Archive for January, 2006

Computer Problems and MSN Issues…


My monitor went out this afternoon. I had a devil of a time with HP support about the issue and then decided to call SAM’s club about my extended warranty. The people with SAM’s were much nicer than the HP people in India and I have a new monitor on the way next week. I am using an old monitor that was on Alex’s extra computer. I am very lucky that we had a spare monitor. It is only a 14 inch CRT instead of 19 inch flat screen like I am used to using. I had some initial problems with it because of the resolution setting from my monitor, but after looking at three to four images across the screen and finally getting control panel open I was able to change the resolution so this monitor works.


Mother is not doing well at all. Her acid reflux is causing her a great deal of discomfort. She has an appointment for tests on Wednesday. I hope that they will be able to figure out why this problem has gotten suddenly worse.


I did not start the job yet because things have been very busy here all week. I do not know whether I will actually do it or not. I am not sure telemarketing is something I want to do.


I read Cell by Stephen King. This is a very fast read. I think it is one of the best books King has written. Of course, I have read most of his novels and find him a very good writer. I also read  Night by Elie Wiesel. This is a memoir of the Holocaust and is an excellent book on a period of time we dare not forget. Night was so gripping that I could not put it down and stayed up very late last night to finish reading it.


I am not really pleased with the changes that have been made to Spaces. It seems that most of the improvements do not function properly. I tried to change my theme to one of the new ones last evening and lost the blog when I tried to check comments. When I tried to leave a comment using my profile settings it would not work. The photographs changed from My Art to one of the other files of pictures and you may not see My Art any more without choosing it from the menu which is not the way I like it to work. Now I also find when I post this that it won’t allow me to use the font I usually do on my blog. I hate this… Wish MSN would leave well enough alone.


I still have not come up with any poetry. I think my creative impulse has deserted me. I keep hoping that some inspiration will strike me, but it seems that is in vain.


I hope you all are having a good weekend.



Jo Ann




I had a training class today by phone for my new job. I really am not sure I can do this. I have to take directions so the representatives can get to the houses and I am no good at directions. I have been having second and third thoughts about taking this position. I do not think I will be very good at it.


I was talking to my mom about my doubts and she said that I tended to be that way about everything, but usually I wound up doing fine. I think my lack of self-confidence is one of the reasons I have not accomplished more in my life. I just cannot seem to believe in myself. I try to do it, but most of the time I do not achieve it.


I have a very low opinion of myself. I think this is fed by all the negativity I encounter in people who I respect like my brother James. I know my self-esteem suffers because of the bullying that was heaped on me as a child and teen. Most of my relationships as an adult have not been very positive experiences. I tend to see myself as a failure. I think having schizoaffective disorder has a lot to do with my feelings about myself too. I feel inferior because I have a damn mental illness. If I were good, there would be nothing wrong with me. So my reasoning goes anyway, and I have people in my life who reinforce the belief that I am not good enough to be respected as a worthwhile person. My brother maintains that I am lazy and stupid or I would pull my bootstraps up and succeed at something. He does not see anything I do as being valuable. I wish it did not matter to me what he says, but it has a great deal of influence on me and to be honest I am not sure why I care. I think it has to do with the fact that James was my hero for many years. I still believe he is worthy of my utmost respect. It hurts me that his estimation of me is so low.


Sorry to be so depressing. Writing out what I am feeling sometimes seems to help and this is my journal. I hope that I will have something more positive to say in my next entry.



Jo Ann


New Opportunity…


I am having trouble coming up with something to write about on here again. Some days just are not conducive to writing in general.


I am going to begin a new job next week. I will be telemarketing from here at home. I am not sure I will like it, but there are definite advantages to being here. The company I will be working for is one I like and the product is one I believe in. I actually worked for the Kirby company as a dealer back in the 1980’s and now I will be setting appointments for dealers to demonstrate the machines. I don’t know how it will work out, but I figure it is worth trying. It will be nice to have some extra money coming in.


I went to Office Depot to pick up a headset for my phone so that I can type while I talk to potential customers. I found a good headset for a reasonable price. Then I started looking at ink pens. I collect ink pens. I wound up buying a Parker Sonnet. It is a very pretty pen. I probably should not spend money on such things, but I love a fine ink pen and I enjoy writing with one.


I am really tired this evening because I stayed up until 2:00am last night and got up at 7:10 to send Alex off to school. I must begin going to bed earlier.


Mom and I got into a discussion about my ex and that did not turn out too well. I wish she could let go her animosity toward him, but I do not think it will ever happen. I want him in my life and the family doesn’t. I just hope it all works out so we can be together.


I think that is all I have to say right now. I hope you have had a good week so far and that your weekend goes well.



Jo Ann


Exercise and Exercise


I am reading and doing the exercises in The Write-Brain Workbook 366 Exercises to liberate your writing by Bonnie Neubauer. I have already entered two of the exercises here on the blog and the paragraph that follows is another one. I recommend this book to anyone who is having problems with creative block. It does have a tendency to get the brain working on writing. The exercises are fun as well.


The post card arrived… from Alaska where my brother James was living out his exile. He wrote that it was cold, dark, and dismal. He wished he were back here in Georgia. My brother had been sent away because he and I could not get along. Every time he got near me, he had something negative to say about me. Some sort of put down that lowered my self-esteem was always coming out of his mouth. To give me a break the powers that be had chosen to send him away. They felt Alaska was appropriate because my brother does not like the cold very much, plus it was far enough away that all communication with me would have to be long distance. After a few weeks in exile, my brother was ready to come home. He even wrote that he missed me and wished he could see me. I was not convinced that his wanting to see me was a good thing. Maybe while he was away, he had no one to inflict his tongue-lashings on and he felt the need to complain about someone convenient like me. The post card maintained our distance and gave him little space to express his dissatisfaction with me. I guessed we would have to let him come home eventually, but for a while longer, he could stay in the great white north.


Really, I don’t want my brother to suffer. I just wish that he could be a little kinder to me. He does not have to say awful things about me every time he comes into my presence. His words give me the impression he hates me although he tells my mother he loves me. I cannot imagine denigrating someone so much without hating him or her. I love my brother and sincerely wish that we had a good relationship. I realize I have made some very bad choices and terrible mistakes in my life, but I did not set out to intentionally mess up. My life has not been easy, and I do not think my brother understands the difficulties I have faced. He may know some of the hardships intellectually, but he lacks experience of how they affect a life. I wish I were successful in the monetary sense that seems to mean so much to him, but I probably never will accomplish that to his satisfaction. I try to live the best I can within the circumstances life gives me. I realize I am far from exemplary, but I do some things well. No one is perfect, not even my brother.


I did not go to bed until a little after 2:00am and I woke up at 7:10am to get Alex off to school. I feel like lying back down, but I will not because I do not want to mess up my schedule of sleeping at night. I do not want to go back to the pattern I had early last year. It took a great deal of effort to turn my sleeping patterns around to where I sleep during the hours of darkness. I was going to bed very early while I was working, but now I seem more able to stay up late.


The ideal place to write would be equipped with a well-stocked roll top desk. It would contain a selection of my favorite pens and various types of paper including blank books to tempt me into writing. I would sit there to write with a favorite pen on paper. There would be shelves of books in the room, especially writing books and reference books, so that help was always close at hand. It would also contain a desk with a computer that I could use when I had an urge to write electronically. This computer would be full of enticing and helpful programming that made the job of writing easier. The chair I sat in to work would be very comfortable and facilitate sitting for long periods. The light in the room would be bright though not harsh and there would be a window with a view of pleasant tree lined acres or of the ocean. I would always have something to soothe and inspire me just outside. I probably will not ever have an ideal place to write, but what I do have is not bad. I have many of the elements I desire though my space is limited. I can imagine myself in my ideal space any time and that just might be enough to encourage me to write something.


I am enjoying being able to write more in my blog. I hope that I continue to have something to say here. It was not only being busy that kept me from blogging much in the last few months. I just did not seem to have anything to say. It was a case of all the inspiration drying up. I hope I am out of that morass of intellectual vacuity.


Hooray! I found the blank books with my journal prompts written in them. I had looked all over the place. Even went out and searched through the garbage. They were hidden on a shelf right where they ought to have been. I hate it when I lose things. I wanted the journal prompts so that maybe I could send them off to a publisher. I think my idea for Just Journal For Fun could sell. In addition, I use the prompts sometimes to get me writing. The entry On Love was from one of my prompts. Even though I wrote it in 2002, it seems to have a timeless quality.


It has been dark and dreary all day and now it has begun to rain. I guess I will not get to walk today. Maybe tomorrow I can walk. I really do intend to do it. I just have not gotten around to it yet. Procrastination about exercise is a practice I have down to an art, and my figure shows it.



Jo Ann


Resolutions and My Day


New Year’s resolutions make me a little nervous and a wee bit excited. Every time I make them with great confidence. Within a few weeks I find myself slipping. Yet I still make a few resolutions every year. Even a little progress is better than none. Annually many people fail to keep their resolutions so I am in good company. Resolution number one for this year is increase my level of exercise. Exercise is not my favorite thing. Still I think I can accomplish this by adding some walking to my days. Only walking is so boring here. Listening to music while walking makes it a little better. Usually I rather read, but that is hard while I walk. The path I walk is our driveway which is long and covered in gravel. It is easy to stumble if you are not paying attention to where you place your feet. Over time I get used to the unevenness and can read while walking. Not at the beginning though, so I will have some time where reading is not possible.


When I was walking every day last year someone told me that it did not do any good to walk unless you did it fast. That made no sense to me because it would seem that any increase in activity could count as exercise. However, that comment made me think WTF am I doing walking if it is not going to help me stay fit and I quit. I want to start again though and frankly I do not care what anyone else thinks of my method.


Another resolution for this year is to write more. Whether it be blogging or creative writing I want to increase my production during the coming days. This may not be the easiest thing to do because my muse seems to have deserted me a while back. Inspiration is hard to come by. I know that just sitting down and writing every day is important though. I hope I will be able to increase my output.


On another altogether different subject, don’t you hate it when you lose something in your house. I know I do. I have these blank books that I had written journal prompts in and I had them a little over a week ago. Now I cannot find them anywhere. I know they were here and I want them now, but they have disappeared into the twilight zone. I just hope they show up eventually.


I had a 9:45am appointment at a doctor’s office today and I did not get out until 12:10pm. Needless to say most of the time was spent in waiting. I have some health issues that have the medical people a wee bit concerned, but I am not too worried because it has been like this for years. I hope it works out okay though. I do not enjoy being practiced on.


Mom and I ate lunch at Fire Mountain. It was very good today. I had barbequed ribs and vegetables, plus a salad, and some dessert. We did our grocery shopping at Wal-Mart and picked up my prescription and some stuff I did not get at Wal-Mart at SAM’s Club. It began raining as we left the parking lot. We were in the pick-up and our groceries were in the bed so we had to stop and move the toilet paper and paper towels to the cab.


Alex was home from school today for the MLK holiday. He and one of his friends helped bring the groceries in because it was raining. I had picked up the fixings for spaghetti and I was glad I did. Mom and I made spaghetti for the guys. They were very appreciative.


I managed to visit everyone on my blog links lists. It is good to be able to read more often again. I had the pleasure of talking on the phone with Karen of Abnormally Normal People on Saturday. She is as wonderful live as she is online. I truly enjoyed our conversation.


I hope anyone who has not visited in the last few days will scroll down and read the entries from January 13 and 14 too. Otherwise you won’t have up to date information on what is going on in my life.


I want to change my theme, but every time I do I experience problems with my blog. If you encounter glitches please let me know. Of course usually the blog disappears so you won’t be able to tell me about it. Ah, life on MSN Spaces, what an adventure.



Jo Ann


On Love…


Say "I Love You" often.

It costs nothing and has great benefits.


To tell someone you love them is to open yourself to their emotions. You reveal what is often hidden in the busyness of daily life. Showing love to others involves more than only words. It is done in caring actions which brighten ordinary days. However, the words are important because communication is integral to human existence and relationships. Love and the phrase "I love you" can act as tonics to those you care about. When situations go out of control expressing love can ground you and help center the problem in manageable terms. It can end an argument or help calm frustration.


Love is active and becomes involved in all facets of the beloved’s life. It soothes hurt feelings and shows an interest in what happens. Love never ends. Even though a relationship may break up the ties never completely dissolve.


"I love you" is not a phase to be used lightly. It signifies a depth of involvement that is intimate and precious. Consideration should be given as to the appropriateness of its expression. It is an almost sacred phrase and to be treasured.


Life is short so express your love in words to those you hold dear, but never forget the privilege in hearing the response "I love you, too."



Jo Ann


He Still Means The World To Me


Sometimes I feel like a gerbil, running around and around on his wheel! I don’t seem to get anywhere fast. Even when I do manage to go somewhere there seems to be a banister between me and the real action. Whether the banister is to protect me or placed there by some insensitive person to keep me from enjoying life is a question I have not quite figured out.


I can not imagine why anyone would deny me the freedom to make my own choices, but this seems to happen frequently in my life. Especially when it comes to my love life there seem to be all sorts of obstacles to block my path to happiness. These barriers are often erected by my family. I think their objections to my wishes are due to misconceptions about my love. However, I cannot discount them as total nonsense because there have been some incidents that could adversely influence most anyone’s opinion of the man.


I tend to be forgiving because I love him, but my family has a long history of holding grudges for years. I realize people make mistakes that they later regret and do things on the spur of the moment   when under the power of strong emotion like anger. This I know because I have done it myself and my temper has gotten me into trouble more than once. In fact the situation that has most turned my family against my love was begun by a fit of temper on my part. So I blame myself for some of the damage that was done. I understand.


Now over five years later it seems insensitive and foolish to continue the anger. Time should work its healing spell even over such wounds. Expecting my family to give up their hate and thirst for revenge seems to be more than they can do. Even when faced with the fact that my love for him endures and my happiness suffers because I am not allowed to spend the time I want with him they will not relent.


I am an adult and their opinions should not have such devastating consequences for me, but in my particular situation my family exerts a lot of power over me. I do not have sufficient resources to live independently and so live in one of their domiciles. This despite the fact I am forty two years old puts me under their rule. They disapprove of my relationship so there is in effect no relationship.


Money would do a great deal to alleviate the problems in my life, but due to circumstances and choices in my past I do not have the capacity to earn enough money to free me from my situation. I tend to overestimate my ability to function in the business world. I have talent and intellect, but there seems a lack of opportunity to showcase my skills.


Sometimes I think if he really loved me, as he assures me he does, that he would step in and rescue me from my situation. Then again I think that is too much to expect of him after the problems we experienced in the past. Also, I want to go to him in my own power with his respect, not feeling indebted to him. I have lived without respect and personal power too long already. Still having him as my knight in shining armor has an allure and it would make the way much easier.


If anyone is interested in the details behind this bit of musing I could elaborate in future entries. There is quite a story behind all this, but I do not wish to bore those who still visit here. I post this as a creative exercise in lieu of the poem I am yet to create. Somehow my passion seems engrossed in this particular part of my life right now. When one cannot have what is most desired it tends to cause disruption to the fount of inspiration.



Jo Ann


Friday the 13th… Not So Bad…


I resigned from Kmart because I was still ill when it was time to return to work. Now I am beginning to regret that decision at times. I am trying to begin a web design business, but that is not going too well. I have the desire and am mastering the skills, but I have no clients.


Being home has its advantages… I can do the things for Mom and Alex that I need to do. Alex’s car has a massive coolant leak so he is dependant on me to transport him. I have no idea when his father will be able to fix the car. It could be a week or it could be months. Meanwhile it is good that I am home.


I read Turning Angel by Greg Iles. It is a excellent suspense novel. The beginning caught my attention and the rest of the book kept me a captive audience until the end.


The new Medicare Part D coverage is a true disgrace. My mother who takes thirteen medications a day will now be paying more for her prescriptions than she was before the program took effect. I had gotten her on the pharmaceutical companies plans so that she was getting a few of her medications at no cost and others for a small copay through Together Rx. Now those programs are gone and she has to pay more for her medicines again. She has enough income that she does not qualify for the low income assistance, but all that income and much more is eaten up by the expense of her medications. She is threatening stopping taking her medicine because of the cost and I know that without her meds she will speedily become incapacitated and die. I want my mother to have a good quality of life and to live as long as possible. It seems there should be some sort of catastrophic coverage for people like her. She has the following list of conditions: Hysterectomy, Thyroidectomy, Appendectomy, Arthritis, Parkinson’s Disease, Acid Reflux or GERD, Geographic Tongue, Spastic Colon, Diverticulitis, Eczema, High Blood Pressure, Depression, Hallucinations, and Small Strokes. Most of these conditions require medication and some require more than one to control symptoms or prevent problems. The medications for these particular diseases are very expensive. During the phase of the year (two to three months) which Medicare Part D plans do not cover any medication at all it will take more than my mother earns in Social Security to pay for her medications. Plus now she has to pay for the Medicare Part D coverage. I truly wish this plan had never come into existence. I was able to help her before by researching and filling out yards of paperwork, but now I cannot do anything to help.


Today marks ten years since my father’s death. Mom seemed to handle the day fairly well. She did mention it to me, but she was not choked up about it. It just seemed that she wanted me to recognize the fact that he was gone. I had already thought about it, and I am sorry he is gone in one part of me and glad in another. My father abused me sexually as a child and even as an adult. I have long since forgiven him and I still love him, but it is better that he is gone. There are others, even in my family, who hold great anger and hate toward my father and it is better that he is not here to reap their vengeance.


Nothing bad nor unusual happened here today although some consider Friday the 13th an unlucky day. I find that most days are just days with twenty-four hours to fill in whatever way I choose. I do not pretend to control it all, but I find what I get out of the day often depends on what I put into it. My happiness is largely dependant on how I choose to view the occurrences I encounter. That is not to say I do not have bad days, because inevitably I do. I fight depression quite a lot of the time and am saddened by many things in my life. However, in any particular moment I can choose happiness. The problem lies in stringing a lot of happiness together. Circumstances make that hard at times.


My love life is a shambles again because of problems with my family. I wish they could allow me the freedom to choose who I want to be with and recognize that I am an adult. My choices are mine and I should love who I want to, but they disapprove so I cannot see him. This hurts my heart. One day maybe I will tell you the story of my star crossed love… for now suffice it to say we have a tale of epic proportion.


I am glad the holidays are over and the New Year has begun, although each day is one closer to the time Alex leaves to go in the Marines. I wish I could turn back time and keep him with me longer. I am going to miss my son tremendously when he is gone. To those of you who have little ones I say treasure every precious moment with your children for they grow up much too fast. Never let one day pass without letting them know how much you love them for you cannot go back and fill in the ones you missed.


I have not written any poetry lately. I hope to do so soon. Maybe I will have something to post next time I do an entry.


That is about all I can think of to say right now. This blogging is not as easy as it used to be or maybe I just edit myself more these days.


Hope your day is full of joy.



Jo Ann


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