Thursday, December 22, 2016

Where Have I Been?

No idea. Things have sort of been chaotic. I've been sick... twice. In November, during NaNo, I caught a monster cold the second week. Got antibiotics on the 16th and spent the next two weeks, including Thanksgiving sick. I flunked NaNo, barely able to get 5000 words.

I had a week's respite before the second monster cold hit me. I suspect a relapse. I battled it two more weeks and on the 19th, I got another round of antibiotics.

I am STILL battling this cold. I still have a runny nose, despite the doctor's assertion that I have an upper respiratory infection and the antibiotic would clear that up. I still am coughing and I can tell you my right lung is not letting go of the crud without a serious fight. I haven't had a good night's sleep in weeks because I can't wear my CPAP mask. I wake up choking and coughing and have to take it off. The coughing is beginning to lessen and there is less junk in my chest but I'm telling you, it has been bad.

As a result of the second round of antibiotics, I have to stay off my RA meds more than just a week. My immune system is so suppressed that I'm catching everything. At the moment, I've been about 5 days with no meds and I was due for the Humira shot on Monday. I skipped it. I am just thankful that at the moment, my pain is not an issue. When you can't breathe, some things just become unimportant to the brain I guess.

That being said, I had a relatively calm Thanksgiving with my family here in town.  I helped Sarah's mom move into her new apartment. I am going to miss them. I miss little Madi toddling around getting into stuff and giving me morning kisses. It was nice to have someone to talk to and go shopping with once in a while. I suspect I'll pop around regularly to get my kisses. The house was alive again for a bit.

Christmas has also been nice. My youngest son is in with his family from Arkansas. Tonight we decorated the tree, which is a good indicator of how much better I am feeling. I had it up before the 19th last year. This year, I was seriously thinking who needs a tree. But with the help of my granddaughter Alyssa, we had it up in no time and it looks good. I did not put up all my decorations, as I would have liked. Who needs decorations.

So, that's what the last two months have been like. I don't have a clear memory of much else because it all passed in a blur of coughing crud and snot. Yes, I said snot. I need to buy stock in tissue companies in the worst way.

I hope all who are reading this will have a wonderful Christmas holiday. My you find the true reason for the season in your own life. I celebrate the birth of the Savior.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

On The Mend

I believe I'm on the mend. I'm coughing less and feeling less achy. I have a headache tonight but I have nearly every day I've been sick, particularly since I started  the antibiotic. I'm also off my RA meds for the time being until the cold is clear. So I could be having pain due to either one or both. I am very tired tonight so will not be doing much on this post. 

I start the week hoping I can knock out at least another 5000 words on my NaNo novel. As I mentioned, this is a previous NaNo novel that was near completion. I'm not stressing about it but it would be nice to start Dec. 1 with a completed draft. I think 5k is a stretch. I don't think it will take that much more to finish. Still, that's my goal, at any rate. I've got a plan in mind to work on the draft, i.e. rewrite, through next November. My next goal would be to edit that draft and get some feedback. 

We'll have to see. I've been known to get very ill when I make such plans. I'll tackle one goal at a time. I'm hoping that the meds will continue to work and I can keep my brain going. 

So, this is good night. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

It's Over!

I'm sitting in front of the fire, in my recliner feeling like yesterday's sludge. I have a cold that keeps hanging on. It has toyed with me for over a week now. I suppose I need to get some meds but when you take about 25 pills a day you don't want to add new ones.

The election is over and I doubt anyone is any happier than I. Trump is triumphant and 50% of the population is in a panic thinking they're going to be assaulted by Republican zombies or stripped of citizenship. Sad that the media has created this environment. If they stuck to political facts instead of personal attacks... well that's not going to happen.

What I find highly amusing is the illegals protesting. You have no voice in this election. No right to complain about our process. Go back to Mexico and straighten out your own country. We got this. Despite your belief, the Constitution only applies to citizens rights, not illegals.

Whew! Sorry about that. It just ticked me off seeing criminals protesting our government. This is the kind of thing Americans are angry about. This is OUR country. If you don't like our laws, get out.

I reviewed my blog posts and I'm very lax about this blog these days. I rarely post here anymore. It has always been more of a journal and I haven't felt a need to journal in recent months. I've either been too sick or too tired or too busy. Not so much drama either. And I've specialized the other two blogs so that takes a lot of what would normally be here. I suspect this blog is dying a slow death. Sad in a way. I started it in 2005 I think, 11 years ago. Lots of life happened.

I'm leaving to listen to the fire popping and try and nap. Only 5 hrs sleep last night and the cold have left me feeling bad.

Why yes, that is a Youtube fireplace.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Big Moment

So, another day on the patio enjoying the weather. It has been a great week to sit outside and I'm so thankful for the chance to do that. The house is clean and there's nothing calling me away. Well, my unmade bed is making noises but I can't hear them out here. I will go buy groceries this afternoon, with reluctance, but of necessity.

It has taken a couple of months but it almost feels like I'm getting my footing. Of course, I live with the cautious attitude that anything can go wrong, and probably will, but I've reached a place where now is the most important thing. I'm not promised tomorrow and yesterday is finished. I just have to get through today. When you live with chronic pain, you learn not to think about anything but today.

So, I'm enjoying today. Tomorrow can take care of itself.

I hope you'll have a great day. Enjoy your little moments. You can make them big ones. The only big moment you'll get may be right now. Make this moment your big moment and if there is a bigger one later, you'll get double enjoyment. If it is a bad moment, you will have had this moment.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Whirlwind

Out here on the ledge, life does strange things, not always good but not always bad. What's happened since August? Things have been busy and I have had no time to post to this journal. What writing I've done has been in other areas.

I started going to church closer to home. It has been a good decision. I've been able to go more often, almost every service. The later service times gives my body time to adjust and the joints time to warm up. And although the service is longer, there is only the one and the evening isn't exhausting.

The doctor put me on Cymbalta for pain. It was immediate relief. For the last month, I've had very little pain. I am not as fatigued as I was and don't have the associated brain fog.

I've been very busy the last two weeks since my granddaughter's mother moved back to town. We're still friends, even though my son is no longer married to her and having company is actually nice. She's waiting for housing to come through and until then, I actually have someone to visit with.

Mike got second job and seems to be doing well. I'm really proud of him.

I've been reading more since I'm not a zombie. But I am off track with the writing. I'm hoping this week things will settle down and I'll be able to get back to it.

Now that I've updated, I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Treasures

I found this in the papers I cleaned out a couple of months ago. There is no date but I suspect he was about Sarah's age (10).

Things like this were always important to me and so I hung on to them. No one else cares now but I'll put them all in a file with dozens of letters from family members, some who are already gone. Jerry kept some cards the boys gave him and I still have them. They were important to him, too. Whoever is left at the end of the day can put them all in the garbage.

I'm on the downhill side of my life and I've lost so many of the people who gave my life meaning. Going through the debris left in the wake of living often brings surprises. Running across such things brightens a moment of time.  A bright face seems to just appear, in a twinkling, blinking out before you can grab hold and pull it close.

 Life changes so quickly. You don't see it coming. You anticipate the joys but you can't anticipate the pain.

Just so you know, you won't always get love letters or phone calls. You won't always have someone to tell you they love you. In fact, some of the people who used to tell you will stop long before either of you leave the world. I love you very much.... How long? Only children can make that promise because for them life is long. For those of us who live long, we know nothing is forever. People change, love ends, life ends, and you can't change it or stop it.

So, finding treasures such as this will warm your heart or it may cut it out of you. They're still treasures. Keep them. And if you had one person loved you for even a short span of your life, you're a rich person.


Monday, August 15, 2016

More of the Same

Things have been rather slow since I got back from Arkansas. My RA has been at near peak performance for months and I've grown a bit weary of it. A good day here and there is never enough relief. The barrage of storms that continue to roll across S. Indiana are a constant source of pain and the pain keeps me exhausted.

They are once again going to adjust my Cpap machine to try and reduce my apnea events. Obviously, I'm having too many. Is this why I'm tired? Who knows. I'm in constant pain, usually moderately severe. I sleep in pain and I wake in pain. You don't rest like that. So, I don't know if the adjustment will help.

And no, the Humira has not helped. They said six months to see a change. I'm 3 months in. Very little improvement, if any, is noted. In fact, I see signs of things worsening. I'm gaining weight because I can barely walk most days and have less strength in my legs and arms. Jars present Olympic challenges. Any work performed robs me of days of energy.

Reading is difficult because concentration is bad. Writing is difficult for the same reason and my hands hurt. Sitting hurts my back after long periods but walking hurts my hips. I actually feel better mentally when I can get some exercise if joint pain doesn't make it impossible to bear.

This has been a year of hell. I'm not usually a quitter but I've stopped fighting. It isn't going to get better. I don't want to think about what it is going to become.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Dreaming

I used to have the most vivid dreams. They say we dream in black and white but I dreamed in color and I'd have the most interesting dreams. I stopped dreaming years ago for a very long time. I don't know why but probably due to my sleep disorder. To dream, you actually have to sleep well.

Not dreaming can't be good. They say it helps you work out problems and frustrations in your waking life. I think that is true and I miss my vivid dreams. Perhaps I still dream and they're just not memorable. After they started treating me for the sleep apnea I did start to have a few dreams but not very memorable ones or very vivid.

Until last night. I dreamed and the dream stuck with me after I woke up. It was quite vivid and for some reason disturbed me. It might be because there was so much confusion in the dream. Even now, as I write this post, I'm confused by it. Some of it fades but fortunately, I wrote it down. You can see it is filled with confusion.



In my dream I was going to a funeral, I think. I thought I was with someone (Daddy) and when I parked the car I told them I could find it when I came out. Then I was alone inside a huge church packed with black people and I thought a black person was dead. They all had on white hats and I remember they were singing but not the song.

At first, I was seated toward the back and high up but then I was near the front left on the end of the pew and two white women were seated on my right. The nearest was blond or gray haired. Beyond them were two people I knew, Loraine and Joseph. They used to live in town and moved to Nashville. I didn't know why they were in the church. Or my dream.

I suddenly had a tablet and had turned it on. I don't know why I had it but I was listening to something and the woman next to me told me to turn it off. She was very rude and then the woman next to her was snarling to turn it off. I was frustrated at getting caught with it on, even though I didn't understand why it was on in church. I told them I was trying to shut it down but didn't know how. I finally got it off but the woman said something ugly to me but I don't know what. She pointed out that Loraine and Joseph left and said it was my fault. I could see them walking up the sloping aisle of the church.

I started to leave but went back to tell the woman that she didn't know anything about me, who I was or what I'd been thru and then I felt bad for being nasty to her. I said that I didn't know her either and was sorry for being disruptive and left.

Outside it was pitch black but I saw Loraine and Joseph driving away. I was surrounded by woods. Cars were parked willy nilly around the woods and I couldn't find mine. I was getting panicky, using the emergency button on my key, hoping to set off the car alarm so I could find my car. I felt there were people going to their cars but didn't see anyone. I remembered telling someone I could find my car again.

Then it was daytime and the building was surrounded by parking areas. There was a creek and beyond it a parking area. In the light, I could see that there were parking areas all around. I kept walking trying to find my car, pointing the key and pushing the button. 

Then, I was on the street and it was lined with cars. I walked a moment or two and turned into another parking area. I stopped and dug out my phone and told someone to call home (who?) but saw it had all these games on it. 

I started deleting them until I realized I needed to call home and ask where the car was. Then I realized I didn't have my phone. It looked very weird with a small screen and was a pink color. I didn't know whose phone it was but I knew mine was in my purse. I handed the phone to someone (?) and began to dig in my purse.


I woke up.



Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Surprise!

Yep, I'm back. Been a while, hasn't it? Over a month, in fact. I wish I could say I'd been doing something constructive but I haven't. I did go on vacation to Branson, MO two weeks ago with my aunt, uncle, and sister. We had a great time. I only had a couple of days where pain was a problem. Fortunately, the resort had a hot tub I could use for a bit and it helped. I also remembered to bring medicine to help with the pain. So, my trip was not bad at all.

Once I got home, of course, things took a turn. I worked a couple of days and my pain escalated. Had four days of lower back pain and sciatica. I think the sitting for hours aggravated it.  And because it hurt so bad, I had to sit even more. There were a lot of storm fronts moving around but despite that, only the back gave me real trouble.

This week has been better but I go back to work on Wednesday and I'm going to be there for half a day. I'm concerned that I'll have another flare up with my back. We'll see. Sitting is hard on your back.

Tomorrow I will start painting my bedroom. Mike came and helped me move the furniture out on Saturday and I've spent the last two days deciding on the color. I'm not totally happy with my choice but I'm going to live with it. I will start painting in the morning. I've got the windows taped and may do that first as they are the most tedious. I have to sand the wall where I've patched 20 years of holes. I must have moved pictures around a lot. I couldn't believe the number of holes. I still have a few to patch but I simply was too tired to bother with those high up. The downside is it takes hours for the spackle to dry. It may interfere with my painting.

Writing has not been happening. The back was so bad I couldn't even read. I simply sat in the recliner, not good for bad backs either, by the way, and watched Peyton Place on YouTube. I couldn't believe I found that! And it was actually pretty good. I've gotten bored with it this week but it sure took me back to my childhood. I watched it with my Mama. I wasn't even 10 yrs old when it went off the air. I felt like I was with old friends. Since I have very few friends, it was a nice feeling.

My youngest sister is in the hospital this week. She's going through some bad times right now. If you pray, please say a prayer for her. It looks like they're going to keep her for more than a week.

That's it I think. I wanted to write for a bit to see if I still could. This blog seems to be gradually fading away. I seem to be here less and less. Although I don't have a ton of readers anyway, it has been a great form of therapy for me. I'd be in a loony bin after Jerry died if I couldn't have written down what I was going through. Maybe I did. I still wonder sometimes. My life was turned upside down and poured out into some great black hole and I've never really escaped. Maybe, in reality, I'm in an asylum and all that has happened since is in my head.

Did I mention I've been a bit depressed? I think it is just because after my trip I had to come back here, to this empty house. Sarah is away for the summer with her Dad. She's having a blast. I can see in the photos she is enjoying herself. I'm happy for her.

And that's enough of that.

Tomorrow comes early. Of course, it will take me two hours to catch up.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Gang aft Agley

At last, the week ends. All things considered, it hasn't been a horrible week. A week without pain is gain, indeed. However, Friday the 13th arrived with bells on.

I have this part-time job. You may have heard about it. I'm a test proctor for a company here in town. I basically watch doctors, lawyers, college bound, medical school bound, mechanics, nurses, and teachers take standardized tests on computers. You may have taken such a test somewhere. They can last from half an hour up to 8 hours. Some might take two days but I haven't experienced those. For you it may have been tough. For the proctor, it is like watching grass grow.

At 7:30 we opened the door and even before we opened the computers refused to cooperate. Two test stations and the admin station simply didn't want to work. I called the help desk. They were experiencing problems and said call back.

...........Yes, they did.

I've worked with computers for over 30 years and never such a thing happening. I rarely call help desks for anything but the times I have, I was never told to call  back due to technical problems. And I have 9 people to seat at their stations by 8 a.m. Half an hour is pushing it for registration, security checks, and seating.

But I worked my magic and we got them going. A third computer acted up later. Throughout the day, we had minor issues that kept us running. But the end of the day, my co-worker and I were exhausted and cracking jokes about testers committing suicide with their headsets. He was very funny. I just held my sides.

Sarah went out with my sister for a few hours and so cooking wasn't necessary but I made tuna salad and had that for a late dinner. At 8 p.m. I looked up from my book and meal and realized I was going to fall over if I didn't get to bed. I told Sarah I had to shower and go to bed.

"Can I stay up until 10?"

I showered and tried to figure out why I felt as if I'd keel over if you thumped me. Let me see. Arose at 6 a.m. and got Sarah up, fed, and ready for school. Left for work at 7. Opened the office at 7:15. You know the rest. Got home around 3:45 p.m. and read for a few hours. My sister brought Sarah back around 5 and stayed for about an hour and a half to visit. Dinner at 8. So, here I am at 9 p.m. I calculated. Oh, wait. I've been on  my feet for about 15 hours.

O.k., that might be it. And I didn't get a nap today. Maybe I should go to bed. Yeah. By the time I brush my teeth it will be 10 and Sarah can't argue.

Ah... a plan.

I keep hearing Robbie Burns say, "The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men,  Gang aft agley,"


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

On a Clear Day

Can you imagine waking up and not feeling any pain at all? Can you imagine being able to have a clear thought, to not feel as if your brain was stuffed with cotton wool all the time?

I can't. I do not remember what it is like to wake up and not feel pain all over. I can't remember being able to walk without my feet hurting or my neck in excruciating pain. I can't remember what it feels like to be able to think clearly.

I don't remember what any of that feels like. I've had days of moderate pain, but no days when I was totally pain-free. For over 7 years.

Today marks one week since I received the Humira shot for my rheumatoid arthritis. The doctor told me it could take up to two months to see any effects. Over the last week, we've had day after day of rain and thunderstorms. My usual reaction to this kind of weather is days of severe pain in every joint, even my skin hurts. Low-pressure systems are a physical hell for me.

So, how has this week gone? For the first four days, after the shot, I woke up to no pain at all. It felt as if my brain had some kind of jolt and everything felt sharp and crisp. From the fifth day through today I've had some minor pain in a couple of small joints. I've had a couple of ocular migraines, at least I think that is what they were. 

Today, I have no pain other than some minor pain in my hand and we had a storm come through. The lack of brain fog alone was a shock. 

I don't know if this is all a result of the shot or if I'm in a short remission due to the steroid I had to go on a week before the shot. That's never happened before and I've taken the steroid at least 4 times in the last year and a half. Generally, the steroid only works during the first three days until I begin to taper off and then the pain returns.

Whatever it is, I'm thankful for it. So, I'll be watching things with interest to see how it goes. I'm terrified of this medicine but I have very few choices at this point. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

As Busy as A......

The last month has been so busy I haven't had time to do anything but work, clean house, and sleep. I don't know if I mentioned I went back to work in January. It is only a part time job but it was just enough money to fill a shortage in my budget.

Anyway, I've been adjusting to that and less time at home means, adjusting in several areas. Initially, I was just working half a day a few days a week. Two weeks ago a coworker (19 yr old who has never had a job) went into a snit and walked out so I've had to work more and longer days. I'm virtually wiped out. I told them today I simply could not work these long days after next week. The big baby will be back next week. Not my doing. If I'd been the boss, he'd be toast. I'm not. He's not.

Anyway, going back to work aggravated my already endless fatigue. I have been so exhausted for a while. In March, I finally bought something for adrenal fatigue at the health food store that seems to be working very well. I can get through the day now without passing out for four hours after only a few hours out of bed. However, the last two weeks have really caused problems with my pain and fatigue.

The net result is that I've done virtually no writing and nothing for fun. I read and watch t.v. and go to bed. I've managed to keep up with the laundry, keeping things swept and vacuumed. That's about it. With the increased pain levels I've had to start taking the steroid in the last three weeks to manage my pain.

On a more positive note, the money has made a huge impact at bill paying time. I'm so thankful for that. And I do find I like the structure better, although the 6:15 alarm is no fun. I have to be there at 7:15 and this means getting up ahead of Sarah and getting her ready for school. She's a bear most mornings. Thank goodness, Mike comes over on the days I work and gets her on the bus. But 6:15 to 5 p.m. is a long stretchThen, I have to prepare food. Lately, it is sandwiches and pizza. I have to cook tomorrow. I'm sick of junk food.

Mike got a part-time job as well about a month ago. He's been looking for a second one but has had no luck. Because of the new Indiana policy of starvation for anyone not working at least 20 hours, he won't get help with food and that's one reason I had to go to work. Since there are virtually no full-time jobs for folks with no marketable skills and disabilities such as Mike has, he's lucky to get even one job part time. Most employers have not wanted to deal with his hearing problems and the other things that accompany it. And the new "no food" policy means the small check he'll get won't cover all his food needs plus rent, medical insurance, and medicine. If he didn't have a scooter, he'd be walking to work. On icy/rainy days its bad.

Of course, if I could figure out how to make him a refugee from some terrorist country, the problem would be solved!

I'm done. There isn't really anything else to tell. I have been thinking about letting this blog go. I've been doing it since 2005 I think. Over 10 years! I don't know that anyone is really interested anyway and I'm not sure it isn't just a waste of time. I vent a lot and no one wants to hear my whining. Maybe it has served its purpose and it is time to go. I'll have to think about it. It only just occurred to me. Maybe it is time to stop.



Monday, March 7, 2016

A Crime of Stupidity

Weapon Used
So, I poked holes in my kitchen trash can. I saw this little hack online and it works really well. When I try to pull those plastic trash bags from the can I often end up fighting myself because of the vacuum seal that results between the can and bag. To prevent this, you just punch some holes in the sides of your can, a few inches from the bottom. It really works great.

I usually pour about a quarter cup of PineSol in the bottom of my can each week. It usually dries up in a day or so but it smells wonderful and when the can needs washing out, it is a much easier process. Just use your sink sprayer and put two or three cups of water in it and swish with a toilet brush, rinse, and pour the dirty water down the toilet.

Scene of the Crime
There is one inherent flaw in this process. I found it today. If you're standing at the sink, daydreaming, and use the sprayer you have to remember those holes. After work today, I took out the garbage and decided while I was filling the sink to do dishes that I'd clean the can. I happened to look down to see water spraying out of four small holes in the sides of my can. The damage wasn't serious but it did require mopping the floor a couple of times. It took a bit to sop up all the water and I had a good laugh at myself, but no harm done ... until I stepped into the den ajacent to the kitchen.

I was still wearing my work shoes, low heels, when I stepped down from a wet floor onto the dry concrete floor. My right foot was still on the step and left foot on the floor... for a second. The left foot slipped out from beneath me. I fell, the right leg bending at the knee beneath me, my body falling backward and landing on my right calf and foot. I hit  my arm just above my left elbow on the edge of the concrete step.

Fortunately, that arm and the bent leg probably kept me from hitting my neck or head on the concrete step. However, the front of my right thigh felt as if it had just undergone some sort of test to see how far it could be stretched. I remember doing something similar in aerobics or something when I was about 25. I'm not 25 now.

I struggled onto my butt from my prone position and was lucky enough to reach the house phone. I called my son, Mike because I honestly didn't think I could get up. I was wedged between the kitchen door and a desk, with one leg doubled under me and both it and my arm giving me a good dressing down.

I really believed I'd probably broken that leg but after the first wave of pain swept over me, I decided I was in better shape that I originally feared. My body began to wake up from the shock about the time Mike arrived. The arm hurt and will probably pout for a few days. The thigh still protested having to support my uh.... weight but then they usually do anyway. My upper back was annoyed I'd clinched up. Although my neck had not struck anything, it was absolutely irate at the strain I'd placed on it when my body protested falling. Everyone's a critic.

Mike was worried  and said, "Good thing you didn't break your leg." 

I looked at him. "Right, because I don't think you would take as good a care of me as I did of you."

We both laughed. He went home. I finished putting away the laundry. My leg and back were not happy, so I took a hot shower and two Tylenol. I suspect tomorrow they'll get back at me.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

My Response to a Stupid Article

This morning I read an article titled, 15 Things An Adult Woman Should Never Have in Her Home. I was so annoyed by it that I felt compelled to respond but since my response is rather lengthy, I decided to post it here.

Obviously, this person has lived a privileged life. The average real woman is all about thrift and saving her money for the really important stuff... like vacations and classy clothes and knock 'em dead shoes. Those don't come cheap. Or maybe it is really important to feed the kids and since groceries cost more than ever, we don't worry about rods, drawers, and hangers. I read over the list and decided the writer needs a reality check.

Let me first say I do agree with one point. One should have a good mattress. However, most mattresses these days are junk. They have a 5 yr lifespan because manufacturers stopped making them reversible and use cheap materials so you have to buy them more often. At one time 20-year warranties were the norm but since you can't flip them that has fallen by 15 years while the cost of mattresses have tripled. They're sort of like a futon.

Plastic drawers... I have them because children have lots of stuff that are better in drawers that don't break, are easy to see into, and easy for a 5 yr old to reach.

Didn't you know that art is in the eye of the beholder? Why is it bad for me to have posters if I want them? Have you priced frames?

Hangers? Really? Is this really an important thing? Listen, dry cleaner hangers are the prize for being able to afford to have something dry cleaned. They're essentially free but not really. And let's face it, no one keeps clothes long enough for a hanger to wear them out, particularly if you have children. The smart mom even saves the department store hangers that come with kids clothes. They're FREE! Kids usually outgrow the clothes before the hanger breaks.

Spring rods are awesome for places you can't put a nail! Like apartments whose owners are annoying like that. Or a kid's room where they inevitably tear the curtains down doing what kids do. They're also wonderful to hang a temporary curtain for whatever reason, or under a doorless cabinet. No, I don't know why the cheap landlord didn't put up a door but I don't like seeing cleaning supplies.

Why is a beach towel not a towel? What if I like huge, brightly colored towels? What if I need an extra large towel. And they're usually more towel per buck. Besides, they're a great backup if I can't get the laundry done in time.

A shower curtain liner is not a shower curtain? Then why are many shower curtains PLASTIC with pictures! Do I need to add more junk to the environment by buying two plastic curtains? Seriously, I don't care what you do to dress it up, a bathroom is an ugly but necessary feature. Get over it, use the toilet, and stop snooping.

My dead husband gave me the purple bunny. If the next man has a problem with that, he needs to go.

I don't have many Exes. In fact, none. However, my mama told me to never give back the loot. So.. just because your exes gave you junk is no reason for me to give back the nice stuff. Who will know if you don't tell? I think you have too much emotional attachment to stuff. It is just stuff.

The flimsy cutlery? They call it plastic and I use it when I have guests so I don't spend all my time washing dishes instead of enjoying the company of my guests. Or for when I've worked all day and don't want to be bothered with cleaning up dishes. Or when I'm sick and can't do the dishes. Same for the paper plates. However, I do buy the really good paper plates. I don't want to clean the roast out of the carpet.

Metal bed frames? Uh... all bed frames are metal... unless you mean the decorative part, which generally come in a variety of styles and materials. Metal is quite durable and you can change the color of it when you get bored. As for sterile... well, that is where the accessories come in... they call it decorating. Still, I much prefer metal to plastic. Longer life, less waste. Personally, I have a wood frame bed and I find that a wooden frame will break a toe just as well as a metal one. The knee bruises look the same also.

The freebie cups are not for the grown-ups. They're for the kids and annoying house guests. I don't want either of them to break the good stuff.

Mismatched sheets... have you actually bought sheets? Those things cost the earth! You don't throw one away if part of the set wears out. You find ways to use it... like on the futon...

The futon? That's for annoying house guests who take exception to my decorating choices.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

A Day at a Time

For anyone following along, you know that I've survived death and learned to breathe underwater. It took a long time. And some days, I flounder, choke on my tears.

When you lose someone you love, you do not get over it. It doesn't get better. You survive it and you learn to breathe underwater. I still think about him every single day. At least once a day. Sometimes several times in a few minutes.

I still can't watch certain shows, hear certain music, read certain books, or go certain places. I'm crippled in more ways than one by his death. But I keep breathing. In. Out. In. Out. I don't know what else to do. It hurts. That doesn't stop either. You just learn to work through the pain and avoid the things that make you notice it.

This week my nephew signed his divorce papers and has been having trouble breathing. I was so upset for him. I wanted to help him but I can't. His heart is broken and he doesn't know what he's supposed to do now. I know this because the loss of a person you love has the same effect on you when they die. And when you love, it just doesn't go away because you throw dirt on someone or you sign a paper. You don't just get over it.

I'm thankful that Jerry loved me until the day he died. He said he would and he kept that promise. I have survived seven years without Jerry. I haven't lived a darker time in my life. I haven't lived a more painful time. I haven't gotten over it. I just learned to get through it. One day at a time.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Vanished Into the Dark

Tomorrow will be the 29th. Seven years ago tomorrow my whole world turned upside down. Every day I stare at this tableau there is a stab of pain and a flood of memories.

This morning I was wondering this morning how I was going to address tomorrow. Since 2009 I can't approach January 29 as if it were any other day. I remember the first few years the number 29 drove me crazy. Every time the number came up in any context I experienced anxiety.  That faded eventually but the day is still a difficult day to approach.

In fact, beginning January 29, 2009, every major holiday and special occasion has been painful. Starting in August, with Jerry's birthday, until February there are six days that have nearly wrecked me: his birthday on August 6th, Thanksgiving, Christmas, our wedding anniversary on January 11th, his death on the 29th, and Valentine's Day. For nearly half the year, since 2009, I've clinched my teeth, straightened my spine, and struggled not to think about Jerry not being here. I rarely succeeded in being stoic. Each month I'd have at least one day where I just fell apart.

This year, I totally forgot Jerry's birthday. I was stunned and upset with myself the day after when I realized it. Sarah and I were sick. I always take flowers but I forgot him. In November, I was away from home for the holiday and things were very busy and filled with people I love so I didn't brood over Thanksgivings Past. Christmas the house was bulging for three weeks. More people I love, my family and some friends, filled the house up and there was no time to really brood over anything but the lack of time alone, which they gave me at intervals. It is probably the first time since he died that I didn't feel bereft or make myself sick crying. With so much coming and going, there were few opportunities to wallow in self-pity. You know there's folks who think that way after 7 years. There were people who thought that way after the first 6 months.

But tomorrow is the 29th. Today there is a pressure in my chest and a sadness hangs over me. I'm not distraught. I'm not prostrate. I don't feel like crying. There is this heaviness in my gut and I feel as if I have lost something, and I need to get up and look for it. Maybe tomorrow I'll find it?

I should go to the cemetery. I should take flowers. I should tell him I haven't really forgotten, that every day, at some point, I see him, hear him, and feel him. Sometimes only for a moment, sometimes for hours. I should remind him that when I see his picture, sitting there on that shelf, a flood of memories rushes over me. They're funny, happy, silly, angry, and sad all at once.

And sometimes, I get angry because he's not here. He left me with an upside down world and no one to help me clean up the mess. I have to figure out everything myself. I have to take care of every problem alone. If I get afraid, there is no one to hold my hand or wrap me in strong arms. No one to tell me everything is going to be fine. No one to fix the car, the toilet leak, the floor, or take out the trash.

Tomorrow is the 29th. Perhaps, the wheels will begin to turn again and the world will right itself. No. No, it won't. Because it is the 29th and on that day, I died, too. I won't find the things I've lost. Who I am now is not who I was on January 29, 2009. Everything I was and was supposed to be was gone in a moment. I watched it vanish into the dark. Maybe that is why it still feels like I've lost something. I didn't lose Jerry. I lost me.

I love you, Jerry Maddox. I'll always love you.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Some Words Fix Everything

I don't know what we were talking about tonight at supper but something was said about someone taking care of someone. I made the comment that Jerry always took care of me but I didn't have him to do that anymore.

Sarah looked at me and said, "I'm doing that now, Mawmaw."

I said, "What?"

She said, "I'm taking care of you now."

What can you say? Some days life on the ledge is bearable.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Unhappy Start to a New Year

I can't believe the last week. I've had the most miserable week. Pain just slammed me with the weather front that pushed through. Joints, skin, muscles all felt as if I'd been a punching bag for Cassius Clay. Google that and you'll be surprised. I couldn't think because I had a terrible headache for 24 hrs. I am walking in a fog, probably a fibro fog.

This was made all the more frustrating because I had promised myself  I would try and focus less on whining and complaining this year. I don't make resolutions. There is a post somewhere about that. Might be in Life on the Ledge. Anyway, I told myself I'd try and be more positive or not post so many negative things. So naturally, things just went south.

Then today happened. I woke up with the idea I'd do some things around the house and maybe write. In one hour I was basically a zombie. I couldn't think. My brain felt like mush and I was so tired I thought I was going to fall out. Yes, I slept fine. The machine worked. But something is wrong.

I lay down around 1 p.m. I think and dozed. I felt a bit better. As the day wore on, I still was more or less useless. Then Sarah and I got stomach problems. She threw up. I had Montezuma's revenge. No idea what caused all that. I am still tired and about to get my shower and turn in. Maybe tomorrow will be better. We get to sleep in because schools are on a two-hour delay. So, we can sleep until 8:30. Yay!

I've been getting used to the new laptop, Blue. I miss Red but one must move on. I'm ready now to do some writing. If my brain will comply.And I'd like to finish the two books I'm reading. So much to do and I feel awful.

Nite Nite.