Greetings and Salutations!
I know I'm a month behind on posting about January, but here I am, taking time away from my work to make up for it. And the picture totally says it all. It has been snowing here. The majority of our snow has taken place the first few days of February.
My husband, Doug, graduated with honors! He has an associate's degree of science in Computer and Electronic Engineering Technology. I have written a "Choose Your Own Ending" story about that whole day. I'll post it at the end of this blog.
I have written fourteen and a half books in my book series. I wrote the entire fourteenth book the first seven days of January. I was so inspired that I worked twenty hours per day!
We went to hang out with our friends, Ed and Jamilaih, who are awesome! We always have such a great time when we get together with them! I could spend hours talking about how wonderful they are!
I started working out again, something I've needed to do for a while now. My career causes me to lead quite a sedentary lifestyle, especially since I work anywhere from thirteen hours at minimum to eighteen hours at maximum, save for the first seven days of January, when I barely put the computer down! My friend, Christi, has been going with me, save for a couple of days when she couldn't make it.
(I worked out yesterday. I wasn't planning on going anywhere, but it was snowing really hard, and Doug had a meeting at the church, so rather than sit home, attempt to work, and worry myself sick until he made it home, I decided to go with him. We were slipping and sliding, moving and grooving, rocking and rolling, to say the least! Our first decline, we slid and the car swung around sideways, almost turning 180 degrees!. I thought it was fun because I wasn't driving! So while he was at the meeting, I went to the church fitness center, and spent TWO HOURS working out! I didn't realize I had worked out that long until I looked at the clock on my phone! No wonder I was in pain!)
And, the most recent event that took place in January, drum roll please, Doug, who has been looking for a job since he was sacked in August, finally got a call back from a company he applied to a while back, and was given good news. He got the job!!! He starts tomorrow morning! (I would tell you where it is, and I know I'm sometimes lenient with details, but because jobs and blogs don't mix, I'll skip it. If you want to know, you can email me.) I'm still a bit scared. I know I shouldn't be, but I'm concerned about relaxing too quickly. I know it sounds sad, but I'm not used to things going well. If things are going well, I tend to become nervous. If things are going too well, I tend to get very nervous. I often think and prepare for the worst, and what perplexes me was that I was not prepared for Doug to get sacked from his last job, me, who often prepares for the worst, me who is always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I got too relaxed, and that is VERY rare for me. (Would that be considered personal growth?) I'll just be completely honest. I may be on edge until two months have passed, and even then, I'll still be on edge until another two months, then another two months, and another two months, until we've made it to a year. Then, if something happens, Doug will have unemployment to fall back on, and maybe then I can relax. I know we always have God, and we would have never made it through without Him. I just like to have contingency plans in place for when disaster strikes. I don't think it's such a bad thing to prepare. People prepare for hurricanes and such. *shrugs*
That's really about it. I'll share some pics with you before I share the "Choose Your Own Ending" story!
Snow from January 31st. You can't see it, but if you take you thumb and index finger, and make a circle with them, some of the snowflakes were that huge!
The view from the passenger seat in the car on Saturday around noon. It really was snowing that badly.
The sun trying to peek through the snow around four p.m. on Saturday.
Work out stats for Saturday on the elliptical machine.
And now, the moment you've all been waiting for, the Choose Your Own Ending story!
Choose Your Own Ending!
A short story from January 12th, 2013.
THIS STORY IS ENTITLED, ”PRIDE BEGETS STUPIDITY”.
(It could also be titled “The Last Minute Graduation Fiasco”.)
Page 1: Your husband is graduating, and he wasn’t given his cap, gown, or invitations until the week of graduation, and even though it’s last minute, you decide to throw a small soiree at your cottage, but you need to do some minor cleaning.
- If you go to bed early so you can wake up early refreshed and ready to tidy up the cottage, go to page 60.
- If you are a workaholic who has a sudden burst of inspiration, and you work on your book series for four hours, then stay up all night cleaning obsessively because you are a perfectionist and all of the sudden, nothing looks clean enough when you know it is, but you have OCD, so you overdo it when you could have just taken care of the minor cleaning after you wake up in the afternoon, turn to page 2.
- If you have a little lie down for two and a half hours and get a little rest, then take your husband to his hair appointment, flip through the book to page 60.
- If you decide you can sleep when you’re dead, have coffee, have a bath, and go shopping for food and beverages for the soiree, turn the page to page 3.
Page 3: You get behind the wheel of your silver Buick Century and drive to the nearest grocery store. You spend $60 on food, drinks, and paper plates and cups because you’re expecting ten people. You pay for your purchases, then you stop at your local Starbucks for coffee. You drive home. It’s nine o’clock. You somehow fit everything in your refrigerator. You look over the house obsessively, hoping your husband will get the sweeper fixed and do the floors and clean up any sort of mess he makes. You hate to make him do those things on his big day.
You hear the husband’s phone go off. It’s a text message. It’s someone from church. You reply and tell him your husband is asleep and promise to have him reply to his text message as soon as he wakes up. You have a short conversation while you start on your third coffee. You tell him your husband graduates today, knowing that whatever this person needs pales in comparison to that. Then, you stop messaging.
Your husband wakes up at nine-thirty. He answers the text message. As he gets ready for his appointment, he’s locked in a battle of text messaging over the media department at church, so you drive him to the appointment because you HATE when he texts and drives. You get to the appointment on time and decide to sit there with him. Text messages keep coming. After the appointment is over, you go pick up your friend, Jodi. The husband is driving and texting. You yell at him. He explains the situation.
- If you take the phone away from your husband and send a text to the person, stating that your husband is driving and that whatever it is can wait until tomorrow, go to page 60.
- If you’re just trying desperately to stay awake and decide if your husband wants to engage in stupidity by texting and driving, go to page 4.
Page 4: Your husband does the smart thing and puts his phone aside. He drives to the house, where he promises to clean up what’s left to clean up after taking a nap. You feel like slapping him, but decide against it. As he gets out of the car, he says, “I love you,” and kisses you on the cheek.
You and your friend Jodi stop somewhere so you can get your fourth coffee. You’re exhausted. Then, you drive to the shower. You have a good time. You win the clothes pin game by managing not to say “Baby” for about an hour because you have five clothes pins. Jodi wins the grand prize in a drawing.
You leave at two and drop off Jodi’s grand prize at her house, then you pick up the husband, who has NOT finished cleaning, and take him to the art museum, where his graduation is held at four that afternoon, and drop him off. As he gets out of the car, he once again tells you he loves you, followed by, “Don’t forget to go home and change into something nice.”
- If you punch him dead in the face, go to page 60.
- If you smile and brush off his comment even though you WANT to punch him dead in the face for insinuating that you don’t look nice, go to page 5.
Page 5: You smile and tell him you love him, even though he said something you found bloody demeaning to you, and you drive off. It’s getting late, and you still have to pick up your mother-in-law. And it’s raining cats and dogs outside. And you’re falling asleep behind the wheel, endangering your passenger as well as yourself.
- If you skip going to the cottage to change clothes and go straight to your mother-in-law’s house, go to page 60.
- If you skip picking up your mother-in-law, who lives fifteen minutes away, and go home and change clothes, skip to page 61.
- If you go change clothes, have a hard time finding something to wear, then go get your mother-in-law knowing you’re going to be late to your husband’s graduation, go to page 6.
Page 6: You change into uncomfortable clothes, you’re bloody miffed because you’re so exhausted. You grab your fifth coffee and head back out to the car. You’re more awake, and you’re driving through the pouring rain, traffic is slow because nobody has EVER seen rain before, and you’re all like, "SHELLYE SMASH,” the whole time. You get to your mother-in-law’s, and you know you’re not going to get to the graduation on time. Your mother-in-law gets into the car and immediately points out that you’re not going to make it to the graduation on time, and incase you didn't hear her, says it two more times.
- If you lose patience with your mother-in-law and start screaming, flip through the book to page 61.
- If you turn up the music and just drive, turn to page 7.
Page 7: You turn up the music and just drive, but your mother-in-law talks louder! Traffic is slower than before. You finally get off of interstate, but the road your husband said to take is unfamiliar territory.
- If you take the familiar road, which will take longer and make you and your passengers even later to your husband’s graduation ceremony, turn to page 61.
- If you take the road less travelled, well, never travelled by you anyway, still risking getting lost and being even later to the graduation, turn to page 8.
Page 8: You make it to the graduation right at four o’clock. Your mother-in-law argues that her phone says 4:01, and repeats it repeatedly. You drop her off at the entrance to the museum. Jodi rides with you to park the car. You have to park all the way in the back, and walk a mile to get to the doors. You expect your mother-in-law to already be in the auditorium, but when you walk in, she’s standing there and waiting for you. You go into the auditorium, but there are two auditoriums, and you are not aware of this.
- If you go to the correct auditorium, flip over to page 61.
- If you go to the wrong auditorium, turn to page 9.
Page 9: Your mother-in-law walks into the wrong auditorium and interrupts whatever the flip is going on in there, by loudly saying, “This is the wrong auditorium. It’s the other one.” You are embarrassed. Jodi laughs it off because she’s cool like that. You follow your mother-in-law to the other auditorium, hoping it is indeed the correct one. It is. You make your mother-in-law get in first, taking the seat next to your editor and friend, Carrie and her children, and you make Jodi sit next to her. If you sit next to your mother-in-law, she will ask questions about who everyone is and get upset if you can’t answer them, and you did not have the answers. She won’t ask Jodi or Carrie. You sit down in the end seat, put your umbrella on the floor. You settle in and began scanning the auditorium for your husband. On the stage, you see a man in one of those hospital masks, like when there was an H1N1 outbreak in 2009.
- If you think nothing of it, and settle in, watching the graduation ceremony and listening to the speakers, flip to page 61.
- If you freak out internally because you know your husband was around the guy, and you have no idea why he’s wearing a mask, turn to page 10.
Page 10: You freak out, thinking you and your husband and the rest of your guests are going to get SARS or H1N1, or something equally worse. You hardly focus on the graduation, and you nearly cry out when the guy walks up to the podium and takes off the mask! WHY DID HE WEAR THE BLOODY MASK IN THE FIRST PLACE IF HE WAS GOING TO TAKE IT OFF WHEN HE GOT UP TO THE BLOODY PODIUM, AND HIS GERMS ARE GOING INTO THE MICROPHONE NOW, AND HE’S PUTTING THE REST OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO SPEAK AFTER HIM AT RISK FOR WHATEVER HE HAS! And that’s all you can think of, until your husband’s name is called.
- If your husband simply graduates, turn to page 61.
- If your husband graduates with honors, and is sporting two nifty honor cords because he really is brill, turn to page 11.
Page 11: Your husband graduates with honors. His degree is in Computer and Electronics Engineering Technology. It’s an Associates Degree of Science. You are so proud, and when his name is called, Jodi and Carrie cheer loudly as your husband walks up to accept his degree. You cringe when he shakes hands with the masked man on the platform.
After graduation, you and your party step outside and chat. Then, you finally leave.
- If you ride to the cottage with your husband, mother-in-law, and Jodi, flip over to page 61.
- If you ride to the cottage with your friend/editor Carrie and her two sons, turn to page 12.
Page 12: You ride with Carrie. You make it to the cottage. You’re relaxed and having a great time. Your husband is already there, and he and the other passengers are getting out of the car. Your mother-in-law informs you that Bill and Freda are unable to make it to the soiree. You call your other guest, your friend, Paul, who is on his way. And Carrie is kind enough to slice the cucumber after you wash it in the dark kitchen because the light switch was broken. (Doug has since fixed it.)
Everybody gets their food and drink, and things are going well. Jodi needs you to take her home around six because she had made plans before she knew about the graduation. You understand because even your husband didn’t know about graduation until that week. Right before it’s time to take her home, that familiar migraine aura begins happening. You lose vision in your right eye.
- If you announce that you are getting a migraine, and you ask your husband or one of your friends to take Jodi home in your place so you can get into your pajamas and lie down in bed, turn to page 62.
- If you pretend you’re fine because it’s your husband’s big day and you don’t want to ruin it, and you decide to go ahead and drive Jodi home, putting yourself and her in danger, turn to page 13. (I'm sorry, Jodi!)
Page 13: You’re an idiot who let your pride get in the way. You were worried about ruining your husband’s big day. It’s not like you haven’t ruined other days for him before because chronic hemiplegic migraines suck. You and Jodi leave. Halfway to her house, you start to feel weak, shaky, sick, and in pain. Still, you say nothing. You drop her off and thank her for coming. You tell her to have a good time and to tell the mutual friend she is hanging out with that you said hello.
You drive off. You sob most of the way home, and suddenly, your gas gauge beeps, telling you that you need to stop and get gas. You are too sick to even get out of the car, but if you don’t stop for gas, you’re not making it home. You realize you might not make it home anyway. You think perhaps after you fill up the tank, you will call the prayer line at your church and ask for prayer, maybe a ride home. You pull over at the gas station.
- If you can’t get out of the car to pump gas, flip over to page 62.
- If you manage to get out and operate the gas pump, turn to page 14.
Page 14: You manage to get out and actually operate the gas pump properly. You fill up the tank, and you get back in the car.
- If you pull away from the gas pump and pull into the parking lot and call your care pastor (or in your case, the person you have chosen as your care pastor) or the prayer line, flip over to page 62.
- If you decide to just drive home because you’ve made it this far, and you don’t have much farther to go. Stay on page 14 and continue reading.
Page 14, second paragraph: Here goes your pride again, getting in the way. You think, “Well I made it this far.” And you don’t want to bother your anyone because then you would have to admit to your husband and the rest of your party that something was wrong. If you made it this far, you’re probably going to be okay. You pull out of the parking lot and head home.
When you get home, everyone is worried. Apparently, you were gone for longer than you thought you were gone. You wondered what the heck happened because you don’t remember taking that long. You explain that you had to stop for gas. You keep insisting you’re okay. You sit down and talk to your guests. That’s when it happens. The vision in your left eye is gone. There is intense pressure in your head. Your second migraine, on the left side this time, begins exactly thirty minutes after the symptoms from your first migraine are finally starting to subside.
- If you announce that you are having a migraine this time, go to page 62.
- If you pretend that everything is fine for the second time, turn to page 15.
Page 15: You sit in the chair and chat away. You have no idea what you’re saying, but you’re somehow responding to questions and staying on topic, and nobody is looking at you like something is wrong. You and Carrie go into the bedroom and talk. She changes the baby, The intense pressure is still plaguing you. You’re having a conversation and don’t know what the heck is going on.
When Carrrie leaves, you and your husband walk her out. You hug her and the boys and thank her for coming. As soon as she pulls away and you and your husband get into the house. Your husband takes you to the restroom to talk. He asks what’s wrong.
- If you tell him the truth and nothing but the truth, go to page 62.
- If he figures it out on his own, continue on page 15, third paragraph.
Page 15, third paragraph: Your husband realizes what’s going on. He takes you into the bathroom. He notices your left pupil is bigger than your right. He asks if you’re having a migraine and you nod. Then, you manage to tell him you’re not only having a migraine, you’re having your second migraine. He finds you some pajamas and helps you change into them. Then, he takes you to the living room. Right before you essentially black out, you hear your mother-in-law say, “I need to go to the nursing home now.” You wake up to your friend, Paul, asking if you’re okay. He has stayed behind while your husband takes his mother to the nursing home. He feeds you two cheese cubes and gives you a drink of water. You thank him, and you’re gone again.
Your husband comes home at some point. You wake to him rubbing lotion on your legs. He and Paul are talking. You go in and out for a bit, then, you’re mostly conscious. You ask for something to drink. Your husband gets it for you. You remember Paul leaving, then, your husband helps you to bed. It’s 11:30 that evening.
Turn to Page 16.
Page 16: You wake up the next day. You’re in bad shape. You’re experiencing jamais vu. You feel like you might actually die.
- If you spend the day in bed, resting and relaxing, flip over to page 63.
- If you work on your book all day, clean the house, and choose not to rest your body, continue to the second paragraph on page 16.
Page 63: You finally made it to page 63, which means you made a wise decision for once! It’s a bloody miracle!!!
The moral of the story: If you have a migraine, admit it. Your husband would rather you ruin his day than be miserable and pretend you’re fine. If you have two migraines in a thirty minute period of one another, you should probably go to the hospital.