Posted in Blogging, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life

She Giggled at the Word Vagina

**update** As of 5:40 pm mountain time today, Wednesday May 25, 2016 My mom passed away. Thank you for all your sympathy and well wishes for me and my family at this time. ❤ Good-bye Mom, I love you, tell Dad hi.

 

I’ve been pretty quiet since late last week. No posts, very little interacting on blogs. A couple of good friends know why. I emailed them over the weekend.

It’s been a tough time for me and going to be tougher the next little bit. It’s something I’ve expected the last few months, yet, now that the time is here….it’s almost unbearable. You see, my mom is dying. She has very little time left. We are talking hours here now, according to her doctors in Wisconsin.

I talked to her the day after Mother’s day and noticed she sounded very tired and wore out. Her sense of humor was still intact though as her and I laughed over something silly. The month before she had lost most of the use of her legs. They just gave out on her, so she was using a walker. We joked that her and my husband could have a walker race. She laughed and stated that she would win. That’s how she was. She accepted things and worked them to her advantage. She is the strongest person I know.

When I talked to my sister on Friday and she told me that mom was in the hospital and wasn’t expected to live much longer, my mind went to that last bit of silliness and that’s when the tears flowed. My mother loved life. She was a diminutive person with a larger than life personality. She IS…..She IS….soon to be WAS but not just yet.

 

JLPhillips 2013 (c)
JLPhillips 2013 (c)

 

Many of my readers know about my mom as I’ve written about her several times. We even gave her a great birthday last year when a lot of you sent her birthday cards. She was so happy when she got all those cards and recipes. I’m glad I was able to do that for her with your help. Thank you.

My mom would have turned eighty-seven in October of this year. That’s a long life. Her body is just worn out the doctors told my sister. After years of dialysis and various other illness’, her small frame could not handle any more.

I won’t be able to go and say good-bye to her. I don’t have the funds. I also have a sick husband to take care of. I feel slightly better knowing my mom and I discussed this very issue several months ago. She understood that I wouldn’t be able to come to her funeral when the time came. I have responsibilities here. She was good with it. It still hurts me. So much.

My sister and I have been talking on the phone every day since the initial call on Friday. If nothing else, this has brought her and I back together, at least for now. As many of you know, we hadn’t been on speaking terms for years. I don’t know why and this is not the time to ask. I’m just grateful for now.

She has all her funeral arrangements made and paid for. She did this right after Dad died. She’s going to be cremated and her ashes will be scattered close to where she scattered my Dad’s. She said she wanted to be close to him. My sister is going to scatter her ashes under the apple trees that dad planted shortly before he died. It’s also where there are rose bushes planted. She’d like that.

Her services will be at the Webber Hill funeral home in Wabeno, Wisconsin. Just like Dad’s. I know her and Dad will be happy to be together once more if that’s what happens in the afterlife. I like to think so. If anyone would like to send a card, please email me or contact me through my contact page and I will give you the address to send them to. Since my mom enjoyed all the wonderful birthday cards last year, I know she would get a kick out of these. My sister says she will set up a board at her services with all the cards tacked on.

As for the title of this post ‘She Giggled at the word Vagina’, there is a story to this. Years ago my dad or someone else (this part I’m fuzzy at) told her a joke about vaginas. She thought it was hilarious and she laughed and giggled. Anytime after that if someone just mentioned the word vagina she would throw up her hands and go “Oh! Hahahahahah.” She just thought the word itself was so funny and it never failed to make her giggle and laugh like a schoolgirl. It was fun to see and hear.

That’s what I remember the best….that laugh. That special laugh.

 

 

 

Posted in Blogging, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, Wednesday Whatever!, writing

Wednesday Whatever!

Wednesday

 

 

I was trying to think of something to write today and couldn’t. My mind was blank. Then I saw this blog post come up in my email box (this one)

I like the blog, I subscribed to this blog and I enjoy reading it whenever one of the authors put out a post. You should read it. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Ok, for those of you too lazy to go read it (ha!) Michael Helms, who by the way is a very good writer, asks, ‘when is an author an Author? Then he goes on to explain that he read an e-book that he felt was terrible. It was short, so it wasn’t even technically a novel, it was also badly (if at all) edited. So does this make the person who published it an author? He says, no. And I agree with him. It doesn’t make a person an author if all they publish is a bad short story. That’s not the reason I’m writing about it.

The reason I’m writing about it and pointing the post out is this……..

Am I an author? Or just a wannabe? Or maybe I’m ‘just a writer’.

You see, I’m not against what Michael says in his post. I’m more challenging some of the comments on the post. It’s the age-old debate…..does self-publishing make you an author or someone who just self-published? And if a writer puts out a book that isn’t professionally edited with a professional book cover does this automatically make it a bad book?

As most of you know my books were NOT professionally edited nor do they have professional book covers. Although I must admit I think the kind friend who did my book cover could be a professional at book covers. Anyway, the point being….does not having ‘professionals’ involved in the process make it a bad book? Automatically?

I think what got to me the most about Michael’s post was it hit a nerve with me. It hit my self-doubt button. That sucker is never far from the surface anyway.

 

Writer-

 

Am I an author? Or just a wannabe? Am I a fake because I self-publish?

In my comment to the post, I admitted that I did not have professionals involved in the process of publishing my books. Not because I didn’t want to. Because I’m a poor person. I just don’t have the money to hire professionals. Which brings me to another question. Are you a ‘professional’ just because you get paid to do something? I imagine you must have experience too. The couple of people who helped me edit my books are not paid to edit. But, one is a writer with many books under her belt and one was a teacher for most of his life. Does not THAT make them ‘professionals’?

Besides, I’ve seen traditionally published books with lots of editing mistakes. Does that discount their professionalism?

I’ve been having lots of problems getting my third book going. I have self-doubts as I mentioned. I am tired most of the time…….I could make dozens of excuses as to why I’m not writing. The bottom line is the doubt. Am I a writer? An author? Or a fake?

I know this feeling will pass. At least I hope it will. It’s not Michael’s fault that his article brought up these feelings. Nor the commentators on his post. It’s all mine. I own it.

Do I have to be traditionally published to be taken seriously as a writer? Some would answer that last question with a resounding yes. Why? Because that’s how it’s always been done? Times change folks. I’m old, but not too old to change with the times. Self-publishing is not a bad thing and yes it’s here to stay. Get used to it.

Now all I have to do is get myself in gear again and start writing, whether I’m an author or not. Because I refuse to let my fears or other’s opinions keep me from my dreams.

 

 

What’s your take on this debate?

 

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fiction, postaday, Wednesday Whatever!, Word Fun, writing

Wednesday Whatever!

Today is going to be more word fun. I love words, letters, paragraphs, stories. There are so many people out there with so much talent for writing good stories. Sometimes though I like to read short stories or flash fiction. I love to write them too.

I think the shortest stories I’ve written were the six-word stories that you see sometimes as challenges. Now that truly is a challenge! It’s not so easy. I suppose the most famous six-word story is the one by Hemingway. I’m sure you are familiar with this one…. “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

In fact, I just did a six-word challenge not too long ago over on J.A. Allens blog. She has a challenge going every week over at her blog, why not check it out?

I went on the search for some six-word stories. Here’s some of what I found. I hope you enjoy them!

 

Wednesday

 

I’ll start out with my own six-word story that I did for J.A. Allens challenge.

Stormy night. Checked in Hotel California.

Now some of what I found.

microfiction_web

 

download (1)

 

beautiful

 

368677_orig

 

9a874ce23e845b2b14f4460a0a7cb898

 

img_20160217_101621181-1-e1455805445619

 

5ade19b8-8cfc-48e2-aedc-638e293a8c41

 

 

 

Can you write your own six-word story? Please do in the comment section, I would love to read them! 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Mi Vida Loca, My Incomplete List of Small Pleasures, nonfiction, postaday

My Incomplete List of Small Pleasures ~~~ May 9, 2016

This is an ongoing list I do every now and then. It helps to remind myself that no matter how bad a day I’m having or what worries I have, there are still small pleasures to be found. I just have to look for them.

Feel free to make a list of your own. Let me know if you do by linking to this one. Thank you and I hope everyone has a wonderful week.

 

The Incomplete

 

 

It’s raining here in Alberta, Canada. Finally, we are getting much-needed and wanted moisture from Mother Nature. This is especially welcome news for the Fort McMurray wildfire that has been burning out of control for days now. My heart goes out to all the people affected. If you haven’t heard, more than *80,000 people have been evacuated from Fort McMurray. It’s burned more than *1600 square Kilometers (994 miles) and still going strong. If anyone is interested in donating to the Red Cross to help these Canadians here is the number to call, 1-800-418-1111. (Fort McMurray is about a nine-hour drive north from me.)

Friends who make me smile. I have some of the best friends in the world. I have yet to meet them face to face but I still consider them my best friends. They listen to me whine and bitch and manage to keep me from sinking into the deep black hole of depression with their sense of humor. I’m a better person for them being in my life.

My mom. She is the strongest woman I know.

Electric screwdrivers. Ha! Bet you never expected that one! I put up some mini blinds and it was nice to have one of these babies to help.

Writing. It saves my sanity some days.

Doctors who listen. Finally got the husbands chemo dose lowered. Maybe he will be able to tolerate it now. Only two more months to go.

People who have great hearts. It got hot here last week. I mean hotter than it should be for the beginning of May. It was 90 something in the house. I turned on the air and it didn’t work. Nothing. Nada. Called a friend who sent over another friend who works on them for a living. He was over that night and fixed it. Didn’t charge us anything. Said we could buy him a beer one day. (It was the same kind man who fixed our furnace this past winter) There really are good people out there.

Good neighbors. A neighbor kid, (well I say kid but he’s probably twenty something) cut our grass the other day. I was worried how I was going to get it cut as of course there is no way the husband can do it. I can’t either with my bad knee and asthma. Asked the neighbor kid and he said he would do it. Which he did. Unfortunately, he’s leaving here soon, otherwise, he said he would do it all summer. He has the cutest  man bun too. haha!

Black jelly beans. They are my favorite as they used to be my dads. I can’t have them often but when I do……nom, nom, yum.

 

 

*from this news site…..here.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Fiction, postaday, Wednesday Whatever!, writing

Wednesday Whatever! ~~~ Short story Part 2

Today on Wednesday Whatever, I thought I would continue with the short story I started about a month ago (has it been that long??). Several readers and friends asked for the next part, so here it is!

Hope you enjoy.

I haven’t come up with a title yet. Anyone have any ideas? Let me know!

Part one can be read …… here.

 

abandoned town

 

 

Marisa’s eyes scanned the surrounding areas. Trying to see if anything or anyone was in the shadows along the deserted street. The man remained quiet after his statement that she should join him. Who was he? How did he know her name? Why should she join him?

She liked being alone. She didn’t have to watch out for anyone but herself and that suited her just fine. Marisa stayed as still as the man down the block. Except her eyes took everything in. A person had to be prepared to move fast.

“I was told that someone had information on my family. That’s the only reason I’m here.”

The only thing that moved on the man was his mouth. His eyes never left Marisa since she walked out of the shadows.

“I know where your brother is. I can take you to him.”

Marisa studied the man. He had to be at least six-foot four. A big man, skin color that matched the chocolate bar in her bag. Eyes that gave nothing away. The sun shone on his skull with a filtered light through the leaves of the tree. He was a big man but there was a stillness in him that almost made him…restful. A strange word to associate with anyone nowadays. That’s what came to mind as she watched him. Restful.

“You know where he is? Have you talked to him?”

“Yes.”

That’s all he said. That one word. She wasn’t sure yet she trusted him. Something in her wanted to trust him. Yet, she held back.

“What’s his name? How did you meet him? Where is he? How did you know where to find me?” She asked the questions rapidly. Marisa wanted answers but it was also a test.

She watched him smile a slow spreading smile. It showed white teeth and a dimple in his right cheek. Nothing else moved but those well-defined lips. Then she heard a deep rumble of a chuckle drift on the breeze toward her.

“Girl you don’t trust easily and that’s what will keep you alive. His name is Matt. He’s twenty-seven years old and has an older sister. That’s you. I met him in the mountain’s west of here. He’s one of the smartest men I know.”

Matt? Could he really still be alive? Matt was what she used to call a dreamer. Smart, funny and loved to solve puzzles of any kind. How did he manage to survive so long? She loved her brother but she never would have thought he would survive the world going to hell.

The man got the details right, yet she still was cautious.

“Matt told me his sister once gave him a special gift. A small wood box. She told him to stick all his worries, doubts and hurts inside and the box would change them to dust to blow away in the wind.”

Tears filled her eyes and by sheer will power she stopped them from falling. She remembered giving him that box years ago. He had been a small boy, bullied in school to the point he wanted to die. She gave him the box and told him to never give up on himself. That he was gifted and that he would do great things one day. He believed her. She smiled.

“Ok, you know him. Just tell me where he is and I’ll find him.”

“Can’t do that.” He stated.

“Why not?”

“Matt’s a special friend of mine. I promised him that I would find you, if you were alive, and take you to him personally. I don’t break promises.”

Marisa frowned. He might know Matt and Matt might trust him. But, she wasn’t Matt and she preferred going alone.

“I do better alone.” She stated.

“Maybe you do. This one time though you are going to have trust someone. Me. Where your brother is, is skillfully hidden. You would never find it without me.”

Marisa’s hands clasped into fists. She hated anyone telling her should couldn’t do something. She watched the man watch her. He had a small smile as if he knew she was fighting telling him to go to hell and that she could find Matt herself.

After a few seconds she unclasped her fists, relaxed her shoulders and shrugged.

“Fine. I know the mountains can be tricky. At least let me know what your name is since you know mine.”

She heard the soft, deep chuckle once more as he moved towards her in slow, even paces. His brown eyes crinkled with suppressed laughter when he stopped in front of her, held a large hand out and said, “The name is Joseph. Telling you that you can trust me is not worth much. But, you can trust me, Marisa.”

“I got no choice, Joseph.”

“We all got choices.” He said as his hand engulfed Marisa’s smaller one.

“Come on, we got to move as we got company.”

Marisa gave a quick look behind the big man. Said one expletive and moved quickly to the shadows where she grabbed her backpack and followed Joseph deeper into the maze of broken buildings.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Comic ~ Sam and Me, Humor, nonfiction, postaday

Sam and Me Comic

Hello, people! It’s been a long time since I did a Sam and Me comic, so I thought I would do one today.

As many of you know, I won a dog house built by Damon Bennett of the DIY network on tv! Well, a few weeks ago (actually more like last month) I got some help in getting it in the backyard.

It weights about 500 lbs and is almost five feet tall at its peak. Well, needless to say, Sam is not exactly thrilled with it. Can you say ‘spoiled’? haha! I have to admit, I knew Sam wouldn’t go in it much as he’s strictly an inside dog. So it was fun to make a little comic about it. Hope you enjoy!

 

(c) JLPhillips 2016
(c) JLPhillips 2016

 

 

This is what the dog house looks like in real life.

Built by Damon Bennett!

 

 

 

Posted in His Days (about the husband), Monday Meeting, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life

Monday Meeting ~~ May 2, 2016

Hello, People! It’s been a while since I posted a Monday Meeting. I haven’t been posting much at all the last few months. I’ll tell you why later during the meeting. So, let’s begin shall we?

 

Monday Meeting

 

Grab yourself something to drink. A cold one, a hot one, a wet one or a dry one. Your choice. Maybe even a snack. After all, it’s virtual and doesn’t cost me anything. Not that I wouldn’t supply the drinks and snacks if it was real, I would. I may be poor but I’m not cheap. Anyway, I digress.

Let’s get started with news on the husband. I wish I could say I have good news. Not sure if I do. His health is not getting better. Sometimes I think it’s getting worse, or that just might be because I’m exhausted. I don’t know anymore.

He’s been having bad reactions to the chemo lately. The last couple of months he’s had to stop his chemo drugs as they were making him throw up. We talked to his cancer crew at the Cancer Clinic last month and they said to just keep trying to take the chemo. They also said that if he starts throwing up again, to stop taking them, as they didn’t want to damage his kidneys. They have him on anti-nausea pills but he still throws up. It is so hard seeing him seemingly get worse from drugs that are supposed to make him better.

I did get a chance to read his medical reports and the cancer doctor did state in them that it would surprise him if the husband would be able to tolerate the high dose he’s on. Well, guess what Doc? He can’t!

We will be talking to the cancer crew on Thursday. Hopefully, he will/can get a lower dose. If not, I think the husband will just stop the chemo altogether. He’s talked about it. Of course, he’s talked about wanting to die again too. He’s just in so much pain.

Good news front….I think it’s good news. I’m still waiting to see if it is or not. The husband got accepted to AISH…finally! After three years of trying. AISH is a government benefit program for people who are termed disabled and unable to work because of health reasons. Getting on AISH is a big deal to us, as it means a little more money every month and better medical coverage. It also could mean that the husband could get bars put in the shower to help him get in and out (we can’t afford them). He could also get other help. I’m kind of in limbo about how I feel about it all.

All the reams of paperwork I did on that for three years or more. It was a lot. Governments are the same everywhere. I think it’s just too soon to celebrate as all we have had so far is a phone call. I’m waiting for the official paperwork.

I’ve also had bad news about my mother. She was in the hospital for a few days a couple of weeks ago. She fell at home and couldn’t get back up. Her legs just failed. Thankfully she didn’t break anything but she is now having to use a walker and have someone live with her. My sister has been staying with her most of the time. I don’t know how long that will last as my sister has a family of her own. For now, my brother-in-law is holding down the fort. My mother also has ‘bleeding intestines’.

When I asked her what that meant, she said the small blood vessels in her intestines are weak and will break. The doctors told her there is nothing they can do and that for now the blood vessels stop bleeding on their own. My mother will turn 87 this year. I’m scared for her.

Gee, can things get any more bleak? I guess I shouldn’t ask that, as things always can get worse. Sigh.

I’m tired. I’m more than tired. I’m wiped. I also think the husband and I have matching ulcers. Fun times in Canada folks. I guess I shouldn’t complain, I still wake up every morning, I can still walk on my own, I can still do things for myself.

Count your blessings my friends. Count your blessings.

Because I’m so exhausted I haven’t been posting much. I haven’t been writing. I haven’t been doing a lot of things. I do what I have to and not much more. I just can’t. The grass outside is getting taller and thicker and I can’t cut it. I just can’t. So now I have to find someone who will, for free or next to nothing. The house inside looks a mess. The floors need vacuuming and scrubbing. The cobwebs from the winter need dusting and a million other things need to get done. Yet, it just sits there.

I care, yet, I don’t care.  I don’t have the energy to do something about it. I’m just trying to get through the days.

Wow, this post is a bit of a downer, eh? So I better finish it. Better days are coming……..