Monday, May 28, 2012

Honor Where Honor Is Due


Today is Memorial Day for Americans. If you are an American, it is to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces you owe a debt of thanks for the rights you so adamantly demand, not some politician sitting in government offices. They have risked nothing on your behalf. If you lose these rights it will be entirely due to your own foolishness. 


Please honor a Veteran today, particularly those who died defending our nation. The cemeteries are filled with them. Those who died in battle did not set out to die but they did not turn from their fates. Soldiers know that there are some things worse than death and they stand between you and it.


"It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in
defense of our country in wars far away. The imagination
plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and
wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers,
grave and gray-haired. But most of them were boys when they
died, they gave up two lives -- the one they were living and
the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up
their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers.
They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave
up everything for their county, for us. All we can do is
remember."

-- Ronald Wilson Reagan - Remarks at Veteran's Day ceremony, 
Arlington National Cemetery Arlington, Virginia, November 11, 1985

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Slumgullion


Mama made a soup she called Slumgullion. I only discovered just now that it is a real soup! I was eating it when I was five. Basically a vegetable soup with everything but the sink tossed in. Mama's was, at least. It was wonderful as I recall. I make a similar soup on occasion. I think this post is rather like her soup but not as good, I'm afraid.

As I begin this blog I'm sitting on my front porch. It is 8:38 p.m. in S. Indian and the crescent moon is at about 45 degrees in the western sky. There is a nice breeze and aside from the sounds of the highway about three block south of me, it is nice out here. The screen of my laptop is the brightest thing around. Well, the street light is probably second but only because it is farther away. I actually had to turn on my keyboard light because I can't see it in the glare of the screen.

Oddly enough, recently Google Chrome came up with an extension that lets me set the screen to a gray scale and this is immensely helpful when blogging in the dark! No glare in your eyes and now, the brightest light actually is the street light. Have I said today, "I love all things Google"?

I've been trying very hard to make myself blog and it hasn't worked well. I checked and in April I think I did only one post. May is only slightly better. That's insane for me. I'm usually good for nearly one a day. I can only say that things have been happening... or not.


The weekend is looming and I'm very glad. We are going to put down a walkway in the front yard and I have two flower beds to get prepared. Becca's dad brought a tiller over and broke the ground up for me and I will go tomorrow night and get gravel, paving stones, and whatever else I need to do this. I'm rather excited about a front walk.

I have a 4 day weekend. Memorial Day is Monday and our office is closed and I took Tuesday off. I begged more or less. I said, "Please, Marques!" He said, "I don't think it will be a problem." I think I'm ahead of everyone else in processing files. I've been going non-stop and I have a little room because I've been driven.


I've been experiencing absolute exhaustion since I got home from Florida. If you watched the video you know we had a really good time. I got sunburned. I enjoyed my family. I was, however, glad to get back to my house. There is no bed like your own.

My only explanation for the exhaustion is work. There is no time for a break these days. It is non-stop data processing and if you stop, the penalty is you get behind double the time you stop. I was gone a week. Still, I managed to get all the back log processed but the penalty is a seriously fried brain and an inability to find enough rest. I'm seriously tired to the point of depression. Yes, I am sleeping. Hard. I am considering asking my doctor to order a sleep study. I need to know if I'm actually resting properly.

Not only am I way behind on blogging, but I haven't written a thing in any area. I've thought about it. But that's it. That doesn't count. I have been looking into a writing workshop. I need something to get me going and it looked interesting. But I'm so tired I'm a bit cautious about jumping into anything right now.

I have been reading more than usual. It is a pursuit that doesn't require much energy. If I fall asleep while I'm doing it I can wake up and pick up where I left off without ever moving.

We need rain here desperately. The ground was so hard when David began to dig for the walkway he had to wet it down. The soil here is loamy and wonderful farmland but when wet, it is heavy. That is why John came and brought the tiller over. Now we have a nicely plowed area we will scoop out and level on Saturday and then, lay gravel and paving stones... I so hope. I'll take photos. I've planned a flower bed along the front and one side of the porch. On the opposite is a patio and a flower bush so I won't do one there. No idea what I'll plant aside from some marigolds and "princess feathers". No I don't know their proper name.

And I want so badly to write. I hate the brain drain that hits me when I'm this tired. Blogging seems to be about the only thing I can do. And not even good blogs at that.

I had a dream last night about some dark haired man. I don't know who he was but I spent a long time talking to him. I dreamed I woke up next to him only to wake up and find I was alone. I was very depressed. I kept trying to figure out if he was Jerry or someone else. It bothered me. And saddened me. How does one ever learn to be alone after 35 years of together? It will be 4 years next January. I do not feel any closer to adjusting than I did then. I was just a child of 17 and Jerry was all the life I knew. The current life seems rather boring and hollow.


The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Wonderful short film! I loved this.


Friday, May 18, 2012

WRoE: May Accountability Day ---Late

It occurred to me today that I did not do Accountability Day this
month! It probably isn't important since I didn't write in April more
than an hour. I'd like to get back on track but it isn't looking good.

I'm like a yo-yo with the stress, depression and pain. I have days
when things go well and then I hit bottom. I've done no writing this
month either. It is a bit stressful.

On top of that, I'm having laptop problems. I'm going to probaby have
to reformat this weekend and check to see if I need a new battery. I
am having unexpected crashes and restarts. Since I'm plugged in at the
time, I don't know what that is about. The screen that tells me stays
up only long enough to tell me there was a problem but not read what
it was!

So, I'm far behind on my own WRoE. No, it is not acceptable. Not for
me. I'll start over and try again. Eventually, I'll figure out I'm
only extending my work. I spend an inordinate amount of time doing
stupid, wasteful things so it isn't impossible to write something
every day that contributes to the development of the novel. The only
excuse is that I'm not doing it. That's the truth.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hmmm


The fact that there is actually a need for this kind of thing is disturbing....How to Behave Professionally on Social Media

Awesome Teachers

I didn't have teachers like this in highschool. This is so cute. Watch as other students race by and never give it away or even acknowledge it is happening.

Teachers Dancing

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Party

Vacation ended with a thud. No, I didn't have barrels of fun. I enjoyed the canoe trip. I enjoyed seeing members of my family, including a new great niece and nephew. I visited Jerry's brother and sister on the way home.

It was nice to see them but Jerry's brother was so like him that it was a dagger to the heart. I thought I was going to die. I fell apart, embarrassingly so, and I've felt out of sync ever since Thursday, as if I've been thrown back in time. For two hours afterward I was simply unable to stand up and went to bed at the hotel, leaving Mike outside. Even today I'm barely able to function and I've had a migraine since Saturday.

Jerry's niece came home with us and is staying for a bit with Becca and Dave. I invited Becca and Kim to lunch yesterday because I thought it might make me feel better. I was going insane alone here in the house. Becca invited me to lunch today but called later and said she and Sarah would go to church this morning with me instead because she and Dave were fighting about something and so she couldn't invite me over today for lunch after all.

So, for the most part, I've spent yet another Mother's Day alone. Only Mike went to church with me and I took us to lunch. He's in the house but you'd never know it for the most part. He means well but conversations require concentration unless it is about t.v. or movies, we don't really talk a lot. The church did present a rose to every mother so I got a flower. No wake up smiles, no calls, no gifts, no cards, and oh... my youngest called late (probably after he got out of bed around 2 p.m.) to say he "didn't get the memo that today was Mother's Day and Happy Mother's Day." Odd, since his FB wall mentioned it yesterday. I'm a bit lower on the scale of importance than FB. There are people who think they have been in contact with me just because they do graffiti on virtual walls. You haven't.

I've learned since Jerry died that my worth for some is measured solely in dollars and cents...mine and how generous I am with it.

I go back to work tomorrow. To the real world, or at least what passes as real for me. Where people honestly don't care about me.

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to. . .you cry on yours when it happens to you.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

No Place

I am sitting at the dinning table at my sister, Roselynn's house listening to the sounds of women in the kitchen. My niece, Kayla and my aunt are preparing side dishes, my granddaughter laughing and running through the house playing with her great uncle that she calls her Poppy. My brother-in-law just headed outside to start the grill. Mike, Dave and Becca are here chatting with various relatives. My six-month-old great nephew sits in his swing smiling at me and making cooing noises. 

Over all the laughing and talking, the smell of food cooking drifts through the house and twines around the sounds of family. I realize that no matter where you are when you are surrounded by the people you love you are home. I don't have a particular love for Florida or any particular place on earth. What I do have is the same longing for home that all of us have and that it is not a specific geographical location.

Crowds are not cozy or comforting, no matter where they are. One can't really relax in a crowded stadium or restaurant. Even among a dozen friends it is possible to feel isolated and homesick. Yet, there is always a kind of peace when one is surrounded by a dozen relatives, even it everyone is talking at once. It is a paradox. 

I will spend this week with people I've known all my life and will find more calm in the riot of their living than I would in a day in a lounge chair with a good book. The sounds of laughing and loud talking and the crowded room we sit in will bring more contentment than winning the lottery. 

As Dorothy once said, "There is no place like home." 


Thursday, May 3, 2012

13 Investigates: IRS tax loophole

13 Investigates: IRS tax loophole: Eyewitness News shows a massive tax loophole that provides billions of dollars in tax credits to undocumented workers and, in many cases, people who have never set foot in the United States.

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