My Blog

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Going Just Slightly Nuts

Who would have thought that having this time off would get old? I had so many ideas and projects that I wanted to work on that I thought I’d never get it all done, let alone be bored with it all. But I am. Bored.

I’ve done everything that I wanted to do and then some. I love the way things took off with my creative blog, this one was sort of incidental, to be able to talk about plans and thoughts and ideas about where to go with this part of my life.

But I can tell you this: I have to work. Yes, I have done much with computers and all that it entails, but without a group and without feedback, it does get lonely. I think I am too much an entertainer and need to be in the company of others. I need that feedback and banter and I need to be involved in something larger than just me (or just me and The Kid). And I worry that I’ve been a bit too focused on my projects that I’ve missed out some on what’s been going on in the world around me.

Granted, being able to wake up when I want has been delicious! I’ve not heard the sound of an alarm for longer than I can recall. I’m a bit of a scheduled type person anyway, so I keep regular hours for the most part. And I love the fact that I can – at a moment’s notice – drop everything and jump in the car and go somewhere. Although it seems, we’ve not done that in a while.

I think that once I hit the year mark, I was ready to return to work. But since that coincided with the fact that my ortho-doc thought it was time to do the knee surgeries, I’ve not returned to the job hunt. Didn’t make much sense to be interviewing for a job that a month or two later I would have to take off for three months (or longer) to recover and do my physical therapies. Made more sense just to continue the sabbatical.

So, its been about thirteen months now and frankly, I’ve organized and re-organized just about everything in this house and garage. I’ve been trying to keep the non-physical projects in check for when I am less ambulatory like re-designing the other blog’s look. Oh, and I’ve decided to create a watermark for my photos… seems like they get around the internet without any trace back to my blog. A bit of work, but perfect for those times I can’t be physically active.

I swear that I have watched everything that has ever been recorded that is worth watching. I haven’t watched live television in years now (with the exception of that tv on at my doctor’s office) and don’t plan to start any time soon. I love streaming movies and shows. But it does mean that I am at the mercy of what is currently being streamed. I’ve actually reverted back to reading. Books. Yes, you read that right. I re-read Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s books and two of Steven King’s books and ready for something new. I think I heard that Mr. King recently released a new book? I gotta get out of this house and do some window shopping or something.

Okay, enough k’vetching for today.


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My Christmas Gift

If you know anything about me, you know that I don’t celebrate Christmas. It doesn’t have anything to do with religion… it is just that a few years ago, I realized that I couldn’t come up with a single gift for my son; seems that he had everything! Some folks might think that I spoil/spoiled him, but honestly, he has never asked for much and is such a great kid – has ALWAYS been a great kid – that I loved to shower him with gifts. Consequently, we stopped “celebrating” Christmas mostly for that reason. The other being that since it really was just the two of us and neither of us really enjoyed doing the tree and twinkle lights and all the rest. And mainly the cleaning up afterwards. So, we stopped.

But! This year I was presented with a truly unique and personal gift. A gift, it seems, never stops being given. What was I the recipient of? A hacked AppleID account. And being locked out of it for 24 hours.

Now, I have to preface all of this with the fact that I have been “enjoying” being spammed and having been signed up for all kinds of web site accounts ranging from little kids’ games all the way up to hard core porn. About three years ago, I started saving the emails from those accounts and as of today, there are 855. Eight Hundred. Fifty-five. EIGHT HUNDRED AND FIFTY FIVE different accounts created for me.

855Someone out there really loves me. Up to this point, whoever is doing this – and I am going way out on a limb to assume it is one person – has left my AppleID alone. I have been diligent however with changing the password on a regular basis and limiting the number of places that I use it, but some are mandatory… like my AppleTV, iTunes account and my iPhone. But I have treated it with the respect it deserves… after all, this is the cornerstone of my online persona.

But today, while chatting with Apple for most of the morning (I mean, who wouldn’t just love to spend their Christmas morning with several members of Apple’s customer support group?) with a rep who really listened and took my issue very seriously, turns out whoever is behind this got much further than they ever have before. They didn’t actually get into my AppleID and weren’t able to access personal info, but they did go so far as to try and guess my security questions to access the account. In fact, about 8 times over the past 24 hours. Hence the hard lock on the account when I awoke this morning.

Ahhh… the gift that keeps on giving.

6510934443_8bd2942b79-370x280My initial thought was this was someone who might be a little pissed off… say for not being able to spend Christmas with his/her children because of their past indiscretions? Maybe someone who is on the end of a raw deal regarding custody? Maybe someone who still thinks that he needs to administer his (or her) own brand of justice? Or revenge?

Well, let me just tell you – whoever you are – that being free of email today was kind of a godsend. I spent the whole day hanging with my favorite person in the whole world without any undue distractions. Which was wonderful!

And in another way, it is sort of flattering that after all this time, you still think about me. Good, bad or indifferent… you are still in my grasp. Wow… who knew that I could be so powerful after all this time. Wow.

You really need to get a grip, stop feeling so sorry for yourself and move the fuck on.

Oh and maybe some professional help.


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Does Your Family Have A Ghost?

When I was young, my family moved into a house that would become my favorite. And I lived in a lot of houses. Sometimes I used to joke that my Dad was part gypsy and never wanted to live anywhere very long, but I suspect now – as an adult – it had to do more with finding a house large enough yet somehow cheap enough for the whole brood to live in. (Seven brothers and three sisters – eight of us still living.)

Let me tell you a little about this house. It was huge! At least it was in the eyes of a 7-10 year old girl. Four finished floors… including the basement and an attic. Tall white columns on the porch and when we first moved in the kitchen had an old fashioned icebox… the kind with a door to the back porch so the ice delivery man could put it directly into the box. Huge rooms and wood flooring. Actually the whole entrance was wood… floors, ceiling, stair case… everything. And that stair case! When you came into the house it was to the right… steps six feet wide with carvings on the newel posts and balusters. It went up maybe ten or fifteen steps, came to a landing and then split into a t-intersection, with additional steps going up each side. And the whole thing was wrapped with wood railings and floor. It was spectacular. The whole house was.

The fourth house built in that little town, somewhere in the 1880’s, it was grand. It was directly across from the town’s commons… the courthouse took up much of the block. But on the corner – directly across from us – was the police station. Back then, they referred to it as the “jail” and from digging, we found that it housed many male prisoners over time.

My family – especially my Dad – loved that house. Even though he was renting it, he did a ton of work to it in the hopes of being able to purchase it. Remodeled kitchen, full of avocado appliances and the same color on the seats and backs of a built in kitchen table… yeah, can you imagine a kitchen large enough to accommodate a full size kitchen table for 8 people? Even shortened some of the windows – they had those eight foot windows that started around your knee – and then had the house sided.

Anyway, I could talk about that house for days. Then came time for Dad to remodel his “den”. An actual bar, great seventies’ furniture and hard wood floor that was replaced with this new invention: wall-to-wall carpeting. 😦

It had a fireplace this huge and it was cleaned out to be made workable. It was in this room that we bet “Bob”. Bob was our ghost and we stumbled upon him while playing Ouija. Bob had always been around in this house… he move keys and toys, made cold spots appear and was that dark shadow that you saw move out of the corner of your eye. Bob was a ghost who was friendly-ish and played pranks, but was never mean spirited or scary.

When the fireplace was cleaned, it was then that Bob awoke. You see, he slept in that fireplace. And apparently, he had been sleeping for some time before he awoke.

Then one evening – I don’t remember the particulars – a game of Ouija was played. It was then how we learned his name. And that he had lived there for a long, long time. Now, this is where the family split on our opinions of Bob, some say that Bob was the ghost of a dinosaur and that the Ouija board had told us this. I never believed that, not really, but I did believe that the ghost existed. I found out many years later from some stuff we found in our attic then, and later via the internet, that Bob was more likely the ghost of a man who had died in the jail across the street. Either way, all of us acknowledged the ghost of Bob.

Us kids, over the years, joked that when that house was torn down, Bob moved in with us. Whenever something wasn’t where it was supposed to be, it was Bob that had moved it. When a closet door was open when we swore we closed it, it was Bob. And catching a cold draft in a room meant Bob was moving about. After all, with the house gone, Bob had to go somewhere, right?

I write about this today, because I was working earlier in the garage. I am doing another multi-color makeover and I am very careful about placing the paint cans near the objects (in this case, dresser drawer fronts) so that when the time came to do a second coat, the right paint was there. Well, this morning, two of the cans had been switched… now I have to repaint two drawer fronts that were “accidentally” painted the wrong shades of pink.

Bob is one of the very few things from my childhood that I had positive feelings about and brought with me to my adulthood. And he can still make me smile whenever he plays one of his pranks.

Tell me, do you have a ghost?


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The Whole Point

At the beginning of the month, I wanted to inspire myself to write regularly in anticipation of picking up the blog when I go into my surgeries and recovery and eventually use this as a springboard into this new part of my life.

I’ve had ebbs and flows with this blog. At one time, I had more than thousands of readers a day. But it was a dark and troubled time and while I made those entries private and tried to move in a more positive direction, the readership dropped off. And I had my breaks in writing, which caused my readers to drop off even more. It had really waned in the preceding months, but there always seemed to be someone who stopped by to read.

The point of the daily photographs was twofold: one – and most importantly – to get me back into the habit of writing daily (or almost daily) and two, to get my readership rebuilt. Little did I anticipate that within days of posting photos of the center of my universe, not only did I not rebuild or add readers, I actually lost the few tag-alongs that I still had. For three days in a row, I had ZERO blog hits.

That can be a bit of a drag, psychologically and emotionally, for a blogger. Of course my instinct was to say ‘fuck it‘ and stop writing. And I did. But I am back. Screw the rest of December’s photos, I am going to start writing about what’s going on and what’s coming up with the surgeries.

First off, I am going to start with my biggest concern: pain.

If you know me or anything about me, you know I am no stranger to pain. I believe that a bout of bacterial meningitis in my early twenties left me with chronic headaches and debilitating migraines. Now, some thirty odd years later, I have a scheme that allows me to pretty much function but it requires some large and standard doses of pain meds. And now that I have this to a point I hesitatingly refer to as controlled, I am fearful of messing with it. And the upcoming surgeries will come with an abundance of pain, which I need to figure out how to deal with. Without screwing up what’s taken years to get figured out.

So, here is the basis of where I will start writing again. Perhaps it will be enough to get you to come back? And maybe one more photo of the true center or my life and you won’t ever click this link again. And maybe I won’t care.

I guess we’ll see…

Streeter&MomDec'00 CroppedMacCupcake


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Dec 11: Silhouette

december-photo-list SmallSo, I am considering changing the format of this blog. Seems the more I write and share photos, the less people I have reading.

I am frustrated. Especially since I was a bit jazzed about today’s photo subject, a photo a took a while back.

Today is “silhouette” (what a weird word… look how it is spelled and how it is pronounced… it must be a french word).

Of course the subject is the same one I always use: my kid. What can I say? I love what I photograph and I photograph what I love. I think he is a great subject and I take great photos of him. So, I am sharing yet another photo of him, in silhouette. (Computer light silhouette, no less. How perfect is that!?)


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Dec 10: A Smile

december-photo-list SmallSo, amazingly, with the increase in writing, I have actually lost readers.How does that happen? Is my December photo challenge that bad or do I ramble a bit too much about my amazing kid?

Huh. And today’s challenge is: “A Smile”. Of course that smile comes from my amazing kid. Go figure.

Maybe I should talk a little more about where I want to take my blog. In a little more than six weeks, I am going to have dual knee replacement surgery and I want to use it as a starting point to make a few changes in my life. My sabbatical will end – although I have totally loved the time off – and I am thinking about what I want to do and who I want to work with and for.

It will also encompass some changes for me personally… the primary one being that new knees will bring me more physical activity and I want to lose some of this weight that I have put on while nursing the pain and arthritis from it. I was also recently informed that I am “pre-diabetic” and God knows I need to stop that in its tracks – actually reverse that – and I know exercise and eating better will be the baseline to begin that. I want to do everything I can to get well from the surgery and be back to my old active self. There are a couple of things that I’d like to do, including hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and maybe trying part of the Pacific Crest Trail in California. I’d also like to really see Nevada’s Mojave Desert. There are a ton of places I want to see still in the states and most of them require walking. Lots of walking.

So, here is tonight’s photo challenge”A Smile”:


This photo hangs just outside my bedroom door… along with a couple other photos of my wonderful son!



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Dec 10: Mountains

december-photo-list SmallI’ve recently started watching the television show “Parks and Recreation” at the suggestion of The Kid. One of the, well, let’s just say ‘not so smart’ characters announced that he was moving to Kansas to climb mountains. As most people are aware, there are no mountains in Kansas… it is almost as flat as Iowa. Makes it good to grow stuff, like wheat and corn and prairie grass.

Well, I live close to Kansas in Missouri. And guess what? Missouri is pretty damned flat too. Especially where I live in Kansas City. In fact, when I worked in Lee’s Summit, I found out why it was named such. When the railway laid tracks from St. Louis to Kansas City, the highest point in there was at Lee’s Summit… a grand total of 1040 feet. Yes, you read that right… a lousy thousand feet. So suffice it to say, no mountains in Missouri either.

So, to actually be able to show you a mountain that I photographed, I would have to go back to when I lived in California. At the very least. Actually it is one of the places that I miss so about living in Missouri now. The Kid and I actually used to go to Sierra National Forest/Kings Canyon National Park in eastern California in the Sierra Madre Mountains all the time. Like four to ten times a year. We would go camping or hiking or sledding… a ton of things. We loved the one (of only three) groves in the world of Giant Sequoia trees (the other two being in Marin County in northern California and the third is in Japan!) We loved the caves and the snow in winter and the lakes and streams and I could go on and on.

The mountains and the Pacific Ocean were the two things that kept me grounded and humbled when things tended to get overwhelming with life and all those little details. I could sit on the beach and watch the waves roll in for a couple of hours. Or sit on a rock at the edge of a canyon and watch the sun set over miles and miles of breath taking forests. Sit next to a campfire and listen to the night sounds in front of a tent with my bestest little guy and just be.

It has been over eleven years since we left California and there isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t want to just jump into the car and drive up to the mountains and breathe the fresh air. It used to be about four hours away… now it would take a couple of days to get back to our spot.

SCAN0057Okay, so not exactly a photo of a mountain, it is a photo of “our” mountains – The Kid and mine. We will make it back someday… soon.


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Dec 8: Long Exposure

december-photo-list SmallLong exposure? WTF? I have a digital camera and my cell phone, what do I know about long exposure?

Just kidding… I actually took quite a few classes in college for photography. Believe it or not, at one time I wanted to be a photojournalist. For about 15 minutes.

Things were getting a little too serious in my writing and frankly yesterday was a little busy and I couldn’t put my hands on a photo with – or of – a “long exposure” and frankly was too tired to look. Ha.

I thought I would just say something witty instead, but hell, was even too tired for that. So, no pic.

You’ll survive, I’m sure.


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Dec 7: What I Ate

december-photo-list SmallToday has been one of those kind of busy days where I didn’t even get around to looking at the photography list until just a few minutes ago. After I finished eating dinner. Yeah. Today’s photo is “what I ate”. Ha.

So, I guess it must be desert time! I bought myself something weeks ago that was just for me, for one of those days when I needed just a little something extra. Well, today, is that day. Well, just because and I needed a photo.

I could go on and on about the day and all of my activities, it seems like it has been one thing after another and I feel like I’ve just been chasing my own tail for as little as I’ve accomplished today. Its like two steps forward, three steps back. The only thing I can hope is that tomorrow isn’t a repeat of today’s frustrations. One can only hope. I think I will start by getting a really good night’s sleep and getting out of bed on the right side for a change!

So, I’m going to put my feet up, watch some movie starring Russell Crowe and eat this fine cookies.


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Dec 6: Favorite Color

december-photo-list SmallToday’s topic is an especially difficult one for me. It’s not that I don’t have a favorite color, but rather, I have favorite colors for specific categories of things.

For instance, when it comes to cars, my preference runs to black. I have had many black cars… there is something inherently sexy about a black car. But when it comes to eyes, the hazel/green of my son’s eyes are my favorite. When it comes to flowers, the color is yellow… as in springtime tulips of golden yellow… like the ones I carried in my wedding bouquet.

In my clothing, I run to solid colors combined with jeans… so look for me mostly in black and gray and green. I will venture to red (they say all blondes look good in red) but as far as favorite? Black clothes. I prefer white gold or platinum to yellow metals, but diamonds are this girl’s favorite.

Now, if you’ve seen my house, you know that I have decorated with many colors. My sewing room is a pale green, the master is a sedate burgundy and hunter green. My office leans toward the Apple platform of shiny white and aluminum and my guest bath is a soothing combination of sand, sea and sky.

Now, my favorite – and most used – rooms are the kitchen, dining room and living room… really one big room. And therein lies probably the closest thing to my “favorite” color: red. And not any old red, but what I call “Kitchenaid Red”. You see, I was given the Kitchenaid professional stand mixer in their shade of red and fell head over heals when I bought this house. And the whole kitchen was designed around that thing and that color. And someday, my plan is to paint the will-do-for-now pecan cabinets: the uppers bright white and the lower cabinets in that ‘Kitchenaid Red’. I will have bright white Corian countertops or a recycled glass countertop made from clear and red glass.

Right now, most of the accessories – right down to my Betty Crocker vintage 1958 cookbook – are red or white or a combination of the two. It’s just cheery and inviting and at the same time, mellow and calming!

When it comes to the crafting I do, I find that as a close second to the best selling pink ombré furniture, red is the color. People love it. And I love to work with it. Sometimes it makes it difficult to part with the item, but lack of space usually does the trick in deciding whether to keep something or not. 🙂

So, here is my photo of the day, in red:


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