My thoughts released; a mind set free
These pages contain my thoughts, from meandering ideas and persuasions to deep cerebrations and serious mentations.|
Why, for what purpose? To release my mind and set creativity free. Somewhere inside the constraints of my mind dwells a writer, a poet, an artist who paints with words. In here I release those constraints and set the artist free.
Perhaps, lost somewhere in the depths of thought, is a story or a poem, waiting to be written.
|Even though it's not even mid month yet, my wife and I, mostly my wife, has been busy decorating for Halloween and I even managed to write a Halloween poem this past weekend, but I was unprepared for the terrible scare that came on Monday.
My wife and I were up early to get our oldest off to school. Our younger daughter had therapy so didn't need to be up quite as early, so we had a bit of quiet time before I had to wake her and take her to her appointment and then to school. When I returned home, my wife was working on laundry and going through some items she had gotten form her mom's the end of last month.
It was nice to have her home enjoying a day off while the girls were in school and we talked and enjoyed a romantic interlude from the daily activities, after which she started getting us some lunch. Nothing fancy, just some leftovers nuked in the microwave. She had brought me mine and asked if I wanted grated cheese, to which I answered no thank you. She had her plate heating and was grating cheese for herself when she caught me off guard by asking me if I wanted cheese with mine, just shortly after asking me.
Catching my attention further, was the way she was looking around, a puzzled look to her beautiful face. Her dinner was done and the microwave beeped to let her know. This seemed to startle her, as if she didn't know it was even going, but she took her plate out and put a bit of cheese on her food. But instead of joining me at the table, she continued to stand in the kitchen and look around.
I asked if she was okay, and she replied with a trembling voice, "I'm lost."
Not fully understanding, I asked what she had lost. "I'm lost," she repeated, sounding even more afraid. She came over to the table, and sat down with her plate. Nothing physically out of place, no signs of anything not being right, but she was looking around like a doe in the headlights, asking about the cloths baskets being out, where the items her mom had given her had come from, and similar questions.
She began eating while I answered her, but she didn't seem to comprehend anything. After a few minutes, she repeated that she was lost. I asked if she knew me; she did. I asked if she knew our girls; she named them. I asked where she lived; she didn't know. She didn't know what day it was, what year, what she had been doing that morning or anything recent.
My heart fell right to the bottom of my chest and felt as if it would explode. My first thoughts were a stroke, even though she had shown no symptoms. I explained we needed to go see a doctor and she nodded. I grabbed the few items I knew we may need with and walked her to the vehicle, and once had her inside, got in to drive. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and asked where I was taking her. I softly replied, "To the doctor, remember?"
Shaking and crying more, she answered in the most frightened voice I have ever heard, "No, I can't remember anything."
We talked while I drove, she did remember her family members, where she went to grade school, and with some difficulty, high school. She remembered where we met, but not when. She seemed to do better as long as I talked with her and comforted her but I could see the terror in her eyes as she repeatedly asked where we were, were we where going, and what was wrong with her.
We spent a good six hours in the emergency room with doctors asking questions, running tests and ordering images tying to find out why her memory had failed. With each result, I found a bit more and more hope, nothing was wrong. Nothing physically anyway. She was not in any imminent health risk at all, but her recent memories were gone and she was unable to make any new ones.
Her only complaint was a headache starting up a couple hours after we got there, so they gave her somethin for that and to help her sleep. Through the afternoon, we continued testing and talking, searching and hoping. Another doctor came in and explained to me that, although rare, there was a form of amnesia that looked likely and that he had seen a few times before.
It's called Transient Global Amnesia, and strikes for no reason. It's temporary and usually lasts from six to twenty-four hours, and has no permanent or lasting effects. My wife's lasted just a bit past six hours before she began remembering things. It started slowly with her being able to remember one of the doctors, who then asked what day, date, and year it was. She struggled to remember but did. Another couple hours to observe and monitor as more and more memories came back.
Not quickly, it was like she had to concentrate very hard to find the memories, like trying to remember an old phone number or what you ate for dinner a month ago. Nonetheless, I was enraptured that she was remembering. Since she was showing improvement, they let me bring her home that evening. She hadn't eaten much all day so we stopped for a bite at one of her favorite places, and she remembered eating there with the girls.
We talked and I joked, she seemed to be a lot better, but still was having trouble with writing new memories and struggling to remember some things. We returned home, I had called someone to get the girls after school and watch them overnight, so it was quiet and peaceful. She was feeling very off and still unsure about anything that day, but wanted to watch a bit of tv before going to bed.
I did call and update the girls on her being home, a brief bit about what had happened, and that she was doing much better.
Yesterday she was kind of sluggish an felt "off" most of the day. She slept a lot and we took good care of her and kept her relaxing and resting. Today she was much her old self and feeling pretty much back to normal. We had planned for a quiet day, but the school called and we had to pick one daughter up. After, we grabbed a bite to eat, checked out a second-hand store, and then stopped to get a few items at the grocery store.
She went in and started shopping, I was sitting out in the truck enjoying a smoke, when she came bursting out the doors and almost running to my side of the vehicle, tears in her eyes. My heart sunk as I began wondering if it had returned. I started to open my door but she was there already. No relapse, but she had been suddenly hit a what sounds like a panic attack. She informed me, once I got her calmed down some, that she was just shopping along andall at once she became filled with fear.
I let her sit for a few minutes while we talked and held hands, then asked if we should go home or finish shopping. She was willing to finish shopping as long as I stayed right by her. She did well, but needed to have me close. When we got home, she said she was feeling a lot better, but very tired. She took a nap and after seemed to be her old self again. While she slept, I contacted her doctor and was informed that with this form of amnesia, she would regain all her memories, except for those from right before it showed and up to a short time after she began remembering.
She remembers everything up to, but not making lunch. She kind of remembers being in the hospital but no details, no ride after until we stopped to eat, then some of the evening after we got home. Monday was still pretty scrambled and half the day missing. Her doctor also said that some who suffer this regain some memory of the incident. Not so much the forgetting, but the fear they were feeling while it happened. I'm hopeful that was the panic attack today, just more of her recovering. Even so, it's going to be a long time before I forget the fear I was filled with not knowing what was happening to the woman I love.
|The weekend has arrived much as did most of the week, with a chill in the air, and more rain. After a rather busy week, the weekend should be calm and relaxing even though I probably won't have much quiet time. With no school, the girls will want TV time shortly after they get up. They also have a habit of making sure I can't get too involved in anything.
It's both annoying and humorous at the same time. If I try and engage in some activity with them, they tend not to want to engage back. There are a few things, but not many with watching TV at the top of the list to-doable things. Of course, TV is always at the top of their to-doable list along with screen time on their tablets/phones.
As long as it's the tablets/phones, it tends to be quieter and I'm more able to engage in other things. However, if they notice I'm engaged, it's almost certain the volume will go up, or the earbuds will come out, just to provide some distraction for me. The TV also tends to keep them entertained, but the background noise is very grating for me, especially when they are watching animated shows.
No matter what they engage in, however, they will notice soon enough if I'm engaged in something and provide distraction. Seriously, if they see I'm writing or reading, they will disrupt me. The older one will talk to me or ask me something that rarely has any importance or need. Half of the time, she doesn't even pay attention to my reply; once she has my attention, she's good.
The younger one will come and stand next to me and just look at me until I stop what I'm doing and ask her what she wants. The answer always starts the same. "Sorry, I seen you were busy and I didn't want to interrupt you."
I'll reply with something similar to, "I see. But, you have my attention now, what did you want?"
It's usually something simple, like wanting something to eat or drink, wanting to play with her hamster, read, or draw. Things she really doesn't need to ask for and doesn't unless it's required to get my attention.
Of course, both of them have some issues from their past, that's why my wife and I decided to become their foster parents and now adoptive to one and will soon be to both. It's understandable, giving their past, but still very trying for me, especially if I'm reading or writing something. I thought it would get batter with them as time passed, but so far there really isn't any change. Simply put, they do fine by themselves, but they have to know I'm paying attention to them.
Of course, during the week, with school in session, I should have plenty of time for me. They are at school, my wife's at work, and I'm here alone with the family dog. So, far, however, it's been pretty busy and not a lot of time for me. What time I have had is being used up getting caught up in things that have been put off. But, I'm getting caught up and appointments are tapering down.
Hopefully, with some time to myself, I can once again get into some writing. It's been way too long, way too many blocks, and I'm in withdrawals. Yes, being introverted, I need alone time; it's not a desire, it's a need, as important as eating, drinking, and sleeping. I also need to write, it's how I function in life and as important as breathing. It's how I refresh my cognitive browser.
Hopefully, I will begin writing a poem this weekend, something for Halloween. Sure, the weekend isn't the best time to start writing, but the desire has struck and if I don't act on it, if I put it off for next week, it's going to fade away into the deep recess of my mind where many writing ideas have gotten lost over the last year or more. No, I must start it now, while it's surfaced; it's time to end the writer's block!
|Written for the Community Challenge, 48-Hour Challenge: Media Prompt; the song/video They by Jem
I listened to this while having my morning coffee and have been thinking about what I should write throughout the day. I couldn’t find any inspiration for a story or poem so decided to just share my thoughts in my blog.
The music was good, I enjoyed the rhythm, and the video was interesting; it reminded me of the movie Alien for some reason. The lyrics were a bit difficult to hear, mostly some background noises that made listening difficult, so I played it a second time when it was quieter. My first thoughts were to much repetition on being sorry. For those who really enjoy this song, I’m sorry. I know, bad pun.
With more thought and time to go through the lyrics, I googled them, I found myself unsure what the song is even about. I understand the question of who made up all the rules, but found myself wondering, “What rules?”
I mean, life is filled with rules from the time we are born to the time we depart this life, and I’m sure, no matter what your beliefs are for an afterlife, there will be rules. Most of life’s rules are socially determined or established for a purpose, which we can easily understand, and I think, most of us agree with. Of course, there are rules that some don’t agree with, and there are different rules in different cultures that may baffle us.
Even so, in todays technological world, it’s very easy for most of us to research rules to better understand them, just as it’s become more and more acceptable to protest the ones we disagree with.
Going back to the video, I didn’t really understand, as I mentioned, what rules? The video shows someone floating and stripping in space and ends with the understanding that it was all a dream. I really didn’t find any connection to the lyrics; the rules, who made them, and why they are followed blindly without thinking them through and some stripping while floating in space.
It’s likely just me and I’m sure many of you could decipher this song/video for me. I can understand some of what’s stated, knowing that there are those who just accept and follow without question. Yes, I see some of the things people do and wonder myself why do they live as they do, why do they believe without question, and how can they follow someone or school of thought without thinking for themselves.
So, yes, I do have some understanding of the lyrics in general, but I still don’t know why the singer is so sorry. I just could not find any relationship between the lyrics and the video. As a whole, the video was entertaining, even if I couldn’t fit it to the song and the rhythm was good, but I must repeat, there is too much repetition within the song for my liking; it’s just too redundant, sorry.
|The weekend has passed and back into another week. The girls are in school, so normally this is my time, alone and able to do what I desire. This week, however, it hasn't been working that way; it started out a busy week, somewhat reflecting the weekend we just finished.
Originally, we were to go to my mother-in-laws on Friday and stay over until sometime Saturday. My sister-in-law and her family were also planning on being there and it sounded like a pretty good time even if a lot of it would be spent doing some cleaning out in the garage. Plans change, however, and the first change was my sister-in-law, they couldn't make it. Then, we found out we wouldn't be able to go because our older daughter had homecoming on Saturday.
We should have known sooner, but our district does everything through an online site, and we have had nothing but problems getting our account to work. Also, our daughter didn't say anything until the beginning of the week. No problem was our first thoughts, she could do homecoming Friday and then Saturday we would head over and return Sunday. That's when we were told, "No school Friday, homecoming is Saturday and I have to go because it's required for band members."
We did finally get our account for the school fixed, or more accurately, they got their glitches fixed and we could finally access the site. Yes, no school Friday and homecoming was Saturday afternoon with the dance about three hours later; why mess up a three day weekend?
My mother-in-law is getting up there in years and we knew she would be disappointed. But, playing at homecoming was required, and even if we left right after, it would be evening before we arrived. Besides, it was also our daughter's first homecoming, so very important to her, therefor to us, that she attend. We set our sites on an early start on Sunday.
Saturday afternoon went off without any problems, but later, for the dance, things fell apart. We dropped our daughter off for the dance, then headed out to do a bit of shopping with our younger daughter. About an hour and a half later, my wife started getting calls from work. This tends to mean someone wants her to come in so they can leave, or fill in for them the following day. She ignored the phone the first few times, but when it continued to go off, she answered only to discover our daughter was at her workplace trying to get a call through to us.
Here I should explain that she, our daughter, lost the use of her phone. She can use it for pictures and a few games, but no service since she misused it a few times. So, she couldn't call us from her phone, but she was at the school and could have easily contacted us from school and explained the situation. As we were told, she had given her ticket to a friend to hold for her and the friend didn't show up.
Of course, there are discrepancies all over, but her story is, the friend didn't show up so she couldn't get into the dance. From there, she had another friend drive her home, but since we weren't home, she couldn't get in; she had forgot her key. From there she went to my wife's workplace to try and contact us, since she also didn't have our phone numbers with her.
However, when we dropped her off, she was asked if she had our numbers with and she answered yes, in my purse. Also, our numbers are on record at the school, where she should've called from. On top of all of this, it took her an hour and a half to try and call with no explanation as to why it took so long.
My wife and I believe she went to the dance and stayed for a bit, then left with friends and eventually returned home, but she couldn't get in, and her friends had already left after dropping her off, so she had no choice except to go to my wife's workplace and try and get a call through to us. Luckily it's right close to home, so she didn't have to go far. Part of our disbelief in her story is it changed from when I talked to her to when my wife did. Also, she has a history of being untruthful and sneaking around, as well as trying to manipulate people to get her way. In this case, it's proof she needs her phone activated again, something she has been trying to accomplish all summer long.
We did get to my mother-in-laws Sunday early afternoon and spent most of the day working in the garage organizing and cleaning it for her. Our younger daughter worked hard and helped out a lot, but the other got cold right away and needed to go in and warm up. She eventually fell asleep and didn't help out at all; she did stay awake enough to download an app she is not supposed to use, spend a bit of time in it, then delete before going to sleep.
I suppose she was thinking she got away with her sneaking and dishonesty on Saturday, she could get away with sneaking the app, using it, then deleting it as well. She didn't, we confronted her yesterday about everything, just enough to let her know we know, but not enough for her to know how much we know. She was also informed that we would be discussing this later; I want her to spend some time stewing in the fact that she didn't get by with anything as well as wondering what the consequences are going to be.
|Friday is here and originally we had plans to visit Rhonda's mom for the weekend since the girls don't have school today. But, the older girl has homecoming tomorrow so that kind of buncos that idea. We did talk a bit about driving over today and leaving early tomorrow so she can be back on time; she has to be there by noon-thirty.
I also started a project yesterday that I wanted to get done, but things didn't work out, so it' on hold pending the plans for today. I purchased a couple of bookshelves, one a bit taller than the other, both the same design and color. They are assembled, but I still need to attach a shelf between them for the television to sit on, converting the bookshelves into a rather fancy entertainment center, with enough room under the shelf and between the two bookshelves for the big cedar trunk to sit that houses all our games.
The day is burning away quickly an still no conversation about todays plans and what's happening. I've tried to talk with Rhonda a few times this week about this and other things, but she is side tracked and distracted, so our conversations have gone nowhere. It's very frustrating and results in not much getting accomplished, since we try and make most decisions together.
So, the question today is, what's happening; what's happening this weekend, and what's happening with my partner?
|It's been five days, time to update in here.
My last entry we were heading back to our old residence to get more stuff and the trip was pretty much uneventful. We did hit a detour for road construction that's been going on for about three years. They got as far as the border, so hopefully they will be done soon. Even so, it's crazy how long they have drug this project out for; it's also ridiculous how they detoured traffic. We drove to the highway and proceeded to travel along until we came to the state border, and hit the detour that made us drive back north about thirty-five miles, then east to the interstate and back south again. The road they detoured us to was crap, and it added aver two hours more driving time. Also, we didn't rent the truck as originally planned, so we are looking at another two trips to get everything.
It took a lot longer to pack and load than I had wanted, so we didn't get home until three in the morning and by the time we got things settled, in bed about four. The next day we unloaded the pick-up and should have been life back to normal. Not so, our daughter has started in again with some issues and things have been pretty stressful. She had really settled in well over the summer, made a couple of good friends, and seemed to have shown a lot of change. Then school started and the attitude and issues resumed.
I discovered a note in her pocket yesterday after she got home and asked what it was. She lied about it and went to her room. I dropped it until this morning, when I asked her what she had done with the note. She got irritated but threw it in the trash before heading out to school. It was addressed to a boy she had a lot of issues with last year and who hangs with a not so wonderful group of kids. She also got a text from one of these kids, and it's apparent now what's going on, she's back into a group of negative kids,.
In fact, one of the good friends she, we'll call her J, has had all summer is no longer talking to her. This was the case last year at school, too. J wouldn't hang with these kids because they were trouble and mean, so she also wouldn't hang with our daughter. That all changed over the summer and they got to be real good friends. Now that our daughter is back in this group, however, J won't talk to her or hang with her.
The whole thing has me pretty upset, since she has changed in her moods and her personality to fit in with this group, she's back to lying and sneaking, and I'm not sure how to proceed.
|We, my wife and I, are headed out to get some of our belongings that are still residing at our old address. We still have quite a bit to move, and I'm hoping we can get it in one last trip, but it's likely we will have to make this run at least once more. We have a pickup, so we can haul quite a bit, but we have some rather large items left to move.
I had pondered the idea of renting a truck just to make sure we could get everything. I looked and compared pricing and then began the online process. Now, I had looked into this around the end of last week, and found pricing about the same except for mileage, one was 15 cents the other possibility was 17 cents.
Yesterday, the mileage rates were higher, 65 cents and 72 cents! Why? The increase in fuel costs I assume. Not that they would be paying for the fuel, but what else would have increased the cost? We looked into round trip and one way rentals, and the rates were the same." Oh well, I should have procured the vehicle last week," I thought to myself.
I filled in the required information and the estimated cost was 220 dollars. Next was insurance, we'll round it up to 100 dollars. Checkout time, and the amount due is almost 450 dollars! No explanation why it was so much higher than the previous quote. Also, it stated a deposit was needed at the time we pick up the vehicle, 650 dollars! There was no way I could come up with a grand overnight.
On to the next renter. Final cost was a bit higher do to the higher mileage rates, about 250 dollars. Insurance was next; we picked the lowest option, 40 dollars, and added a one time fee of 10 dollars that covered any mess, dirt or other possibility we could be charged extra for. 300 dollars and no deposit fi we paid with a credit card. More than I had wanted to spend, but if it got everything moved, it would be worth it. I proceeded to check out and finish the process before anything else caused rate increases. No vehicles available in our area.
More time wasted; I proceeded to look at a one way move and went through the entire process again. A one way move would be about 100 dollars cheaper, but since we would have to drive there to pick up the truck, the added fuel for the trip would make the cost about the same. Okay, my wife can bring the pick-up back, I'll drive he truck, and we will for sure have everything moved. I completed the online forms and guess what? They now needed a security deposit since we were renting in a state we did not reside in. Yep, around 650 dollars!
We will drive the pick-up back there, get as much as we can, and if needed, go get the rest another day.
|It's been a couple of days, so let's see what's been going on.
I've been enjoying my new computer, the large screen, how fast it is, and all the newest bells and whistles. It took a couple of days to get everything set up, but I think I have it. I get notifications from my phone and had it set up to text and call as well, but changed that today. I still get notified, but have another device set to make calls and send text messages, an Echo.
I've been looking at Amazon Echo for a while, and seen one that's refurbished, so I thought I'd make the plunge and see how it goes. It was suppose to arrive yesterday, but I didn't get it until today. It shipped UPS and they have a new driver who didn't ring the apartment, just left a note saying he would try and deliver again today, since I needed to sign for it.
I was home but didn't know he had arrived since he didn't buzz the apartment. Also, if we aren't home, packages are dropped at the office, where they will sign for them if needed. He didn't know this, however. I waited for him this morning, hoping he would show up about the same time, which he did.
I spent a good deal of the day playing around with Alexa, and enjoying my new toy. It's really quite remarkable how much she can do, and if we had more devices set up, would be even more helpful. We'll see how it goes for the next few days, but I'm already convinced that everyone will be getting a lot of use out of Alexa.
"Reading soothes the soul, writing sets it free." T.J.
|I spent quite a bit of the day researching computers, comparing prices, and trying to decide what would be the best new computer for us. I also researched different brands, to determine which would be the most reliable. Researching the computers wasn't bad, most of the information is pretty basic, and all I needed to know was what operating system, how much memory, and how large of a drive we need to meet our needs.
Windows has been our operating system for many years, so that was easy to decide. Since we don't do much for gaming, memory wasn't very difficult to figure out. Currently, 4 Gb would be enough, but since memory needs tend to increase with time, more would be better, so 8 Gb should take care of our needs for quite a while. Even so, wanted our new computer to be capable of at least a minimal memory upgrade. Finally, what kind of drive and how large would we need?
Again, the question was easy to resolve. Our current compute 7 or 8 year old netbook has 250 Gb, and we still have ample room. Although I've never had a problem with a mechanical hard drive, I have heard of other's who have. Also, they are a bit slower and more prone to damage than a solid state drive, even though they offer a lot more storage room. I decided to go with solid state and about the same as our netbook. I don't keep a lot on the computer, since we have 1Tb available through our Microsoft account as well as unlimited photo storage with our Prime membership.
Which brand proved to be more difficult. It seems like every reference and review I looked at had a different opinion. Now, a person would think that they would research and rate based on similar data; not the case at all. Everyone seems to have different opinions about which make is the most reliable, with much of the data based on how innovative they are, not how dependable. Even so, I narrowed my list down to three makes, HP, Dell, and Lenova. HP and Dell kind of went neck to neck as which was better, but Lenova rated very close to both, and in a couple of sites, better.
Price was also a determining factor, and from my online research, HP ranked a bit less expensive than Dell in similar machines. I also checked into places to purchase that offered the best deals, and again HP was the most affordable. Our local Best Buy had a sale on quite a few computers, and in the end, they seemed to be the best place for a purchase.
With my information in hand, I headed over to Best Buy to make my purchase. One of the employees was right there to help out, and I provided him with my list and desired computer. He took me over to see it and then showed me another very similar, but a bit more expensive. The higher priced machine had a CD drive, but it cost almost a hundred more.
I told him I wanted to think about it a bit and browse, so he left me to my looking and thinking. I looked around at the types of computer we had decided on, and found a Dell that was similar to the HP I was interested in, but over a hundred dollars cheaper. I asked another associate about it, and he said that a customer had been in the process of purchasing the Dell and wanted some software installed. They hadn't even completely unpacked the machine when he changed his mind, so they had an opened box but unused computer. They had run out of inventory on this Dell, except for the one opened box, so it ended up getting marked down even though it wasn't originally in the sale.
It was just the machine I had wanted, but opted for the HP because it listed for almost 200 dollars more. It didn't have the CD drive either, but the associate provided me with an external Dell CD drive for 40 bucks. I took it, the Dell all-in-one with wireless mouse and keypad, as well as an extended 2 year warranty for the same price, give or take a little, as the HP with CD drive the other guy tried to get me to purchase.
I payed, brought it home and proceeded to set up. All in all, the setup went quickly, and even better, very easily. Even so, I was up till midnight putting things on, setting up apps, and transferring data. The longest part was getting the info from my netbook into the clouds, especially the music. I ended up going to bed while OneDrive loaded. This morning I turned on my Dell and looked at OneDrive, it was complete. I downloaded a very large audio file, a Bible study about an hour long, in just a couple seconds... Wow.
It's not even been a full 24 hours, but I'm in love with this new computer. One cable, the power cord, so it's very portable as far as ease of moving, it's not real heavy, even though it has a huge touch screen (both my wife and I agreed, it's about the size of the TV screens we watched in the sixties), and the sound is terrific for built in speakers.
|It's been a few days since I've written anything, so time to update.
First, I have been able to have a good talk with my daughter over her incident at school this week. She seems sincere and I'm hoping we can continue to communicate and keep things moving in a positive direction. She's 12 now, and typical of her age, she is curious about and questioning many things. Since she has not had a typical upbringing, she tends to keep things to herself and has a lot of difficulty talking about things. She is also prone to follow other's without question, especially when it aligns with her questions and curiosities.After our talk, however, I think we will be able to discuss more, and I'm hoping she can begin to feel more secure in trusting and coming to me with these questions and curiosities.
Second, I did not stay smoke free. I haven't given up on quitting and want to keep moving towards this goal. I'm currently thinking about a new start day in the very near future. I am also focusing on smoking less, and cutting back a bit more over the next couple days. This aligns with the information in the booklet given to me by the doctor, and I'm hoping it will help me along this path.
One thing it says I should do before my quit day is to cut back to an amount I am comfortable with, but less than I normally smoke, for a few days. Another thing is states is that it helps to succeed by doing a few mini-quits. So, for the next few days, it's cut back a bit, and then I'll follow their advise and try a mini-quit. I made one day this past week, so I'm looking at trying two days this week.
Of course, if the two days go well, I will go for another, and another, so the mini-quit may be the final quit. If not, I'll cut back even more after the mini-quit and in a couple days, do another mini-quit, shooting for at least one more day than the previous. If I can do three to four days with a mini-quit, I should be able to keep going without any more difficulty, or at least, that's what the booklet states.
Finally, my wife and I did a bit of window shopping for a new computer. Her desktop computer was ten years old, maybe more, and my laptop at least two years older than that. Her desktop crashed, the processor burned when the fan quit. My laptop still works, but the battery is shot and it's very slow, out of memory and just plain wore out. Currently, we are using a net-book I purchased before I started working as a security guard, so about eight years old, and like my laptop, out of memory.
It's definitely time to get a new computer, and we looked at some yesterday that are on sale this week. Not the fastest or highest memory computers, thy are way out of our price range, but they should be adequate for our needs. The plan is, one laptop and one desktop, if we can afford them.
|In a couple hours I take the girls in for their weekly therapy appointments. Last week we did updates on treatment plans and both had advanced and we updated their plans accordingly. The youngest had actually met a few of her goals and we were able to mark them off as completed.
Today I'll have to speak with her therapist and inform her that we were duped, she has not achieved them, she just played the part very well. But, with the passing of time, she has shown that she has not held the position she had shown, her actions and disposition over the last week have not shown any improvement at all. In fact, she has started some new behaviors, some very negative ones.
This is a pretty big let down, but hopefully we can get her back on track again.
|I was out and about doing some shopping for dinner tonight and stopped by the liquor store for some beer, since both my wife and I enjoy relaxing with a can or two in the evenings. Because I also enjoy a nice bourbon every now and again, I decided to browse the bourbon isle thinking of getting a bottle of Wild Turkey or Jim Beam, both of which my wife and I enjoy, although she prefers a good brandy more.
As I looked over the selection, like a kid in a candy store, I seen Jim Beam Double Barrel Bourbon. I have tried and like Black Label a bit more than the original Beam, so I thought this would be good. It's aged just as the original, then re-barreled and aged a second time, which to my thinking would add a lot of extra flavor and undertones. The price wasn't bad, not more than a five spot more than regular Beam or Turkey which run the same, so I grabbed a bottle and proceeded to the checkout.
I left and picked up the needed items for dinner, then drove home and unloaded the pick-up, put everything away, and admired the bottle of bourbon. It's a bit early for me, but heck, one shot isn't going to topple the balance of nature...
I opened the bottled and poured a light shot into a shot glass and let it breath for a few minutes, then lifted the glass to my face and let the aroma waft into my eager olfactory senses. Wonderful! The color was a bit darker and looked as delightful as the lingering aroma. I gently put the edge of the small glass to my impatiently waiting lips and sipped; definitely a sipping whiskey. The first taste was delightful!
The bourbon had a great taste as it flowed over my tongue, leaving a bouquet of secondary flavors as it passed down my throat. The after taste was terrific, so many flavors its difficult to describe, with a lingering sense of slight sweetness in it's wake. I took a second sip and it was just as wonderful. A swallow of water to chase it down and rinse my tongue off, then a third small sip, to enjoy the whole experience again. That left only a small sip left, which I didn't hesitate to devour, rinsed my shot glass out and then went out to smoke a cigarette.
About half way through the cigarette, the effects hit, and wow, that's some potent stuff. It kind of sneaks up while your unaware and lets you know, it's aged in double barrels and packs as much of a kick as my old double barrel shotgun.
|Wednesday will be my first day smoke free. The date is set to begin this new journey on a busy day to help make the transition, I also have a lot of support and a few items, gum and nicotine patches, to take the edge off.
I quit many years back and went for a few years without smoking, but then a new job with a lot of stress had me back into the habit, which has only gotten worse with time. I restarted with just an occasional cigar to relax with. A few months passed and it became a daily thing, but still only a few cigars a day. Next it was a change to a pipe, with a pouch of tobacco lasting about five days, but that increased slowly as well. Finally, it was just more convenient to smoke cigarettes, and I am currently at about a quarter to a half a pack a day, depending on the day.
A few months ago, I was down with a bad cold, or something, and it just wasn't possible to smoke without triggering a coughing fit, so I decided it was a good time to give the smokes up. Cold turkey had worked in the past, and for a couple of weeks I did stay tobacco free, but I was getting so grumpy my family didn't like to be around me; hell, I didn't like being around me either. I went back to smoking with the thought of waiting until school started.
This would give he kids a break from me, and for me, be a bit less stressful. I also went in and talked to my doctor about quitting, and received some information on quitting as well as some possible ideas for making it easier and avoiding the grumpy stage. I was set, had picked a date, the second week of school; the first week is always hectic. Also, knowing I could be a bit grumpy yet, I wanted to wait until after my daughters birthday; nobody likes a grump on their birthday.
A couple of weeks ago, I came down with a cold, or whatever it is that's been plaguing me for almost a year now. Once again, smoking only made it worse, so it seemed like a good time to quite. Also, I visited the clinic for the illness and the doctor I seen told me it was better to stop right then instead of waiting for the date I had set. Of course this was based on the illness and she didn't consider what my family doctor had insisted was needed. Me to be ready, have a set day, and have the items she recommended on hand.
I did stop at the pharmacy for my prescribed medications and picked up the nicotine patches and some gum. I had not smoked that day or the day before as a result of the illness, but I wasn't ready, not really. The kids hadn't started school yet, there was some stressful stuff going on, and I wasn't able to get much sleep. As soon as I lie down, the congestion would increase, I would have coughing fits, and end up back in the living room trying to sleep sitting up. This only added to the stress and I went back to the smokes after just a few days.
But, I was still focused on quitting on the day I had set. I've focused on that ever since, letting myself smoke as I desire, but thinking a lot about each and every smoke. Why was I smoking? Was I enjoying it? Did I like the way it messed up my taste and made me feel? Last, I asked myself if it helped with the stress; I'm still asking these questions and the answer in short, "No."
Of course, the nicotine does help in a small degree, but mostly it's the withdrawal symptoms that I don't like, almost as much as I'm beginning to not like smoking. So, as the smoke free day approaches, I find myself ready and wanting to end this madness. I already know, from the few days I used them, that the patch and the gum help a lot, Now, with the proper frame of mind, lots of family support, medical support if I need it, and something to take the edge off and keep me from getting the grumpies, I'm ready to start feeling better, breathing better, and end the madness that is smoking.
|Three days ago I blogged about being sick and tired of being, well, sick and tired. I seem to keep getting the same thing, over and over, since last December. It hits and I'm congested, have trouble breathing, cough, fever, and just feel run down. Then I'm off to the doctor, get tests, give blood, and get put on antibiotics for some kind of infection. A month goes by where I'm feeling better and think it's over, then the cough starts, then the sinuses go, and next thing I know, I feel like three day old road-kill.
So, the last time I was in, the same thing, but with allergy meds added to the mix, It didn't help and I was planning on going in again if not better by tomorrow. Well, I'm glad to say, I do feel better, but its a slow process of getting completely over this. The phlegm has broken loose and I haven't had a fever for a few days. I still get feeling mighty tired, but I'm getting better. I spent the weekend doing some research on what may help speed up this recovery and prevent another onslaught of the dreaded "crud".
Yes, I know, self treatment and self diagnosis aren't the best, but I have done well over the years trying various treatments for things from an old, and well worn book I came across a couple decades ago, called "The Green Pharmacy". With this and a lot of information from the net, I have added some natural products to my daily intake to help boos my immune system and balance out my vitamins and minerals. See, nothing drastic or dangerous, just compensating for a lot of added stress that started a year ago, and is likely the culprit behind a lot of my problems.
So, hopefully, I will recover even faster and soon be feeling like my old self and maybe, just maybe, I won't have another case of the crud for a long, long time.
|It's been a few days and still not feeling much better. This is going on the third week now and maybe time to return to the doctor, although I don't know what else they can do.
I was in a week and a half ago, had a bunch of stuff done and never did get an actual answer to what I have, but at least I got some answers to what it's not. I did have an elevated white count so they prescribed antibiotics, but they didn't do anything except mess up my stomach. I also got a nebulizer to help clear up the flem and improve my breathing, which helps a little. Finally, some pills for the constant coughing, that do nothing.
I'll give it the weekend, and if by Monday, there's no improvement, then it's back to the clinic.
|It's been a couple days, very busy ones here. Yesterday was spent setting up my older daughters new bed. It's designed like a bunk bed, but has a full size bed on top and a desk beneath it. I shouldn't say new, it's new to us, which means no instructions and a bit of a challenge. We purchased new hardware for it, since most of the old screws had stripped heads, and with her help had is set up relatively quickly.
Of course, there was a lot of last minute getting things ready for school, their first day was today. There was a lot of excitement from both of them, eager to be back at school, which is nice. I remember dreading the day school started and, for that matter, going.
My youngest daughter had gotten a hamster about a week ago and had really become attached to Popcorn, her hamster. Yesterday afternoon, she lifted up the house in the little critter's cage and found Popcorn had left us. We have no idea how old Popcorn was, or if anything had resulted in her passing. Nothing new had taken place except her cage had been cleaned, and unknowing, my daughter had used the hand soap in the bathroom instead of dish soap.
Also, we were in the room next door moving stuff and setting up the new bed, cleaning and vacuuming. Since I was already close, I did vacuum in Popcorns room as well. I don't know if she was accustomed to the noise and hustle and bustle or if that may have contributed. Not that it mattered, my daughter was devastated.
With her history and past, she assumed she did something wrong and was sure she was in trouble and would not get another animal for a long time. Of course, I talked with her, we discussed anything that may have stressed Popcorn, all the while re-assuring her that she was not to blame and we just needed to consider anything that may have contributed, so that we could learn from them for the future. I also added that she could get a new hamster, and because we didn't know the history of the cage and items in it, a new habitat.
My older daughter, so she wouldn't feel left out, was also told she could get a hamster and new habitat. My wife drove them up to the pet store, and again, disappointment. Closed for the holiday. I looked online for habitats so they would be ready to get their new pets today, but the store only had one within our price margin. I reassured them we would work it out.
Today, they headed off to school, I did a bit of cleaning and vacuumed their rooms knowing they would have new pets in them tonight. After, I did a bit more around the house, then looked online for another pet supply store. Found! I headed over and looked at the starter habitats. They were nice, but lets say, "lacketh" a bit. For another ten bucks I could get a nicer habitat. I picked the nicer for both of them, picked out a little wooden house for each cage, and a couple of stuffed toys for our dog.
I was able o assemble both cages, put bedding, food, and water in them, and have them ready for their new inhabitants before the girls got home from school. My wife took them to the pet store, and now, they are home and I have to go meet the two newest members of our family, DJ Pizza and Lunna.
|Here it is, the last day of August and here I am, back into my blog; it's been a long time. In fact, it's been many months since I've even been back into the site. So much going on, and so little time; not just life going on, but a complete new life for me and my wife. I started journalizing this life change, or would it be this completely new life, last year. Now, as I make a new, fresh start here, I wonder, should I continue to log all that has taken place? All that is still taking place?
I think not. I would rather focus on moving forward and restrain from looking back. Not that it was a bad journey getting here; no, it was a journey, both filled with good and bad and a lot of change. Perhaps some day I will sit down and write about how my wife and I ended our lives, transitioning from it to our new life within a mater of a few weeks.
For now, however, it's better to look at each new day and begin afresh here, with my thoughts, from meandering ideas and persuasions to deep cerebrations and serious mentations that each new day presents.
|How do you write something meaningful in twenty-five words or less? At first, it doesn't sound very difficult, but after giving it a try for the last few weeks, I have found it to be a nice challenge. I'm speaking of the contest here on WdC called, of course, Twenty-Five Words or Less. I'm sorry to say, the contest is now closed, but for the last three weeks, I have participated and enjoyed the challenge.
It wasn't just the idea of winning something, although it's always nice to get some kind of recognition for writing something. In fact, when I first found it, it wasn't any kind of fancy payout, just a point system based upon a person's entry, and once you accumulated enough points, you would win a merit badge. Having been suffering from writers block and little time to chip through it, I thought this may be the way to go. I mean, with such a short entry, I could focus my writing on an idea that could be drafted, edited, and submitted rather quickly. It provided the motivation to get some ideas and work with them without being too demanding of my limited time.
I know little of hosting activities and contests on the site, but I imagine it takes quite a lot of time and effort. With only one person doing all of this, I can understand why the contest came to an end. I had thought about offering to help out, to pick up some of the workload, but with barely enough time to write for the contest, I know I wouldn't be able to help much. Even so, it saddens me to see it end. Not just because I enjoyed it, although that's part of it too, but because it was very unique in getting a person to write in few words instead of many.
I'm thankful I had the opportunity to participate for a few weeks and surprising as it sounds, learned a bit about the art of expression. I already knew that good writing paints a picture with words, but Twenty-Five Words or Less taught me to create a picture with just a few crayons.
|It's been over a week without an entry here, so time to write something; but what? It's the same old story at work and nothing I really want to write about. On the personal side, life's been interrupted by the problems at work, so not much there to write about. That means it's time to look through some of the writing prompts provided by WdC and pick one. Today I found one that states: "A key is missing from your keyboard."
I went through a few prompts but this one stuck out because there is a key missing and it got me thinking about my trusty old laptop with the missing key and how it's performed over the years. Purchased back in 2010 it was fast and up to date, a real treat from my previous computer. It not only was faster, had more storage space, and the latest Widows Operating system, it was portable and it went many places, a real dream come true for me.
The first thing to go was the power supply, but I found another online and soon was back to using my trusty computer. Shortly after, however, the battery began to degrade and soon I found that unless I had a plug in, I wasn't going to be taking my laptop with anymore. Not a big problem, since I could usually find a place to plug it in. The next thing to go was the keyboard. It worked fine, but the print had worn off most of the keys. Luckily, I do know how to type without looking and pecking at the keys, so I was still in business, but it was a bit of a nuisance.
Then, I spilled a cup of coffee on the keyboard. I quickly pulled the plug from the side and removed the battery, hoping for the best and fearing the worst. I did my best to remove all the liquid and dry the computer. Once I was sure it was dry, I put the battery back in and restarted it. It worked!
Well, it kind of worked. The computer was fine but the keyboard didn't function properly. Some of the keys stuck, others just didn't work. In desperation I researched removing and cleaning the keyboard. Removing it wasn't too difficult, but removing keys and cleaning the surface under them was quite a difficult task, but in time I had it clean and reassembled. I reinstalled the keyboard and found I no longer had any keys sticking, but some still did not work. Being a writer, this meant the computer was about worthless now.
Not being able to afford to replace it even though it was now four years old and a bit outdated, I found a replacement keyboard online and ordered it. Soon I was back in business and happy as a clam on Sunday. Doesn't make any sense, but it sounded good.
Of course, by this time, the old laptop was outdated and running pretty slow, but it served my needs just fine and I had no complaints. However, after a few years the new keyboard began to show signs of wear, letters were fading, and the computer in general just did not function as it should. The biggest problem was the Windows System installed had become outdated, been logged down with years of updates and additions. I should also mention that Microsoft no longer supported this version so it was time to move on.
But, money was tight and I made do until one day I got a notice that I could upgrade to Windows 10. My operating system was capable of the update, but just barely. I figured I had nothing to loose, and soon was surprised to see my old laptop given a second life. Not as fast and powerful as a new computer, but fast and powerful enough for my needs, I thought my problems were over for a few more years.
But, soon my system had a few updates and things began to work slower and slower. I found I had to remove programs I seldom used to make more room for other things, I also found myself waiting for web-pages to load and downloads to complete. Many of the keys showed a lot of wear and some had completely lost their letters. Then, one day while typing away, I reached my little finger up to the back-space key and when I pressed, it came right off.
I know, not that important of a key to lose, right? Wrong. I never realized how often I used that key until it was gone. Like I mentioned, I do know how to type, and do pretty well, but am no speed typist. My biggest problem is my fingers and my train of thought don't type at the same speed. This results in typos, and the need to go back and make corrections. I had gotten so used to just tapping a key with my little finger and correcting typos, I never even gave any thought to it until the key fell off and I couldn't back-space without stopping and placing my finger in the very small little rubber nib that pokes up through the circuit board that the key once sat upon.
I have adapted to the keyboard and do pretty well, but the little nib is difficult to hit without stopping, so it has slowed me down. Now, a few years into Windows 10, my system has also slowed down, I find I can't utilize any of the fancy props that came with the operating system, and am once more looking at having to replace my trusted friend and company. Can a computer be a friend and companion?
I say yes, we have written many items together, done lots of research, kept in touch with friends and family, and completed many tasks for work. Being my first laptop, I suppose there will always be a special place in my heart for this machine. But even so, I know it's time to move on; in fact, if this old laptop could talk, I'm sure it would tell me the same, "We've shared a lot and had our time, but now you must move on."
|I was scrolling through some prompts, looking for something to write in my blog about; this was an idea I had some time back for days when I just could think of anything to blog about. I came across the following prompt, and remembered just such an incident. The dog jumps out the window of a moving car and... Of course, there are many ways this story could progress, but since I had just such an experience, why not write about that.
The dog was Sade, a down on her luck miniature poodle who had belonged to my ex-wife. Sade had belonged to a teenage girl who dotted on her and gave her a good home --- most of the time. Her brother was a brat and loved to torture the poor dog. But, as long as Sade's girl was around, she was protected and life was pretty good. When the girl wasn't home, however, all sorts of evil deeds befell the poor poodle. When the teen girl entered college, she was not around to protect poor Sade, and the girls mom feared that Sade would end up severely injured or even dead, so she looked for a new home for Sade.
My ex didn't treat Sade bad, but didn't really go out of her way to make her life grand, either. Sade just kind of existed and did her own thing, which often was misbehaving and in her own little dog way, rebelling. She wasn't happy with her new life, had been abused in her old life, and abandoned by the only person who had ever shown her love.
I already had a dog, a beautiful Golden Retriever, and not looking for another animal. I was raising two of our three teenage children, and trying to restart my life after the divorce. But, when my ex explained to me that she was moving into an apartment and couldn't take Sade with her, so she was going to have her brother take the poor thing out and shoot her, I had to intervene; I know had two dogs to go with the two teens. Sade needed attention, liked to misbehave, and had her own negative attitude, but with a little time and effort, she adjusted. She was never a good dog for us, but she did drop the bad attitude and didn't cause any real problems. With time, she accepted us as family, just as we accepted her.
The kids gave her a nickname that fit her profile, Sade was the "Goat Dog". She did look quite a bit like a little goat, walked like a goat (I believe she had suffered some damage to her legs from previous abuse), climbed on things like a goat, and got into things like a goat. Sade could manage to get up on counters and tables, no problem, although we never discovered how. I was aware of her past and tended to be more lenient with her doing these things than I probably should have, but knowing how abused she had been and how close she had come to being put down, I couldn't do more than scold her and try my best to teach her a few good manners. All in all, we had a good relationship and Sade would live out her life in a loving family.
Now, my Golden Retriever and I were real close, even though she was still a puppy. We had a wonderful bond right from the first and we went everyplace together, if it was possible. Of course, Sade didn't understand any of this, and wanted to tag along as often as she could. Sometimes it was practical, so she would have to stay home with the kids, which worked out fine. but, if she was left home alone, she was guaranteed to cause some problem or another. She just refused to get left behind and insisted she be included in everything.
It was on one of these times when my dog and I were going for a drive, I forget the details. Sade would have been home alone, unhappy, and gotten in to mischief, and since it was a nice day, it would do her good to get out for a while with us. It was spring time and very warm out. My dog loved having the window down so she could put her head out and feel the wind in her fur. Of course, I never put the window down far enough she could jump out, even though she was very well behaved and likely would never try anyway. My thoughts were, why take the risk.
But with the window down halfway, it was enough for a Goat Dog to fit through. I had not even thought about Sade jumping out, mostly because she wasn't much of a jumper and could barely see out the window when she stood on the seat, with her front paws on the armrest. I wasn't thinking about how this same dog could find her way onto tables and counters, defying the laws of physics.
One minute were were driving down the highway with Sade standing and looking out the glass while Klarissa, my dog, had her head out the window. Driving fifty-five miles an hour was a bit too much wind for Klarissa, so she sat down next to Sade and before I could put the window up, Sade had managed to launch right out the half open gap. I didn't see how she managed to get from her seat to the open top fo the window, but I did see her dropping towards the pavement going by at fifty-five miles per hour and my heart stopped as I pictured in my mind the devastation she was about to endure.
Without hesitation or actually even conscience thought, I lunged towards the passenger side while controlling the car with my left hand. I reached out and down even as Sade vanished from my view and felt my fingers against her curly, goat-like fur. I closed my hand and gripped tightly to the little fur bundle as I slowed the vehicle down and steered towards the shoulder. Once off the driving lane I stopped the car and retrieved Sade through the now fully open window of my Grand Marque. She had been caught by the scruff of her neck and had suffered no injury, but her back feet hung mere inches from the pavement. She had come within less than a second of having her little life ripped and shattered from her small body. Even so, she didn't seem to really care. As I placed her on the seat beside me I could feel the trembling of my hands over the knowledge of how close she had come. Sade on the other hand, just waged her stubbed off tail and seemed to think this had been a fun adventure.
With the window rolled up far enough Sade could not possibly fit through, we returned home. Sade lived for years to come, even though she was already getting old when she came into my life. She even found a wonderful gal to dot on her once again when I met my present wife and we all lived as happy as a Goat Dog can be.