Monthly Archives: July 2011

Some Random Things

First of all, may I say that it is wonderful to be able to use the computer again!  For about a week, the only thing I’ve been able to look at is the back of my eyelid.  I punctured my cornea by jabbing myself in the eye with a pair of scissors.  How did I manage that, you ask?  Well, try cutting your bangs with three kids and a hyper puppy running in and out of the bathroom… That’s beside the point.  For a week, I couldn’t drive, read, watch TV, and even the light from my cell phone pierced my eye like a dagger.  It was pure hell; not so much the pain, but the boredom.  Anyway, it’s almost healed.  I can drive now, and walk out in the early light without my sunglasses.  The afternoon sun is a different story, but this is a start. 

I have to say this whole experience made me appreciate my sight that much more!  I am also grateful for my independence!  I couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life waiting for rides, or depending on someone else to tend to my responsibilities.  I learned a valuable lesson, (besides: leave the haircutting to licensed professionals) and that is appreciate the little things I normally take for granted.  I’m stepping off of my soapbox to say that I’m one of those people that needs a constant reminder of this.  I’m a spoiled brat, and freely admit it.  I think we all are in some way.  I’m sure I’ll need to be reminded again in the future!  Moving on…

I am loving Night Ranger’s new album, Somewhere in California.  They’ve still got their classic sound, though it’s a bit softer than their late 80’s tone.  I see that they will be in PA, within driving distance for me, twice in late August.  I hope to be able to see them, as they have produced some amazing songs that have stuck with me over the years. 

I started back to school last week.  Let me say that I am one of those geeks that loves school.  I love books, notebooks, the smell of the classroom, and feeling of excitement over learning new things.  Unfortunately, Math gives me little to no excitement. In fact, it gives me the biggest case of anxiety.  I HATE math.  I cry when I try to do the homework, and at the end of the semester, my GPA is going to be in the toilet.  All because I need this stupid class to graduate.  I’ve tried outside sources, asking questions, looking up examples, but nothing clicks.  I do not understand math, and I never will.  However, I will gut through it.  I will get through this class, I will suffer through the homework, five hour classes of torture, and the tests.  And when it is over, I will never look back! 

I am, however, looking forward to the fall semester with increasing joy.  I look forward to being on a schedule again, and I’m also looking forward to Capstone, which is my two semester graduation project.  I’ll also be taking the GRE’s in October, and applying to graduate school in January.  I expect great things from myself this semester, and hope to be able to share my process with all of you.

Keep on pushing through!

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Posted by on July 18, 2011 in Life


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New Poem for Review

Just a poem I’ve been working on, in its un-revised state.  I would appreciate any comments, suggestions, and/or criticism.  By the way, I’ve figured out how to single-space in WordPress!  You have to hit shift+enter between lines. 🙂

Birthday Bottles

This year, the candles snuffed out,
the empty iced tea pitcher tipped
by the breath of the coming storm,
and the remains of of a homemade cake
were left in the center of the warped picnic
table.  I sat alone under wizened maples
with growling thunderheads
blacking the moon and stars.
Other birthdays came to mind
when the first lightning crashed
from ground to sky, thrashed
through thick  clouds and beyond.

Your present’s in here, he’d say with a wink
then head off toward the garage,
a slight limp in his left stride.
When I’d follow, there’d be a bottle
of amber sitting on a workbench,
sporting a multi-colored bow
on black label with pride.
I used to crack the seal, lift the glass
to silent lips, swig a large swallow,
then slide the bottle to his side.
While family noises sounded outside,
we’d celebrate with fiery shots,
that misted and distanced us
from the burning on our minds.

This year, the lightning flashed as I
played our ritual in my mind, then
thought of the broken people
he’d left behind.  I glanced at the Coke
in my hand, raised it rueful
to the sky and whispered, Thanks, buddy
as I headed inside.

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Posted by on July 4, 2011 in Writing


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I Remember You

It’s no secret that I miss my brother-in-law, Donnie.  I’ve blogged about it, talked about it, written about it, and I’ve got a memorial tattoo on my arm.  A Harley symbol with three sets of initials, celebrating the special connection between myself, Chuck, and him, completed with Avenged Sevenfold wings.  It’s painful to look at, but it helps.  After all, he was involved in 90% of what we did, from working on trucks and riding motorcycles, to 4th of July fireworks and throwing hay bales all summer long, not to mention those quiet summer nights standing in the doorway of the garage, beer in hand.  Winter was a time for ice hockey, snowboarding, and drinking whiskey by the woodstove.  (Well, I drank the whiskey, the boys drank beer.)  The point is, he was always there. 

Afterward, I couldn’t even look at his chair by the stove.  The thought of it remaining empty for the rest of time brought a crushing weight down on my chest, and made it hard to breathe.  The garage was a nightmare for me, and the sight of a motorcycle could never fail to bring on the tears.  It’s gotten easier, but it never goes completely away.  We’ve been moving on, doing our thing, but in the back of my mind, I know that we are minus a member of our three-man crew.

Last week, when I hauled Chuck’s truck to the pulls, I turned to him with a sad smile.  “You know what’s running through my mind right now?” I asked. 

“That day you hauled the baler home,” he said, the pain evident in his voice that broke a little, just a little.

“Yeah,” I said, “He woulda really enjoyed this.”

The pain is always there, although sometimes it’s recessed in the corners of my mind, waiting like a snake to strike out at me when I least expect it.  We started haying last night, and as I jumped on the tractor, sitting on the fender while my five-year-old drove us down to the field, I was drawn back to a day when Donnie stood on the fender, teaching me to shift the gears.  As I stood on the wagon, ready to stack the bales thrown to me, I was taken back to a day where I was going down to the field with him.  He was holding a beer as he drove the Ford tractor down the road.  When we got into the field, he handed me the beer, told me to finish it.  Afterwards, he taught me to stack a hay wagon.  He’s always there.

The other day, my five-year-old, Lucas, handed me a rock he had written on.  “It’s Donnie’s name,” he told me.  “I remember him.”  What an amazing thing to hear from my son. I remember him too.  I remember the way he touched my life, and apparently, my two boys’ lives.  I remember every little thing from the last eleven years.  I’m glad that my boys remember him, and I’m sad that CC won’t. 

Sometimes I think the pain will fade, little by little.  It hasn’t even been a year.  Other times, I know better; I know there will always be a piece of us missing.

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Posted by on July 2, 2011 in Life


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The Music Lives On

I finally got to see Def Leppard the other night.  I have followed this band and their music for the better part of 24 years.  They are part of the reason I’m still here today; their music has gotten me through a lot of hard stuff in my younger days.  I really enjoy all of their music, but in my humble opinion, their best stuff came out with Hysteria in 1987.  That album just does it for me.  It lifts me up, rocks me out, and takes me away to a better day.  It always has.

Anyway, seeing them in concert was like a milestone for me.  I finally got to see these guys put on a show, after believing in them and their music for most of my life.  And man, what a show!  Their energy after 30+ years is incredible.  Their music is still amazing without the over-dubs and studio layering; in fact, it’s more honest and real in concert.  It touched me deeply. 

I was also amazed to see a lot of the younger crowd there, crowding the stage, hovering on the lawn, excited to see a band that started before they were born.  It’s neat to think about how some bands develop a following, and live on, while others who have had the same success go into the wind.  What keeps these bands living on?  I was thinking on that when I ran into my cousin, Al, at the concert.  I told him, “I should have known you’d be here.”  After all, he’s the one who introduced my sister to Leppard, way back in ’83 with Pyromania, and she in turn introduced them to me.  I remember the four of us, (Al, his sister Lesia, Becky, and myself) rocking out to Leppard in the back room of the trailer where their dad would let us play it as loud as we wanted.  Even when they went softer and more mainstream, the four of us kept on loving them.  It was awesome to remember those good times, even though they layered over the bad stuff that is not my intention to blog about.  It was also really awesome to get to talk to his son, and hear him tell me that he loves Def Leppard.  The tradition of the Fidler family and Def Leppard lives on!

I suppose what I’m saying in my round-about, random sort of way, is that it is beyond describing how much it meant to me to be able to see Def Leppard in concert.  It touched me deeply, and even helped me to see a little bit through all of the bad things.  It connected me to my past in a good way, and for that I’m grateful.  This band means so much to me, and I hope they continue to create music and put on shows until, (as my husband puts it) they are onstage in their walkers, wheelchairs, and oxygen masks!  Rock on!

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Posted by on July 1, 2011 in Music


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