for him with me please. He really needs a job that will allow him to provide for his family.

I got daughter-in-law to help in preparing my NaNo gift bags. I'm getting there but the minutia is just so tedious.

My feet have been hurting for about a week now, particularly the right foot. Previously, the left one acted up. It got better but it too is a bit sore. So far no one has offered a solution which makes me think there isn't one. This is not good. At its worst I can barely walk. If it gets worse, I'm in serious trouble. I live alone and I have to work. My house is not set up for wheelchairs or crutches. I couldn't do crutches anyway. I have too much shoulder and neck problems.

I sat up late after the kids left last night. I don't feel I've had a relaxing weekend at all. I overslept as a result and woke with a headache. The weather is gloomy but actually warm. I'm praying that the headache goes away.

I was unable to get the Imitrex because when the doctor rewrote the prescription she didn't say, "No generic". This hasn't been a problem before but I was under a different insurance. Anthem wants you to get generics only. I only get to non-generic medicines. This was a trial and error decision on my part. One is a patch that stays on a week. In the generic patches they don't stick. They won't replace a patch if you run short because it came off and you had to replace them. In the Imitrex, I did try a generic. I don't know what was different but I got really sick with it. This is a dangerous medicine and I don't feel like playing roulette with it. I'll call my doctor on Monday and ask her to resend the script. If she does, great. If she doesn't, that'd be bad. I'm not getting migraines as frequently but I still get them. The reduction is because I've been treating the neck and shoulder differently, making them the focus rather than the headache. I think I've proven the headache is a symptom rather than a cause.

Now it is Sunday and I overslept. I was looking forward last night to going to church this morning. I feel doubly bad because Mike misses when I do.

I'm supposed to got to David's to eat later. Becca called and asked me. I'm going to lie down again I think later and put up my foot.

I've got to actually start planning something to write in the event pantsing doesn't work. I actually like starting blank because my mind is forced to go in some direction of its own choosing. Those are the times when the story can get very intense and the characters start talking. Maybe it is because the want to talk and with no restraints they can do so more freely. I don't put expectations on them. I let them go where they want and say what they want and do pretty much what they want. Sounds like fun.

I'm going now. I've killed enough time. I've had my coffee, eaten breakfast, and read a bit. Now I can sit and listen to the clocks tick.



Thursday, October 11, 2012

Are We There Yet?

The weekend looms... but in the distance. Tomorrow stands between me and Saturday. That's not a good place to be. I have so much to do both at the office an at home. I've spent the last several evenings getting some things together for my National Novel Writing Month regional kick off. If you don't know what that is... you haven't been reading this blog very long.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people around the world, sign up to write a 50,000 word novel in the 30 days in November. This is my 7th NaNoWriMo and my second year as my region's Municipal Liaison. I still have to write a novel but I'm now coordinator for write-ins and general cheerleading.  You can read all about NaNoWriMo at www.nanowrimo.org. I dare you to try it. You'll have a blast, meet some wonderful people and you might end up with a good book.

Today I didn't go to work. My right foot felt broken. Usually it is my left foot. That's the arthritis and there's nothing they can do about it. I put some medicine I have on it but it is only slightly better since I got up. It hurts to walk. That's not why I stayed home. I'm supposed to have my foot x-rayed this week. I have to have blood work, too.

I also has a doctor's appointment because I think I'm having a gallbladder problem. I had some discomfort yesterday that followed some nausea on Tuesday. After my younger sister's horrible experience with a gallbladder that went critical, I'm not about to delay. I'm scheduled for an MRI on Saturday morning. I'm going to get all those other test done at the same time.

What I really want is to retire. The weekend is closer than my retirement.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

An Exciting Life

I've never called my life exciting. Really. From my perspective it is totally boring. You all have been reading me for a while and know it. If you're new, skip back a couple of years, oh, say January 2009 and you'll understand a lot better. There's ups and downs, the latter often far outnumbering the former, but totally boring.

I actually dreamed of a simple life with normal family and friends and a job I loved and a husband to rub my back now and then or to rock on the porch with as the sun sets. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. Dream on.

 I went to bed at 9:30 last night! Unreal but I simply couldn't hold my head up. Does that  sound exciting? No. Of course not. I had a writer's meeting at 6:30 and was done by 8:30 and in bed by 9:30. How exciting is that. Don't get me wrong. I have the best writing group. They're all a hoot. We all have a good time in our G+ hangout. But I was about to fall over by the time we were done.

There was the weekend, of course. I spent it making little boxes to go in my gift bags for the NaNo kick-off on the 26th. I killed my printer. Not on purpose. But I broke it somehow. Paper jam I think but who knows. I discovered it tonight when I was going to work on . . . something else. I thought, great one more thing. I couldn't remember when I bought it but I did remember I bought an extended warrenty on it. At least I was pretty sure. I couldn't remember where I bought it, though.

So, I dug around in a box of papers. I found it. Yep. It came with a 1 yr warranty and I had bought an additional year. I bought it December 24, 2010. What in the world was I doing in Sam's Club on December 24? Apparently buying a printer.

I loaded up the printer, after asking Sam's Club what to do and being told they weren't sure, and carried it to the store. A little blond welcomed me and said, "You got here fast." Three clerks later, and one who thought the extended warranty expired and my statement that they did not run concurrent and if so that was a rip off, I walked out with a printer that cost me....$10.39.

Buy the extended warranties, buy them for a couple of years if possible. I've replaced four printers this way. They wear out if you use them a lot. Or if you kill them. Office Depot has the best ones for electronics. And they price match. The original printer was one cent more than this new one. It is virtually the same printer but a newer model. I saved a penny. Well, not really. The warranty cost a couple of dollars more. But hey... I'm good with it.

I have the warranty. The new one is not as good as the other one. I have to call in, report it is broken, and they mail me a gift card. So, what would I do while I wait for that to arrive?

I'm going to try really hard not to kill  this printer.

Darn it. I left the paper in the dead printer.






Monday, October 8, 2012

In the Numbers

I love looking at interesting stats. Interesting in that it concerns me. NaNoWriMo is coming and for the month of November I'll be watching the stats regarding my word count and cheering on my local group and some online friends as I watch their counts.

I also watch the stats on this blog. I have always found it interesting the way Google tracks things. It has been both confusing and interesting over the years. Mind you, I have never marked it much or said much about it. However, since the advent of G+ I've watched with increasing interest.

On December 12, 2011 this blog was at just over 7500 hits. I posted about it. This could be bots, intentional visit by people and unintentional visit by people. I wasn't impressed because I've been here since 2005. That's pretty pathetic. What did impress me at that point was that it had jumped from 4500 to 7500 in two months. The only change at that time was that I posted the link in my NaNo profile and I linked my blog with G+. I also began posting a link on my Facebook page. It's private but shares would account for an increase in traffic from that portal. See, if you look at the referring URLs you can see where the traffic originates. Those are people clicking on the links. There's a lot of y'all!

Most educated folks know about correlations and one can't argue that there is one. Still, I wasn't terribly impressed. But I find it interesting enough to start paying a bit more attention.

A few weeks ago I think I mentioned in a blog I'd topped 15,000. Today I was looking at the count page where it shows the most viewed posts. I do this pretty frequently. If people are reading, I'd like to know what interest them most. Cause you want to write about that.

Today, the count stands at 17, 619. {gulp} In 2011 I was slightly impressed at 2000 in a couple of months. I've doubled in less than a year. In about a week, if the trend continues I'll top 18,000. I think I'm now at the surprised phase and a bit more impressed.

No, for those who would like to throw cold water on me or deflate my ego or tear down my euphoria, move along. For those who think it's needy and tacky and all those other big words you use, move along.

I think this is cool. And for those real people out there, thanks for dropping by!


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Busy Weekend

I've felt pretty good most of this weekend. Not a lot of pain most days. One day my hip had a catch in it but it seemed to pass off by the end of the day.

I've been hustling around getting things together for the NaNoWriMo Kick Off. I hesitate to call it a party since we really just use it to meet up and get acquainted with all the local participants. This year I do have some goody bags to give out... well, I'm working on them. I've put out feelers to see if everyone wants to bring goodies to share. We'll see. I have the date and time but the location is a problem still.

I don't actually have an idea of anything to write. I'm had a couple of thoughts but can't call them ideas at all. I suppose it will come.. or not. I hope it will!

Dave and Becca have decided they are going to try and work things out and they've spent the weekend getting her and Sarah settled back in. She's stayed with me for a week. I'm glad they're doing this. They get along so well and it would really be a shame to throw away seven years.

Sarah is learning to read. She's so excited about it. We tease her and tell her that now she can read stories to us. I can't wait until I make her read the same story three times. She loves books and stories.

I've not had time for much of anything so I'm probably behind reading my friends blogs. I'm behind in doing a lot. Did I already say that?

Tomorrow is a new work week and the boss is out for six days! I will get so much done if all goes well and people will not call me.




Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Countdown Begins!






T-30 and counting! National Novel Writing Month is just around the corner. The 2012 NaNoWriMo begins on November 1. They've updated the site and added some new features and today it officially opened to everyone.

As ML I was able to get in and see the site the day before and it was so exciting. Everything is just looks really nice. They got rid of all that red ink!  The don't have the forums up yet but I suspect in the next few weeks other things will come online.

The web badges are posted and they are just so cool. Every year you get a new one to show you're participating, another when you win. I'll be adding this one to the bottom of my  page where all the others reside. I hope to get a winner's badge by the end of November.

I love doing NaNo and since becoming an Municipal Liaison, it has been even more exciting. I get to add my second ML badge to my wall. I have to say that I like my first badge best. That being said, there is a lot to do. I have to plan my Kick off meeting and get the NaNo calendar set up with write-ins. That's a juggling act.

From this point on, the blog will probably reflect a flurry of activity and ultimate chaos. Come November 1 it will be insanity.


Note: To see all my NaNo badges, check at the bottom of the home page.











Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Facts

People are always doing these Wednesday and Thursday thingys. I never do them. I don't have ten things interesting enough to me to pass on to someone else. If you do, you're fortunate. I do read them. Buried in the blog are some posts about eliminating certain days of the week and I think those two days are on the list. I'm still of the opinion that should happen. Maybe that's why I don't do them. That's be 104 post I'd have to hunt and eliminate.

Today, I'm introducing Friday Facts. No, this is not a new feature of my blog. It's just for today and if you miss it you're just out of luck.

1. The sky is gray. A nice compliment to my mood. . .which is black.

2. I should be glad it's Friday. I'm just relieved.

3. I have wonderful friends. They're all in other states.

4. A week's vacation sounds wonderful. Reality starts the following Monday. It bites.

5. I have no plans for the weekend because the people around me are so screwed up they can't decide what they're going to do. 

6. I would like to just get in my car and drive away without saying a word to anyone. Seriously.  

7.  I can't because I hate being alone but taking them with me would solve nothing. Leaving probably wouldn't either.

8.  I took photos of the Moonflower vine at 10 last night. I have no idea why. They smelled good and were pretty. 

9.  I almost sat on the porch behind the vine. The chairs had water in them. No, it was too much work.

10.  Somewhere the sun is shining, people are laughing, and joy fills the air. You got off the bus at the wrong stop.

11.  I'm tired, depressed, and stressed. But you got that, didn't you? 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Variety.....

They still have not fixed the menu link issue. I don't understand why it works on my other blogs and not this one! Fix it already.

Watched a show called Revolution tonight. All about the world without electricity. Not much better than it is with electricity from what I could see. Bit scary because I actually think it will happen. Yeah, yeah, I'm nuts. Takes one....

I'm doing this F2K thingy... writing course. Free. Not sure what good it is. But hey, free!

I'm trying to decide if people, present company excepted, are really as stupid as the media portrays them? I mean, I see the stuff on several papers, international and domestic. Do you really not see this mess we're in? And you can only blame other people for so long. At some point a responsible person stands up and said, "I MADE THIS!" We're broke. We're catering to dangerous people. We're talking about spending more! We're turning our back on people who've stood by us in dangerous times. I'm watching people get closer and closer to the brink and I suddenly realized that this is exactly what is intended. To break us until all that is necessary is to put on the boots and walk over us like last weeks garbage.

And if you aren't afraid yet, you should be. Along about here you should start saying your prayers. You're going to need all the God you can find.

Anyone read the Georgia Guidestones? You should. How about Revelations? Even better. 

Don't mind me. Just keep walking. And book mark this page. I want you to read it again... afterward. You know after what.

Did I mention that this week they told us that as of October our housing program will be broke. Yes, I said broke. Yes, it means exactly what you think it does. NO MORE MONEY. What that means it we have to find money. Have you seen any? No, didn't think so. Of course, we can pump billions into other countries to build homes.... We can spend billions to fly this president to all sorts of events in his campaign. What.. you didn't see this coming... with all the free stuff he gives away?  It isn't free either. We're paying the tab. An American is going to be homeless or jobless but God forbid that politicians should have to pay their own way.

All of this is why I stopped watching television news and rarely read the paper.

So,what happens when housing agencies run out of money? Well..... when a housing program runs out of money, if they can't come up with funding, they must send 30 day notices out to people and say, "We are sorry to inform you but in 30 days we will no longer be able to assist you in your housing needs due to funding shortfall." You don't get to pick who is dropped. It is a lottery system. Granny will have to pay her $500 a month rent on that $698 income. No, they haven't said we would be doing this. That's just how it is done... if someone doesn't turn over a rock and find some money... Seen any lying around?

I don't want people to know where I live if that happens.

On top of all this, personal events have me stressed beyond endurance and when that happens, I don't fare well emotionally, mentally, or intellectually. Hence this stupid post. I'm going to find a little white pill in a minute and see if I can shut down for several hours. I don't do that usually but I've just reached my limit, I think.


I keep asking what I'm doing in this hell hole and how I got here.  Only thing I can figure is I got on the wrong bus.






Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Little Closer to the Weekend

Wednesday is the downhill run to Friday. The problem with this idea is that all the stuff I'm behind on is, in theory, following along behind me. So when I start down that hill.... well, it is a lot of stuff. And you know what happens to stuff on a hill. Yeah, it follows you to the bottom where you end up in a pile of...  well, stuff.

I wasn't any more productive today than yesterday but I've got the stuff sorted, which for me, is a blessing because it is the chaos of all these files and all that paper piled on my desk that drives me to distraction. And distraction is not good when you are crunching numbers.

In six weeks I processed 133 changes on my caseload. This doesn't include phone calls, face to face meetings, mailings, presentations, interruptions, lunch, or bathroom breaks. This is 133 individual files of paperwork processed, some containing dozens of documents. Entered into the system and submitted to HUD and signed off by the super and then notices mailed out. Yes. It is an insane amount for that time period.

We had a very short rain storm here moments ago. I worked on a short video but now I don't know why. Waste of time. I'm sort of photo'd out. My slide shows do look good, however, and I'm glad I went that route. For those who are going to ask how, I used Windows Live Movie Maker (free at Microsoft) and added my photos, captions, and titles, etc. I uploaded via the link in the program to my YouTube channel. Then, I can add music there. They have other features in YouTube that I haven't used but the music is the nicest one. You can't use copyrighted material on YouTube so I've had to find "free" music clips. In some of my vids you'll here the same music used more than once. This is because there isn't much appropriate background music for free usage. I have added music from the Movie Maker but rarely.

I'm still having problems with the menu bar on this blog. All the others work but not this one! It is a known issue with Blogger at the moment. I'm rather annoyed by it. Just when I discover the feature it starts acting up. I know they'll get it fixed but not sure how long. I check out several friends and they don't seem to be having a problem. Wonder what I did wrong?

If  you one of my blog friends, or even if you aren't I'd appreciate it if you stopped by my friend, Jilly's blog. She's just started with Blogger recently when Multiply closed to bloggers. We had several friends in common there and we were both Yahoo 360'ers. We've had to start over but I've been on blogger longer. Drop over and give her a wave. She has several pages on her site that you'll find interesting. Jilly is a very busy crafter and she has some scrumptious receipts up, too.

I am going to read I think. I am reading a book on my Kindle that I got free. Savage Bay. The girls won't care for it I think. I didn't think I would but there is a lot going on and I want to see how it ends. It is very military and sci-fi but I like it. So, I'll get me a drink and find a comfy spot.

The evening is never long enough.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cade's Cove


Smoke & Mirrors

I'm feeling very down tonight. Coming home to an empty house is hard, even after I've been doing it for so long. I was going to go get Sarah but it isn't David's day and so I have to wait. That's is probably the hardest thing of all, not being able to see her when I want to see her.

I thought today about what I'm going to do with this house and this big yard. I do that once in awhile but the last couple of years it has become a bigger issue. This week I am more serious about it. It is a yard meant for children to run in with dogs. I never look out there that I don't see little blond boys and a brown terrier running all over, giggling and barking echoing against the house. Even Sarah doesn't play there anymore. It is lonely and filled with ghost.

Smoke and mirrors.

I remember when David planted that tree of his out there. It was not as tall as he was at 8. Today, it is a couple of hundred feet high. When we planted it we were planting the future. He was excited and watered it faithfully. Every year we watched it grow taller and taller. We forgot it for a bit and one day we realized it towered over the yard. The tree grew but the future didn't.

Smoke and mirrors.

I often wonder what dreams are actually made of and how they come about.  I've stopped making plans for any kind of future and dreams are for children who don't know any better. The truth is that fairy tales are the result of someones dreams.

Smoke and mirrors.

Perhaps it all sounds melodramatic but I've lived this life. Sometime, maybe I should put up the real story my life instead of the supposed one. Blow the smoke away, break the mirrors. Sometimes I'm sure I sound as if I came from a very normal background. I remember at 12 praying, no, really, for a normal life.

Smoke and mirrors.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Week in the Smokeys, Day 4



A Week in the Smokeys: Day 3

I'm reposting this because I got things out of sequence and I left out a lot of photos! So, here's how it really happened.


Sunday Night Recover

I went to church this morning with Sarah and Mike but I've had cramps in my feet and legs this afternoon. I'm wishing for the hot tub, big time. I go back to work tomorrow. I am not looking forward to it at all.

I am also having to rework some of the videos and post I made. I got ahead of myself on some of them and posted out of sequence and with missing stuff. There are a lot of photos. But I like this slide feature. Saves space and time. And I can make it look pretty nice. I use Windows Live Movie Maker. There are other things you can use, even YouTube has features to let you dress up a video.

I'm going to end this here and get a hot shower and then get to bed. I have run out of steam.

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