Thursday, December 6, 2012

Getting a New Monitor Finally

My three hours at the library computer just flew by. I finally cracked and bought another computer monitor. My boyfriend was letting me share his, but what an enormous waste of time to have to wait every time I wanted to type something or edit photos or write an article.  Then he'd have to wait for me to use the Internet. So I found a sale online at Best Buy and spent my money. I've been trying to hold on to every dime, but realized I was being penny wise and pound foolish. If I can't work, I'm only making it harder and harder to earn money. My boyfriend had gotten used to the arrangement and didn't see why I'd need to get a monitor at all. So I know he will be mad even though it's my life, my career and my money. I can't just sit here and watch my life go by when I could be working each day on new articles and videos and blog posts that could lead to more work and income. I'll have to accept that he'll never understand that. I've worn myself out trying to convince him.

Here I am wearing a scarf I designed for a Youtube tutorial. I got paid to do it too. But I can't do this kind of work without access to a computer.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pros and Cons of New Home Life

Getting used to my new home has been both a blessing and a curse. I love the tranquility (usually).  I love having quail in my yard and other birds I've never seen before. I love watching the hummingbirds wage war on each other. I love the neighbor's fat gunia fowl that leap over our fence to eat the bird seed I put out for the sparrows.

And I love the store Winco, which seems to have a bit of everything I need for prices I haven't seen since the '80's.

On the downside, I have no social life. I have no car. My boyfriend and I get on each others nerves from too much time together. If I need to go somewhere and it's on his route for the day I might get to go. That is so constricting it makes me want to scream.

My income has plummeted without DSL and good Internet access. The only way I can even type this blog is by going to the library and using their DSL. Last time I was here the computer I was on had Yahoo Messenger so I got to leave a message for friends I haven't been able to talk to since leaving Anaheim. Only today none of the library computers seem to have it. I have no control over what programs they do or do not have. And for some reason at 1 PM the library suddenly fills up with people so if I don't get there before that, there are no computers available. There is a 3 hour limit per day on computer time, so I'm trying to squeeze what I used to do online in 8 hours a day into 2 library sessions of 3 hours each per week.  And since Thursday is Thanksgiving, this week I only get one day to do everything. So I'm typing like a maniac trying to get everything done.

I'm so far behind on Nanowrimo because of my limited computer access.  I'm about 15,000 words behind. I can write longhand but then I have to type it all in later so it's a big time suck. Ack! I'm staying home on Thanksgiving so I hope I can use my boyfriend's computer. We are sharing one monitor and one keyboard, so if he's on it, I can't be. My monitor died in Anaheim, and the move used up all our money, so who knows when I'll get another one. I really don't know how I'm going to make a living if I don't get a satellite connection or something. Or Verizon gets off their butts and  puts more DSL ports in Lucerne Valley. I feel like a little old lady living out here in the middle of nowhere with technology from the 50's.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Today I took the hummingbird feeder the previous tenants left hanging in a tree in the backyard, and cleaned it, filled it with sugar water and hung it from the joshua tree in our new front yard. Within hours we had visitors. I spotted four different hummingbirds sipping nectar from the feeder. And they looked different than the ones in Anaheim. Hopefully I'll have time to take photos of them another day as it's dark out here. I also brought the glass hummingbird feeder from the apt. in Anaheim, but I haven't been able to find it yet.  We had four moving vans, so I'm sure it was in one of them somewhere.

Hummingbirds bring me joy. What can I say. My friend said in South America they call them Sugar Birds.

We've been putting out seeds for the wild birds as well. They didn't eat the sunflower seeds but they were gone by evening so something ate them. Probably the guinea fowl from the neighbor's house. They leap over the fence sometimes.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My Body is On Vacation But My Mind Isn't

I don't know what's wrong with me.  I'm really antsy and frustrated.  I'm on vacation and I should be having fun, right?  I woke up on the wrong side of the bed I guess. I'm sore from my trip, sore from working yesterday.  I had a nightmare that I'd been kidnapped by four men.  They had me holed up in some little old lady's house that was full of antiques and cats. I couldn't even figure out why they kidnapped me because I wasn't worthy of ransom and didn't know any secrets worth telling.  When they would question me I started to get a nervous twitch. Then I woke up.

After that I got a bad back ache and a headache. I couldn't borrow a computer and that frustrated me. Then when I did get on to check my email I'd gotten my State Board of Equalization notice that yearly sales tax was due, and I know that's going to eat at me until I get home, even though I don't owe much (if anything) as sales have been terrible since the economy crashed.  I don't sell much merchandise anyway as most of my income comes from writing or performing or service related work. When I sell stuff on Etsy, it's never to someone in CA, so there is no CA sales tax due. But anything with the word 'tax' tied to it or 'government' tied to it raises my anxiety level.

I can't just seem to tune it all out and enjoy the beautiful oak trees and the blue jays in the trees.
I feel like the clock is ticking as I run out of money with no relief in site. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Book 'The Road'

I just finished reading the Road, which won a Pulitzer Prize. It's prose bordering on poetry. Do not read it if you are currently depressed or suicidal.  Other than that, go for it. I don't want to do spoilers, but it is a must read.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

There Once Was A Beautiful Yard

Today I was thinking of the value of writing random things. Then I was trying to figure out which of my blogs that would fit into. I suppose this is as good  a choice as any. My mind is all over the place today so maybe writing will help.

On Moving to Another State:  I've lived in CA since 1969. The thought of  leaving it because I can't afford to be here anymore makes me feel like it's yet another slide out of the lower middle class into abject poverty. And that makes me feel like a failure.  On the other hand, at this point, the change will give me a new perspective.  Maybe I'm too set in my ways.

On Having No Voice As A Renter:  Our apartment complex went into foreclosure and then got bought by a team of investors that want to fix it up and cash out in a month. Jolly for them.  My yard is ruined, the new color scheme sucks and since we both work from home, we are getting zero work done and our income is plummeting. We have painters and repairmen both inside and out with and without them letting us know they'll be here. It's stressful, harassing, and depressing.  We have no voice in the color, the yard, or the schedule. They ripped out all the plants I grew from seed or from pots over the last decade to put in a drought resistant garden which may be ripped out again when they sell in a month if the new owner has a different vision. It's pretty hard to love a garden that came from pots from a nursery in lieu of plants that came from my darling boyfriend's grandmother when she passed away and plants I grew from seed that were thriving before this happened. And right at the height of spring when everything was coming into bloom. Should I have pointed out that these nasturtiums, brown eyed susans and succulents are drought resistant and haven't been watered since last year except by the rain?

I have to live here 24/7.  What happened to my opinion on how my environment should look?

On Being an Artist:  I'm one grumpy witch when I can't make art. Art is my stress relief.  Creating things of beauty makes me feel there is still hope in the world for a brighter future. When I live in chaos, I can't create. I can't eat. I can't sleep. My productivity is nil. Instead of making new things I spend all my time trying to figure out how to get rid of 90% of what I own. How much can I give up without losing myself in the process?

The five photos below were taken in my 'private' backyard. Only the new owners don't see it as mine. All these plants will be ripped out sometime this week.

This is what my front yard looks like after they got their hands on it.  (See photos below). It makes me want to cry every time I look out the window. It's not like we saw this coming. I found out on a Wed. it was in foreclosure. On Thurs. I found out we had new owners.  A few days later the landscaping was gone.

The last flowers I planted for a veteran from TX who was going off to war.  I picked them one afternoon and the next day when I opened the front door all the plants were gone.

The front yard before:
Me in my front yard. The jasmine vine behind me had just started to bloom. Now it's dead.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

It Would Have Been 31 Years

My youngest daughter and her dog Gabby
This year I suddenly realized that for once, when my wedding anniversary came and went, I didn't notice it. Then I realized, oh yeah, it's tomorrow. I was married 16 years, then I got divorced.  I always feel a little twinge of sorrow and sadness when what would have been my wedding anniversary rolls around.  I got married when I was 23, when life was full of hope and possibilities. I was soon blessed with 2 amazing daughters. I'd say the first 7 years of my marriage were fabulous, and then the slow demise downhill started. The reasons for splitting up were many and complex. But you can only struggle so long against a losing battle and still hang on to your soul.

My oldest daughter and her son.
Both of my daughters are married now. I wish them great success with that.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Keeping Goals Front and Center

Do you like to make goals? Do you have lots of lists? Do you remember from day to day just what your goals are? I thought I'd make a poster, and that way I'll keep my dreams at goals front and center in my mind. I used Adobe Photoshop, but use whatever version works for you.

Click on it to read the bigger version, unless your eyesight is better than mine is.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Build a Better Blog

The thing about blogging is you can always get better at it. I've changed so many things since I started to blog. And yet there is so much more to learn. And then social networking happened, which helped us all to reach a much larger audience. Most visitors don't comment so it's hard to get a feel for how many eyes see my words. A lot more than I may realize I bet. My friends has a blog and she's cute as a button. She gets so many comments and has so many sponsors. I'm guessing a good part of her income comes straight from blogging and affiliate ads. Just when I pat myself on the back for getting good at this, other people come along and pass me like I'm standing still, and she's one of them. I think every post she makes gets at least a dozen comments. It helps that she's drop dead gorgeous, but I think it also helps that her blog looks so appealing. Great big splashy pictures, a font that is big and easy to read, and buttons at the top to all kinds of social networking sites so you can share her posts. I don't even know how to build a page like that. I'm guessing she hired a professional website builder.

In the meantime I'll keep doing the best I can with my humble blogs.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

New Social Networking Site Zurker is in Beta

I just joined a new social networking site called Zurker which is in a beta stage and by invite only. Consider yourself invited. They are offering vshares to their members. If the site takes off, we get to share in the profits, and wouldn't that be nice. I'm not holding my breath but by joining now, I think what if this thing takes off like Facebook and I'll be in on the ground floor. Other than that I don't know much about it. I'm crossing my fingers and joining.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

So Tired of Banks

I just spent 30 minutes arguing with Wells Fargo over the monthly service charge they promised not to charge me 2 months ago. Then they transferred my call to another service rep that dropped my call and then I had to call again and start all over again. They refunded half the bogus fee as a courtesy. @wellsfargo #fail

I switched from Bank of America to Wamu to get free checking. Wamu got bought out by Chase. Then Chase got rid of free checking so I switched to Wells Fargo.  Then Wells Fargo told me I no longer qualify for free checking. I'm about to start keeping my money under the mattress.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hang In There and Fix Those Holes

I looked up from my own personal problems and thought 'Egads, we need to repair some of these holes in the bottom of the ship.' That is to say, all my family is in some pretty dire straits. If as a collective we are all in the same boat, then that boat is full of holes and taking on water. If your family is only as strong as it's weakest link, we better weld some new chains together. It's hard to keep caring about a family that continually lets you down. But the alternative is the whole shebang falls apart and you just hope there are enough life jackets around when everyone jumps ship. I'm just trying to figure out how to help when I'm drowning in my own problems. It's not like I'm standing on a dry beach while everyone else is out in the surf. I'm up to my neck in waves. It's not like our family has any rich uncles or sugar daddies. It's sink or swim baby, and none of us are lifeguards.