Nudist Weekend Plans

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Many of you know my Aunt and Uncle started a Nudist Resort back in 1964,

when folk called them colonies. (Naturist, for my European friends.)

  Now it is a Sunbather’s Association, AANR recognized, 5 star, TNS “Resort”.

This is where I will be spending my weekend.

  Post to follow.

Fun, Fun

It is Biker Weekend and we are hoping to see some cool bikes.

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Limited online or email interaction for the next couple of days 🙂

My DRUGS: Do They Even Know?

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Insurance companies are the mafia with a license, truly they are.  My dad, in the business for 47 years at the age of 75, told me this a long time ago, and it’s gotten worse.

We just received our Revised Aetna Policy Exclusions (R.A.P.E.) today.  They have increased our deductible to $1000.00.  My non-formulary brand name med is now going to cost me 50% of $400.00 per month. ($200.00).  But my formulary generic brand meds, three of those, will only cost me a total of $37.00 per month, EXCEPT, I must have my meds, all of them, filled through the mail order 90 days script service to get that price on long term meds.   Which means; I will no longer be able to readily pick up my Ativan at Walgreen’s if I happen to run out.  Trust me; you don’t want to see me without my Ativan, please!

My doctor habitually fills my script for two doses a day for sixty days.  It is a narcotic, so he feels more would be detrimental.  Yet, my appointments are routinely scheduled for three months apart.  I almost always run out before my next appointment, but he won’t fill it for 90 days so I can send it through the mail order script service, which only fills scripts for 90 days.  He gets ill with me when I have to call his office, (nearly every 75 days), to tell him I need more.  I have to fill these at Walgreen’s because the “Express Scripts” mail order service (yes that’s their REAL name) takes more than two weeks to process and deliver.  TRUST ME; I have severe anxiety disorder, you don’t want me to go more than a few days without my Ativan.  After three days, I can’t sleep.  Six days with no sleep and I start hallucinating.  Two weeks and I am liable to be crouched in a corner, sweating profusely, breathing heavily, with heart palpitations and a knife in my hand!  “Get away from me! I don’t know who you are!”  Seriously?!

I am an old lady, St. Peter is not going to say, “Oops! No, you can’t come in because you’re addicted to anti anxiety medications,” when I get to those pearly gates!  He may not let me in for other reasons, but I highly doubt Ativan will be the primary one.

Insurance companies prey on our worst fears.  We pay astronomical premiums, ($360.00/mo) every single month that we work, for what?  Lord knows I don’t need a catastrophic illness to befall me wherein I would have to pay some royal sum of $350,000.00 for a heart attack or a stroke (that is, if I survived)…but preventative treatments are supposed to be covered at 100%.  Wouldn’t you say my Ativan is preventative?  Honestly now.  Do they even want to know?

Please don’t give me any of that crap about Chamomile Tea either…been there, done that.  Doesn’t work.  Just give me my damned Ativan.

Mood Setting for Reading

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I have places that I love to read certain works.  Some people can read anything anywhere and be taken to another world through their own imagination.  I like to afford myself the luxury of setting the mood whenever possible.

For dystopian fiction or fantasy that is otherwordly, I like to go out on my back porch that overlooks The Jungle with the banana trees, travelers palms, pygmy palms and wisteria creeping invasively though the philodendron.  The hanging spheres of stag-horn fern in globes of dripping greenery  seem to set that mood. IMG_0852The angel’s trumpet with its intoxicating fragrance but deadly seed takes me to enchanted places. For some more wicked reading, I like to go out there during the lightening storms that we seem to have every summer day.???????????????  For a soft sweet romance nothing could be better that  to curl up on the living room sofa and light candles in the dark. images (4) That’s why I love the readers with backlighting.  Or I crawl between the sheets with my husband. fireplace-3d-screensaver-6359 I love classics , like Jane Eyre, at the mountain cabin, in front of the stone fireplace during a long soggy week of rain,

and  for murder mysteries and thrillers I like to seal myself away to the comfort and safety of my bedroom and close the door.imagesI call them bookdrops. I hear from and speak to writers a lot, and writers are also readers.  Do you  enhance or set the mood, or do you depend on your imagination exclusively?

Healthy Heart: Know Your Numbers!

25 Healthy tips for Healthy Heart

Working in Health Care for thirty years before putting on the writer’s cap, I learned the numbers to staying healthy and I want to share those with you.  I now do wellness screenings as an independently contracted Registered Nurse for a variety of corporations.  Many people tell me that they know their numbers but don’t know what is normal so I have put the numbers all in one place, along with some helpful information.

As writers, we are often in front of the computer for hours at a time and forget to do the healthy things or get sidetracked and do not eat properly. Diet has so very much to do with our overall health, as do healthy doses of exercise, sleep and hugs.  It is also very important to know your numbers! If you have insurance at your workplace and health screenings are performed definitely participate if that is an option.  If not, get a comprehensive metabolic profile from your physician, especially if you are over thirty.  What we do now may determine how healthy we remain in the future.   Continue reading “Healthy Heart: Know Your Numbers!”

Stereotypes in Writing and Reading: Love them or Not?

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I like to think that I am a non-racist individual that dislikes prejudice in any form, and then I write.  When I write, in developing my characters I can’t help but depend on stereotypes.  Do you think they are derogatory? I like to think that I do so without the element of Hate, and that makes it okay.  Like the book and the movie “The Help”The help by  Kathryn Stockett, I used the stereotype of the Southern maid, a big boisterous buxom black woman, who smelled of baby powder, sweat and peppermint.  Hannah’s nanny, who accidentally and erroneously taught her why black people were black.  It was funny.

Like comedians:  We writers sometimes depend on these images to develop our characters into real and believable immediately recognizable images.  Moreover, I don’t believe that society dictates that to us in our everyday lives, as much as visual media demonstrates these images over and over again until they are fixed in our brains.  We, as writers are trying to place or fix a visual image in our reader’s mind relying on their own imagination.

You do know that if I said, “Gangsta dude,” you would immediately conjure an image a of black guy with his pants dropping down and his underwear showing, shooting hand gestures and wearing bling with his ball cap placed backwards on his head or a hoodie on.

Likewise if I said, “Flapper”, you might immediately conjure an image of a lady in the roaring twenties without further explanation.

Swedish cartoonist Mattias Adolfsson: Check him out
Swedish cartoonist Mattias Adolfsson: Check him out

Sometimes, I try to deliberately cause the reader NOT to get a stereotypical image in their mind, because I am trying to go in another direction.  This can be more challenging than writing the stereotype.  Do you depend on stereotypes or try to avoid them?

I made two lists of stereotypical images of Southern men and women.  Does your mind automatically distinguish the sometimes subtle differences or would they have to be explained? Do you get a visual image?

Southern Men:                                                                       Southern Women:

1)      Swamp man                                                              1) Redneck mama

2)      African-American                                               2) White trash/trailer trash

3)      Redneck                                                                     3) Hillbilly Queen

4)      Hillbilly                                                                   4) Southern Belle

5)      Mountain man/Mountaineer                            5) Steel magnolia

6)      Good ole boy                                                             6) Swamp Witch

7)      Southern gentleman                                             7) Proper Southern lady

8)      Southern guy                                                            8) Good ole girl

9)      Black Sambo                                                              9) African Princess

10)   Flaming Fag (like Chablis, in                       10) Somebody’s Child

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil)         11) Church lady

11)   Dirt farmer                                                               12) Holy roller/Biblethumper

12)   City boy                                                                     13) Island girl

13)   Cracker Jack

When you write or read to you feel facilitated by stereotypes or hampered by them?

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NO SPOILERS Please!!!

I am new to Goodreads, so I have been over there trying to figure how the forums are run and what the reviews are like.  When I first started this blog, I had no idea about Goodreads.  I am an avid reader and joined a book club, called Random Readers, so that I could explore many genres that I might not have been otherwise exposed to.  I also decided that I would do a book review on my blog every time I reviewed a new book.  I try to be most judicious with my reviews.  I want others to enjoy the books I enjoyed and to know my thoughts on books they might enjoy but we might not agree on.

I was told that Goodreads was a great place for readers and writers to connect, so one of the first groups that I joined was called Making Connections.  I am finding that these readers and writers are most helpful and supportive.   I am glad I joined for that reason.

I have a complaint that I feel needs to be made public, a rant if you will:

One of my most serious concerns with Goodreads has to do with reader reviews, which all of us authors recognize as supremely important.  However, I am finding that readers are posting juicy details of books that I might like to read and spoiling it for me.  I see that there is a way to hide reviews if they have spoilers and I am hoping that this is the author’s prerogative.  I recognize that readers may simply be all caught up in what they perceive is a good thing, and that is wonderful!  Some are inadvertantly reavealing too much detail, I’m sure, probably not even conscious that they are revealing too much, but some just seem downright mean spirited about it.

I found a book that I loved the cover for, and the book description was quite enticing.  I thought that I should like to read it.  I read a few reviews, and was very disappointed at the spoilers which seriously ruined it for me.  It was a murder mystery.  I learned who did it, how they did it, and what the consequences were.  Why bother reading the book?  It was a rather nasty rant from someone who obviously did not enjoy the book.  I might have liked it, because  sometimes I do like what others find disturbing.

I don’t know if I am going to like this Goodreads thing.  I want to learn the juicy details on my own.  So don’t spoil it for me or other readers.

New Friends in the Punchy Lands at The Hut

For the punchy lands

Photo from Flickr

Professor VJ has these cute little audio You Tube minis that his characters come to life through over in The Punchy Lands in a skit series called called The Hut.  Every Friday there is a new one.  If you don’t know him already, you really should drop by and say hello.  He is kind to strangers.

I like what he does with his characters and his tagging method on his site.  It really is ingenious.  I could not find a re-blog option on the site or I would introduce you myself.  Check him out!  Be warned, he writes some “Ripping Reviews”.  Professor VJ is not “just” a writer, he’s a storyteller.  I admire that.

Annoying Habits or Blessings in Disguise

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We just reconstructed our porch.  We had the old one torn down and a new one built.   It took us six years to accumulate the money to start this project and it is not finished yet.  I said, “Wouldn’t this look pretty with a tile floor?”  This weekend we are tiling  the porch floor over the concrete.

All I have to do is think out loud and things get done.  My husband listens so well that he scares me.  A friend of ours was staying with us for a few weeks.  She had sold her house and was waiting on a house to close in TX before moving away.  She made a comment…thinking out loud…that she MIGHT want to sell her vehicle and just fly to TX and purchase a new one when she got there.  I think she was half joking.  My husband made a couple of phone calls and announced that he had her vehicle sold…just like that.  She was not ready for that and he had to make another phone call to un-sell her vehicle.  He’s crazy like that.  It is his most annoying habit.  He actively responds to everything  anyone  says.  I think he tries too hard to please sometimes.

Most women I know complain that their husbands never really listen to them.  They have become so very complacent that they just nod and say, “Okay Honey.”  Mine does that also.  But he really listens and acts on what he hears, so I have to be careful not to think out loud too much unless I really want something done.

Sometimes I just need to vent.  I come home complaining about the cost of food, next thing I know he is clipping coupons.  I tell him I didn’t predict the rain I got caught in, and he downloads a weather app on my phone.  I could list things forever, but you get the point.

Funny how one of his most annoying habits to me is also one of his more desirable and endearing.  Does your spouse or partner have annoying habits that you love?

Historic Angel Oak Tree: Charleston, SC

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I planted a tree today.  It is a slow growing live oak tree.  I will feed it, water it and watch it grow for many years.  I wonder if I should live long enough to see my great-grandchildren scamper along its branches.

My grandmother had a live oak in her yard and we grandchildren played in its branches until we were too old to think about it and its branches were too high for our children to reach.  She planted another one and wondered if she should live long enough to see her great grandchildren scamper along its branches.

A few years after she died, my uncle cut it down.  It was so sad.  I was hoping she would.