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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!  🙂

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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!

Flood waters

A flash flood claimed the floor of our house in 4 rooms this past weekend. The water has receded and the house is drying out, but I still feel water-logged in just about every way way possible.

The flooring in the kitchen and living room was some beat up old parquet tiling that I loved. It was the perfect floor for us. It was tough as nails, it looked and sounded warm to walk on, it could be mopped with a rag mop squeezed out from a bucket and could take anything we dished out to it. I realize there are so many people who lost so much more than we did…and sometimes when I think about that it helps…some. It usually doesn’t help at all and does nothing to loosen the knots in my stomach.

Mama took a tumble a couple of weeks ago and got the worst hematoma I think I’ve ever seen, complete with a bleeding cut on it. 2 weeks later it still hurts her pretty badly. 

It’s fast coming to the point – if it hasn’t arrived there already – where Mama is becoming a dull time job. I’ve had 3 regular clients move out of state, a couple of them color clients, and a couple ofbthem just stopped calling. My income there has taken such a hit it’s actually costing me money to keep the 2nd salon business open. There are a couple of options on what to do about that, run a discount campaigne in the local paper, which gave me some really great clients the last time I did that, or close up shop and focus on Mom. On the one hand, taking on new clients could potentially mean more people to disappoint if something comes up with Mom and I have to reschedule them. On the other hand, Mom just turned 90, which means she’s lived more years than she has remaining living…and I’ll need something to fill my time after she’s gone. I already know my life will not be the same without Mom in it, and I dread that day. I do not want it to come, but the reality is it will. And if I close my business, I’ve already gotten out and come back in once. How many chances does someone get to build the same kind of business after letting people down and forcing them to find someone else to do their hair?

It’s a dilemma I’ve been facing for a couple of years now, and I’m still no closer to reaching a decision one way or the other.

On a brighter note, Mama’s 90th birthday celebration was every kind of wonderful I’d hoped it would be. This picture pretty much tells it all in terms of how the day was for Mama


We drove to this place way up in the mountains a few towns away that I’d been hearing about for years. It’s ladies serving home cooked meals from a cafe that was clearly from a house overlooking one of the most breathtaking sights, right at the top of a mountain. The drive was beautiful, the food was wonderful, and the staff at the cafe couldn’t have made it more special. They let us bring in her birthday cake and light the candles for her to blow out. One of the waitresses even took this video for us
Mama’s Birthday song

All of her immediate family was there – including her one and only grandchild

I set up a shot with my timer to capture this family photo:


That was a great day.

Settling in to a new normal

It feels like I’m finding my footing now that I’ve been out of the social media game a little over 3 months.  I’m starting to feel like myself again – which is startling!  While I was in it, I hadn’t realized what it had done to me.  I just knew that something wasn’t right, it wasn’t working, and it was time to make some changes.

A friend recently told me that she’d announced on facebook that she’d become a Christian.  Now, I choose to no longer identify myself as a Christian and have been through the ringer getting over some of the damage that was done to my inner being as a result of my time in the evangelical community.  I still feel like it’s a bad neighborhood for me, but I respect my friend for having found and embraced her faith, and I respect her faith.  Some people, however, did not pull any punches in letting her know they did not.  I experienced a fair amount of that back when I was walking that road after reconnecting with people I’d known before following Christ.  It stung.  It was hurtful.  It was disheartening.  It was disappointing, every time it happened.  Why do people have to suck??  And why has social media unleashed such a cataclysmic tsunami of people now going through life as if it’s perfectly okay to suck at being human beings?  Okay, so Christianity isn’t your bag.  That doesn’t give you the right to knock people down and upside the head with that which is your bag!

The saddest thing about that is, I did some of that as well.  I came out of my Christianity experience very badly damaged with no idea if I would ever recover.  I spent months expressing on facebook and in blogs all the things I objected to as far as what goes on in the evangelical community and how unlike Jesus it is.  I hurt some people.  I owe some apologies.  It doesn’t mean I don’t have legitimate grievances in terms of what happened to me and what’s being done to people whose only wish in life is to love and follow their Lord and how that’s being twisted and exploited on a pretty widespread basis.   There is a lot of muddying the stream.  That’s wrong.  I know it’s wrong.  It’s very wrong.  It’s right to speak up about it.  But there’s a way to do that, and I didn’t always go about it the right way.

But, as Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better.  Then when you know better, do better.”  As far as my conscience has been able to tell thus far, I’ve done that and will do that.  What a gift was given to us in Maya Angelou!!