August 30, 2006

Curves Threw Me A Curve Ball!

Curves of New Albany, Ohio threw me a curve ball today and have managed to affect the celebration of my birthday and perhaps damage my credit at the bank! Instead of charging my bank account $109.00. She hit an extra zero and charged $1090.00!!!!!

I wondered why she was taking so long in the back room. When she returned to the table she said with a laugh, "I hit an extra "0" and charged you $1,000 instead of $100. But I refunded it, so it's okay."

I sat up and little taller in my chair and said, "I don't think so."

Any business person knows that credit card refunds take at least three days to clear while charges are instant.

She continued taking my measurments (the very worse part of joining any workout club!) as my my cell phone went off. It was Chase Bank alerting me to the "more than $499.99" charge to our account. (I have many alerts installed to our account...)

I finally convinced "Kathy" that her mistake was not a simple matter and that I needed to call the bank right away and try to get this straightened out. Of course, the bank can do nothing! We are overdrawn! Jim can't use the card to get gas tonight as he does his 400-mile trip, and he had to turn around as he was on his way to the mall to get my birthday present!

Grrrrr. I'm not a cussing person, but some in my family are, so please let forth with the vengence of an angered woman on the eve of her birthday!

Curves - are you listening????

But, all is not lost. This morning I got a large package from the cute UPS man. Inside was a cold box of Godiva Sugar-Free Chocolates from Sandy!!!! See the picture. (Click on the picture for even better view.) Thanks little sister! I love you too!

Take Care on the Journey
- even on the bad days...

Portland Shoes

Pictured are new shoes for my Portland trip to visit Billy and Katy. Earth Shoes should be right up their alley since both of them love Mother Earth.

Katy suggested I bring sandals for a special treat at a day spa. Flip-flops cost $7 and these didn’t cost much more. Pretty nice, huh?

This has been - and is going to be – an exciting week. My “first birthday” is September 3 (Sunday) and I’ve taken some other milestone steps this week. (In case you are wondering, I’m not a one-year old…) My second birthday is September 6 and my third official date is September 9. (If you’ve read the book, “Dusty Angels”, you’ll know why.) For the record, I’m moving on from that special of number “55” that I’ve enjoyed for one year!

Today I jointed Curves! The place is down the street and just past our own workout facility at our apartment complex. Curves had a sign by the highway that advertised… “The rest of the summer is free”. So, I stopped in and said, “I want to work out in a place that isn’t filled with skinny women!”

Also, today I located my future photography studio!!!!!!! The papers aren’t sign yet, but I FOUND it! Tomorrow I meet with the owner/ insurance agent in our town. He had a sign in front of his office advertising office space for rent that I had ignored all summer. I figured it was a small room next to his office… Well, I was wrong.

It’s a large room with a small bathroom at the back of the building with it’s own entrance and parking. Since he wasn’t in, I have to wait until tomorrow to talk to him but his secretary showed me (and later Jim) the room, and said she thought the price was within what I had budgeted. (We’ll know tomorrow.) I’ll take pictures of the place if this works out. I’m so excited I probably won’t be able to sleep all night. (Too bad I’m not working tonight…)

I have been busy researching local wedding and portrait prices for my new brochures. The package that I offered for $475 in Michigan goes for $2,860 to $2,950 here! And, that's for no more than 6 hours of photography. I always offer unlimited hours!

To add a wedding album that I offered for $950, sells for at least $3,285 in Columbus! And, I can promote 20 years of experience! Yes, they use the same film and color labs that I do! And, incidently, the rings are always straight and the necklaces dead center in my pictures!
But, I still haven't been able to make my fingers type in those numbers on the brochure!

I’ve also been making stops with my book and promoting it every day.. Today I got a call from my brother, Billy, in Waterbury, CT. He has made contact with a producer of a radio station there who might promote my book! They want my press release!

So, life goes on. I’d love to hear from you.
Take Care on the Journey,


August 24, 2006

Five dollars and seventy-nine cents!

(See this photo better at

EnglishRose Photography...On the shores of Lake Michigan. I worked barefoot that day!

Before I get to the subject of photography....

I got my first check from AuthorHouse Publishing today – But don’t blink! $5.79. I can frame it and make it worth a lot more 55 years from now! Considering I’ve given away $500 worth of my books, looks like AH would have been slightly more generous. ha-ha

In other news this week, I got the 'Day Job' but didn’t get the ‘two women and a house’. (It was too small!) I’ve been busy on my two days off. Jim and I drove around looking for small units for rent but I’ve decided that perhaps I should keep my photography to weddings for the time being and let the studio develop along the way.

Earlier today, I designed a brochure at I used pictures from my website and can't wait to see it. I've also designed business cards but not going to order them until they send me a 'special" email for free cards...

Tonight I will research current prices for weddings and make up some outlines for contracts and wedding packages.

The phone rang early this morning waking both of us. Jim had a long night on the road, so neither of us got to sleep until after 4 a.m.

Jim already got the call yesterday morning informing him that he didn’t get the state job he interviewed TWICE for, but I sleepily answered the phone this morning. (Yea, it was a bummer yesterday.)

This is Linda…”

“Cherry morning, Linda. This is Pat. That day shift you asked for? Seems the person I asked to take the job turned me down, so you’re at the top of the list. From now on you can consider the job yours. Remember you will loose your night shift differential. ($3.00 an hour!) We’ll try to get you started by the end of September.”

Thanks, Pat.”

Well, now you know as much as I do. Jim says I'll feel a lot better working days, but it was so peaceful at night that I'd been having second thoughts about changing shifts. Pat didn't give me much choice, though, which was just as well.

I’m being hounded by a TV movie, “Mona Lisa Smile”. I’ve turned the TV off three times but keep turning it back on. The movie was made in 1953 and portrays the style and music (and art) of the time in a story set at a strict girl’s school. There’s a tug at my heart because I’m sure my mom was singing the same songs and dressing in the same fashion of that time.

So, I give up! I’m off to the soft chair in the living room. Sheba will surround me with her toys at my feet while I finish watching the movie.

I’ll be back soon.

Take Care on the Journey,


August 19, 2006

Lonely Saturday Night

Lonely Saturday Night
Two Women and a House
Bring Your Own Flyswatter
No Night There…

It is a Saturday night and I’m alone while Jim does his almost 400 mile nightly med run to Marietta, Ohio. Nothing on TV but 9/11 movies and since I’ll be flying to Portland on September 10, they hold a fascinating but forbidding horror. I watched Flight 93 but have turned off the TV for the documentary on the World Trade Centers story.

Jim called to say he was having an uneventful trip although just yesterday his boss actually threatened to FIRE HIM. I hope his boss nor his wife read my blog because I have this urge to vent a little. If we had some hope of Jim finding another job, I would urge him to get away from this situation. When you deduct gas and van expenses, Jim only makes less than $6/hr to drive 8-hours six nights a week! His boss (husband and wife team) boast that they pay him more than they should! But they don’t seen to consider gas at over $3.00/gal and an oil change very two weeks! Nor that our van won’t last too many more miles with almost 200,000 miles on it! But I digress…

The other night, the pharmacy put the wrong patient name on a narcotic. When the nurse was signing for the narcotic, she noticed the error. Jim is not allowed to bring any narcotics back to the pharmacy, so the RN wrote the correct name on the return slip and accepted the narc. Jim tried to call his boss on the cell phone but got his voice mail so Jim started back home.

Now his boss is mad because Jim “let the nurse write on the return slip”. (It proves the pharmacy made a mistake and not Jim or the nurse.) And, his boss keeps reminding Jim that he should have “called” before leaving the nursing home.

Well, if you know any jobs for an experienced auditor who has a masters in business and another degree in computer science, please email me ASAP!

How does the title, “Two Women and a House” sound? I’ve decided to pursue finding a small place to set up my photography studio again. I’ve been surfing the net for studio rooms or old farmhouses to lease. Hey, feel free to search the Columbus, Ohio area too and email me if you find something for about $400/mo. to lease or rent. I know I could build up a great photography business again if I just gave myself the opportunity!

In our town of New Albany (about 5 miles from Columbus), I noticed a place that had been empty but just opened up as a boutique. I said to Jim as we passed by the other day, “I wonder if that place has an extra room. It’s a big house for a boutique.”

Quick forward to work last night…. The father of a patient of mine is a broker for the New Albany area. He seemed in a good mood last night so I got up the courage to mention my interest to him if he might know of a large room or space to lease at a good price. …He mentioned the same building…!!! He is the broker for that building and is going to talk to the woman who runs the boutique to see if indeed there is space there.

That’s where “Two Women and a Building” would be really neat. It’s only about 3 minutes from where we live and is right next to the local dentist and across the hometown pizza place. Beautiful spot with flowers and trees all around. Wish me luck and more good luck!

EnglishRose Photography

"Photography With A Woman's Touch"

"No Night There"…Sandy and I used to sing a song with that title, but this has a different meaning. I’ve decided to get off the night shift! It’s simply killing me. I can’t sleep well during the day and feel like I’m going to die while pulling the 12-hour night shift. Last night I stuck a man’s finger to do an accucheck, then instead of doing the blood sugar test, I’m looking for the little thing to stick the finger with. I didn’t need to stick the finger again!!!! Later, I was doing a tube feeding and had placed the syringe into the GT to pour the feeding into but instead, I thought I couldn’t find the syringe – which I was actually holding in my hand!!!!

It’s stressful to be so tired and really a challenge to smile when patients scold you because they had to wait a minute for a pain pill or demand one before it’s time and blame you if you can’t give it.

So, it’s Saturday night and I’m feeling like I’m on the edge of something but not sure if anything will ever change. I’m too tired to clean the house and not sleepy enough to sleep. The cat threw up and I just stepped in it. I smell something rotten that Sheba must have hidden, but it looks like I’m going to have to get on my hands and knees to find it.

I keep checking all three email sites to see if anyone has sent me a cherry note. Nothing on the Dusty Angels site except a few “walk-throughs” but no messages left behind.

Did you ever have one of those times? We hate to admit we are so weak that we could actually feel lonely. Next time you feel that way, send me an urgent email. I’ll be right there!

Bring Your Own Flyswatter...The computer is blinking frightfully and I'm afraid I'll loose this so I'll post and return... Quickly, we were eating at a new place in town and there was a lot of flies getting into our food. When I complained, the smart little waitress said, "Well you're in the country, you know!" Then she made us wait over a half-hour for the check and sweetly said, "Oh I'm so sorry for the wait" when she gave us an incorrect bill for almost $10 more than we should have paid! I was going to write a story and post the name of the restaurant, but if I become a business owner in New Albany, I might need that leverage later....

Country? We're 20 minutes (driving time) from the Columbus Metropolitan Airport and less than one-half hour from downtown Columbus! She doesn't know country!!!! And, flies are not supposed to mate in your salad!

Take Care on the Journey,


August 14, 2006

Linking and Morning Glories!!

Katy, tell Billy to come see my garden!
Dead Morning Glories? "I beg your pardon!"

Remember those tiny little seedlings
that I thought all died?
Boy was I in for a big surprise!
Click the purple flower to view up close.
Click the white flower to see a new post!
Then click new links on the left-hand side
To see what a secret code can hide.

(The rest is the original story.)

Whew! I’ve been begging for some help with that code stuff for years, but as so often the case with us women, I just figured it out myself by trial and error (mostly error)!

According to my sitemeter, this Dusty Angels blogsite did nothing but gather dust this weekend. It didn’t get one hit.

Maybe you were all busy like we were – or just enjoying some type of favorite relaxing on the edge of fall weather. I hope you weren’t actually WORKING this weekend. I know about that, but I requested Sunday off because we attended a Meikle Family Reunion in (let-me-check-the-spelling-of-this-word) Monongahela, Pennsylvania!!!!

I was the worst dressed. Had the worst hair day. Was the youngest (if you don’t count the little kids) and least known of the family there, but Jim says I was a hit.

Later in the day, I brought out my angel cards to pass around and I gave away four of my books that I had with me. I felt badly I didn't have more, but I mailed some out today for those who asked. Yes, the books cost me, but I couldn't bear to charge anybody at the reunion. Does anybody want to donate to the cause so I can give out more free books? Can't hurt to ask.

Or, maybe I felt out of sync at the reunion because I went to work Saturday night and came home Sunday morning and set the clock for 1 hour before we set out for the 3-hour drive to the all-day reunion… That was the fastest one hour in my entire life!

Jim’s aunt asked me how much sleep I got before we left. I answered, “59 minutes”.

But, I didn’t doze off when someone was speaking to me and I kept going to the bathroom to comb my unruly hair, roll up the long sleeves of my blouse and turn up the pant legs of my long jeans! I'm going on a shopping spree for some new clothes before my visit to Katy and Billy in September! My best clothes are UNIFORMS!

Jim had a great time exchanging family tidbits and looking at old family pictures. He was introducted as "Cletus's son" which brought smiles to all the old folks. His father was a well respected member of the old Meikle Clan. Both of Jim's parents have died.

Hey, did you hear that someone actually threw my book across the room? The poor angel on the cover, but no harm done. The disrespectful trashing of the book has been rectified because when my beloved cousin actually read the book, she sent me a very sweet email saying how much it meant to her when she had been feeling down in the dumps. She’s forgiven – by the angel and me.
I’m assuming my cousin thought the book would reveal some dark family secrets. No, That’s for my next book. JUST KIDDING!

But, don’t expect the same promise from Sandy… JUST KIDDING AGAIN!

Yep, I’m getting excited getting to see Billy and his sweet wife Katy September 10-13. (Decided against flying on Sept. 11). I believe it’s been over two years since we were together at Philip and Shelley’s wedding August 1, 2004.

Katy is already planning some pampering and good foods. I can’t wait! Maybe I can make some more of those cookies from grandma’s Elting’s recipe. Those cookies I sent last week were stale before they got them. No matter what we do while I’m there, I’ll be one happy Mama Linda.

Take Care on the Journey


August 7, 2006

Buy One - Get One FREE

A new book! "Dusty Angels and Old Diaries" Written by a nurse. Based on 40 years of old diaries. A true, inspirational memoir!

A Book For Women Who Want to Feel
Strong and Positive!

Preview the book at
Abandoned by her parents when she was three years old, the author relies on a box full of old diaries to relive the 40-year search for her mother. She confronts her grief and fears. She finds strength in forgivness and unconditional love.

Buy a book – pass it on to a friend -
and get another book FREE!
(Contact Linda for details).

"Dusty Angels and Old Diaries" is now available through the
Columbus (Ohio) Metropolitan Library!

Take Care on the Journey

August 6, 2006

New blogsite dedicated to Sandy

I've made a blogsite that will carry pictures and audio poems for my sister, Sandra Zike! To view that site, please click HERE

Take Care on the Journey,

My Audio Post

this is an audio post - click to play

A Picture & Poem for You

Balcony sunset August 5, 2006, Columbus, Ohio

I miss many sunsets because I'm at work, so on my night off I especially enjoy watching the sunset from our balcony. Each sunset is different and beautiful.

'After the Heat of the Week"

by Linda Meikle

Night is set and a coolness seeks to curl

Around my plants and flowers sweet.

I rest in the even tide of darkening skies.

The dogs lie sleeping at my feet.

Small balcony garden with scents that spray.

Morning Glories closing for the day.

Sweet ripe tomatoes are at my fingertip.

A sunflower plant awaits the sun's bright ray.

No plot of land to plow and plant.

No weeds to pull or stinging ants.

A soft old chair and a sip of tea

A picture worth a thousand words

- For you and me - .

Take Care on the Journey


August 5, 2006

My Talking Poetry Blog...

Well, it finally happened! I discovered audio for blogging! Very few of you know that I also have a poetry blogspot. Not only have I posted a couple poems that I wrote, but now I've recorded one of my old-time favorites. After clicking HERE to get there, please click on the Audio clip, sit back and listen. (Then click back to return to the Poetry Blog.)

Take Care on the Journey

August 3, 2006

Cigarettes and a Muzzle

Before I get to the main story tonight, I have a couple housekeeping items to mention.

Yesterday we downloaded a new Norton Internet Security program to our computer. Even though a cute little pop-up announced our download was successful, we couldn’t log on to the Internet!

Imagine that. It was too good for it’s own use! Frustrating too, as anyone knows who tries to understand computer talk when it’s not suppose to be talking!

Check your Internet settings”, it said everytime we clicked the blue circle "e" for Internet Explorer.

Well, that’s what we just paid $106 for our computer to do!

While Jim was at a job interview this morning – and on my day off – I was on the phone for two hours with a Norton Professional in India who could hardly speak English and immediately wanted to de-install Norton. (I said, “No thank-you”.) Then I waited on hold for three hours while the Insight Cable guy “looked it up” and walked me through many DOS Commands that didn’t help. I did find out that he likes Diet Dr. Pepper and Mt. Dew, has just moved back in with his parents and has some property for sale in Indiana if you’re looking for a new place.

Finally. Yep! I fixed it myself. Seems you have to go into Administrative to set the Internet Browser settings. ( I used to be able to set it under “Linda”.

Oh, by the way. Did you know that all the stars have disappeared? Well, all but maybe two stars. That’s what I heard on Coast to Coast with George Noory tonight. I was taking the garbage to the dumpster at midnight. (Yes, we have to put our bags of trash in the car and drive to the dumpster!) I looked up at the clear sky, and even though it’s supposed to be clear and hot tonight, I didn’t see any stars. Could be because I didn’t have my glasses on. Did anyone else hear that story?

Okay. My loving Jim who never finds anything wrong with anything I ever do, slipped up and mentioned that some of my stories, "might be a little on the long side.”

Hello, Shallow Throat. I read those stories to the bitter end. But maybe I should back off a little for the rest of you gentle readers who have a life.

I don’t know why, I always read the paper for LPN want ads. This one sounded right up my alley.

Nursing People. Strength. Commitment. Put your expertise to good use and join our team at Heartland Victorian Village…All shifts. New rates. $2,500 sign-on bonus! Tuition and loan repayment programs. Flexible scheduling….Drug-Free Employer.

I used to work for Heartland of Zephyrhills in Florida, and they were a great company. So, I played phone tag with the HR woman and finally got an appt for 3 p.m. last Tuesday. Couldn’t hurt to check it out. Maybe I could get a day job. Better pay. Bonus. Tuition, and work for a company that I have had experience with.

Parking wasn’t a problem, but getting through all the staff taking a smoke break by the front door was a challenge. And, I was concerned for all the old people who were outside in the 100 degree heat looking like they were making a break for it with walkers and wheelchairs. One old lady was headed around the corner of the building as fast as she could pick up that walker and take another step! No one had cool water or shade.

I also didn’t think it was a good sign when I saw the American Flag on the pole but stuck in some tree branches. It was worn, faded and torn!

Suddenly an old man almost ran into me as he hurried down the steps with a very angry look on his face. I smiled at him but he growled loudly, “I want a f…ing cigarette!”

I looked at all the employees sitting around smoking, but no one seemed to care about the angry patient who wanted some cigarettes or me trying to maneuver around all the old folks.

Entering the building, I had no problem knowing where to go. At a small workstation sat two women. One was a tired-looking youngish white women, and the other was an older gray-haired black women. Both were busy answering the phone, paging people and helping others at the desk.
“ I have a 3:00 appointment with the HR manager,” I said politely.

“She’s no longer here.”

“I just talked to her yesterday. Where is she?”

“She’s no longer here,”

“Oh. May I speak to someone else? I’m a LPN and I had an interview for a position here.”

“I want a cigarette. I only have 1 and ½ left and I want more cigarettes now!”

The elderly man had followed me in and now he stepped to the head of the line and bore down on the white haired lady.

“Shut your mouth or I’ll put a muzzle on it. And, quit that swearing!”

Then she turned to her co-worker and stormed, “We don’t have any applications! The HR Director said she ordered them last week but we haven’t seen them!”

“Miss. If you’ll fill out an application, someone will see you shortly.”

“I don’t want to fill out an application until I have my appointment. That’s why I made the appointment. Anyway, I just heard you say you didn’t have any applications,” I said with a quizzical look on my face.

“Please have a seat.”

As I sat down on one of two small chairs, I noticed another patient sitting across from me. She had on two pair of glasses. One for reading and one pink pair with little gems on the rim. She smiled at me. I smiled back.

I heard the gray-haired lady telling someone on the phone that I wouldn’t fill out an application.

“I want my f…ing cigarettes. I want them now.”

“Go to the nurses station and see your nurse. And quit that cussing or I’m going to put a muzzle on you!”

“Will she give me cigarettes? And you aren’t going to put a f…ing muzzle on me!”

“Miss. The director says her director says you can’t have an interview until you fill out an application.”

“You know what? I already have a nice job. You have a nice day. Here’s some pretty angel cards for you. It tells about a book I wrote. It’s a book for women who want to be strong.”

Suddenly, the tired-looking lady stood up and reached for the angel cards. “That would be for me,” she said with the first smile I’d seen from either lady all afternoon.

When I got home and told Jim the story, he shook his head.

“Maybe I should go apply for the HR position. I’m qualified,” he said seriously.

Feeling badly for wasting the afternoon, I agreed on one condition,

“Please take a pack of cigarettes with you."

Take Care on the Journey,