What makes a FRIEND and how do you keep them?

What is a friend? Does it have to be someone that you see daily? Talk to on the phone daily?

I guess everyone has their own definition. When you are a child a friend could be anyone or anything. Who hasn’t seen a child carrying around a tattered doll or toy of some sort that they consider to be a “friend”.  A little boy with a toad or insect that he really likes and considers a friend.

As children get older and become teenagers, a friend is usually someone who does the same things they do and thinks like them. High school is full of those separate groups of like minded people. Not thinking like the masses can leave the unique minded alone and ostracized.

Once the school years are behind, all bets are off. You are an individual, an adult. Life is now your responsibility.  So are your friendships.

Any relationship requires effort. So do friendships. Make that phone call, see how your friends are doing. If you feel alone and have no friends around then make some. How? Well that is up to you.

I am nearly 57 now and over the years I have made many friends, at work, around the neighborhoods I have lived in and more recently online. In the past it was always the telephone that kept everyone connected. The costs of long distance phone calls would limit us in our contacts. I’ve lived all over the country, including Hawaii and the cost per minute of phone calls was something everybody had to be conscious of. Holidays and birthdays were the days that we would reach out.

Now everyone has cell phones and for many of us ONLY a cell phone. I gave up a landline a few years ago due to the costs of keeping both. The older generations still have a landline but now those are usually bundled together with their television services and they maintain cell phone service as well. Most people have some sort of internet service, whether it is for a computer, tablet or just on their cell phones.

What I find rather sad is that with all these devices for communication, ways of keeping in contact, the personal touch is being lost. Life these days is packed with so many things, jobs, families, money worries, kids and activities……it is easy to get overwhelmed and stressed and too busy to think of things like the friendships you have made in the past.

Your friends are going through similar things too. Busy lives, too many things to do in too little time. In days past when you found time for yourself, you would sit down and write a letter and keep in touch that way. Your friend would receive that letter and respond in the same way and the friendship would continue. When was the last time you actually wrote a letter? The postal service is still there but people use them for packages and not so much for letter writing. Everyone thinks to themselves that they will keep in touch by making a phone call…….one of these days.

When you are friends, really friends, you can lose touch but the second you reconnect it is like magic. The years drop away and the friendship is still there. But it takes effort. You have to make those efforts.

Reconnecting is easier now with the internet and Facebook. Looking someone up is easier and sending emails is a lot easier than buying stamps and going to the post office. But all of that still lacks the personal touch. When you reconnect, consider making the occasional phone call. Yeah, I know, you are busy……but hearing someone’s voice, someone that actually cares can make all the difference in the world. For BOTH of you.

If you say to yourself that you really aren’t interested in connecting with the old friends you had, perhaps they were a toxic combination that wasn’t good for you or your life has changed and you really can’t relate, have no fear. There are people out there just like you. New people that like the same things you like or are suffering from some of the same illnesses or trials that life sometimes throws at you.

The internet is a great place to connect with people. Now I am not saying that everyone on the internet is a great person. There are bad people everywhere and people that will try to take advantage of you and people that are just plain mean. But there are also some really great people out there and people that you might not have the opportunity to meet any place else.

Years ago I began playing online games. My son was working for a company that had a huge online game that was wildly popular and when he would talk about it I couldn’t quite comprehend what he was talking about. In an effort to understand, I tried playing the game. I was totally lost. I thought to myself, baby steps. There was another online game being put out by Disney that was brand new, so that meant everyone playing it was new to the game as well so I started playing Pirates of the Caribbean Online. I got to be quite good and became friends with people playing the game at the same time. In these online games you are able to “talk” to each other in real time and play together, team up together to solve problems and achieve goals. The Pirate game quickly became way too easy and I decided to give the other game another shot now that I understood the gaming universe a bit better. My Pirate friends also played World of Warcraft and we decided to switch to that together and off we went.

That was the beginning of MANY wonderful friendships. Tim and I are still friends to this day. He introduced me to his friend and now mine, PK and for years we have had many phone conversations and played games together. Even after they both stopped playing World of Warcraft we have remained friends. When my marriage broke up they were there for me when I cried. Moral support now for many years. I have been there for them through relationship breakups and new relationships. A marriage and the birth of a child.

Through World of Warcraft I met my friend Jeff, aka Viperhawk in the game. When I moved to California after my marriage broke up, I knew nobody in the area. But I did know Viperhawk and Bmbyf, from my game. They both lived relatively close by. Jeff and Ron, their real names, both told me to call them if I needed anything. Little did I know that my first week and first grocery trip would involve the break down of my car miles away from my house at night. One phone call and Jeff drove the 26 miles from his house to rescue me and my perishables. Years of online friendship but this was the first time we met in person. A true friend indeed.

With Thanksgiving only weeks away, Ron and his wife Carol, opened their home and Jeff and I spent my first Thanksgiving at their house. Someone ran into the telephone pole at the end of the block shortly after we arrived and all the power went out. Luckily the dinner was already cooked and candles were available so we ate and chatted for hours by candlelight. All because I made friends online in a video game.

Jeff passed away a year ago and left a bit of a hole in my heart. He was always a great friend and we talked often in-game and out. I am thankful for the years of friendship.

My friend Pam and I met the same way. She lives in Delaware I live in California but we have had years of phone calls and even though she no longer plays the game we call each other Sis, our minds are so much alike.

Amy lives in England, she and Pam and I have maintained the friendship for about 6 years now.

Donald, the best friend I have had in many years. He and I would talk daily and helped each other fill out online dating questionnaires. A few years ago, he was concerned about me spending the holidays alone and paid for my expenses, along with my dog Frosty, to drive from California to his house in Georgia where he and his girlfriend Alicia made me feel like part of the family for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. I was there for 3 months and it helped me get through some depression and made me feel cared for.

Breakdown, my dear friend from Utah, aka Mike, has always been such a wonderful friend. He has driven down to California more than once and spent some of his vacation time hanging out at my house. One year he drove the 12 hours down just to take me out to dinner for my birthday and turned around the following morning, took me to breakfast and made the drive back up. When my youngest son was getting married up in Utah, Mike went to the wedding with me and provided a buffer between myself and my ex. He knew I was stressed about seeing him and provided a shoulder to lean on. Luckily he has the sweetest girlfriend and guess how they met? Online dating.

Friends are out there for you to find. There are online groups for just about everything. If you have a hobby or are looking for one, there is a group. You have to put yourself out there, chat with people. Ask questions and of course always be safe. Keep in mind that people are not always who they say they are. I have a headset and chat with people over the internet and there are things like Skype and Facetime that let you SEE the people you are talking to as well. I have taken the time to ask questions and really get to know all of these people before I met them. I have many more online friends that I hope to meet in person in the future and no doubt I will make more friends as time goes on.

A few of my online friends have met their significant others this way. Three marriages that I personally know of and others that I have heard of.

If you are lonely, feel like you have no friends, get out there in cyber space and connect with other people. You never know. Your new best friend may just be waiting to hear from you. A little bit of effort can bring the greatest of rewards.



Blogging for Sanity

It has been a couple of years since I set aside my blogging to pursue other things to keep my hands and brain busy.  It hasn’t worked out so well.

I am a creative soul and while Frosty and I were on our grand adventure traveling across the country to Georgia and back, I took up creating jewelry made from beads, wire and special beading wires and threads. I loved it. I created some beautiful pieces that made some of my family and friends happy but unfortunately the expense outweighed any profits. I sold only a few pieces to a nurse at my doctor’s office and to some relations by marriage.

I really do enjoy making the jewelry and wear it often when I leave my house and am running errands. I get compliments and have had people ask for my number so they can buy jewelry from me. Unfortunately they never call and order anything and the money I put out for tools and materials far outweighed the amount I collected. It is therapeutic to create and it does help calm me to go through the process but it doesn’t help my bank balance in the least.

My health has not improved, I am still on disability with Fibromyalgia, degenerative disk disease, osteoporosis, a bad knee that I haven’t even bothered to get a doctor to look at yet, depression and since I last blogged now a brand new diagnosis of Breast Cancer (again). It has been 17 years since I had my first diagnosis of Breast Cancer and many things have changed since then. I now live alone, my kids are all now grown and live scattered around the United States, the closest one being about 2 hours from my house.

My financial situation is worse in that my bills have increased but my disability payments have not and my ex-husband refuses to comply with the court ordered support payments that he personally signed in front of a judge in open court. The last contact I had with him he said he might possibly have some money in APRIL of next year. Our divorce is not yet final since that requires more paperwork, more ink for my printer and more courage and fortitude than I currently seem to have. I am working on that.

Depression is something that I fight with and when I sat down and thought back over the past few years I realized that I was happier when I was blogging. It helped me vent, it helped me think and plan and overall kept some of the depression at bay.

Now I am facing multiple surgeries, a double mastectomy and reconstruction. I have a long road ahead of recovery and pain. My financial situation is dire and food is becoming hard to come by. Each month I get my disability on the 3rd and pay my utilities, gas, electricity, water, internet, 2 credit cards, insurance for my car and house and of course my mortgage payment. All of that on $1029 per month. By the time my bills are paid I am hard pressed to buy food. My pride gets in the way a bit and my location makes even finding a food bank a difficult thing. I am in Kern county and the main food bank is in Bakersfield 70 miles away.

Last year I made some Hamburger Helper and stretched out the portions to cover me through Thanksgiving. My ex taunted me and sent me a text saying they were going out for Mexican food the day after Thanksgiving when I sent him a message begging for my support money. My youngest son did one of those GoFundMe things and raised about $400 to get me groceries for December and I was so very grateful. I bought a turkey and froze the cooked meat to get me through December and into January.

This year isn’t looking very bright. I find myself hoping that they schedule my mastectomy right before Thanksgiving so I get a good meal. Pathetic I know but that is the truth. After breaking down a few times alone in my house with just a cat and a dog for company I decided to work on my mental health by starting to blog again.

So here it is, me blogging to keep my sanity and maybe share with others that find themselves in similar situations.

Midnight Madness – Part Two

Part One began when I had the crazy intrusion to my home of a woman scared for her life. In the middle of the night, around midnight. I never did tell you all what happened with that. After my 911 call to the local police I was left in the position of being alone with this semi hysterical woman in my living room. Now what do I do?

It wasn’t like she was a friend or even a close neighbor. But she was a frightened woman and with my personal experiences in dealing with a schizophrenic male in my house I understood her fear. She babbled on nervously telling me that her son, whom she described as being 6′ 10″ and aged 35, kept saying that she stole his invitations and that he needed those invitations. She said she had no idea what he was talking about, that she had never seen invitations to a party or anything like that but that he liked to go to raves. She said he began tearing things apart and when she attempted to use the phone all of the phone lines were dead. She said that he must have cut her phone lines. She also said that he had grabbed her purse and taken all of her money. She continued to tell me of violent rampages and him urinating on her carpet deliberately….who does that?

Crazy talk. Why does the midnight hour bring on such craziness? I have no idea what happened in her house, I could only nod sympathetically and offer her some water. I no longer keep sodas or things like that in my house and pretty much only drink water and tea. Occasionally coffee but at that late hour coffee was kind of out. So water it was.

The dispatcher had said that the officer would be heading out to her house and would be getting her son out of there. Perhaps I am a bit naïve here, but to my way of thinking if this guy is getting violent and she is saying she is afraid for her life…shouldn’t the police be getting this guy evaluated? Living in California I have often heard people joke about “5150” which is code for the California law for an involuntary psychiatric hold. This allows qualified police officers or clinicians to detain individuals that may be a danger to themselves or others. If he truly is schizophrenic then it doesn’t take much for a violent situation to turn into a tragedy. On the other hand how did I or the police officer know what really went on in that house?

Sometimes it takes an eye witness to truly understand the crazy part of schizophrenia. You see the person with the schizophrenia BELIEVES with their whole heart that what they are seeing and hearing is real. So if you talk to them their delusions rule the conversation and nothing you say or do will get through because they believe what they believe. The voices the urges they are all very real to them.

So here I am alone in my living room with this strange woman that I didn’t know babbling all kinds of crazy things. It began to occur to me that she might be suffering from the same thing as her son. Or was it her that was the one with the mental illness?

How do you know the truth?

With my step-son I can only tell you what I myself witnessed. He had moved out of our house after The Big Fight and we had moved to Utah. It really didn’t take long before we heard from him and his relationship with his girlfriend and her mother had deteriorated as we had known it would. So he moved back in with us. I still remember the first day he was back with us. We were living in Heber City, Utah in a rental house. I remember driving him around in my ’96 Trans Am with the t-top off and showing him the beauty of this new area and for awhile he was the sweet kid that I remembered although he was now 18 and 6′ tall. I was so determined that his time in Utah would be different from Vegas.

It took a lot of research and fighting with my husband, but I got him enrolled in the alternative school to try to get him a high school diploma. I also got all of the paperwork filled out for him to get Social Security Disability for his schizophrenia. It took awhile but he qualified and had all of the records to prove it. Of course we listed my husband as his representative so the checks went into a separate account with just my husband’s and his name and his living expenses came out of that. With some assistance from the local governmental agencies we got him signed up with some job services and the one and only psychiatrist that was employed by the county.

It was a constant struggle with my husband. By this time I had already figured out that there was something seriously wrong with me. Every time someone bumped into me it was excruciating. I was 2 years post breast cancer when we moved to Utah and according to all of the books my side effects from the surgeries, chemo and radiation should have been gone. But I was tired all of the time and was hurting all over my body.

Every time I walked into the kitchen my step-son would come out there and say “What’s for dinner?” It didn’t matter that he had just eaten breakfast or lunch or whatever. It was like it was a compulsion. He would also crowd me in the kitchen and deliberately bump into me. He knew it caused me pain but he kept doing it to the point that I started refusing to be in the kitchen if he was in it.

When he took his meds he was fairly calm but slept a lot. He got a job at the local grocery store as a bagger and for a short while things were relatively normal. We found him a small duplex and my husband paid for his rent and he used his paycheck to supplement what he got from SS Disability. Of course he didn’t get much when he worked so it was a constant struggle to keep his bills paid. Then he got a girlfriend.

Once he met the girlfriend things spiraled out of control. I explained to her early on that he needed, ALWAYS, to stay on his meds. Of course he stopped taking them. He went to work one day and then just left when he was supposed to be bringing in shopping carts. He was never able to explain what happened, if anything actually did. He just left. End of job.

The next thing we knew he was tossed in jail. When you have someone that is a paranoid schizophrenic, jail is not a good thing. They don’t belong there, they belong in a mental health facility where they can get the meds and the help they need. But he had gotten into a shoving match or something with his girlfriend and the police were called. There were no injuries but the woman that owned the duplex was upset over the frequent complaints of loud noises from him and the girlfriend so he was kicked out of his duplex. Most of these noise complaints were late at night. He is tormented at night by the voices and shouts back at them.

He and his girlfriend reconciled and moved into an apartment. They did of course finally break up for good but not before she had a baby and he became an absentee father. She did not trust him to be around his own child. Sad.

Over the years, well past that original diagnosis when he was 14, he has become worse and the people in the small town he lives in now know him and refer to him as “Crazy Johnny”*. He accepts the name and is in his own world now anyway. I haven’t seen him in a few years now but I have heard  from others that there are incidents where the neighbors have called the police because they hear screaming and the police have had to come in and check to make sure everyone is okay. They found him alone. All the noise is him by himself. He is now 30 years old. His diagnosis was 16 years ago. Sixteen years of torment without medication. I think of him often and feel such sadness. His father always felt that I was “picking on him” when all I wanted was for him to have a full and productive life instead of being tormented by the voices in his head.

All of this has been on my mind since the woman showed up at my place in the middle of the night. When the police did finally show up at my house they asked me to keep her there until they removed her son from her residence. The officer also appeared to already know the woman. That isn’t good. He said something to her along the lines of “Well here we go again huh?” When he left to go to her house she told me that the same officer had been to her house when she had to kick out her abusive boyfriend recently. There was something about the way she said it and the way the officer behaved that made me think this was a regular thing with her.

When your life becomes a series of conflicts that bring on repeated visits from the police it is time to make some changes. Some people seem to get stuck in a vicious cycle of craziness where that is their new “normal”. I know because that was how things were living with my step-son. Nightly rants coming from the attic room that was his room when my step-daughter lived with us, then from the second floor when she moved out and he took over her old room. He would be laughing like a hyena……really, I’m serious….a hyena…and then talking and answering questions it seemed. Crazy. My husband would frequently get out of bed to shout up the stairs telling him to “Shut the FUCK UP!”. His brother and my son would both be trying to sleep to go to school in the morning and nobody was getting any sleep. Every night the same shouting and laughing and extreme anger all at the same time. He told us he couldn’t control the laughing and that made him angry so he would shout. Tormented by the voices every night. His rages would sometimes involve hitting walls or throwing knives and darts into the walls.

Fear was constant on my part. He would be laughing and saying “I ought to just shank her….”. Since I was the ONLY she in the house I could only assume he was talking about me. When my husband went out of the house to go to work it was usually just myself and the crazy guy in the upstairs rooms. Not a comfortable living situation. When he was on meds he slept more and raged less but taking the meds was up to my husband. He refused to let me even discuss the issue telling me it was none of my concern and that he would handle it. Legally I had no right to even talk to the psychiatrist or psychologist although they both made a point of telling me to make sure I kept my own meds away from him because he admitted to stealing some of my pain meds to his doctors. After that I hid them.

My husband refused to acknowledge what the doctors had told him about the use of marijuana by a schizophrenic. They told him that frequently the use of marijuana increased the paranoia and psychotic tendencies. He ignored them and continued to give his schizophrenic son pot on a regular basis. He hid it because he admitted that his son had broken into our bedroom and taken some of the pot he had in the bathroom that was off our bedroom. I was already in counseling myself to deal with living with an addict. My husband often claimed that he wasn’t the one with a problem, that I was the one with a problem since he was never going to stop smoking it. Possessing and being under the influence of pot is a felony in the State of Utah and I felt that as parents of teenagers we had a responsibility to show them a positive and good example by not committing felonies.  He saw nothing wrong with what he was doing and as for the violence and manic outburst from his son, well that is now all on him. I am out of it but that doesn’t mean I don’t care. I still remember the kid that was my buddy for so many years before the schizophrenia overtook him. It still saddens me but I can now sleep at night without fear that he will finally take action and knife me in my sleep.

As for the hysterical woman and her son……well the police removed him from the house that night, I drove her home then went back to my house thankful that my own Midnight Madness period had ended and I am now blessed with peaceful nights and no crazy relatives in my attic.

* not his real name, changed here to protect his privacy

Reminder: People Need to Wake Up!

This cannot be repeated enough. DON’T TEXT AND DRIVE. DON’T READ TEXTS DON’T WRITE ‘EM. Drive only.

Little Karl's Blog

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Flying Fur From CACA To Austin

We headed east from CACA (California City, CA) with fur flying out the windows of my Chevy Blazer. Really, lots of fur. I was only semi-prepared for the amount of fur that would be flying around. My car had been vacuumed and wiped down in preparation for the trip and I knew there would be fur, of course there would be fur. Frosty is a Great Pyrenees and Lab mix so there is constantly fur everywhere. White fur that clings to every dark item of clothing that I own.

A giant purple blanket was over my back seat and his huge queen sized comforter that is his “dog bed” was on top of that. A large body pillow was tucked underneath to even out the slope of the seats and provide him with a nice soft nest to stretch out on and rawhide chews were tucked into the pouches on the backsides of the front seats within easy reach. He was all set and comfy.

It took me most of the weekend before I left to gather enough clothes to last me until January when I am scheduled to head back from Georgia to California. The heat in California and in Texas where I was planning to stop for my daughter’s reception for a week required warm weather clothing and since there were several events planned in Austin for the weekend reception I needed several outfits so as not to embarrass my daughter (this is all in my head, not what she said). Then there was the fact that Georgia during the winter can get quite cold. Remember the disaster last year when Atlanta got hit by snow? Well I do. So I stuffed my suitcases and a couple of space bags with everything from lightweight Summer clothes to heavy winter clothing and put half of it on the roof rack in a roof carrier. I was once a girl scout and I am using that for my excuse in being over prepared.

Did I mention the part about how I took 2 computers, a monitor and my 32″ TV as well? Oh, ummm yeah. I may be a little crazy. Then there is the fact that my Princess and The Pea pain issues make nearly every bed on the face of the earth painful to sleep on. At home I have a plush pillow top mattress with a 4 inch memory foam topper to sleep on. I have tried everything over the years including air mattresses, in search of something that doesn’t cause additional fibromyalgia pain and this is what I ended up with. It cost me $350 at Bed Bath and Beyond years ago even with my step-daughter’s employee discount. Even that will cause me pain if I sleep too long. Soooo, I rolled up my 4 inch topper and by sitting on it and tying excessive lengths of rope around it, managed to squeeze it into the front half of the roof rack container doohickey. It took my neighbors to lift it onto the roof. Of course it wasn’t until after I had loaded everything on the roof that I discovered the little tag that said, “Water resistant but not waterproof” on the roof rack doohickey. Sigh.

The front passenger seat had my borrowed ice chest with my yogurt and fruit mixture and a bunch of frozen water bottles and ice…..and some extra shoes….and baby wipes for my face and hands….and more bottles of water…..my purse…..my kindle with a couple of audio books and of course my iphone with more audio books and the extra chargers for both the kindle and the iphone.

I was completely packed in but Frosty was quite comfy. The plan was to make the first day the longest drive day since my energy levels should be better on the first day. Please note that I said SHOULD.

There are no shoulds. They just don’t work. There is only reality. The reality of having fibromyalgia is that you may feel okay one minute and the next be knocked on your butt with exhaustion. Then there is the issue of my back and long distance driving. I tried my best to prepare for everything and used a lumbar support to try to maintain a proper posture. I only partially succeeded with everything.

Fuel stops and potty stops became my focus. How far could I go before I had to stop and could I manage without a bathroom until I needed fuel. I had packed some tea for a caffeine fix since I had been trying to quit my Coke Zero habit. I had also packed up some apples and carrots for snacks but somehow managed to leave that bag back at home. I didn’t discover that until I was almost in Arizona. Ah well. Shit happens. I had also packed that with cans of tuna and some mayo. I am fairly sure I left the packed bag in the fridge but there is a possibility it is sitting decomposing on my kitchen counter. I guess I will find out in January when I go back home.

I started to get really hungry. No doubt this is because I had just discovered I HAD NO FOOD. Doh! So I decided to make a stop and get some lunch.

Somehow, without even knowing where I was going, I landed at Churiaco Summit, CA and the home of the General Patton Memorial Museum. Frosty was salivating more than I when we smelled the smell of grilling hamburgers. I ran into the Foster’s Freeze and grabbed a burger for me and a patty for Frosty and ran back out to the car. I wasn’t about to sit inside and eat with Frosty alone in the hot car. I jumped in and drove to the parking lot of the museum where you could clearly see a pretty awesome collection of tanks and WWII era vehicles including a fire truck. As we sat munching I looked up to see something that tickled my funny bone.


They obviously take their littering seriously in Chiriaco Summit, if you don’t obey they threaten you with a TANK! Other places just fine you.

It was a cute little spot to stop at and I am actually planning on a longer stop on my way back since the temperatures will be cooler and I will be able to leave Frosty in the car for a few minutes longer. There was a cute little souvenir shop that had all sorts of shiny things to linger over and I would really like to go through the museum. January will be a perfect time to do some wandering there and I shall make sure not to litter!

The adventure begins

Leaving in the morning for my grand adventure. Driving from California to Georgia with a ginormous shedding white dog qualifies as an adventure right?

Taking a short break to gather my thoughts before I go back to packing my roof bag on the car. I figure that my clothes will survive the shedding dog better if they are packed in a bag on the rooftop of the car. Either that or I will be depositing my clothes along the highways between California and Atlanta.

Sigh, well there we go. Break is over and back to gathering the items I will need for a few MONTHS away from home.

Perhaps I will find my lost mind???

Chasing My Tail

A million things to do

Clothes to pack

Dog fur everywhere

Where is that clothes brush?

More hours are needed

My thoughts are scattered

So is my underwear

How many hats?

What will fit in each bag?

Roof rack?

Sleep, I need some of that

More dog fur

My clothes are going to smell like dog

Tires rotated

Oil changed

To wash or not the car?

Vacuum the seats or just another blanket?

Ice chest?

Food, real food, no junk

Coffee, tea, caffeine a must

Trail Mix and audiobooks

The adventure is close

Sleep first

I think I’ll try some of that

Avant Garde

Ah yes. You ask me if “From your musical tastes to your political views, were you ever way ahead of the rest of us, adopting the new and the emerging before everyone else?:.

Yes, yes indeed. When I was 9 years old I was pushed into what they then called the “Mentally Gifted Minors” program at school. I was painfully shy so being pushed to the forefront of anything was a little uncomfortable but I was always wanting to please my parents so I did my best to excel. At 10, all of the MGM students were enrolled in Speed Reading and my already voracious appetite for reading  expanded further. By the age of 11, I beat the rest of my peers in a in class competition that lasted several months. The competition? We were each given fake “money” to spend on the purchase of stocks. We each did our own research by tracking the stocks in the newspaper and at the end of the term the student that had made the most money won. Yup, that was me. The stocks? Xerox. This was in 1971.

Somewhere around 1972 or so, I met Jacques Cousteau and spoke to him personally about his creation, the aqualung. Sea exploration was changed forever and I still have the little cloth patch he gave me.

Within the next few years I met my first computer. It took up a huge amount of our small math classroom and my brain exploded with the possibilities. I was fascinated by the whole thing. It took punch cards and we learned about the room sized machines that were the cutting edge technology of the time. The company….I.B.M.

By the age of 13 I had already seen Dorothy Chandler in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Charlton Heston in The Crucible before most kids even understood what a true theatrical production was. I was entranced. I fell in love with the bigger than life feel of the theater and the magic behind those curtains. I learned the broad scope of the words “The Arts” and my soul became torn between The Arts and The Sciences.

When the first home computers came out, I was already waiting for my opportunity to program my own personal computer. I had an Atari 800 the instant I could convince my husband that this was the way of the future.

Yeah, being a woman and being computer savvy in the late 70’s early 80’s was way before the time of most men. I was in on the early “bulletinboards” and was devouring computer magazines and programming my own computer.

I was a nerd before the word was even invented. Alas, I fell into the trap that so many women before and since have done. I let go of my huge advantage over the masses and became a wife and mother and set my dreams aside. But I have always kept an eye on the techie side of things and I have no regrets over having my children…….the husbands yes….the children no.

C’est la vie

Weather Front On The Way

My phone scared the crap out of me today. I don’t know if it is an iPhone thing or a AT&T thing, but that little sucker has a LOUD buzzer on it for weather alerts.

The powers that be apparently thought that the weather warranted an emergency alert. I wonder how much money goes into these things? How much does it cost to set up the systems that detect the weather conditions? Today’s Weather alert was for dust storms but with that dust I saw a whole lot of roiling black clouds high above the wind blown dust.

I could save them a ton of money.

My body told me yesterday that things were changing. Hours before the first alert came through the pain in my body had reached epic proportions.

I remember as a child hearing my grandma say that it was going to rain because her bursitis was acting up. I had no idea what that meant exactly just that it was some sort of ache that grandma had. Over the years I heard doctors say that people couldn’t predict the weather that way, but now I know they are wrong.

Maybe it is the change in the barometric pressure, but I feel the aches, the chest pains of the costochondritis, the deep chest pain that cannot be alleviated even with my pain meds and the fibromyalgia from head to toe. I am struggling to even type and I’m pretty sure it shows that my brain isn’t 100%.  My fingers shoulders and arms ache and are clumsy on my keyboard where my fingers are usually speeding along.

The fibro fog, the pain, the exhaustion are all kicking in.  I managed to repot a bunch of houseplants to consolidate them for someone to keep an eye on while I am off on my adventure, but I am sure glad I’m not leaving today. Yesterday or the day before I would have been ready, but today, no today I could not handle it. As I can no longer handle the pain of typing right now.

So off I go taking my weather predicting body to bed where I can rest and sleep and fight again tomorrow.

One Lovely Blog Award


I have two fellow bloggers to thank for a nomination for the One Lovely Blog Award. The first is Keaneonlife and the second is Carter Vail. I feel honored that both of these talented people liked my blog enough to nominate me. Take some time and check out their blogs!

The one Lovely Blog Award nominations are chosen by fellow bloggers for newer and Up-and-coming bloggers. The goal is to help give recognition and also help the new blogger to reach more viewers. It also recognises blogs that are considered to be “lovely” by the fellow bloggers who choose them.

Now for the rules.

1. Thank the person who nominated you. Thanks again to Keaneonlife and Carter Vail.

2. Add “One Lovely Blog Award” Logo.  Alrighty.

3. Share 7 facts/things about me: Okay, here goes

1) I have had many different pets over my 50 plus years. Dogs (I prefer large breed dogs), cats (I prefer long haired cats), lizards, a pregnant spider (yes really), a Green Wing macaw, a Catalina macaw, a Moluccan Cockatoo and a small Green Cheeked Conure with a Napoleon complex. Currently I share my house with a 120 lb. Great Pyrenees mix that thinks he is a lap dog. I have been having yearnings for a kitty since mine passed away last year.

2) I have had my fight with the big C (breast cancer) and won.

3) My favorite color is purple and I love shiny things. If it is shiny AND purple…..well consider it MINE!

4) I am a gamer girl. I love computers and online games. They are my guilty pleasure. I play World of Warcraft, Wildstar, Elder Scrolls Online…..well you get the picture. Yup, Grynnie is a NERD

5) I have lived in California, Mississippi, Nebraska, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah, Texas and Missouri. I am currently located in California but who knows what the future holds?

6) I collect DRAGONS. I am always on the look out for anything dragon related, windchimes, statues, book marks, whatever I can find when I am traveling. Other people collect the little spoons or state shaped magnets when traveling, but I look for some sort of dragon. It isn’t easy but the challenge is part of the fun.

7) I have been to several different therapists over the years when my personal life was getting hard to handle and more than one of the therapists encouraged me to get back to writing. One spent our sessions laughing her butt off and told me that it wasn’t me with the problems, it was the rest of the world. (She still took my money)

4. Nominate 15 bloggers who I admire and inform them by commenting on their blogs. This is a hard one. To pick 15 bloggers I started checking out a lot of the blogs I follow and found quite a few had already been nominated. So I have been doing a lot of reading of new blogs that I haven’t seen before. This requires me to read multiple entries because yeah, I really do read the blogs. I don’t just click follow randomly, I READ. So here goes!

1) Living Life With Chronic Illnesses

2) Fibrodreamer2014

3) God’s Whisper Farm

4) Clowie’s Corner

5) The Life and Times of Miss Lilly

6) Shepherds Grove

7) home is what you make it

8) One flew over the Sterling nest

9) My own private Idaho

10) Slowboat

11) The Road Taken

12) Morning Rounds

13) Heart of a Traveller

14) The Professor & Her Garden

15) The Universe According to Charlie


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