Identify what is most important )0( Eliminate everything else
The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world. Dr. Paul Farmer
The suffering of others is not alleviated when no one knows about it.
There is no one right way to live. Daniel Quinn Ishmael
The only thing that you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right sort of people.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. Kurt Vonnegut

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Apparently I am as stupid as I think myself to be.

A week ago Friday I was driving home from up'nort and about five miles from home the steering wheel began to shimmy.  I got groceries, just made it to my therapy appointment, went home and stayed there until yesterday when I had therapy again.  Too ill to even take the garbage out for collection.  Just hunkered down with CoolCat and napped and had lots of tea and meds.

When I got in the car to fetch more food, the steering wheel, heck, the whole column, was rotating back and forth, more than just the little shimmy from a week ago.  It reminded me that because I had to cancel the car tune-up appointment a month ago when I became sicker, I had better reschedule whilst I was still feeling a little better.

I called, chatted with my guy there and told him what needed doing and mentioned the steering wheel movement.  He told me to stop in before running any errands and when I got there he showed me the portions of the tires where the the steel fibers were showing and explained that he could not allow me to drive with that condition, that he would replace that worst tire and do the rest at my appointment on Wednesday and sent me to the waiting area.  I knew this was serious because they were really busy.

An hour later I had four new tires.  Great.  Super.  Super-duper.  Except that even though the family that owns this dealership have been good friends for more than thirty years, they have no idea of what this past year has brought me, so he put on the kind of tires that my ex used to put on the car he drove. 

I have been putting a little money away for this car work, but I never factored in new tires and the $700 bill he gave me before I left left me speechless.  I know these people.  I totally and completely trust them.  That is why I never go anywhere else.They have never led me astray, and I know, with absolute certainty that they put on top-of-the-line tires and charged me approximately half the price at which they are usually sold.

So, I am grateful.  I have so few resources that I am unreasonably frugal when it is not in my best interest to do so.  Whilst I am not sure how long I can afford to keep this car, I have to take care of it. Me=stupid.

The tires were essential.  Had I been paying attention, I would have clearly seen that they needed prompt replacing.  Had one of them failed I might have been responsible for hurting, or even killing, other people.  Me=super-stupid.

So, I did what any frugal-minded person would do.  I paid the bill and then went shopping.  I bought enough meat to have some every day for at least two weeks, depending on when I get may appetite back.  Until then I am going to eat better food.  All this time of not doing so has been poor, and yes stupid, behavior.  I do not know how long my resolve will last, but the tires issue has been a call to attention and I am hoping for much less personal stupidity for a while.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


I was looking for something tonight and found an article about the underbelly of Las Vegas.  Well, one of them.

Below the glittery and lavish excess that is a large part of Las Vegas there are perhaps hundreds of people who live in the flood tunnels beneath the city.  Disenfranchised, jobless, homeless, either without other resources such as family, friends or social services, or they are ill-suited or disinclined to ask for or seek help.

Gathering what they can find from dumpsters and other places of disposal, they have created a home in the tunnels, where there are clusters of inhabitants in the miles of underground space.  Residents gather neglected or abandoned money from slot machines and some other stuff which I have already forgotten.

There are dangers here.  Water collects on the floors and possessions are elevated on salvages pallets and crates.  Poisonous spiders are among the danger from predators of all kinds.  Most residents carry weapons.  No surprise there.  Apparently, as long as the residents hold it together and manage things the authorities and police sort of ignore them.  Wintertime brings the greatest threat of flooding, which is why the tunnels were constructed in the first place.  The dry desert cannot absorb the excess of water and the tunnels flood, often at a rate of a foot per minute.  Possessions are destroyed.  Lives are lost.

The first reference was a slide show, and one of the last images is of a wall where someone has written.  I have copied it here, not changing anything.

Dieing is easy
Living is hard
  1. I started out with nothing and still got most of it.
  2. We are born wet, naked and hungry.  Then things get worse.
  3. If at first you dont succeed, destoy the evidence that you tried.
  4. Consciousness:  That annoying time between naps.
  5. I used to have a open mind but my brains kept falling out.
  6. The more people I meet.  The more I like my dog.
  7. Eat right.  Stay fit.  Die anyway!
  8. I just let my mind wander and it didnt come back.
  9. I've only been wrong once and that's when I thought I was wrong.
  10. I can handle pain until it hurts.
I need more information about this.  I need to know if there are similar living circumstances here, where I live.  I know about the shelters and I am involved in finding and offering and facilitating services to the people with whom I work.  All of us doing this work are working as hard as we can, knowing that there are countless others who cannot, will not, are unable or unwilling to seek us or other services and resources.  Out of all the work we do, this aspect is among the most distressing.

My first information came from Environmental Graffiti

Matthew O'Brien is mentioned in the above link and has written a book, Beneath The Neon.  His web site is:


Dear Diary,

So, you know how when you ask someone how they are and they always say 'fine' or something like that?

Well, none of us, well, hardly any of us, a few of us do not want to burden anyone else with the crap buffet our lives can be sometimes, so we answer 'fine' should someone be so bold as to risk asking us how we are.

Anyway, my therapist always begins our sessions with asking me how I am.  I say 'fine'.  Then, she asks me to rate how I am feeling by grading it, as in A for great or B or C or D or F for really messed up.  At least she used to ask me to grade my feelings.  Thank goodness she stopped.  I guess that means she is a good therapist.  Yep.

Last week's session started the same way, with her asking and then mentioning the grading system.  However, I was ready for her and told her that I knew that she would ask and that I was tired of just saying 'fine', but that it really was what worked for me, as compared to just about everyone else I really and truly am fine.

Whilst feeding the parking meter before going inside the clinic, I thought about what I wanted to say and this is what I have.

I am on my way to hoping to be fine.

Well.  It sounded all right when it was in my head and then when I said it aloud.  Now, seeing it in print, well, it looks kind of dumb.  But, I cannot think of anything else, so it has to be fine.

Maybe I should try to think of something new each week.  Like, I am fine, but I was better yesterday.  Or, I am well...grounded.  Or, something.  Ha!

Monday, December 24, 2012


Dear Diary,

It is nearing midnight.  My daughter and her family are with my son-in-law's family all the way over there in another state.  The winter holidays work well when one family is Christian and the other is not.  I am the not.

My oldest grandson had his holiday program on Thursday, so I was invited to come a day early because our first wintery weather was expected.  It mostly rained here, but where they live it had snowed the couple of days before and more was expected for most of the state.

The program was so wonderful.  The students in his school are being taught American sign language and the final performance was the entire school singing and signing a song about wishing that no one would be sad or feel bad and it was so beautiful.  Watching them signing as effortlessly as taking a breath was a powerful experience.  The little one sat between his mother and me on our folded coats and we all watched, completely enthralled.

We celebrated Yule early so that they could get away west as soon as possible, bad weather forecast and all.  Yule dinner is always on me and since the boys came along, is always take-out from their favorite Chinese restaurant.  And, their favorite dish is meat on a stick, lots of it.  We get enough food for two huge meals, and it is really delicious. 

The big snow did arrive, and I spent another couple of nights until it stopped and we could dig out.  There was less and less snow and icky roads as I came closer to home and when I got here the streets were clear and dry, with barely a dusting of the white stuff left on the grass.  Apparently it was seriously windy, though there was not much damage.

My little angel was sick.  I knew it.  He knew it and everyone else did.  I let him kiss me anyway.  I keep promising myself that when they are ill that we will hug and snuggle, but that no kissing will take place.  I cave every time.  I get their illness.  Every time.

So.  I have been sick since Friday night.  Taking lots of meds and keeping it at bay.  No voice.  Too bad no one else is around to appreciate the lack of my chattering.  Except for CoolCat, and he is mostly bewildered by the occasional squeak, and alarmed by the nearly constant coughing.  Hack.  Lordy.  I have been taking this mucus-reducing stuff and it might be working.  At least I do not have a crappy infection in my crappy lungs.

I took a month off from work, am half-way through it.  I needed the time to try and become healthier.  The results from my check-up a few weeks ago were not great and I am kind of ashamed that I have let lots of things go during the mess.  You either pay attention or you pay the price.

Therapy, well, what can I say.  I apparently need it, and I do not hate it as much as I used to, although I still mostly hate it.  I might stop.  It is not as though I do not appreciate the work that needs to be done or that I need to do the work.  I get all of that.  The work on being able to have feelings, you know, like a normal person, well, that is too difficult.  I cannot even get close to dealing with what happened.  If I do that, get close, do the work, I will have to feel stuff again.  I will have to relive all of that.  I think that I cannot do that, but mostly it is because I will not.  I am not going there. 

And, here we are.  At least I am.  I have this new life, whatever it is or can be will be of my own making.  I kind of love where I am right now.  No sense messing it up. 

The good part is that this holiday season is the best I have ever had.  Ever.  At least for the past forty years or so.  No stress and worry about doing the wrong thing without ever the benefit of knowing what that might actually be.  No concealing what was really happening and making all nice and cheerful so that no one would know.  So many secrets.  So many and I will never share them with anyone.  There are a few people who have the general outline, as it were, but no one, not a single person knows the truth, besides me and someone who is not me.  This is take to your grave stuff. 

When someone is alone during regular family-get-together things the popular theory is that that person is most likely feeling vulnerable and lonely.  I am certain that is so for some people.  The news lately has been so full of terrible things, stunning loss and natural disasters and lost jobs and serious health issues and so much more.  I am not comparing myself and my circumstances to those of anyone else, but I am grateful that I am doing as well as I am.  I am more lucky than I deserve to be.  It simply does not get any better than this.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

dunt wanna

I am so tired of talking about all of this.  Oh, not the griping and moaning and groaning and complaining that I do here.  This is therapeutic.  I get bogged down or scared or something and I mostly just go to bed, but sometimes I come here and just spew.

The talking I hate is with my therapist, who insisted on two sessions this week.  I am hoping that writing tonight will release some of this stuff so that I might be able to do some decent work tomorrow.

But, the spewing here.  It empties me so that I do not have to deal with whatever it is for a while.  In starting this project, it was my hope that by writing and getting some of the stuff out of my head that I could gain some kind of perspective and that it would help memove on with my life. 

But, the truth is that I thought, believed that when all the clutter filtered out through my fingertips that it would make room for emotion.  The lack of which is holding me back.  I cannot cry, although when something scary happens or something tender happens I can feel a little weepy, but nothing more than moist eyeballs is the result, and that is not good enough.  Even I know that.

I am repressing all of that crap from before and the process of doing that is keeping me from feeling anything.  Even good emotions.  Sure, I can feel happy and content, and I know that for certain because it has happened four times since moving here.  If it can happen a couple of times, well, then it is possible to have that more often, even regularly. 

I feel satisfaction from my work and from the little bit of artsy stuff I have been doing.  Surely that is a start.  It would be nice if I could find some momentum and keep on going to other feelings and emotions.  And, it is not like I am trying to suppress anything.  I am not.  I would give just about anything to cry, you know, just feel all...or even a little portion...of the grief that I know must be inside me somewhere.  Hell, surviving all of this, I have earned the right to experience grief.  I cannot.  There has to be sorrow and loss and yearning and wanting and need and hope and love in me somewhere, too.  There has to be.  I thought that my life was over whenever he decided, and there was that certainty that the life I wanted, the kind where I would be loved and honored and safe simply was never going to happen.  At some point I realized that I had truly and soundly resigned myself to having only what he allowed.

What I can feel is fear.  Fear that something more will happen to me.  That I will be out somewhere and be confronted or attacked by him.  When I am out of the house, at the market or Walmart or at a restaurant or anyplace, I am hyper vigilant about my surroundings.  I watch my immediate geography all the time so that no one can sneak up on me or catch me unawares.  Parking lots are places to be especially cautious.

I greatly dislike being out of the house after dark.  We are experiencing lots of gloomy weather, clouds and fog and stuff and even today it was dark by a quarter after four.  Everything stops then and I get on this computer and read stuff and visit a couple of web sites and play puzzle games.  All of that is fine, but I want more.  I want lights on at night.  I think about this all the time, every day, even before it gets dark.  I am so freaking stupid.  I know better and to be caught and held by these fears is stupid.  It is stupid.

I have no problems going to work or on errands or to my daughter's, but other than that, I am reluctant to leave the house.  I am careful when I walk onto the porch to get the mail.  I worry about what might be in there.  They have been well instructed to not contact me in any way and I worry about them violating that just the way they are about the financial stuff.  Which, by the way, is now four months in violation of the court orders.

Oh, and I keep thinking that if I am going to be worried about anything it should be that whole money thing, but amazingly I am not.  Stupid, I guess, or maybe there is not any worrying room left for this.

So, I am hoping that by writing all of this tonight that I will be ready for tomorrow's session.  Part of the problem is that I feel like a fraud.  I am able to go out and work and do whatever needs doing, but I cannot do the personal, interior work that I have to get through.  And, it is not as though I am not trying.  I am.  I want this more than anything.  I want this even if it means that I get stuck crying for a while, even a long, long while.  Even if it changes the kind of person I am.  Even if I temporarily stop being myself.  Even then.

Maybe I need medication or less chocolate or more chocolate or something.  What I am not going to do is to run away from any of this.  There were too many secrets for too long.  I may never share most of what happened, am pretty sure that I will not, but I need to do something to find release from the hold all of it has on me.

C'mon, Tomorrow.  I dare you to challenge me and make me cry.  I dare you.  I double-dog dare you.  With a cherry.

Friday, November 30, 2012

beauty is in the eye

You know how when you look at your friends, when you spend time with them, sharing, laughing, weeping in sympathy, all of it, and what you see is beauty?  Most people have nice looking outsides, but what makes a friend, or a good person of any kind, is how beautiful, how glorious, how totally outstanding we are on the inside. 

Hard exteriors for protection, hiding and holding safe the creamy center, the parts that make us nice people.  People worth loving.

Well, it comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me that all of my beauty is on the inside.  I do not cause small children to run in terror, or grown men to weep in fear, but, well, the truth is that I am kind of ugly.  My individual features are not so bad, but the two-hundred or so genes that determine my facial identity are not arranged very well.

Should anyone think that I am being humble or even looking for attention, some sort of affirmation that I am not quite as ugly as I know myself to be, well, please release that notion because I am not attractive.  I have known this all of my conscious life and I make no apologies for having been dealt the evolutionary hand with which I find myself, or as in this case, face. 

What I am, however, is extraordinarily well-groomed.  I am clean, I smell great, I know how to use cosmetics to my best advantage.  My hair is soft and shiny.  I shine. I do.  I know this because of the trust my friends and family and clients put in me.  I am a trustworthy person.  I do not judge.  I listen and I help. 

I dress professionally, and although my wardrobe is very small, I take exceptionally good care of what I have and practically everything stays looking almost like new until I cannot hold the threads together.  Then, I make new clothes and the transition is seamless because I wear basic pieces and whilst that could be boring, it is not to me and it makes getting dressed super-duper easy.  I like it.

So, the short story is that I am not attractive, but I do not scare anyone.  I am just being honest.

Anyway, today I am at the dollar store, getting crafting supplies (have little ribbon angels to make), small items for the surprise balls I am making for the boys, getting stuff that I can give to the shelter that sheltered me if I get organized to actually do that, not buying my favorite candies (yay me!) and when I am about ready to check out, I pause to let some people pass me, and then go around a display.

There a woman stops me.  I thought that she was going to say something mean-ish because she had to wait whilst I stopped for those other people and the place was packed and jammin' with so many shoppers that there were periodic announcements for people to not take their carts outside and leave them there.  Really busy.

What she said, though, was that I had a nice smile.  That was nice and I told her that it was also just what I needed to hear today.  I started to walk on and she followed me and told me that I was beautiful.  I thanked her but could not help giggling, very quietly.  I thanked her and walked on. 

She followed and told me that she had to speak to me because the Lord had entered her and demanded that she tell how truly beautiful I was.  I am not particularly ashamed to say that by this time my giggling was audible and with my nice smile I thanked her again and she left, both of us much better for the experience, especially me being so touched by her kindness, and with my fondest, silent, wishes that she get better glasses.  I know that she meant well, but it might have been easier and less giggly if she had not pressed onwards. 

Now, I am not being flip about any of this.  My encounter with this angel was truly something that I needed today.  Desperately.  I had just come from my therapy session.  We are doing good work there, but I am finally addressing and sharing some of the stuff that happened to me.  I know this has to be done, but I am very reluctant to enter that realm; having survived it should really be enough and going back is reliving it and I hate it more than I can express.  So much so that my therapist insists that we meet again on Monday. 

I am so close to so many bits of forward movement, I think.  This work is too hard, nobody should have to do this.  There is no force in the Universe that will improve or even change my outward appearance, but maybe if I can stick with this whole therapy process long enough I will be able to really have the pretty interior life that my friends seem to see.  Some peace would be nice, too.  And, I do have my nice smile.  Blessings on that angel who spoke to me today.

Oh, my task for today is to turn on some lights tonight after it gets dark, which it is now.  Maybe one light.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

things I cannot share elsewhere

Well, I guess that is true for everything I write here, but I am afraid of offending others, having recently done so without knowing it, so this place is the only place left for me.  I am recovering from the shame of being an asshole.  And oblivious.  And stupid and careless and, seriously, how could I fail to see what a fuck-up I am.

I am thinking about books.  I divested a ton of them more than a year ago, and when I had to flee earlier this year I had to let the rest go, save for two small boxes.  Even then, I struggled with keeping any because I simply did not have anywhere to go, nowhere to settle and no means to provide anything for myself.  Yeah, boring, sad story and I am pretty much over the whole thing, even though I am told that I am not addressing some core issues regarding the abuse and all the rest.  Baby steps.

I like to read...anything.  Literally.  Pun intended.  Always have.  There are countless books that I will never live long enough to read.  I have read more than most people have, but that is only because, well, it was one of the more revelatory moments I had last year during the big divestment.

I realized that part of reading was a twisted and desperate attempt to find my story.  The one I had, my life story, was not so nice and I devoured page after page, tome after tome, trying to find a story with which I could make sense or meaning about why I was even here.  Fiction, sure, but embarrassing amounts of self-help books, trying to fix myself so that I would find a way to be perfect.  It seemed my only path to survival, particularly as an adult, a married woman, a wife.  I know now that I was chosen for marriage because I could be used and manipulated.  For all that reading, I remained more stupid than anyone deserves to be.  Just plain stupid.

Reading was my safe place as a child.  Denial of reading material was the penultimate punishment.  Leaving behind my books this year is one of my greatest sorrows in a year of suffering.  I am certain that there are some vital life lessons for me in just the loss of the books alone.  I hope that this is not perceived as a complaint or that I am being a big, old downer, but it holds enormous energy for me and dealing with this is an important aspect of my healing.

That said, any kind of mythology gave me strength.  The simple process of reading and learning about beliefs going back to the near beginnings of civilization fed my mind, my soul and my own beliefs in something greater than myself and my environment.  I attended a small, county parochial school and once I had exhausted the books in the classrooms and the tiny library, the nuns, the nice ones (and, yes, back then there were nice nuns) shared books from their own library.

However, there was one book from which I remembered a particular story.  Something about a ring around the moon.  Faeries, wee folk, woodland citizens.  I obsessed about it, even though I could not be certain that I was remembering it correctly.  When I was in my twenties I came across a book and recognized the illustrator as the person who did the images in that other book.  Now I knew I was on to something.

More time passed and I finally thought I found it.  Not the book, because it was out of print, but I had the illustrator's name and a renewed hope that I would find it during endless prowling through used book stores, rummage and yard sales, even the annual book sales conducted by libraries. 

Then, in 1998, whilst working at the bookstore, right around the winter holidays, I was looking for something else in the catalog on the computer and had a moment and typed the illustrators name into the data base and there it was.  Sight unseen, I ordered ten copies.  When they arrived at the store I kept a couple on the counter and showed the book to many of my favorite customers.  To my surprise and delight, it was the long-lost favorite childhood book of several of them.  One woman began jumping and shrieking as she held it in her hands. 

I let her buy my copy, and ordered more.  It stayed in print for a while and then it could no longer be ordered and I had to stop telling people about it.  I dispersed my copies to a couple of my siblings, a couple of friends and my daughter, who despite my sporadic searching for this book during her entire life was surprisingly ambivalent about having her own copy.  Oh, she was gracious and all, but it was not nearly the thrill for her as it was for me. Since it seems to have been one of the favorite of so many people, it has come back into print again, but I have this nagging feeling that I might have the book, but maybe the reprints are not exactly the same as the original.  Maybe.

Now, my memory did mix up my recollection of the actual poem and a couple of the illustrations.  Either that, or, as I sometimes suspect, I have not yet found the precise book.  The illustrator is dead, so I can not ask him, and the publishing company has been sold, reorganized, resold, and no one there anymore knows anything.

I have my copy, and it interests me sufficiently to keep on looking for a copy from the original printing.  I have recently found what I think is the original version, at least it has a slightly different title and a different front cover.  So, I am ordering one.  Yay!  I really should be more carefully stewarding my money, but, gosh, double-yay!!!!! 

I know how little and insignificant this is, but it makes me happy, the search and all.  A place to focus when reality gets a bit too intense.  These are baby steps as well.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

my wallet hurts

In order to make up for a tiny bit of the financial shortfall resulting from someone who is not me stealing from me, I will have to sell my car sometime in January or early February.  I thought that I could let it go now, but I need to stockpile things, canned goods, staple ingredients and cat litter, that will be too difficult to haul home during the winter.  And, I want to be able to visit my daughter and her family through the holidays.

By using a big chunk of the proceeds of the house sale, I have been fully paying my medical bills, CoolCat's vet bills and vaccination and licensing fees, repairs to the stupid car and preparing it for cold weather, paying my insane legal fees, and buying a few necessary items for our new home here.  We now have enough blankets and fabric for replacing some of my clothes.  We now have a fire extinguisher and a toilet plunger!!!!  Yay!  I still have a lot of medical expenses coming up, but my doctor is accommodating and I can have the tests and treatments done as I can save up for them.

Clothes.  A perfect example of how frugal I have always been.  Never buy anything unless you absolutely have to.  Unfortunately, all of my clothes are in really quite embarrassing condition and I waited until the fabric I needed was on sale and used a big coupon to buy most of a bolt of it.  That felt so good.  I can make five or six garments for less than the price of one new shirt.  Yeah, that totally rocks.

So, even though the house money will not last the six years I had planned, it should do me for at least two, and selling the car will bring in a few thousand and a nice refund for the insurance.  Yay!  Like, really, yay! I have been looking for a job for more than a year, and am not giving up hope that I will find something. 

Still, I have to wonder why an unexpected bill from a dentist sent me over the edge yesterday.  A little background is that I have not been able to afford dental care for a few years.  I had a broken tooth last year that was repaired by my old dentist.  She is kind of crazy, but she came through for me and fixed that broken tooth very well last September. 

Then, during the whole running away from home thing, it broke again and I could not afford to go back to her. I found another dentist that is walking-distance from where I live and whilst the work done there is not as good as my old dental clinic, it was what I could afford.  Or, so I thought.

Yesterday brought a $120.00 bill from them after they had told me in June (when I had the tooth re-glued, which lasted only a few hours), that I did not owe them any more money.  Crap.  I went in and paid it today and they could not even give me an actual bill because "well, dear, that is not the way we do things here".  The woman at reception was doing only what she could do, but I need some kind of documentation of my expenses in order to apply for financial assistance.  She made a copy of the form they sent in to the insurance I had then, so if I decide to go ahead with seeking help, that should do.  Still irritates me that I could have paid this darn bill months ago.   Not a total loss though, as my therapist says that it is good and time that I feel and express some emotions.  Feeling irritation counts, yes?

You know, when this all started, my attorney told me that everything was going to work out just fine.  That I would receive my share of our investments and that I would have enough to buy a little condo somewhere and have my teeth fixed and be comfortable for the rest of my life.  I told her that was never going to happen because I knew my husband and that none of that would happen and I was just happy to be out of that situation and that would be enough. 

As time went on I began to believe her.  My first mistake, as I truly knew what he was capable of doing and that he had never been fair, much less generous, at any time during our marriage and that he was absolutely not going to let go of a cent if he could avoid it. 

Ending up with virtually nothing is, well, I take full responsibility for that.  I wanted out of there and to be safe...and much that I agreed to everything he did during the process.  Just like when we were together.  You know, I really thought that if I did not take him to court over the abuse and if I agreed to everything he wanted that he would magically turn into a decent person and, well, you know, be decent. 

Seriously.  What was I thinking.

However, I would not go back and change anything that I did.  It will never be over because he cannot stop harassing me.  It is what it is.  Has to be enough, but I have to admit that more money would be awfully nice.  Yep.  Just have to let all of this go.

I was listening to something the other day, and it was about the laws of attraction.  I know there are books or something, but beyond that I know nothing.  Anyway, this guy said that what we draw into our lives is directly connected to what we say and how we think.  I agree with that, and so I have designed a mantra to say every day, at that guy's suggestion that people say something similar to what he says every day.  It is I am enjoying the money that is coming into my life from every direction.

So, mine will I am happy and I am safe and I am enjoying the money that is coming into my life from every direction.  Yeah.  That should work.  Oh, god, I am such a doof.  I cannot say that with sincerity or even without chuckling, but I am going to try it for a while, at least.  I do have to say that it is nice to have something fun and funny like that to help me not be sad.  Which I still often am.  Baby steps.  Everything in its time.  Yeah.

Oh, and the spa where a woman and two of her co-workers were murdered by her ex is re-opening  tomorrow.  Blessings for all of them, especially the owner who refuses to allow that tragedy to destroy her life work and the livelihood of her employees.  She has been paying them their regular salaries/wages during the more than a month that the spa has been closed.

Her six-year-old daughter was asking her about things and she told her that you have to persevere and survive through the darkest of times, or something close to that.  She said that she has redesigned the interior of the building somewhat, that it is the new normal for the people who work and come there for services.  Man, she is so cool. 

I just saw her on the television and she and the other women are so inspirational.  They are re-crafting their lives and their work and are taking special care for the families of the murdered and injured women.

So, whilst my wallet is recovering from it's most recent injuries, my heart is kind of full of hope that everything really is going to be fine eventually. 

O.K., little confession here.  I know that I have to move forward, but it is impossible to get that message through to my heart and every time I see something that he liked or foods that he liked or even those stupid nut and toffee things he liked from the Asian market, I cannot help but think that no one will ever do any of those things for him.  No one is likely to make things special for him or cook his favorite meals.  Maybe that is or will happen, and it certainly has nothing to do with me anymore, but those little things stop me right in my tracks.  I really am stupid.  I know this.  What a macaroon.  Oh, well.   More baby steps.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

thinking about the next couple of holidays

and that is mostly because of Thanksgiving.

I love holidays.  When my daughter was little she was interested in everything.  Truly, she had no filters on her desire and energy to learn every darn thing she could about the world.

One of her most ardent interests was religion, and one of the ways we learned about those religions was to research and respectfully celebrate the associated holidays.  But, that is another story, or actually lots of stories, all of them wonderful.

How that applies here is that because I left this year, most of the family stuff got left behind.  I am not missing my stuff, well, mostly, but the winter holidays, well...I always spent lots of time with my ex's family, telephone calls and visits all the time, much more than he did, which was practically nothing.  So, even though his family has sort of banded together, I am still missing that.  And, that is inevitable because I have been hiding since I left, and all they have is what he has told them.  There was the regular contact at the beginning of the whole end thing, which is when I learned about the lies he has been telling about me for the past several decades.  Again, another story, but it informs what is happening now, and that is that I will never have contact with any of them again.

They were, are my family, too.  More than they were his.  Two of his sisters tried to make contact with me at the first, but I ran for my life and was in a secure hiding place.

After that initial period, it was still clear that I was in danger, so I continued to hide as best I could.  Did a pretty fine job of it, by the way, and that I am still here, still complaining about every damn thing, is proof of how well I have kept myself safe.

Silence about everything to family and friends was, well, sure a good idea, necessary even, and there is no benefit to me to share anything with anyone in my life.  My sharing and venting is with the people who gave me shelter and kept me safe, my therapist, my attorney and a couple of close friends and those I know in the virtual sense.  My original intent was to keep our daughter from knowing the truth about everything that has happened.  It is said that children always know more about things than we give them credit for knowing, and that is true, but in this case, mine, it has become very clear that I was successful in hiding the abuse from her.

I now sometimes feel some tiny regret about that when she says things to me, but there are no circumstances under which I would ever have done any of the concealment any differently.  It is much better for her to not understand as opposed to having her know of any of that stuff.  Frankly, anyone who has been misused, abused and mistreated knows that this is a burden that only we can carry.

To put it on to others seems sinful.  There is a host of people who know that things happened, but none of them know the specifics. My therapist insists that I need to unburden myself of those experiences, but simply thinking about talking about any of that is nearly paralyzing.  So, I do not.  I have no intention of doing so.  Ever.  There are moments when holding the knowledge and the experiences is crushing, but to put that information in the awareness of another person is something I cannot do and could never bear having done.

And, that is why my holidays are in need of re-crafting.  I cannot allow the burden of my presence to be borne solely by my daughter, and the rest of my family is either too far away or is the family of my ex and they are effectively not a part of the life I now have.

Which means that the ornaments I was making this afternoon for Christmas will not be going to their intended recipients.  In the midst of making them that realization was like a physical thing.  There was no air to draw into my lungs for just that moment.  My nose and eyes and chest filled.   I mean, I still have friends and my side of the family with whom I can share these holiday things, but I have already made so many and printed lots of cards, completely forgetting that half of my family is gone, I am dead to them.  Not as dead as my ex had hoped, but deceased nevertheless.

No more funny and repetitive stories from anyone.  No more family fights.  No more sisters-in-law and their families.  No more nieces and nephews and their children.  No more games and songs and silly stuff.  No more love and warmth and sharing.  At least not from any of them.

I wonder sometimes if any of them miss me or wish that we could talk or get together.  I wonder if they remember me for who I am, the person I always was with them.  I wonder how much of the lies they believe, especially since I have not defended myself from any of it.  I wonder if they still love me as much as I love them.  I was the safe place for several of them and I wonder if they ever think about that, our relationships.

I wish that I could just break down and cry about this, but it has been too longs since I was able, felt safe enough to indulge in weeping.  I know that I would feel better for a while, but I still cannot do it.  I have tried, and the barriers I built against that kind of vulnerability are too strong and I am not able to move past all of that.  Now that it is safe to do so, that release is lost to me.  Fine.  It is what it is.

I was thinking that this is a good opportunity for me to move outside of myself and this pain.  I am fully aware of how truly blessed and downright lucky I am.  I have shelter, a nice home for me and CoolCat.  I can pay the rent and utilities and buy food and some of what it takes to have a good life.  All of the good things exponentially outweigh the negatives.

I struggle no more than anyone else in my circumstance and fare better than most, and for that I am most sincerely and eternally grateful.  So, perhaps it is not reasonable or fair or grateful enough to long for the release that tears would provide.

I think that I will be helping other people this season instead of dwelling on my own crap.  The shelter that protected me could use help at Christmas, as well as the homeless shelters.  Maybe the Veteran's group, or one of the community centers.  Maybe the holidays will be just fine.  A new life, with new practices and new rituals.

well, there you go

Thanksgiving was lovely.  Spent with family, and most especially the grandbabies, it could not have been any better. 

I tried to hang on to that feeling the next day when more bad stuff happened.  It resolved, as best these things can, and I guess that a day of suffering for no good reason is all part of this process and of becoming stronger.  The no good reason aspect is because no matter how I craft this new life, there are always going to be forces that are determined to destroy each bit of forward movement I achieve.

But, I have determination, too.  Less than I want, and yet more than I ever thought possible. 

I took that bad day and re-shaped it into positive experiences.  I mailed card packages to some really cool friends and had a nice and surprising personal conversation with the postmaster who processed my mail and sent all of it on its way around the globe. 

I took care of business at the bank and spent time working and re-working my finances.  Speaking of the bank, I seem to have some wonderful friends there, another unexpected result from just getting out there and finding my way to doing what I need to do.  Crazy. 

Even though I will have to sell the car in a couple of months, I am being proactive and stopped by to see my mechanic friends to arrange for a complete check-up and winter overhaul for the darn thing.  I have known this family for a long time, all the way back to when our children were in preschool together.  They know something bad happened this year, because someone who is not me contacted them during the whole divorce thing, trying to make more trouble for me.  I have not any idea of what he said to them, only what sifted down to us via his attorney, but I am guessing, only guessing, that because they know me that they took little notice of that stuff, whatever it was, and, gosh, I was so reluctant to stop by to arrange for this auto work, but I did it anyway because these people are my friends and it was more important to take the risk there than get the car work done someplace new.  Life is so complicated. 

I still have to find a new doctor, pharmacy and other stuff that is close to where I live, and find all of it soon, for when the car is gone.  I have been studying the bus schedules and have a fair idea of how I will get to the markets, do laundry and all the rest.  There will be a fair amount of walking and the exercise will be great for me. 

Every day finds me stronger and more competent.  I am finding that, even though it continues, I am able to release the negative energy of the bad stuff.  I do accept that the harassment and danger from him is simply not going to lessen as long as I am alive.  I will never have any closure on any of that, and it is something with which I must find a way to live.  I think I am doing that. 

Some days baby steps, other days more forward movement, but it is what it is and I accept that I will never be able to stop being conscious, consistently aware and proactive about staying safe.  The police have been clear about making sure that I will not be reluctant to contact them for any reason.  I think part of that surely must be the recent murders of women by their ex-husbands in the city near to us. 

I am being very careful about my surroundings when every I am out of my home.  I pay attention. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

utility bill

The combined electric and heating bill came today.  It is only eighty dollars, much less than I expected.  I am hoping that becoming accustomed to the cooler indoor temperatures will continue and that I can avoid the inevitable upward creep on the thermostat.

It is nice to be seeing a financial benefit after only a month.  Yep.

Monday, November 12, 2012

reality might not bite, but it does snarl

In the past month, or so, I have been taking stock of what I have and what I need to do. 

I have given up on the whole belief that I would receive what I deserved to have from my marriage.  I cannot stop hoping for the best outcome, but someone who is not me has never been an honorable person and refusing to be killed by him and leaving did nothing to improve his beliefs or behaviors.

So.  I have finally accepted that my share of our investments is most likely completely stolen and I have only what I have.  In that spirit, I am releasing my stingy ways and moving forward.  Here is where my frugal ways will help me.

I crunched the numbers and made some decisions last week.  I cleared all of my jobs and am taking this entire week off to make the arrangements necessary to have the best life I am able to have. 

My Medicare advantage health care plan went belly-up and I received a telephone call last Tuesday that I had three weeks to find a new plan.  There are not any as good as what I had, which is probably why it is no longer available.  Today I spent all day on the phone trying to find something I can afford and I decided on a plan that has fewer resources and that costs nearly $60.00 more per month.  That means some changes.
  • Last week I cancelled the basic television service I had. 
  • I cancelled the repair appointment for my computer and will use it as it is.
  • I cancelled my cell phone and yesterday bought a disposable, buy-minutes-as-needed phone.  I have given the new number to my daughter and two friends. 
  • I stopped going to have coffee/breakfast with my friends as of last Saturday.  I think that this is the most sad of all of the new economies.  Savings mostly of the gas needed to drive there, but also any coffee or food I might buy.
  • I lowered the temperature settings a few more degrees, made some house pants and am layering on more clothing in the house, something I should have already been doing.  I do not know how much that will save, but every bit helps.
  • No lights on in the house any more than necessary.  Dishes and other stuff will be done only during daylight hours.  I have always used power strips to stop phantom electric usage, but now everything except my computer is completely unplugged
  • I am asking friends is they have memberships that can be shared (via the membership rules) to the warehouse places and am planning on buying cases of the staples that I use so that I do not have to grocery shop more often than once a month for fresh food.  I do not have freezer space (half-sized refrigerator/freezer).  I can also save on cat food and litter there.  I also need to get some of that removable caulking there, for the windows here.  They are  nearly seven feet high and the cost of plastic sheeting or window quilts (unless I find some fabrics I can sew together at the charity shops) is prohibitive.
  • After the holidays I am going to sell the car.  That will bring in a bit of money and save on gas, and I could do it now, but I want one more holiday season to go up to my daughter's.  After that I will use the bus in town, a real bargain as seniors pay half-fare.
  • I have made arrangements at the vet clinic to be able to pay them for CoolCat's immunizations in installments.  I will make the appointment at the end of December so that he can be vaccinated and licensed. I will pay that off and then put a few dollars away each month for when he gets his next illness.  Which he will because he has a couple of chronic health issues.
  • I went shopping and made a couple of investments.  
    • There is only one small closet here and hardly any cabinets, so I ordered a pair of two-shelf plastic cabinets that I can stack in my bedroom for food storage.
    • I bought plastic shelving (man, those things are nice, and cheap!) so that I can unpack and organize the sewing and crafting stuff I have and can begin making and selling things again.
    • I bought a package of foam insulation stuff for the doorway.  There is already some there, but I tested it with a stick of burning incense and there is still some air leakage.  I will also be making a fabric covering to hang over the entire door frame.
    • I still have to buy a grocery cart thing, but I could not find one that I would be able to haul onto the bus.  As long as I have the car I can keep looking at the charity shops.
These things will not eliminate all of the money issues, but they will help me steward my resources more effectively until I can find a job.

I have also decided, against the realm of reasonable and frugal judgement, to find a dentist and have all of my dental problems fixed.  This is going to take a significant portion of the money that I have, but it is a good idea, long term health-wise.

Once I released my attachment to the hope that I would be treated fairly and not completely fucked over yet again, I experienced a nice calmness that continues this week.  I should be feeling something about all of this.  Perhaps I am not yet close to feeling anger or loss, much less dealing with any of that, but I feel as though I should be feeling something, sadness and loss or something.  I think sometimes that my therapist is right in that if I could feel any negative feelings or have any negative thoughts and maybe even find a way to cry about any or all of this, that I would be better able to do whatever I need to do. 

But, I am having some really serious forward movement in my life and it seems as though that should be enough, at least for now.  I am handling all of the financial stuff, was able to find new insurance before the deadline and, gosh, I think that I am doing really well.  I am alive and I have CoolCat and that just, plain has to be enough.  Crying is for babies.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Dear Diary,

Last Sunday there was a multiple shooting and murder in the big city near to me.  It was at a salon there.  It was a wife/ex-wife and several other people in the building.  The husband/ex then killed himself.

And, sure that sort of thing happens all the time, right?  And, I am not wanting to make this about me, but it is about every abused woman, many of whom are in such danger that a temporary restraining order is suggested.  It was for me, I dutifully let the legal advocate at the shelter fill out the paperwork, knowing the entire time that I would not follow through and get the damn thing.  Because.  Because I was so afraid that it would be the one thing to push my ex into tracking me down and following through on his promises.  So, despite all of the really good advice, I bailed and did not do it.  I was too fucking scared.

When I went back to work, or wanted to return to work, they wanted the restraining order in place and I again refused and they refused to let me come back.  A week later I received a call from the director that I could come back on any terms I preferred, but that there would be a security plan in place to help me feel safe.  Self-absorbed, selfish knucklehead that I am, I was aware that if something happened in my workplace that it would be dangerous for other people and patrons, as well as for myself, but I just felt that I would, or could, be safe there and eventually everyone relaxed and we just got on with the work.

To the best of my knowledge no one has come near my apartment, or to the place I work.  It is my preference to believe that he and his family are merely bullies and they are not willing to take the consequences of messing with me in person.  Their preference is to steal my financial future, but in that arena the joke is on them.  I managed to receive a few thousand from the sale of the house, a third of his social securing benefits and I am going to live very well, my frugal life intact and as a bonus I get to be happy and safe and unmolested beyond that money issue.

Frankly, and I have shared this before, it has been worth every cent I lost, to be free of that hot mess.  (See Note)

I heard about Sunday when my daughter messaged me (wow, I am so hip), asking if I knew someone with a particular name.  I messaged back and said that I did not and asked why she wanted to know.  And, she told me.

I cancelled Sunday's plans, did not get out to do laundry on Monday (still not done), and cancelled two things on Tuesday.  I waited until 5 to wash my hair so that I would not have to attend the domestic violence support group.  I went anyway.  It is a five minute drive and I nearly turned around and came home.  I went anyway and it was better to be able to talk about how I felt.  It opened up an amazing conversation for all of us and I feel better.  I still felt weird going to work the next day.

Fine.  This is not about me, but the terrible thing took me right back to when I almost died and I am feeling better now, but I am also seriously pissed that I am so lame that I am having any reaction at all, aside from this nearly overwhelming sadness that that woman and her friends are dead and that her children have to grow up without her in their lives.  It is not fair that she escaped, sought help, contacted the police, got a restraining order.  Sure, she relapsed into the abusive relationship.  She was not perfect and, for god's sake, you do not have to be perfect or even somewhere in the geography.

You get to be a magnificently flawed person and still not be threatened or have your tires slashed or have the crap beaten out of you or be killed and have your children orphaned. 

Note:  I just heard this phrase last weekend and loved it, not really knowing what it meant, but having overheard if from a nearby table (breakfast with the boys), I sort of had a notion and used it correctly...mostly...and I intend to use it again, maybe only in reference to the past thing.  Have to admit, though that off da chain, do not get that, even though I am totally cool and groovy.
Urban Dictionary
3. A hot mess      a hot mess is when something just aint' right or off da chain

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

two new volunteer gigs

I went to help someone with a résumé at the shelter last night. 

Stayed for the domestic violence support group.

Two women talked about looking for work.

I offered to come for a few hours each week to help.

Talked to the director today and she was all like totally cool and groovy about the résumé stuff, and then reminded me that she had asked me to start and moderate a book club at the shelter.

I start the résumé stuff next week.

I start the book club as soon as I can accumulate six copies of the same title.

I now have just a single day when I am not working somewhere.

I am as busy as I was before I retired.

My life rocks.

Except for therapy.

That sucks.

Monday, October 15, 2012

what would I give

to have someone in my life who gave a rat's ass about me?

I was just working on the whole feeling feelings thing and I suddenly experienced such longing, and not so much for the loss of things, but for the loss of opportunity to have love and a loving person in my life.

To be honest, I accepted long ago that I was destined to be pretty much alone in my life.  I might be lucky to have nice people around me, but not so likely to find intimacy or love.  The romantic kind.

In the midst of all this longing is knowing how foolish it is for someone my age to be thinking so immaturely.  I have a great life now.  I have an amazing family and some of the best friends on the planet.  I have truly meaningful work.  I have a safe place to live.  I have some of my art stuff and the opportunity to begin that part of my life again. If I ever get my stuff together.

Then, today happens and I go off and read on the DV site from earlier and I read about my life, there it is, right on the page, right on their site, the way it was and I become all emotional again.  I accept that it has been only months since all of that ended, and, still, I want it to stop holding so much energy for me.  Loss.  Stop.  Now.

Instead of feeling gratitude for what I now have I am feeling this stupid loss.  When will I get past this.  I am so fucking immature and selfish. 

from each according to his ability,

to each according to his need.

Dear Diary,

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

From Marx's Critique of the Gotha Program. Although I am not Marxist, it certainly a principle for social organization.  Certainly food for thought.  Certainly worth considering, especially when working with one's own issues, or when working with others and theirs.

The only reason this popped into my head is because I just found out that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Really?  Yes.  interesting.  The only reason I know about it is because it was in a newsletter I receive from a Veteran's organization.  I work with veterans and I know a bit about PTSD because my brother came home from Vietnam with it, although it was not called that and no one knew about the whole thing, or at least if someone knew they were not sharing it with the rest of us.  He came home from Vietnam, but he actually died over there; only his walking, talking body came back.  He was not him, and none of us had any way to help him because there just was not.

Anyway, I know a bit about it, but I never connected it to my life until my therapist did.  And, now, today comes this newsletter that connects everything with everything.  Me, my work with veterans, my work in general, my brother (of whom I have not thought for some time).  My life before now.  Man.

Not only have I made a commitment to work on the whole recognizing and expressing healthy anger, but I have this opportunity to help tie a whole bunch of stuff together.  Lordy.


National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Dear Diary,


Apparently I have a lot of it. 

Frankly, I think I come by it honestly. 

Alcoholic parents equals bad brain chemistry, for which I hold absolutely no responsibility.

But, the rest of it is due to being one the most stupid people in the history of peoplehood, by staying in an abusive marriage for 45 years.  Sure, it was not all blood and strewn guts, but it was mostly not good, and I stayed and stayed and then stuck around for more.  My therapist called it a relationship, perhaps trying to minimize the married part, but it never was any kind of being in relation, unless you count the license and ceremony.

So, anyway, I bailed on therapy when it became too difficult to avoid doing any actual and real work.  This was back in, oh god, maybe July.  When I was living in the shelter, it was not a shelter where they made programs and help available, it was a Program that just happened to have emergency housing available.

Enter the shelter environment and I was assigned a therapist and the responsibility for attending at least three other things, groups, activities, whatever I chose from all of the stuff scheduled each week, most days actually.  It was difficult to take a few steps without tripping and going-ass-over-teakettle over some kind of help.

I stayed in therapy even after I left the shelter to repair and prepare the house for sale.  That is a whole other life-altering, separate experience.

But, when we started to get close to the abuse issues, you know, the nuts and bolts and just plain nuttiness of living that way, I could not handle it.  I was still being threatened and harassed by someone who is not me.  Every day was a struggle.  Fixing the house. Being assaulted via his attorney.  Trying to stay safe in that house, or at least capturing the sense of relative safety and get a decent night's sleep.  Threats.  More threats.   Not having any money.  Not being able to find a place for myself and CoolCat for when the house sold.  Waiting for the next assault/threat/attack.

I cannot share the worst of what I experienced because there might come a time when someone from that old life could access this safe place and use it against me, but there were several times of significance when I truly believed that I would not be able to go on even one more day.  Sometimes survival was from hour to hour.  And, yeah, someone who is not me would love to know that, that I was that seriously affected by every stupid, pointless, cruel, threatening, disgusting thing he tried to do to me after I fled for my life all those months ago.

So, when we began to get too close to those core issues, I stopped working with my therapist.  I just stopped.

Then, in the past month or so, I began to have those cannot-do-any-of-this-anymore feelings, which is stupid because I have been doing this.  All of it.  I kept it all together when preparing the house.  I kept it all together after the house sold and CoolCat and I lived in a motel for a while because I did not have any other place to stay that would allow cats, and could not stay with my daughter or any friends because it seems that I have a talent for choosing friends with life-threatening allergic reactions to fur-bearing creatures.

During those last weeks in the house, I continued to look for a place to live, without success.  In the last week and a half, I had two appointments to euthanize CoolCat because I had no place to take him and he is un-adoptable due to chronic and expensive health issues and because his temperament, well, it sucks.  He is fairly unfriendly because one of his health issues is back problems as a result of not having a tail.  It sometimes causes spine problems which cause pain which cannot be properly treated with pain medication, due to being a cat, which is risky, which makes him cranky...the pain.  The reason there were two euthanasia appointments is because I could not do it the first time and I could not do it the second time either.  Until I thought of the motel thing, my plan was for us to live in the car in the back driveway of a friend.

But, there was a happy ending.  The short version is that I found a place to live, where CoolCat was welcome.  This place is barely within the limits of my resources, but I like it and we are safe here.  We have decent shelter, enough money for food, utilities, litter and the occasional carton of ice cream from Walgreen's when they are on sale or I am feeling desperate for some junk/easy/indulgent mood altering.

Some who is not me extorted a good portion of the proceeds of the house from my share because I was so invested in getting free with as few complications as possible.  Now, if I had known that one of his activities was to steal and hide a huge portion of our joint assets and investments, I might have been more assertive about him continuing to fuck me over and over and over.

No, that is not true.  I was not capable of being assertive about anything.  Nothing.  I knew it then and I know it now.  I would not have done anything differently.  And, whilst it means that something who is not me has most of our assets, I have something he will never have.

I have come through all of this with my ethics and morals and standards for decent behavior intact.  I never responded in kind to any of his shenanigans, which is how I choose to think of his crap.  In fact, I never responded to him at all.  He and his sister would make all of these threats through his attorney, who would send it to my attorney, who would tell me, and that would be the end of it.  Our response (mine, really) was no response.  No 'yes', no 'no', no nothing.

I think that never losing myself, never becoming caught up in the terrible stuff that can be part of a divorce was perhaps the one thing over which I had control, in an adult life of never having control over anything, not even my body.  

Interestingly, now that the worst is over and I am comfortable with so much, I feel that doing what I did and how I did it is worth everything.  You know, like everything.

And, still, with everything I have experienced, I am feeling the occasional impatience at not being recovered and healed by this time, even though it has been only a few months.  I guess I am simply weary of it all.  I know that it takes time, that it took decades to bring me to this point in my life, that healing takes time, that I will be dealing with the PTSD for a very long time.  Very long.  I take medication for the depression.  I have medication to help combat the anxiety and panic attacks, but I made the mistake of reading the prescription insert and it causes drowsiness, and I just cannot have that.  Lordy.

I need either a different medication(s) or a higher dosage of the one I already have.  I am stalling.  However, I have gone back into therapy.  Two sessions worth in the last week or so.  And, in those sessions, my therapist is pushing to work on the issue over which I quit.

It is anger.  Or, actually, my inability to feel anger, much less express it.  It is a foreign language in an equally foreign location, to which I have no access, having swallowed it for most of my life.  Just ate all of it up with a spoon.

It served me well.  It helped me survive.  I am not complaining.  Except, of course, that is exactly what I am doing, because working on this is horrible.  It scares me beyond articulation.  I made a vow to do this work, and I will.  It still scares me, but I will do the work, because the panic attacks are returning and that scares me even more.

The practical aspect is that I am supposed to write down what I am feeling as I feel the panic building. 
What happened just before.
What is happening now.
How I was feeling before it started.
The specifics of how I am feeling now.
 I thought that I would also note what I had been eating, drinking, sleeping, whatever.

I have not had one in this week or so.  Had one tonight.  Something difficult happened, no worse than any recent difficult things, but this one knocked me on my ass, and I have no idea why I reacted to this one thing when I have not done so to any of the other things that happened last week, which was a terrible week.

Writing all of this is helping, although it is not bringing me any closer to understanding any of this.  I am trusting that this is the process. 

I am not running away again.  I am sticking with this. 


Dear Diary,

This is what normal feels like, at least the new normal I am crafting.  I may have written about the three times I have felt happiness since being here.  Three actual moments of a deep and comfortable feeling of contentment, but mostly safety I guess.  No matter, it has been decades since I remember feeling like this.  Sure, I have felt happy, pleasure and joy during that time, but not happiness, and I do not know how to explain this.  Perhaps it is the quality of safety that makes a difference.  Just do not know.

Whatever it is, I am grateful, happy even.

Today's happiness is my fourth.  The grandbabies just left.  They have been here since Friday and it was just plain great.  As are all grandchildren, they are bright, brilliant even, funny, delightful, brilliant, creative, adorable, brilliant, cute.

I have more fun and love and just everything with them than I deserve.  Truly.  I knew that having grandchildren would be wonderful, but I had no idea of how wonderful.  I adore my daughter and her husband (my own sweet boy, frankly, and who loves me right back), but these children, gosh, I really did not have any concept or expectation that there was so much love inside me to be expressed.  Since their births, maybe even before that, I feel about them the same way that I do about my daughter.  She is a great mom, we all get along famously and try to spend as much time together as possible. 

When I was looking for a home, I spent most of my time searching for a place near to her.  It did not work out and I think that living in this new city is probably one of the most significant disagreements we have ever had.  Of course, disagreeing for us means her saying that I really need to live closer to her and the guys and me saying that I cannot afford anything near to her and that, given that circumstance, my preference is to live here, less expensively and close to my work. 

So, we had fun this weekend.  The only reason they went home this morning is because their mom missed them so much.  She called this morning and asked to fetch them if we did not have any plans for the day, and said that she nearly called last night. 

And, now they are on their way home.  I cannot bear to clean up their toys, although they did some of that before they left.  I just want to see stuff strewn around for a while longer.  When I was married, they could not ever come to the house.  There could never be any disturbance in the 'force' and other people in the house, those he liked were fine, but not so for his own child and her children.

But, whatever.  All of that is in the past and the boys and their parents can visit Grammy any time they fucking well please.  I do not use that kind of language around others, but it perfectly expresses my new sentiments.

Totally unconnected, but I turned on the television after they left and there is a Bette Davis movie on public television.  I have no idea what it is about, I think she is ill and might lose her sight, but it has Ronald Reagan, Humphrey Bogart, and Bette's eyes and her, heretofore unaware consciousness, amazing breasts.  Holey-moley, she really was the whole package, brains, talent, beauty and a sweet person to boot. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


So anyway, I am sitting in a comfortable chair at the DMV. I thought that I had an easy issue, but no one seems to know where to direct me. I have had only stellar experiences here so this should be interesting. This also seems to be the firs day for several of the employees. Maybe, staff-wise they are trying to have everyone fully trained before the holiday season. The wait is fine. I get to sit and people-watch, but other patrons are fit to be tied up and moved to padded rooms. I am feeling very glad that I chose to do this now instead of waiting until the last moment.

Monday, October 8, 2012

lost week, most likely

I am back on-line. Internet here. Man. This will significantly reduce the amount of time I spend at the Library, taking care of loose ends for clients.  

I thought that I would get this back and immediately become involved with all sorts of stuff, but the need to do that is apparently gone.  Interesting.  I wonder if it will return in some way.  All that is better because of this new connection is that I can use an actual keyboard.

Just have to see.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

lost weekend

Another weekend of not much done,which is fine because there are no actual agendas or pressing schedules,well other than making sure that CoolCat and I are properly fed and watered. We are. Of course,this upper respiratory thing can disappear any time now. My great plan for CoolCat's scratching post is a fail . Poor guy. So,clean or nap. Huh.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

interesting lunch

I worked at a local government location and one of the clients was drunk. There might be other issues, but the alcohol certainly did not help. I am always conflicted when this happens. I certainly want to help, and I most certainly want to keep the person off of the road, but I can never be certain what the client is able to take from our work together, although, if I am doing my best for that person, maybe that is enough. Calling the police is often not reasonable because the intoxicated person is gone before the officers arrive. At this agency today, one of their employees was conducting a seminar and had a drunk attendee, as well. This is happening often enough that I am thinking that when someone is actively behaving as though intoxicated and smells strongly of booze that I should just ask him/her to reschedule. Geez, I hate even thinking about having to do this. Man. Maybe it is time to submit another article to the newspaper. Lunch, following that interesting morning was even more so. I met two friends at the favorite restaurant of one of them. One of the many interests we hold in common is poetry. We all write it, publish, and they perform. One facilities poetry, musical and performance art events, and I guess it is my turn to host one, something that he likes to do for particular types of, styles of performers. I am slightly concerned about having a house full of complete strangers, though. Huh.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

life altering ideas

Dear Diary,

I am a kind of pain in the ass about this stuff, even to myself.

First of all, it is the judgmental part of me that keeps poking her nosy, opinionated, assholish self into all sorts of places.  Most of the time I can hold my peace, bite my tongue, get the hell over myself.  Sometimes I cannot.

Oh, like when I hear someone being judgmental about someone else, particularly when that person being judged is simply different in whatever, life practices, beliefs, how she/he does things or does not do things, even things like how someone dresses or shops or the things she/he has that the other person does not believe she/he should have (maybe no one should have) if she/he were as dedicated to whatever the judger thinks should have some kind of dedication.  Like being green, or living simply, or technology, or how she/he raises their children/chickens/goats/vegetables. 

I have to be honest and say that I cannot think of an example right now, but I am certain that my inner judge is going to rear her ugly opinions any moment now.

So, that is my first life altering idea.  I will work, like seriously and with fullness of intention and heart, work on not being so judgmental.  About anything. 

I pretty much can do that at work, even though some of the front desk people are driven to distraction by some of the weird stuff my clients do.  I can laugh it off because I have been doing this for a long time, and they have not.  All they see is how disruptive these people can be, and I am in complete agreement about that.  People, no matter their disability or whatever it is that compromises their ability to behave well in public, still have to behave well in public. 

I might have mentioned this already, but I had a client last week who was very difficult.  She lied to several people and caused trouble, plain and simple.  When she and I were finishing, she commented that she would be making a complaint report the following day about one of them.  I told her that if she behaved only half as scattered and rude with them as she did in my office (well, sort of an office, more of a bat cave), that she owed them a huge apology. 

She gave two of them little apologies, but it was probably more than anyone had asked of her in a long time.  She and I have lots of work in our future, and I have to say that I was, still am, proud that she did at least try.  Frankly, that is all we should be expecting from other people, that they just try their best.  Maybe that is what we should be expecting from ourselves, as well.

So, no more, or at least a dramatic reduction in the judging that I do, even the judging thoughts in my head, which is where they mostly are, but they should not be there either.

I want to give this a few weeks, see how I do and if I can sustain being a nicer person, before I move on to one of the several dozen life altering ideas I want to incorporate into my life.  One of them has to do with chocolate, but I am planning on deliberately failing that one.  Sort of sweet, dark, melty, bitter, soul-supporting lovliness.  Not gonna do it.  Really, who can blame me.  Really.


I was passing by and my grandmother's high chair caught my eye.


Dear Diary,

I like the whole better thing.  I know that it is unsustainable for every day, but it is high on my oh-please-just-let-me-grow-the-hell-up list.

So, the birthday party was fine.  M loved her gifts and cake (cheesecake, dark chocolate cakey bottom layer, raspberry something on top, covered with a very nice two-layer ganache and good buttercream all around) and her sister was there and, gosh, after yesterday's day stuff, it was just nice.  Dinner was great, too.  Did not have to cook or clean up.  Nice.

Being social on just about any level is still difficult and I am wondering why. My brain says, quite confidently, that the worst is over and that I should (not can or might or it could be a good idea, but should) be moving forward more quickly.  And, yes, I know that the residue of decades of all of that crap is not going to just pick up its filthy, disgusting sacks and go somewhere else.  It just seems that I should be having more forward movement in so many parts of my life and it simply is not happening.

So, I go back into therapy this week.  Not like backward-back, just a return.  I left because, well, because talking about anything was more than I could handle with all of the other stuff.  So, I quit.  I am a quitter, or maybe I was a quitter or maybe just about therapy.  During the bad times, when it was bad, I used to tell myself, sometimes out loud, just to make sure that I was listening, that I was not a quitter.  I stuck there through the good times and it seemed as though it was only right or fair or decent to stay through the bad times, the dangerous ones. 

I used to say, "J, you are not a quitter.  You can stay here and figure out a way to fix this.  If you just did the right things at the right times, none of this would be happening".  It was easy to believe that, that if I could only figure out what to do and how to act, that nothing bad would happen.  It, that whole construct, was what someone who is not me would tell me.  Afterwards.  If I would just do what I was supposed to do, then everything would be fine and I would not get into trouble all the time.

Except, no one could tell me what that was.  You know, the right things.  I could not figure it out myself, and someone who is not me would tell me that if I were not so stupid that I could figure it out and that I needed to try harder.  I did try harder.  I tried harder all the time.  I really did.

Now, with the perspective of being out of there for the past several months, a bit more than seven months now-can I even believe that, I can see that I never had a chance, that no matter what I did it would never be right because I never knew what the rules were and whatever I did would be in violation of rules that were fluid, changing to make sure that I always violated whatever the hell they were.

Or, it occurs to me right this moment, maybe there never were any rules, just opportunities, excuses, to do whatever he wanted. 

Anyway, I am safe now and healing as best I can and making great decisions and enjoying this new life of mine.  None of this happened in an instant and I guess the residue does not disappear in an instant, either.

That actually helps me to feel better, somehow.  Or, perhaps not 'somehow' but because I earned it, this right to feel better and not worry so much.  I keep saying everything in its time, and I mean it when I tell myself that; it is just, oh, I do not know, I am impatient.  As though I waited all of this time, knowing that I would die there and never have any kind of peace or safety, and here it is and, fuck, I do not know where any of this is going. 

Clearly, therapy is a serious need right now.  I just really do not want to start all of that damn crying again.  Tissues are expensive, hankies are gross and I already get enough weird looks without walking around with a roll of toilet paper hung on a ribbon around my neck.  So, not going to do that again. :)

I am having lunch tomorrow with a friend, maybe two if the other guy does not have plans.  I do not have many friends in this new town and the few people I know have all-day jobs and do things at night, which I do not have or do.  Being out after dark does not make me weirder or totally freak out or anything, but it feels uncomfortable, so I do not do it.  Lunch should be fine.  At least until Daylight Savings ends.  Then, I might be able to do only breakfast. 

What else.

I guess that is that, then.  Fiber club tonight.  I have begun one of those knit hats with the ear flaps for one of my grandsons.  I have yarn to make one for the other sweet baby, and am hoping that I can follow that pattern and finish them before their heads are too big to fit the hats.  I am looking for time to knit at home, but that might be compromised when I finally get the Internet next Monday.  Yippee!!  Typing with a keyboard.  Being able to format paragraphs, and insert pictures and share stuff.  Totally cool.

I think I will bake bread tonight as an apology present for one of tomorrow's potential lunch people.  Nah.  I will get home...after dark...hungry and tired from a long day and I will make popcorn, have a soda and watch television whilst I play on my phone.

Maybe I am not a quitter, but I am a slacker.  Of sorts.  I like it, this being a slacker.  It is nice to not have to do anything.  I like it a lot, and so does CoolCat.  Maybe we will have hot dogs.  He likes those.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

long day

And, it is not even half over. No Internet equals no paragraphs, but I carry on...oh, what a valiant, little chap I am! :) Lordy . Anyway, I was fine, really, when this morning's installation went ass over teakettle. Then the other stuff came calling. Car repair woes plus a licensing issue (maybe random weirdness, maybe facilitated by someone who is not me) . Then the notification that my supplementary insurance plan went belly up. Sweet lordy, I can handle, like totally and completely, like a genius, take charge and do all of this. Like totally. But, it must have been just enough to bring on an aftershock. Fuck. So, anyway, I did some breathing and put things into perspective meditative crap, and I am feeling more myself. But, I am supposed to be at a birthday party, several counties away in an hour and a half, and I am sitting here, poking this out on this teeniest of keyboards, and the television is on, sound off, and Rick Bayless is on, and I never noticed how excited, riled angry he looks when you cannot hear what he is saying and how enthused he is about what he does. Seriously, he looks like the crazy person I might be inside. Interesting. Even I get it. You know. :)

i can

I can handle the complicated installation next week, without my usual incessant verbal spewing . How's that for positive thinking! ********** I can manage to find another supplemental insurance plan that will serve my health and budget. ********** I can figure out how to keep the whole car thing going until I establish routines and behaviors that allow me to comfortably and safely use the bus. ********** I have the patience to rework my budget. ********** I can do whatever needs doing without losing my mind, my fairly tenuous (and most likely undermedicated) sanity without completely freaking out or eating every, single, last sweet and/or salty thing in the tri-state area. ********** I am the weird, ugly, old, fat babe who can. I got the scars to prove it.


It seems that the cable company is unable to keep their information in a way that makes it available to their service representatives who are doing their best to help potential customers. So, no Internet service for me. The installers arrived, but were unable to do anything because the equipment already installed here is obsolete and, despite my previous inquiry regarding possible access to the basement (which requires the presence of the landlord, and assurances that he was not needed here, I had to cancel the appointment send the men on their way and spend an hour on the phone straightening and arranging everything with everyone. Not really complaining, but this is costinting money and time that I cannot afford, and a week of inconvenience. All things in their time, yes?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

doing nothing

Well,not much of anything. Reading, watching a couple of DVDs, maybe having a nap. Not much, and clean big-girl panties will have to wait until I go to the laundromat after tomorrow's afternoon meeting. Technology comes and becomes handier this week when I regain internet service. Yay! Reading is White Horse ,a post apocalyptic story that is intriguing if only because the tale is being revealed in obscure references; cannot really even call them hints. Maybe have cake, too.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lots of forward movement

So.  I pretty much have whatever I need to live now.  A bit of money in the bank, which also provided me the opportunity to buy some things that I really needed.  Now, I have experienced loss nearly every day since the last big move, and all because of the stuff I needed to leave behind.

Sure, I can live without those things.  I know that because I was certain that getting rid of them in those moments would not kill me and there really was not any alternative to simply giving and throwing away all that stuff.

Frankly, if you have that much stuff, well, you have too much stuff.

That said, I miss my oils and all the equipment that goes along with doing aromatherapy.  All of it went into the trash on the last evening I was able to be in the house.  It could have been donated, but I kept hoping to find a place to live and that I would be able to haul some of that stuff around with me in the car for a few days or weeks or something.  I had rented a storage unit, but it was small and already full of other stuff.

Had I not been able to find an apartment the heat in the storage unit would have ruined the oils and tools anyway, so into the trash they went.

I left lots of things for the new owners.  They were surprised and thrilled and that makes me happy.  I do miss my folding stool, a small cart and gardening tools.  Too bad, I guess.  Same goes for all of the kitchen things I gave to other people, mostly those that I met when I was living in the shelter.  That is kind of nice.  Was then and I still feel that way now.

Mostly it bothers me that I miss and mourn all of those things.  It bothers me a lot.

I have to admit that I am feeling much better since using some of the trust account money to replace my iron (yippee!!!!), the lost sewing machine (two were lost somehow in all of the moving, bought only one stunningly inexpensive one, and it has not blown up or anything yet), some kitchen stuff (muffin pans, food processor...which I never had before and I love it..., toaster, a couple of utensils, stuff like that), some put-together-yourself shelving for my work/sewing/studio room (had absolutely no room to store the old shelving and it all went to the metal recycler) but my best purchase was sisal to make CoolCat a decent scratching post.  I did not buy any wood for the frame, but am using the end/arm section from the old futon (tossed) that I used in the storage unit to keep my mattresses off of the floor.

I started it yesterday and CoolCat, well, he is just a cat, but he was so excited when I unwrapped and unwound the sisal rope.  Like, he went momentarily insane with happiness.  I know that really happened, because I have experienced three...count 'em, three!!!...moments of happiness myself in the past few weeks, something that has not been a part of my life for a very long time.  Pure, unadulterated happiness.

So, both of us are thrilled with making the scratching post thing and I am kind of loving how excited and happy we are.  There were moments yesterday when I was awash in such wonderful and happy feelings that I had to stop and simply enjoy them.  I want more.  I know I will have more, probably too many to count or keep track of.  I am looking forward to that, but I know that I will never, never, ever, ever, ever take these moments for granted.

Ever.  Each one will be a brand-new affirmation of the amazing life I now have.  I could not envision having any kind of a life before, much less one where I would be safe and have my art around me and be comfortable and make my own decisions and be just plain safe, which is the foundation on which this new life is being constructed.

It is my most fervent desire to not buy anything more, not one, single thing, and I think that is a reasonable expectation.  I can go back to my budget and still buy some of the Wedgwood blue yarn I need to make a couple of face washers for a friend's newly remodeled bathroom.  I already have yarn to make hats for the grandbabies, who have not been actual babies for a very long time, but they are my sweet babies and so that is what I call them, and will continue to do until they ask me to stop calling them my sweet babies, which I hope will be never, or at least a really long time.

Oh, and I am going to try to be a vegan again, although I realistically do not hold much hope of achieving that, but I think that I might be able to handle ovo-vegetarianism.

Does that come with bacon?

Monday, September 24, 2012

I-I -I am a material girrrrrrrrrrrrrrl :

Yes, I am.

I finally received my share of the trust account from the divorce.  It is mostly from the proceeds of the house sale, which is not much because it was only me to fix it all up and get it ready for sale.  Well, that is not exactly accurate true. because I had two half days help, one from my daughter and the second from a friend, as well as hiring five amazing men to haul all of the hoarding stuff from someone who is not me.

But, for nearly two months, I fixed, cleaned and tidied that house and property.  It was stunningly difficult work, doing it alone, even though I was accustomed to doing most of the household maintenance.

But...but...but, now I do not have to worry about paying the rent or, really, just about anything that requires cold, hard cash.

So, I went shopping.

Some kitchen stuff, muffin pans, parchment paper, little things
Drying rack for whenever I build the courage to use the 'toy-sized' clothes washing machine I bought a month ago.  Well.
Groceries.  Meat that is not cheap and disgusting.  Vegetables.  Oils.  Staples like cereals, flours and stuff like that.
Food processor.  Yippee!

I spent just over $200.00 and it felt so good. 

I will be going shopping again this afternoon for materials to make CoolCat a warm bed, because I am going to use the furnace as little as possible until I see what it costs to keep a reasonable temperature here.  I am also buying materials to make him a kick-paw scratching post, like the one we had at the house.

I am buying crafting supplies and going to the post office and maybe even having a late lunch or early dinner out. 

This totally rocks, especially since many of the things I have been missing like crazy, well, it seems as though I can continue to still miss them but not have to replace them.

This totally rocks.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

catching up on what may pass for my newlife

I should be doing something useful, but my afternoon client cancelled and there have not been any walk-ins.  So, I am watching SNL skits on MSN.  OK.

Lots of things happening, but I have decided to stop complaining about every damn thing and focus on the positive.  I am not sure what positive is going to ultimately mean, and complaining is one of my core characteristics; just hoping for the best.

Where to begin.

I have adjusted CoolCat's feeding schedule and he is tossing his kibble much less.  Might even be in danger of losing his King of Vomitus title.  The Emir of Emesis.  The Sovereign of Spew.  Might have to heave out for someone more prolific at purging.

My Saturday morning coffee friends are coming to my house for breakfast guessed it...Saturday.  They all want to bring things, kind of stuck on my limited resources, but I just gotta love them for it. 

I am making muffins, orange, pineapple and chocolate.  If I thought I could squeeze some dried cranberries in there I would. 

Bacon.  Lots.  At least two pounds, 'cuz these babes sure do love their bacon.  Like insanely.  So, lots of crispy pig slices. 

Smoothies.  Just banana, strawberry and vanilla.  Nothing fancy and no special orders.

Eggs, which can be to order and which should also be interesting in the kitchen, which is the size of most bathrooms.

Bread, freshly made late on Friday night, or maybe I will save the last rise for Saturday morning and then bake.  I am making the muffins on Friday, because they taste better the next day, so that could work, bread-wise.

Coffee.  I have only a five-cup drip pot, so someone is bringing another, larger pot/machine, because this group was drawn together by their love of coffee.  I do have tons of grounds, though, and lots of nice water.

I have no idea what everyone else is bringing, but it will surely be interesting and plentiful.

I am still waiting for some money from the trust account.  Someone who is not me is holding things up as much as possible.  Who knows when all of this will finally end, the account, the dividing of the investments, all of it.  Frugal me can make it on very little, but my landlord would like very much to have the rent on time.  I sat down with my stuff yesterday and I can make the rent, gas for the car and groceries, but...depending on when it arrives...the utility bill might make for an interesting day or two.  Not going to worry, though, as everything seems to be working out just fine.

I am trying to make my second volunteer gig for helping people job-wise be a good fit.  If you volunteer in any kind of a business setting you will know that having a person who is volunteering her/his time makes some of the current, paid employees a bit nervous.  Despite all explanations and disclaimers to the contrary, there are always a few people who think that you are there to work your way into a paid position.  I am trying to be bright and breezy and be clear that I am not looking for a job, with uneven success.

It does not help that last week I served a client who began our session with racist remarks.  I shared my customary position that prejudicial, biased, bigoted and stereotypical comments are not permitted and that that sort of behavior is essential to the work we will be doing, that we will not be working together.  Said just like that and in a calm and pleasant voice and demeanor. 

I know that the world, heck my neighborhood and city are chock full of people who are holding on to and expressing racism all over the place.  And, let us not even address family members, one of whom is not speaking to me because I said pretty much the same as above when some really disgusting comments were made in front of my grandsons.   The guy and his siblings were having great fun at the expense of African Americans and gay people, in the same conversation.  I was so uncomfortable that I said what I needed to say and then left a very important, to me, birthday party, not mine, on Saturday afternoon.  I am not a prig, nor am I dedicated to always speaking up or commenting, much less making a big deal of this stuff, but it is not in anyone's best interest for me to stick around and just listen to that crap. 

Truthfully, if it had been just me to whom they were speaking, I would have the same response.  Seriously, none of these people just met me and I find it fascinating that they think that it is safe to spew hatred in front of me. 

Milwaukee, which is not too far from here, recently had an attack on a religious facility, where several people were killed, some were injured, including one of the police offers who responded to the attack.  Whilst I am not surprised that this inspired a whole shit load of negative chatter about that particular ethnic group, I am more than a bit surprised and completely heartened at how that local community, Milwaukee and individuals of all kinds have become insistently vocal in their support of the members of that religion and vehemently assertive with those who would take this as an opportunity to broadcast their poisonous agenda.

 Despite this, and the loving and supportive attitudes and behaviors of the people I know, and now the people of Milwaukee, is one of the things that gives me hope of all kinds.

I remember when the attacks of 9/11 happened, and that there was so much anger towards the ethnic group(s) held responsible for all of those terrible events.  I think that, maybe, good people were stunned into silence when all of the hatred and anger was turned towards the entirety of Muslim and Mid-Eastern people.  Maybe what happened in the Milwaukee area is a sign of how far we have come in accepting those who are different from ourselves, and maybe the events of 9/11 was in some way the catalyst for people of integrity and good intention to eventually stop keeping silent when hatred is expressed.

How did I get on this subject?!! Oh, yeah, the couple of idiotic, bigoted people I have had as clients.  It is not like I expect everyone to be color-blind, as I think that eliminates opportunity to learn about people who are different from me, religion, culture, origin, even preferences.

You know, it is a huge cliché, but our world is increasing small all the time.  You can try to deny it, but media, technology and travel are opening up every part of the world for anyone who wants, or just happens, to learn about it, and in ways that no one could have ever imagined.  We do not have to like it, frankly, even though that does not serve us very well, but the truth is that we live in this particular world space.  And, I do not think that life is going to be any easier when things start to go all wonky...and they will/are...if your experience and vision and perspective is clouded by prejudice and the lack of acceptance of anyone who is different.

So, not so much complaining, but it is clear that ranting is willing to take its place.  Rants are not complaining.  Really.  I think.

Hopefully next week will find me with great financial resources, or if not, a brighter attitude and fewer small-minded people.  Yes, that is a total and complete judgement.  Yep.

Oh, sewing machines.  I found my serger, but the basic machines seems to have been lost in the moving all over the damn place.  I researched and drooled and even went to look at machines at a store where I trust the owners as ethical people.  I settled on a mid-range machine, but wanted to take overnight to think about that kind of purchase, especially when I did not have the actual cash to buy it and would have had to put it on my credit card.  I am accustomed to paying that card bill in full each month, but I have missed sewing so much.  Several times a week I either need to fix something or just plain need to sew dammit. 

I knew I was in trouble when I started becoming all emotional about it.  Like crying, for crying out loud.  I was a mess.  I needed to sew.  It is meditative and, gosh, I think that it is close to a spiritual experience for me.  I missed it so much, not having been able to sew for, gosh, months.

But, I could not bring myself to spend the money on a machine, not when I really need dental care, like desperately.  So, I did not buy it.  So sad.  Really.  If you were really frugal and needed something and were accustomed to making it yourself, this is really sad.

So, on Saturday, after coffee, I went to a fabric store to look at less expensive machines, and whilst they were half the price of the one I longed/drooled for, I still could not buy one.  After buying some ever-so-cute fabric for this bookmark swap thing, I walked down the strip mall to a store where one of the coffee chicks works.  A friend and I wandered around there and as we were thinking about leaving and looking for some lunch, my friend who works there said that they had a machine there and it was on sale.

It is a Singer, an older model.  Sale price plus extra sale day discount and I bought the machine for about $70.00/US, including tax.  About 10% the cost of the machine over which I drooled.  So far I have only sewn the two bookmarks, but on Sunday I will be dedicating the entire day to making an every-day throw for the sofa, one for the chair; a nice, big, comfy bed for CoolCat; a bread bag.  If there is time or energy, maybe I will get a tote bag for work out of it, maybe some napkins.

Oh, it might be nice to have the napkins for Saturday.  There must be some fabric around that I could use.

Well, there you go.  All happy and positive again.

Speaking of happiness, I experienced it twice recently.  In maybe a decade or three, those were the first times that I experienced real happiness and contentment.  More about them another day, but they were over simple things.  Fucking amazing.  Ah, guess I have not given up cursing.  Curses!!!!