Category Archives: Friends

Daily Prompt Writing: The Nomadic Life

From the Daily Prompt: Rolling Stone

If you could live a nomadic life, would you? Where would you go? How would you decide? What would life be like without a “home base”?”

This has always been a bit of a dream of mine, to live just to live, to enjoy experiences in life that aren’t possible within the constraints of a lease, a day job, shared custody and other limiting factors.  For a 40 year old who treasures new sights and experiences, meeting different people, photographing different areas and being immersed in different cultures, it must be said that I have gotten very few opportunities in life to do any of this.  The extent of my travels has been through the Carolinas, The Bahamas and Mexico.  All instances were limited by time and money and only left me wanting more.  To live as a nomad would still require some sort of stability – ironic, I know.  This means I would not want to live as a beggar but rather be able to earn a little money no matter where I went in order to remain self-sufficient (and fed!).  More than likely, I would take on some kind of art or craft and sell my talents at various events and festivals across the country, throughout the year. Part of those crafts could be hand-penned original inspirational poetry on parchment, ready to frame in someone’s study or bedroom.  Ideally, I would have a small RV in which I could keep my scant belongings and a bicycle to use for travel throughout the area of the moment.  I would of course need to remain tech savvy – Internet access would be vital as it is to nearly everyone today.  I would likely gather information on upcoming events and places to go from the web in order to keep short-term plans in order.  This would allow me to remain a wanderlust but one who would not be caught off guard by not having a place to park, sleep or sell crafts.  I wouldn’t say that there would be no “home base.”  I would have my RV – wherever it took me would be home.  The whole of the continental USA would be my home!  The beautiful thing about the Internet is that it brings people together no matter where they are, so losing touch with family and friends would not be an issue.  It would be a simple life, free of undue clutter, free of the feeling of being cooped up and held captive by societal constraints.  As a Sagittarius, this sort of nomadic life would be what my soul has always craved.  I am determined to one day see this to fruition.

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Scenes from Saturday Morning

Some camera-phone video taken at the Saturday morning market, downtown Fort Pierce, FL.

That Kitten Sprawl (Perblog 5-27-13)

Four gruesome months of unemployment finally came to a close in May when I started a job as a Paralegal.  It pays very little (net has been about half what I need to meet my bills, which have already been trimmed down to the bare minimum) and it’s practically out of town for me, but it’s work.  I’m only hoping that I do well enough for the promised raises to come through as indicated when I started otherwise I don’t know how I’m going to make it.  Well, the truth is, I’m not.  So hopefully those raises come through!

I’ve started a 9-part pre-RCIA line of coursework with the Catholic Home Study Service in preparation for my RCIA classes starting in October.  William has been a wonderful guide to me in my studies though I quietly wish he’d give me a little more crap when I don’t go to mass.  No nun-pun intended, but I’ve got to work harder on getting into the habit.  It would be easier if my church had services on Sunday nights, but there’s really no excuse for me to miss the 10AM mass.  I’ve slept in the past two Sundays though.  Shame on me.

A couple weeks ago, a new kitten came into my life, a very friendly little long-haired silver kitty.  We named her Bellamina – the name is bigger than she is, but not bigger than the ball of energy that she brings into the house.  She’s a bit codependent which is fine by me as she lays sprawled across my lap as I type, hugging my leg and just purring away.  The big silver and white pouf of a tail reminds me of a squirrel, all fluff that constantly looks as if it’d been rubbed by a balloon and static took over.  The cutest thing about her is when she’s being petted, she blows kisses.  It’s not a post-weaning suckling kind of thing, she literally just smacks her lips and blows kisses as a person does when calling a cat.  It’s more of a mimicry, and I’ve never seen another cat to do that.  She’s also got enormous paws which give her a comical lope during play, like a puppy who hasn’t grown into his feet yet.  She truly is a treasure.

This Memorial Day, I’m not sure I’m doing anything.  It would be nice to have a cookout or something but I don’t have anyone to invite or join at one.  Going to the beach would be a full on nightmare with the traffic.  I tried in vain yesterday, couldn’t even get close.  Actually had to back my car out of a parking lot because there wasn’t even enough room to turn around where all the spots were full and people had parked in non-spots essentially gridlocking the entire lot so that no one could pass through or out.

We’ll see how this day pans out.  I’d hate to spend it just doing housework!

Unexpected Recognition

This news won’t come as any surprise to my Facebook followers (where this blog has an autofeed) but it is still worth sharing here. A couple weeks ago, motivated by some friends on Twitter, I decided to chase a dream to get involved in social work – officially.

In the past, I used to counsel and mentor runaway youths, then moved on to working with parent-child dynamics and on to battered women. I had gone through the ordination process to become a non-denominational minister to back the services I was providing.  Years of doing this however had left me emotionally drained. It became very hard to remain compassionate while staying emotionally detached from the cases and I had to step away.

In speaking with a friend recently, he pointed out a link to two things I enjoyed: helping others and doing research on just about everything. This led me to start a project called Helping Hands Community Research. The propose of this project is to assist people in finding local resources when they are in need – things like food pantries, clothing, financial assistance, etc. – as these sources are often difficult to locate. Since the inception of HHCR, I’ve gotten numerous requests through the website thanks to friends helping spread the word of it via social media.

What has me excited today is that I got a call from CASTLE, a local family services non-profit, who heard about my project and asked that I meet with them in person to give them more information on it. They said it sounded like something that was in line with what they do and would like to try to fit it in as a part of their family services programs.

This… has blown me away. Never before have I been this recognized for anything I’ve done and this presents a huge opportunity for me to really get involved in community service with other local organizations supporting my cause. I’m just amazed! I meet with CASTLE Friday afternoon and am so excited to be able to discuss the project at length and drum up some support.

In the short run, I do hope this becomes a networking opportunity toward actual paid work as I remain unemployed and looking daily, but in the end, just knowing I have done some good here, created something worth being supported – that just makes me so happy. As always, I am here to serve.

Evo-Creationism (Or “When Good Threads Go Bad”)

So I’m just going to drop this thread straight into this blog post – it’s too entertaining to edit (save for removing some names to protect privacy).  In a nutshell, I watched the videos of the meteorite exploding over Russia this morning and immediately thought of North Korea’s nuclear threats because it literally looked – and sounded – like a bomb going off when the meteor broke up upon atmospheric entry.  So I made a quick quip onto my Facebook wall.  Then a friend of mine – well, an ex-friend now apparently – decided to add his own twist to my words a few responses in and that sparked a huge debate over God vs Science.  Actually, it wasn’t much of a debate.  Once I dug my heels in, he went and un-friended me.  That’s fine.  It was like trying to explain to Schrödinger’s cat directly why it was dead.

North Korea got nothin’ on that Russian meteorite…
Like ·  · Promote · Share
  • GRB Imagine if it landed in YOUR city.
  • Heather Noel It would be a welcome wipe-out.
    6 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Heather Noel I think God just needs to get rid of this world and start over. Again.
    5 hours ago · Like · 1
  • GRB It’s easier to blame a higher being instead of doing ones best to be better people.

    Also, I’m not sure what this discussion is involving into.
  • Heather Noel Well, no blame was mentioned by me so I’m not sure you’re following the discussion.
  • GRB Hey, you’re the one who started to get all apocalyptic here.
  • Heather Noel Wasn’t anything remotely about “blaming a higher power” though.
  • GRB “I think God just needs to get rid of this world and start over. Again.” ?
  • Heather Noel What about it?
  • Heather Noel Do I need to post the story of Noah and the great flood?
  • Heather Noel God got tired of the world, wiped it out and started over. That isn’t “blame,” that’s Bible.
  • Heather Noel Just saying, we could use another clean slate.
  • GRB Yeah, cause, y’know, that happened.
  • Heather Noel Yeah, cause, y’know, there is hard geological evidence that it did.
  • GRB And a man built a giant boat with hundreds of animals inside of it.
  • Heather Noel There are at least 18 occurrences of evidence of either massive flooding and erosion, extremely rapid layering of strata, or direct evidence of a Worldwide Flood. Such evidences are found in numerous places on virtually every Continent. Reference:  http://www.earthage.org/EarthOldorYoung/scientific_evidence_for_a_worldwide_flood.htm And if you want to get into a “discussion” about the translation of time as pertains to Creation vs Science as it pertains here, I offer 2 Peter 3:8 “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” and Psalm 90:4 “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.”
  • Heather Noel God and Science DO coincide. It’s just that most of us little glorified apes lack the mental capacity to make the comparisons in conjunction with thousands of retranslations of the original works put to scroll in an attempt to try to correlate something we then had no way of understanding to the research that we do have the ability to do now to get a real, scientific understanding of what was written so long ago.
  • Heather Noel So let’s do the math, we have Creationist theory that man (as we know him) was created only 6,000 years ago, yet the Bible gives us a ratio of 1000:1, so if we take that 6000 Creational years time the 1000 represented years there’s 6,000,000 years and what? First human ancestor walks upright: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080320183657.htm  Now let’s take that biblical day:year ratio of 1:1000. Using God’s logic…1=1000. Let’s go out on a limb and say the earth is biblically 10,000 yrs old. That would be 3,650,000 days. 3,650,000 X 1000=3.65 billion years. Pretty darned close to that of which science is presently aware and can measure.

    www.sciencedaily.com

    A shape comparison of the most complete fossil femur (thigh bone) of one of the …See More
  • Heather Noel LOL He actually un-friended me for standing my ground. Weak.
    2 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Heather Noel Sad part is I was defending his scientific viewpoint as well as my own religious viewpoint… oh well. Small minds.
  • BB what a jerk, they expect you to understand their atheistic and scientific beliefs but whoa nelly if you pull the God card lol. i agree hun. i’m a Christian-esque person myself and believe god should start over. if you’re another religion, your god should start over and if you atheist, then the earth needs to start over  just wish we didn’t have to worry about your little girl and my niece.
  • Heather Noel Thing with me is, I pull the God card and the Science card in the same debate and show how they work together and then people REALLY go “whoa!” …Annnnnnnd usually just run away like that. Why are we so afraid of different theories?
  • Heather Noel Oh wait – I remember now: The quest for knowledge is what got Eve in trouble and cursed all of humankind forever.
    Fun Stuff.

Working For Free – Oyster Reef Volunteer

Having been out of work for some time now, the cabin fever was setting in pretty hard.  Between having no income yet still spending gas to get to job interviews, there was no gas to just get away for pleasure, a break from the monotony and certainly no funds for entertainment.  I needed to feel useful again, productive.  That is when I came across a request in the local paper for volunteers to help that coming weekend on a project to build an artificial reef in the area.  I’m a nature lover and have always been interested in (and often active in) conservation efforts – how cool was that?

After e-mailing the listed contact for details, I was excited to get to work – even if it was for free.  I let a friend of mine know about the project and he was on board as well.  That Saturday, he picked me up early and we went out to Harbour Pointe on the inlet where several tons of oyster shells were ready in large barrels and on sheets of plywood in huge piles.

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About 20 other volunteers showed up and we were given a brief primer on the task at hand.    We organized ourselves into each area – shoveling, bagging and tying off.  I shoveled shells into smaller buckets while my friend bagged and tied them.  They were then loaded onto a truck to be moved to their final resting place in Wildcat Cove.  

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During a break in which bottled water and other drinks were provided, the leader of the operation and a colleague commended us all on our efforts which far exceeded their expectations.  In just about 2 hours, we’d already assembled about 400 20-pound oyster bags for deployment.  My friend and I stayed for a 20-minute informational lecture about oyster reefs, their local benefits, lots of statistics and zoological info as well.  We broke for lunch then and would meet up at low tide a few miles up the coast at Wildcat Cove.

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Upon arrival at Wildcat Cove, we found the oyster bags in a neat pile in front of the canoe launch.  Another 100 bags had been assembled and brought up in two deliveries.  It took a little brainstorming as to how we were going to get the bags to the reef area, but one adventurous girl with her own kayak said she could pull floating tubs of about 30 bags per load out to the location.  There was some interesting trial-and-error in getting the system going, including one thankfully good-humored man getting impossibly stuck in the thick muck at the bottom of the river.  It took more than ten minutes to get the river to release his legs and he lost a shoe, but we got him back safely!  Note to self: Don’t go into the water without a boat here!

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Once we got the production line going, the rest was – pardon the pun – smooth sailing.  Bags were floated out to a mangrove area where a 4-foot high oyster “wall” was built staggered around the mangroves.  Once settled and cemented, these artificial reefs will provide settling places for new oyster spawns, as well as providing habitat for young fish and feeding grounds for birds such as herons, ibis, loons, cormorants, anhingas and more.

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I remain in contact with the organizer of this effort who works for the county in coastal restoration and he is helping me network with other people in the field so that I may actually find work in conservation or a related field.  Even if it is a desk job, it would be a great opportunity (and has been) to do something productive in a field I really enjoy.  Another reef build is coming up in two days.  This time my daughter will also be involved, getting her hands dirty and having a positive impact on our local, unique and delicate ecosystem.

A Little Appreciation

How many times have you found yourself saying, “I tried to help them…” in instances where someone you were trying to assist put forth no effort to help themselves?

“SK” seemed like a nice enough man.  Upper 40’s, divorced, and on disability after a nearly fatal motorcycle crash.  He’d moved to the area in an attempt to start his life over, get a change of scenery and get back on his feet.  When the disability money had run out, he secured a job as a salesman but wasn’t very good at the job.  He was computer illiterate, had short term memory problems, and unrealistic expectations of salary.  Within days of starting work, he began tuning out and lost all enthusiasm.

He shared his story with me, venting that he just wanted to get his life back after the divorce, the accident, the vagrancy and the long string of “bad luck” that had befallen him.  Shortly thereafter, he was thrown out of the motel he was living in for dealing drugs on the premises and had moved to another motel.  When he came to me asking for advice and help and telling me he only had $11.00 to his name and no place to go, it sounded as if he was going to be one of those men who just wanted someone to latch onto for support.

I know the type, I’ve ended up with them many times in the past but I thankfully learned from those mistakes and did not let my heart be affected by his attempts.  Instead, I gave him phone numbers and addresses of my landlord who has affordable apartments in the area and who would work with him, of the local outreach center who could provide food, clothing and other basic services, and to other places that could help him with his immediate needs.  I even gave him my personal card letting him know I was available if he needed someone to talk to or to help him find additional assistance.

Well, the day after he was evicted from his motel room, he also lost the job he’d just started.  At that time, I believe he also lost all hope and I felt very sorry for him.  That was until I helped clear out his work area and found that not only had he left behind all the valuable information I’d given him for shelter, food and clothing, even my card – he’d thrown the information in the trash.  Seeing that immediately changed my opinion of him and validated my gut instinct that this person did not want to do anything for himself.  The opportunities he was given received zero effort from him (including the job).

It disgusts me that there are so many good people in the world who try to help others less fortunate by giving them the tools they need to help themselves yet the people they’re trying to help end up completely unappreciative of the help they’re given.  I don’t know if it amounts to laziness, arrogance, selfishness, or all of the above, but these people who only seek to take what they can from others without any effort on their own part are just dirt in my opinion.  They’ve no appreciation for the time and energy others are willing to put into them and do not deserve any sort of welfare or assistance until they are willing to do something for themselves.

That’s my vent for the day.

Enough Nature!

As if the black widow in my flower pot the other weekend wasn’t bad enough… (hairspray and a lighter fixed that one…)

Alright so… Sunday, Alyn and I are out swimming in the Intracoastal. It’s coming up on dusk, lots of schools of fish are out feeding (and being fed upon)… i’m about waist-deep in the water but sunk down to my shoulders just relaxing… along comes a SWARM (not a school, a swarm!) of fish (the surface of the water was rolling) and they start nipping at me so I jump up only to feel something having a hissyfit in my bathing suit top! Yanked my top down (lucky Alyn) – a frikken fish propels itself out and takes off to go find his buddies. I said, “Ok! That’s enough nature for me!” and [quickly] made my way to shore squashing I don’t know how many crabs and sea slugs and God only knows what else under my feet on my way in because at that point I just didn’t care about looking where I was going.

Then!

Today after a very busy day at work and a NASTY virus hit that caused me to have to stay a couple hours late, by the time I got home all I wanted to do was put my feet up and RE-LAX. The sunset was getting pretty after a storm began to dissipate, so I took my book of crosswords outside and went to settle into my favourite porch chair. No sooner did I sit than I was swarmed by freakin’ wasps. I – BOLTED down my driveway, goosebumps head to toe, and waited for them to disburse. They didn’t. I managed to get a look at what they were concentrating on and there was a damned wasp nest attached to the underside back of my chair!!!

So I’m out in my driveway, completely befuddled and freaked out, BAREFOOT, my phone inside, very angry wasps swarming my front porch (and of course the front door was the only one unlocked) – and my only weapon was a crossword puzzle book. Yeh – time to die.

I tried for about 20 minutes to time a mad dash for the front door but they just kept circling and getting angrier. Finally, I walked over to Tracy’s apartment and after hiding my head in shame asked if they might have any wasp spray. NOPE. Todd thought it would be a good idea to go spray them down with the hose, so he did. The result? A hive of WET, pissed off wasps. After while, a flyswatter was acquired and Tracy covered me, managing to maim a couple of them while I dashed inside for my keys and whatnot. I ran back out spraying a cloud of Raid and ducked into my car and went straight to the store for a can of wasp killer. I’m inside now… 2 hours later… and luckily none got inside! Oh, and she was nice and gave me dinner again 🙂

Summary: I DON’T LIKE NATURE ANY MORE!!!!!

Backing Up Your Facebook Page

Have you ever spent months, or even years, uploading photos and other information to a website only to have it all disappear without warning? Say your account gets hacked, or the website itself crashes or goes out of business. I thought years of my daughter’s baby pictures would be safer backed up to two separate places on the web than on a computer that kept crashing – until both sites went down and all data was scrubbed.

Facebook has a great little feature that most users won’t know about unless they seek it out or ask. Users can download a backup of their information, including posts, photos, videos, messages, contacts… all your information in one convenient little package.

To do this, from your Facebook Profile, click on Account, then Account Settings. Click the Learn More link next to “Download Your Information,” then click the Download button.

You will be given a message that Facebook will send you an e-mail when your download is ready. This can take several hours, depending on how much information you have stored on the site. From there, just follow the instructions in the e-mail and save your file. All your information will be sorted by content type, making it easy to locate anything you’ve posted or uploaded.

With as much information as avid users post on Facebook, this is a very useful function indeed.

Not much to update…

Really… my life has been work crash eat crash work crash eat crash… completely boring :/ Seems work is all there is most of the time, 10+ hour days just to get by… there’s got to be more to life. I rarely have the energy to go out, and have even turned Dan away a couple times as of late just because I was so drained I knew I would be shite company. I did offer up a photo shoot to him this weekend though, so we’ll see if we can get together for that. Would love to shoot some old abandoned houses at night, or my other thought was Downtown Jensen around sunset. Hopefully he’s free.

This weekend, the only plan so far is just Spring Cleaning. Need to get rid of some grown-out-of kid clothes and do the big washes… comforters, curtains… need to break down some firewood too for the fire bowl out back.

Been having to have some intense sit-down’s with Kari on her schoolwork as well… I don’t know what’s gotten into that girl, but it’s like she’s just shut down inside when it comes to school. She’s acting like she doesn’t understand things that she previously did very well in, and she’s completely slacking on turning in her homework. I’m determined to get to the bottom of it. She has a tutor twice a week, but she is still not up to par on her FCAT’s and is looking at failing 3rd grade. This is totally unacceptable – I KNOW she is better than this.

I won’t stop until I find out what the real problem is because this is just so unlike her. She went from an A student to failing overnight. I don’t understand this sudden change in her attitude, but I’ve a feeling from what she *has* shared with me that it has a lot to do with the situation at her dad’s house. She is painfully unhappy when she has to be there. Over the past couple months, the things she’s confided in me with show me she’s hit an emotional brick wall from several angles and helping her through those has been difficult. I’m just thankful she trusts me and knows she can talk to me and that I can be her rock and help her. It’s just a matter of getting to the real depths of everything going on in her heart and mind that will help me piece together the puzzle and find the solution. It comes little by little, and it’s frustrating for both of us, but so long as she remains open with me, we will make progress.