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.

 

Advertisements

Fruit Flies, and Monkeys, and Lonely Woman, oh my! Some Traveling Tips.

“This sucks, y’all.”

My recent trip to Texas, a 2000 mile round-trip, has me thinking about space travel. Researching the various this’s and that’s of it, I found the image to the left. That monkey looks as if he knows he ain’t coming back.

Just as a reference: Space officially begins at about 62 miles above our Earth’s surface, called the Karman Line.

The first living creatures to be launched into space were fruit flies—they were sent up with some corn so they’d not be hungry—way back in 1947, aboard a V2 rocket. They went 106 miles, and the capsule was actually recovered and the fruit flies weren’t any worse for wear.

A year later came the first monkey, named Albert. But, alas poor Albert; I knew him well (not). Um.  Ugh. Yeah. They think he may have suffocated before he even left the ground. Dang. The rocket only made it up 39 miles.

Albert II, who fortunate for him had NOOOO idea what happened to the preceding Albert, was sent up in a V2 rocket, soaring to 83 miles. Though Albert was the first monkey to be successfully launched into space without meeting his fate before leaving the ground, there was a problem with his parachute on the recovery capsule as it hurtled to earth and—well, you can guess the rest if you like. RIP Albert II. RIP.

After that, other Alberts (III, IV, V) boarded their rockets, and none survived—either they died on impact or during the flight.

Apparently, it is said that all of the monkeys were anesthetized for the flight. Hmmm.

The infamous Miss Baker. “I’m claustrophobic, y’all! ungh!ungh!”

But at last! Two monkeys in 1959—Able and Miss Baker—flew to 360 miles, tucked in aboard a Jupiter rocket. Their recovery capsule landed about 1700 miles off range of where they were supposed to land at Cape Canaveral, but they were found and recovered, and perhaps became celebrities, maybe as spokesmonkeys for various products and services.

My recent travel was not so dire and dangerous, though perhaps it is in its own way—traffic, crazy drivers, high winds, bad storms, exhaustion, a hotel from hell—lawd!

There is vulnerability (at least for this lonely woman) to traveling alone. So I have some general tidbits for you, should you also travel alone, or will one day do so.

1). If you are traveling with a pet, and will be stopping for the night, you would be better off checking out hotel pet policy ahead of time. Many chains do not allow pets. Some allow them but with restrictions, or a non-refundable fee (one hotel charges $100 nonrefundable fee!). Some chains do allow pets for free—like LaQuinta. LaQuinta hotels are a crapshoot, honestly. Some of them are seriously outdated. Do your research and it’ll save you from being road-weary and searching.

Read reviews. There are always the 1-star “I HAAAAAATED IT!” reviews and the 5-Star “I LOOOOOOOVED IT!” reviews, but I like reading those 3 and 4 star reviews.

Also, maybe I’m just paranoid and weird, but the first two things I do when I stay at a hotel, any hotel, no matter how much it costs or where it is, is to check the mattress for signs of bed bugs (UGH!)—I have never had a room with those, but I check it every time (pull up the sheets and look at the mattress, particularly along the seams, for cleanliness—you can google this if you dare). Then I take Clorox wipes and wipe down the remote, the light switches, the toilet, and a few other surfaces—what? Better safe than sorry! All hotels, no matter how nice or what the cost per night, get this treatment. It’s the only way I can relax. I will also admit that in the middle of the night, I shine my phone under the covers just to make sure nothing is there. Yeah. My head is a scary place.

I seeeee youuuuu!

Also, if you have “trouble” at any hotel, report it. I stayed at a hotel with a weird wonky door that I didn’t discover until the next morning that you could see a little bit into my room! EEEEK! I was NOT HAPPY! While the staff was amazing, and the hotel clean, that hotel needed serious updating and renovating. It was unacceptable. They refunded my money. I won’t be staying there again. Research, y’all! Ahead of time!

2). Welcome Centers are becoming better and better about cleanliness, safety, and, well, welcoming! I always stop at a Welcome Center when entering a new state. There’s places to walk about, and if you have a pet, they have designated areas for the pets. There’s usually coffee, and nice greeters (during business hours mostly). Vending machines if you are interested in that. And the bathroom facilities are usually clean and safe.

3). Rest areas are a mixed bag. Some of them do a great job of keeping the area and facilities clean and safe. But, I have a rule: if I pull up to a rest area and don’t feel safe, or have one of my “wonky” feelings, I’m out of there. Always best to listen to your gut. As with Welcome Centers, rest areas are much better than they used to be, but some are still a little “shady.”

4). Have water handy for you and for your pet. I used to limit my water intake so I’d not have to stop so often, but now I realize that part of the joy of the trip is stopping and stretching my legs, taking in some scenery. And keeping yourself hydrated and your body stretched out will keep you awake and aware and feeling better.

5). Don’t consume sugary snacks and drinks! Same goes for high “bad” carbohydrate foods, like a lot of fast foods. Eating sugary/high carb foods will make you feel sluggish and sleepy. Higher protein snacks/food is a better choice.

And, concerning No’s 4 & 5 – if you are traveling alone, you MUST be alert! There is no one to switch off so you can rest/nap, unless you pull over to nap, and I will never do this. So consider what you take with you and where you stop to eat as an important part of your travel. Continue reading

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?

Uranus: Rolling Retrograde Pale Blue Beauty & Simple Car Repairs 1-ohhhh!-1: YOU GOT THIS!

Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun and not visible to the naked eye. It’s an interesting and f96496501b29ea59d0cd2f06ad7bba09im-not-saying-its-cats-but-its-cats-thumbunique planet worthy of our attention. Don’t you feel that about yourself sometimes? Especially as a Lonely Woman, or Lonely Man? That you are no longer visible but you are unique and interesting and worthy of attention? You’ll hear, “Get yourself out there! Be around people!” But, it is exactly the “getting yourself out there” thing that is confusing and daunting and scary, isn’t it?

But I digress. Because I like to say/write: I digress.

Uranus’s axis is tilted at 97-98 degrees, so the planet rolls on its side for most of its rotation around our sunmain-qimg-86166fcd316a7716d4486a9e420e9a96. This rotation is called retrograde—opposite of Earth and other planets (besides Venus and Pluto, which also spin in a retrograde direction). In these retrograde planets you can imagine that the sun would rise in the west and set in the east. Though, Uranus is so tilted on its side that some of its orbit points its poles right at the sun so there’s 42 years of sunlight at one pole while the other is in complete darkness for 42 years—that sounds like my moods sometimes; hahaha! The 42 years of sunlight/darkness is during Uranus’s solstice; during the planet’s equinox it is a little more “normal” in its “seasons.”

It takes 84 years for Uranus to orbit the sun—Earth takes 365 days. Imagine that for your birthday I pick you up in my Lil Log Spaceship and take you to Uranus.  Let’s also imagine your birthday is today, July 16, and, let’s say you were born in 1970. If you were back on Earth you’d be 46 years old. But if you were with me on Uranus you’d only be 0.54–notice the decimal y’all!—and what would be your second birthday wouldn’t be until July 20, 2054! I bet you’d miss all the cake and ice cream and presents and would scurry on back to earth. As for me? Well: Pitiful Lonely Woman Alert!—my last birthday was spent—guess, no really, guess!—yeah: alone. Dang. So a birthday once a year or once every 84 years—hmmmmm, gotta think about that one. Like Charlie Brown says (and I don’t exactly quote): We don’t mind being alone and lonely so much, we just don’t want a holiday(or birthday) to emphasis it. Awwwwwwww!

On Uranus, a 115 pound person would weigh 102. Not a huge difference like some of the other celestial bodies—for example, a 115 pound person would weigh over 3000 pounds on the sun but only 19 pounds on the moon! I’m gonna have my cake and eat more of it too on the Moon.

uranusUranus is an Ice Giant planet. There’s an ice mantle that surrounds rock and more ice. Its atmosphere above consists of ammonia, water, and methane ice crystals—this gives it its gorgeous pastel blue color.

Now here is a weird thing: because of Uranus’s atmosphere, it is thought that it may rain diamonds! Imagine diamond-hail falling down on and around you. As well, It could be that there is a layer of liquid diamond. I’m not a diamond kind of woman, but I’d love to have me a big ole pretty jar of liquid diamond. Now I bet that would be interesting and beautiful. Dang! My precious.

Many people believe Saturn is the only planet with rings, but Uranus has rings too (so does Jupiter and Neptune). They are small rings made of dust and small boulders.

Neptune has 27 moons. Can you imagine looking up and seeing 27 moons? They were named after William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope characters—like Puck, Juliet, Ariel, Cupid, Miranda, Oberon, Caliban, etc. etc.

For more on Uranus, see this video below:

Some pronounce this planet Ur-ran-us and others Ur-anus. I admit I picked this planet today because I was saying “Your-Anus” in my head, and since I kicked ass yesterday, that was my reason. Yeah. Well. What can I say? Laugh. I have my own thought-processes.

And the reason I kicked ass is because I was able to make a couple of repairs on my car without any help—because there IS no help. When you are a Lonely Woman/Man, you are responsible for everything, and that includes car repairs and maintenance. And that’s what I want to talk to you about today, besides Uranus, that is! The more we can do on our own, the more kickass we feel. The more empowered we feel. Before I opened up that hood, I was worried about what those repairs were going to cost me, and where would the money come from? How much more can my groaning credit card take? I’d been putting it off, and it wasn’t safe to do that. I was tired of the anxiety over it.

download (1)

You are allowed to look pitiful if it’s your birthday and you are by yourself being a Charlie Brown. Just say’n

Stress . . . worry . . . obsesses . . . anxiety . . . or, open the danged ole hood and just Try It.

The repairs I made saved me a trip to a mechanic (other than the “check engine” light that I will talk about), and everything I did was completely FREE! I included a video (below).

These repairs were done on a 1998 Subaru Outback. Your car may vary. Refer to video below if you want to “see” what I’m talking about. And be careful about safety: Engine OFF; hood secured, and any other areas of safety necessary. Your car may be different from mine, so just be Smart about things.

Problem: One of your headlights is not working. It’s not the bulb, because either you’ve had that replaced, and/or you notice the light sometimes works.

Solution: I always keep my engine off! Open the hood, secure the hood safely. Now, look around at FullSizeRenderwhat appears to be connectors and connections leading to the headlight. Behind the bulb you’ll see wires connected to a “plug” –unplug this connector and make sure all the wires are secure. Press the wire connections in, brush/blow away any dirt and dust. Plug the connector back in. If you are lucky, as I was, the headlight will come on! Just be sure you are not forcing things—if it isn’t something easy to disconnect, maybe it’s not supposed to be disconnected!

Problem: Windshield wiper cleaner not working. No motor sounds; no water.

Solution: Again, engine off, look under your secured hood (safety always please!), and find your 064B5BE3-06C5-4A51-9BE8-A33E9221BAA0 (3)windshield wiper fluid container. Make sure first it has fluid. Then look for connectors/connections-wiring leading to the fluid container. Check the wires and connections—I like to press them, push them in, move wires out of the way so they don’t hang up on something. Press on the connectors to make sure they are secured. Sometimes it’s just a loose wire or connections rather than a bad part!

If you have motor sounds but no water comes out to clean your windshield, then look for the small tube that goes from the windshield fluid container up to your hood. In my case, that black rubber tube coming from the windshield wiper fluid container was disconnected from the white plastic connector on the hood. I simply connected the two, turned on my wiper cleaner, and VOILA! Done!

Problem: “Check Engine” light suddenly comes on. Right after I drove my car after these repairs, my check engine light came on. This has never happened before and I was about to panic, but I knew it had to do with something I’d just done. I drove right to a local mechanic (in this case Waynesville Tire—and they were awesome). I told them the repairs I’d done.

Solution: They hooked up a device and all they ended up having to do was put in a code to turn off the check engine light indicator. The mechanic explained that some things will cause that sensor to go off and indicate a check engine light when there is nothing wrong with the engine. We figured that when all that water sprayed in my engine from that loose tube, it somehow caused the sensor to go off. It cost me nothing. So “check engine” doesn’t always mean something bad or catastrophic. If your check engine light comes on, don’t let someone scare you in to some huge repair. Take your car to someone you trust and ask them to try putting in the code to turn off that check engine light. If it continues to come on, then you may have something to address. However, in my case, that was the solution!


Next give-away is next post. And I draw from people who’ve “liked” or commented (here or on the post that shows up on my Facebook Page) from the last drawing until now, so more people are included and it makes it more fun. So on the posts I don’t have a give away, your name still goes “in the hat” for the next drawing.  

During the next few posts, I’m going to delve into the area of – gasp – Dating! Or Not Dating, as the case may, or should, or could be. Stay tuned.


 

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.

Visiting Earth. The deafening loud-ass silence of loneliness.

Earth. Third planet from the sun and the only planet known to support life. It’s the only planet not imagesnamed after a Greek or Roman god. And unlike the naming of other planets’ moons, our moon is simply called Moon—this struck me today, that we didn’t name Earth’s moon; I wonder why? Though I like Moon and if they named it, I’d still call it Moon.

As Earth ages it is slowing down. Only about 17 milliseconds per hundred years, but it lengthens the days. Many millions of years from now, Earth will have a 25-hour day. What to do with that extra hour? Sleep in? Waste it? Yeah. We’ll waste it.

Though we have a 24-hour day, it actually takes 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4 seconds for the Earth to rotate on its axis—that’s called a Sidereal Day. No, our nights and days won’t eventually be wonky. Why? Because Earth orbits around the sun and if you consider the motion from the sun as Earth orbits it as well as the rotation of Earth on its axis, it comes to 24 hours, and that’s called a Solar Day. Solar Day is the time it takes for the sun to be back in the same place in the sky—24 hours. Yeah, that sounds confusing, but really it’s not when you think about it a moment, or just accept it.

And a year isn’t exactly 365 days. There is an extra .2564 days to make a total of 365.2564 days. To make things even out, every 4 years we have Leap Year. We are so clever.

Click here to see: Earth rotating at night.

And since I usually mention a weight measure when we visit other planets, did you know that at the equator you would weigh a few ounces less than if standing at one of the poles? Gravity.

If we were aware of how fast we are actually moving, spinning through space, at, depending where you are on Earth, a bit over 1,000 miles per hour, you’d at the very least vomit.  It’s weird to think though that people on the equator move fastest and people on the North or South poles are still. So if we were aware of our spinning and moving, we’d all rush to the poles and freeze our asses off.

It is on Earth I land my little log spaceship and trek down to The City for supplies and fuel. The City where I have my home-base is tiny with only 1,000 or so full-time residents. But during peak tourist seasons that swells and quite considerably. There are people and cars everywhere. You would think dsc06364that having more people would make the lonely feel less alone, but it does not. People are not meant to be alone. Like water finding water, people find people. We are social animals. Everywhere we go, there are groups, or couples. There are parents/grandparents and their children. There are couples—lovers or friends or both. There are groups of friends. There are families. There is touch and talk and laughter and argument and discussion and kiss and hold and share.

If you are alone and find something funny or interesting or amazing, the funny or interesting or amazing loses its shine when there is no one to say, “I know! Right?”

When you have been alone in your spaceship for many days, you are not sure of how you sound or appear to others. If you speak to someone, you wonder if you made sense. If your words and 002sentences and phrases come out coherent. You forget what conversation sounds like. If you are in a social situation, you either babble a million words, or you have few words at all and stare dumbly at the other person as they wait with raised eyebrows for you to say something. You practice speaking to your little dog because you aren’t sure if your voice will go rusty—can vocal cords forget how to speak if not used regularly? You google it, and find out, here, that you’d be just fine—that when someone woke from a 19-year coma, he was able to speak. You are relieved, and also, strangely, disappointed.

Though Earth is loud, especially during the busy seasons, or when you visit other cities while on Earth, and even more especially after returning from Pluto and Mars (previous posts), there is a vacuum of silence around you. While the silence of loneliness is quite apparent, the sound of loneliness is really quite loud.

When alone most all the time, you forget what you look like. Reflections lie. They do, really. If there 074is no one to tell you that you are beautiful or handsome and sexy and wonderful, what are you then to yourself? Though you shower, brush and floss your teeth, eat fairly healthfully, drink in moderation, and sleep, and exercise, and stretch, and take care of yourself in many various ways, you may not brush your hair for days; you may wear clean but comfortable-and-not-attractive clothes for weeks; you may wander about the spaceship touching things just to make sure you are real—because if the things you touch are real, then so are you. You don’t doubt your sanity—you don’t. You don’t. You don’t. Don’t. Don’t. You. Don’t.

Some nights the loneliness becomes shapes in the dark and you aren’t even afraid. Instead you ask, “Who are you? What do you want? Guess what I saw today?” And there is no answer, so you sleep and dream of people. People people people populate your dreams—and you are doing things with the people: talking, laughing, having sex, kissing, hugging, arguing, running from them and to them. You wake from your dreams and for a moment it is enough.

You have a constant “cruel wanting.”

The paradox is: though you are lonely, you want to be left alone. Because you get it in your head that people are not to be trusted. People mean hurt and chaos and responsibility. You can’t stand it but you do.

And that’s all I have to say to you today. That’s all I got.

————

(P.S. I’ll have another give-away next week, as well as a Repair of the Day, and some Dinner Ideas for One – WHEEHAW!.  – Judy D – you won the Mars Chocolate drawing from last week. Email or FB message me.  . . . )

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.

Science Day: Thoughts on origins of life–snottites and all

(I’m continuing to repost earlier blog posts until I am ready to being new postings – soon. So, in honor of my snotty cold – eww – I repost this that includes Cave Snottites in Mexico. Hoping in the months to come to have some science, some book/writing related, some health related; whatever strikes my wittle fancy)

——————————————————————-

134Where did life come from? I am here to explore. I am here to say what if and wow and imagine and Can you believe that? And could that have really happened and–to Discover!

Did we come from outer-space? Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Well, aren’t we now in “outer space?” Isn’t Earth a celestial body? We’re hanging about in the air just like all the other planets, stars, moons.

Imagine Early Earth as this fiery ball bombarded with meteorites and comets. What if the basic beginning of life was deposited here by those meteorites and comets?

download (1)Look at the oldest fossils found, a few billion years ago, and there were microscopic “life forms” that caused our earth to change from that uninhabitable ball of fire and raging heated lifelessness to one like we now know.  And how did they survive on the earth that was so roiling and boiling?– I like the scientist character’s assessment on Jurassic Park: “Life Finds A Way . . . . ” So, here are these tiny forms of life Finding Their Way, and what they did was transform our Earth! These microscopic entities created the oxygen that sustains the life forms inhabiting our Earth.

Sometimes I wonder: what if I were suddenly transported back a thousand years, or two or three thousand, 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? My blood circulate? And if someone were transported forward to thousands of years from now, evolving instantly along the way, how would they breathe? How would their lungs and circulation work? What would the earth smell like to them?

evolutionIf one took the soft tissue of someone from a thousand years ago and compared it to my soft tissue, what would the differences be? How have we evolved because of the changes to 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—how would we differ from the earliest “intelligent life?” How has Earth Evolved? Are we only a big Circle of Life and Destruction? To begin and end and begin and end and begin and end, round and round and round we go.

So, evolution doesn’t happen in a sudden way where we can look and say, “Hey, I have an extra vein that leads from my brain to my spinal cord because . . . . ” Instead, the changes are insidious. Human Animals and Non Human Animals adapt to our environments. Some become extinct, some alter they way they fit in the world–survival versus extinction. We can’t remain as we are, and hundreds of years from now, what will our bodies be like? What will our brains be like—how will we see and hear and think and discover? Who will we be?

But, I digress; don’t you love to hate my digressions?

These tiny micro-organisms were creating the oxygen to change the atmosphere of our Earth to one where A Life Form would simply be vaporized if they stood upon the earth’s surface to one where we can walk along a garden and pick a fresh tomato and eat it while a rabbit sniffs the carrots and a butterfly sips from a flower and a tree shades a dog and a cat eats a mouse and a child is born and it is protected (or it is not), to where we can be arrogant about the very air we breathe.

In Ancient Earth, meteorites bombarded—carbon arrived. Things began to change.

downloadIf you imagine our sun as weaker, and that light from it was weaker, if you imagine the hydrogen sulfide and stinky fumes and the amount of carbon dioxide, this inhabitable fiery place—this sounds more like a Biblical apocalypse, doesn’t it? As if the End of The World in the book of the Bible is not really the End of the Earth, but the beginning of it. So, here’s this Earth with a stifling atmosphere and a red-orange color, and oceans that were a weird slug green color. Comets and meteors pounded the crap out of our Earth, vaporizing waters, creating this noxious rain, and it is in this environment that Life Finds A Way.

300px-Dscn1976aIn Mexico, an example can be found as to how Life Finds A Way. In the tropical rain-forest, in the cave Cueva de Villa Luz. In this cave is a nasty smelling place of hydrogen sulfide—much like scientists believe the earth was a few billion years ago, maybe four billion. Scientists study this cave, since they think it represents Early Earth for clues to how Life began. Inside the cave (and to enter this cave, you have to wear gas masks, for it is deadly), are these single-cell bacteria that dribble this slimy ick that the scientists call snottites—because, yes, they look like snot. How original! Those silly ole wacky scientists have a sense of humor! But, the snottites are “alive” and they are in that hostile environment, thriving.

Bacteria. The most ancient form of life on our Earth. They adapt to what they need to adapt to (and isn’t that a scary thought—think about it: we spend millions in attempts to be bacteria free—well, if these little organisms are that tenacious, if they are the origins of life, if they stubbornly insist on BEING HERE, then don’t you think they will Find A Way? Dang.)

So, the bacteria begin to thrive, grow, adapt, reproduce. In the single-cell bacteria there is a molecule of DNA—and we all know that DNA is the Code of Life—allowing them to multiply. Inside the snottites are millions of bacteria. And in this cave, which represents Earth billions of years ago, there are towns and cities and continents of bacteria, which depend on their environment instead of being consumed by it.

Neil deGrasse Tyson says, “Conditions on early Earth may have been far worse, but these bacteria suggest that primitive life could have thrived in extremely hostile environments . . . For more than a century, scientists have known that life is the result of chemistry, the combination of just the right ingredients in just the right amounts.”

downloadAnd those ingredients, folks, for every living organism, are: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus—elements that are common in the universe, with our buddy CARBON as the Main element, good ole flexible Carbon (you’ve all probably heard our “carbon footprint” environmental stuff, right?).

imagesLife Is Chemistry—we are a chemistry experiment created by whatever you choose to believe: Chance or God or Both or All or Some or Chaos or Design or Science is God or God is Science or Big Bangity Boom Boom Boom—but we are chemistry, y’all. Beautiful gorgeous lovely interesting fascinating chemistry experiments.

Now go live the wonderful Earth life those bacteria worked so hard on creating for you.

Friday: videos of the day–treadmill aerobics & The Universe; photos of the day–birds

Casual friday

Friday is here. So tell me: is Friday a TGIF? or do you work weekends? work all the time? Never work? (laughing). Just what does Friday mean to you?

If you haven’t seen this video yet, it’s pretty danged ole kewl: The Scale of the Universe. Nope, ain’t nuttin gonna come jumping out atchoo and scare the bee-jebus out yer arse–I hate those things and anyone who knows me knows not to send one of those to me, ungh! In this you see the teeniest of the teeny, and then you  see the largest of the large – and there are “markers” to give you an idea of “scale.” Can’t explain it so click and enjoy. I’m such a science nerdy geeky thang.  One day I shall have my dinner with the physicists!
Here’s what I’m doing on the treadmill (this isn’t me of course, but what I am talking about when I say I do “treadmill aerobic dance”) well, mostly what I do – some of these things I haven’t yet done, like turn all the way around. GMR thinks I’ma gonna bust my arse–but I’m having fun while taking that chance -haw! The hour goes by so fast. Oh, does it help my stress, and I’m becoming stronger and healthier-and it helps with balance! *see your doc/don’t do what I do/other sensible disclaimers here* WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!


Last time for photos of the day, I had Portland, Oregon downtown and the coast. Today for Friday Photos, I have – birds.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now y’all go do the day! I hope to come visit some of you I’ve missed here lately, this weekend. I do apologize for not coming by as much as I want to–or reading you in my email but not commenting. Those of you who stop by here regularly make my day, and I am so grateful and appreciative: THANK YOU!

Wednesday F4A: Strange Occurrences – Shadow Men, Strange Lights, and Synaptic Weirdness abounds? . . .

There are things we simply cannot explain. They may seem as if a dream, but we know they are unlike any dream we’ve ever had—somehow we sense they aren’t dreams at all, but something more, and what that more is, we cannot exactly fathom. As when we dream of a friend or loved one after they have died, and though we may dream of them many times, there is that one particular dream that is Different and in that difference we feel there is a message or something we should pay attention to or some, dare I say, visitation perhaps?

I wrote a few years ago about the Shadow Man who visited me. I was asleep on the couch and I awoke and there “he” was – darker than the night, a “living shadow,” a complete dark shadow man. Though I saw no features, I “knew” he watched me as I slept. One hand was draped casually on the back of the couch. I thought, “Who is this? What is this?” but I fell back into sleep again, unafraid.

A went back to the couch several nights to see if he’d return, but he did not. I at last went into in my living room, in my nightgown and slippers, my hair wild and my eyes searching, and didn’t feel silly a bit as I said, “Go home, okay?” Maybe he did.

A shadow man had come before, right after my beloved brother died, in 1994. Oh-so-briefly he was at the side of the chaise longue I’d fallen asleep on. That time I was startled and afraid and he left very quickly—perhaps it was my brother and he sensed my fear and left me. I sense someone, David?, beside me the next day of his funeral, walking with us. I know I did. Imagination? Wish?

Then came the night about a year ago where I closed my eyes and I do not know if I was awake or asleep or in that strange in-between, but I saw this incredible light, inside my head not in the room, and the light glowed like no other light, and a “doorway” appeared, and in that “doorway” I saw a shadow man. This shadow man was taller and thinner than the one at the couch. He stood in the “doorway” and behind him was that light, and I felt this incredible peace, this sense of well-being. I hate to say it, but I felt what people describe when they have a near-death experience, except of course I was not and am not dead—lawd, maybe you all can verify this for me by acknowledging my existence *laughing* lawd.

Then, a few nights after that, I saw the light again, but this time it was very brief and much more like lightening, brighter and more intense, but flashed and flashed and then was gone. My synapses run amok? I’m having strokes and don’t know it? I’m going insane? I’m just weird and that’s that and that’s that? Who knows. Perhaps my brain is in over-drive. It oft-times is, in different ways. But it peaks my curiosity.

Is all of this connected? Am I losing my mind? *laughing* I think a writer’s, or anyone else’s, imagination is a wondrous thing, and I like to think I stay in the reality of knowing some things are imagination and some things are explainable and some things unexplainable simply because I unintentionally make them more than they are, or simply because they are anomalies I cannot explain away.

What of the light? A dream? What of the shadow man watching me as I slept on the couch? Another dream? Who are these shadow men? What do they want? Or if I have conjured them, why have I? What is the purpose of it? Oh, the mysteries!

The last image I will share is one I had when my father was dying this past October, and at this time he was in a coma-state. I laid beside him many hours, but in this particular time, I had my head against his and I fell deeply asleep—we were all so exhausted—and I had this most beautiful surreal dream that was unlike any I’d had before. In this dream was a gorgeous horse and the horse galloped up up up into the blue sky. Sometimes I think the horse itself was blue, but now I have a hard time remembering that. Mostly, I remember the horse gracefully galloping into the clouds above and then I woke with an incredible peace and serenity, and a wondrous awe. I felt, well, special, for having seen this horse.

I assure you, I am perfectly sane (hahahahha –my friends and family beg to differ. Haw!) But when I write all this, it all sounds a little “out there and woo woo.” Maybe having a “creative mind” brings things both conjured and not conjured, and I accept this as theory/fact/zippity do dah zippity ay. Maybe the brain is too active on the creative/non-logical side and flips and blips and snaps—wheeeeee!

Not long ago, I watched a show on National Geographic about savants (I am not a savant, I am not saying or implying that) whose brains were affected at birth or by a trauma and the “creative side” was more alive and active than the “logical side” – the logical side was almost “dead.” These savants were Mega Ultra Creative – some no longer leading “normal” lives. I wonder, then, and it seems plausible, if some creative minds are somewhere in between, caught in some kind of synaptic wonderland that causes blips in the brain, and thus . . . well, these kinds of occurrences that seem “odd” or like dreams or imaginations come and go and we are left scratching our pea-heads about them. *shrug* beats me! *laughing*

What about you? What “strange” or surreal occurrences have you experienced that you’d like to share? If you have never had any, then what do you think about those of us who do? Be honest!

Random Video (poor lonely author in a bookstore)/Random Links (R&T blog)/Randon Photos(crows)

It’s raining raining raining – but, at least it’s not snowing and arse-biting cold (yet?). So, Wednesdays and time for random photos/vids/links:

I’ve become facinated by crows – it’s Virginia Kate’s fault, she drew my attention to them. Yesterday, the crows were active and loud at Lake Junaluska – and some of them were chasing off the ducks, cawing loudly at them, running at them, and then fluffing out their wings and feathers when they “won.” Sometimes they’ll almost seem as if they are posing for me, turning to the camera, staying put even when I come closer. I need to sort through the photos I’ve been taking, but these were first, so I just grabbed them.

skating on ice

awww best buds or honeys

Two videos for you: One was taped when I was bored during an electrical outage- tee-hee (you can hear the rain and the creek sounds in background). The other made me laugh – when you get to the part where he says someone stood talking to him and asking him questions or whatever but didn’t by his book and instead bought John Grisham’s book; folks, this happens! *laughing*

And for our link today:

Rose & Thorn Blog, where R&T staffer, and our own blog friend, Janna Qualman has a post up: Quiet Enjoy!

And, GMR bought me an early birthday present (my birthday isn’t until next month)- A Telescope! I am so excited! I can’t wait for a clear night to use my Celestron Telecope. Ohhhh! Maybe Neil deGrasse Tyson will come over now . . . huh? You think? Maybe?