Little did i know

that 4 months after that last entry my brother would barge into my house at 10:30 in the morning and nearly beat the life out of me in front of our, then, 91-year-old mother.

It’s too painful to write out again, so I’m just going to copy and paste what I wrote (ironically) on facebook in November of 2018, when I could finally muster the wherewithal to put the series of events into writing. The picture of Steve and me is added for context. By this time, I still had the faint reminder on my face of the black eye my brother gave me that day in July of 2018.

Playing with the web cam.

Figuring now’s as good a time as any to explain the scenario as I understand it. I haven’t had the frame of mind to be able to explain what happened and how, until now. To some, the details are not important. For some reason, at this juncture of things, the details are important to me. I doubt I’ll ever really make sense of what happened, but the mind cannot help but try. One of these days I’m sure I’ll figure out what to do about that. For now, I’m not going to do any editing, so if there are grammatical errors and so forth, so be it. I just feel the need to get this out.


On the morning of July 13, at around 10:30, Mom had just finished her breakfast and was sipping on some tea. She looked out the window and said, “Dailey’s car is here, but I don’t see him.” He usually came on Tuesdays to visit with her. This was a Friday, so right off the bat, there was bewilderment. I didn’t see him either, so I stuck my head out of the storm door to peek around and see if I could see him. From seemingly out of nowhere, he came barreling up the front walk with a look in his eye that I hadn’t seen for years but was all too familiar with, and I knew in that instant it was going to get bad. I didn’t have enough time to act on my impulse to shut the front door and lock him out before he had barged in and gotten right up in my face. He was waving a sale barn check around and screaming at the top of his lungs, and every time I would try to say, “Whuh” I couldn’t even get that one word out. He was yelling, “Shut up” every time I tried.

The next thing I remember, I was cornered and backed up against my furniture, which was backed up against the wall. He had me completely fenced in with no way out and was towering over me, still screaming. Fight or flight kicked in, and I started screaming back. Then I felt a blow to the side of my head. Steve had just left the room for a second to try and retrieve some information that he thought might be relevant to what was going on. See, there was a terrible tragedy that happened in the family which resulted in the death of an infant. A man was behind bars for first degree murder, and it was the worst possible thing that anyone could imagine, so we got that emotions were running high, and wanted to help him navigate through it. Since he was waving the sale barn check around, and I did get a glance at the total, and it was half what he normally would get for a cow at auction, I figured it had something to do with paying for the baby’s funeral, but he was screaming too incoherently for me to know exactly what he was so riled up about. There was a GoFundMe set up for help with the funeral expenses that was advertised in the local news where the infant was killed. I had donated $100 to the GoFundMe on behalf of myself, and Dailey, and Mom, and Steve. The campaigne had generated over $800 the last time we had checked, then there started to be all these rumors about that it was a scam and that the person who started the fund would pocket the money instead of sending it to the funeral home. As a result, some people asked for their money back and left the account with over $500. The reason Steve had left the room was to contact the funeral home to see whether or not they had received the funds. They had. At this point, the baby’s body had not even been released for burial and wouldn’t be released for quite some time while the investigation into her death was ongoing. I don’t know if he thought I started the fund and was scamming people or what the hell was rolling around in that twisted head of his, but whatever it was he was upset about when he drove to my house, there was nothing in the truth to make him that upset, angry, what have you. It was clear, that he wasn’t interested in the truth. He was looking to hurt somebody, and, for some reason he felt that I was the appropriate target.

Steve was a few feet away after having come out of the other room when the first punch landed. I don’t know how he managed it, but with great effort he was finally able to get bodily between me and Dailey, but that did not stop the punches. We were both being punched at this point. For all Steve’s effort to shield me, Dailey still managed to land a punch that knocked me to the ground. I don’t know if I was stunned or knocked completely unconscious, but I don’t remember landing on the concrete floor. I only remember coming to and being disoriented as I realized I was now on the floor. Once I was down, Steve put himself completely over me to cover me while Dailey still tried to do his worst. The next thing I remember, Steve walked me with his back to Dailey and got me safely to the couch.

I could tell that he still wanted to keep pounding on me, but he couldn’t get at me due to a very large ottoman that extends the length of the couch without losing his balance and hitting the ground himself. He was still screaming, however. I was pointing over to Mom, who’d been inches away in her recliner to have to watch this whole scene unfold, and there was not a thing she could do. She was trapped where she was, unable to move. Steve managed to keep her safe as well. As he was screaming at me, I pointed over to Mom and yelled, ‘There is a 91-year-old woman with a heart condition sitting right there!’ I said this 2 or 3 times and finally just started shouting, ‘Get out of here! Get out!’ as forcefully as I could.

The next thing I remember he and Steve are out on the front porch exchanging words, then Dailey stormed off to his car and drove off like a maniac.

So that’s what happened. I hope I don’t have to ever tell these ugly details again, but if I do, I do. Dailey just got out after spending a week in jail for his failure to appear for his court date. I feel vindicated. I know it was awful for him, but what he did was awful for me. I am still having trouble with the shoulder I landed on when I hit the floor, and my eye is still black, 4 months later. All that I’ve wanted was for him to be behind bars as a direct result of what he did to me, and to Mom, and to Steve. I didn’t care if it was a night, or 24 hours, or 24 years. The time didn’t matter because I had not been given much hope from the prosecutor’s office that he would do jail time, since it was his “first offense” (it wasn’t his first offense in any realm except the eyes of the law because no one had dared to turn him in to authorities that had the power to hold him accountable).

There is a 10-year final protection order in place, and it is now a matter of public record that he is a violent person. I sincerely hope that jail was so awful that he will not want to do anything to ever go back there again. That is my hope. I have many measures in place to equalize him and his rage should he ever decide to do anything like this again, whether it be here or out and about – and you can believe that I am ever vigilant.

Here is the link to the original post:

https://www.facebook.com/carolsherman21211/posts/10156918761862533

What happened next:

After this happened, we started the long, arduous journey of getting my brother off of the family farm where I grew up so that we could sell it.

This is a highly emotional time, so this will be an emotional post, but I’ll do the best I can to get through it.

We’re selling the farm our family has owned for over 50 years.

We had to get a court order to remove my brother from the property so we could start the process of cleaning up the mess he left behind. It had been building up for a number of years, but after his wife left him, and he beat me up 7 months later, it got much worse.

The farm is a beautiful place, and a very special place, and it deserves so much better than the way it was being treated. Thus, we’re handing it off to people who will hopefully treat it with the love and respect it deserves.

This farm has been many things to many people through the years. What this farm represents for us now is justice. When I started the process of turning my assault case over to the city of Springdale, I was not given much in the way of hope that he would do any jail time – or even suffer much in the way of any kind of penalty for barging into my home screaming incoherently at 10:30 in the morning, cornering me in my living room where I had no way of escape, then punching me repeatedly – with our then 91-year-old crippled mom sitting helplessly just inches away.

He did spend a week in jail for his failure appear for the court date he essentially requested by pleading not guilty to assault at his arraignment. After the case was closed, he had pled guilty to a “lesser charge” of harassment. Not sure how a black eye that lasted for 7 months, a sprained wrist, and a shoulder that gave me trouble for nearly a year qualifies as harassment, but what-the-eff-ever.

So…, it just so happens that Mama is the sole owner of the farm where he’s been living for most all of his adult life. We didn’t arrive at this place of putting it up for sale hastily but with much careful consideration and a very heavy heart. The county judge granted our request to eject my brother from the property so we could begin this process – helping us do what the legal system before could not and/or would not do: hold my brother accountable and send a clear message that there are consequences for hurting people the way that he hurt us.

Mama and I both saw in my brother that he was getting some sick kind of high with every blow he delivered to my body that day. I had been thinking it to myself, and when Mom said it out loud, it was pretty startling to find that it wasn’t just me, it wasn’t just in my head. I made up my mind in the weeks that followed that my life’s mission from here on is to make sure that this kind of high would cost him, and cost dearly. He had been living his life up to that point like it was some kind of entitlement/by-God right to wound creatures any way he felt like it that didn’t stand much of a chance in defending themselves against him. He was wrong. It is not his right.

The cleanup is ongoing. With each thing that gets accomplished, it only confirms to my heart and mind that what we are doing is the right thing – a hard thing, but often the right thing is not the easiest thing to do.

I’m brokenhearted. I’ve had a broken heart before, so I know the pieces will get put back together, somehow. It will not resemble what it did before, but that’s just part of it.

We’re hoping to get a smaller farm. When Mama was in the assisted living and then independent living place, she hated the latter worse than the first but was obligated by contract to stay for 2 years. Toward the end, she would tell doctors, nurses, anyone who would listen that they ought to have not just homes and facilities but farms where people who can no longer care for themselves can still be part of the land with animals around, etc. We’re working toward making that happen for her. She was born a farm girl and lived the biggest part of her life that way.

We’ll see what the next chapter brings!

Here is the link to this post:

https://www.facebook.com/carolsherman21211/posts/10157430674672533


These are pictures of the way my brother left the farm when he left and the cleanup I embarked on getting it ready to sell.

https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=10157430637327533&set=pcb.10157430674672533

I have had to grapple with cutting my brother completely out of my life, most likely for the rest of my life.

My therapist describes him as a classic narcissist. A google search of psychopath is a chilling description of this person who had the power to change the trajectory of my life (for the time being). He checks almost all of the boxes of the definition of a psychopath. I am not the same person I was before that beating. I overcame – or thought I had overcome – the childhood abuse that he had subjected me to. I also thought I had been broken in my life before this happened. All those broken times before were merely dress rehearsals for what was to come that awful and bloody day in July of 2018.

If interested, here is what was posted on the day the beating happened. It was a chaotic day, to say the least.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BlL07MtHlXA/?igshid=1eqy5rxj6y6ac

Life today

I’m on my 4th therapist since this whole thing unfolded. My primary therapy goal at this stage is not to return to the person I was before that beating happened – because I can find no evidence of the existence of that person. The best hope I’ve been able to find at this juncture is to clean up enough of the muck to see who is left and see if that person is someone I am okay with being. If I’m not okay with it, the next goal will be to find a way to be okay with being whoever that person turns out to be.

We have bought a smaller farm in another town, and Mom loves it! Having to quarantine has been made bearable due to being here. She recently said this about our new farm, “It feels like home.”

If one has to let go of a place that is as special as my childhood home was to us, one cannot ask for more than this!

Suicide

Over the weekend, while planting potatoes, I decided to tackle the reason I stopped facebooking and started this blog.

At somewhere around 3 o’clock in the morning, on Christmas Day, 2016, I tossed and turned with months of built up thoughts and feelings and ailments that pushed me to a breaking point.  My husband was sleeping peacefully beside me.  So as not to disturb him, I got out of bed and went into the extra bedroom to decide how best to find the least painful and least messy way to end my life.  I’d had many a death wish throughout the course of my life, starting with the teen years, but this was the closest I’d ever come to actually formulating a real plan to end it all.

The first thing that happened once I decided that this was going to be it was a sense of empowerment.  I didn’t have control over so many aspects of my life at the time, and there were multiple voices that, bit by bit over the course of time (and when I say, “voices” perhaps it can be more accurately described as domineering inner chatter), had been eating away at my own ability to decide how my life should be lived.  When I made the decision to end my life, those voices became very still, very quiet – kind of like the birds just before a bad storm is moves in.  With that little shot of courage in that moment, and with immense calm, I began going through all the various ways to off myself, trying to sort out which one would best meet the need of that thing of leaving the least mess and be the least painful – while, at the same time, allowing me to stay fully conscious all the way through to the end.  I wanted so badly to go online for help with the research, but I didn’t want to leave that trail behind for anyone who might wish to investigate the incident after the fact.  Like flipping through a frame of posters trying to decide which one I would be taking home to put on my wall (they don’t have those in stores any more to my knowledge), I began to go through the various means one-by-one, evaluating the end results.  I began to think of how the people closest to me would be affected and felt badly for the wake of confusion, bewilderment, and sadness they would have to deal with.  Oddly enough, none of that moved me to change my mind – until I got to my son, who has had struggles of his own in his very young life.  When I started to think about the message I would be sending to him about the value of life, that’s when I started rethinking it.  That’s what gave me pause.  And, after having gone through the various means I’d been able to think of up to that point, it was starting to become clear that there wasn’t a non-violent way to go about this.  Even though I can be a volatile person at times, I detest violence, of any kind.  I loathe it so very deeply.

Now that this interruption has come to my plans, what the hell now??  How do I go on living?  I didn’t have any answers right then, but I did know that the arduous task was starkly before me.  Damn it!!  Damn it, damn it, damn it!!

I called a suicide hotline – twice.  I got hung up on both times.  My voice would not cooperate with the need to speak up.  I tried croaking out a hello, weakly, on both calls, but to no avail.  The vocal volume needed to start a conversation just was not there, so the person at the other end of the line assumed there was no one there and hung up (I called the organization later on after the crisis had passed and chided them about this).  Eventually, I found a place where I could send a text and have a conversation that way.  That turned out to be such a Godsend!  The person having the written conversation with me was so immensely wise, and understanding of what I was facing, and so compassionate, I couldn’t believe it!  It was stunning, really.  That conversation helped me gain some peace to go on for that day.

The sun comes up.  First things first: Tell my husband what went on in the night and get through Christmas Day!  My husband hates that I want to put up a Christmas tree every year.  I have ornaments I’ve been collecting for over 25 years, and each and every one of them represents a Christmas I survived.  He will likely never understand this, and that’s okay.  Maybe one of these days he won’t begrudge me this ritual of taking the ornaments out of the box, lining them all up, then very carefully and thoughtfully hanging them on the tree newly strung with lights and tinsel.  Maybe not.  But no matter.  I will do this until I no longer can, for whatever reason.

Once that crisis was past, it didn’t take long to realize that the first thing that had to go in order to start the process of moving on was facebook.  All that garbage had been coursing through me – especially all the discord surrounding the recent presidential election.  Seeing what it was doing to people was just too much.  This just was not a healthy thing for me, and so, bye-bye to facebook.

When I felt what I felt after making the decision to end my life, all of a sudden, I understood so much better why it is that people do it.  That sense of taking the power back that had been robbed, and stripped, and pillaged away coming back in one glorious moment!  It was a way to look all of that dead in the eye and say what most needed to be said: The proverbial f— you, and f— the effing horse you f——–g rode in on, you insidious, stupid, treacherous mother effing bastard!!  Shut your mother effing mouth this instant!  You will rob me no further.  I’ll take the reins back now, no thanks to you very much!

What helped me live in the year that would follow was the remembrance of that sense of empowerment in that moment.  It stayed with me all through the task of breathing in and out and putting one foot in front of the other toward getting healthy.

These things in our society are far too taboo, which is what makes them the most destructive.  Mental and emotional – and, quite often, physical afflictions reach a boiling point, and that’s when very bad things happen.  When I became ready and willing to commit suicide, there was not one part of my being that didn’t hurt.  Everything hurt.  Absolutely, everything.  There was nothing in and about my being that didn’t hurt, and there was no place to go to get relief.  This is unacceptable!

Somebody famous ends their life or has a very public mental and/or emotional crisis, and we say we need to have a conversation about mental health, but we never do.  We keep on, as if it’s not happening all around us when it is.  I don’t know what needs to be done to change this, but I’m at the precipice of making it one of my missions in life to change this.  The person at the end of that text line that pivotal night helped ease the suffering – just enough so that I could get my bearings and find the reset button.  God bless you who took the time to give a shit, whoever you are!  We need more of you in this world.

This is all I can say right now.  I’m still in recovery and quite likely may be for the remainder of my days.  It’s raining out, which means I can’t go out and pour all that I have into my garden, my therapy.  So, please pardon me while I go and cry in my shirt sleeve for a while.

Peace be with you.

Buh-bye 2017!

Hello 2018!!!  Happy New Year, y’all!!

We rang in the new year with Mama and my son, Luke.  It was wonderful having him here.

It’s funny.  Every time we part company after seeing one another, it’s hard to describe how it feels, but there is this intense wound that I forget is there until I see him then have to part company.  I wonder if that will ever subside…  This morning after seeing him off then experiencing it again, I told myself, ‘It’s just a wound, and wounds heal, eventually, or at the very least they scar up so that life can resume beyond the injury – or perhaps in spite of it.’  All I can do is recognize it for what it is and pray it becomes scar tissue or something resembling bearable soon because this is unreasonable pain that makes no sense!  I mean, he’s back in my life, for peet’s sake!  Stop it!!

So a whole year went by without facebook.  There was that one time I wrote about about a month or so into this journey to tie up a couple of loose ends then another time later in the year to check on one particular friend who was not returning my calls to make sure she was alive and doing alright.  Other than that and on the rare occasion updating the band’s facebook page, I’ve been doing life without the social network drama.  I recommend it!

A lot of last year brought with it what seemed like a whale of a lot of troublesome times.  It also feels like there has been a tremendous amount of growth coming out the other side of it all.  There is much yet to traverse growth-wise, but that sense of dread that has been a persistent thorn in my side for most of my adult life feels as if it’s giving way to hope and something that could actually be acceptance.  If it feels like acceptance, regardless of how fragile, then surely it must be.  It’s new territory, and it still feels a little strange, but I think it’s going to be very agreeable if it really takes hold.

Something to look forward to.  We can’t have enough of that these days, can we?

May the coming year bring good, and bright, and beautiful things for us all!

index

Anew Doctor!!

Like, really, really new!  I’ve been seeing the picture of the 13th doctor for months and awaiting her unveiling.  Even though we only got to see her for a minute or two – as seems to be customary with the episodes having to do with the passing of the sonic screwdriver from one suit of flesh to the next so as to carry on with the pursuit of making very bad days for very bad guys – I like her!  I’m so happy about that!  Sometimes it’s hard to know right off if one is going to hit it off with the latest regeneration.  For the true Doctor Who fan, they all grow on you, whether immediately or eventually.  It’s a real treat indeed when it’s immediate.

20171226_010612.jpg

20171226_010644.jpg

20171226_010659.jpg

20171226_010702-1.jpg

20171226_010703.jpg

I have to say I loved all the tongue in cheek fun they had with the whole sexism thing in the banter.  According to certain sources within the world wide web, that’s a thing in Doctor Who, sexism and such.

Okay, so shall we go there?  Well, why the frell not.  We’ve been critiquing the way men and women have been interacting with one another for a few decades now.  Kinda bored with it.  I’m not certain we’ll be capable of rising above our gender differences until our species has evolved to the point of something akin to parthenogenesis.  Honestly, how, in reality, can all things be equal when the very nature of the burdens associated with bringing forth offspring are unequal for the most part?  As a society, we’re hardwired to think of each other in reproductive terms, always sizing up what kind of babies will be made by this union and that, and/or what is possible as we enter this brave new world of opening up to all the various gender possibilities and reproduction alternatives available to us.  And I wish to say this here as well: as we begin to emerge and live the gender identities that feel right to us out loud, we’re all in transition, every last one of us.  Please, let’s all be patient, let’s all be kind, and for peet’s sake, let’s do try not take ourselves so blasted seriously all the bleep’n time!  There’s so much to learn about ourselves and our world spinning (like the TARDIS) so erratically and at such breakneck speed!  It’s not easy to overcome millenia of conditioning, being oh so sure of ourselves when it comes to the notion that we know all the ins and outs (no pun intended, honest!) of all that is required for the survival of our species.  Our sheer numbers should be proof enough that we’ve got an adequate amount of things down in that particular area.  In the grand scheme of the ages, we’re not that far away from our caveman roots, so can we please, at the very least, cut ourselves enough slack catch a breath while figuring some of this out?  Yes, we’ve a lot to work out learning to navigate catching up mentally with our current evolutionary state, but does it have to be a total drag while figuring things out?  For real!!  It’s getting so that not a lot about living life is fun, and I believe that fun is as important to our survival and evolution as love, and air, and food, and water, and all the rest of it.  Fun is healthy.  Fun is good.  There’s that caution of too much of a good thing, of course, but c’mon!  Take it from someone who spent 16 years of their adult life in celibacy, abstinence is not necessarily the winning ticket either.  In fact, for the most part, it’s rubbish.

So, thank you, dear Doctor Who creators and collaborators, for helping us laugh at ourselves for just a wee minute!  Well done!

Christmas Day

The year is almost up.  I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to do about facebook when the new year comes in.  When January 2 rolls ’round, I can do whatever I please about it.  I’m thinking I may reactivate at some point but probably won’t participate much.  I like Instagram because I like photographs and the simplicity of what Instagram is.  There is no sharing of articles and current events, just each person sharing themselves in photo format.  I like that.  So I’ll probably rig Instagram to shoot whatever I post there to automatically post to facebook and let that be that in terms of my facebook interaction.  Another thing I like about Instagram is, if someone is interested in keeping up with me, they follow.  If I’m not interested in following them I don’t.  Everybody I follow in Instagram is precisely who I enjoy following.  It fits in well with the crotchety new old-age cynicism I’ve been giving myself permission to indulge in.

I decorated for Christmas in spite of the continued disrepair of the house.  I figured, screw it!  I like decorating for Christmas, and I’ll be daggumed if I’m going to let something like stupid flood damage rob me of it.

20171225_021619.jpg

I got to see my son this past week.  We went to see The Last Jedi.  So whatever else happens for Christmas this year, I’m good.  Got what I wanted for Christmas.

Mom has adjusted well.   She seems to actually enjoy living with us and seems to have accepted our chaos as part of the package.  In fact, she’s pretty good at rolling with it.  She and the granddog seem to have an unbreakable bond as well.

IMG_20171223_124945_551.jpg

It’s been a wonderful time, made all the sweeter by coming through the summer of hell in one piece.

Merry Christmas, one and all!  Peace on earth and goodwill toward men, and e’erthing!  🙂

20171225_033713.jpg

Moving on up

Interestingly enough, a day or two after I wrote that last entry I thought about it and said to myself, ‘You know what?  Screw that!  I don’t have to let one person’s warped opinion of me define what kind of person and friend I am.’  I wasn’t able to find the time to write about it then, but that was pretty much that.

A lot has been happening lately.  When I was at the end of feeling the effects of hitting my head, I caught some bug that Steve brought home and pulled a muscle around my rib cage – that, or I may have bruised a rib.  As I was recovering from that, Mom had a meltdown in the dining hall of the independent living facility where she’d been living.  She couldn’t remember my number but did remember my brother’s because it was her number and has been in existence for nearly 50 years.  She had them dial him, and when he came to see about her he didn’t know what to do, so he dropped her off at my house – which, by the way, still has no floor and is still torn apart from all the flood disrepair.  She’s never stepped foot back in that place and has been with us since.

Thankfully, her 2-year contract with the place had just expired, so we were able give notice without penalty.  I had to get over being deeply ashamed of my house, but even with all that, it’s been nice having her here.  I had a guest bedroom all set up that has been her room, and she likes it.  I tried to bring in some of her artwork and switch out some of the furniture, but she said she likes things the way they are.  I did bring her chest of drawers and little oak secretary desk.   She’d been talking about getting her own place and finding someone to live with her, but I told her to give it 3 months with us, to put looking for a place on the back burner.  Just live here.  If she’s unhappy at the end of 3 months, we’ll move forward with her original plans.  If she’s happy like she is now, we can knock out the wall between the 2 smaller bedrooms and make it one room.  It can be a little studio with all her stuff in it.  She would be free to use the common living room like she does now, but if she needs some alone time, she can hole up in a space that’s all her own.

We’ve been able to do little things to make her life a little bit easier, such as put in the tallest toilet available and getting her a new rollator walker that maneuvers easier and has bigger wheels to traverse rougher surfaces and terrain.

Her first couple of days here were a little rough.  She had worked herself into quite a state with how unhappy she’d become at the senior living place.   After a few days, she began to come around and find a brighter outlook.

One beneficial bi-product of her being here is that it’s forced us to both sh** and get off the pot!  We no longer have the luxury of being stymied by not being able to agree on how to go about putting the house back together.  It’s been past time to get’re done for far too long.  We’ve started moving forward with the restoration again.  A very good thing.

A bit of self discovery:

I’ve about decided that I need peace more than I need friends. I suspect it’s always been this way, and it doesn’t seem to work out that both are possible. It would be great for this theory to be disproven, but, so far, it has not.

Friends that aren’t around a lot seem to work out fine, however. Guess I’m just getting to be a crotchety old woman who could give a rat’s ass about getting along.

Everyday a random thought.

Lately, pretty much daily, something will pop into my head, and something in me recognizes it’s worth writing down somewhere, somehow.  A lot of those have gotten by me lately, and it would be kind of nice to have them as a reference, I think.  So maybe I’ll start doing that here.

Today’s random thought is this:

Don’t fuck with my truth.  It’s mine.  And I came by it by the hardest.  So just don’t fuck with it because you don’t know.  You might know jack shit, but that’s about it.

And that truth might change tomorrow, and I mean do a complete 180, and that’s fine.  It’s still mine.

So
Fuck off.

Head case

If my writing is not up to par, I can blame it on this: On this day of the week, 4 weeks ago, I hit my head so hard on a door frame that I got a concussion.  We have plastic on a doorway separating the back room we’ve had to reconstruct a part of due to flood damage.  On a Thursday night, somewhere around 11pm, I was flitting around the house getting something ready for a home project we were hoping to get started on at the start of Steve’s staycation.  I pulled open the plastic and bent over to duck under it, missed, and hit the top of my head with the door frame.  The hit was so hard, I could feel the imprint of the sharp corner along the whole top of my head.  It hurt as badly as any broken bone I’ve ever had – and for as long as any broken bone had ever hurt.  An ER visit with a CT scan revealed there were no skull cracks or brain bleeds.

20170804_192919(0)

Recovery has been slow and painful.  For every decent day when symptoms diminish there follows 2-3 bad days.  When the acuteness of the pain started calming down after the 1st week, I began to wonder if it was normal to feel hungover – even after having not taken anything for pain or used any of the substances that normally bring a hangover on.  I’ve since learned that other people who’ve experienced concussions have described the injury as something like a hangover one can not get over.

Today is a fairly decent day.  The 2 days before this were brutal!  The pain doesn’t seem to be isolated to any one spot on my head but tends to move around.  If I try to do anything with the speed at which I’m accustomed, my head will start to pound.  I detest being slowed down like this!  It’s really put a kink in the last days of summer.  Boooooo, concussion!  Boooooo!!!  The Princess Bride – “Boo, Boo, Boo Buttercup’s Nightmare” – (HD) – Scenes from the 80s (1987)

For some good news, Ray Ray the betta is regrowing his fins and doing splendidly!

20170828_181319_001

Even though all other plans for Steve’s vacation time were stolen away by the head injury, I refused to let it stop us from traveling to a location where totality would occur during the recent eclipse.  Trying to capture a decent shot with a cell phone camera covered with the NASA approved eyewear proved challenging, but I did manage this somewhat decent shot.

20170821_125753

Trying to capture the totality on a cell phone camera proved futile.  The best I could get was this video:

If this video doesn’t post due to the WordPress gestapo requiring a paid account, here is the next best thing:

20170821_131825

20170821_131923

We managed to find a small state park in Missouri 75 miles south (give or take) of St. Louis.  We drove through the night and arrived at the state park at around 10:30am and found a perfect spot in the shade.  It looked as though we arrived just before an expected mad rush of humanity crowding in – that never materialized.  Gently, quietly, families and locals pulled in, and throughout the day, all was peaceful.  It never got crowded, the people were all so nice.  There wasn’t even that the one who was acting crazy and annoying everybody around them.  The day was filled with the low murmur of gentle conversation.  All-in-all a remarkable, unforgettable experience!

However many days…

The yearlong facebook hiatus is more than halfway over, and most days I don’t even think about it.

Yesterday, I did think about it.  I’ve isolated myself to some degree as a result of not being on the social media monster, but upon recognizing this came a simultaneous realization that I’ve also lived under the radar of people’s scrutiny and judgments for quite some time.  The trade-off is acceptable.  If people are judging me, I have no way of knowing about it, and that works for me quite well, as it happens.

I’m just doing my thing, being the crazy gardening lady in the neighborhood, hating our still torn apart house from the flood at the beginning of May, and embarking upon various other little projects such as being a betta rescuer.

20170726_165214

Yep.  This is Ray Ray, my newly acquired pet betta.  He was Mama’s for a year or two then got sick – so sick, in fact, that twice we thought him a goner.  After the 2nd time of floating on his side at the top of the tank for a whole afternoon then showing signs of life, I took him home and started giving him curative baths and daily medicinal water changes and have basically been watching the miracle of him going from being at death’s door to thriving.

The top pick was him the Tuesday after bringing him home from the weekend, then 5 days later.

Screenshot_20170725-200824

He is a fascinating and engaging little fellow!!

Mama had been doing quite well, going to exercise twice a week with a special kind of trainer.  She then suffered a recent setback with a urinary tract infection, and we’re doing all we can to get her through this.

I did finally make a decision about the salon I’d been working out of and gave up my rental booth.  Clients moving, the flood, and what not, it seems, kind of made the decision for me as it became necessary to start devoting all resources into getting the house put back together.  I do still do the once a week haircutting thing at the nursing home.

I’ve also been able to get together with my son here and there.  It’s wonderful.  At the same time, it is a stark reminder of how we do not know each other as well as I would like to.  That part is harder than I imagined it would be.  I continually marvel at the person I see whenever we do get together, and that is a feeling like no other!  He is an amazing person.

The house being torn apart has also taken a toll on our marriage.  There really isn’t anywhere else to go with the stress of it all but at each other’s throats.  We’ve been working on that lately, though, and it seems to be getting better…most days.

The band has been in the recording studio.  It’s taken 3 whole months to complete this project.  Hopefully, this next upcoming session will be the finale of the recording part of the process.  Hopefully, the final mixing will wrap up from there fairly quickly.

We’ve been able to eat from our garden quite a bit lately, so that’s been pretty great.

That’s pretty much all the news there is on us at this time.  If you are reading this, I sincerely hope you are having a wonderful, magical summer!