> Mindless Meanderings

Nothing fancy on this page, folks. These are just some things that have been running through my head. You know, those questions that come to you in the middle of a sleepless night to keep you awake even longer pondering them. Of course, if you come up with an answer to one of these, please email me, as I would dearly love a sound night's sleep....

These thoughts are roughly organized by the day that I added them in, but aren't organized otherwise. Good luck finding your way through to the end.....



October 7, 2004:

#1 - I was baptized Catholic, but was allowed to investigate other religions while growing up, and this one has bugged me for years:
If "love of money is the root of all evil" [amended 10/12/04 - thanks for correcting me, Lin] and all religions urge their followers to not worry about material things because pursuit of material things draws one's mind away from doing the will of the deity, why are followers urged to give money to the church so that the person telling them that material things are evil can have all KINDS of material things? [With MAJOR apologies to all those churches who actually use the money for it's original purpose: to help the poor by providing food, clothing and shelter for those who otherwise would be living on the streets.]

#2 - Why do we Americans cling so tightly to a two-party system when the system is so skewed that electing a new President is no longer a matter of choosing the best man for the job, but rather a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils and hoping whichever dipstick wins the job won't start World War III before the next election?

#3 - Why is it that the road crews doing work on a strip of well-traveled highway never put up the signs warning that there's a one-lane road ahead BEFORE the last possible detours that could be used to avoid long delays? Wouldn't it make sense to tell drivers to "seek alternate routes" BEFORE they're in a gridlock from which there's no escape? And if they have too little brain power to reason out that their jobs are easier if fewer cars are in the way, why are we paying them more per hour than we pay our teachers in our schools?

#4 - Speaking of the teachers, why do we think that they're going to care enough about our children to give them a good education when we don't pay them enough to allow them to concentrate on teaching instead of trying to figure out ways to keep themselves and their families alive on less than they could be making at McDonald's? Isn't it time that we elect officials who will stop giving our tax money to other countries and start putting our taxes where they belong - in the pockets of our teachers, fire fighters, and police?



October 12, 2004:

Re-reading my above rants and reflecting on an interesting email or two that came from them (proving some people ARE still visiting my site even though I have no real means of tracking HOW many), I must state the following: I am not a teacher, fire fighter or police officer, but I have many friends and family members who are. I find it TRULY outrageous that our governent officials, even after they've "retired", are making millions of dollars a year for "representing the People of America" while our teachers, police and firefighters exist on what little the government is willing to toss their way - generally less than one eighth of what the officials voted to pay themselves. Look at what our so-called "leaders", whether ruled by a Republican or a Democrat President, cut first when called upon to cut taxes: Our schools, which are meant to be making our children into people who can think for themselves. And what comes second? Fire Departments and Police Departments - those who are meant to be there to protect us from such dangers as terrorists and burning buildings.

Now on to today's REAL subjects:

1 - If we're supposed to be "A government FOR the People, BY the People", why in the name of all that is sacred to our People do we insist on electing to the honored seat of President (among other representatives of "the People") some rich yo-yo who has never punched a time clock at the factory in some podunk town so that HE can represent what WE, the clock-punching, factory working People, would like our government to be? What ever happened to voting in George Washington from up the street or that Lincoln kid from Illinois as the representation of our country in our Capital City?

2 - And speaking of the rich politicians stumping for our votes right now, wouldn't you rather write in someone like Zippy the Pinhead for President? Just think - a total moron in the President's chair - but considering what we've had for choices in the last few elections, I guess that would be the ultimate redundancy......

*making my train of thought leap to another track*

3 - If a duck and a man with Irritable Bowel Syndrome had a child, which end would be most likely to quack?


*leaping to yet another track*

4 - A man walked into a bar...

*wondering when Amtrak made a deal with Comedy Central...*

"Track Five now departing for all points west"

5 - If the bad guy always wears black and the good guy always wears white, what does it say when someone insists on wearing gray suits?



October 14, 2004:

*NOT re-reading again, as I seem to get into a rut doing that....*

1 - Did anyone else notice that, in last night's debate, both the Republican and the Democrat wore a navy blue suit, a white shirt, & a red tie with a small flag on the left lapel? Are we REALLY sure that the advisors to each man are different people, or is there a single brain behind both parties? (You know, the puppetmaster who is running the show, so therefore we really DON'T get a choice after all, because "the advisor" is really going to run the show no matter WHO wins!)

2 - How many licks DOES it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?

3 - I passed several car accidents in my commute to work (30 miles one way on Interstate 95) and yet never saw a word about any of them in the newspaper - unless someone was dead - or seriously injured enough to be almost dead. When did the world become so callous that putting a few words into the newspaper about the reason behind a serious traffic tie up became a matter of life and death - or at least near-death?

4 - I once had an exercise in a writing class in which we were told to look in the mirror and describe what we saw. I've been thinking a lot about that exercise lately as I get out of the shower, because the shower door is mirrored. At 43, I see the signs of middle age that snuck up on me when I wasn't looking - the grey hairs here and there, the small wrinkles, the hiding places of small bands of cellulite - but I am primarily happy with what I see. Why, then, does society make me feel the need to eat these cheddar rice snacks (9 of which contain 70 calories, no cholesterol, and only 11 grams of carbs) so that I can be slim and sexy when I'd really rather be eating chocolate? And why do doctors think we'd want to live longer exchanging our chocolate for healthy rice cakes when we wouldn't be enjoying living? (added thought: Why would we want to be able to live well past 100 if we are't enjoying living?)

*to quote Mel Brooks: "Escuse me while I whip this out." (from "Blazing Saddles")*

MMMMMMMMMMM! Chocolate!!!!!



February 18, 2005

Have you ever been sitting there trying to clear your mind of all thoughts and suddenly have one come busting in that makes you stop and go "Hmmmmm???"


I never thought about it before, but I see 24 all over the place in my family - and my own life.

1) My dad, who was the youngest of 9 children, was born 24 years after his eldest sibling.

2) One of Dad's sisters died in childbirth when she was 24 years old.

3) Mom was 24 when she had her first child. (Not me, but.....)

4) I was born on May 24.

5) My husband's father was born June 24.

6) My husband's younger sister was born July 24.

7) When my dad passed on, he and Mom had been married 24 years.

8) My first child was born when I was 24 years old.

9) My sister had some marital problems when in the 24th year of her marriage. (They resolved the issues & stayed together...*grin*)


Now I have to wonder.....when will 24 appear again in my life?


Ever hear the theme from "The Twilight Zone" echoing in your head?




(to be continued??)


April 12, 2005

I've been trying to be a good girl and bide my time - at least until Terri Schiavo was properly laid to rest - but, since her family seems determined to keep this ball rolling on even though they lost the fight......

The one question I've asked repeatedly about the whole Terri Schiavo thing is this: Who was in charge of paying the bills not covered by insurance? (And you can't tell me there WERE no bills above and beyond, as I've had too many relatives in nursing homes to believe THAT fairy tale...)

By Maine law, the person named as her "guardian" or "next of kin" is the one who gets all the bills, as we learned the hard way when Bill's sister died and BILL was named "next of kin". It's been 4 years this summer since Lu's funeral, but we're still paying for it - and our only expenses were flying Bill to Texas (to claim the body, make arrangements from that end, and clean out her apartment), flying them both back to Maine, the funeral itself, and the marker stone (the last of which was pretty much covered by donation from friends and family).

That said, I have to ask: Did Terri's parents ever offer to cover the costs, or were they just being critical of the husband without wanting to take over those costs?

Having heard both my grandmother (in a nursing home for about 5 years) and Bill's grandmother (in a nursing home for about 7 years) state that they felt God was punishing them by making them continue to live on after they were no longer useful to anyone, how could Terri's parents believe she had any real quality of life when all she could do was sit in a bed all day staring at the four walls of her room? The longest I've ever spent in a hospital was a full week back in 1993, and I was bored out of my mind even WITH a good book to read!

And last, but by no means least comes this thought: Were any of her organs used for transplant into other people, or was the means of her death (or perhaps even the chemical imbalance that caused the brain damage) such that none of her organs could be harvested? In our many talks about this subject, both my husband and I have stated (and will soon state in notarized letters to avoid this kind of thing happening to us) that the only reason we want to be kept on life support in a situation of brain death would be to allow the harvesting of as many organs as they can use before the plug is finally pulled. I wouldn't want my friends and family to go into debt for the rest of their lives on the off chance that, by some medical miracle, I could be "revived".....

Gotta run



September 5, 2007:

Having spent a lot of time away from this web site (with the exception of maintenance stuff that needed updating, like guestbook signings) on such things as my My Space account that I set up last year (at the behest of my co-workers so that we could gossip about the boss at work behind her back, but now being used to keep in touch with them, since they've all moved on), I feel like I've neglected this space. So what better place to spend a night with insomnia???

While away, I've been working on a sci fi novel that keeps working it's way to the forefront for a bit, then sliding back out of vogue since I was in college. (Can you say 27 years in the works now, folks, as I started this tale as something to amuse my babysitting charges with in the summer of 1980 - and it keeps growing whenever I turn my back??) For those who wish to see the intro, I'll be putting that up in a few minutes, as this little note will only take that long.....

I've pretty much given up on my dream of making a living out of selling books. I'm 46, about to become an empty nester (well, in two more years, when the girl-child joins her bro at some college and gets herself married), and I've only sold one book....so who am I trying to kid here? Unless I magically sell a million copies of either the above-mentioned sci fi - or on the historical romance that is currently vying for it's share of attention - I'm probably going to have nothing more than an interesting hobby that brings in royalty checks fairly regularly.

So here at The Northern Bard, I'll try to spend a little more time by (first), making the opening space for my next big novel so I can get from feedback from my faithful friends who keep checking back for updates and (second) adding more photos that are sitting on my home comp, taking up valuable gigabites.

So as they like to say, give me a little time to upload a chapter or two and some new photos, and I'll be seeing you in the funny pages.....*grin*

Love to all of y'all who've stood by this southern Mainah!



April 3, 2008:

Guess I was a little premature about writing off the book thing. I now have an official paperback out on the market ("Night of the Tiger"), but STILL haven't managed to find time to do as much as I'd like to accomplish in my life....*pout*

I started to try to upload more photos to this site, but discovered that, unless I want to pay a monthly fee for more space, I don't have enough room left. Please feel free to visit me under the display name "Tiggette" at My Space to see more photos (membership is free, and I will gladly add you as a friend if needed so that you can see some cool stuff - like Halloween decorations that appeared at my house, deer in my back yard, etc....)

I also have an account at Classmates.com for those who visit that went to school with me.

And of course, I still maintain the email address that's attached to this web site should you wish to "speak" with me more directly....as long as you're prepared for a possible novella, as I can go on and on and on without REALLY intending to........

*100,000,000 winks, dammit*



June 2, 2008:

One of my "constant readers" spent some time at my site recently, and noted that I've been very lax in getting the rest of the science fiction's Chapter One up onto the site. I put up section 2 (as it's broken up into several sections within each chapter in order to keep track of all the characters) and am getting the next several sections formatted into HTML so that, hopefully on Friday (6/6) I can get the rest of the chapter up for you.

Thanks, Yashti, for giving me the needed cyber "kick in the pants" to get the rest of the chapter up for you all, as I am in the middle of editing Chapter Two and simply hadn't taken the time to program the corrected section.....*hug to Yashti*



September 16, 2008:

(Subtitled: On Getting Powerfully Pickled)

For those who aren't related and don't work with either my husband or me, you may not know what "Pickle Season" is, but man, am I ever glad we've almost reached the end of it for another year! Not only am I tired, I'm having nightmares about being chased by giant pickles!!!

You see, despite my objections that we didn't have time to deal with it while we were both working 40 hour per week jobs, my husband put in a vegetable garden a few years ago with the belief that, the more veggies we were able to freeze or can, the less we would have to buy from the store. Of course, this means that he has had to either rent or borrow a rototiller every spring, buy tons of organic humus, dehydrated manure, bone meal and blood meal, and till the mixture together before proceeding to plant seeds and seedlings in the designated "garden spot". He spends hours each week weeding and, during dry spells, watering the veggies. Then, when things begin to ripen, he picks them and hauls them in for me to process.

That's when the trouble starts, because, even after several years of this, I haven't managed to get him to understand that he should only bring in what can be processed in one day or it will rot in the plastic grocery sack before I can get to it. Since the recipes for dill pickles and bread & butter pickles that I have both call for them to be soaked, one in ice water and one in a salt brine, before processing, they are always what gets washed and prepped first. While the pickles soak, I do my best to process the string beans, summer squash, zucchini, tomatoes, etc. before they rot in the grocery sacks.

Needless to say, between about mid-June, when the first ripe veg is brought into the house, and the first real frost, when anything left in the garden dies from frostbite, I get next to nothing for sleep. As I type this (at my workplace, as I have no "free time" at home for such pursuits), I would like nothing better than to lock the office door, slip upstairs onto the futon in the boarding area, and have myself a nice, long nap....

Unfortunately, I'm getting paid to answer the phone and make appointments for cats to see the doctor I work for, even if she IS out on a house call and not expected back for the rest of the afternoon....

I'm sincerely hoping that my husband is serious about NOT planting a garden next year so that he can do some much-needed repairs to our house. I haven't broken it to him yet, but after figuring out how much we spend each year for the fertilizers he tills into the ground, the seeds, seedlings and items such as bean poles, fencing and tomato supports, not to mention the plastic freezer bags, canning jars to replace those we gave away that weren't returned, new lids for the jars that were returned, and all the pickling supplies, we're actually spending more that it would cost to buy the pre-packaged veg and pickles from the store......

Here's hoping he's serious about fixing the house so that I can get the proper amount of sleep next year.......

Oh wait - what am I thinking?? Every repair he's started, mostly because something was falling down, hasn't been completed yet....

Example One: We have a porch that had support beams rotted out from under it the when we moved in 10 years ago. Because you can avoid having to pay for a permit if you leave 1/4 of the section you're fixing intact, he propped up the roof and repaired everything underneath the first spring. The original plan was to replace the roof the following year, but one excuse has followed another and the leaky old roof is still in place 9 years later.

Example Two: The sliding glass door on the back of the house hadn't been properly supported when it was put in by the people we bought the place from, so the whole roof was threatening to cave in and the door stopped working. When taking it apart, he found that the whole wall was rotted, so he replaced it all, but because he wasn't planning on doing the whole wall, he only had enough sheet rock to finish half of the room. Using the excuse that he can't afford to buy three more sheets of sheet rock (even though there's plenty of room on the Home Depot card for it), we've been looking at plastic covered insulation for about 6 years now.

Maybe I'll just keep trying to win the Power Ball jackpot and pray that the house will remain standing until I can afford to just have professional builders come in at tear down the existing structure and put up something new! (You know, along the lines of jacking up your old gas cap and driving a new car underneath when the old one needs more work than a new one would cost.....lol)

Pray for me, people! I need all the luck I can get if I want to have an energy efficient house I can be proud of!!



October 15, 2008:

I think I need a vacation to get over my vacation....lol

I took my last vacation day of the year on Columbus Day so that we could do one last camping trip to Acadia National Park. What a great weekend it was, too! It was sunny, quite warm for the season (reaching the mid-60's during the day and only dropping to the low 40's at night), and the leaf colors were at their peak. The only wet weather we saw was in the wee hours of Monday morning, so we were able to have a great weekend of sightseeing.

(Photos to be put on the site after I pick them up from the developer tomorrow.)