All posts by clhigh22

Starbucks addict. Travel aficionado. Music lover. Photographer and Writer. I try to keep things simple, but don't always succeed.

Holy Gerbil Turds, Batman…!

I assumed today’s migraine was brought to you by eating products containing MSG for the last two days. I was wrong.

Sort of.

I’m pretty sure the #MSG in products I consumed last night did not help in the slightest with this migraine and neuralgia problem going on today.

Enter the real culprit stage west.

I did not know it was supposed to #rain today. There was not an inkling in any universe where I would have dreamed that I would have a #thunderstorm building right on top of our house. We do. It’s a squall line. (And fabulously justifies the #pain I’ve been in all day.)

Yesterday or the day before ( I cannot remember) The air was thick and heavy and you could see thunderstorms trying to blow through the lid which was strong and/or thick enough to keep any type of rain from happening.

So… As it was supposed to be 108° today, I did not check to see if there was any chance of rain. I mean, this is the #Texas Panhandle and we rarely get this kind of rain when it’s that hot. (Note to self: check the forecast even if it’s gonna be 108° outside.) As the majority of my migraines and neuralgia issues stem from swift changes in barometric pressure and temperature, I should’ve realize this this morning and checked. I didn’t. I feel like a dork.

Anyhooo… I got out of bed to eat some “lightly fried chicken” and French fries Kyle made so I can take my evening #meds. Dang!!!! That man made a delicious dish I could literally eat every day. It was perfection and better even than Chick Fil A (who also unfortunately uses MSG in their chicken.) I can’t wait for Jessica to try it, but she’s passed out in the other room after working a 16 hour shift – another story all together.

Anyway, I know I’m a human barometer and I really should have checked when I let Gigi out to do her thing at the butt-crack of dawn. I’ll do that in the future. Meanwhile I’m laying down in a darkened room listening to the “Pop for Reading” playlist as well as the rain, hail and thunder provided by my Abba.

God is good all the time…

~Celeste~

Heatwave, Health and Puppy Breath

(Thankful for voice recorders that make this post possible.)

All of these things shouldn’t go together, but they do. I should be at work right now – a productive member of society and contributing my fair share to society. I’m actually at home in bed with a migraine and occipital neuralgia attack that is disconcerting and disabling. Therefore I’m not contributing and I’m not being productive. I am thankful; however, and here’s why:

It’s not even noon. The high today is supposed to be around 108°. I’m at home and we do have air-conditioning which I’m eternally thankful for. If I was at work I would have commercial air-conditioning that literally has me taking a jacket to work in the middle of summer. I would really hate to think of what the electric bill looks like just for our building. Heck, I am also looking forward to our upcoming home electric bill with this heatwave. (Not really, but I’m attempting to stay positive.)

Because it is so hot outside the grandchildren are stuck inside playing. However, when one has a migraine with photo/sound sensitivity, it’s a little frustrating when you’re trying to rest. I am grateful that I’m not trying to write this post from the bathroom floor where I spend most of my time when the pain strikes swiftly and suddenly. I got medicine in me just in the nick of time this morning. I am grateful, but still feel like ramming my head into a wall repeatedly.

If nothing else Rory the Conniving has the right idea.

The whole heat wave reminds me of Robin Williams’ movie Good Morning Vietnam.”

  • Lt. Steven Hauk : First of all, don’t make fun of the weather here, and don’t say the weather is the same all the time here. Because it’s not. In fact, it’s two degrees colder today than yesterday.

  • Adrian Cronauer : Two degrees colder, me without my muff.

And as an aside: I miss Robin Williams. He was one of the rare comedic geniuses and few will ever rise to his level in my estimation.

Gigi the Incorrigible also has the right idea today. (But if she lays across my legs much longer, I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to walk from the Migraine Cave to the bathroom.) My right leg is mostly asleep and my left is starting to catch up. But I don’t want to move because she’s happily dreaming and…snoring.

One of my favorite things in the world is the smell of puppy breath. She’s no longer a puppy, but for one brief yawn this morning I caught a whiff of the scent. This leads me to two conclusions.

  1. I’m “brushing” her teeth often enough.
  2. She got into something she shouldn’t have.

I’m not sure which.

Anyway, I thought I’d check in and say hi before attempting another nap to soothe the pain which radiates from the right side of my head all the way down my right arm. Calling the doctor on Monday. (Yay.)

May you have an extremely wonderful day…

~Celeste~

Shaking the Unshakable

There is a deep trembling in my soul as I see the world around me descend into madness.

I, sometimes am unsuccessful, but usually make the attempt to study the Word of God daily. I’m not talking about 10 minutes and a quick prayer of gratitude, but hours spent listening to and watching sermons given by some true women of faith and kingdom men.

And I’m not belittling 10 minutes. It’s exactly how I started drawing closer to my Abba and honestly, sometimes all I have is ten minutes. But if I purposefully give The Almighty Father ten minutes, He multiplies it in my life exponentially.

Not so long ago, I asked God to burn away the chaff in my life. I knew then and know now I need(ed) it done, but I knew not the ramifications of what I thought would be a simple request.

Chaff refers to useless things, grain husks and fine-cut straw, or light-hearted spoken exchanges. Trash that you do not want is an example of chaff. Wheat grains found after threshing is an example of chaff.

Many times chaff is carried off by the wind. But I specifically asked my Lord, not for a wind-winnowing, but a conflagration. Okay, I asked Him to “burn away the chaff.” It’s turned into a conflagration.

I feel the war for my soul deep in the marrow of my bones. This point was brought home today while listening to a sermon by Dr. Tony Evans: the Jesus Challenge / A Challenge to Greater Convictions.

In Revelation Chapter 2, Jesus speaks to the church at Pergamum. They were commended for keeping the faith, but were criticized for their lack of conviction and compromise. Ouch! How many times have I acted much like the members of this church? I know it’s too many to count.

In a world of ever-growing hostility toward those who follow Jesus Christ, I’ve got to really take a look at my heart, my mind and overall character and commit to an uncompromising faith in the Lord.

The war over my soul this past week has brought me to tears, raised my anxiety to new heights and left me utterly exhausted, yet I’m not defeated. Instead of the dark one pulling me down, he’s pushed me closer to God. As a result, I feel the onslaught of the arrows aimed by the great deceiver all the more. I also feel the shield of faith absorb the impacts of the evil one.

Beth Moore has a brilliant 4 part teaching called “Unshakable.” I believe these two teachings came to me at the right time and for the right reason. Sometimes we need to be shaken from our false assumptions, thoughts and convictions; we need the chaff burned away to take part in God’s finest blessings.

I have a long way to go, but I pray to become more Christ-like daily. The closer I am to God, the less the petty things of this world bother me. Everything I have ever wanted and ever needed is found in God alone, through His son, Jesus, and the Spirit who gives wings to my prayers and speaks to the Father for me when I have not the words.

May the peace of the Lord bless you all.

Much love, Celeste

Carpe Diem! The Hiatus is Over

I have 7 (e-gads) planners that I’m condensing down to three. This is pretty liberating, I have to admit. Each day is a blank page we spill our lives upon.

2 years. It seems like yesterday, but it’s been two years of trying to figure out who I am as a writer. 731 days of figuring out “what I want to do with the rest of my life.”

This morning brought a clarity I haven’t really had before. I have come to terms with the “faults” I have found in myself and the way I look at others.

My blog content will be radically changing over the next few months. It goes beyond a “midlife crisis.” Every day is truly the first day of the rest of my life.

If Murrow Could See Us Now

A few decades ago I was a reporter and learned how to be a better (read that: damned good) reporter once I escaped the classroom for the rest of the world. I’m sure some (most) of my first professional stories were dreck, but you know what? They were well-researched, non-opinionated and fact-checked repeatedly to make sure they could withstand anything thrown against them.

I had journalists who were mentors in those early years, but with those few exceptions you guys know who the real mentors were? Cops. They taught me everything I needed to know about ethics, professionalism and about why the “why” was as equally important as the other “W’s” and “how?” They all held the same “weight.” If the scales were balanced properly, you’d have a good story. It wasn’t all about the contrivance of “if it bleeds, it leads.” Race, color, creed, national origin or sexual preference were oh so rarely entertained (at least by me and many of my contemporaries) that I didn’t care if the guy sent to death row was anything other than guilty.

Btw – I also learned that the swill brewed in a coffee pot that hadn’t been properly washed since 1972 had a cumulative effect and I could work for hours straight on that stuff (sugar and cream were necessary though…whew!!!)

Ok… wait… I know this is already going to be long and truly has nothing to do with the point I’m trying to make, but this IS my post and …“squirrel!!!!!” I gotta share this:

Sgt. RH and Lt. ES and I had a bet one morning over the last donut in the unit. First person to down a cup of swill would get the donut. RH poured me a fresh cup and was about to hand it to me, but I declined and took HIS mug off the desk. “Drink up, boys…” RH couldn’t do it. The coffee was still way too hot. I swear he looked like I kicked his dog or something. One down. ES laughed so hard he was in tears. Two down.
I gently set RH’s empty mug down and excused myself to the ladies room and re-enacted the volcano exploding over Pompeii. (Yeah. I know. I know.)
So when I went back into the squad office those two guys had divvied up the pastry and were taking the last bite and each had a Cheshire grin. Lessons learned that day: 1) Peace Officers are a lot smarter than you think they are and 2)Never leave a donut unattended. But I massively digress…

Yellow journalism has come raging back into style again. It wasn’t pretty the first time around, but the media (in general) seem to have forgotten things like checking facts, getting two sides of a story and are now just blatantly being unethical or unprofessional (in my opinion.)

In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here. I think some of the biggest bigots in the world are today’s journalists who have a cavalier attitude toward truth. Stories need to be told, but they need to be honest and “fair.” And by “fair” I mean those scales need to come to rest side by side with the facts checked and personal-bias (opinions) set aside.

People are a little smarter than the average guppie; maybe, just maybe, the world would be a little less flammable if the media would just give us the facts.

If Edward R Murrow were alive today, I’m pretty certain he’d soon be dead from a coronary.

Champagne Wishes & Caviar Dreams

Someday you will find me
Caught beneath the landslide
In a champagne supernova

~ Oasis

I was actually listening to “Killer Queen” (by Queen) this morning and for some reason this television show came to mind.  Maybe it was lines pertaining to Moët et Chandon in her pretty cabinet or the caviar and cigarettes -well versed in etiquette, but Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous was one of the first television shows to actually feature the well-to-do.

It was truly an unprecedented time of growth and outrageous spending in the US as we bounced back from inflationary rates that had gripped the US for more than a few years. (At one point, the inflation rate was over 13%. E-gads.) I believe some of this was because of the 1973 stock market crash that came swiftly on the heels of the oil crisis and subsequent embargo by OPEC / the Middle East because of American aid to Israel. Long story short, they demanded higher prices and we paid. In fact, oil prices were pretty out of control until the mid 1980’s.

About the time the economy really started to settle down, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous hosted by Robin Leach came on the air. It was an inside look at the who’s who and who’s got what. Opulence was the name of the day and I believe it helped inspire a generation ore two to strive for “more.” After all, we could literally see what “more” was and it was a lot.

Now a strange thing happened in the midst of “Lifestyles” run that rocked the whole world.  I was just a high school senior , but I remember clearly the day the stock market crashed on “black Monday” – October 19,1987.  $500 billion dollars was lost on that one day alone. It was about a quarter of it’s estimated value at that time.  Here… let me put this into perspective courtesy of wiki for the visual learners out there.

1000px-Black_Monday_Dow_Jones.svg

There were more than a few contributing factors to the crash including overvaluation and market psychology; however, one of the reasons the stock market rebounded as quickly as it did was because of the Savings and Loans. Oddly enough, the S&L business started to crash two years later because of horrible regulatory practices and that continued almost as long as “Lifestyles.” By the time the show ended, about a third of the S&L’s were toast.

Like a pendulum, the economy swings back and forth. But for whatever reason, it feels as though today the rest of the world has more of an impact on the American economy than American’s actually do.  In a post 9/11 universe, I have seen the European union struggle with problems such as Standard and Poor dropping Greece’s credit rating and the subsequent bailout, the Chinese stock market took a big hit last year and even Brexit has caused some shifting in the valuation of stocks. (Investors lost about $2 trillion US dollars last year alone during Brexit.)

So what does all this actually mean?  Well…I’m not sure, but the one thing I do know is numbers don’t lie and when you look at the DOW (Dow Jones Industrial Average) and the market ups and downs, it appears to my untrained eye that we are land-sliding into an economic supernova.

In the two generations since my senior year of high school, I realize more and more the folks who lived through the Great Depression in 1929, the subsequent decade of unheard of unemployment, the Dust Bowl and the years leading into WW2 learned to make due with much less than the excesses that came to be flaunted in the 1980’s and 90’s. I think it’s high time we all prepare the best we can for what feels like an uncertain future. After all, who will bail out the US if our economy tanks like it did almost 90 years ago? No one. That’s who.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La Da…

“Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra…”
– The Beatles –

Remember vinyl records? I used to actually spin tunes on the radio when I was a young lass. 45’s and 33 1/3rds and carts. It was a true joy to be had. Thankfully I’m not old enough to have played 78’s. The transition to CD”s came later and now, everything in radio is pretty much computerized.

My love for radio and music in general came when I was about 7 or 8 years old. My sister had this small, orange AM/FM radio in the bathroom and also had a really cool stereo that had (gasp) a radio, phonograph and an 8 track player. She had  (and still does have) excellent taste in music and I grew up listening to everything from ABBA to Zappa and back again.

I finally moved from my little portable phonograph to a similar stereo system when I was 12. I thought it was the greatest invention ever. I listened to KPUR, Z-93 and the man, Casey Kasum, with a religious fervor. New wave blossomed and it was an age where guitars were somewhat being replaced with synthesizers. This was evident in groups such as Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, The Fixx, New Order Echo and the Bunnymen and the list goes on. Hair bands of the 1980’s came (and went) and music morphed into a kind of post-punk turned grunge era. Rap music really took on a whole new life and it also blossomed.

When I was 14, I did my first radio air shift and began cutting a few commercials and doing television voice over work. Pops owned an advertising agency and I was pretty cheap talent. By the time I was 18, I was in school to actually learn the business and I felt invincible on the air. However, I can say radio personalities are not invincible. The music industry and changes in how radio works (aka technology) made many great DJ’s obsolete.

Looking back, I’m so grateful my “first life” was filled with extraordinary experiences in the broadcast industry. From being a radio personality to news anchor to being a news technical director, I have been blessed beyond belief. To this day, I cherish the friendships I made in those early years when I was learning a bit about who I was and what I wanted out of life. (And I’m also thankful those folks do not hold the arrogance of youth against me.)

When I go back to my hometown, I occasionally get to get back on the radio for a few hours. There is something enchanting about doing something you love so much. And even though the technology has changed, the process of “being a good jock” hasn’t. The key is to let the world see you as you are and to let them in. After that, everything is gravy.

 

 

 

 

They Say It’s Your Birthday…

“There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.”

~ William Barclay

I don’t feel old enough to have grand children. When I was younger it always seemed like grand-parents were these really “OLD” people and as I’m still in my 40’s I don’t exactly feel old, but I am still totally weirded out about having grand-kids.

The youngest grand-baby turned one a little over a week ago and my youngest daughter is holding the birthday party tomorrow. Because I cannot sit for long periods of time, the 352 mile drive north to see them and spend the weekend with family is impossible. I fervently wish it weren’t. I miss seeing everyone.

Yoda-hubby is; however, going up to see family today and will attend the party. At the moment I’m feeling a more than a bit lonely and a bit depressed. I attempted cleaning house to take my mind off things. No go. And listening to 90’s alternative music really isn’t helping matters. When you are down, Nirvana might not actually be the best choice, but then… I get Foo Fighters “Everlong.” I’m more than pleased, but it really is an odd auto-segue  because Dave Grohl was Nirvana’s drummer. **Mind blown**

Now, let me get to the particular reason for this post. I hate the birthday song. No. That’s not a strong enough word. I despise the birthday song with a passion that mere mortal men cannot truly comprehend. You know the one… “Happy Birthday to you…blah, blah, blah freaking blah.”  This song is old. Really old. It dates back to the late 1800’s and appeared in print in about 1912. It’s been translated into so many different languages and (unfortunately) it’s the most recognized song in the world.

When I go to restaurants, I actually feel nauseous when I hear it. It makes me angry. And fortunately my family knows better than to have a bunch of strange people sing this freaking song to me in a restaurant – ever. I would seriously walk out in the middle of it because I not only hate the song, but I hate the forced singing by people who don’t even know me.  God help me if I someday end up in a nursing home and have to listen to this mindless musical drivel on a regular basis.

I actually have adopted my own birthday song, “Birthday” by the Beatles. (It’s on their 1968 “white album.” Great stuff on that album by the way.)  “Birthday” is a thunderous symphony of sound and motion. It’s a song that makes me say, “Hell, yes! It’s my birthday.” (And this is the song I would undoubtedly crank in the nursing home to ward off others more than anything else.)

So with all this said  for her first birthday (as it were)… Stella, this one is for you.

 Beatles – “Birthday”

 

The Perfect Night’s Sleep

To Sleep
O soft embalmer of the still midnight,
      Shutting, with careful fingers and benign,
Our gloom-pleas’d eyes, embower’d from the light,
      Enshaded in forgetfulness divine:
O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close
      In midst of this thine hymn my willing eyes,
Or wait the “Amen,” ere thy poppy throws
      Around my bed its lulling charities.
Then save me, or the passed day will shine
Upon my pillow, breeding many woes,—
      Save me from curious Conscience, that still lords
Its strength for darkness, burrowing like a mole;
      Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards,
And seal the hushed Casket of my Soul.

I have to admit I have been on a massively long creative hiatus. I have been sick with a few neurological disorders and frankly, I have been feeling sorry for myself for quite a while. However, a pity-party of one can only last so long. So here I am once again trying to start life anew.

My husband unit, who I affectionally call Yoda, received a king size mattress set from some sweet and generous people at work. We have two queen size beds in our little apartment so right now, as there is no king-sized bed frame, the majority of the living room floor is filled with a king size mattress.(The box springs are standing on end “out of the way” in the rarely used dining room.)  The actual reason for this was we wanted to try it out and see if we were going to really like it despite the fact the bed I sleep in has mattresses going on 20 years old and there is some serious divoting in the bed. Seriously, there is a huge mountain in the middle and the rest looks like a truck has driven repeatedly down a muddy alleyway in springtime.

Despite the lack of room to walk or play with the dogs, there is something supremely gratifying about comfortably laying down in the living room and watching a movie or playing the X-Box. (Yes, I’m a nerd. Get over it.) I’m actually considering getting a day bed with a trundle for the living room. (Which would also help when family comes to visit.)  We shall see how that goes.

The bed will contribute to a much better night’s sleep. However, I have no cure yet for the people who live in the apartment to our north. I want to shoot them every weekday morning about 6am when there is a crap-ton of yelling and screaming at the kids to get up, get ready for school and all that jazz. I may actually have to stumble out of bed and go over there in my jammies one of these mornings and give them a small piece of what’s left of my mind. Five days a week, I pray for uninterrupted sleep. It doesn’t happen. I think I will have to break out the ear-plugs again. (Highly recommended: Flents / 29db.) And I wonder if it would be wrong to break out older Fall Out Boy, Linkin Park.  Metallica. Led Zeppelin etc. about 2am every morning for a week or two? It would definitely have to be something with a great bass beat. (And rap music is out. I’m not a fan. Why torture myself?)

Of course, these are the same relatively nice people who brought a “rescued by the side of the road” puppy home and they have no earthly business owning a dog. Seriously. The mom actually admitted they know nothing about raising a puppy. (Buy a book?) The pup is cute, but has no discipline and no training. They also bought the pup, who is now probably 5 months old tops, a shock collar because he’s biting. I have no problem with shock collars; however, if you don’t know how to use them you are going to create a problem with the animal. The little girl who lives there was playing outside with the dog and when I let my dogs out (on leashes mind you) the dog would not leave mine alone. She threatened to get the shock collar because he wasn’t minding. I nicely told her to put the dog on a leash and work on commands – the shock collar isn’t going to work when you don’t have any idea how to properly use it. It’s so frustrating.

They also just let the dog outside by himself to go potty. No leash. No nothing. He wanders by the creek and we have all sorts of wildlife that could harm the animal including (but not limited to) coyotes, possums, raccoons, snakes and more. And without watching the animal, it would also be very easy for someone to steal their pet. It’s pretty sad. But what can I do? Not much I’m afraid.

In other news, I have found a few local radio stations (after living in the Metroplex for a few years) that I totally dig. One is a classic rock station that reminds me of my years in broadcasting. Right now, Bog Seger’s “Turn the Page” is playing.  My word. I love this song. I brings back so many memories. The downside is I’m singing along and my German Shepard is not amused. To make her howl some more is the question. The aforementioned neighbors are home so the answer: I’m singing.  Heh.

(Insert quick bathroom break here.) 

Oh heck. I just broke out Fall Out Boy, who is not my favorite band, but I really love their music. “I Don’t Care” is cranked to 100 (and the dogs are hiding in the other room.) Patrick has such a cool voice and Pete Wentz plays a pretty solid bass line. I know I shouldn’t feel this pleased, but I just looked outside and the neighbor’s dog is running amok again. After this comes Zeppelin. Yeah, it’s going to be a good day, I think.

Fall Out Boy – “I Don’t Care”

Back in the Saddle Again

I’m hiding out in the bathroom. I mention this because it’s vital to my sanity at this time. I have both my daughters and the grand babies visiting and the oldest grandchild doesn’t want to take a nap. God help us all.  So while I’m the queen of my somewhat silent and tiny domain, I might as well fill you in on the latest.

I quit my job on July 1st. I had two doctors kindly explain to me that my job was killing me. So I’m in “recovery-mode” and doing much better now that I’m a not sitting for over 12 hours a day and getting some regular sleep. Both my neurologist and pain management doctors told me that I will have to make permanent lifestyle changes including NOT sitting for extended periods of time. I enjoyed working as a police dispatcher and have for a long time, but those days may be behind me now.  I’m not sure what to do next.  I guess the doors are wide open. 

Earlier this year, we added a second grand baby to the brood.  She is one of the cutest things I have ever seen.  She’s almost always happy and smiling. Her name is Stella and she’s definitely a bright, little star.  Jackson, her big brother is officially a toddler who is into EVERYTHING. I forgot about that particular joy and didn’t childproof the apartment quite like I  should have before everyone came down to the metroplex.  My bad. 

Let’s see… Aside from my medical issues, little has taken place that just floored me. However, the week before I left work, I lost my oldest sister due to stage 4 breast cancer.  It was the third time she had fought it in her life and this time it was just too much. She was just 69. I wish you could have met her; she was something else.  Stella kind of reminds me of her, which is a good thing. 

I suppose that’s really the major stuff for now. And as I have a bunch of time on my hands, you can expect a lot more from me in the days to come. 

Hope you have an outstanding day. Adieu.