What?…

Okay, so I have been busy with school. We still have a pandemic going on even though most people are trying to act like life is business as usual. Russia has attacked Ukraine, most likely because Putin is dying of cancer and wants to go out looking like a hero. And now the Republicans are trying to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The world is going to Hell and people are weaving their own handbaskets. Got it.

Let me start with the most pressing matter for us here in the US. The Republican party and the Christian Right are trying to take us even closer to being back in the 40s and 50s. The cars were nice and music was getting interesting but that’s about all it had going for it. While our founding fathers came to this land for the sake of religious freedom, there is a reason the separation of church and state was written into our doctrines. You have the freedom to believe in whatever you want. But your Flying Spaghetti Monster cannot determine political policy and law for the entire nation. That takes away freedom of choice from people who do not want to be a Pastafarian.

What that means is that no governing body can use religion as the basis of writing or upholding/rescinding a law. A lawmaker’s personal beliefs may influence their decisions to a point, but they are required by law to evaluate their decisions based on the better good of the People. That is not what is happening right now. Take a good look at Congress, both houses. We do have more women and people of color than ever before. But the majority of people in those seats are still Old White Men. I am 50 years old and learned a long time ago that Old White Men do not have my best interests in mind, even when they are doctors I go to. That’s why I refuse to see an Old White Man doctor now.

These Old White Men have been in office for way too long. They have lost touch with what the People actually do in their daily lives, what the People actually need, who their constituents are. These Old White Men have been living on our tax dollars and lobbyist dollars for decades. They are comfortable in their big houses with their guaranteed health care and personal security. They do not care about the consequences of their actions. They need to be reminded.

Let’s take a look at some medical issues. Ultrasound can show if a fetus is missing organs, you know, those body parts necessary for survival. Then we have placental abruption, where families have to choose whether to try and save a fetus or the mother while both are bleeding to death. And how about people who are in a position to use fertility treatments of some kind and end up with multiple viable fertilized eggs who then have to reduce them because six is too much strain on the mother’s body. And then we have ectopic pregnancies which can also cause a woman to bleed to death when they rupture because they are not viable pregnancies. Let me say that louder for the idiots in the back. THEY ARE NOT VIABLE PREGNANCIES.

Okay, time for some economics. A vast percentage of people are sharing homes either with family or friends because the income in the US is laughable. People cannot afford a house on their own. How are they supposed to be able to afford kids, or more kids than they already have? If you know you cannot financially support a child after it is born, why have one? The welfare system is over burdened as it is. And if the female is a teenager, guess who ends up taking on that responsibility? Her parents, or grandparents, or the child ends up in foster care. Another system in the US which is flat out broken. Then we have people in broken marriages who are having to support kids without a spouse. They should not end up with the financial burden of another child if they choose not to want one.

And then we have a bigger issue. This relates to those last two in a way. Sexual abuses and rape cause pregnancies, too. Women and teenage girls should not have to carry that burden. It was not theirs to begin with. Being sexually assaulted should not be a life sentence for the victim, which is what happens when they are impregnated by their attacker and are forced to have that child. And this is perpetrated by family members just like it is from complete strangers. Monsters are human. We should not have to be reminded of their lack of control.

Speaking of control, where is the responsibility that should be put on the men who create these children? If women have to have the child, then the men should have to pay up. First of all, any man who commits a sexual assault that results in a pregnancy should have to pay for all expenses to cover the prenatal care, birth, healthcare for the child, all school expenses through college, their first car, car insurance, clothes, dental and vision care, haircuts. Anything, and I mean anything, that child needs should be paid for by the man who created it if the woman is forced to give birth. This is not up for debate.

If men don’t like that deal, then get a vasectomy. It’s cheaper by many thousands of dollars, has fewer risks, and does not require general anesthesia. I think we should start with every Old White Man in congress. Line them up and run them through a tent. Give them all an extra Covid booster while we’re at it. If they refuse, then they forfeit their salary and all lobbyist moneys for at minimum one year. Let them go back to their home states and work a job like their constituents. Let them figure out how to make a living on less than $20 an hour. Quite frankly, any person in congress who is not willing to fight for the People should resign. I don’t care what party affiliation they have. They need to relearn why those offices exist.

You know, something small and far removed from themselves is easy for a politician to shout about. Does anyone notice how many things they are removing that protect children after birth? How they are stripping stuff out of schools? Changing what can be taught? This fight over Roe v. Wade is not about babies. It has never been about babies. If politicians actually cared about babies, they would be voting for better healthcare for women and children, supporting homeless shelters, improving the foster care system and making adoptions easier and less costly. But it’s not about the babies. If politicians actually cared about us, they would fight for us instead of with each other.

October Rocks!

Welcome to Fall! Of course, I live in the South so Fall doesn’t really start until around Christmas when the humidity stays down. But October is my favorite month. My two favorite holidays, Halloween and my birthday, are both in October. I have decorated inside the house. We don’t get trick-or-treaters because we are so far off the road. But I have my twinkle lights Everywhere!

I also turned 50 this year. I’m still processing how I feel about that. And about being married again. Although my partner and I are much closer than I ever was with my first husband. The ex was an Aries and just way too volatile. But enough about stinky baggage.

So I am 50, married for the second time, and in college. I’m ready to win a big lottery and create a writing retreat for mature, Southern poets.

Oh, who am I kidding?! I’m not mature. Hahahahahaha…

Happy Tuesday!

Yes! It’s Tuesday! I got married on Saturday. I’m still catching up on sleep.

We had a small ceremony with family here at home. A very dear friend officiated. It was very nice. It was a lot of work in the days ahead of the wedding even with all the planning we did. And trust me, I planned. And there was so much food! It was busy but it was a good day. And now I am married to my best friend.

The weekend also marked the end of my first term back in college. I am attending Southern New Hampshire University. I have tried college three or four times. It was always for the wrong reasons. It was to fulfill someone else’s expectations for me, or to prove someone wrong, or I was taking a program someone else would have approved of. This time around is different.

I’m studying creative writing with a focus on poetry. This time is all for me. I’m actually excited for school. It feels weird being in school again at 49 years old. But it feels good this time. I’m not stressing about it like I used to. And the writing is not the only area where I’m feeling creative these days.

I’m finding myself looking at my yarn stash and seeing completed project ideas. Drawings of those ideas are starting to take up residence in my sketch pads. And the more I draw those out, the more the itch to paint again grows. During the cleanup from the wedding I got all of my yarn organized. (I have a lot of yarn!) I also organized my work spaces so that I have an art/writing space that has more room and access to a computer, and a crochet space with a chair and room for my project bag.

It’s been a good couple of months. I even managed to write a couple of poems in all of that chaos. Now that everything is settling down, I hope to get a lot more done in between classwork.

Timing…

The one thing more important than location is timing. I find it odd that I keep stumbling across bits of conversation in social media threads that lead me into lines of research I might not otherwise follow. Something about a particular phrase or statement will start me thinking about something in my own experience and then I have to start connecting dots. So I ask more questions and look for answers in more places. I turn 50 this year so I’ve been doing this for a long time. I can research the hell out of something once I get my teeth into it. If I don’t like the first round of results that I come up with, I change my search parameters. And I’ll keep doing that until I feel like I have satisfied the question. Even if I don’t like the answers that I get.

The questions are not always easy. And the answers are not always ones that I understand on an emotional level until I have had time to digest them. I’ve discovered a couple of pretty significant things about myself lately. One through conversations with someone close to me, and the other because I followed one of those rabbit trails on social media. I do not regret following either of those paths. A lot of the questions I had about myself growing up make a lot more sense now. Those were the types of questions that follow you into adulthood. Linger in the back of your mind and cast doubtful shadows over all of your decisions. Sometimes following the rabbit trail…

…leads you into the light.

After Shocks

No, I have not experienced an earthquake. Although that is the natural disaster that scares me most. I got my first Covid vaccine eight days ago. I did not have an actual allergic reaction to the shot but I have been having side effects since the day of.

Let me start by saying that I encourage everyone to get the vaccine if you are able. It makes all of us safer in the long run. My fiance has a peanut allergy and he did have the allergic reaction to the Moderna vaccine. He was advised to not get the second shot but that he can try for the Johnson & Johnson. I am good to go for the second Moderna shot with some pregaming for my allergies.

So, lets talk about side effects. From the beginning I have had a major headache. Almost migraine level with the light sensitivity. I have not been able to wear my glasses or my headset for work. It has felt like I had a long rod ran between my temples. I have had headaches from high blood pressure and sinus pressure/infections and ear infections. None of those have felt like this headache.

The fatigue makes me appreciate my spoons so much more. I napped off and on so much the first day. And the second and the third. The headache was enough to make me tired but there was just so much more fatigue on top of that. Naps are a good thing. Food did seem to help ease the headache briefly for me but only for a short while. Tylenol did not do much more than dull it a bit. I did not want to take too much of it due to stomach issues. And my stomach would get upset sometimes anyway.

Did you know there is a lymph node in your elbow? There is and mine swelled up and got hard. It didn’t last long but it was sore and hurt to bend my arm for a couple days. It was below the injection site and was actually more sore than the injection site except for the on time my fiance hugged me, forgot where it was and put his hands around that part of my arm.

All of these reactions my doctor assured me are normal for what is being reported. This is where my allergies come in. I have a laundry list of allergies along with asthma and dermatographia. The dermatographia is the most likely the culprit here. My doctor figures the shot triggered a hyperactive allergic response. I broke out in hives over the lymph node on my elbow around the fourth or fifth day. Then around day six or seven my feet broke in hives along the lines where the lymph drainage system runs, around the top edges from toes to heel, across the joints at the top of the foot, and even up my ankle. Tiny, itchy red bumps. Hives suck. So I get to double up on antihistamine, add a steroid, and use a steroid cream on the skin.

I’m hoping the second will not be worse than the first. I’ve heard it is but I’m still hoping. And even with all the side effects I still advocate getting the shots. The shot does not make us invincible. Each of us are different. Each person’s body will react different. Take care of yourselves and each other. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance.

Happy Friday

The weekend is here! As soon as I get through the work day… Oh, well. At least I know it’s only a few hours away. And the rain from yesterday appears to be leaving. Hopefully we get plenty of sunshine today. That means the pollen will be back but Spring is almost here. That happens tomorrow. So it is a busy weekend.

If you celebrate the beginning of Spring, Blessed Be. Whatever you plan on this weekend, be safe. Be happy. Have a great day.

Tempus Fugit…

A thousand apologies for not writing to you for almost six months. We have had so much happen in the world since I was here in September. I’m not going to rehash all the politics. My blood pressure is good this morning. The weather is drizzly and foggy where I am but it is almost spring. I can tell without a calendar because my allergies are off the charts. I’m hoping to get my vaccination soon. I’m still working from home and honestly I’m fine if it stays that way. Or if I win a lottery. Whichever.

I’ve been busy crocheting critters for friends and family. And planning a wedding for June that we plan on live streaming. Only the family in attendance and one set of friends who are also vaccinated. We already have my partner’s clothes, vest and kilt. My dress should be here shortly. Now that the weather is improving (today’s rain not withstanding) we are getting ready to start on a patio in the back yard where we plan on having our ceremony. My soon to be sister-in-law will be officiating our handfasting. And I am making the cake. Keeping it as simple as possible. I don’t see the point in spending a ton of money. Except on the patio. That we can keep using.

I have a project board started with drawings and movable pieces for the yard. We have our size and it’s scaled to fit the patio, trees, where the cars will be parked. Room for the tent we’re renting for the wedding. Can you tell I’m ready for the wedding and this patio? My OCD kicked in once we started planning. I have a three ring binder of notes and pictures. This is a second wedding for both of us. Another reason we are not going very big. Less drama. We’re doing what we want on a scale we are comfortable with. More people should do that. The divorce rate would probably be lower.

I hope you are all ready for spring. I need to go through my Pinterest boards and figure out what flowers we are planting putting in around the patio. Need to do something to work with our wedding colors. Don’t worry. I have lots of ideas…

It doesn’t feel like September

My apologies for not being here since April. I have been working from home. And, yes, I have been wearing a mask when I have had to go out. I have too many doctor appointments to not wear a mask. Has it gotten any more comfortable? Not really. I don’t have quite as much anxiety when I’m out. But I usually have an asthma attack by the time I get back to my car.

But here we are in September. I have started yet another round of shots in my back for arthritis. There are still little yellow flowers blooming at the edge of the forest I live in. We are still getting tomatoes off our plants on the deck.

TV shows are finding ways to be socially distanced. Football is back and trying to keep players healthy and fans socially distanced. People are still getting sick from Covid-19. And I still don’t feel safe going out anywhere. Especially now that a lot of local stores are getting lax on there precautionary measures. Masks are about the only thing they are still requiring and many people still do not wear them or do not wear them correctly.

The news just makes me sad or angry. I have to limit how much of it I watch or read. It’s easier to just focus on the few shows I enjoy and football now that it is back. And my crochet. But that is another blog all together. Stay safe my friends…

Social Anxiety, Kind of

I had to go out yesterday. I’ve only been out of the house maybe four times in the last month. I have asthma and I am at high risk for catching the coronavirus. The last time I had to go to a doctor appointment they gave me a mask to wear inside the building. I was very nervous being out and the mask did not help that. It was hot and made it hard to breathe. Not a good thing when you already have breathing issues. 

Do I look nervous? I feel nervous…

This trip out I was going to an area hospital for my monthly injection. It’s a shot to help with my asthma and dermatographia. (That’s the skin reactions that causes everything to look like a rashy writing on the skin.) Almost everyone in the hospital was wearing a mask. I was not offered one when I went in, though they did check my temperature. The nurse that took me back asked if I wanted a mask. I declined. 

As I stood in the elevator with her and then followed her down the hall, I realized that the mask would not alleviate my anxiety. The mask alone was not going to do anything. It was simply the fact that I was outside among other people. We don’t have enough people getting tested yet, not enough effective testing. And there is no herd immunity yet. It’s too soon. And too many people still don’t understand the importance of simply staying inside and washing their hands. 

I know the weather is getting nicer and people want to enjoy it. Kids want to play outside and adults want them to. But we have to be smart. I know as a group that is hard. People as a group are stupid as cattle. Individuals are smart.

We need to think like individuals and act as a group. Maybe, if we can learn to act smarter, we won’t become a virus ourselves. Like so many before us. 

With a little help from my friends

My nerves have been a bit frayed today. For all sorts of reasons that I’ll spare you. Several times today I’ve been tempted to put on my headphones and blast some heavy metal music. Just block out the world. But something always stopped me for one reason or another.

Finally, I reached my limit tonight. I put on my headphones and found myself not with screaming guitars in my ears but a familiar meditation playing. I like Native American music for meditating. Drums and flutes, mostly. It’s either light and airy or deep and earthy. Sometimes with the tinkling sounds of water or the rumble of thunder mixed in.

I let the music play while finished what I was stitching on a crochet project for the day. A new design I’m working on. I drew it out this morning and started on it after breakfast. It’s coming along nicely. But I needed that music tonight.

I haven’t meditated in way too long. I learned how several years ago after the death of my mother. It’s what got me through it. Helped me through a lot of emotional upheavals. Not sure why I hadn’t thought to do it before now. Caught up in all the news broadcasts I guess. That whole “not seeing the forest for the trees” thing.

Just the little bit of time I was plugged into the music seemed to help a bit. It’s important to take time for ourselves and to focus on our mental health. Especially now when the entire world is in an upheaval. There is so much stress over every little thing. Remember to take a deep breath, don’t hold it. Relax your shoulders. Give yourself a hug.