To be honest, a few coworkers have showed interest in Black Friday: A Zombie Story. Thought I had a few copies at home for sale, but I didn’t. So I went on Kindle Direct Publishing to see how much it’d cost to buy a few copies.
Turns out I was in the middle of updating the book and had to go through some things. But I realized, since KDP doesn’t have a mobile site, I needed a computer.
I felt more like being lazy in bed than sitting at my desktop. So I thought let’s whip out the old maid.
Several minutes later
It didn’t take as long as I expected to boot up. Once I put in my WiFi password the date updated. I had just logged into KDP when The Kid woke up and came to my room with her bedsheet in hand like she was gonna sleep with me. So here I am laying next to her until I know she’s out, with a possible fire hazard on my bed.
I don’t know why the laptop would be a fire hazard, she’s old?
Anyway I have a feeling I’m not gonna get much out of it. It was purchased in the Windows 7 era. It has windows 10, because of a free update. Heck, she sports The Sims 2.
Also, I battery life was trash before I got the desktop, not that I traveled with her much. It shocker, it’s actually charging, considering at boot up it gave me an error.
Another item of note: WordPress.com, my website host, will not load on it. I’ve tried Firefox, my browser of choice, and Microsoft Edge. I mean I guess that’s what it is. In fact this website “CrashdLanding.com” struggled to load. It also, in fact, continues to say “not responding”.
My leg is quite warm
The temperature of the computer in my lap is going up, a significant amount of apps start their processes in “not responding” mode. But there’s still quite a bit of exploring to do. Especially considering there’s music on here I forgot about!
I’m gonna continue to explore this massive old mountain of my past and see what I stumble upon. But I’ll tell ya right now I’m not gonna last long. Ya girl is sleepy.
Like, not to the Victorian era, or to ride a T-Rex. But to, say, your teen years? Or college years?
Growing up, we weren’t poor, but we sure as heck were not rich. We did not go hungry, but we bought off-brand. We didn’t have central air or city water. We didn’t take family vacations and our parents didn’t buy us cars when we got our licenses.
I’m the only one in my family to go to college, and I didn’t know that my family (mom, dad, sister—brothers were working) had to do without and struggle to get me through it.
But sometimes I remember my room. I had a (used) queen sized bed all to myself. My room was open to whoever came up the stairs. It stayed hot in the summer and I had a big fan sitting on a table at the foot of my bed to keep cool.
I had a laptop that I got for college (layaway) and a desk I bought with my first paycheck from a job I quit in high school because my grades were dropping. By this time it was basically falling apart from moving it between rooms.
All I had to worry about in the summer was burning up in my room, what story I was gonna work on, and walking quietly past my dad’s room through the kitchen to get to the one bathroom at 1am. He got up at 3:00 to get ready and go to work.
Even further back, my sister and I would quietly clean the kitchen for our mom, who slept on the couch in the living room, because dad was way too warm and the bed hurt her hips. She used to sleep in the recliner. When her dad died I slept in it when she went down to be with her family.
And there was one time when my brother was sleepwalking and looking for a football (he played in middle and high school) and lifted the end of the recliner up. With mom in it.
My first nephew was born the summer before my senior year. I wrote my memoir for my portfolio about him. We were buddies. He’s TWENTY YEARS OLD NOW. he used to come up to my room, when I wanted to be alone and annoy me. But I loved it, really.
I remember recording him saying, “I love you, nanny.” For my mom’s ringtone.
I also remember when my sister’s chihuahua went into labor IN MY BED and her water broke ON MY PRETTY GOLD COMFORTER. We managed to get her downstairs, where she eventually had nine freaking puppies. Yes. She was massive before they were born.
Speedy. Can’t forget Speedy. Yet another “hey mom this dog was in the side of the road and I just couldn’t leave him” situation. My dude was scared of storms and loud noises. But an absolute amazing dog. Always happy to see you.
He’d follow us when we climbed this hills, way back behind the house my grandma, years and years ago, raised a garden. There was also a building, more like a shed, that had chicken boxes. That became our little clubhouse.
One time, my sister, an old family friend, and myself were up there “playing school”. Of course I was the teacher, and I remember being in the middle of saying something, looking up, and staring in the hole of one of the chicken boxes. They looked at me and I just pointed and IT WAS A FREAKING BLACK SNAKE.
I don’t remember if we went back up there after we high tailed it out of there like someone had lit fire under our butts. But I do remember screaming.
Even further back my brother decided to dig a pond. He put a fish in it that he’d caught. But failed to realize that it would dry up without a constant water source. It was beautiful back there. I wonder if that “garden” is grown up now. Are there trees where empty field used to be?
If I could go back in time, just to relive some of those experiences. I don’t know that I’d change a single thing. I don’t know that if want too. Maybe save a life or two. Prevent some broken hearts. Not mine, I didn’t have a broken heart, at least not then. I was often very lonely, a little depressed. But never had my heart broken. That came later in life.
I’d be a different person if my past had been more financially secure. I don’t know if I’d like who I’d be. I kinda like me now. I have my flaws—we all do—but I’m pretty cool with me.
I’m gonna curl up under my 20+ year old quilt my grandmother made. She had to replace the back when I was in college, and she cut off the cigarette burn made by my brother. I would have kept it. History and all.
He’s lucky the patches in it are mostly 70s polyester, or he woulda burned himself and my bed up. He liked my bed better.
Now, time to go to sleep and dream of days gone by.
Memorial Day started as a day to remember and honor the lives of United States military personnel lost in service. But like all national holidays, Memorial Day has morphed into something else.
Now, every year families get together and purchase mass manufactured (questionable quality) Memorial Flowers from big box retailers.
Now while, in my decade plus of working in retail, I have seen the quality of these flowers improve, they’re still expensive. Especially if you’ve got a lot of graves to cover.
This post is not about Memorial Day. This post is about how life and death are both expensive.
My Mother-in-Law, a widow, every year spends hundreds of dollars on handmade memorial flowers. She buys them for her husband, her son, and her daughter-in-law, who all passed in the years I’ve known them. But she also buys them for her siblings and parents, and a little brother (I think) she lost when he was very young.
She usually buys them for her In-Laws, but another family member took care of those this year, making travel and expense easier. She purchases these off one of The Husband’s cousins.
I recently asked The Hubs, “when your mom is gone, are you going to buy all these flowers and put them on yourself?”
His answer was that probably definitely for his parents and brother and sister in law.
When my mother passed, she was cremated. It was one of the things she said she wanted, more than once. She had a habit of not making her mind up, and she also didn’t want a financial burden put on us. And she knew that cremation was much less expensive than burial.
And I’ve been asked on occasion if I’ve felt like I’m missing out because I have no where to put flowers, or visit her. My response is always no.
Why? Because not only do I have what I like to affectionately call a shrine—a little shelf on the wall with her picture, a framed lighthouse postcard from a friend (hi, Selena), a figurine of the lighthouse where we spread most of her ashes, a small bottle of her ashes, and a really weather beaten Pepsi can—but I feel like she’s with me every day.
But also, these physical forms we walk around in, these squishy, fragile, sacks of meat with faulty parts and an expiration date, these are nothing. Even those who are not religious know that we do not linger here when our bodies expire.
And eventually there will come a time when we are each forgotten. For some it may take long, some are forgotten in a single generation.
No, do not buy flowers for to decorate a marble or granite slab of stone resting atop six feet of dirt. You might on day but a body in that box, with a full suit, nicely done hair, and makeup to hide the death. But eventually that box will hold nothing but old bones and ratty textiles.
Not only do I not want to be an expense or a burden while alive—at some point I’ll no longer be able to work and will be taking up space—but don’t waste your hard earned money on something I’ve left behind.
Like a hermit crab out grows it’s shell and leaves it behind, once we die we don’t linger. So, unless necromancy becomes mainstream, compost me (unless of course state law STILL forbids it). Otherwise, toss me in an oven and roast me at 1400 degrees Fahrenheit until crispy.
Then take what’s left and do with it what you will. There are options.
Before mom died, she’d said, amount other things, to spread her ashes at a lighthouse. She had a particular one in mind but could never remember it. I know she’d have been happy with where we chose.
But, I also think, that despite her desire to not have money “wasted” on her, she would have been perfectly content with the money spent. Because all four of her kids were under the same roof, and did something together, because of her.
Amount of Money doesn’t determine how much love there is.
Just because you spend hundreds of dollars on flowers, every single year, to decorate a stone above a box in the ground, doesn’t mean that you’re honoring that memory any better than anyone else. There are more meaningful less commercial ways to do it.
But as I always say, I’m no expert, and I’m no one’s boss (except The Kid, but that’s a post for another time). If it makes you happy, and you have the means to do so, honor the memory of your loved one how you see fit. Just don’t judge others for the way they do it.
And don’t wait until THE WEEKEND OF MEMORIAL DAY to do it and expect YOUR LOCAL RETAILER to still have what you want.
So I was sitting here, I’ve been up since 6am, and I’m trying/struggling to not fall asleep because The Kid has been sick and I wanna be awake if she needs me.
And I decide to do I tiny bit of self care and massage some of my homemade all natural nail and cuticle balm (shameless plug) into my nails, and the lavender scent is not helping my wakefulness. My whole plan was to stay awake as long as possible by reading. Haven’t stayed up late reading in a long time.
But somehow I manage to start thinking about how sometimes when my dad would drive me back to college after my bi-weekly home visit (I was unlicensed to the extent my learner’s permit—which took five tries to get the first time—expired, and grocery and laundry money coincided with Dad’s paychecks) we would stop at this little ice cream stand in a small town not far from home, and we’d get milkshakes.
Dad also liked to count the dead animals, laugh about “shoo poke cat” skunks, and point out flocks of turkeys in the hills.
He also quite enjoyed the “scenic routes”. That man knows how to get anywhere in all kinds of ways. I swear there’s a hillbilly GPS in his noggin with the longest routes with the best views highlighted.
He can fix just about anything and if he can’t do it he know someone who can. He knows literally everybody, actually.
Except the time he told me I didn’t need to flip the breaker to change a ceiling fan, I’d trust him with anything. Almost.
He’s put new doors on our house—cutting them to fit when necessary. He installed a new-to-us window when I was angry and threw a popcorn tin on my bed, which bounced into my window. He wasn’t happy about it.
There was this one time, we bought a computer off my uncle. It worked fine (for Windows MILLENNIUM EDITION) but I wanted to use the floppy disc drive (yes, I’m old) to save stories too. But I couldn’t get the disc into the drive.
So my dad, who could barely read, never touched a computer, got a screwdriver, opened it up, popped the face off , and shined a light inside.
My small cousins had shoved A PLASTIC MILK JUG RING AND A DORITO into the floppy drive of the computer. No wonder we got it so cheap. They thought they ruined it with the millennium edition update.
From swapping out engines and transmissions in vehicles, to using black electrical tape on open wounds, to knife making and wood carving, my dad could do just about anything.
Also that “can barely read” thing? Yeah he taught himself how to read so he could get his concealed carry permit.
Oh and can’t forget to mention how proud he was of his new dentures.
No idea why my daddy suddenly came to mind. I don’t call him enough, and I feel like a bad daughter for it. But I do think about him a lot. He’s almost 70, his health isn’t what it used to be, and after a heart attack, a quadruple bypass years later, diabetes and a lifetime of smoking it wasn’t much to begin with.
He retired after mom died, and I’m starting to believed when he says he shouldn’t have stopped working. Not that he could have worked much longer, but it kept him busy and gave him a purpose.
Thanks for reading this mini tribute to my silly old dad. Had absolutely no plans to post today, but he came up. I’m gonna see if I can convince my kid to come sleep with me.
Here’s a poorly shot and zoomed in video of a cardinal.
I just had a panic attack when I realized one day I might not have this quilt.
I’ve covered up with the same quilt for the better part of 20 years. I can’t remember exactly when I got it, it was in a bunch that my grandmother sent us, and I chose it. She made it, by hand, and it’s been my comfort and my go-to for most of my life.
I recently happened to notice that the seams holding two patches together had come undone. I don’t have the skill myself to repair it the right way. Thats when I realized that I will likely one day have to put it away.
“What in the world am I going to cover up with then?!” I thought. For a moment, I couldn’t comprehend that there were other blankets in the world. Ones I own already, ones I could buy.
This quilt isn’t perfect. It’s not fancy or expensive or costly. But it’s mine. It’s dried my tears, kept me warm, comforted me after bad dreams. It’s currently keeping both myself and my child warm. When I asked her, as I do every night, “What blanket do you want?” She didn’t want the monkey, a new addition from her grandmother, the Paw Patrol, Unicorn, or the white one. No. “Share yours, mommy.”
True love is sharing a blanket when all you want is to burrito yourself with it.
And this blanket has been through a lot on its own. Back and forth to college, moved with me when I got married, and then to our new house. I wanted to bring it to the hospital when I had my kiddo. But, I figured it would be cumbersome to bring home with an infant.
Once, when I’d left it home during college, I came home to find burn holes in the corner. You see, my cigarette smoking brother preferred to sleep in my bed, as opposed to walking the 5-10 extra feet to his own room. And one night he fell asleep with a cancer-stick and burned a hole in my beloved quilt.
To say I was upset would be an understatement.
But, I was glad that the patches were basically polyester (I think) and mostly just melted silver dollar sized places, instead of cotton, which might have done more damage. Also my brother lived, I guess.
So I was willing to let it go, and keep the holes as a reminder. But, sadly, the fabric backing had been wearing pretty thin for quite some time, and I already had trouble keeping my foot from going into a hole. It was so bad that the batting inside the quilt was falling apart. I often woke with my foot tangled.
So I begrudgingly took the quilt to my grandmother to repair. I had it in my head that she could just patch it. But as a grown adult with minimal experience with fabrics, I now know better. She ended up removing everything from the topper and replacing it. And not only was the backer a different fabric that the original but she’s trimmed out the burns!
But I was grateful not only that my quilt was back to useable condition and that my foot could no longer hibernate inside it, but that my almost 90 year old grandmother was not only willing but able to repair my treasured quilt.
While my quilt has held up pretty well (old-fashioned handmade craftsmanship) over the years, my grandmother, however, has not. For several years now, she has been in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s. I will not go into details, but I’m sure the perils and heartache of this terrible disease are wildly known. And to be honest, it’s been years since I’ve seen her. She’s gotten worse over those years, and I know that, if she were in a place for it to matter to her, she wouldn’t want our memories of her to be tainted by anything.
I dreamed of her last night, in her old house, just the way it was when we were little, the smells the food the stories. She was happy and doing what she did best (besides, sewing, gardening, spoiling her fat chihuahua) making sure we were fed and taken care of. Great, now I want cat head biscuits and gravy!
My quilt will always be important to me. Falling part or perfect condition. It’ll keep me warm, comfort me, and it’ll do the same for my girl. We will use it until it falls apart.
Who knows when that’ll be. But nothing will replace it.