Guest Blogger: Julie C Gardner, Author

Today! Julie C. Gardner is my guest blogger. Today! Julie C. Gardner’s new book, “Lily by Any Other Name” debuts. Today! Is a good day indeed.

Up first, a taste of Julie’s wit and wisdom in her post below, “What Happens in Clovis Stays in Clovis.” After the post, I’ve included all the links and info you will need to get your (vitual) hands on Julie’s brand new book!  Let’s do this…

text-separatorWhat Happens in Clovis Stays in Clovis

So I have these friends who shall remain nameless because they aren’t bloggers, writers, or seekers of Internet fame and I want them to still love me tomorrow.

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I met this group years ago at a karate studio where our kids were training to be black belts. The six of us moms just clicked. In fact, we clicked so loudly, everyone must’ve been relieved when we began gathering off-site for happy hours. For family barbeques. Road trips to Vegas.

As the group grew closer, our kids grew up. Our friendships had to evolve to survive. But I’m happy to report, after all these years, we’re as tight as ever. Maybe we don’t see each other as often, but we make the effort.

We make it work.

Since I promised not to name names, I’ll describe us by the roles we play:

THE ORGANIZER: The one whose ideas brought you together in the first place. She starts the ball rolling, then she keeps lists for you in the notes on her phone. You’ll find her researching Groupon get-togethers on lunch breaks, emailing options, texting details. Her enthusiasm is infectious. She’ll create a kick-ass slideshow of the fun within 24 hours.

THE LIFE OF THE PARTY: The one with the loudest laugh, the raunchiest mouth, the biggest smile. She’s up for anything and up the longest. When the rest of you start eyeing your beds, she’s ready to start Round Two. She embraces a life is short motto. If you need a partner in crime, she’s your girl. And she’ll post bail.

THE MOM: The one who brings the stocked first-aid kit, the antibacterial wipes, and the Tupperware to store any leftovers. She is the first at your doorstep with flowers, the last to leave if your dishes aren’t done. Her heart is enormous, but then she drops a line to remind you moms aren’t just lovable. They are hilarious.  

THE QUEEN OF BLUNT: The one who tells it like it is, who fearlessly says what others are thinking (good, bad, or ugly). If you’re making a mistake, she’ll let you know. When you’re getting ready to go out at night, she blurts, “LOOK HOW AWESOME WE ARE!” She’s so confident, you believe her. With her, you do feel awesome.

THE MESS: The one who plays the fool to entertain you (or maybe she’s just a fool). She’ll buy leggings from the clearance rack at Target and wear them in Vegas for days, only to realize afterward they are xhilaration pajama bottoms. Sometimes she worries she doesn’t deserve such loyal friends. Sometimes she laughs so much, she pees.

THE ANGEL: The one who fought cancer so damn hard, you still can’t believe she’s gone. Whenever you take pictures of the five of you now—this group that should be six—there’s a gap you see later. A glow between you. That streak of light above your heads. “Look!” you say. “There’s her space. There she is!”

Always and always.

I’m so lucky these are my people. Thanks to them my world is brighter, tough times are easier, and joys are more…ummm….

Joyful?

Maybe we just got back from a road trip and I’m too happy to care about adjectives.

Maybe we went to Clovis instead of Vegas because The Organizer moved there and we wanted to celebrate. Maybe we talked too much and ate too much and drank the right amount of wine. Maybe we pledged again not to take these lives for granted. Maybe we cried a little when we said how much we love each other.

Maybe you have friends like this, too.

Maybe you know which one I am.

Maybe when you’re shopping the clearance racks at Target, you should double-check that someone didn’t accidentally slip a pair of xhilaration pajama bottoms in with the leggings.

Anyway, that’s what my friend says.

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Want more of Julie?  You should  visit her blog at juliecgardner.com. You should read her books! Her talents extend to her books, blog and so much more, but everything she does includes heart. She is a published author and her newest novel is out today!

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Just click on the book image above to be magically transported to Julie’s new book on Amazon.  “Lily by Any Other Name” can be found at any one of the following links, as well:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075YDVGMK

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/lily-by-any-other-name

Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1310056461

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1127406324?ean=2940158915123

“Yes, my Young Adult book baby (that older-ish adults can read, too) officially releases today. And I might be thrilled to share the news!

LILY BY ANY OTHER NAME is a story of love and friendship, of heartbreak and hope.

It’s about making wishes that come true in ways nobody sees coming.

And it’s available NOW for just $3.99 (LESSTHANFOURDOLLARS) at all the above sites.” ~ Julie C. Gardner

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Julie C. Gardner

 

Thank you, Julie, for taking the time out of your busy writing day to visit my humble blog and brighten my day, as well as delighting all my readers. Godspeed on your writing endeavors. I have my Kindle copy of “Lily by Any Other Name” and cannot wait to read it!

 

 

 

Prednisone

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Last week, I went to my doctor with severe cramping/pains in my left leg from the left lower buttock all the way down the leg. I have had the cramps and pains for some time now, but nothing quite like those that presented in the middle of the night when I got up to go to the bathroom.  I stepped down on my left foot, and it felt much like I would imagine an electrocution might feel.  I’ve never felt anything like it, and made it to my doctor at the earliest opportunity. 

It takes a lot to get me to the doctor.

My doctor examined me, trying to pinpoint exactly where the pain started. She didn’t believe, but wasn’t sure yet, that it was sciatica, but rather a different nerve that was irritated.  She prescribed a five-day treatment of two prednisone pills per day.  She told me it was a steroid and a powerful anti-inflammatory. She continued that it also came with a very long list of possible side-effects.

She was not kidding.

When I read the info that accompanied the medication, I almost decided not to take it at all. However, the other side of my brain took over, reminding me of the pain I’ve endured and the fact that if I don’t do something, it will only get worse.

The first day I took the two pills with food, as prescribed, and waited for I don’t know what to happen. My doctor had also prescribed some anxiety medication for me, as I told her I had been a nervous wreck with all this pain.  I took the anxiety pill in the evening.

The first night, I spent the entire night alternating sweat and shivers. I had to go to the bathroom several times (as usual) but I did not have any of those horrific pains I had experienced last week.  However, I did feel extremely achy, a little dizzy, exhausted, and damned depressed. It was a really bad night.

The next day, I woke up early because my body ached so badly, I could hardly lie there anymore. I took my second day dose of prednisone and had breakfast.  By mid-day, I felt wonderful, had no pain, and went about my day like a normal human being.  It was a mind-blower for me because I’ve been enduring this pain for a long time.

The second night, I took my anxiety pill and went to bed. I ended up getting up a total of eight times to use the bathroom, and had night sweats alternating with the shivers. By night’s end, I was so exhausted, I slept in the easy chair most of the morning. The afternoon was full of pain and sore joints. I had a low-grade headache as well.

What the fuck?

The next morning, I called the doctor’s office right away.  They didn’t get back to me until after 5 pm and my calling them three more times, but when they did, the doctor said it was normal and I should stick it out for the five days.

Well, although skeptical, I caved in and forged on. Today is the fifth and final day and I just took my last prednisone pill. I have had a horrible five days, except for that few hours of bliss on the second day, and I will be on the phone with my doctor first thing tomorrow morning.

So why am I writing on an otherwise humorous blog and reporting my medical misadventures?

I am writing because that’s what I do. This medication has taken five days away from me that I can’t get back. I have hardly been able to write, and I’m smack in the middle of NaNoWriMo.  I have been in constant pain of one sort or the other, even though the main objective of soothing the “electrocution pains” was satisfied.  But the question remains: will the agony return without prednisone in my system?

That is the ten-million-dollar question.

I’ll let you know what happens next. The doctor said if the prednisone didn’t do the trick, we would move on to the next step.  Of course, she didn’t say anything about what the step would be. 

Electroshock therapy, perhaps?  Brain scan? A root canal? A tonsillectomy? (Yes, I’m delirious. It’s the pills, I tell you.) Or maybe they will prescribe physical therapy where they hang me upside down for reasons only understood by top-notch medical professionals. Humpf. Obviously, I haven’t a clue, but I’m running out of patience, as my pain is my constant companion.  Not knowing what is going on plays tricks on my mind and makes me want to feed into any one of my many compulsive tendencies.

I swear I had a half gallon of butter pecan ice cream in the freezer.

If I had any advice, it would be to thoroughly question your doctor on any meds she prescribes, and when she explains it, ask her again. And again. Until you have a full picture.

I will update this post once I’ve seen my doctor again.

The saga continues…

And wouldn’t you know it? I live in a NO medicinal marijuana state.

Okay, climbing down off my soapbox and exiting my pity party.  I think there’s still some wine in the fridge. I can wash the ice cream down with that.

 

 

 

Halloween – Humpf!

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Happy Halloween Eve!  The magical night of frightful fun and frolicking is nearly upon us and I must confess to being underwhelmed. I’m not even dressing up this year. I’m not EVEN turning my porch light on to summon trick-or-treaters. I’m such an old biddy just not that into it.

Get off my lawn, you little fairy princesses and shrimp-sized super heroes with your cutesy faces and your little plastic pumpkins! I swear I’ll turn the sprinklers on ya!

Where was I?  Oh yes, I suppose you are asking whatever could be my reason for excusing myself from these nationally accepted and revered holiday traditions?  Not in the mood. Hey, a girl can’t always be in the mood for sex, so why can’t that same disinterest work for Halloween?  

I have gathered a list of my top ten excuses for skipping Halloween and provided them below, for your reading enjoyment.

Read it and deal with it. Bah freakin humbug.

  1. I have a headache.
  2. I need to wash my hair.
  3. I got my period. (and after 5 years without one, it is blowing my mind)
  4. My treat will be wine. My trick will be doorbell avoidance.
  5. Chocolate doesn’t last ten minutes in my house, so there’s nothing left for the snot-nosed little goblins.
  6. I couldn’t afford candy. But if you ghosts and goblins, Wonder Women and Scooby Doos would like to leave some cash in the can near my front door, I can save up for next year. I promise.
  7. I’m thawing out the turkey for Thanksgiving.
  8. I’m entertaining a gentleman caller. Shhhh, Joan doesn’t know.
  9. I need to dance like no one’s watching. I mean No One! Not even a pint-size version of Khaleesi or John Snow.
  10. I have Kampanaphobia. Fear of Bells. Doorbells, in this case. It’s a thing. Ask not for whom the doorbell tolls, because I’m not going to answer it.

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Seriously, wishing everyone a very Happy and Safe Halloween!  

 

 

Embrace your Lazy

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Do you ever wake up and not want to make your bed? Or brush your teeth?

Or remain upright? Yea, me too.

I am lazy.

There are different types of laziness. Some people are just lazy in their dreams, meaning they think about not doing stuff, but they eventually muster up enough chutzpah to get stuff done anyway. Those people are Lazy Wannabees. They work hard for an hour or two all their lives while dreaming of retirement, a beach chair, a good book, and a pina colada containing lots of rum and one of those tiny umbrellas. Whatever gets you through the day, I suppose. My dream would include a mug of hot Bailey’s and Coffee, hold the umbrella, and park my ass in a rocking chair on the porch of a cabin in the mountains.

However, I’m probably lazier than that, so let’s press on.

Other folks might be Selectively Lazy. This type of person has no problem leaving her bed unmade, but will painstakingly brew the perfect cup of coffee, if it takes her all morning. She might leave a sink full of dirty dishes, but vacuum twice a day because it feels good to have control over a naughty, ferocious, roaring beast loud piece of heavy equipment. Actually, she might have some other issues, but we won’t go there in this post. A selectively lazy person might sit in an easy chair for hours, and not get up for food, beverage, or to use the facilities. She has either found the perfect book, is binging the latest Netflix original, or lost in thought, contemplating world domination peace. Selective laziness. It’s a thing.

I’m pretty close to being that lazy.

The next level of laziness moves beyond selective and lands right smack in the “you should be ashamed of yourself” category. This person is lazy beyond reasonable comprehension, yet still manages to somewhat contribute to society. I call this type of lazy Downhill Slide Lazy. If you fall in this category, you never make your bed. Hell, sometimes, you can’t even find your bed for all the clothes, beer bottles and pizza boxes lying around. You manage to show up for work, but you don’t smell very fresh. You wonder about that look everyone is giving you, but soon your thoughts move on to a lunch menu and how many bath room breaks you can get away with before being fired. Your love life is lacking, as well, unless you are so attractive your partner(s) can forgive the smell or your inability to provide them any stimulation other than an occasional grunt of approval.

I’m pretty sure I’m not that lazy. I have a sensitive nose. I think I’d know.

My kind of lazy can’t really be pigeonholed. Some days, I don’t make the bed. Some days, I don’t do dishes or vacuum. That vacuum cleaner holds no power over me or my dominatrix tendencies.

What?

Most of the time, I use the fact that I am retired to excuse my lack of productivity, whether it be housework or reaching my projected writing word-count goal for the day. Also, my mind wanders. I don’t like multitasking, but my brain is still recovering from a life-time of meetings, deadlines, annoying coworkers, and office potlucks. Anyone who has not yet retired will find out about this soon enough. It’s like a train going full-speed for forty years and then trying to come to a complete stop immediately. Your scrambled brain spawns laziness at this point to protect you from possible impact resulting in internal combustion and/or the zombie apocalypse, whichever concept appeals to you. This might be Preventive Laziness. No judgement. No apologies. No regrets. It’s okay.

You do you. I’ll do me.

**DISCLOSURE:  The above is only conjecture. My personal coping mechanism, if you will. Kind of like a child sucking her thumb or grasping her blankie. I need to rationalize my behavior, and then soothe my tendency to over-compensate by eating my feelings. It’s not my fault if I don’t possess the rational facts to back it all up. Not to worry, though. No animals, doctors, or therapists were consulted, contacted, or contracted  harmed by this post.

But, let me make one thing perfectly clear. I am still not making my bed today.

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Interview with a Warrior

Last winter, I met the most amazing man. His name is Tony Nicholson and he is my cousin. I was almost grown when he was born, so I never really got to know him when he was a child. Then we lived thousands of miles apart, and, well…time goes on. Finally, we touched base online and had an amazing connection. Tony is 49 years old, married to a lovely woman named Sherry, lives in Tennessee, and is a Cancer Warrior. His journey has been one of bravery, personal resolve, and intestinal fortitude, and I am honored to have him as my guest. Please welcome Mr. Tony Nicholson…

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Tony, when did you find out you had cancer?  Did you fall ill or find out from routine testing?

I was diagnosed the first week of January 2017. I started having some stomach issues Thanksgiving Day, 2016. The pain was bad, but I hadn’t been to a doctor in 20 years. No way was I going because of a stomach ache. By Christmas, all I could do was work and go home to bed. The day after Christmas I was pretty much bedridden. I broke down and went to the doctor a couple of days later and he and I both thought it was my gallbladder. I went for a test, my gallbladder was bad, and was scheduled for surgery for the following week. I didn’t make it that far. I was so weak and so sick I honestly thought I was going to die. I remember taking a shower so that I would be clean when they found my body.

My wife took me to the ER where they immediately took me back and started testing. The on-call doctor first suggested that I might have cancer. It was confirmed a few days later when a biopsy was performed during surgery.

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I woke up from surgery without my gallbladder, without 13″ of my colon, with a colostomy bag and when tests came back, a stage 3 cancer diagnosis. I was devastated.

How did you feel when you got the news? Did you resolve to fight right away, or was there denial before acceptance?

I was hospitalized for 13 days. Thoughts were running through my head: Am I going to die? Am I going to be a burden on my wife and family? How am I going to pay bills and keep my house if I can’t work? Thoughts also of chemo and the side effects…

I knew I had to fight to stay alive. I promised my wife, my kids, my sisters, and my baby Grandson that I would fight with all that I have. I promised my Grandson that we would go see Mickey Mouse someday. I’m determined to keep that promise.

What was the diagnosis and treatment plan?

I met with the Oncologist in my hospital room. She told me that I would require 6 months of chemo every other week. She also said that the odds were 50/50. She told me that she simply didn’t know. The cancer had spread to my lymph nodes.

How did your family and wife Sherry react to the news?

Sherry was stronger than me. She kept telling me that I was going to be okay. My family supported me the best they could. My sisters came to the hospital every day.

How long before you began chemo?  Tell me about your first chemo experience.

I started chemo on Feb 15th. I was so scared, but I was trying not to show it. They took me back and took blood, took my vitals, and after a checkup with the Oncologist, I was off to the treatment room. Sherry was by my side the entire time. We sat in the reclining chairs. I can remember asking Sherry to move an IV stand because I couldn’t see that face of hers that gives me strength.

The nurses at Tennessee Oncologists were beyond great. They calmed my nerves. They stuck a needle in my stomach about the size of a pencil. It hurt like hell, but was necessary to help control nausea. Then they ran some other anti-nausea meds through my port that was put in the week before. Then came the chemotonychemo

drugs. It was scary seeing Nurse Barbara dressed like she works at a nuclear power plant. I was holding Sherry’s hand and she kept asking if I’m okay. The entire process took almost 6 hours. I had to wear a chemo pump for 2 days after each treatment to keep giving me meds slowly over time.

Did you bond with some of your fellow cancer warriors and did you have any special care givers who made your journey easier/better along the way?

When you spend 6 hours a per day every 2 weeks in the chemo room, you get to know the staff and other patients. You become part of their lives and you let them into yours. The tough thing is getting attached, then realizing the patients have cancer just like you. I began talking to a man named Mark. Mark had colon cancer just like me, stage 3 just like me, and a colostomy bag just like me. He got his shots in the stomach and from what I could tell, had the same protocol as I did. For some reason, Mark’s chemo didn’t take and he lost his fight on Sept 11th. Could’ve been me.

Nurse Barbara stands out as far as my nurses go. She named me the “Chemodale Dancer” and made me a bow tie that made some of the other patients laugh. She also heads up the cancer support group that has helped me tremendously.

How did you come to call yourself a “warrior”?

The term “Cancer Warrior” came from a fellow cancer patient named Barry Rinks. When I was diagnosed, I reached out to him to ask about his fight, his treatments, and his outlook. Although he didn’t know me personally at all, we talked a lot about treatments and about God. He made me see that death is nothing to fear if you have God. He helped lift such a burden off me. I didn’t know at the time that Barry was so close to losing his battle. He went home to Heaven around Labor Day.

I understand your wife Sherry was your life-line and your primary care giver. How vital was she to your ultimate and overall recovery?

Sherry was/is my care giver. Without her, I would be dead or in nursing home. There is not enough time or space to tell all she has done for me. I know this seems short, but if I start listing things, it is going to be extremely long. She has kept me alive.

How many months were you in treatment? How did you cope with daily life? Did you stay home a lot or get out as much as you could?

I did chemo for 6 months. I was out of work for 3 months. The nurses at the oncologist office did a great job with my nausea. I had some but it was manageable. The fatigue, on the other hand, was awful. I had never felt so constantly run down. I couldn’t eat, drink, or touch anything cold. Trying to get the colostomy bag fixed to where it wouldn’t leak and make huge messes was a big issue. The mental part was harder for me than the physical. I had 3 months to think about my life and how I was going to make positive changes, be a better husband, father, brother, son, and grandpa. I told God if he decided to take me I’m ready, but if not, my desire is to be that man who I want to become.

I stayed at home a lot. I had to get out and take care of some things because Sherry had to work. After 3 months and against doctor’s orders, I went back to work. It was hell. They took my office job away from me while I was out and cut my pay. I was also told that if I couldn’t keep up, they didn’t need me. So, I would leave chemo and head directly back to work. Because of this, I developed blood clots in both legs and kept a barf bag on my table in case I got sick while working.

Tell me about your last day of chemo.

My last chemo treatment was on July 13th. Sherry made signs for me to hold while taking pictures. I rang the bell as I was leaving. Then I cranked up the music as myself, Nurse Barbara, another nurse, and a volunteer did The Conga up the hallway.

When and how did you get the news that you were cancer-free?

After my last treatment, I went for tests to determine the condition of my cancer. We got the tests back a week later, and the cancer was gone. My Oncologist told me during my checkup.

How are you now and what is your next step in overall recovery?

Right now, I am still battling the residual effects from the chemo. My fingers and feet are both numb and I have balance issues. I have joined a gym and can ride a stationary bike. I’m working on my weight so that I can get a colostomy reversal.

What message would you like to convey to the world regarding your journey and the fight against cancer?

If you think something is wrong with your body, then something might be. It’s better to know for sure. Go to your doctor and get checked. Please get those colonoscopies, mammograms or any other cancer detecting tests. Most insurers will pay 100% for preventive care. Everyone should get a colonoscopy before age 50 (listen up, Nicholson family!) They’re not fun, but may save your life.

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I would like to thank you, Tony, for sharing your story with my readers. I am sure everyone is just as thrilled as I am to know you are cancer-free and moving on toward a full, wonderful life. The world is indeed a better place with you in it!

Please leave comments for Tony below. He would enjoy hearing from you all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clap. Laugh. Repeat.

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Recently, on a mission to stave off boredom while calming my anxiety issues, I turned to YouTube for enlightenment. And when I say enlightenment, I mean anything that keeps my brain from atrophy. Turned out, I uncovered a gold mine of frolicking good fun and a level of weirdness I had never quite experienced before.

In video number one, an attempt to answer an age-old question, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” had me falling out of my chair in convulsions of laughter. I’m not so sure I reached enlightenment, but my stomach is still sore from the belly-laughs.  Check it out. I will wait…

YouTube video number one

The apparent Zen boss guy attempted to approach the one-hand clapping question as a kaon, which is a story or question used in Zen practice to test a student’s progress. It is expected to lead to higher enlightenment. I understand the concept, but my brain works in strange and mysterious ways, attempting to find the humor in everything, especially things I don’t understand.  This has landed me in hot water more times than I can convey.

After my chuckle-fest, I collected myself and moved on to other thoughts, but my mind kept reverting to that video. The Zen boss guy slapped the student guy, which I assumed was either the example of a sound of one hand clapping, or a punishment for a non-compliance issue of some sort. I really didn’t care, because in my mind’s eye, I saw air-clapping…someone trying to clap at air with one hand. I even tried it myself. Epic fail. But funny nonetheless.

Not to be dissuaded by Zen boss guy, I perused some other You Tube videos on said subject, and I discovered some people really can make a sound of one hand clapping. It was underwhelming, but for the lack of anything else with which to entertain you, please enjoy this next video. I will wait…

You Tube Video number two

The guy in video number two is kind of creepy, am I right?  I fancy myself as a forward-thinking, liberal, change-accepting, Zen kind of girl, but that guy is the stuff of which nightmares are made. Stephen King could write a horrifying story around this video. I would watch it. But still CREEPY.

And yet, I laugh. Again and again. For some reason, this is funny to me. My partner just stares at me every time a commercial comes on TV mentioning one hand clapping (for which I could not find a video. Sorry). I immediately start chuckling and trying to clap with one hand. It never gets old. It is equally funny. Every. Single. Time.

There must be something wrong with me. A chemical imbalance, perhaps. Hormonal issues. Fucked up chakra. I am not worthy!

But I am not sorry, either! No apologies. No regrets. That shit was funny! Oh my gosh, I’m laughing now. There goes the hand!  I tried to make my own one hand slapping video, but my nails are a mess. And I’m camera shy. And I have an arthritic witch’s bump on my knuckle. Too much sharing? Another thing I do uncontrollably.

One-hand slapping has given me hours of happiness and laughter. It’s a thing. Like an ear worm, only without the ear. Or the worm. Just that one hand, and that lonely, fucking hilarious clapping.

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Oh gosh, there I go again. 

Thanks for stopping by.  I think I will research meditating. It’s so peaceful in my head right now. Perhaps I can expound on that and reach new heights of self-awareness. Oh wait, never mind. It’s just nap time.

 

 

Pat Winchester Booth

Today, I am tickled pink. Why? Because I am hosting my very first guest blogger on What’s in Terri’s Head?!!

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Pat Winchester Booth has been an online friend of mine for years, and I have been a fan of her unique blog, Mining towns in Canada, Reminiscing about growing up for just as many years. Pat is brilliant, outspoken, articulate, and witty. She has led an amazing life, with all its ups and downs, and relentlessly pursues and cultivates happiness and knowledge on a daily basis. I am quite in awe of this lovely, talented woman, and am very proud she has graced me with her virtual presence and words.

 

Without further ado, I present Pat Winchester Booth!

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My name is Pat.
I started blogging in 2007.
My site is Mining towns in Canada. Reminiscing about growing up. I wrote about all the towns I lived in. They were company towns, many in isolation and it’s a time gone by. I wanted to leave a record of that unique life style.
It was a voyage of discovery. I understood myself better and what makes me tick. It was cathartic and a nostalgic visit to my family and childhood.
I’ve had over 45,000 readers and have reunited many childhood friends who were able to contact each other through the blog. Central Patricia gold mines and snow lake were popular.
In between, I posted other thoughts and irrelevant musings.

What I am, what I think, what I write is all the “product” of  living in mining towns in Canada.

pagesep2(from September 25, 2014 issue of Mining towns in Canada. Reminiscing about growing up)

When I was much younger I saw a movie called “Auntie Mame”(1955), A character named “Gooch” got pregnant and did all the “pregnant lady” moves: The walk, the duck feet position, hand on hip & bend, moan and groan etc. I promised myself that I would NEVER do that, and when I was pregnant, both times, it came to mind and I was careful of my comportment, shall we say?

Fast forward to old age…I watched elderly people walk across parking lots and in stores and promised myself that I would never walk that way: waddle, duck feet pointing outward, stiff, agonizing movement.

PAT! GET OVER YOURSELF! I know there are many reasons for people of our age to struggle to walk. I always sympathized with all of them, I just didn’t want to BE one of them.

I don’t mind being old. There are lots of perks and the most important one is that I am still alive and well.

I do have my moments of Gooch-likeness”, especially when sitting for more than 15 minutes, then trying to make it across the room elegantly. (Doesn’t work).

This week, we tackled some physical work (up & down 13 steps with lots of bending) The Aleve didn’t relieve it much, and I had a couple of days of waddling, swaying etc. and I thought “this is it now, old age has set in”.

I’m happy to report that I’m back to normal today, and I concede that my normal could be pretty ancient looking to a 19 year old. I really don’t care, and this is one of the perks I referred to above: thinking about such nonsense, and the audacity to say it!

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(From  About “Mining Towns in Canada” Site)

An Experienced Pet Lover

My husband says “If it weren’t for…

  • The chewing
  • The piddling
  • The walking
  • The scooping
  • The barking
  • The snarling
  • The training
  • The feeding
  • The Vet bills
  • The grooming
  • The brushing
  • The shedding
  • The drooling
  • The dog sitting
  • The chasing
  • The fleas
  • …he would get another dog”.

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Thank you, Pat! I appreciate you so very much!

Everyone, please visit Pat’s blog when you have some reading time. You won’t be disappointed! Also, please leave your thoughts and comments below, as I’m sure Pat will enjoy hearing from you!

 

 

 

 

 

WTF Wednesday – TVOD

binger

Ah, autumn! I revel in the cooler, crisp temperatures. I am awe-struck by the leaves changing colors. Football is back, accompanied by nacho and chicken wing comas. I dump buckets of pumpkin spice creamer in my coffee. I adorn Denver Broncos fuzzy socks to warm my tootsies. Kids are back in school, so for a peaceful few hours per day, I don’t see, hear, or smell the four little brats darling boys next door. Yes, autumn is a beautiful thing.

With one small exception. TVOD. Television Overdose. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t seem to organize my time around my fall TV binging. I’m staying up later and getting up earlier. I’m drinking twice the caffeine just to stay awake for all the shows I have recorded. I’m avoiding my writing, my blog, the doorbell, laundry, and personal hygiene.

I might have a problem.

I’m not quite sure how I end up with TVOD every year, but I never fail to succumb to its intoxicating nuances. For example, if I’m lost in Jamie Fraser’s eyes on Outlander, I can’t expect myself to stare at a grocery list, now can I? And if I’m in the midst of the zombie apocalypse, how will The Walking Dead cast handle my turning away to answer the phone or vacuum the cereal I spilled during a Survivor episode the evening before? That would just be rude!

The Walking Dead, of course, rules over all other TV shows for all time, since the beginning of the world. There is nothing more important than those wacky walkers! Who is with me on this one? There’s just something about an ex cop, a sweaty guy wielding a crossbow, a badass older woman who bakes cookies and blows stuff up, a pregnant woman mourning her dead husband killed by a baseball bat covered in barbed wire, a kid with one eye, a baby, and a guy named Jesus. How could anyone ignore such an eclectic dynamic. It boggles my mind.

So, yes, I probably do have a problem. I blame it on three things:

  • Retirement. I owe myself a certain amount of wasting time. I earned it.
  • My advanced intelligence. My brain needs stimulation at all times. A girl can’t read 24 hours a day, am I right?
  • ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Starz, PBS, MSNBC, CNN, CMT, Food Network, and so on and so forth. You get the picture. It’s all a bit too much to wrap my head around. Too many choices, so I watch it all. Okay, I don’t watch Fox, except for anything starring Chef Gordon Ramsey. He can out-cuss me by a mile, and I have to respect that! Props, Chef Ramsey! I will be watching!

Unfortunately, there are side-effects to binging on anything. If you binge on food, you might gain weight. If you binge on sex, you might gain STDs, a reputation, or maybe even a new little tax deduction. If you binge on TV, however, you will not gain anyone’s respect or admiration. You are in this alone. But you are allowed snacks! You cannot expect anyone to watch TV shows for hours and hours without proper snackage, now can you?  That would be so wrong. So, you may well end up with two binge-possible issues. Good luck.

I watch so many different shows, my TIVO can’t keep up. It allows me to record four shows at once, but that is not acceptable. I need more. Seriously, when having to choose which shows to record, what would I leave off?  I mean, if it’s a choice between Grey’s Anatomy, Designated Survivor, Little People Big World, or Family Feud, what am I supposed to do? If I don’t see every single one, I might end up depressed, or worse, suffering separation anxiety. It would be sad, to be quite honest. I don’t know how anyone solves such complex issues and still remains sane.

In summary, there is no moral to this story, but I do have some advice:

If I’m stuck in a TVOD nightmare, don’t even think about waking me. I might be in the middle of an episode of Shades of Blue, and you know how I feel about Jennifer Lopez.

 ‘Nuff said.

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Thank you for visiting my humble, virtual abode. I hope you return often. I will be waiting with open arms and a few witty anecdotes to warm the cockles of your heart. What?

 

 

 

Vomit-Worthy

TGIF my friends and fellow humans! So, how do you like my new blog so far? Comments are welcome. I have been working hard to please you. The website is almost finished. I just have a few loose ends. In the meantime, please enjoy my Friday frolicking on the delicate subject of Vomit. As always, you are welcome!

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Vomit.

vomit

Hurl. Upchuck. Pray to the porcelain goddess. Lose your cookies. Purge. Puke. Barf. Heave. Retch. Spew. Throw up.

Vomiting is nasty fact of life; but, unless you are ten years old and trying to impress your friends with throaty, upchuck sounds, it’s a subject not normally included in polite societal interaction.

There are exceptions, of course.

Illness:  Some illnesses come with the unfortunate side-effect of vomiting. Examples include the stomach flu, migraine headaches, food-poisoning, etc. I’ve had them all at one time or another, and it was not pretty. Once upon a time, when I was around 34 or so, I had a three-day headache that kept me in bed or wrapped around the toilet round-the-clock. It was a Spewtastropny!  A Barfageddon, if you will. My then husband took me to the emergency room, stopping twice on the way to hold my hair back while I retched and he dry-heaved. So romantic! No? Turned out the doctor’s diagnosis was, “Yep, you sure do have a headache, and a doozy, at that!” He sent me home to continue my purge-quest. Thanks, Doctor Do-Very-Little!

Self-inflicted illness. Aka, Drunken Stupor:  We’ve all been there. Special Occasions. Celebrations. Twenty-first birthday parties. Clubbing. Tuesdays. Whatever way you arrive at the puke-point, the end-result is the same. A lot of perfectly good alcohol down the drain. Sad. Once upon a time, I was in the Air Force and stationed in Turkey. My boyfriend had just won a golf-tournament and we were the guests of honor at the awards ceremony. Libations flowed, especially this delightful wine called Mateus Rose.

mateus

There were several chilled bottes placed on every table. My boyfriend didn’t drink, and he was slightly ignoring me while he basked in all the congratulatory bliss. So, I poured myself a glass of wine, and then a second, and a third and so on and on. We made it home without incident, but as soon as my boyfriend carried my drunk ass to bed, I promptly threw up all over his side of the bed. That would teach him to ignore me! Ha! But, alas, he just left me lying in my nastiness, and slept on the couch. I have never had a drop of Mateus Rose since.

Scared shitless – vomit as a second option:  Have you ever been so nervous or scared about something, your body takes command and makes you heave like there’s no tomorrow? Yep, me too. Once upon a time, I was attending Non-Commissioned Officer training in the Air Force, and each of us had to give a speech before we could graduate. I was prepared. My speech was flawless, complete with a couple of witty jabs at our instructor. My hair and uniform were impeccable, and my shoes shined like glass. I was just fine until the instructor called my name. “Sergeant Sonoda, you’re next.” I immediately began to tremble, as I gathered my index cards and other visual aids and approached the podium. I remember my legs were weak as I tried to walk and my knees felt like they would buckle any minute. I made it to the podium, and grabbed hold of it like it was a floatation device and I was drowning. I took a deep breath, checked my index cards, then looked up at the audience. That is when I felt it. I knew it was coming, and I was helpless. I threw down my index cards, and put both hands over my mouth, and all hell broke loose. I vomited all over that podium. My instructor tried to help by handing me a towel, and I’m quite sure I left him a yucky souvenir on his perfectly pressed uniform. It was a stellar day. I did graduate, but I think it was only because that instructor hoped to never see me again.

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I hope you enjoyed my little journey back in time. Please share your Vomit-Worthy adventures with us in the Comments! You know you want to! We don’t judge. We love you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eleven Years and Ten Months

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Yesterday was a sad, heavy-hearted day. Thoughts of Las Vegas and lives lost, the injured, and grieving loved-ones permeated my being, and today that feeling deepens. Relatives and friends have texted or called me saying how glad they were that Joan and I had moved away from Las Vegas. Although I love our new home in Idaho, Las Vegas will always hold memories, both good and not-so-good, and I do not regret moving there all those years ago. My only regret is more a realization that we now live in some scary times. Everywhere.

I moved to Las Vegas from Ohio almost twelve years ago, rolling into the city on September 22nd in 2005. I remember this because September 22nd is also my younger son’s birthday. I made the journey alone, with Joan planning to join me three months later. I took my time, enjoying the drive and the sights, and took three days to get there. It was a wonderful, incident-free road trip of which I will always cherish the many memories made.

When I arrived at Hoover Dam, which is about 45 minutes from Vegas, I pulled over and took a short video to commemorate the occasion. I have turned my computer and The Cloud inside-out and cannot find that video!  This makes me sad because it was an important milestone and I meant to hold on to it. Oh well, things come and go, but if we’re lucky, we still hold those precious memories in our hearts.

So, I suppose you’ll have to take my word for it, but I was excited and giggly and downright giddy about arriving at my new home. I remember it was around 4:30 pm when I reached the outskirts of the city, and rush-hour was quite scary. I almost had an accident before I even reached my new apartment. Then, when I finally did arrive, there was no electricity. Since the temperature was almost 100 degrees, I was unhappy about having no air-conditioning. However, everything worked itself out and within a couple of days, I was fully comfortable in my new place.

Those memories of the early days in Vegas were lovely.  I gambled and won a jackpot. I decorated. I shopped. I traveled to Boise to see my son and grandson. I (half-heartedly) searched for a job, which I found quite easily.  Jobs were plentiful back then, but that changed with the onset of the recession in 2008.

Both my sons and my grandson spent that first Christmas with me, and Joan arrived the day after Christmas. She found a job quickly, as well, and we did very well for a few years, until she had her stroke. That seemed to be a turning point for us. I also lost my job that year and was unable to find suitable employment for quite a while. Joan’s recovery took a long time, and she has had some side-effects that have caused some permanent consequences. She was able to go on disability after a few years, but things were very hard up until then.

I was able to gain employment working from home as a customer service agent, which I hated more than I can say. Vegas life no longer held the allure for us that it had before. When my son and his wife offered to move us up to Idaho, we took a year to prepare and save, I retired, and we moved this past July, after eleven years and ten months in Las Vegas. 

Do I miss Vegas?  Tough question. I miss the early years we lived there, but with Joan’s disability and my mobility issues, life was very hard for us toward the end. Compounding the situation was a violent downstairs neighbor who (we are quite certain) beat his wife and threatened us with frequent loud rants and pounding on the walls, and we felt unsafe. We became depressed. It was time to leave Las Vegas.

Our move was smooth and fun. My son and his wife drove their truck with an attached trailer containing our stuff, and Joan and I rode in our car.  We took two days to drive and very much enjoyed the sights and scenery on our way to Idaho. The rest of the summer has been spent happily settling into our new home.

I do miss the few friends I made in Las Vegas, but thanks to the magic of social media, we can stay in touch.

This post is to honor those victims, families, first-responders, and residents of Las Vegas. I am proud to hear of how Las Vegas has rallied around those who have lost and who are suffering. I lived there long enough to know of the resilience and compassion of Las Vegas natives, and never expected any less than the amazing response they have given during this saddest of times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WTF Wednesday – Now where did I put that?

confused

This post is dedicated to three distinct demographics.  Well, distinct might be a bit strong, not to mention overused, so perhaps I should just leave that pesky adjective for another time and purpose. Now that I think of it, demographic might be a little optimistic for me, and since I have not checked with Wikipedia, Alexa, Siri, or my better half, I’ll just leave that one out, too.

So, where were we?  And where did I put my reading glasses? Gosh, this return to blogging is not going as smoothly as I had hoped.

I found my glasses. They were on my head. However, I left my coffee cup somewhere. I will be right back.

Okay, let’s start over, shall we?

This post is dedicated to those unfortunate individuals who seem to be constantly searching for things they misplaced. Those poor souls include, but certainly are not limited to:

  • The older generation.
  • Post-menopausal women.
  • Overly-busy people of any age demographic (I conferred with the toddler next door, who assured me demographic fits in this case)

Mild forgetfulness is quite common for us old geezers  folks of a certain age. One of my favorite games to play is “find that fucking whatchamacallit.” To play, you simply walk into a room to retrieve an item or to perform an activity that was pre-planned. Upon arrival in said room, your brain puts itself on hold, and you can no longer remember why you entered the room in the first place. To win the game, you must find that fucking whatchamacallit. So fun!

When I went post-menopausal, I had all the normal symptoms and behaviors. I sweat. I ate. I ate some more. I forgot things like…oh heck, I forget what I forgot. I bought a gun (I dreamed about buying a gun. I also picked up a bad case of lying.) I took naps. I drank buttermilk and ate pork rinds. I scared kids off my lawn. Okay, I never really did that last one, but it’s on my bucket list for the next geezer level (which I hear allows for frolicking and weird mood swings.)  Like I said before, it’s all quite normal. I’m no authority or doctor, but I do play both on my blog.

I used to be an overly-busy person until I located and neutralized that behavior. Many years ago, I took my four-year old over to my friend’s house. My friend had agreed to babysit while I went to work, which meant some much-needed overtime. I quickly said my goodbyes, then went out and got in my car. It took a couple of seconds before I realized I had sat down in the passenger’s seat instead of the driver’s seat where I belonged. When reality set in, I looked up and saw my friend standing in her doorway, holding my son, and laughing her ass off. Busy is highly overrated.

I am now happily retired. I am a huge proponent of uni-tasking. Oh, I still forget things, but I have a lot more time to play “find that fucking whatchamacallit.”

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Thank you for visiting! Please stop by again soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, This Looks New and Eye-Catchy! But…

Hi everyone!  I’m so excited about my new website, I can hardly wait to unveil its awesomeness.  However, right now there’s a lot more stuff in my head than on here. Soooo.  We have to wait a bit longer. And by “we” I mean you and me; but, we also have to wait on my head. Trust me when I say it’s a daily struggle.

So, just in case you stumble upon this (divinely delicious) site as a result of drinking or drugging or a misdirected pornsite accidentally, this space is still under construction!  Back away from this page slowly. Forget what you saw. OR! You could check out the fabulousness of what is here so far. Your choice. Life is full of choices. Like chocolate. And kinky sex. And eating peanut butter and potato chip sandwiches. 

But I digress…

See you soon! Well, as soon as I figure out what really is in my head. Oy!