Monday, July 28, 2014

Story In Contest!!!

I have a short story in a contest this week!!  Yay!!

If you click here it will take you straight to the story.

I would very much appreciate any comments or likes you could give it.

Thank you so much!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sorry For The Absence

I want to apologize to those who read my posts. My absence was due to my being in the hospital.

I have been diagnosed with COPD and have to be on oxygen for a while.

The five days in the hospital were rough but once I felt the least bit better they let me out. My little dog and cat missed me very much, from what I can tell.

It was nice to have people bring me food and take away the dishes three times a day, though. The food was surprisingly very good and I was able to eat all that was brought to me.

And I had some great doctors and some very attentive, sweet nurses the entire time I was in there.

I now promise to post regularly again and want to thank everyone who asked about me.

Thank you so much for sticking with me.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Please Give Me A Break

The title is not meant to be said with an eye roll. Please allow me to explain.

I came across an article about fundamental attribution error. This happens when we see a person doing something that irks us and we assume that he is doing it because he is a bad person. We are attributing to that person the label of idiot, moron, ass, etc. You've done it. I've done it. We've all done it.

Fundamental Attribution Error is the tendency to overestimate the effect of personality and downplay the effect of the situation that the person is in. It makes us jump to the conclusion that the individual is doing what they are doing on purpose, possibly just to irritate us.

Let's do this less. Let's give people a break.

So you see a person park in the handicapped spot, get out, and walk into the store unaided by wheelchair or cane. She seems to be walking okay. You think that she is merely lazy, especially perhaps if that person is overweight. Your irritation at the fact that she can park close while you are gonna have to park in the back forty grows to a dull roar in your ears. But if you realize that your thinking includes a fundamental attribution error you can maybe see that she may be suffering with every step. She may have a physical condition that comes and goes. She may be so petrified of being outside that she will panic if she is far away from the store. Or she may be going into the store to pick up her handicapped son who has been shopping with his caregiver.

You just don't know what another human being is going through at any given time unless you ask them. And that can be construed as rude.

To look at me, I appear normal, albeit a little heavy. I walk with a cane because of my painful back and because my balance is not the best. But what is not apparent is the struggle I face just to keep it together. To spend one day without a panic attack or the feeling that I just want to stay in bed forever.

The article lists situations where you should not feel dissed, such as someone not saying thank you when you hold the door open for them. If you just stop to think that perhaps your reaction contains a fundamental attribution error before you call them a name, you will feel better about yourself and them.

So if I don't hear you when you say hello or good day to me, please give me a break. I am deaf in one ear and often miss things said on my deaf side. Quite often I am talking to myself in my head, giving myself some encouragement to just get through the hallway and out to the car.

The world will be better and you will feel better, I believe, if you just give people a break. And that includes giving yourself a break from a rise in your blood pressure from thinking that the slight is personal.

And I know, I know, some people really are just asses and they do things to make others mad just for fun. I have personally known a few. But I would like to think that those people are rare.

Thank you for giving me a break.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Four Kinds Of People You Meet Online

I have been on Facebook for a little over a year and have been a part of the blogging world of Google Plus for about four months. At first I was very leery and suspicious of people wanting to engage in chatting with me. But soon I grew to accept a few requests. I have found that there are four kinds of people that you can meet online.


It is wonderful to meet people that have the same interests as you. I have found groups of writers, sailors, dog people, and cat people. One nice young man has introduced me to the group of The Iron Writer. There you can compete in flash fiction challenges. It is a great group of people. I have met friends through other writing competitions online. On Google Plus there are many people willing and able to share their knowledge and expertise and you can have them in your "circles". Google Plus uses circles much as Facebook uses "friends". 

Great Friends

The young man I mentioned above, I will call him M.W., falls in this category. We have chatted and I have followed his blog. He is a very talented guy and a great writer and I enjoy our chats. Then there is L, who I met when I first joined Facebook. I met her through a game and she has become a dear friend who is always there for me and her other Facebook friends. She is very special to me. And I have to include N, whom I wrote about in a previous post Words With Friends Friends. She, I am happy to say, is still there for me to play with after all these months and I love chatting with her when we are playing. I really appreciate her.

Now I am so happy to say that in my great friends category I can include MK. About a month ago she posted in a cat group and I sent her a friend request. We seemed to have some things in common. Well, we have a lot in common. She started Facebook chatting with me about a week ago and I swear we are like two peas in a pod. When she says she likes something, it is always something that I also like. And vice versa. We have started chatting every day and, since we both seem to be on the computer all day, it turns into chatting off and on all day. And at night. She is like me, up at weird hours, and if I see that she is on I know I have someone to talk to if needed. The only bad thing about our relationship so far is the distance. She lives clear on the other side of the country, so we won't be going out for coffee any time soon, which is a shame. It has been a joy chatting with her and I hope we continue to talk like we have been.

Creepy People

Ah, these are the ones that scare you. The ones who, upon accepting their friend request or including them in your circles, send the ever popular and very sexy, "You must video with me now". These are the ones that refuse to accept the fact that you don't want to see them naked. "Nope," you think as you quickly block them. Nope. Nope. Nope. Although it is something that puts me off I wonder just how many times that has worked for them, if at all. I try to see them for the sad, lonely people that they must be but sometimes it is difficult.

Slow Stalkers

These are the people that seem fine at first. Just wanting to chat. So you chat. Then as time goes on they seem less fine and start making remarks about loneliness and relationships and how they are in love with you. And just after a couple of months, too. How lucky am I? With one man I determined that he thought that the pictures of my son's girlfriend were actually pictures of me. Nothing that I said deterred him in his thinking. Unfriend. Block.

As it is with most things in life, I have found that the good outweighs the bad. The relationships that I have online outnumber the relationships I have in the material world. I can't and don't get out much so these online friends are very important to me. They are my contact with the human race. 

I would recommend that you not be as leery as I was at first. Who knows who I missed out on knowing by being skittish when I first joined the online world.

Have you met anyone online that has become special to you?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

For My Mother

This Wednesday, July 2nd, 2104, will be the 33rd anniversary of my mother's fatal car wreck. I would like, if I may, to tell you a bit about her.

She was a beautiful human being - inside and out. At 5'6" she was voluptuous, reminiscent of Elizabeth Taylor in her heyday. With curly auburn hair and a face full of freckles, bless her heart, she could walk outside in a rain storm and get sunburned. Though she always worried about her weight, to me she was the perfect amount of plump to snuggle into when she would hold you in her arms, to her bosom.

When she met my father she was in nursing school. She left that to get married and have me. She would have made a marvelous nurse - she was so caring and gentle, so tender-hearted. I always felt responsible, I felt bad, knowing that if not for me she could have done so much more with her life. She never made me feel that way, though.

She was amazing at mothering, at making you feel safe in her company. She made sure the dogs and cats were fed and cared for. When we were at the mall one year looking for a dress for me for an upcoming school dance we saw a guard about to throw a tiny kitten out into the snowstorm that was raging. Someone had dumped it in the JCPenney's. She allowed me to grab the kitten and we carried it through the mall until we found me an outfit. We had that little cat, Jesse, for years.

She was a fantastic daughter to my grandmother. Mom lost her father when I was three and she was pregnant with my little brother. I know that must have been hard, because I was pregnant with my first son when she passed away. She was always there for her two brothers. As the oldest, they looked up to her. She was the one who planned the family get-togethers on both sides. My father's mother said that the family would never be together again like it was before mom passed and she was right, there were no more holiday reunions.

My mother was a wonderful friend. She would take care of the neighborhood kids if needed and she was right there to help plan a party. She fit right in with the other mothers.

As she and my father grew apart and got divorced, it became clear what my mother was not. She was not a great housekeeper. She preferred to be involved with us instead of doing the cleaning. The house was not nasty, just unkempt. There were more important things to do.

My mother was not mentally fit. Later I learned that she must have suffered from anxiety and depression. Severe depression. If I only knew then what I know now I would not have been the rebellious teenager that caused her grief. I would have understood her a bit more, been a bit more helpful in the house and with my younger brother and sister. Let's face it, I could have been a lot more helpful to her, but I was seventeen and I knew everything and wanted stuff my way.

When she died I was five months pregnant with my firstborn. I was just getting up the nerve to tell her and my father. How different everyone's life would have been if I had had my mom in my corner when the baby was born! Instead, I was bereft of the joy that would have come with seeing her with her first grandchild and I suffered postpartum depression.

From my mother I learned that everyone on earth deserves to be loved. That every creature is important and has a purpose. That you should always be kind. That there is poetry all around us if we would only look. That great happiness can be found in books. That human touch is, in itself, healing.

But I also got, from her and from my father's family, the propensity for great depression and anxiety. The ability to suffer dire sadness. The love of procrastination where cleaning, inside my mind and in my environment, is concerned. When I think of all that she suffered through without help, it makes me sadder.

I hope that the day goes by uneventfully for my little brother and little sister. It is, of course, very hard on them, too. Although I miss her terribly and hate the awful day she was wrenched from us, I try to take comfort in the fact that I had a bit of time with her at all. She was a wonderful person and I strive to be like her, in most ways.

And I hope that, if you have plans that include your family this Fourth of July holiday, you take a minute and thank your mother for being there for you. Because you just never know, do you?