Monday, September 1, 2014

What Happened to Summer?

Can it be? The end of summer already? Where did it go? Last winter was SO long. The summer was short in comparison. Not fair. I didn't get to go down the shore to walk on the edge of the water. Feel the hot sand between my toes. Get pizza on the boardwalk. I only swam in my pool twice. What happened to my summer vacation? There wasn't one this year. In honor of this short summer, I must showcase a pic of my youngest grandchild, Evie. Who, in one pic, epitomizes, youth, summer, curiosity, fun, fearlessness, and the innocence of childhood.

I did write a few books and stories. They were sure to be Best Sellers according to Bob (my husband), my kids (Lee, Crissy, Joe Jr and Bonnie, my grand-kids, Brandon, JT and Evie). A few of the girls at work read my Children's stories to their families and I was told they were great. But alas, those opinions, although they warned my heart, were not shared by any publishers.

If I was thirty years old, I'd just keep trying, but I'm so close to sixty I can touch it. I'm afraid I've run out of time. That the day I've dreamed of where I'll hold a book I've written in my hand, and frame it on my wall  might never come.

It's not like I haven't tried. I have friends and family who cheer me on. I have a wild, wonderful imagination given to me by God. I've been tempted lately to just publish my books on my own. I hate the words Vanity Press though. It's make me feel like I'm so full of myself, and that's not who I want to be.

My mother never gave up. But she never got anywhere, either. What a great job writing books would be! Spend every day thinking of ways to make people laugh, smile, cry, or hold their breath in suspense. Bring back memories or encourage them to explore new places and meet new people. Perhaps I might be fortunate enough to actually make a difference in their lives. Make them think in a different way to do things. Avoid making a mistake. Give them the strength to try again or continue their journey. What a gift that would be. 

Keep your fingers crossed for me. Will ya?
Special thanks to a great blogger Kristen Lamb. A writer who dedicates so much of her time to helping OTHER authors achieve their dream!! Is that a selfless act, or what?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Another Mother's Day is upon us. I can't imagine the day doesn't impact just about everyone in the entire world in some way.

Some people are children and don't even know much about Mother's Day. But their mom's know how fortunate they are to have been given such precious gifts from God.

Some people never had a mom to love and take care of them, and they disprove the old adage "You don't miss what you never had."

Some people had a mom, but for one reason or another, she was incapable of giving them the love they so desperately wanted. No one will ever know her reasons, but they must be there. They must.

Some people have lost their mother's. And no matter how long they have been gone, they still miss them. Time doesn't always heal all wounds.

As a woman who has lost her mother years ago, let me give you some advice. If your mother is still here... love her. Tell her you love her. You may not think it would make much of a difference to her, but it will. Call her. Someday you'll want to call her, but she won't be there. Spend time with her. Laugh with her. Ask her all kinds of questions. The answers will be important to you someday. Treat her with respect. She has lived longer than you and has given up more things for you than you'll ever know. She may not tell you, but you are never, ever out of her mind or her heart. No matter how old you are, she still worries about you. No one wants more for you than your mother. She is your biggest fan and best cheerleader. She'll love you no matter what you do. If she makes faces at you, yells at you or berates you, it's only because she wants so much for you. She'd rather fail herself than see you fail.

Hug your Mom today, on this precious Mother's Day. You have no idea how much I envy your opportunity. 

And Mom... I love you. I always have. I miss you so much. You enriched my life in so many ways and I never told you. I'm sorry about that. I wish you could have seen my kids grow up. They are pretty awesome. I wish you could see my grand-kids. They are so smart and beautiful. Tell daddy I said "hi", and that I miss him, too.

I wish heaven had visiting hours.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

My New Career

According to the Talent Acquisition Manager at my hospital, we are about to enter an exciting
phase of our working careers! Our division will be "transitioning" in the next few months. We
will no longer be an acute care hospital, we will be a Long Term Care and Acute Care Facility,
where none of us, will be eligible to be hired. Wow. That is exciting. I can hardly wait. I could
possibly be out of work, with no health benefits at a time in my life where I need medical care just
about every week. The recruiter said I should "broaden my horizons". I think they're about as
broad as they're gonna get. I feel sorry for the younger employees. They have longer to live than I
do. If I have to be unemployed I hope at least my husband and I stay healthy until we get medical

BTW... let me take this opportunity to shamelessly promote myself. I have always been interested
in being rich and famous. Now, I'll have the time to pursue that ambition! If you know anyone
who is looking for a person to make rich and famous ... I'm your woman. I have many, many
talents, too many to list here, but I will furnish you with said list at your request. Just send me a
SASE (I'm about to be out of work, you know).

I am an unsuccessful writer with lots of talent. I'm a lousy speller but I have spell check. I can
only type with two fingers, but I'm pretty fast.
I don't like to get up early,  but I can stay up late if necessary. I am able to stand after having two
cocktails. I only fall when I'm sober, but that's not a problem since I try not to be sober too often. 

I used to be a good nurse. I don't think the human body parts have changed since I went to
nursing school thirty years ago, but just in case, I can Google it. I'm great at telling other people
what to do, which is natural, since I'm somewhat of a control freak. Since I am no longer young,
skinny and hot, it would probably be best not to put me at the front desk. If there is more than one
floor, I'll require an elevator. I have a phobia of driving, so I prefer to work close to my home. I
should mention here, that I work best in my pajamas. Flannel ones. Get your mind out of the
gutter. I do have a pacemaker, but that will enable me to continue to show up for work long after
I'm dead. I am too old to get pregnant, so you won't have to put up with those inconvenient
maternity leave requests. 

My children are all grown, so there won't be any day care teachers calling me at
work. I do, occasionally, need to take a call from a bail bondsman depending on what my kids are
up to or have been caught doing.

 All that being said, you can reach me most anytime on Face Book, making whimsical and
sometimes profound comments. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Nurse's Day

May is the month we celebrate Nurses. I doubt there are very many people in this world whose lives haven't been touched in some way by a nurse.

 Nurses are people who will do things for you that your own family wouldn't do. They do it without making you feel embarrassed, disgusting, grotesque, contagious or anything other than worthy of their care. They do it with gentleness, kindness and patience, despite the personal nightmares they are facing in their day to day lives. They do it no matter how much physical pain they may be suffering themselves.

 They support you and your family even though there may be no one to support them during their own times of grief. They miss holidays, school trips, birthdays, kid's sports games, friends weddings, all kinds of events they'd love to attend because they must work holidays and weekends.They work long hours, and indulge in physical labor like lifting, turning, and pushing stretchers of patients who may weigh over 500 pounds.

 Nurses are frequently chastised by patients, family members, doctors and administrators for any number of complaints that aren't even their fault. 

No injury is too horrific for them to render life saving measures, both on and off-duty, no bodily excrement is too offensive for them to clean up. Nurses are exposed to deadly diseases and chemicals. Surrounded by germs. Must wash unfortunate patients who may be homeless or bedridden, and haven't been bathed for weeks or even months. They are sometimes physically and/or verbally attacked. They are expected to show up to work no matter how sick they or their families are, to attend to the ailments of complete strangers.
Nursing school is extremely difficult. They are expected to know when the doctor has made an error in his orders, and correct it, even though they didn't go to medical school themselves. As tired as they are, their own families expect the same amount of care and attention from them as if they didn't work at all.

 Many, many nurses work well beyond retirement age because they can't afford medical benefits. The same medical personnel who have dispensed medications during their entire careers to those who couldn't afford it. And now, when they need it, there is nothing, not even a discount, offered to them for their service. 

Still, do we hear their cries of pain, injustice, unfairness, or even a complaint? No. Why? Because these compassionate, loving people with hearts of gold... are nurses. 

And if you were to ask one what she does for a living... she or he will smile sincerely, and say, "I'm a nurse!"

Thank you, dear ladies and gentlemen for the loving care you have bestowed upon me and my family. May the invisible wings you wear on your backs carry you straight to heaven when God calls you home.

I'd like to remember two close friends, who helped me through nursing school and the following year which I swore I'd never survive. They are now in Heaven, and I hope they are having the best time ever!

 My friend, Pat Wild, who was so much more than a friend and the best nurse I ever met. I miss you, Pat.
My friend Joyce O'Neal who made us laugh all through school and managed to overcome unbelievable obstacles. I miss you, Joyce!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Lost On The Road To Fame and Fortune

A few years ago all I dreamed about was getting a book published. I envisioned subsequent book signings, the interviews, getting on the NY Times Best Seller List, and perhaps, maybe... a nomination for the Pulitzer prize. I expected there to be requests for my autograph and E-mails from numerous new writers across the country, asking me for tips on getting published themselves.

I planned to move to the countryside, where my office would be in a room with a large picture window facing a magnificent view. My desk would be in front of that window, so during breaks I could look up from my computer and enjoy the scenery. I would shop for the most comfortable chair ever, so the numerous hours spent weaving future (also successful) tales wouldn't be too hard on my back.

I was contemplating whether I should look into a microphone, so I could speak those tales into the computer instead of typing them. I'm pretty fast using only two fingers, but I could get a lot more books written if I used the automatic system. I wrote out numerous dedications for future books, to make sure I thanked everyone who needed to be thanked. 

I read up on writing screen plays as well, as some of my books might be turned into great movies someday. The screen writer is always the one who gets the Oscar, not the author, and I wanted that little golden statue on my mantle piece. Naturally, I spent many a sleepless night forming an acceptance speech in my mind.

I hate driving, so I wondered if I should hire a driver for my long distance excursions for book signings and tours, or just purchase an RV and let my husband drive me around the country. It would be fun and we could take the dogs along.

I decided that yes, I would be more than happy to make speeches at the schools I attended, and in the classrooms of my grandchildren, if I were asked.

I promised myself I wouldn't let fame and fortune change me. I would remain humble, grateful and never forget the people who helped me get where I was.

Seems I may have been a bit premature, or perhaps, wasted a lot of time worrying about the details. Maybe my wish wasn't quite clear, because although I did get my first book 'Passing Whispers' published, none of the aftermath I envisioned came to be. Not much happened at all. I felt like a teenager who was stood up on prom night. All dressed up with nowhere to go. In fact, my contract with Devine Destinies expired and I signed a new contract with Environmental Publishing. It will be re-released sometime this year.

It seems that getting published might be the easy part. Good grief. Maybe I'm being too hard on myself. The eight year old daughter of my middle daughter's old best friend from high school DID ask me to autograph a piece of paper for her. That's something. Right?

And when 'Passing Whispers' comes out again this years, maybe the new publisher will show it to the right people. Maybe it will sell like wild fire and I will be on the NY Times Best Seller List after all! And then...

Or not. Sigh.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What About Bob

Hasn't anyone wondered what became of me the past few months? Aww, c'mon. Somebody did. Those who know and work with me already know about Bob. I joined a Dating Site in February, just to browse. Talk about a fantastic shopping experience! I found the Perfect Man. I ordered him right away, lest some other lucky girl snagged him up first. After a few 'flirts', E-mails, telephone calls (with that sexy, deep voice of his!) we decided to meet at AppleBee's. Dinner lasted three and a half hours. We were talking, not eating. LOL. Then, the next week, he took me to see the circus, since I had never gone before. We had a great time, and he offered to help me and my daughters move to our new house. It had already been planned, and I hated to impose on him, but he was strong (an iron worker by trade), in better shape than me (he belongs to a gym and actually goes), he was willing and he had a truck. Perfect. Plus, it gave us an excuse to spend hours and hours together, which led to us becoming inseparable.

And now??? We're engaged to be married! Yes, it's true! Don't feel bad if you're in shock and disbelief. I was too. Not to mention my kids. The ceremony will take place on February 12, 2012. Our one year anniversary. Some may think it a bit rushed, but not us. At my age, I know what I want, and I'd like to walk down the aisle before I need a cane.

Now, my previously empty, dull and boring days, with a social calendar as wide open as Texas, is now full, busy and exciting. Unpacking the new house. Merging my stuff with Bob's stuff (but to tell you the truth, it wasn't too difficult as his stuff was better than my stuff. Oops. I hope none of my stuff is reading this. Sorry.) In return for his unceasing help in hanging shelves, drilling holes and all that man-type stuff, I am helping him move down here. He's from central Jersey, and will be putting his house up for sale soon. I'm also learning how to plan a wedding,I bought a Bowflex machine and have been working out like a fiend, and have been looking into dance lessons. How cool would it be for Bob and I to stun and amaze our friends attending our wedding reception like we were from 'Dancing With The Stars'?
Bob bought me the most awesome diamond engagement ring, which is dazzling under every conceivable light. I know, cause I've LOOKED at it under every conceivable light.
I got to meet his sister and her husband who live in Massachusetts for a weekend. I'll meet his parents in a few weeks.

I've been glued to the Internet looking at wedding gowns, bridesmaids gowns, wedding cake toppers, garters, ring bearer pillows, invitations, photograohers, DJ's, best song sites, churches and reception halls. Who needs a wedding planner?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Has It Come To This?

Every once in a while someone asks me how old I am. Not as much as before though. I guess once you hit a certain age, it doesn't really matter anymore. When they do ask me, I have a hard time remembering for a few seconds. 56? I ask. No, 57. WOW. 57. I'll be 60 before I know it. I sometimes sit back and assess my behavior for signs of 'growing old'. I want to see that I really am or that I'm really not an old person yet.

Today, I found myself neck deep in old age behavior. Reveling in the knowledge that I was off from work today, I moved the puppy to another room to avoid all distractions, sat down at my computer desk and made the call I've been waiting to make for over a week. 1-800-COMCAST.

Oh, I knew I'd be placed on hold several times for countless minutes and shuffled from one department to another. But I knew that with plenty of time on my hands, a glass of ice tea beside me and no distractions, eventually someone from Comcast would have to listen to my complaint. I chuckled to myself. They had no idea who they were dealing with. But today... yes, today, they would find out.

I was ready. I rattled off my account number as soon as they asked me for it (even though I had already punched it in the phone and followed it with the confounded pound sign). They weren't going to get rid of me that easily. I patiently waited as they transferred me from one wrong department to another. I listened to their scratchy elevator music, eying a web site I had already pulled up to amuse myself with during this wait. I wrote down all their names and code numbers, except for one whose accent was so heavy I couldn't be sure if he was thanking me for waiting or telling me to say four Our Father's and a Hail Mary.

I kicked off my shoes and licked my lips when it appeared I had finally reached THE ONE who would have to listen to my story. I knew the buck probably wouldn't stop there, but it wouldn't be too much further.

I explained that my husband and I had had a Comcast Xfinity Home Security System installed two weeks before. "Great!" the unsuspecting girl cried. "No. Not so great," I retorted. "The alarm is so soft that no one can hear it. Not me. Not my husband and certainly not any burglar finding his way into my supposedly secure home. It went off the other night and we slept right through it." Before she could come back with a remedy which would no doubt cast a suspicion of senility on me, I assured her that I knew how to work the system and I had set the audible alarm to its highest and loudest setting. I quickly added that my hearing was just fine before she accused me of the ailment. My heart rate increased as my story continued. "To make matters worse, not only didn't we hear the alarm, it stopped on its own and the monitoring company never even called us to see if we were being robbed or murdered!" She apologized as I hit her with another blow. "I have to tell you that any last remnant of trust for your security company vaporized when one of the sensors fell off the sliding glass door as we were watching television last night. That's right. It just fell off on its own, and would still be lying there useless on the floor, except I had to pick it up before my puppy ate it."

I sat back, waiting for the litany of apologies and promises that were sure to come. Maybe even a free month or two. My expectations slammed into a wall of reality as I recognized the sudden and unexpected sound of a dial tone. No! I screamed silently. We were disconnected!! Before my apologies and promises!!

Asking my husband to exchange my glass of iced tea for a cocktail instead, I re-dialed the number. Put in my home telephone number. Accepted the pre-recorded announcement that there was a large volume of calls and I may have to wait for at least ten minutes for a representative to respond.  No problem. Bob made me a large cocktail.

The second associate was just as apologetic as the first, maybe more so, since I told her I was disconnected after waiting the obligatory ten minutes. However, in a brain numbing instant, I was once again disconnected. How could this be?

Wiping a few beads of sweat from my upper lip and opening a window, I re-dialed the number. This time I insisted on speaking to a supervisor. "I want to speak to someone who has been trained to speak to a customer without hanging up on them, if that is remotely possible." "Yes," she finally agreed, but I "would have to wait even longer for a supervisor". Okay by me. I could see that Bob was already stirring my second cocktail. What a loving and supportive guy!

After a THIRTY-SEVEN minute wait (I surmised that I must be getting the supervisor of all supervisors) she got on.
I explained the entire story once again, allowing myself to dramatize a word here and there to vent my growing frustration and warn her of my potential escalation to postal behavior. She positively assured me that she would get to the bottom of this. She would personally remedy this situation if it took her the rest of her career. Absolutely nothing would stop her. All I needed to do was hold on for just a few more minutes while she contacted the person with all the Comcast power.... maybe, quite possible a CEO I thought.

And thought. Finishing my second cocktail I began to worry. Why was there no muzak? Where did my Supervisor of all supervisors go? FORTY-NINE minutes later I began to worry that perhaps she wasn't coming back at all.

I frantically brought up the Comcast Web Page. I clicked on the 'Live Help' button and feverishly typed in my story with two fingers. 'Eugene' typed back a message to me. I read and re-read his response. I had Bob read it, just to make sure. It was 'Eugene's' suggestion to remedy the situation. I am going to copy and paste it for you, dear Reader, so I cannot be accused of exaggerating the response in any way. Here it is:

Tech Expert [9/18/2012 10:45 AM]: Thank you for describing the issue you’re facing. I believe we have the right solution for you. Other customers who have the same issue purchase our Wireless Networking and Computer Performance. This is an affordable subscription that has our technician remotely connect to your computer to properly set up, secure, and resolve your wireless network issue today as well as assist you in maintaining it on an on-going 24×7 basis. With this package we’ll install a program that continuously fine-tunes settings to make sure your system runs efficiently as well as provide 5 “live” assisted tune-ups each year. Because you are an existing Comcast subscriber, this option is only $9.95 per month with a one-time enrollment fee of $39. To order or find out more, please call 1 (866) 556-3337

Is it me or has the world gone crazy? I need to purchase a subscription that will make my security system actually work properly? The system that I already purchased and will pay over one thousand dollars a year to protect my family against harm? That's his solution? And did you notice the line where he admits that other customers have had the "same issues"? Hello!!   Fingers flying across the keyboard, I typed him a message. "Send a tech to my house and take all your crappy equipment away. I do not want to be charged one dime, and if you took any money out of my checking account for installation I want it returned immediately!"   I stared at the screen, unblinking as 'Eugene' told me that he would gladly terminate my security agreement but I would be charged a penalty fee for breaking the contract I signed when the system was installed a mere two weeks before. He then excused himself, wished me a good day and signed off.   Still holding the telephone in my rapidly numbing hand, I heard the faint but distinct sound of a dial tone. The Supervisor of all supervisors had abandoned me, too.   Hand slightly trembling, I motioned to Bob for another cocktail. But I swear, like the armies of abused and swindled old people before me, I will not let this go. I will fight this battle to its bitter end. You may not hear from me for a while. If things get too nasty Comcast may cut off my computer access. But I'll still be there. Just wait and see.