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


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.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

An Annoying Interruption

I'm working on posting photos and videos of my trip. I discovered in the process that the tabs on this blog, and this one only, were not working. I don't know why, they just aren't. The ones on all the other blogs was just fine. Nothing has changed since I left. I just discovered it by accident. I can't figure out what may be causing it.

So, I've deleted the menu bar at the top. I'll reinsert it later when I have time to figure it out. In the mean time, I'm going to put up a link gadget with links to all the other blogs.

It has been a long stressful day and I'm going to get a hot shower. I'm missing that hot tub terribly tonight. Really, really, really terribly.

Apparently, there have been issues this week with blogger. For my friends who are new to Blogger, you can keep track of issues here:

My problem is at the top of the list. But no explanation as to why all other blogs I have are unaffected.

A Week in the Smokeys, Day 2: The Pool Sharks

WARNING: LONG VIDEO but highly amusing.

A Week in the Smokeys, Day 1

Friday, September 21, 2012

Smoky Mountain Melody

2:13 ET, Tuesday September 18, 2012

I'm sitting on the deck of the cabin in the Smoky Mountains listing to the rushing of a creek somewhere below me. The woods are thick just below us and off up the mountain to the right. To the left are rolling hills with green pastures and trees.

We got here on Sunday evening and it began to rain that evening and has not stopped until a few hours ago.  The cabin is very nice and rustic on the inside and while it doesn't have a “mountain view” I'm quite content with the quiet green of the woods that we have.

My uncle and I have played pool almost continuously. I've never played except video pool and so it is a lot of fun to actually play the real game. I wouldn't mind a pool table at home. I've read and gotten in the hot tub, too. It really feels good to get in that hot water. I wouldn't mind one of those either.

Tonight we are supposed to go to the Dixie Stampede, a dinner show. I think tomorrow we're going to the Old Mill Village and walk around. The weather is supposed to clear off in the next few hours.

I have a very bad night last night. My back flared up and I had awful pain. It woke me up at 3 a.m. And I've had very little sleep.  I forgot to bring my Flector patches that help keep the inflammation under control. I called my home pharmacy and they told me I could go to the CVS here and get my prescription. I thought I was getting one pack of the patches but it was my usual prescription. But I'm good with it. I'll have them for tonight. I can wear on during the day and one at night. I can already tell it is a bit better. Honestly, the nights are the worse. I simply can't lie down. I still forgot to get ice packs. Ice helps, too. Fortunately the emergency med kit in the cabin had a pack in it and I put it in the freezer. I was able to get it out after a few hours and use it but the night was nearly over so it wasn't a tremendous help that way.

I haven't written any so far. I've just played pool, read very little, played games on my computer and done the hot tub. The nice thing is that the deck is covered and I can sit out here. Someone with kids took the cabin next door and they've become loud so not sure how long the peace and quiet will last.

I have a some writing I'm going to try and do so I'll stop this entry here. I plan to publish these to the blog once I get back.

September 19, 2012

We went to a dinner theater last night. The Dixie Stampede and it was hilarious and the food was absolutely wonderful. Most wonderful cream of vegetable soup, small roasted game hen, ham, herbed baked potato, corn on the cob, and a biscuit that was to die for, unsweetened iced tea and an apple turnover for dessert. We couldn't eat it all!

This morning, the rains stopped so we left the cabin and headed Pigeon Forge, shopping in the Old Town and lunch at The Old Mill. Again, absolutely wonderful food and great atmosphere in an old restored mill. An elderly man was on the porch of the Mill store, picking a guitar and singing old hymns. He had the most wonderful voice and we sat down to listen to him. We did some shopping and took more photos.

After our shopping trip we headed for Clingman's Dome. We passed through Gatlinburg. Just before I left for this trip, Mike said, “Mom, you're going to be near Cooter's place.” I told him I didn't know who Cooter was and he said, “Dukes of Hazzard?” I told him I didn't know the guy and that I doubt he'd be interested in seeing me. As we passed through Gatlinburg, I yelled, “There's Cooter's Place! I have to get a picture!” Photo taken, we moved on.

The mountains are simply breathtaking. My aunt asked if we'd ever seen mountains this tall. My sister had not but I've walked in the Alps and they're a good bit bigger. Still, there is something very mystical about the Smoky Mtns. The drive up was just really wonderful. We took lots of photos, which will be posted on Youtube later. I'll come back and put a link in here.

Once you reach the end of the road for Clingman's Dome, you are at roughly 5,000 feet. There is still a half mile walk to the top, and the incline is probably 45 degrees  at which point you have to climb another couple of hundred feet to reach the observation point. You do this by way of a circular bridge that ends at a round covered deck. All this is constructed of cement and I'm sure is quite secure. However... if you've read my blogs for a long time you know …. I.... don't.... do..... bridges. Of any kind. On the ground I'm o.k. but even looking at a bridge suspended over anything simply paralyzes me. This one nearly did me in. However, from the base of the tower, you can't see anything but trees.

So, I climbed it, walking behind my aunt and watching her feet, one foot in front of the other. Once on the deck I was able to look out at the amazing view. It is worth the huge effort it takes to get there. My aunt and uncle made this walk, barely breaking a sweat or breathing heavy. My sister and I had to stop at every park provided bench and then some. You think your going do die of a heart attack. If you have a heart condition it isn't the walk for you. If you're overweight... probably not the walk for you. My sister and I are both overweight, she more than I, and this was rough on us. Still, we made it and coming down isn't hard at all. But it is a mile round trip so not a little jaunt.

We stopped in Gatlinburg on our return trip to really visit Cooter's Place. It is a shop with items associated with the television show. Ben Jones is apparently the sponsor or owner. I'm not sure but there was everything Dukes of Hazzard right down to the General Lee. Another photo shoot, some purchases for Mike's birthday on the 22nd and we headed off.

September 20, 2012

We take our time in the mornings. We get up around 8 a.m and have breakfast. I was, by now, having a bad time with the back and leg. The prescription I was able to get from CVS and the ice packs I bought helped but not nearly enough. Walking was not a problem. Sleeping was.

Today we headed for a ride into the Smoky Mtn National Park. We stopped at a trail head that lead to Laural Falls. 1.3 miles up the trail is a lovely waterfall. Yes, up. 1.3 miles. It is heavily wooded and there were flowers along the way, lots of tilted stones that were totally unsuitable for seating and no Park provided benches. This was roughing it. We walked. We rested. We walked some more. A mile on a level fields is not a long walk. A mile on another angle is not a piece of cake. Oddly, enough, I didn't find it nearly as hard as Clingman's. Maybe it wasn't as steep but it was twice the distance. You reach a point where you begin to wonder if you're ever going to get there. Everyone you mean says, “You're almost there. It's worth it.” And it is. And on the way back you find yourself repeating the same phrase. Because it was.

We continued our journey through the Park, stopping at a small cafe to eat lunch. Another really good lunch. From there we went to Cades Cove. This is an historical community with log cabins and churches from two centuries ago. It was my kind of sight to see and took us all afternoon. I could have spent longer but the day was nearly over. We headed back to the cabin for time in the hot tub and a game or three of pool. I'm improving.

I took a last look around the dark woods and the sky that always seems to have clouds wreathing the mountains. I'd miss it.

September 21, 2012

Phyllis and I said good by to our aunt and uncle and headed back to Evansville today. It is a six hour drive and I would normally have driven it with no trouble. I'm simply exhausted. I had some upsetting news last night and didn't sleep much. The real world intruded and reminded me I have to come back.

We stopped somewhere east of Nashville and just had a drink, used the WiFi for an hour and continued. We lunched at Taco Bell just outside of Clarksville, TN and from there, we came on to Evansville, about a two hour drive. We were thrilled to be home. She took her stuff and left me.

Dave came by and I had Sarah for a few hours. She was in fine form, entertaining me and acting silly. She is changing so much. I'm amazed and frightened by it.  Tomorrow is Mike's birthday and we are all going to lunch to celebrate with him. I have gifts for everyone.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


I have to admit that it feels as if my vacation has already started. I don't want to do a thing, not even pack... and I have to pack or I can't go anywhere.

I spent the morning messing with blogs. Yes, yes, yes. Blogs. Mine. I got all my old site posts exported over as I said and stored in a backup blog that is closed to everyone. They're not even published really. Just in a storage mode. Nice.

What I have been doing is sorting out of that mess, my "writings" that aren't actually like my usual, boring posts about the craziness of my life. No, these are something much loftier.... so... I titled the blog Sudden Inspirations. It contains writings that were done spontaneously and tend to be of a introspective bent and generally spiritual in nature. There are also pieces of fiction and some autobiographical stories. I may add to it but who knows.

The link to Sudden Inspirations is in the menu bar above.

It is now right at 10 p.m. and I'm planning on pulling out around 9 a.m. in the morning. I've still got stuff to pack up. I was going to travel light but honestly, I realized I don't have a lot of casual clothes. Most of my stuff is office wear. So, I've got to go reevaluate my packing.

Once I loved traveling and even the prep time was a bit exciting. I've done quite a bit since Jerry died and no matter what I do, I still don't feel excited about traveling. I like the thought but honestly, I feel like I just want to stay home where I want really be happy either.

I'm headed off to bed anyway. Nothing happening here either.

All In the Numbers

I like statistics. Not calculating them but I like reading things that tell me what percentage of something did something, does something, was something and as a result something happened. You can write a story with statistics.

For example, I was looking at my dashboard and they have a lot of statistics there. They haven't always had the setup they have now but gradually it has been improved upon. Anyway, I can remember for several years not much happened on my stat board. The  numbers would slide up one by one. Telling me someone or something came by. I was up around 10,000 as of 2010, I think. They don't have a long term record that I can see but I think that's right.

Last year I changed my NaNoWriMo profile and pointed people here. Honestly, I didn't think people read my NaNo profile. Really. Why would they? But suddenly, those numbers were moving up in double digit segments. By the end of the year it was in excess of 11,000. 

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know bots make the numbers rise. I've been doing this awhile, thanks. But they're not the only thing that raise the count. If I  delve below the surface, I can see where people and things are coming from and they were coming from my profile on NaNo. Every entry that says NaNoWriMo in the link is from that profile. And there were a several.

Today I looked and in two years I've had more hits than in at least three years before 2010! I'm now on my way to 17,000. I expect to hit that number before the end of next week.

Let's see. I changed my bio on NaNo. The numbers went up. I began linking to my FB page. The numbers moved faster. I linked my posts to my G+ stream. The numbers really started to click. And now, Multiply is closing and I've directed people from there with a link. The numbers moved a bit faster AND I went from 4 followers to 20, most of those all new people. I placed a link on Blogster and gained a couple more. 

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know some are still bots. I don't care. Those bots are feeding themselves on  my posts and carrying them elsewhere to distribute to potential people  who, one hopes, will in turn come to enjoy my blog.  Someone doing a search on something will get a hit on my blog...they might come by. I might make a new acquaintance, gain a new follower, start a new conversation.

That's a good story. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fried Day

Coming up with witty titles is half the battle of getting  a blog written. I like it when I title a post at the beginning and when I finish it still has the same title. More often, however, by the time I finish a post I have a totally different title in mind. Sometimes I leave it blank until I finish so I can save time.

I'm thinking that today's title won't change. That is pretty much how I feel. I've hit the files hard this week and I'm simply exhausted. I still have to go home, clean house, pay bills and pack in time to leave on Sunday morning. It doesn't sound like much but it is. I really should never have hired someone to clean for me, even for a few weeks. Now I hate cleaning house more than ever but I hate clutter and dirty dishes in the sink and laundry in the hamper! 

I've finally got my online writer's group sorted out. We were using Facebook for the group but have moved to Google Groups because of all the features they have on their site and it integrates with all things Google. I spent last evening overhauling the site with one of the members and now I think we're pretty well set. I hope so. I need to do some serious writing.

I've had Sarah in the evening most of this week. She is such a wonderful little girl. We played card games before but last weekend I bought her a Chutes & Ladders game. How many of you remember that? I do!  Anyway, some time ago I taught Sarah a couple of card games, Old Maid and Go Fish. She liked them but hated losing the first time and in fact, refused to play again. We talked about winning and losing and how it was just a game and it wasn't important who won as long as we had fun. The next time she came over she was ok with it. This week I won first on Chutes & Ladders. I squealed "I won!" She crossed her arms and smiled at me and said, "You can have a 5 minute happy dance."  I lost it and laughed, asking her where she heard that. She told me the teacher says it. I did get up and do a happy dance, not 5 minutes though. Then, I had to play a second game. I hope the child doesn't become a gambler. She won't quit until she wins a game.

I'm going to go home, get things cleaned up a bit and relax.. alone for the evening. My vacation starts on Sunday and I'm so looking forward to a week in the mountains. I haven't been to Gatlinburg but I have been to Highlands, SC and that area. I loved it. And when we moved here we came through the Smokies. I've always wanted to go back. Jerry and I  planned a couple of times to go to that area for a vacation but it just never worked our where we could go. There was just never enough money for long trips. We settled for things closer to home. I really just want some peace and quiet and to read and do nothing. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Multiple Solutions

My week has been a bit better and I've slept much better as a result. Maybe the thought of a vacation is the cause. I don't know and it doesn't matter. There has been far less pain and that is entirely due to the weather.

Tomorrow is Thursday and the office will be closed to the public. I'm thrilled by this. I can, I hope, get a lot of work done tomorrow. If I do, it will make my return from vacation a lot less stressful.

I just finished exporting my post from my old Multiply site "Dixiegirl's Place" to a back up blog. There are problems but I don't know if it is because Blogger is doing its thing and sorting the download. One minute I can see the posts on the blog and the next I can't. I elected to do a back up blog because, as I mentioned before, this blog is a mirror of that one minus some random posts. I plan to go through them and compare posts to see what is missing and move the missing ones here. Eventually, that back up blog will be deleted. I've closed it by limiting readers only to myself. You do that in your settings by adding you as the only reader. 

I'm also going to set up some photo albums on Youtube. They'll be slide shows rather than albums of photos. Family won't be as happy but I think it will work just as well. They can be viewed easily. I don't really want to store all my photos on another site. The risk of losing them is simply too great. I'm going to copy them to disc to back them up and label them.

At the moment, I'm really exhausted. I'm going to go to bed now. I can't get into the backup site at the moment so don't know how it is progressing. I can see the posts on the dashboard but not on the blog. It says maintenance is being performed so maybe that's good. I have to say, I'm very unhappy with the media importer. It simply didn't work. So very glad I downloaded my albums. I'd hate to be at this point and find I couldn't get the photos down. 

If all goes well, I'll close the site well before December 1. I'll post the closing date ahead of time. I am sorry to leave. I have been so blessed to have all of you here with me. You've carried me through some rough times and I shall miss all those who move on to other things besides my blog. You have no idea how very much you've come to mean to me. Wherever you go, may you be blessed in all you do. 

I know some of you have already moved to other sites. Good luck to you. I've done the sinking ship one time too many and I'm going to stay with a platform I trust and that has proven stable. Slowly, I'm learning that it does all that I've been able to do here with the exception of photos. I've easily fixed that. So it makes sense to do what I've been doing long before Yahoo 360. My email is in some of the post over the last few weeks. Keep in touch if you will. If you've already joined me on Blogger, wonderful. I'm already enjoying your blogs, some of which belong new friends I found during this transition. 

Good night. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Lonely Dark Mountain

I stood on the front porch earlier and watched a fantastic show of  lightening as it slashed through the night sky. In the city it never gets really dark but nothing compares to the blinding white of lightening.

 When I came home from work I actually went to bed because I was so exhausted I couldn't bear it any longer. I've pushed through the last two weeks and forced myself to ignore the storms that had gathered around me - my job, my allergies, my family, my grief all have simply depleted me. I reached the end of it at 6:30 p.m. I went to bed and went to sleep.

The phone rang a few times but I'd left it in the living room and decided that, tonight at least, other people's crises weren't important enough to crawl down the hall to respond. I went back to sleep. The last call woke me and I did get up, with what I can only say was horrendous effort. I hurt everywhere. Probably a result of the low pressure system boiling overhead. I hobbled to the bathroom and then, to the kitchen where I saw it was 8:30.

In the distance I could hear thunder and the windows were blazing white every few minutes. I went out back and lowered the patio umbrella and then went to stand on the front porch and watch the light show. I returned my oldest's son's call and let him know I was o.k. Then I returned my youngest son's call. He wanted to know if I was all right. I asked about Sarah. He told me Sarah and her mother had moved out today. I didn't know that. I knew she was planning it but not when. I'd have remembered that.

If you've read much of the blog you know I actually love storms. Normally, I'd be sitting out on the porch watching this one. Not tonight.  I'm fairly tired of the storms and I'm at a loss anymore how to deal with them. It only gets worse each passing day.

I changed my blog title this week because it was suddenly apparent to me that my life has always been lived on this tiny ledge, swept by storms. More than once I've slipped and nearly fallen off during the storms. My life has been filled with a myriad of storms and I used to weather them well. There was usually someone to pull me back up and help me still the racing of my heart and slow my breathing. Mama protected me until she died. Jerry took over and sheltered me from the full brunt them when he could or held my hands when he couldn't. Storms are best shared. He died. Now, I ride them out alone on a small ledge on a lonely, dark mountain.

The Mental Test

This was amusing to me so I thought I'd share it. Honestly, I have a use for this test. 

A noted psychiatrist was a guest at a gathering of humor editors, and his host naturally broached the subject in which the doctor was most at ease.

"Would you mind telling me, Doctor," he asked, "how you detect a mental deficiency in somebody who appears completely normal?"

"Nothing is easier," he replied. "You ask a simple question that everyone should answer with no trouble. If there is hesitation, that puts you on the track."

"What sort of question?"

"Well, you might ask, 'Captain Cook made three trips around the world and died during one of them. Which one?'" 

The editor thought a moment, then said with a nervous laugh, "You wouldn't happen to have another example, would you? I must confess I don't know much about history."

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sarah Said....

"Mamaw," she said in a tiny voice as she pointed at a spot on her chin. "My jaw hurts. Right here."

I looked. "Where?"

She rubbed her jaw. "Right here." Then she shot me a look. "It isn't because I'm talking too much!"

Two Mondays a Week

I feel like I'm chasing my tail. If I had a tail. Today is, of course, Tuesday... after Labor Day which, in my view, makes this Monday. It has been Monday all day long. 

My day started off at a run. I'm going on vacation on the 16th and will be out of my office for a week. So, that means I have to really get ahead in my caseload. Since I am already behind by about two weeks, this is not good. I have really hit it hard today, doing about 12 files of data entry. This is actually excellent. Generally, I can get 10 at the most done in a day. So, two more is a good thing. But not enough. I have nearly 20 more.

This is no way to start a week. The last week was fairly rotten in the first place. I was sick and family crises fell like hailstones. To start another week, a new month in fact, even worse is just frustrating. 

It feels as if my life is imploding. That's different from an explosion. It means to collapse inward from external pressures or to break down or fall apart from within. I can't find a much better description. I don't want to go into it here on this blog at this point. Someone pointed out that I'd once again have to go  through a form of grief. I don't want to do that anymore. Ever. I am so stressed at the moment that I can feel it in my chest. No, not actually pain. Just that heaviness you get when things are at their worst and you know you can't fix it. Fear sort of just gnaws at you bit by bit. You get tired.

I am tired. Of a life that seems filled with every dream and hope that I ever held shattered at my feet and then I am forced to walk across the razor sharp shards to some nebulous end. There is not pot of gold. There's not even a rainbow.  There will be those who say I overreact. Maybe I do. You need to walk very quietly from the room. Don't come back until I call you. Don't hold your breath. 

Monday I went to the Urgent care for a bug bite. Silly old thing that I am, I had a mosquito bite on my thumb but then there was some other bite on my leg, above my ankle. It happened in the car. Mike and I were taking Sarah home around five. She'd been to the Labor Day picnic with us but I was tired. I suppose the bug got in when I did. I got stressed because the mosquitoes here are infested with West Nile virus. I'm been so careful going out and taking Sarah out. But I only went from inside the house to inside the car. I shouldn't have to shower in Off. But I got bit.

The one on my thumb looked like a normal mosquito bite. The one on my leg didn't. It didn't get the red raised mound of a normal mosquito bite. It got very red and made a rectangular mark that grew to about the size of the end of my pinky from the join to the tip. It stung, not as bad as a bee sting but sort of like it feels when you stick a hot match to your skin. I had a terrible meltdown. There was no one to really care about it. No one to hold my hand, talk me down to a sane frame of mind. I called a couple of people. They have lives of their own. They moved on. 

Of course no one was as concerned as I. I don't know what I expected. I was terrified. Yeah, I know I nuts. You're late. The mark just got redder and redder and seem to spread over the course two hours. I finally decided to go to the urgent care. I called and ask David to go with me. Jerry would have gone with me if he'd been here. Mike would have gone if I'd called him but he doesn't handle my stress well anymore. Who am I kidding... I don't handle it well anymore. He's just not equipped for it, although he tries valiantly. More so than anyone else. 

Anyway, Dave went with me. I melted down in the car. He actually handled it pretty well. I really  needed Jerry to be there. Really, really, really. I got Dave to drive. I sat in the waiting room two hours and the mark faded away. Once they called me back I felt stupid but I have to say they didn't treat me that way. The were very kind and understanding and the doctor, when I saw him told me he was going to take notes on what had happened and if something changed I was to call. He said there were things they could tell me on the phone to do so I wouldn't have to come back in. I dropped David home and came home alone. 

It is an eternal irony that I don't want to live with people but I do not want to be alone. I am not able to resolve the paradox. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Rainy Day Monday

Labor Day. I'm ready to go to the church Labor Day Picnic. I have to pick up Sarah and Mike. No one else is going. If Sarah wasn't going, I'd stay home and do some much needed house work. It is, after all, labor day.

I've been going from room to room hunting things and finding that the problem is there is still too much STUFF! I want some space and order and I don't seem able to get there. Things still find their way into rooms and stay for no apparent reason. I need to find a place to start, and just do it. I did that a couple of years ago and tossed a lot of junk but this time, I seem to be stalled.

It is like some sort of transition step you take in the grief process, I guess. That one step is just a bit too high for me to reach. Sigh.

I've been experiencing that overwhelming hollowness again. The holidays are approaching but I hesitate to blame them. I  haven't even thought of Thanksgiving and Christmas. . . well, not much. I've been thinking about NaNoWriMo. I've been thinking about my son's impending divorce. I've been thinking about how much pain I've been having again. I've been thinking about how upsetting it is to be in chaos alone. Sigh.

All right, too much thinking.

I'm thinking about changing the name of my blog. I have done that one time and I've never been terribly happy with it. Boring.  But last night when I was downloading the missing blogs from the quickly dying Multiply I ran across one that is a snapshot of my life every single day. The title of that post was brilliant and I don't know why I didn't see it before. Well. . . I only write them once and move on so that could be why. Even the content of the post was such a snapshot of what I live that it was laughable. It isn't on this blog yet. I'll post it eventually. The name change you'll see probably sooner.

Maybe even today.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Beginning of the End

This post is made on Multiply but will be cross posted to Blogger. My days of blogging on Multiply are drawing to a close. I just deleted all post from 2006-2007 here on Multiply. It was funny because they were all from Yahoo 360. I joined Multiply in Oct 2007! That first year I was a non paying customer. I waited until I saw how it would go. Stated my premium account the next year. I downloaded only things that were missing on my blogger site. I will put those into blogger as I can. There is a feature in the post page of blogger where I can put the correct date and it will insert it in the correct order. Multiply has the same feature. So no worries. Beginning in 2008, after I started Multiply, I cross posted almost everything. So glad id did that! Most of what I didn't cross post was unimportant and I won't be moving them now. I will get through the next five years in a few weeks. Once all posts are copied, I will delete my account.

I'm actually excited about my Blogger site. Everything is going smoothly. I like the way it looks (very much like the one here, and I'm really liking the stuff I can put on the page and the fact that I can link all my other blogs together. Just makes it easy to keep up. No, I don't have the social contacts at the level I had here but I haven't been happy with the other sites I've tried and since everyone has gone in all directions, it doesn't really matter. It is odd, most of my old 360 contact joined me here but that isn't happening this time. Still, I've managed to keep emails and addresses of those I want to keep up with. And I've acquired new friends who have gone to Blogger.

If you go to blogger, look me up. I'm on G+ and that seems to be growing, too. Several of you have already joined me there. I'm still learning my way around there but it is such a new thing and they are adding stuff all the time with tutorial videos each time. So my learning curve isn't so steep.

It's late and I'm tired. I'm headed for bed. Tomorrow is the church Labor Day picnic. We've had rain for three days and I don't know if it is slated for tomorrow. I'm just glad to be off.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Last Word

It was a rather simple explanation when I began. I was updating a profile. I think profiles are rather boring for the most part but sometimes you run across one that is just amazing to read. I decided I needed to update my profile on Blogger since it is now linked with G+. I'm on the internet in various places and my profile is one of the typical profiles... rather boring. I think I wanted to be someone exciting and special. You see, I'm not important. I've made no earth shattering discoveries. I'm not a movie star, sports figure, or Nobel prize winning writer. I am Mertice's girl; Jerry's wife and widow; Mike & Dave's mom; Sarah's Mawmaw. I mean something to them but half of them are dead. All are noble things to be but they just aren't. . . special.

So, I began to write a new profile and found myself totally stumped. I reread the old one and yes, that was me. . . the one who died when the world turned upside down and she fell off. I realized that I no longer resembled that person much, at least in my own mind and that if I was really honest, I don't really know who I am anymore. Kind of makes it hard to create an accurate profile. What could I say about who and what and why I am? I didn't know. So I sent out this email. “I need one word you'd use to describe me.” I figured I'd get something to string together and make it sound . . . well. . . special.

I emailed 18 people asking them to describe me in one word. Nothing more that that. These were people who know me to varying degrees and the time spans vary. Some hold degrees, some don't. Some are Christians, some don't even believe in the man in the moon. Of those not related to me, I've met about half face to face and the others, I've never met at all but I have held long conversations with them, a few well into the darkest hours of the night during the worst days I've ever lived.

One by one the responses came in. Of course, with the responses came the inevitable question: What is this for? I decided I'd let them know when I figured it out.

I received ten responses to my query and the order was fairly predictable but I won't identify anyone. They will know what their responses were and that's all that matters. They all sort of astounded me in one sense. They flattered me. That wasn't my intention at all. Hold on before you go making assumptions. I didn't say they were all intended to flatter me. Some words were picked because that is how some people view me and it is in a negative light. Yes, they're friends. No, it doesn't bother me. You see, I don't think I can really know me until I know how others see me. I know that how some people see me isn't always truth but sometimes it is and in both cases who I am is revealed.

So, I'm getting these words. The thing is, I'm an avid word hound. From the time I was a small child I loved looking up the meanings of words. I mean, you think you know what something means but have you really looked it up . . . in a really big dictionary? When I was seven or eight years old, my mama bought this huge dictionary. It was my most favorite book in the whole world and I used it faithfully. I've never lost a love for huge dictionaries. My current one probably weighs a good twelve pounds. It is a library dictionary – even more huge. As the responses came in, I looked up every one and their meanings. I reasoned that I'd get a broad idea of what they were saying and thinking if I had the definitions.

I must have been right because I clearly saw myself in what they gave me. I don't deny it. I doubt everyone will agree, but that's all right. That's who they are. I share these with you because this is who I am.

A very old friend, 20 years, sent me the very first word, and I wasn't surprised by the timing nor the word. PROVINCIAL: not a nice word in itself, if you think too much about it. In this case the first definition  was “narrow” meaning I'm narrow minded. But I never settle for one definition. I discovered I am very provincial. You see, I am “lacking the polish of urban society; unsophisticated.” And am I thankful that I do not reflect the current society and its version of sophistication and broad mindedness. It reeks of vanity, self-indulgence, and pettiness. It is also fairly obscene and totally lacking in character. There was a third entry for provincial: “of or relating to a decorative style (as in furniture) marked by simplicity, informality, and relative plainness”. I'm pretty certain this paints a good picture of my taste, morals, and ethics. And for those who've visited my home... a pretty accurate description of the house. Probably describes how I dress, too!

A relative sent me UNIQUE: “being the only one; sole; being without a like or equal; unequaled distinctively characteristic; peculiar; unusual”. Although I never considered myself unique in any way, she's probably right. I didn't know she thought that way about me. In light of this experiment I'm more inclined to agree now. Its a good thing.

The next response came from someone I've only known about a year, one of my NaNo group. SINCERE: free of dissimulation; honest; pure; marked by genuineness; true”. I have to admit here that I'm flattered. The truth is, I have a great desire to always be sincere. I don't like prevarication and dissimulation. I want the person you see to be the person I really am. Well, maybe its working.

One of my best never met friends called me CHALLENGING: “arousing competitive interest, thought, or action; invitingly provocative, fascinating”. We exchange some very interesting thoughts and ideas. She's wonderful, smart lady. Challenging isn't something I've ever seen in me but the concept made me smile. Bear in mind I've been called difficult by some... just saying.

I have several never met friends and this is one who has followed my trials and who's own life is filled with painful difficulties. She sent me the word ENDURE. It is a transitive verb and means “to undergo (as a hardship) especially without giving in, suffer; to regard with acceptance or tolerance”. There are times I'd rather not wear this word but when I looked it up, it gave me something. Courage, I think.

Another never met friend said I was SEARCHING. We've only known each other about a year but her word gave me pause. She's a smart woman and she's picked up on a lot in a short time. “To look or inquire carefully; to make painstaking investigation or examination.” Sometimes those who know you least, know you best? Maybe I'm just nosey? Nah, searching is good.

The next email was from a friend who also helped me get through the dark times. They sent me OPINIONATED. Its a lovely word, one people love to toss around, particularly opinionated people! I must say here that it is a badge I wear with honor. “Unduly adhering to one's own opinion or to preconceived notions.” If you truly believe in something, you don't let go no matter what the rest of the world thinks about you. No, I'm not changing. I don't expect anyone else to change either. After all, everyone has an opinion they think is superior.

I have a friend who's sister died, maybe a year before Jerry. Both she and her sister were never met friends, both wonderful Southern gals. I don't even know HOW we met! We all three chatted online regularly for at least a year when her sister died of cancer. I hope I was there for her, even at a distance. When Jerry died, she was definitely there for me. I built a whole farm on Farm Town with her as my neighbor and wrote about 50 chapters in Hidden in the Mist! All because of her poking and prodding me. We talked for hours. She saved my sanity. She sent the word ECLECTIC. I have to be truthful here. I would have looked this up even if I hadn't looked up the others. I didn't really know what it meant, even though I thought I did. I was sort of surprised. “Selecting what appears to be best in various doctrines, methods, or styles; composed of elements drawn from various sources; also heterogeneous” Hmmm, well, I like it. Totally opposite of opinionated but there ya go! Still, it summed up a lot of the other words nicely.

I actually laughed out loud when the next email came in. The word was INDOMITABLE: “incapable of being subdued, unconquerable”. I could say the same about the person who sent it. I think that is why we've become friends, we share this same characteristic and it is what allows us to engage in lively conversations in G+ hangouts and via emails. . . sometimes up to a dozen in a day! Molly Brown would have loved us!

That last letter was received a little over a week ago. Of nearly twenty people, nine responded in the first week. A tenth faraway, never met friend emailed me last week to say she was having a hard time coming up with one word but she would be getting back to me. So, I decided there really was no hurry. I waited. This morning it occurred to me that I really should start putting this together and even opened my email to start it. I was amazed to find a second email from this friend.

After I read her email I was so profoundly affected I was very nearly speechless. That's doesn't happen often. I can't really describe what I felt. Remember, I asked for only one word and she gave me one but the beauty of her reply in describing why she chose this word is one of the loveliest I've ever received. I'm glad she took so long to respond. I have to share it and I hope you can understand why this word had to be the last word.

One word is ridiculously hard you know!!! There are so many aspects of you that could describe you and all the amazing things you do. However, I keep coming back to one word, which reminds me of how I came across you on Multiply originally. It was when you had just lost Jerry and in reading your blogs I finally understood how and why people get married.

I know that sounds weird, but having Aspergers and being useless at relationships, I could never understand why my friends chose to marry the men or women that they did. And your unbelievable deep emotions at your loss explained it all - that bone deep love and grief and pain at losing him. And although I hate that you have to continue going through your loss, I am also thankful that you have taught me that lesson. I know I will never have that but you have helped me to understand the people around me more. Thank you. And to still have you, despite the whole Multiply debacle!!

Your word is – Tsunami.”

No, I didn't have to look it up.

*All definations from
*Multiply© is the name of an online social network.