April 2000

April 29, 2000: 500 words added today. Slow start, but I hope to be writing everyday next week, starting Monday. Tomorrow I'll be working on the new summer page. "The Allurement" now has over 2,300 words.

Swelling is coming down much more on the ankle. I was also able to keep it off ice for most of the day without pain. I decided to put ice on it again to try and get the rest of the swelling down. It's getting much easier to move it into a flat position. Also figured out a much easier way to take a shower! We got one of our chairs from outside (cleaned up of course) and put it just inside our shower stall. I can sit on it, then slide it around as well as pick it up and move it, sit back down, stand and move the chair a bit, etc. Then when I finish, just manuver it back to where I can simply stand up. It was much easier and I think I can even do it myself. I had James around just in case I slipped or something. One problem solved. Also figured out a way to be comfy-er at the 'puter. Now, if I can just figure out how to get comfy to sit outside for a bit. :) TTFN!

April 28, 2000: Heheh. What was it John Savage was calling the IRS? Infernal Revenue Service, heheh. James is now calling them the Infernal Revenue Stealers. We got a call from the president of the local branch of our bank this morning. Apperently the IRS mistook our $90.34 check to them as $9034.00! The president called wondering if it was correct. Heheh, of course not! We're glad he called and we got it straightened out. I shudder to think of the reprocussions of something like that!

In other monetary news, I got my first 'teacher' check today! Before I'd been getting sub(stitute) pay and this is the first one I was actually getting teacher pay. NICE! I get paid twice as much as James is! Whoohoo! This teaching gig isn't so bad, I'm re-considering my decision not to teach next year. The stress of it all seems worth it now. I'm going to push to get a job in one of the better schools though. I've substituted in one of the other schools and really enjoyed it (when I had the right grade level).

News on the accident front: My swelling is coming down, slowly. But I have to keep it on ice all the time. I tried to let it 'thaw' out last night and it hurt really badly. James says those nerves are enflamed, probably. I'm gonna keep it on ice as much as possible.

Writerly front: I finished one crit yesterday, the other I'm taking a bit more time to think and read it over again. I just got the story a few days ago, I need more time to let it soak in and digest it. I had expected a bunch of work to do over the weekend with grades and all, but the principal isn't letting me do anything except grade the papers I have from last week. Fine by me. ::shrug:: Gives me more time to write. James will be out of the house for several hours tomorrow. I plan to get myself as comfy as possible at the computer and get some writing done. I'll at least work on the next scene or two of 'The Allurement', try to finish it and send it to RMCrit. Then, if I feel like it, I'll pull up 'Silver Star' and read the last few chapters or so. It's been so long since I've looked at the thing, I might have to read all of what I've written so far to get my head back in the game on it. I know at least one person who would love to see some more chapters on that and she would be thrilled to read them too. We'll see.

I also have plans to put up a new page here for 'summer'. I'll keep that one up for May, June and July. It seemes easier for me to keep one page for longer chunks. I may have to go to a format like several others in NAW have, the same page, just archived each month. For now I like it this way...

April 27, 2000: It's amazing how time is flying for me. I'm bored, yet the time is not dragging by. I have a lot of things I want to get accomplished, but not getting to them. I've been spending my time playing on the 'net or reading journals, watching Star Wars I over and over. Also, I've been watching recorded episodes of X-Files, Voyager, Seven-Days, and the Next Generation (We don't get those channels, so my inlaws tape them for us). I've been spending some time reading and trying to finish the bounty hunter wars Book I. I've read a short to crit, but I've been putting off doing the crit. I should get to it today.

News on the accident claim front: Very irritating news. We got a call from the ambulance company yesterday. They say that the woman driving the other vehicle put us (and our insurance) down to pay for the ambulance! Yeah right, AS IF our ins. company would pay for HER trip in the ambulance! I'm beginning to feel somewhat unsympathetic towards her.

We had company Tuesday evening. They brought some yummy food for us for dinner, barbecue pork, buns, two kinds of slaw, a ummy-yummy dessert AND a gallon of blue bell ice cream. We still have some pork left and it's yummy! Between our company and James, they made me laugh so much that my rib hurt pretty badly yesterday, not to mention the sneezing too. More of my ribs began to hurt yesterday than just the one on my left side too. My right side front and my left back ribs hurt too. It was not pleasent yesterday.

We are also having trouble keeping the swelling down in my foot too. Last night when we got back from church, my toes were even swollen and a bit purple. (I've had purple and yellow marks come and go on my foot too) I also was having all sorts of aches and pains in that foot last night. Twice it felt like my toes were burning up, the second time even felt like they were about to sweat, AND the ice pack had been laying on my foot for several hours at that point! So we were concerned enough to call the drs office this morning. James talked to a nurse and she said that if the swelling didn't go down by Monday and the pains didn't get some better, they were going to have to put my foot in a cast! Needless to say, I've elevated my foot more today and kept the ice on it as long as I'm sitting still (and I only get up to go to the bathroom). The swelling is coming down, considerably.

It's going to be a long month. I'm beginning to realize how important my leg is. You know, we take for granted being able to take a bath or shower and not have assistance getting in or out. We take for granted being able to walk to the door to answer it or the phone. We take for granted being able to excercise. I'm very concerned about how much weight I'm going to gain during the next month or two. I am developing muscles in my right leg and my arms, but will it be enough to burn extra calories for me? Will the exertion of getting up to go to the bathroom several times a day and the even more exertion of getting into the bathtub twice a week (I know that sounds bad, but I DREAD getting in there more than I HAVE to!)

James has been very sweet and doing everything for me that I can't do, but it's getting tiring. I WISH I could do these things for my self. Simple things, like getting more water from the fridge. I can't even do that because with crutches or the walker, I couldn't carry things. If I tried, I'd likely spill it on my way back to sit down. ::sigh:: Here's to hoping time will fly even more faster than it is. TTFN!

April 25, 2000: Happy Birthday to my friend Carrie today!

I would have posted yesterday, but James' parents came back for a visit on their way home. It was nice to have someone do the dishes, Thanks Mom & Dad P! :)

More news today, good and bad. Yesterday I had an appointment with my doctor here locally and James spoke to the insurance company. First of all, the insurance: Come to find out that the woman in the other car did NOT have insurance. She'd forgotten to pay it and let it lapse. So, according to MS state law, she loses her liscense. I really feel sorry for her. Our medical expenses will be covered under our uninsured motorist and our car will be paid for (replacement value) by our collision coverage, but our misc. expenses (i.e. my $156 per day that I get paid, teacher's salary and hotel room in MS, etc) will be turned over to the insurance company for them to sue the driver of the other vehicle. So, not only has the 60-year old lost her liscense, totaled her car, has to pay for her own medical expenses, on top of all that, our ins. is going to sue her for these misc. expenses! I just keep thinking if we were in her position. Honestly, I'm sure all of us have been in a position where we've forgotten something, or been in a situation in a car where we didn't see someone coming. When I was in drivers ed, I pulled up to a residential intersection where a lot of cars were parked, looked both ways and started to go. Luckily, my instructor had a break on the passenger side of the car and slammed on it. I would have hit a car coming from my left! I did NOT see the car coming. We've all been in situations like that, they may not have caused an accident, but nonetheless, we all do things like that. We will not ask for any extra, just what we need for loss of work, etc. But still, I feel sorry for her.

The other bad news is that even though I had planned to miss one week of work, the doctor says two. Plus, I'm sure I'll be responsible for grading papers, putting grades in the grade book and getting out progress reports next week. The thing is, I don't get paid unless I go to work, therefore, any work at home is on my own time and not paid. ::sigh::

The doctor also said that for two weeks the only thing I can do with that ankle is to 'pretend walk'. Meaning, very little pressure, but to retrain the foot to bend as in walking. Heel to toe, etc. I was hoping that I could walk on it sooner than that. My right leg is getting very tired of supporting my self, not to mention my hands on the walker are getting very sore.(someone from church broght me a walker. I've been much more independent with it since it is much more sturdy. I guess since that knee is so sore, I'm wobbly right now and feel very unsafe on crutches.)

Well, at least all this time sitting around will give me time that I want to read and write. I've already planned to finish up one crit and got one ready to read for another crit. I've also re-read through my last short to work on finishing it. Let's see how much work I can get done in these two weeks. :) I'll also try to post here everyday. TTFN!

April 23, 2000: Be ready for a long entry. I’ve had a really long weekend.

So, here’s what happened. On Wednesday afternoon, I found out my Grampa died. He’d been sick with cancer off and on for two years and this last two months had been really rough on him. He had a bad reaction to chemo, needed blood, then had a reaction to the transfusion. This week they’d finally put him on a morphine drip, so I knew it wasn’t long and the doctors were saying it was only a matter of days. But, when I heard that I wasn’t too concerned. The doctors had said that several times in the past two years, so I wasn’t sure how much to be worried.

So, anyway, I found out that Mom had the funeral set for Saturday at 10:30. My grampa had two brothers in California, and that’s when one of them wanted it set. (The other was physically unable to come at all) So, the other complication was that James’ parents were coming for a visit, otherwise we’d have left on Thursday, after school. In order to spend some time with them, we waited to leave until around 3 on Friday. We decided to leave at two and have lunch in Meridian with them before they headed east and we went north.

We ate at a chinese buffet. It was good, but I wasn’t all that hungry. I’d had cheesecake before we left the house that my in-laws had brought. Then we said our good-byes there, but we all headed to Wal-mart and separated there. I had to pick up a b-day card, and wanted to get some easter things for my nieces. James also needed shampoo and I needed black hose for the funeral. Anyway, we left Wal-mart and headed north.

I was sleepy and bored, not feeling like doing anything but chatting with James or trying to nap. Finally, the sun was bothering me, so I put a pillow over my face and tried to nap. I didn’t get to sleep, James and I continued chatting some. But then I hear James say:

“What is this idiot doing?”

I didn’t have time to pull the pillow from my face. The next 5 seconds went in a flash. I heard breaks squeal and I guess when I was jarred to a straight up position, I saw our car crashing into another one. I think it was grey. That glimpse was the only look I ever got of the other car. I never felt the airbag, just the next thing I knew was pain in my ankle and my stomach.

James turned to me and said something like: “Oh, baby, are you alright?”

I said, “My ankle hurts and my stomach hurts, but I- I think I’m alright.”

The next second he was out of the car to check on the driver in the other car. I immediately wished that he hadn’t left, because suddenly I felt that someone had knocked the wind out of me and I couldn’t breathe. My lowest rib on my left side hurt and I worried it was cracked. A millon things ran through my mind about punctured lungs and internal abdominal bleeding. I laid back and relaxed as I watched James run up the road. Someone hollared, “The ambulance is on its way.” I saw James run back toward the car and I was relieved he was coming back to my side of the car. By the time he opened my door, my breathing had gotten under control and I’d forgotten about my rib. My ankle was the only pain I felt, besides my left stomach. James opened the door and we talked for a few seconds, I don’t remember our conversation exactly, just that it was about my left ankle and my right knee, both of which were swelling already and my knee was bruising. I asked him to help me out so I could stretch my legs more comfortably on the ground.

After I sat down, I realized that I was moaning. It shocked me that it was coming out of my mouth at first, it was the same sound I’d heard in Yellowstone when a woman fell from her horse. Then I remembered it as being something people do in shock. I tried to calm myself down and asked James to take my shoe and sock off to relieve the pressure from the swelling. I’d also asked him for one of the pillows to prop it up.

People started gathering around, some who said they’d seen the whole thing. Apperently, the woman driving the other car tried to turn to her left and pulled into our lane to do so. She didn’t see us coming and James didn’t have much time to react. He had swerved some, but not enough.

The first people (official people that is) to arrive were state troopers. James left my side off and on to check on the other woman and talk to the officers. I just kept praying that the ambulance would arrive quickly. I heard people talking about the other woman and I had an impression that she was hurt more badly and that she was also asking to leave to go to the bathroom. I prepared myself that she might have been hurt worse than me and that the paramedics would have to tend to her first.

I don’t remember ever seeing people who I thought were paramedics, they were actually the last to arrive. The first ones that came to help me looked like firemen. They all seemed more concerned that I’d gotten out of the car and whether or not I had spinal injury. The first thing they did was strap me to a board. People asked me questions: how old was I, was I pregnant, was I allergic to anything, any pre-existing medical problems, where was I hurt… I felt that by the time we’d reached the hospital, I’d played twenty questions with about 40 different people.

I was growing steadily irritated by the treatement the people were giving me. Those seemingly 40 people poked me everywhere I said I was hurting. Someone at some point asked me if my shoulder was hurting, I said no, but when they poked at it I almost screamed! Then it continued to hurt. When they strapped me to the board, they just HAD to put a strap right across my knee which, as I said before, was already bruising and swelling. While they were carrying me strapped to the board, they took no notice of my sore ankle and knocked it around a bit. I was wincing in pain constantly and nearly in tears by the time I was in the ambulance. I could hear that the driver of the other car was on the other side of the ambulance, but all I could see was the ceiling. Again, people poked, prodded and asked all sorts of questions. I fussed when they were talking about cutting my shirt to check out my shoulder. It was brand new and I didn’t want it cut. Now, if I thought that injury was worse than it was, I’d have had no problem with it, but I was sure it was just bruised (which turned out to be true).

I made sure to tell them everything that hurt, so that it could be checked out. Before we had even left the site, I had pretty much told them everything. A few other bruises showed up later across my chest where the seat belt had been, but so far everything that hurt, showed up before we left the site.

The ride in the ambulance was bumpy and my foot hurt every time we stopped and started going again because my body would slide slightly and my heel stayed still so that ankle was moving somewhat. I spent the next 3 hours strapped to that board, waiting for x-rays.

The first doctor that saw me soon after arriving to the hospital had a horrible bedside manner and when he finished with me, I made sure he knew that. Seems kinda silly now, but trying to be tactful, I’d said to him, “You poke to hard.” The reason why I said that though was because of how he’d treated me the first time he looked me over. He didn’t speak to me except to ask if it hurt where he poked. At first he was real gentle, making sure my face was ok, after I told him that my glasses had been bent slightly, and checking out my shoulder, rib and stomach. But when he got to my knee, he grabbed it and squeezed, hard! He did the same thing to my ankle and I cried. It was the only time during the whole ordeal that I’d cried.

Before the doctor had come in, I had been chatting with Larry, the driver of the ambulance. He’d been really nice as they were getting me out of the ambulance. He was carrying the head end of my board and I guess he’d seen my face and I may have mumbled something about my foot. He told the others carrying me to watch out for my foot. Also, he seemed more sympathetic than some of the others and was the kindest amongst the paramedics. After the doctor made me cry, I heard him get up from the desk he was sitting at, doing paperwork I’d guessed, and stood near me.

I said, “Why does he have to poke so hard? It hurts.”

He said a few words of comfort and then said the best words anyone said to me the entire time. “Would you like me to get your husband?”


I didn’t ‘see’ Larry again, but I wished I had to thank him for being so nice. The nurses were friendly too, but among all the paramedics, he was the nicest.

Then thankfully, there was a shift change and I got a new doctor. I went through the same things with him, but he was much more gentle and much more kind. He looked me in the eyes more. He explained to me that I was awaiting x-rays and told me all the different places that were to be x-rayed. He asked me if there were any other places that I wanted to be x-rayed. I said no because I had told them everything that I wanted to check out already. I was sure my hip, knee, and shoulder were just bruised, but I had them x-ray them anyway, just to be sure. My ankle could be broken, I’d thought, and my rib too. My rib had started aching while laying there in the hospital and I became increasingly more concerned about it and my ankle.

At some point I noticed my ankle feeling better. I thought it was just because people were leaving me alone while I awaited x-rays. Later I was to find out why.

James came sometime before x-rays to tell me that the other woman had a broken wrist and they had to send her on to Jackson because the hospital we were at couldn’t do casting. It made me hope even more that my ankle wasn’t broken: Jackson was even farther from home. James said that he thought maybe they could take us to Meridian instead.

So then I was on to x-rays. I told them before x-rays that I had to go to the bathroom. They said all they had to offer me was a bed pan. I thought about doing that, but said I’d wait. I knew being strapped to that board would make it extremely difficult. I figured I could wait until after the x-rays, by then they would know there was nothing wrong with my back.

First they took x-rays of my neck. When they were ‘developed’ (I suppose that’s the right word for that), the doctor came in to tell me my neck was fine and they could take me off the board, but they didn’t want me to sit up until they checked my back. They rolled me to one side and the doctor gently poked and prodded along my spine. No pain anywhere. I scooched myself onto the x-ray machine and they took x-rays of my back, shoulder, chest, hip, knee and ankle. Finally, James came in when she was finished. We talked for a bit and I said I was very happy to be off the board, but now my rib ached from the scooching around. I became so worried about my rib that I asked the x-ray tech if she noticed any cracking on my rib. She said she didn’t really have the training to say anything for sure, but that so far all my x-rays looked fine. Except, she said, she had to re-x-ray my foot because the film was exposed and came out looking funny.

Then I asked if I could go to the bathroom and they said no, that now I was headed for a CAT scan. James and I were confused, thinking that those were only for head injuries, but they told us it was for my stomach, to check for internal injuries.

So, lying there in the CAT scan room, I was wondering how long it would be before I had to go. They had put an IV in me before the x-rays and I noticed then that it was almost 8:00. I hadn’t gone to the bathroom since we left the house at 2. At the restaurant, I’d thought I’d go at wal-mart. Then at Wal-mart James was hurrying us because we were behind schedule and I thought it would be faster to go when we stopped for gas. When we got in the car, James thought we could make it to Memphis, TN before we stopped. I thought I could make it that far, so we didn’t stop.

Soon, the doctor came in and said he was going to have a nurse put in a catheter. I said “No, I don’t think that is necessary.” I didn’t tell the doctor this, but I had been nursemaiding a small infection about 3 weeks ago. I’d been drinking plenty of water, some cranberry juice, and being sure I went to the bathroom as soon as I needed to when ever I could. I felt my bladder was strong enough to wait another thirty minutes. Besides, it wasn’t the urgent, ‘I gotta go the bathroom and do the kindergarten peepee dance to keep myself from going’ type, it was the ‘Oh, my bladder hurts’ type.

The CAT scan seemed like it took forever. I was lying on a table and the table would slide in and out of the CAT tube. I’d seen the tube on TV, but never up close and personal like this. As a matter of fact, with the exception of one time when I’d jumped into a shallow end of the pool at the Y, I’d never been in an emergency room. I’d had x-rays of that foot, and later had x-rays (in a drs office, I think) of my knee when a horse rolled on it, plus x-rays when visiting the dentist and chiropractor, but other than that, I hadn’t had any serious injuries, nor had never ridden in an ambulance or been in a situation like this before. I guess, looking back now, I was in a sort of shock. I remember thinking that I was amazingly calm. I was scared, but not panicked. I just kept my mind on my injuries, yet distanced in some way so I wasn’t too scared.

So, the CAT scan was boring. I went up and down the tube holding my breath when he told me to and breathing when he told me to. When we finished I was about to start doing that peepee dance. So to keep my mind from it, I played with my IV and hummed, ‘If I only had a heart.’ But of course in my head I was singing, ‘If I only could pee.’

When I got back to my room, which was really a curtained off cubicle in a hallway, I wondered if it was the same place I’d been before. It didn’t look like I thought it would. It felt much better to be sitting up, off that board and on a somewhat softer bed. I demanded a bed pan and asked if James and I could just figure it out ourselves. I was too embarrassed to let anyone else see me go in a bedpan. As it turned out, I should have just let the nurse do it, because we did something wrong and it leaked. (I had so much in there too!) The nurse said she wasn’t surprised that there was so much, she said she passed the accident on her way to work and it was now nearly 11! She didn’t know that the last time I went was 2 either! So I felt like a big ‘ol baby having to be wiped up and the sheet changed. Luckily it was just the sheet that got wet and the nurse was very efficient in changing it while I was lying in it.

The doctor came in sometime later and explained that the x-rays looked fine, no broken or cracked bones at all. He said that what I had was a badly sprained ankle and he explained how the ligaments on that side were probably strained badly. James told him about the way my bone was sticking out and I told him about the way the doctor pushed it back in. James also said that it looked much better, not sticking out much at all and that the other side looked more normal too. Between the three of us, we surmised that it had been dislocated and that the first doctor had put it back in place. I also recounted of how it felt better after the doctor had hurt it. I don’t understand why the first doctor wouldn’t have put it in my chart.

So, the doctor went on to explain that they had to send the CAT scan digital info via modem to Texas for specialists there to look at. The CAT tech only indicated that there was evidence of the kidney stone I had two years ago, but again, he’s not qualified to make judgements about the tests, only to administer them. So the doctor had cleared me in everything except the internal injuries. James joked that if I had internal bleeding I’d be dead by now, being that it was between 11 and 12, six hours since the accident. The doctor explained that sometimes internal organs can get like a scrape on the outside of them, weakening the surface of the organ. If they were to release me and I had a scrape on my spleen or something, then get out and do something strenuous, it could cause that organ to rupture and it could kill me. Then James could sue the hospital for releasing me. So, they basically want to cover their tails.

My injuries were discussed then and how I should hobble around. The doctor discovered (I had already known it, but he wanted me to be cautious) that I could put weight on my right leg, that my knee was sore, but not hurting to stand on it. An air cast was put on my ankle and I was allowed to try to hobble to the bathroom. At first it didn’t hurt to badly to put weight on that foot, but by the time I had hobbled about 5 feet, I was in pain. So they brought me a wheelchair and said I could use it until someone picked us up. We, had, by the way, had someone call the police station to see if a free officer could drive us to a motel, once we were cleared. They said that all their units were currently out on some major business going down, but that when some were free, they would send someone down. Not exactly the most glorious job for the officer, but we needed someone to take us to the motel, we couldn’t walk there and there wasn’t a taxi service in the small town.

The info on my CAT scan finally came in. No accident-related injuries, just that old kidney stone lodged in my uretha. The doctor said I definitely needed to take care of that, obviously one blockage could cause more to pile up and could cause that kidney to shut down. I knew I had problems, if I didn’t get enough water, I felt like an infection would come on, but I just thought I was prone to infections. I had no idea that that old stone was still in there.

So then all we had to do was wait for the cruiser to come get us. I think we waited 20 or 30 minutes in the ER waiting area. I was comfortable finally sitting up in the wheelchair after being flat on my back for so long. Once the officer arrived, we piled into his car, me getting to ride in the back with our few bags James had gotten from our car. I’d never been in the back of a cruiser before, come to think of it, I don’t think I’d been in one at all. On the way to the hotel, we found out there had been a car chase that night. Evidently a woman got her purse snatched and she held on to the purse. We’d seen a young woman in the ER with a hurt wrist and figured it was the one he talked about. Come to find out, the lady had only $6! I said her hospital bills are going to be more than that and I doubt she can get the money from suing the snatchers.

Well, it was fun trying to get into the room. The hospital had no adult crutches, so I started hopping on one foot, but it hurt because the swelling was jiggling. Also, I couldn’t put my arm around James for support because that rib hurt. James tried to pick me up, but his hand was right on my rib that hurt. So, I made an all out hopping session straight for the room, up three steps. I flopped on the bed sore and with my leg wore out. The first thing I did was to call my mom. I didn’t want her to worry when we didn’t show up the next day. We couldn’t call James’ parents, we didn’t have the number, that would have to wait until we got home. The only other person James called was our insurance agent, he called him at about 9:30 pm, I found out later.

Well, that’s about it, the next morning we had to call friends from home to come get us. They got us at about 1:30. Luckily they had crutches, so I was able to get around the hotel room to get ready and to the car easier. We went straight to the wreaker place to clean out our car and nobody was there. So, our friend got out their cell phone and started dialing the number on the building. Just as we tried to figure out what to do, a truck pulled up. The guy said he was about to go out of town and there would be no one else to help us, so it was a good thing we happened to be there when he drove up. When our friends saw the car, they thought it was amazing we got out of the accident with such minor injuries.

Well, I think that’s a big enough entry for one day. I’ll know more tomorrow when I go to a local doctor and get checked out from him. TTFN!

April 15, 2000: So much has been going on, I'm not sure where to start! Today I got on-line at 12, expecting to check mail, read a few journals and then update here. I checked one e-mail and ended up on an 1 1/2 surfing spree. Ya know when you just feel like clicking on banner ads and doing nothing but checking out new sites? Most of the time I can easily resist the urge, but today I went to places like: X-drive.com, Neopets.com, and a new graphics page too. I adopted a pet at neopets and named her Tomija. You can see her at her homepage. It looks like a cul site. I can even update her page myself, but right now they are making a lot of updating and so many of the options are unavailable. I doubt I'll do much with my pet though. It was just neat to make one.

I read "Hey Baby...What's Your Glamour?" at Jackhammer. Paula and Lazette have done a wonderful job, so far. I'll have to check tomorrow to see if the ending has been posted.

Recently we went to see GalaxyQuest. I'm sure many hard sci-fi fans didn't like it. But my hubby and I really enjoyed it. James is a Star Trek fan and I really like Star Wars, and we picked out a few 'spoofs' of those shows in the movie. I liked the 'moral' to it. (If you haven't seen it, you may want to ignore the next statement. :) ) The main character thought he was the hero that made the entire show, but in the end, he learned it was the entire crew and teamwork that gained them the victory.

Speaking of Star Wars...James bought me the Episode I video the day it came out, totally surprising me. :) But it had an annoying hum, so back to the store it went (after being watched 3 times I think, hehe). The new copy is better. James also surprised me by finishing the first of the bounty hunters series before me, the first Star Wars book he'd ever read! I never thought he'd do it. I've read a few of Christie Golden's Star Trek books and they were really good.

Our vacation was great! AND I believe I managed to make it through the three days without talking about school! The highpoint of the vacation was the fact that we saw the two pandas at ZooAtlanta. They were recent arrivals and only allow viewing in 15 or 30 min intervals. We arrived later than I wanted, but still managed to see them. Later we heard that tickets to see them were SOLD OUT! I feel so lucky to see them, especially since I found out that there are only 5 in the U.S.! There's a pair with a baby at San Diego Zoo.

The museum visit was nice, although I slowly found it boring going through rooms and rooms of artifacts to look at and many things to read! At first it was exciting, but each time we came to a new room, the excitement would dwindle slightly. They did have two or three mummies, but I was disappointed that they were still in their cerimonial wrappings. The wrappings were neat though with designs on them. I also learned one thing: I, and others I assume, are naive to think that we can sum up the Egyptian culture with their gods and pyramids. The Egyptian nation spanned over 3000 years! It changed and evolved during that time. One thing that confused me was that they kept using different names for Ra: Amun-Ra, Ra-Amum, and others. I also kept hearing and reading different stories of Egyptian myth that contradicted itself, i.e. Osiris was resurected by the magical powers of his wife, Isis, or was resurected by the powers of his son, or some stories gave the credit to other characters. I finally asked a museum guide about the name differences. He summed it up for me by saying that basically each 'village' or group of Egyptians had their own stories and their own gods. When a pharoah came in to power, that pharoah's 'gods' became the ones used during that period. Interesting stuff to say the least. It makes me want to read more about Egyptian culture. I'm also trying to track down a better book to learn hieroglyphics. I found a name of a good one on several websites, but didn't write it down. I'm sure it won't take long to find it again. I was disappointed to learn that our local library doesn't have any more on that subject. It was actually a miracle that they had the one they do have.

In other news: I joined a local fitness club. Actually the 'only' local fitness club. I'm really enjoying going for an hour everyday after school and lifting weights. It helps clear my mind of the days stresses. I feel better mentally and emotionally and slowly physically. I'm sore, but not bad. I'm doing my best to work hard, but not over doing it. No change yet, physically, I've only been a member for one week, but we'll see how I do after a month or two. :)

This past week we gave the Stanford tests. Things were really crazy. It was hard trying to have classes after the testing in the mornings. The children wanted a break after taking the tests. But all in all it was a good week. I even learned a few things by reading the test items and also from preparing them for the stanford the last month. Did you know that 'goobers' are actually just plain peanuts? I always thought the were the chocolate covered ones. Not according to a science article the children had to read and answer questions on. Interesting. I also learned that a police chief is not an elected offical. I didn't know that...I usually stay out of political things and don't have much of a clue in that area. I had to ask the teacher adminestering the test what the answer to that question was. :)

Also, in other news, my Grampa is not doing well. He's had a bad couple of years and has been on and off the 'only a few days left' list. He's been a real trooper. Well, starting about a month ago, he had a bad reaction to a chemo treatment. Then his blood count was low and they gave him a transfusion. He had a bad reaction to that. Then he was just getting better and his potasium was found to be really high, almost heartattack level. He recovered from that and the doctors gave him 3-6 months (one said a few weeks) and refused further chemo. But just yesterday my mom called and said that his temp spiked up really high and they've put him back on the 'only a few days left' list. I'm hoping he can hold out until schools out so I don't have to mess with getting a substitute. He's been a real fighter, but the last two years may have weakened him.

I did spend an hour and a half of that time surfing to catch up on journals. Congrats to Erin on finishing editing DG and condolences on Truffle. Congrats to Diana and Jenn on the SFWA news. Also, I'm not sure how 'new' it is, but I like Tamela's new site. Very nice! And everytime I go to Mary Soon Lee's page, I'm amazed at all the sales and contracts she gets, so I checked out her publications page. All I can say is Wow! I'm pleased to have her in our midst. I'm sure there are others in our group that have around and above her accomplishments (Ron Collins and Stephen Leigh come to mind), but I'm not aware of most of the groups accomplishments. You go Mary! :)

Well, I've typed so much that my hands are actually going numb. I'm out of practice typing, and that's not a good thing. I guess I'm off to either: help James do taxes (Ugh! After nearly 6 years of marraige he decides now to ask for my help!? I have no clue!), read Star Wars bounty hunter series #1 or watch one of the rented 5 movies for 5 days for $5.99. Or maybe I should eat some real food? Let's see, I've had a re-heated piece of pizza, three little debbie swiss rolls and a half a bag of Reeses mini cups. Yup, I'm having a caffeine rush. :) I'd better go eat something better. TTFN!

March 2000

March 30, 2000: Very productive week as far as crits go. I’m about to send my third crit off for the RMCrit group. The first crits I’ve done in, well, it seems like forever!

I had hoped to finish the short today. Almost there, two more scenes to go. I added over 1000 words today, making the total now over 2100. I WILL finish this before school gets going again Monday, even if I have to get up early Monday morning to do it. Hopefully Sunday it will be done and the request sent to the crit group. Any critters out there wanting to read it? Please, E-Mail me!

Well, in around two hours we should be on our way to Atlanta! I’m so looking forward to this trip. Tomorrow we’ll be going to the museum and seeing the Egyptian exhibit and the Mysteries of Egypt IMAX film! Then, if there is time, we’ll be going to Stone Mountain to check out an antebellum plantation! On Saturday is the zoo, and our friend from Atlanta will be joining us there as well as dinner Friday.

Part of me is glad I haven’t finished the story yet. Since it is a fantasy involving Egyptian artifacts, maybe I can learn something from the exhibit and movie tomorrow. I let James read what I’ve written so far today. Other than several grammar errors and one small re-arrangement of the scenes, he says it’s a good story. I discussed the next scene with him, since, invariably, I always have one or more characters that I can’t seem to ‘flesh out’. In this case it’s the main characters father. He helped me devise a cul plot twist that really helps make the story more interesting. :) Can’t wait to write that scene now. I also practically wrote the finale out in my head while lying in bed this morning. I was almost tempted to write it first thing when I got up, but I’ve heard from several other writers that say it is not good to write scenes out of order. Something may come up in this next scene that will change the ending somewhat.

Oh, please notice that with this post, I’m posting an entry from Monday here too, so notice that there is another entry here. :) I typed it in Word and saved it since I didn’t want to get on-line at the time.

I’d better go pack! Hopefully I’ll snag a few minutes to post on Sunday to let ya’ll know about the trip. I’m hoping they’ll let us take non-flash pics in the museum. Probably not, but I’m hoping, so maybe I can share some of the trip with ya'll later. :) TTFN!

March 27, 2000: I did start on the new short, although now it is past the amazon.com contest deadline. I thought I had about 100 words on it, but just now I pulled it up and ran the word count, 250 words actually. That concludes the opening scene. I have the next scene mapped out in my head and ready to go today or tomorrow. Since it is spring break, I plan to finish this one off.

I found a book I began reading not long ago and started reading again. Beginnings, Middles, and Ends by Nancy Kress. I’ve been reading some of it, hoping it will help me ‘map’ out the rest of my story. I think I know how this one will go, pretty much have the rest of the scenes mapped out, I think.

I’m really enjoying spring break! I’m finally letting go all of the stress, and anxiety this job has to offer. I can finally sit down and focus on something without my brain interfering with, ‘Don’t forget, you have to grade those tests, type up a study guide for chapter 14, make copies of the test, plan your lessons for next week, call parents…’ and on and on. I’m not even going to think about stuff for school next week until Sunday.

We’re going to Atlanta later this week for a few days! I’m soooo looking forward to it! One of my students went with the gifted class on a field trip there and he told me about a museum showing an Egyptian exhibit with a mummy. I found their website on the ‘net and discovered that they are even showing the IMAX film, Mysteries of Egypt! I first heard about this on National Geograpic’s site and wanted to go, but figured I’d never get the chance. Well, now are reservations are locked in and our tickets are paid for. Almost $17 per person for adults! That’s for admisson to the musuem, the special exhibit and the IMAX show. I hope it's worth it, I’m sure it will be. If you’re interested, check out Fernbank Museum .

We are also going to ZooAtlanta. It’s great having the internet. If I wasn’t able to check all this stuff out on the ‘net, I wouldn’t know the times of operations, entrance fees and I even printed out maps and directions to these places! Technology is so awesome! :)

I’ve been reading Nicole Burris’s website lately. I really love her entries about interacting with her four year old son. I need to read it more often, it will remind me what I need to do so we can have a little one of our own. This June we’ll be married six years! It’s time for our own, but it won’t happen for another year yet. ::sigh:: The problem is that I’m over weight and most of the insurance companies in Alabama will not give out maternity insurance, only a few will and they are picky about who they cover. Until I lose twenty pounds and have a doctor’s physical, they won’t cover me. Then it’s a year before they will cover anything maternity. I’m hoping I can have the weight off in two months, give them a month to process it, that will be about July. Next March/April we may start trying, then by the second trimester, the insurance will pick up the tab. HOPEFULLY things will work out that way. There’s also a chance that I won’t have to teach next year. I’m hoping that will be so too. It’s so stressful, anyone that can do it year after year has my blessings!

Well, I’d better get off here and get to work. Dishes to do, a book to read, garage sale items to tag (we’re having a community garage sale, so I have to initial all the price tags), and my story to write. More to come tomorrow I’m sure. Hopefully I’ll say the story is finished or close to finishing. :) TTFN!

March 14, 2000: In order to keep my place in the NAW, I'm updating here. I've been wanting to for a while, just hadn't squeezed in the time. Between grading papers, planning, getting progress/report cards out, and other misc. teacher duties, I'm managing to find some time to put this up. I apologize for my absense, but it is with good reason. :)

It's not official, yet, that I'm there for the rest of the year. Hopefully I will know something this Friday. The principal did drop a hint that I will be, but the board still needs to meet on it. Keep your fingers crossed or say a prayer for me! :)

I do have a new short idea, my first in about a year. I'm gonna *try* and get it written up very soon. I had hoped in time for the amazon.com short story contest. We'll just have to see how this next week works out. Not much time left. Hopefully there will be a new entry here this week that I've written it. :)

Congrats to Paula on the Best of the Web choosing her story! :) It was a good one, I've read it. :)


NAW Journals

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