Out-of-Focus Musings of a Disturbed Mind

Head Rush

I was complimented recently on my writing, it came via someone with a tenuous Facebook connection. It’s the first time anyone who wasn’t a friend or blood relative (and therefore obligated to like my writing or at least lie to me and say they do) told me they found my writing funny. (But funny in a good way.)

It made me feel, just for a nano-second, what it must be like when famous people get recognized. It was awesome and I thanked him…and then felt like a total fraud because I haven’t given two thoughts to my blog in months!

You can thank/blame him for this post.


I’ve been trying with haphazard success to read a variety of unusual materials.

Books I’m Bad At:

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

My biggest success so far was in locating a book that took me approximately a hundred hours to listen to on tape–the aforementioned Woman in White. If it weren’t for Covid-19 I would have never finished the thing. Lack of options was the number one reason I kept plugging away at the 20-disk, run-on-sentence of a book.

I was very grateful to return it to the library drop box this week. I took a picture as proof in case the book tries to haunt me in exile.

Apparently my ability to pick a good book to listen to while driving is suspect. Currently, I’m slogging my way through an audio version of Cosmos by Carl Sagan read by everyone’s favorite black Star Trek character actor: Levar Burton. (No offense intended toward Nichelle Nichols as Lieutenant Uhura but I am more inclined toward the Geordi LaForge experience.)

Levar has a beautiful, bedroom voice, which is great to listen to, unless you are trying to stay awake at the wheel. I’ve nearly been lulled to sleep by the goings on in space and I can’t tell you much about Cosmos except that it could honestly work as a prescription for insomnia.

Various Failures/Successes of the Covid-19 months include:

Getting Cross…Stitched

I have finished my exhausting cross-stitching project. It took me three months and countless hours of painstaking work.

And this is what it looks like:

Those of you who cross stitch are probably laughing yourselves sick. Hit “Like” when you see the problem. I’m thinking of hanging it crookedly because then maybe I can laugh at it instead of crying.

I expect to get a summons to the higher thread-count courts for offenses against the arts and humanities.

At the very least, I will likely be required to burn it and promise never to cross stitch again.

Tools of Mass Failure:

I gave my vacuum cleaner a blow job.

Now it won’t return my calls.

The only Shark I’d ever recommend…though, sometimes it doesn’t suck as much as I’d like.

Sawed Off by a Son-of-a-Gun

I left my handsaw unattended where my son could find it.

Now it looks like this:

It’s been totally hack-sawed off!

Grass Clipping Catastrophe

And just for fun, one day, I mowed my keys.

Totally Key Stroked!

The upside, after a fruitless day wasted searching for them, an obliging cousin offered her son as child labor.

Using his brand new metal detector, he hunted the tall grasses alongside my house. Stalking like a lion in the Serengeti, he beeped and dinged his way through a yard full of metallic rocks!

It took him less than an hour to find them.

There was much rejoicing!

My hero!

Most were unusable, but he did find the brand new set that went to the door installed this summer. The only set I had for said door. Whew.

Thank you Captain America!

Things I’m Grateful For…

Goblin Serenade

I listened every Friday night for weeks as a favorite Michigan author read chapters from his soon-to-be published work: Tamora Carter: Goblin Queen.

Jim C. Hines is a Michigan science fiction author (mostly, he does other stuff though so check him out on Facebook or that Twitter place) and he’s writing a middle grade book about a heroine who uses mad roller derby skills against a U.P. Sewer Dragon.

It’s the first time I’ve taken part in a Go-Fund-Me for a book. But I’m more excited about the fact that there is an autistic character who uses an AAC device to communicate. So, head’s up to the Autism Community, keep an eye out for Tamora Carter–she should be hitting the shelves this September, 2020.


The house was getting pretty claustrophobic so we dashed out into the mad-mad world risking death and censure.

Picture stolen from the VRBO website as I never thought to take a shot myself.

I took my son up north to utilize a lovely, family-run house on Blue Lake in Holton, MI. You can check out the rental on VRBO. I happen to know the owners and–more to point–they know my son and they still let me rent it for a weekend. I did my utmost to get all the marker and crayon out of the carpets before we left. Sadly, I did leave the carton of eggs in the hallway and I have no idea what my son did with the bag of garbage he was supposed to put in the car! It’s a good thing they are exceptionally forgiving people…I hope.

(The Feature Image to this article is a photo of my child admiring the waters on Blue Lake at sunset. It does not include the sight of my son freeing all the tires along the dock into the wild a few minutes later.)

After his hair cut but before mine!

AND…we went RV camping in Ludington, MI.

Kibby Creek Campground is a family-oriented organization with a nice swimming pool, shower/bathroom facilities and an all-around, child-friendly setting.

We had already signed up to go before COVID-19 happened, and even though the camp offered to move or cancel reservations without penalties, we decided to risk it and go. We wore masks whenever possible and we are self-quarantining now that we are back home.

Because Covid-19 statistics are rising in Michigan right now–perhaps you’ll want to book mark Kibby Creek for the future. I highly recommend it for an easy weekend get-away. It has spoiled me for tent camping. (Having your own toilet ROCKS!)

I am unlikely to get out of my promise to take the kid camping in Munising later this summer. So stay tuned for highlights of that adventure…if the bears and black flies don’t get us first.

The Blue Bandit Says: “Stay safe out there, people!”

11 thoughts on “Out-of-Focus Musings of a Disturbed Mind

    1. You got lucky. I haven’t been writing as much since Covid-19 dropped on the planet. It’s hard to find the funny when the days blur together.

      I’m sorry, I have no pattern. I bought this mask from a Meijer store when they came available.


  1. We’ll, of course you’re funny, you silly bag! Although I didn’t laugh at your cross stitch … Wasn’t sure why I was supposed to, and anyway was too busy being awed. An EXCELLENT book for listening is Stephen King’s “The Stand” – and no, it’s not horror, I detest horror. It’s post-apocalypse fiction and will not send you to sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m easily frightened–a bag of black lettuce pretty much can make me faint with terror. But, I do like a good story. If you promise Stephen King won’t surface in my nightmares, I’ll try it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry, just saw this. It really isn’t horror, it’s dystopian fiction… There are a very few gross descriptions, but they’re short. The story itself is horrifying, but in a “this is the way the world ends” way, not in a “boo! Gotcha and now gonna drag you through goo and poke out your eyeballs” way.

        Liked by 1 person

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