Saturday, October 22, 2016

Thievery, Integrity and the End of an Era

I had something of a shock this afternoon. I came home from a trip to a local high end quilting store wanting to curse, cry and toss things around.

What happened? Someone I've done business with since leaving my job at the art studio took something I made and sold to her as a personal favor, changed it slightly and sold it for more than five times what I charged her.

During my years working part time at the art studio/quilt store for the notorious Nora I put up with a lot of very bad nasty unethical behavior and finally I could take no more. I quit.

Nora had a nasty habit of twisting my arm into teaching a class, a quilting class, or a crochet class, stained glass, oil painting, figure drawing, whatever, and would charge those attending twenty bucks an hour and supplies, telling those of us working there and roped into teaching that we'd get half the instructor's fee. I don't think any of us worker bees ever got more than the random tenner in our pay, while Nora either said she didn't make enough money to pay us instructors fees, or denied she'd ever promised anyone extra money. By the time I left she said anyone teaching was doing it for their hourly wage.

With any of the big national chains like Joann's or Michaels there are contracts and instruction fees are clearly spelled out. I've taught at both once in a while and never had an issue with pay.

The other snag with Nora is that if you would design a new quilt, or sweater, or whatever geegog you could come up with and write out a pattern for it, she would want to sell the pattern at the store. You might let her but when it came to either receiving a cut of the sales of that pattern or having a contract between you about your patterns she would ignore that too. She still has a number of patterns I wrote for sale at her store.

A few years ago she tried to sell first the quilt shop and then the art studio and approached me to buy, along with a number of other folks. Her asking price was insane, nowhere near what the actual business is worth and nowhere near inventory value. She was refusing to accept a lesser amount, this woman that basically killed two thriving stores with her business practices, screwed over employees and pissed off everyone in the various local art guilds, yet was expecting this imaginary high amount.

I got word last week from a local quilting guild member that Nora was liquidating and closing the art studio. Last year she closed the quilting store. She's still selling the patterns I designed without paying me any copyright on any of them, but once the store closes that will end.

This past spring I seriously toyed with the idea of opening a fabric and quilting store here locally against Nora. I had the money, I had the time but in the end I decided against it because of Jim's plans for us to move to Costa Rica in the new year. I decided I would bide my time until Nora closes her store next month and then republish all those quilt patterns I wrote, that I have the originals and original materials on going way back before Nora started selling the patterns. I decided to do quilting patterns online with the goal of starting this as a sideline while we're in Costa Rica. It's doable. I'd be getting paid for my original designs for a change.

It's tough sometimes to get paid for your original designs. Years ago, when I was still evangelical I would do worship flags, banners and other church related art work and had a lot of trouble with people trying to steal designs and make bad copies. I made some mistakes, but I'm not going to be doing that any longer. Copyright, copyright, copyright!

In the meantime I've been doing some shop samples and other things for a competitor of Nora's, someone I've known as long as I've known Nora, I'll call this woman Carrie. I've never had a problem with Carrie, she knows what Nora is like and she was also offered Nora's store to purchase.

Now I have learned I cannot trust Carrie either. Awhile back she approached me about some crazy crocheted coasters I'd made. They were little cat butts, pink buttholes, tails and feet, very simple, very quick to make. I made them as a gag gift, saw a photo of them online but was not able to find a pattern, so I made my own pattern, not with the intention of selling the pattern but just to make a set as a gift. Carrie said she had a friend that would LOVE a set of those coasters and asked me to make her a set. For her friend. I said sure, quoted her a price lower than I've made them for others for.

I don't really like making them as a item to sell, everyone that has begged me for a set has seen someone else's set I made. If someone asks I will make them, but it's not something I pitch as a sale item ever.They require a small crochet hook, are a smaller item to make that requires you play some attention to detail while making them, unlike, say a scarf or afghan. I like those projects you don't have to think about, full speed ahead crochet using the same stitch for long stretches.

So I made Carrie a set, brought them to her, collected the money and skipped off, not looking back. Today, I'm in Carrie's shop, picking up a few fabrics and talking to her about starting selling my patterns, maybe putting a few in her shop. I saw one of my crocheted coasters and it had been made into a coin purse, with a cheap zipper and a felted wool backing, had a price tag much, much, much higher than I would expect. A few minutes on a sewing machine with a zipper and felted wool. That one silly coaster of a cat butt had been turned into a coin purse, marked for sale for the same price I sold her the entire set and marked that it was Carrie's original design!

I asked Carrie about it and she acted very embarrassed about it, it slipped her mind, she said. Then she turned around and asked me to crochet her another set. I made some polite noise about being 'too busy' right now with the sorting and packing for the move.

I was so pissed off, but I somehow managed to smile, act pleasant and get the heck out of there! Now I'm thinking twice about placing any of my patterns with her. If she had just been straight forward with me as to why she wanted the coasters we could have done business, and if she'd not straight up marketed them as an original creation of hers with a pattern and all I wouldn't be upset right now. But she had to be sneaky and shitty about it, maybe not as awful as Nora turned out to be but definitely not ethical in any way.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Reading and More Dust

We've ended up donating a giant pile of things this week to the local charity shops as part of Jim emptying out our storage room. Old furniture, like several desks from when the kids were little, a couple more from their high school years, bookshelves, end tables, my old bedstead from my childhood. Someone is getting a beautiful birdseye oak four poster bed that we gave away.

The dust has been intense so I've been either in my reading nook burning through a pile of books on the Titanic, or or laying on the sofa watching television that doesn't take much thinking while I crocheted. I learned the Broomstick stitch and started on a few Christmas presents.

A little leftover yarn from another project and just like that I've made a broomstick lace scarf.

 I started designing a quilt with the Eiffel Tower in the middle. I'd been stockpiling beautiful cream/black/light pink/silver gray fabrics with that Parisian feel for ages now. I'm going to have to design and sew another 'Game of Thrones' quilt too, something to do with fire and ice this time.

Why am I reading about the Titanic right now? Because I watched the craziest thing this week one evening while I was wheezing and hiding in my office while Jim continued cleaning up the dust from the things in the attic and storage room. I watched a time sequence animation of the Titanic hitting an iceberg through it breaking apart and sinking. It's two hours and forty minutes long, something perfect to do when you are filled with medicines and cannot hardly breath. It's a chilling watch, as they have edited in all the sounds you would have heard, from the crew calling out orders, to the steam venting from the boilers to keep them from exploding right down to the screams of the final moments of those who perished when the ship went down. The only sounds missing were the gay ragtime songs and the hymns played by the shipboard orchestra as the ship floundered and sand.

I knew very little about this tragedy. I know this sounds almost un-American but I never bothered to watch the famous 'Titanic' movie. The only things I knew about it came from the mentions in history books and the likely lies that came out of the mouth of one of my exs who liked to claim he had a relative or two on the Titanic when it sank. I never believed him because he liked to come up with tall tales, like the time he told everyone at school that the scratches on his arms came from a wild cat that had hidden under his bed. We might have been in middle school then but no one believed him.

One of the things I was the most touched and surprised about in my readings were the stories of sacrifice and great heroism that I read. It just goes to show you that you really do not know what your character truly is until you're confronted with a great test. Some of the passengers and crew did some amazing and selfless things in the wake of the tragedy.

When I think about the time we live in now, and how people seem so determined to idolize and look up to the vapid and selfish, I wonder if we as a society can ever find what is good and heroic in our people and our times. When I see folks who are famous for being famous, like the Kardashians, or even presidential candidate Donald Trump I fear we're too far gone and nothing good can come of us.

But I don't know that. Perhaps the next big tragedy will show that there are still heroes out there, people that put others ahead of themselves or who will sacrifice for the greater good.

One bizarre Titantic fact I learned from the books is that one of President Taft's military aides, Archibald Butt, perished in the disaster along with other prominent men important to the country. In Washington D.C., on the Ellipse, near the White House stands a fountain that is a Titanic memorial for Butt and others.

One a hot summer day many years ago, when my youngest was a mere babe in a stroller and my son was walking Jim and I took the kids into the city for the day. Jim had a job interview near the White House with one of the government offices. I decided to wait for him on the Ellipse, pointing out a fountain that I would take the children to wait at, so Andy could run around. Jim walked away rapidly while I took Andy, the stroller, his sister Laura and the various things you end up dragging around with toddlers and babies to that part of the park near the fountain. When I got near the fountain I found it was overrun with homeless men, a pitiful lot. I ended up staying briefly at the fountain before decamping to wait for Jim on a bench near the exit of the Ellipse. I didn't realize it that day but that is the fountain memorial for the victims on the Titanic. I didn't realize it that day, but after reading several books I now know. I wish I had paid better attention.

I guess the lessons of my week sick are that you should always pay attention to your surroundings so that you realize the significance in that moment. The other lesson is always try to rise to the demands of the situation and be the hero you can be in the moment. I don't know that I'm capable of either of those things, but it's given me something to think about this week.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Funny What You Pray For

This last three days Jim and I, okay, truthfully mostly Jim because of my asthma, has been clearing out the large storage room over our garage. It's the first hopeful optimistic bit of preparing for an overseas move in the January-February-March time frame.

Jim has his Oxford English teaching certification, has signed up with a headhunting agency that specializes in lining you up with teaching English as a second language overseas and done everything else required. Now it's just a waiting game for interviews and offered contracts.

Every five years or so Jim takes it upon himself to clean out the storage room, dragging all the boxes through our bedroom to unpack and debate getting rid of the contents. It's always stressful on me because a) there's a tremendous amount of dust usually stirred up by this that makes my asthma go nuts and b) I have to rescue things from him that he grumbles that he wants to throw away, like a big box of what he thought was white chiffon and lace. Dude, that's my wedding dress!

This sorting was way more intense because of the upcoming move. Jim sorted through many boxes, like bank statements from the business we ran from the years 1992 to 1996, and oodles of assorted silly stuff that I'm not sure why we saved, a broken cash register, enough decorations for every known holiday and clothes too tight for either of us. The clothes were an unexpected bonus for me because I can now wear all the ones I once packed up as having gotten too fat to wear. I'm keeping some of those, including a couple of gawd-awful ugly as home made sin cotton jumpers from my first years in our old church.

One big box had a ton of things from our children, report cards, school papers, home made Mothers and Fathers Day cards and some crazy things, like a written prayer request from Children's Church at our old fundigelical church by my son when he was I think perhaps seven or eight. Here it is...

In it our son is begging God to cough up the roughly 300 bucks he needs to buy a Nintendo 64 video gaming system and saying that he'd already asked his dad and dad said he didn't need it.

I remember Andy handing me this in the hallway of our church and it being one of those moments when I struggled not to laugh at something my child was doing/had done. I was tickled just a little bit by his requests for a new video game system. He already had an old school Super Nintendo and a Sega Genesis system.

The other thing I remember about that Sunday is that I got called onto the threadbare carpeting of our pastor's office. He and his wife, leader of the Children's Church, demanded to know what type of theology and Bible study I was teaching my children at home. They were concerned about the prayer Andy wrote out, that it was selfish and not something you should be praying for. They were upset he wasn't praying for something like the other kids, like praying to develop a closer walk with Jesus, or for world peace, or the end to abortion, something they considered important.

Even as I was a submitting wife and stay at home mother attempting to do my best with my two young children at home I knew by then that nothing I did was going to be good enough for these two. I had already had a few rounds with the pastor's new wife because I wasn't forcing my five year old daughter to memorize scripture. I pointed out that she was a child, a child that could not read yet, and I felt it was more important to let her be a child, that there was time for Bible memorization later.

To this day I'm still not so sure what's wrong with my son praying for the earnest desire of his heart. He did get a new video game system eventually, once he saved up from chores and birthday money from relatives. No harm in wanting things badly. He was a child, with a child's wishes and dreams.

I'm far from a perfect mother, I did the best I could. I am proud of the fact that despite the rigid rules of the old church that I managed to let my kids actually be kids during their childhoods. I think it's part of the reason why the two of them are such well rounded adults now.

To steal Cindy Kunsman's line - run away from the dream squashers. Anyone that tries to tell you how you should pray falls into the dream squasher territory.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Change of Seasons

It has turned cool here. We got no gradual easing into Fall, we went straight from 90 degree heat to waking up with mornings in the 40s. But I'm not complaining, I don't mind the chill, it's a refreshing change.

One of the pleasant things about the weather turning from blue blazes hot is that I can now spend some time every afternoon in our front outdoor living room, the spacious expanse of our lawn that holds four wedgewood blue/gray Adirondack style chairs next to a spreading sweetgum tree. Planted that tree twenty six years ago when we first moved in and it is a monster now. I'm glad I resisted the temptation most of our neighbors fell for when the subdivision was built. Most of them put in those fast growing ornamental pear trees, all of which are now uprooted and dead from the high winds that whip down from the nearby mountains. However our hardwood sweetgum is still standing.

Jim and I will usually sit outside and read whenever the weather is decent, in the chairs and our cats will come sit with us. We have bird and squirrel feeds in the tree and I'm always amazed at how unafraid of us the local wildlife is.

The first week Jim retired he was surprised by that, because he found out what happens when the squirrel feeder is empty, the squirrels come right up to the window by his computer and bang their heads against the glass until I go out and fill the feeder again.

Over the last year I've noticed that our jumpy rad-kid Siamese cat Pedro has sort of mellowed out. He now will come sit near us outside when friends come to visit. He usually hates everyone.

Apparently that has ended too. Yesterday afternoon as our across the street neighbor Francisco parked his truck and started walking to his home our scaredy cat Pedro walked across the street, up to Francisco and greeted him. Will wonders never cease?

I am wondering if this early unusual cool spell is an auger of an early hard Winter with copious snow. I hope not.

A Bloody Mess

Been an interesting couple of days. Fighting with my health insurance company over the testing strips for my blood glucose meter. I have Von Willibrands, a bleeding disorder, and have been using the meter that uses very little blood and you can poke yourself just about anywhere to get that blood. My insurance company refuses to pay for any of the testing supplies for any brand but one, a meter that is much cheaper and is 30 year old technology that requires a blood sample that is roughly six times as large as my other meter.

I bled profusely from my fingertips before I decided to test the meters readings against each other. The cheaper meter has readings all over the place, gives error readings a lot and even gives widely different readings minute to minute that do not match at all the steady consistent readings of the more expensive meter.

So here's the deal. Did some research and read through the recommendations for accuracy. The more expensive tiny blood sample meter I've been using is newer technology and much more accurate than the one the insurance will pay for. So I'm going to have to give up my usual Starbucks run and use that money for testing strips. I cannot take the difficulties, oozing blood and sore fingertips any longer. It's a shame that in a country like ours, where I'm paying a pretty big out of pocket for my health insurance that I cannot get them to cover the test strips I need because I have a bleeding disorder. Ugh.

My asthma has been nuts the last few days and my huffing on my nebulizer has caused some high blood sugar spikes. Damned if I do, damned if I don't. Passed out for a long nap this afternoon. Getting old sucks so badly and this is all right after having an appointment on Monday and finding out that my A1C levels and meter were all showing I am exactly where I need to be on the blood sugar ranges.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Grabbing That Pussy

A rant. A triggering event.

Today when I was back at the endocrinologist's office the nurse noted that while my glucose levels are now normal and I've lost another 7 pounds in six weeks my blood pressure was elevated. I had to look at her, sigh and said, "I'm not surprised. Did you see that debate last night?"

I didn't watch the entire debate. I listened to a large portion of it, but I knew I could not watch. I already had a stomach ache thinking about the debate all day. I knew that to lay eyes on Donald Trump was going to be enough to sent me over the edge. As it was I found myself yelling at the television from my listening post in my office. Eventually I had to ditch, crawl into my special reading nook I have tricked out in a Paris theme and finish reading a book on the Amish and forgiveness.

From the moment the news came out spelling out the description of sexual assault from the very mouth of Donald Trump I've been nothing but triggered. It might be old, but hearing it said aloud like that, with such glee, was triggering on so many levels.

It makes me so happy I'm old and not out in the world in the workforce any longer.

I spent a lot of this weekend reminded anew about being sexually molested from ages 7 to 9 years old. Of a sexual assault by a classmate when I was 15 years old and the many times I've been subjected to sexual harassment or borderline assault in my younger days. The boss at the jewelry store that would try to corner me in the diamond viewing room and cop a feel. The old man at the store Jim and I used to own twenty years ago who cornered me near the drinks cooler and forcefully grabbed my breasts. The many times I was told that a promotion/raise or promise of a job was tied to my providing sexual favors to someone and the walking away from all those opportunities. The time I was a model/spokesperson/presenter at a convention and had to fend off the pussy-grabbers and so many other times in my youth where someone tried something vile without my permission.

This type of thinking and behavior must stop! It might have been more common when I was young, but NO ONE needs to be trying to behave this way, or think, or talk this way. It's rape culture, it's bragging about assault. It's not 'locker room' talk. If it were I'd be ready to burn that locker room to the ground.

I have barely been able to stop trembling since Friday afternoon as I'm reminded anew of being assaulted. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, even on people like Debi Pearl or Nancy Campbell.

I've been almost indifferent about this election up until today. I wasn't crazy about any of the four running. In fact I told Jim that to me it was like having to pick between contracting whooping cough, the flu, food poisoning and chicken pox. I didn't know exactly who I would vote for when it came down to it. Now I know.  I was wrong. It's like having to chose between Ebola, the flu, food poisoning and chicken pox. Anyone but Ebola.

Trump is toxic. It frightens me that a newly married man could be so callously bragging about his sexual assault skills, even that long ago. He has no business being president, he needs therapy.

I'm suspecting I'm not the only one coming to that rapid conclusion. Today, as I drove to and from the doctor's office I counted the signs for president. In the last few months here in the Virginia Piedmont there have been plenty of Trump signs with a few scattered Clinton signs, As of this afternoon the signs have changed, many of the places formerly sporting huge Trump signs have now either removed them, or they've been replaced with Hillary signs. Now I'd say it was about 3 Trump signs spotted to about 25 Hillary signs. This is unusual in very conservative religious Virginia, but I'm sensing a change here.

I'm still triggered and nauseous but I think I'm not the only one.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Through a Glass Darkly

I hardly know what to say today except that the world seems much darker this morning. It's been a crazy week and I have to leave in a few minutes to spend the day doing the offering count at our church since the person who was scheduled to head up today's team cannot be there. I really don't want to do it, it's an all morning and part of the afternoon task, long and arduous. But.. I cannot say no as the other lady's father just passed.

Plus after that I have to come home and scrub the house. Found out yesterday afternoon that some of Jim's friends from his old job in D.C. are coming out to visit us tomorrow, which I'm really not ready for. I'm still dealing with the kids cat Mary being too senile to remember where the litter box is and the fact that the chilly weather has kicked up my aches and pains. Plus I wish they would have consulted me, I will not be here when they visit either because I'll be in Ch'ville in the hands of my new doctors tomorrow for much of the day to discuss what's going on with my asthma, my bouts of MRSA and blood sugar ups and downs. Their sudden decision to come down just adds to my stress because I know, as much as I love my husband, that his contribution to cleaning up for their arrival will be nagging me about the multiple litter boxes, the random cat crapping everywhere and other assorted smells connected to Mary's senility.

Yeah, I'm a whiny bitch, that's for sure, but these things are mere pesky flies. The darkness and feelings of melancholia are due to crazy things way beyond my control. Like being triggered by the recently exposed words of presidential candidate Donald Trump. I think any woman who has been sexually assaulted or raped is likely triggered right now. If that is 'locker room' talk we need to burn down the damn locker rooms.

Add in the hours of research I'm doing on an unpleasant project, push back and MRA dudes at work and the fact that it's turned cold here and I'm cranky as fuck, just like Mary the cat. Looking forward to the NLQ live reading tonight because the tequila I'm going to consume during the reading cannot do anything but help lift my mood. I wish I could toss all my responsibilities today and just simply stay in my studio and paint. Working on a huge canvas of the Paris skyline in Autumn. I need to finish it, I need a break.


I'm not going to be speaking any longer in this space about the Carol Ann Cole murder case. No matter what tact I take someone gets offended. One of the family members is rather upset right now, to the point where she posted a comment at NLQ trying to debunk a lot of what I'd written. Here's the thing, the things I've written come directly from easily available documents anyone with Google can find, I've not named a killer, I've not definitively come up with a motive, a method or anything else, I've just started discussing possibilities and labeled them as such, possibilities. I have to wonder why even talking about the fact of 'could haves' is so threatening and frightening to people? It's what good journalists and investigators do, look at all the possibilities. Another interesting assumption is I keep being told that by writing about this I'm making people believe this is a solved case. Again, no way! I'm only writing about it because it's unsolved, a huge mystery even to this day.

Maybe I'm just cranky because I've had to deal with and ban huge piles of Duggar fans and Men's Rights Activists from NLQ. I need a mental vacation.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016


Recently my husband Jim and I went to the beach for a week. One of his buddies, the one I cannot stand because he was stringing along some poor desperate woman online with promises of marriage, kept trying to get us to cancel the trip. I wasn't about to cancel because my week earlier at the beach had been somewhat miserable because of the fact that we had to stay out of the water because of the high bacterial levels and the fact that I was traveling with a friend who could not be persuaded to hit the Chrysler Museum or the Cape Henry Lighthouse or anything that wasn't shopping. Shopping bores me and I'm no longer a charismatic Christian like her. The trip was pretty miserable on a couple different levels even if I love her.

Jim's buddy, Mr. Love 'Em Online, was not understanding I was not going to cancel this trip even if the weather report called for rain the entire time. First, I had enough hotel room points that we were staying for free in a suite with a jacuzzi right in the room and I needed to get away.

When he messaged me demanding we cancel I shrugged and ignored him before telling a couple of friends 'If he thinks rain is going to keep me out of ocean he does not know me very well, does he?' Seriously, you're going to be getting wet when you get in the surf what's a little getting wet on the stroll across the sand from the hotel?

Jim knows me. He knew I wouldn't want to cancel, that I would swim in a raining ocean, that I would body surf in the storm-tossed waves. He knows I need my ocean time every summer.

I no longer surf since I've been sick with asthma these last ten years. My balance is terrible so I content myself with a short body riding laying on the board or body surfing. I wish I was young and strong enough again to surf properly. This trip the waves were close to ten feet tall right where they were breaking at the second set of breakers out. Would have been an incredible trip.

We had an excellent time, rain or shine, and yes indeed I did swim and body surf in the rain. Jim knows I'm serious about that. He's said he can tell just how serious I am about my ocean time based on what I pack. Rash guard shirts, board shorts or tank suits? Serious. Not to be deterred.

Not everyone around me understands my focus, my passion or my stubborn full speed ahead and damn the possible torpedoes. It's how I live my life.

That holds true with working on No Longer Quivering too. I can get obsessional about certain subjects and follow them down until I've had enough.

Clearly whoever it is in law enforcement that keeps putting out those statuses on the Carol Ann Cole Facebook page does not realize my depth of focus and stubborn nature. Because every week when I write about the case and clearly state I'm speculating on what may have happened they go way way out of their way to pretend I'm somehow trying to exploit the situation and have no information.

The information I have is a thick sheath of documents, many from the state of Louisiana archives, documents and information from other legitimate sources and interviews with people involved that I've been able to verify much of what they are saying with legal documents. Anyone, and I state again, ANYONE with the stubborn drive to dig these things out has access to the exact same things I do. It's not that hard.

I have to wonder why me writing about this subject seems to be so threatening to those investigating the case. It just makes me wonder what they are hiding. As I have stated before I hope to bring enough attention to the case that someone actually solves it. I'm not going to solve it, I'm merely looking at the information available.

Others have told me that they've received 'internet cease and desist' online messages from law enforcement. Which makes me laugh. A legal cease and desist is something that would come through law enforcement channels and be served either by the local cop shop or a process server and be a court order signed by a judge. Not a note on the internet. Powerless. Stupid.

Hear this. I am stubborn. I am not going to stop writing about the unjust murder of poor Carol Ann Cole merely because I'm making someone uncomfortable. I'm not exposing any information that is 'secret', I'm not 'endangering the case'. I'm looking at the possibilities.

I am not stopping. Nor should you stop looking to solve this.

I shouldn't even have to explain myself. After all, I did make three attempts to talk to law enforcement about this case during the summer when I was compiling information and doing my research. I was rebuffed, no one would talk. Too late now.

Fantasy Football Widow Season and No Sleep

It's 3 am and I cannot sleep. I'm starting to think that separate bedrooms is a splendid idea during Fantasy Football Widow Season.

What happens goes like this. Ten pm I take a bath followed by getting into the bed and reading for awhile before bedtime. Sometime around midnight or one am Jim comes to bed. Usually I'm sleeping too heavily to wake up for him jumping into our waterbed.

But during FFWS he does not settle in and get to sleep, he tosses and turns, he moans and sniffles. Why? Because he cannot stop thinking about his stupid fantasy football teams. Everything and I mean EVERYTHING revolves around his constant obsession over his team. He gets up a couple of times, in and out of the bed, stomps down the staircase like a Bigfoot on amphetamines and wakes me up again and again and again.

How addicted is he? One year he was deathly ill and inpatient at UVA Medical Center in a wing that didn't have phones in the room. He walked down to the nurses station and called me collect to go on the computer and make the trades and changes on his team, standing there in that thin hospital gown with no back with tubes running in and out of his body and lone kidney. That is hard core.

Once I'm awake I cannot easily get back to sleep, particularly on a Tuesday night when I've run around at least half the day dealing with taking Mary our kids cat to the vet thinking she's dying. She's not, she's just having some real issues with arthritis that are preventing her from going up and down the stair case. Some steroid injections, injectable pain killers and she's now acting like she's a much younger cat. Has to have arthritis drugs daily.

So now I'm awake, worrying about that huge vet bill. Plus, being that it's a Tuesday night sliding into Wednesday morning that also means I have a serious case of the willies, the heebie-jeebies, whatever you want to call it because I've written in the late afternoon about the unsolved 35 year old murder in Louisiana of Carol Ann Cole. When I wake up in the middle of the night and I've been reading through my research or writing about the case I cannot stop thinking about Carol Ann and what the last year of her life must have been like. It haunts me.

Add in that cluster you-know-what of a Vice Presidential debate in which Tim Kaine, who I was liking and respecting up till this point goes into talking over attack dog to scary guy Pence and I'm disturbed. No civility in someone that seemed to be the very soul of civility.

Could be the high protein low carb faux peach cobbler I tried to make and consume earlier in the night.

Who knows. I just know I cannot sleep on nights like this when Jim is obsessing over his hobby. Do I poke him awake jabbering about quilting or tossing and turning over thinking about painting? Nope.

We're going to have to have a conversation about this in the morning and it's not going to be a fun happy one either.

Going to try to grab a few more hours of shut eye here. I hope I can sleep.