Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Into the Dark

I'm not sure where the road of my life deviated from the one I had planned. Glancing over the map, I could pick a few places where I took roads that weren't the norm but over all, things have been pretty regular. Until Jerry died.

I suppose that's the deviation. One day you're a cheerful person, whistling along a sunny path. The next you've fallen into a dark, dank hole of unknown depths. You manage to land on a ledge but you have no idea where the bottom is and no way to climb back up. You'll have to shred your clothes just to make a rope and hope it reaches the bottom.

And there you are, naked, in the dark, hanging from the end of a rope. Lord knows how far you're going to have to fall. What do you do? What can you do? I mean hanging from the end of a rope is death.

Many years ago a woman in my church made a comment, half joking, half serious. She said, "When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." Easy to say when you're not the one on the rope.

Anyone who's skinned a cat on the playground or done hand over hand on the monkey bars, knows hanging on isn't a problem... for about three minutes. After that decisions have to be made. Even then you worried about how far you had to fall. It didn't look far but the impact on your feet is always kind of there, in your head. It just doesn't feel good.

So, sit on the Ledge and wither away or climb down that rope into deeper darkness and hope something doesn't eat you. 'Tis a quandary, to be sure.

Of course, sometimes you get pushed off the Ledge and end up doing a free fall. Those aren't fun either. I've known sky divers. They're just insane. Who jumps out of a perfectly good plane for fun? I've knows a few whose chutes didn't open when they wanted them too. That fall put them in the hospital. Mine may not be so critical in that respect. But it is still painful.

What's my point? I haven't lost sight of it. I've had some good days this week but during those brighter days, I've been depressed and feeling like I should turn around and go back. Impossible to go back, of course. All the bridges burned in the fires I left behind.

Maybe I should have taken a different path. I'd have totally missed that hole if I'd just taken a side road. Or I should have been watching the ground more carefully. Then I wouldn't have fallen in.

And never mind the delays to the journey. Those false starts, detours, and places where you have to stop and wait. Any change to the route would have resulted in a different outcome. Right? Well, maybe but I'm one of those who believe the end result can't really be avoided. I heard a psychology teacher once say that as we age we become who we are. I didn't like the comment then because it sounded as if we had no choice and at that point in my life, I wanted to be more than who I was. I was pretty happy with my life then, but I wanted more and to get there I had to be  more. These days I think the journey makes us who we become and who be become determines where we end up. The course is set for us.

Of course, if you've stuck around all this sounds like the mad ravings of a disillusioned woman. Maybe it is. I think I'm evaluating what I'm doing and who I am and how I got to this state. Paul said in Philippians 4:11 that he'd learned that in whatever state he was in to be content. Paul's state was not Florida. There wasn't sunshine and sandy beaches. He fell in a pretty dark hole and I suspect he ran out of rope long before he reached the bottom. His end was disastrous for him. And yet... he said he fought a good fight, kept the faith, and looked forward to a crown of righteousness.

If you look at it, that seems pretty simple. Stand tall, pull your shoulders back, fight your battles with honor and integrity, keep your faith, and keep going, even if it is into the dark.

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Monday, February 20, 2017

13 Minutes . . .

Another Day of Tedium & Follow Up Test Run

It is another Monday and thankfully it is a beautiful day. Unfortunately, it is the day I set aside to file taxes. This is always one of the most tedious problems simply because it bores me. But one does what one must do.

I have several other things I'd rather be doing. I still have a couple of loads of laundry to hang and fold and put away. I'm not sure on a scale of 1 to 10 how the two rate. Is doing taxes worse than doing laundry? It's a close race.

I wish I could say that I've been writing but I haven't. I have been doing a lot of reading and I've been doing a lot of Bible studies using an app called YouVersion. Now, they don't take very long so that's not a valid reason for my not writing. I'm still having trouble with focus, although, it has been better since I began taking Acyclovir. However, I am running out and the doctor would not prescribe it as I mentioned in a previous post. I will use up my supply, about four more days, and see how things go after that.

Things are warming up a bit here. Temperatures have been less cold but we still have lots of gloom. Today is the exception and we've had a few that began calling me and ended with sun. We've also had some that began sunny and ended with rain. I think it's that time of year. March will blow in and leave with a roar and spring will be on us.

I do have to say I'm feeling better. I am taking my Humira shots again so I cannot be sure another infection won't start. The doctor has told me if I continue to get infections they will take me off of it. The medicine is working, so that worries me.

Last month I mentioned that I was doing a test run of typing using voice recognition software that comes with Windows and a headset. It has made a huge difference having the new headset. When I did the previous post I did it on Google docs. This post is being created in Wordpad. I have to admit that Wordpad and the speech recognition software in Windows works better than Google voice typing. There are fewer mistakes in what the software understands. Of course my accent is a challenge for this kind of software. I have to use my finest and most educated speech in order for it to understand some of my words and even then it screws up. However, there are maybe two errors per paragraph, if that. So I will be using it as often as I can. It does force me to move slower as I write but even so it's faster than I expected. That was not true of the Google voice typing.

Speaking slower may be beneficial to the writing. Although I tend to write stream of consciousness, slowing down during editing is necessary. I don't know how I will edit in Wordpad since my text is in Scrivener. Scrivener does not work with windows speech recognition software. This is a drawback. Still, I see the benefits of using this and I realize it is going to my make things easier. But I'm going to have to work hard to make myself use it.

I'm going to stop here because I need to get some lunch and get back to my taxes. I hope to have those done in a few hours and move on to something else.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Couple of Mice

Tuesday Turmoil

It's been one of those days where anything that could go wrong will. I knew when I got up this morning that I had not had enough of the right kind of sleep. For one thing, my mask was off. I don't know when I took it off but Sarah woke me up at 4 pm and it was off at that point. I believe it was off about 2 hours. I base this on the time I went to bed and the number of hours the online meter says I had with the mask on.

So, I went back to bed as soon as Sarah left. I did not sleep in the recliner. I got back into my warm comfy bed. I slept 2 hours. When I got up I was not feeling well because I had a headache probably because I slept without my mask on during my nap. I should have put the mask on. It was an oversight on my part but I didn't really think I would go to sleep. I felt like I would just rest a minute.

I got up and called Mike to come and change the water filter and the air filter. He came. He attempted to change the water filter and broke it. He successfully changed the air filter. So, now I have no filter on my sink and the water here taste like crap. It comes out of the Ohio River and is processed in a plant using red clay as one of the components. It tastes like mud.

They no longer make this water filter. It was discontinued long ago. I have three brand new filters in storage because they have to be changed every 6 months. So, I Googled it. Lo and behold, on I found it. It is my exact water filter for roughly $40.00. So I ordered it. It should be here in a few days. I think we can survive the nasty water a day or two. I am not happy but it happens.

It could be worse. Things can always be worse. I'm very thankful for my blessings.

I'm sitting here typing this post on Wordpad with my headset and microphone. I mentioned using speech recognition to type in a previous post. I attempted it using Google docs with mixed results. Since I now have the headset and microphone, I decided to give the windows speech recognition software another shot. I'm pleased to report the result is astounding. Mistakes in the text have dropped to minuscule levels and correction has improved dramatically.
                                                                                                                                                                  I'm sure that my typing is much faster than writing this way. However, this is something I need because there are still days when my hands hurt and I can't type well, so I don't do anything. This feature will allow me to type on days when I don't feel well. I must get in a mindset though to do so. I am used to typing 60 to 70 words a minute when I'm writing. This is slowing me down considerably.

The day is almost over and I hope that tonight I can go to bed early again and perhaps do better on the sleep because yesterday I got a tremendous amount done. One can only hope.

I'd do hope that tomorrow is a better day in more ways than one.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

They're Here!

 If you've listened to the vlog posts (about 6 weeks ago) you know that in January I ordered a set of chairs from Lazy Boy. Well, they've arrived and I'm so excited. I went to pick them up this morning.

As soon as I got out of the car at the warehouse I saw them sitting in the doorway and thought what beautiful chairs. When I realized they were MY chairs, I was overjoyed. They are much prettier than I expected and so comfortable. Sarah immediately laid claim to one and honored me with the other.

My living room is not very large and now it is full again. I'll miss the space I've had without the chairs but it nice to have them. I rearranged some tables and moved some stuff around after I took the photos but I'll probably post a video later on. I just wanted to share my excitement with you.

Now, no more food in the living room. No putting feet on the furniture. There's no room anyway and this stuff has to last me the rest of my life.

That's it for this post. I'll come back later and catch you up.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Happy New Year... Late

We made it! I wasn't sure for a moment there but we arrived, only a little worse for wear.

My I've been away for a while. I've sort of fallen off the grid with this particular blog. To be honest, I've been ill for months, since November, with a hideous cold. I won't go into great detail but NaNoWriMo started in November and things were going well until about the second week. I had a cold that got worse and required antibiotics but despite that, it blew my NaNo to bits. Had it not been for my co-ML and another participant, I don't know what I'd have done. By the first week of December, I thought I was better.

That lasted a week and I was down again with a second round of the cold. This required a second round of antibiotics and I had to come off all of my RA meds for three weeks. I was sick until the first week of 2017. I began to feel human again. But the last several weeks I've battled fatigue that has made it impossible to do anything for more than a couple of hours a day.

I've been trying to write more if I can stay well and awake enough. I told a friend recently I was ready to give up on my writing. It is depressing to sit down and find that you can't think and you don't know what to do or even how to do it. I've been writing all my life and to reach this point is very discouraging.

I discovered over the holiday that Google Docs has a voice typing feature. My computer has a program installed just for that purpose and I've tried it a few times but it just wasn't very good. I could buy a dication program but they are ridiculously expensive and the reviews all say similar things about the inefficiency and need to extensive training. So, this morning I did a short session with Google Docs using the voice typing. I was astounded. It was error free. The biggest drawback was that I am ignorant of the commands to make edits. I'm going to go check for those and see how well it performs. I'm kind of excited about the idea because some days I am not well enough to sit in a chair for a few hours but I think it might be possible to write if I could voice type. We'll see.

As I said, I've done nothing this year so far. We're 15 days in and I've only about 500 words to show for it and a couple of bedrooms switched around. Sarah decided she wanted the full-sized bed instead of the twin. Frankly, it is better in her room. The twin fits better in the smaller room and I'm going to get it set up as a play area for her. She still doesn't like her dolls in her room and they can now have their own space and she'll be able to play with them much easier. They'll even have some drawers for their clothes.

I have plans to do some traveling this year. I don't know about very long trips. My problems with my RA and the fatigue are very inhibiting. I'm kind of afraid of getting off somewhere and being too ill to drive home. Driving with the fatigue is very scary. I had to go someone a week or so ago and it was terrible. I was terrified I'd have an accident because I was unable to focus well. I'm a good driver and never had an accident or a ticket but this was so bad I knew I had to get out of the car. I came home and immediately crashed in my chair for three hours. I slept so hard I felt drugged when I woke up.

Okay, think that's enough for now and it gets me started. I really ought to get a plan for blog posts. I don't think more than a half dozen folks really read this blog but at least it keeps me writing. It was always just a journal and several times I've considered closing it. But it gives me a place to just natter on about the trivial life I live. Sometimes people comment and I  love that. The other two blogs are more directed and I find it easier at times to post there than here.

I hope those of you who are reading have a wonderful new year, wherever you are and however you celebrate. I pray for blessings and grace in your life and may you have only great joy this year and beyond. Thank you for coming by and I hope you'll return. If not, Happy New Year anyway.

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