Monthly Archives: February 2010

Where did my concentration go?

 

     If I keep banging my head on my keyboard, I’m going to need a new one.  I could blame my muse but it really isn’t her fault. 

    Damned right it isn’t my fault.” 

     “No comments from the peanut gallery.  May I continue?

     “Be my guest.”

     The fault is mine.  I can’t seem to concentrate.  Maybe it’s from being stuck in the house so long.  Could it possibly be the lack of sunshine and fresh air?  My muse has tried to keep me on track.

     Yes, I have.  You aren’t cooperating though.”

     “If you keep interrupting I won’t get this post finished.”

     “Shutting up now.”

     “Good.”

     As I said, my muse has tried to keep me on track.

     “Quit repeating yourself.  That nasty little editor will show up if you don’t stop.”

     “Would you rather write this?”

     “It’s against the rules.”

     “What rules?  Oh, never mind.”

     I’ve lost my concentration.  If I hunt for it, will I find it?  Is there a lost and found warehouse for these things?  Is there a grouchy old man behind a counter guarding all the lost concentration?  Will I need to fill out a special form to get it back?  To be continued…

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“Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore…”

 

     Actually, I haven’t been in Kansas for many years.  In spite of this, since my sweatshirt happens to have that quote on it, I figured it was good place to start.  After the howling winds and abundance of snow that we had last night, when I put the shirt on today, it brought to mind the adventures of Dorothy in the Land of Oz.  I’ve thought of it off and on all day and it’s no wonder.  I can day dream with the best of them. 

     My imagination was in high gear as I sat at my desk trying to write a troubling scene.  Is it no wonder that I drifted off while staring out at my world?  Not unlike Dorothy, leaving the dull confines of a land in sepia tones, I sought to escape my land.  Although what I saw wasn’t sepia tones but far too much white.  Tomorrow it will still all be white with gray clouds to go along with it.

     Oh, how nice it would be to wake in a land of bright colors and perfect weather.  However, with my luck, a house would land on me, my toes would curl up, and I’d disappear.

This is my 500th post!

 

     Wow, it makes feel as if I should have a celebration or something.  Grab your party hats, raise your glasses, and toss some confetti.  (I said confetti, not your cookies Mr. B.  Elena cleaned up after you once today.) 

     I’ve noticed I can never predict how many readers a post will get.  I don’t even come close.  There are some that, as I write them, I think will draw readers.  Only to find out at the end of the day, I was completely wrong.

     I find that I am statistics addicted when it comes to my posts.  After I go to my dashboard to approve comments, I hit the statistics page.  Some totals I find easy to understand and others make me wonder.  6 hits a day or more on my Bottomline Books posts—easy to understand, they fleece people daily.

     What makes me wonder, you ask.  I wonder what sort of posts my readers prefer to read.  Would you be interested in some short stories?  My struggles of working to change from one of the unpublished to the published?  Dialogues with the little editor, my muse, and characters?  More ‘life with the idiot dogs’ tales?  Life as the wife of someone with MS?  Gardening?  More recipes?  On the other hand, I could continue to wing it as I’ve done for the last 500 posts.

     On the weather front …It’s still snowing here and along with it, we have wind, lots of wind.  I’m glad that I added fresh water to the pond when the temperature hit 45 degrees the other day, at least I don’t have to worry about the Koi.

Dream a little dream of green for me

 

     A part of the yard peeps from under the last blanket of snow.  It won’t last.  Forecasters predict twelve to eighteen inches of white stuff will cover us by Friday.  At least we got a peek of green.  It may be weeks before we see it again. 

     I think, rather than dwell on the coming blizzard, I’ll dream of green grass and the garden in full bloom.  I’ll think of the magnolia clad in pink blossoms.  Maybe I’ll sip a cool drink under the tree.  I’ll dream of spring flowers swaying in warm, gentle breezes, of lounging on the hammock while working on my books. 

     I’ll dream of fishing and walking in the parks, of playing with the dogs, rolling in the grass, and warmth.  I won’t think of 60 mph wind driven snow.  No, I won’t think of that.  I’ll imagine sitting on the bench rock dangling my feet in the pond, and tickling the Koi as they feed from my hands.  I’ll dream of bullfrog songs, warm sunny skies, outdoors, BBQs, sultry nights, and green things.

All aboard the train to Crazy Town

 

     Sometimes I feel like the train’s conductor.  At other times, I feel like a passenger.  During some conversations with DH, I feel as though I’ve stepped on the train, handed the conductor my ticket to punch, and am on my way.  Woo, woo!

     It usually starts with him saying something from left field.  You know, that place where you have no idea what the heck he’s talking about or where it came from.

     My normal response is, “What?”

     He must think I’m hard of hearing because he repeats what he said louder.

     “I heard you.  I’m asking you what you are talking about not what you said.”

     He repeats what he said.

     “Where did that come from?”

     It came from some subject long past that has slipped out of my mind and meandered down the tracks.  Time has gone by, subjects have changed, and I’m not losing my mind I’ve moved on.  I’m sure you know how it is.  37 years with this man, you think I’d be used to it by now, but he can still drive me ‘round the bend at times.

     Chugga, chugga, choo, choo.  The train has left the station.

There’s snow crazy like snow crazy

 

     Standing at the kitchen window, I yelled and shook my fist at the sky.  “Stop, stop, stop!” 

     The snowflakes fell paying me no heed.

     DH walked into the kitchen and looked at me as if I’d lost my mind.  I guess I have lost what little of it I had left.  This has been a very long winter with far too much snow. 

     “Go away.  Go visit Cousin Carol in Boston.”  Sorry Carol, but you didn’t get the last storm.  I have visions of her giving me a Gibbs slap for that one. 

     I railed at the sky, and yet, as I did, the snow continued to fall.

     “Turn to rain, please turn to rain.”

     “Have you finished ranting at the weather yet?”  DH asked.

     “No.”

     “Did it stop it?”

     “No.”

     “Then why do it?”

     “I do it because it makes me feel better.”

     “You’re nuts.”

     “I am.”  I made a face and did a silly dance.  “I always have been, but isn’t that part of why you married me?”

     He chuckled and threw a pillow at me. 

     I caught the pillow and threw it back.  “I love you too.  I’d love you more if you could make it stop snowing.”

Now my characters are chewing me out

 

     “Where the heck have you been?”  My main character asked me as I sat down to write.

     “I’ve been busy.”

     “That’s a fine thing.  You go haring off to deal with your life and leave me stuck here up to my neck in trouble.”  She stands with arms crossed over her chest.

     “It’s not as if your neck is flesh and blood you know.”

     She begins to pout.  “Oh, yeah?  Hey, you keep that attitude up and I’ll walk.”

     “You’ll only do that if I give you legs and a place to go.”  I reached for the delete key.

     “Don’t get hasty, you know you like me.”

     I pulled my hand back.  “You’re the one who jumped on me not the other way around.”

     “Okay, I apologize.  Don’t get your panties in a twist.”

     “Let’s see if I can get you out of your little situation.”

     “If?  What do you mean by if?  You better get me out of this or you’ll have to write a whole new character to take my place.”

     “Quiet.  I’m working on it.”  Type, type, type…

     “Are you kidding me?  You want me to do what?  Who do you think I am Wonder Woman?”

     “Oh, for cryin’ out loud.”  Delete, delete, delete…

The birds will be happy

 

     I’d neglected hanging suet out in the gardens for quite a while.  The squirrels would clean it out before the birds could get to it.  It hardly seemed worth spending the money on tree rats.  Those gray furred monsters chased all the birds away.  Now, I haven’t seen a squirrel in the yard since I stopped putting out suet.  I’ve seen very few birds too.

     Yesterday we had many birds in the yard.  They were all playing in the waterfall.  Cardinals, chickadees, juncos, and sparrows were splashing away like kids in a pool.  Since I was heading to the grocery store, I added suet to my list.  It won’t take them long to find it.  They will be happy.  I just hope word doesn’t get back to the neighborhood tree rats.

     The squirrels have an uncanny sense that there’s suet about.  With luck, the birds will find it first.  G is closer to the cemetery’s tall trees.  So far this year the squirrels have damaged four hanging suet baskets and three bird feeders at her place.  We keep hoping that our neighborhood hawk has put a dent in the tree rat population.

Is Big Brother watching your children?

 

     I found this news story to be very discomforting.  It truly creeped me out thinking that this school district would actually have the nerve to completely invade someone’s privacy the way they did.  I don’t have kids but with all the child predators out there, this would’ve had me storming the school district’s offices with torch and pitchfork in hand.

     It also made me think that if I ever get a new computer that has a built in camera, I’ll put electrical tape over the lens.  I like my privacy. 

     Then I look at this whole situation as a mystery writer.  The idea of someone watching a person, through his or her own computer, without his or her knowledge, is fodder for another book.  In a world where we’ve had to put stalker laws on the books, tell me this doesn’t make your skin crawl.

     In fact, I do believe that Criminal Minds had a show where a serial killer used his job as a computer tech to stalk and kill his victims.  After reading this and the news story, I wonder, did you put tape over your computer’s camera?

Ouch, that hurts!

 

     DH broke his big toe.  I know because I’ve done it myself more than once.  He’d been complaining about his toe since he fell on Tuesday.  Tonight he noticed the bruising.  He came downstairs to show me. 

     I looked at it…nodded my head, and said, “Yep, it’s broken.”

     “It hurts,” he said.

     “I know it does.  Are you going back to bed now?”

     “Yeah, but did you see how black and blue it is?”

     “It is bruising some.  Another day or two and it’ll look real ugly.” 

     All you can do for a broken toe is wait for it to heal.  This is going to be a long six weeks. 

     Men whine, their theatrics when sick or hurt are often worthy of Oscars. 

     For best actor in the drama… Flu Days, we present this award to…

     For best actor in the comedy… We All Fall Down, the award goes to…

     Don’t get me wrong, I feel for him.  I really do.  As I said, I’ve been there.

Avonex, Tysabri, or where do we go from here?

 

     We had a very long day around here today.  DH dragged my carcass out of bed early so I could drive him to his neurologist appointment.  (It took two cups of coffee to get my eyes to open and two more to get me functioning.)  I love the neurologist’s new offices except that DH had to do a lot more walking. 

     We discussed the problems that have plagued DH after his Avonex shot lately.  For example, DH took his Avonex on Monday, and on Tuesday, he took a bad fall.  He has some scrapes and bruises but he’s okay.  This has become a regular thing the last several months.  The doctor suggested that DH try halving his Avonex dose for a few weeks, and then slowly raise it back to a full dose, to see if that helps.

     If that doesn’t work, Dr. H suggested trying Tysabri on DH.  I asked him about Fampridine too.  His answer was a bit noncommittal.  I’m not surprised since the FDA only approved it in January.  He gave DH a very thorough exam, and he is sending him for more blood work. 

     On another note, Jackie (one of my faithful readers) has started a blog.  Why don’t you go over there and give her a nice howdy?

Westminster Dog Show nights

 

     Every February we spend two nights watching the Westminster Dog Show.  When I used to show our BTs, I dreamed of showing one our dogs there one day.  Well, life oftentimes changes things as ours has.  We’ll never have a dog entered at Westminster because we no longer show dogs.  However, we can enjoy making our picks, competing with each other on which dogs will win, and watch the best of the best make it to the Best in Show ring.

     I drive DH crazy because I pick an average 3 out of 4 winners in each group.  (Dang I should’ve wagered money on this with him.)  This year I picked all four ribbon winners in the Non-sporting group in the correct order.  In addition, I managed to pick 3 out of 4 for the rest of the groups.  For the last several years, I’ve picked the Best in Show winner too.  I knew Elliot Weiss would pick the Scottie, Sadie.  She was flawless, and once a terrier person, always a terrier person.  I must add here that the Best in Show group, in its entirety, was breath taking.

     When I first met him (oh, so many) years ago, Elliot was a professional handler.  Malcolm had managed to make it to terrier group.  Professionals, handle most of the terrier breeds, with the exception of some BTs and a very few others.  When I entered the ring, I saw many handlers who, in the dog show world, were legendary and who was it in front of me in line?  Elliot.  He was very nice.  He saw that I was nervous and gave me a few encouraging words.  We didn’t win, but it certainly was exciting for me, a mere mortal, to compete in the same ring with all those renowned handlers.