Tag Archives: life

#SOL22: Friggatriskaidekaphobia


A target on the calendar.

Just a number.

But . . .

It started like any ordinary day.

Normal. Normal coffee. Normal reading. Normal writing. Normal or at least routine emails. Off to sew. Deadlines looming on several projects. The simultaneity of multiple projects in varying stages.

Attaching the binding. There’s the first inkling. It’s not attached. I can see the tiny row of stitching marks but there is no thread there. Tiny, threadless holes.

Best seam ever.

No bobbin thread. Must resew AFTER filling a bobbin or two.

What should be automatic descends into a time-crushing task. The thread spins off the bobbin as I let go. The crease in my finger stings as I rethread the bobbin. That’s two.

The phone interrupts. My hope of efficiently completing this task . . .

Not going to happen!

The phone call leads to another and then a quick email. Time races by.

The binding task incomplete. Actually barely begun. I opt for re-pressing the project to regain my momentum. I load the newly filled bobbin, pull up the thread, center the needle and lower the presser foot.

AND press the foot pedal to sew.

Silence.

No motor.

No needle stitching away.

Nothing.

And that’s THREE! It’s been hours. Nothing completed. And now the machine has decided to be contrary.

I check the power connection. It feels solid. Pull it off and reconnect.

I press the foot pedal again.

Nothing.

No silence around me as the air is filled with painful utterances. I’m down to a very short amount of “free time” left. It would be nice to complete something. Anything.

I press the foot pedal again. Still nothing.

As I pick up my glass of warm water where the ice has slowly disappeared, I notice the light is not on.

The light is not on.

Silly me.

I had turned the power switch off.

Of course the foot pedal was inactive.

Strike three on Friday the thirteenth was ALL on me.

No light. Power off. No foot pedal! What a ditzy move!

And now an easy solution to what had seemed like a schedule-altering, impossible to recover from, Friday the thirteenth comedy of errors.

How was your Friday the 13th? Were you anxious about the possibilities of ill fate? Did you even recognize the enormity of the date?

Friggatriskaidekaphobia:

Frigga being the name of the Norse goddess for whom “Friday” is named and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number thirteen.Jan 13, 2011

Google definition

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#SOL22: Conundrum


Flashing Lights

Take a deep breath.

Slow down.

BUT …

No one else is slowing down.

The car behind is not YET close.

I HAVE TO PULL OVER AND STOP.

IT’S THE LAW!

But … WHERE?

Still, no one else is slowing down.

The car behind is close, not on my bumper, but close.

I tap my brakes,

Watching my rear view mirror.

Watching in front

As the lights are quickly approaching.

The siren is blaring

As the vehicle accelerates.

Where do I go?

I’m on a mile long bridge.

There are only two lanes.

No shoulder.

No extra space.

A mid line,

An outside rail.

I come to a complete stop as the car in front of me also stops.

Pure relief.

And yet, the car behind has not stopped.

My eyes alternate, front/back, front/back, front/back,

The car behind stops,

Inches from my rear bumper.

The sheriff’s car races by … lights … sirens …

Slowly traffic resumes on the mile long bridge.

When does following the law or the rules seem dangerous? What is the alternative?

The question remains:

How does one follow the law and pull over to the side of the road for an emergency vehicle when on a bridge without a “side of the road?

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#SOLSC21: Act 1


She called my name. I rose. Clicked my phone closed and went to the counter to collect my paperwork. Mission accomplished. On with my day.

And before that . . . Waiting for the timer to go off. Scrolling emails. Scrolling Twitter. Scrolling Facebook. No messages. Each minute passing by at an excruciatingly, obnoxiously slow pace. As I made a list and added it to the calendar, I checked the time again. Only 5 minutes had gone by. Now what? I checked my blog. Read it from my phone. Considered the way it looked on my phone since this post was published from my Chromebook. I began setting up a series for the next week. . . Still waiting.

And before that . . . I took a seat in the waiting area. I checked the time. With luck I would be out before my appointment time actually arrived. I looked around at the aisles and decided to put my enforced time to work. Something. Anything.

And before that . . . As I exited, I heard, “We’ll call your name after your mandatory 15 minutes and you can pick up your paperwork.”

And before that . . . I pushed my shirt sleeve up so my shoulder was exposed. I looked away as I felt a small stick. Two seconds later and, “You can take a seat.”

And before that . . . I went to the counter and handed over my signed form and was told to enter the door on my right. No waiting. Inside, a plain unadorned room with one table and a chair. Both empty. I sat in the chair.

And before that . . . I entered the store, scanning the building for my destination. Guessing that a label would tip me off. And yet the unfamiliarity didn’t slow me down. Obviously, my destination was NOT at the front. I had already passed the checkers. I kept walking as I knew the location would quickly be revealed.

How might you manipulate time in order to tell a story in a different order?

Narrative Format

This is the second installment in a story begun in last week’s post, Prelude.

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Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum during the month of March. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#Celebratelu: Life


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In the waning days of 2017, it is important to celebrate LIFE.

When I say that it’s been a tough year, tears begin.  It was an absolutely awful year because we lost so many . . .

suddenly,

and without that last farewell.

Black holes of despair.

My godfather, my godson (nephew) and his wife, my brother, my mother-in-law, and now another cousin’s spouse.

And, YET,

Life continues.

We celebrate our memories, we laugh at the stories, and we remember with our shattered hearts.  We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and celebrate every precious moment.  We don’t know how long we have, so we celebrate the life we live. The events:  concerts, football, basketball, wrestling . . . The food.  The locations.

We bring our memories with us.  We wallow in out love.  We share. We cry. We laugh. We love.  We live.

I’m sharing a poem from a memorial service last week.

Screenshot 2017-12-09 at 10.32.27 AM

Easy?  Heck, no! 

But necessary?  Yes! 

Choose to celebrate their Love! 

Choose to celebrate their Lives! 

Choose to celebrate your LIFE! 

And anticipate that 2018 will be a year of LIFE like no other!   🙂

 

 

 

 

#SOL17: Learning Again


“Ma’m, I’m trying to help you.”

Trying. Yah. Right. Do you understand how frustrated I am?

“A service technician is scheduled for Thursday.”

But will he really show up? It’s been 40 days and I have ZERO patience left.

“I’m trying to do the best I can.”

That “trying” word again. When will this be fixed?  For real?  No more “trying”.

On a GOOD day, this is what my speed test looked like during the month of April.

5.9.17 1 pm speed test

And GOOD is  a relative description, because there were days when I could NOT even connect to run a speed test. The night that I spent more than an hour online with Customer Service because I was sitting at MacDonald’s in order to participate in a Twitter Chat.

Not at home.

21 miles away.

Waiting impatiently.

Because I had 0 connectivity.

No phone, no internet, NOTHING!

I was NOT a happy camper!

The issue:  internet connectivity  

The problem: too far from the “REAL” connections  

My issue:   day after day of dealing with customer service folks (after the computer) not linked to the program engineers/planners who schedule service repair calls

 What I have learned:

  1. My modem is a wireless modem.  
  2. The wireless router inside my house was redundant.  It cut the speed in half.
  3.  My modem does not have to be in the garage wired to the outside phone box.  It does not have to be subject to the extreme temperatures in the winter or summer. The modem now lives in the house where I can watch the flashing lights.
  4. All devices do not test the same on speed tests.  My Samsung phone and iPad mini routinely display faster times than my laptop.  However, my chrome book is not faster than my DELL.
  5. Unplugging my Verizon phone booster increases the speed; however, cell phones then do not work in the house so at best it’s a short term fix.

This morning’s speed test:

5.16.17 speed test

It’s not high speed internet service.  But it’s more than THREE times the download speed that I had last week.  It works best when only one device is running.

Lessons Learned:

Just like with “testing” or daily measurement ~

Growth does matter.

Growth cannot be discounted.

If there had been an arbitrary cut score, I would have given up days ago.

Multiple data points are needed.

“Trying” . . . when I couldn’t SEE any visible progress or effort quickly became a VERY ugly word!

Information is power.

Learning is important!

Result:  Back in the groove with a slice completed in 30 minutes from start to finish this morning!  

joyful




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      

And ALWAYS remembering . . .

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and

not everything that counts can be counted.” Albert Einstein

Slice of Life 6: Bucket List


(During March, I am blogging daily as a part of  the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)

What’s on my bucket list?

Here are some possibilities (no particular order)

  • Travel to Europe
  • Go on a cruise
  • Go to a college football bowl game
  • Sleep on a beach
  • Watch the sunset with the love of my life
  • Write a book
  • Be a building principal
  • Spend the Christmas holidays on the San Antonio boardwalk
  • Have a summer family reunion
  • As an adult, vacation/travel with my parents
  • Design and build a house
  • Go white-water rafting
  • Drive in a mud-run
  • Own my own motorcycle
  • Ride a motorcycle to the top of Pike’s Peak
  • Go to a drive-in movie
  • Canoe and camp overnight on the river
  • Spend 24 hours reading for fun
  • Have an article published for $
  • Develop a class for teachers about writing

Stop!

Halt the presses!

(Couldn’t resist! – small pun; wordpress blog)

Oh, my goodness, a list of 20 things

That I have already DONE!

What about the list of things YET to be done?  Is it really that I have gone so many places and done so many things?  Or is it a sign of my wise old age that I have done the things that I wanted throughout the years?

My REAL bucket list:
  • Peace on Earth because Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait the day my son was born.  The name or the location of bullies may have changed but basic human freedoms are important world-wide.
My DREAM list –  I dream of a world where 
  • Thoughtfulness, kindness and respect for people of all ages, races, color, creed, sexual orientation is not only valued but is the order of the day
  • All people would have basic necessities to not only survive but to thrive
  • Natural curiosity is encouraged  and welcomed
  • The physical and emotional well-being of every person was equally important to everyone
  • Hatred would be wiped from the face of the Earth

And purely personal wishes:

  • Congress members would be required to personally serve in the military (or spouse/children) before he/she could vote to send troops outside the continental USA (or maybe as a prerequisite to running for office). There is a uniquely different perspective when it becomes personal and a part of your waking life.
  • Congress members would get 1 / 2 the annual average teacher pay raise when all 5 of these are met :
      • paid based on their performance (Pass a budget each year or NO pay)
      • must work at least 200 days per year
      • no retirement as they cannot serve over 20 years
      • no campaigning until 60 days before reelection
      • maximum campaign expenditures of $ 100,000 per term served

Just a few of the thoughts roaming inside my head!

Do you have a bucket list?  Or a dream list?

The inspiration for this post came from  http://lifeunexpected811.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/my-bucket-list/   Go check out the variety in that exhaustive list!

Special thanks to the hosts of the Slice of Life Challenge:  StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna, and Beth.   More Slice of Life posts can be found at  Two Writing Teachers .

 

 

Please read the comments below! Readers have added some excellent ideas for Congress!

 

 

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