Sunday, November 7, 2010

Writing and not writing

I signed up for Nanowrimo. What a wonderful chance to write my little stories. I started off well, getting @ 5000 words the first two days. Then of course, life interfered.

My daughter Shea fell at the local convience store and hurt her back. It took both Chanz and I to get her out of her chair at work and into the car. Then we both again had to get her into the Chiropactors office so he could do his thing to help straighten her out. Because she couldn't move I decided it would be best if I took Chaiz home with me. Three year old Chaiz, who thinks Grammy was put on this earth to play with him "Alright." Okay, that is Chaiz's word, which he uses to get your affirmative answer while he is planning what we will be doing.

The child is pretty smart and keeps me moving and trying to stay one step ahead of him. It is a lot of fun to play with him, because he is so smart. He was playing quietly with his cars so I decided to open up my little notebook and start typing. Immediately he hears the clicking of keys and decides it is time to "play a game on the com-pooter, alright, Grammy, alright." the word alright has an bit of an upward lilt at the end. Well, I can hand write my notes and let him play on the computer. I opened up the Library website Kids Zone and let him color the little monsters they have on their page. I showed him how to click on the colors and then click on the paint brush and how big to make the paint and he was off. I forgot to write my ideas down for my story. It was so much more fun to watch him paint on the computer. Soon he wanted to play another game. and we tried the word search game. I, of course, had to help him since he doesn't read. Or does he? The words shown there were Thanksgiving words, pumpkin, Pilgrim,
squash, Squanto, pie, turkey. I would glance at the square with the letters and find a word. I would point to the word, he would take the arrow up to the letter I was pointing at, I would click then he would move the cursor, while Grammy spells out the word, when his cursor got to the word I would unclick and the letters would be highlighted with a color and the word in the list highlighted in the same color. We would then move on to the next word, repeating the process. After we finished the page and highlighted all the words he would say "Let's do it again Grammy, alright?" The same words were displayed in the next game, just in different places. Again I would find a word, point out a letter and say "Let's spell "pumpkin" P-U-M-P-K-I-N. Good job Chaiz."

Only now, before I found a word on the board he pointed out a word on the list and said, "Okay, Grammy, let's find "pie" and he would point to the word pie on the list. I started to search the word search page for the word pie. Before I found the word, Chaiz pointed to the three 'P's together, "Look Grammy, those letters are all alike, they are 'P's. P, P, P. there is Pie, Grammy." and he pointed to the word 'pie'! I was speechless, or at least shocked. "Good job Chaiz, that is pie, and we highlighted it. Four different words he found just like that. I am constantly amazed at how smart this cute and articulate this boy is.

Well, you can see why the whole time I had him I didn't get any writing done. However, Shea was feeling much better on Saturday so I thought that I would beable to get some writing done then. Life happened again. My son-in-law was in the hospital and going to have some surgery done. Ray and I went over to stay with Sophie, Isasis and Maleah while their Mom was with their Dad at the hospital and waiting for him to get out of surgery. We had a great time, playing Sponge Bob Monopoly, walking to the park and exploring empty houses at Daybreak. They have a lot of fun playgrounds at Daybreak with a wonderful assortment of very unique playground equipment. But just a hint. There is one toy over there that is like a bent pole coming out of the ground, with a red disk on the pole. The idea is to have a child sit on the read disk and the adult or another child turns the bent pole and it spins around. This is great for a child, but sixty year old woman. Not so much. After Sophie twirled me around about a dozen times she stopped and I put my foot down and I physically stopped, but my eyes continued to rotate around my head. I know this because the houses across the street I was looking out also continued to twirl around my head. That was a very fun ride, I would have liked it a lot more, I think, when I was five.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Writing Realities

My friend, Connie, is a writer and a reader. She is always finding new books to read and blog about on her blog site, so when Connie says check out this website, I listen. I enjoyed reading Melissa Cunningham's blog Writing Realities,
Melissa is also a writer and having a contest to try and get her name out in front of the public in a unique way. She is having a contest. Check out her blog spot and sign up for her contest, who knows, you may be the next winner.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My excuses

My friend, Connie, mentioned to me while waiting for choir practice to start the other day that I hadn’t written in my blog since December.

“I know,” she said, “because I check.”

It reminded me of a conversation I had recently with my nephew, who writes an amazing blog, letting you be a part of his life by sharing his thoughts, his loves; his wife and daughter, and his travels. He hadn’t blogged for some time and both his mother and I got after him for slacking up. That is what these blogs are for isn’t it? Keeping in touch, with our friends, our family, ourselves, our thoughts & feelings.

My daughter, Shea, gave Ray and I a used laptop for Christmas this year. We had been thinking for quite sometime about getting a laptop, but haven’t made the plunge. I thought that after I got that laptop I would be able to write anywhere. It wasn't something we needed right away, after all we have a perfectly good computer sitting in my office. Please read the term ‘office’ loosely. The room is 9 by 10 equipped with a desk on one side of the room, which holds the hard drive, monitor and printer. It has a shelf above it that holds, my rubber stamps for scrap booking, discs for what ever programs I have and photo discs. To the left is a book case full of books, on scrap booking, notebooks of crocheting, scrap booking, genealogy, family history stuff I copied off the family website, card, paper, more scrap booking paraphernalia. To the right is a small desk that came with the other desk that holds shelves of paper, plastic drawers of pens, more paper, stickers, more notebooks of ….I don’t know what it has been so long since I looked at them. Oh yes, under the desk I have plastic storage containers of pictures and more scrap booking paper. On the other side of the room are some white kitchen cabinets I had in our other house in the laundry room for folding laundry on. I thought it would be the right size for my “Office” for scrap booking. I have some drawers to the left that have ribbons, tape, pens, embossing stuff, more paper and more stuff. Behind the counter top I have a peg board that holds my scissors with the fancy cutting blade. The cabinet below holds my yarn collection and UFO’s, Un Finished Objects, the drawer, my paper cutters. The smaller cabinet is home to embroidery hoops, threads and other UFO’s of the embroidery type. Yes, I have been saving some of those to finish for 30 some odd years. The space between these two cabinets has more plastic drawers with more pictures and other things I will eventually scrap book, I think.

I purchased a bar stool so I could be comfortable when I scrap book, but I have two problems with that. Number One: the bar stool and the office chair do no share the room nicely; there is just not enough room to put both of them in the office at the same time. The bar stool waits patiently in the hall for its call to duty, which doesn’t come very often because the counter top is full, of more junk.

I am a great one for piling. I collect stuff at work and put it in my car, from my car it goes onto the kitchen table or counter from there Ray, while cleaning has no idea where to put it so it goes to my counter top in my “Office”. That explains why I don’t get much scrap booking done. I have tried to explain to Ray that we need a bigger house so I can have a bigger office and scrapbook room. He patiently hears me out then, tells me that wouldn’t change a thing since I would only have more surfaces collect more junk on. His solution is to bring the biggest trash barrel he can find, sets it at the end of the counter suggesting it should all be directed into that container. That action generally brings a withering look from the collector of the hoard. All of this should explain why I am loath to go into my computer room; guilt, because I haven’t done my scrap booking. Since Shea gave us that laptop, I can now peacefully sit in the living room check out my e-mails, family website and Facebook no guilt attached. At least until Ray, interrupting my game of Bricks Breaking, tells me that he doesn’t know for sure that Shea did me any favors giving me that laptop. Oh well, at least I’ve quit playing Farmville and Farm Town on Facebook, that was really a time waster. I spent all last summer watering my virtual garden and forgot about my actual garden, not to mention that I panicked while I was on vacation worrying about whether anyone was watering my gardens at Farmville and Farm Town to really enjoy my vacation. Passing by one day while I was playing Farmville in my “Office” Ray wondered aloud if there was a “Clean-up Your Room” game where there was virtual junk that magically appeared on the floor of a virtual house that someone could actually virtually have to pick up. If they ever need an office for a model for that game, I think I can help them with that.

Anyway, Connie, does that answer your question as to why I haven’t written on my blog since December? It really made me think about what other things I could be doing instead of playing games on the computer and feeling guilty about my scrapbook junk collection which is just blocking my way to the things I really would rather be doing. I need to just decide what is in my way and get rid of it, put those pictures in a book and be done with it and stop feeling guilty about not doing my scrap booking and hiding from my computer / junk room with the games on the laptop. Hey, I might even have some fresh vegetable from my garden this year instead of those virtual ones I had last year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Obsessive complusive

I am obsessive compulsive.

They say that admitting it is the first step on the road to recovery. I am not an A type personality. I am not a go getter. I am not the type of person who usually feels like things have to be just so. My house is not fanatically cleaned on a daily, weekly or even a monthly basis. I try to keep it picked up and things put away. Sometimes. I generally do the dishes after each meal, though, sometimes I forget or just let the two or three dishes sit in the sink until I get several more, at least enough to make it worth while to fill up the sink with water to wash them. My shoes usually end up at the end of the bed where I take them off and Ray sometimes has to remind me to hang up my clothes when the pile on the hope chest at the end of the bed gets to high to see the TV over. I don’t think I’m a slob; I am just not a neatnik who has to have everything spotless all the time.

My desk at work probably bothers me more than my house does, it seems like it is never neat and organized. I try, but for some reason, it never seems neat to me.

All in all I am a pretty kick back relax type person. Yet, sometimes there are certain things that I feel just need to be done a certain way. They are pretty dumb things too, if I have to really admit it. For example, my co-worker and friend Tamra brought me some invoices to fold. Then came back with a credit card receipt to add to one of the invoices, she stapled it to the invoice then proceeded to fold the invoice. She took the bottom of the paper and brought it a third of the way up and folded the bottom before folding the top of the invoice over and lining it up with the fold on the bottom. It was like nails on a chalk board. The hair went up on the back of my head and I held my breath. My whole being ached to tell her she was doing it wrong, yet it was she that was folding the paper, her paper, from her desk, her invoices. What right do I have to tell her she is folding the paper wrong?

Calmly, I took a breath and said. “Tamra, did you know that I am obsessive compulsive.”

She laughed, “Yes, about somethings. I’m folding the paper wrong aren’t I.”

Monday, November 23, 2009


I don’t like music.

Well, maybe that is probably too harsh of a statement. Music makes me nervous.

I rarely listen to music anymore. I used to, a lot. When I was a kid, or to be more accurate a teenager I can remember my father telling me to turn down the music, of course, he had to tell me over the top of the music I was listening to at the time, so he told me very loudly to “TURN DOWN THAT MUSIC!”

But even when I was a teenager, I was a bit different, preferring to listen to the bagpipe record my grandmother brought from Scotland to the Beatles, the record Mom got me one birthday of the 1900 ditties to the Rolling Stones. I like simple songs and music. The movies I pick out to watch are generally musicals. If Ray and I go to a play it is usually a musical and we will spend the next few days singing the songs around the house. I like jazz from the 20’s and 30’s but hate the jazz of today, I see it as sharp lightening bolts of colored pain. I love the old Negro ballads of yester year, but can’t stand the rap of today’s music. I love the country western songs of the pre 60’s or 70’s era, but will only listen to the current country western songs on the radio for a short time for short jaunts around town, usually preferring to listen to an audio book or nothing rather than music. I can not listen to music while I read. On several people’s blogs or their My Space accounts they have picked out several songs that mean something to them and put the songs on the sites to enhance it. I cannot listen to the music and read what they have written. I mute it. At work while I type I listen to audio books.

Several years ago at church the Bishop called me in to offer a calling to me. Relief Society Chorister. I laughed, and continued laughing. Ray, said nothing. The bishop looked at me for quite some time, concern blooming on his face. I laughed harder. The concerned look increased and he glanced from me to Ray, wondering, I am sure, if he should call the men with the white coat to come get me. Finally I was able to stop laughing long enough to explain to him that I just didn’t like music. I don’t listen to music, I don’t play music, I don’t sing. Nothing. I don’t like music. I also had to explain to him I had been thinking of our old chorister in our ward in Denver when I was a kid and had known that I would be getting this calling. Now was his turn to look shocked, since I accepted the calling. One would think that getting up in front of a group of women to lead music would not be that hard. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I lead the music for about a year, and finally released to do another calling I liked much better, planning the ward parties. Did I mention I don’t like parties either?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dumb stuff

I get these e-mails all the time telling stories on what dingbats old folks are. One such story portrayed an older woman with a suppository sticking out of her ear exclaiming, "Oh, now I know what I did with my hearing aid."

I have decided that the problem for older folks, of which I am realizing either I am one at almost 60 or it is guilt by association with Ray who is almost 74; that we need to be creatures of habit for the simple reason, if it is done by rote then it is not as easily forgotten. Once one deviates from that habit is when the problem begins.

For example, in the morning, after putting it off as long as I possibly can I get in the shower. Starting at my head, I shampoo my hair, rinse and put conditioner on it, then start on my face and continue on down to my toes and finish with rinsing the conditioner out of my hair. However, this morning I got way to much shampoo and had tons of bubbles in my hair. Not wanting to waste the shampoo or bubbles I just used them to clean the rest of my body. When I was finished with my toes I rinsed off and got some conditioner to put on my hair, deciding to let it sit while I washed my face. The problem arrived when without thinking further my body said “You have just rinsed off your hair and it is now time to wash your face”. It was not until after I felt this cold slimy stuff I was rubbing into my cheeks that I realized what I had done. Conditioner is hard to get off your face and it gives the same feeling on ones hand as that yucky stuff that congested babies smear all over their faces. Luckily it didn’t dry like that yucky stuff congested babies smear all over their faces and I was able to scrap it off and use rather than waste it.

See I am getting old, if I had been younger, I probably would have just washed my face off and gotten more conditioner.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ghosts and unusual happenings

Halloween has come and gone. The haunting time of year always brings to mind the different times that things have gone bump in the night and made me think we had a ghost in our house. Well, to be perfectly honest some of the time the occurrences were not at night, nor were the occurrences at home. Most of the occurrences happened to family members, friends or me, since Ray does not believe in ghosts, he does not believe they happened to him, yet there are times things that happened, he cannot explain. For example:

We had recently moved into our single wide manufactured home, I was working in the garden, laying landscape blocks with a couple neighbor kids who happened by and decided to help. Ray was lying on the bed resting.

Several years ago, when Brandy was about 12, she found some small lamps that she wanted to give me for Mother’s day. She picked them out and Dad paid for them as things like that usually happen, or it could be that Dad picked them out, paid for them and had Brandy sign the card, who knows. The lamps are small; maybe about 15 inches tall, goldish colored trim, with curved glass insets with a small flower decal in the middle of each glass pane. This is a touch lamp, meaning if you want to turn it on you just touch someplace on the metal part of the lamp and it will blink on, touch it again and it will glow brighter, a third touch it will glow brightly, touch it a fourth time and the light will blink off.

While I was busy rearranging the dirt of the front yard Ray suddenly popped out of the house and asked if I had turned off the electricity and turned it back on. He seemed quite flustered to me, rather strange I thought, since electricity usually doesn’t fluster me that way, and besides, I hadn’t been in the house which is where the fuse box is. If I had turned the power on or off, he would have heard me moving around in the house. No, was my answer. He started to go back in the house, then stopped and turned around and came back and told me that while he was lying on the bed, all the sudden the lamps had come one, bright, brighter, brightest and off. He could not figure out why it would have done that as he had never known them to do that before. I told him that it was probably the ghost of the house.

The single wide we purchased was previously owned by a couple, she passed away right after they moved in and he passed away about six months later. I am pretty sure they had at least a dog and a cat; I don’t know why I think they had a dog, but when we took out the stove to clean behind it we did find cat toys hiding there. Well, perhaps the reason I think they had a dog was because there was a large urine spot right in the middle of the living room floor. I would prefer to think a dog piddled there than to think the man had fallen and died there. I have had the feeling ever since we purchased it and moved the house to its present location that we have had an unseen visitor. Cremesickle, our orange tabby, was walking by the front door one day, shortly after we moved in, I believe he was coming down the hall next to the door, when he turned, looked over his shoulder, jumped and turned so he was facing the hall, raised his hackles, hair and tail and hissed. He ran through the living room, kitchen and into the bedroom to hide under the bed, not to come out for a couple hours. Ray and I were sitting in the living room at the time and saw nothing and we had no other pets. What scared Cremesickle so bad, I can’t say.

The summer after we moved in Ray decided to take the camper up to the campground to go fishing. He left on Wednesday and one of the last things he said to me was “Don’t forget to wake up and go to work.” I am notorious as a person who can sleep through alarm clocks, turning the buzzing irritation off without even opening my eyes or my conscience enough to even realize I had done so.

“Yeah, yeah, don’t worry about me, I’ll get up.”

The next morning, I was vaguely aware that the alarm had gone off, but I turned it off, several times and rolled back over and went back to sleep. From the corner of the room I felt an almost physical movement of air, a shock wave, a tidal wave of a blast that I could feel vibrating throughout my entire body with the words “LYN, GET UP NOW!” Though I couldn’t see anything, the voice and the mental image was of an older man. I got up. Verbally stating that was what I was doing.

When Ray called me at work later that day I told him about my wake up call.

A couple months ago we were watching television, I was crocheting in my chair and Ray was sitting in his chair on the other side of the room. Mia had been sitting on my lap as I crocheted, then she had hopped down to go sit in Ray’s lap for a while. She is an equal oppertunity cuddler. As I was crocheting I saw a small dark head pop up and look over the left arm of the love seat at the yarn. I thought Mia had been sitting in Ray’s lap so I was surprised to see the cat in the corner, then I realized I had a bag holding several balls of yarn in that corner, she could not have been on those balls of yarn because that bag crackled every time it was touched, I would have heard her if she had climbed up on it. I noticed the cat was still looking over at the yarn I was crocheting with; I sharply turned my head to Ray who was oblivious to me, no cat in his lap. I turned to look back at the cat in the corner. No cat. I turned back and looked around the room and saw Mia asleep with her back toward me on the hassock, as my head turned back to look at the corner I could still see the cat looking over the arm of the loveseat with one outstretched paw almost touching my yarn.

This, of course, brings us up to last night.

Mia passed away at midnight Oct. 31st. Last night Ray was dozing in his chair when he felt a weight on his lap, like when Mia used to lay on his lap as he watched television. So, Ray, do you still not believe in ghosts?