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Happy New Year, loves. I hope that in spite of the chaos occurring politically in our country (a separate blog post) your year is beginning in a way that you can live with. I was hoping that with my first entry of the year I could put a smile on your face.

After Luna passed away, we still have one cat, Daisy who is 12 years old until July.

We also have a dog, Leo, also known as Satan, You Asshole, Il Bastardo, Fucker, Bad Dog, What The Fuck Did You Do, and Good Dog. Leo is 4 yrs old until April. Today’s story is about Leo. Disclaimer prior to the story, though: Leo is one of the most spoiled dogs you ever will meet. He answers to Leo, Sweet Boy. Okay, yes, sometimes he answers to Asshole.

Leo is very smart. We’re always amazed at the things he understands and figures out. He understands some ASL, and has even created some doggie versions of Sign Language to communicate. He mimics sit, no, yes as best he can with his paws. He created a couple of signs with paw motions for fur scratching, belly rubbing, etc., plus some particular body language and vocalizations; we’ve tried to train him to have manners since we have family and friends and mailpersons who aren’t Dog People.

There are the typical behaviors trained into him like going to a door to request to go outside and whatnot, and training tricks. It took several weeks to train him out of trying to sincerely, affectionately “hug” people. How -does he do that? This 80+ Malinois springs to his hind legs and tried to engulf people with his front legs. If someone is willing to hug, we had to train a “proper” hug to be over someone’s forearm but more importantly, the command to stay down.

He uses the sign for “stay down” if I get up from the couch. He uses his version of “sit” when he wants me to sit down if I come into the living room. He understands the concepts when someone other than he is sad, hurt, angry, happy, sorry, thankful, love, proud. When I’ve noticed he seems to be feeling an emotion… note I said seems to be… I’ve tried to attach a word to it to give it meaning. If I’ve accidentally stepped on his foot, I apologize, sweet talk, but I’ve gotten down to eye level and sign “I’m sorry” to him. When he’s seemed sad, I assigned the sign for “tears” and then if I’ve been sad, used it for myself. He once came to me and move my hand so my fingers dragged across his face to show he was sad when I didn’t understand that when he dragged his paw over his face that was what he was saying.

His intelligence is what gets him in trouble frequently. He was being fresh one day and stole some mail. He refused to drop it, so I took one of his high value toys to trade it. He refused. I said, “Is this Mommy’s horn or Leo’s horn? If Leo drops the the mail, Mommy drops the horn. Oh, he dropped the mail, but then made an end run around me, grabbed the TV remote under the table, then raced back to knock the buffalo horn out of my hands and race back under the table with it.

That day, it was 0 Mommy, 2 Leo. The mail was soggy with bite marks. So that happened.

Leo’s favorite toy has always been his Black Bone. It’s indestructible. It makes squeaky noises when he chews it. He can chew it while hold it upright, sideways, any way at all. He chews it while he’s sitting, saying down, laying upside down with the bone dangling over his face, held in his weird Malinois webbed flexy finger-paws. He tries to play tug o’ war with it. He likes it to be thrown, if only he lets it go when he brings it to you. He’s still working on learning “fetch.” He likes to toss it himself, watching it bounce. He becomes heartbroken if it’s lost.

He lost it several weeks ago. He received some new toys at Christmas, and enjoys them, but they’re not the same.

Then on Saturday my youngest Brother came over with a milk crate full of Dog! Toys! that included a Black Bone. He loves Uncle Mommy’s Brother, but now Uncle Mommy’s Brother is his favorite uncle.

Yesterday, Sunday, I had a small bowl with plain mashed potatoes. Leo knows that begging isn’t allowed. No one in the house has ever been allowed to indulge begging from the plate. Instead, when we have dog-safe fresh fruits and veggies, I let him have tastes of those safe ingredients. Some he likes better cooked or pureed and put into the toys that use purees since we don’t use nut butters. Due to taste testing, he knows what potatoes smell like although usually he’d get a taste in a thin slice, no seasoning. I never make him do tricks for these tastes. When he does tricks for special treats, it’s because those treats are rare ie. hence the name “treat.”

It was my bowl, however. I told him “No tastes, sorry.” He walked away and came back to put Black Bone on my lap. I thought he was asking me to throw it. He didn’t want to take it back, he wanted it on my lap. He looked at the bone back on my lap, then the my bowl, and his verbalization that means “taste, please.” I realized he was asking for a trade: a taste of the mashed potatoes for the Black Bone, his highest value toy.

How in the world was I supposed refuse? He would have accepted the refusal. But a trade? is that even normal for a smart dog to figure out to request? I admit that after four years, I put a dab on my fingertip and let him taste the mashed potato. He gently took it, savored it, then lay down in front of me completely satisfied. I told him what a Smart Dog he is, what a Good Dog. I named what he did… a trade… that it was Very Smart. I told him he was a Good Dog for No Begging. He seemed proud. I was really proud.

He let me finish the bowl of potatoes without asking for another taste. He didn’t ask anyone else to taste their food. He just lay down near me. He stayed there, and didn’t ask for Black Bone back. I offered for him to take it, and I swear he seemed offended. I offered it a second time, and he turned his face away.

A trade is a trade.

When it was time for me to go upstairs, I didn’t offer the toy back to him, but I did tell him I was putting it away. We’ve been putting toys away in the milk crate ie Toy Box, so he was content with that. Today, he won’t play with the bone.

I think my eldest daughter and I have come up with a solution, because I really don’t want him to be sad that his favorite toy now belongs to someone else.

The next time he steals something that doesn’t belong to him, I’ll have to offer the Black Bone back in trade.


How are you handling the pandemic? Most people seem to have their ups and downs. A lot depends on their support system. At home, my daughters and husband are really good 99.9999% of the time in taking precautions before leaving the house and coming home again. We have family that can’t decide if the pandemic is a hoax or not, but they walk on Occam’s Razor so at least there’s that.

I wouldn’t say that I’m fearful of the virus, but I have a healthy fear of it. With my particular disabilities, I have to be more cautious and wary since not everyone is considerate of how to minimize risks. What puts me at risk? I have a compromised immune system due to Asthma and Fibromyalgia. I also cope with secondary issues caused by the Fibro that exacerbate my risk. I always get my influenza vaccine, and make sure my family does too, since that’s a typical concern every year.

This year, without a vaccine for COVID-19, any respiratory illnesses puts people like me, and those at much greater risk than me, in a position where we have to weigh the benefits of attending extended family gatherings or even just going to run errands. For the last month I’ve been dealing with some pulmonary issues, which turned out to be bronchitis. Luckily for me a round of antibiotics and prednisone seem to be clearing things up. Unfortunately, I know that means my immune system will be weaker than usual. Fortunately, my parents are understanding and know that Thanksgiving won’t be a given this year. I know my brothers will be understanding, but I’m not so sure the Littles will be. My nieces and nephews adore my daughters and will miss them to no end. We will miss them even more. I just hope my  in-laws are as understanding.

Two of my daughters are attending school through distance learning this year.  Their high school is using a hybrid model, but as a family we decided this would be healthiest for all of us.  One of my daughters has Seizure Disorder, so we’re also protecting her health in all of this, not just mine.  The decision was made quite a bit easier when she informed me that she wasn’t going to in-person learning until there was a vaccine, and she laid out all of the health reasons for herself and for me.  She discussed her anxiety, and how she wouldn’t be able to concentrate on schooling if she had to attend in person.  She promised that if she could do distance learning every day then she’d attend every day without complaining.  So far so good, and both of them are thriving.  It doesn’t come without challenges, but thank goodness for technology that allows for schooling in this way.

I do feel a bit isolated. Self-quarantining isn’t much fun, especially for someone who already deals with agoraphobia. Pandemics don’t make agoraphobia any better, can I just tell you that? Maybe I’ve mentioned it before. The safe zones I had before? They’ve shrunk. There are far fewer than there were. I could probably count them on one hand. Just don’t make me do it right now. Any place that would be crowded is off the list. Only certain people’s homes are on the list. I get extremely anxious at the idea of doctor’s offices, but I realize that some doctors insist on in-person visits.

Oi, I keep doing tangents.

Do you have anyone to support you emotionally during the pandemic?

Luckily, I do still talk with my psychiatrist.  We maintain bi-weekly appointments over telemed, and I don’t know what I’d do without it.  I find it much easier to open up to my doctor, as it turns out, than when I’m physically in her office.  I think that’s taken her by surprise.  It’s taken me by surprise for certain.

There’s often a natural kinship in the disability community, whether we share visible or invisible physical disabilities.  There’s a kinship in mental health disabilities.  Why? Because the great majority of the time, disabilities are something that we don’t have to justify to each other.  Instead, we fee an ingrained compassion towards each other.

Something that every citizen in our country ought to recognize right now is this: We all, every single one of us, have a responsibility to take care of each other and care about what happens to society.  We need to care about our family and neighbors regardless of our differences.  We need to recognize that it’s acceptable to ask for help; it doesn’t make us weak.  Being able to ask for help when we need it is a sign of strength.  Offering help and giving help is a sign of character.

We’re a society that’s forgotten how to forgive.  We’re a society that’s grown to believe that we don’t need forgiveness from others.  People have become so angry and combative in as a default setting; trust doesn’t exist between people who were once close.  Division is a way of life now, to the point that we can’t seem to trust telling each other our basic thoughts for fear of it becoming a fight versus a healthy argument.

Daily life shouldn’t be this stressful.

Prior to the pandemic, it was difficult living as a disabled person without having a live-in carer.  I’m lucky that my daughters are teens and twenty; I’m lucky to be married to a caring husband.

Not everyone with my disabilities or more difficult disabilities is so lucky.  There are things like Uber Eats and Door Dash which delivery meals that people order from take-out restaurants and fast food restaurants, as well Insta-Cart to help people with grocery deliveries to the door.  Obviously these are great if you can’t leave the house.  If you can leave the house, but can’t go inside a store, many allow for curbside pick-up.  There are even curbside pick-up sites for Food Share and other food pantries.

Unfortunately, the pandemic has made it glaringly obvious how little so many of a particular political persuasion regard those who become sick, chronically ill, and disabled.  We have a man who has played at being president for four years who scorns and makes fun of disabled individuals.  He’s been directing his administration to continue trying to disable all Health Insurance protections during a pandemic.  He’s stripping protections from our Veterans.  He’s stripping protections given in Title 9.  He’s trying to dismantle The Education Act; and IDEA that protects disabled students.

He’s stripping protections from patients, more so women just as he’s stripping protections of consumers and giving all protections to the insurance companies and corporations.

It’s came out weeks ago that he said “Maybe the pandemic is a good thing,” because it means he doesn’t have to touch people who he considers disgusting.  People at his own rallies.  He’s had the pandemic as a cover, a distraction.  He uses the this global health pandemic as a political feint.  Just last week after a rally, he left at least a hundred of his own supporters in 10 degree F snowy weather, at night, to walk more than two miles to their cars.  Many had difficulty finding their cars.  People, including a wheelchair user, children, and some aging individuals were treated for hypothermia.  One would ask how this could happen.  The campaign called it unfortunate, but the truth is that organizers didn’t make sure that transportation was available for those people.

I can feel compassion for his supporters.  They didn’t ask for that sort of treatment, even if they do still support him after all of that.  I can especially feel compassion for the children that were affected who had no choice at all in the matter, whose parents didn’t plan ahead by keeping the kids home or accounting for the weather.

It costs me nothing to feel empathy.  We could use a little bit more of that in this country.  If we take a scorched earth point of view and withhold our compassion, empathy, love, and forgiveness that leaves us with a very limited path back to loved ones and friends.  There’s little chance of healing our families, let alone our country.

And if we can’t come together on basic issues, like how to handle keeping each other healthy and caring about others, then healing from a pandemic that’s taken 228,000 lives in our country to date is going to be a long road.

The problem with turning the pandemic into something political for his own benefit is that it ends up costing lives.  The lives we hear about the most are those who were healthy or young or both.  They’re considered to be more tragic.  There’s less heard about those who were chronically ill and disabled prior to becoming sick with COVID-19, as if the statistic likelihood of becoming sick, being more expected, makes it less tragic.  I’ve heard too many horrific eugenic-themed ideas and articles to be surprised that it’s reflected in society in general; but it’s espoused by the man occupying and desecrating the Oval Office.

We can’t entertain the idea of “herd immunity” without there being a vaccine that helps create the phenomenon.  We would need up to 75-80% of the population to be inoculated for herd immunity to begin protecting the 20-25% of those who can’t, don’t, or won’t get a vaccine.  Some people’s immune systems are too fragile for a vaccine; they might be allergic to some of the ingredients; some people may have a family history of bad reactions to vaccines; some people claim a religious exemption; some people shed the vaccine and it doesn’t work for them properly; some people don’t “believe” in the benefits of vaccines.

When there’s a vaccine that’s safe and effective for COVID-19, it’s more than likely that it’s going to be seasonal just as the one for Influenza is.  It’s already shown signs that it mutates. It can be picked up from surfaces and it’s airborne.  You can get it through your eyes, nose, mouth.  Because COVID-19 is a virus, you need cleaning products that kill viruses.  If you’re trying to clean your home to rid it of possible COVID-19 germs, don’t buy something that is only anti-bacterial. It must also be anti-viral or it won’t do you any good.  I mean, it’ll kill germs that cause bacterial infections, but not the common cold, the flu, or COVID-19.  The same goes when you buy hand sanitizing products.  I have to point out, please, that if you use hand sanitizers, to at least rinse your hands ASAP if not wash them because all the sanitizer does is kill germs.  It doesn’t get rid of them.  You still have dead germs on your hands.  What really gets rid of germs the best way possible is to wash your hands.

In our house, after any of us go out in public to a store, someone else’s home, work, etc. we put what we were wearing in the laundry.  Then we shower and put on fresh clothes.  No chances.  Full responsibility.

We know that if it’s going to happen, it’ll happen, but we try to reduce risk where we can.  I’ve mentioned before that I have an anxiety disorder and depressive disorder, on top of my physical disabilities, so being able to take a measure of control helps alleviate some anxiety.  I know it can come into the house any number of ways.  We’re prepared for that.  I’m not ready to say I’m emotionally prepared, but I know that it could happen.  Bronchitis is giving me a pretty good scare, let’s put it that way.

I know this entry has been really long and mostly emotional.  It’s been a bit here and there.  I’ve tried not to scatter too much, so I hope I’ve made some sense.  Be healthy, loves.


EDITED AGAIN:

I changed the header image, if you’ve checked, to lilacs. If I remember correctly this was from a photo I took of a neighbor’s lilacs a few years ago. I’ll keep the lilacs until I can figure out what I’m doing. Since they changed to this weird block writing nonsense, I’ve been having some problems with all of my tools.

*************************************

EDITED:

WELL WELL WELL that didn’t go as planned. The changes back to Misty didn’t work. I think I’ll try again.

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You may notice that I decided to go back to the Misty Theme again. It’s still my favorite, even when I make my own changes to it. With Autumn actually feeling like it’s here, and trees changing color, the scene of the bridge in the forest is the magical version of Autumn.

October always felt a little magical to me. It’s when the leaves change, and the air turns crisp and cool. If you didn’t have the sense to see or feel those things, you could still smell the difference in the leaves. In New England, you can smell the corn husks as people start to put them in decorations around the yard. There are the hay bales used for various things, including temporary seats on porches. Hay in its hint of grassiness, shifted to has its own special scent, added to the earthiness.

So, here we are with an old favorite.


Hi, Loves.  I’d like to start this morning with a simple prayer. [Update: I pray as a Christian, but if you identify with another religion please feel free to adjust my prayer for your needs.  If you’re not religious, that’s okay too.  Send this out as positive thoughts and energy and imagine yourself releasing the negative energy in one color, and the positive energy coming into you is a lighter, more beautiful color.  I imagine God’s Grace this way, actually  🙂   ]

In Jesus’ name I pray,

All too often, we don’t make room in our hearts for you.  Please help remove what hurts us so much, and fill us with your Grace.
May we be able to take just a few minutes to close our eye and concentrate on listening to our breath; counting to five as we breathe in; counting to six as we breathe out; doing this ten times, relaxing our thoughts as well as our bodies
May we be more mindful of our responses, attitudes, and behaviors
May we listen more than we speak today, so that we may understand others even if we disagree
May our expectations for ourselves today be simple
May we release our expectations of others today
Let us release our expectations of the day
May we understand that *perfection is not the true goal for any of us
May what we accomplish today be Enough
May today be Enough
May we be enough, and know that we are loved

Amen

 

 

 

*Footnote:  I truly, honestly would love it if the word “perfection” and all permutations of it were dropped.  There are so many other positive adjectives, adverbs, and yes… I’ll even bring gerunds into the mix.  Yup, I said it.  Gerunds: the backbone of the English language. ;-P


I realize that my last post wasn’t really cerebral. It was a mess of thoughts, and I hope they were coherent. A lot was emotional build-up from the past two years, as well as from now. I should have edited more carefully than I did, so I apologize for any typos I missed.


We thought the nation had gone round the bend for voting for W.Bush into the Presidency with his bumbling; yet his intelligence, charisma, and ability to unite people was enough to get him reelected.  Of course most people who did reelect him regretted it. We were so certain that our nation was fracturing from the pressure of the issues caused by the military conflicts and domestic political differences that he and VP Cheney were at the heart of.

We fought hard to sort that out; we were still working on sorting it out with President Obama, fighting to overcome global community’s view that we aren’t concerned with:

    1. our leaders being educated or
    2. inherited Eurocentric imperialistic attitude
    3. an inability to self-police human rights violations and war crimes
    4. the rights of all of our citizens
    5. the fact that our politics, attitudes, actions affect not only our nation but globallyPost President Obama, and that list is longer than my left arm. We can thank certain politicians who encouraged the fanatical extremist evangelistic religious right and tea partiers to take up a torch, run for office, and lobby hard. We ended up with men who were willing to allow a criminal onto the GOP ticket, without vetting him, even as he made disqualifying comments about his intentions for the presidency frequently including his intent ignore the U.S. Constitution.

The GOP thought they could puppet this man because their Vice President pick, a thoroughbred tea partier fanatical extremist evangelist on the religious right, a man as corrupt and neck deep in campaign corruption, election corruption, and corruption all throughout the new administration. They were wrong. Instead there was already a hostile foreign puppeteer’s hand up the devil’s arsehol… err… the man they chose had already been corrupted years ago by a hostile foreign nation and been approached in his campaign. There wasn’t room for a second set of hands up there. And then scandal after scandal has ensued.

Scandal is the wrong word. We have to find a different word, because “scandal” minimizes” what this uneducated, un-presidential, divisive, racist, bigoted, misogynistic, sadistic, ableist, chaotic, anti-government, anti-veteran, anti-education, incompetent, weak, unintelligent, boorish, gauche, pro quid-pro quo, unpatriotic, anti-American faux president has been doing to our country.The entire presidency has been an extended exercise in abuse on a massive scale by a man who is being allowed to use more power than he legally is allowed to use for personal gain, for petty revenge, and to aid countries who are not our allies.

I almost…. al.most long for the days of W.B. Then I remember we were lucky enough to have President Obama.

We’re still a young country, but one might still think that by 2020 we’d be much more enlightened than we are now. I mean, we elected a Black American for our President. Twice. With a House and Senate both packed against him he still managed to get a lot of good things done, but was blocked on far more.  He was mistreated beyond belief. Effigies of him were burned in the streets and hung.  We’re still fighting over the rights of marginalized groups of people in this country, and whether their rights infringe upon religious groups and supremacy groups rights to behave in hate speech and hate acts. Obviously, nah.

We’re still fighting over whether people deserve the right to live and expect affordable health care and health care coverage.

It’s become, somehow, a “far left wing liberal agenda” to believe that Human Rights, Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, Children’s Rights, Disability Rights, etc. et al, are important ideals to not only uphold but to fight for and encourage. That it’s an extreme idea. That these “extreme” ideas, these “extreme left liberal” ideas are something hateful and not a true entitlement. The words Democrat, Liberal, and Left are spat out like they’re epithets or slurs. I mean, sure, there actually is a far left but in the current Democratic Party, the most liberal of them aren’t nearly as liberal as “far left” gets. That’s a whole different post, differentiating aspects of different parties.

It’s a left wing liberal agenda to believe that every United States citizen deserves equal rights to be given a free and equal education. It’s a left wing liberal agenda to believe that people of color in the United States do not deserve to be receive police brutality, and that police reform needs to occur. That’s not a liberal agenda. That’s Human Rights. That’s Civil Rights.

If you poke around the internet, say, Twitter to start, you’ll notice that people dedicated to Trump politics until their dying breath, will hatefully vomit up that “liberalism is a mental illness.” Aside from the obvious issues I would have with that as a disability advocate, this is just one extreme example of the Us vs Them mentality I’ve mentioned in the past. It’s an example of encouraged hatred and division. Every word coming from Trump’s mouth, every single staged photo, every publicly scripted act since the death of George Floyd a little over a week ago has been intentionally divisive, corrosive, and encourages more violence. He’s taken the approach of Him + MAGA & Military Might vs Not Racist Americans.

The message is that those fucking Democratics and god damn fucking nutters who who side with them don’t deserve to be viewed as humans, individuals, sane, to be treated humanely, deserving of living, or hey even health coverage. Simply disagreeing with actions, speech, and particular ideas has become “left wing liberal conspiracy to bring down ‘real American patriots'” and you can guess who the real America patriots are. Not Democratics. Only those people who tow the Trumpian GOP line. If you’re a Republican that doesn’t stand with Trump, he’ll threaten to rip your life to shreds. If you’re serving in Office, he’ll threaten to destroy you. Publicly. With him? There isn’t any room for discussion or real argument.

You may notice I’m differentiating Trumpian GOP from something else. The “something else” would be the Republican Party as it was intended to be, before the Tea Party warped it into something unrecognizable. The other “something else” would of course be the Tea Party who I think also would qualify as “the religious right.”

The Trumpian GOP isn’t truly Republican in any form we’ve ever seen. The Administration as it is now? The GOP Tea Party with Trump sitting in that tea? It isn’t anything I think that GOP TP wanted. Again, this belongs in another post differentiating aspects within each party.

So going the long way round, I come back to this.

It’s worrying when I see and hear people saying that this isn’t the America they know; this isn’t America. I may feel as if I’m waking up in a parallel nightmare universe every single day, but I have no delusions that this isn’t how America really is. The evidence is in front of us in the daily news cycle; we can look back at every daily news cycle for the past 5 years. Racism has always existed in this country. We inherited that as colonists and slave owners. We fought a Civil War over it. We started a Civil Rights Movement over it. It’s always been there. The flames were fanned when we had a Black President because racists, White Supremacists, simply couldn’t handle it. The White Supremacist in the highest office of our land has made it appear more acceptable, since he encourages racism and wants to increase the brutality of our police.

I’d always heard from certain people that race relations were fine, racism wasn’t such a big deal any longer, that POC were just using the Race Card just like disabled people use the Disabled Card, to get a leg up on other people when it’s not deserved. Which is guess means is every time someone notices someone is not white or someone is disabled or they’re part of another protected class that they can’t discriminate against.

He allows his Secretary of Education to break down our education system, just as when she ruined her own state’s education system. I mean, yes he’s breaking down each aspect of the government and social services, entitlements, benefits, etc. He told us that’s what he wanted during the campaign. No one believed him, or it was ignored, but he told us. It’s what he’s been doing. It should has disqualified him.

But hey, for a second, let’s look at history. I’s the dictatorships and medieval kingdoms that preferred keeping their citizenry uneducated.  If they’re uneducated, then an automatic inequality between the gentry and the masses. The People don’t realize there’s a problem because they have no choice but to believe the spoken words and decrees of their leadership. Again,there’s no possibility of equality. Any chance of learning about history, philosophy, maths, sciences, arts, and how to teach others the same with new ideas, how to research, is stifled and again… there’s no chance of equality. What is learned is controlled. How it’s learned is controlled.

The more we, the masses, are educated and encouraged to think things through logically, independently the more we understand when we’re being duped. We recognize propaganda and misinformation more easily.

We know better when our rights are being trampled upon.

We are more likely to use our voices collectively to fight for and demand our rights be recognized because trust me, they won’t be freely given.

Whether we’re women, disabled, a POC especially now when there are peaceful protests; or if we’re part of another marginalized group, we’re more likely to use our voices collectively to fight for those whose voices might not be loud enough, and encourage others to do the same, by showing them they’re not alone.

We’re more likely to demand to be treated equally.

We’re more likely to work in better jobs; we’re less likely to have very large families that would be guaranteed to keep us in poverty.

The more educated, the less poverty. The less poverty, the less control a government has over abusing the people. The governing force is no longer forcing the people to work for it, but now the governing force must drop the farce and work for the people.

The fight is against a reduced, concentrated government; a government-enforced poverty in order to maintain its own dominance and wealth. Some administrations are more guilty of this than others.

So I purged. A lot. I feel better. I may come back and read some of this later and be like, hmmm, let’s edit that. But feelings are feelings. So this might be a good place for me to ta-ta on out. Talk to ya later, loves.


Do you like to write about current events? If you do, do you have trouble keeping up? I do. My brain does. There’s the added issue of not knowing which of the many events and concerns to address first. Secondarily, which of those events is already irrelevant in the news cycle by the time I finish writing about it?

I know, it sounds like a privileged problem. Whether I write about it using paper and pen, an old fashioned typewriter, or a computer, or not at all those thoughts and feelings are still there. I just happen to be one of those people who journals. Usually journals.

So, long way round, as I often do: How do you handle the pace of keeping up? I mean, is it a matter of making a list and just writing your heart out?

How about we extend the day to 30 hours? Time is just a concept. We can change the concept. Update it to adjust for modern needs, like, you know, blogging.


Welcome back, loves. Rather, I hope you’ll welcome me back. 

If you know me, you know that depression has always been at the heart of my gaps. Turning inward is something I can’t help. I’ve been working on accepting the fact that I need to process the emotions flooding me. Doing that takes me away from most online interaction the same way that it takes me away from family and friends. There’s the mask I put on,, which has been slipping more and more since the pandemic began. My anxiety is higher, and my agoraphobia is out of control. The last several weeks have been heavy with chronic pain due to changes in the season. The weather has been finicky, though, with what feels like a colder Spring than usual. With changes in seasons, I have flare-ups in pain that are to be expected. Anxiety is to be expected. 

I have additional anxiety and depression to process, unfortunately. It’s more than typical ups and downs of a life with Depression: The black hole of Grief, in which that tiger in my shadow waits for a chance to shred me to pieces.

Okay, please, don’t slap me for mixing metaphors. It’s just the only thing that made sense. A black hole is like the deepest of shadows, insidiously pulling everything into it without knowing what’s on the other side, while there’s a hunter hiding in the edge of shadows, stalking and waiting for its chance to pounce. See? Black holes and the tiger that’s been stalking me for my entire life. 

For the past two and a half years I’ve been locked in grief after the death of my two remaining grandparents. September 2018, my grandmother passed; March 2019 my grandfather passed away. Both were in their 90’s. The week or so  before my Gram died they had just celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary. We were very close, and I was devastated. 

Emotional, mental, and physical withdrawal. I cry spontaneously when I see particular triggers, whether it’s real, acting, reading fact or fictional stories. Humanitarian issues, social justice, children with mothers, grandmothers with granddaughters, daughters with mothers.

The mask has to be held in place when I’m outside of my bedroom, everywhere in every way. Sometimes it’s only in the most superficial manner. That includes social media except maybe the occasional, rare FB post and occasional Tweet. I find that sharing anything of depth is difficult and I devolve into tears. Trusting anyone to refrain from judging is a challenge. It’s that thing where you don’t want to burden other people; or be accused of bringing others down or attention seeking or whiny.

This is not to say that I don’t have moments or hours or days of happiness. One can be in the throes of Depression and also feel happiness. One can be in constant chronic pain, yet also have moments or hours where the pain is manageable, able to be ignored, or when you can blessedly find that perfect position while sitting or laying down if you just… don’t… move. I love those days. I keep my limits in mind on those days, keeping track of spoons as much as possible. 

All right, I feel as if I’ve taken the long way ’round to get here. The Depression I’ve been coping with already was beginning to ease around Christmas. I started following the developing story about Covid-19 in China in November but paid more attention in January with a sinking feeling. I got a haircut that I knew was too short, even shaving the back, knowing it might be a while before I’d get another. That’s the day I think my anxiety and depression went on high alert. I knew in my subconscious that something was very wrong in the world.

It increased in severity again in mid-March when our high school closed “for deep disinfecting” in the state for what was supposed to be two weeks. It’s mid-May. Schools will continue distance learning for the remainder of this school year. My girls have been lucky, I know, that they’ve had Chromebooks on lend from the school for their virtual classrooms and school work. We’ve also been lucky and very grateful that my Spousal Unit still has his day job working for the State as well as his part time job. For us that means we’ve had wi-fi for the girls in order to do their school work.

The schools have had adjustments made in how grading will occur on assignments and tests. They’ve even been given the option for taking Pass or Fail versus accepting an actual failing grade. I think it has something to do with a student’s ability to take the class again in the future and how it would affect GPA. Graduation will be virtual. Coming on Friday the teachers will be having a parade of their cars through town in honor of the graduating senior class. I don’t have any graduating students this year but we do plan on standing out on our porch cheering our support. 

That’s all been a transition for the girls and me, which of course is a stressful thing, but at least the school work keeps them busy. What’ll be tough is figuring out what to do this Summer. They’re already worrying about social distancing, being bored with too much relaxing, and having a 2nd Summer in a row with being a one-car family. That last one of course means they have to wait for their dad to get home to go anywhere; it depends on how I’m feeling as to whether or not I can drive, and how tired or grumpy he is. 😉 It may also depend on whether he has to head to work again later. 

Perhaps the most stressful thing is not letting the mask slip when having to ease everyone else’s anxieties and things that upset them about all this {waves hands dramatically} also causes me anxiety; when reassuring them seems to backfire; when they need repeated reassurances and hear the same information repeatedly in a different way, in a soothing manner; when I’m expected to remain calm, present, and tolerant at all times no matter how much pain I’m in or however high my anxiety is, no matter what’s causing those problems. 

Retreating for a time seems to be viewed as abandonment. I know that teen years are more important than any other time in a child’s life. I make myself available even if I can’t do all of the physical outside things as I used to be able to do.

I’m still me. I’m learning to adjust expectations of myself and I’m trying to figure out how to help others adjust expectations of me by refraining from comparing the old physical body I had to the current person I am. 

This turned out much longer than I expected it to be. I figured it would only be a couple of paragraphs, and it ended up TLDR-Rambling. 


Good morning, Loves.

I know I’ve been off the beaten path lately, but I know you’ll understand. I’ve got an entire draft that was going to explain what’s been going on, but it turned into something else and went off the rails a bit. Sometimes I do that. So that draft needs refining. We’ll see, I guess… I have eight drafts for posts I’ve been working on but I’m never happy with.

I can’t be the only one that does that. I think for every entry that I post, I typically have two or three drafts. I just merged a few of them and deleted several others in an effort to simplify. At one point I had a couple of dozen drafts.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who does that. Right?


I’m so very sad. No, not sad, I’m feeling grief. My poor, sweet Luna Tinkerbelle passed away in my arms on Sunday. The surgery she had to remove the necrotic cancer gave her an additional four weeks of life she wouldn’t have otherwise had, according to her vet, and so I’m grateful. I’m still upset that I don’t get to have more time with her.

I’m upset that she had to have a recurrence of the cancer, but more than that, I’m upset that the cancer wasn’t enough. Luna had to cope with strokes too. Before that, all she dealt with was some discomfort under her hind legs from the new tumors as she went upstairs. She was still happy, social, sweet. Friday she was still eating and sassy. She didn’t complain about help with the staircase. Luna still enjoyed doing it on her own, and settling on the landing as her favorite perch where she could see and hear both upstairs and downstairs.

I suppose it shouldn’t have been a surprise, but looking back there were clues. She slept on my bed a lot these past two weeks. She didn’t eat all of her kibble breakfast Sunday. For a few days, her breathing was noticeably heavier. She hid in the basement more two days in a row. She came up when Darling Girl called her, but couldn’t make it upstairs to the bedrooms. Darling Girl started to bring her up, and Luna began to drool. I took her and she had belly pain when there was any pressure there. She struggled in pain, unable to make sounds, and all I could do was hold her, snuggle her, tell her it would be all right, we love her, give her scritches, have her family around her. She was calm in the end, seeing us all. She passed away looking in my eyes.

She was spoiled with treats. She made it to her 11th adoptaversary, officially. On her adoptaversary she was spoiled with her favorite wet food. The girls took a lot of pictures and short videos of her. We made sure she was the happiest, most comfortable cat she could be.

I thought that I would be prepared with knowing how sick Luna Tinkerbelle was for her passing. Logically, I guess so. Emotionally, not so much.

It’s hit me really hard. It’s hitting my family hard. We kept our girls home yesterday, and when we took Luna’s body to the vet in the morning for cremation, we let the girls come with us. We let the girls transport Luna in her homemade cat house that Darling Girl had made with such care. Daisy Pearl did her very best to take care of Sweet Girl yesterday as she cried on my bed. I think that sweet cat needed us as much as we need her; she witnessed the difficulties Luna had at the end, knew Luna was sick, and we let her “say good-bye” before taking Luna from the house yesteday.

There’s so much sorrow in our home. The loss of Luna is felt so profoundly. She was such a huge personality, and made sure that her presence was always known. She talked with us, really thinking she was having full fledged conversations. She understood being told “yes” or “no.” She cussed me out in Cattish a couple of times, mimicking Complaining Teeneager Tones, and I swear she People Toned, “BITCH!” at me in Cattish once or twice. But she mostly let me know she loved me back at least as much as I loved her, as we loved her. I think Luna believed she was one of the girls. In my heart, she was.

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