Betsy Whitt

I read. I write. I think. I live.

Category: Distractions (page 2 of 5)

Just Keep Swimming. . . .

Maybe I should just rename my blog. Something like “One Million Reasons Betsy Doesn’t Blog Regularly”. That would be appropriate.

Since my last set of excuses, work stuff has gotten sorted out (which required quite a few hours of meetings to finally settle on, and will probably be completely reworked again this week), but it made this a rather stressful week. Add some . . . hmm. We’ll call it “excitement”. That’s a nice word that can encompass both good and stressful things . . . from Matt’s half of our world, meetings, a dinner with friends, two barbeques, and the usual church obligations, and I’ve felt a bit stretched this week.

This week looks much the same; dinner tomorrow night with folks who are becoming good friends, band rehearsal Tuesday, going-away shindig for friends on Wednesday, and preparation for a weekend retreat from Friday midday through Sunday. Plus my usual work stuff, a resolution to get my tush back in gear on the manuscript work, and putting together the kernels of ideas that will grow into the sermon I’m preaching in late August at church.

Bob2 was looking rather sickly after several weeks out on the porch railing, so we brought him back inside, since he seemed to thrive there. Fingers crossed that I haven’t killed another one.

Speaking of being busy, I should get ready for dinner tonight with our small group so when dessert comes out of the oven I’ll be ready to get in the car and head over.


Written From The Air, May 14

I haven’t felt much like blogging lately. There are times when I’m doing interesting things, or funny things happen to me, and I have a lot of fun relating them to whomever happens to stop by to pay attention to my little corner of the world, or at least what I tell of it here.

There are also times when not much out of the ordinary is happening, or when I’m not in the right mindset to spin ordinary things as funny or interesting. Sometimes that’s because I’m just not feelin’ it (and with depression, it’s hard to tell when one of those days will come) and sometimes it’s because I’m just plain busy with mundane things like work and running errands and doing laundry and flying across the country to help with a family tragedy. Incidentally, that last is the main reason for the last week’s worth of silence.

Also, I’m not really that funny of a person. And there are only so many funny things that can happen to a person in a given amount of time. I don’t know if that resets every few months or what, but sometimes it seems like I use up my funny quota and I have to wait until the program resets before I can have more. Because really, there are only so many jokes one can make about laundry before it gets really, really old. At least, there are only so many in a household of two adults plus a dog. I would imagine that adding one or more children to the mix would add a commensurate level of adventure to which stains might be found, how they were acquired, and various descriptions of attempts to clean them. But really, people, I live a pretty quiet life. I suppose (until I use up my quota) I have a knack for giving stories a humorous spin, but that’s really all it is–spin.

Holey shamoley, I just about had a heart attack. You see, I’m on the plane flying from Syracuse to Chicago (O’Hare, thanks for asking) and although I have a novel, I’m not particularly interested in starting it right now. Although I have manuscript pages printed and ready for editing, my brain just isn’t settled enough to concentrate. I tried working my quick crossword puzzles (I like the quick ones–they make me feel smart) but lost interest more or less as soon as the plane left the ground. And I have my AlphaSmart, because I entertained pipe dreams of lots of lovely time to get work done and maybe even write a scene or two, but again, my brain is not cooperating. So I’m writing a blog entry which I will post when we get home, either tonight or tomorrow morning, depending on where I stashed the cable I need to transfer things from here to there. Anyway, the near-miss on the heart attack was the captain coming on the super duper loud speakers to say something or other, which of course I didn’t pay attention to because even though it was muffled by my headphones, he scared the cheese out of me and I had to stuff it all back in before the flight attendants noticed the mess.

If they’re both women, can I call them stewardesses? Or is that universally politically incorrect now? Do I need to use a gender non-specific term when they are the same gender? These are the things I ponder as we fly over Lake Erie. Look! There’s Canada!

And now I think it would be best if I stopped, or else you’ll all just get a running commentary of the terrain between Erie, PA and Chicago. And everybody knows northern Ohio isn’t very interesting. Also, don’t tell the people who live there, but it smells funky. Seriously. I’ve driven through there tons of times, and it’s almost as bad as North Jersey. Don’t tell the north Jersey people, either. It’ll be our little secret. Me, you, the fence post, and the rest of the internet. Yeah.

See? I should have stopped typing at least a paragraph ago. Why didn’t you stop me? Why?? WHY???


Another Excuse

I am a vain, fickle creature.

My blog stats did something funky about three weeks ago, and now even though I know people are stopping by, I don’t get any record of it with wp-stats, which is the widget I use. Which means I don’t pay as much attention, and I don’t post, and everything is really quite silly.

I think I know how to fix the stats issue (thanks Will), but unfortunately I have neither the time nor the burning inclination to do so at the moment. Still, I will try to be better about blogging. Because it’s fun, and I get to tell funny stories, and that’s good for me.

Things have been busy. I’ve been trying to catch up on getting things done that have fallen by the wayside in the last few months, and Matt is coming up toward the end of his semester at school, so we’re both a little bit brain-dead.

Also, Shiloh has turned into the neediest dog ever. If we’re sitting somewhere, she’s right beside us, looking at us mournfully, as if we don’t regularly pet her and feed her and take her for walks and, recently, at least once a week to the big dog park with WATER! To run in! I really need to remember to take the camera with us one of these times.

But still, she wants to be rightbeside us all the time, as you can see in this lovely photo, where she found Matt working on the floor and just made herself at home:

Silly puppa.



So I’m in Houston; no problems with my flight. I was moderately concerned as we took off, which was very odd, since normally I’m very comfortable and happy when flying. But a few weeks ago, a plane crashed on takeoff at the Denver airport, and though I didn’t think of it until the moments right before liftoff, I breathed a sigh of relief when we were safely in the air.

The guy next to me tried to flirt with me, but didn’t do a very good job. I wasn’t rude or anything, he just never did anything other than make comments he thought were witty and ask why I was flying to Houston. Honest. Then, in his last real effort, he told me that if he fell asleep and started snoring, I could just elbow him and wake him up. That was just under halfway through the trip, as drinks were passed out, and since he’d already been asleep and showed absolutely no tendency toward snoring, I just thanked him and refrained from further comment.

Then he noticed my wedding and engagement rings (it’s not like I was hiding them, and he was even sitting on my left), and he said, “Oh, it looks like you’re already married.”

“Yep, I am.”


He slept most of the rest of the flight. His sister was sitting on my other side, and I think she was mildly amused. When it comes down to it, I was a little more than mildly amused, but I managed not to show it.

So now I’m waiting at the gate where the rest of my immediately family will allegedly appear in four hours. And I have four hours to fritter away. There are no out-of-the-way seats that also have a power outlet nearby, so I’m camped out in the middle of everything with my feet propped on my new carry-on suitcase, and I’m starting to lose circulation in my legs. I have two books with me, but neither seems terribly, immediately appealing right now. But I could read them and maintain feeling in my legs. It’s possible that they don’t seem appealing because I’ve seen copies of Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s new release, Glitter Baby, all over the place in the airport stores, and I’d really like to read it. So tempting to just go ahead and buy a copy. Luckily for my wallet, it’s a fair hike back to any of the booksellers’ from the gate area here. On the other hand, I do have four hours to fritter away.

Decisions, decisions.

Oh, I uploaded the final update of my 2008 reading list – follow the links at the top o’ the page to find the list of 167 books I finished this year.

Okay, putting away the laptop now to save my circulation. Toodles!



Housing issues have me frustrated today. It’s most likely not worth it for us to stay in the apartment where we are now, not with the rent increase that’s coming. . . and we thought we had a good prospect for a place to move, but it turns out they’ve already rented it to someone else and it’s been moved into. Sigh. I suppose we were rather non-committal about our interest, but it would have been nice to have been told, at least.

On the up side, I’ve worked on a quilt Sunday and Monday, just a small one, and it’s coming along nicely. I might have the top finished tonight. We’ll see. I feel good about it.

There’s not much else of any interest. I think I’ve decided that my other priorities are going to overtake NaNo from here on out – there’s just too much to do between now and January, especially since I’d like to start submitting my thesis before residency. So I have a pretty solid start on the idea I was pursuing, and I’ll likely add words to it here and there, but it’s been back-burnered.


Straight No Chaser

You really don’t want to hear about my week. And you don’t want to read about everything I didn’t get done.

So instead I’ll make a recommendation on the music front. I’m pretty sure I’ve posted something about Straight No Chaser before–if you’re unfamiliar, go to YouTube and search for Straight No Chaser and watch a few of their video clips from 1998. They’re fantastic.

And now they’ve reunited and put together a really stellar Christmas album, which is currently available at your friendly neighborhood music retailer or, if you like bonus tracks, head over to the iTunes store and buy it there, like I did.

Think of them if you’ve got anyone in your life who might even remotely appreciate a cappella singing and needs a Christmas present.

They’re endorsed by me! That means they must be good!



You don’t want to know how I’m feeling about my wisdom teeth right now. Or rather, about the holes my wisdom teeth left behind. All things considered, I’m making good progress in recovery. Certain things highlighted, this freakin’ stinks.

We’ve hit a meltdown on both educational and financial fronts this weekend, and are slowly working out of both. These things happen every so often, but they’re not exactly welcome.

I’ve decided to concentrate my NaNo updates on my LiveJournal blog, so feel free to head over there if you’d like to know about the crazy writing that’s going on.

On the agenda for today: way too much. Have to finish laundry, investigate move-out policies and explore an option for moving in the event of the expected crazy rent hike when our lease comes up for renewal, turn the office back into an office (it was a guest room last week), and catch up on my NaNo word count. Anything beyond that is gravy.



I need to write my genre paper, and I’m just not feeling it yet today. Part of the trouble might be that I compiled about 22 pages of material and quotations from my sources, and the paper is only supposed to be 5-10 pages long. I will have to summarize and distill things, and I haven’t quite got a firm handle yet on exactly what I want and need to say. So I’m putting it off for another hour or so.

The book I’ve been reading most recently is Naomi Novik’s VICTORY OF EAGLES. I have to say, I love Temeraire just as much as always. Being just over halfway through, I will say that I wish I liked Iskierka better – she’s impetuous and hotheaded and bent on gathering treasure, and I just wish she had some element that made her lovable despite that, that made me want to forgive her instead of just smack her at times. But then maybe I’m not supposed to like her.

And since I’ve been promising them for almost three weeks now, I’ve finally uploaded some of the pics from our backpacking trip in Rocky Mountain National Park. The aspens were in full color, which made for some really beautiful views.

This is me and Matt (no I’m not really that tall – I was standing uphill).

I love mountain waterfalls. . . see how the area at the base is flattened from the weight of ice through the winter?

Matt and I really are in this picture. . . we ate lunch up here in the middle of all that stark beauty.

Pretty pretty.

More pretty pretty.

And I couldn’t resist a great shot of one of the streams.

What a beautiful weekend.

Oh, what’s that you say? I need to work on my paper now? Well, fine. I suppose I can think about it, at the very least.



There are no longer essential chunks of manuscript missing from my novel. All the big gaps have been filled, and it feels lovely to be able to say that. There are, of course, several threads that I need to be sure are securely woven throughout the course of the story, but most of those will only require a sentence or two here and there. There’s still plenty of work to do (I do have three whole days before I figure I have to mail this off, and far be it for me to not use all my available time) but things are in pretty good shape.

I’ve put off thinking about the wisdom teeth stuff for now; I made my consult appointment and it’s not until October, which means I’ve got time to think about it later.

I have something of a job interview today. Am excited to see how it goes; updated my resume and need to remember to print off my list of questions about the job, since there are several.

This week is busy – aside from that little deadline thing, I’ve got Bible study tonight, I’m accompanying a friend to the doctor to be there for her stress/heart test, I’m working Thursday (as usual) and have a lunch meeting on Friday. And then Matt will be gone this weekend. Lots to think about, lots to do, but my brain is fried enough that I’m not worried. That is the up side of being on your brain’s last legs. Nothing much bothers you.


Uneventful Eventfulness

Have I really not posted since Tuesday? I blame Matt. And, you know, the manuscript. But mostly Matt.

See, he got his wisdom teeth out on Wednesday morning. Yes, yes, he’s a little old to be getting wisdom teeth pulled out. And no, things aren’t going badly–no excessive swelling, no bruising, no infection–but there is at least the usual amount of pain, discomfort, boredom, and malcontent about eating soft foods. Though I must say I make a mean batch of instant pudding, and I’m getting good at peanut butter banana chocolate milkshakes.

Unfortunately, it’s my turn to have my wisdom teeth out in a few weeks. And yes, I do have an excuse for being this old without having them out. Even now, mine are only partially exposed, which means I don’t even remember them coming in. For a while, I’m pretty sure I remember thinking I just didn’t have any. But they’re there, partially exposed, and apparently in danger of collecting plaque and other bad things to have collecting in my mouth, and there’s a risk of infection if I just leave them, and I’m sure I’m telling you all more than you wanted to know.

At any rate, I already knew I was going to be a total wuss about my whole wisdom-teeth-removal-recovery, but now I’m even more apprehensive. See, since mine aren’t exposed, are in fact mostly covered by my gums, I think I’m very likely going to need stitches. I have never, ever had stitches before, especially not in my mouth. If I have stitches, I’ll also have to have them removed. I am not excited about any aspect of the possibility of stitches. In my mouth.

And then there’s the fact that I have chronic problems with my jaw, and I’m afraid that having them put me to sleep and prop my mouth open as wide as it will go for an hour will end up with me being entirely unable to move my jaw, much less chew anything for days (not that I’ll be chewing much anyway, of course). And then there’s the fact that, you know, when I actually open my mouth all the way I have to do this sideways pop thing to get it to close again. I can just imagine them trying to close my mouth while I’m still sedated, unable to do it because it’s locked open. Fabulous.

Matt tells me this is why I’ll have a consult appointment before we schedule the surgery, and that I shouldn’t worry, but I don’t feel anxious. I’m not worried. I’m just realistic, and the reality is that it’s really going to stink. A lot. And it’s going to hurt. A lot.

So now that you all know why I don’t want to get my wisdom teeth out, I should probably mention that the novel is coming along. My percentage meter method of gauging progress is entirely unhelpful at this point, so I’ll just say that I’ve written two scenes, fixed another scene and a half, and still have to fix/finish half a scene and then write two or three legends. Myths. Stories that form the structure upon which an entire culture builds their worldview. You know, the little details are always best to save until last. Oy.

But really, things are going well. Honest.

Older posts Newer posts

© 2018 Betsy Whitt

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑