Monday, December 02, 2013

Life with Blood Thinners

It's about the same, actually.

I'm no longer having pain, and only the occasional swelling, mostly after running at the gym. I'm being careful with myself so there hasn't been any bruising.

My sexy stockings give me thigh high muffin tops.

HM is being good about not pushing the alcohol.

My mother keeps calling to make sure I'm okay.

The Dr bills are starting to roll in. The ER visit is going to cost me thousands. Thousands for sitting there and watching Pawn Stars. For a warm blanket and a short ride in a wheelchair. For the occasional nurse to come in and feel up my leg.

This is after insurance discounts. It does not include the cost of the blood thinner clinic, the doctor, the Urgent Care nurse, the ultrasound tech, follow ups with my PCP, or my visit with my OBGYN to discuss my reproductive stuff going forward.

Don't even get me started on the insurance topic. Despite the fact that I have it, it won't kick in until I have paid $3000 out of pocket. After this, I'll reach that. But it's December. Which means that will reset for next year in just a couple of weeks. 

I'll be looking at secondary employment. I'm going to try going back to Bucks. I had fun there and have experience. It's only temporary, right?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Where things are now

I wasn't admitted. They started me on blood thinners right away and I stopped taking the pill. I have more Dr's appointments this month than I think I have had since I was a young child.

I will have three months of treatment during which I have to be extra careful about cuts and bumps. A fall means a trip to the ER as does hitting my head. which kind of means that I can't ride roller coasters and absolutely means I can't roller skate.

I cannot be on hormone based birth control anymore, but that (hopefully) will be the only major long term change.

HM is not going to like that I will have to cut down my drinking considerably, but I'm kind of glad.

I will have to be better about moving around more often, both at work and at home. I'm actually looking forward to that.

My leg still hurts. Tylenol doesn't cut it the way ibuprofen did, but I can't have that. Or cranberries. Or copious amounts of garlic. damnit.

The swelling has gone down considerably and I am no longer limping as badly as I was. I'll likely take my third epsom salt bath tonight. the MT had suggested 8 pounds 1x per week for 4 weeks and then 1x per month thereafter. Apparently, our society as a whole is lacking in magnesium. There was nothing in my  paperwork that said I couldn't have it, so I think I'm good.

Chango has been extra protective, hardly leaving my side. I think he knows something is up. It's kind of adorable.

Mostly though, I really want to spread the word that we need to listen to our bodies and pay attention when they tell us something is wrong. If I hadn't gone to the Dr, I could have lost my leg. OR a clot or two could have traveled to my lungs. Or worse, to my brain.

In this season of thankfullness, I am thankful to my MT for the warning. And to the NP for not making light of the situation. For working to rule out the worst case scenario instead of going for the easy answer. I had made it quite clear that I had been roller skating the Saturday before my pain started and that I thought perhaps I injured myself without knowing it.

I was wrong. Thank goodness they were right. And now, let the healing begin.

Monday, November 11, 2013

I think he was trying to head off what he already knew

I went to the ER, driving across town to the less frequented hospital. They pushed me in a wheel chair and I climbed on a gurney. I did my best to smile and laugh and be thankful to the ER staff who constantly deal with the very worst of medicine. The emergencies. Some kid puked on the floor while I was there. The lady I shared my room with complained about everything.

Doctors and nurses came and went, all of them poking at my leg and agreeing that an ultrasound was the best idea.

the ultrasound tech arrived and wheeled me into the room. We joked and laughed and made small talk. I tried to hold still and stay off my phone, until he said the words.

We have clots. You'll have to be admitted.

I called my roommate and made sure that she was home and that she would be okay looking after Chango. I called the wife and asked her if she could pick up a few things from the house and bring them to me. And a cheeseburger. and animal fries. I needed comfort food in the worst way.

As i was wheeled back to my ER room, I remembered my massage therapist's insistence that I take better care of my vascular system. All I could think was that with his experienced hands, with his body worker's intuition, he knew that something wasn't right in my leg, that it was blood related, that I would need to take steps SOON. When I was in his position, I knew when my patients weren't quite right. When they were not feeling well or had something going on that wasn't visible. Since I do not touch people regularly, I no longer have that ability.

I will be seeing him again when I am cleared for massage.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bodyworkers develop a sense, you know?

That was the week of Halloween and I found all sorts of excuses not to go to Urgent Care. I was hobbling around popping pain pills and trying not to injure myself further. The second Wednesday after my pain started, my ankle and foot swelled up.

I went to Urgent care after work on Thursday. I was expecting them to throw me in an air cast and send me on my way like they did when i sprained my ankle so many years ago.

Instead, the Nurse Practitioner strongly advised me to go to the ER and get an ultrasound. Clots, he said, are a danger, and we need to rule them out. I cried a little. Now we were getting scary. I'm a healthy 36 year old woman. I exercise A LOT. But I also sit on my ass all day at work. AND I've been on birth control pills for the better part of the last 17 years.

I considered just going home. Or at least swinging by to check on Chango. But the look on the NP's face told me to go. and to go now.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

I think he knew.

A couple of weeks ago, I went in for a massage at the local chain place that has a "club" of sorts you pay monthly and get massages. Discounts if you want more than one, and if you bring in friends. Kind of brilliant actually. I would have gone to a smaller place, but this one takes my HSA.

Since I don't care about gender, and have had some wonderful massages from men, I generally choose a man. This time, what I didn't expect, was an old man. We all know I tend to be ageist. I don't usually date older men, and I was a little wary about being touched my one. I got over myself because I know that my thinking is incorrect and pure asshole. I got over myself even quicker when I discovered that he had a gentle and healing touch. He was very personable and full of wonderful knowledge. He had started massaging when he was a little boy, rubbing his mother's feet.

As he worked down my right leg, he mentioned that he had noticed some spider veins. He made a few suggestions on things I could do to improve the circulation in my legs. He was very firm, but kind about it. I needed epson salt baths. I need to work my solaris muscle. I went strait to Costco for the salts and took my first bath that night.

A couple of days later, I found myself in a great deal of pain. My right leg felt like it had been punched. or sometimes, it was on fire. Regardless, it hurt. A lot. A few days of this (tempered by over the counter pain meds, and I was threatening to go to the Dr.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Little butterflies about a "new/old" path

Deep breath.

You all know that I'm a huge fan of Liv Lane. Her stories inspire me frequently, and, if you remember, she had a linking party every week about finding happiness that I really enjoyed because it encouraged me to not only write more often, but also to find beauty in simple places.

Over the past year or so, Liv has started on a more spiritual journey and it has been amazing to read and follow along because some of the things that she is discovering are things I learned a long time ago and it's always fun to watch someone else's path to discovery. It's so amazing to see her publically admit to things that most people would call crazy because I have been there and it's scary to put yourself out there like that.

I learned some of it a long time ago. And then? I don't know. I've gotten away from my spiritual side. It's there if I reach for it, I have never lost the deep seated faith that I gained over years of study, but it's no longer forefront in my life. I stopped talking about the hoodoo that I do because I got tired of being the crazy girl even though so many people embraced my witchyness. But some of the people closest to me, rejected it and I moved to a place where I didn't know anyone and it seemed so much better to bury it. To keep it private. To try to be normal. I'll never be normal.

It has occurred to me to change that, and every so often, I start to, quietly, late at night. I don't talk about it with other people because faith is such a private thing and quite frankly, when you start talking about angels and demons and spirits of any sort, people often think you're nuts. Maybe I am. But I'm the harmless sort of nut who hears voices and doesn't always do what they tell me to. Mostly they just say my name anyway.

It came up in conversation with HM last weekend and well, it didn't turn out well even though things are fine between us. I did learn though that he is SO focused on the tangible that he refuses to believe in the things that cannot be seen or proven with science. That's ok. The world needs people like me and people like him to function. I now know that he's going to tease me for believing in magic, and I'm going to quietly think he's ignorant for denying the possibility. There is so very much possibility. It's not worth arguing about, neither of us is going to change the other person's mind. He has his journey, and I have mine.

I started exploring my ghostie side here fairly recently by starting to tell you stories of things that have gone on around my house (still periodically smelling pot, even though no one in the house smokes it, and this time, all the windows are shut), but it's been fairly quiet since the last roomie left and some of my stories are so old, I have forgotten the details.

Also, for understandable reasons if you believe that stuff, it's scary to hop back into it. I know things now that I didn't know then, you know? Yes, I am being vague. I'm being vague because the more I talk about it, the more I can feel them gathering and I'm not ready for that right now.

The point is, that one day I clicked on Liv's bookmark and she announced the next step in her journey. And without hesitation, I said yes. It's rare these days that I don't waffle back and forth between should I and shouldn't I, especially when it comes to spending money and especially when it comes to committing to something that might take a bit of time. I'm an online free college dropout. And one of those online creativity workshop flakes.

This time, I didn't think, I just said yes.

I haven't questioned that. This morning, when I clicked on the bookmark, it occurred to me that I should share this with you. And it turns out, that her post this morning was about that. Not in a pushy, get as many people to sign up as possible kind of way, Spirit told her to encourage her people to share, and I learned that right after it told me to share too. So I'm telling you about this course that I am about to start in December, that makes all the hair on my body stand up, which means it's the right thing for me.

Perhaps it is the right thing for you too. Maybe this post makes you think I'm nuts. That's okay. You're on your own journey, and it's not up to me to change your mind. I love you as you are.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Banishing the rain cloud

I have, of late, been running around with a rain cloud over my head. Not, literally, of course, but I can say that I have had a nasty, negative, stinky attitude about things over the last couple of years. It gathered and it festered until I wasn't saying much that was nice at all.

I'm not going to air my grievances. Firstly, it is not Festivus, and secondly, one does not regain their positivity by dwelling on the negative.

I tried to find the happy. I really did. Bratty would laugh at me as I would announce that I was not going to say anything negative for 10 whole minutes. Sometimes, that was a struggle. Sometimes, I failed at it. Shameful.

This. This Negative Nelly, is not who I am.

I've known for awhile that I need to reprioritize my life as I tend to have too many things going on. And I did start doing that. But it didn't really seem to be helping.

Then I took a road trip.

More about the actual trip later, but let me tell you, about 2 hours outside Reno, having sung for about an hour strait, alone, in my car, I felt the cloud dissipate.


Was it the distance from Reno? Reno can be a pretty negative place. Things (and people) seem to just get stuck here.

Was it the singing? I don't sing very often lately. It's always made me feel better, but I typically listen to NPR because I like to be aware of current events. Plus, there's some interesting stuff on there.

Was it the excitement of seeing my family? Maybe but in that case, I would have noticed it before.

It doesn't matter. All that matters is that I was suddenly feeling like my old bonny self again.

Since I can't really leave the city where I live, I am trying to see it in a more positive light. And I only listen to NPR in the mornings on my way to work. I realized that the state of the world is pretty depressing. And the view of it I was getting was of war and strife. Terror and conflict. I know this isn't the whole world picture, but if you watch or listen to the news, the news reports all the drama. So less news. The afternoons and evenings are for music.

It's working. Although I still get frustrated and sometimes downright angry, I've managed to maintain my positivity. Suddenly, other people seem more positive too. Maybe it's because I'm not bringing the asshole into the equation, maybe it's because I am seeing them in a happier light.

It doesn't matter. Because things are really, really good.

Monday, October 07, 2013

What? you don't need to lose weight!

Thank you for that, Frances.

Many moons ago I talked about how I never really learned to eat properly and how it is a struggle for me to overcome my disorderly eating.

I'm happy to report that things have gotten much better. I tend towards three meals per day and a snack, which works well for me. I've been drinking plenty of water.

Now, I'm learning to eat better (except that I have rediscovered Top Ramen after 20 years of avoiding it). I'm not going to pretend to be eating all my veggies, (I WILL however eat pea crisps by the bagful, so that counts, right?)  but by watching my calorie intake, I am learning to make better choices.

I've also been working out several days per week in an effort to lose some poundage. I know where I want to be, and it's coming off slowly. My measurements are looking good though so even if the scale doesn't go down, I know I am getting to be more healthy.

I want to make good habits.

My coworker Frances insisted today that I don't look like I need to lose any weight, but she doesn't see me without my clothes on (as it should be!). I appreciated her vote of confidence. I also know that I've gotten a bit lazy since I stopped skating full time and I want to be able to recapture that fitness.

Diet. Fitness. Surely there's a third thing I'm supposed to be tending?

Saturday, October 05, 2013

The Game was GREAT!

I don't remember any of it. If you follow me on twitter, I suspect you knew that. Once again, my phone needs a breathalyzer.

I dropped said phone into the bleachers. Thankfully it didn't go far. But then I worried about what else I dropped in the bleachers and spent most of the game looking for 2 pairs of gloves and a very nice scarf that I KNEW I had put in my pocket even though HM said I didn't.

He was right. He says I need to trust him about these things and I... Didn't have a reasonable response because he's right.

Either way, good times. We accidentally matched outfits so I'd say that was a win too.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Apparenlty, I did good

I showed up to work today, which was actually last week, but, whatever, with my new sporty look.

The male coworker who originally gave me a hard time for wearing red on Homecoming weekend? Practically applauded. Then he asked me to name one player on Nevada's team and I had to admit that although I LOOK like I know what's going on, I really don't. He made sure that I know that the starting quarterback's name is Cody. "I think I can remember that", I said, "I dated a Cody and also had a goat named Cody. We should be good". Then he gave me crap about football-y stuff and had a good laugh. I'm okay with that, I laugh at me too. (BTW, I'm not FOOTBALL ignorant, just college football ignorant. Clearly, that will have to change.) Plus, it's fun when that coworker gets all silly and excited about stuff because ordinarily, he is quite stoic.

And our courier says I'm rockin' the look and that I did a good job.

Which means I'm super excited for HM to see what I came up with. It makes me feel all girly and stuff. Which is good. It kind of makes me wish that I had bought something in nylon with holes in it sooner.

Not really. I hate this shit. But since it's a "jersey" I can deal.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Part 7 - Only I can milk a few days of shopping this long...

After my local gigantic sporting goods store yielded higher prices than I was willing to pay for logo gear to a school I did not attend, I went back to Target, figuring that I could wear a compression bra to make the shirt fit better. Take away my boobs, and I suddenly don't have a pin-head and I actually look slender. I always wondered why anyone would want a minimizer bra...

Since the day before, when I was there last, Target had shirts in my size. I went for the jersey style and bought a warm shirt to layer under it. My friend Countessa had already offered to loan me her parka from when she played softball for the college and I had picked up some leggings at the Old Navy Outlet for a very reasonable price to wear under my jeans.

FINALLY satisfied with my prize, I headed home.

The game better be good. In fact Nevada had better win it.

Although the process was REALLY frustrating, I am kind of glad I went through it. I'll be thinking twice before I buy something, and checking the fabric and the seams a little more closely. I work to hard to throw away my paychecks on garbage.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Part 6 - Seriously? Part 6?

I did what any other person would so in my situation, I bitched on Facebook, and received a few welcome suggestions on where to pick up a shirt in town.

I hit the hospital near my work. While they had a great selection, their prices were high and shirts, while better quality, were thin. Even the outerwear was thin. If the wind is going to blow right through a fleece jacket, you may as well not spend 50 bucks on the fleece jacket. I was less angry with the purchasing agents at the hospital because, it's a hospital, not a clothing store.

I returned to work where I had my epiphany.

I'm no longer going to spend my hard earned dollars on mediocrity.

I thought that should be big and bold. Because it's important and I hope more people adopt this philosophy. We buy a lot of crap, us Americans. And by buying crap and accepting low quality, we are telling buyers and manufacturers that this is acceptable. Suddenly, all we can get is crap and then we bitch about it.

I know this means that I will have to pay more for what I want. That there will be less impulse buys of stuff because it was cheap. But I also fail to see why that is a bad thing. I think I will save money in the long run because I won't have to replace crappy stuff AND when it comes to clothes, I'll feel better about myself because I won't be worried about whether you can see my belly button through the incredibly thin shirt I am wearing. Self confidence is worth a few more dollars.

Meanwhile, in my own products, I will have to ensure that what I produce is top notch. I already have standards, but I think I need to raise the bar if I am going to expect other producers to raise the bar as well.

This also means I'm going to have to quit talking about it and dump AT&T as my internet provider because the service I am getting from them is sub par.

Yes, I am totally calling out brand names and big companies because I know they have web crawlers out looking for this stuff. And good. I hope they are listening. I know for certain that AT&T didn't hear me when I told their CSR that their service was unreliable. I know because it is STILL unreliable.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Part 5 - An Angry Shopper can be dangerous

I arrived at Kohls hoping to find what I was looking for. Although they did have some cute shirts in Women's sizes, and I did try one on, I just couldn't bring myself to buy it.

The quality was poor. Really poor. "This won't survive my washing machine" poor. And tissue thin. There's snow in the hills right now. These shirts, would be better sold in the desert. The Sahara Desert, not the high desert of Nevada. Suddenly I was cranky all over again, because they were trying to sell me a shirt, which was very inappropriate for the climate where I live, for $25, which, having handled the logo merchandise for the Reno Roller Girls for over 5 years, I knew cost $2. Maybe less. They buy a lot more of them than I could ever afford for RRG and I was paying $10 per shirt printed (Women's. Men's shirts are WAY cheaper) . For WAY better quality. (I'm a big fan of District Clothing by the way, if ever you are looking to get something printed) I said it on Facebook, and I will say it again. Russell Athletics should be ashamed to put their brand name on such a low quality garment. And the buyers at Kohls should consider the quality they are putting in their stores. If the quality had been higher, I would have paid the money.

I stomped around the store a bit to see if I could do better, but was unable to find anything suitable. I left and returned home, having visited 4 different stores without finding a shirt I could wear to work or the game, which was rapidly approaching.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Part 4 - The longest shopping story ever

Back to Target I went, this time hitting the OTHER Target. I returned the too-small shirt intending to exchange it but there was no XL. In the shirt I wanted. I briefly considered going for a jersey style shirt, but they were a little more expensive and they didn't have an XL in that one either.

To Wal Mart. The selection there consisted of Men's shirts or Juniors sizes in bright pink. I don't wear bright pink, and I know for a fact that HM won't be seen in public if I am wearing that color. Hell, don't blame him, I won't be seen in my HOUSE in that color.

Now, I am cranky. I'm angry with the buyers at these major shopping chains who don't do their due diligence in discovering the popular sizes. I'm angry because the options are limited if you are a woman, and quite frankly, it tends to be the women who do the shopping for these things. I could have chosen a shirt for HM in five minutes that I am confident he would like, but for myself, there was nothing. Unless I wanted something ill-fitting or age inappropriate.

I'm really trying to class it up. I've been retiring some of my tighter, low cut shirts in favor of better fit and less cleavage. I know, that sounds completely unlike anything I have said before, but truthfully, while that stuff was okay in my 20's I'm in my mid thirties now. I don't want to be that old lady with her boobs hanging out everywhere all the time. (Derby doesn't count.) It's past time for me to aim for Ann Taylor instead of Anna Nicole Smith.

I headed to Kohls, already bordering on irate.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Part Three - The Journey Begins

Knowing that I was going to be needing some Nevada logo gear and also knowing that I needed a gift for my favorite twins, I headed over to Target.

While there, I found birthday cards, neat stuff I didn't buy, no presents for the twins, and a shirt. Score! mission accomplished at the first store. WOOHOO!

They didn't have a large selection, but they had a few things in Junior's sizes that were okay. The Women's cut shirts looked like they were better off in the rag bin. Very low cut, cheap material and not at all cute. Whatever, I can wear a Juniors cut as long as it's an extra large. The shirts available in this cut were better quality, not low cut, and a reasonable price. All they had was large.

Okay. Well, I've been working out and eating better (shut up Top Ramen) so perhaps I can wear a large. I headed out and across the street to Total Wine where I found gifts for the twins and plenty of my favorite vodka for me.

Upon arriving home I discovered that I could not, indeed, wear that shirt.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Part two - Gauntlets have been thrown

Last Friday, I was sitting at my desk in my favorite white oxford shirt (I can't help it. I feel a little more classy in a white button down with jeans instead of a sweater or a tee shirt) supporting my local college team by wearing the right color, when our courier came by.

Sometimes, if she has a bit of time, we chat a little.

She asked me where my Wolf Pack Logo Gear was and I explained that even after 6 years of living in Reno, I don't have any.

Oh boy. Wrong answer.

I learned that this is not acceptable. That I need to head down to my local ANY store RIGHT AWAY and pick up a tee shirt. I've always thought it is a little silly to wear the logo gear of a school you have not attended, but when in Rome, you do as the Romans do. It turns out, I would have to go shopping.

Not long after, my friend came along and offered me tickets to an upcoming game. I took them with the caveat that I would return them if I wasn't going to use them, and I called HM.

When HM learned that I did not have any Nevada logo gear, he announced that he wasn't going to be seen with me unless I was wearing some.

Now I REALLY have to go shopping. But I didn't mind, I had seen those shirts all over the place and wasn't worried about finding something suitable right away.

Boy, was I wrong.

Friday, September 27, 2013

An intro to the football shopping saga

I live in a college town. A college town without an NFL team. A college town without an NFL team that LOVES some football.

I like football too. On Sundays, I can be seen wandering about my business in my Chargers tee shirt (I have to buy them down south because up here, it's all about the Niners and the Raiders and while the Niners are okay, I won't even TOUCH a Raiders tee because I'm not a thug and I don't want Raiders cooties to rub off on me.)

I like football, but HM LOVES football. I'm learning a lot about the game from him and, while he has his favorite NFL team, Nevada tops his list of college teams, so he goes to the games when he can and tailgates and does all those things you are supposed to do at all football games, but I thought were exclusive to NFL games. I don't think I know anyone who goes to SDSU games. Maybe they do but don't talk about it. I don't know. I really only started getting into football when I was living with Poo because, Cowboys.

I have learned in the years that I have lived in Reno, that you are either a Nevada fan, or, shut up. This even bleeds into work where, on home game Fridays we are allowed and encouraged to wear our fan gear with jeans and show our pride. Pride in the Wolf Pack (which, interestingly, was my High School mascot as well. This caused some confusion when I moved here. With all those Pack stickers on people's cars, I thought I had moved to a hotbed of West Hills Alumni) but nobody else.

A couple of years ago,  I unknowingly wore a red shirt on homecoming weekend. I thought my coworker Rob was going to blow a gasket. I was ignorantly wearing the other team's color. Reno and Las Vegas have a pretty strong rivalry and there's something about a cannon that gets painted depending on who wins and gets to take it home. I don't know. Still learning.

Until last week, no one really said anything to me as long as I was wearing white or blue (not red!!). Last week, things got a little crazier.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

It was a rant-y couple of days, but first, a recap

I went shopping. Which should, if you have been around for any length of time tell you everything. Sine I'm a butt head, I'm going to split my adventure into a few different posts because, well, I haven't been that great about writing and to be honest, I like the whole series writing idea rather that a big long diatribe that takes forever to get through.

So lets just say, that I went shopping and had an epiphany before it was over.

Yes I am a tease.

Things have been pretty good around the Elfin Cottage lately, I have a new roommate who doesn't drive me crazy (although I did have to leave a note asking her to corral her bananas due to my extreme allergy) and things are settling down. I had a couple of weeks of crazy, which aren't quite over yet, but I'm getting there. I've been working out and eating WAY too much Top Ramen, which tastes REALLY GOOD if you leave out the flavor packet and add a little Soy Vey Teriyaki instead.

Had a GREAT birthday, even if I did end up in bed by 8:30. But, this happens when you're drunk by noon. The day was made up of many adventures and perfect parts that I wouldn't have changed. Like breakfast with HM and picnic lunch under the trees with the girls. I am blessed in the people that I know.

I googly eyed just about everything that wouldn't be destroyed in the process. Did you know I have an Instagram account? If you ever want photos of my madness, look up gracenmotion (ginamonster was taken, as was soapgirl). There are a lot of pictures of googly eyes. and my dog.

Good times.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

I can't win this game

If you know me at all, you know that I am not one of those fashion conscious sorts. I think about it, but typically decide that the current trends are too expensive, OR better suited to a 12 year old.

With the advent of Pinterest, however, I get so see all sorts of outfits that I would wear if I had the money to buy them. In the meantime, at work I wear work appropriate, at home, it's jeans and tee shirts.

The other night, I was advised not to roll my pants. You see, I am too tall for "short" pants and too short for "regular" so sometimes my pants are a little long. I HATE walking on my pants so I will roll them up once to keep them off the floor. I am admittedly too cheap and lazy for hems, but appreciative of the occasional fashion advice.

Today I was thinking that I would like to upgrade my look which means shopping at places like Banana Republic instead of Wal*Mart and Target. I'm okay with this, I need to start dressing like a grown up instead of a street urchin in hand me downs. I FEEL BETTER about myself when I look good.

I went to the BR website, and then to the Gap where it turns out that current style dictates that I should be rolling up my pants.


Monday, August 05, 2013

Where I'm at

I'm in a funny spot, overall.

In many ways, things are just fine. No real complaints. I'm a complainer, so I will always have SOME sort of complaint. But nothing that is really solid. Things are pretty darn good.

But jobwise, I need to start looking at where I want to be in 5 years. I haven't really done that before. Actually, I've been just allowing life to happen because it seems like every time I make a plan, it gets derailed.

It's been awhile since things have gone upside down and I am feeling confident that they will remain even keel. I have a more settled lifestyle than I did before. I make different decisions.

Bubbly Creations will always remain plan A. And I am fired up these days to make a go of it. Work harder and smarter on marketing and other places that I tend to ignore. I'm also finally ready to start leveraging the assistance of the people who have been offering it over the last 8 years. If I want to be successful, I need to use my tools. And I can't keep trying to do it on my own.

Plan B? I don't know yet. I know that BC is not going to sustain me or to get me ahead soon enough for me to do it full time until all that work I should have started years ago flowers. That might take a year or two. In the mean time, I still have a mortgage and credit cards to pay and a lifestyle to maintain. Even simple lifestyles cost money.

So I will start working on Plan B too. Where do I want to be in 5 years? I'm not sure. But it's not where I am at. There's nothing wrong with my job, I am grateful for it,  but I know I am capable of more. So much more. So my plan is to look at the opportunities at the company where I work and see what is available. To choose one and make a conscious effort at getting to that level, whatever that level might be. I have ideas about where I DON'T want to be, but until I know what else I want to do, I can't move forward.

I've never done that before. I've always gone elsewhere when I needed to better my position. It's possible that I will need to do just that. Moving companies though, that means starting over. Getting to know a new group of people. Proving my worth all over. Waiting for medical coverage and vacation days. Also, it feels like when I move companies I take a step back in many ways. I don't want to take any more steps back. Forward.

Forward so that I can do things like put a new roof on the house. Fix the fence. Landscape? Oh landscaping would be lovely. 5 years, make my house a better one and buy something new(er). Something with built in sprinklers and maybe air conditioning. Rent out the Elfin Cottage to a little family starting out and not sweat including the refrigerator and washer/dryer set in the rent. Make sure they have a good water heater since the one in the house now was purchased at a store that went out of business close to 20 years ago. Have the money in the bank that will cover a new dishwasher if they need it or anything else that might go sideways. I've been told that the number to hit is $10,000. I'm partway there.

Forward so that I can take a vacation once in awhile. A friend of mine is going to Thailand in October. I could go, but it would empty my savings account. Worth it for the experience, but not for the stress of losing my cushion. Also, that would put me behind in the goal I set out above.

Forward. In 5 years I'll be 41. I don't feel that old. It's not old. But life keeps moving even if I don't want to. I have to move with it. And that's where I'm at. Today.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Of all the habits for a ghost to have

I was sitting in my living room the other night, watching Bones, of course, when I was overtaken by an odor. The front door and windows were closed.

Suddenly, my house smelled like pot.

I'm certain that at some point in the past, I have ranted about how much I dislike the drug and the smell of the drug and anything that has to do with the drug.

You can speak to me all day long of medicinal properties, and while I will admit there likely are many, I still don't like it. Yuo aren't going to change my mind. This is a lifelong hatred with many levels of reasoning behind it and quite frankly, I don't think I need to fix it, I'm fine with hating pot.

I went outside, and sure enough, there was an odor out there too, so it's very likely that the smell came in through the back door, which is actually close to the front of my house.

Which means that either someone was smoking pot close enough to my house that I could smell it at my front and back doors and along the path in between (without me hearing footsteps or alerting the dog) OR my ghost has a very unwelcome habit.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

They just don't get it

I have a friend who is frightened of clowns. I don't mean that she doesn't like them, or even that she hates them, I don't mean that she would rather not meet one in a dark alley.

I'm saying that the mere sight of a clown will cause possibly-pee-your-pants paralysis.

I would hate to see what would happen if she DID meet one in a dark alley, but suffice to say, she's extremely healthy and would probably survive the massive coronary. Probably.

In the 5 years that I have known her, I have tried my best to protect her from the clowns. They are everywhere. I have learned to scope out the garage sales before she gets out of the car so that I can tell her where not to look until I can turn pictures around or hide dolls. We don't go to the circus. No haunted house at Halloween (the year we worked at one, we knew where the clown was and she was mostly able to avoid it) Parades are a frightening ordeal. In fact, she put on the next parade application that we need to be as far away from clowns as possible because we were RIGHT BEHIND them last time and she almost had to leave.

I'm one of the few people who gets it.

Most people are assholes.

Here's the thing. It's one thing to know someone doesn't like something. It's a whole other thing to intentionally expose them to that thing. And when the thing in question is an outright phobia? It's downright cruel.

I've seen scary clown stickers left on her car windshield. The kind with brightly colored noses and long pointy teeth placed in a manner in which she cannot help but view it upon sitting down in her car. I've been there when people have sent text messages with clown photo attachments. They get posted to her facebook wall, emailed, you name it, people have made sure that she has exposure in every creative manner you can imagine.

Clearly they haven't seen her crouched in fear behind a pickup truck trying to avoid visual contact. Clearly they have not witnessed the reactions, the frozen fear, the sudden intake of breath.

Imagine people exposing you constantly and intentionally to the one thing that terrifies you most.

People don't get it. People can be assholes. I expect this sort of behavoir from children who have not yet learned that other people are people with thoughts and feelings too, but not out of adults. Especially adults who like you.

This is not a woman who offends easily. The things she jokes about would make a porn writer blush. She loves a good prank and can take a joke.

I don't think this is a laughing matter. As I pointed out to her last night:

Would you put a clausterphobic in a coffin?

I didn't think so.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A few possibilites

Back to that whole ghostie thing. I have come to a few conclusions regarding the ghost in my house. These conclusions are formed based on a couple of different incidents.

In incident (1), there is a plastic grocery bag on my studio floor containing old sheets for repurposing, and a pair of antique rosewood knitting needles, which I have not put away yet. The needles are sticking out of the top of the bag pointed to the right. One day, I run into said bag and say, out loud, that I really need to put that stuff away before I break those lovely needles that Lin was so kind as to give to me. I do love the rosewood needles.

A few days later, I notice that the bag is turned around to that the needles point to the left and cannot poke me again.

In incident (2), it should be noted that not long after I moved in, I found the letters "x" and "y" in my linen closet. The letters are made of foam and stick to the bathtub tiles. The previous owners of my house had a little boy who, it seems, is not playing with a complete alphabet. After finding the letters, I stuck them to my bathroom wall where they have stayed for the last 3 1/2 years, falling down on occasion, but generally they stick for a couple of months.

Until after the roommate moved out. Now they stick for a day or two, I pick them up, stick them to the wall, and continue with my shower. I'm thinking that it's been really dry lately.

Last night I got in the shower and noticed that the letters were not on the wall, not in the tub, but stacked neatly on the shelf where I keep my shampoo.

in conclusion:

  • Someone is sneaking into my house, frightening my roommate, then keeping things tidy after he left. OR
  • I am keeping things tidy and then forgetting that I did those things so completely that I have no idea I even did them. In which case, why didn't I walk 3 feet to put the knitting needles away? And why didn't I stick the letters to the wall like I have been doing for so long? OR
  • I have a very considerate ghost.

I'll let you decide.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dear Lady on the Freeway behind me this morning

Hi. It's the Soapgirl in front of you. Please note a couple of things before I begin.

First, the sticker on my back windshield will likely give you the impression that I am involved with The Reno Roller Girls. This is true. It means that I like to skate. And I like to skate fast. So I'm not really going slow to piss you off.

Second, I drive a 12 13 year old 4 banger. This means that although I like to skate fast, and I also like to DRIVE fast, sometimes it takes my little jalopy a bit of time to get there. Especially when there is a slight incline. yes. Slight. My Honey has never liked hills, even when she was a new jalopy.

As we moved out of the traffic at what is known around here as the Spaghetti Bowl where, not far from the interchange there were at least two accidents, I noticed that you were riding my butt. Wow. You were close. My speedometer said just less than 65, but I was working on accellerating. I would have accellerated sooner, but, there was traffice stopped on the freeway which means I proceeded with caution. And boy, you were riding my butt. I didn't move over.

I wanted to move over to get out of your way, but you see, I learned in High School Physics that matter cannot occupy the same place at the same time. I think that's Newton's first law of dumbass or something, which, I'm guessing you didn't learn because you were doing your best to meld with my car. I will be a little crass and tell you that my car doesn't like to take it in the rear.

As soon as I passed the semi truck on my right (putting plenty of distance between us so that I didn't cut him off), I put on my blinker, checked my review (oh my! you are even closer!), checked my sideviews, and then checked over my right shoulder because my darling car has lots and lots of marvelous blindspots and I want to live a very long time.

Then I started to move over so that you could go on your merry way. BUT WAIT! This was not fast enough because by the time I started moving over, you sped up and got over to the right and started to overtake me.

Thankfully I saw you and swerved back into my lane and also got to see you give me a dirty look as you passed me up. If I hadn't swerved suddenly to the left, your left front fender would have been hit by my right rear quarter panel resulting in a pretty ugly accident that we both would have been lucky to have survived given the velosity and the angle of impact which likely would have put me in a spin and given my high center of gravity, maybe a flip, which would have REALLY sucked because we were on an overpass.

Did we hypothetically live??

No we didn't. Because at freeway speeds, there is no way that semi truck would have avoided hitting our cars had we avoided going over the railing. On a two lane overpass, even if one of us was in each lane, someone would have been hit by that semi. And maybe, because those things are WAY more delicate than they show in the Cannonball movies, he might have jackknifed.

As you drove off, weaving through traffic, I hoped that wherever you were going was worth your life and possibly someone else's, because by the time you left me in the dust, I was going about 70 mph and you were passing everyone else, which puts you at 90 to 100 mph.

Just wanted to bring it to your attention that your extreme driving techniques nearly killed me and maybe you.

You're welcome for the physics lesson, asshole.

Monday, July 08, 2013

A long, long holiday

The Fourth of July holiday tends to be a long one for me. My friends and I head up to Lake Tahoe on the 3rd to watch the fireworks from Kings Beach. This year we stayed overnight and hit the beach again the next day for laying around and unfortunately, getting sunburned. I got REALLY sunburned. I'm still pretty pink. ugh.

I did put on sunscreen, but the thing is, alpine sun and lowlander sun are very different. I can spend a week in Vegas in the sunshine and be fine. 2 hours on the shores of Lake Tahoe and I'm a little Tahoe Lobster. But not the edible kind. I need to work on that. It doesn't take much to get a sunburn around here. I don't want skin cancer. Or wrinkles.

Chango and I had fun though. He was a champ with the fireworks, crawling under my chair and being generally happy as long as I was touching him. If I didn't, he nudged my butt until I reached down to let him know he was safe. He enjoyed lots of attention and a quick run on the beach, and I discovered that he's a total kid magnet. And a shade hog.

We went home fairly early, so I had plenty of time to go hang out with HM on the 4th. From my house, even though I am only a mile from the fireworks, you can't see them because there is a tree in the way. From his upstairs window, we had a clear view. So we listened to patriotic music and then some Dropkick Murphys when that failed, and learned that we both like the kind of fireworks that are sparkly everywhere, although, I have to say, I've grown quite fond of the ones that look like Sideshow Bob's hair. Because they look like Sideshow Bob's hair.

It was a good holiday. A good weekend. Hope yours was good and safe as well.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Regarding Roomates

Although my friends and family heard plenty about what was happening with the great roommate experiment (part duex), I didn't talk about it here because I didn't want to bitch and complain and then have him find my blog, and get his feelings hurt over things he may or may not have been able to control.

What I learned was, I don't live well with others. At least not based on my last two roommate situations. When I think back, I did okay with most of my roommates over the years. If anything, I understand now that I was the asshole with my clutter and cats. But as far as situations go, the roommates were pretty good and I enjoyed having them around.

That was what? 10 years ago? 10 years (nearly) since Girl and Boy Roomie in the house with the goat. We had fun.

This time? I learned that I don't do well with other people in my space. Every little thing was an annoyance and when the roommate would do something really nice? I would feel kindly towards him for a couple of days until there was a drip of soap on the counter or something minor like that.

He moved out yesterday. Not because I kicked him out, and I don't think I was mean, but because he couldn't find work, so returned to Mississippi. Actually, he was in Eastern AZ last time I checked and is likely in New Mexico now.

I will miss the extra dollars. I did my best not to slip into old habits, but also spent more than I should have over the last couple of months. On the bright side, my car is running like fantastic and I paid for it with cash. I also got out of my new good habits so my refrigerator tends to be a little, well, bare. I think with focus I can get back to where I was.

I'm not planning to get another roommate. It's tempting, but why, when I was just irritated all the time?

I wish him the best and suspect I will send holiday cards and such. It's going to take a lot longer to pay off the credit cards than it would have with someone in the house, but I think I can live with that for the peace of having my house to myself.

I wonder too, what I will do someday if there is an offer cohabitation with someone I'm into. I suspect it will be a bit different. We forgive those we love things that we don't accept of others. I don't worry about that too much though. That sort of situation is not even on the radar.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

I suck at the regular updates

Really the most of what has been going on is nothing too exciting. And Roomate. And seeing that guy I see sometimes more often so I shall refer to him as Handsome Man (HM) on the rare occasion that I mention him in passing.

BUT I did have to share this cube conversation with you...

B: MMM Raley's Pizza for dinner

Me: I think we are having Steamers (Steamers is a pizza place at King's Beach in Tahoe)

B: Cleveland Steamers?

Me: Eew. No.

and then the giggles began. because we're 12.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Aw, Man! Quit posting all that crap!

If you are a Facebook user, and I am, you've noticed that there are several different types of people on Facebook. There are the ones that lurk, the ones that post on occasion, the ones that put their whole life out there and the ones who do very little else but repost the memes and jokes, banners and pictures that someone else already posted.

There are a couple of other types, but lets not get complicated.

I use facebook (to play candy crush) to keep up on the happenings of the people in my life. I love the personal stories, pictures, the life updates. I enjoy the occasional article shared with thought. What I don't love is all the political and religious stuff posted over and over. My politics and relationship with the almighty is personal. I don't need to hear about yours. It used to be that you didn't discuss politics and religion because you didn't know who you were going to offend. Now it seems that any platform is a good platform for evangelism.

I have blocked the photos of many friends and family for this, which is sad because I don't get the updates they send out their lives or pictures of their children. I learned recently, that if I can't see them, they can't see me. In some cases I'm okay with that.

I have one friend with a child with Autism. Actually, I have many friends with children who have Autism. It's frightening. But this friend is always posting memes about how wonderful her boy is, how special, how we need to understand Autistic children because they are special.

And they are.

But I was starting to get a little annoyed. Until I was reading the comments on this post. The post itself is poignant and heartfelt. It talks, more than most people do, about some of the difficulties attached to raising a child who redefines normal. But one of the comments made me realize...

My friend, she isn't posting randomly, she's reaching out. She may not have the community of people that she needs. Like me, she has moved away from our home town, away from her mom and the friends that were her support system when her boy was born.

Suddenly, I'm not so annoyed anymore.

Friday, May 24, 2013

I think there is a ghost in my house

If you have known me for any amount of time, you'll know that I believe wholeheartedly in the afterlife. I also believe in reincarnation and the unversal conciousness and all sorts of hibbity bibbity, but we aren't talking about that right now.  I don't talk about it often because most people think that I am nuts, but please understand that I was raised in a houshold where psychic skills were not only believed in but fostered. Otherworldly things existed. And the study of them was encouraged.

Adulthood has not dampened my belief in these things, in fact, experience has shown me that there's some crazy ass shit out there that can't be explained by "normal" explinations.

Like static on a digital recorder, recording in a basment with no other electronics. Doors opening, voices heard, faces in pictures, and smacks on the butt when no one else is in the room.

I don't talk about it as much as I used to because well, people think I'm nuts. And I am, a little, but I'm also okay with that.

Ghosts. Ghosts have been a part of my world since I was a very little girl. I am fortunate in that run ins with them when I was little were never pooh-poohed as my imagination. My parents asked questions and encouraged me to talk to them and about them.

So I do. When in the right company.

When I moved into the Elfin Cottage, I sensed there was something there, but I explained to it that this was my house now and that we would have to exist with respect to each other. Other than a few noises that can be easily explained by the settling of a nearly 60 year old house build on sand in an earthquake prone area with lots and lots of wind, well, I try to explain with the mundane first. Things have been quiet for quite awhile.

Enter Doug. Not long after Doug moved in, he complained on FB that he had "demon dreams". Not good. I've heard the sigh of a demon and it was chilling. Turns out he was experimenting with skills he shouldn't having only hard about them on TV read about them on the internet. I warned him to please be careful. That precautions have to be taken or bad things can happen.

The next night I heard, quite clearly from his room, a gravelly voice. It was late, the TV was off, and it was definately not Doug. My impression was not that we were in danger, but that he was being warned not to be messing with stuff he isn't familliar with.

Last week, I returned home from work and Doug told me he thought I had been home earlier, as he heard very distinct footsteps in the (ceramic tile) hallway. The next night, I was in the living room watching Dr Who when I noticed a shadow passing in front of my studio door. The light was on in there. The dog was with me. I thought Doug might be lurking, but he was in his room. I turned out the light. and decided to tell you about it.

The truth is that I am not as perceptive as I was when I fist moved to N Nevada. I realized that it's because I don't tell ghost stories anymore. The people I spend my time with aren't into that sort of thing and I get it.

I realized that it's time to start talking again. And maybe pulling out that little digital recorder and seeing what I can pick up.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Why I will never be a go-go dancer

Saturday night was full of all sorts of weird little stories.

Some of the casinos in town have go-go dancers for the entertainment of the guests at night. The one we were at was one of these and while we sipped our drinks, we watched.

There are many reasons why I will never be a go-go dancer.

It isn't the outfit, although I am too fat to wear what they were wearing. I'm not fat, and the gym is helping me slim down, but no matter how fit I get, I will always be too fat to wear a bra, underwear, and fishnets in public.

It isn't the age, although I do think I'm too old. One of my cohorts pointed out that if you're over 25 you're over the hill for a go-go dancer, and I'm okay with knowing that I'm too old to go prancing around on a mini stage.

No, the reason I will never be a go-go dancer is because I just can't do those deep knee bend dance moves. Every time she did it, I pictured myself going down and failing to get back up. Struggling to stand while teetering in my heels, finally duck walking about until I find something to grab hold of... Nobody needs to see that. Good thing I'm too old and fat to try!

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

A sense of entitlement

I met a new fellow the other night, a new friend who, in the course of conversation, said something really interesting. And really true.

He said that he dates a Japanese girl because he got tired of American women's sense of entitlement. (I'm sure she is lovely and wonderful in many other ways too) He mentioned with emphasis, that she is very respectful.

I don't think that this is the sort of man who expects a woman to cower and bow, I truly think that he just appreciates that she treats him nicely.

I don't think he is wrong.

There are exceptions to every rule of course, and I hope that I am one of them, but I do agree. American women sure seem to have a sense of entitlement. I hear them talk. I get the encouragement from people I know.

"He needs to do this or that for you"
"He better be taking me out for a nice dinner"
"I/You deserve a man who..."

It's not that I think that women should settle for a man who doesn't treat her right (which sounds so wrong coming from me given my history. There are many untold stories here). But when I consider what is "right" I think of the running list of things in my head that I DON'T deserve. For example,

I don't deserve to be treated like I don't matter.

I tend to think though, that this basic human kindness. No one deserves to be treated like they don't matter.

But back to the topic at hand. I don't think that there's anything wrong to desire a man who showers  your with gifts and dinners and his undivided attention if that's what you want. But I don't think it should be expected. Because no one really deserves it. There's a huge difference between wanting and deserving. American women really need to remember that. We don't deserve things because we were born women. We shouldn't expect things because we were born in a country where our worth is not measured in cattle. How is that any different than measuring a man's worth by the size of the diamond you made him buy you?

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Biggest Little FurCon

It's unusual for me to be up at 3 am and even more unusual for me to be up writing at this late, late hour, especially knowing that clean sheets await.

Some things, though, cannot wait.

Tonight, I attended a Furry Convention.

Furries, for the uninitiated, are people who dress like animals. Think, high school mascot, only far more personal.

It was something the Wifey had always wanted to do, attend a Furry convention, so imagine her surprise when there was one in Reno. Since I tend to be up for a good people watching adventure, I agreed to go to the casino where it was being held and stare.

What I found was a really nice group of people in various states of animal dress. Some, just wore tails. Some, ears. Others were in full body costumes. Some costumes were homemade, some were custom. All exhibited a certain personality. You could tell that some of the people were more comfortable in their costume than they were in regular clothes.

Amazingly, I get that. Where I thought I would giggle and snort and roll my eyes, I found that I accepted their desire to dress as animals. I understood their need to wear a different skin. One of their own design. Who wouldn't want to be a purple giraffe? Who hasn't put on a costume and felt empowered? I feel that way every time I wear certain outfits or put on my referee jersey.

We ended up in a Furry dance party. I sat and watched while my cohorts boogied. I smiled at the unabashed joy of the revelers. I blushed at the Yiffing. It was, an experience to remember.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Where I'm at

At the beginning of this year, I started an intention board and wrote down all the things that I intend to accomplish this year. It's colorful, covered in stars, and has plenty of room to grow. I've only had to fix one thing so far, and that's the part where I noted that I would sell GREATER than "x" number of bars of soap but I accidentally put "less" than. Oops. Fixed that, all better.

Some things I knew would hurt a bit in order to accomplish, like knocking out 1/2 of my credit card debt, some things I knew would take some work, like growing a front lawn, and others, I just trust will happen, like getting my "Nevada Made" certification which will open doors to wholesale opportunities to businesses who believe in buying local. The certification will cost money, but if I sell greater than the amount of soap I set out for myself, I'll be able to afford it.

I've always believed that big things can happen with a little bit of effort and a good attitude, so even when life is getting me down and I am struggling with having someone else live in my house, I remind myself of that. Then I go to the gym which is WAY better than shopping for a stress relief. I don't bring home clutter and I don't add to my debt. My heart is getting stronger and my body might be shrinking. Either that or my clothes are old and stretched out. could be both.

The ball is rolling fast on my debt reduction. I'm really excited about it. Between the roommate's rent, my better budgeting, a higher than expected tax return, and SURPRISE! Two unexpected checks this month, I should have one credit card knocked out by August. AUGUST!! (Maybe sooner)That's almost 6 months faster than I expected. Since I know that sometimes unexpected stuff comes up, it's possible that it may take a little longer, but I'm super excited to be knocking out $5,000+ in debt in just a few months. Technically, I've already reached one goal on my board since I wanted to reduce each card by half this year and the Master Card is at about 50%.

I planted my front lawn on Saturday. I've never planted a lawn before. I'll tell you, it took less seed and more dirt than I expected. And I didn't do it the way I was advised to, but I've been out there for the last two days at 7 am watering (it snowed on Monday). Grass can't be harder than vegetables, right? And I grow those every year! I have a plan. I believe I can do it.

Focus. Belief. Some sweat and tears.

There are so many things I want to do and accomplish. So many more things than what is on my little list.

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Storyteller

I love to tell stories. Clearly. Sometimes I admit, that my zeal for a good story outshines the interest of the story itself. Maybe the trouble is that I just like to talk.

My father tells stories too. I have many fond memories of laughing for hours as he talked about his around the world adventures. Around the world is a place that I have never been.

Poor Bratty gets the brunt of my stories, you know, since we spend at least 8 hours per day together. Sometimes, I'll be right in the middle of telling her another one when she turns and asks if I am talking to her. That's when I realize that I'm speaking to hear myself speak and it's time to shut up. She isn't being mean, she really just doesn't always know when I am addressing her and not my computer.

A week or two ago, a friend told me something that I would ordinarily repeat. When I opened my mouth to mention it, you know, just telling stories and spreading the news, I stopped myself.

For the first time, I realized that I was about to pass along a story that wasn't mine to tell.

I would never call myself a gossip. Nosey, absolutely. I love to hear a good story as much as I like to tell them. But not a gossip. Gossip is malicious and mean, right? Something I don't want to be.

But it isn't always, is it? In fact, Merriam Webster defines gossip in three ways. a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts about others. rumor or report of an intimate nature. and chatty talk. What I thought of as chatty talk though, might have been a rumor or report of an intimate nature. And I had become a person who reveals personal or sensational facts about others.

Wow. That's some ugly lint growing in my navel.

So I have been making a concentrated effort not to be the repeater of intimate details that are not my own. I've caught myself several times. Funny thing is, while I'm not repeating the stories, I find that I'm also a little less nosey. I catch myself perking up at a juicy bit only to walk away with the reminder that it's not my business.

I can tell MY stories all I want. But I don't want to tell other people's stories anymore. It's gotten quieter around here.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Country Mouse learns a lesson

During my formidable years, as I'm sure I have mentioned, we lived in a house in the country, or, as I often refer to it, in the sticks. It was about 45 minutes to the grocery store, and very little else but dirt, oak trees, and rocks.

Since we lived so far out in the middle of nowhere, we never locked our doors. There just wasn't a need. If someone was coming, the neighbor's dogs went nuts. If we were gone, the neighbors kept an eye on things. They were the kind of neighbors from whom you could borrow a cup of sugar or a stick of butter. And we did. Because the grocery store was 30 minutes away.

Because of this, I tend to trust my neighbors a little too much. Thus far, that's been okay. My garage door gets left open, no one messes with my stuff. During the summer, my front door is open. and...

Wait. This is no longer true.

My purse has been found. Not in the house, but in the neighbor's bushes. Everything was intact except for my video camera and ipod. Since whoever took it didn't bother with the multiple gift cards, credit cards, etc that was in there, I can only assume that it was one of the neighbor kids. This makes me sad. I'm happy that I got the purse back. I am blessed that they didn't steal my identity. But I am hurt that someone would steal from me at all.

And so, I learned, since they took it right out of my house, to lock the door, even when I am home. And to close the garage door and, for the first time, to distrust my neighbors. Clearly, whoever took my purse knew I had good stuff in there, which means they were keeping an eye on my habits.

I'm just simply not in Kansas anymore.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Lie to me

It's rare to meet a person who isn't going to lie to you. I can generally tell if someone is fibbing, I just won't say anything. 

Like that guy I dated who lied about just about everything. I knew that his stories didn't line up, but I like to trust people. However, despite my head-in-the-sand mentality, I knew something wasn't right and when the truth came out, I wasn't as hurt as I would have been otherwise. Suddenly, the stories made sense and I was able to see that the entire 5 month relationship had no foundation. I was glad I had refused to meet his kids. A few days later, Chango lay his little puppy head on my shoulder and I lost my heart to a far more reliable male. Dogs will never lie to you. Also, if you give away their children, they don't get upset.

I've learned to trust that instinct. That doesn't mean I always act on it, sometimes to my detriment, but I recognize it and take note. File the information for later use.

That is not the point of this story.

Last night, my gym lied to me.

When I signed up over a month ago, they told me that I would have to meet with a personal trainer whether I wanted to or not. Unfortunately, the soonest available time I could attend a meeting was a month out. I wrote it down, but still forgot. Dangit! The trainer was supposed to give me the little scan card I need to get into the facility instead of having to check in manually with reception every time. Annoying.

Last night, I went out of my way to attend the gym where I signed up so that I could go ahead and get my card. The receptionist told me that only the trainers have them and that I'd have to make another appointment with the sales guy in order to get it.

Let me make this clear. I do not want to pay a personal trainer. My experience with them has not been good and I can generally rely on myself to kick my own butt. Also, I don't need someone to tell me I'm fat because I have a high BMI. While I do need to lose some weight, I'm not actually fat, I'm dense. I do not float, I sink. Most trainers don't want to hear these things, they just want you to buy their services. And I get that, but I'm not interested.

So, after my 45 minutes on the arc trainer, I showed up dripping, to my sales guy's desk. I waited for him to notice me (I love sales people who don't need you after the sale. jerk. Clearly my "he just wants your money" instinct was right on there.) and asked to make another appointment. He responded that they can do that up front. I casually let him know that they had sent me to him and (played a little dumb) announced that I'd go make the appointment with them.

Back up at the front desk, I spoke with the first girl. I told her that Joe had told me I could make an appointment with her. She looked a little baffled. Then opened a drawer and said "Oh look! We have one left!" and produced a scan tag. Then she acted all conspiratorial as she got it assigned to me. Like we were getting away with something.

All I could think was, if you're going to lie to me, at least try to hide it. OR be so obvious about it that we both undertand that you're just following protocall, you know?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Those grandmas know a thing or two

It occurred to me one day while I was working the cube with Bratty, that there's more to grocery store chicken than meets the eye.

You know what I'm talking about. The super cheap hot roast chicken you can get at the grocery for about $5. The ones that for some reason taste amazingly delicious.

I don't know about you, but I consider those a special treat. Maybe they shouldn't be.

A $5 chicken will cover about 3 meals for me if I am being a bit piggy. Even so, $1.67 isn't bad for a meal (or the protein part of one if I count sides). If I roasted that bird myself, I'd be paying about 10 for the bird plus the spices and cost of cooking it. And the burnout of smelling chicken for days since scents linger in my home.

So, stroke of genius. I've picked the bones pretty clean, there's skin because I try not to eat it, and all that other stuff that goes along with eating a chicken, Right?

I did what my grandmother (ok, likely my great grandmother, since Grandma is a pretty big fan of modern convenience) would do. I boiled up that carcass. Now I have chicken broth. Mildly flavored with lemon pepper, but now, when I make soup or rice or whatever else, I have a small supply of ready made, likely a bit healthier broth ready to go. And that $5 chicken just cost me $.67 per meal.  (4.5 2 cup jars of broth plus 3 meals worth of meat)

I think I'm going to pick up a chicken more often!

Now into the freezer with these!!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Irrational fears

I have many irrational fears. Some are easily explained, some are more complicated.

For example, I will not swim in lakes because there are lake zombies in there. There are no zombies in the ocean because its a moving body of water and also, sharks. But in lakes, the water just sits there in the lake bed. And the zombies reach up and grab your ankles and pull you down into the depths below. Tahoe and Pyramid are especially bad for zombies because they only connect to each other. And sometimes they find bodies in there. Bodies that have been in there for a very long time. centuries. and also, water babies. The thing that makes this fear even more irrational is that I don't believe in zombies. In fact, the whole zombie apocalypse craze pretty much pisses me off and makes me want to walk away while I call everyone an idiot. BUT you'll notice that they never start the stupid zombie apocalypse in the water because then it would be too real. I think. When zombie shit comes up on the Netflix, I go watch Toddlers and Tiaras.

Actually, I haven't watched that in a week or two.

Point being, that I have an irrational fear of someone bursting in on me when I'm in the shower at the gym. I like the gym. We have a healthy relationship. I go, sweat, shower, and go home. I've lost 5 pounds this way. I have every intention of losing more.

I think I mentioned  that since I go to the gym at night and I shower at night, that I would start showering at the gym to save money. And sweat stains on my car upholstery. That's a side benefit. But a good one. There's all sorts of winning going on there.

I'm a modest kind of girl. I don't wander around the locker room nakid. I make sure my girlie bits are covered until I'm in the shower stall and the curtain is safely closed. I lube up then wrap up before opening the curtain again.

Yet still, even though normal people know that a shut curtain means a full stall, I still worry about someone flinging open the curtain and seeing my butt. or worse.

Last night, I learned that my fears are not unfounded when I was just about done applying my body lotion (which never gets put on at home) and the curtain was suddenly flung open by some topless lady. I'm sure there was a look of horror on my face. After all, I was wearing nothing but a towel turban and flip flops. I was also facing the curtain.

She shut the curtain, apologized, explained that since I was so quiet in there that she didn't think the stall was occupied. Never mind that there were plenty of open stalls, never mind that my bright pink toiletry bag was hanging on the hook right next to the stall, never mind that I practically duct tape the curtain shut when I'm in there.

The consensus that occurred to my workmates and not to me? She wanted to see some boobies. And she did (so, much to my dismay, did I). Apparently, there are creepers everywhere. And not all of them are men.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

On Wild Hogs and Austerity Measures

I'm broke, blah, blah, blah, looking for a roommate, blah, blah, blah, on a strict budget.

Now, if you're new, you're caught up.

I found a roommate. (I might still post craigslist postings though if you guys like them. There is one more waiting to be published, and I made them "unlisted" so you should be able to see them now.). He seems pretty normal, moves in on the 1st, and has already put down a deposit with the balance of the first month's rent due on the 27th.

When he handed me the cash, I was like, "OH BOY!! MONEY!!" And I immediately started plotting how I would spend it. Fence repairs! Dinner! A shopping spree to Costco where I can spend it on MEAT! I'm almost out of meat. I can have new pants! My pants are falling off again. I can refill my Starbucks card and have coffee treats! A new belt! My last one was purchased sometime around 2001. New shoes! Makeup!  At this point, the voice in my head started reminding me of the reasons why I ended up in this mess in the first place. "Sock away that cash", she said, "you don't want to have a roommate forever and eventually, your car will need to be replaced".

So, I'll admit, that I spent a little. I bought some candy, some cake mix, and a closet rod for the spare room. Not only is the rod installed already, but I got to use my chop saw and that made me VERY happy. I think I spent about $40 of the deposit. That's not much, but it's a lot for me. I don't want to slip back into old habits. It would have been REALLY easy to wander around the home improvement store and pick up a few "wants" that I think are "needs".

So it's back to my austere budget. Meal planning, weekly grocery shopping. I did really good last month, coming in under budget and moving things around when I needed to. I love the envelope method and REALLY enjoy dropping my change into my change jar. I didn't overdraw my account. But 1 month, that's easy peasy. It's changing my habits long term that will be hard. Especially with extra funds coming in. (A new TV! A New Roof! A front lawn! And occasional steak dinner!)

I'm sticking to it though. I may fund a few things before I start attacking the credit cards hard core. If he always pays me in cash, then this will mean that I won't be pulling my budget out of my checking account every 2 weeks, I will (hopefully) be depositing leftover cash into it.

Overall, it's just nice to feel like I have a little wiggle room.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Growing Pains

I hope that I am always growing. Changing for the better. Getting closer to the person that I want to be.

Call it PMS, over stimulation, over tired, low blood sugar, call it what you want but I recently found myself behaving in a manner that was NOT the person that I want to be. And it made me wonder if that bad attitude has been festering for awhile. Coloring my life in an ugly manner and causing issues with the people that I care about.

Generally, when things go wrong, I ask myself what I did to cause it. Over the last year, I learned that it isn't always me, that other people, in their imperfection, also contribute to the dysfunction of a relationship. This doesn't mean that I do not contribute, only that I may not be the only problem.

Since I can only control myself, I want to do whatever I can do to make sure that I am not being an asshole. It's not always easy.

It doesn't help that when I decide to make a life overhaul, I tend to do it all at once. The strict budgeting is taking it's toll. I didn't think it would be easy, and I think overall it's been easier than I thought it would be, but it's still hard. I have slipped a couple of times, I hear that happens, I know it will get easier. I contacted another possible roommate today. That will help a lot. 1 year of roommate will knock out 1 credit card plus about half of the other (as long as I continue to pay what I am paying on them and don't add more debt). 15 months of roommate will pay them off completely if I add another $50 in payments each month (which I already started doing to cover the fun I had for the New Year). I really like how that story goes. Will it actually work that way? probably not. But I can do my best. Realistically, 2.5 years with a roommate should pay off both cards. I am not counting tax returns or bonuses in this amount. I AM taking into account travel expenses.

I started going to the gym again, which seems to be working to helping my mood and focus, but that takes time away from the dog. So I am trying to take him for more walks, and now that I'm home before dark and it's warming up, hopefully we can start meeting his doggy friends again.

My interpersonal relationships are... A little messy right now. Some are great! Others, need something. Vitamins? Medication? Communication? CPR? I'm not sure. And I don't know if I am equipped to give any of those things. I do know that I have started to question the kind of friend that I am. And I worry that I'm not a good one. I think I need to try harder and give more. I just don't know how. I do know that in some cases, I'm seeing the same patterns that I have seen since elementary school.  I think I need to fix that. I need to be more appreciative of the people I have. All of them, not just the ones that I see all the time. I've said it before, no one person should have to carry the burden of being my only friend. If it sounds terrible to hear that I may have to put people on my to-do list, please understand that this is how I make them a higher priority in my life. by reminding myself to give attention to the people who are important to me.

I know I need to re prioritize many things. I talk about it a lot, and always intend to fix the priorities. And in some ways, I'm working on it. It's just easier sometimes to slip into old habits.

Friends, of any sort, I need to foster those. Learn to have more than one or two friends at a time. When was the last time I sent love to one of my friends south of here? When was the last time I sent a text just to say "hello"? When was the last time I planned an outing instead of waiting for someone to invite me to theirs?
Derby, I need to give less. It's become a bad relationship. The kind where I give more than I get. I don't think I will  give it up completely any time soon, but it also doesn't need to consume as much of my energy as it does. I need to set boundaries here.
BC needs more of me.
Chango needs more of me too.
I should be writing this down on some sort of goal list. and making a plan.
I need more of me, but I am making progress here. I've been doing a lot of "nothing" lately (if nothing is knitting and watching TV) and it feels good. But I need to balance it out and not spend my entire weekend watching Toddlers and Tiaras. I need to set boundaries here too.

So, here is where I am beginning. Hopefully this will work. I've split my obvious issues into categories. Friends, Derby, BC, Chango, Self, Home. I'm going to allocate time to all of those things. Not daily, maybe not even weekly. But if I want to change, I have to start somewhere. And it will help to see where I am spending my time. and how I am spending it.

Step 2 ????

Step three, MONEY!!

I know. I'm a fruitcake. But after all that seriousness, I needed a smile. I found this free online printable. It's an appointment book page which won't actually fit in my appointment book, but at least I can use it to plan out my time. Actually, I think I am going to hang it on my studio wall. I printed 5. I don't want to waste paper in case I stop using it, but at least I can use it in conjuntion with my regualr planner.

Here's to change and trying to be a better me

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Valentines Day crafts

Every year, I make Valentines Day cards instead of Christmas cards not because I like V-Day (not a fan, actually) but because I want to be different and it is a great excuse to tell the people that I love that I well, love them.

I make them partially because I am cheap, partially because I think that the greeting card industry is a little silly, and a lot because I feel like it means more that way.

This year, plan A didn't work out. I don't remember what it was, but it was a fail. Now I remember. Equipment fail, not crafter fail.

Plan... next was a GREAT idea, I just needed to commit to actually carving the linoleum block I've been hanging onto for at least  a year.

I learned to carve printing blocks in 8th grade art class. It might have even been 7th grade. My teacher was all sorts of awesome and a couple of the projects she introduced to us were so amazing, I still want to do them. Seriously, best art teacher ever.

About 10 years ago, I decided I was going to try it again, bought all the stuff, never did, and amazingly, purged all the stuff.

About 1 year ago, I decided I was going to try it again, bought all the stuff, and did NOT purge it in the last purging.

Now, I have commitment issues. this is why I cut that guy I see sometimes a lot of slack. This is also why I have a lot of project IDEAS, but not a lot of completed projects. I am trying to change that.

Tonight, I drew out my design, made sure the block was the right size for the paper, and started carving.

I stabbed myself in the finger. Those cutters are sharp.

I accidentally carved what appears to be a vagina in the corner. It's not supposed to be a hoo ha. I took a deep breath and kept on going even though I know that my family will happily point it out.

Then, I headed to the gym because I needed to go. While on the evil yellow thing that I secretly love because it kicks my butt, I realized something important.

I carved my design portrait instead of landscape. I need a new block.

It's no wonder I have commitment issues.

I'm still going to finish it because it can be used for other projects. And no, you can't see a picture right now because I want the card to be a SURPRISE. If I get my shit together, I'll post it on Valentines Day. Until then, I think I'll start another hat. I've yet to draw blood with my knitting needles.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Onward and hatward!

I finished the hat I was talking about the other day, It's a 50/50 wool and soy silk mix that I knitted from my own handspun. I didn't blend or dye this one (the dye lot is called "tossed salad" I'm laughing about it) , but I did develop the pattern It's a really simple one-skein pattern that works for men or women.

Of course, after all that bragging about easy crafting for the single and childless, the dog walked by while I was getting my knit on and hooked a few yards away with his tail.

Off to the gym with me, I've lost enough IQ points watching Toddlers and Tiaras for the day.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Exercises, exercises, help me do my exercises

I signed up for the gym a little ahead of time and for a little more than I expected, but as long as I don't make a habit out of those late night side trips to Super Burrito for a half order of steak nachos, I think I will be okay.

It went down a bit like this:

The gym nearby that has a pool but is cheaper and has better hours than the community center where I was getting my sweat on is also attended by a friend of mine. He had a 7 day buddy pass, which, he had offered to me about a month ago. I wasn't ready to join up at that point.

Then a few days ago I thought, hey, I'll use his pass, and by the time the 7 days are up, I will be a little closer to funding a membership, and it shouldn't cause financial discord.

By the way, BIG thanks to Chickie for helping me to find an extra $13 in my budget.

By my calculations and with my friend's input, I figured that a membership would be $10 per month (that is what he pays) and I would save $3. Unfortunately, the reality is that he got in on a deal that is no longer available. I could pay $10 per month, but it would cost me $145 to sign up. I REALLY don't have $145 laying around. I mean, I do, but I don't want to touch the savings account for stuff like this. In fact, I want to put that cushion back in there.

There was a new deal. $29 sign up, $20 per month. Since Chickie saved me $13, I only had to find $7. The deal ended yesterday, so I took it. A little early, I know, but my first month was free, I had the $29 in cash because I didn't need to grocery shop last week and I didn't spend my whole entertainment allowance last month.

Here's the thing that I realized the other night.

That $7 is going to be pretty easy to find. Not only am I spending more time exercising and less time doing things that might cost me money, BUT if I go to the gym at night, and shower there, then I'm not paying to shower at home. I'm saving water and gas to heat my hot water heater. Time will tell how much I save this way, but come spring, when it warms up a bit and I'm not running the heater, things should look a bit prettier. I haven't showered at home in 2 days.

I do understand that I'll need to up my food budget. This way I'll have easier and healthier options at home so I won't be tempted to swing by super burrito. Which I only did once, and don't plan to do again any time soon. Plan being the operative word here, those things are delicious. And cured my foot cramps.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

The 52 Week Challenge

I noticed the other day that there was a new popular thingy going around on Pinterest. The 52 week Challenge.

Since most stuff like this tends to catch my eye, make them roll, and then I move on, I thought I would stop for a moment and actually see what it was all about.

I entered it into my favorite search engine and sure enough, it was a variation on the penny trick used for MANY years to to teach children the value of saving. In short, it's all about compounding. 1 penny today, 2 tomorrow, and soon enough, MONEY!!

Only in this case, it's $1 this week, (not a problem) $2 next week, (still not a problem) and so on. 52 weeks later, MONEY!

You can see the chart here.

What no one seems to remember is that this money has to come from somewhere. And when you are on a tight budget, it's difficult to say where the money will come from. Sure, I can come up with $1 for this week, and maybe $2 next week, but when we start getting into the $5 and the $10, it gets a little more difficult. In fact, you start risking dipping into my grocery or gas fund.

By week $40, you just took both my grocery AND gas fund. In Week 50, there's no more money for the dog and the bird to eat. Sure, I have saved over $1,000, but I broke my budget doing it. Sound extreme? from what I see, for many Americans, it's reality.

I find it easier to build a specific amount directly into my budget. I put $30 per week on automatic withdrawl. I've had to learn to check each week on Friday to ensure that the money will be in there to be removed on Monday, but since I started doing that, I haven't overdrawn. The one time I was going to, I went ahead and put a stop on the transfer.

Over all, at $30 per week, for 52 weeks, I save over $1,500. Which is actually not too much more than the 52 week challenge, but I also don't have to worry about where I'm going to find that cash (if I have it, and it's not in an envelope, I'm going to spend it somewhere) it's already allocated.

Do what works for you, but I've put quite a bit of money away over the years this way and give myself regular raises. It seems to be one of the few financial things I've done right!

Friday, February 01, 2013

My search for more things to do

I figured that if I am going to start posting crafts for the single and childless, I should probably research some to try. So I entered "Crafts for the Single and Childless" into my favorite search engine and landed in my own blog.

Then I saw some articles that discussed all the thigs that were wrong with women who choose to remain childless, some of which probably ended with something to effect of "there's nothing wrong with us, asshole"

It seems to me that I've hit upon a niche market, but I don't know where to start. After all, most of the things that I do can be done with children around, the trouble is that sometimes those children (and the men that I date) simply make it difficult to execute said craft. Kind of like how my cats used to like to play in the fabric after I carefully laid it down on the floor for measuring and cutting.

Children ALWAYS want to try treadling the spinning wheel (and sometimes I let them) and the guy that I see sometimes has been known to pull my knitting needle out of my knitting. Kind of like my cat used to. I can't decide if he wants my undivided attention while he watches TV or if he's just a brat. I'm going for the second there. It's not animal cruelty if I stab him with said needle, however, and is only a crime if I break the skin or leave a bruise so, retribution does occasionally occur. And by occasionally, since I only see him occasionally, I mean rare indeed.

So think I should start brainstorming crafts that involve things that kids just should not have access to. Like drugs and hard alcohol.

I kid. That stuff is expensive. I just don't have the funds for clever cocaine sculptures. (that ought to bring in some interesting search hits) AND, I wouldn't know where to get that sort of thing anyway. AND blog fodder simply isn't worth a felony. Can I blog from prison? Who would take care of Chango and Baby? I would have to make soap out of... oh my goodness, lets not go there today.

NORMAL stuff you really aren't supposed to let your kids handle generally means something sharp, and chemical-y, and hot. I'm pretty sure I have all that stuff so as soon as I finish knitting that hat I'm making out of yarn that I spun (gee, I hope I have enough of it!) I'll get on that. Meanwhile, I think the hat should count since its sitting out in the open and is not in any danger of dropped stitches, cookie drool, or boogers.

The other moral of this story is that cats and men can be buttheads. But since they are cute and furry and snuggly, they are forgiven.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Great Roommate Search

Since I don't generally look at my prior posts before I post another one and I'm really forgetful, I'm not sure if I have mentioned that as part of my financial cleanup I'm looking for a roommate.

It has been argued that I am not trying hard enough, but a few things come into play. I don't want to post my info all over the internet, so I am not placing an ad. Ok, I admit, my info is already all over the internet, but right now, I don't want to deal with a bunch of creepers calling me.

Instead, I am looking in the "housing wanted" section of craigslist. I have contacted a few people. One got so far as talking about a meeting, through her friend's mom, but never actually set one up.  Another is supposed to let me know when he actually arrives in town. We communicated via text. Tomorrow is February 1, I don't think I'm going to hear from him. I'm thinking that his Girlfriend didn't actually want him to follow her to college. A couple decided that my home would not be a good fit, one because it was not geographically convenient (reasonable) one because she wanted housing for her and her 90 pound dog for $200 per month or less since she is a student and can only eat organic food, which, of course is expensive and eats up most of her schooling budget. She won't work during the semester and has been unable to get temporary employment during breaks. I'm thinking, based on her diet, that working at McDonalds just isn't an option for her.

There's some really interesting people out there, so I did what any mediocre blogger would do, I started filming myself reading the posts to you. I have one in my pocket. It's short. And unedited. Not because I can't edit it, but because I started to and then I got bored and went back to Netflix and Knitting. In my world, knitting and Netflix is way more exciting than video editing.