When Nobody ‘Cares’

July 19, 2016

I’m afraid this blog has been about as erratic and undependable as my attempts at keeping a journal. I guess it’s because so much of my life has been ‘outside the box’ and – well, let’s face it: scary! – that I don’t even journal about it because it’s not all sweetness and light, the way ‘good’ people live life…

Yada, yada, yada. My self-talk can sometimes get pretty gloomy. The fact is, I mistook people ‘not caring’ with THE THINGS most people don’t ‘care’ about. –So, while I lived my life on the basis that it didn’t matter, because nobody CARED, I still couldn’t help observing the people who were living their lives as though EVERYONE cared, but in a negative, judgmental way!

I’ve come to accept that most people are at least a little bit like me. For instance, if I see that you are otherwise clean and well-groomed, but out in the daylight (which you probably didn’t benefit from when you dressed this morning), it can be seen that you are wearing a black sock, while the other is a very dark blue, –I may get a smile and a chuckle out of it, or even comment that if you’re going to buy such similar colors of socks, it might behoove you to be sure they have distinguishing characteristics (high cuffs, deep patterns, nylon instead of cotton, etc…)

I know people that would freak out and go into a three-hour tirade about it – whether they even KNEW the person or not!

Lonely and scary as it was, I mostly loved my life, and more so when I could avoid those poor, unfulfilled souls who had so little life themselves that they had time to try to ruin everyone else’s. They failed to meet their own standards, so most of their lives were spent either pointing fingers or covering up. The ‘box’ gets smaller and smaller…

I almost died, last year. In fact, the brush with death was so close that I now feel that I have a debt of wasted time to repay. My renewed passion for the writing I failed to complete is part of that, I’m sure. The other part is that I feel a need to reach out to others like I was, feeling so alone and despised. Because I do believe that most people are at least a little bit like me: They (I) DO care! –Maybe not in the ways I would have preferred, and maybe not the people I had expected and deserved to be care for by – but, most other people DO care. –And, after some of the dust has settled, even a few of the people who SHOULD have been there, have come around.

Even so, we are all busy surviving and (hopefully) running our own lives and testing the limits of our boxes. For some of us, caring about someone outside our boxes is very scary stuff, indeed! But, I believe that on some level, we are all concerned with the other members of our race and our survival on the planet.

As I get older, there are more and more deaths among those I care about. About every twenty years, a situation arises that forces me to re-think and re-ponder parts of my life I would prefer to keep hidden in the darkest places of my mind and heart. It started in 1975/76. I rocked the boat again, in 1995/96, and lost the hearing in my right ear, probably to a massive infection, since the other possibility (stroke) has been ruled out. I almost died, last year, 2015.

My next post deals with the rest of that…

Myrna Throckmorton

(Head Warmonger, Vampire Wars)


May 8, 2016

The Attack of the Evil Star Wars Kite!

The Chihuahua is a bit over a year old, now. Her pups are coming up on seven months old.  Today, May 8, 2016, was their Day of Awakening!

When they dashed out the door to help the Lab defend our territory, they got only two steps into the breezeway before realizing that a dark, looming monster was hovering just outside the door!  It shivered in the breeze, spreading its bat-like wings and then flying into a looping frenzy, stalking these three stalwart defenders of the status-quo!

Immediately retreating to the inner Sanctum (the dining room) to regroup their number and re-plan the attack, these bold warriors began to notice things:  looking up, they found threatening creatures (ceiling fans) hovering INSIDE THE HOUSE!  –A wall calendar sneakily waved a page at them, from where it hung on the wall, pretending to belong!

The wind swept the attacking kite away before I got a picture of it for this post, and the other items have grown a bit more ordinary since their ring-leader departed.  But this, I understand, is Dog Bite Awareness Month, dealing with a subject almost as scary to me as an evil, attacking Star Wars kite is to them:  This is courtesy of my good friends at Tru-Dog.com;


Source: TruDog.com


So Much For TerraCom

February 28, 2016

Final update on my squabble with TerraCom:  You can’t reason with unreasonable people!

That’s it, in a nutshell.  I’ve had the same problems with AT&T, over the years, and more than a few banks and mail-order houses.  I continued to be very ill through most of the summer of 2015.  For a while, it looked as though my squabble with TerraCom was moot, since I seriously began to question if I would survive, anyway.  Attempts at physical therapy made matters worse, new tests resulted in my being told that everything I had been told in the past was not true (especially regarding the severe attacks they called ‘strokes’ — one of which left me deaf in my right ear) — but, no diagnosis of WHY I was ill!

And, TerraCom remained a royal, additional pain in the backside.  No amount of reasoning, negotiating or pleading produced any result other than that I continued to be assessed ‘fees and penalties’ for my efforts.

My search for another phone provider (AT&T will not provide land line only, at any price;  it sells only a line/internet package as the minimum) proved unfruitful.  My physical therapist noticed that my right leg appeared shorter than the left one.

Next trip to the neurologist was to test the nerve conduction to my feet.  Tests from my ankles all the way to my buttocks showed complete transmission of induced impulses.  I told them about my ‘short’ leg, and as a matter of curiosity, they moved the leads upward.  At the L4 vertebrae, the signal ceased getting through.  “I think we’ve found your problem.”

Then there was a squabble with insurance about which spinal surgeon I should see.  The ones who had seen me in 2012 were close by.  They had told me that all they could find was a ‘little bit’ of arthritis.  They did not say WHERE they found it, so I assumed they meant it was where I was feeling the pain.  –At any rate, one of their shots worked, for a lot shorter time than they promised, the other procedure did not help at all, and I ended up worse than I started.

I ended up going to Tulsa, about the same distance I would have gone to the one recommended at first, and a week later I had an outpatient procedure to reduce the deposits in my spine that were damaging the nerve bundle there.  I went under, and 45 minutes later, I could FEEL MY FEET!

That was in August.  The next day, I noticed that the Chihuahua pup looked like she was in season (yay! (Sarcastic ‘yay!’)  — She was too young, but at least I could move a bit better, with the brace.)  Able to be outside for a change, I tried to keep a close eye on her and spoke to a neighbor, who directed me to http://www.utphone.com

October was a busy month.  I wrote the final check to TerraCom, adding to the ‘memo’ line:  final ripoff!  I welcomed three male puppies into the household, two chihuahuas and one ‘chi-chi-weenie-hua’ (that’s three parts chihuahua and one part Dachshund.)   I was able to walk without the back brace, but using the walking frame, and physical therapy recommenced, this time successfully.  For the first time in years, the inversion table was productive, and I began to get the itch to write… …

Someone posted on Facebook that November is NaNoWriMo.  I knew I would never be able to write 50,000 words in the month.  But, what, really, did I have to lose?  I think I ended up with 5,000 words.  But I also made some contacts that have changed everything!

More next time… …

The First Battle With TerraCom

June 15, 2015

Posted on FaceBook, May 10,2015, at 8:16am·

I called technical support yesterday, to report a loss of service on my land line. In a very thick accent, the tech asked my problem.
Me: I can see my phone line from my kitchen window. It is on the ground, with a big tree on top of it.
Tech: I am sorry to hear that. How many jacks do you have in your house?
Me: (Had to ask three times before I got the question) Two.
Tech: And, do you have corded or cordless phones?
Me: Both. What difference does that make?
Tech: And, have you checked to see if all of them have no dial tone?
Me: Yes. They are all dead. I have no dial tone, anywhere.
Tech: Can you take the phone with the cord out to the gray box outside, and check for a dial tone, there?
Me: There is no reason to take the phone outside. The line is on the ground, the box is not connected to anything.
Tech: You understand that if we send a technician to your house, and there is no problem in our line, we will have to charge you $75 for the service call?
Me: (slowly) Listen carefully. From my kitchen window, I can see the phone line. It is laying on the ground, under a large tree. It is not connected to anything. If it has a dial tone, I will pay you the $75!
Tech: And, are you calling from this number?
Me: I have a cell phone that will be out of minutes before you get my land line working again. I’m calling on that.
Tech: And, is that the number I see on my board?
Me: (strangling noises)
Tech: I am sorry to hear that. If you could just check the gray box outside, to be sure there is no dial tone… …
Me: If I go out there, I will get stuck in the mud! –I can see the line from my kitchen window. It is on the ground! It is connected to nothing! It has a large tree on top of it!
Tech: I am sorry to hear that.
End narration. I will be without a phone all weekend, and if I made a false call about my phone service I will have to pay $75 for the service call Monday. –Feels like I had to walk to India to report the stupid thing… …
Happy Mother’s Day, All! Thanks, Barbara Clendennen, for the flowers!

Posted on FB, May 14, 2015, at 9:48am ·

Well, I finally have phone service again. Not without some drama, I fear, and a deep urge to go hunting for alternate service providers. Sure glad I’m on the way out of this mess, God help my grandkids!

Letter enclosed with monthly payment to TerraCom, with re-qualification form and proof of claims:

Myrna K. Throckmorton
June 9, 2015



I have been disabled for at least five years, and retired since April, 2012. I own a Tracfone, which I use for long distance and emergencies only. At five cents per minute, the cost makes it prohibitively expensive to use otherwise. A pair of irresponsible individuals occupied my spare room when I retired, and both had subsidized cell phones.

Over the following year, my advancing age and deteriorating health made it necessary for me to seek assistance. The presence of the two non-producers denied me access to most of what I needed (they already had food stamps and cell phones, for example.)

Although they had not used the room for anything other than storage for some time, they were still technically occupants, so I began eviction proceedings against them in April 2013. I finally reclaimed the space, in May 2013. See accompanying documents.

AT&T ignored my applications for a subsidized home phone service, so I eventually applied with TerraCom and was accepted. My Lifeline was installed soon after, and so I was more secure in my ability to get help in an emergency.

In January 2014, my bill reflected a loss of the subsidy, meaning that I was paying the full price for basic, no-long-distance service. I was not notified of the need to ‘re-qualify.’ It took several months to get that corrected. In May 2014, a storm interrupted my service to the land line. I duly checked the gray box outside for a dial tone, and when I called for service (on the Tracfone), was repeatedly urged to 1) check the gray box outside; 2) sign up for a cellular plan, instead; and, 3) re-qualify for the subsidy. I had to replenish the minutes on my Tracfone, twice, before finally relenting and ‘re-qualifying’, at the cost of five cents per minute, in order to get my service restored.

In September or October of 2014, I re-qualified again. I’m not sure whether it was another call for service or not, but it was about that time frame. Only a few days passed and I received yet another request to re-qualify, each time completing the interview only to be returned to the beginning, or re-contacted with the demand for further compliance, and an insinuation that the information I was giving was somehow fraudulent or at least in error. I demanded a paper form, which I completed with documentation and returned with my November bill. I assume that was the occasion that set the ‘re-qualification’ deadline for November 3.

Some time after midnight, Saturday, May 9, 2015, the severe weather in Oklahoma brought a dead tree down on the service line for my home telephone. My disability has advanced to the point where I can no longer exit my home easily and would be in danger doing so. From my kitchen window, I could clearly see the feed line coiled on the ground, unattached and lying under the dead tree. I had just purchased minutes for my Tracfone, of which I used half, reassuring the technician who answered that, 1) if he sent a repair man to my house and that man found a dial tone in the gray box connected to the downed ( and disconnected ) feed line, I would indeed be happy to pay the $75 fee; 2) a cellular plan would not provide the security I needed for my emergency Lifeline; and, 3) No, I was not willing to use up my remaining minutes on my Tracfone, re-qualifying in order to meet the November 3 deadline on May 9! When I was told to expect a repairman on Monday, May 11, 2015, I hung up.

To be brutally honest, I realize I might have had better luck communicating with your tech, if I knew how to speak Hindi. My bad. Always meant to learn but never got around to it. So sorry.

I was home all day Monday, the dogs were confined all day Monday, I remained without a land line. All. Day. Monday.

I had medical appointments scheduled on Tuesday, but the dogs remained confined all day, the gate was unlocked and I was home by early afternoon. I still had no service Tuesday night.

On Wednesday morning, June 13, I demanded to speak to a supervisor on the TerraCom customer service line. I’m sure his Hindi was perfectly adequate also, but after I had assured him that I 1) would pay the $75 if the gray box was found to have a dial tone; 2) did not want or need cellular service, since the land line was necessary for my emergency help button; and 3) did not have sufficient minutes left on my Tracfone to re-qualify with TerraCom before the looming, urgent deadline of November 3! At some point, he did discover that I had reported the outage on Monday, but some time through the third pass through the script, my Tracfone went dead and I still had not been given a repair date.

I am making this narrative as tedious and relentlessly frustrating as I experienced it, deliberately. As much as I hate dealing with AT&T, it would almost be worth paying their inflated prices and having to maintain a constant vigilance against their underhanded and fraudulent business practices, simply to be able to go to their web site and report a problem, without having to learn Hindi! –And, yes, I know I could do that with TerraCom’s cellular plan, but IT WOULD NOT SUPPORT MY LIFELINE!

By the time my Tracfone went dead on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, it was past 10:30 am and I had used 240+ minutes since the tree took down my land line. The one promise of repair on Monday had not materialized. . My home health worker arrived and offered me the use of her phone. I called my case worker for the Advantage Program and solicited her help. They refused to even speak with her. I asked her to at least tell everyone who would listen, what was happening to me. On second thought, she needn’t bother, I own a blog and can link it to Facebook. This should make quite an interesting post.

I tried, one last time, on my worker’s phone. I assured the next ‘supervisor’ that 1) although I had not ventured out into the mud, I was pretty sure the gray box did not, indeed, have a dial tone: 2) I did not need cellular service, I needed wired service, for my emergency life alert button; and, 3) when I was offered the chance to re-qualify, I was on the brink of losing control. But I was nice. I just didn’t say it in Hindi, I guess. But it would be so convenient, I was told, and it would save doing it later, and why would I not wish to have this out of the way?


And, since it was not my phone, I didn’t know how to hang it up. It was nearly noon, and my worker had another client to see. She offered to leave her phone with me but I was too strung out to use it anyway, and still didn’t know how to hang it up, so I sent her on her way and added more minutes to my Tracfone (through the web site!)

Less than an hour later, at 1:00 pm, the AT&T truck pulled up. They saw the line, now neatly coiled in the grass by the man who mowed the neighbor’s lawn. They went to the alley, where the line attaches to the pole, and at 1:15 pm, my phone rang. The land line. It was someone checking on me because I had not been answering.

Well, duh!

It would be impossible to guess how much, if any, the stress of this event contributed to the medical emergency that caused me to use my life alert button for the first time, on Friday, May 15, 2015. I spent the weekend in the hospital and face a long, painful recovery. Perhaps, if I had learned Hindi, or just submitted to the abusive demands of that loathsome script and jumped through their hoops like a good little citizen…

But, I did not. So, having saved the paper version of the re-qualification form, I shall print it up each month, correct it for changes occurring each month (if any), and print out all relevant proofs and documentations for enclosure with each bill. Next time I need repairs (and, I WILL, this is Oklahoma, after all), we’ll see what happens… …

In Pursuit of Power

January 20, 2013


POWER. Everybody wants it. We use words that have it, we put them together into phrases that have it, we jockey for it and vie for it and pander to it. It seems there is never enough of it. – Is there anything we would not do to get and keep it?


I could go on: everyone wants to be empowered, to feel powerful, to show his/her power. On the other hand, nobody likes someone on a power trip, making a power grab or power-play, or just plain power-hungry.


Power in the past rested in the hands of the favored few. Royalty and nobility was passed through generations by right of birth, and wars have been waged, nations and peoples decimated, genocides attempted and accomplished, and all manner of woes inflicted, endlessly, in pursuit of power. The struggle goes on, today.


The bright side is that power has been responsible for the greatest advancements in human affairs that the world has ever seen. In the last one hundred years, petroleum power, coal (steam) power, hydraulic power, electric and atomic power, have given rise to human inventions and technology men only dreamed about a century ago.


And like power over nations and peoples, the energy to power our machines and gadgets is worth whatever must be done to obtain it: we bore into the earth for crude oil, transport it by truck, rail, or pipeline to our factories where we break it down, “refine it” and then spew the waste (the part that is difficult to harvest as fuel) into the air or burn it into other wastes before we do. We will strip mine coal that is never pure, to burn for the heat it produces, again belching the waste into the atmosphere as noxious smoke and leaving the earth torn and ravaged; we search for underground gases that when released to our service also seep into water supplies, damaging ecosystems and humans alike. For hydroelectric power we have built dams and created lakes out of rivers.




Pipelines, high tension wires, great steel towers and cement block way stations dot the landscape, silent (well, not quite, if you count the hum of the wires and the gurgling in the pipes), testament to the power of mankind in his hunger for same.


We can speak into the telephone or type on our computer, and almost instantly a person on the opposite side of the globe can hear our voice or read our words. That is power!


Instead of living in tents, caves, and soddies, we can now build homes and businesses from the other bounties of our world: we quarry sand, gypsum, lime, copper, iron, zinc, graphite – on through the periodic table, to expand our arsenal of building materials. But unlike our ancestors, who were content to quarry indigenous stone, we rip and claw like the predators we are, taking out Earth’s power.


We destroy centuries-old forests for the wood to build our homes and make our paper products, and pay no heed to the other creatures living there. Travel a road in the mountains of the great Northwest. You can see acres and acres of new growth forests that have been planted in the wake of deforestation. What you do not see is the other side of the mountain, where there is no public road, so no one bothers to replant the devastation. The erosion and desolation spread out for miles. But the timber could be turned into power, and no one needs to know.





We are so powerful, we can even control the weather! – At least inside our buildings, we can. Our air conditioners collect the heat inside and ingeniously carry it outside, to be released into the air with all the other things we do not want. Our factories, machines of transport, smelters and processing plants belch tons of toxic waste into the air of the planet until its power to cope has been reached, overcome, and exceeded. But, there have been no consequences this long, so why should we worry now, at this late date?


Why, indeed? Our industry as it exists is well-established. Not everyone is getting rich and powerful from it, but the ones who are, are getting very much so: they control the resources, they have too much to lose if anything changes: where they going to invest? – Exactly: they are going to invest in maintaining the status quo.


So, what is to be done? Is it even possible to turn things around?


I do not know. It may already be too late. But I, for one, would rather go out trying, than to ignore the facts and idly watch it go on.


The technology to prevent – and now I hope, reverse – all of this – has existed for many years.


If the atmosphere is Terra’s skin, the ground is her muscle: heat pump technology transfers the heat from our climate control systems into the earth rather than the air, and then can release it back to us when we need it in the winter. Muscle is more sturdy than skin and more resilient; we have tried use it to dispose of some of our other wastes, but the ground stores and maintains most of our water supply, and if humans have needs, air and water fall high in the queue. Even plundering the earth for her power has backfired grievously upon us.


One of the reasons solar power has not proliferated is price: a simple, single family dwelling can cost as much as ten thousand dollars or more to become self-sufficient on solar. At one hundred dollars per month average for electricity it could take as long as a decade to recoup the investment. By then, some repairs or maintenance will be necessary, and those are likely to be expensive also.


Not much help, there…



One of my favorites, wind power, provides benefits solar does not. It is not often that the air is dead calm, day or night; together, the two might accomplish the task; both require banks of batteries and inverters to transform the direct current of the collectors and batteries into the safer and more common alternating current of the existing grids.


To my grief, I just read an article in the Daily Mail, detailing how the magnets required for commercial wind farms is ruining an area of China. It is unacceptable to destroy any ecosphere for the sake of another ecology. Until cleaner refining processes are found

for these ores, it appears wind is at a disadvantage.




But then, is it really? I cannot tell from the article whether this was concerning all magnets, or just the ones necessary for commercial generators. What dictates that we must be dependent on a grid, anyway? I am advocating independence from the grid for the majority of citizens, with a primarily solar power collection system that could be integrated into existing roofs without using space that could otherwise be farmed or saved for wildlife. Augmented with a small backyard windmill or two, each household could be entirely self-sufficient electrically.


But until the price comes down, it seems unrealistic for now.



There are still things we can do. An ‘energy audit’ of a home is never a bad idea. Even new homes need to be given check ups, like every other product. The best thing about saving energy in the first place is that it need not be done all at once. Some power losses can be stemmed more economically than others; the savings from tackling those could be channeled into other repairs. With the improved technologies in sealants, insulation, and construction materials, the demand on solar and wind collectors will be decreased, making independence more affordable.


As for transportation: that technology has been around for ages also. Again, it did not serve the status quo and so got buried – hidden away in corporate vaults and the dusty archives of the Bureau of Copyrights and Patents.




There is no reason to scrap all existing automobiles in favor of the new hybrids and electrics. A whole industry could grow up around conversions, which could include hybrids that ran exclusively on biofuel and solar collectors incorporated into the vehicle’s skin. The plug-in option for emergencies would be a bonus.


Of course, none of this is or would be as simple as it sounds here. Each step in the process offers opportunities for graft and other abuses. Systems and people do not change overnight. This may be a subject for further discussion later in this series. For now, though, change we must, or it will all be moot: Nature will take her course, whether we are with her – or against her…



Jacque and the Palomino Gelding

November 5, 2012

November 4, 2012


Chapter 10 is in the computer now. It was hard, dealing with matters I would just as soon leave to the reader’s imagination. Sometimes, though, in order to further the plot, compromises must be made.

I will probably be slower with writing for the next week or so… I have some work to do that will actually provide resources (much needed now) and some things I have been putting off. So I’m going to set this on the “back burner” for while and see how the other things progress.

I tried to install a new power supply in the computer and do a tuneup, but the new power supply was faulty. Now I am waiting for a replacement. Bummer. He we go.

Jacque and the Palomino Gelding  I was (still am) quite the horse fancier. I was born in rural Arkansas and grew up on a series of tenant farms in Kansas. I truly enjoyed rural living and having animals around. Experience taught me, though, that animals have minds of their own and can be very dangerous for the unwary.

When my kids were little, then, we usually had one or more cats around. Then, when my youngest daughter was a baby, we moved to a nice farm in Nebraska where I could raise a garden and have chickens and an occasional pig or calf.

Jacque was one of those kids with a shrill voice. She seldom cried: she screamed. The sound could shatter glass and pierce eardrums. It was a relief when she only cried!

At one point when Jacque was just walking and talking good, I acquired a Palomino quarter horse colt. Like cute little puppies that grow up to be big, ugly dogs, my cute little colt grew into a big, beautiful colt that liked to pluck the chickens and try to stomp the cats. This playfulness was fun to watch, but I had nightmares of looking out to see one of my kids out there being stomped for not getting out of the way like a cat could do.

It was very fruitful year. We had plenty of tomatoes and before the killing frost I took a few plants, wrapped the root balls in burlap, and hung them in the basement. We had fresh tomatoes past Christmas that year. I froze bags of pumpkin, green beans, tomatoes and peas, and froze corn on the cob. We ate tons of potatoes, so those didn’t last long, but you have the idea.

Late in the fall, I had all the kids outdoors, finishing the harvest and preparing the garden for winter. The kids liked to help, so I let them carry in the produce: buckets of potatoes and tomatoes, and armloads of sweet corn to prepare for the freezer while the kids took afternoon naps – since Jacque was so little, I kept her with me until the last chores were done. There were a half-dozen or so roasting ears left, so I piled them in Jacque’s arms and sent her to the house while I gathered up the hoes, rakes and shovels to carry in.

I was about halfway to the house when I heard Jacque scream! I knew exactly where she was, my worst nightmare was coming true!

Tools flew everywhere as I ran around the house to behold the horror: my baby was in the horse lot, halfway between the fence and the chicken house. The horse had caught her with the delicious corn she was intent on feeding to the chickens, and he was just as determined she would feed it to the horse!

His head was bigger than this whole child. Every time he reached over her shoulder from behind, to try to steal an ear of corn, Jacque would scream – right in his ear!

The poor horse went weak in the knees, backed off and shook his head, then panicked when she resumed her march in the direction of the chicken house! Then they would do it all over again!

Before I could reach the fence, the gelding had won. Jacque finally lost her grip on the corn and the triumphant colt, sides heaving with relief, joyfully munched his well-earned corn. The chickens did get what dribbled from his nervous lips, and the big boy sent relieved glances after my heartbroken child as she stormed past me on her way to the house, crying as though her heart was broken.

I still tremble and my hands get numb just thinking about it. I do not think Jacque has changed all that much since then…

The Mother of Head Bangers

October 21, 2012

Story 10-15-2012

I have decided that an easy way to acquaint readers with my ‘humanness’ is by telling stories on myself. Each time I blog and post, I will try to recall an event from my memory. – It is probably the closest to an autobiography (or ANY bio for that matter) that you will ever see.

Now that my age has slowed me down and soreness makes it impossible to lay still, I find it comforting to rock back and forth when I am in bed, sometimes. I am reminded of when my kids were little and how annoying it was when they would not sit still. I later learned that lots of kids besides mine were ‘headbangers,’ although I perceived it more like a body slam against the back of whatever seat or chair they were sitting in.
I was eventually blessed with six kids, but after three, and then four, it became more difficult to manage things away from home. As a result, my outings (none too numerous to begin with,) grew fewer and farther between. In the days before cell phones and wireless anything, one of my most horrible nightmares was that whatever old car was driving would break down in the middle of nowhere and I would have no food or water for the kids.
But occasions did arise that I needed to go ‘to town’ and the kids’ father was not available to drive for me. For years I had both a toddler and a babe-in-arms. The baby wrote in a basket in the passenger seat, while the toddler and the older kids sat in the back seat. We did not bother with seat belts, but everybody knew that if there was not too much activity in the backseat, I would pull out of traffic and park until everybody was sitting quietly again. I seldom had to stop more than once on a trip and more often, not at all. My kids knew I never made idle threats.
I believe I was taking one of the kids to Lincoln, Nebraska from where we lived on a farm outside Weeping Water, on the day I found my most terrifying nightmare coming true. It was mid-morning, and traffic was brisk on the two-lane highway. Places to pull out were few and most of them lead to someone’s drive, not likely to be a place one would be welcomed with a broken down car and a bunch of tired, cranky kids. There were almost no businesses and even fewer public pullouts.
The old car that had been purring along smoothly for 20 miles suddenly began to surge and hesitate, almost like it was running out of gas! Heart pounding, I checked the gas gauge: almost full not the problem. I looked frantically for a place to pull out, checking mentally that I had enough water, changes of clothing, snacks, and proper food for lunch – no blankets, hopefully we would not be stuck overnight – –
When the last of the traffic finally got past me and I spied a place to pull off. I risked a glance in the rear view mirror, and turned it down to check on the kids: they were all rhythmically banging their heads at the same time. The car surged as they leaned forward, then hesitated noticeably when they all hit the seat and bounced back.
They probably thought I had lost my mind when I got parked, but the car, they discovered, was one place you did NOT bang heads, together, at the same time…

Back in the Zone

October 1, 2012

Two wonderful and amazing things happened this weekend: the internet went down, and I threw away my outline for the novel I’m writing. Now, I can probably thank the rain for the downed internet. When I get frustrated trying to write (and it just doesn’t ‘feel right’), I often turn to the internet as a distraction. This weekend, I couldn’t do that. After a number of false starts, though, I was getting really frustrated, so I tossed the outline and just picked up the pencil, like I did in the ‘good old days’.

I am about to start on Chapter 4 of Part Two, and going well. Plus, the new version of Dragon works really well for getting text into the WP, so transcription is no longer a problem.

Aside from having the graphics messed up in IE (Internet Explorer), even surfing is more fun when I don’t overdo it.  I’ve been pointed toward the ‘group funding’ sites on the web, specifically Kickstarter, where proposals can receive pledges toward projects and receive full funding if enough people contribute.   In exchange, they receive a copy of the finished product or some other incentive.  In this case, I’ve designed a numbered ‘special edition’ to produce in hard cover for my personal autograph.  Since it will be limited to one printing, it may one day become something of value.  Otherwise, it will still be something few other people will have.

First, though, the writing must recommence!  It took a long time to find the right starting place.  I can’t wait to find out what happens, next…

Sharing a Poem by Rudyard Kipling

October 24, 2011

We all know the first line of this poem, but few of us know the source.  I discovered it in a newsletter online, and found it very worthwhile.  Hope you agree:





Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you.

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;

If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat these two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

January 6, 2010

It has been a while since I posted in WordPress.  I had to take a tour and look at all the improvements and new goodies — great job, Guys!  I’ve been sick, gotten better, worked hard on a small office space for solitude and convenience, and gotten sick and better again.  Work on the room is stalled due to bad weather and lack of help.

About the only thing I haven’t done is write on the book.   I don’t worry about it.  I ended Part I in a place I hadn’t intended to go, and as a result the characters have to grow a bit to fit the new circumstances.  When I get back to it, it will be better.

I was just visiting with a Canadian friend on Facebook, this morning.  She has chronic Lyme Disease, a condition hard to treat that leaves her allergic to most conventional medications and procedures, that she has been going to a naturopath for.  The ‘authorities’ are closing down such providers of these treatments, without offering the victims an alternative to the slow, painful deaths they can expect from this condition.  A recent rally among the sufferers went unnoticed, she tells me, and since she can not afford to travel to the US for her treatments (that the Powers That Be will probably attack here, next), she only foresees a short, gloomy future for herself and the family she will be leaving.

If I were a few years younger, and/or had more resources, I would travel to Canada to do an investigative piece on this travesty.  Big ‘if’.  My question here is, is there anybody out there who might help her get the word out about this?