My Novels

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Strange dream about late husband

Last night I had a very peculiar experience. Not even sure it was a dream. More like a hallucination, or vision or...something.

I had been reading an ebook/novel and grew sleepy. Put my Kindle aside, and started to drift off to sleep...but first, I felt a gradual vibrating/electrified sensation throughout my entire body. I wanted to move, shake off the feeling...but was paralyzed. Then it was as if I was watching but with my eyes closed.

I saw one of J's late officer friends enter the bedroom, and he immediately looked around the room, went to an old-fashioned transistor radio, made sure it was off. Then he looked directly at me, and I recognized him instantly; he sat down on the bottom edge of my bed, I could feel the bed sink down under his weight; then he said, "I have something bad to tell you."

Wondering what could be worse than J dying, which had already happened over 12 years ago, he shook his head as if reading my thoughts. "No, it's worse than that. Something bad is coming."

I thought he was joking, and tried to smile, but again, I was paralyzed. Nor could I speak to him.

He just kept repeating that something bad was going to happen.

Apparently he didn't think I was taking him seriously, so he got up and left my bedroom. Then as I stared at the open door, J entered. I was astonished, but couldn't move or greet him in any way.

He too made sure the old radio was off, then sat down on the edge of my bed, but he also put his hand on my leg. I didn't flinch, nor make any move.

Looking me directly in the face, he said clearly, "Something bad is about to happen."

I could tell from the look on his face he was dead serious. Again, I tried to say that the worst had already happened when HE died. As if he too had read my mind, he said, "No, it's much worse."

Though he didn't say another word, I could feel his ominous warning settling over me, and was trying to ask what was going to happen. But he just kept shaking his head, looking down at the floor now, upset but trying to communicate that a bad thing was coming.

I finally was able to speak and I woke up! Crap! Not only was this startling, it was doubly so because I rarely, if ever, dream of J. And what dreams I do have are fleeting, and barely remembered.

But this one was so alarming and unsettling, I immediately wrote it down on a pad I keep by my bedside. Then I sent it to myself in an email, so I'd have a time-stamp for verification it had happened. Weird, I know. I even started to text my sister, though it was midnight now. Best I could tell, this took place for an entire HOUR. I had put the Kindle aside at 11:00, glancing at the clock. And it was midnight when I looked at the clock upon awakening.

Was this sleep paralysis? A real warning? What?

I thought I'd never sleep, but I did eventually. And I dreamed about working at the newspaper again. Going through the daily routine, the stress, the deadlines and the friendship of co-workers, etc. When I woke up this morning, I almost felt like getting up to go to work!

No idea why those events/dreams were so vivid.

Alas, just wanted to record this for my blog and as reference (which seems to be why I write at the blog lately!).

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Update on hospital stay

This won't be much of a post -- more a reminder about medicare and my supplemental insurance. After three days in the hospital, and a slew of heart tests, I paid exactly 0 copay! I mean, I knew it was supposed to be that way, but have so often been disappointed by copay's, etc. that I was shocked to find this actually works correctly.

I will say the full charge was jaw-dropping, but the hospital and all techs/doctors accepted medicare payment, with my supplement (Plan F) picking up copay's. Incredibly though, the medicare and insurance payment were about 1/4 the charge. Still can't believe that! Because without insurance, a person would be billed the entire amounts -- and harassed if they didn't pay it. Suffice to say, very happy I have medicare and a good Plan F supplement.

This is the first time in my life, especially in the past twelve years since my husband passed away, that I am not worried about having medical bills that would literally bankrupt me, cause me to lose the roof over my head. "Medicare for all," would he worthwhile for this country, but I don't expect to see that in my lifetime.

Otherwise, life goes on here. No more medical problems. I started riding my bike in the neighborhood for 30-45 minutes every morning; or at least the mornings it is cool enough. August is sweltering hot, as usual.

The ceiling in the living room is being replaced; the damaged tile/underpinnings had to be removed and new sheet-rock hung. This morning the carport metal roof was replaced, just the flashing to be done tomorrow. Hopefully this will all be finished in a week, but I am so TIRED of repairs due to storms. This is the second time in eight years I've had major damage  (tornado/hail storm), and far past weary. I call it storm fatigue. Seriously thinking of moving to a condo, where I wouldn't have such upkeep trouble. Blah, blah, blah...need to stop whining!

That's a wrap for now.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Hospital Stay

Just as a note to myself, and dates...I was in the hospital for three days a week ago. June 12-14.

It all started when I suddenly developed a horrible, stabbing pain in my chest and between my shoulderblades. I first thought it was a stomach problem, maybe my acid reflux acting up. However, I had never felt that kind of continuous stabbing pain; the only thing I can compare it to would be having a kidney stone (the stabbing pain in chest instead of kidney).

It went on and on and on...and I endured for two hours. I couldn't sit still -- tried lying down, standing, pacing, etc. Nothing helped. Eventually I realized I needed to get medical help. I had my brother-in-law come take me to urgent care -- where I was turned away, due to the chest pains!! Said they weren't equipped to deal with chest pains, that if it was an imminent heart attack, I would be better off at the hospital ER. Which is where we went next.

The stabbing pain continued until the nurses put a nitroglycerin patch on my chest, and then almost immediately stopped. I also had sky-high blood pressure by then, so they started trying to get it down. Took all afternoon. After a few tests, I was admitted for MORE tests. The three days were spent taking heart test after heart test, and in the end, nothing found. And when I was dismissed, still no explanation for the stabbing chest pain.

So it's a mystery at this point. Was afraid it would come back as unexpectedly as the first attack, but so far it hasn't. That is good news. On the other hand, I guess this will by my first road test for medicare and my supplemental insurance policy. We shall see.

In the meantime, my house damage from the hail storm back in March is still not finished. The roof was done several weeks ago, and I haven't pressed for the remainder: new gutters, new metal carport top, ceiling replacement in living room. Hopefully those will be done within the next couple weeks.

As Rosannadana on SNL used to say: "It's always something."

Monday, June 04, 2018

Procrastination and writing

Still struggling, even though I just published a collection of short stories based on urban legends I heard as a child. All set in the era before 1960. Or at least, these weird stories seemed to have come from urban lore, being told by either parents or grandparents. "Strange Southern Stories," the title.

What project is next? I am torn between ongoing deep research for a long, detailed novel about one of my great-great-great grandmothers who was apparently quite the character in early pioneer Alabama. She was a midwife, traveled the wooded wilderness delivering babies...while also birthing 10+ of her own children! Naturally, the key is researching that era -- so it's going to take a long time.

And then, there's the obsession with a music icon, which I am thinking of turning into a Gothic ghost story. And not a lot of research, mostly just by the seat-of-my-pants writing as it comes from each wild, spontaneous creative writing session. LOVE to write that way, even if it results in lots of rewriting/editing. Not sure when I'll start, but have a basic plot down (by hand/paper).

What else? A bit frustrated with procrastination -- instead of working on that Gothic story, keep putting off starting. I've always been the kind of writer who delays starting -- but once I get even the first paragraph down, I'm off and running. Guess it's the stage fright, being afraid of the performance, and the actual fear of failure. Huh.

I'm reading a lot too, and right now, immersed in a really good novel, "The Ghost Writer," which is not a supernatural work either! I can whiz through mediocre genre novels with scary speed; no need to digest, just follow the flow, so it's great to find a novel that requires more reader participation.

My house is still not finished -- the damage from the 1,000 year hail storm over a month ago (yeah, it's climate change but let's keep denying that reality). New roof put on, but now stalled. The metal carport, gutters and living room ceiling all need repair/replacement. Crews have worked non-stop around here, since the wide swath of hail damage took out house roofs, windows, cars, businesses, etc. Sigh. One man found a 1/2 pound hail stone! Seriously. He photographed it and it is registered as the largest hail stone in some record book.

Since the tornado of 2011, I have never quite recovered in that I now EXPECT the worst. And I'm rarely disappointed when it comes to severe weather. This has made me apathetic about taking care of my property too; seems hardly worth the cost of maintenance. I just do the basic necessity, i.e. the roof replacement, etc. Insurance covered the costs. or at least it is supposed to; haven't settled up yet with the repairs. At any rate, I'm pessimistic about the future regarding weather.

My dogs are well, and that is good. Muffin finally stopped sleeping on the bed with me. Ah, all grown up! Actually I think it's just cooler in her crate -- and also, she LOVES the soft gel cushion in there, whereas my mattress is extra firm!

So maybe I can started on a new project soon...the Gothic story or the midwife story. It's a toss-up!?!

P.S. My PC finally died. I'm using my laptop for now, not sure if I'll buy a bigger laptop or another PC. Decisions, decisions!