Life, Love, Long Hair, Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth, and other mysteries

All this and more, from a semi-Serbian, slightly sane, former editor for physicians and surgeons, who is the mother of seven kids.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

My Blog Had A Stalker and So It Had To Change

Just a quick blog entry to apologize to those who have been inconvenienced by my changes to the blog.

There was someone who had been stalking someone close to me, and now they had turned their attention to stalking me, too.  It was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt who the stalker was, and now, in an attempt to protect myself, I have set this blog to be viewable by only those who have an invite.

My apologies for any inconvenience this has caused.

I hope to do more writing in here someday, for those who enjoy reading it, and for my own sanity.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Proper Use Of Personal Pronoun "I"

I think there are a lot of people afraid of me.

I mean, the word "me" - not me personally.

It is okay to use the word "me", folks.

I cringe when I see misuse of the personal pronoun "I".

I often see examples of what NOT to do in captions under photos on Facebook, such as:

"Sally and I at Disneyland"

"Mom and Dad at John and I's Wedding"

"Baby Boy with Daddy and I"

"Hilda gave these flowers to Suzy and I"

Perhaps as a child, when you said, "Doug and me are going to the store," you were corrected by some well-meaning person, "You mean, 'Doug and I are going to the store," so you assumed that every time you say "me" you should replace it with "I", regardless of where it falls in the sentence.

An easy test to see if you're using your words properly is to ask yourself, "Does this sentence still make sense if I remove the other person?"

This even works in phrases that are not actual sentences, such as photo captions.  Watch this:

"Sally and I at Disneyland".

Remove Sally from the picture and see if it still makes sense.

"I at Disneyland".

Um, no.  Sounds dumb.

The phrase "Me at Disneyland" sounds better, albeit a little Captain Caveman-ish, but it's just a caption and not an actual sentence so you can get away with it that way.

"Mom and Dad at John and I's Wedding".

That is not the easiest thing to caption, but I would do it like this:

"Mom and Dad at John's and my wedding."

In short:

1.  Ask yourself if the sentence or phrase still makes sense without mention of the other person.

2.  When dealing with more than one person and yourself, mention the other(s) first.

3.  Never end a sentence with "I". 

Captain Caveman.

Dig my writing?  More can be found in the right hand sidebar.  Here are a few quick picks:

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

What Have They DONE To Gmail Chat???

Today I noticed that Gmail Chat has changed horribly.  I can no longer look up a specific chat and see the conversation with one transmit after the other.  It shows every comment in an individual "document" or whatever, so I can't read it without having to click on the next post.

Does anyone have any idea how to fix this?  It is horrible and useless as far as keeping a record this way.  I am going to have to start using Yahoo Messenger until a solution is found.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

A Beautiful Mind

I had the most amazing dream last night.  Well, it was amazing to ME.

I dreamed that I was in a place of business on Tyee Road in Point Roberts, Washington.  It was a small building in which I had never been before and which probably doesn't exist outside the dream.  In retrospect, it might have been a small art gallery.

On the wall above a table were large posters like horizontal navigation maps.  They had symbols on them that seemed to make no sense.

I announced to the people around me, "Hey, I can see the patterns in those posters just like the guy in the movie A Beautiful Mind!"

Some people tried to see what I was seeing.  Others just kinda looked at me sideways like "Uh...okaaay...whatever."

If I looked at the poster as a whole, I couldn't see the pattern.  When I looked with my eyes narrowed and my head tilted back a bit, the shapes in the patterns showed themselves in 3D whereas the rest of the images remained 2D.

There might be some meaning in this, or it might just be random disconnected thoughts.

If there is a meaning, I'm going to venture a guess that it is to say if you haven't been there, you really have no idea how or why the person who experienced what they lived has impacted them.  Furthermore, looking at what you see in total cannot be understood until you see each fine detail, and see them in their proper order.

(I originally published this in facebook Notes on February 11, 2011.)

More of my writing can be found in the archives in the right hand column of this blog.  Here are a few random picks:

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

When My Son Went Missing

Photo:  My front yard, 8:30 a.m., January 30, 2013

At 7:45 a.m., I woke up and realized my boys were abnormally quiet, so I went to check on them.

My eight-year-old son was fast asleep, but my five-year-old was not in his bed.

I climbed the ladder to the loft in their room and looked for him there.  I did not find him.

I checked the girls' room. I did not find him.

I checked all over the middle floor. I did not find him.

I checked everywhere I could see in the basement.  I did not find him.

I was still half asleep, barely standing upright, stumbling around the house, searching in every room, closet, and cupboard, lifting up blankets, looking behind and beneath furniture, gently calling my son's name so as to not awaken my other kids, but panic was starting to set in and I raised my voice a little.

I felt a mixture of anger and fear, but strangely I was mostly calm.

That might have been shock.

After combing the entire house twice, I called the neighbours.  He had wandered over to their place a couple times before in the summer, but the snow this time of year is well over his boots so I doubted he'd go through the field.  Still, I left them a message just in case.

I tried to reach my husband at the mill where he works, but it is a noisy environment and he doesn't keep the cell phone on him.

I called the mill's office and they tried to reach a foreman, but nobody answered.

While I continued to re-search my house, I called 911.

Within minutes, a police officer was at my door.

Soon, another officer showed up.

Then a third, and a fourth, and I'm not sure if there were more in that blur of blue uniforms.

There were two RCMP cruisers and an RCMP pickup truck parked in my yard.  A third cruiser was out on the street in front of my property.

One officer informed me that a police dog was being brought down from a town an hour away.

Cops were all over my house, my yard, and my quiet semi-rural street, searching for my son.

I called my husband's work again, letting them know it's urgent and that our son was missing.

A few minutes later, my husband phoned me.

"I can't find J anywhere," I told him.  "When did you last see him?"

"He came into the kitchen around 5:00 this morning," he said.  "I told him to go back to bed, and he headed up the stairs, but I didn't follow him, as I was leaving."

We exchanged words of horror, shock, fear, and prayer.

"Well, I guess I'll just finish the shift," he said, but I could hear the worry in his voice.

"Yeah, there's no point coming home.  There's probably nothing you can do, either," I told him. "But as soon as he shows up, if he shows up, I will call you."

My eight-year-old son and my three-year-old daughter were now awake and involved in the hunt for their brother.

"Check the deep freeze," I told my son.  "I haven't looked there yet."

My 18-year-old daughter heard us and also joined the search.

Tromping through the snow in my yard, I called and called for my son.

I alternated between uttering whispered cuss-words through my teeth and softly begging God to please keep my little boy safe, that we may find him.

I went back inside and up to the middle floor, where I suddenly heard the cheerful voice of my three-year-old daughter shouting in the basement, "I found him!"

Not sure if she was just playing around, I ran to her, my heart racing, and demanded, "WHERE?  Where is J?  Show me!  SHOW ME!"

She led me to a closet, where I'd checked a few times already.

She had to have been kidding.

She reached into the bottom of the closet and pulled back a pile of egg-carton bed foam.

She sang out, "He's right here, Mama!"

And yes, there he was, peering out with a mischievous grin.

It was 8:30 a.m.  I had been hunting for him for 45 minutes.

I was relieved, but I was also angry.

"J!  You must NEVER hide on Mama again.  DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?"

"I was just playing hide-and-seek," he said, trying to act innocent.

My boy didn't seem to have any idea how serious this was.

"You stay right there," I told him as I ran outside to talk to the cops.

"We found him," I said.  "But you guys can take him, I'm so mad at him."

They wanted to see where he'd been, so I showed them.  One officer said he had looked in there with his flashlight and did not see him.

All the cops looked sternly down at my son.  There were no smiles on their faces.  Two of them gave him a short but serious talk.

My son stood there with his arms crossed, trying to look tough, putting on a fake scowl.

I thanked the police and they went on their way.

I was about to call my husband to let him know all was well, but he called me first.

I called and left a message with the neighbours, and then I called the Child & Youth Mental Health clinician to leave a message for her to call me.

Then I called my son's Behavior Consultant (he has a diagnosis in the autism spectrum, high functioning, with symptoms of ADHD, so we have government funding to cover her costs).

The BC told me she would contact a colleague of hers who might have some other ideas, but that until we hear back from her, I should have my son sit in a chair right beside my desk while I work so he cannot be out of my sight. 

If he has to go to the bathroom, I would have to go with him.

He can eat his meals right beside me, and he will be watched with the video monitor when in his room for a nap.

His Behavior Interventionist, who works with him two hours a day, three days a week, came over, and he was allowed to work with her, but when he was done, he was in the chair.

Any time my son tried to talk, I said in an even voice, "No talking.  You are sitting there because what you did this morning was very bad, and you must never hide from Mama again."

As I write this, he is having a nap, but when he gets up, he will return to the chair until bedtime.  Our only discussion will involve reminding him how important it is that he stay in bed, except for toileting, until he is told by his dad or me to get up.

Before the cops had left, I had taken a picture of the three police vehicles in my yard.  I posted it on my facebook wall, and then went to make breakfast.

My 15-year-old daughter saw the picture and called from her dad's house nearby, asking what's up.

When I told her about J having to sit in "the trouble chair", she said, "That should be 'a thing'.  We should call it 'The Trouble Chair'."

She also suggested that we decorate the chair by drawing teeth on it, and that we should paint it black, or red, to make it look scary.

I said, 'Yeah, and we can write words on it, like, "HA HA."

She said, "And draw arrows on it, like they're pointing at whoever is sitting in it."

She also added, "We can put Velcro on it, and make a pair of Velcro pants for the person to wear when they sit in it."

I said, "Yes!  So it makes it harder for them to get up.  I like it!"

We had some fun with it, but realistically, for now, The Trouble Chair just has a name.

I hope we won't have to use The Trouble Chair very often, preferably never again, but knowing my kids, I'm not sure that's likely.

My J and me.

(This story is also published on my other Holy Sheepdip! blog at WordPress.)

More of my writing can be found in the archives in the right hand column.  Here are a few quick picks:

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Posting comments should be easier now

I removed the "captcha" feature from this blog.  In case you don't know what that is, I mean the thing where it asks you to copy the letters and numbers that show up, to prove you aren't a robot.

So, if anyone has ever wanted to leave me a comment but held off because captcha made it difficult for you, now's the time to comment.

Furthermore, I have added a "contact me" box.  See it up there, in a tab right above that tire swing photo?  Go ahead and test it out, to make my day, and so I don't feel like I'm talking to myself.

Although I love writing, it's always nice to know someone is actually reading.

(Thanks to John Soares and his blog entry on the subject of the ability to contact people on their web sites.)

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Psalm 41 wrenches my heart out today

Psalm 41wrenches my heart out today, some parts more than others.

Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor!
    The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble.
The Lord protects them
    and keeps them alive.
He gives them prosperity in the land
    and rescues them from their enemies.
The Lord nurses them when they are sick
    and restores them to health.
“O Lord,” I prayed, “have mercy on me.
    Heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
But my enemies say nothing but evil about me.
    “How soon will he die and be forgotten?” they ask.
They visit me as if they were my friends,
    but all the while they gather gossip,
    and when they leave, they spread it everywhere.
All who hate me whisper about me,
    imagining the worst.
“He has some fatal disease,” they say.
    “He will never get out of that bed!”
Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely,
    the one who shared my food, has turned against me.
10 Lord, have mercy on me.
    Make me well again, so I can pay them back!
11 I know you are pleased with me,
    for you have not let my enemies triumph over me.
12 You have preserved my life because I am innocent;
    you have brought me into your presence forever.
13 Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
    who lives from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and amen!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

My first watermarked photo

"My first watermarked photo."

This was the view out my living room window yesterday evening.

Testing, testing, 1-2-3.

Here's my first attempt at making a sign

I recently got my first PhotoShop program - Elements 11.  Lots of new stuff to learn, and little time to do it.

Here is my first attempt at making a poster combining text and a photo:

I conceived this idea a few weeks ago, before I found out I've got adrenal fatigue.  As soon as I found out, I quit caffeine cold turkey, desperately wanting to heal up, and knowing that caffeine only makes matters worse, so the part about drinking coffee will just have to be figurative, or else water can be substituted.

So, what do you think?

Monday, 7 January 2013

Missing The Most Important Person In My World

I am concerned about you.

You used to be the most loving person I had ever known.

You were so kind, so gentle, and so caring.

You loved to listen to and make music.

You loved to laugh and to make people laugh.

You were so energetic.

You reached out to others to pour out the love you had.

But now, you have become so still, so silent, so cold, and so hard, like the ice that surrounds you.

Although it is of small consolation, though all else on earth may forsake you, I will always love you.

Too bad nobody knows you like I do.  Too bad they think you are depressed for no reason.

I miss you, Me.

Love from Me.

“To know is not enough, oh winter sun.” ~Out Of The Grey

Sunday, 6 January 2013


"Once upon a time I was falling in love
Now I'm only falling apart."

-Bonnie Tyler

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Evil One

Evil One 
Evil One
How I hate you for what you have done to me

You knew I was weak
And you gave what I wanted
You took what you wanted
And then walked away

You left me dying
And you do not care
I hate you for what you have done to me

You gave me a taste of what you knew I needed
Then you took it away when I needed it most
I hate you for what you have done to me

Evil One

How I hate you for what you have done to me

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

"Feeling No Reason To Live"

Sometimes when one says, "I feel no reason to live," there is nothing that can be said or done to change how that person feels, so please don't argue with them - just hear them.

On a similar note...

One of the coldest things one can say to a friend who is hurting is, "It's none of my business."

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Nothing Changes On New Year's Day

I can't relate to making "New Year's resolutions", or the idea that any particular year is going to be better or worse than another.

You are still you, and I am still me.

It's all just days, and we can really only take one of them at a time.  Why bite off more than one can chew?

It's good to have goals, but setting oneself up for unrealistic expectations is not my preferred way of doing things.

And so, here is the New Year's Day song by U2, for you to get stuck in your head today.

All is quiet on New Year's Day
A world in white gets underway
I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Nothing changes on New Year's Day
On New Year's Day

I will be with you again
I will be with you again

Under a blood red sky
A crowd has gathered in black and white
Arms entwined, the chosen few
The newspapers says, says
Say it's true it's true...
And we can break through
Though torn in two
We can be one

I...I will begin again
I...I will begin again

Maybe the time is right
Oh...maybe tonight...

I will be with you again
I will be with you again

And so we're told this is the golden age
And gold is the reason for the wars we wage
Though I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Nothing changes
On New Year's Day