Monday, August 27, 2012

Nearing The End

Tonight I finished downloading my Multiply videos and will begin reviewing my blog for any post listed there that is not on this site. For several years I've used Blogger as my mirror site. I didn't in the early days. I was at Yahoo 360 for a couple of years and when it closed I went to Multiply, which now has also sunk. I started here first and posted irregularly and not the same things I was putting on 360.

Once I shifted to Multiply, I began to cross post a bit more but still not extensively. At one point, I moved over a lot of blogs from here to Multiply but not vice versa, mainly because Multiply has no export feature. It would make our lives, those who are abandoning ship, easier. So, I've downloaded all my albums, all the videos I want to keep and all that remains is pulling posts off that I want to save. It was tedious doing the first two. The third will be horrendous.

 I've been monkeying with the appearance of my page. I don't do that often but one of the favored features at Multiply was the ability to "dress up". I encourage you to stop by my blogger site and see how I've changed things. You can decorate. I used the same wallpaper that I've had up on Multiply for a while. I have my NaNo buttons, albeit at the bottom of the page to save space, but they're there. A tag box is also at the bottom.

There are dozens of gadgets you can add to your page. I've picked things that appeal to me. You may choose different ones. And if you're really handy, you can design your own gadgets. I suspect that in a few weeks I'll take my site down on Multiply for good. I'm rarely there except to keep up with my friends who remain. Many have disappeared but a lot of them have followed me here and are using G+ as well. I'm glad. I've gained a few new friends, too.

That's the only aspect of the shift that seems positive, at least in the beginning. However, the more I've been forced to use Blogger and learn how to do things I wasn't doing and how many new things they have that I didn't know about, well, I'm not missing Multiply as much. Yes, I miss the community interaction but I've been able to get that with those who followed me to G+. I was skeptical of it at first but it works pretty good. There are not a lot of you. But I can select a circle of people, in this case called Blog Friends, and see their posts and comment and even chat in the comments in real time. Cheryl is learning her way around and we've sort of tested the waters. And I've been able to respond to comments in the Blog itself. I check my dashboard each time and it tells me if I have comments awaiting because I've got moderation turned on.

So, I'm content with the transition, more so than I ever was with 360. And now, I'm going to bed. The day was lousy and tomorrow I go back to work. The only good thing is that next weekend is a long weekend.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Long Week, Short Weekend

Somehow there seems to be a great injustice between the week and the weekend. I don't know who decided that the week should be 5 days and the weekend 2 nor why. They could just as easily have made it 4 and 3 or 3.5 and 3.5. Equal number of work days and days off. 

I think they should find the person who decided we have to work 40 hours a week. Really. He's probably dead now so any revenge we could take is impossible. 

I'm not rested and relaxed. I did laundry, went to lunch, picked up Mike and Sarah and went to Wal-mart with my sister to get some items. It ended up being a couple of hours. When we got home I was just too tired for anything. Sarah seemed to have a good evening playing with my sister. She played school. Anyone ever done that. She was teaching Phyllis the sounds the letters make. I kept forgetting to raise my hand... you're supposed to before you talk. 

Anyway, I took Mike home and Sara around 9:30 and continued to sit in a chair . . . very late. Found out my mother fell and broke her right arm between her wrist and elbow. She was out watering plants around 9 pm?!!!! Needless to say no one is happy about it. Her left arm is useless from a couple of previous falls. She can't do anything with it as far as I can tell. It is even crooked. So now I have no idea what she will do. 

Must head out to church now. I'm depressed this morning. I don't know why but it makes it harder to leave my house. I'd rather go to bed. But I'm not having company this afternoon. I'm considering shutting off all the phones. I don't like doing that.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Soak Your Feet In the Ocean

A New York retail clerk was suffering from aching feet. "It's all those years of standing," his doctor declared. You need a vacation. Go to Miami, soak your feet in the ocean and you'll feel better." When the man got to Florida, he went into a hardware store, bought two large buckets and headed for the beach. "How much for two buckets of that seawater?" he asked the lifeguard. "A dollar a bucket," the fellow replied with a straight face. The clerk paid him, filled his buckets, went to his hotel room and soaked his feet. They felt so much better he decided to repeat the treatment that afternoon. Again he handed the lifeguard two dollars. The young man took the money and said, "Help yourself." The clerk started for the water, then stopped in amazement. The tide was out. "Wow," he said, turning to the lifeguard. "Some business you got here!"

The Bridge

I get a joke daily from Today's joke just tickled me.
John lived across the river from his backwoods neighbor,Clarence, and the two feuded constantly. They never missed a chance to throw rocks and yell insults over the water.

One day the Army Corps of Engineers came to build a bridge. John was elated and told his wife he was finally going to get his hands on Clarence.

When the bridge was finished, John headed off, but he returned a few minutes later. 

"I never realized how big that guy is," John said sheepishly to his wife. "I headed for the bridge, and then I saw the sign: 'Clarence - 8 feet, 4 inches."

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Easy Ways to Travel

I've had a couple of comments on the extra page feature in Blogger. It is simple to add pages to and put a tab on your main page that will take folks to either another page in the blog or to another website. 

On your Blog Dashboard, check the left menu for Pages. Select that. On the next screen, you will see a layout with just one box titled "Home". At the top is a button with a drop down menu. Select New Page. It will bring up a drop down menu that will allow you to select whether you want a webpage or a blank page. If you select a blank page, you will get to add what you want on it. If you select a link to another website, a box will open where you type the name of the page that will appear on your tab in one field and in the next field you will put the URL for that page.

This isn't complicated. The URL is the site's address and is located in the browser address bar. Copy it and then go back to blogger and paste it in the field for URL. This is where I love the feature in browsers that allow you to have several sites open in tabs. 

Once you finish inputting the information, you save it, save the blog and then go look at the main page of  your blog. 

If you have several blogs or other sites you want your guest to navigate to, this is a great way to do it. This makes it easy to move to another site. Remember, that navigating back from other sites will have to be via the back button if you don't have links set up but I've tried it a few times and it isn't a big deal for me. I really love how it came out. If you want see how this looks, check out my blog. A Series of Unforseen Circumstances

Rehash of the Past

I started this blog last Tuesday!  Crazy! But thinks got hectic and I got busy so it didn't get finished. Fortunately, the opening of the post is so appropriate. I began with -Sometimes titling a blog is such a chore! It's Tuesday morning and the sky is at least 10  shades of gray. No rain as yet but that's nothing new. This year it often clouds up and doesn't rain all over.

I didn't talk about my writer's meeting but someone did post a comment asking about it. Writer's meeting last week was a lot of fun. Those gals are just a hoot. I always have a good time. And anyone who says divorce lawyers are not amusing hasn't met Laurie. 

I formed the group because my local group was breaking up. I don't think it was intentional. They all were so busy with home, work, school, family and friends and people couldn't come to the meeting, no one was writing, and discussions had become about everything but writing.  I know when I disbanded it they were all hurt by it but it simply wasn't a writing group anymore and there were too many meetings where just one person showed up. That's not a group. We could meet and shoot the breeze any time but I needed to be involved with a group of people who wanted to write, wanted to talk about writing, and who needed an outlet to do that. I miss the old group a lot but no one has since suggested we meet to just shoot the breeze and that leads me to think my gut was correct. We were all burned out with the group. I still see a few of them on Facebook but haven't had any invitations to lunch or just to visit. But that's o.k. things change. People do, too.

The biggest difference in the current group is it meets only online. We're strung out across the US and it'd be really impossible to meet any other way without Google hangouts. Laurie is on the East coast, Samantha on the West, Cathy is in the NW, Kat, Chris and I are in the mid-west and Phyllis is in Texas. Fortunately we were able to settle on a time that seems to work pretty good for most of us and while not everyone makes every meeting,  because ultimately life is happening all the time, most of us do. And we have a good time of it. If we find less than three are going to attend, we reschedule the meeting but those who want still may "hangout" just to chat. And that's  really nice.

And now we get to today's post. It is really a gray day. And it is much cooler - 71 degrees. Nice if the sun was shinning but it isn't and so it is a bit cool. I am hoping the cold weather will hold off until October but I'm betting not. I'd like to see my moon flowers bloom if possible and they need at least a month more of warmth I think. I was a bit late getting flowers in this year because of the heat and how I felt. But the sidewalk looks great.

I've got my blogger blog tweaked a bit. Helping some of my friends get started has actually helped me learn some new things. Multiply really did have a great format and it is unfortunate that they are ending it. However, I think life will be better for me if I'm not managing so many blogs in different places. If you look at the new tabs at the top of my blog you will see I'm a bit over extended. I'm going to update at Multiply via Blogger until I get all my stuff downloaded. That's why the titles look different. Blogger emails a copy of the blog to Multiply where it is posted. I can do the same from Multiply and used to do that. The weekend was busy so I didn't do any downloading but I'm hoping to finish up the videos this week.  Once I'm done with that, I'll start deleting albums. I still would like to see an import feature for the blogs. So far they appear to have made no efforts in this direction. I hate the copy paste feature! We'll see what happens.

Oh, one other thing. My friend, Kris, had a great idea - a Photo tab a the top as well! I think it is awesome. I'm going to put one for my Youtube Channel, too. So cool!

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Great Idea

I stole a great idea from Jilly, one of my friends on Blogger. Blogger has a feature where you can have more than one page on your site. The page can be a "Post" page showing where you can post a variety of links or something special you want to be readily available but no a link on your home page. Or you can make the tab a link to another site. 

On Jilly's blog she created "Quick Notes" where you can leave comments. She can see these comments and respond. It makes it possible to have threaded comments, sort of like the guest book feature on Multiply. Really wonderful idea really. And I've copied it a and expanded on it. You have to turn on threaded comments in Blogger, by the way.

As I've said before I have about six Blogger blogs that are active. Some are closed to everyone but invited readers. A few are open to all. I've used Blogger's "pages" feature to add these as tabs at the top of my page. I'm thrilled! It is easily visible and so handy. Clicking on a tab from my home page takes you right to my other blog. I occasionally let people in to read some of these and this makes it easier than sending a bunch of links.

Thank you, Jilly!

More Assorted Questions

The Reader questions are now coming in. Don't worry! This one is easy. Just so you know, my reader says I have 1000+ items. Yeah, daunting. But really, it is simply not a problem.  I usually just go in and mark them as unread if it is something I'm not going to have time for. If I want to come back later, I leave it "unread". They're still on my list, I just don't have to bother with them.

The reader doesn't "get rid" of things. It marks them as read if you ask it. Or, when you click on one, it will be grayed out from that point on unless go back and mark it as unread. You can tell the reader to mark ALL as read. New items show up with a darker title. You will be able to easily tell when you have not read something in the reader. 

You can sort your list several way. Look at the buttons with drop down menus. Virtually every item has one. You can sort the list of subscribed items by "drag and drop". I put all the blogs I'm subscribing to in together. I did this by dragging them to where I wanted them. I also subscribe to some news sites. I don't read those all the time so they're at the bottom of my list. I've just deleted the subscriptions to Blogster I had because they don't work. I can't read them in the reader. I have to go to the actual site and I can't go from the reader title, which I should be able to do. So for me, that's it for Blogster. Too many things I can't do.

Multiply inbox uses this same principle that the reader does. Yes, items disappear when you read a blog but if you select "Posted by me" or on the name of a person in your list, you will get all the post they ever made... both read and unread. The read ones are grayed out. The difference in the reader and the Multiply inbox is that, in your inbox they vanish but in the reader they don't. New items are just put at the top. 

Another thing you can do, if you don't like the Google Feed Reader is find another reader. Do a search for Feed Reader and you'll be able to look at some others. Try them. Your email program probably has a way to read feeds. Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Thunderbird, Firefox, Netscape, etc. all have a way to do feeds. 

So no, you can't "delete" things from a reader. It updates the feed. Feeds are live updates that belong to the person and you're being allowed to read them, typically offsite. As I commented on Wendy's Waffle, think of the reader as the daily mail. Sometimes you get junk. Sometimes you get good stuff. In the reader, as you scroll over the items, they are marked as read IF you tell the reader to do that in your settings. Once marked, it is still on the list but grayed out. You can ignore it in the future. You will only scroll down as far as you haven't read anyway.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Ideas for Photo Storage

I'm looking for places to store my photos. I use photobucket now for various items but it is limited unless you pay. Since I won't be paying for Multiply anymore, and blogger is free, I may actually save money. Paid service is $1.67 a month. In all honesty, I doubt I'll do this anymore. It was one of Multiply's best features. You could share dozens of photos in albums for friends and family to see.

Picasa has software you download free to edit photos. Integrates with Google.
Photobucket is good.

Here is a list of 20 low cost/free photo/video storage sites.

A Busy Day Ahead

It is a gorgeous day here. Beautiful sunny skies, 75 degrees! I had coffee on my front porch and read my devotional there. Then read a bit. I am getting ready now to do the bills before heading out to lunch with my children.

For my multiply friends, go to Cheryl's g+ page and you will see how the comment interaction really works. I got a notice on my G+ button that comments were posted. I went to read them and saw Cheryl's post and the comments listed. I'm going to post this blog and you should be able to go to my G+ page FROM Cheryl's and read the post I link. You can comment on the G+ page to that blog because the Blog if you have your browser set for tab uses, the blog should open in a separate tab.

If you don't want a lot of strangers on your page, just don't add people you don't know and don't follow people you have no interest in. Can other see your page? If you have everything posted to public. But you can block comments from anyone but your circles. If you post only to your circles, the Public can see. So you can shut G+ down very tightly by posting only to circles. I suggest staying public until everyone decided where they want to go so you won't miss a friend looking for you.

Don't forget to add people you want in circles. We can't get to your page if you lock up tight and don't have circles that include us. I'm public virtually always. But over time, I know my  G+ is going to be locked down a bit. This is a much larger exposure than Multiply.

Once added, I can see all your posts on G+ and blogger if you link the two through the notification process.

Ok. I'm off. If I forgot something I'll post it later.

Tips for Those Using Blogger

The Blogger Buzz is a great place to get information and help for issue in setting up various aspects of Blogger. I already posted a link from there in the previous post. Here is one with Tips for New Blogger users.

Anyone using Picasa for photos may know it is already intergrated into Blogger. So for those looking for a place to move their photos, this may be helpful.

You can get a button for your browser called Blog This! If you are on a web page reading something and you suddenly get a blog idea from it, you can click the button and it goes instantly to a post page with the link already there and you can write your post.

Not for everyone but there are a number of template types in Blogger. The video here will help you see them a bit more clearly.

The dashboard's new look

You can see that the Buzz is a good place to find help on the basics.

Grow your Google Blog

The following link will show you how to connect your Blogger account with G+ and allow you to share content and comments on your blog via G+.


I started this in response to a post of Jilly's! When it got so long I thought, that's rude! I decided to make it a post but Jilly.... it was in response to your's. LOL

I really wish Multiply would give us an import tool! I'd like to save all my post as there are some I posted here but not on Blogger! I think that is why people are leaving now. If we wait to the end to get our stuff off, we might lose it. If we have to go to all this trouble now, why stick around? 

I've nearly downloaded all my videos but it takes days to download one year and I've got six years of them. I already did my photos and I can only hope I got them all as I could only download full albums from the specific album page. It was so tedious. I will never save photos to a blog site again.

I shall stick with blogger. I'm having more trouble on Blogster trying to get into blogs to read and post. It is already stressful enough having to backup multiply that I don't have the patience to deal with the technical issues on a strange site. And I've been trying to help people with Blogger questions. I know it is all confusing but as Jilly said, we were in similar straits when 360 failed. I know everyone will find a suitable site and settle in... but some of us may, in fact, lose track. It is why I'm so glad everyone is exchanging emails and links. If you're my contact or just a person who pops in and reads me, my blogger link is at the bottom and send me an email. 

My Google reader is full, too, but you can get rid of some of it all at once. Just have it mark "all as read". Once you get sorted out you can go to those sites and read. I have about 20 blogs on my reader now, this doesn't include other things I subscribe to. I think it will take time to sort it all out. The one good thing about the reader is I can scan and see if it is something I'm wanting to read today. LOL! Not everything is.

I'm going to get very busy in another month. National Novel Writing Month is November but I am the Municipal Liaison for my region and I plan on starting in October to rope people in and have my meet and greet for them before the end of the month. I think it will be easier if I do that. Maybe a cake and some drinks and enough time to chat everyone up. I enjoyed it last year. 

It is now well after midnight. I stopped to watch something on t.v. and time got away. I'm posting this anyway as I can't remember if there was anything else. 

Hasta manana, amigos.

"If things improve with age, then I am approaching magnificence." - From the side of my blue coffee mug.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Insights, Ponderings, and Certainties

I've has several questions and comments on Blogger/G+ use and features. Google has intergrated Blogger and G+. This is a good marriage and I expect, over time to see it fine tuned. The features of commenting and seeing comments people make are in G+ and your Blogger links are added to G+ by the you at the time of posting. 

People can comment both places. Only G+ has a notification icon in gmail or as an extension in Chrome. I'm not sure about other browsers but I'm guessing if not it will eventually. You select who you want in your circles and who you follow.  It can be five people or as many as you like. You can limit who is allowed to comment in both G+ and Blogger. Anyone can follow you in G+ but not everyone has to be allowed to comment.  If you "Follow" a blog on G+ you will get all the updates. There is a widget on the top of my blog for that.
That's what G+ is for, really. People comment on blogs on G+ and notification is sent to you by means of a little red button extension in Chrome or your gmail account. It's all linked and will become more so I think.  I see a notification about every post I commented on when someone else comments through G+. 

G+ is doing everything Multiply and FB do because of this integration. I'm not crazy about some G+ features but I wasn't crazy about all of M's either. And I really don't like FB. Google is known for modifying things to meet the demands of their members. I suspect some features will morph over time.

Getting all kinds of questions from all quarters on the features, or lack thereof, of Blogger. I'm definately going to be using Blogger/G+ as my primary blog. I've been experimenting with Blogster and I just don't find it any fun at all. It has basic blog features and comments with a list you can read them from but I'm getting all kinds of glitches. 

I've been using Blogster to see how I like it. I don't really like it at all. I'm not finding a lot to interest me there. Or maybe I'm just bored with the whole thing. But it has issues I don't like.

For instances, I usually can't get in Jilly's blog there. We're on each other's lists and notices arrive but the links don't work. I'm not going to mess with that long... I've already reached my limit, in fact. There are problems with fonts being small and you can't adjust them half the time. Most of the people I've been running into are nice enough but most of the material is not as interesting as the bloggers I ran into here. Could be because it is still small and I don't really know more four or five people. There is limited "decorating" ability and I really enjoyed that. It's rather boring to look at, actually. I can't email post to the blog. I can't cross post to any other blog. This is a great feature to have and multiply and blogger both have it. In fact, with both I could cross post to half a dozen other sites! So this means I can blog on breaks at work even if I can't get into the site. I also get emails of your posts. That is a feature of Multiply and Blogger. I have it turned on for Multiply but not Blogger. I subscribe to a lot of blogger blogs! The reader works better for reading them and the active link allows me to got to it to comment.

Some mentioned you can't get the threaded comment feature in blogger and the responses to your comments. Yes, you can. When you comment on a Blogger post, you just have to "subscribe to the comments". You will get a notification when other people make a comment to a blog you've commented on. IT goes to the email you have in Blogger.

I elect to get things via my gmail because everything is integrated and it just makes it easier since I'm at work 40 hours a week. And even at home it is convenient at times. For a long time I've been using the email features of Multiply and most of you didn't know unless I said so. I even comment on comments via email. I'm writing this post in email in response to comments to another post that I got in email. In Blogger you can't see comments on other blogs without going back to the blog unless you are getting email notifications for that. 

Threaded comments are possible in blogger. Someone mentioned this previously. Under Post and comments > Settings make sure you select "Full" for embedding. Under Settings> Other, Allow Blog feed should be set to "full". 

To seen comments you leave on other blogs, you have to backlink feature on and you also need to subscribe by email to the comments on the blog you comment on. As with all sites you have to select the features you want to work. The backlink instructions are here:

Ultimately, you're not going to find every feature you want anywhere. You are also going to have to learn something new.That's hard for most of us. Annoying for all.  Every site has features you're not going to know how to use unless you learn. I've been using Blogger long before 360. There are features available now that were not available when I started there. It has evolved tremendously but it is a stable site that will probably be around when others leave. I should know. I've been on two sinking ships. The fact that Google bought blogger several years ago is good indication of its stability. So, for me, that makes it a good choice, even though I can't do some of the things I want in the way I'm used to doing them. I've compensated for the social interaction by utilizing G+ for hangouts and FB. If more friends sign up, it will become feasible to utilize G+ more than Facebook. My writing group is already using it for meetings. We use FB for group interaction on a group page. So there are ways to link up and make do. 

Unfortunately, it is difficult to start over at anything. Most of us took a long time to set up our page and get it like we wanted it. We liked changing wall paper for each season, hanging photos, videos, and  gifs that reflected our personality. There are places that offer all that without the depth of social interaction found on Multiply. But if you want to keep in touch the way you have here, there are alternatives that make it possible, too. You just won't have as much of the other.

I'm not letting Multiply rob me of the friends I've made and I'm not going to sweat over recreating the wheel. I'm almost done downloading my videos and photos. I should be done in another week. I'm gradually learning more on how to coordinate blogger and G+ to get features as much like the ones I've used here and to utilize the features of FB to my advantage. I'm having a great time in my group page. I'm enjoying G+ and the hangout feature. I have always loved Blogger and more so now. So, all I really have to do is keep up with all the people who have been with me through some wonderful times and who have held my hands through the darkest time of my life. 

We'll all survive. We've done this before. We're pros at surviving sinking ships.

"The greatest blessings are not seen, they are experienced." -- Dixie

"If things improve with age, then I am approaching magnificence." - From the side of my blue coffee mug.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

One Problem Solved!

I'd like one a day, please!

I've been fretting over Multiply closing and not being able to keep up with all my friends in the variety of formats they are choosing. I mean Blogster, Blogger, G+, FB.... my head is spinning and I'm going nuts trying to keep up. Also, I don't want to register with another potential sinking ship. I know things change on the internet. It is in constant flux. But come on... Multiply was a badly thought out decision and they will be the ones to pay. I just don't want to do this again.

So, my solution was right in front of me. RSS feeds. Yes. I went to my Friends on Blogster and subscribed via RSS Feed. I have Google reader in Chrome but you can get it in IE, too. Or you can chose another reader. Doesn't matter. For me, every single blog I subscribe to on Blogger is already out there. Every blog I subscribe to on Blogster via RSS fed is also on the reader. I now have all the blogs of I subscribe to in ONE place. I can read them! For the blogger blogs I have only to click on the title and it takes me right to that posts where I can then comment. I can't seem to get into Blogster that way but I can at least read and when I have time, go comment on the site.

Jilly, I can't get into your second blogger site. Not sure it if matters if you aren't going to be on there but I can get into one of them. Blogster gave me trouble today getting into your site. I tried on clicking on the notice of your post at the top and it would only take me to the home page. You're site was the only one to do that so not sure what caused it.

I feel better. But I also see that I have more blog friends that I realized! Still, it is nice to know I can still read them.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Lost and Found

A lost post.... found in my drafts and written a month ago.

I don't know what it is about a quiet day in the back yard, at least my back yard. The sound of the fountain chuckling, the cicada trilling in the trees, and Sarah's incessant chatter only add to feeling that things are how they should be. It isn't a feeling I've been able to hang onto for very long.

The absence of family to fill the yard is a great sorrow. Sarah is the only child who plays here now. Even she feels the emptiness at times, constantly demanding that I "watch" her. Children like an audience, either of their peers or someone they know who likes them. There is little likelihood that this will change. She is five and  will start school on Wednesday. Instead of my family growing it has all but disappeared. There are days when I would almost think I had no children at all. I spend a lot of days wanting to go home but that is no  longer there. They're all dead. Jerry's death left the greatest hole of all, impossible to fill.

I have been contemplating what I should do. More and more I've thought of quitting my job, selling my house  and leaving. I stay the reason we all do, medical insurance. And I have six years before I'll have 20 years  with my employer. I know that the house will be impossible to maintain on my own but the thought of leaving  the last place I was ever happy is painful. I don't want to go but I don't want to stay. There is nothing here but memories and they are marred. There is not much here that makes me happy anymore.

I've been thinking, maybe too much, that the job doesn't matter, the insurance doesn't matter, the house  doesn't matter. Nothing does. It is a depressing thought, yes, but maybe true. I work to live, nothing more and life is no longer much fun. One is forced to reason if that is the case, they why am I doing what I'm doing? I have no answers.

Maybe I'll feel differently after my trip in September. I'm supposed to go to Gatlinburg with my aunt and uncle. I like being around them. They are the youngest 72 year olds I know. They're younger than me, at
least where it counts. We will spend a week at a cabin. There's a hot tub and the RA and fibro will love that. Sitting on a deck looking at the mountains with no one wanting something sounds good.

I keep asking myself if I was ever a positive person. Did I ever do anything but complain and grumble? I'll have to read back over my blog. It goes back to 2005 and surely I haven't always been this much
of a bummer.

Someone ask me how I was this week and I said I'd been having a rough couple of weeks. That's probably an understatement.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Busy Saturday

I spent the morning doing very little. It took a bit to get moving but once I did I went to lunch at my favorite restuarant and on the way home picked up my granddaughter, Sarah and then we went and picked up Uncle Mike. They came home with me and Mike started on the yard while Sarah and I played Old Maid and Go Fish before getting out and helping Mike take care of the yard work.

Thankfully, the day was mild compared to the triple digit temps we've had all summer. I think it might have gotten to the low 80's today but it was beautiful out and not unplesant.

We pulled weeds and got things cleaned up. The yard actually looks more like a yard at this point. Green grass... although it is spotty.

There is a penalty for this. I shall very likely pay it tomorrow. For those new here, I have rhuematoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. My husband died  January 29, 2009 of a massive heartattack around 3 a.m. during the worst ice storm in memory. So, I have good days and bad ones and there is no way to predict what it will tomorrow will be like but with all the weed pulling I'm not expecting it to be good.

After I took Sarah and Mike home I came back, got a hot shower and have sat and watched Midsomer Murders on Netflix. I think that now it is time for me to turn out the lights and attempt to get a good nights sleep. I'm tired.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Blue Skies, Nothing But Blue Skies

What a week! What a WEEK! 

No other words convey my sense inundation. The work simply piled up because the week before I was pulled off to do that stupid accounting audit for the tax id numbers. If you don't know what I'm talking about you'll have to go to my blogger site - A Series of Unforeseen Circumstances, and catch up. I'm too tired to repeat myself. Thus, this week has been harried, hurried, and horrible. (I'd love to hear Dick Van Dyke from Mary Poppins say that!) 

I've avoided reading as much news as possible. I've not been on FB much except to check in with some folks. And I've not watched much television... I don't actually have television.. I watch stuff online and feed to the t.v. via HDMI. 

My greatest sin is . . . I haven't been writing. But I have a writer's meeting on Monday night at G+ hangout so they'll berate me or bless me. So, you don't have to bother.

My yard needs cutting. Finally, we had a bit of rain and the yard now flourishes. Oddly, there are not as many weeds... I suspect with better weather it could change. At first there were lots of weeds and plenty of dead grass. I went an pulled them all up. So, at the moment there seems to be fewer weeds. They didn't have time to propagate I suppose. I still have this other weed growing.... well like a weed! I learned it is called purslane and is edible. I have enough to feed a large crowd. I've been pulling it here and there because it pulls up rather easily. But there is so much of it I just don't have the back for it. And I found lots of little black bugs living under it.

Incidentally, if you look up "weeds" on Google... you get some interesting hits. No pun intended.

Today I'm in a rather odd place mentally. I don't actually feel horrible today, or even moderately bad. I have for a couple of weeks now. Jerry's birthday was Monday and that, well, I still have trouble with special days. I never seem to get past it. It is frustrating.

I've signed up with a new social community, Blogster, to follow my Multiply friends. Seems several Multiply folks have arrived here already, despite the deadline of Dec. 1. I'm in the process of downloading my videos and photo albums. Those won't go back up on a blog but rather I'm putting my videos on Youtube and my photos in albums on a photo site. Much easier than having to move house every time. It is going to take me a couple of weeks to download 4 years of videos.

I'm rather not sorry to leave Multiply. Since they shifted to a market focus, things kind of dried up blog wise and there haven't been any new and interesting people coming around. My contact list stayed around the same and I like them but I also enjoyed new people stopping by, sometimes to comment, sometimes to just peek and leave, and sometimes to stick around and become a friend. That just stopped. I believe everything happens in its time so it was just time to move along.

I can't figure out what I want to do this weekend. Clean house, write, read, sew, clean house.... I suspect there's a message there. It doesn't appeal to me. 

This took the whole day to write. A little here, a little there and now, I'm home and contemplating dinner... since it is always for one it isn't going to be very interesting. I'm going to post this on blogger and head for the kitchen. I'll be around here somewhere later.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The State of Happiness

Today is Jerry's birthday. He would have been 63. He could have officially retired. He had so looked forward to it. But at 59 he died. I kept breathing.

Since 2009 I've been through a series of physical, emotional, and mental upheavals that defy description but if you truly want to torture yourself, it's all here in the blog. I lived in a nightmare hell the first year and can't remember huge amounts of time from that year. The second year, I woke up and realized it wasn't a a nightmare at all, it was just hell. The third year I though I was going to be able to crawl out and maybe, just maybe I'd be able to live among other living beings only to fall back into the pit. I am approaching the 4th anniversary and I've begun to question if life after death is even possible. Not my death. His. Is it even possible to push back the darkness and be, if not happy, content?

I've sought to involve myself with people and things and stay busy but honestly, I live in a vacuum where the only time I see or hear from most people in a 50 mile radius is when someone else has a need. Never when I have one. I try to be obliging but the results is I end up running short of energy, time, money, and reciprocation of such. Nearly 4 years later, I still am sitting in my house, alone, in silence and listening to echos. I have no more outside contact that I did the day the last person left after the funeral and the last calls came in. It shocked me to my core then. I don't shock so easily now.

These days, I don't actually think it is possible to be happy.  The people I know personally are miserable. The problem, as near as I can figure, is our concept of happiness is distorted. People seem to think happiness is doing something we enjoy, all the time. Happiness is being in a crowded room with lots of people we like and who like us and having fun, all the time.  Happiness is having the money to buy all we want, all the time.  Happiness is having security, jobs, friends, things. Happiness is stuff. All the time.

You think, when you don't have things, that getting them will fix it. You'll be happy for sure then. I'll get a new house, go to a new school, a new church, move to a new town, meet new people, get a new job. Right. It won't work.

I've got stuff. I'm not happy.

Let me tell you what unhappiness is and maybe that will explain it better. Living without the person who knew everything about me, right down to my birthmark is the most difficult thing I've ever been forced to do. I once said it felt as if I'd had my arm cut off. I was wrong. It is more like having a leg removed at the hip. And they don't sell a prosthetic for it. Someone said "Think about the good times." I don't dare. I can't reclaim them. I can't relive them. And I can't make new ones. I shatter in a billion tiny pieces and have to pick them up. They are made of obsidian glass and flay me.

In all the 35 years of marriage, I distinctly remember being terribly unhappy on many occasions, times when he displeased me and when I displeased him. Of course, we got past them but there were some times that neither of us really got over. We were human after all. We weren't happy all the time and as he grew sicker, we both grew less so. For years, I was so stubborn and demanding. He seldom said no to me and I was cared for and cherished. Right up to the night he dropped dead.

But you know something, right now, this very minute, I would do everything he asked me if he'd just come home and complain about something. I'd be happy! I'd be ecstatic if he stepped into the room and griped about something trivial. If he left the towel wadded on the seat of the toilet, his shorts in the floor, his shoes in the middle of the living room. I would be overjoyed. If he left dirty dishes on the counter.... I'd wash them with a smile. He had a hard time keeping a job the last few years and I didn't know why. He was sick. But today, if he was unemployed and broke and simply wanted to complain about it, I would so listen and put my arms around him and say, "I'm here. We're in this together. It looks bad but we have one another."

The truth is that there is no feeling like being loved, cared for, and made to feel you are the Queen of the Universe or the King. Realistically, it isn't always like that. But knowing it is always there, why, you can live in a hovel and never notice. I've lived in a few! There is nothing that can take the place of looking across the room when you're worried and having someone smile at you. Or lying in the dark staring at the ceiling and having someone squeeze your hand. They don't have to speak. You just know that they just sent you a message. I'm here. We're in this together. It looks bad but we have one another.

Nothing else in the world feels like that.

Jerry, I'd be happy to see you're face smile across the room.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cluck, Cluck, Cluck

I'm finding the whole Chick-fil-a thing amusing. Yes, really. It is proving that gays are not open minded, beneficent, kind and gentle, non-judgmental people. They are prejudiced.

I mean look at it. It is a bad thing, a crime in fact, to bash gays for their beliefs but it is not a crime to bash Christians for their's. It is a crime to ban gays from any place they want to go but it is ok to attempt to ban a business from operating because the owner doesn't believe in gay marriage and solely for that alone. Not because he had done some heinous act but just because he disagrees with a single group of people who claim everyone is equal!  Never mind that gays are not barred from the business as customers nor as employees if some of the reports are true. So, that is pure prejudice. Hatred for another person or group because of what they believe, how they dress, how the act... prejudice. Wow.

I always wonder if these kind of things ever happened anywhere else because it is just ludicrous. Only when I thought about it it wasn't funny at all. The only similar thing in history I can compare the Chick-fil-a farce to is the Nazi party's reaction to Jewish businesses in the early days before WWII. They burned Jewish owned businesses solely because they were Jewish owned businesses. Some of them had German employees. America should take careful note of this fact alone.

I also noted something else. How stupid is it, in an economy where there ARE NO JOBS, to attempt to close down a very large corporation because someone disagrees with your beliefs? Smacks of prejudice. Never mind that they sell a good product. Never mind they employ thousands. Shut them down because they don't believe the way I believe! How totally and utterly stupid. "Either you will believe what I say or you have no right to run a business." Excuse me?

Today, an elderly lady stopped by my office. She held up her Chick-fil-a bag and grinned at me. "The line was around the building." She laughed. "They forgot that Christians eat."

It stopped me in my tracks. That's true! And we shop a lot of places. We buy clothes. We buy cars. We buy houses, food, and eat in restaurants. We spend lots of money even in businesses that support things we don't agree with and we don't stand on a street corner and whine about it. We shop and go home. We don't even ask what the owner believes or thinks about anything. We order, eat, and go home. 

Yes, yes, there are fringe groups that do whine and make a ruckus and cause offense. We can't stand them either. However, the majority of us don't. Unfortunately, we aren't the ones who sell papers and news spots. The majority of us don't care who's selling that hamburger or pair of shoes. We may not agree with their politics, their religion, their sexual preferences or their hair color...IF we even know it. We just want the shoes. No, really, we don't care. We simply go about our business. But we pray, daily, for the world to change. 

And  we do more than that. We reach out when someone is in need. We feed those who are hungry through soup kitchens and donations to organization that feed the hungry. We don't care who eats the food as long as they have a need. We shelter those who are cold or wet by providing shelters and donations to those who do. We don't care who needs the shelter as long as there is a need. We give aid to the hurting. We do it without requiring anyone convert to our faith or that they repay the help. We do this because we are Christians. 

We live our beliefs. And that is what is so offensive. The fact that no matter how the mob roars we can't be changed. We won't let go despite the pressures brought to bear. We didn't come into the world as Christians. We made a choice to follow Christ, to be Christians. 

Whether Chick-fil-a closes its doors or not will NOT change us. We'll  keep spending OUR money where we want. We will keep buying things we want, where we want, regardless of who stands behind the counter or sits in the corporate office. We'll keep believing what we believe because it is our right to do so, just as it is yours. And you probably won't see us forming mobs, marching in parades and ranting to close your gay bars and nightclubs down or banning them from operating in our cities. We won't approve of them, ever. We understand that you have a right to operate a business, however offensive it is to us. We have the right to disagree with your beliefs just as you do with ours.

No. Your methods are not our style. Instead, we pray for you. 

We just won't buy your chicken.