It has been over a year since I added a post to this blog.  Things got a little crazy, and then I couldn’t get into my blog to be able to make changes, but all of that is resolved now (or least as resolved as it can be!).

Anyway, I’m back and I’m sure I have some things to say.  Just don’t know what they are right now!  I think this is going to continue to be a place where I can expand on things beyond what I would normally put on Facebook.  After all, who really wants to read through an overly-detailed description about someone else’s vacation?  This way, it’s here, if you want to read it you can, and if you think it’s bullshit, so be it!

I will be posting as I have time.  No pressure to write every day or anything like that.  Just going to write when I can and when the mood inspires me.

See you soon!

About once a quarter, NPR mounts a writing competition called “Three Minute Fiction.”  The rules are fairly simple.  Create a piece of original fiction, no more than 600 words in length, and have it meet some specific criteria put forth by the current round’s guest judge.  In previous rounds, the criteria have included things like using a specific list of words, including certain events, or even requiring specific wording.  The current incarnation falls under the guidelines of the latter, specifically dictating the wording of the first sentence:

She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door.

A simple proposal, but full of possibilities.  I really enjoy writing to that moment when the possibilities are endless.  Sometimes it is harder than others, but the journey along the way always teaches me something, whether it is about myself or the world around me.  I have been spending a little more time working on the creative aspect of my writing, and have joined a local group of writers to help foster the spirit of creativity.

As soon as the competition is over, I will post my short story, entitled “Full Circle” in this forum.  I look forward to any feedback anyone might have!

A long time ago, the first cave people sat around the fire after dinner and grunted at one another, and drew pictures on the walls with the ashes from the fire.  Thus was born “Home Entertainment”.  Stories told and retold in the oral tradition were eventually written down, and books were added to the mix. Granted, along the way, people got up and demonstrated the stories by repeating the actions, creating Theater, but that quickly moved out of the home and into the public arena.  However, the idea of theater at home was so appealing, that once Radios were introduced, the Radio Drama  became a mainstay of Home Entertainment.  Television added pictures to the sounds, and improvements in sound technology brought us to the Home Theater System of today.  Technophiles are not happy with just a run-of-the-mill Home Theater Surround Sound System.  They also need game consoles (yes, consoles, plural, because one is just never enough).  Which leads me to my living room.

Christmas is over, and, for the first time in a long time, we did not have a mega-media Christmas. Past Christmases have included the Playstation 2 (granted, that was a while ago), the DVD player, the XBox 360, the Wii, the Blu-Ray player, and the second XBox 360. This past December we added the 3D Blu-Ray player and the active shutter glasses, although since we got that mid-December, my husband is not counting this as Christmas gifts.  (He did use the money that was allocated for my Christmas presents to buy said player & glasses, so maybe they really belong to me . . . ) Add to the above-listed assortment the Media Center PC my husband built about a year ago, and we have so much entertainment coming out of our ears that we have no idea what to do with it all or what to watch next. Do we play XBox? Watch shows on the DVR? Play 3D movies? Stream Netflix on any of the many compatible devices? Pick up the toys and go bowling in the living room? Or train our tigers? Or maybe we should just snuggle up on the couch with the PC and our favorite vampires and theoretical physicists. . . .

I decided this year that I was going to go “old school”. I bought books. Not Nooks or Kindles or iPads, Books. The kind with pages made of paper that you have to manually turn. Those things that give that distinct old-world smell to used bookshops tucked away in England. Books. Ironically, a lot of this seems related to my new “job” as a volunteer at our local library. I started a few months ago and realized how much I missed reading. There is a lot to be said for being able to curl up in a comfy chair with a book and have the author weave a story with vivid descriptions of people and places and have your mind construct those for your based solely on the words in front of you. Anyway, I had made a killing late in the fall when our local Borders closed, and I had tucked away much of that stash to be given as gifts later. Then I took advantage of the bonus offers emailed to me by Barnes & Noble and the free shipping they offered all season long for B & N members. The end result is a dearth of shelf space in our living room, where once again books are competing with discs.

I think this is a good problem to have. So much of our society (and especially the younger generations) have grown  so accustomed to the instant gratification that technology provides, that many people have forgotten the joy that reading can bring. Yes, it takes much longer for the story to play out in a book than it does on the movie screen (and who would sit through 30 minutes of watching Lisbeth doing research for her job?), but delayed gratification has a lot of merit. It teaches us that things don’t always come fast or easy or cheap. Sometimes, just sometimes, the greater joy can be found in those things that take effort and cost and sacrifice. We have so much more appreciation for something we have worked for than for those things that are just handed to us or that we only have to push a button to get . . .

I hope all of you find some delayed gratification this year!

Friends, all is right with the world . . . just finished opening Christmas presents with Brandon. He is home and working on readjusting to life outside the hospital. He is very weak and still tires very easily, but HE IS HOME! It might sound a little crazy, but after the roller coaster of the past two weeks, it is so comforting to be just sitting and being peaceful and chatting and laughing with Brandon. Just letting the calm wash over me . . . Thank you so much for all your love, prayers, and support over the past two weeks. I don’t know that we could have done it without you! Thank You!!!

Just got home from the hospital and visiting Brandon. He is doing OK, but he will not be able to come home in time for Christmas. I had a conversation tonight with Brandon’s nurse, and the chief problem right now is Brandon’s oxygen levels. Normally, O2 levels are around 98 – 100. Brandon is nowhere near that currently. He is maintaining an O2 in the mid 90’s, but needs supplemental oxygen to keep it there. When he is up and active, his levels drop even further, down below 90, even with the oxygen. Until he is at a place where he is at 95 or better, without needing any oxygen, he will not be able to come home. He has some breathing exercises he is doing to help strengthen his lungs and help them expand and take in more air, and he is getting breathing treatments several times a day, but, big picture, without enough oxygen in the bloodstream, there are a lot bigger problems that could occur systemically. So, until he no longer needs the oxygen, he will have to stay in the hospital.

On a separate note, I think he is just now beginning to wrap his head around what has happened in the past two weeks, and what the long-term effects of this ordeal might be. The idea of being physically challenged by a body that could betray him at any time is a little daunting, and he is having a little difficulty picturing where he is going from here. He wants more than anything to be out of the hospital, but feels a bit lost as to how his life is going to change when that happens. Just like coming off life support, it is going to be a matter of baby steps . . . .

Until he is able to come home, cards, phone calls, & visits are welcome. E-cards can be sent using the link below. Address them to C. Brandon Forbis, room 5120. The phone number for his room is 655-4588 or you can call his cell phone. Visiting hours are from 11 – 8 daily, but until he gets a little stronger, we would ask that visitors limit their visits to 30 minutes. Thank you again for all your prayers! They are working! Keep them coming!

http://www.osfsaintfrancis.org/ecards/