Friday, October 31, 2008

Ladybuggin' Out

It's feeling even less winter-y and holiday-ish today. Temperatures around here are in the upper 70's to low 80's and are predicted to remain so over the weekend and into next week.

Possibly having something to do with the cold turning back into summertime temperatures, we seem to be overrun with ladybugs. What. On. Earth.

I've found them on the table, on my clothes, on the ceiling. They're congregated on the front door and windows in dozens. I'm not sure I've ever seen so many ladybugs in one place in my life.

Aside from investigative procedures involving the dramatically increased ladybug population, it's been a quiet day today. The family are all off doing their own things, namely hunting and gambling. The cats and I have been relaxing.

I had intentions of finishing up my copying and saving of old journal entries from my original blog, Movin' On, before AOL closes them down completely. Today was the deadline to save the old blogs there, but I'm not very inclined to make the effort now. I have gazillions of photos saved on disk and photos bring back the memories as well as, if not better than, old blog entries. Besides, I don't think I should focus so much on the past. I don't want to forget the experiences I had driving cross country for all those years, but I don't know if I want to try so hard to keep the memories so fresh.

The years I spent driving over-the-road were, I believe, the best years of my life. I was young, and healthy, and adventurous, and full of life. Life has changed now, and there isn't anything I can do to change it back, nor am I sure I would want it back just as it was. That was a lifestyle that, while wonderful in it's own way, was also hard on a person.

Changes happen, and even when they aren't exactly as you'd planned, nothing is all bad. Focusing on the good things that can't be anymore steals away from the time you could be using to focus on what is good now and to find new good things.

So I think I'll just keep what I already have saved from Movin' On, along with my gazillions of pictures, and let the rest go.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What's on my Mind

I promised myself I would write in this blog more like I used to write in my original blog years ago when I first started blogging. So far I feel like I'm not quite sticking to that deal. Almost. I have managed to sit down and put something in here more than once a week usually. Still, as someone trying to get back into writing, I expect more from myself.

I think the problem is a lack of things to say that I feel will be interesting to anyone. Well, I will just have to write about whatever is on my mind, and if it bores people to sleep then they probably needed a nap anyway and I've done them some good one way or another.

Christmas is what's on my mind today. Last year by this time I had ordered most of my gifts for people. This year I don't even have the first clue of the first thing to get for the first person on my list. I don't even have a list of people I want to give gifts for that matter. Hell I don't even know what I want for myself.

I watched Santa Clause 3 earlier, hoping to capture the holiday spirit, at least enough to give this year's gifts more thought. I put in a little thought but I haven't come up with more than a few small things I wouldn't mind getting as gifts. I still don't have any ideas for my family. And I still don't feel very Christmas-y.

Maybe it would help if it didn't feel like summer outside today.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I really need/want to customize the look of this blog. I've played with it before but couldn't settle on any changes.

On the one hand, I like customizing the look of my blogs and think this one especially needs it, because of the name. Individualisticity isn't an actual word, but it is my own creation having to do with individuality. A blog with a name based on individuality shouldn't be using a generic layout, am I right?

On the other hand, I really like this particular layout. The blues and green and cream seem comforting and soothing to me.

Well, we'll see what happens. Someday I may change it. I've always liked new and interesting changes in my life. I'm sure the same will be true in my blog.

I've been catching up on other people's blogs today. Bloglines and I have had our disagreements but overall I'd say I quite like this method of keeping up with blogs.

I also tried to print out the lectures from my creative writing course this morning. I found them very interesting and would like to keep copies for future reference. The problem is, of the two printers in our house, neither has a sufficient supply of ink and/or paper. Le sigh.

Fortunately the class doesn't officially end until Tuesday and we are supposed to have an additional two weeks after that to print out anything we need to.

I gave it a good try anyway, and caught up on blog reading, so at least I feel like I've accomplished something. I've been feeling very lazy again lately, like I should be doing more, though I'm not sure what it is that I'm supposed to be achieving. I've just had the feeling that I should be doing something and I haven't been.

Yesterday this feeling (along with my sense of decency and cleanliness) prompted me to get this house straightened up before my mother returned from her vacation. My stepdad, God bless his untidy soul, is quite possibly the world's most accomplished slob. He rarely puts trash in the trash can, or dirty dishes in the sink, or refolds blankets once he's used them, or, or, or... I always forget until I try to do things just how much ordinary things wear me out now. I didn't do a lot, by my standards, but it was enough to completely and thouroughly wear me out to the point of falling asleep at 5 o'clock in the evening.

I realize that "fatigue" is a part of Multiple Sclerosis, but seriously? A little cleaning and straightening and taking out trash and I'm napping for hours? Double le sigh.

Oh well. I'm not going to let it bother me too much. It beats the hell out of the months when I was so tired and weak I couldn't even manage a trip to the kitchen to make a sandwich. If I don't return to that point again I'll be perfectly happy with nap taking after every chore.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Odds and Ends

I have really not been doing well at keeping up with my blog this last week or so. The same is true for the journal I started writing in at the suggestion of my writing instructor. I'm not even sure why. I haven't been busy in the least. I have felt very strange though. I can't exactly describe the feeling. The best I can come up with is that I feel sort of lost and aimless.

I'm not sure but I think there's a chance it's just wintertime blues. I've noticed these in the past but was usually too busy to pay much attention. I'd just turn up the radio and keep driving and they'd eventually go away. I wonder if that was something I loved about driving. Going 70mph along the highway most of life's problems seem remote, as if you can leave them behind and they can't keep up with you.

My last assignment for the creative writing class is due before next Tuesday. This one can be submitted to the "booth" where it is available for other students to critique, instead of being visible only to the teacher as all the other assignments have been. I'm still trying to decide which past assignment I want to rewrite for this. (That's what we're to do this week, take past work from the class and make it better using what we've learned.) I'm interested to read and critique what others have written as well. Then at the beginning of November I'll start another class, this one a bit more in depth.

I didn't sign up for the second one until I'd been at the first one for a few weeks, so I could get a feel for how useful the classes were and see how much I enjoyed them. I've liked the creative writing course very much so I'm following it up with a Fiction 1 course, that deals with writing short works of fiction. I find it highly amusing that one of the last suggestions of the instructor of my current class was to start a weblog. Heh. Little ahead of things there!

Aside from writing class, I haven't been doing much of anything. I feel as if I *should* be doing something, but I'm not sure what and the effort of doing anything seems too much. Also, my balance and double vision seem worse lately. I'm not sure what to think of that. Problems with my vision have come and gone, come and gone, ever since the onset of this blasted disease. I'm assuming the double vision will straighten out again, as it did before, and haven't bothered to talk to my neurologist about it yet since it's only slightly worse and even when it was far more horrible he told me there isn't much that can be done except to just wait it out and perform surgery if it never clears up.

As far as the balance goes, I wonder if I just haven't been up and around enough lately. As much time as I spend on the computer and reading or watching movies maybe my body just forgot what little it did remember about how to walk without falling over. Speaking of that, I did actually lose my balance to the point of falling the other day. I think I scared my poor cat to death. He bolted from the kitchen as if someone had set his tail on fire. That was a huge help in glossing over the soreness in my knees from falling and the embarrassment of having fallen in the first place. He looked so funny when frightened that all I could do was laugh. I'd highly recommend cat-therapy to other MS patients.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I still haven't finished the assignment that was due by today. I've been so distracted by my online game, World of Warcraft. There is a huge patch to the game today which is causing issues (normal for big patch days). It's to add in a lot of the content for the expansion coming out next month. At this point I can't even get into the game but I'm looking at it as a blessing in disguise and using the time to try and get some other things done.

It's still irritating though. It's hard to wait for things you're excited about, no matter how old and grown up you get. I actually did get "some" things accomplished today while the WoW servers were down. I wrote in my journal, a habit I've been trying to get into at the suggestion from the writing class. I finished a short story I was reading from a book the writing school published and reccomended reading for the class that starts next month. I did something else that I can't remember the nature of at the moment. (I'm very forgetful these days. My neurologist says that's common in people with MS.)

I need to finish that assignment and read this week's lecture but I can't focus right now. Hmph. I guess I'll just go relax. Or something.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Writer's Block

I have another writing assignment due before Tuesday, and I've been somewhat stumped all week as to what I will write. I simply have to take a single sentence provided to me and begin a short story with it.

"Chris began to question the wisdom of this trip."

Chris can be male or female and can be on any sort of trip I decide. I was originally trying to structure the whole story in my head but wasn't getting anywhere that way. I finally decided to just free write, start writing without knowing where it was going. That seems to be helping but I think I got too caught up in the quality of the words I put down. So...the words just stopped coming out.

I have a friend advising me to just write some kind of crap and worry about revising it later. Actually, that's good advice. You don't get anything written by trying to make it come out perfect the first time. Sigh. I suppose I'll go back to my story and try to finish it.

I find it amusingly odd that I'm writing about writer's block. Heh.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Creative Writing Production

When I originally told (in my old blog) of the creative writing class I am taking, some interest was expressed in seeing what I produced from it. The first assignment we had was the most interesting to me, so far.

"Assignment #1

Start with this title: The Window

Then, using this title, begin writing something. You may write about something true, something made up, or something halfway in-between. Up to you."

I thought I'd post the results of that assignment. It isn't an entire story, because the assignments are supposed to be kept to 500 words or less. Rather, it's the beginning of a story I may later finish, I haven't decided that yet.

The Window

I love looking out my window. I see the most wonderful things there. Today the sky is blue and the sun is shining.. It sparkles on the waves crashing onto the beach. The sand looks so soft that I long to feel it under my feet and between my toes. Seagulls float through the air, their wings spread wide. Palm fronds wave lazily in the breezes off the ocean.

The beach isn't too crowded, but a few people have spread towels to lay on and set up umbrellas for shade. A little girl wanders away from a young couple, ringlets of golden hair cascading down her head. She's unsteady on her feet and her bottom falls to the sand not far from her parents.

The young man scoops her up and takes her to the edge of the water, holding her up so that she can safely splash and play. It reminds me of beautiful days at the beach with my own parents. I remember those times as if they were just yesterday.

As I sit, looking out over paradise, I hear footsteps from someone entering the room behind me.

“Good morning Mrs. Driscoll. Are you alright dear?” She says to me.

I recognize the voice as belonging to Nurse Watkins. “I'm fine.” I tell her, never taking my gaze away from my window. More footsteps sound behind me, someone else approaching. They're quiet for awhile, until the newcomer, a young nurse's aid whose voice I also recognize, speaks.

“Nurse Watkins, why do you think she spends so many hours staring at that wall?”

The nurse doesn't answer for several moments. Finally she replies, “I don't think she's staring at the wall at all.”

I can hear their footsteps receding then, as they leave me alone with my view.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Fresh Start

So. Evicted from AOL Journals due to their closure. Well, so long J-land. I choose to see this as a new beginning rather than the end of an era.

For those of you that I've met and grown to love through AOL's J-land, welcome to my new pad! For those who have no clue who I am, RUN! Run away fast before you get sucked into my insanity!

Still here? Well good, I do love a brave soul.

I don't feel like getting too lengthy with my first entry here so I think a brief introduction will do.

I'm a young (*cough* 30-something is still young, right?) female who drove a truck (as in 18-wheeler) over the road for 8 years. I made good friends, had a lot of fun, and saw a lot of our country (and some of Canada as well). A few years ago, that part of my life came to a screeching halt with the fast and furious onset of Multiple Sclerosis. MS isn't always as disabling as mine has been but I suppose it isn't so surprising that my case has been so aggressive. I've never really been the sort of person to slowly wade into the shallows. I'm more like the person who takes a running leap right into the deep end. Why would I expect things to be any different with this disease, right?

It took me a long time to get some sort of handle on my life again after MS turned it upside down. I'm finally feeling somewhat like my old self again. My health is somewhat stabilized. I've got a modest but livable income. I feel able to take care of myself. I'm still staying with family, but believe I'll finally be able to get a place of my own again next year. Best of all, I'm taking writing classes online.

Writing is something I've always liked to do. There never seemed to be time for writing or classes with the hectic work hours of an over the road driver. Now I have time. Every cloud has a silver lining, or so they say. Time to write is part of the silver lining I've found in MS's upheaval of my life.