Hope They Got it All

My mom had surgery this morning. All I know is my sister sent a text that says, “took half of one lung. think they got it all.” Since she is in the hospital I know she can’t take cell phone calls. I will have to wait until she goes outside for a smoke break or calls someone else in the family to relay all the details.

Bad News Via Text

This morning I got a text from my sister. It didn’t say anything except two words, “it’s cancer.” I was totally freaked out. Who has cancer? What is she talking about?

I tried to call her back and got no answer. I don’t even know what that means. Is she not answering because she is talking to someone else? Did she not answer because she is too upset to talk? Does she have access to her phone or is she in a hospital where they don’t let you use cell phones?

I was going crazy with worry and not getting an answer on her cell phone. So I sent a text back, “Pls call ASAP.” But so far have not heard from her.

Learning About Plugins

Most of what I need in my blog comes in the basic WordPress download. The only think I worried about was selecting a theme that suited my mood or my personality. I think I did well, with that pick.

But now I realize that there are some good extras you can download and install, called plugins. The best plugin is an anti-spam plugin called Akismet. It does an excellent job of monitoring your post comments for spam and it just deletes them for you. It works like a charm.

I’m about to try another plugin called All In One SEO. I’m not sure it will do any good for getting my blog better traffic and noticed by more people, but it can’t hurt.

Calendar Conflicts

This week was a busy one with concerts shows almost every night. Of course, I could not go to all of them. In fact, on Wednesday night there were three different shows at venues all across town that I wanted to attend.

My friend, Jenny, had told me about a benefit concert for the songwriter and musician, Kevin Sharpe. He has been battling cancer and is having trouble paying for all the treatments, which are incredibly expensive. The tickets to his show were only $20 at the door and there were 38 songwriters and performers featured in the lineup. Plans were for each performer to be able to play or sing two songs. With each song lasting about 3 minutes, that worked out to about 4 hours of music by a variety of top musicians and singers. Wish I could have gone to that one!

As it was, a different friend of mine was having a show at the local comedy club. Since I had committed to his show first, I went to that and had to forgo the benefit concert. Wish I could have done both!

Too Many Bananas

Sometimes I think my mother buys a bunch of bananas to just torture them slowly as they all ripen so quickly and no one eats that many bananas in her house. Every time I go over there I see a bunch of 5-6 ripe bananas in a large bowl on her kitchen table. And then a couple days later she throws them out because they are over ripe and then she buys a new bunch at the grocery store when she does her weekly shopping.

When I was over there yesterday I teased her and called her a banana sadist. She doesn’t buy them to eat them – she buys them to watch them die a slow death. She got a little defensive, so then I asked if maybe she thought of herself as a banana rescuer instead? She buys them because she feels sorry for them in the store, and brings them home so they have a chance?

Or maybe she buys them to put in the bowl to be a pretty centerpiece and fool everyone who comes to visit into thinking that she eats a lot of fruit? I think that next time I go to the hobby and crafts store that I will buy some artificial bananas that look real and put them in the bowl at my mother’s house. I might do that as a joke and see how long it takes for her to realize that they are not getting over-ripe and are not real. LOL!

Harder to Find the Oldies But Goodies

Sometimes I really miss the Blockbuster and Hollywood Video stores. They were great for browsing a dozen aisles of old movies when you are bored and want something familiar to spend time with on the couch. There is an old movie that I haven’t seen in several years, but some friends mentioned it last night and now it is on my mind.

The movie starred Billy Bob Thornton – a great actor and a weird man. This movie really showcased his acting abilities because he totally makes you believe he is the character he’s playing. The movie title is “Slingblade.”

Since my buddies were talking about it I decided to try to rent it or watch it again. Ha! Good luck with that! There is no way to watch this movie unless I buy it from WalMart or if I get lucky to find it in a used DVD store. I don’t really want to buy the movie – I just want to watch it one more time. But there’s no way to do it around here.

Songwriters versus Performance Artists

Now that I have been spending more time in the little clubs and going to songwriter conferences, my respect for the songwriters has increased immensely. The performing artists have so many people to help them and so many advantages, everything from a backup band, hair and makeup artists, and bodyguards. But the songwriters mostly work alone or in small groups, toiling over every word and every note, and then handing it off to an artist or a label and hoping that someone will do justice to their handiwork.

Brit music from the 60’s

The emergence of rock and roll in the 1960’s and 1970’s was due in large part to the great bands from Great Britain. It was so pronounced that people called that period “The British Invasion” and the super groups were enormous hits. Some of the first big names were The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who and hundreds more over the years as band member came and went, tried solo careers and changed bands. Many of them are still performing today.

Light Sensors

For years I have left the porch light on at night. I like to leave it on even after I’ve gone to bed. I think a light by the front door heps welcome unexpected visitors or people who need help, and it helps deter people who are up to no good. Criminals prefer to do their dirty work under cover of darkness and light is a good deterrent.

When I had to pay for some vinyl repairs to the siding that was damaged in a hail storm, the men who were working on the siding told me they were going to have to remove the exterior lights and that if I want to go buy new replacements for the old and rusty ones that they would install the new lights for me at no extra charge.

That seemed like a generous offer, so I went down to Home Depot and looked at light fixtures. I didn’t like anything I saw there, so I went to Lowe’s and found some nice ones. I bought new exterior adjustable floodlights and a new porch light with a built in motion detector.

The motion detector comes on when someone approaches the front door, so I don’t have to leave the light on all night long any longer. If someone needs to come to the door the sensor will turn the light on automatically. And if a criminal tries to use the darkness to hide a break in the light coming on will hopefully alarm him to the point that he leaves without bothering me.

Donate Your Used Newspapers

I am dismayed by how many read the daily newspaper and then just thoughtlessly toss the paper into the trash can. Newspapers are among the easiest things to recycle. If you get the morning paper every day, how hard is it to save them up for a week or two in a box near your trashcan and then drop them off at the recycling center when you are out running errands?

Even better, find a way to re-use the newspapers. I take my box of newspaper to the vet down by the shopping center. He uses newspapers to line the bottom of the cages and crates for the animals that are kept overnight after surgery or for special medical treatments. He also boards a few animals while their owners travel for short periods.

I feel that I am helping raise the comfort level for some animals in needs and helping the vet manage his expenses by no having to buy commercial products for cage liners. Plus, I am building good will with my relationship with the vet. And it doesn’t cost me a cent to do it.