Sunday, May 31, 2015

Day 2 Facebook Fast: Weather Woes Again

Weather: Cool, damp, cloudy.
Pain Levels: 4
Energy level: 5

I can't believe the weather. Yesterday started out nice only to end up shrouded in clouds and awash in rain. This morning we are still covered in gray clouds and it is just barely in the 60s. There isn't any rain for now. I will be glad when some of that global warming kicks in. It would be nice if June showed up.

I've got some minor pain but I'm really exhausted. I think it is more weather related pain. Still, it hurts and I get so tired.  I've been pushing myself to deal with the clutter and keep the house clean, mostly pulling things out to dispose of in some fashion. There are items in bags sitting around the den where I spend most of my time. I hate it. I want it all gone.

My thought is to have a yard sale and get a few dollars for the stuff but the longer it takes, the bigger the piles, and the less I want to deal with it. I have to move it all into the garage until the day I put it out for sale. Then, if the weather is bad, I have to move it all back in. Since one item is this sofa in my den, I really don't want to bother.

Facebook Fast

This is my second day without Facebook. I've had emails/comments from about three people. Which actually makes my decision that much easier. If the trend continues, I'll be able to totally delete my Facebook page. The people who want to stay in touch will.

I can't say I have missed it much either. I managed to clean out the linen closet yesterday and get a month's worth of sheets folded and put away. Why a month's worth? Because I wasted time for weeks sitting around on the computer. When I wasn't on the computer I was generally ill with the RA. Doing laundry with sore joints and muscles is no fun. Exhaustion contributes a lot to the problem.

Yesterday I spent less time online and was feeling pretty good. So, I folded towels and wash cloths and put them away. I sorted and folded all the sheets on the spare bed and put them in the closet (12 sets). About half of those were already in the closet but were untidy. Since I have sheets for a single bed, full sized bed, and a queen sized bed it is generally a nightmare trying to get the right set when the shelves are bulging with them, particularly the queen and full. Nearly every time I get a full size when I want a queen, and vise versa.

So, I did something I saw online somewhere. I folded and put flat & fitted sheet and 1 pillow case inside the matching pillowcase. This keeps them together and tidy on the shelf. Queen is on top, single in the middle, and full size on bottom. It looks great and I'm quite pleased with how well it worked.

I also pulled out a bunch of old mismatch sheets. I either don't have top sheet or I don't have the bottom. They're going to become crocheted rugs. I saw a video on using old sheets by cutting them in a long strip and making small rugs. They're just right for the bath or in front of the door. Do you know how easily they will wash?

Usually I buy white bedding because invariable, one sheet of a set will get worn or torn and you're stuck with an odd sheet. I used to buy decorator sets years ago. After ending up with several mismatched sets, I stopped buying those fancy ones.

The only odd stuff I'll keep is pillow cases. I have extra pillows and so I always need extra pillow cases. I have about six sets I think. They're also useful as totes sometimes. Yes, totes. You can shove clothes in them or other bedding to store. Protects the bedding and keeps everything together.

Yard Work

Sarah and I did a short session of cleaning up in the yard. Mike cut the grass too low... again, and left a bunch of clumps of grass. We loaded the John Deere cart and hauled it to the railroad siding and put it around a several trees. Since I usually have to cut the siding with the trimmer, it should help keep the growth down. It was a huge bunch of grass and made a thick mat to rot around the trees. I may start putting that on the siding all the time if it keeps the weeds down.

By bedtime last night I was wiped out. Far more exhausted than the amount of work I did by my reckoning. I went to bed earlier than usual.

I've been off the anti-inflammatory medicine, Lodine for nearly two weeks now. She told me to go off of it and see if it helped with my stomach problems and the reflux. It has helped and the ringing in my ears has stopped as well. That alone is a huge relief.

The draw back is more aches and pains. Being off the Lodine is probably why I'm having the overall body pain. Inflammation from RA affects all organs: skin, bones, muscles, joints. Even the heart and lungs. Constant inflammation is like having the flu...all the time.

I've been taking Doxepin again at night. It is helping me sleep, which helps with some of my pain. I'll do that until I feel the return of some of my equilibrium.

Did I just indicate I'm unbalanced?

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Day 1 Without Facebook

 I got up this morning with Pain. He is so supportive. I couldn't find a better man than Pain. He wakes me up and he stays with me all day, holding my hands, wrapping his arms around my shoulders, and neck, and even rubbing my feet now and then. I feel him running his hands up and down my spine even now.

To be fair, this morning he was a little inattentive. He hung around only about an hour and now, he just wants to  hold my hands. I told him I have things to do and he seems to have backed off a bit, but I see him over in the corner just waiting for an opportunity to pounce.

Yes, my Pain is faithful and I can count on him being there every moment of my day. We read together, crochet together, write together. He's really pushy when we do yard work. Jumps right in. There is nothing he won't do with me. I can't remember life without him.

I've had my coffee and actually worked on some laundry. I'm up later than usual. Sarah is still at her other grandparents and I slept in. I have done that for a couple of days. With Sarah off from school, it is easier to fall into that habit. 

Today is my first day staying away from Facebook. I elected to take June off and not log on, check messages, or post other than blog posts that go up. I don't have to go to Facebook to post those. I suspect no one will really notice. I get a few blog readers here and there. 

To be honest, my instinct was to sit down with my coffee and check my mail as usual. Then, I usually go onto FB and surf the stream and check the group page, maybe play a game. When I first got on FB, that was it. After Jerry died, things changed.

I read a lot of the articles. Much of them are news related, oddities, anything science. That sort of thing. The problem lies in after that. I get caught up in some of the memes, and although I only play one gave on FB, there are those quizzes, which are really just games. So, I end up with hours a day on Facebook and nothing to show for it. 

Since Jerry died, I don't really hear from anyone anymore outside of Evansville except my aunt and uncle. I might get a family call every few months from one person. But I have a very large family. So, I told myself it was so I could keep in touch with my family. When I began to loose so much time "staying in touch" I realized how stupid that is. 

Why would it be necessary to spend time on Facebook wading through hundreds of posts about nothing to hear from people who could just as easily pick up the phone and talk to you for five minutes? Or who could try and visit you once in a while? 

Why would any family think that posting about their trip to Wal-mart was "staying in touch"? Posting "I'm at McDonald's" is not sharing yourself with people who love you. Telling the world you're at Starbucks having a latte is not relating to anyone. It does pretty much tell us you're silly extravagant but its your money.

That's not friendship. That's not love. That's not a relationship. 

Someone posted an article by a  young woman who withdrew from Facebook. She explained how it was robbing her of a relationship with God. She was so young, newly  married. And she woke up. And she woke me up. I realized that I have no desire to live my life checking my phone to get the latest on FB. It is why I don't use that app. I'm not living in Facebook. 

Here I was sitting, doing nothing, waiting for a piece of someone's life to be "shared" with me. For hours, days, weeks, months, years. I was foregoing life. I didn't go anywhere. I stopped calling folks. I stopped reading much. I wasn't getting any writing done. I wasn't praying enough. I wasn't reading my Bible enough. Real life was slowing, coming to a screeching halt. For Facebook. No, thank you. 

I love my family. I  have some new family members I've gotten closer to because I could text to them and interact with them on Facebook. It is totally unsatisfying. I have some new nephews I so wish I could meet and hold and love. They look so adorable.

Facebook doesn't build family relationships. They do not know me. May never know me. Other than a photo on Facebook. There will be no real sadness if some of us dies. We don't know each other.  I miss being so far from family and never seeing or hearing from them. I had a great family. We used to plan get-togethers and arrange reunions. 

That is not who I am. That is not who I want to be. It is time to focus on real people rather than photos online.

It was hard for about 30 minutes this morning to not get my fix. I suspect I'll have moments when I want to see photos, read about someone's happiness, and "talk" to someone. But I used to do that every day of my life without Facebook. 

I truly love the connections I have there. I've met lots of new people who I wouldn't expect to be involved in their every moment under normal circumstances. I like reading some of the things that happen in their lives. I like sharing things with them. I like seeing the photos. If I could travel where they are I am certain we could have lunch together.

But at the end of the day, Facebook is just a newspaper. It is not relationships. A smiley face isn't human. There is something about a smiling human face that gives such comfort. There is something about real hugs that soothe the soul. There is something about hearing "I love you" rather than a heart symbol, that makes life much more bearable. 

Where is life? I have a group of great friends I get to see about twice a month. I have a couple of family members I see regularly. When we're together we have the best time laughing and talking and sometimes we go places together. I get to sit across the table and listen to the writers carry on and do you know that is just the best feeling. Listening to other people laugh is so amazingly relaxing. I watch Sarah running in the yard and it is unleashed joy and hearing her giggle is like wine. 

Will I go back to Facebook at the end of the month? Will I be so socially deprived that I have to log back into a false life? I hope not. 

I hope that there will be more read books, completely written stories, good times with my girl pals and writers' group and giggles with Sarah. NaNoWriMo is coming and I'll have time to plan better. The yard needs things done and Pain and I will be able to get out there a bit. I can start walking regularly and more. I can reestablish uninterrupted devotional time.

Life is waiting, but it won't wait forever. I hope that by the end of June, real life will have reasserted itself and filled the vacancies.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Coaster Cozies

Last week I posted a video about the Coaster Cozies I'd made for some coaster that had become rather worn. These are simply coasters you get from Walmart with a thin piece of cork on one side and a picture on the other. You can see them in the holder behind the glass. I have seen so many crocheted coasters and kept telling myself that I should just make some and throw away those tatty ones. 

So I started to do just that. I was using my hard coasters as a size guide and when I got to the edge, I had an idea. Instead of stopping with a flat coaster, I continued to crochet but I began to decrease, causing the edge to roll under and form a kind of hat. On the yellow and blue I added chain edge to give it a ruffled look. I did the decrease from the back loop and the chain ruffle from the front loop. Once completed, I slipped it on the coaster and immediately decided to do all six of my coasters. 

I liked the ruffle on the colors but not on the brown. Silly, I know, but the brown seemed a bit un-frilly looking to me. 

I'm not sorry. I am going to do several in the dark blue for the living room because my curtains are dark blue. The yellow will probably go in the den where I read and work. And the brown variegated will be on night tables. Sarah and I both take a glass of water to our room at night.

Now, I'm going look for some tiles. I think I just stumbled on some nice Christmas presents. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Never Forget

Regardless of what liberals would have you think, regardless of how the media portrays it, this nation paid a price to be born, to grow, and to remain a nation of free people. It took 200 years and untold lives to become a nation looked on with envy and hope by millions. 

These served with honor and integrity for something greater than themselves. 
Some of us will not forget. 

How sad that it has taken only a couple of decades and a few entitled ingrates and a prejudicial media to completely obliterate that view and make a mockery of the men and women that gave their lives for the protection of our nation and that allows them the freedom to whine, complain, and burn the cities. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Exiting the Web

It is time, I think. I've been thinking about deactivating my Facebook page for the summer. I've been thinking about this for several weeks. I'm spending too much time online and not doing things that actually matter. It is a habit that needs breaking.

Here is the information on deactivation on Facebook and how it works. Anyone who visits your page...

  • won’t be able to see the information on your Timeline on Facebook and will not be able to search for you. Some information, like messages you sent, may still be visible to others.
  • We save the information in your account, just in case you want to come back to Facebook at some point. If you choose to reactivate your account, the information on your profile will be there when you come back.

I would still have email, the blog, and my g+ group page. I'm hardly on G+ more than an hour or two a week. It is much easier to scan the things that interest me because they're in set categories that I can pull up en mass, rather than an endless stream of nonsense mixed with people and things I actually want to see. I'll be deciding in the next day or so for certain and will warn you before I do it.

Of course, I could just opt to not use the page but I've done that before and it doesn't work as well as a deactivated page would. I've deactivated before, once for a long time. I didn't miss it. I only  opened it back up to start a writing group. That will have to move, of course.

For the moment, I've not decided on what course of action I will take but I will be doing something. Sarah leaves in a week and I plan on using my vacation effectively. I have a short story to finish. A writing group & group anthology to coordinate. I need to do some serious declutter and disposal of items.

Anyone on Facebook who is on my Gmail contact list will be able to reach me through that. If you are on my G+ page, you'll see me there. If you registered with the G+ River City Writers' group, you will be getting the updates to the G+ group. 

If any of that is not true and you want to remain in contact, you can contact me asap. If you want to be added as a G+ contact, you can do so on this page with the widget or you can email me. You can leave me a message in the comments. 

I will make a decision by next week. Otherwise, you won't be able to see me until I reactivate the FB account if I decide to do that. 

May Walk

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wasting Time, Making Stuff, Buying Shoes

I have a doctor's appointment at 12:30 p.m. with my RA doctor. Since I'm having very little pain this week I suspect it will be uneventful. My cold or whatever it was is finally showing signs of improvement. I'm coughing less and my congestion is much better. However, this may be subject to change if it is allergy related.

Earlier this week I started work on flipflops for Sarah. She had two new pair and I crocheted the thong part and yesterday added flowers. This probably cost me a total of $2 added to the cost of the $1 flip flops. Although, I did have to buy the yarn, I discount that because I'll use it for other projects. You could easily do it with leftover yarn from another skein you have in your stash. I messed up the flower for the other shoe and have to repair it. I bought two sets of barrettes at Family Dollar for $2 and took off the clips and hot glued them to the shoe. They are so cute.

I've also been making dishcloths. I have a stash of cotton and I want to get rid of it so I'm making myself something.

I am once again wasting time on Facebook. I've got things to do and I need to shut that down for a while. I am considering putting in on lock down... or maybe they call that inactive. I might lose some folks, but I'd get a lot more accomplished. Of course, that's a cop out of sorts. I mean, I'm a grown woman. I should be able to shut down a computer and get out of the chair, right?

You can get back to me on that.

I've worked on the short story quite a bit the last few days. I don't have nearly enough but hey, it is progressing. I have something happening. I need a reader to tell me it works. I feel like it doesn't but when I read it, it seems fine.

I bought a nice pair of shoes at a local secondhand store, St Vincent De Paul's, yesterday. I paid $5 for this pair of heels, "I love Comfort" brand. I think that is a Sears brand. And let me tell you, they are so comfortable! Those who know me well, know if I say that, it is true. They have never been worn. They had a whole slew of brand new shoes there.

I think I've mentioned somewhere that Mike is returning home this Friday. Sarah will be out of school on the 22nd and going to her Dad's on the 7th. I will have a few months of solitude and I hope to accomplish a lot of stuff. I'm concerned that I won't. I know, it hasn't happened yet. Why worry? That's just who I am.

The day is beautiful, but it was COLD this morning at 57. Sarah has been having breakfast on the front porch this past week and this morning she wanted to do it again. I explained the weather. She stepped out and stood there several minutes.. wearing her shorts and tank top. Once I told her she'd be a popsicle after she had cold milk, she elected to have it inside. Currently, it is 64F and if I wasn't going to the doctor, I'd be on the patio.

I think I may cut the yard when I get back. Or not. The track doesn't need it so it would be easy.

There is a mosquito buzzing around in here and I keep missing him.

That's all the news that is news for now. I hope you've enjoyed our little interlude. Maybe we can do it again soon.

Friday, May 8, 2015


Image courtesy of samuiblue 
I welcome Friday with joy, even though I don't have a "job" because tomorrow I don't have to get up at 6:30 a.m. That's always wonderful. It is a lovely day out there today and I wish I could sit and enjoy it. However, each time I've gone out I've come in ill because of the pollen count. This year is worse than any I've seen.

I'm still coughing up my lungs. I had lunch with the writer girls yesterday and that was fun. I didn't spend the whole meal hacking. I went to bed thinking I was better. This morning I'm rattling and coughing all over the place. I see my RA doc on Wednesday, but I don't expect she'll address this. She'll tell me to go to my regular doctor. My regular doctor is young and I'm not confident in her abilities to do anything. Each time I see her it becomes evident I need someone else.

Last night I finished one of the quiz books I'm working on. It was such a relief. It covers a book called God's Adventurer and is about Hudson Taylor, a missionary to China in the 1800's. The book is not well written, but I suspect it is geared to adolescents. I enjoyed the story and found myself respecting the man immensely. His faith in the unlimited supply of God was astounding and proven.

I have pulled the next book out of the stack. I don't know if they are any good. Two are actual novels: God's Smuggler and Up from Slavery. Those will probably be easier reading. The other three I have my doubts about. Reading them and then developing questions is tedious. So it takes longer. I could have read the Taylor book in a few hours, but it has taken days to create the questions and answers, then type and format the guide.

My yard needs cutting again and I dread a half day spent doing that. I have a couple of errands to run so I'll be in and out with those. There is also a short story to write.

I think I should probably get busy.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Spills & Thrills

The week has whizzed by so fast I am not sure what day it is. I am sure I am exhausted. I had a bad fall when I was helping Becca move on Thursday. I fell down some steps and landed full length on the ground. Nothing broken but bruised my hip and shoulder on the right side and smacked my head, breaking my bear claw hair clip to smithereens.

Fortunately, we've had lots of rain and, as a result, the ground is quite a bit softer than the cement sidewalk I barely missed. I was coming out a door and held it for the person behind me. There are three concrete steps up to that door and when I turned, I overstepped the first step, stumbled around for a second trying to find a place to stand but everything seemed to have just rolled up and I went flying. I had a microwave plate in my hand and a Pyrex baking dish. Somehow the microwave plate lay on the sidewalk, unbroken. The baking dish lay at my feet, unbroken. I lay splayed on the ground groaning. Bruised but thank God, unbroken.

It took several minutes for me to get up. I think I had the wind knocked out of me for a second and I was very disoriented. My hip was bruised and shoulder and trying to get up took a minute. I had help but still it was difficult.

We continued on with the moving. I moved a bit slower. I was sitting in the car a bit later and realized that if I stopped moving long I might not get up for a while. So, I just kept going the rest of the day, coming home to sort things here. I mowed the grass yesterday. Today, I  hurt from my hips up to my neck and I'm pretty sure it is because of the fall.

I'm tired because I have been up since 7 a.m. and the steroid always gives me plenty of energy. I went for a walk on Wednesday at the cemetery. I enjoyed it and hoped to do it a few days this week but under the circumstances, I can't say my body had missed it.

I haven't done any writing at all. Things just sort of snowballed and I've been on the move, rarely on the computer. I logged onto Facebook today to check in and catch up but I'm done now.

I spent the whole day either sitting in the den or on the patio reading. It was a beautiful day and I couldn't find the energy to do anything else.

Now, I'm going to find my bed and see if I can get a comfortable position to rest in.