Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Ponderings

As my mood is down in the dumps – so is a lot of my television viewing.  I confess to watching TMZ.  I was watching the clip yesterday they had of Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens knocking his then fiancĂ© out cold then dragging her out of the elevator like a bag of garbage.  I, along with any who has seen the video was horrified watching it.  That a man could do that kind of thing to a woman is frightening and no excuses, he should go to jail and he should be banned.

But in all honesty, what I found equally horrifying is that since that incident, she MARRIED him. OMG!  What kind of fool is she?  They guy is obviously a thug who should be doing time and rather than getting far, far away from that animal, she MARRIES him.  I do not understand why she would do such a thing.  No way can I believe it’s because she looooooves him.  One would have to have zero self-respect to claim that and I’m just not buying it.  All I can think is it must be the money.  And what a sad thing is that.  If he did something like that even before they were married when life was good, what on earth will happen now that his life is deservedly falling apart, what can she expect now?  Whatever it is, I am sad to say she won’t get sympathy from me.  I am in no way shape or form excusing him – AT ALL – but what does it say about her?

 

I also have been watching Big Brother.  Never really watched it before but hey – I’m living in the basement of life these days so its basement TV.  I don’t get this show.  I don’t get that people are such big fans they want to be on it.  I can only think they want their “15 minutes of fame”.  Why else would you be willingly followed by a camera 24/7 that can watch you do just about anything and have complete strangers watch any time of the night or day.  Why else would you knowingly make friends with people who would stab you in the back without a second thought with the nebulous excuse ‘well, I heard you said this about me”.  Yes, years ago I was caught up in the Survivor experience too like so many others who were introduced to reality TV, but Big Brother takes it a whole other level and I don’t get the appeal.  And this is coming from someone whose two favourite shows are reality, elimination type shows, So You Think You Can Dance and Face Off.  But in both those shows it’s either the audience or judges who do the eliminating and you can see there is a real bond between contestants.  They work together and when someone is sent home, they really are sad and not rubbing their hands in glee that another one bit the dust.  I think the thing that bugs me the most is all the hugging.  Stabbing them in the back and then hugging them goodbye just doesn’t work for me.  No amount of money is worth it.  They can also get pretty nasty on Master Chef too though it’s Chef Ramsay and company that sends the contestants home.

 

Now on the plus side, I’m REALLY enjoying Outlander.  I read the first book but didn’t really continue on with the series after that one – the size of them intimidates me.  But the series is working just fine, just fine indeedy.  Ach Jamie.


I’m not reading these days, don’t seem to have the  concentration, so no real thoughts on romance reading, thus another ‘ponderings’ post.
 
'til later

Friday, September 05, 2014


I had a good day yesterday and thought that would be the start of coming back.  I’d gotten a new doctor, got new medication for depression, and had a session with the councilor the day before.  Yesterday I stopped and got new stickers for the car – I should have had them a month ago and was driving on borrowed time, getting quite concerned whenever I saw a cop car thinking I’d get pulled over – deservedly so.  But how would I explain that no, I didn’t get my sticker yet because it was too overwhelming and I was driving on out of date insurance slips because no, I hadn’t opened the mail when they came and now I don’t know where I put them.  Unless I was young and very attractive I don’t think that excuse would have worked – and even if I were – chances are I’d still get a ticket.  But I did find the slips and everything is OK on that front.  Now, as I said to my coworkers this morning, if I get pulled over it will be probably for speeding – deservedly so – not for outdated license stickers.


But I got up this morning and it was if the better day yesterday never happened.  It was SUCH  struggle to even get out of bed.  If I hadn’t called in sick earlier this week (though I did go after all – a couple hours late) then had a breakdown at work the next day; and if we weren’t very short staffed this week, I would have skipped the work thing today.


I mired in despair for a bit, still there mostly, but I did make it to work – then told myself this is going to happen.  There WILL still be bad days, probably many more than good days for a while.  But the time WILL come when it turns around and the good days start to outnumber the bad.

My house is a mess and it’s slowly been getting worse over the past six months, to the point I don’t feel comfortable having anyone over.  But the reno guy is coming on Monday.  One of my coworkers is coming over tomorrow to help me clean up and that is stressing me out – maybe why today is a bad day.  She knows what I’m going through as she does to and is telling me not to worry – but then that’s almost like telling me not to breath – impossible.  So I’m breaking it down into tiny bits.  I wrote out a list of things I think I am capable of doing to kind of be ready to have someone over.  I will never be really ready the state I’m in but I have to deal with what I can do.  I’m thinking for the time being I might have to carry around a notebook and pen and do that – write down small things that are accomplishable and realistic all things considered.


And I certainly am glad I had the foresight years ago when I started this blog to call it RAMBLINGS on Romance ETC. ETC. ETC.  I sure am rambling about etc. aren’t I?

And another good thing about the day - I am ROCKIN' a good hair do.

Thursday, September 04, 2014


What seems like baby steps are actually huge steps when one is in the depths of depression.  I was thinking last night; one of my favourite books is Alice in Wonderland.  She enters Wonderland by falling down the rabbit hole.  That’s kind of what it’s like only one isn’t entering Wonderland.  At the bottom of this rabbit hole it’s dark and nobody can see you and you can’t see them and that’s the way you want it to be.  Isolating ourselves is one of the things we do best – at least isolating ourselves from the ones we care most about.  I could function very well on one level, I planned a Bilbo Baggins type party for my 60th birthday  - inviting 22 people and had a wonderful time, I came to work just about every day; I may have taken one or two ‘mental health’ days but many less than some people.  I was fun at work and did fine on phone calls.  It’s only the ones we love the best at least in my case I have the hardest time dealing with.  And then that creates a whole new set of issues as they don’t really know or is some cases understand.  I read up on the symptoms of acute depression and that’s where I’m at and one of them is self-loathing and that I can really relate to.  The more I draw in, the more I hate what I’m doing to them and to myself, thus causing me to draw in more.  And they don’t know what I’m going through ‘cause I don’t call them, or see them or tell them, thus causing even more self-loathing.  It’s a vicious, vicious circle and I wish I knew the answer for everyone or what to tell people who love someone who suffers from it.  I think it may depend on the severity.  Suicide for example, has never been a concern in my case though I do understand the utter hopelessness people contemplating it feel.  As I said, self-loathing is a symptom but I’m still rational enough to know that would make my family really hate what I did and the aftermath would be unfair to them – the thoughts of closing the house itself for example.  I have over 40 boxes of books in one room alone and I’m sure they’d be cursing me with every box they removed.  And then they would probably burn them they’d be so angry and we can’t have that!!  But that’s me and loved ones don’t know what’s in the heart and mind of someone who’s not doing well, so doing nothing might not be so good.  I think just contact them and be gentle and patient and not expect a long answer unless the sufferer is in a ‘moment’.  And even if they are thinking “I wish they would just smarten up and get over it” try and understand it’s not that simple.  After my Keeping up with the Karsdashian’s weekend marathon it’s obviously something Kim doesn’t get but Kloe does about Rob (“self-absorbed little twit” she muttered).  Most important to family – know that it’s not lack of love that’s keeping the depressed person isolated, it’s the depression itself.  Now poor Rob is probably experiencing self-loathing for missing the twit’s wedding.

I LOVE the song Stuck in a Moment by U2.  The following lyrics couldn’t BE more perfect.  I’ve sung it to myself many a time over the years:

You've got to get yourself together
You've got stuck in a moment
And you can't get out of it

Don't say that later will be better
Now you're stuck in a moment
And you can't get out of it

And if the night runs over
And if the day won't last
And if our way should falter
Along the stony pass

And if the night runs over
And if the day won't last
And if your way should falter
Along this stony pass

It's just a moment
This time will pass

 

This is exactly how it feels – like we are stuck in a moment – only it’s longer than a moment, and we really can’t get out it no matter how hard we try.  But as hard as it seems to believe – to the point of impossibility, it’s just a moment and this time will pass.

 

And to end on a more positive note – and using metaphors which I love to do, I hit the floor of the rabbit hole – hard – but now I’m standing up, brushing off all the dirt and looking up for a way out.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014


I’ve always been almost way too open here.  I’ve shared things that after I posted I think to myself “I can’t believe I wrote and posted that!  And here I go again with probably the same response after.

 

I have suffered from depression for years.  I’ve blogged about it before.  No biggie in a way, so many people do, and I’ve been able to hold it at bay for quite some time with medication.  But the medication gradually stopped working, I think I’d say about 6 months ago, and I’ve slowly, without really realizing it, started suffering the symptoms.  I reached the bottom on the weekend just past.  It was a long weekend and I sat in my house with the air conditioning real low, covered in a blanket, wearing dirty clothes when I bothered to get dressed late in the day, the blind closed and watched mindless television – I mean we are talking Naked Dating and Keeping up with the Kardashian.  It doesn’t get much lower than that.  At the same time I was having a full blown junk food pig out, anything to keep me from ‘feeling’ anything.  Over the past 6 months I’ve pretty much put on all the weight back on I worked so hard to get rid of and Monday was my rock bottom.  It’s hard to put into words the horrible sense of being overwhelmed by the most simplest of things are.  Things I could handle with both hands tied behind my back are beyond me.  Before I went to the cottage, packing my luggage was beyond me and I left it until the morning of and then just threw stuff in – dirty or clean – it didn’t matter.  Thank goodness the cottage had a washer and dryer and others were constantly doing laundry.  I still haven’t unpacked yet and that was over a week ago.  My luggage is still sitting in the living room.  I seem to have fruit flies and rather than pulverizing the little buggers with my vacuum and then a bit of kitty litter, I’m crying over them.  My bathroom renovation guy was supposed to start my bathroom on Tuesday, but I called and postponed it because I haven’t been able to do housework – even though I desperately want to – and I couldn’t have him working in my house the way it looks now.  I was supposed to get my car sticker renewed by August 11th but I still haven’t done it.

I’m managing to go to work as I love my job and coworkers and weird as it sounds, work is my ‘safe place’ right now.  But I did call in sick yesterday; not physically sick, but mentally and emotionally sick.  No matter what I’ve tried nothing works and I did something even worse with bad results I can’t even think about without feeling sick to my stomach about.

So.  After I called in sick yesterday with the thoughts of doing housework so I could have Reno guy in to do my bathroom and I STILL just sat there not even moving, I realized I’d hit rock bottom (or so I thought but that goes with the last sentence in the above paragraph).  We have an Employee Assistance Program but I didn’t have the number so I got dressed – no makeup, no bling, no hair fixing – and came into work.  It was obvious that I was a mess emotionally wise.  But I did get through the day, in fact I even worked late.  I called and have an appointment with a counselor today so I’m leaving early for it.  I did literally fall apart here at work earlier today and my Manager got me the name of a doctor and I also called them to get in for more medication.

 

So, I will blog about my journey back, hoping that it might connect with someone reading who is going through the same thing.  Although I can’t imagine it at the moment, I have to believe it can be done.  The thing about depression is it’s hidden.  Outwardly I seemed happy and my normal easy going self except the weight gain.  But on the inside, where no one can see, I am/was falling apart.

 
To be continued

Friday, August 29, 2014

I just can't quit you Book








 
 
 
It's said that women and men are from two different planets when it comes to communication, but how can they overcome the obstacles of prehistoric times when one of them simply doesn’t have the ability to comprehend language?
 
Ehd’s a caveman living on his own in a harsh wilderness. He’s strong and intelligent, but completely alone. When he finds a beautiful young woman in his pit trap, it’s obvious to him that she is meant to be his mate. He doesn’t know where she came from; she’s wearing some pretty odd clothing, and she makes a lot of noises with her mouth that give him a headache. Still, he’s determined to fulfill his purpose in life – provide for her, protect her, and put a baby in her.
 
Elizabeth doesn’t know where she is or exactly how she got there. She’s confused and distressed by her predicament, and there’s a caveman hauling her back to his cavehome. She’s not at all interested in Ehd’s primitive advances, and she just can’t seem to get him to listen. No matter what she tries, getting her point across to this primitive, but beautiful, man is a constant – and often hilarious – struggle.
 
With only each other for company, they must rely on one another to fight the dangers of the wild and prepare for the winter months. As they struggle to coexist, theirs becomes a love story that transcends language and time.
 
This hasn’t happened for a while – in fact not since I read Broken Wing, but I can’t move on from this darn book.  I’ve tried but it’s just not working.  It’s got stuck inside me like an ear worm song and I find myself thinking about it at most unusual times.  So I’ve had no choice but to answer the book siren call.
 Despite the fact that there is no conversation in the whole book between hero and heroine, the inner dialogue of the hero is so compelling.  This book is far from perfect technically and if a more technical reader challenged me on some of the inconsistencies, I would so give it to them.  But EMOTIONALLY this book is damn near perfect and since I have strong emotional reactions when reading, this book has gotten to me in a big way.  It has a very emotional ending and the first time I read it, I choked up and even went so far as to CRY.  I’m not a crier and holding back those tears even made my throat hurt more.
 
I tried moving onto another book after this but it didn’t work, I couldn’t forget Ehd, Beh and Transcendence so there was no other option but to reread it again.  When I finished it this time, I was at work and again got all choked up.  It was my break and there were people around so I couldn’t let the tears flow.

 
 
 
 
Having read it a second time I tried to move on to another book but once again found that any book I tried paled in comparison.  I even tried rereading another book I’ve love just to kick start me on but again it didn’t work and I had no choice but to give into it and read it a third time in a row.  This time I was doing the cottage thing, having a wonderful time when I came to the end.  And for the third time got all choked up. But again I couldn’t give in to the tears that wanted to flow.  How would I explain to 4 other women, 2 teenage boys and 3 dogs that I was crying over a romance about a cave man and a woman who came from the future.  One that I had just finished reading twice before – in a week!  In a week filled with frivolity, that would have been just too weird.

 It’s still calling to me though. I have started a couple of other books since then and I can tell they are good and normally I would really enjoy them, but once more, I don’t know how far I’ll get  before the compulsion comes over me again.
 
Am I the only one that has this kind of reaction to a book?  It's more than a desire to read it again.  It's a NEED!  I read Broken Wing FIVE times before I could move on.  I wonder how many times with this book.........

 
 
 

 
 
 

 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Summer being Summer...


 

 
I’ve been a bit absent for a few days – not to worry, I’ve not disappeared.  I was given a project at work and it’s taking up some time.  As it’s an Excel spreadsheet I’m working on, it’s all good.
 
 
I hit a milestone birthday the other day.  I turned 60.  Now while there are some days I don’t feel the spry young thing I used to be, I most certainly don’t feel 60.  It’s funny, back when much younger 60 seemed so old.  And it isn’t really.  But it’s odd.  One of the duties I have at work is calling clients.  I usually do a quick look at their file first just to get a feel for them.  Whenever I see someone born in the 1940’s I worry about calling them as they may be having a nap or something else old people do.  Then I have to ‘get a grip’ and say to myself – “Self,  this is the generation of Woodstock, of Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger!!  And you yourself were born in the earlier part of the 50’s.  And you aren’t old.  So neither are these people you silly goose!”  I have to tell myself that quite a bit.

 

 
I ordered a book the other day – Letters to a Secret Lover by Toni Blake.  I read it not long after if first came out and loved it.  I’ve been having an urge to read it again but you need to see the state of my print book collection to realize it was not at all feasible to try and find it.  I did have a library downstairs and could have put my fingers on it in minutes.  But then my oldest moved back home and dismantled it and didn’t remantle it and then my basement flooded and, well, at the moment I have 40 boxes of book piled up in one of the bedrooms.

The price of the ebook was more than I was willing to pay so I just had to live with that jittery feeling.  You know the feeling – you are jonesing to read one particular book,  It’s using it’s siren’s voice, calling your name, not unlike what Odysseus went through.  But I wasn’t going to give in to The MAN and pay the silly price they were asking.  But a series of unfortunate and fortunate events happened.  The price came down a bit (the fortunate) and I hit a reading wall (the unfortunate) and I caved and got it.  This post is dedicated to the unfortunate or what I decided to call:  The Trustworthy Book.


 
Now those who don’t reread books will probably think this whole thing is silly.  Both my sisters fall into this category.  They don’t reread and don’t understand why I do.  But many readers ARE rereaders and this is for them.  We are all familiar with the “comfort” read.  This is the book that we will read again when we are feeling sad or down and we want something to help cheer us up.  Often when we are in a slump a “comfort” read will help pull us out.

 

A ‘trustworthy’ read is very similar but there are a few differences.  A ‘trustworthy’ read, at least in the way I’m thinking, could only have been read once before unlike a ‘comfort’ read that could be read many times.  But why you first read the ‘trustworthy’ read, is because you know going in you are going to love/like it because you’ve read it before.  I needed this kind of book as I wasn’t in a slump exactly, but I’d read a couple of books by an author I’d previously enjoyed and these books were awful in fact they left a terrible taste in my reading mouth and I needed to read something I trusted I would enjoy.  So it’s not so much a comfort book I needed.  I didn’t really need that.  And I didn’t want to read a new book by an author I trusted as this is what I did.  So I needed a book I knew in advance I could trust as I was a bit book shy



I’m headed out for a week at a cottage early, early Saturday morning.  In fact at the Very Painful hour of 6:30.  AM – yuck.  They don’t have WiFi and no McDonalds so I will be ‘off the grid’ so to speak for a week.  And as I’m not the least bit ready, this will probably be my last chance to blog until I’m back.  So not to worry – this time it’s only for a week.

 

‘til later


****ETA****

So - being the queen of procrastinators I didn't get this sent before I left on vacation.  I shall post again soon, but I had a most lovely time.  But the old gray mare - she ain't what she used to be and recuperation time takes longer and longer.

 
 


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Recent Reads

Off Limits (Off, #2)Off Limits by Sawyer Bennett

Genre: Contemporary/Young Adult

Steam Level:  Just the right temperature

My thoughts:  I am so taken with this author and her books. One of the recent ones I read I only graded a 2 as I didn’t like the heroine one little bit, but over all I’m most impressed and quite happy to have found Sawyer Bennett.

I seem to be reading this series backwards so for anyone wondering if the series needs to be read in order, no it doesn’t.
This is the story of Nixon or Nix Caldwell and Emily Burnham. Emily is a trust fund child. She comes from wealth and privilege. Several years before the story starts, she realized that she had been a person she didn’t like and has made a concentrated effort to become a better person. I’ll be honest and say early into the story I wasn’t sure how it was going to go as she is given a choice, bow to pressure and go out with a former boyfriend who has become stalkerish or losing her trust fund and she went with the stalker ex route. I was a bit worried that would ruin her for me and I even put the book down for a couple of days thinking I would be disappointed. But since I have had good luck with this author, I went back to it and it’s a good thing I did. Emily is young, still in college and to buck a lifetime of behavior would be kind of difficult to do all at once and she has come a long way. And I did like her ever so much.

She and Nix meet when she almost runs him down and does some real damage to his motorcycle. They both orbit around some of the same people. Emily is the sister of Ryan Burnham, who’s story Off Sides, I haven’t read yet but is the first in the series and Nix is the brother of Linc Caldwell, the hero of Off the Record, which I have read and enjoyed. Ryan and Linc are both on the same NHL hockey team. Although they are kind of in the same circle up until the motorcycle accident they hadn’t met. Nix is, well, a jerk to Emily and she is less than impressed. She’s willing to pay him for the damage she did but it turns out that she doesn’t have enough of her monthly allotted amount so he comes up with the idea of having her work it off. He owns his own custom motorcycle/metal art business and he is terrible at the administrative end of it. He decides to take that in lieu of.

Nix is a real 'Oscar the Grouch' kind of hero and if done well, one of my favourite kind. And I think Ms. Bennett did him just about perfect. He’s a returning veteran and he is suffering from PTSD, a Traumatic Brain Injury, physical scars and a whole boatload of guilt. Because of all these factors, he figures there in no chance that he can have any kind of relationship, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t do one nighters. And he is hot for Emily. Emily, for her part, is hot for Nix, but his running hot and cold and being a jerk and a nice guy have her very confused. But lust and growing love have her agreeing to his offer – strings free sex.

Of course this is a romance and it never really works that way in a romance. Nix begins trusting and opening up to Emily about his ghosts and rather than reject him, she gives him unconditional support.

And while Emily is a younger heroine than I’m used to in a contemporary romance, I ended up liking her a lot. The characters from the other books make appearances but I don’t think it’s need to read the first one in order to enjoy this one – since I didn’t and I did.

I really enjoyed this one along with most of the other books by this author I’ve read and I ended up getting the box set of all the books in this series

Grade: 4.5 out of 5


Off the Record (Off, #3)Off the Record by Sawyer Bennett

Genre: Contemporary/Young Adult

Steam Level:  As it's the same author, it's again the right temperature

My thoughts:

I'm not sure how I came across this one, it might have been a Kindle Daily Deal. But however I came across it, when I read the synopsis, I was sold. I love sports romance and hockey in particular. I do hold my breath sometimes though. Although there are many who know the game more, I do pride myself in knowing quite a bit about the sports I enjoy and sadly, I dock major points if the author doesn't know the sport they are writing about.

I could breath with this one though. The entire story takes place during the off season so it wasn't really an issue. Lincoln Caldwell is a young goalie for the New York Rangers. If I had any reservation and it kept this from being 5 stars is how young he is. But that's a rather small quibble.

Lincoln is young, he is hot and he lives in New York. He's a normal guy. But Ever Montgomery, who is writing an article on him for the paper she works for brings misinformation and her own screwed over issues into the article and writes a scathing piece, calling him a man whore when he really isn't. As payback Linc insists Ever spend the next six weeks with him in order to get to really know him.

I liked this book, I really did. I wasn't sure if I would as it's written in the first person and not only that but also in the present tense. This is not normally something I read. When I discover it's first person, unless it's a well known author, or a book with real good buzz, when I find it's in the first tense, I tend to move to another book but I am SO GLAD I kept going. The author alternates with one chapter from Ever's POV and the next chapter from Lincs so we get to see what they are both thinking.

And I liked both characters immensely, Linc just a tad more than Evers. She was just a tiny bit harder to warm up too and took a bit longer to get over her issues resulting from being abandoned by her father and cheated on by her fiancé. But considering these things, I could see why she was the way she was. And her grovel was very well written.

I very happily recommend this book and as it's part of a series, I fully plan on getting more books by Sawyer Bennett


And again I read these out of order.  I read 2 then 1 and it was fine.
Grade: 4.5 out of 5