Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Coming of a New Year -- a sort of New Year's letter to those who care to read through to the end...

Christmas is over and as usual I spent much too much money and still wasn't able to get everything I wanted and had envisioned getting for everyone I wanted to get things for.  I wasted too much time worrying over the emotional, financial, and quantity balance of every person on my list, and nearly gave myself a Christmas Eve ulcer making sure things were even. In the end there seemed a general sense of contentment and happiness from the loved ones I presented with gifts and since it's over my OCD can ease back into the darkness until the next gift giving season.  My children seemed satisfied with their gifts and managed to spend a decent amount of time in each other's company without too much stress and I spent a good amount of time with 2 of my 5 remaining grandchildren. 

It's time now to look forward at the coming year.  2010 was particularly difficult for my entire family; there were too many breakups, too much disagreement, and far far too much grief.  We saw joyous times with the birth of four new grandbabies, and suffered crushing loss on September 14, when Aryiana, one of my granddaughters died from what we can only assume to be SIDS.  My mother lost not only a great-grandchild but also both of her remaining sisters all within a 6 month period.

I have hopes that 2011 will be a much more positive year for my family.  My second oldest son will be the first of my children to take the matrimonial plunge when he marries his girlfriend of 7 years. These are kids who have been together since they were 13 & 15 years old and have already struggled and suffered through more than most couples twice their age.  I look forward to helping plan and carry out the most beautiful, most interesting wedding to ever take place.  If anyone knows a church that would be willing to rent/donate the use of their chapel during the late afternoon on Friday, June 24, please let me know who to contact.  We have a minister to perform the ceremony but the church that my kids and I attended for many many years was sold and my son desperately wants a church wedding in a traditional chapel.  The date is pretty much set in stone as it would have been Aryiana's first birthday and it is their way of including their baby in the wedding and commemorating her birth.

The coming year will see my beautiful twin granddaughters celebrate their first birthdays on July 18 & 19, and I thank God every day for each of them and for their wonderful mother who allows me to share their lives despite disharmony between she and my son. 

My precious grandson Noah will also see his first birthday this year on Halloween day.  It will be an amazing journey to watch him grow and see his personality emerge throughout the next months. His big brother Sebastian will turn three in October as well. 

My daughter will become a legal adult and (please please God) begin her senior year of highschool while my baby boy will enter second grand and my oldest granddaughter will begin Kindergarten. 

My older boys will turn 19, 23, and 25 this year, and I find myself praying constantly that the coming year will bring each of them peace of mind, contented hearts, and a more settled place in the universe.

I myself will be 44 years old in July, and I'm completely unsure as to how that occured.  It sounds so OLD, but yet I don't really feel like I'm old.  I don't feel young either and when I look back on my life I wonder how it is possible to have done so much yet accomplished so little.  I'm hoping to solve that riddle at some point this year.

My mother on the other hand will be 86 in September and it amazes me that she has accomplished so much in her life time yet still seems so vital and amazingly strong.  My first and most important request to God this new year will be to let our family keep its matriarch for a very very long time to come.

My goals and resolutions for the new year are fairly simple... I want to be more consistant in taking my medication and exercising to get a tighter grip on my physical, emotional, and mental health.  I want to enjoy my family and my friends whom I rarely get to see.  I want to find a comfortable and contented environment at work so that stress stems only from the people and things who are truly important.  Most of all I want to develop the peace of mind and strength of heart to deal with whatever 2011 holds in store.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's been one of those days!

It is currently 1:06am, Monday, December 13, 2010 and I'm sitting in bed with my laptop attempting for the fourth time today to make a blog post... It's been one of those days!

First I tried to post about my new experiences with youth wrestling; a sport that my youngest son is just beginning and one that none of my older children ever participated in.  It was a long post filled with anticipation, annoyance, anxiety and excitement.  I talked about the miscommunication that had us driving through the snow to arrive at 9:45 only to find out two hours later that we really didn't need to be there until 11:30!  I talked about the bratty kids running wild and climbing on concrete railings without a word from coaches or parents.  I even talked about my 10 year love affair with youth football.  It was a masterpiece, perhaps even a work of art... unfortunately my cell phone ate it and nothing remained of the post except the title...  It's been one of those days!

Then I spent three hours playing time keeper for no less than forty wrestling matches while struggling to catch glimpses of my 7 year old wrestling on the mat catty corner from the one I was working.  This was his first real tournament, his first year of wrestling.  Out of three matches he won two and came out of the one he lost with 9 points.  For the day he won 9-8, lost 9-13, and won 11-8; 29 points in all which to my untutored and untrained mind seems pretty good for a 45 pound kid.  The time keeping itself is exhausting.  Not physically, all you do is hold a stopwatch and when it gets to 59 seconds you smack the ref with a rolled up towel or a cut off pool floaty to end the period (wrestling matches consist of three 1 minute periods)... mentally however it's exhausting because you have to pay attention to the ref's calls and stop the time for out of bounds, injuries, etc.  Forty matches in three hours is a lot, especially on a split mat where the area they have to wrestle in is cut in half... It'd been one of those days!

To finish up the evening I spent hours alternating the warmth of my car and the frigid snow trying to help my daughter with her colicky horse.  Over an hour waiting for a vet to return a page (which he never did and it was the final straw for me... no more Walnut Grove Vet Clinic for us, we will be finding a new vet ASAP) then trying a different vet practice in hopes of getting someone who could help us figure out what was going on.  A few more hours of trying to avoid $300 in emergency vet bills that included an hour of my 17 year old daugher in six layers of clothing walking the horse around the pasture in the dark and the blinding snow... It's been one of those days!!!

There's more to this story, and it was all supposed to be humorous and well written.. was in fact the first three times I wrote it on my cell phone and then lost it due to phone calls, text messages, cold numb fingers hitting the wrong keys, and just general ridiculousnes because, as I've said several times already, it was one of THOSE days!

New experiences...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I LOVE the snow!  I love watching it snow, I love taking pictures in the snow, I love playing in the snow... I don't even mind driving in the snow as long as I'm not somewhere surrounded by people in 4-wheel drives who think they don't have to drive carefully because they drive 4-wheel drives...   I just love snow.

It's so clean and beautiful... innocent and pure... and if it's just the right consistancy you can built things with it!  Like sand only it doesn't itch when it gets in your swimsuit and you have to wear a lot of clothes so the other kids don't make fun of you for being a fat ass with sand in your swimsuit... it's just a win win situation.

Probably because of my love of snow my children love snow.  The best times my kids ever had together were times playing in the snow.  There was no fighting, no bickering, just sledding and working together to build snowmen and snow forts.

I have to work today so chances are I will miss playing in this first significant snowfall of the new prewinter season, but I can guarantee that as soon as he can reassure his grandmother that he will neither freeze to death or contract consumption from playing outside in the cold my Shortman will be out building a snowman. My daughter is, as I type this, getting dressed to go ride horses "now while it's still snowing, Mom!"

So for today while I'm at Wal-Mart helping people with their holiday picture gifts and electronics my challenge to anyone reading this is to bundle up, go outside, and play in the snow!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Write, writing, written, wrote; right?

If you read my original post I mentioned the fact that I write and might even be called a published author if you count the books on disk publisher who offered me a contract, published my manuscript on floppy disk around 1991 or so and them promptly went belly up.  Since then I have published exactly nothing, but I do have two completely finished novel manuscripts and about 5 or so more in various stages of completion.

If I have finished books you might ask then why have I not been published again...  well I haven't really pursued publication as diligently as necessary, in fact I really haven't pursued it much at all.  I sent out a few dozen queries, all of which were soundly rejected, but that's about it.

Now you're probably wondering why I don't pursue it as diligently as I should... the honest answer to that would probably be the fact that I don't think I'm good enough...

People who read my work tend to fall into 2 categories... they either love it and want to read everything but my grocery list, or they hate it because my writing style sucks big Sasquatch balls...

If you don't know much about writing you're probably now wondering what the hell a writing style is and why it would possibly have anything to do with Bigfoot's testicals.  Writing style is the way in which an author presents his story to his target audience...  It can be in first person where the character conveying the story (not necessarily the author) is the main character.  This kind of story is pretty easily identifiable because everything is "I did this" or "I felt like that" and the only emotional imput to the story is that of the main character unless the character is one with psychic or empathic abilities and even then the reader is only fed other characters emotions and motivations and thoughts through the filter of the main character.

Or it can be in some variation of 3rd person... I don't remember all the names of the variations or exactly how they work so I'm not even going to go into them seperately (my Associate's Degree classes were a long freaking time ago and too many drastic drops in blood sugar has killed off what few sparking neurons remembered any of that crap).  The point I'm making is in a 3rd person story the character conveying the story is a narrarator.  He or she tells you the story, describes what is happening and fills you in on the motivation and emotions of all of the characters.  Usually these stories like first person stories convey the point of view (POV) of only one of the main characters or if you are shown the emotions and motivations of other characters then the different POVs of set out one at a time in different chapters or sections or whatnot.

I don't write like that.  I tend to write in what is or was once call omnicient POV which basically means that in any given scene you will be conveyed the emotions, thoughts, and motivations of whatever characters are present at the time.  I write like this because I like the flow it gives to the story.  The reader is not only an observer of the scene but they can see and understand the characters thoughts and motivations.... they don't have to wait for later to find out why the hero is a bumbling idiot because while they are seeing the scene through the eyes of the heroine they are also privy to the hero tangled emotions that end up also tangling his feet.

A lot of readers don't like omnicient POV...  most agents don't like omnicient POV...  most publishers don't like omnicient POV... I on the other hand, love omnicient POV and having tried over and over to force myself into the mold of an author who spits out one character POV for an entire section or chapter I finally decided that being published isn't worth writing a novel that I myself would have no interest in reading.

There will no doubt be a part 2 to this post because I'm sure I'll find more to say on the subject especially if my muse returns and I'm actually brave enough to write something that I'm willing to share with my writing group.  Who are all wonderfully talented, creative, supportive people; most all of whom don't like omnicient POV :)

Oh and I also didn't even begin to expound on the complete absence of spelling, punctuation, and grammar in all of my writing :) :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

As a formerly lifelong morbidly obese person I have to say this...

Let the kids have their fucking chocolate milk... give them vegetables and fruits and lots of protein and see that they get lots of water and a little juice...  take away the video games, give them a stick and send them outside to play... make sure they are well socialized and emotionally healthy... play with them, love them, and pay particular attention to the first 3 years of their life... but take my word for it, a container of chocolate milk with their school lunch isn't what makes them fat and unhealthy... that comes from being unsocialized, inactive, withdrawn, and introverted...  aka being lonely and generally unhappy...  poor eating habits can be supplimented and turned around, but I truly believe (through personal experience and observation) that the root causes of childhood obesity are emotional and not dietary.

Let me also add... make sure your Dr is looking at EVERY medical possibility for unhealthy weight issues... Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in little girls is a huge cause of childhood obesity but until very recently that wasn't a disorder that was even thought about unless a woman had serious issues with cysts or had difficulty getting pregnant.  It is caused by an imbalance with insulin/glucose and even if all the tests for diabetes and other insulin/sugar related disorders are negative make sure that the ratio between them is being looked at as well.  PCOS is a precursor to adult onset diabetes and can contribute not only to weight issues but depression and other emotional issues as well.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Well look at this....

Apparently I can blog from my phone! What further proof could one need that God does exist and he loves me very much? hehehehehe

I have no clue what this will end up formatting like seeing as my cell phone likes to shit itself and just randomly stop working correctly on anything. It does however give me something to fill the random time before clock in and I'm sure it will find use during sports practices, dr appointments, traffic jams and when I am trying to ignore someone who is talking to me and can't grasp that I have no interest in what they're saying. :)

Let's see how it looks shall we?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Here goes nothing...

Okay I guess you could say this is my maiden voyage into the world of blogging.  I have no clue what I'm doing so it may take awhile before I figure out how to get all the little features and things up and running.  Until then here are some basics...

I'm 43 years old, unmarried but in a relationship I've been in for nearly 15 years.  It's a complicated situation that I'm sure I will get into at some point but that isn't now.  Suffice it to say that we have 5 children; four of whom I adopted as a single mother before Frank and I met and then one biological child we had together after many years of trying.  I'll get into all that more later as well.  Michael just turned 24, Marques will be 23 in February, Keiran is 18, Bekah is 17 and a junior at Greene County Career Center (please dear Jesus she will be the first of my children to actually finish high school and graduate) and Karl turned 7 in October. 

I will say as a precursor to later things that I made the designation of having adopted children once; you aren't likely to see that designation ever again unless it is somehow integral to the subject matter because I have FIVE children, not four and one, FIVE children that belong to me now and forever all in exactly the same way.

I also have 6 grandchildren; Nevaeh, Aryiana, Sebastian, Avery, Makayla, & Noah... 

Nevaeh is 4 yrs old; she is the daughter of my 2nd son and his beautiful girlfriend of 7 years. Her baby sister, Aryiana is the baby in my background picture; she was born June 24, 2010 and passed away from SIDS on September 14, 2010. Turtle's death is something that we are all still dealing with on a daily basis and I'm certain that the grief process will play a huge role here as well.

Sebastian is actually my oldest son's girlfriend's son, but he's 2 years old and I am Mamaw all the same; hopefully loving him like I do won't come back to bite me in the ass at some point in the future.  (I will add the note here that I have an absolutely filthy mouth and I don't intend to edit myself here so reader beware)

Avery & Makayla are my twin grand-daughters born 10 weeks premature on July 18 & 19, 2010.  They are my oldest son's children with his ex-girlfriend; they are beautiful, awesome baby girls that I don't get to see nearly often enough mostly because of distance, stupid work schedules, and my son's severe mental health issues. 

Noah Geronimo is the newest of my grandchildren; born 6 weeks premature on October 31, 2010.  He is also my oldest son's child with his current girlfriend and is Sebastian's baby brother.

I work at Wal-Mart as a Photo Center Specialist despite a fairly decent education which again I'm sure I will get into later.  I'm a Democrat after spending most of my adult life thinking I was a Republican because I don't believe in abortion... I also don't believe in the death penaltry, wouldn't trust a politician from any party any farther than I could carry them on my back, and don't have any interest in debating either my political stances or my religious beliefs.  I am who I am, you are who you are and as long as we respect each other there is plenty of room in the world for all of us. 

I love to read anything that can hold my attention and I guess you could say I'm a writer as well although grief seems to have stifled the creative process somewhat lately.  I had a book published in the early 1990's by a books on disk (yes children I am speaking of floppy disks... little square pieces of plastic that went into a little slot on your computer, which back them had 64 MB hard drives if you were really lucky) publisher out of Littleton, CO.  The book was called Wylde Skies and the company went out of business shortly after it was published.  I haven't been published since, but to give myself some credit I haven't really pursued publication with any consistancy or dedication so it may be that I haven't tried or it may be that my stuff sucks... at some point you'll get to judge that for yourself I'm sure.

As you can tell by this first post I like to ramble and much of what gets posted here will be just that; rambling.  Some will be angry and hurt people's feelings or piss them off, some will be amusing and make people laugh, some will be sarcastic and probably again hurt feelings and piss people off, some might actually make sense but that's a huge maybe.  Either way I told myself if I fell into this blog stuff I wouldn't hold back, that it would be the real me; the me everyone around me thinks they know but really have no idea.

That said... here goes nothing...