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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Something Worth Doing

The bottom part of this message is canned, but I hope you'll take the time to read it and think about responding.

Please take the time to go sign the petition. I don't know how much good these things do, but it will only take 30 seconds of your time, and if it does something good, then it's worth it.

We, the people, must send a clear message to our current president that he is not the king of the world. We have a responsibility to speak up or we very well may lose the right to say anything against our government.

The things that the Bush administration has allowed and even encouraged in the name of the War on Terror is nothing short of evil. Torturing detainees for any reason is evil. Listening to phone conversation without a warrant is illegal, and undermines one of the basic rights on which this great country was built.

The president is always throwing out the phrase, "The American People want me to..." but the thing is I am the American people, and I never once told him he could do those things.

So I'm doing a little something [and I stole the link from Doug, who also has an interesting post here about activism].

Please, take the time and go sign the petition. It'll only take a minute, and it might make a difference.

Here is the canned part of this message:

"I am deeply concerned that the White House has broken the law by secretly spying on American citizens without a court order.
Senator Robert Byrd has created a petition to investigate the secret spying and I encourage you to show your support by signing this petition.
No President is above the law and the White House needs to hear from us.
Please show your support for an investigation by visiting and signing Senator Byrd’s petition."

Thanks, friends.

New Strategies

So I've been mulling, and thinking about some different things. I'm still groggy as hell from yesterday's migraine adventure, so I've been as close to a blank mind as I'm capable of getting.

There seems to be a lot of stress-related illness going on in my life lately. Has anyone else noticed that? I dunno what I'm doing wrong. Okay, I have a couple of ideas.

I haven't been meditating regularly. It seems like the crazier life gets and the more I need it, the less I do it. I haven't been communicating very well with my beloved, either, so I need to work on that. He's laying in bed looking at a Harley-Davidson flier we got at the Harley plant the other day. I should be cuddling with him instead of blogging.

I should be meditating. My headache is trying to come back, and my ass [as well as the rest of me] is tired. This might just be a cyclic thing with me. It's almost spring time, which is always when my depression picks up tremendously. Weird, isn't it? And then there's the hormone thing.

I don't know what my deal is with estrogen and progesterone, but they screw me up anytime I get some. When I'm pregnant, they screw up my heart rate, emotions, etc. And at different times during my menstrual cycle, they jack my world up too.

Of course, I don't know which parts of my menstrual cycle screw me up, because I don't have regular periods, and sometimes when I have one, I didn't ovulate the 14 days before the start of my period like I'm supposed to. I wonder if it's possible for a woman to be allergic to her own hormones?

We've got autoimmune diseases out the wazoo these days, maybe there's a hormonal autoimmune disease, too. I don't know. I'm thinking I should be better here in a couple more days. In the mean time, I've got nuttin'.

Monday, February 27, 2006


I woke up at 7:30 this morning with one of the worst headaches of my life. I took ibuprofen and tylenol, but neither touched the pain. At 3 this afternoon, I couldn't take it anymore, so Steve called in sick to work [no way could I take care of the kids. All light and noise made it hurt worse] and we all trooped to the doctor's office.

They gave me two shots, one for pain, one for nausea [threw up three times from the pain]. Then she sent me home with Zomig, which is a migraine medicine.

Looks like I've joined the wonderful world of people who suffer from migraine, and I am not happy about it. When I woke up from the effects of the shots, I still hurt, so I took a Zomig. I had some tightness in my chest afterward [looked at the insert and found out that's one of the side effects. Yay.]

Two hours later, I was still having some pain, so I took another one, which was what I was supposed to do according to the directions [after the second one was when I read the insert] The tightness wasn't as bad. I finally ate some soup at nine this evening, and am feeling better pain-wise, but I'm a little dizzy, and drowsy, so I'm going to bed.

I don't know how people with regular migraines survive them. This is a new thing for me. Today was the worst one I've ever had [I think I've had three total, and the others were taken care of with ibuprofen and sleep]. The second one was just last week. I really really hope I'm done with them.

Pain sucks, and I have it all the time anyway with fibromyalgia, but the whole brain on fire/pounding jackhammer to the skull/puke my socks up thing is a whole new category of discomfort. I don't wanna do that again.

Okay, I'm going back to bed now. Take care, friends.

Hunga Bunga Damn

It's a thing in my family [my dad and me] to say weird words, come up with strange nicknames, and generally do things that some may find really strange. I don't worry about it too much, hence the name of this post.

I say, "Hunga bunga, damn," because the time got away from me today, and I got nothing accomplished. I skipped church, but that was probably God telling me not to go. We had a guest speaker [a former pastor of the church from before we moved here], and apparently he was horrible. One of my friends got so pissed off, she got up and left.

He was one of those 'turn or burn' preachers, and well, y'all know how I feel about that. I might have had to slap the shit out of a manogod, right there in front of everybody. I'm generally a peace loving girl until people start getting hurt needlessly, then I start yelling. 'Turn or burn' style preaching is just plain evil.

And the sad thing is, that man was preaching from a heart that genuinely loves God, and he's doing what he believes God has called him to do. How the hell is that possible? you ask.

I don't know how, but I know it happens. I know it happens because I was once that kind of person. Yeah, really. And the only way I know to explain it is to say I lost my way. I was seeking God, but then I thought I'd found him, and figured out what he expected of me [and others] and I forgot to seek him. I started spewing 'the rules' instead.

And the thing that still gets me is that I really loved God, and wanted to do his will. My heart was sincere. My intent was not to hurt anyone, but in focusing on rules of conduct, I couldn't focus on the hearts of others [or my own, for that matter]. I couldn't feel compassion for people who I believed were doing bad things because all I saw was the external. I couldn't see their hearts, so I looked at their actions and judged them accordingly.

There's even scripture people use to justify judging others, but it's taken out of context. The only person whose actions I have the right to judge are my own because I usually know if my motive is right. If my motive is jacked up, then no matter what I am doing [whether it looks right or not] is not pleasing to God.

But I can't see your motives, I can only guess. And recently, I've begun giving people the benefit of the doubt more. It's so much easier to assume you're heart's in the right place even if your actions suck than to assume you're hurting me because you're an asshole.

It is true that some people are assholes, and they like it that way [maybe] but I can't live my life in the way Jesus did if I'm constantly assuming the worst of people. And I've made a conscious choice to stop doing that. I don't always succeed, but I'm trying.

So anyway, I have to get up early in the morning [Steve's in a mood so we're having a 'work day'] so I'm hitting the sack. Take care, friends.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Feeling Lazy

Um, make that exhausted. I'm still tired. My dad called way too freaking early this morning to wish the girl happy birthday. My dad has always been a morning person, and I have never been. He used to wake me up in the mornings for school by beating on my bedroom door and yelling or singing at the top of his lungs. The madder I got, the funnier he thought it was, so this morning reminded us both of old times.

That wicked laugh is still the same.

I'm a little nicer about it than I used to be, but I still got up too early this morning, so I'm tired.

I've got church in the morning [if I can manage to wake up.] Steve has to work, so I'll be getting all three kids up, and none of them have clean socks, so we may skip it. Have I mentioned that I hate laundry? Sometimes I let it go too long, like now, and we run out of stuff. I have about ten loads to do, and I've been waiting for the laundry fairy to come and rescue me, but alas, I think I'm gonna have to do it myself. Ick.

So anyway, I'm gonna leave you now, and try to go to sleep within the next half hour [wish me luck!]

Good night.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Long Day

Stayed up too late last night [not by choice, I couldn't sleep. My new sleep aid kicked my ass and I couldn't wake up yesterday until the kids were screaming their heads off. That'd wake the dead!] It was, I dunno, after one a.m. for sure, but maybe later. After it gets so late, I stop looking at the clock.

We had to meet Steve's brother at ten this morning, so we all got up around seven. Which is five or six hours of sleep, but for me, that's not even close to enough. I do okay as long as I keep moving [which we did nonstop today] but the second I sit down, I'm toast [like now].

We did a brief celebration of Shaya's birthday, which is tomorrow [the 25th]. She'll be eight years old. It's hard to believe I've been a mom for eight years now. This time eight years ago, I was in labor with my first baby! That's so weird.

She's growing into such a beautiful young lady, both inside and out. I'm always so excited when she shows a bit of personality that is just cool on her own, you know? Like when she makes a joke that's funny it's pretty hit and miss with her and Matthew. They're into knock knock jokes, which I hate. They don't understand how to make a play on words, so it's just stuff like,

"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"
"Dog who?"
"You better eat your food before it gets cold."

Yeah, after about twelve of those during dinner, I'm about ready to start throwing things. We have to make a no knock knock rule sometimes [don't tell them in front of mom, she'll have a cow.]

But I love my baby girl [I love Matthew and Michaela too, but you know, this is about my eldest child].

I didn't get to enjoy Shaya's babyhood much because I had horrible postpartum depression. I had a very difficult pregnancy [maybe I'll share when I have more energy. I dunno if anyone is interested, but sometimes this blog is therapy, and there are still things that are hard to deal with about all of my pregnancies. The kids were worth every bad thing that happened, but being pregnant, for me, is some kind of special hell all its own].

So anyway, about a week after Shaya was born, I couldn't function. It was so bad, we had to live with my parents so my mom could help take care of her. I would have visions of throwing her against a wall, and other things that no mother ever thinks will go through her mind about her own flesh and blood.

I think maybe I understand a little too well how a mother can get so desperate that she does something awful. I honestly don't know what I would have done if my parents hadn't been able to help. My depression lasted for almost three years. I was able to function again after Shaya was three months old or so. We moved back home, and I managed, but my depression stayed pretty bad until after Matthew was born and I finally got some medicine.

I had tried Prozac right after Shaya was born, but it made my heart skip, and for whatever reason, the doctor wouldn't try another antidepressant. He wanted to refer me to a psychiatrist, but I didn't want to go, so I muddled through on my own.

If I could do it all over again, I wouldn't wait to see a psychiatrist. I needed medication, and I needed therapy, and I didn't get either. Shaya doesn't know that she didn't get my best, but I do, and I feel guilty about it sometimes.

But then, I feel guilty about my shortcomings a lot. I love my kids so much, and I feel like they deserve better than what I can give them. I'm not abusive, but I yell sometimes, and I get frustrated and angry. I always wanted to be one of those moms who stayed calm under every circumstance, never yelled, and always used 'teaching moments' [I think of Marmee from Little Women].

The reality is, I'm not calm most of the time [never thought of the fact that I'm a freaking spaz in good circumstances. Add the stress of raising a family, and it's no wonder I freak out sometimes.] I still want to be, and I'm working towards it, but I'm not even close yet.

So anyway, my baby's gonna be eight tomorrow, and I'm so very proud of her. She's a neat kid, and I'm excited to see who she'll be when she grows up.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Hoo boy. I remembered last night that I got a summons to Federal jury duty in the mail about a month ago, and never mailed it. The thing says mail it within five days. I lost it. But then I found it, although not without some ransacking and a little freaking out!

Lord o' Mercy, I was having visions of getting arrested by the FBI and all sorts of crazy stuff. I hope they won't hold me in contempt for mailing the form back a month late. My 'term' is for the whole month of March, which means I have to call their automated phone number and find out if I have to show up the next morning [and drive about 60 miles].

Plus I have three kids at home that I'll have to stick somewhere. Maybe I'll get excused when they find out what Steve does for a living. I certainly hope so. I mean, on the one hand, jury duty could be cool, but mostly I'm freaking because I'll have to drive through the middle of the downtown of a Very Large City, which I hate. I've never driven in a big city before, and I'm practically having an anxiety attack just writing about it.

Egads! Change the subject fast.

Last night I was thinking about my first impression of Steve, and that made me remember the circumstances of how we met and all the stuff that was going on at that time of my life. So I thought I'd share.

I met Steve in April, 1994, when I was 20. I was in nursing school, and had been working in a nursing home in my home town [population was a whopping 819 people].

My brother Jeremi [remember, he has cerebral palsy?] had moved out of our house and into what was called an ISL [Independent Supported Living]. He and another guy lived in a house together, and they had 24 hour staff, one of whom lived with the guys and was their primary care giver. When the position opened up, I decided to apply since the job included neat perks like free food and rent along with getting paid hourly for working with the guys.

The application process started, and after two or three interviews, it was down to me and another guy. In the end, they were worried that my living with my brother would be a conflict of interest. But they were impressed with me, so they offered me a job working in the Center, but in different homes [and not as a live-in].

The guy who beat me out of my food and rent-paid live-in position was the man I would one day marry. I didn't stay mad long, because I realized that the job would have required me to lift two grown men several times a day without the aid of a lift. I'm 5 feet 6 inches, and at the time, I weighed in at 105 pounds. I would have died the first week hauling those guys around.

And Steve was just a nice guy. I wasn't really all that impressed with him the first time I met him, though. I remember looking at him and thinking he had potential to be cute, but he had his hair pulled back on the top and sides into a pony tail. It was all slicked back, and for some reason, I didn't the slicking back. I dunno, it was too smooth or something.

He was 22 and couldn't grow a full mustache if his life depended on it, but didn't let that fact keep him from trying. And he was all dressed up in a silk shirt and dress pants. Later, he brought out the cut up heavy metal t-shirts, and my opinion improved, but right there in the beginning, I remember thinking he looked like either a door-to-door salesman, or a Jehovah's Witness.

I had also heard that he was a Christian, and that just made me want to puke. I figured we'd all end up hearing about what sinners we were and how we were going to hell, and I wasn't interested. He had a fiancee who I had heard was a holier-than-thou type, and I figured he would be too.

Turned out, he was just a really, really nice guy [which, in my eyes at the time, translated to boring. I was recovering from that stupid Bad Boy obsession thing so many girls fall into, and I still wasn't convinced that a Nice Guy was for me].

I don't remember him ever preaching to anyone in all the twelve years I've known him. He's one of those people who just lives his life and lets that be the witness, which I still think is way cool.

He did make me a little nauseated when I was first getting to know him, though. He was too nice, somehow. And he made goo-goo eyes at his girlfriend [gag] and got this lovey dovey look when he talked about her [double gag, cause she was a psycho]. Sounds a little like jealousy, and it probably was, but not because I wanted Steve for myself. That didn't come until much later.

I hung out a lot at Jeremi and Dwayne's house [we called it 'Tenth Street'] and made my first group of really strong friendships. There was my best friend Becky [who is still one of my best friends even though we live a couple of hours apart now] and the rest of a gang of us who were all about the same age, and worked for the Center. Tenth Street was kind of the Headquarters.

Which meant that I got to know Steve pretty well. Aside from his freaky girlfriend, he actually ended up being pretty cool. He didn't cuss [I could give Eddie Murphy a run for his money, and did, regardless of who was around] but he did smoke [we all did] and he wasn't judgmental.

I had only one issue with Steve at that time, and that was when his girlfriend was around, he wouldn't talk to any of the girls very much. When she was gone, we were all good friends. And it wasn't that he was in any way inappropriate when she wasn't around, either, but she was a jealous type [ick] and he didn't want to give her a reason to accuse him of anything.

I can't tell you what a relief it was when she broke up with him. She came from a dysfunctional family, so she had major issues that weren't totally her fault, but she still irritated me. For the first couple of weeks after she dumped him, I was kinda the shoulder he cried on. We eventually became best friends, and were going along fine, keeping it platonic [with no intent for anything more on either side] until my friend Bec told me, "You two are gonna end up together, you do realize that, don't you Shel?"

"No way, we're just friends," I told her, but the seeds were planted. Within two months [November 30, 1994, to be exact], we were making out like crazy. By the time New Year's rolled around, I was pretty sure he was 'the one' [okay, I knew it without a doubt... I'm weird like that, though. Sometimes I just know things, and that was one of 'em].

Some time in April or May, 1995, I proposed to Steve. You have to understand, though, I'm impatient as hell, and if I'd waited for Steve to get around to proposing, we might still not be married. The boy is sloooowww sometimes. So I proposed, and he said yes. We were going to set a date in December [It seems like Steve wanted to give his family some time to get used to the idea of him getting married again. He got married when he was 19, and it was a nightmare, so they were understandably gun shy.]

But again, I got impatient. I wanted to go to a judge and just do it, but Steve wanted to be married by a pastor. I didn't really care that much, so I agreed, but we moved the date up to August 19, 1995, chosen strictly because it fell on a Saturday, and you have to get married on a Saturday, right?

Steve had been raised a Nazarene, and it turned out that the Nazarene church in our town had a brand new pastor [I think he had come in April or June of 1995] so we went there, did the premarital counselling, and got married.

We've had loads of ups and downs since then [perhaps I'll tell you about our first year together some time. Hoo boy, it's a wonder he survived!] but every year, we've grown closer, and this marriage thing just keeps getting better.

But don't misunderstand me, it's freaking hard work to stay vigilant, and make sure that there are no walls building up between us. I'm probably paranoid about the health of our relationship and our communication, but I'd rather err on the side of caution in this area. If anything feels even a little off [and even if it ends up being my imagination] I'll stay up talking it out until I figure out what's going on. Enough about that for now.

I was right about one thing, though. Steve is a really, really nice guy, but he's not the least bit boring. And...

*embarrassing admission here*

I kinda like it when he makes goo goo eyes at me! ;-)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

So I Took a New Sleep Aid

Generic Unisom. We'll see if I can wake up in the morning. Benadryl wipes me out and it takes forever for me to wake up after I've taken it.

I've been having severe [for me, at least] insomnia pretty much constantly since November. Makes me remember why I chose to shut my brain down for so long. I've always had a hard time falling asleep. Sometimes it can take four hours or more, but mostly it's just one or two hours. My dearly beloved has no clue what this is like. For him, insomnia is ten to fifteen minutes. Unbelievable.

So I was looking up some stuff on the net after I took my new med, and now I'm sleepy. Really sleepy. Which is good, and yet I'm a little brain dead.

I think I'm gonna have to have a discussion with the hubby, too. I've been having some tension lately that I think we need to take care of. You ever have those days where nothing you significant other does is right? I'm still feeling bitchy, I guess.

One other topic, and I gotta go. I'm still working on how to proceed with the novel, but I do appreciate your comments [with the possible exception of Doug, since he picked the one I'd planned to do all along in addition to one of the others. I told Steve about it, and he thought it was really funny. Maybe that's why he's on my shit list... hmm. Nah, just kidding.;-)]

I think I'm gonna stick it all in a Word file and read it through once to see if I missed more scenes. I feel like I'm forgetting something, so maybe if I read it, it will refresh my memory as to what the hell I was going to do. Then I'll take some notes about upcoming scenes and take off again.

Never fear, I will finish it. I'm just going to have to regroup a little. I'm feeling pretty optimistic now. Maybe it's the drugs [har har] maybe it's just relief of having a direction again. Anyway, I'll see you tomorrow.

I was thinking about my first impression of Steve last night [we met for the first time almost twelve years ago. Jeez, it seems like forever and just yesterday all at the same time.] I may do some "memoirist bullshit" [more words shamelessly stolen from Doug] tomorrow.

'Kay, G'night.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Oh My, That Was Rather Pleasant

I'm back. I enjoyed my "time off." I actually got a couple of days without the kids over the weekend, so it was really like days off. Of course that just means that Steve and I ran like maniacs to get some stuff done while the kids were gone.

It wasn't really a long enough break [I mean time without the kids, not blogging.] It's hard to admit, but since I stay at home with them, it takes a lot longer than a couple of days for me to miss them. I hadn't even caught my breath, and they were home.

It's weird, if one is gone, but the others are at home, I miss the one almost immediately. But when they're all gone, I don't even know what it's like to miss them, because they've never been gone long enough. I'm sure it takes more than four days, though.

I almost feel guilty saying that, and I may be the only SAHM in the country who doesn't miss their kids right away, but it's the truth. I love them, but they wear me out. I feel a lot like taffy, being pulled in all directions all the time.

Maybe it'll make me sweeter in the long run, but right now I'm just all stretched out. Two of the three have colds, which we've all been dealing with almost constantly since Christmas. I've been sick twice [or maybe three times] and Steve's been sick three times, all three kids have been sick about three times each, too, so we're a bunch of freaking snot factories.

I don't know what the deal is this winter. Everybody has been sick all season long. I bought some vitamin C in the hopes it'll help us all get better. I'm about ready to go get some herbs, charms, and whatever else I can find to ward off this crap [just so you know, that was a little hyperbole].

Okay, so anyway, I was going to blog last night, but I was reading Threads of Malice by Tamara Siler Jones. I couldn't stop until I finished it, so I didn't do much of anything yesterday but read.

Oh my gosh, what a story! It's disturbing and gory, so if those kinds of things bother you, don't read it. But if you like a ripping good story, I highly recommend it. Never a dull moment. I liked the characters, so when bad things happened to them [and none of the characters were spared] I felt sympathy for them, and worried about them.

Jones writes 'forensic fantasy,' which is like CSI with magic. I don't know if any one else on the planet writes that kind of book, but Jones does a mighty fine job. She kept me guessing as to who the bad guy was until well into the middle of the book. I'd been forewarned that somebody was going to end up dead, and it ended up being the one I least expected. Both of those things are rare, so I really enjoyed Threads.

I probably sound jaded, but I read so much that books rarely surprise me, and unless the author leaves no clues whatsoever and picks a bad guy that isn't even mentioned until the Big Reveal [which is CHEATING and rude, and not at all cool, by the way] I can almost always pick him or her out from their first or second mention in the story. I do the same thing with movies. It's just one of those things, you know?

There were also some romantic elements in the story, which was cool, too. I'm finding that mostly like stories where romance is a side effect, rather than the main plot. I still read romance novels, but there has to be something else in the story for me to really enjoy it. Humor is a big thing for me [not much of that in Threads, but it was so good in other aspects, it didn't matter much. That, and the subject matter didn't lend itself to much humor. There were a couple of funny scenes, though, and that makes me all the more impressed with Jones. I think I'm a fan!]

So, Threads of Malice was the first book I've read by Tamara Siler Jones [I won it from her, and she even signed it, how cool is that?] It is the second in the series, so I have to go buy number one [Ghosts in the Snow] now, and when number three [Valley of the Soul] comes out, I'll be getting that one, too.

I've been gradually expanding my fiction buying simply because I read these authors' blogs, and want to support them in their work. I usually feel guilty buying fiction because it's just for enjoyment [although I can justify it as 'research' hee hee], but since I've been reading authors' blogs, I've learned so much about writing, and I see their struggles and don't feel quite as alone in my own.

So I buy books that I might not have picked out on my own, and when I end up loving the books, I get really excited. [With Paperback Writer, it's a little disconcerting, though, because she has over 30 books in print! I'm buying her new stuff, and wishing my local library would carry more of her backlist. I think I'll put in a request, don't know why I didn't think of that before. Chalk it up to brainrot.]

But anyway, writing is a weird thing. I love it, but I angst too much [heh, which is why I needed a vacation from blogging. Pitiful, ain't it?] I'm a little neurotic, I guess. Artsy-fartsy types are notorious for being melodramatic, and I'm more than a little disturbed that I kinda fall into that category.

I spent a lot of years stifling that side of me, but only succeeded in losing who I really am. So here I am at 32, still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Ugh.

I think that's why I love blogging so much. This is like my own pensieve. I can get all of the excess crap out of my brain and put it here to try to make sense out of stuff.

I can't always make sense of it [so don't feel bad if you can't, either ;-)] but at least I get a little release of pressure [keeps the brain from exploding, which is a good thing, don't you think?]

So anyway, my latest kvetch [thanks for the word, Doug] about my freaking book.

Ah SHIT!!!

Okay, I feel better. Not really. I think I'm gonna have to kick scene nine back a few scenes. It needs to be after about 30,000 words, not 9,000. I had always intended to have Thea end up inside the Company, and have to escape, but the other scenes I have in mind take place in the school, and I'm not sure she can come out of a freaking near-death experience and jello-brained coma and go back to the seventh grade, you know?

So I'm debating with myself what to do next as far as NIP is concerned. I could leave the story as is on the blog and start the edit with what I have [in private.] I won't be posting the finished product on NIP, although I may go in search of a crit group. NIP was always just for the rough draft, which is ass backward, since most writers won't let anyone near their first drafts, but my intent was always about just getting the words down, not trying to impress people.

I may do a couple of 'before and afters' later, and actually ask for opinions. Not sure about that, though. I'll probably go over to Forward Motion and force myself to post some critiques and then ask for some in return, but that's gonna take some mental preparation [the place is HUGE, and a little overwhelming].

I have no idea if my town has any writer's groups, but I suppose I could investigate that a little bit too. It's easier for me to do stuff online, though, because of the kids and Steve's fluctuating schedule.

Another option would be to put scene nine in the drafts section so it wouldn't be public anymore[and confusing to anyone trying to read the story in order], and continue where I left off with scene eight.

Or I could just take it down, and finish the book in private. I've been thinking about this option anyway, but with my track record, I'm afraid I won't finish it [and a couple of my friends might lynch me;-)].

I was also thinking about using NIP as a place to put short stories. I'm not sure if I want to try some short stories while I'm working on the novel. My husband [who admittedly knows nothing about writing, but knows me pretty well] says I should keep working on the book until I get the damn thing finished [especially since I have a tendency not to finish what I start] but there are several writers who work on several projects at once.

I wonder if that would be a viable option for me. Maybe if I rotate projects periodically, I won't get so frustrated and want to give up. Jeez. Confused much? I don't know what I'll end up doing. I know I have to finish Thea's story, one way or the other. Even if I put it in a box under my bed and never send it out to anyone, I have to get it written or I can never move on to other, better stuff.

Quitting is not an option.

Okay, to recap, should I:

A. Start the edit of scenes one through eight in Word, and continue the rough draft of the story after I get the first scenes finished?

B. Put scene nine in the drafts section and continue the rough draft from scene eight?

And my other dilemma, should I:

C. Finish the book in Word and stop posting scenes in rough draft form, and either

1. Delete NIP IT IN THE BUTT altogether [because who in their right mind would post a freaking rough draft in PUBLIC anyway? Nevermind that only three people are reading it.]

2. Keep NIP, but use it as a place to post writing-related stuff only, and finished short stories [if I ever write any].

D. Keep posting scenes in rough draft form [on the off chance that if it gets published, new writers can go and see my rough draft, and gain hope that they, too, can make their own first drafts publishable. with enough Hard Work and Determination, anything is possible].

E. Stop kvetching and get back to work, for crying out loud, it's just a damn book, not the end of the world!

[Just so you know, E is a given, I'm done whining for today. Tomorrow, however, I make no promises]

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Okay, I'm a Dummy

My neck was giving me fits tonight, and I still had some muscle relaxant from the last time this happened, which is good because it doesn't hurt any more. But bad because I'm typing five words a minute, and thinking about that fast as well.

If I was an adventurer, I'd try some poetry and see if I get all deep and stuff, but I think I'll go to sleep instead.

I did good though, because I let you know ahead of time I'm not blogging instead of saying "I'm sorry I missed last night," after the fact. I always appreciate it when my regularly read bloggers say they're going to be taking a break for a few days. I thought you might appreciate a heads up as well [it took me four times to spell 'heads' right. Yippee.]

Yeah, so imagine this post with a slurred voice and you got me pegged [don't worry, Steve's here to watch the kids, but they're in bed now, so it doesn't really matter]


Just so you know, I've been thinking of taking a computer break [or more accurately, an Internet break]. I may be away from e-mail and blogs for a few days. We'll see if I can manage it!

I'd like to concentrate on Thea's story, and getting caught up on some book reading [I still have Collected Fictions to read, which I won from Doug. I'd put the links in, but, well, I'm sleepy.]

Anyway, everybody take care until I get back. I may be gone as long as Monday, February 20th, but I doubt I'll wait that long.

See you then.


I'm all written out...

Well, now, this is a first. I spent most of the day carrying around my new QuickPAD, stealing a minute or two where ever I could, writing on Thea's story. I even took it to church and wrote there. When I got home, I uploaded what I had to the computer, and corrected all the [millions] of typos.

Here's the cool part, I wrote 1695 words, but it was only half of the scene. So I finished it in Word, then uploaded it to NIP IT IN THE BUTT. When all was said [er, written] and done, I had a whopping 3,169 words. In one day. That is my all time high for fiction writing [on some days I think I write about that much blogging on Shelblog and commenting on other blogs, but I don't do a word count here. This is just where I plague all of you with my whines, rants, angsts, worries, and sometimes good stuff, too].


I think I got some good ideas in it, although God only knows what will survive the edit, but I don't really care at this point!

I was able to think and plot my scene all day, and then, since I had my quickpad, I could type it all up instantly. Didn't matter where I was. That's just freaking cool, folks!

And way fun.

Thea had a rough day today. She died, which kinda sucks. But I finally got to write a scene that didn't feel like I was building up to something else. It wasn't in the original plan, but I was bored, so I just went with the flow.

Anyway, I don't remember what all I wrote at this point, and I don't really care much if it sucks, I'm just in awe of 3169 words! I may have figured out a way to finish the damn thing. Yay me!

Now, I must sleep!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

Probably should have said that earlier, since it's 11p.m. now, and by the time most people read this it'll be the day after V Day, but better late than never, right?

Anyway, we all went to Denny's for dinner [had a coupon for buy one get one free dinners, and the kids eat free on Tuesdays. Five people ate meals for under $15! That's pretty amazing, don't you think?] Then we went to Wal-Mart, because that's what we always do.

Because we lived in a Very Boring Town, our favorite date was always going to Wal-Mart. The later at night, the better. Now with the kids, it's a little different, but things change. Anyway, I think I'm going to go cuddle with my husband now, so goodnight, dear friends.

Monday, February 13, 2006

But I'm Not READY!!!!

Oh boy. Yesterday was loads of fun in other ways besides the puppy [who appears to be completely recovered and then some].

My seven year old daughter.

She's had a crush on an older boy named Peyton for almost a year now. When she first told us, she said she liked him because he had hair like Peter Pan [the live version from 2003]. We had a conversation about how you really shouldn't base whether you like someone or not because of the way they look, but look at the way they treat others.

She understood, but Peyton is a really sweet kid, so she didn't have to try to stop [thank God, we all know how freaking hard it is to stop liking someone after you've started. At least with crushes].

So for the past year, she's followed poor Peyton around, sat beside him every chance she got, stared lovingly at him with puppy-dog eyes, and generally made an nuisance of herself. Several times, she's said, "Mom, Peyton doesn't sound excited to talk to me like he does with the other kids." Oh God! That is SO hard to deal with.

How do you tell your kid [who you love more than life] "Well, hon, it's because you bug him by being all over him all the time." Without sounding like that? We tried to tell her the truth without hurting her feelings, and gently encouraged her not to tell him that she 'liked him.' I don't know if that was the right thing or not, but that kind of thing was never even an option for me, because I was too shy and afraid of rejection to ever tell anyone [but I did the puppy dog thing, and hadn't realized how painfully obvious it was to anyone with eyes until I saw it as an adult!]

I just didn't want her to get her feelings hurt by rejection at seven. And we did make sure that we told her it might embarrass him, and that might make him say things that weren't very nice.

So yesterday during lunch, Shaya says, "Mom, Simon* followed me around in church all day today. He kept sitting by me, and, well, it was really bugging me." She paused, and got this look of embarrassed understanding on her face and said, "Now I understand how Peyton feels."

Oh my gosh! We laughed so hard, and so did she. She was a little sheepish, but she finally got why Peyton was less than enthusiastic when she followed him around.

Last night after Bible study [Simon was there] Shaya says, "Mom, I need to tell you something in private when we get home." We've had problems with Simon being inappropriate with Shaya before, and we've had talks about, no one touches you where your bathing suit would cover, and if they do, you come and tell us, etc.

Last night, there were reports that Simon and Shaya were trying to go into the closet, under the bed, and I caught Simon closing the bedroom door [big fat no-no], and then I caught Shaya and Simon under the covers on the top bunk. Luckily my son and his friend were rolling around on top of them squishing the life out of them, so nothing happened.

Simon said, "We were just playing." Grr. Momma bear wanted to rip his little head off, but I refrained [it's tacky to kill your friends' son.]
"Absolutely not. You do not get under the covers for any reason, do you understand me?!"

Silent nod from Simon, grateful look from Shaya.

So I figured when we got home, I'd end up hearing something I didn't really want to. We put the other two kids to bed, and then we sat on the couch while Shaya told us her story.

"Mom, Simon told me he really liked me and asked me if I liked him."

"What did you say?"

"I said 'yes,' but then he told me he loved me. He really, really loved me and asked me if I loved him, too, and I couldn't say 'no' because I didn't want to hurt his feelings so I said 'yes.'

"Do you love him?"

"No." We talked about how she can't really lie to someone to keep from hurting their feelings in things like this. We suggested some 'let him down easy' speeches [Holy Shit! I can't believe we had to tell her this crap already!] Like, "Simon, I like you, but I don't really know you well enough to love you," or "I don't want to hurt your feelings, but I just like you as a friend."

"Do you like him?"

"Well, yeah, I think he's nice. But I didn't know what to do when he said he loved me."

Deep breaths, Shelbi. The whole time we're talking to Shaya, we're passing looks back and forth, thinking, what the hell do we do now?! Then she said, "And after he told me he loved me, he told me not to tell anybody, not even you, but I didn't want to not tell you, but I told him I wouldn't because I didn't know what to say."

So then, we're thinking how would we want her to deal with an adult if she were in a similar situation. Egad. We told her to trust her gut, and if she felt like she needed to say she wouldn't tell anyone in order to get away, then she should do it.

Which makes me cry, because I don't want her to ever have to deal with something like that. No parent does. It's a horrible thought, and yet we have to have a plan, just in case, so she'll know she can come to us and tell us anything.

Last night put something into perspective for us.

She's only seven. She's homeschooled, and the only kids she comes into contact with are church kids. In a group of about 12-15 kids, there is a little seven year old boys who think she's a hottie. Oh. My. Gosh. My parents never had to deal with this. I had such low self-esteem, and was so shy, and awkward in my own skin, boys never gave me a second look until after I graduated from high school. It wasn't that I was ugly, but I thought I was, and people agreed with me.

So far, all of my kids are emotionally healthy. They're reasonably self-confident, and considerate [for the most part] and they just don't have the issues that Steve and I had as kids with shyness and low self esteem. Which is good for them.

But a lot like hell for us. All of last night, I felt like a blind person on a cliff, groping around in the dark trying to find something to hold on to. I don't think we did too bad, but I wasn't ready to deal with this yet.

Does it ever get any easier?

Don't answer. I already know.

*Not his real name

An Interesting Article

It's called, "What Has Happened to America's Jesus?" Good question.

Go here to read it.

There are sincere Christians in America. Hell, I go to a church full of 'em [not everybody in my church is, but a lot of them are]. They are some of the most loving, kind people you will ever meet, and I thank God every day for the friends I've made there.

But I'm not sure I like the political activism I see from the more Conservative Christians. I'm not sure it's anyone's job to tell you you're wrong about stuff but God's.

If you ask my opinion, I'll give it. And if I don't know for sure, I'll tell you that, too [which is usually the case].

I think I understand the motivation behind their actions, but I'm not sure legislating more rules is the right way to go about it. You can't possibly force people to believe the way you do. It's human nature to run the other way when anyone tries to control you. And maybe that's not a bad thing.

Because what if, [this is pretty big, and I certainly don't claim to have all the answers] what if the uber-conservatives are wrong?

Jesus said that all the law and prophets could be summed up in two commandments: Love God [with all your heart, soul, mind and strength] and Love your neighbor as yourself.

How do you love God when you can't see him? Christians have a whole laundry list of things, such as attending church, studying the Bible, and prayer. And those are good things, don't get me wrong, but I think we focus so much on those things that we forget that Jesus also said "Whatever you have done to the least of these, you have done to me."

I think the best way to show love for God, is by loving your fellow humans, and yourself. It's okay to take care of your own needs before taking care of others' needs, because if you only sacrifice yourself without ever re-charging, you burn out and then you're no good to anyone.

But putting your own wants before your fellow human's needs is not really loving your neighbor the same as you love yourself, is it? Is it possible that by hating others, we are hating God as well?

This is a weird journey I've been on, and I think I may be on the right path here, but as I've begun to really seek God again, I've asked him to help me to see with his eyes. I can't explain it, and I certainly can't prove it, but my heart has changed in ways I wasn't expecting.

When I see two adults in love and committed to each other, I don't see their gender, or whether they have a marriage license, I see that they love each other and put their partner's needs before their own wants.

At the same time, when I see one partner cheating on the other, or being the sole 'taker' in any relationship, I see something that cannot possibly be pleasing to God. When I see anyone justifying hatred for or cruelty to another, my heart hurts, because that is so much less than what God wants for us.

When I see one group of people saying definitively that another group is going to hell simply because they worship God differently than the first group does, I think they've missed the point.

I'm not positive any more that only Christians will go to heaven [I do believe in heaven and hell, by the way, and I do believe that there is evil in the world, and I call that evil "Satan."]

I've believed for a long time that Christianity has so many denominations not just because people get pissed off at each other and go start a new church. That happens sometimes, but I think we have a bunch of different denominations so people can find a place where they fit in and belong.

What if there are other religions that perform the same function? Not all religions are valid paths to God [I'm thinking of suicide cults, and other cults where the god is a person who created a 'religion' to make himself rich, or to victimize others], but what if there really is more than one way to truly find God?

I don't have the answer. I wish I could say for sure, but I just can't. I know a lot of Christians are full of arguments as to why there's no other way, but so are a lot of Muslims and Jews. I think Mormons and Jehovah's witnesses believe something similar about their own religions as well. How can anyone really know for sure?

I've chosen the path of Christianity because Jesus changed my life, and then he changed it again, and gave me the ability to love people and see their goodness, regardless of their religion. But I've seen others have very similar experiences by following a completely different path. So I just don't know anymore.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

My 100th Post

I started blogging on November 13, 2005. By the time I post this, it will be February 13. 100 posts in three months ain't half bad, if I do say so myself. I read a blogger advice article that encouraged you to only do one post per day, and to make the blog about one topic only. Um. I don't think I could do either of those things if I tried [except at NIP, but I don't post nearly as often over there.]

I'm not really interested in following rules anyway. I'll talk about pretty much anything that pops into my head, which means I'm not very consistent topic or quality-wise, but I'm having fun.

Last night I wrote about our puppy being sick. There was something wrong with her back. She'd flinch when you touched her, wouldn't jump on anything, etc. This morning, she seemed about the same, so we put her in her kennel and left for church.

When we got back, I went to let her out. Usually, she's sitting up scratching on the door and whining. Today she lay there on her side, wagging her tail, but clearly struggling to get up. When she finally got up, she was shivering uncontrollably, and when she walked, she held her legs really stiff and took tiny steps. Her head was down, her ears back, and her tail was between her legs. Her back was hunched up, like dogs do when they have to poop. She couldn't sit down, and she couldn't go up or down the stairs.

I was scared shitless.

She was so much worse than this morning. I told Steve we couldn't wait until tomorrow, we needed to call the vet. He did, and the vet said that an emergency call was $100 plus whatever treatments they do. Well, like I said last night, I can't take suffering. I held Sydney on my lap while Steve got the kids ready to go. She was so miserable, I couldn't stand to see her try to sit down, only to stand up again when it hurt, shivering the whole time.

So I sat Indian style, and propped her butt on one leg, supported her chest with my arm, and cried like a baby. My oldest daughter came in and asked if she was okay, and I just bawled and said I didn't know. I held Sydney, stroked her fur, and I prayed for her. Slowly, she stopped shaking, and by that time, Steve had the kids loaded and we went to the vet.

When we got there, the vet checked her out. He felt her back, ribs, and everything else, asked questions, checked her poop shoot for bones or something lodged in her intestines [we don't give her any animal bones, but he said sometimes a bone can get stuck and they will hunch over like Sydney was.

We think she might have gotten hurt chasing the kids on the swingset. My oldest said that they ran into her in the big plastic swing with two seats facing each other and a foot rest [what's that thing called?] about a week ago. Looking back, she started acting strangely several days ago, but I didn't notice all that much. She was more affectionate, and played less, but I thought maybe she was getting over her 'puppy stage.'

The vet said that nothing was broken, and that probably she had just hurt a muscle. So he gave her a shot of steroids and some anti-inflammatory pills to give her, and sent us home. He said she should start feeling better by tomorrow.

By the time we left for Bible Study, she was able to jump up on my daughter's bed to watch us drive away [I decided not to keep her cooped up in the kennel, just in case the lack of motion had made her stiff earlier]. When we got back, she ran to the door to greet us, jumped up on us to lick faces and bite fingers, and was almost completely back to normal.

The cost? Well over a hundred dollars, we got her meds for pain, plus six months of heartworm pills, so probably around $150. But you know what? It was worth it. I was so scared she was going to have something so wrong with her it would cost hundreds of dollars to fix, and we just can't afford those things. Not for a dog anyway. I was afraid we would have to put her to sleep, and that would have been unbearable.

It's weird to be that attached to an animal again. After I had kids, I figured any pets we had would be pretty much just for them, and I would clean up after it, but not be that emotionally invested. Sheesh. Yeah right.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

I'm Freaking Exhausted!

I don't know what the deal is with my two-year-old, but she has been waking up every thirty minutes to an hour until four a.m. for about a week. Then she wakes up at 8:00 in the morning and all three kids bang around loudly in the kitchen [which is right by my bedroom door, of course] fixing breakfast [for which I am truly thankful, until I get out of bed and see the mess] fighting and arguing about who's sitting where, who's eating what, who gets which cereal bowl, and on and on.

So I'm a bit sleep deprived. I'm also a bit hormonal at the moment [I've got mood swings from hell, honestly. Pity my family, sometimes it gets pretty ugly around here!] So stuff hits me wrong. I yelled at my husband for no reason today, just because he was there, getting ready for work, and I hadn't seen him all day and now he was leaving, so instead of getting all cuddly and loving, I yelled at him.

Where's the logic, I ask? Far as I can tell, there ain't none, but then again, that's pretty much me. In addition to the sleep-deprivation, and hormones run amok, I've got a head cold that seems to be trying to make me cough up my left lung. I like my lung, and this pisses me off.

I need vitamins, I think, and maybe some NyQuil [if Steve didn't take it all with his cold]

Oh, and that's another thing. I just got over a cold one freaking week ago!

And there's something wrong with our dog, Sydney. I think one of the kids might have accidentally hurt her back, because she is having a hard time jumping, and when you touch the middle of her back, she flinches. I just noticed that maybe it was something serious today [around closing time at the vet's, of course] so we're going to have to wait until Monday to take her. Poor baby. I hope she's better by then, because I hate to see anything suffering.

I've been like that my whole life. When I was a kid, I used to find animals that the cats had partially killed and try to nurse them back to health. I had a mole named Digger for a day once. I wrote [in permanent marker] on a rock my mom had gotten years before [a meteor rock, I think] and made a tombstone for him. I think it said, "Here lies Digger. He was a good mole," along with the dates I had him.

Another time, we came upon a turkey egg somehow, and hatched it in an incubator. I named him Lucky because he was the only egg that hatched [or something like that]. He was doing really well, but I decided [on the third night, I think] to let him sleep in a Kleenex box on my bed. I fell asleep, and Lucky fell off the bed. When I found him the next morning, he was too cold, and even though I tried to warm him up with a heating pad, he died in my lap.

I was an extremely sensitive kid, and I was devastated. I had guilt issues over that one for years. For some reason, my pets always ended up dying when I was a kid [and it wasn't because I killed them, either. Lucky was the only one, and it was an accident, I tell you!] My brother and I had white bunny rabbits. We had three, two females and one male.

Rabbits are a lot like cats in that the parents [especially the males] sometimes eat their babies. I was nine or so when we had rabbits, and I still remember going out to feed the bunnies, only to find that mommy had given birth, and daddy had, well you get the picture. There's probably a King-esque short story in there somewhere, don't you think? We had cats for years, too, and I always freaked out every time one of the mommas were giving birth.

I would 'midwife' for her, [cat's purr when they're in labor, did you know?] and then put stuff over the top of the cats' basket to try to keep the males out. Sometimes it worked.

So anyway, we had our share of horrible pet deaths over the years, and I had the worst luck. I was telling you that my rabbit died, while the other two lived on to move to another home. My brother and I each had blue-tick hound puppies [their names were One Spot and Two Spot, because one had one spot and the other had two]. One morning we found my puppy [One Spot] dead out by the light pole.

My string of bad luck ended when I was twelve [1986]. Mom brought home a fuzzy little pound puppy who we named Laci. Laci was my best friend for a very long time. She thought she was human, so she was more like a sister than a pet. She died not long after my daughter was born in 1998.

We tried gettin a new dog a few times over the years, but I couldn't bond with them. I felt sorry for them, so I found them better homes where they would be loved. Sydney's the first dog I've really cared about and bonded with in almost eight years. Weird that the grieving process took that long for a dumb dog, isn't it? ['dumb dog' is one of our favorite terms of endearment. If a dog earns that name in our family, it means he or she is a Highly Esteemed Member of the family. Same with humans. I call Steve and the kids nerds or dorks all the time, and they know it means I'm lovin' em. What can I say? We're a bit odd.]

So anyway, I'm worried about the puppy. I want her better by tomorrow, because suffering of any kind hurts my heart, and I've had enough of that this week.

Okay, now I'm off to search out cold medicine and sleep. Take care, friends, and thanks for listening.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Rudeness Sucks

I had planned to blog about activism, but I need to think about that one some more. Some things are hard to write, you know?

Tonight I want to talk about Rude People. For the most part, I can excuse a lot of bad behavior by looking at the circumstances of a person's life, and realizing that in a similar situation, I would probably act much the same. But sometimes, there's just no excuse.

And the sad fact is, Christians have the reputation of being some of the rudest people in existence. Even more sad is, the accusation isn't completely unfounded.

My husband was raised in the church, and when he was in high school, he waited tables in a restaurant. He hated working the non-smoking section on Sundays because the church crowd came in. They were rude to the servers and horrible tippers to boot.

I am part of an incredible small group at church, and when we go out to a restaurant, we always make it a point to be super nice to our server [even if the service sucks] and leave a decent tip. We know that Christians suck at this, and try extra hard to show the people in the restaurant that we are fun-loving, courteous, normal, non-judgmental people. We believe that our job is to show love to everyone, regardless of their political affiliation, religion, sexual preference, race, etc., and leave the telling them they are wrong to be [fill in the blank] to God [that's his job, and he's pretty good at it. Also, he doesn't convict everyone about the same stuff. Some sincere Christians use profanity, dance, smoke, and drink. There are people in the Christian faith who would say, "You can't be a Christian if you do those things." Hogwash Bullshit. What you do and do not choose to do is between you and God, and frankly none of my business unless you ask my opinion]

"31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
[Matthew 25:31-40]

I think it's interesting that Jesus called those people his brothers. I don't think he was just talking about Christians in those verses. And yet, so many in the church today will "help out a brother in Christ," but they won't speak to or do anything to help nonChristians who are having bad times.

How is it that we have become so self-centered? How is it that we have forgotten what God called us to do? Why do we think we need to harp on about 'proper conduct,' and disregard the humanity, the "In God's Image," of those who are different from us?

And how can we, who are called to be a light in a dark world, justify nasty comments, rude behavior, or cruelty to anyone? We slay each other with words every day, and think nothing of it. We don't care who we hurt, we just want to 'tell it like it is.'

I am disappointed and angry at the rudeness of my fellow Christians, and I am ashamed.

If it weren't for my small group at church, I would be sorely tempted to disassociate myself completely from organized Christianity. Notice I didn't say I'd stop being a Christian. I do my best to follow Jesus because I have experienced his love and realness on a personal level. I may expand my belief system, but Jesus will always be the cornerstone of my faith.

I am really pissed off at some of my fellow Christians, though. We have made a mockery of ourselves, showing our asses [by being jerks] to people who are not members of our particular group, and in doing so, we have made a mockery of God.

I don't know how he stands us, sometimes. May God have mercy on our souls.

Rant off.

In other news, I finally finished scene 8. It's chaotic as hell, but I'm not gonna fix it yet. So slog through it if you're interested, and forgive the more-weird-than-usual-ness of this scene.

*Edited to add:

I wasn't going to refer to the actual incident that set me off, but after another bit of nastiness, I'm gonna stoop just a little. If you're wondering what in the world I'm talking about, go here. My main issue is in the comments, but I'm disappointed in the whole mess. I think you'll see what I mean.*

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Oh boy.

You fit in with:

Your ideals mostly resemble those of the Taoist faith. Spirituality is the most important thing in your life. You strive to live by all of your ideals, and live a very intellectually focused life.

60% spiritual.
0% reason-oriented.

I took this quiz to see where I fit in in religions. What's funny is that even though I consider myself a Christian, the description is exactly how I am.

I took it again, and lied on a few of the answers, and I was a Buddhist.

Third time:


Your ideals mostly resemble those of the Scientology faith. You strive to find the truth in all matters, but you also have a lot of faith in people and things. You are very logical, smart and charismatic and you value the truth above all else.40% scientific.40% faith-oriented.

Fifth time, making up almost everything,

You fit in with:


Your ideals mostly resemble those of the Judeo-Christian faith. You have the capacity for immense faith and spirituality. At your core, you believe in justice, goodness and redemption.20% scientific.80% faith-oriented.

That's just silly.

Tests are fun, though.

*Edited to add: I swiped the link to Quiz Galaxy from Kate Rothwell.

New Toy

I got a Quickpad IR on eBay the other day. They retail for $199, but I got mine for $79 including shipping [yay me!]. The AlphaSmart might be better [at least for some] but it runs anywhere from $130-$429 retail, and on eBay, the $130 one usually runs around $100, which isn't much savings. We're on a tight budget around here. I don't pay retail for nuttin.'

We did our taxes, and got a refund, so we can get caught up on some bills and fix a few things around the house [the septic tank for one, hoo boy, that's a story for another day]. We've almost finished putting in our dishwasher [that's another cool story about how good stuff happens when you least expect it].

Our next do it yourself project: new countertops for the kitchen. Our dishwasher sticks out from under the counter, so we had to put a board over the top to keep from getting nasties all over the nice cotton padding on top. If we do the work ourselves, we can probably get it done for $200 or less.

Steve and I actually work pretty well together, so it's kinda fun assembling stuff. And words cannot describe how excited I am about having a dishwasher! There are five of us, and we are a messy lot. I hate dishes and laundry most of all [soap makes my hands break out and the skin fall off, so I have to use non-latex gloves (allergic to latex, too... how I figured that one out is another story for another day!) so anyway, dishes are the pits, so I very rarely do them. Which means that George [aka Steve] ends up doing them, or helping me, and then I feel like a shitty wife, and get all guilty and stuff.

Guilt is awful. So, the dishwasher may very well improve my sex life [okay, not really, but I have this neat stat counter on my blog that tells me how people find my blog. I've gotten more hits for "Pathological Liars Anonymous" than any other post. So I'm experimenting a little. *Evil laugh*]

But now it's after two in the morning, and I just know that the kids will start bugging me before I'm ready to wake up. Either that or the hubby will decide that we need to wake up together and drink coffee at the buttcrack of dawn, in which case I will have to hit him. Hard. Unless I go to bed now.

Would you believe that the two year old just woke up crying? Argh.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Shelbi's Theory About Stuff

Well, I've been thinking about this one for a while, and I've hesitated to write it, which means I'm being an idiot [that happens to me from time to time]. It's silly really, but sometimes I start thinking about what people will think of me, so I don't post what I really want to talk about.

But then reality sets in, and I say, "Get a freaking grip, girl! It's not like they burn people at the stake anymore [at least not in this country... Yet]. The CIA isn't gonna break down your door, you're a freaking housewife!"

And anyway, I don't think I really have a controversial bone in my body. Well, maybe the tip of my pinkie toe, that one's always had a mind of its own.

Okay, so here is my super non-scientific, semi-mystical philosophy on some stuff [I'm gettin' to it, keep your pants on!]

I believe in God, and while I don't have a problem with evolution, I don't think stuff just appeared and developed life on its own. I figure something had to make the first piece of dirt turn into a bacterium or whatever. But that's not what I'm getting at here.

Science has pretty much proven that we're all made out of the same stuff. I'm not a scientist, and I never memorized the periodic table, so I can't go into too much detail about that, because I really don't know what I'm talking about [comforting, isn't it?]. But anyway, everything on the planet is made from the elements, right?

I seem to remember something about carbon being involved in most [or all?] living things. But when you go past the elements, you get smaller stuff, and I think the smallest piece is the atom.

What gets me about the atom is that when you get that small, is it a solid? Or is it just energy? I'm basing my theory on the assumption that in our atoms, we're energy. So where did the energy come from?

My answer is, God. I imagine God taking some of his energy and causing the big bang. Then I think he directed things for however long it took, and eventually, man came onto the scene. I also believe that he gave the humans souls, or a spirit, which is another form of energy that is somehow housed in our bodies [that's what I imagine Genesis means when it says that God breathed life into Adam. He gave Adam a little something extra to go with his big brain and verbal skills.]

But fundamentally, we're all energy. Everything is energy. God's energy. Or divine energy, if you prefer. Oh yeah, isn't air made up of energy, too? If it is, then that means that everything is connected, the table, chair, trees, grass, dogs, and fish, you and me, us and the rest of the world.

We're made of energy, so what if our thoughts are energy? I think it's been proven with brain scans that something happens when we think and feel emotions, pain, and pleasure. Studies have also shown that when people pray for each other, they heal faster and other neat stuff, too. So if that's true, my thoughts/prayers can affect you. And yours can affect me.

I am also amazed at the fact that a lot of our medicines come from plants and animals [at least originally]. I think it's pretty neat that God created us all to be interdependent like that. But here's a thought. He put certain healing qualities into plants and animals, so why not air, sunlight, water, and earth? Hmm.

So when people talk about certain crystals or rocks having a specific energy, or certain herbs having healing properties, or meditation and visualization being able to change your perspective, or your energy, and in doing so, your life or health, is that really so farfetched?

Science calls those things the placebo effect, probably, but maybe there's something to it. My position is, just because I can't prove it, doesn't mean it isn't true. And also, just because it isn't in the literature [scientific journals, sacred texts, whatever] doesn't mean it isn't real.

The fact is, there are things we just can't explain, so we shouldn't assume that it isn't true just because it sounds weird, or we've never heard of it before.

One thing that has been absolutely fascinating to me is, as I've read books from other spiritual practices, I can see the parallels between it and the Bible. There are nuggets of truth in every religion. And I believe there isn't a 'perfect religion' out there. Not because God isn't capable of telling us the truth, but because we are incapable of understanding every aspect of who he is. I think that all [or at least most] religions illuminate some aspects of who our creator is, and what our relationship to him should be.

That's heresy to some [at least it is to the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Muslim, {or is the religion called Islam, and the people Muslim?} and Christian]. I'm not trying to freak anybody out, but I really believe I'm on the right track here.

I can't figure it all out. Even the greatest minds won't ever get it all. But I want desperately to find as much of him as I can on this side of life, and I know enough to know that if I ever think I've really found out the absolute truth about who he is, I'm more clueless than the seeker who never finds a definitive answer.

'You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.'

Jeremiah 29:13 [NASB]

I am seeking him with everything in me, so I'm clinging to the promise that I will find him.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

What A Day

To give the full effect, we have to go back to last night, but go we shall.

Last night, I put the kids to bed around 9 or 10. My two-year-old went to sleep, but woke up after about 30 minutes, crying. Sometimes if I leave her, she doesn't really wake up completely and quiets down in a minute.

Not last night. She wouldn't calm down, but got louder. And louder [I didn't leave her to cry forever, but she got worked up pretty quickly]. So I went in and picked her up. She wanted a drink, so we got that, and I laid her back down and came back to the computer.

30 minutes later, she was crying again. I went in, she needed another drink, and again with putting her in bed. This went on every thirty minutes to an hour until four in the morning. I finally gave up writing at NIP around two. Hubby was late home from work [which can be a worry, I'll blog about that some other time]. So after trying to call him on his cell, I finally called work [which I hate to do, but sometimes it's either that or go insane].

Turned out he was fine, and 15 minutes later, he called me back, and said he was coming home. So when he got home, we visited a little, and dealt with the toddler [again, and again]. Finally around 4 or so, I went to sleep.

Some time around 7 a.m. my seven year old [who had been sleeping on the floor in my room for some reason] wakes me up with, "Mom, I'm throwing up!" She was. On the floor. In front of my side of the bed. I gave her my trash can to finish in, and took care of the mess [I also made her go lay on the couch, there's no room in our bed, and the floor was just wrong, you know?]

Meanwhile, I'm thinking, I've had no sleep! I can't function if I don't sleep. I'm going to lose my mind if I don't sleep! I tried and failed [due to interruptions from the other two kids] for a couple more hours.

The seven year old was sick, running a fever, and throwing up all day. The two year old has a cold, so she was fussy, and my poor son had to fend for himself. He ate crackers all day, until I finally fixed him some chicken noodle soup, with more crackers. I also felt bad for leaving him on his own all day, so I let him have some cookies, too.

After things calmed down a bit, I was inexplicably exhausted [then I remembered what I'd been doing all day]. So I decided to try to rest a little and meditate. Fifteen interruptions later, I gave up. [no really, it was that many. I will give you a detailed list if you want, but I don't think you do. Suffice it to say that all three kids and the dog were responsible for more than one each].

I put the toddler to bed, then the five year old. I cuddled with the seven year old for a bit, then put her to bed, too. If I were a smart person, I would have gone to bed immediately. I watched a movie instead. Then hubby got home and we visited, now I'm going to bed.

Oh, and cruel irony of all ironies, not one peep out of any of the kids this whole time. Just figures when I have fatigue induced brain-rot, they get quiet and I forget to go to bed while I have the chance!

Sheesh. Okay, I'm done whining [everybody take a deep breath and say, "It's about freaking time!" You're absolutely right, dear friends. I'm tired, cranky, and whiney to boot, but I love ya, so take care of yourselves, okay?

G'Night all.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Okay, this is the third time I've tried this, and if it doesn't work this time, I'm going home [well, I am home, but it's weird Shelbinese for I give up after this one last time.

Some of our friends have never seen my husband with long hair [we moved here a year and a half ago, and we cut Steve's hair about four years ago... jeez, has it really been that long?]

Anyway, I decided to post a couple of pics because I think he's the cutest with or without hair, and if I get to embarrass him a little, well, where's the bad, you know?

So the first picture is from our wedding day [before children packed 25 pounds on me, gave me gray hair, and all the while, Steve looked better, younger, and more buff. That's just wrong. But that's a whine for another day.]

The guy in the wheelchair is my brother Jeremi. I may find some more pics of him later so you can see his face. Notice the do-rag and long, wavy blond hair, if you will, though. Yeah, I got straight, mousy brown hair. You find me the justice in that! [Of course, J is shaved-head bald now, due to thinning hair, and mine still covers my head, so I guess I can't gripe too much.]

This one is from the day we chopped Stevie's hair off. He had been growing it out for 15 years, so we had a party for it. We called it, "Get a Haircut and Get a Real Job." He had been working as a tow-truck driver. The pay was commission only, and no benefits. Oy! I had more than a few stressful nights over that. He worked there for five and a half years [on call 24/7 with very few days off], called in sick maybe twice, and when he quit, his boss thanked him by not paying him the week's vacation he owed Steve. I didn't like that man.

Oh yeah, that's me after two kids. A little chubbier, but not too bad.

And this is the best 'after' picture I could find because we put all of our pics in a plastic box, which is currently perched on top of our closet/laundry room [which is also in our bedroom. I don't think I've mentioned here before that we have a Very Small House. Either that or Too Much Crap. It's a toss up right now.]

So anyway, I'm tired now and I promised Robin I'd update NIP IT IN THE BUTT. So off I go to work up a new scene. I'm writing past the block, dammit. And I'm listening to Nickelback while I do it!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

It's not a scene, but...

I updated NIP IT IN THE BUTT. The post has nothing to do with the story, and yet everything to do with it.Link's here. If you've got any sage advice, I'm willing to listen.

--Originally Posted by Shelbi at 2/04/2006 12:48:00 AM

A Public Apology [re-post]

I recently joked that one of my [real-life] friends should use the spell check on his blog because he has a tendency to get in a hurry and misspell words.

I had planned on telling him when I got the chance, but I joked about it when he wasn't there, and several of my other friends told him what I had said.

It occurred to me that I might have hurt his feelings, and possibly discouraged my other friends from blogging for fear that the 'speller-Nazi' might come to visit their blogs as well.

If that is the case, I am truly sorry, guys. I like to joke and slam on people, and sometimes I can be insensitive. If I have offended you or hurt your feelings at any time about blogging, please forgive me.

I really don't go around checking spelling and grammar on every one just waiting for mistakes to crop up so I can point and laugh.

Sheesh, if you read this thing at all, you know I screw up regularly because the only thing I check is spelling [and that because it's automatic and doesn't take much time].

Anyway, to Eric, Lindsay, Robin, and Sarah, please don't stop blogging because of me. Eric, I apologize if I hurt you by slamming on your typos.I love you guys.

--Originally Posted by Shelbi at 2/03/2006 11:56:00 PM--

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Blogger Is Having Issues

Okay, I've only been doing this since last November, but Blogger has had problems three times in the past month. I don't know if this will post, so you'll forgive me if I don't write very long.

Blogger ate three of my posts, two here at Shelblog, and one at NIP IT IN THE BUTT. I have them saved in my e-mail program, so I'll probably re-post them when I'm sure Blogger is fixed.

In the mean time, I hope all is well with you. Things are better here. I'll write more later.

This is Weird...

Two posts from last night are now gone when I try to post another entry.

Test Post

Some people are having fits with blogger again. Just testing.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Ever Get A Song Stuck In Your Head?

I stumbled upon a couple of articles about 'earworms,' or getting an annoying song stuck in your head.

They are here, and here. It was good to find out that women and slightly neurotic people have problems with this the most. I probably fit into both of those categories [okay, yes I'm for sure a woman, I was referring to the 'slightly neurotic.'

And speaking of neurotic. I have this neat little site meter on both of my blogs where I can find out how many people are clicking my blog [which is just as addicting as Googling yourself, moreso for me since my name doesn't even show up on Google... ever]. So I have to go check sometimes, you know?

But my favorite is when people comment, because then it's like having a conversation with the people who come over. So this is my hint, that if you want to, you can comment, see?

Very subtle hint, don't you think?

Okay, now whatever you do, don't think about that kit kat jingle [Gimme a break...]

Heh heh.

So I Was Thinkin'...

You remember that old saying, "Your eyes are too big for your stomach?" I have that problem a lot, only with books. Specifically library books, because 'free' is good, and 'costs money' is bad, so I don't often go to book stores because I can't help myself when I'm around books, because I freaking love them, okay?

Heh. Some time, I'm gonna have to write a whole blog post in a single sentence.

Okay, back to books. I currently have 12 library books that I got a month ago. I've read two of them, and they're all overdue [our library doesn't charge late fees, and without the added incentive of a $o.o5 fine per book, per day, I can never seem to get the damn things back on time. What's that about?

I need to get them back to the library, because I'm not gonna read them all in the next two days, and they're all just lying there in the living room, reminding me that I'm every librarian's nightmare, and just plain irresponsible to boot [yeah, my mind really does say those things, but I'm not taking it seriously right now.]

I have a bunch of Christian fiction books I got on eBay a long time ago that I've never read [I got, like, 29 of them for $30 or so, including shipping. Who can say 'no' to a dollar a book? Not I.] Maybe I'll donate them to the library to assuage my late-return guilt a little.

New subject:

I won a book! Yay me! Books are my favorite, did I mention that? I won it over at Balls and Walnuts, to celebrate Doug's 500th blog post [come on, every body, "Ooh, Ahh." It's impressive, I tell you! If you don't believe me, try writing one of these puppies every day for a month or two.]

Ahem, yeah so anyway, the book's called: Collected Fictions, by Jorge Luis Borges, and until the other day, I'd never heard of Jorge Luis Borges, so I'm excited to learn something new.

I also received another free book from Brenda Coulter, who is also one of my favorite bloggers over at No Rules Just Right. She sent me a copy [autographed, I might add] of her latest book: A Family Forever. I'll blog more about that once I finish it. I'm right smack in the middle of it right now [got it yesterday] so far, I'm liking it. Not only is her main character named Shelby [albeit spelled incorrectly ;-)] but the main guy character [named Stephen "Tucker" Sharpe... Steven is my husband's name, how cool is that?] calls her 'Shel,' which is what my mom has called me since forever.

I dunno, that's pretty cool about our names, don't you think? Of course, all the other stuff is way different, but I'll talk about that later.

Shift gears again, dear friends!

Okay, this one is kinda weird, but it's driving me nuts, so I gotta share. Do any of you remember Robbie Benson? About a hundred years ago, he played a retarded kid, and when he got excited, he'd yell out, "Hot Damn!" Anybody remember that movie? I saw it on TV, and I was a little kid, so it was probably 20 years ago or so. I was driving home the other day, imagining something or other, and I suddenly remembered that character, and that I had an awful crush on Robbie Benson after I saw it.

Yeah, so if you can help with that, it would be wonderful, and I would be eternally grateful!

Okay, hubby is home and bugging me, so I gotta go.

Some Random Cool Stuff

Wednesdays are exhausting. Crowds are hard for me, so church stuff wears me out. That, coupled with my son throwing up a little bit ago, has made me think I'd rather be sleeping than blogging.

So, I decided to look up online generators, and found this site.

And to be really lazy, I generated a random blog entry:

Welcome to the Blog-o-Matic. And here is your dynamically generated, completely random and copyright-free blog post:

Everything to know about Ajax

What would you say if I told you that there is more to life than to make more enemies. Why am I talking about Ajax, you probably wonder... OK, I will tell you something here now... Sometime around last year my hair was silly. Yeah, just what it sounds like. Anyway. Although it felt more like a dream to me then. I stumbled upon a purple bird. Insert drum-roll here, because...


Date: 2006-02-02 07:56:48 Permalink Comments (0)

How cool is that?

And then there's this one, which gave me a new name:

My Merovingian name is Theudechild the Feeble-minded.
Take Merovingian Name Generator today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Name Generator Generator.

And then there's the Excuse Generator, which generated the following:

I got so absorbed in tracking down the sinister forces that control our lives that I could hardly function as a human being-- and then my boss got on my case COMPLETELY unfairly. I am so unspiritual sometimes! Anyway, I hope the cat doesn't have kittens this week

And this one:

I got so involved with this stupid flame-war on the Net that I could hardly function as a human being-- and then my test came back positive (a mistake, it turned out). I am so put upon by occult forces sometimes! Anyway, I hope my new meditation program clears up the problem this week.

Here is a Biblical Curse Generator, and I got the following:

"Take heed, O thou Amalekite dog, for you will be swallowed by a whale with excessively bad breath!"

So, go have some fun, and let me know if you find anything cool, okay?

*Edited to add, something went horribly wrong with my font size. I have no clue what I did, but I'm sorry if you can't read this. See above excuses!