Life Finds a Way, at Writer Unboxed, and Garage Door ‘Fix’

Ah, I’ve missed this blog, and I have promised myself I will be posting to it more regularly. It makes me feel a bit less lonely, knowing that somewhere, someone is reading or may pass by. Long ago, I had an active blog and active community. Long ago, I was active in many writing circles and writing and social media. Long ago, I had a blog that was well-visited. It was fun. Maybe blogs are on the wane, but I still like them. I still visit them, though I rarely comment. Perhaps I will start commenting more. Perhaps blogs will make a come-back and we will enjoy that community again, one much different from/than Facebook or Twitter, etc.

Loneliness is a strange beast. A part of me embraces it, after the chaos I’ve had in my life. But sometimes it swallows me and I am left wandering in some strange Other World of Silence. Loneliness can become a safe haven, too. Where you begin to be so used to it that anything else feels too loud, too much. When a man asks for my phone number or expresses an interest, I find myself backing away, then turning around and running for the safety of my little log house. Yet, I’m also ready to open that door wider when I feel a return spark of interest in someone. Oh, the angst of it all! Right?

2f95c122-b7f3-4ea9-8afb-ed71deb90477_zps0f985647But I digress. Even if my words are swallowed into a Big Black Hole, I find satisfaction in the writing, and the researching of Wonders of our Galaxy, and beyond. For today, I am directing you to the wonderful community of Writer Unboxed, where I am proud to be a monthly contributor. Saturday’s post fell in line with how and what I write here at the Lonely Woman’s Guide to Our Galaxy, so I’m linking you there. To be a part of any community, even an online one, makes my Galaxy here much less lonely. As well, I’m often on Facebook, and I invite any of you who aren’t already there to join me. I’m on Twitter and Instagram must less frequently, but I meander every so often.

———–

Life Finds a Way . . . at Writer Unboxed.

These are snottites that you find in caves – or inside someone’s mouth if they can’t kiss – ewwww

A few billion years ago, microscopic “life forms” caused Earth to change from an uninhabitable nasty suffocating place to one more like we now know. As the movie Jurassic Park scientist character said, “Life, uh, finds a way….” So, here are these tiny forms of life Finding Their Way, and what they did was pave the way for all living things by transforming our Earth.

Sometimes I wonder, if I were transported back even a few thousand years, how would my breathing be? What would the earth smell like? How would my feet feel upon the ground, my eyes see color and texture? If a scientist took the inner workings, the soft tissue, of someone from that time and compared it to my soft tissue, what would the differences be? How have we evolved because of the changes in our atmosphere, and what we eat, how we move about or don’t move about, and how we live our everyday lives in response to happiness and having things and not having things, to the stresses and joys and overwhelming possibilities of just where are we headed and how life is lived now and our responses to each other as humans with varied thoughts and beliefs and the very nature of how we know everything that is going on everywhere twenty-four hours a day/night—how would we differ from the earliest “intelligent life?” To begin and end and begin and end and begin and end, round and round and round we go.

But I seemingly digress. Let’s see. Meteorites bombarded—carbon arrived. Bacteria partied and hooked up. Things began to change. For rest of post, visit Writer Unboxed, and while you are there, follow this wonderful writers’, readers’, and industry peoples’ blog.


“Repair” of the Day: Garage Door Opener.

 

Do you immediately call a service repair person any time something quits working? Or take your car to a mechanic any time something goes awry with your car? Maybe you don’t need to. Particularly if you, like I am, are on a tight budget. Sometimes the fix is simple and easy. Often, as long as you do it safely and carefully, just TRYING something will net you results. It’s very satisfying, and empowering.

My garage door opener stopped working, and though that’s not the worst thing to happen as I have a keypad to open it, I depend on that automatic opener at night and during bad weather, particularly very cold snowy weather or high-wind rainy weather, when I don’t want to exit my car. My first thought was that it was the battery, so I changed that. No such luck. Still didn’t work. I tried the spare opener: nope, nothing.

I then googled “garage door opener stopped working.” Now, y’all, I highly suggest this when you have a problem with something in your home, or car, or whatever: google, bing, IE search, whatever search provider you like. For sometimes you’ll find the answer to your problem and it may be something you can remedy on your own, saving you money. I’ve had other things I’ve repaired in my home and my car simply by doing a Google search of the problem, and I’ve posted them here. Maybe you’ll  end up a little greasy or dirty, but so what? Ain’t gonna hurt you!

I’ve had this same opener for 13 years and I may never know why it suddenly decided to malfunction, but the fix was super easy. I climbed up a ladder, took a look at the controls that are attached to the ceiling of the garage, and there were the simple instructions.  VOILA! I had my opener back. Super easy. Free.

You can do this.


1964980_10152466287074176_8369086502746553258_nIf you like Southern/Appalachian/Family Saga fiction (sometimes with a supernatural touch), then I hope you will consider one of my novels (or short story “snacks”) by clicking on this link to my 51j6n1OihJL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Amazon Page. I appreciate your support!

1461250_496657083765127_1387255473_nAnd I thank you, my readers.

 

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Super-Duper Moon Is Coming! Door Removal & Snaking Your Drain til it Guggles

No, “Snaking Your Drain til it Guggles ” is not a euphemism  for something naughty (not today anyway – ha!)

I’m so excited! If I were in a relationship or dating someone, or someones, I’d be thinking about how Moon-shine over Maggie Valleyto spin this event in to some kind of “romantic” sexy date (even though I am not much of a romantic, I am, however, all about the sexy, y’all – haw!). Big ole Moons are made for lovers, right? Oh well, I’ll love myself—see snaking your drain: just kidding! (hahaha).

On November 14,  Earth will see its first Super-Duper Moon since January 1948—I wasn’t born yet so this Super-Duper Moon will be my first. Because it will be closer, our moon will look to be about 14% bigger and about 30% brighter. Moon won’t be that close to Earth again until November of 2034.

Moon orbits elliptically, and on its perigee side it’ll be approximately 30,000 miles closer to earth supermoon-micromoonthan the other side (the apogee—mini moon!). When the Earth, Moon, and Sun line up (called a syzygy—all consonants, y’all!—unless you consider the “sometimes y” thing, and who doesn’t?) with the perigee side of Moon facing Earth, the moon will be on the opposite side of the earth than it is from the sun—that’s called a perigee-syzygy. In case you were wondering and all—these things may have been keeping you up at night, tossing and turning and wondering about syzygys and perigees and apogees and the like.

All this together on November 14 will make our moon look to be bigger and brighter: SuperMoon! (Though scientists, bless them, call it a perigee moon.)

I took this photo through my telescope

We’ve recently had some SuperMoons—one in mid-October, and we’ll have another one mid-December. But this one on November 14 will appear bigger than any SuperMoon we’ve had in 70 years. If you don’t like how full moons affect you, then you must prepare yourself. However, if like me you love them and run amok through the woods howling your ass off, then like me you will love it!

a_moon-illusion-rick-baldridge-lick-observtorystv2-517x360

Lick Observatory atop Mt. Hamilton near San Jose, Calif. in March 2012. Rick Baldridge – from Sky & Telescope (http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/moon-illusion-confusion11252015/)

Of course where you live and how you are able to view the moon will make a difference. You need a point of reference with which to compare it. Some trees or a building, etc. If it’s way up in the sky with nothing to compare it with, then Moon may not seem as Super to you. If you see it at just the right place, like close to the horizon, you can see a “moon illusion” where it looks really uncommonly large in relation to the object or objects in “front” of it.

I’m hoping our clear skies we’ve had here in Western North Carolina Smoky Mountains remain clear so I can see this—and through my telescope, too! Squeeeeee!

Now, just a few little hints for you here today. If we don’t learn to repair some things on our own, and are afraid to try, then money we do not have or have little to spare on our one income will fly out the window and up to the SuperMoon. I’ve shown you some easy fixes—and maybe not as easy fixes, but not extremely difficult either—here on Lonely Woman’s blog, but today’s “repairs” are super duper easy.

If you have a slow drain in your bathroom sink or tub, before you go pouring something caustic and nasty down it, or before you call a plumber, there is something so very easy to try, you’ll wonder why you didn’t know about this before!

img_5350First, you want to remove the drain “guard” thing—it’s the thing with holes in it and a screw in the middle (you may have something different). Just remove the screw with the proper screwdriver (see below), then lift out the drain “guard” (you may have to pry it with something to pop it out).

 

These very inexpensive little “drain snakes” with tiny brushes on the end really do work for most slow or clogged drains. I’ve been using them for years and have not needed nor purchased any caustic drain uncloggers for years, nor have I had to call a plumber—works every time. viewimageYou simply push the brush end into the drain, and shove it down in there. When you pull it back up, you may find a mass of something outstandingly gross, especially if you haven’t done it in a while, or ever, and especially if you have long hair, or lots of hair—lawd! But once you do this a few times, the drain will clear, and is there not a more happy go lucky relieved sound than the glug glug glug of water happily circling down the drain where previously it was sluggish and slow and annoying? I think not!

My next “repair” is not really a repair at all (unless you have a broken door), but if you wish to remove a door and never have considered just how easy it is. I’m all about making my lil log house img_3999“my own” since I do not have to share, and I’ll have another post on Making Your Space Your Own Where Previously You Had To Share, soon—maybe next time. Removing a door is so super easy. Go look at a door in your house or apartment (you can refer to the images as well). Look at the hinges on the door—there are three of them on a standard sized door. You see how that works? There is a long “nail” that fits inside the “loops” in those hinges, and that’s what makes the door swing open and closed.

All you do is find a hammer and a small Phillips head screwdriver—and if you don’t know what that img_4005is, the Phillips head is the one that looks as if it comes to a “point” and has  two slots at right angles to each other, while the other screwdriver looks flat at the end and has one slot (there are other kinds of screwdrivers, but the Phillips and the slotted are the two general main ones most of you have in your household). I’ll soon have a Black & Decker cordless screwdriver! Another squeeeeee. My hammer is an old Stanley, and it’s small; just right for my small hands.

You’ll see the “nail” that’s inserted in the “loops” of the door hinge has a head and then an end, img_4007img_4001much like a big fat nail without a point. Place the head of the screwdriver on the bottom flat end of the “nail” and hammer the handle of the screwdriver to start pushing up the nail through the “loops.” If you have other tool implements that will work better, go ahead! This is just how I do it. Once you work that nail out enough, you can pull it free. Do this to the other two hinges. Then all you do is grab the door and it’s free of its restraints. VOILA!

I did this to a closet door in my bedroom. In the winter the closet was freezing, and in the summer the closet needed air. As a “temporary” fix, I bought an inexpensive bead and string thang that I shoved a tree limb through and then hung over the door. I’ve liked it enough to keep it there until I figure out what more I want to do in that doorway and in the closet area. Since you can see through the closet-door-2bead/string thang a little, I put a furry rug on the floor, placed some decorative “bins”  and other interesting containers on the shelves. More of that on “making our spaces,” but  I’m pretty proud of myself!

Have fun. Fiddle around. Pull out your toolbox and see what you have. If you change something and don’t like it, change it back or do something else. If you attempt to repair something and ruin it, well, don’t come looking for me! laughing!

That’s all for today. In case you need a refresher on simple car repair, and small household “repairs,” I’ll link a few below (or put up the video again).

Now, I’ll just wait with excited breath for that SuperMoon! Squeeeeee!


Click for post: What to do if your ceiling fan is making noise & Garbage Disposal not working?

Tools: allen wrench, crescent wrench:


Repairing a headlight & a windshield wiper (Blog Link Here for more):

How to check your oil:


1964980_10152466287074176_8369086502746553258_nIf you like Southern/Appalachian/Family Saga fiction (sometimes with a supernatural touch), then I hope you will consider one of my novels (or short story “snacks”) by clicking on this link to my 51j6n1OihJL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Amazon Page. I appreciate your support!

1461250_496657083765127_1387255473_nAnd I thank you, my readers.

 

Beautiful Floaty Helium-Voices Saturn & 5 (Obvious? You’d think but….) Dating Do’s & Don’t’s

Saturn was always my favorite planet because it is so gorgeous. When I finally did turn my attention saturnto other planets, I recognized their beauty, and as well, how interesting they are, too. Still, Saturn is mesmerizingly beautiful. Yet, up close hovering in the lil log spaceship, the rings aren’t as lovely but instead feel cold and a little deadly—chunks of ice and rock, some small as little specks of sand and some bigger than a building. I need to back up a little, out of the thick of things and determine what direction to take so I’m not smashed to smithereens.

Hey, if I spin it right, that’s a great metaphor for dating!

Saturn is mostly made up of gas, especially hydrogen and helium; helium, like the kind you put in birthday balloons. I wonder if we took a breath on Saturn (pretending we’d survive it), if the helium would make our voice all squeaky! Let’s hop in the lil log spaceship and go find out! Is that a date? Sure! Okay! Wow, what will I wear? It’s pretty danged cold, like minus 276F—better wear my coat.

Because of those gasses, Saturn could float in water!

Saturn’s year is like 29 Earth years; Saturn’s day is 10 hours, 14 minutes. Born on this day, 1970, you’d be less than two years old and your next birthday wouldn’t be until July 15, 2029. If you weighed 118 on Earth, you’d be 125.5 on Saturn.

Saturn’s nickname given by the ancient Assyrians is “Lubadsagush—meaning, “oldest of the old.” Some days I feel rather lubadsagush, and others I feel rather kickass sexilicious. Ha!

The planet Saturn has 150 moons and little moonlets. 150! Dang! If I were dating, which I am not, I’d say that sounds like a fun date: helium voices while on a floating beautiful planet (if we pretend it’s floating in a milky-way sea) with 150 moons to stare up at.

Today is the second post in my dating and relationship series. And, as promised, I’m delving into some Dating Do’s and Don’t’s. All of these are anonymous, of course! Let’s just start today with Five “These Should Be Obvious” Dating Do’s & Don’t’s, shall we?

I changed the information somewhat to protect privacy. Do’s/Don’t’s  are not gender specific, and not specific to hetero, though my few examples are “he/she.”

(I’m not referring here to “Hanging Out,”—a whole other thang, but actual Dating.)

  1. Do show up showered and dressed appropriately, and on time.

Oh, the stories I have heard about dates showing up nasty and late. Do I really need to say that’s a No-No? A Red Flag? You’d think not! But it happens more than you would imagine.

052

Hey, s’up?

A friend once recounted her experience of having her date show up an hour late, straight from working out in the yard, beer in hand (see below!), scratching his crotch, and saying, “Did you cook somethin’? Cause I don’t feel like goin’ to the restaurant after all *burrrrrp*.” She asked him to leave. They didn’t have a second date.

When a man met his date for coffee, him smelling all nice and all, she showed up sweaty and stinky from her run—this apparently happens a lot to people, this “sweaty gym date thing;” I even saw an episode of The Big Bang Theory about “Gym Sweaty” date behavior! Huh. Well. No second date here, either.

So, by “appropriately,” that means show you care! Take a little time to dress, and show up on time and if you are going to be late, call or text, people! R _ E_S_P_E_C_T!

If you ask someone out, maybe give them a head’s up if it’s extremely casual or very dressy. If you are the one asked out and you aren’t sure how to dress, it doesn’t hurt to ask if it’s casual or not-casual.

Long long ago, I once arrived with my date at what turned out to be a formal event. Oh the beautiful gowns and tuxes! And me in my casual pants and top, while nice enough, were completely inappropriate. Ungh! My dates earlier words of, “Just throw something on,” didn’t help *laughing.*

  1. Watch the booze, y’all.

Sure, the nerves may need a little priming, you may think. Why, just a little bit o’ the booze will calm the nerves, right? Welp, maybe a beer or glass of wine before the date never hurt anyone, but more awkward, and scary, moments are created by alcohol than not. While I would never go as far as to say “Do not drink,” I will say that keeping those drinks to no more than two for that first date will never do you wrong.
Oh, you and I both know what sometimes can happen, don’t you?  Of course we do! By the third drink—the first two went so fast! Where did they go so fast?—you’re heading to that giddy nice glowy stage where you think you are SO clever! (And I’ll interject here: if your date can slam them down and not show any sign of intoxication: Red Flag. There are always exceptions, but, yeah, I stand by it: Red Flag).

Passing out, puking, cursing out someone, becoming angry, grab-assing, stumbling about, etc etc etc—all of these are of course Red Flags and yes I have heard these stories, including how a friend had to carry his date to his car, carry his date to her door, and when no one was home and he couldn’t find a key, carry her back to his car, carry her to his apartment, where he deposited her on his bed (he slept on the couch). Next very late morning when he was finally able to rouse her, she was pissed off and ornery and on the way home she asked if he’d mind stopping at the store—he did, and she came out with a six pack, one of which she opened and said, “Fucking hair of the dog, man.” *laughing* oh dear.

I don’t care what excuse they give. Want to give them another chance? Maybe it was just that once? I stand by my: Red Flag!

If your date is obviously loaded, please do not leave with them—call a cab, a friend, or if you have your car call your date a cab, and then leave. It’s about respect, but it’s about safety, too. And about them becoming a big pain in your ass.

If you had too much to drink, then for gawd’s sake do apologize! Even if it’s the next day when you wake up in a blurry haze and go, “Oh shit!”

Perhaps many of us have had a little too much to drink when we were nervous, so before that date even happens, just take some deep breaths, and imagine yourself doing something really embarrassingly stupid where you say Oh Shit—then drink responsibly.

  1. Do pay for something—or at least sincerely offer to.
I'll have a salad: NOT!

I’ll have a salad: NOT!

Notice I wrote “sincerely offer to”—the disingenuous offer is annoying. If you don’t want to pay for any part of it or feel you should not have to or the situation just does not call for it, then just don’t offer while expecting them to decline!

“Bad” date story a friend long long ago told me (and I ain’t sayin’ if this was a man or woman): The date not only ordered the most expensive items on the menu, they also had drinks, plus dessert. Ah but they weren’t done, my friends. To boot, the date also ordered a complete, and expensive, “To Go” meal “for later,” and they didn’t offer to pay for any of it.  Haw! I’m laughing as I write that. But yeah. Don’t do that.

If the date pays for dinner, why not pay for dessert? If the date pays for the movie, why not pay for some treats? If your date does not drink and you do drink, maybe you want to pay for your drinks. Perhaps it is my independent streak, but it feels weird to me to have someone pay for everything. Offering to pay for something, even if small, is a nice gesture, and doesn’t leave all the control to one person (okay, that empowered control is probably my issue!). And I don’t care how much money they make compared to how much you make. That’s not the point, at least in my thinking. Actually, I never know what a person’s income is—it’s never been a determining factor of my dating/relationship life.

If your date seems insulted by this offering to pay for something gesture, or awkward about it, let it go. Actually, if your date is actually “insulted” maybe that’s a Red Flag. If they are that touchy, then what else is hiding under that skin? Hmmmmmmm.

  1. Don’t desperately slobber and drool and manhandle. Yeah. (Sex is also something I’ll get more into later.)

Date Disaster: Date arrives nicely dressed, smells nice, all smiles, says, “You ready?” Why yes, of course, she says. He opens the door for her. Why thank you! How gallant! As he drives, he chats

These are snottites that you find in caves - or inside someone's mouth if they can't kiss - ewwww

These are snottites that you find in caves – or inside someone’s mouth if they can’t kiss – ewwww

about this and that, but suddenly however, they are in a neighborhood, pulling into a driveway. He gets out, opens her door, and she exits (oh oh – no no – don’t go in there!), thinking, “Ummmm . . . ?” Folks, if you are going “Ummmm . . . ?” Pay Attention to that! But she thought, “Maybe he forgot something or . . . ?” Ha! No, when they were barely inside, he sticks his tongue down her throat and swabs the contents of her tummy and starts pulling at her clothes, and says, “How about a little appetizer before dinner?” OMGawd! I’m laughing again. No, this is not funny, but I’m still laughing—only because I know everything turned out okay and the woman was safe, grossed out, but safe.

Yeah. Don’t do that. And don’t feel embarrassed to say No Effing Way! And especially do not feel pressured about ANYTHING! Who is in charge here? You are!

Or like the woman who was all over her date in the parking lot of a family restaurant. Parents were grabbing kids and running *laugh* Do.Not.Do.That.

Please don’t stick your tongue so far down his/her throat you scoop up some dessert (ewwww!). Kissing should have a little finesse. It should be an exploration (but not of one’s stomach contents – lawd!).  If it’s the first date, go a little easy there, ‘kay? Red Flag is if someone is super handsy while their tongue is exploring your bowels (ewwww).

Look, if you’ve not dated in a while, or been out of a relationship for a while, the loneliness is an issue, oh how I know that! But beyond that, having no sex is an issue. All systems are on HIGH ipod pics 014ALERT; your nerve endings are on fire; your body is revved and R.E.A.D.Y. But if you’re all over the man/woman before you figure out what kind of person they are, you aren’t respecting yourself and could potentially be setting yourself up for something you’ll Regret—who wants to wake up the next morning thinking “Oh shit.”  Ha! Nope. You can’t tell enough about a person on a first or second date to determine if they are cray cray. I don’t care how much you are thinking, “Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Please god now, SEX!” Rushing someone, or rushing into it yourself, could lead you to Something Oh Shit, or Something GOOD—waiting a bit will help you to know which one. Even if it makes you tear out your hair in frustration, laugh!

  1. Do talk about SOMEthing, but not constantly about ex’s please.

If someone can’t stop talking about their ex to the exclusion of everything else, then likely they aren’t over that person. Likely, they are still working through “issues” with that person. Likely, they still have a world of feelings about that person—whether it is love, or rage, or hurt, or the more insidious, hope—and you don’t need to be embroiled in their Continuing Saga of As the World Squirms. They are likely dating Too Soon. Not your problem to figure out. Red Flag. If you are the one doing all the talking about your ex, then maybe you need to give yourself a little more time. Been there; done that!

Of course, ex’s come up; they’re a part of our experiences, but yammering on about an ex during the entire date is a Red Flag. Surely there are other things to talk about? Surely there are other interests besides how that ex is a fucking asshole/bitch who deserves to DIE DIE DIE! (Red Flag: if your date is talking like that, exit stage left-good lawd!), but as well, Red Flags are: your date starts to cry (oh oh, dang), your date is still heavily involved with the ex (maybe there are children, and this is completely understandable, as it should be, that they would still be involved, but, if you are listening and listening and listening, and thinking, “Hmmmmm,” then Hear that “hmmmmm,” ‘kay? And, if there are children involved, don’t pretend you are okay with this if you are not—more on that and other “accommodating behavior” later).

Dating should be about exploration and discovery and enjoying each other’s company. It should be images (4)for finding out if you are compatible as dating partners. It should feel safe; it should feel respectful; it should feel GOOD! It should not be about “finding your soul mate” – please stop with the Soul Mate stuff already (more on that later). It should not be about grabbing onto this person you barely know and thinking about “your life together as a couple.” If you want to find a “relationship,” fine, but expecting the other person to go along on your ride to Forever-tude probably is unreasonable, particularly on the first few dates—lawd, let’s take a breath!

I’ll explore more of this next post.

Still time to comment/like here or on Facebook for the “Kat’s Choice” drawing, which will be soon.

The Lightning Charmer coverAnd my novel The Lightning Charmer  is on sale August 16 – 31, for $1.99, e-books only! It’s for all e-books, not just Amazon, though the link above takes you to Amazon. There’s actually some delicious, or disastrous, dating in there, too.

A haunted man shadows the Smoky Mountain forest. A lonely woman returns to what she left behind. A legacy unfulfilled calls out to them both. .

The sky darkens, the lightning seeks . . .  

The Lightning Charmer is full of whimsy, enchantment, ancient secrets, and dark earthy seduction.  Magendie taps into those primal secret places we all harbor, with a powerful story of learning where one fits in a world that may not fit us.  Braided with color, humor, and loyalty to family, this is storytelling at its best!  Sharla Lovelace, Bestselling and Award Winning author of THE REASON IS YOU

Later, y’all! Time to jump in the lil log spaceship and head off to my next adventure. Um. All alone. Dang.

Kat’s “Tutorial” – (ha! Tool-torial – ungh).

allen wrench, pliers, crescent wrench – do you know what those are?

Black Holes. Deaths of Stars. “How to” of the day. Give-away drawing.

This from The Physics of the Universe, which has more information on Black Holes you may be article-2302364-00570A6100000258-460_634x430interested in reading: “A black hole’s mass is concentrated at a single point deep in its heart, and clearly cannot be seen.” A single point deep in its heart—ah, how poetic and lovely. In my lil log spaceship, I only skim around the places where the black holes are in our Milky Way Galaxy, because to go too close is dangerous. The blackness pulls, pulls, pulls, and once inside, just as with the light, there is no escape from it. We must search out the light and leave behind the darkness, though the darkness holds fascination and we are often drawn to its mysteries.

You see, black holes are places in space where the gravity is such that even light can’t escape; the gravity is so strong because matter is condensed into a tiny space. It can occur when a star is dying. The idea of shining beautiful stars dying is poetic in itself. Nothing escapes death—so shine as bright and beautiful as you can while you can. As the narrator in the video below says, “Out of catastrophe, comes creation.” Ah. yes.

Since no light escapes, black holes are invisible, but scientists can use their sciencey toys to look at stars close to black holes and study how they act differently from other stars.

The Big Ones are called supermassive black holes—imagine a mass that’s more than a million suns. Our galaxy has a supermassive black hole and it’s called Sagittarius A. Sagittarius A has a mass that’s equal to about 4 million suns. A whole bunch of Earth’s could fit in that black hole. But some are tiny enough to hold in my hand. *Kat takes a moment to picture this—holding a tiny black hole and feeding it light. Amazing.*

To say it most unscientifically, black holes are constantly “hungry,” and if the spaceship is too close, DSC09985we could be sucked into the blackness. Of course, then we’d know what was inside and that would be kind of awesome. Though, we’d never survive—once you arrive at the Event Horizon, time slows way down, and you are spaghettified—streeeeeetched out most uncomfortably.

Earth is probably safe, since black holes are too far away to swallow up our Earth. But even if Sagittarius A drifted our way, the black hole’s gravity would be the same as the sun and we’d just orbit the black hole.  Now, that presents problems all of its own, right? Sometimes in life we orbit around black holes instead of the sun, don’t we? Where light doesn’t escape. But we don’t stay there, because we are strong and we are fearless and we are determined. Right? Right!

Over the last few posts, I’ve talked about what it’s like to be lonely—the feelings and emotions behind loneliness. Now I want to explore our galaxy in other ways. Ways that will be helpful—I can’t guarantee I won’t become Black Hole-ish where light can’t escape and I am dark and mysterious and looming, but it’s all part of the Lonely Woman’s (or Lonely Man’s) journey, right?

Today I made you a video of how to check your oil. We all should learn how to do simple things with our vehicles, our homes, our lives. And taking care of simple things gives us a feeling of accomplishment and power. It saves us a little money, too. The first week I showed you a simple “repair” of your garbage disposal. Week after that, what to try if your ceiling fan is making noise. Today, checking your oil!

Next week, I will be talking about cooking for one. And, I’ll be asking you for ideas and recipes. It’s easy to slip into buying quick easy processed frozen food and though that’s okay for an occasional meal, preparing fresh healthy food will keep us at top performance, just as we want our vehicles to be at their top performance.

So let’s move away from the Black Hole for a while and towards the shining stars that are still brilliant and light-giving. Shall we?


Give Away: I’ll be drawing for a pound of Starbucks coffee. Beans or Ground, strong or medium or light, your choice. Coffee! Coffee! Oh how I love coffee! The winner is chosen by me drawing a name from the comments or “likes” section-either one, it’s just nice to have you drop by and acknowledge you were here so I can smile at you. My plan is to have at least one give-away a month, perhaps two. Judy D won the chocolate from the last give-away.


If you like Southern/Appalachian/Family Saga fiction (sometimes with a supernatural touch), then I hope you will consider one of my novels (or short story “snacks”) by clicking on this link to my Amazon Page. I appreciate your support! And I thank you, my readers.

The Unfinished Galaxy. Mars: The No God Zone (Also: Lonely Woman’s Easy repair of the day; and a yummy give-away)

Mars is our next door neighbor . . . .

It is the forgotten playground of a god, or God. Almost there. Almost Just Right. Almost Earth-like . . . more on that later.

marsSmaller than Earth, it does have two moons so that in itself makes it nice to visit in my Lil Loghouse Spaceship. Though, it’s often difficult to see the moons, because of the dust storms kicking up. The wind howls, and you can hear it if you click on this video—as well as see a sunset tinge the sky blue. You can hear the sounds of Mars from space on this video.

From space, Mars is beautiful in its own way—if you like red, and I do. There’s so much iron in the soil. And it’s cold. 80 degrees below zero. And I forgot my coat on Pluto. Oh well! When you are a Lonely Woman, you don’t have anyone to remind you to grab your coat, or to make sure your shirt isn’t on inside out, or fix the tag that’s sticking up in the back, or acknowledge your existence when you return to Earth from Mars. There’s not even a Jesus to wipe off your Mars-dusty feet, either. But I digress . . . .

On Mars, there’s canyons, volcanoes, craters. Clouds, fog, wind. Tornados. There’s gravity—though one-third less than Earth has. If you dropped a cup of coffee on Mars, it would fall slower than if you dropped that cup of coffee on Earth—maybe you have time to grab it, but then I suppose everything would move slower. Just like with Pluto, which I wrote about below, you’d weigh less: if you weighed 100 pounds on Earth, you’d only weigh 37 on Mars. You could also jump higher on Mars. Wheeee! Though after a while, jumping higher means nothing if there’s nothing to jump for, or no one to show how high you are jumping and laughing while you scream “Isn’t this cool?” We must have witness to coolness or it just doesn’t feel as cool.

It takes a little less than twice as long for a year to pass on Mars than it does on Earth—plenty more time to fail at your New Year’s resolutions; am I right? One day on Mars is only 20 minutes longer than on Earth. What to do with those twenty minutes? What to do. Waste it? Make it count? Scientists think that at one time the planet could have had liquid water, or at least could support oceans. They think that something may have struck Mars and flung out a lot of its atmosphere into space—

That happened to me. I was metaphorically struck by something, or if I’m being honest, by someone, and parts of me flung out into space so that I am left altered. I am Mars—all howling winds and dust storms and I am next to all this Life and Abundance and I am not Goldilocks—Not Just Right—and . . . more on that in a second.

Mars is the closest thing there is to Earth, and scientists think it could support life. As long as we don’t think of it as Life as We Know it On Earth.

I don’t believe in God. Not any longer. And not for quite some time.

Okay, that came out of the blue, right?

Doesn't that "mass" look a little like our continent?

Doesn’t that “mass” look a little like our continent?

As I travel our Galaxy in the lil spaceship, I see our beautiful Earth among all the other planets so inhospitable. I know that Earth is in the “Goldilocks Zone,” meaning Earth is situated in the “just right” place in our solar system not only to support life, but life so lush and varied that it boggles the mind how we became who we are and what we are—Random Acts of Nature. Because, I randomly think, if there were this Higher Being creating, why not Mars? Why would a god so magnificent and awesomely and powerful stop with one planet? Why make Mars “almost there” but not go there? Would a god realize his limitations? Did he/she/it want us to be the Lonely Planet? Did he/she/it feel abandoned so abandoned the entire project? Would a god or God be the loneliest being in not only this galaxy, but in all the galaxies? Maybe God or gods created just what he/she/it felt—a world full of lonely-hearted people looking for a way not to be lonely; a world full of the Always Searching for Something that isn’t there until it is and then it isn’t.

If you are the Lonely Woman traveling the galaxy looking down at the busy earth, and the desolate planets all around it, you feel the absence of God not the presence. You don’t see this Miracle—instead you see Beautiful Acts of Random. You see how a planet right next door just because it is not in The Perfect Spot, but almost is, is not able to sustain the life as Earth does.

You know what I miss most about believing in a god and Jesus and all that? Not the fire and brimstone—I mean, face it, the God(s) man created are abusive and mean and incredibly cruel and why would I pray to that? This God throws you in a lake of fire and watches you burn—how sick is that? And though Jesus would want to kiss your blistered feet, even he has to turn his back on you once you do whatever it is that is not pardonable. And there you are screaming out their name, begging for mercy where there is none. That sounds  like a really interesting novel that I’d read once and be so disturbed I’d never read again. I have done much thinking on this. I find science comforting. Very comforting. I find a god or Gods unsettling and more like a fairytale told to misbehaving children to get them to Act Right.

But what I miss about Jesus, you see, is that as a Lonely Woman, you lie in bed at night and there is DSC09985no one to listen. You speak aloud to hear your voice, and you “pray” to the Universe but you know no one or no thing hears you. The dark is darker. The night is nightyer. The loneliness lonelier. You think that if it were your last night on Earth, who would be there to witness your death? Who would cry and scream and shake their fist to the sky? It would only be after no one had heard from you that they’d begin to worry and then make their grisly discovery. You try not to think about these things. But you do. So you reach out to neighbors and friends and family and find ways to make sure you are Seen and Heard and Discoverable very quickly.

Earth may be the God Zone, but Mars is the No God Zone, and that is where I am hovering right now, right above Mars, looking down at a dust storm fierce and howling. When I land, I’ll walk its dusty soil and know that no Big Being in the Sky would leave Mars so desolate—so close to Earth yet so far. Here’s a Rover on mars.

It’s as if the God Story is unfinished. As if this Being started a project in a petri dish, the Great Scientist in the Sky, and then grew bored. Or gave up. Or perhaps thought, “This is enough for me. This is just right.” Or, as I lie in bed at night looking out the window at the stars and as the moon shines on my right foot, I know just how random I am. There is some comfort in that. I can absolve myself from so much responsibility.

But there is no one to say that to. No one to talk to and say, “Guess what? I just had an epiphany!” And there’s no Jesus there to nod his sage head and say, “Good work, my daughter.” There’s no God up there smiting me, either, which is a relief. Who wants to be smit’ed?

For Lonely Woman in this strange Unfinished Galaxy, there is You in the night. You. You. Just You. You. Just You. Unfinished. Almost but Not Quite Just Right.


Easy Repair of the Day: Is your ceiling fan making noise and driving you nuts? Did you know that sometimes all you need to do is clean it? That there may be some dust on it, or on the top of the blades where you can’t see it, and that is causing it to be out of balance. Turn the fan off, take a rag and clean the blades top and bottom. Turn the fan back on and be amazed that it fixed the clickity sound or the clackity sound or the click-clack sound. If this does not work, or only partially works, you may have to go to your local hardware store (or big hardware store) and purchase a ceiling fan weight balance thing to try that. But the easier fix without even leaving your spaceship is first to try cleaning the blades. I cleaned the dust from mine and it worked!


Links: Daniel Wallace Guest Author at R&T, Firefly Dance, RAP, etctgIf you love Appalachian/Southern Fiction, I hope you will head over to Kat Magendie Amazon Page and pick out a book. I will have book give aways (mine and other authors’) from time-to-time, but today–chocolate. TG & Sweetie are two of my best sellers. But there are more to choose from.


Give away of the week: Chocolate! Since we talked about Mars today, I am going to give away some Mars chocolates. I don’t like the “first commenters” thing.  So, at the end of the week (Saturday), I will randomly draw a number out of a box and whomever is the *that number* commenter is the one who receives the give away. If I receive only 1 commenter, then, well, I’ll have to pull from the box until I get number 1 *laugh*

Pluto: too tiny to clear away obstacles? (& Repair for the Day)

At one time Pluto, though the smallest in the solar system and the farthest away (as far as we knew), was a Planet, a regular old planet and a part of the Nine Planets we all grew up reciting in school using a mnemonic, such as: My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas (for more, plutoclick on this site: Mnemonic Devices Memory Tools ). But one fine day Pluto was flung out of its A Part of the Whole planet status in our galaxy, left to drift there in the cold and dark.  Oh people rooted for it and that made Pluto feel hope, but it was still alone out there. Perhaps because scientists felt so sorry for Pluto in all its lonely isolation, they upgraded it to a Dwarf Planet. A consolation prize that didn’t lessen the sting so much as make Pluto feel its pride surging up but its feeling of belonging surging down.

Tpluto_color_beforeclosestapproach.jpg.CROP.original-originalhough Pluto’s status in the galaxy changed, Pluto had not changed other than the natural changes that occur with any living thing—and one could say that planets are not living things if there is no life there, but that’s a subject for another day. Pluto was doing as it always did, so far away in its own little world. Pluto is so difficult to explore and know about, since it’s so far away, that it is often misunderstood—and even so, it relays its heart on its pale face (and you can see and read about that heart on Nasa’s Site), sending messages of please love me! I am worthy! While at the same time keeping its distance away from all the others. A strange contradiction.

A Dwarf Planet is called this because it is so little it cannot clear other objects out of its path. Oh, my friends, how we do relate to that. In our One Status, tucked inside our spaceship, we see obstacles of every size and though we may feel mighty, we can’t seem to clear the way—and we see the other planets big and important doing what we struggle with and that only make us feel smaller and lonelier. We begin to feel this ineptness creep up on us. That inept feeling erodes and causes us to flounder. It’s all too much!, we wail. And, it is. No platitudes from well-meaning friends and family helps. Yes, they mean well when they say the supportive things they say out of their own helpless way of helping you. But it means nothing when you are struggling to clear the way through the galaxy’s bombardment.

One day on earth is 24 hours. But on Pluto? One day is the equivalent of 6 and ½ days. Time drags on slowly and methodically, though at the end of it, how much was accomplished? It feels as if we squandered that six and one-half days. We pass by Earth and see all the busy people accomplishing in one day what it takes us almost a week to do—because it’s all on us. Because no one has our back. Things pile up. Housework, food shopping, bill paying, dog care, work. And repairs to the ship (see below!). We’re pocked by the obstacles smacking us senseless and we cannot clear the way because we are so tiny.

It’s very cold on Pluto. 375 to 400 degrees below zero cold. It’s icy. Cold, dark, icy. Who would love
Ice Walk at Killian Knob + Video Whale Back Rock & VK's Sagathat? It is only icy because it is so far away from everything and everyone else. Isolation. But yet, there is that big heart. There is that grit. There is that tenacity despite its smallness.  There is that, I am Here! I am HERE! You will not discount me! Goddammit! You will see me! You will respect me!

On Pluto, you can eat whatever you want and hop on those scales and laugh your ass off. Pass the ice cream! Pass the cookies! More chips and dip please! Because 100 pounds on Earth is only about 7 pounds on Pluto. So, my lovelies, the nights you are alone watching rerun marathons of Grey’s Anatomy with all that love and kissing and sex and people interacting and hope and loss and the 630320whole messiness of life and death, you, One You, are eating an ice-cream bar with enough calories to run a couple marathons around the perimeter of Pluto. And if you have not tried Magnums, and I mean the ice cream you sillies you, then travel in your spaceship over to Earth to the nearest store and find them. But know that they will taunt you from the freezer—call out to you, entice you. And you will answer because you crave the enticement, the taunting. You must save them for a special treat because once you return to Earth from Pluto, the weight difference will astound and amaze, and my friends, we must stay healthy! Magnuming ourselves into bad health isn’t the answer either. haw!

So how do you navigate your One-ness world? How do you clear objects out of your path even if Ring around the universe, pocket full of planetsyou are told you cannot or you tell yourself that you cannot, or reality is you in reality cannot? You rise out of bed. You make your bed. You wash your face. You comb your hair. You turn on the coffee pot. You eat breakfast. You put one foot in front of the other and you Do. You try not to look at the other planets who hang in the air with all their importance. You show your heart and hope that one day that heart will be a beacon for Something More. But until then? Until then you try and you try and you try some more. And in the failings come success. Even small successes are accomplishments that will make you feel empowered. All by yourself.

That is what Pluto does. That is what Lonely Woman does (mostly). That is what we who are One in the galaxy must do.


Repair for the day: If your garbage disposal in the spaceship quits working, don’t immediately start wondering how you will replace it. Instead, grab a flashlight and dive under that sink and look for the Reset Button. Yes, if you did not know, there is a reset button on your garbage disposal. I found it, and it worked, so I didn’t need to do anything else. Before you go resetting, you’ll need to make sure there is nothing stuck in the disposal causing it not to work. Please do not go sticking your hand in there until you not only turn it off, but find the plug to unplug it! I once chewed up an entire glass in the disposal and had to unplug it so I could dig out millions of shards of glass. But I did it! And I did it this time, too, by not letting panic take over: Where will I find the money to replace this? Who can I trust to install it? OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG! (More on those thoughts another time). I simply hit Reset.

There are other troubleshooting ways to fix your disposal on your own. It will give you a feeling of power to be able to fix what goes wrong in your spaceship, without having to travel to one of the Big Important Planets to find someone, or pay someone, to help you. Again, please make sure that if you are sticking your hand down in that dark nasty abyss, you turn off the disposal and unplug it. Two videos to help you: Short One with only Music & Visuals & Longer One with Voice Instruction.

Next week, I will have a give-away. If you did not receive anything from me last week and you should have received the Kindle Copy because you “won” it, then please contact me.