Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The world is not designed for this . . .

Have they run out of paint?

Most days the fact that I am almost blind is at the most annoying.  But there are days when I would like to take the people who design things and give them my limited vision for a day--hey, how about a week?  Anyone can live without a sense for a day.

I can no longer drive, so when making appointments or in the mood for, say a pizza, and they don't deliver out where we live, that mood had better be around someone else's ability to take me or go get it for me.  And appointment people, while they are polite, the almost hidden sigh or annoyance on the other end of the line when I say, no it has to be late afternoon that's the only time I can get a ride, is unmistakable. It says, you dumb fuck, why don't you have a car, or why don't you have a license, or why did you never learn to drive all rolled into one.  

Then there are the stores, starting outside.  Blind does not always mean the staring off into middle space, sunglass wearing, my world is dark sort of thing. In my case, I don't have any peripheral vision and no depth perception at all.  Maybe the creators of the Flat Earth Society saw the way I do.  I have other issues, but this lack of perception makes life a bit hard sometimes.  I step over things that are only lines and trip up curbs that are not painted, or fall over them.  I've learned how to navigate with a cane, but on those times when I don't have one, a painted curb is great!  I'd rather step over a line than  trip.

So why would you as a painter, stop that line at the front door?  Not just at the ramp that goes up to the door, but stop it with a foot of curb at each side of the ramp? Yes, you guessed it, I tripped over that curb, managed to keep my balance, well, sort of, after doing a windmill dance, and my foot landed on that curb. So, today, my foot is killing me.  I think I may have broken a bone in it.

I'm not asking for a visor, you know, Star Trek style, but is a painted curb too much to ask for?

Friday, 26 July 2013

The Secret Wars in My Marriage

Welcome Guest Blogger, Carly Fall!

Today is my anniversary. My husband and I have been married fifteen years, and we dated for four years before tying the knot. That is a long time to spend with someone! Depending on the day, I will tell you that it has gone by very quickly and I have been very happy, or I have been dragged through the pits of hell. Like I said, it depends on the day.

After about ten years of marriage, we pretty much stopped fighting. Don't get me wrong—there are still times when we have brief arguments, but we haven't had a serious fight in a very, very, long time. It seems that most of our disagreements are carried out in silent, covert operations. 

The Battle of the "Holders" 
My husband has a "thing" about "holders," as he calls them. By this I mean toilet paper holders and paper towel holders. By a thing, I mean he hates them. So, that means he would rather have the toilet paper sitting on top of the toilet, and the paper towels on top of counter, unanchored. I, on the other hand, like these holders, mainly because I have as much coordination as a one-winged bee. I can't begin to tell you how many times rolls of toilet paper have ended up in the toilet, or how many times I have knocked over the paper towels and watched it unroll across the living room. That is where our battles are fought. When I go into the bathroom, I put the toilet paper on a holder. When I return, it is off. If the paper towel holder is empty, my husband will set a roll right next to it, but refuses to put it in the holder. I have knocked over the unanchored roll of paper towels, watched it roll across the room, and left the house, knowing that my husband would find it and have to clean it up. 

Screenshot 7:23:13 10:45 AMThe Dishwasher I'm not totally innocent when it comes to idiosyncrasies. One of my biggest pet peeves is the way the dishwasher is loaded. You would think I would be happy just to have someone to do the dishes for me, but I get very uncomfortable when I watch someone load the dishwasher differently than me. Because of this, I load the dishes, and unloading falls to my husband.

You would think this would be an easy arrangement. Wrong. My husband often waits days before unloading. I used to either nag him about it, or do it myself. That stopped about five years ago, and the clandestine war began. I will let the dishes pile up without a word to him about unloading the dishwasher. At times it gets to the point where we no long have silverware or glasses, and yet, I say nothing. I have served dinner without a clean fork in sight. It is only when it affects him that he realizes he hasn't done his job. We never say anything about this secret battle of wills, and sometimes I wonder if he enjoys it as much as I do. As stupid as it sounds, I get a lot of satisfaction when I put the toilet paper back in its holder, knowing that it is going to drive him nuts. Do you and your significant husband have secret battles? If so let us know about them in the comments! 

About the Author:  Carly Fall is a wife, a mother, and slave to the dog Nicky. She loves to laugh, thinks chocolate and wine should be considered their own food group, and Christmas should happen twice a year. A wild imagination and the voices in her head force her to spend hours in front of the computer writing hot romance with happy endings.

Website: www.carlyfall.com
FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carly-Fall/135934843166283?ref=hl Twitter: @CarlyFall1

Book - Chica Bella Blurb 
Landon “Blackhawk” Walker is ready to get out of the Navy SEALs. He has seen and done enough, and can’t wait to get to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico where three tasks await him: get back into civilian mode, take a boat out to the El Arco Rocks, and win back the heart of the woman he lost because of his career. Maya Gonzalez has tired of the heartbreak that comes with Landon’s deployments year after year. When he walks back into her life again, she cannot deny her heart, despite her reservations. As they lose themselves in each other and the beauty of Cabo their passion is rekindled once again. Maya knows that one phone call means deployment for Landon, putting an end to their reunion, and possibly their relationship.

“Where were you?” she finally asked, her voice quiet.
“Afghanistan.” He didn’t look at her, but he felt her body tense next to his.
“Were you hurt?” He shrugged, but then thought better of trying to blow off her questions. Maya had always said she wanted nothing but honesty from him, and he had been the one to offer this Q&A.
“I took some shrapnel in my chest, but it was all superficial.” He gazed down at her as she studied his chest as if she could see the wounds he was talking about.
“Did you kill?” she whispered, her stare never leaving his chest.
Dammit. This was the part he hated because she abhorred violence, but killing was his job. If he didn’t take out the bad guys, they would kill American soldiers, and he would be damned if that happened on his watch.
She closed her eyes for a moment. “Did you think of me?”
“Oh, God, Maya.” He put his finger under her chin and turned her face to his. Her brown eyes sparkled with tears that made his heart feel as though it might quit beating. “Maya, it’s always you. It’s thinking of you that made me want to stay alive. It’s the thought of your smile, your face, your body pressed up against mine that kept me warm at night, the sound of your laughter that made me smile when I felt like I couldn’t smile again. Maya….” He didn’t know what else to say, so he did what he had wanted to do since the day he left her almost a year ago. He brought his lips to hers. 


Saturday, 13 July 2013

It's not "we;" it's "you."

Whenever there is something my husband wants done, he usually starts the conversation with "we." It didn't take me long to realize that "we" meant "you," as in me. For instance, a few weeks ago before we visited my mother's, he said, "We need to clean the house before Rachelle comes to housesit." Knowing that he would be at work all day and come home too tired to clean, I took that to mean: You need to clean the house. (Yes, I cleaned the bathrooms before Rachelle arrived, but that's where it ended. And I was irritated that it was me cleaning them.)

He was right. The house needed cleaning, but, as I am not the only person living here, I am not the only one capable of cleaning the house. Oh, and just because I work from home, does not mean I don't work. In other words, my time is just as valuable as his, right?

A couple of days ago, he said, "We need to wash socks. I'm down to the holey ones."

In my head, I said, "No, you need to wash socks. I still have some fifteen pairs in my drawer." It's summer time, and I work from home. My favorite shoes in summer are: barefoot and flip-flops. Both are best sans socks.

It's taken me nearly fourteen years to ignore these "suggestions" without getting my dander up. Okay, that's not necessarily true. There are still times I am irritated by these "we" comments. We've had discussions about this before. (Read: I chewed on him about it.) He feels that it's more polite to say we rather than just ask me to do it for him. Um, I feel it's more polite for him just to do what he wants done rather than to ask me to do it. (grin) After all, I am not the only one with hands, arms, legs, feet, and a brain…

Now, my husband is very handy around the house when it comes to fixing things. Just today, he installed the curtain rods for Lily's room. (I made tie-dye curtains for her room. Yes, made. They are beautiful, and I will never make those kinds of curtains again. LOL) Last weekend, he changed all of the exterior locks on our house (as the old ones looked like we lived in an apartment building.) He'll vacuum and wash dishes, provided the dishes are within his line of sight. Anything not right in front of him will be left on the counter. I call this tunnel vision. Sometimes, he'll even pull the weeds around the pool. He takes out the garbage, helps with the wash, and empties the cat box.

I suppose that's actually quite a bit, when I think about it. But he's maybe cleaned the toilet twice in the entire time we've been together. If he can use a gadget (steam cleaner), he's all over cleaning the shower. Of course, that happens once in a blue moon. Okay, less than a blue moon. Much, much less.

Still, this whole "we" thing has to go. A simple polite "will you do this" would suffice. I might still say, "No." Okay. There's a good possibility I'll say, "No," but it would feel less like a not-so-subtle demand.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

How Did We Survive?

You know, there is such a thing as being too connected. As more and more parents are giving their kids (young kids) phones, I am seeing this more and more. How did all of us survive without cell phones, seatbelts, carseats bike helmets, iPads, iPods, DVR, etc?

Yesterday, I had the crew over at my house. (The crew being Lily and her five girl friends who run as a pack around our block.) Two of these girls had some form of electronic device. One was a cell phone. They were in Lily’s room playing. I happened to look in, and the two with the electronic devices were lying on Lily’s bed playing on their toys.

WTF? These kids are under nine. Lily is not quite nine. She does not need a cell phone. Her iPad/iPod usage is limited and strictly forbidden when friends are over for this very reason. Well, and that I want them to actually interact with each other. I mean, what’s the point of having a play date if you aren’t going to play?

A lot of parents have all kinds of reasons why their kids need cell phones and these other gadgets. Lily has a hand-me-down iPad with limited use. We’ve passcode protected it and haven’t given her the passcode. If I let her, she would play mindless games on that thing all day long. I could hang her on the wall, and, as long as she was holding it, she’d be perfectly happy there. In short, she turns into a zombie. While that may thrill some people, I do not want a zombie child.

Now, I can’t imagine not having DVR, my iPhone, computer, and the like, despite not growing up with them, but I can imagine no seatbelts or bike helmets. I wear both, but if it wasn’t legislated, I don’t know if I would. It’s hard to say. I might. I might not. I mean, I survived 16 years without a seatbelt. I survived riding in the back of a pickup truck sitting on the wheel well as Dad drove 60 miles an hour down the road. Dad would yell at us to sit on the bed of the truck, but we’d inch our way back onto those wheel wells. Smart? No. Safe? No. And, yet, somehow, no one that I knew of died. Not that people didn’t and haven’t, but I don’t know any personally.

70s banana seat bike

And bike helmets for kids (and adults—you won’t find me riding my bike without one.) Does anyone remember those banana seat bikes? I can remember giving friends “hikes.” They’d sit in the handlebars on behind me on the seat (or both) as I pedaled furiously to keep us moving. Or I sat on the handlebars. I remember even running into a fence or two. No helmet. Did we even have helmets back then?

And carseats... Are kids safer? Probably, but I remember being crammed in the back of the car, or rolling around the back of the station wagon as Mom drove 70 mph down the country roads. There was one road, Herndon, all of us would climb into the back when she went down it because it had these big rolling hills. Whenever we go over one and back down the other side, we lift up into the air. (grin) We also loved lying in the back of the car and popping up to "scare" people. I don't know if we ever did, but it sure was a lot of fun. We could stuff four kids into the backseat of a coupe and put two up front. I'm just waiting for them to legislate that anyone under 100 pounds needs to be in a carseat.

Just you wait, they will someday legislate, with illustrations, how we must wipe our butts. Don't believe me? Give it time. You know, wiping your butt can be dangerous. There're laws on the books, after all, what position you can have sex. Don't believe me? Look it up. Not that any of us pay any attention to those laws. (grin) Missionary position gets a little old after a while, although it does have its merits. (grin)

Still, somehow, we survived.

And, yet, if you are to believe the newscasters, we couldn’t possibly survive without all of these laws protecting us and the gadgets to keep us connected, despite the fact that generations did for centuries.

How did we survive? We just did, and we could again... if given half the chance.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

A Big Time Rush

   Last night I took my three kids to see Big Time Rush. For those of you who don’t have preteens or an affinity for teenybopper music, Big Time Rush is a boy band sponsored by Nickelodeon. 10,000 Screaming kids is really…something.
I had to laugh at the brave dad sitting on his Texas Rangers Beach towel with his 7-yr-old and 8-yr-old daughters. I think he consumed five huge cans of beer just to cope. Thank God, the mom wasn’t drinking. Actually the mom was jumping up and down with the girls. LOL
While I didn’t know most of the songs, which basically all sounded the same to me, I got a rush of nostalgia watching my kids dance and sing along with the music. And who knew my kids—with their two uncoordinated parents—could actually dance.
It reminded me of my teen years when I loved Rick Springfield, New Kids on the Block and The Monkees.
Back in the late-80’s and early 90’s, MTV ran old episodes of the Monkees three times a day. My sister and I would get up at 6 AM to watch. We had this old green comforter that we cuddled up on the couch with. To this day, it is affectionately called The Monkee Blanket.
So while I had prepared for squealing kids (mostly my own), the summer heat and sweat, I hadn’t prepared for actually having a good time, which I did.
How about you? Who were the bands of your youth? Do you have any memories of summer concerts or songs?

Share them with us because I’m old and still feeling a bit nostalgic.

Queen of Jastain (The Reign of Light Series)
By Kary Rader

Thank you for having me on the blog and let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Queen of Jastain Blurb:

The Light brought her to him, but does he have the faith to make her his queen?
For twenty years, Avant plotted revenge against the dark king, but when a mysterious woman suddenly appears, everything changes. Although his prophetic Gift reveals she's the Seed of Light chosen to restore the Crown, his overwhelming attraction to the women threatens his long-held plan for revenge and two decades of fidelity.

Abby Randall is inexplicably transported from Dallas to the medieval land of Jastain. There she meets Avant, who claims she's the foretold champion of his people. While the hot guy has her hormones pumping, his crazy talk of defeating an evil king leaves questions to his sanity. Through his supernatural Gift, Avant transplants his memories into her, but neither are prepared for how their hearts intertwine.

Together they embark on their quest, but when Abby and Avant come face to face with destiny, will they sacrifice what matters most to provide a happily-ever-after for the people of Jastain?

Book Sale Links:

Author’s Bio:
Kary Rader is a part-time Twitter sage, stay-at-home mother of three, and slave to the characters and worlds inside her head. Always creative, she's drawn to stories with fantastical worlds and creatures. With a little bit of magic and divine guidance, there isn't anything that can't be accomplished with words. It's the power of words that creates and destroys. Vanquishing evil and injustice while finding eternal love in the process is all in a day's work. With the help of her critique partners and master cartographer imaginary places come to life. 
Author Links:
Website/Blog:  www.karyrader.com

Thank you!!!

Monday, 1 July 2013

The information superhighway . . .

Blogs.  Web log. Dear diary, I really want to write about all the neat and special stuff that happens to me, but instead of hiding it under my mattress, I want it out there on the web for everyone to see. Isn’t that the truth of it?  Blogs (diaries) used to be kept mostly by pre-teen and teen girls.  They wrote all those dirty things that they didn’t want mom and dad to know about.  And sometimes stupid stuff as well that no one cared about except the person writing it.

Most the blogs I read, have to do with writing, book reviews, author interviews, publishing news, agents' sites, trends, and so on. I’m not into the ones that talk about what an awful life someone has, I have enough drama llamas in my own life that I don’t need others.  Of course there are those who splash that crap across facebook as well. 

Then there are the special people who don’t get their facts right.  Mostly I avoid these people. It doesn’t do any good to tell them that they are wrong, even if you have five reputable sources to back you up—they will still stand behind their truth.  And then they will have their entire posse wearing sandwhich signs proclaiming their greatness. Look the world is flat! It is only 6000 years old! So I gave up on those as well.

Isn’t that what a blog is, we think that everyone wants to know what we are doing?  Wow, look I have 10 people following me! Fantastic, but if I was walking through the mall and 10 people were following me, I might be alerting security.  If 10 people were following me and peeking in my windows when I was getting ready to shower – well no wait, they’d be blind now, but at the same time . . . (Que Twighlight music) (NO not that Twighlight) (The Rod Serling type Twighlight music) it would be pretty creepy.

But here we are on the information highway seeking more followers – so like me on facebook, or follow my twitters, or join my site because having people follow me isn’t creepy at all, no not even in the smallest bit . . . .