Time to Think

Well I’m over 5500 words into my writing this year.  I’m working on book 9 of reading this year which happens to be “Black List” by Brad Thor.  I believe it’s book 11 in his series.  I’m really enjoying that series.  I don’t really care for reading them back to back but I do enjoy reading them.

But I did want to ask a question that I can’t seem to get an answer to.

When do we discount the good people have done?

We have all these men in Hollywood accused of sexual harassment.  The latest murmuring turmoil is none other than accusations against Stan Lee.  Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey were open secrets… meaning people in the industry and outside the industry knew and made jokes about their predatory natures well before the crap hit the fan.  Does an accusation mean we need to just immediately rob a man of his career, his work, his livelihood, his good name?

I mean clearly when there’s evidence in the form of photographs or something, we can be certain of it, but how many accusers is enough?

I have family who want to slam Phil Robertson and the entire family of Duck Dynasty without having seen an episode of the show or reading the context of the interview they object to and yet they proudly sing Michael Jackson songs.  For those who don’t know, Jackson was an accused pedophile.

Do we eliminate the good things our forefathers gave us in this country because they didn’t eliminate the atrocity of slavery and some participated in it?

Where is that line?  Or is that not a line but is it simply based on where people want to stand on something?  In ten years are we still going to care about the things Harvey Weinstein has allegedly done?  Or is he going to be lauded for his vision with movies?  I mean many people don’t care about what Roman Polanski is accused of even now when he is still “on the lam” as it were.  He’s still making movies and winning awards and recognition.

We need to have some standards.  How much do accusations count?  How many accusers and what level of credibility do they need?  Should we treat someone who makes untoward and rude remarks with the same anger and disgust as someone who committed rape?

I mean, I get it.  Sexual harassment is bad.  I’ve been sexually harassed.  Offline, online, in high school.  I’ve had creepy guys leer at me in the store.  Should I have endured that?  In a perfect world, no.  This is far from a perfect world though.  I’m also not interested in giving a few creeps power over me long term.  I happen to know the guy who harassed me in high school went in the army and by all accounts straightened out his crap.  It doesn’t make what they did right [the guy in high school got in trouble for it back then].

I see no reason his life should be ruined.  In fact, the fact that I was able to go to my high school assistant principal and get help only reassured me that I don’t have to take crap and harassment.

I think we need to take accusations seriously, so don’t get me wrong there.  But I think we also need to acknowledge that false accusations do happen [as Duke Lacrosse easily proved] and it can ruin lives.  Ruining someone just because they’re a guy and are “probably guilty” is just wrong and frankly sexist.  It doesn’t make right indignities women have suffered in any form of fashion.

And there ends my random thoughts for today.


Gather Round the Gumbo

One of my New Year’s things this year is to write more.  My husband asked me to write more and wants me to – and not simply fiction but on here as well… to talk about well really anything.

Three weeks away from home is too much.

I’ll just say that.

We visited with my family and with hubby having a conference the next week that was only an hour away from my family, it seemed silly to drive 12 hours home to drive 12 hours back.  Not to mention, travel seems to wreck my body now – thanks arthritis!  I don’t know that I could have done the home and back given that.  I probably would have just stayed home.

I actually feel like this week is calmer than the last two have been.  Christmas and New Year’s always feel like I’m running a marathon.

I have my word count registered for this year [goal is 200,000 words].  I highly recommend signing up for Get Your Words Out rather than NaNoWriMo.  I have little to no time to write in November/December so I can make a yearly goal and achieve that.

I have my book goal set at Goodreads for this year [50 again, same as last year].  I’ll probably surpass it handily again but it’s a good goal to start with.  I’m already 8 books in thus far but that will slow down from here on I expect.

We’re about to start back in on our homeschooling for the year.  I still have a lot I want to get done before May when his yearly testing is and we have a hands on science unit to start.  I skipped science in the fall since I had done a full unit over the summer [Astronomy culminating in the eclipse, which we traveled to see in totality].

I have a personal research project planned for the year, so that will definitely be incorporated into our homeschooling but I’m not quite ready to share that yet.  I have two more books I need to read and both are a bit expensive to lay my hands on [the library has a reference only copy of both].  I may share more about the project later but it’s a local thing so I’m not prepared to do that just yet.

I’m also still not quite ready to talk about what I encountered over our visit with family because I’m still not certain how I feel about things.  I love my family and that hasn”t and won’t change but I feel very conflicted about some of their beliefs and more concerned about their notion that disagreeing with them is hate.  It really feels that while I respect their right to believe what they want, it feels like they don’t have regard or respect for my feelings and how my husband and I have chosen to raise our son.  That’s something I have to figure out in the coming year.  And I won’t be able to chicken out again and say nothing.  I froze this past year when I should have stepped in.  I regret that but the important part of that is getting to a place where I’m comfortable stepping in and not allowing it to happen again.

I need to know what I believe and more importantly be able to express why I believe those things and back them up.  My husband has been really encouraging this year in that regard.  I also have to say that the wisdom and straightforwardness of Ben Shapiro at the Daily Wire has been priceless as I learn to frame arguments.  There is some irony that I spent the last year reading all kinds of things in an effort to understand my suddenly liberal leaning mother and sisters and ended up more conservative than before.

The truth of the matter is that I have a son and I have to fight for his future as any parent should for their children.  Feminism in its current form is a threat to his future.  I’m not talking the dictionary definition of feminism.  My mom insists that’s the only feminism that exists and that everyone should be a feminist.  By dictionary definition, I may qualify.  I believe people should be judged on their merits.  Equal pay for equal experience and work.  Sexual harassment is bad.  I don’t feel like I can call myself a feminist simply because of the notions behind the term within society.  As I learned studying linguistic anthropology, while the dictionary definition does matter, so does cultural application.

Anyway, I think I’m about done with my ramblings today.  If anyone made it this far I’m not sure if I should congratulate you or apologize lol.

I did buy one little extravagance on vacation [you wouldn’t believe the cost of dish towels but it seemed perfect given that my mom makes a mean gumbo and I used her recipe as a base to create mine].



I almost wish that a picture did actually count for 1000 words on my yearly word count :P.  Anyway I had to laugh because my son told one of the local restaurants that their gumbo “wasn’t the best” because his grandma’s and mom’s was better.  But that’s just how it is.  Even the waiter of the [very fancy] restaurant understood.  My son will give his honest culinary opinion.  I mean he wants to be a chef and beat Bobby Flay at a burger challenge so that’s probably a good quality.  Oh, and we’ll be doing a cooking class with his homeschooling too.  Just the basics, though he already knows how to make a roux which is probably a little bit beyond basics right?

Anyway, let me log off here and get back to some of my fiction writing!

Hope you enjoyed my rambling!

Oh and here’s a link to Tobymac’s new single “I just need u.”  It’s been running through my head all day.

Christmas and New Years

Christmas and New Years is a hectic and crazy time for everyone I know.  Whether you’re dealing with emotions, family, travel or all the above, it just gets crazy.  Having the holidays on top of that is just another stressor.

I had a feeling that this year was going to bring additional challenges.  We go out of town to visit with my family each year for Christmas and New Year’s.  This is always a stressful time just inherently because we’re away from home [and we’re all homebodies] and we’re driving, though I personally think flying would be more of a stressor.  It’s about a 13 hour drive, without stops, and with my arthritis I have to stop about every 2 hours just to stretch.  Fortunately we try and plan those stops so we can minimize stops, though this trip every single stop seemed to just drag on this year.

The trip this year took a lot more out of me physically than it usually does.  That might have to do with the knee injury I had.  Back in October, I was walking across level ground and suddenly had a sharp pain my knee.  I ended up having to see a specialist and take medicine and basically couldn’t exercise for just over two months.  I am just now able to walk a bit without re-injuring my knee or being in excruciating pain.  But between that injury and my arthritis, I did not travel well at all.

We arrived to my parents city on December 23rd in the late afternoon/early evening.  We had found a new hotel this year and it’s much nicer for the same price.  We had more room and even a kitchenette.  Being in the city for two weeks, we needed a little more space.  Add to that, the last two visits, we’ve had unexpected events crop up that caused my parents to not be available, so we ended up on our own for a couple days.  It seems prudent to have a back up.

We’ve also discovered three important things to travel with or buy when you arrive.

  1. Toilet Paper – this may seem like an odd one but hotel toilet paper seems rougher and less nice.  It’s fairly easy to simply buy a small pack when you arrive and use it instead.  If you have leftover, simply leave it behind.
  2. Shower Head – I am so used to having a shower head that you can move and hold in your hands and adjust where the water is sprayed.  We found a wand kind fairly cheap on sale this past year at Aldis.  I think it was 5.99.  It’s not as nice as our usual one, but we dropped that in a bag and hubby put a wrench in his bag and we were able to replace the shower head and have a better showering experience in a hotel.  It’s amazing how much nicer and cleaner you can feel with that simple change.  It took him about 3 minutes to change it out and probably 2 to change it back [we put it back as we found it when done – no reason to inconvenience the hotel people].
  3. With my arthritis, different beds and especially some hotel beds can just be murder on my joints and back.  So we travel with a small memory foam mattress topper.  Hubby has gotten quite good at folding it up and compressing it enough to fit in a plastic bag where we can let the air out and travel without it taking up the entire trunk.

Am I spoiled?  Probably.  At least with regard to travel.  But if I’m going to travel, especially for multiple weeks, I’m not going to spend the time in pain where I can help it.  And we do our best to pack as lightly as possible and carefully.  We’ll be able to pack better next time knowing the new hotel and that it has accommodations to do laundry with fair ease.

Also, as our bellhop at the second hotel told us, these things are not as strange as you might think.  He told us that he’s worked a Comic-Con.  A memory foam mattress topper is like nothing compared to Comic-Con stuff.  I say that with love and as a fellow geek myself.  I was more self-conscious about traveling with the mattress topper than people actually found it odd.

As my husband said, if we can fit it, and it helps me be able to function with less pain on a trip, it’s worth it.

Anyway, that’s not what I intended to write about today but it’s what has come out.  I have a lot of things to say as my family seems to have taken a much more liberal bent – something I both semi-anticipated and was surprised by the extent of it.  Let’s just say that it’s not exactly how I grew up when I was little.  And both my mom and sisters have taken to this thinking.

I’ve felt lost, because to them, it seems like disagreement is hate.  And I don’t agree with the whole pro-choice, love is love message.  I do believe everyone deserves respect but I’m not going to say that something the Bible clearly says is a sin isn’t one.  I know some people express that in a nasty way but the Bible does identify homosexuality as a sin.  That being said, all people have sinned so that doesn’t make me better or worse than anyone else.  And abortion?  It’s murder.  I have very unmixed feelings about that.  And disagreement isn’t hate, whatever people might say.  I love my family, regardless of what they believe and whether or not I disagree with what they think and believe.

I do plan on trying to read the Hillary Clinton book I received but I somehow doubt it’s going to be an enjoyable experience.  [My mom is now a big Hillary fan].  I have tried to read some of the things they’ve sent/given me the last couple years.  Very few of them have I enjoyed.  If I get the nerve to give them a book I agree with, I hope they’ll give it the same attempt, even if they end up not liking it.

Anyway, that’s enough for now – I’ve rambled plenty.

Hope you are doing well and have a great New year!

I’ve Decided it’s Me

Problems with me I can fix.  I don’t really know how to approach an issue of this magnitude beyond accepting that I am part of the problem.  That may also be depression that pushes that view as well.  Even if it’s not entirely me, there are things I can do to make the situation easier/better, so maybe it is a healthy thing to focus on those?


What’s the problem?


I live almost 1000 miles from where I grew up.  My parents and siblings still live there.  I live here.  I don’t feel like I’ve changed the core of who I am.  It seems like my mother at least has changed.  We never had the easy transition from adult child relationship to adult adult relationship.  I’m not even entirely sure we’re through that transition either.  Maybe that’s normal, I don’t honestly know.  I’ve been married for ten years now and I have an 8 year old so maybe it isn’t normal either.


Especially with the election and my mind going toward things political, things have seemed different.  I keep getting drawn into discussions involving politics, usually at the tail end of a conversation and usually my fault.  Like I got asked about my facebook connections with extended family.  I’ve left those active simply because it would be more drama to remove them than it is to just restrict what they can see [and frankly I don’t really post much].  I don’t encourage that connection at all.  I don’t comment or like their posts [which caused some drama years ago].  Maybe it would be smart to remove them.  But then it leads into dramas and not having information about health issues of grandparents because I am just kept out of the loop.  I made an offhand comment that I had unfriended people from high school due to ugliness [my mistake – giving too much information] but I believed that leaving the extended family on there was less an issue than removing them.


Well then of course I get asked about what ugliness.  And an offhand answer doesn’t suffice.  They want details and specifics.  I should know better by now.  They believe information is power and somehow when I’m talking to them, I turn into a little girl again once in a while and just run off at the mouth with every bit of information I have.


Yeah, I nuked my facebook a month or so ago because I was tired of logging on to ugliness and hatred.  And most of the people I removed are of the liberal persuasion – who hate anyone who voted for Trump or who calls themself conservative or Christian.  It seemed reasonable that these people, whom I haven’t seen since high school or college and who I have no connection with and really didn’t like to begin with, be removed from my facebook when they were uttering pure hatred and stupidity.  Why should I have to read it?


And I still have liberals on my feed – I didn’t just go through and whole sale take them all off.  I just got tired of the hate and worrying about pleasing people I really didn’t care about and who really didn’t care about me either.  Not one person I removed has noticed, commented or cared to ask why.  And I’m not shocked by that either or even bothered.  None of the people I removed remembered my birthday.  A lot of wasted time that was – reading those screeds from people I don’t really know or care about.  Don’t just add everyone you knew in high school and college to your facebook.  Seriously, save yourself that time and insanity and if you choose to belong to social media, take care with who you’re friends with.


Anyway, back to the parents, or my mom.  She’s very anti-Trump.  To the point where I’m not sure I’d admit to having voted for Trump if asked.  I’ve already told hubby that I’ll just claim I voted for Harambe if it comes up.  On the other hand, I voted for Trump, reluctantly, but the alternative didn’t seem like one for me.


We were headed toward a confrontation the last time we were down but holiday events derailed that.  I started to try and read more to prepare to be able to debate her.  And then I realized that I needed to stop preparing for a debate and instead prepare me – for peace, for withstanding cutting remarks if necessary.  I learned the lesson well from watching my father and my grandmother [his mother] debate when I was a child – the moment you get emotional, you’ve lost the argument.  My grandmother ALWAYS lost.


I don’t hate anyone.  I don’t have the time or energy to spend on that.  I started down that road once many years ago and it’s truly not worth it or what it would do to me.  I love my mother, regardless of her beliefs or how far they differ from mine.  But I constantly struggle between being myself and keeping the peace.  There has to be a balance.  I don’t want to be in anyone’s face about things, but I also want to be me.  And I won’t ever claim something is okay if God says it isn’t.


But if I see you wearing a safety pin, claiming to be a safe person to talk to, I can be fairly sure that you’re not safe for me to speak with as openly as you claim.

Busy Month

We’ve had quite a busy month!  And still plenty more to go in the month!  We had a busy Mother’s Day weekend, complete with a day trip.  We thought it would be a fun outing but it turned out to be a royal pain instead.  We had our son’s yearly testing [he did really well].  We also have our yearly homeschool conference coming up later in the month as well.  I’m really excited because I have a few ideas on things to add for next year and what I want to buy.


I suspect I’ve also been somewhat quiet because of other reasons.  I doubt myself and what I post.  I don’t want to get too personal but I also want to express how I feel.  I’m raising my son in some ways very different than how I was raised.  I went to public school.  My parents were always very involved but they didn’t choose to homeschool until my youngest sister got to high school.  They also raised three girls.  I’ve got a very active little boy who thinks nothing like my sisters and I did.  I grew up in the city.  We live in a little country town.  And while it’s different, I still hear my mom or dad come through in what I say.


I’ve also been dealing with two medical issues.  First of all, I have arthritis.  I’ve had it since I was twelve years old as I mentioned in a previous post.  It’s being kept in check right now but I’m tired most of the time and high activity days can wreck me pretty badly for a day or two after the fact.  I’ve missed a lot more church than I like between the arthritis and the side effects of some of the medicines I’m on.


Second, and I don’t believe I’ve talked about this before, is that we’re trying to conceive again.  We’ve been trying for a while in fact [years] but I’m on medicine the last few months to try and help that along.  That’s made the last few months something of an emotional roller coaster and one I’ve been reluctant to share and talk about.  We’re trying to trust God, something that seems to come much easier to my husband than I.  We feel like we’ve been led here but at the same time trying to trust his timing.


Speaking of emotional roller coasters… well they make it hard to write.  My primary outlet of creativity is writing, so it calms me down, helps me work out problems, even if it is fictional characters I’m writing about.  Not being able to write makes me more wound up and it’s a nasty cycle that I occasionally will fall into.  Which is probably why this post is going to come across as disjointed and a little scattered.


In breaking the cycle, I have to start somewhere and this is it 🙂   I also have to stop trying to be perfect in what I do, because I’m not and never will be.  I had a reminder today that my son has those same tendencies… that if he can’t do something perfectly the first time, he doesn’t want to do it.  I have to overcome that and I have to try to just be me, not some idealized perfect version who doesn’t really exist.


Hope you enjoyed 🙂

My Yearly Goals and Where I’m At

Back in December I sat thinking about my goals for the next year.  Most people call them resolutions.  I always hated that because I always felt required to make the resolutions I thought everyone else wanted me to make.  And I never kept them, because I never wanted to nor really intended to.

In reading Dave Ramsey’s book Entre-Leadership, he said very explicitly in there that if you want to keep your goals – write them down.  Otherwise you won’t keep them.  I’ve never been one to write my goals down but I can attest – you will be much more motivated and on point if you do.

And truthfully guys, they are for you, not everyone else.  You can give your friends the cliche ones if you must because I think everyone claims to want to eat more vegetables.  but consider making a list for yourself.  I typed my list on my laptop in December while sitting at my parents’ house.  I didn’t show it to them or my husband or my son.  Now I did very soon after share the list with my husband but starting it was my initiative and it was things I wanted to accomplish, not things I thought I should want to accomplish.

Where am I with those?  Mostly on target.  I wanted to read my devotional every day and while I’m caught up, every day has turned into every other day or every third day at times.  I’m trying to get better about that but I missed out on half the year last year and I really want to finish the devotional I’m reading.

I want to read 50 books.  I’m ahead on that at this point [yes I’m counting books I read to my son because they do count!].  Goodreads has a yearly reading challenge and I signed up for that.  I’m at 17 completed so far so I may end up upping the goal at some point.

I have a goal to write 200,000 words during the year.  I’ve discovered that even attempting NaNoWriMo is just a stressful thing.  It’s 50,000 words in one month and add to that – it’s November.  Thanksgiving is a big holiday in hubby’s family so we end up spending a lot of the month getting ready for that and starting to get ready for Christmas so I’ve already got a busier schedule than usual.  Another reason I can’t do NaNo is that November and December I often write little to nothing just due to lack of inspiration/aforementioned busy schedule.  Trying to find time to do NaNo is just unrealistic.  Instead I sign up for another challenge called Get Your Words Out.  Their signups are sadly closed until the lead up to next year but I highly recommend it if you want to do a yearly writing goal instead.  I’m finding it much less stressful and I’m even ahead on the count.  My blog counts of course, but I’m also writing stories and the like.

I’ve added blogging to the list of yearly goals.  I want to update my gaming blog at least once a month and this blog at least once a week.  Clearly I’m a bit ahead on that schedule but writing is my outlet.  The time to be worried is when I can’t write, not when I write more than expected.

And exercise is back on the table as well.  My arthritis is under a lot better control and exercise will only help.  I’m starting slow but I’m trying to exercise almost every day.  If I go out running errands, I’m skipping that day but that’s simply to prevent me from overdoing.  I overdid a couple years ago and ended up pulling a muscle cluster in my back.  Let’s just say I never want to go there again.  Ever.  Even after just a week of keeping the schedule, I’m feeling better.  Fatigue is still a constant friend but it’s becoming a different kind of fatigue.  If the weather will ever stabilize, I think I’ll only advance faster.  The wild temperature swings are not pleasant in any way.  I don’t think we had but a week of real winter this go around.

Declutter 365/Home Storage Solutions is another thing we’re doing, but more casually.  Although we’re not keeping up on the day to day, we’re trying to get things done using the calendar.  I pick and choose what I can do during the week and then tackle harder things with hubby on the weekend.

Anyway, thanks for reading my rambles 🙂


Woman Day or Whatever

Today is National Women’s Day or something.  I’m apparently supposed to take a holiday.  Well, I celebrated it.  I went shopping at Walmart, took my 8 year old son to lunch [a Wednesday tradition], did homeschool with him, did laundry and dishes and a little general cleaning and all while NOT wearing red.

I also had another woman be rude to me.

Shocker, I know – today of all days we’re supposed to be supportive of others choices and all.  And it wasn’t even over today.

I have two twitter accounts – one for gaming and one personal [tweetdeck is the best!].  I use the gaming one to socialize using my gaming pseudonym with people who enjoy gaming as well.  I refer to them at home as liberal twitter [the predominantly gaming one] and conservative twitter [my personal one].  Both have been buzzing today about Day Without a Woman, naturally.  One supports it and the other doesn’t.  Again, shocker.

So I was excited to see a topic in gaming that I’m really excited about come up on my liberal feed.  I figured it would be fun to get to share a common interest and since they were having trouble, I offered some advice.

Oh that was a mistake.  I bet you can guess where this is going.

A mistake that my hubby has said every man makes.  Someone has a problem and men will go into “fix it” mode and try to help.  I’ve apparently been around him too much or something 😛 because I offered some advice and commiseration hoping it would lead to a conversation of a shared interest.

They took that as me calling them an idiot and went into full on rant mode.

I felt bad and then what my hubby likes to say came flooding back to me.  “It’s words on a screen – boo hoo.”  Doesn’t make it all better but as much as I’d like to believe gamers have a community, most of it is superficial.  There are friendships formed of course.  A very few gaming friends have transitioned into real life friends that I’ve actually met.  But it takes years to get there and that’s never happened with a twitter only friend either.  Basically, put it in perspective.  Someone I don’t know said something mean.  Oh yeah, that does help.

I didn’t immediately unfollow them because I don’t like to act out of emotion.  I did apologize and did end up unfollowing them because honestly, I don’t want to have to tiptoe on eggshells on my timeline.  I can’t keep up with the people I follow as is and I don’t spend much time on there anyway and if I offend them so much by offering suggestions, I suspect it’s better for us both.

As for the day, I think there’s a lot better ways to get your point across than to strike.  I mean to demonstrate your impact, your answer is to not show up and lose your voice in the situation?  Not even lose your voice, you’re just giving it away!  I mean I have this blog because I’m trying to find my voice and the courage to say what I think about more topics than I usually would discuss in public.  I sure don’t want to give that away!

I don’t always feel appreciated as a wife and mother but when I have those days, I’m woman enough to tell my husband how I’m feeling and often it’s simply emotion or we fell into one of those patterns when life happens.  And you know what?  Men have those days too.  This is a people thing, not solely a woman one.

Well support a woman and her business, they say.  One super high day of support isn’t going to be helpful if you never shop there again.  It would be far better to spend a smaller amount each month supporting something than to do one lump sum.  It would help the business budget and save up and plan.

Also, maybe let’s try to treat others with respect every day, not just because it’s a holiday or a celebration or a strike.  I always try to be nice to the people who serve us and wait on us.  I mean we’ve heard countless stories about how a smile at the right time has saved someone’s life or a nice word has changed someone’s day.  That’s the kind of change you can be.