Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cathartic Thoughts

There never seems to be enough hours in my Saturdays to do all that I have to do. My day started early. I was up at 7:30 and at the cemetery for my walk at 8 a.m. I grabbed breakfast on my way to a meeting.

I had a meeting at the mall with my NaNo co-ML to review some plans for the kickoff. We nailed down the location, got some ideas and encouragement about the goodie bags and write-ins. From there I headed to Hobby Lobby again to try and pick up some things. They didn't have the items but I picked up some other things... books for Sarah. I went from there to Office Depot to get ink in a couple of forms.

My next stop was home where I stayed long enough to talk to Dave about lunch before we went searching for it.

I ran out of steam around 2 p.m. and came home for a few hours. For some reason the day came crashing down and I was plunged into the abyss. You know the one. Every once in awhile it opens its maw and I am sucked into the dark. I had to get out of the house and the only thing I could think of was the solitude of the cemetery. At 6 p.m. I took second walk in the cemetery.

I suppose if I had met anyone they would have been concerned for my mental state. I walked and cried. Yes, I know. But I did. And I prayed and cried some more. It didn't help. The overwhelming desire to go home again is one that can't ever be resolved for me. I've lost a whole family in more ways than one. It doesn't end. There is no solution, no fix, no relief from the desire to go home. There is no home left to go to.

I do not like these disturbances when they come. The walk was more or less a fugue. I walked but as to what I saw or heard I don't recall much but the pavement at my feet.

Once I left the cemetery it was nearly 7 p.m. and was dusk. I needed headlights to drive. I'll have to be doing the walks by 5:30 before much longer. At least the days are still comfortable. I dread the thought of walking in the cold.

I didn't go home immediately. I was still far to upset so I went to Sonic to collect my free drink and eat onion rings. I pretty much sat my usual stall at the back, facing the darkened hearing aid store and cried. Believe me when I tell you that eating and crying is near impossible. Once I finished with both I sat for a while and just tried to regain some sense of control. Once home I simply sat around doing nothing.

Sarah came over around 8:00 for the night. We read the new books and started watching The Indian in the Cupboard. She fell asleep about halfway through but I watched the whole thing. It is still a great movie.

I don't know why I stopped to write this blog. Maybe because these days it is my only real source of conversation. I've become a fair recluse I think. I'm fine with it most of the time. Except when I'm not: i.e. when I see a family having a good time, or a couple laughing with one another, anything that remotely resembles my old life robs me of light.

I may have mentioned this before but I've taken to avoiding all manner of situations. I still don't watch a whole genera of movies and don't read quite a lot of a certain type of book. Suspense, thrillers, or British mysteries, all minus the homey scenes of other movies. I also don't do death scenes or love scenes. Those are potty or food breaks. In fact, in real life I avoid experiences that revive memories. Holidays, such as the upcoming Thanksgiving, are still not things I want to do. I'm obligated to do them but they no longer hold much appeal for me.

Still the blog is my catharsis. And now, I suspect sleep will be one also.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Aching Calves & Brain Tweeks

Is is only Tuesday night? Really?

I've had severe pain in both calves for three days and I have no idea why. I have not walked in at least a week because I've either been exhausted, it rained, or I've been so busy I didn't get time. Sunday I had trouble walking. I could hardly walk yesterday and today, for most of the day, it was horrible. I see my primary doctor on Thursday and will address it with her. The weekend was rushed, as you should have read in a previous post. So, here we are at Tuesday. The only positive is Friday is two days away and vacation a few weeks.

Mike's birthday was Sunday and we all went to church and then to lunch together. Both my sister and I had diarrhea afterward. We both had clams. We eat at this restaurant a lot and never had this issue. Very odd... and unpleasant. I still had a problem on Monday.

I bought Mike a new smart t.v. for his birthday and he bought himself a stand for it. Dave and I went over to help him set up.I wish I had not. I don't want to go into detail but let me just say that the people on Hoarders are real people. They exist. I went back to Mike's tonight to help him get started cleaning up. This is going to take awhile. It is very stressful.

I'm tired and about to go to bed but I have spent some time tweaking my writing blog tonight. It is an old blog that started life as something else.  I like what I'm doing with these writing challenges the group has done. I'm writing more these days than I have in a long time. My efforts to limit my time on less productive pursuits has allowed me time to walk and the walking has stimulated my brain. I have to tell you that the cemetery walks have begun to feed me ideas and that's always a fun prospect. I feel more ready for NaNo than I've felt in several years. Now if I can just get the kick-off set up!

So, with that, I'll say good night.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Busy Saturday

What a busy day I had today. I didn't get up as early as I wanted and so did not get to go walk. However, Sarah and I got up around 9 and we went to Willard Library to explore the "haunted" library. 

Early last week she went on a field trip and her reading buddy told her about the grey lady who is said to haunt the library. Sarah was terrified and went on and on about it. I assured her it was all just a story and not true and that Daddy and Uncle Mike had loved to go to Willard Library when they were small. 

After extensive discussion it was decided that another trip was in order just to prove there were no ghost and I suspect to see if I was brave. 

The trip went well with Sarah showing me around. Never mind I'd made numerous trip years ago. And it does have a lot of charm and lots of creaking wood floors and steps with displays already for Halloween.

 I quite enjoyed revisiting it, but the stairs, despite being wide and a relatively gentle slope, are simply a bit much for bad knees and bifocals. I forgot there was an elevator but after all the whole trip was to experience the extremely creaky floors and stairs. 

After the library we came home. I had a writer's meeting at 2 p.m. I had to get ready for and David was taking Sarah to the park. I left around 1 and picked up lunch to take with me to Washington Square Mall. Today was literacy day and there was a lot going on in the mall. Music, drums, and stories being read on one of the raised platforms that are scattered throughout the cafe court. I never realized they could remove the railing from these to make a kind of stage. 

The meeting was really a lot of fun. DeWayne brought photos this time and we each selected one and wrote a story from it. When I saw my photo I was a bit daunted and wondered what in the world I was going to do with it. It was just too weird. He told us we could select another if we didn't like the one we got but I decided to tough it out and go with it. We wrote for 20 minutes, despite the cacophony of the story telling and music blaring over the  loud speakers. And in the end, my photos was a good choice. I needed the challenge. In fact, I think everyone did a good job. I liked each of them. 

After the meeting, I cruised the remaining booths and got a free children's book from an elderly lady who'd written it. She's self published and she was very sweet. She indicated she had been unable to go the traditional route and had used a local publisher. I know the group she used. We talked about publishing a bit and the pros and cons. She felt traditional publishing was the best way to go. I told her I write because I have to. She was surprised and said she never had that sense that she was supposed to write or had to write. She never told me why she felt like writing several children's books! She was giving away copies of her first one and I read it to Sarah tonight. It was o.k. but I don't think I'd use the local publisher. 

I got home around 4:30 and was suddenly exhausted. I had planned to go walk since I'd missed my morning walk but it didn't happen. I simply found that all my steam was gone and this little engine couldn't. I've sat on the sofa watched movies. I've taken breaks to do laundry. I did a couple of items for the NaNo goodie bags but that's it. 

Now, I'm going to bed. I had planned on doing something else but I see how late it is and won't do that. I've posted the story if you're interested. Running Out of Time

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Hamster Wheel

It has been over a week since I could post a thing. I've been so busy I didn't know if I was coming or going. Work simply became this insane hamster wheel of work after we sent out the notice that if you aren't reporting you should withdraw from the program. People came in in droves and were reporting things they already reported. We're still catching people who never reported. The end result was that we were buried under mounds of interim changes and this in turned brought processing of annual recertifications to a screeching halt.

I had a rotten week last week because of the overload, got mad and had a set to with the boss which earned me a dressing down on Monday morning. I had to deal with some family issues... again. It probably helped with the boss because I was so emotional after the previous week and weekend that he was probably easier on me than he intended. And in one sense I probably deserved the lecture.

The week before was a mini-hell and I kept coming home to deal with things that I shouldn't have to deal with. I'm tied of people who think I owe them something. I'm not a maid, nanny, or personal banker. I shouldn't have to clean up anyone's mess or rescue anyone because they were irresponsible in their choices of friends, homes, jobs, relationships, and spending.

I grew up with no money, few friends, had people I relied on die early, and had to learn all these life lessons before I was 20. If I tell you something is a bad idea, I know what I'm talking about. I offer advice free of charge but if you elect to ignore it, deal with the results alone, please. I'm generous. If you don't believe me, let me show you my bank register and what I spend my money on. I'm happy to run the expense reports on various people and items and let you see it. It isn't me. So if I feel put upon when people are just to busy, tired, annoyed, or simply don't want to do things for me, I'm going to say so. If they tell me you don't won't to hear. I'm good with that. I have a blog. Those who don't like what I post, you should have listened when I tried to talk. It is my blog, my rant, and my I can say what I want, whether you like it or not is irrelevant. You can leave.

So, in those three paragraphs you have seven days of stress. The good news is that physically, I'm better than I've been in a long time. Almost no pain except the feet and legs and it is related to the walking. My hip is hurting tonight. I woke up with it hurting. I think I over taxed it walking yesterday. I didn't go tonight to give it a rest. I'll have to take something tonight to help. My lower back hurts as well. The two are probably connected.

I look forward to the walks. I discovered that a cemetery is a really good place to pray when you walk. Really. There's no one there when I'm there. I may run into a couple of people if I'm really close to 5 p.m. but for the most part, I have the place to myself. Some sections are so remote that you almost feel isolated. Traffic is far away, no people, you can't see houses. More and more I've found myself having conversations with God. Sometimes it is just a prayer of gratitude that I'm able to walk as much as I'm doing. I'm thankful for how little pain I've had since July and for finding a place where I feel removed from all the stress and chaos that surrounds me much of the time. There are times I'm reluctant to leave because the quiet is so addicting. I come home feeling much better that when I left, even if my feet are hurting.

I booked my rooms tonight in Austin for the conference I'm going to attend. Just have to book the flight next. I've never done anything like this for myself and it is very hard to do. I booked the conference a month ago but kept putting off the hotel and flight. It is so expensive, although I've got discounts all the way around. I'll book the flights this weekend.

NaNo is upon me, too. I have to get prepared for that. I'm working on the kickoff party. I think we'll have it at the mall where we have our writing meetings. There's plenty of room and there's pizza available as well as a cookie shop. Everyone can visit and have food if they want it. I have to order some things from the NaNo store like now. It is all moving a bit faster than usual I think. The kickoff will be the weekend after I get back from Texas.

Suddenly, I'm exhausted and have to go to bed. Probably from running on that hamster wheel.

Tomorrow is Thursday! Yay.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Just Remembered

I forgot something that I wanted to remember. As I was taking my walk today, I came up with an idea for NaNo. Yes, NaNo. Happens every November.

Anyway, I had an idea for a story. Just a start, nothing more. Probably a couple of pages of writing from it at this point. I've got to write down the idea or it will be gone. I'm surprised I've kept it this long. But that's a good sign, actually.

It is nearly midnight and I have to get to bed.

It Didn't

The day is drawing to a close and it has not been a good day. I got up around 8 a.m. and the day was blinding sunlit and the air was a comfortable 77 degrees. I had a terrible headache but I went to walk anyway, thinking that maybe the exercise would take the pain out of my neck and annihilate the headache.

It didn't.

Becca asked me to take her to work. So, I left the cemetery around 9:15 and stopped at McDonald's to get juice and a sausage biscuit. I thought since I'd had only a half cup of coffee maybe some food would help get rid of the still raging headache.

It didn't.

I took an Imetrix when I picked up Becca. After dropping her off I came home and got an ice pack. I lay down with the ice pack wrapped around my neck, along the left side of my head with the end of the towel wrap over my eyes. I thought after a hour it would ease off.

It didn't.

Sarah was with me and she lay there and played with  my hands for over an hour. She eventually went to do something on her own. I must have gone to sleep. I actually think she woke me several times but eventually I must have been too deep to hear her. I woke up at one and felt as if I'd been steamrolled. My head didn't hurt but I felt as if my brain was pumped full of fog and I was clumsy and kind of punch drunk.

At least the head didn't hurt.

Sarah and I went to the store to buy some fruit but that's pretty much all the action I've had since early morning. I've done nothing all day but sit, like a fungus on a log, doing nothing. I watched some movies, read a little, and finally decided to write a blog.

Well, I tried. Sarah is bored and can't entertain herself. I've never understood children who can't entertain themselves. If I'd relied on someone else to entertain me, I'd have been really bored.

Anyway, we came out here onto the patio. I haven't been out in months because the mosquitoes got really horrible and I started walking in July. So it was usually too late by the time I was done. Frankly, I'm still not feeling very well, just really sluggish and well, I always say a really bad migraine leave me with a hangover.

Dave and Sarah came out to join me and they played ball for a bit. She now wants to play chase.

You know, once again I realize that this lovely yard was meant for children. There are none now, and not likely to ever be anymore. This week I've been contemplating selling the house again. I don't know where I'd go. I really can't rent cheaper than what I pay here if I just count living expenses. But the repairs are what tip the scale. Once again I'm having plumbing problems and I am just not wanting to fork out the hundreds of dollars it would take just to get them to do the simplest of task. Frankly, we've always had minor plumbing problems here. Whoever added the extra bath and added the laundry room just didn't do something correct.

So, I keep pondering a sale.

I need to go in now. I put repellent on to keep the mosquitoes off.

It didn't.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

It's the Tooth

I'm home today with back pain. And interestingly, a tooth ache that I didn't have until I ate. I think the filling has come out of a wisdom tooth.  I only have two of them and this is the top right one. The pain is not bad.... yet, but the reason I only have two wisdom teeth is that one went bad about 40 years ago and they had to pull both teeth on the left. It was a bad experience and I refused to allow them to pull the other two. Since the other two have never given me any trouble I don't think it was a bad choice.

I called the dentist last night and left a message and they called me back this morning. I have an appointment to see my dentist at 1:30 today. I have a trip in October and since I don't want to be out of town if something goes wrong with it, I'm not ignoring this mild pain.

On top of the back and tooth issue, I appear to have a chest cold. I was coughing a bit for a couple of weeks now and I'd begun to feel like I had something sitting in my chest. It was just a mild cough now and then. As of last Friday I began to cough a lot more and harder and that something seemed to get harder. I started a generic of Mucinex. As of today, I'm still coughing but now whatever was in my chest is breaking up. I hate it when that starts because the coughing then become much stronger and last longer. The lungs want the stuff that is now loose out.

I've been doing more cooking. Dave's job ran out and he's basically broke at the moment. Please pray for him to find some kind of work, at least for a few months. He's moving to Arkansas to get married but he needs to be able to pay his child support and provide for himself while he is here.

I don't want him to go. I can't even think how this is going to affect Sarah. I remember how it affected me as a child. In addition, I rely on him and Mike a lot and it will be much more difficult in a lot of ways. They do a lot of manual labor around here that I simply can't do anymore. Dave is my mover and builder. I can't afford to hire someone to do the things he does for me. More than that, I just don't want to have someone else leave. I know, grow up. Act my age. Kids leave. Yada, yada, yada. But generally, families live where there are other family members close by. I'm stuck 12 hours from any family other than my sons, sister and granddaughter. If they all up and decided to leave I'd be stuck here alone with virtually no friends that could help if I needed it. I suppose I could sell my house and try to go somewhere else but finding a job at my age is going to be virtually impossible. Thanks to your president, health care is even harder to get through employment now.

Ok, that's my whine today. Mustn't to drink too much of that. I have to drive. Pass the cheese.

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Hurried Trip Through My Week

I actually started this blog on Friday and didn't get to finish it. I hate when that happens. So, we'll do it now.

I hate whiners. Some days I don't like myself. I whine. I've had a terrible week and I've whined too much because of it and by mid-day I was feeling bummed because whining is its own reward. The more you do it, the more you feel it.

I had a lovely lunch with my friend, Loraine on Friday. A nice positive end to the week, at least. She's back home from her summer in Tennessee. Loraine is a nice ray of sunshine and she is such a good friend. Who knew four years ago during NaNo I'd make such a good friend. She's a good listener but today, she actually talked a lot, for Loraine. It was nice to listen for a change.

Walking has been a problem. All week I could barely walk. Shin splints. They're were better by Friday and I took my bike to the cemetery and rode instead of walking but it was so hot. Obviously not doing any hills. I was feeling better doing all that walking. I have to continue. I haven't walked since or ridden the bike. The heat is impossible. I'm hoping for a cooler week ahead and returning to walking. I've bought some inserts for my shoes to see if it helps.

Saturday I spent moving furniture around, clearing some space in Sarah's room. This is all heavy bookcases and a desk with a hutch that only weighs about 700 lbs. Takes two grown men move the hutch off the desk, with a lot of effort even then. I rarely do that. But shoving this thing around the room is work. By eight o'clock I was fairly well unable to move a pillow. The bookcases are quite heavy but thankfully, David moved those. I just manhandled the books.

We decided to take Sarah to Sonic for supper and while we were sitting there I told David, "I can't do this anymore. When Dad was alive I had help but now, I'm too old to be doing this stuff."

Sarah spoke up from the back seat in a chiding voice. "Mawmaw! You shouldn't say you're old! It's true but you shouldn't say that about yourself!"

Needless to say, Dave and I would have rolled in the floor had we the room in the car to do so.

Sunday we went to church. That afternoon around 2 p.m. I decided I needed a nap before church that night. Dave woke me and said, "Mom, don't you think we need to get up? It's seven o'clock."

I looked around window and noted it wasn't very light outside. I said, "Dave, it's Monday, we don't have to work today. I don't have to get up."

He said, "Mom, it's Sunday."

I said, "No it isn't. It's Monday and a holiday. I don't have to go to work."

He said, "Mom, it is Sunday. We went to church this morning."

I still couldn't fathom it. When I finally got my head back on I realized that all of us, me, Dave, and Mike had gone to sleep and slept all afternoon. I knew I was tired and had not slept well the night before because of my aches and pains but I was obviously more tired than even I realized.

Today Dave went to the Labor Day picnic at church and I stayed home, just sitting around crocheting, winding yarn, and watching movies all alone. It has been heaven. We're going over to Becca's in a bit and have cake and ice cream with Sarah. Today is her 7th birthday. She is growing up too fast. I suspect she's still a lot less "mature" than her peers but we've sheltered her from the likes of Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana. She's not into make-up but likes perfume and powder. She's not into baby dolls but prefers stuffed animals and other critters. And she loves a good story. My girl.

I hate that I have to go back to work tomorrow. It just drains me so much. Lately, I'm looking around at what I'm doing and all the things I want to do and finding it decidedly lacking in several areas. I haven't been crocheting as much but I need another skein of yarn for the sweater. I got that on Saturday. I don't want to start the next one until I'm done with this one.

I've been reviewing my online presence for a while now. More and more I've limited my involvement because it has become very unrewarding and was sucking time better spent on more constructive pursuits. And I've stuck to things that are constructive as much as possible. I was even able to do CampNaNo. I'm trying to do some new things with my local writing group.

I was reviewing my blogs and those I subscribe to. I have all the blogs I'm subscribed to in Feedly and I really like it way better than I ever liked Google Reader. Slick, easy to use, and easy to read. And I can skim much better to see if the topic is of interest.

I noticed I'm subscribed to twenty-seven blogs on a variety of subjects. Some are blogs about things I'm interested in, i.e. crochet, writing, widows. Some are blogs by online acquaintances/friends. Some are special people in my life that I just  like reading about their life. Here and there I make comments and drop a note. 

It suddenly occurred to me that only a handful of people ever interact with me on the blogs. I notice more a one-sided affairs. I've noticed before and wondered about it. I don't expect the specific interest blogs to respond unless I make a comment that requires one. But oddly enough, I usually get an email if I do. The blog that I am subscribed to as acquaintances and friends is another matter. I don't make a ton of comments and lately very few. But I'm trying to evaluate the value of having contacts with whom I'm never in contact.

I'm left with one conclusion. Either my blog is uninteresting, a real possibility that I frequently admit to on my blog, or these are people who really just wanted subscribers for their blogs. I don't like being a pretty face. I'm guessing that for the most part, reading a blog that holds no value to anyone but the blogger is a waste of time. My blog is more of a journal and who wants to read someone's diary all the time. I feel pretty much the same way... well, that's probably not true as I enjoy the personal blogs a lot more than my craft ones. Life is always more interesting to me. So, I'm evaluating what I want to keep and which I want to toss on my blog list.

On top of that, I've been reorganizing my circles, eliminating some, consolidating others. I've got too many and while they are handy for categorizing, too many becomes a chore to juggle. They're colored balls that get bounced around. Even when you delete them, they bounce and roll off the screen. And frankly, this is another case of people adding, not to talk to you but to advertise something they're selling, whether a product or service. I don't want what you're selling so bother adding me. If you're not interested in interaction, don't add me. I'm seeing more of the advertising on Facebook too, leading me again to consider chucking all social networks. I really find them tedious in most respects. I even signed on to twitter and find it eminently useless. Even were I a famous person, I'd find it a waste of time.

My friend, Chris, had a very good blog today. It is what I always enjoyed about the Multiply blogs. They were about people and you cared about each other. You shared a lot more. And I have several of those folks on my list and they're probably the ones I hear from most often. It still isn't Multiply but I'm learning more and more how to utilize G+ to fill in the blanks and it helps. So, I'm going to go through my blog subscriptions and do some trimming. Twenty-seven blogs is a lot. Something has to go.

We just got back from Sarah's birthday celebration. It was very nice for all of us to be there and watch her and eat cake and ice cream. I was very proud of David for making the effort. I want someday for Sarah to be able to look back and say, "Mom and Dad may not have been able to work out their differences but set those aside to give me good memories." I'd give anything to have such a memory.

 Tomorrow is a work day. I think I've got a cold. I've been coughing and have some kind of congestion in my chest. Going to take something and hit the hay. Pray for a better week for me.