Sunday, October 28, 2018

There's a visitor here...

A little dog that had to be pulled from the clutches of  Cruella de Vil to avoid being taken to the pound. A very unfortunate situation that I am peripherally involved in and could not just stay out of it. He's a little MinPin/Doxie mix, small, 3 years old.  It will most likely be an extended temporary situation. I am probably a fool for doing this, but it is what it is, and I couldn't just let it get killed.  He wants so badly to play with the other dogs, lol, and he and the Meemonster are doing okay, but the bigger dogs scare me. Molly is known to be a little snarky and Bella is so big that I don't trust her for a few days.  The other dogs are outside right now  and he is in here with me, whining to go back outside in the sunshine.
Myma keeps staring at him like she thinks it's her. lol  The big dogs are a little befuddled too because they do look a lot alike. lol He's about  2/3  Myma's size though, and every bit as annoying. lol

  Life has been a crazy whirlwind lately. I've been working  [too much], busy with other things, trying to keep my house clean [and failing]. Called off today because I haven't slept hardly at all last night and felt really crummy. I'm off tomorrow, so should be able to get myself back on track. Ran over around 8 AM and picked up this dog. Laying low for the rest of the day.

   Here's Myma:

  Here they are. laying together on a pillow by the computer..

And now it's days later. The little guy was rehomed to some very nice people, the proverbial shit has hit the fan at Cruella's house (it needed to) and lots of stuff in the air.    I have to leave for work in about 40 minutes, a young woman just came to the door and asked if it was my cows that were out at the bottom of the hill, and the dogs went bonkers when she came to the door. lol  There's never a dull moment around here.

  Yesterday there was a horrific shooting in a synagogue in Boston. There have been bombs being sent to Democratic leaders and outspoken critics of this current administration. There is so much hate in this country and unspeakable acts being perpetrated every day. This practice of hate and fear mongering is going to be the death of this democracy. The elections are coming up next week and I hope to God that we can shift the balance of power of this tyranny we live under.  I almost threw up yesterday when tRump said We must unify America...he is the one that has been stirring up all this hate in his base and in my opinion is the one responsible for anything that happens as a result of it. He has outspokenly blamed Democrats for everything under the sun. Even the caravan of migrants coming from Central America. Blaming the  media for anything they say about him or his policies as being fake news, even when it direct quotes ON FILM of things he has said. My guess is that he thought this was all very funny until it got so out of hand. Watch clips of him at his rallies. Listen to the words coming out of his mouth. Never in the history of America (except possibly Andrew Jackson) has there been a leader of this country with less dignity and integrity. The reputation of America has been ground into the mud in the past 2 years and I don't know if we will ever recover from it.

  I know a few people who truly believe in and defend this presidency, and I do not understand it.  If a lie is repeated enough times, it still is not the truth.   If America becomes a country that refuses to live by all it's basic tenets, then who are we ?  There is so much fear. This hatred, this living in fear...this is not who we are.  This is not who I am. 

Monday, October 1, 2018

Not feeling elegant or blessed...

Feeling angry. Enraged. Furious. 

One in 5 women will be raped at some point in their lives. 1 in 71 men will be. 81% of women who experienced sexual assault suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome and other  short and long term impacts. 
  • The prevalence of false reporting is low between 2% and 10%. For example, a study of eight U.S. communities, which included 2,059 cases of sexual assault, found a 7.1% rate of false reports (i). A study of 136 sexual assault cases in Boston found a 5.9% rate of false reports (h). Researchers studied 812 reports of sexual assault from 2000-2003 and found a 2.1% rate of false reports (g).
  • Rape is the most under-reported crime; 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police (m)

  I am walking around like a time bomb. I'm not the only one. Every time I hear one more stupid thing come out of Washington DC I want to scream.  And now with the investigation into Brett Kavanaugh and the accusations of rape by 3 different women (so far)... I can barely control myself.  In case you don't understand what is happening, let me clue you in.  When you have been the victim of sexual assault, it sears into your psyche like you've been branded. With a burn that never heals. And sometimes you can walk around in your life for a long time, pushing it down, ignoring it and distracting yourself enough that it isn't in the front of your brain. But all it takes is a little ignorant remark, a smell, a sound... and you are right back in it like it happened this morning. And the nature of post traumatic stress is that it consumes you. It takes you over.  It disconnects you from the present and sends you right back down to the hell that you found yourself in when you were assaulted. 

  I am in that hell now. And I  cannot seem to shake it off this time.  And it is dressing itself up as rage. I am so everyone. At everything.  I am screaming and crying and generally losing my shit. And it's scaring me to death. 

  I have always prided myself on not playing a victim. Of anything... of fate, of circumstance.  But lately I am feeling like a victim. The word HATE keeps spewing out of my mouth.  I am swearing and  screaming in the car. I am getting so angry at inconsequential things that I am shaking. And I'm not sure what to do.

  I am afraid. 

  I am afraid that everything we have accomplished in the realm of women's rights is being lost. I am afraid that all has been for nothing. I am afraid that violent men are being encouraged and rewarded for their abhorrent behavior by the fact that we have a serial sexual assaulter in the highest government of this country who thinks he can do anything he likes to women because he is a [rich] man.  And in all the levels of government as well. And when these men and the things they say are in the most public arena and it is declared that "Boys will be boys"  the vile acts of predators and rapists are considered acceptable.  Well, it is NOT acceptable. Not to me and not to the millions of women in this country who have been raped and assaulted. 

  I am afraid that I do not matter, in the end. Because when these acts are trivialized and ignored, you are telling me that I don't matter. And it triggers the rage that I am experiencing right now. In case you don't know it, rage and anger save me from my fear. They empower me and lift me up. And they exhaust me. Because like drinking those energy drinks or using cocaine, at some point you have to crash. The anger and rage are not sustainable and the crash is inevitable. And that's when the real trouble begins.

  The deck is stacked.  And we are on the losing side. And it scares the hell out of me, because we are playing for keeps here.  I need to speak my truth. I need to face my fears head on. I need to stop telling myself that I was responsible for the things that happened to me.  I need to stop believing the giant lie that this culture perpetuates when it makes it too hard to report and prosecute these events.  When it marginalizes the victims of sexual assault.  I was 9  the first time, molested for a couple of years.  There is no way that it could have remotely been my fault, yet everything was swept under the rug and I was told I was exaggerating or making it up.  I was 14 the next time. At a party drinking. And I believed that it was my fault then too... I shouldn't have been at the party. I shouldn't have been drinking. Me Me Me. And in my early 20's I was violently assaulted and raped by a complete stranger.  Again,  I somehow believed that my behavior was partly responsible because I have heard this shit all my life.. "She shouldn't have been THERE.  She shouldn't have been doing That. Look at how she dresses--she's asking for it. " And a million other inane ridiculous things people say. Like so many wrong things I have heard all my life, I internalized them, and after my experiences at 9 years old, I NEVER TOLD ANYONE AGAIN. I never asked anyone for help.  And now, at almost 66 years old, I am about to implode.

  No More.  I know there are decent men. I know not every man is a sexual predator. But when I am in the middle of a melt down of this proportion, you all look alike to me. It isn't fair I guess. But you will never understand that you have been making the rules regarding me and my body and my psyche my whole life, and that makes you guilty. I can no longer sit here on my hands and not speak. This society of ours constantly tells women that we are not enough (look at national advertising). That we are not worth as much as men (look at pay scales). That we do not have anything to say in the way laws are made and this country is run  (look at the disproportionate numbers of men vs women in our government offices). Yes, I am angry. And I can't tell you how many times I have been told growing up that it...isn't very ladylike to be so get angry... and I have pictures of me as a child where I looked so enraged that it scared the adult me. This anger is not new. And I have been very angry and very scared for the past 2 years, as I have watched and heard unbelievable shit come out of the mouth of that man  that sits in the White House (and seemingly decent people just laughed it off, or looked a tad embarrassed and averted their eyes. But still endorsed him). As I have watched  again and again as men in the government are being charged with sex crimes of one kind or another. Ministers, Priests... when does it stop ?  When do you stop looking the other way?  When it's YOUR daughter ?? YOUR sister ?  YOUR mother ?  When ??

  Yes, I am angry.  And I am old.  And that is a very dangerous combination. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Thunderstorms and Hummingbirds

  Well well well...

  Been a little crazy around here. A few days after my last post, I had some kind of an "episode" and wound up in the ER.  Came out of the blue and knocked me on my ass. Severe pain, left side of my chest, through my breast and chest wall.  They gave me nitro(x 2) to no avail. They gave me morphine (x 2) to no avail.  They ran tests... I was afraid it was a pulmonary embolism (I couldn't breathe without crying). Himself thought I was having a heart attack (I didn't). Doctors can't figure out what it was. Not GERD.  The CT scan (with dye) showed no clots, but did show some weirdness in my lungs, so yesterday I saw a pulmonologist. He is ordering more tests to be done in the next couple of weeks. They kept me overnight for observation  finally around 3-4 AM the pain started abating.  Nothing since then, except a little shortness of breath, but nothing serious. Who knows ??   I was finally discharged and came home and packed and headed off to a conference up north. lol  Been on the run ever since. Helped someone move last weekend which wore me out.  Working short hours this week for a couple of reasons. (If only they paid you better to be retired. I like it best). lol   I have a visit tomorrow with my new doctor ( primary care) and we'll see what she has to say about all this.  Everyone is very proud of me for following directions and actually following up with drs after the hospital visit. Pfffttt...  lol

  Things seem much more quiet around here without my big old boy cat. Down to only one cat now. 3 dogs. One fish. This is an extremely small menagerie for us here on Honeysuckle Hill. Still... I really don't want any more critters at this point. My heart is bruised still from the loss of my Caylee and my Keiko.  Molly McGee the Jack Russell Terrorist will probably be next,a s she's about 13 years old and starting to act like it. Unless this stupid puppy runs away and gets run over out there (not the smartest knife in the drawer, that one) and I question her ability to pay attention enough to not get  killed.  She likes to streak out the front door while himself is trying to get the other dogs on leads. She will stay gone for hours and no matter how hard you try you cannot get her in. It's a glorious game for her (if you DO find her) to let you get within about 4 feet of her, she wags her tail, grins and shoots off in the other direction at about 50 mph. Sigh...

  It's a rainy day here. We've had a past week of stupid high temps again, with heat indexes in the triple digits. You can't breathe when it's like that.  Today's high is supposed to be 79. Then back into the low to mid 80's again. The corn is drying, the leaves are starting to turn (slowly) and it feels like the end of September today. But it's not.  Goofy worldwide, I know. 

 Anybody know how to disable that stupid reCaptcha thing on my comments section ? It's driving me nuts. I fooled around with it a bit last night but gave up.  Grrr... I hate when they put stuff on my internet without my express permission to do so.  

 So, in a nutshell, it's been pretty boring here. I am not canning. I am working about 22 hours a week, mostly.  I got my first paycheck. Blah.  lol  The world keeps surprising me in good and sad ways.  I am growing old. Hell, my SON is growing old. lol I am off to work in about an hour where I will do some light housekeeping and probably play a few hands of gin rummy with a woman who's been on the planet about 20 years longer than I have and has lots of funny stories.  It's a short shift, so I'll have plenty of time to get home and do some cleaning of my own. In the meantime I'm opening a few strategic windows and turning on some fans to blow out the dog stink. That's always a good thing...

 I love the feel of the negative ions in a rainstorm... 

Columbia University’s ion researcher, Michael Terman, said, “The action of the pounding surf creates negative air ions and we also see it immediately after spring thunderstorms when people report lightened moods.”
Columbia University also conducted a study using negative ion generators to see their effect on people with winter and chronic depression. The study showed that these generators helped relieve depression as much as antidepressants.
“The best part is that there are relatively no side effects, but we still need to figure out appropriate doses and which people it works best on,” Terman said.
Felix Sulman, head of the applied pharmacology department at Jerusalem University, conducted experiments with negative and positive ions using a cross-section of men and women between the ages of 20 and 65. When they were put in a room that contained primarily positive ions, they became irritable and fatigued.
However, when they were confined to a room containing primarily negative ions, their brainwaves suggested increased alertness and relaxation. Their alertness and work capacity were tested by various means.
What is significant is that they all scored higher during and immediately after their exposure to increased levels of negative ions.

  Have a good Wednesday, everyone... 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

My world is spinning out of control...

In the great cosmic scheme of things...

    6 planets in retrograde, eclipses, alignments... the heavens are crazy.  Here on planet earth, I am crazy. Crazy things are happening.  Birth, death, and all the time in between.  I am at an age where the people who are my peers are starting to die and it's got me freaking out a little.  I found out this morning that my high school pal that I reconnected with a couple of years ago has died.  She was going in to the hospital for one last surgery, and was found unresponsive after she got home.  We had just talked and were planning another of our famous "lunches"  as soon as she was back on her feet.  I will never get to hug her or laugh with her again.  She had such a zest and joy for life. In my memory, that light will never be dimmed. Off to her next adventure... peace be with you, my darling girl.

  I have been weepy all evening.  I have been very angry the past few days.  Angry at my husbandman and the dogs and everything that makes me work harder and more than I care to.  Angry at myself for being so angry.  Been sitting in meditation and praying and doing any and every thing I can think of to quell these emotions.  Everything, that is, except trying to figure out what's triggering all this.  It's a fact that I am tired.  I am in the middle of my second week of being back at work after a 17 year hiatus.  I haven't settled into a routine yet.  My  householding chores need organizing so I don't have to feel like I'm working 24/7.  (I'm not- but it feels like it).  Some days I am better than others. And it isn't work-- that is proving to be a good thing for the most part. I haven't gotten a paycheck yet, but will on the 24th. I only have to see my toughest client once this week, as I am going to a state conference for AA this coming weekend, and asked for Fri-Sun off.  So, there's that.  I have a friend who works in a bank which was robbed today. She is  going through what anyone would after having been in that kind of traumatizing situation.  My heart hurts for her... and then I realize that in 5 days (8/20) it will be the 33rd anniversary of my father's death.  The year I became an orphan. Lots of  cell memory there. I always react on a psychic emotional level to this every year when it comes around, and it is always a surprise when I realize that's what's going on.  I will probably never understand it.     I find a small comfort in knowing that it's the reason for my  over reacting and my (sort of) misplaced grief.  I seem to have a lot of people in my life right now with cancer. My father died of cancer.  Another friend of mine just underwent surgery on Monday for cancer.  Am waiting for her call... the daughter called and said it went well, and that her mom would call me in a few days. I am getting antsy, but trying not to call her because I have no idea what's going on over there. Her family is with her...I am not her family. I feel like I am in limbo... and that doesn't help things.  So I try to just... breathe.  And cry. And rail at death and all it's injustice. And sit in the quiet a little more. And try to make sense of my life and this world and all the stuff that goes with it. 

  It's nearing midnight and I need sleep. Have to get up at 6 to begin a long split workday tomorrow.  Then I am off to the conference, where I will talk and be with like minded people, many of whom are probably going through their own brand of tragedies and fears and  happinesses and successes.  And I will just keep walking, trying to make sense of things that are truly beyond my ken and probably none of my business.  I will keep trudging, and learning with each new day little life lessons that will prepare me for the days ahead.  And even through my tears...through my anger... through my fear... I will try to be grateful for this life that's been given me.  The grief I am experiencing will abate. (Until probably this time next year).  My weeping will stop. And I will wake up to a new day...a little stronger and maybe even a little wiser. 

  (Hey-- it could happen.)

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Why do I write ?

  I think the only thing missing from this picture is the clumps of hair that you pull out, as you gnash your teeth and beat your breast.  And spilled coffee, or coffee rings on all the papers where you don't need them to be.

  I recently finished a short story.  One that I started a few years back and then tossed aside thinking it wasn't going anywhere.  I ran across it again recently and read through it, thinking it wasn't too bad. Some parts of it are marvelous.  Then I couldn't stop thinking about it.  Now, having a few more years of life happen to me since starting it, I have finished it.  I think.  Not sure what to do with it, but I'm sure the answer will come.

  Yesterday my dear old Paco the cat died. He was considerate enough to wait until I got home to say goodbye. At the very end, I walked him out into the sunshine in the backyard, one of his favorite hunting and sunning places. We walked around, him wrapped in a towel and me crying like a baby. Looked at the mess of a yard, the daisies, the overgrown garden beds, the butterflies. Told him how much better my life had been with him in it. Asked him if he remembered when he first walked into my life, up from the direction of the pond, and waited until the older male cat had passed before he would come in the house. My heart is breaking even as I write this, but it's important for me to write it down. To get it out of me and let the healing begin. He had a good spoiled happy life here on Honeysuckle Hill, and I will be forever grateful for his presence in my world. Here's one of my favorite pictures of him:

 The vet thought he was probably at least 14 or 15 when he came to us. Which makes him 19 or so now I guess. Which is a good long life for a big cat. RIP my darling.

  So, I have written on my social media page about the loss and about a hundred people offered condolences. Some phone calls (although last night I really didn't want to talk to anyone).  And it helps to know that people care about you when you're hurting. But for me, nothing helps as much as writing.  I started journaling as a young girl, probably about 10 or 11.  A teacher had suggested I try it. A way to chronicle my emotions and my frustrations, and empty out my head.  It was great advice. I grew up in a crazy house with too many kids (I'm the oldest, so you know how that goes) and a mother who drank and a father who was always at work. I was smart, but angry.  I was rebellious. And this teacher suggested that I try channeling the anger especially into putting words to paper, and so... there you go.  I have been writing in one form or another ever since. I have written poetry, short stories, technical stuff, blogs (thank you God for the internet age !!)  and even have had a thing or two published.  And I write lots of crap, that is just puking on paper. (That's pretty poetic, isn't it ? lol)  But more than once it has saved me in ways I didn't know I needed saving. And so I am grateful. 

  I cannot imagine people that do this for a living. Some days I would rather clean toilets in a big city bus station than write. But I do it because I need to. Because I have to. And I wouldn't change it for anything. (But I'm still working doing something else. )  Sigh...

  Okay. Enough of this dithering. I have a few things to do before I leave for work. Today's shift is from 12:45 to 4:45.  Even I can do that. But here on the hill there are floors to sweep and porches to clean up and a load of laundry to dry and fold because yesterday I bought a new package of socks for me and underwear for himself and I need the socks today. lol I may even get this desk cleared off so I can get back to knowing what I'm doing from one day to the next. (Can't see the desk calendar, and even if I could, it's probably still on May...).  

  Once again, I get to choose gratefulness over grief, and pull up my big girl panties and soldier on.  The sun rose once again, there are dogs to be fed and householding to be done. And in the end, love conquers all.

  Doesn't it ?

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Wednesday- or, My Week (or two) At The Races

  ...oh, I remember her. She's in my face all the time, lol.    Peering over my shoulder, putting her fingers in my pies.  Egging me on.  Pushing me to heights I have not reached for in a while.  Telling me I'm not as old as I feel.  Reminding me that no matter how bleak things might feel for a minute, I have so far survived 100% of the things I have had to go through, and that's a pretty impressive record. lol

  The last 2 weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. Decided that I needed to try to get a job (part-time) to help with the financial crunch. Pay down the new car loan. Maybe get some home repairs made. You know, that kind of thing.  I encountered some fears, because not only have I NOT been on a job interview in 20 years, but I have a 17 year gap in my employment record.  And I'm old. Nevertheless,  I sallied forth and put together a new resume, pulled up my big girl panties, filled out some job applications and applied with 2 home health agencies, went through the TB testing, the background checking and the fingerprinting.  Had 3 interviews and was offered 2 jobs on the same day. Then I underwent 3 days of nonstop videos and training, took an exam and scored 97% on it and started work this week. I'm trying to figure out some balance between all the other things I do and this... the end of summer is a bit of a busy time and I have been on the run .  Today is only 3 hours, so I am  going to run to the store in town and pick up a small roast to put in the crock pot and be at work at 11.  Home at 2 and I SWEAR, I am not leaving this house again until Thursday morning at 8. lol  I was off yesterday, but had  a meeting with a friend getting ready to have cancer surgery, lunched, volunteered at the office  and then hooked up with 2 other crazy ladies and went to a meeting.  Got home about 9. Monday I worked 8-2, and got home, did some housekeeping and went to my regular Monday night meeting. You can see my dilemma... I'm really way too busy to work.  LOL    I have a big bag of cucumbers sitting on my table waiting to be turned into pickles. I need to buy some tomatoes and can some salsa-- only a couple of jars left in the pantry.  I have got to get a schedule in place that doesn't have me running all over hell and  Moderation.  (WHAT??)   Reason  (WHAT ??)  

  My old boy cat is running out the end of his life .  I have been giving him eyedroppers of broth and electrolytes, but he is dehydrating and weaker ever day. I Love that old stray so much and will miss him terribly.  We have no idea really how old he is...the vet thought maybe 15 or 16 when we got him 4 years ago. Or when he got us.  It breaks my heart... and am just trying to keep him comfortable. He had a really good life with us, and we with him...

  So--that's what's going on here.  I'm gonna post this and head to the market.  The temperatures have taken a cooling turn again. This weather has been so strange this summer. It's either fall-like or hot as hell.  Today's high is supposed to only be about 84.  70 right now. Last night it was foggy coming home. SMH...

  Signing off for now, from Honeysuckle Hill...

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

I saw Venus, dancing with the moon last night...

  Pretty spectacular... I love sky stuff and star stuff and summer nights when the fireflies are twinkling across the soybean fields like Christmas in July.  Sometimes I stop the car coming down my road and turn off the headlights (I live in a pretty isolated area, so it's not a traffic hazard, lol) and just sit in the dark and watch the magic. I love the quiet and the almost complete lack of lights out where I live.  Makes the sky even more wondrous with no light pollution. From some places you can see a little bit of the town lights  but from my house you can't see squat. Just the way I like it. lol

  I did some of the yucky pricey cleaning today... pricey in what it costs me. Vacuuming, sweeping and carpet cleaning. Kills my back. And I cleaned the big handicapped shower . Yikes. It gets pretty rough in there and today was the day to also take down the shower curtain and wash and bleach them too.  I did buy a cleaning tool at Dollar General that has a scrub pad on one end and telescopes. Still had to bend some...just enough to make my back hurt lol  We had a light supper of turkey salad on top of a mixed salad with all kinds of good stuff in it.  I was too tired to do much more than that. I also hauled all the garbage out to the rolling can that will go to the curb tomorrow night. 

  I have had a long running sinus headache going on for a couple of days. A bit ago I took some allergy medicine, because I have had watery itchy eyes and a very dry throat as well. So I put some eye drops in (supposed to be using them regularly and I don't).  And of course, when you have those kinds of headaches, you drop everything you touch, because  it really hurts  when you bend over or put your head down. lol  I might take take it pretty easy tomorrow... trying to get some rest as I've been on the run for over a week. Most all of it was good stuff, fun stuff...with a funeral and bank bs thrown in for good measure. lol  But all in all it was exhausting and I am ready for a complete day of rest.  Turns out it wasn't today.  

  Well, I'll keep this short and sweet. I have some other stuff to say but I am falling asleep at the keyboard. (Sexagenarians do that.)

  Nighty night fartlings...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

It was the best of times... it was the worst of times...

  I'm having some of those rare burned out days. And naturally, I'm not the only one. At least 2 women in my life are having meltdowns, so my phone is ringing constantly.  People are behaving badly. Hearts are being broken. I'm exhausted, even when I sleep all night.  My friend Dianne died yesterday after a bout with cancer. My new friend Kate is heading back to Massachusetts, so I got to say goodbye to her yesterday. Oh, how I wish she lived here ! I have 2 more major things to do this week and then I'm sort of done for a little while. Sort of. Except that my debit card was hacked and then re-hacked and now my checking account is about a grand lighter than it was and this kind of turmoil is not ideal for people who mostly live paycheck to paycheck. I've been at the bank three times this week. Some of the funds will be recovered. Eventually. And an investigation will ensue. But in the meantime, the car registration (which is 101.00 in Illinois) a speeding ticket (himself) , the 250.00 electric bill and the property taxes are all due. So... there's that.  And there are some solutions available and I'm grateful for that, but all in all, I want to run and hide. lol  But there's an Italian Cream Cake in the oven for a birthday tonight, hummingbird juice on the stove, a dirty house and numerous other paltry things waiting for me, which would still be there when I got back... (unless the cake in the oven burned the house down.. lol)

  Life happens. It's particularly sticky in the electronic age.  But I am re-thinking a lot of things, so there's that.  I'm in the mode of eating everything out of the pantry to save a little money there. Clearing out the fridge.  Making do. "Everything will all be okay in the end... if it is not okay, it is not the end." One of my favorite quotes from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  I may have to shuffle some things around and pay some late penalties, but everything will get paid. We will not go hungry. And unless the guys clearcutting the property next door drop a tree on my house, then we will have a roof over our heads. So... how bad can it be ? (Except in my head, of course).  It can be pretty bad there. lol

  The weather has cooled off some, thank God. Still July-ish temps, but not hell like it was for a bit there. The classic midwest humidity is still there. But feels like a bit of a respite when the temps are only 89.  The AC just now kicked on (almost noon)  because the oven is going, but the cake is almost done. Used the last of my butter to make the cake so gonna have to run to the store and buy some for the frosting. I had everything else to make it. It's a bit of a labor intensive expensive cake that I make from time to time. It's beautiful baked as a layer cake, but I'm almost always transporting it, so I stick with the 9x13 pan.  Lots of coconut and pecans, 5 eggs, 2 sticks of butter... yum. Cream cheese frosting. 

  I need to find myself some food. Haven't eaten yet and I'm starting to feel it.  Been trying to do this 14-16  hours fasting thing to see if it won't kickstart some weight loss. I have lost 20 pounds in 6 months and that doesn't seem like much, but it feels like it. Clothes fit better, bones feel better. lol I'm not giving up yet. I have added some carbs back into my diet though because it didn't feel healthy.  Only changed it up from 20 or less to 50. Just a bit. We'll see what happens. Trying to watch the calories too and eat sensibly.

  Happy Thursday peeps.  The cathartic act of writing this stuff down has provided me with some relief, as it will. I'm going to keep putting one foot in front of the other and taking it a day at a time and I'm sure that everything will work itself out in the end, as it usually does. 

  I'm going to go do some mindful sweeping outside and inside, because action always helps too. 


Monday, July 9, 2018

When Chaos Reigns Supreme...

  ...and all you can do is dance.  Or cry. Or run screaming away from everything.

  And none of those are particularly viable options, but you still think about it and lament  your circumstances/life/how nothing has turned out the way you thought it would. Which brings you right back to the present (if you are lucky) and looking down at where my feet are and realizing that actually, right here, right now, I am okay.  Everything is okay.  Not horrific and not awesome, but okay.  And some days, that's as good as it gets. 

  As a child I dreamed about how perfect my life would be if my real parents ever found me, because obviously, I had been switched at birth and given to the wrong people. This only became more and more apparent the older I got.  Then as a teenager, I thought that things would be really great if I could just get out on my own. Make my own decisions, my own plans.   As a 30 something year old, I was in a position to see where I had taken myself, with all my grand was nowhere near what I thought it would be. Again.  Now, as a sexagenarian (look it up-- it's not what you're probably I walk through the hallways of my mind, wondering what the hell happened ?  The other night I was sitting here thinking about when I ran away from Illinois to live in California. A life changing time of unimaginable proportions. I was 23. I had a 5 year old boy.  I was insane, and drunk a lot. I met this really nice guy (and how did I 

know that ?) in a bar one night while playing pool. He was going back to southern California where he had lived while in the Marine Corps. Hated Illinois.  I hated Illinois too.  He couldn't wait to leave and did I want to go ?  The more I drank the better it sounded.  Anyway...I digress.  I was sitting here the other night trying to remember his name. I kind of think it was Joe. I can almost see his face... olive skinned, dark curly hair, blazing black eyes. But maybe that is someone else. 

 God knows there have been a lot of faces in this bizarre parade that I call my life. But that was a pretty momentous occasion. You'd think I would remember it. Alas...I cannot pull that particular tidbit out of my sexagenarian hat.  (You know I'm going to be using that word all the time now, right ? For at least the next 5 years.  bahahahaha).   So many things are lost in my booze and drug crippled brain that I will never be able to retrieve. On a bright note though, the time of my death (when your life flashes before your eyes) should be delayed a while, going through all this crap piled up in my inaccessible memory banks.  So, there's that. 

 Last night we had a nasty little dog fight here. One sister dog stepped on a smaller sister dog (accidentally) waking her out of a deep sleep and setting off a fight of epic proportions. They have never done this. I couldn't get the big dog off her.  There was a decent bite and lots of blood and much fear and screaming (on my part). I was up at midnight doing my best CSI job of cleaning up the blood all over the carpets and floors.  And trying to clean up the leg to see how bad it really was. (Not so much, certainly not like it looked, considering all that blood). Trying to calm down little dog and not punish the other one TOO much.  Molly and Bella have always gotten along well, and I really think that this was a case of her being startled by being stepped on and then self defense.  And we all know how that goes.  

  Add that to some other events from the weekend and I was over the edge. But, once again-- where are my feet. I don't have to run away or hide or fight or do any of a million other things I have been known to do in the past.  I just have to accept that... into each life, some rain must fall.  This life will never be perfect. I will never be perfect. I can only do the best I can and hope like hell it's good enough. And it usually is.  (I guess....since I'm still alive and kicking).

 Life goes on. Things work out (or they don't). I heard someone say once  "If I start hitting too many roadblocks, I just change where I'm going."  Maybe it's time I change where I'm going.  Or maybe I need to sit still. because, as we's important to 



  Love, The Sexagenarian.

Monday, July 2, 2018

      About 45 years ago. On July 2, 1971 I gave birth to this little doll.  Today he is 47 years old.  He's a gorgeous, strong, brilliant and creative guy. He grew up (despite his mother, I might add) into  a man that I am proud of, with a compassionate heart and a strong sense of himself.  He is kind and he is resilient.  He works hard and plays hard and spends lots of quiet time in between.  He dotes on his mother (to a degree) and  has the heart of a hippie but the mind of a realist. I could never ask for a better son... 

Here he is 2 years later. Believe it or not, he was born with coal black hair.  By 4 he is almost blond. lol

 And here is one of the last pictures of him and his wife, before they divorced.

  He's all grey now and looks older than me. lol  (Not really)  He'd have a hissy if he knew I was  putting this out there on the world wide web, but since he has no truck with things like the internet or Facebook, he'll never know. lol  So, happy birthday to my son, the old man. lol  


  It's been bumpy around these parts.  Can't believe the whole month of June flew through so fast. I have no chickens, no garden, no usable yard. Everything here is a complete mess. The weather has been atrocious, with daily heat indexes in the 105-110's. Or horrific thunderstorms.  Partially as a result of those conditions, the weeds in my yard are shoulder high in places. Himself is off on vacation, scheduled to return today. Through a series of miscommunications and other plans made that were too difficult to change, I stayed home and he went to see his family up north. It's been a dangerously hot few days and I have mostly stayed inside. 

  I celebrated 28 years of sobriety on Saturday with a group of my pals. The actual date was the 12th, but the celebration happened at the end of the month. 2 other women celebrated too and we had a grand time. The weekend before that 2 of my friends had a bash and we went to that as well.  June is a good month for getting your life back. lol

  I feel disconnected from things, with no garden and chickens. On the one hand, grateful to not have to try to save it from the heat (or work out there in it) ...on the other hand, I miss my hands in the dirt and the bounty of nature. I figure this experience will do one of 2 things-- convince me that all that work can be let go of and never do it again, OR really motivate me for next year. Kind of a toss up.

  I have lots of householding to do today, so I'd best get my big butt in gear.  Took it pretty easy the past couple of days, and things have built up, as they will with a houseful of dogs and cats. I really meant to start laundry last night after it had cooled down a little (to 80) but decided to go to sleep instead. So, there's that too.  lol

 Have a wonderful week everyone. I'm gonna bake a little something for that boy and figure out supper for tonight, and hopefully not have to go to the store for anything.   We'll see...

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Let there be peace...

  No one can ever live in a PLACE of peace, I have decided. The world is too chaotic and loud.  The trick is to find that sanctuary inside yourself where you can cultivate and immerse yourself in peace.  Easy to type, not always so easy to do. It takes discipline, it takes practice and it takes a willingness to forego all the things you think you know about yourself and the world. If we are lucky, we get to live in quieter places, like I do. That makes it easier.

   The ancient Indian ideal of Ahimsa hands us that on a platter.  A basic practice of non-violence, it becomes a guiding force of reverence for life.  Transformation of me is necessary for transformation of the world.  "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me..." words to a spiritual song that tells us as citizens of the world we must cultivate peace in our own hearts if we want to " the change we wish to see in the world" as Gandhi taught.  So many words of wisdom can be found around us...our job is to pick them up and find the one that fits us.  Of course, that's only IF we are seeking peace and serenity. I know people who have no problem with the crazy life they lead. The drama, the hatefulness, the chaos.   It makes me tired... it hurts my heart.

   I have a list of suggestions to help me practice a discipline of peacefulness that I read every morning. It breaks it down into each day of the week one simple suggestion.  Today is Wednesday. For today I get:

    WEDNESDAY: Speaking For Peace.

     Today, the purpose of speaking is to create happiness in the listener. Have this intention- TODAY, EVERY WORD I UTTER WILL BE CHOSEN CONSCIOUSLY. I will refrain from complaints, condemnation and criticism.

   Easy enough to do (maybe??) when I'm at home here on Honeysuckle Hill by myself. How will I do out in the world ?  Can I slow myself down enough to even process what's getting ready to come out of my mouth ?  Practicing mindfulness certainly helps. And practicing watching my words as they swirl around in this cabbagehead of mine helps too.  BEFORE they come rushing out the gate. lol  Most people, I find, do not usually have the intention of hurting other people. And yet over and over we do... unconsciously  perhaps, because we are ego driven and un-mindful, When all I think about is me, I ignore the effects my words and actions (however seemingly insignificant)  have on others.  Decades ago, someone made a comment about how sarcastic I was.  Then they said-- do you know that the root of the word Sarcasm means to tear flesh ?  That every time you are sarcastic with someone to show your superiority, you are chewing them up, tearing them down. I was shocked. I remember sputtering that I wasn't sarcastic because it made me look smarter, better, quicker...but because I was witty, funny.  I'm pretty funny... and the more I thought about it the sicker I got. It was true... and I have made a practice to watch that ever since. It still creeps in sometimes and I still get some pleasure out of it. But for the most part, the idea of belittling someone else in that way does not serve the woman I am today. Thank Goodness.

  SO, for today, in search of peace in my heart and peace in my world, I will carefully choose to speak words of peace, words of  uplifting, words of assurance.  I will remember that As With in/As With out. I will hum the words Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. And it will be a good day.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Keep Calm... spring is coming !

The daisies aren't quite this lush yet, but I am hopeful.  lol  These are in my backyard, down by the bird feeders. I planted the originals (which have spread every year) to cover some areas  I didn't want to mow.  :)  The promise of spring is an amazing tonic during the cold dark winter months, and this year it has been like a dangling carrot, bribing us forward step by step through this seemingly endless winter.  The irises are up, about 4 inches tall in some places. The trees are leafing out, as are the honeysuckle vines and the lilacs. The peach tree is covered in sweet pink blossoms.  Makes me feel a little more certain that as May approaches, we may actually see some spring.  The temps have  been a little warmer the past few days and yesterday and today we have some showers and mid fifties temperatures. I need some sun.  We all need some sun.

  The yucko-bug has hit the husband and he has been sick for over a week now. Bad cough and I am hoping that he won't pass it back to me. It's been a rough winter here on the Hill as far as respiratory ailments go.  I'm feeling better but the cough lingers...which is the main complaint I hear from everyone who's had it (and that's a lot of folks).  I'm trying to pace myself with all the stuff going on and running around I have to do. Generally it's go a day, take  a couple of stay home days. I have 2 big projects I need to start, but am not feeling quite ready to start them. lol  So... I am hopeful that one day I will wake up all bright eyed and bushy tailed and get busy. (HEY! It could happen...). We'll see how that works. 

 The diet is going along slowly.  But I have lost 17 pounds.  So that's something I suppose. And I am wearing jeans I haven't been able to fit into for a few years. I'll take it. It's a healthier way to eat, all in all. I'm going to start eating some fruit that I've been avoiding though, because my body feels like it needs that. But no sugar, no flour, no rice (mostly) or pasta.  The inflammation in my joints is down. I am off the blood pressure medications as well as the arthritis meds.  So, I keep on keeping on. Tonight I am going to oven fry some pork loin chops for supper, with a nice salad and some green beans  or broccoli.  Tomorrow night we will feast on zucchini noodles (Zoodles) with marinara and home made meatballs. And salad. It isn't hard to eat this way really. Just that sometimes you want bruschetta.  lol  Experimenting with using coconut and almond flours.  New things to learn. Made some low carb peanut butter cookies the other night. Meh. lol  But like so may things, it's a matter of getting used to a slightly less sweet product.

  We still haven't taken the plastic off the garden beds and haven't planted a thing. Trying to reconfigure  the crops we plant, since there are a few things we are no longer eating so it's silly to plant them. Thinking specifically of spuds, of course. Things to think about.  More cruciferous vegetables, less carbohydrate rich starchy ones. We need to sit down and figure it out. I'd love to grow a ton of cauliflower this year and rice it and freeze it. But it's a late planting plant here I think.  I haven't grown it since we lived here because the summers are so hot.

  Well, I feel like taking a nap instead of straightening up the house and making supper. I have somewhere to be at 7:30, so I have to map it all out or I'll be late. Takes about half an hour to get anywhere from here.  But it's only 3 PM. I could sneak in a nap and a shower and do some minor straightening when I get up. And then do some more tomorrow.  Part of my lazy is the gloomy rainy weather. Part of it I was away from home yesterday for over 8 hours, doing some stuff.  Playing a little catch-up today.  

  See ya later, taters.  I'm off for a nap. (But I'll set the alarm to make sure I get up in a timely manner). lol  Hasta Luegos, babeeees...

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Quiet Moments

  It's a quiet Sunday morning here on Honeysuckle Hill and it's snowing. I didn't think it would-- it's been relatively warm out there. But, what do I know ?

  It's been an interesting week or so around these parts.  Lived with the one car after the truck died for a little over a week and decided it was too hard. So off to the dealership we went and sold our soul  and bought a new car. A 2017 with 200 miles on her... a little Nissan Versa Note (hatchback, close to 40 mpg,  a nice little drive).  Here she is (Zelda)  in her first snow:  lol

  So now all the money juggling begins again. It's good to have a very dependable car, and one we can drive on long distance trips and not worry about having a breakdown. It's all good. We'll probably save enough money on gas from just not driving that truck that it will pay much of the car payment. lol  We did get a good price on it, because of the showroom miles and the fact that they are clearing out the 2017 inventory to make room for the 2019's already.   And so it is...

   The seed catalogs have started coming in and the back gardens are all compost-y and warm with the black plastic over them. Himself was raking up piles of leaves yesterday in the front yard (and now they will be wet and heavy) and those will go on the beds too at some point.  We use lots of that kind of yard debris for our gardens. Makes for good healthy dirt. Looking forward to warm weather so we can really get out there and get some stuff done.  I bought a high pressure washer that hooks up to the garden hose so that I can get the gunk cleaned off the outside of the house this spring. In the past (when I have done it) I have just used a scrub broom and a 5 gallon bucket. Makes it a hard job. This should simplify my life. It will really help with the decks too...they get really slick between the algae or moss or whatever it is that grows on them and the spring rains. I have almost busted my keister more than once out there. The other thing is the chicken coop... it's almost time for the chicks to start showing up in the farm stores and we have done nothing to get the coop rebuilt. Always so much to do.  And the older I get the faster it seems to fly by, leaving me in the dust of unfinished projects.  I guess it's part of the joys of home ownership, these unfinished projects. I remember 13 years ago thinking-- we have all the time in the world to get this or that done. Hah. 

  Seems like we have had an inordinate number of terminal cancer cases popping up in this area. Learned of 2 more last week. 4 I know off hand already that are battling various forms. Makes you think.  I've always been that one who hollered about pesticides and chemicals in processed foods and all the other things that we know cause cancer. And at this point in my life, I'm too tired to keep hollering.  I just keep not drinking city water (we have a spring accessible to us nearby), not using deodorants with aluminum chlorhydrate in them (35+ yrs now)  and staying away from processed foods as much as I can. Is that a magic formula ?? Probably not. But at least I'm not making decisions on a daily basis that increase the odds. Reality can get pretty scary unless you just stay where your feet are, and remember to be mindful about the present. God bless 12 step recovery. It's the thing that saves me.  In June I will celebrate 28 years of 12 step living. It has given me tools for a life that works.

  Here's a little more snow... in case you don't have enough at your house.  lol

  It's still coming down.

  Well... I have laundry to do today because I didn't do jack yesterday. A little housekeeping--nothing serious.  It's after 11 AM and I am still in my pajamas, so I guess it's time for clothes and action. Well... movement anyway-- let's not get carried away, on this quiet snowy Sunday morning.


Sunday, February 25, 2018

February. What can you expect from a month spelled like that ?

  My latelys have been a crazy mixture of trepidation and contentment and wonder and sorrow.  Am I just human ?  More often than I care to admit, I am emotionally rocked by external goings on in the world I inhabit. On a large scale (school shootings, government, world politics) and on a small scale (my life and home and community). And I seem to react equally. Huh. What's that about ? 

   The truck engine gave up the ghost last week. After an $800 repair bill *that included a new battery*.  Seriously ? Sigh. So we are now down to one car and I have been looking at cars the past few days.  Online.  And then the sales people track me and start calling, offering me all kinds of deals. lol  I got a letter in the mail telling me I was pre-qualified for 75K in auto loans. 75K.  Really guys ? I think not.  That's more than I paid for my home.  So anyway, it looks like we are about to enter the "Ididn'twantacarpaymentbutIhavenootherchoice"  zone.  The talk around Honeysuckle Hill is to get a newer car for me and he will drive the Malibu to work. Discussion is continually ensuing over whether or not we even really need to have a truck.  My vote is not so much. His is oh yes we do. And so it continues...endless debate between married couples that has been going on since time began.

   Things have been relatively calm around here (and by around here, I mean in my head). lol  In spite of broken cars and choking dogs and exploding canning jars. I thought about canning pinto beans today, but have decided I'm not doing much of anything instead.  Himself is off hiking or something and I am home here with 60's hits playing on the radio.  Haven't even cleaned up the breakfast dishes yet, because I didn't want to. Looking around at my living room and  kitchen/dining room I am was all cleaned up on Friday when I played Holly Housewife all day and had things looking great. Now the dog toys are scattered everywhere, his shoes under the end table, crap spread out all over my nice clean table, mud tracked in all over the floors from dog feet and his boots. Sigh... job security, I guess.

  I just read this and thought it should be passed around--A LOT.  lol 

Women aren't nags--we're just fed up

  And so it goes... just another day in February.  It's been sunny all day for a change and the temps mild. The whole next week the temps look like May.  I need to figure out what's for supper and make a plan. Sun rise, sun set...and the world keeps going. Himself is out taking the last dog for a walk, I watched The Library of Congress Gershwin Awards ceremony in honor of Smokey Robinson and then The Royal Tennenbaums. Made some lunch, washed the dishes.  Straightened up the living room, picked up all the dog toys and put them, back in the basket. I'm meeting up with someone this evening and will be leaving here in a couple of hours.  For now, that's about as far ahead as I can plan.  Adios amigos.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

This is December in Illinois ???

By the middle of the week they're saying high 60's. The temps have gone up down up down.  It's almost Christmas and there are still a couple of standing corn fields out there. The grass is still green.  Feels like we died and went to southern Tennessee.

  I have had a busy couple of week and today I have 2 business meetings I have to attend. Then should be home by 4.  I'm tired. Some of the busy has been fun stuff... but it still quantitatively adds up to exhaustipated.  (Too tired to give a good crap).  Last night we attended our annual winter solstice celebration at the La Vista Ecological Learning Center. It was pretty awesome...the young lady who has been turning our staff at these things is now 23 and almost finished with her masters degree... it has been a joy to watch her grow up. We've been doing this for about 11 years now, so she was 12 when we first met. Wow... She is a twin, and her sister used to come too, but not so much now, as she's off in the middle of her life. This one has a hearing disability and has stayed closer to home I think. She's a lovely and brilliant young woman, in the astrophysics field, I believe. Her sister is an engineering student who has been instrumental in mentoring young girls in the sciences field. It started as a course project and is something she has fallen in love with doing.  Anyway, we had a nice crowd, I met some new people, connected with old friends and just basically had a lovely evening. Good job on the awesome parenting, Christine and Gary !

  I'm baking and canning and whining some. lol  Still haven't got the Xmas stuff out and it's getting so late I might not. I have one holiday basket with cards in it and a couple of gifts that have been given to me out on the table where the birdcage use to sit.  I bought some dog toys, a couple of husband gifts and everything else is going to be home made stuff.  My house is still messy.  My dogs are still happy.  My son wants nothing for Xmas so he is getting some jerky I made, some granola and maybe something else. He's a minimalist, lol. And Scroogey.

  I had a small epiphany last night... almost a spiritual experience. We did our ritual of talking about what we will do in the coming year to make the world a better place. Lots of-- I'll be better about composting and recycling. I'll stop using so much paper. I'll spend more time in the woods. Mine was-- we started paying for city garbage pickup a few months ago, and I have already gotten sloppy about throwing things away.  Before, when everything had to be recycled or burned in my barrel, I was much more mindful about what I was doing with things. I've gotten lazy..  The second was... I said that I was in my usual flurry of furious anger and fear over what is happening in the world. I am cursing Republicans and Trump and have so much hatefulness in me that it simultaneously wounds me and scares me.  Then this came across my Facebook page...

And it occurred to me that I needed something to change. That I am not seeing the thousands of tiny miracles when I am in that space of anger and fear and hatefulness. That I am NOT doing what I usually try to do when faced with unpleasant people or situations or things...and try to see them through God's eyes. That I am not looking for God in all the things that are going on. 


I just found this unfinished blog post in my draft folder Wondering why I never finished it. The holiday, of course are way over and everyone I know [almost] survived them.  It is now February and winding down...and all that brutal weather we didn't get in December has been dropping in randomly and trying to kill us. And then the temps shoot back up to 60. It's been crazy. We have had personal financial issues, car troubles, mass murders in schools, and now the high school students from the last one are taking to the streets and the airwaves and social media to protest the lack of gun regulations in this country.  They are scared and they are furious. As are many of us.  Mueller's investigation goes on, 14 Russians indicted for elections interference. And he isn't stopping.  Thank God.

A woman that is very important to me is in ICU with severe infection and they can't figure out what caused it and said they may never know.  She is sedated and on dialysis and  slowly starting to improve.  Her liver may be damaged. It has been a very scary time and lots of folks are praying for her. Today they said they think she is out of imminent danger, all signs of the infection are gone. They may try to wake her up today... it's been terribly frightening. As usual, these things make you sit up and pay attention. To your loved ones, to your life.   To the really important things...

So, I think I will post this draft as a blog entry, even tho the dates are screwy and the content is old and there you have it.  One of my blogs has disappeared into the Ethernet. Can't find it anywhere, can't access it.  Says it has been deleted, but doesn't say who deleted it or why. It's one I stopped mostly posting on, but still... the last time I posted on it was probably only 6 months ago at most.

Happy Wednesday. I just heard that a zoo in Ohio or somewhere gave birth to a baby camel and named it Alexander Camelton. That was worth every minute I have wasted online this morning...bahahahahahaha