My Novels

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Three years ago...

So I'm re-reading a few of my past posts here, and I found the most amazing words of wisdom. Even BEFORE I lost DH, I knew that today is all we have, all we are promised.

The past three years, for me, have been like one of those awful Stephen King nightmare novels: bad stuff just keeps happening, with no meaning, no reason. But in retrospect, I think it all DID have meaning, reason. Let's just say, it comes down to this quote: "What goes around, comes around."

I have never knowingly hurt another human or animal in my life. I have, yes, withdrawn and isolated myself to PREVENT hurting others. I prefer that to inflicting pain sometimes when honesty/truth is necessary, though I have occasionally espoused the blunt truth when it seemed unavoidable. But I didn't have a child, didn't give it away, didn't abuse it, didn't inflict the kind of misery some so-called parents do. I never abandoned, nor harmed a creature/animal in my life, and have made sacrifices for pets -- even to this day.

In short, I believe if you mistreat humans/animals it will come back to bite you in the @ss...not after death, and not in some other "lifetime" but in THIS life and before you die. I've thought extensively about those I've known/loved, and their seemingly untimely deaths/sufferings...but in the end, I can look back over their lives and see where something they did MAY have brought about their demise.

At any rate, maybe I'm just trying to make sense of the senseless, but I want to repost an entry I made three years ago:

Today's prompt: If you had to remember the moment in your life when you felt the most alone, when would it be?

I chose this question because it was immediately easy to answer, to know exactly the time in my life I felt (and was) most alone.

DH [dear husband] had started a new career; we were both in our late 20s. We'd almost always been together, had never even spent a night apart in our ten year marriage. [We have no children by choice, and this makes us even closer emotionally.) Then suddenly, he was gone nearly all the time, engaged in his new time-consuming career. He often didn't get in until past 8:00 PM, and was away on Saturdays, sometimes Sunday too.

We lived in a rural area of the South, and I was not satisfied there. I didn't like the southern rural people, and had learned over time that gossip and innuendo spread like wildfire. Whatever one did in public (or private) was instantly known, gossiped about and turned into wild tales, becoming more and more fabricated with each telling. I'd become isolated, no likeminded person with whom to talk, (no internet back then, of course) and fell into a depression. I had worked at various part-time jobs since we'd married, mostly clerical office work which I loathed; but I was not employed at that time. I had always wanted to write creatively, but had no confidence in my talent. I had family nearby, and did see them frequently, but I still felt totally alone.

I'll never forget one late afternoon, around the time most families sit down to dinner, when I went outside for a walk along a country road. A beautiful sunset shimmered on the horizon, but it only seemed to make me feel more lonesome. I could see families sitting at dinner tables, glimpsed through windows...and felt like an alien among them. I actually ached, I was so forlorn and miserably lonely. It was one of those agonizing moments that seems to magnify all that you feel, and I wanted so badly to change my life, somehow make it different. And I knew, in one way or another, whatever it took, I would bring about that change.

And I did. Eventually we sold our house there, moved into a city; I worked at a newspaper; I volunteered at the library. But most importantly, I began to write fiction in all my free time. I had friends then too, but the writing is what truly changed my life -- and my perspective. And I must give credit to many of the postal pen friends I had during that period; they were always encouraging me about my writing talent. I took a creative writing course, and then a journalism course -- which led to my position at the newspaper. However, in time I quit that job and concentrated on my creative writing.

In retrospect, I have to admit that the poignancy of the loneliness I felt during that period was life-changing, so it served a purpose. As I've aged though, I've learned NOT to depend on any other human being to prevent loneliness. I have learned I am my own best friend, my own best companion, and I could live alone now and not be unhappy. Yes, I am still married and I do enjoy the companionship with my DH. But I also know that to depend upon any other person to keep loneliness at bay is a mistake. And the truth of this one apt quote: "We are born alone, we live alone and we die alone."

There are worse things than being alone. If you look around at some of the miserable people in destructive relationships, you'll understand the wisdom of that statement.

It was almost as if I KNEW that I would someday live alone, and had already emotionally prepared myself for it. And also, that DH had abandoned me YEARS and YEARS ago...even before I was 30 years old.

Food for thought...for me, for others perhaps.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

My cats & dogs

"Mom, did you say dogs are in the house?"

"Yeah Kitten, but do I look concerned?"

"What a wimp! Wearing a shirt!

"Huh? So what, I still kick @ass!"

"Oh puhleeese, I'm the ONE who kicks @ss around here!"

"I don't think so guys. Just try it, I dare you!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Supernatural Flicks

Okay, not EVERYONE will agree with my rave reviews of the two following films, but I have to suggest you watch them and judge for yourself. I LOVE a good supernatural/horror film, and NOT a necessarily gory movie, but just one that intriques and keeps you guessing...and has psychological implications. Plus, the "good versus evil" theme of mankind/writerly ponderings.

Here's two that will keep you on the edge of your seat, wondering and yet scary, atmospheric and somehow...indefinable:

Gothika Probably the all-time BEST one I've ever seen, and I watch it every time it's replayed on any channel.

Favorite quote from movie (Chole is mental patient, Miranda is the shrink in this interview):

Chloe: He came back again last night and tore me like paper. He opened me like a flower of pain, and it felt good. He sank into me and set me on fire, like he always does. Made me burn from the inside out.

Miranda: How did you know it was the devil?


Unspeakable Fascinating, disturbing, (some graphic visuals)...and only seen it for the first time tonight. It reminded me of...a man, KC, whom I once wrote/met in prison...and claimed to have supernatural powers. To this day, I'm not sure he didn't. This film was troubling, penetrating, and left me pondering much of my past...and what has occured in the past two years of my life as it might relate to KC.

Now let's see if I can get a good night's sleep! :-(

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving '06

Five things I'm thankful for today:

1. I'm alive and seemingly healthy

2. I'm financially secure, though not wealthy

3. My six cats and two dogs, and that I can provide
for them

4. My home, my simple lifestyle, my freedom

5. My sisters, though at present there's problems


I'm spending today alone, but I learned long ago there are much worse things than being alone on Holidays. I was estranged from DH's family, and always felt quilty that we didn't participate in their holiday gatherings. Ergo, today NO guilt. SWEET! I miss DH, but not his family nor their guilt trips.

I sometimes enjoyed getting together with my family, but not always. It depended on many factors I don't wish to go into here (since I'm rehashing those in my memoir).

Later, I'm planning on a bike ride in the sunny 60 degree weather, then painting the trimwork in my bathroom (which I've put off too long), taking the dogs on a walk, and last, as I do most every night, continuing writing my memoir.

Yesterday I spent FOUR hours in the dentist chair. He had to remove the temp crowns, since one was not fully covering the partial tooth, and gave me a toothache. Then he worked on the front veneers, which look great. I have another appointment in two weeks to get the permanent crowns, and will schedule more work. I want to get all this expensive dental work finished while I have the excellent Cobra dental coverage. Not to mention getting the most out of the $366.00 a month I pay for it!!

As for food, it'll be light and soft. My mouth is sore, and I don't want to irritate it anymore. Maybe some soup, etc.

I bought an inexpensive MP3 player yesterday, and I LOVE it. I can put so many songs on there, and listen as I work on stuff around here. I never carry it on bike rides though, because I like to be able to listen for traffic. Now I need a new digital camera, and I'm looking for one -- that will be my birthday AND Christmas present this year.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who read my blog!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Family Conflicts

So often it happens that when an abusive parent is homeless, few of the siblings want to take them in. Such is the case with my mother. But worse, she has a worthless younger brother (my uncle) who is homeless and seems to have decided he has "squatters' rights" on her own home. She is living with one of my sisters (who is furious and resentful and probably will pay with health problems eventually)...and this worthless uncle has literally taken over her home. In fact, he was a source of friction between my mother/father YEARS ago when I was a child of only six. He is a pain in the @ass. I told him so in no uncertain terms, and were it up to me, I'd have his @ss in jail for trespassing. Instead, I have simply withdrawn from the feud.

Yes, my SISTERS did help me after DH died. I kept apologizing to them that they had to help...although I think I would have managed without them. I'm a survivor. Still, I APPRECIATE what they did -- but you can believe I made sure they got PAID for all they did, in cash. There was NO charity involved.

Am I done yet? No.

It appears there will be no family gathering at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Which suits me fine. Without the crap of the holiday stuff, I can concentrate on my OWN life. I suggested they do the same.

Should you think I'm being unreasonable, just consider this scenario from my memoir:

One night after daddy had left on a long-distance trip, he suddenly reappeared at our backdoor. He whispered my name, and I came to him...and he asked where mother was. I said she was in the living room.

He showed me a gun. He said he was going to kill us all.

I begged him NOT to kill us, and cajoled, pleaded until he said..."Okay, but I want to know why your mother always lies."

(Truth is, she always did...for NO good reason.)

I had no idea what to say...but at the age of only eight, I got him calmed down a bit. I managed to persuade him to take us to my paternal grandmother's house, which he did. But he insisted he was going to kill mother. For once, she didn't escape to the neighbors; instead, she had to go with us in the car. (Most often, when this stuff happened, she would escape to a neighbors and leave us girls to suffer the consequences of daddy's rages.)

We were fortunate to be left with our grandparents, but he took mother with him. And she later said he made her stand in front of the headlights on a deserted country road while he aimed the gun at her.

Yet, she wouldn't leave him, or divorce him...until I FORCED the issue after I graduated high school. We had divorce proceedings in progress when she suddenly let him come back.

That is when I married DH. I simply could not take it any longer.

Today, in most courts, if a wife allows her children to be killed by an abusive husband/boyfriend, she is charged as an accomplice.

How glad I am that SOME laws have addressed this issue.

In some ways, I still feel my mother was a potential accomplice to our possible murder as children. That's not really a mother, is it? Just someone who got pregnant and gave birth, but NOT a parent.

Damn if I'll ever take her in NOW.

On the positive side, my fencing is finished; the dogs LOVE it, and so do I. For once I actually hired the RIGHT professional help. In fact, I think my problem with "hiring people" has been NOT hiring PROFESSIONALS. Sure, it costs a bit more...but you get what you pay for. 'Nuff said.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Unconditional Love

Three Minutes

Look into their deep, dark eyes
For only three desperate minutes
And you'll see looking back at you
Confusion, sadness, lostness
Of a past human that let them go.

Look into their sweet, simple eyes
For only three long minutes
And you will see haunting you
The eyes of suffering, fear
And hope that you will rescue
Them from a tragic fate.

If you take them home with you
Someday soon you'll see
Looking back at you
The unconditional love
And total acceptance
You'll never get from another
Human being.

Only domestic pets
Whether dogs or cats
Can ever give us humans
The surrender, the trust
Of full acceptance and forever
Eternal unconditional LOVE.

VERY rough day today. Had two crowns pulled off, cavities drilled out, the feeling is just coming back and it throbs awfully.

I DID write the above poem last night in honor of the many pets that have literally "saved my life" over the past 30+ years.
Here's a pix of Oscar in his sweatshirt:


I think for Christmas this year I'll buy a really good digital camera; and get it at Wal-Mart, which at least guarantees returns if the camera is defective. Loved the Nikon I had, but got it online as refurbish and only had a 90 day return.

The older cheap digital is truly having problems, so maybe after the dust settles here from the latest tragedies/fencing improvements/dental work/vision exam, I can afford what I WANT, instead of NEED. A good digital camera.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Hey, this place is going to the dogs! :=)

I'm sitting here at my computer watching Oscar and Rambo have a chew-bone extravaganza. When one tries to snatch the other's chewy stuff, they dodge away or growl. I guess that must be some mighty tasty fun stuff for dogs. They sure do provide lots of zany entertainment for me, like the cats do in the evenings.

So far Oscar seems to be doing exceptionally well after being neutered Wednesday. I put the outside dog-house in the storage house, fixed access, and have food/water out there for when they are in the fenced backyard playing/exercising. Oscar didn't like the windy cold day, and went into the dog-house almost immediately. But Rambo, always energetic/active, ran laps around the yard, played with this toys, and aggravated the dogs across the adjoining backyard fence.

I found some tiny baby outfits at the Salvation Army store the other day, sweatshirts, sweaters for about 50 cents apeice, and they fit both Rambo and Oscar just like the more expensive pet clothing. Oscar has on a sweatshirt right now, and has no problem wearing it. These will be good when it's cold outside.

Otherwise, we're all coping with my step-dad's death. My mother is back home, a younger brother planning to stay with her next week. After that, we'll just have to see what happens. I know she wants to be where my step-dad was last...that's how I felt after my DH died last February. Everyone kept urging me to stay away, and though I knew I'd eventually have to move from the farm, I did want some time there...somehow still feeling close to DH's presence.

I have a slew of appointments lined up the next few weeks: Dental, Vision, etc. AND all the outside work, new fence, seamless gutters, extension to my carport, doggie door. Ah, the fun never ends here. (sarcasm)

Last night my renter brought the rental cash. That's two days ahead of the date to pay, so perhaps I chose wisely in renting to them? Time will tell.

With that, I'll close with this picture of Rambo and Oscar curled up in their favorite chair.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Introducing Oscar

Without further ado:

Oscar...coming atcha!


It's difficult to get a picture of the little rascal, since he's always trotting around, moving.

And now I have to go pick him up from the vet, where Oscar was neutered and checked out yesterday.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Life is nuts!

First, my step-dad who had NO symptoms of being sick or unhealthy, passed away in his sleep last Sunday night. My mother found him the next morning, dead beside her, and thus ensued several days of shock, grief, misery, the ritutal religious customs (funeral/burial), family gatherings, turmoil, confusion...all the usual emotional/financial upheaval dealing with death.

My mother cannot live alone; my step-dad was her support system, since he could drive, etc. Now we (the four daughters) are faced with a delimma...of how mother's life will unfold. She is 75, diabetic, disabled, and will have very little income. Her home is mortgaged to the hilt, and it looks like disaster is looming.

Due to our horrific childhood (dad alcoholic, mother enabler) we all have our various hang-ups in trying to care for her. Absolutely, I cannot have her live with me; the resentment about our scary, abusive childhood would surface soon, and I'd be a basket-case. Additionally, I'm still trying to cope with my OWN loss of a beloved spouse.

Otherwise, I've inherited my step-dad's miniature daschund who has become a buddy to Rambo. Picture coming soon. Oscar, the daschund, hasn't been neutered...ergo, I must have that done at the vet tomorrow, as well as an overall checkup and preventative shots. Woe is me. BUT Rambo seems happier with Oscar as a playmate, so all is not lost.

Life gets too confusing makes you wonder if there is some frenetic jester in control who loves to stir up trouble. And this has been the WORST year of my life, though I would have never thought one could be worse than 2005.

Somewhere the Gods (if there are any) are laughing their @sses off.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Rambo still Rules...

Considering I never had a small, companion dog, I'm sure enthralled with Rambo!! He continues to fascinate me with his antics, and his intelligence. I can't believe how emotionally bonded we've become...but suffice to say, he and I are BOTH enjoying ourselves.

Rambo was neutered last week, and recovered quickly. He was heart-worm negative, and I have him on preventive medication to rid him of fleas/ticks/internal parasites.

Here's a picture I took today with my cheap digital camera of Rambo and I...

Rambo gets a hug!

More good news: I went to a new dentist, and since I still have Cobra medical/dental/vision insurance, will get new, bright white veneers for my upper front teeth covered at 100%! I do have two crowns needing replacement on my lower left side, but my share of the cost is not very steep. Unfortunately, I'm in for several sessions with the dentist -- but this one uses "gas" for relieving anxiety. Whoopee!

I've scheduled wooden fencing/doggie door installation two weeks from now, so I can have a dog run/place for Rambo to go and and come at will. Also, will have an addition to the carport in front of the house, an awning-type cover, so my car will be have a place out of the weather. And the seamless gutters installed within two weeks also. Looks like November will be a noisy, busy time for home improvements here!

I've been riding the bike daily, then taking Rambo on long walks around the blocks here afterward. He LOVES that, and it's more good exercise for me.

That's it for tonight. Chilly autumn nights, glorious days...Autumn is spectacular here in the South.