An American Highlander

Travels Through My Mind

ROWing through the sharks and octopi. July 22, 2012

Filed under: ROW80 — charismaloy @ 5:38 pm

This week began quite well, I got well started on a new project for one of my at home jobs, and I have a really good feeling about this one I think it will be quite well recieved when it is finished. I have been trying REALLY hard to follow some good advice found here: and have been feeling really good about my progress. Then Thursday happened, which led into Friday’s drama and then into yesterday’s drama. So far I have had a break today, but I think that is only because everyone is catching their breath and I am fully prepared for more drama come Monday morning.

I won’t go into the details of the drama, but suffice it to say, I am a minnow in this clip: Ignore the goofy narrator’s and think about the force of the water kicked up. I have tried to avoid both shark and octopus, but unfortunately, both seem intent to draw me into the churning water and somewhere in the middle a shrieking eel has popped into the mix… I am desperately trying to hold onto the small sanctuary I have, but as the waters get rougher, I find that I am looking for a new tank altogether.

On top of that chaos, would you believe my swamp cooler went out on me?? Wonderful timing. The pump was completely burned up and needed replaced. My cats were looking at me like “Mom, dying here, its 98 degrees in this place” So, I started investigating. Everyone keeps telling me not to worry, swamp cooler pumps are easy to replace, just unplug the old one and drop in the new one. Uh-huh. I felt like Robert Redford in Sneakers ( ) right about the time he’s holding lock tumbler diagrams in one hand a lockpicking kit in the other and comes up on a keypad lock!

You got it. The fool pump was hardwired in. So, I raced to the ranch supply store and approached the door as the guy was locking it. I very nearly wept. The guy opened the door and, finding that I knew what I needed and he knew exactly where it was, let me in. Thank goodness I can still play the damsel in distress to some degree. I got the new pump home, fought and cursed and finally held my mouth just right and got the old pump out. Then I had to not electrocute myself in the attempted rewiring. My friend stood by ready to call 911 if I fouled it up. Hmm, next time I think I will take the phone out of my pocket so it doesn’t get fried and somebody can actually make that call. However, the call was unnecessary. Thanks to a semi photographic memory, I got the wiring right. Then I went to mount the pump.

I swear this cooler was really working on my remaining nerve. Frequent hugs from a little bitty thing who likes to tell me how great I am really kept me going. I set the pump in, anchored it (zip ties are a wonderous thing) and went to attach the hose. Which was two inches too short… GRRRR.  Back to the store I go. I found some RV hose and hose clamps. Okay, so I would have to cut off the end of the hose and then cut the length that I needed, but the elusive swamp cooler parts store is on sabbatical, and the inside of the hose looked to be the right size. As I cut the hose, I heard a small voice, full of confidence in me, say “I think you are gonna get lucky with that”

Ah, the faith of a child. I did in fact get lucky with that and she giggled with “I told you so’s” and “My Yaya can fix everything’s” I went into the house, plugged the fool thing in and heard glorious water flowing through the bats. It’ll be a couple of days before my furniture loses its stored heat, but I am loving the fact that nobody ever told me that I couldn’t do it because I am a girl. That’s why that little girl thinks I can do anything, because she has, in her short life, watched me repair cars, build furniture, fix doors, replumb my house, make the computer work right, and now she has seen me rewire a swamp cooler. Heaven help the day when she realizes that I am no super hero, I just read a book.. or twenty.

See, I found it. In all the shark fighting, octopus grabbing, eel shrieking tumultousness, I found the piece of this week that I will remember in a month, in a year, in ten. I will still seek a less troublesome tank, but I will hold to that little confident voice that said “I think you are gonna get lucky with that.” The rest, I will allow to fall away.

Round 3 Goals

1. Devote a minimum of one hour each weekday to bona fide work on each of the three at home jobs. This does not include FB, Blogging, Tweeting or other internet perusal, but may include improvements made to blog sites.

I devoted a large part of the beginning of this week to job number one. I was literally sitting down to work on job number two (it’s still pulled up on the other computer) when the chaos of the last few days began. In the middle of that chaos I have surrendered job number three. So, this is still hitting about 50/50.

2. Finish Fantasies this round. If CM approves it, get it published.

Haven’t touched it. I opened it, but that’s as far as I got.

3. Spend at least 20 minutes each weekday on housework and at least 2 hours on Saturday.

Four hours of fighting with the swamp cooler on Saturday makes up for the rest!!

4. Start eating more than one meal a day. Consistantly.

Check… well, for the most part.  I still miss a day here and there. Especially on days I don’t have to go to work.

Hmmm… Structure….. this could be interesting……


Think before you act. July 20, 2012

Filed under: Getting to know me — charismaloy @ 2:00 am

There are times in our lives that we make promises to people.

If you choose a friend, in that word itself is the promise to support each other. Even if you don’t agree with the decision, you don’t call your friend out in front of people, you don’t run them down all over town and you NEVER hurt them intentionally.  This is how real friends stay that way, how old friends can get together once every couple of years and feel like they were never apart. This is the friendship that still feels like quality time when all you did was stand quietly together for eight hours of fishing on the shore and spoke no more than a half a dozen words all day. When the inspirational poster say that if you want a friend you must be a friend, THIS is what it means.

When you choose a partner in this life, you are essentially choosing the other half of you. You are a pair, like a pair of lovely earrings or a set of rings, you belong together. The choice of a life partner is just that. A partner for life. Life is a three legged race, and when one stumbles, either the other catches or they both go down. Best three legged race I ever saw was run by a couple who never fell. They wrapped their arms around each other, found their rhythm and supported each other the entire way across the field. Okay, so the burly guy who carried his partner the whole way crossed the finish line first, but if you look at that 100m as a life? You see that he was over burdened, and she had no life. He was completely unable to defend her from the flock of sparrows that were coming at her, and she never learned to shoo them away. No, I want to be that older couple. Supported in all things, enabled to offer the same support, moving comfortably through life with time for a quiet conversation and a nice veiw of the scenery. I will settle for coming in later across the finish line of life, for I will have lived it.

Most of this world has, at some point, made the choice to become a parent. Sometimes the choice was made when they chose to adopt, some when they chose to marry a single parent, some when they chose to keep the child. Make no mistake, I am not talking about the sperm donor and the incubator. I am talking about when that child has left the womb. The people who take that child in their arms and take it home make the CHOICE to be a parent. This is a long term investment. This means the parent doesn’t get to grow weary of adulthood and revert to childish behaviours. This means that the parent’s job in this world, their primary mission in this life, is to raise and equip that child (and each child MUST be considered seperately, children are not clones) to be a physically, mentally, and emotionally, sound and stable adult. The child must be taught manners and they learn by watching the parent. The child should not learn prejudice, but they learn by watching the parent. The child should always believe that they are safe and secure. That nobody is more important to the parent than that child. Once that child has reached adulthood, the parent’s job is to help them fly off into the world. If the parent has done the job right in the early part of the child’s life, then into the world soars a youth that others can look to and be uplifted. Don’t get me wrong, if the job is done poorly, the child will still be looked at as a leader, but as this poorly rounded youth stumbles off into the sewers of life, he will follow the hard road. He may well make it out of the sewers and learn to soar, but does any parent want that?

Now don’t get me wrong, there is this little thing called rebellion and it happens at both ends of the spectrum. The child whose parents did it all right can CHOOSE the sewers, but that becomes the child’s choice and as an adult, the parents cannot make that choice for him. On the other side, Cinderella can choose to step out of the ashes, shake off the rags defined her, and pull her malnourished soul out of the shackles that bound her. She can look around and see the life that she was never offered and she can fight for it. Simply because somebody, at some point, looked her in the eye and saw the real human inside rather than the rags.

As the parents of adult children, the job is simple. Don’t pull them down, they are still learning how to fly. The other part is, don’t let them pull you down, life has tattered your wings enough. Sometimes, from either the side of the parent or the side of the child the pull gets to be too strong. Whichever side is being pulled must cut the strings and let the other either fall or find a draft to ride back up. The cutting is so painful, it wrenches the heart in two, but two birds, bound and tangled together will never right themselves unless they are seperated. Both will fall to earth and all will be lost. Cutting the strings may seem harsh, but at least you have the hope that the one still falling will find an updraft and you may find each other again in calmer winds.

As adults, parents and children have the opportunity to be friends. The love is already there. The only real change to the relationship is a balance of respect and trust. For those who have found that, I celebrate with you. For those still searching, and those who have given up the search, I ache with you.

My friends, Bless.


ROW80 – Week 2 July 15, 2012

Filed under: ROW80 — charismaloy @ 4:30 am

So, I have a 7am mandatory meeting at work. I am a serious night owl who doesn’t respond well to alarm clocks. It is now a quarter past four in the morning and about half an hour past my bedtime. If I were to set an alarm, it would have to go off in about half an hour in order for me to actually be awake in time to get to my meeting. That is assuming that the fool thing didn’t meld into my dreams and I didn’t shut it off in my sleep. Soooooo, the better part of wisdom says no sleep for me. Hence, the early post and the fresh pot of coffee. I have a nap inked into my schedule after the meeting. I am not even sure I am going to make it to church today.

It has, however, been a very good week. I feel that I have been quite productive. I got one project finished at sent off and have started another. If I can get a decent nap in the morning, I plan to spend tomorrow afternoon working on Fantasies. Slowly, but surely, I am getting my feet back under me. The only frustrating part is, I am ready to run hell-bent for the horizon and I can’t until I can once again stand. I need more good weeks. Fortunately, I am taking steps to see that I get them.

I think that I may only be updating on Sunday’s though. I need to make other posts to this blog that are not ROW80 updates, and I think two posts a week is my limit at the moment.

Round 3 Goals

1. Devote a minimum of one hour each weekday to bona fide work on each of the three at home jobs. This does not include FB, Blogging, Tweeting or other internet perusal, but may include improvements made to blog sites.

I have gotten one hour in everyday on one of the three…always the same one… There is housework visible when I start on the other two… I get distracted. However, it looks as though I my not have to do one of those other two, so we’ll see how that pans out.

2. Finish Fantasies this round. If CM approves it, get it published.

Haven’t touched it. I opened it, but that’s as far as I got.

3. Spend at least 20 minutes each weekday on housework and at least 2 hours on Saturday.

Not accomplishing too much on this one, although I did mow half of my lawn this evening. I would have mown the whole thing honest, but I only just got ditch water turned back on so I could water. I mowed the half that is watered enough not to burn without the shade of too long tops.

4. Start eating more than one meal a day. Consistantly.

Check… well, for the most part.  I still miss a day here and there. Especially on days I don’t have to go to work.

Hmmm… Structure….. this could be interesting……


Ya’ take the good, Ya’ take the bad, ya take ’em both and then ya have… July 14, 2012

Filed under: Getting to know me — charismaloy @ 2:19 am

Boy was today ever a mixture of ups and downs!! Okay, lemme back up a bit. The week has gone incredibly well, my job is one of those menial things that makes little difference in the world around me, but it pays the bills and the bosses respect me. I worked for them before and in the past few days, both of them have told me (repeatedly) how good it is to have me back. Even though we all know that my position there is quite temporary, it is really nice to be appreciated. The only down side is that I spend a great deal of time standing on cement floors in truly crappy shoes. Let’s be honest, we buy shoes at Walmart because we are broke, not because they are anything wonderful. The one pair of shoes that I have that could hold up to my long hours does not match my uniform. Ah well, no worries. All will right itself in due time.

So, I had a good week at work. I find myself with a three day weekend and planned to devote one full day to housework, and one to each of the two jobs here at the house that I have been neglecting. (I have been having WAAAAYYYY too much fun with the one that I have been working) Anyhow, I tried to get into the files that I need to access for one of the other jobs, only to find out that I am unable to access them. I have to do some checking, but this may mean that I no longer have that job.  In a way that sucks because I do like doing the work, but at the same time, it will never in this lifetime be a job that I will get paid for. What little compensation I was getting has already been discontinued. So, that freed up one of my days.

My brother in law and my niece- 2 weeks old

My brother in law and niece – 2 months

This afternoon, my friend asked me to join her and her daughter (my goddaughter) for dinner. Oh joy, Oh thrills, I didn’t have to cook or do dishes!! Just as I was getting ready to leave the house to meet them, my sister called and asked if I would run to Walmart for her so that she didn’t have to pack up my 11 month old neice. All 25 pounds and roughly the same in inches. This little cutie is not at all fat, she’s just a big girl. As you can see by the pictures, she really grew a lot in her first two months. Her mommy did not want to have to pack baby into the car and into Walmart in 90 degree plus temperatures for one lousy item. So, Auntie went, and was well rewarded. My sister met me outside to get her one little item, and this little angel smiled, waved, and squeeled when she saw me. She thinks her Auntie is pretty much nuts (did I mention she’s very smart?) and her glee at seeing me took away my frustration at idiot Walmartians.

Yes, my friends, this was quite nearly a rant about inconsiderate people parking in the firelane, nearly causing accidents and being there for long enough for me to find a parking spot, go in, find the item my sister needed, pay for it, get back to my car (IN A FRONT ROW PARKING SPOT!!!) and maneuver my way BACK past them and out of the parking lot. Yup, I was seriously hot under the collar. Ya’ll have seen me rant. You missed that because this little person just makes me feel good. She is always so excited to see me.

Then I got to go to dinner and get a huge hug from my goddaughter, who didn’t know I was coming. It was so cute, we told her that if she finished the meat portion of her meal then she didn’t have to finish the french fries and she could have a hot fudge sundae. The little minx finished her meat, ate half of her sundae and looked at me with only a few bites left of my dinner. She looked at me and held up her ice cream, saying “if you eat yours all gone, you could have this ice cream I saved for you”. Yeah, whatever mad I had left at the Walmartians, evaporated.

My day was full of small blessings that were so very big. I hope yours was too.