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Vicki's Blog

Thoughts, inspirations, dreams, and spiritual aspirations of women's fiction author, Vicki M. Taylor

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Life Goes On

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.

-Robert Frost

Life does go on, doesn't it? How many times do you hear that in your life time? When you were a child, and maybe you didn't get the pony your heart was set on for your eighth birthday. Or when you were fourteen and the most popular boy didn't ask you to the school dance.

The disappointments were sometimes devastating, but life did go on. As time passed, the hurt faded and healing occurred. Eventually, the pain of the event grew less, until you hardly ever thought about it again.

My family experienced one of those moments this month. My daughter discovered she was pregnant and we all rejoiced with happiness. This would be the first grandchild on both sides of the family so many plans were made and talked about.

But, it wasn't meant to be. Only a few short weeks into the pregnancy, my daughter lost the baby and miscarried. For her it was anguish; for us bitter disappointment at the loss of so much potential. We mourned for our lost family member, the tiny child that would strengthen the bonds of our families. We mourned for my daughter, having to lose something so precious. And, we mourned for each other. The loss affected each one of us so differently.

However, each day the sun rose and each evening it sat again. The days passed. Life went on. The world didn't stop to honor our grief, even though we expected the whole world to understand. The dark days passed and the light grew brighter. Now, we can talk about it without tearing up.

And, best of all, my daughter is talking about getting pregnant again.

Life goes on.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Ever have your AC replaced?

Well, I can now answer 'yes' to that question. Not less than half an hour ago I shut the door behind the AC service techs and wave good-bye. They're done.

So, let's start back at the beginning.

My alarm went off at 7:30 am to prepare for the AC company's "we'll be there between 8 and 10" spiel. I have to tell you, it's a big deal for me to get up at 7:30 am because I usually sleep until 10 am.

Now, it's going on 9 am, so that's an extra hour I could have slept in. Oh well, that's also one extra hour we got to keep the air conditioning on. When they get here they're going to turn off the AC to pull the old unit out and replace it with the new unit. How long did they project the AC to be turned off? A mere 6 - 8 hours. In Florida. In June. With humidity.

I've prepared for this long adventure and will be confining myself to my bedroom where my husband thoughtfully installed a window air conditioning unit. I've brought plenty of magazines, work, and of course I have the TV in case I want to watch a movie. I'll share my little oasis with my bird, Bailey and my dog, Jack. Can't have those poor little critters suffering in the hot, humid air with now AC.

Hey, the crew arrived before 9:30 am. It's an overcast day and kinda drizzly. At least it wouldn't be too hot outside to work. The two service techs are actually excited to be here and overly confident that they'll be finished in 2 hours. 3 tops. I'm going to hold them to it. We'll see.

My dog Jack doesn't like strangers. And, he really doesn't like anyone invading his space. Having strange service techs in the house is invading his space. How does he let everyone know he's displeased? Barking. And lots of it. It got to be a little annoying, so I did what all good doggy mommies do at a time like this and gave him a calmative. Just a gentle herbal calming biscuit that should help take the edge off his nervousness. And mine.

Around noon, one of the service techs told me they'd have to leave for awhile. Apparently they ran out of "gas" for thier torch. I think they just wanted to go get something to eat.

The service techs returned with plenty of gas to weld and cut their pipes.

At the 3 hour mark, they're still not done, but I'm told they'll be finished within the hour. Uh huh.

At least the weather is cooperating. The house temperature hasn't climbed over 80 degrees and the small window AC unit in the bedroom is actually getting a bit chilly.

Oh, remember the torch they needed to cut and weld pipes? Well, they forgot to tell me that it sets the smoke alarms off. Oops. Guess it was lucky mine wasn't connected to the Fire Department.

Four and a half hours later they're all done. Still well ahead of the original projected estimate of 6 - 8 hours. I'm happy. And, I'll give the service tech an extra 'attaboy'. He asked for a broom and dustpan to clean up his mess.

Now, that's service.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Womanly Sufferings

You know, we women put up with a lot. We have fluctuating hormones every month for years and years, not to mention the unpleasantness of dealing with a menstrual cycle as well. Of our species, we're the one to carry the child and give birth; no daddy seahorses for us pushing out those babies.

And, the fun just never seems to stop. We're poked and prodded in extremely uncomfortable and violating ways when it comes to physical examinations. Okay, so I'll give the guys the prostrate exam. Nothing fun or exciting about that, I'll grant you that.

But, breast exams, now there's a torture device right straight from the last century. I went through such torture today as part of my yearly physical exam. I've got to admit, over the years, the compassion in the technicians have risen, even though they're still squeezing the life out of your breasts. Who came up with the bright idea to flatten your breasts into the size of pancakes so that a cancerous lump could be located on an x-ray?

Men don't have to get their testicles squashed until they're flat to look for testicular cancer, do they? Who's bright idea is that? Why do they get special treatment?

If breast exams weren't enough for inhumane suffering, ask any woman who's going through menopause how they feel and then step back for the hormonal explosion. First, I'm hotter than an asphalt road in the middle of the Arizona desert in August then the next hour I'm freezing my toes off. I knew perfectly well what my neighbor's name was yesterday because I just talked to her, but for the life of me, I can't remember it now. I always thought I was emotionally balanced, but play a Hallmark commercial in front of me and watch the waterworks flow. There's no making sense out of it. It's just not possible.

And, what horrible affliction do men have to suffer from? A drop in testosterone. Darn, they won't want sex as often. Gee, I really feel for them.

This really wasn't meant as a rant, but I guess some things needed to be said. Good thing this only happens once a year.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Old Blog

If you want to read my old blog click here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Moving Day

I moved my blog. I found a blog program that offers me a lot more flexibility and control.

Here it is:

See you over there!

Monday, April 18, 2005

New Addition to Our Family

He came from out of no where. Swooping down, nearly settling on my head, then making a beeline for the nearest tree. His shrieks and squawks echoing in the early evening air. He drew the attention of Jack, our American Eskimo dog and from that moment on, his outdoor ritual was broken. No longer did Jack dream about trees and fence posts, instead his mind was on the brightly colored noisy thing in the tree just above his head.

The parrot seemed friendly enough. He seemed about as interested in us as we were in it. I called out to my husband, who brought the camera. We managed to get quite a few shots, until the bird flew down and rested upon our back fence.

I wondered if it were hungry, then wondered what I had in the house that he could possibly eat. I flashed upon a bag of dry dogfood that Jack doesn't eat and an "ah ha" moment was born. I hurried inside and brought out a handful of dry dogfood and a little bowl of water. If the bird could have spoken, he'd have given me his heartfelt thanks. He ate as if he were starving and drank water like he hadn't seen it in days.

He was very friendly and even nibbled upon my husband's finger at one point. Howver, any attempt we made to catch it was neatly adverted. He sidestepped and hopped away just far enough to stay out of reach.

It grew late and the sky darkened. We could no longer see the parrot as it sat just on the other side of our fence in a neighbor's tree. We went inside, saddened by the fact that we would no longer see our little friend. My husband did some research on the web, with the pictures he took and discovered our visitor had been a Sun Conure.

In the morning, once again, outside to give Jack a reprieve, I heard a familiar screech. Looking around, there he was, sitting on the neighbor's clothesline. Excited, I hurried to call my husband on the phone to tell him that the parrot was still around. Hearing my voice, the parrot flew into our yard and followed me to the back patio. He sat on a plant stand while I hurried to get him some more dry dog food and a bowl of water.

Pondering what to do next, my husband suggested I go out and get a cage. So, I did. Hurrying to the pet store within a mile of our home, I purchased a cage and a bag of parrot/conure food. At home, I stepped outside to find the parrot sitting on our gutters above the back door. I put the dry dog food away and poured a small portion of the new food into my hand. It had him intrigued and he came to investigate. With a bit of coaxing and some quickness on my part, the Sun Conure was soon happily munching away on his new food in his new cage.

Determined to find his owner, we checked newspaper lost & found ads, the internet, vets and animal/bird hospitals, and even pet stores. No one reported a missing Sun Conure. We've taken a liking to the little fella and he's more than happy to make his home here with us. Already he's settled into our routine and seems to enjoy our company.

We've named him Bailey. And Bailey has a home.

Monday, April 04, 2005

What Freedom Means to Me

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes. -- Mahatma Gandhi

"Freedom to make mistakes." What does that mean to you? Have we come so far in this imperfect world that people must not make mistakes for fear of punishment?

I don't claim to know everything that goes on in the world, and for the most part, my views are clouded by what I read in the newspaper or hear on the television. However, my world is words, my life is words, my work is words. I live to write and as a writer, I know that what I put down on paper may not always be what ends up as the final copy. I accept that. What would life be like if everything I wrote had to be perfect the first time? What if there was no freedom to make a first draft or edits? I, for one, would probably be very hesitant about each word I wrote, knowing that I didn't get a second chance to fix an error.

Isn't that what we can do every day when we speak? Do we get a chance at a draft before we say our final message? Can we make edits to our words later? No, we do not, no we cannot. Our words, once spoken, can never be edited. Oh, sure, we can say, "but, that's not what I meant," or, "you misunderstood me." Apologies can always be made for something we said, but once said; always heard, and always remembered.

In this modern world we have the technology to speak and write instantaneously. I've observed many Message Board discussions where a topic is introduced and without inflection or actual voice, great debates emerge over mere words. Important topics disappear over an exchange of "you said/I said" and viable questions go unanswered as conversations run tangets from the original subject.

Debates emerge with quotes taken from previous messages, until the entire subject disappears in the nether-regions of cyberspace. No longer do simple conversations occur, comfortably across a table, between friends or acquaintances. Nevertheless, great debates are waged every day, from desktop to desktop across the world, between complete strangers of varying backgrounds. Over what? Mere words.

Words, in my opinion, are the most powerful weapon in the world. With one swipe they can cut deeper than any sword. With one quote they can change an entire nation. With one statement they can be used against you for the rest of your life.

We've gone so far in this great nation to debate over the definition of a word and its meaning in context and out of context. And, for what? To prove a point, to be heard, to define ourselves - to have the chance to say what we mean or change what we said.

Words, once spoken, always heard, never forgotten.

"Freedom to make mistakes." So, what does that really mean to you? I believe, that as people, we are not perfect, and should give each other the chance to make amends for words chosen inappropriately, in either the heat of the moment or the passion of the discussion. And, as such, we should be more careful in what words we do choose to use.

No matter how important you are, or what position you hold in the long chain of life, there is always going to be another out there - listening, observing. Choose your words carefully, when speaking or writing. You are being heard. Make sure you are heard in the way you want, not just to make noise.

The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything else. -- Edward John Phelps