Tuesday, September 30, 2008

On Tough Times and Living:

I have been watching the news and I’m chagrined about the economy. Things are not as we would like them to be. Times are tough and getting tougher. We all wish for better times and more cash on hand for fun.

I choose to hope while tightening my belt. I can play with the toys/games I have and still have fun. I can cut back on celebrations because it’s the company not the gala I enjoy. I will make the choice to not accumulate more when I have enough.

I know that it would be easy to give up the lifestyle I have been used to. And harder still to give up the dream of more as time goes by. But we are now in a time that the one with the most toys doesn’t win. It is the one that adapted to living on less who will be on top in the end.

I find myself an older person on a fixed income with little hope of getting a job to help out. We had chosen a lifestyle that we have little we can do to cut back more. As is, rising taxes just may have us out of our home in a few years anyway.

I have always been helpful to those around me. I chose to work in the service sector for most of my out of the home working years. I hope that my life skills will help me but have no illusions that someone out there is looking to save me. Life is not a TV show.

I will try hard not to moan and groan about my lot in life. I will try harder to concentrate on the positive. I survived cancer and my son’s death and can still smile. This is just another set back on the road of life. It is my spirit I strive to up hold, not my belongings. They are just things.

I ask you not to feel me frivolous for not joining the pity party. That is the easy way and doesn’t change a thing. I am a fighter and will keep on fighting to the end. I just don’t need to show you my scars and bruises. I am not a feather head about the world around me. I let others rant while I go on working hard to do my best and smile in the face of adversity.

Monday, September 29, 2008

On September Projects:

So I’m sitting here typing with my elbows. No not really, but I am doing the one finger method. I get pensive and bored easily. I ate too much and played video games yesterday. My knees hurt like hell but the swelling is going down. Maybe I can get out of bed today.

If I’m not keeping myself busy I’m miserable. I thought about getting myself a motorized wheelchair mostly just so I could get around. I know, too expensive for the short term. But I was getting tired of the bedroom walls and there was nothing on TV.

I love video games. Not that I’m particularly good at them. I love the going to places and worlds yet imagined by myself. I like the new worlds full of puzzle solving like Myst and others like that. I am not into the battle kind or too much mass-civilization building. I really love my ‘Sims’ but sometimes you just have to be in the mood so I didn’t play with them this weekend.

I also play the memory type of games, which is mostly what I did this weekend. I’m still trying to get my memory to work right so why not have fun doing it. I can try to match tiles or cards by the hour. If I let myself I could easily be a video game addict but I always have a guilt thing going about how much crafting I could have gotten done.

Video games saved me yesterday just like they did when I was going through cancer. When I can’t do much more then move my fingers. But they are not my world. I was chomping at the bit to get back to a knitting project I started for my daughter as a gift. So I can’t show it to you until I finish it and give it to her.

I was busy canning most of the month. That and cleaning up and storing summer stuff, fixing up thing to last the winter. You know busy, house and home, stuff. Later today I’ll see if my wrists are able to hold up my knitting. Currently, I only have larger projects on my needles. If not, maybe I’ll start something smaller like socks. Sorry I don’t have any pictures for you. With the cooler weather coming I have lots of plans for knitting in the months to come.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

On Finding a Better Exercise Coach:

On the advice of others, experts included, I upped the intensity of my exercise routine. And I was right, (I get to say that now.) I was already at the top of what my body could take. I was not wimping out, making excuses, or exaggerating and I’m not afraid of pain.

I tried to up my exercise level, like you insisted I could easily do, and I’m hurt instead. My knees are packed in ice, my wrists won’t even let me knit, my back is screaming and all I did was up the weight by one pound in my hand weights while walking and weight training. I didn’t fool around or do something silly. I didn’t even do any extra reps or the new exercises you wanted me to add.

I listened to you and not my own body, heart and soul. You thought I was being lazy. I saw it in your eyes when I told you I was doing all my body could stand. You shamed me into doing something I knew better then doing, just to shut you up. And now you don’t even say that you are sorry or that now you know my threshold, just that I should try harder next time.

Since you can’t tell when someone is telling you the truth. You are fired. Your credentials must be bogus. You are a sadistic monster. And your check is in the mail. By the way, I good coach knows and protects the team members from harm while getting the most out of the players. And doesn’t just bully people into giving them more. I have plenty of people in my life I don’t even have to ask to bully me. That was the reason I was looking for you in the first place so I could get the most out of my exercises without getting hurt. Good-bye.

When I can move again I will be looking for a new exercise coach. But this time instead of looking in a gym for someone with training and a degree, I’ll be looking for a friend who I trust and who trusts me.

Unfortunately Mountain Man and I are on different schedules and with my morning personality he is still asleep when I’m exercising and he is a night person exercising in the afternoon when I’m too pooped to pop. We have tried to exercise together but it always falls apart. We know what works for us after nineteen years together.

So I am looking for a new exercise coach who understands I am committed to loosing weight, I’m dieting already (Just not fad diets.) and that I’m telling the truth.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

On a Gloomy Day:

After two weeks of sunshine I was ready for some rain. More then just my garden has needed a gloomy day.

I just have to say it. I love a gloomy day. No squinting headaches from the sunshine. No over heating from the sun on you while you work outside. People shrink back into themselves and leave you alone so you can get something done.

You can see things about people on a gloomy day. The sunshine isn’t bolstering them up. Yes, there are those nasty people that use a rainy day as an excuse to be mean. But all-in-all a gloomy day is a relief.

You can get down to business without chatty people interrupting. Mountain Man likes the sunshine but can appreciate the gloom. I on the other hand hate to be out in the sun. I love outdoors but you will find me in the shade.

Don’t get me wrong. I like the sunshine and I would and do miss it when I haven’t seen it for a while. I know we need it for things to grow. But I just don’t do well in the sunshine. I’m the person that gets a sun burn on a cloudy day. In the sun I’m a mess.

On a gloomy day I have the whole world to explore. I’m free to see nature around me and watch the flowers grow. And I can come out from under the shadows.

My yard and garden is still beautiful on a gloomy day. Enjoy!

Friday, September 26, 2008

On Missing My Knitting:

I have been a bear of late. I been getting all grumbily and out of sorts. I’ve been too busy the do much knitting. (Or writing either.) We are still canning. (Oh, for a larger or even just another canner.) Now it’s carrots and beets and with my fingers all stained up I’m not sneaking in a row or two of knitting here and there any more.

I missing the calming repetitiveness of working on soft fibers in my hand. And being a weekend knitter is not enough for me. I can hear the future socks, hats, shawls, gloves, and any number of other things calling me to play with them.

Not that I don’t like working with food because I do. And canning has it’s repetitive side to it. But lets face it, there is no comparison. Apples and Virgin Wool.

I was doing good until today. Today after more then a week with out it, we have rain. I want to cuddle up with some tea and a knitting project by the wood stove. I may just rebel and do it for a few hours this afternoon. Just to maintain sanity shall we say?

I have work to do, so I’ll just get it done and work toward the weekend and some knitting time.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

On Memories, Freedom and Halloween:

Despite the fact that autumn is cloudy a lot of the time I love the light of autumn. The slant of the suns rays. The availability as the trees loose their leaves. Some of my earliest memories have autumn lighting and this same lighting brings them back to me.

Most of my childhood memories are in the autumn. Starting the school year and making new friends as the classes were remixed. Renewed energy for fun once the days stopped being so hot and humid. Climbing trees and watching my neighborhood from on high with new vistas as the leaves fell to the ground and out of my way.

And of course Halloween. Memories of Halloween are many. Costumes and makeup, candy and parties, Mischief night and scary stories, all thrilling my fertile mind. I still love to dress up and change who I am for a short time. And now I don’t need to wait for that one day a year I am allowed to travel forth so clad.

Of course Pirate garb and eye patches don’t go over well at the grocery store but I limit my forays to the house and yard most of the time. I have the luxury of a yard that few if any neighbors can see into. That said, I do on occasion go about in my Victorian costumes to cemeteries and stop at the store on the way home.

I show and tell about what I am doing and get long sighs with looks of longing as they say to me, ‘I wish I could do that.’ I hand them my card knowing that they are not free enough to join me. They will wait until Halloween and even then only wish they could metamorphize into someone or something new for a few hours. Or to even just expand on themselves.

I have the gift of freedom to be more then the packaged norm. In that I am a scary person to some minds. I am different. This Halloween, break the mold and join me. It may be scary and you can always go back to your comfortable self the next day, but don’t miss the opportunity to experience that freedom for yourself. You just might learn something about yourself. Remember the fun of childhood?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On Busy Canning:

I thought you might like to see what we’ve been up to. We have been busy with our autumn harvest and some days the canner doesn’t have time to cool completely before the next batch is lovingly placed inside.

The quarts of canned corn are cooling while Mountain Man is preparing tomatoes for juice and the canner is out of the picture but merrily canning another batch.

Every year it seems like so much food as we fill the quart, pint and a half, pint and half pint jars, as they make their way through the canner. Yet we never have any left over food when the next years veggies are ready to be canned.

It looks nice to fill our small pantry, we know it would never really feed just the two of us for the coming year. We still go to the grocery store to by fresh foods almost every week and the all the jars are empty when the summers harvest starts again.

I know that most people wouldn’t have the room to store enough food to last a year. I also know we don’t have that much space or jars either. It is fun to think about living self-sufficient but a lot harder to do. Still I like doing my part in canning some of the food from our own garden to eat through out each year.

The garden is almost through giving us it’s fruits for the year, but until then you can find us canning in the kitchen.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

On The Death of Summer:

I know it’s been a while since I’ve talked about it but death is the subject today. I have been watching the slow demise of nature’s glory in my garden and yard.

The plants give up their fruits and collapse back down to the ground. Others drupe and hang weakly, used up from working so hard in the sunshine to produce the seeds for another generation of flowers.

I watch in wonderment at this phase of the reproduction process. Death. I collect the remnants of the garden and bury them in the compost pile and stop a moment to think about the passage of time. Just like one does at a grave side I stand, shovel in hand. A burial.

I have also been watching Lady Short. She is an old pug dog. Her time is winding down. She sleeps most of the time. She can’t get around well and doesn’t last long on a walk. After a while she will collapse and drag her back end along to tired to go on. I carry her home to sleep some more.

There is a place under some trees that is where the other pets are buried. And there is room for Lady Short there. But I don’t look in that direction much these days. I am not ready to say good-bye yet. I wonder if she will see another snow flake, much less another spring flower.

I have collected with other family members at the bed side of an elder as they took their last breath more then once. Doctors had made them as comfortable as they could. But there is a difference to the death of a much loved pet. Those are more primal, maybe because they have often been in my arms as the last spark of life went out of them.

I never look forward to that time. I’m not an ogre or a ghoul. I don’t get off from death or destruction. I watch, trying to learn something about myself. Because I will one day die myself. And in that moment, I want to understand all I can about endings.

Monday, September 22, 2008

On Bugs in a Package:

Mountain Man came in the other day and asked me to look at a chrysalis so I grabbed my camera. Isn’t it just beautiful? The soft green with the gold flecks. In some lights the flecks are silver.

Mountain Man puts the stick in a large jar in the kitchen so we can watch it every day. And yesterday morning the chrysalis had turned from green to a rusty brown.

Before I got the camera out we got some unexpected company. A friend of Mountain Man’s came over to have his two girls fish in the pond. The young middle school aged women had a good time fishing. The day was beautiful and they went home with a good catch.

After they left we went to check on the chrysalis and we found a very limp, damp butterfly.

So we brought it outside in the sun and let it do it’s thing. It’s body had been bulbous when we first saw it in the jar but it changed shape. The body elongated and the wings filled out.

Before it flew away I managed to get one good open winged picture.

Happy Equinox Everybody!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

On All Things Being Equal:

Tomorrow is the Vernal Equinox. The day will have half sun light and half dark. People all over the world will scramble to balance eggs on their points as we in the northern hemisphere move into the winters half of the year and those in the southern half move into the summer.

On the egg thing. I was one of those kids who didn’t know that you were only supposed to be able to do that on the Equinox, so I did it all the time, on any day I pleased to apply myself. It’s one of those if they tell you that you can, you put the time into it things.

Back to the Equinox. I have always like to note transition. So the Equinox is my kind of day. But in that I have always felt it a little lacking. As a child, like most children do, I wanted everything to be equal and fair. And nothing for me brought that to mind like the Equinox. A Day of Equality, split right down the middle.

Tomorrow I will not be balancing eggs. I’ll be praying to my superior being of choice, for a world that is more equal and fair, for more love and kindness to even out the meanness and corruption on my TV News each night and a balanced outcome to the economic troubles our world is in. But mostly I will be praying for peace between the peoples of the world like I do every day.

And I will also be celebrating the changing of the days as time marches on. But all things being equal, of which they are not, I will smile a bit more to even out the sad that will surely come to all that live in trying times.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

On Changes in Focus:

Today I am knitting. I’m working on that throw for my bed. I have five more balls of the twelve I’m using for it. I disappointed myself last weekend by only getting half of the work done on it that I wanted to. So I’m determined to manage it this time around. I can’t wait to wrap myself in the throw on these now chilly evenings.

The realization came to me while I was sitting at the hospital waiting for my tests and looking at out dated magazines. I realized something about myself, just why I wasn’t getting as much knitting done. Instead of craving a craft project in my hands like I have for low these many years any time I have to sit quiet, I wanted my laptop to write.

At some point in these last months I’ve gone from a crafter that likes to write stories to the writer that also crafts. The time I spend writing far out strips the time I spend on crafts these days. And I must say I am more content in my own skin then ever before.

Don’t get me wrong here. I’ll never give up crafting, I’m too tactile a person. But I can’t stop writing. The ideas are leaking out my ears. Even when I’m not physically writing a story down they are forming in my head. It’s like floodgates now wide open. Too much volume to stop.

I don’t know where it was all hiding in my head but the stack of index cards with idea outlines is getting crazy high. There are days I go through a package or two all while sitting and typing out the short story I’m currently working on. And I can pop them out at two or more a day if I get the computer time.

So I guess I’m saying that the focus of my blog is changing too. When I started doing this blog I was all about my craft projects but in writing about them daily for the first time in my life, I found the writer within.

Thank you blog readers. Your being there has unlocked my inner writer as I tried to make the things I was doing interesting. Yes, I know I didn’t make it at times, but the reach unlocked the block in my head. So you have birthed the writer in me and it‘s a whopper. Thank you very much.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

On Testing for Cancer:

I have been going back and forth to the hospital all week for my yearly cancer screening tests. They are spread over days instead of lumped together because I have allergies and need recovery time between them.

I have been headachy, rashy, tired and ill-mannered. In total I have been miserable. Poked, prodded, pinched and radiated. None of these tests are new to me. And I have been trying to have a brave face. But I am tired of the hassle.

Yes, I want to know if the cancer has come back, catch it early and all that. But I long for my old life of innocence back. You know the days of when seeing the doctor meant a physical in the office or the occasional booster shot. It took me years to stop having the urge to strip from the waist up when meeting someone new, because for so many months of treatment every new face had me do just that.

I wanted to enjoy the start of autumn in wide eyed innocence like a child this I strive to do every year instead I was sitting at the hospital, getting sick by the way, and being tortured. (And not in a good way. Ha, ha.) It's hard to have a good outlook when you're sick.

So here I am with swollen glands, bleary eyes, and a runny nose getting ready for yet another test. All I want to do is go back to bed. But I look at the bright spot. This is the last one for a while. I blow my nose and get dressed saying, “Next week will still be here to enjoy autumn in. I hope it doesn’t rain too much.”
On Autumn Pictures:

I haven’t put any pictures out in the blog for a few days and after yesterdays walk in nostalgia I went out with my camera this morning. I’m drenched to the knees from the dew. It's only just starting to change but have a look and see my garden for yourself.

The rich greens have mellowed as you can see by the two pictures of the gourds. One taken a few weeks ago and the other today.

The Hawthorn tree.

My very large beets.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On Autumns Arrival:

Well it happened. Autumn arrived at my house. It had been sending little hints and feelers out in advance. But for me it is the smell and yesterday when I walked out the door it was there.

It is a smell of cool, dry leaves, old vegetation, overcast days that only threaten to rain, burning leaves, orange pumpkins, honking geese in flight, the smallest of shivers just on the very surface of the skin, and coming home.

It is the sound of stillness, birds and bug have moved on and you can hear the quiet left behind, the hush of leaves turning in color from lush green to riotous yellows and flaming oranges, the busyness of small animals collecting for the cold weather to come and the fire crackling in the wood stove.

It is the sight of the garden being readied for its winter rest, the skeletal forms of trees and bushes coming through after hiding under their summer green coats, the woods opens up and the feeling of space moves in making me feel small and the comforters are found at the foot of the beds.

It is the taste of apples, pumpkin soup, fig cookies, raisins, school lunches wafting through the halls mixed in with school books and pencils sharpener shaving, sun shine on the face, sweaters wrapped around your shoulders, stuffing, chocolate milk and fresh baked cookies.

The feel of the breeze on my cheek, cool on one side and sunny warm on the other, damp leaves, the crunch of them under foot, spicy apple butter on crackers, cheese, stuffed animals, hugs, smoke rising from chimneys, and the safety of mothers arms.

All of this and more rushed through my brain and soul as the first breath of autumn in the air filled my nostrils and heart. For me Autumn is Wonderful.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

On Testing and Other Subjects:

I have been at the hospital since early this morning having tests. Not to worry these are my periodical after cancer tests. I’m being tested top to bottom most of the week. My bones are scanned, I’m radiated, blood tests and the works.

On another subject. I have been reading a lot in my books and magazines on writing. And according some of the people claiming to be experts about the subject (and there are an offal lot of them) I have broken just about every rule they could come up with here on my blog.

I have noted that if I did follow all of their rules to good writing I wouldn’t be able to put finger to keyboard there are so many contradictions. Frankly I’m partial to the fellow that said the ‘rules are meant for breaking’ at this point.

So for now I’m sticking to what works for me.

Yes, I know I was a bit upset about yesterdays blog and spelled words wrong. That aside, I’m going with the friend to friend chat type of blog and using the ‘right’ way to write in my fiction. That is as soon as I discover what that is.

Until I become wickedly famous and have to go into seclusion , your gonna’ get little ole me from the heart.

Monday, September 15, 2008

On Thoughts on a Clothes Line or A Difference of Opinion:

I was hanging laundry out to dry and I got to thinking about life, the universe, and everything. I glance down the line of black clothing enjoying the look of it all. Dark and stark against the bright blue sky. I liked the contrasts. We can agree to disagree if you like.

The world these days seems to be tipping on it’s axis. Disasters both earth and man made seem to loom in all directions. Weather has gone crazy, earth quakes, financial institutions collapsing, housing crises, train wrecks, and planes going down.

The sky is falling for so many people. I don’t live in a bubble. Times are tough for me as well. I feel sorry to the point of being distraught about it all at times. I am not liking this at all.

I know what it is like to loose ones home, it has happened to me. I know what it is like to loose ones family to death, my son rests in the ground. I know what it is like to be starving, there was a point in my life that for lack of food I was under doctors care for starvation and it was not self imposed. I know what it is like to have fire and flood take away family treasures. I know what it is like to loose ones health and face death, I have had cancer.

I tell you all this not to gain your sympathy, but because I have been there and understand loss. I choose to be positive. Not a Pollyanna, head in the sand kind but a standing my ground and pulling myself up by my bootstraps kind of positive attitude.

Having devastation in your life doesn’t mark you as a special case. Few people get through life without having some kind of human suffering. It is what helps us grow in character and move forward, it makes us stronger. It also makes us understand each other better.

There is another thing that happens at these times. It separates people into those that can cope and those that can’t. I feel for those people also. There have been times that I have been in both categories.

Their are those that email me and try to get me to comment on the state of the world. You are free to go elsewhere to read blogs on those subjects or even start your own blog if you like.

This is my little oasis from the big bad wide world. Yes, trouble finds me here too. And with my weight issues I do complain at times. I’m fine with your criticism and you have a right to your opinion. But I can’t and won’t post your comments until you clean up your language. I’m also sorry that you can’t seem to cope with your troubles without a fowl mouth. But if all you are looking for is a fight? You can go somewhere else and you will be blocked.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

On Wedding Weight Loss:

Help! I have my daughter’s wedding to go to in less than a year! I don’t want to be a fashion model. I just don’t want to be an embarrassment in the pictures to last a lifetime. I am having a hard time loosing weight. This is not new. It has become more complicated by my time spent in writing.

I spend hours a day at the computer writing and I’m not getting the amount of exercise I need to also loose weight. That’s not to say that I don’t exercise at all, because I do. It’s that extra amount that I’m having trouble getting.

I flatly refuse to do the fad diet thing. I am totally reasonable about my calorie intake. I take in 1150 - 1200 a day. I eat health food and I’m a vegetarian. Fad diets just mess with my other health problems. And I won’t do the surgery or pills either for the same reason.

My trouble is upping my fat burn rate. It was so easy when I could just sit at my computer and cycle away as I typed. Bicycling away thirty miles a day even at a easy pace helped wonders. But now that my knees won’t do that any longer I’m stumped. How can I burn fat and sit on my big butt typing?

It’s not that I’m lazy. I do yoga and the stair step machine, I walk and use hand weights daily. I clean the house, hang the laundry outside on the line, work in the garden and yard, plus shopping and crafting. I am a busy person.

I’ve tried to do the ‘jump up every half an hour and exercise for a few minutes’ to help keep my metabolism up, but found it really brakes up the continuity in my writing.

I even tried the speech recognition program so I could dictate to my computer while I did my knitting. This way I could have some extra time to exercise, but the program isn’t working for me. Oh yes, I can get my compute to find and open files with ease. It just won’t type what I’m saying so that didn’t work out.

I need my crafts for my sanity. I’ve done the exercise instead only to become a monster of frustration in my own home because my creative flow was all blocked. You can’t write without creative flow.

If anyone knows about an alternative that might help I’m open to suggestions? Thanks for the help in advance. My daughter’s future wedding pictures thank you also.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

On Sept 13 th Fun Day:

Everyone in the town of Burpbottoms was excited as the festivities got underway. All the Fire Fighters were on call and ready to act at a moments notice. This was going to be the most explosive event of the year.

Identify a Fart Day was in full swing. Many people had sour looks on their faces but that was because of indigestion not from the smell. People all over town had been eating in excess from their favorite farty foods categories.

The smells of egg salad, cabbage, sausages, and beans filled the air. There were Diary farts, onion and Limburger cheese. Sauerkraut, and Broccoli rent the air. Beer, chilly and creamed corn, were added last year along with baby diaper so all age groups could join in the fun.

On the town square were the contests for loudness, longest and highest methane content. Do to the large amount of unidentifiable odors last year here was a new category of Industrial odors added.

New music was composed by Toot Tunes and played by a chorus of flatulent players. Kennels were set up for the dog fart contestants.

The effervescent mayor Mr. Ripp started the flatulent fun with the time honored words of, “Release the Barking Spiders!” and a mighty roar from the crowd was issued forth in return.

The day turned very windy around the stalls. S. B. Deadly won the Golden
Whoopee Cushion for ‘most gaseousness.’ Miss Reek won a years supply of antacids.

The day was ended earlier then expected. When shortly after dark the blow torch fart contestants started lighting their farts on fire to see how large an explosion they could make. The last contestant set the neighboring stall of up in flames and it went up like a meth lab. The firefighters on scene got it under control in quick time and no one was injured. But the crowd had enough of a long day and went home to rest their scorched noses and re-grow their nose hairs.

This idea was from a sibling of mine and I thank her for her addition to my blog. Next month on the thirteenth is ‘National Wart Observation Day.’

Friday, September 12, 2008

On A Woman’s Need for Wings:

The other day I went shopping for some things. Okay. the Halloween stuff is on the store shelves. Things I crave to have year round are arrayed for my perusal. I know I can, and sometimes do, shop on the web. But I’m a tactile shopper.

I like to hold and inspect, feel and debate, ponder and select my purchases. So although I really liked the butterfly wings on the web, I waited for the full shopping experience.

I selected decorations and silly spider jewelry, masks and gloves, wigs and of course wings. There were many colors to chose from, blue ones, white ones, and pink ones. Small, medium, and large ones. I got two of them, the large purple butterfly and the medium black semi bat like ones.

I don’t fly in planes. I don’t like heights. But I do love to dream about flying. I am never happier in the morning then after a dream where I am flying above the ground. So I needed some wings to prolong the feeling in my waking world.

There is a part of me that craves the freedom that personal flight affords. I have never stopped myself from spreading my arms on a windy day and soar around the yard on the breeze, even into adulthood.

I have my own personal wings now and I can fly away into the absence of restrictions. Freedom from gravity, lighter then air. I have a renewed sense of being. I have found a new inner self and today I fly.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

On 911:

911 This is a sad anniversary for me. One, because the country in which I live was attacked on that day. And two, I knew some of the people killed on that day.

I grew up a few miles from the Twin Towers and watch them be built out my bedroom window. I now live in Pennsylvania and have since the mid seventies and although I didn’t know anyone on the plane that went down in Shanksville PA I did know people who died in both the Twin Towers site and at the Pentagon.

My personal feelings for the people I knew who died aside, I have deep feeling for what happened to us as nation. We were torn apart that day and I don‘t believe that the wound has healed much at all. Many lives have been lost since that day in the pursuit of the culprits and their associates and many families have experienced first hand that loss. We should all still be in mourning for them until the war is over and no more lives are lost.

On the upside, and there is an upside, we have not had another large attack on our shores since then. I am grateful for the new safety standards keeping me and my family safe even if they can be time consuming at times. And even with the troubles with the current economy we still have one of the best countries to be living in.

Nothing is perfect and never will be but we still have opportunities open to us and that means a lot. I am free to be a Romantigoth woman with opinions. And you are free to be what you are here also. None of us are free to harm others. There are limits and it should be that way.

I will mourn today but remember the good I still have to hold on to.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

On A New Model:

First, to D. Thank you so much for letting me dictate my blog to you over the phone while you posted it for me from your computer. Lady E

Last weekend I had the chance to use someone else besides myself as a Cemetery Picture Model. She is going by the name of Lady Tiffany for these pictures. We had a good although hot few hours of it.

Lady Tiffany is a dimpled blond with a bubbly personality. And at times we had to wait until she was done laughing to take the shot but I feel it was worth it. Sorry guys she came with her boyfriend.

We did a lot of walking to get from one chosen back drop to another. And afterwards I still had to paint out garbage cans and telephone wires or fix the odd out of place thing. I won’t bore you with the ones that didn’t come out as well as we would have liked.

I think they turned out well. Welcome Lady Tiffany to our midst.

I would like to take more pictures with other people, both males and females in cemeteries before Halloween. So if you live or will be in the greater Wyoming Valley, Pennsylvania area and would like to join me, please leave a comment or email Lady Deathwatch and we can see if we can work something out about time and place. (And for those of you who were wondering. Wyoming Valley PA came before the State of Wyoming.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

On The Power of Power:

I am sorry to say that I can not post the pictures I planned on showing you or even post on time. I am without power. A large thunder storm rolled through and the electricity at my house is off.

As I sat waiting for my nail polish to dry and for the lights to come back on I thought about just how much I rely on power.

My train of thought of course started with the query what do I do next. Blogging? No. My laptop needs a charge and is not web accessible where I live and my desk computer it now just holding down the table it is sitting on. Laundry? No, on two fronts. The machine needs electricity to run and so does the well to get the water into the house. Shower? No, refer to laundry reason. Read? No, the sky to still too dark with the storm to see to read by even right by the window and the lightning is too distracting.

This was getting serious. If this turns into stress I’d start to eat my way out of it and not having anything to keep my hands busy right now I’d gain twenty pounds by noon. Okay! Snap out of it! Take a breath!

By now you are saying to yourself ‘What is wrong with this woman? Doesn’t she have a flash light or some candles?’ Why yes I do. Why didn’t I think of that. Probably because I’ve gotten so used to having power at my fingertips by now.

This is coming from a woman who, at one time, lived for years mind you, in a commune without electricity. And yet I freaked out instead of just collecting myself and moving on. Why? Because I didn’t want to think of myself as living without my comforts, ease and distractions.

I sat by my candle and knitted for a while and thought just how far I’d fallen from the person I once thought myself to be. I thought I was above it all only to find out I am a silly weakling after all. And all it took was one thunder storm with the lights out for a couple of hours.

This Blog posted courtesy of a friend’s computer and electricity. Many thanks, D.

Monday, September 8, 2008

On Working With Rocks:

Mountain Man was busy yesterday. The wall to the north of the garden had been left unfinished because we have been busy elsewhere. He had been thinking about it thou and had been making preparations for the next step.

Mountain Man likes to add into his walls the odd larger stone, Okay bolder. (I say this not as a technical term. I call any rock heavier then two people can lift a bolder.) And yesterday was the day.

He had taken the tractor and after placing a heavy chain around it dragged a bolder into the yard and fairly close to the wall. He worked all morning on inching the bolder up off the ground. First one side then the other.

He took a break and we met with my new friend from the craft store and her boyfriend at a local cemetery and took a few cemetery pictures. I can’t wait to show them to you but I am still working on them.

Once home again Mountain Man was back at work on the wall. And since I had the camera out I got in a few shots.

The crib holding up the bolder.

After is was high enough and in the right position he chained it up again and pulled back on the bar he rigged with a fulcrum. It rolled right into place.

Mountain Man was up until after dark filling in around the bolder so I got this shot this morning.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

On Vista Frustration:

Finding myself with a Vista programmed computer I felt that some of the extras should, could, might be there to help me. Vista is equipped with Windows Speech Recognition software. This means I can get a mic and dictate to my computer and it will type for me. Whoo hoo! (Just think of the knitting a person could get done?)

Thinking that ‘nothing is perfect’ and that I would have to go back and correct some things, it would still be faster then retyping my crummy hand written notes, complete with food stains, while I was working. I went out and bought a microphone for my computer, thinking that I could dictate my stories to the computer as I cut up vegetables for the canner. That ’Is’ what it is supposed to do.

Silly Me!

After no less then seven (7) hours. I can now get it to spell out each word.

This is not straight forward s p e l l i n g. No!

I have to say, “Press ‘s’ press ‘p’ press ‘e‘ press ‘l’ press ‘l’ press ‘i’ press ‘n’ as in Nancy, press ‘g’” just to type the word ‘spelling.’ Then I get to say “space” before starting the next word. There is also adding capital letters and other punctuation.

This does not include the time it takes to undo all the places it thinks I want spread sheets and art work added or a new documents started in the middle of a word.

Yes, I ran through the tutorial ‘Three Times’ and the extra voice recognition programming too. And forget about the website. It just wants to sell you things that don’t work any better. No help at all.

In hopes that after it had heard my voice long enough it would then start typing for me I pressed on. (Pun intended.)

It took me one and a half hours to get a few lines typed the way I wanted it with tabs, capitals and punctuation in place. I am exhausted and frustrated and my voice is horse from all the repeating myself I‘m having to do. And if I have to read the words “What did you say?” one more time I will scream. At this rate I might have one blog written each month.

I want to see the guy who is laughing at the rest of us struggling along with this half baked program he felt was good enough. May he be struck with laryngitis and arthritic knuckles. Type that Microsoft!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

On In the Works:

As you know I like to go and walk in cemeteries. But with the lack of a working car for most of this summer and now with the vegetables needing canning, well, it’s been a while.

I am working on getting out and doing another set of cemetery photos. I could use a few more pictures for the blog and I’d like to have an outing to the cemetery. I really miss having my walks there.

Well, I was in one of my local craft chain stores buying some gothy stuff now that the Halloween stuff has been stocked on the shelves. I got to talking with the checker and showed her some photos of my cemetery pictures and she was enamored. So if everything works out with schedules and weather I will have a new model on the blog with me soon.

As for knitting I’m working on things still on my needles for what feels like forever. I’m going to try to get another ball or two onto my purple bed throw this weekend. I loved working on it but somehow I got busy doing other things and it got pushed aside.

I also have to sew together some wheel chair bags for the veterans. They are cut out and waiting for me to make them some time soon.

It’s the vegetable canning that is keeping me so busy and my hands too tired. But if I don’t do the canning we don’t eat. It’s my job around here each year so I’m not complaining, just explaining. So this is my busy season.

Friday, September 5, 2008

On The Last Writing Class:

Well we had our last writing class last night. (Congratulations to one of the class who won first prize in a poetry contest this past week.) We didn’t get a lot done. We did work on things but there were goodies to eat and things we wanted to say to each other before the group split up. Some of the group didn’t make it to the last class and I was sad to think I might not see them again because we did have a good group of people as a whole.

I have a new story that I am going to try to get published. Not that the one I was polishing isn’t good enough. It’s good for what it is. The trouble is it’s size. Yes, surprise, size does count. I have discovered that even a great story has trouble finding a home if it doesn’t fit the parameters of a certain publications criteria. And I had never really thought about how many words were in an article in a magazine that I was reading before. I was just looking for the information or entertainment.

So now my new story is making it’s way down the road to perfection. Spelling errors and grammar are being fixed. Sentences are being rewritten for clarity and dressed up with a new word or two for color.

On the me side of things. I have never felt so at home with a job before. This writing as work feels right. No, I haven’t gotten a pay check. I’m talking about taking it seriously. In the years before it was a ‘when the muse hit’ I’d sit and write kind of thing. Now it is a sit at the computer and write for a predetermined time like punching into a time clock kind of job. But this is the first job where I couldn’t wait to get to work. And I’ve been doing this regular writing thing since before I started to blog.

No don’t start emailing with all those ‘just wait until you find yourself staring at a blank screen’ comments. I’ve done that and still love it. It doesn’t hurt that over the years I have found that my writing style lends itself to bouncing around. I don’t just stare at the screen. I bounce on over to another subject and write for a while then come back and get to business. I have whole books written as a side line to my major writings. They are not any good and will never see the light of day. But as a tool they are invaluable to me. I worked out stuff there, learned stuff there and birthed new styles there. And going back and reading them is a laugh a minute. Talk about bad.

But to sum it up, I’m ready to do the work involved to become a published author. That is the biggest lesson I’ve learned from this class and for me that is saying a lot because it means I’ve moved from the dreaming phase to chasing down the reality.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

On New Top From Old:

As you know if you have been reading my blog for a while that I like to mix up my clothing. I like to shop at thrift stores to find interesting things. And I told you that I was knitting sleeves for a top I liked that was sleeveless. Well here it is.

The top was a thrift store buy at $1.00.

The top of sleeve design. I just stuck an old pillow case in it so you could see the pattern and cut of the sleeve.

The design on the point.

Me in all my still loosing weight glory showing off my new creation.

The last writing class is tonight. More on that tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

On My Own Kind of Blogging:

I was just sitting here thinking about life, the universe and everything, and thought about how someone asked me why I hadn’t commented on any of the recent disasters or politics in the world on my blog?

I would like to publish some of the comments that get emailed to me about my blog but I can’t break my family and friends of emailing me at my privet email address that is not connected to the blog. So I am sometimes forced to jump over their heads and write a blind blog about a subject not in the comments boxes.

Anyway, in answer to that, I know that there are many blogs out there that do talk about those things. I see no need to rehash those things here at this time. I try hard to limit my blog entries so as not to over load anyone with time consuming diatribes or rants. And I believe anyone who wants to know how I feel about a subject can of course email me and ask. ladydeathwatch@gmail.com

I like to think of us as friends talking over tea and don’t want to abuse my friendships by getting into all the destruction and stupidity out there. I am an up side, cup half full kind of person. Yes, I can get down at times, I’m human. But I do try to see the good side of things most of the time.

For example I have short term memory troubles from the chemo I had a few years ago for breast cancer. I spend my days roaming the house looking to see if I had in fact remembered to do this or that job that needed doing around here. I more often then not I surprise myself with finding a job done. I don’t get mad at the time wasted getting up and looking. Instead I revel in the surprise. ‘Look the laundry is done and I don’t have to do it a second time today. Surprise!’

There are plenty of depressing Goth’s that are looking to spread their brand of doom and gloom. I’m just not one of them. I’d rather think of the possibilities.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

On Fixing Stuff in Fall:

Lets see I spelled or mistyped the name of an author of the book ‘Ring World’ a few days ago on my blog. Larry Niven is his name. I went back and corrected it.

I’ve been daring socks, fixing pulls in clothing, replacing buttons, you know the pile of things that accumulate in the sewing basket. Okay, it’s a plastic bag but you get the picture. I do have a sewing basket with my sewing supplies inside and use it a lot.

Autumn brings on the ‘fix it’ gene overdrive mode. We fix and get ready for the winter months. This includes checking and replacing weather striping before the wind is blowing through and other things like that. Once it gets colder we will button down and plasticize things to keep the weather out but this is fixing so we can relax with less work around here when we just want to snuggle up to the woodstove.

Busy bees we have turned into as we fix things and fill canning jars. We do little more then go all day and sleep like the dead at night. I miss having hours to just sit and write stories. I do keep a note pad and pen next to me so I don’t loose ideas but it’s not the same.

I feel I must be boring at this time of year. My answer is always the same to ‘How you doing?’ “Busy” as I try to hurry off the phone to get back to work. ‘What are you up to?’ “Getting vegetables ready for canning.” ‘Aren’t you done with that yet?’ “No, It is time consuming hard work that I love to do each year.” ‘Why not just get a job and buy your food?’ “Because this ‘Is’ my job without the middle man.” ‘Oh, Call me when you’re done.’ “Okay, talk to you in November.” ‘What?’ “You know, After I’m done making apple butter, or maybe pumpkin butter this year.” ‘That long?’ “Yup, but I’m off after that until spring.” ‘You have the life.’ “Tell that to my blisters.”

I am knitting up a pair of sleeves for a sleeveless top I like. I have had old lady arms all my life. My upper arms sag, elephant ear arms. This is a family trait that we all have, even the skinnies. It was made worse by my weight gain and loss. I’m going to pretend here that I have some ancestor who could fly and leave it at that. But the up shot is I don’t often do sleeveless. I’ll take a picture of that fix when it’s done.

Monday, September 1, 2008

On September:

I woke up this morning to September. There was a slight chill in the air and a smile on my face. I really like the autumn.

It’s more then just the fact that I get to celebrate Halloween. It’s the feeling of nesting I think. We collect thing in from the summer and pull stuff out like snugly sweaters for the winter months. We button down the house against the winter cold. Nesting.

I can also wear my velvets and other clothing that are too warm to wear in the hot weather. Cloaks and capes, wraps and shawls find there way out of the drawers and closets where they had patiently waited for me to play with them again.

Then there are the colorful leaves on the trees. A Lady likes to stand out in black against the color. And she gets to swish her long skirts in the leaves.

For now it may not be autumn on the calendar until the twenty second but in my soul it is because we have moved into September.