Is No News…News? – Just Askin’ For A Li’l Patience

Ok, y’all – believe it or not (and, yes, in the middle of the shitty chaos that pretends to be my life now), I actually HAVE been rereading Moon to get back into the groove of it.

No, I haven’t started writing yet – but I *have* been refamiliarizing myself with the story (and Sookie’s Amazing Preggo Cravings, lmao). I may also have been being (still love mah twisty verbs) a bit amazed – did *I* write THAT??? Rly?? Awesome!!

Wish I had a “play by play” of the story to keep The Bad (Dae) Guys straight, like, who and where they are and who did what (besides that damn’d evil triplet! – I know where SHE is MWAHAHAH!). But I get caught up reading and forget to take notes (plus brain fog sucks). Eh, if I make big booboos when I eventually DO post, I hope y’all will (kindly? gently?) lemme know?

Unfortunately my attention to it can’t be undivided now – too many other worries going on (mostly money, but also pain/health/life/existential bullshit), but I did want to let y’all know that I *am* trying – I’m pretty sore from life’s constant beat-down now and am not nearly as resilient as I used to be (or, more likely, as I thought I was), but I am trying.

I also wanted to thank you all for all your kind words – they really do mean the world to me. But — did you know that one of the “side effects” of brain fog is thinking that you’ve replied when all you’ve really done is lost the email in the sea of other emails where other things are also lost? Yeah. So please x infinity do NOT read anything into it if I haven’t or didn’t reply to your kind messages/comments. There’s a real damn good chance that I thought I had then got distracted by feeding the cat and then I needed a coffee and because of the coffee needed to crutch it to go pee and oh cookies! and then it was dinner time and where did all the time go and ugh the chicken is still frozen and no I don’t want pasta yet again but… (That may or may not have totally happened more than once…)

You guys ARE the best and I truly DO appreciate your kindness more than you could possibly know. I am YOUR biggest fan, for reals. You already know that life is hard, that it’s a rancid battlefield dotted with landmines and quicksand, that sometimes the unicorns are rabid and sprites and fairies can have some damn sharp teeth, and yet you send me such great encouragement and kindness and thoughts and advice anyway.

Thank you. Srsly.

Anyway, I’ll wrap whatever this is up – just wanted to keep you in the swirly, curly loop – and hope that y’all have a wonderful day! (I really am trying, guys.)

~Mer

OBLIGATORY PAYPAL DONATION LINK

MAH DOGGY HAPPY CAUSE SHE’S SUCH A GOOD GIRL! She has become super-dooper protective of “mommy” after the amputation, bless her 10 (cough*15*cough) lb self!! (Got tired of photos of fake legs – hell, I see the damn thing every day as it is – and Happy is hella cuter!)

So…

The saga…it continues…

I’m not sure if you guys know but I’ve talked with attorneys quite often about my situation – first around Oct/Nov of last year then another batch of uselessness in about April/May of this year, and most politely but bluntly” turned me down but one said for me to contact them again once this/that yadda.

So I recontacted them after yadda annnnd…and they *cough*lanier*cough* turned me down again.

Figures.

Anyway, on the day that I recontacted them, I also filled out Contact Forms (atty groups have Contact Forms on their websites where you list all the personal information you ever had along with a brief description of why you need to talk to an atty so they can decide whether or not to call ya back) for several new-to-me law offices.

Eventually I spoke with an extremely nice SSI/SSD (income and disability) lawyer in that “the first consultation is free” way and her opinion is that yes, I should definitely qualify for SSI and that after the application becomes active, we can “attach her name to it”.  (Can’t attach her name to something until after it exists, lol)

FY, in the US it’s a federal law that, in situations like this, the attorney can’t collect a dime until after the client is approved and receives “back pay” if they’re owed any, so that’s good.

Y’all will be thrilled, I’m sure, to know that I have a telephone appointment to fill out the SSI application now scheduled…

…for DEC 28TH at 10:45am.

Read that again.

LawyerLady said that the way some of my information presents, a phone application would be my best bet (especially since I’m effectively housebound due to both mobility issues AND a no functioning car).

But…yeah, DEC 28TH at 10:45am.

Now, read this:  LawyerLady told me it wasn’t unusual for people needing SSI to wait YEARS for their application to MAYBE be approved and that yes, most applications are denied the first time around over the slightest teeny tiny little thing.

Years.

Search “how long does it take to be approved for SSI in America”; you’ll see.

I asked her how I’m supposed to pay for power, water, phone/internet/cable, credit card, taxes, insurances, and all the dozen other “death by nibbles” bills that come with real life.

She had no answer.

Neither do I.

I can’t keep living off the kindness of strangers, much less the kindness of friends who have been so incredibly wonderful to me during this fucked up situation.

Let’s face it, in “modern day” American, I can’t afford to live.

I feel like all these situations are pushing pushing pushing me to an unfortunate but final solution, and sooner than later at that.

To be painfully blunt, I’m only still around now because of my pets and you guys.

And honestly, even if I *am* approved for SSI, it’s barely more than $800/month. Total.  That would pay my credit card bill and the water bill.  

Yep.

That’s it.

That’s what my government thinks I’m worth.

Slightly more than $800/month.

I could force it to work uncomfortably at, say, $1100/month if I had the medical and medications and home health care, etc., that SHOULD come as part of government aid, but…yeah.

Right now I am so disgusted and heart-sick and frustrated and depressed and anxious that I don’t even know why I bother anymore.

See, from when I was in the hospital a month last year onward, lots of people kept telling me to apply, that with my 2 amputations (same limb but yeah, technically I’ve had 2 amputations) I would “definitely” qualify, that “social security” would OF COURSE swoop in to save the day, and would hint that it would just take a month or two – of course the government wouldn’t make people in dire need wait months and months and years and years for desperately needed help.

And, more fool me, I believed them.  Granted brain fog and general cluelessness (I’d never had to even think about stuff like that before) are to blame for some of my stupid gullibility, but of course I would believe the people who “knew more than I did” about that kind of thing.  Why wouldn’t I??

Yes, the American government is, in fact, fine with making people in desperate need wait, suffer, and hopefully die first. Ok, surely not, but right now I’m a bit… bitter.

I definitely feel like I’m being pushed into dark realms of “why the fuck do I bother”.

Constant pain, constant worry, constantly unmet medical needs, constant lack of transportation, constant need for money, and a whole book’s worth of other problems I haven’t wanted to burden you guys with are NOT conducive to wanting to prolong life.

Right now, I just don’t see the point especially when I don’t see any sunshine on the horizon.  I mean, I don’t even have an appointment to FILL OUT THE APPLICATION until late December!  I really want to fade from this sometimes-beautiful but mostly horrible world and be done with it all. Can you blame me?

Maybe my next life won’t be such a painful failure?

Oh, but hey, I do have food stamps…but they don’t pay for pet food or toilet paper or paper towels or dish washing liquid or food containers or toothpaste or vitamins or shampoo or…  I guess we poors are supposed to fix our food in filth??

Gaagh.

Nevertheless, I persist.  I’m just damn well fucking sick of all the kicks to the gut, though.  I try so hard…

Too bad crying doesn’t pa the bills or fix any of my other hundreds of problems. Somebunny win me that big lottery???

Thank you for listening to my travelogue on my life’s foul, shitty-these-days journey.  Truly.  I absolutely recognize that some of you have truly terrible problems in your own lives and yet you’re extending your kindness and friendship to me anyway – there are gloriously and fantastically special places in The Great Beyond for you angels. Depending on what I know of your beliefs, I do pray for/send the Very Best vibes/good  juju to you.

You rock my world and I wish I could rock yours right back.

Depressed’ly yours,

~Mer

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OBLIGATORY PAYPAL LINK

ME THESE DAYS:



There Are…Issues.

Ok, we all know that I suck at human’ing these days, right? If I can get it wrong, fuck it up, hit it sideways, I for damn sure will. Between COVID, the ensuing Long COVID, the unexpected death of my Dad, the emergency amputation (my second, go me?), fog brain (see Long COVID) which fucks my life up at every opportunity, and the FLM’s, well, flightiness, amongst other issues, things are not going well for me.

For the past 2.5+ years.

To that end, I had recently bitten several (BIG ASS’D) bullets, swigged down several bottles of (totally imaginary) 100-proof rot-gut, girded my mythical loins, and applied – again – for social services assistance.

I was denied the first time around “back when” which made me feel like unwanted one-legged trash. You have no idea how very, very much I despise doing that kind of paperwork especially after last time, how much I despise talking on the phone…it’s all one humongous gooey slimy ball of hide-under-the-bed anxiety for me.

But I got started anyway.

Even though the last time I tried I was denied. (That really hurt, y’all.)

Which increased “this time’s” anxiety x infinity.

So, good news: I am eligible for some food assistance – yay, food is good.

So, bad news: I am NOT eligible for “disability”, which sucks abject ass because that part took SO LONG to jump through the hoops that NOW the power bill, water, phone/internet/cable, credit card, and several others are due and I HAVE NO MONEY TO PAY THEM.

If things had gone the way they’re supposed to, shit would be settled by now and while I would NOT have been “swimmin’ in tha dough”, I could have at least paid the bare-necessity bills and things would have been, well, good-enough.

But nooooooooooo….

If I’d KNOWN I would be denied, I would have spent THAT time applying for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) instead – it’s a different thing from “disability” and bases its decision on a different sort of criteria. I’ve heard from several trustworthy people who know about it that it’s hellishly hard to get, that the hoops they make you jump through are more along the lines of “harassment” than anything, and that I desperately need an “advocate” to help me do it.

So of course I tried for “disability” first. Common sense, right?

*pfft*

SSI takes lots of “running around” to get since it’s based on a person’s inability to work. Running around?? Ha! I don’t HAVE transportation. I do have a car…that doesn’t run…that I can’t physically GET to simply because I can’t WALK that far. I don’t have literally ANY friends who live anywhere near my area anymore. I could maybe hire the lady who (isn’t very dependable) comes by one day a week “3 weeks out of 5” to put my trash into the outside trash can for city pick-up but…that takes moolah. *sigh* Eh, the extended list of tragic little problems that nibble away at my soul is way too long to bore you guys with here.

So, while I *can* eat (a little), within a few days I won’t be able to cook, or see, or be online, flush my toilet, talk on the phone… Why am I even still alive at this point??

I just do not know what to do. Part of it is the brain fog (it really can be a very serious problem), and a whole freakin’ lot of it is INCREDIBLE amounts of anxiety (how could I not me????), and part of it is EXTREME frustration and IRATE-NESS at a whole butt-load of shit BUT ESPECIALLY having wasted very precious time applying for the one assistance that I – unknowingly, but hindsight = 20/20 – would be denied when I could have at least been in the process of applying for the one I’m slightly more likely to be granted…eventually…after jumping through every hoop invented by heartless bureaucrats. Maybe.

Got any handy-dandy thoughts, prayers, good juju, vibes, rich great-uncles hanging around? Send’em my way, please. Feel free to kick my ass, too – I am so, so, SO frustrated at myself for (agreed, unknowingly, but this shit really sucks) wasting so much time on the one application process only to be denied when I could have been spending that time…UGH!!!!! If I had been approved, I could have at least, if nothing else, called up the necessary-for-life companies and TOLD them that “money is expected to be deposited on X date” and worked something out with them.

But noooo…. I’m not allowed to have luck THAT good.

Well, let’s wrap up the pathetic whine’ry. Thank you for coming to my TED Whine??? I’m gonna go cry some more. I feel like such a disappointment, such a loser. I try so, so hard and then shit like this just keeps happening.

~Mer

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OBLIGATORY PAYPAL LINK

It’s Me Again

Ok, so in my brilliance I decided to wait a bit to give any straggling readers a chance to pop in and comment…then a head cold caught me (Why would we CATCH a cold? Seems like a dumb thing to do, ya know, like…who tf is running around CATCHING colds??) so I was singularly unimpressed with the world for a while…then FALL ALLERGIES struck.

NOW that colds have been flung off and the allergies have settled a little and everyone who would comment has done so, WE HAVE RESULTS!

THE WINNER: ANYTHING! LOL! You guys are the best!!
THE WINNER-WINNER: THE MOON!

You, my kind, wonderful, kick-ass readers have spoken! I’mm’a have to do a thorough reread complete with note-taking and whatever level of focus my fog-brain will allow, but thankfully I still “feel” the “tone” that first sparked the story. The loneliness they both felt at first, that disconnected feeling they unknowingly shared, that “I have everything I thought I wanted but now that I have it, it’s just not…right” realization that, yeah, they both unknowingly share… Hopefully FLM will agree with me and direct my fingers into heroic feats of FINALLY FINISHING THE STORY.

Is this where I’m supposed to admit that I had the beginnings of a new plot the other day? I mean, it might have been the cold meds or oxygen deprivation or something but…yeah, I had to stop myself from typing the premise out of respect for all the UNFINISHED stories that litter my past like bad decisions made at 2am in questionable Waffle Houses.

*sigh*

Those were the nights…

The 4-minute fries were great but the coffee was awful.

Your reviews, btw, made me smile. And made me a little weepy. All prayers, all good vibes and juju, all good thoughts, are ABSOLUTELY appreciated more than you know. You guys really are a cut above – the true cream of the reader crop. Thank you for that. I don’t deserve it, but I really do appreciate it.

So…gimme a bit to do the reread/notes/playing with the brain-fog, then we’ll see if the FLM returns to roost for a bit. Hey, it’s getting colder (shockingly fast at that!) so maybe she’ll wanna rest on a warm shoulder??

At least it’d give my cats something to stare at…well, one would. The other would want food. Again. The dog would just give me a judgemental side-eye and go back to sleep. She’s old; she’s allowed.

Ok, time to wrap up the meanderings – thank you again for your kindness, your patience, and your support. You all deserve the best and most snuggliest vampires who clean houses AND do the windows!

~Mer

PS: Now watch, I’ll get part-way through Moon then BAM – inspiration will strike for a totally different story… FLM is truly not a dependable figment…

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Obligatory PayPal Fundraiser for Prosthetic and Medical Bills Link Here

Or click the linked photo below – hey, at least it’s a new image!

RE: MY FICS – WAS GONNA DO A POLL

But I couldn’t figure out how to do one with the wonky layout WP has now.

So, write in the comments (*sigh* if the comment section is actually showing right then – if not, the just refresh until it magically appears…) WHAT STORY YOU WOULD LIKE ME TO WORK ON FIRST.

Yeah, you heard me.

I can PROMISE nothing, nothing at all, but I am definitely interested in finding out which of my WIPs y’all would most like my muse to visit if that FLB will agree to do so.

She hasn’t been around in quite some time what with death and amputations and brain fog and pandemics and personal losses and the fact that, yeah, she’s a flighty little bitch and I don’t blame her a bit... But I need something pleasant to concentrate on. No idea if it will do any good, but hell, nothing else is working.

Whu-whaa??

See, despite my best efforts and prayers and pleas to the universe, my life is going even further down into that damnable shitter – “money” has plummeted to the point that I’m not sure which bill I can pay this month and that gut-twisting panic is taking “mood” and “health” right along with it.

Talk about a hay ride from hell. DO. NOT. RECOMMEND.

Now that I know all too well how cold and cruel the world really is, I desperately need to force my attention elsewhere, especially while I still have power, to try to keep from focusing solely on what a pathetic waste my life is. Keep in mind that whichever fic “wins”, lol, will have to be reread with a fine-toothed comb (why did I make some of my plots so twisty??), so please don’t expect anything soon. Or at all…I know I’m worthless. (FREE ADVICE: DON’T HAVE BAD HEALTH AND BRAIN FOG IN AMERICA.)

And on a totally different and completely unrelated note, anybody got any Cliff’s Notes on my stories?? Inability to focus and concentrate have severely impacted my ability to even remember my plot weavings, much less keep them straight, and THAT RIGHT THERE is the main reason my writing has suffered.

So, if you still have a favorite WIP fic after All This Time (and OMG thank you if you do!!!), please let me know in the sometimes-appearing comments section which one it is, and if there are more than one, please list them in order.

And know that you guys are the best readers a writer could ever have. Yes, I admit it, I still go back and read y’all’s comments and reviews when my soul needs a little nudge. I also know that I’ve lost a lot of readers/followers over time because I’m no longer a productive member of the fanfom, and that’s totally understandable, but to those of you who have stuck by me, who have reached out and become genuine friends with me despite my failures and giganto boxes of whine, you badasses are the fucking BEST. You deserve literal gold for putting up with me and I heartfully appreciate every single one of you.

Ok, I’ll hush up now and wish y’all the best day. Hugs and obligatory PayPal link below as well as a hopefully-appearing comment box…if it decides to show…

~Mer

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PayPal Link with obligatory photo

v Obligatory Photo v

^ Obligatory Photo ^

UP’a DATE’a

So yesterday I got the latest sooper-dooper Covidious booster – Pfizer Bivalent, for those of you who are interested – and today, buddy I’m feelin’ it. It’s NOT horrible – fatigue, coughing, runny nose, ARM SORE AS FUCKTATOES, and kind of bleary eyed, but NOT HORRIBLE.

Honestly, the reaction thus far is only ever-so-slightly more than the usual booster blues.

These are MY reactions, though – your mileage may vary.

I don’t know about y’all but I keep hearing differing opinions about The State of Covid. Me? Until I’m told that Covid is dead and gone forever, if there’s a booster, I’mm’a be getting it. All I know is that Covid is alive and well and happily sprouting new variants – has NOT mysteriously disappeared along with common sense and all my money – so, yeah, if there be a booster, there be a me.

Now, I *was* going to get both the booster AND the flu vax, but my butt chickened out. Why? People on crutches do not need the dizzies. So that vax will happen in a couple weeks after all the booster blues have faded away into obscurity. I’ve only ever had very mild reactions to the flu shot and HAVE had a VERY VERY NASTY flu so, yeah, I want that flu shot…just want to be sure the reaction to it is as mild as possible.

Can’t be brave on crutches, y’all.

Obviously I’m a total supporter of safe and researched vaccinations. And, even if the vax may seem “too new”, if the effects of catching the disease are probably worse than any reactions to the vaccine, I’mm’a be baring my arm and doin’ the gimme.

You do you. Do your logical, common-sense’ical research, and make your own decisions about what’s best for you and yours. Just be sure to acquire your information from actually trusted sources and weigh your own pros and cons. Y’all are smart – use those luscious brains boxes!

I…don’t really have a lot more to say. Oh, ok…(*huffy huff*)…I could rant FOR DAYS on corporate greed, the recession nobody wants to admit we ‘Merrikinz are in, political…everything, the fact I can’t pay my leg off, the fact that I’m not emotionally prepared for Fall/Autumn (since I never actually had a winter, a spring, or a summer…), the fact my cats and doggie are getting older and I’m not emotionally prepared for that, either, but… Ok, I’ll shut up now.

Here’s what I want to know:

HOW ARE YOU DOING??? Are YOU prepared for the season’s change? Are you and yours doing ok? How are you guys handling the continuation of Covid, of the flu season, of all the germs that breed in schools/work/etc? Are you eating as healthily as you can given how bad food prices have soared with no relief in sight? Are you taking your antihistamines for seasonal allergies? ARE YOU HYDRATED ENOUGH??

(WP here seems to have problems keeping the COMMENTS section open, so if it’s not showing, refresh or come back later. I do – always – have it engaged, so if it’s not there, glare at WP.)

We’re a community, y’all. Sure, we’re 99% online-only but it still counts. I care about you and, for reasons I will never understand, you care about me. So, let’s share our tips and tricks and support, our recipes and gripes, and our wins and losses and triumphs.

Share, yo.

Hearts and kittens and puppies (and awesomely cute baby bats!),

~Mer

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Obligatory PAYPAL link because, ugh, I do still need the help

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JAMMIES, HOT DOG CHILI SAUCE, AND POTATO SALAD

Hello again you fine gorgeous human-like beings!  Just thought I’d plop into your inbox with greetings and salutations and probably some saltine cracker crumbs.

Sorry about that.

Did you know you can dust away crumbs with an unused paint brush?

Well, now ya do…Lol, ok, so, show of hands (like I’mm’a be seein’ that…I’m not a stalker!) —

How many of you automagically change into pajamas once you’re home for the day?  How many of you STAY in your jammies if you’re not leaving the house that day?

And by “pajamas/jammies” I mean “clothes comfy enough to sleep in that may in a former life have been fleece/jogging/yoga pants or shorts, worn/stained-but-good/ok-has-holes-but-still-works tee- & other shirts”.

Or do you change into “2nd tier” – comfy clothes that you don’t mind being seen in but that aren’t bedclothes/jammies?

I go both ways – jammies unless I’m expecting company.

Can’t say I’ve ever been into “haute couture” or whatever passes for high or spendy fashion – comfort is my jam, THEN appearance.  Sure, I used to try to fit the occasion/blend with the room to at least some extent (well, I’d be the one in red in a room full of black but the “style” would be mostly the same), but it always had to be comfy.

And preferably with pockets.

By “comfy” I mean pretty much loose enough to swim in, lol – no restrictive waists (except for during high school but HIGH SCHOOL ANYTHING DOESN’T COUNT), no huge Vs that my boobs could escape through, nothing so tight that you could see panty or bra lines…but the clothing DID fit, for the most part.

Now?  *PFFT*  If it’s not stretchy, loose, and flowing, I ain’t wearing it.  That said, once an item starts looking its age, all worn and frayed or misshapen or way-too-baggy, it becomes – you guessed it – PAJAMAS.

Well, sleep clothes by any other name.

And that is what I wear around the house (unless I’m expecting company and even then sometimes…).  I see absolutely no reason to go ’round with a fitted waist or neckline in my own home (that I owe taxes on that I can’t afford).

Don’t wear shoes inside, either.  Ok, I always wear one on the left “foot” to stabilize the fakey, but mah right foot?  Socks.

So, back to the point of all this, what about you guys?  Jammies? “Comfy clothes”?  Or do you go rogue and keep your “outside clothes” on until bedtime?  If you do, what is your secret?? 

Jammies rule.

UPDATE (if you’re bored):

Nothing wonderful.  Have a smaller socket now, can’t say if this newest one is better or worse, but it’s there.  The remaining leg below the knee is shrinking right along like it’s supposed to.  Yay?  Phantom pain still exists.

I’m tellin’ ya, if you want to “work on your patience and endurance”, just lose a leg… 

Ok, don’t.  DO NOT RECOMMEND.  Course, dating an egotistical, hydrogenated, flatulent, high-sodium pretty-boy boyfriend would test your patience and endurance, too, but you’d get to keep your leg.  Been there, done that, no repeats.

Your mileage may vary…

COOKING ADVENTURES:

Ok, I love potato salad but I haven’t been physically able to MAKE potato salad since…well, June 2021.  So, I was finally able to make it – not exactly the normal way b/c leg but…I DAMN WELL DID IT.  I might have been out of sweet pickle relish and couldn’t use as many eggs as I’d like (have you seen egg prices lately???), but yeah, POTATO SALAD WAS MADE.  AND EATEN.  ALL OF IT. (But thankfully not all at once, lol.)

That was a big win I wanted to share with you glorious folks.

I still have some potatoes and even have the sweet pickle relish now and onions and a couple eggs left so I might just pull up my britches and do it again, too!

SO THERE.

Ha!

Yes, these days I *am* easily amused…

Now, I also tried to make my own hot dog chili.  I just do NOT like the canned stuff anymore – they’ve all changed their recipes (cheapskates) so to me they all taste either bitter or slimy or both, so…

It did not turn out…like I wanted.  It’ll be perfect for burritos though, but alas, not for topping a hot dog. 

Bummer.

*shrug*  Happy burrito’ing I guess!

The dog liked the blob I gave her, so there’s that.

Cooking for me is now a difficult, sometimes painful, usually frustrating chore.  I do what I can but unfortunately “healthy” usually has to be replaced by “ease” or “convenience” or “cost”, and while that’s NOT good, it DOES help keep me fed, which at the end of the day is the win.

I *have* perfected the art of tossing a bag of microwave veggies in the box and nuking them, so there’s that, fwiw.  That’s what I call “healthy convenience” that’s actually healthy AND convenient.  Also, boring, but hey, veggies are veggies.  Add a little salt and butter or oil and “ranch” or “italian dressing” seasoning and a fork an’ call it done.

Any kitchen wins/oopses you’d like to share with the class?  I promise we’ll be laughing WITH you, never AT you.  But I love celebrating your wins with you and if you have great (BUT SIMPLE!) recipes, I’m all ears!

OTHER STUFF:

Have you been having a good summer?

Are you ready for it to end or do you need a few more months?

Is it hot where you are?  Are you staying cool?  Hydrated?  Deodorized and de-frizzed?  Dry?  Heat is gross.

Got kids?  Are they in school?  Are you ready for all that mess to start back?

Do you have your in-car plug-in coffee makers primed and ready to go with a quantity of those little cups of coffee creamer??  Hey, it’s survival, y’all…

Some friends have posted their kid’s school lists – the humongo expensive lists of crap kids are expected to have on their person when they go to “free” public schools here in the States…and these lists are insane – and expensive.

It sure looks like all parents are pretty much expected to pay for lots of extra things for their kid to take to school that will actually be handed out to “the class”?  Well, that’s what it looked like to me.  “Free” public schools do not appear to actually be…free.

It’s insane.

Please be careful and take care of yourselves.  A friend of mine with three kids had one kid catch COVID during the first week…who gave it to her hubby. The second kid caught it during their second week.  Third kid has amazing immune powers.  (Their district apparently started on the early side.)  I’ve heard varying reports that COVID is quickly on its way to becoming endemic (like flus) but Idk.  I haven’t studied virology or the history of pandemics.  I just know that too many people got too sick and too many people died or lived but with insane complications (like me – long covid sucks).

Ok, that’s depressing – tell me something good! 

I’m sure I have other things I wanted to toss into this word salad but since I’ve forgotten them (brain fog), post what YOU want to talk about!

Take care and all the hugs in the world to anyone who needs them,

~Mer

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Obligatory “Prosthetic Leg and Medical Bill Fundraiser” PayPal link:

CURRENT PAYPAL LINK

**COMMENTS ARE ENABLED but I’ve heard the comment box sometimes isn’t showing up for some, so..refresh? Idk what the deal is – all I can say is that comments are enabled on my end. Keep trying though because I want to hear what you say!!**

POETRY UN-COMPETITION

*waves*

So ok it’s not a REAL competition – I don’t have money for a prize anyway, and the “poetry” part is probably suspect as hell, too, but yeah. I have some words written in a poetic-ish fashion and wish to share them with you (apologies).

After you read them (srsly, apologies), I would like to either know what you think (cussin’ is allowed, of course), read what poetical thing you might write in response/opposition/etc., or both. They’re your words, too, so use’em!

So, without further ado’ing, here:

•~•0•~•

We were young

We were young
We were kings
Rulers of all
Running the streets
We didn’t know
Thought the world against us
Thought we had time
We didn’t know we had it all
We had time
Until we started fading
Until we lost hope
Until we lost the future
We didn’t know we had
Lights falling
Lights falling
Dreams going dark
We lost.

•~•0•~•

So, whatja think? Do you have your own set of words you’d like to post in the comments?

Anyway, that’s all I got for now. I guess you can tell I’m not in an especially good headspace atm. There’s lots of staring into the middle-distance with a bitter expression going on because that’s totes productive, right? My body is bad; my finances are worse than terrible; my creativity is awful… sigh Ever notice how comforting a thunderstorm can feel?

I hope y’all are doing better. I really do – I’ve “known” some of you for YEARS now. Sure, it’s “just” online, but I remember when I first started posting fanfic that it didn’t take long to start recognizing names of reviewers, to start recognizing who likes what style of story and who appreciated the writer as much as they appreciated the stories, who was especially supportive. It wasn’t difficult at all to develop a sincere appreciation for this one and that one, and to drift from “internet acquaintances” to genuine friends.

Thank you for that!

Hugs and all that mushy mush,

~Mer

💗

🌟

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OBLIGATORY FUNDRAISING LINK

PS: You have no idea how very much I appreciate every single dime anyone has sent my way – your kindness means the world to me and absolutely warms my heart, so please don’t think the fact that I keep this fundraising active means I don’t value every single one of you. I do; it’s just that my situation is that dire. Thank you, for reals – from the bottom of my sweaty, cookie-crumb covered little adolescent heart that still giggles at penis jokes.

HEY, HI, HELLO AND A GRUMPIN’ (at YT cooks) WE WILL GO!

Well happy July 1st, one and all.  This year seems to be slam-bang screaming by – can’t believe it’s July already. I think the year has left skid-marks on my head.

It has not been a good year for me but I hope you guys have found enough decent, solid meaning during this passing of time to make the rotations around our little yellow sun-ball worth the experience.

I hope you’ve found music that makes you cry and grin and dance and make war on the vile, that you’ve found rhythms that make the bad demons flee and the good ones cackle.

I hope you’ve found recipes old and new, fun and healthy and luscious, for foods you can afford that bring warmth to your belly and comfort to your soul.

I hope you’ve found books that lure you into their dark and glorious depths that leave you exhilarated and exhausted and are tossed immediately into your reread pile.

I hope you have people in your life who both steady and rock your foundations, that lift you up to the stars while reminding you to get your oil changed – people who snag your last piece of gum but you know you can call them at 4am to discuss the vagaries of life and they won’t mind a bit.

It’s more/less the “middle of the year” so it’s a great time to see and honor what you’ve got, what you need, what you want to shed, and what you have to do to run free.

I hope your plants are well, that your vehicles aren’t being pains in the collective ass, that your plumbing is flowing as it should and that your pillows are perfectly fluffy.

If not: Think; hope; plan; do.

You’ve got ’til December 31st to pull 2022 up by its fucking bootstraps/lapel/short’n’curlies if you need to. 

It may not be “my” year or “your” year or “her” year or “his” year but maybe, just maybe, it can still become OUR year. Maybe.

Remember, cussin’ is still free…(just ignore the overflowing NoNo Jar on the counter).

•~•0•~•

Annnnd now for my grumph at YouTube cooks…  My food budget is pathetic so I have to make do with what I can.  My mama, and to an extent my dad, raised me to be a pretty damn good cook, to experiment in the kitchen but while using common sense – the results may not taste that great if I’m trying something different but it’d still be very edible – and to always keep learning.

Herbs and spices and whatever the hell garlic – onions – shallots – etc are…are our friends, just as Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce and anchovies and anchovy paste are fantastic ingredients we can use to deepen the savories. They are all weapons in our cooking arsenal.

I have cook books aplenty…antique magazine recipes here and there…recipe cards that you can barely read they’ve been used so often…recipes I’m made so often that I remember every amount and step…and about 3 billion saved and bookmarked recipes and sites…

And then, there’s…YouTube.

YouTube cooks. 

Yeah.

Some are absolutely amazing, funny, have great (or at least pretty good – although there have been some where I’ve questioned their sanity) recipes and techniques they share along with funny stories and bad puns – I love “Chef John” with his “Food Wishes” channel, for example. 

And then there’s the crop of “Depression Era food cookin’ grannies (and a few gran’pas)” – srsly, there are several really old and not-as-old ladies on YT who either lived through the Depression themselves (they got into YT earlier on and some have sense passed on) or their parents lived through it and they remember how their parents cooked and did things.  Some have great stories, most have good-to-great recipes, but all of them have balls.

Then there’s the rest of the YT cooks.  The following applies to…them.  I give “the grannies” and obviously the newbie YT cooks a huge pass – hey, they’re trying, and quite often doing an amazing job of it – but the ones who try to come off as “experienced” or “semi-professional” or act like they’re “all that and a bag of So Niche You Can’t Find Them chips”?  Yeah, no.

And, so, here…my grumph:

9 Rules for YouTube Cooks:

  1. WE KNOW HOW TO CHOP. You know how to chop. We know that you know how to chop. We do not need to see you chop, mince, slice, julienne, etc. the entire item or, especially, group of items. If we see you chop half a carrot or one potato to show us the size needed for the recipe, we do not need to see you chop the entire group of carrots or potatoes. We get it. You know how to use a knife and, yes, your hands are pretty. We don’t care. The same goes for peeling. IT IS OK TO FAST-FORWARD THROUGH REPETITIVE TASKS.
  2. WE KNOW HOW TO FLIP FOOD IN A PAN. We do not need to see you flip every…single…item. The same goes for stirring. We know how to stir. We know you know how to stir. IT IS OK TO FAST-FORWARD THROUGH REPETITIVE TASKS.
  3. WE DO NOT NEED TO SEE YOU ROLL OR SHAPE EVERY… SINGLE… BIT… OF… THE… FOOD. When you roll dough, flavored minced meat, vegetation, whatever, into a ball or other shape, the first two are enough. We get it. Please stop fondling the food. IT IS OK TO FAST-FORWARD THROUGH REPETITIVE TASKS.
  4. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, ACTUALLY SCRAPE OUT YOUR BOWLS. Leaving a third of the food in the bowl is wasteful. And stop trying to pour ‘away’ from yourself – it looks awkward as hell and you never do transfer all the contents from the one container to the other. Also, after you’ve gone through all the trouble of daintily and gracefully chopping ingredients, don’t then leave half said ingredient on the chopping board. That is also wasteful. Reach over for the rest of it – I promise, we won’t mind.
  5. DO NOT FLOOD THE PLATED FOOD WITH A TSUNAMI OF PARSLEY, CHIVES, OR OTHER UNNECESSARY GREENERY. Honestly, an overloading of greenery just looks unappetizing. If you absolutely must decorate your food, a very light sprinkling of greenery is more than enough.
  6. STOP CRACKING EGGS ON THE SIDE OF THE BOWL! THIS CAN INTRODUCE MINUTE BITS OF EGG SHELL INTO THE DISH. Crack the egg on the flat surface right next to the bowl. I cringe thinking about all the minute bits of egg shell being a crunch factor in your food. Also, the breaking of eggs into a bowl is not interesting. We do not need to see you even cracking the first egg much less the third. Get on with it.
  7. DON’T MEASURE OUT THE MAIN INGREDIENT IN ONE CONTAINER THEN TURN RIGHT AROUND AND DUMP IT INTO ANOTHER CONTAINER FOR THE MIXING. Like cream cheese – you know you’re going to be adding ingredients to the cream cheese so just plop the cream cheese block into its final mixing bowl to begin with – unless you LIKE washing unnecessary dishes…
  8. WHEN USING PEELED ORANGES, REMOVE ALL THE PITH. The pith is the slightly bitter, tasteless, and weird textured white layer between the peel and the fruit. Leaving bits of pith hanging around just looks like you’re sad and don’t care.
  9. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO USE CHEAP INGREDIENTS. Cabbages, potatoes, beans, peas, rice, noodles/pastas, sardines, tuna, canned/frozen vegetation – all these things are delicious in their own right especially when prepared in new or unusual ways.

CONTROVERSIAL OPINIONS but here we go:
• Cherry/other teeny tiny tomatoes are all skin and seeds and little flesh. Stop using them. They’re annoying and look weird even when roasted.
• Peel your freakin’ cucumbers. Cucumber peel is nasty, tough, and vaguely bitter.
• Cilantro does not belong in EVERYTHING. Some of us are genetically predisposed to detest that vile, nasty devil-weed. And no, parsley is NOT a good substitute.
• READ THE ROOM: Steak, beef in general, yes – even hamburger, and other meats are simply too EXPENSIVE for many of us to afford now. Recipes featuring these items are not appreciated. Again, READ THE ROOM.
• If ingredients (especially so-called “ethnic” ingredients) are expensive or harder to find in some areas, feel free to mention substitution possibilities.
• Goofing up is NOT a sin. I repeat: goofing up is not a sin. If something goes wrong, show us how to fix it. That might be information WE need.
• If your recipe is something brought to you from your grandmother or great-uncle or it has a cute story attached to it, tell us! We like when you chatter while you’re cooking.
• If you have a pet wandering around, SHOW US! We love pets! (But also show us washing your hands if you pet them, lol.)

Finally, let us see if you’re having FUN cooking whatever your amazing dish is. We want to see you enjoying yourself!

Agree?  Disagree?  Have anything you’d like to add??

Ok, so, that’s all for today. Hugs to you and your pets! (My old-lady cat Gypsy is today’s Managing Editor, btw…)

~Mer

And as always, here’s the updated link to PayPal for the fake leg + medical bills fundraiser!

PAYPAL FUNDRAISER LINK

Thank you for all your kindness! I really do appreciate y’all so, so much.

💗💗💗

THE WORLD HAS GONE NUCKING FUTS, ALSO EGG TOAST AND SOCKETS



No, srsly, it can’t even go fucking nuts right anymore – it’s gotta be nucking futs now! 

Ok, let’s all agree that I can be one of those superbly annoying folks who can see both sides of most issues.  I blame the preponderance of Libra in my charts for this.  But even I, with all my “devil’s advocate” annoyances, cannot see one single reason for any one not in the actual military to possess military-grade “rapid action” firearms. 

I can see victims, or potential victims, of domestic violence or stalking having a decent handgun for literal self-protection.  I can see people, singles, families, whatev, keeping a well-secured, well-protected handgun in the home for protection if that’s what they want to do.  (Personally I’m a proponent of those pressurized spray cans of “25-foot wasp spray”…hella wide range of nasty in-the-face chemicals, too, y’all.)  I can see cops, federal marshals, and actual peacekeepers having appropriate armament so that they CAN keep the peace.

What I cannot see is some deranged generic psychotic shithead with a grudge with red flags dinging all over the place getting their thirsty-for-blood hands on any sort of firearm for any reason, whatsoever.

No.

I can’t see it, I can’t excuse it, I can’t understand it, and I can’t approve it.

Deranged psychopaths need strong, effective mental help, not military-grade firearms.

**bangs head on desk while mourning dead people**

Ok, I’ll shut up with that rant now. 

***deep breath***

Ok, ok, so…subject change… 

Well, I’m now on my third ‘socket’ – the thing that what’s left of my left leg goes down into that connects to the metal “ankle” and “foot”. 

My leg is shrinking/compressing well, not fast enough in my impatient opinion, but it’s slowly getting there. 

Painfully.

This new socket is smaller and shaped slightly different from what I was used to so it’s applying pressure in different places on my poor, beleaguered flesh.  (Remember, after they cut the bone off, the leftover calf muscles were pulled forward, wrapped around the end of the cut bone, then sewn to the flesh in the front?  It’s like a line stitched in a baseball.)  Well, that flesh is now being pounded in new and unusual ways because of how the socket is made.

Yup, it’s painful.

It makes me not want to get up and move around but I have to get up and move around because, 1. I want/need to get up and move around (lol), and 2. if I don’t, I’ll never get used to it.

So I have to hurt myself for my own good…especially if I want wild and crazy things like food, coffee, or the toilet.

This latest socket is also odd – it allows my knee both MORE freedom…and less.

This is not fair, y’all.  Or fun.

But I do have a teeny success story to share, fwiw, even if it’s proof of the “one step forward, two steps back” price of life.  Ok, y’all may know that I love what I call “egg toast” – it’s just plain white bread dunked into beaten eggs (sometimes with a bit of milk/cream added, dash water, herbs as wanted) then fried until golden and crispy.  Frying anything is still very iffy with me what with the balance, stability, and pain issues especially NOW with the new socket, so this time around I decided to try something new – I microwaved those eggy untoasty bastards. 

It worked…for the most part.  Wasn’t at all crispy (hi, microwave) but was “done” and tasted mostly like it was supposed to (Does “golden crispy” have a flavor? Yes, yes it does and no, it wasn’t there), so it counted, mostly.

It’s one of those things that I’m not in a rush to do again but am glad I did it at least once to see how it went, ya know?

Seems to be the basis of my life now…

I’ll wrap up this pointless, meandering mush-blob by saying that it’s a rainy day.  I love rainy days (when I don’t have to get out in it, let it rain!!) when everything seems a bit quieter, a little slower, a lot safer.  Rainy days imply a sort of coziness, kind of like snow days do.  It’s like they let the earth, and us, breathe a bit easier.

So, if you’re having a rainy day, join me in a nice warm cuppa – coffee, tea, whatever you like – and toss me some cookies.  I’m out. Also out of milk, too, but I can pretend, right?

Anyway, thank you so much for your patience with me, your support, your kindness, and your bitty baby spider vids (lookin’ at YOU, our amazing Duckbutt!)!

Love, hugs, patience, and naps if you can get’em,

~Mer

FUNDRAISER LINK STILL LINKING

Not the new socket – no photo of it yet

Regarding M’Days an’ Stuff

Regarding M’Days an’ Stuff

Greetings, salutations, and coffee, y’all!  Thought I’d check in and see how everything’s going.

Here (in the US) we’ve just waded through Mother’s Day.  Yay.  For all of y’all whose moms have passed on, I totally get it – mine escaped Earth’s gravitational pull back in 2011.  I miss her; I envy her, annnnd I miss her.  We did NOT have the best relationship, at least, not all the time – we were two entirely different people ( for one thing I’m Taurus and she was Sagittarius) and that’s not always a good thing – but I did love her dearly and she loved me back dearly. 

We had jokes, lol, and what I would describe as “verbal memes” (way before memes were a thing), though, and she was wicked smart in the strangest ways.  But she’s gone, been gone now for years, yet it’s still like it was yesterday that we were joking about the 4:10 to Yuma. 

So I totally get it when people don’t want to “celebrate” Mother’s Day for some reason.  Maybe your mom wasn’t anything near what could be described as a GOOD mom. Maybe she just plain didn’t exist. Innumerable family dynamics, and non-family situations, exist and it would be far beyond my grasp to even try to include them all. Just know that you are seen and loved.

And the moms who never had a chance to BE a mom whether because their body didn’t cooperate or the blending of that particular set of genetics just wasn’t viable, or maybe Strange Things Happened and it for whatever reason didn’t…happen.  And the wanna-be moms who’ve just never met the person they’d like to be “the dad” – that’s me, still haven’t found someone whose genetics I’d like to immortalize. 

I also feel very badly for the moms who have lost their children – including those moms whose children didn’t make it safely into the world in the first place.  You’re still a mom – even if the miscarriage (and what a lackadaisical word for devastation!) happened at X-number of weeks…YOU ARE STILL A MOM and I grieve for your loss. 

And about Cat moms and Dog moms and, hell, Ferret and Birdie and Snake and Guinea Pig and and and moms – yeah, I totally get that, too.  I know exactly how strong that love is between a dog and her/his girl and a cat and her/his girl.  Our pets ARE family.  So they totally count, too.

So there’s that…another (sometimes it feels really forced) “holiday” in the midst of 2020-2022 crisis.  Because we need MORE potential drama, right?  Ugh.  I really envy you guys who still have both parents and you get along well enough to chat with them often.  You’re lucky.  **imaginary hair flip in your direction**

I don’t like “forced” holidays.  I get it – mothers and fathers (the good ones) should be honored and “giving them their day” is a way to do that, but it shouldn’t have to be made into “a day” for it to happen.  But it is a way to remind the forgetful that it needs to happen, so there’s that I guess.

Anyway, update time on me, I guess – you can skip if you want…I’m NOT that interesting.  What I am, though, is…still broke, still hurting, still on crutches, still aggravated by an insane number of inconveniences and frustrations and UGHs.  So, nothing’s changed.  I still to this day need about $3,000 to finish paying for the crappy-fitting leg (yup, even the cheapie ones aer SO expensive that I still owe THAT much and they are wanting their money), and that’s not including all the money I still owe on all the other stuff. 

May I respectfully suggest NOT being un-wealthy in America?  It’s not a nice country to be broke in.  Pretty scenery in places, though, for whatever that’s worth.

And – y’all can join in the bitching now if you want – as in all countries I suspect, food prices are SOARING, even dog and cat food prices are at extortionate levels now.  Even the price of used-to-be-cheap CHICKEN is astronomical.  I have 2 cats and a doggie – they are NOT vegetarian…they’re animals who eat meat…ugh.  It’s like the capitalism system actively wants them (and me) to starve.

I could see businesses/corporations/WTFE raising prices SOME to meet the higher prices of shipping/transportation, gas, costs of ingredients, etc., but not to this point.  But that’s just me.  I want everyone to survive as best they can so they can thrive later. Silly me.

So, how’s it going with YOU?  Are you guys making it ok?  Do we need to create a commune type situation where we can all live together (but separately…I snore and my dog doesn’t really like other people…) and share meals and household tasks and tell stories around campfires at night with marshmallows and gaze at the stars and have coffee and cake and bacon and pancakes and eggs together in the mornings?

Sounds like a plan to me!

Or I could just be hungry.

Love and hugs and only light swats with the crutch from me,

~Mer

PS:  the up-to-date Paypal fundraiser link reclines below – feel free to click if you want!

PAYPAL LINK

THIS IS NOT A STORY/CHAPTER so ignore if you’re busy

Hi Fantastic Fans of the Fandom,

This is just a “the old fundraiser expired so I had to create a new one so here’s the new link” update. Said link is oh-so-very-conveniently located below…for, um, your convenience and, um, stuff.

Oh, wait – I *DO* have a teeny tiny update – I’m using a smaller “liner” now! That’s a good thing – what needs to happen over time is that the “cut off point” of my affected leg (I detest the word “stump” – I AM NOT A CUT TREE!) has to “mature” which means that the flesh at and a ways above the “cut off point” needs to atrophy + release fluids + become more compressed. This takes forever. And yes, it can be pretty painful.

The liner is the silicone/gel/whatever thing that goes next to my skin and has the pin at the bottom that clicks into place to attach and hold the prosthetic leg to me. It’s made of tacky, kind-of-adhesive’y material so that, if it fits properly, it can’t slide or be pulled off my leg. It’s stretchy up to a point but is meant to have a pretty firm hold. It’s what attaches the mechanicals to the fleshy bits.

Compression is good. It’s what helps provide a stable base for walking. I’ve already compressed (shrunk) out of the first “socket” (the wide top part that my leg end goes down into). That first one was huge in large (ha ha) part due to post-traumatic swelling and wound insult, water retention, and because life. My leg guy was kind of shocked by how quickly I shrunk out of it. So anyway that was replaced but the liner…wasn’t.

It’s a money thing – NONE of this stuff is cheap no matter how badly it’s needed.

But…about 2 weeks ago there was no choice – the worn-out, out-of-shape old liner HAD to go. The gaps and ill-fit meant that, because it was so big and stretched out now, it technically COULD lose hold and, unlikely but potentially, release both itself and therefore the rest of the leg. Again, highly unlikely but still a relevant concern, plus the ill-fit made the leg/leg interface even more “wobbly” and “squishy”…not good for stable walking. (Ok, imagine a too-large condom on a less-endowed “staff”…it would still kind of grab onto the skin but wouldn’t necessarily STAY there no matter how much the guy tries to claim it’d fit…)

So eeny way, that’s a yay for me! Yes, there’s still tons of stuff I need or that would make my life at least a little easier to bear, but I will absolutely take the happies when I can find them.

Especially when it means being able to ditch the badly fitting leg condom with the pin in the bottom… *snort*

So, that’s my li’l update. Oh, and the convenient link is conveniently plopped below (have to re-do it because it expires after a little while). Have a great rest of March? (It’s strangely cold here…I don’t mind a bit!)

Take care!

~Mer

PAYPAL LINK

Let’s Be Honest…

Do you know why I’m not currently working on any of my WIPs? It’s because…let’s be honest here…I would end every single one of them in two chapters or less with a story-specific version of “Ugh, Sookie, your farts stink!”/”Well, Eric, your skin is cold!” and then they would all part ways with varying degrees of ennui/disgust/eye-rolling and continue living long boring/short boring lives.

It would be a travesty but that’s the mood I’m in, man, and these characters deserve hella better than that mess. Well, except Beehl.

As an example of how things are going, I’ve written out directions on How To Scramble Eggs (when you have to use 2 crutches and 1 fake leg). It’s up if you’re bored enough to read it.

My toilet may now be fixed (WHEW!!) but I’m three debit collection agencies and one very very part-time helper short of being anywhere near happy with my one-legged lot in life. I really liked the last lady who helped some by taking out the trash/rolling the can to the curb and doing once-weekly grocery pick-ups for me (I still don’t have a ramp to even exit my house so I can’t even take the trash TO the trash can much less go get then bring in groceries.) but she has mysteriously disappeared for a week now. And she really liked my cats, too. I hope she’s ok but there’s been no contact at all so I’m worried about her but also worried about how to get things done around here that I physically can’t do.

Although it’s apparently not worth anything, I do have a resume up on Indeed and floating around in various places on the interwebs and have applied to (but received absolutely no responses from…) INNUMERABLE places. It has to be remote/work-from-home for obvious reasons and it’s becoming glaringly obvious that the Universe despises me.

I have skills! I promise!! Why can’t I get anyone to see that?????

I’m sure I’d be useful to…someone…somehow…I mean…I can proofread…check for content…enter data…blink slowly at cats…

Brb, gonna cry a bit. Feeling useless is no fun.

Plus I have ALLERGY EYES.

ALLERGY. EYES.

Do not recommend…

But, yeah, that’s why I’m not even TRYING to write – Eric, Sookie, Godric…hell, even Jason wouldn’t appreciate it. Andre probably would, though – he’d approve of my “off’em all” inclinations. He’s kind of an ass like that sometimes. It’s why we don’t normally go to him for advice on such things.

Yes, that’s him with the evil snicker in the background. (“We can hear you, Andre…”)

He said that he doesn’t care – murder/angst/torture ARE in his blood for a reason – but he also reminded me to post that obligatory PayPal link again. <<—– There, does that count? I figure y’all are as tired of seeing that spendy-ass’d prosthetic leg as I am.

Is it bad that I still despise Beehl? Andre said he doesn’t mind, that nobody likes him, but Andre isn’t always the best judge of acceptable behavior. I like that about him. Our outlooks coincide frighteningly often…hell, we’re probably related…

Ok, I’ll hush with the nonsensical rambling but you don’t have to – ramble all ya want in the comments. Y’all are great and I love reading what you have to say! I can’t believe it’s March already – how’s it going for you find folks? I hope you’re kickin’ ass and fuck taking names in whatever you’ve got going on. We all deserve some strong wins right about now.

Squeeezy hugs and Andre-esque advice to everyone,

~Mer

JUST AN UPDATE!

I’ve had to update (ok, “redo” since it expired) the fundraiser for my prosthetic leg and the mountain of medical bills incurred when the hospital decided I didn’t need Leftie anymore, so instead of frantically updating my past posts with the new link, I’ve gone full-on lazy-brazen and decided to just post it in a new, you know, post.

So, um,  here:

PAYPAL LINK

leg2-jan-2022

BUT…did you notice something missing?? 

THE VET BOARDING BILLS!  YES, I have finally – miraculously! thankfully! – paid those off!!  If I could dance I’d totally be dancing right now!!  AND IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT!!  Srsly, thanks to donations and what tiny-little I had saved up, I have finally paid off the truly ludicrous, lube-free vet-boarding fees.  (Talk about highway robbery, y’all, srsly. Three pets being boarded over two and a half months made that office literally THOUSANDS…and one cat came back with MORE MATS.  Fuckers.)  It was a necessity at the time, though, since I had no one to care for them. 

But I still have a long, looong way to go.  Anesthesiologists, some doctor who looked at something once, another doctor who looked at an x-ray or something, a different doctor who, Idk, did…something, apparently…and another doctor who…oh, and the extreme cost of a fake leg.  Your jaws would drop if you saw how much greedy companies want for a metal and plastic leg.  And I got the cheapest option, too – it’s not like I’m a ballerina or triathlete.   I just wanna be able to walk my dog, wash the dishes, sweep, maybe even get OUT of the house and buy some groceries.  *sigh*

I don’t even have a ramp TO get out of my house.  There are ramps on Amazon that WOULD work but GOOD GRIEF they want blood money for them.

So, yeah, the fight goes on.  And on.  Annnnnd on…

Hang on whilst I sigh despondently.  I’m getting far too good at doing that.

Oh, and my toilet has decided that NOW is a GREAT time to become clogged.  Clogged.  Because why not?  I’ve tried plunging (try THAT with a fake leg…) and I’ve tried an enzyme “pro-environment” declogger.  Nothing works.  Know any free plumbers, anyone?  Cause I sure don’t but I guess I get to start calling around tomorrow.   Who needs groceries and electricity anyway, right?

If I could get down on the floor I would be hiding under my bed.  But I can’t so I’ll sit here and whine at you guys.

Send Toilet-Unclogs-Itself vibes??

Y’all are a great bunch – thank you so much for listening.  I try not to whine too much but sometimes life enjoys smacking me around just a LEEEETLE too much.

~Mer

(Also, srsly, thank you so much for your time and patience – you guys truly are the best readers a writer could ever have!  I love y’all so much!)

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY + AN E/S ONE-SHOT!!

Yes, you heard that right – after a hiatus of HOW FREAKIN’ LONG I have managed to write A Thing. I know! Shocked me, too! I’ll add it to the site proper-like later…if I remember how. WP changed w/o my permission, y’all. There has been cussin’ involved.

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An Eric and Sookie Valentine Short

A/N:  This one-shot is set in no particular time, no particular story/Universe – it’s just a one-off where there’s no Beehl, no Fellowship of the Ri…erm Sun, no Sams or Alcides or Fairies or whatever runnin’ around clouding the issue…  It’s just Eric and Sookie spending time together getting to know each other without interference.  (The way it should have been.) 

This is probably dumb but it’s my first attempt at writing in HOW MANY YEARS NOW? *bangs head – THE FLM’S HEAD – on desk* Do hope y’all enjoy it anyway.  It’s for you.

Enormous kudos go out to our lovely, patient, and absolutely amazing ○Kleannhouse○ for taking time out of her day to chisel and bang this mess into something readable.  Naturally I then had to go mucking about in it again afterwards so ALL mistakes are entirely mine.

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Someone stomped into the kitchen.

That was Sookie’s first clue.

The second clue was that they’d apparently entered via the back door instead of making an entrance via the official front door.

The third clue was a soft thump as something landed somewhere in her kitchen.

Something was up.

What the hell is he doing, she muttered to herself with a glare toward the kitchen. The timing and the lack of readable thoughts told her the kitchen-invader was a vampire.  The fact that they’d came in the back door meant they were either a regular visitor or at least felt at home there, so she wasn’t concerned about her safety…yet.

Wait a…

Eric.

She figured it had to be Eric. 

Stomping around…  Things thumping…  Bad mood, maybe?  Impatience?  Something.

He’d better not break any of gran’s crockery.

She sighed.  Here she was all wrapped up nice and warm and comfy on the sofa with a well read and reread book in her hands and an old movie playing on the possibly even older tv (the sound was down so she could concentrate on her book, of course; it was more for background noise than anything) and tall, blond, and handsome had to come stomping around in her kitchen of all places (why the kitchen?) and disturb her peace and quiet!

It wasn’t that unusual for Eric to stop by, though.

In fact, here lately he’d been dropping by oh-so-casually about every third night or so. 

Sometimes they had lively discussions where it seemed he delighted in getting her riled up over this or that, but a lot of times they’d just sit and watch whatever was on late-night tv or maybe pop in a movie.

To date he’d somehow managed to increase her old-movie collection by about quadruple.

She had to admit it was kind of nice, sometimes…ok, usually, and he always acted differently to how he’d act in that silly club of his.

But what was he doing here now and in her kitchen at that?

With a begrudging huff she marked her place in her book and started to unwrap herself from her cozy throw-cocoon but then stubbornly decided to wait it out.

If he wanted to talk to her, he could come find her.

It wasn’t like he didn’t have manpire senses at his disposal.

Then she heard the freezer door, two cabinet doors, and the refrigerator door open and shut.

Then – was that…what did he need with…?

Book forgotten, Sookie dislodged her wrappings as she slowly sat up, her concentration focused on the odd noises coming from her kitchen.

When she heard what had to be eggs being cracked – she’d lived with her gran far too long to not know what that sound meant – she couldn’t stand it anymore and had to investigate.

Barefoot, in baggy sweatpants and a half-tucked t-shirt, she padded to the kitchen door and…stared.

Eric, tall blond Viking vampire that he was, was standing at the counter glaring at egg goo as it dripped from his hand.

Apparently he’d missed the bowl that looked like it had flour in it.

A subsequent glance about the kitchen told her that no, it wasn’t flour.  On the table was an opened box of chocolate cake mix, three tubs of store-bought frosting, and a container of strawberries.

“Eric, what in the world are you doing?”

He looked up at her as she dashed to the kitchen sink and grabbed a paper towel and didn’t speak until she’d wiped the recalcitrant egg from his hand and the counter.

“Tonight starts Valentine’s Day,” he stated as though that clarified anything.

“Yeah, and?” 

She pulled him over to the sink and pointed at the tap for him to wash his hands, then tossed away the paper towel’d bundle of squished egg.

“I have to oversee the club tomorrow night as it will be packed.”

He didn’t seem pleased by this fact, and Sookie had to snort.  She knew exactly how some of Fangtasia’s Finest would dress and act.

To her surprise, he continued.

“Pam assures me this holiday is important especially to females who like to receive things that they like, so I have bought you a cake.  You like cake.” 

He nodded with purpose. 

“Now I have to make it.”  He glanced down at his now-clean hands. 

“Somehow.”

Once he was back at the bowl, however, he stared down at said egg…then at the eggs already in the bowl, then back to the egg in his hand.

Shaking her head and trying to control the huge grin demanding face-space, Sookie walked over and held her hand out.

While Sookie stood there with her jaw dropped, Eric sped back to the refrigerator and withdrew another egg.

“Here, gimme that.”

With unashamed relief, Eric gladly placed the dratted egg into her hand.

No more was said as she expertly cracked the egg and added the remaining ingredients until she handed Eric a wire whisk.

“Here, give this a good stir,” she instructed the bemused blond giant while she dragged out cake pans and set the oven to pre-heat.

She figured his vampire whisking skills would be better than hers for a lighter, fluffier cake.

He did as instructed and watched with clear curiosity as she buttered the cake pans and then put flour in them…only to knock it right back out. 

Humans, he thought for the billionth time, were weird.  Why did she put flour in pans then dump it out?  And what was with the butter? 

This cake-making proposition was becoming more unfathomable by the minute.

And it had all started out so simple, too.  Pam had remarked…remarkably casually for her… that human females liked receiving things on Valentine’s Day and that they liked receiving things that they actually liked.

Eric knew Sookie liked cake, and that she liked ice cream.  The ice cream – butter pecan because he recognized the scent – was easy enough to procure and he had even remembered to place it in the freezer part of her refrigerator when he’d first arrived.

It was the cake that was proving…untrustworthy.

Sure, he had inspected the baked and decorated cakes available in the market but they were all garish and weird, and they smelled like acrid chemicals.  When an elderly lady nearby had mentioned to her bedraggled cabbage-scented companion that cake mixes might be a better idea, he had silently followed them to that section of the store only to stare in dismay at the numerous offerings. 

How many types of chocolate cake mix did humans need?

With an eeny meeny miny moe, catch the Loki by the toe he’d grabbed the chocolatiest looking mix only to then be confounded by the concept and vast number of cake frostings in small containers.

To err on the side of caution, he’d selected three of the blasted things in different flavors – dark chocolate, cherry vanilla, and butter pecan – then fled to the fresh fruits section of the store. 

At least he recognized strawberries.

Sookie calling his name interrupted his musing.

“Eric, that’s enough.  That cake’s gonna be ten feet tall if you don’t stop.”

With a laugh she took the bowl from his hands, placed the whisk on a plate that had mysteriously appeared on the counter, and proceeded to divide the cake mix between two of the weirdly floured pans.

Once everything was in the oven baking, she grabbed the whisk and he thoroughly enjoyed watching her clean the lucky thing with her tongue.

“Stop starin’,” she said with a blush as she turned away and walked to the sink.

(The tiniest of wee giggles came from the top back corner of the kitchen.  The little spider had been watching since the Vampire had hurriedly stomped into the kitchen and then had the audacity to flip on the overhead lights. 

Once fully and reluctantly awakened – spidering was hard and it’s not like the tastiest fliers were nocturnal, damn it – he’d settled in to watch the cold-blooded invader be beaten by…an egg.

An egg.

And now the blond giant was pouting at a kitchen tool.

It was proving to be an entertaining night.)

“So, what’s with all the cake frosting?  And the strawberries?” 

Sookie hoped he didn’t notice what had to be a cheeky grin – of course she knew the date.  She had to give him credit, though, since he was definitely putting some effort into whatever it was he was doing.  But three tubs of frostings?  For one cake?

Eric shrugged. 

“I purchased three of them hoping you would like at least one.  And the strawberries… Well, you like them.  There is also ice cream in the freezer,” he added proudly.

“Ice cream?”

He could almost see her ears perking up at that.

Sookie darted over to the freezer and, sure enough, there sat butter pecan ice cream in all its delicious glory.

With a squeal and Eric-pleasing haste, Sookie was soon sitting at the table with a bowl, a spoon, an ice cream scoop, and the all-important ice cream.

Knowing that people should be praised when they did a good job, she grinned at the Viking sitting at her table trying not to look too smug. 

“Thank you, you did good!”

It wasn’t long before Eric was jealous of the spoon, too.

He sat quietly watching as she obviously enjoyed the treat, and pondered why it was important to him to do these things for her, to please her.

Sure, he easily acknowledged that he’d enjoyed her company more and more these past couple of months, and it hadn’t taken him long to realize he would rather visit with her at this old house than in the club he was enjoying less and less these nights.

A loud, malodorous all-you-can-drink buffet was handy and all, but at the end of the night he still had to shower off the smell as he did not want that miasma to follow him to bed.

Sookie’s house, though, smelled…pleasing.  Yes, there were odors of “old lady” and baking and wood and so forth, but Sookie’s sweet scent overrode it all.

His eyes flicked around the kitchen as Sookie bit into whatever a butter pecan was.  Perhaps it should be strange that he would be so oddly comfortable in the old farmhouse, but for whatever reason, he was.  It was quiet and clean, and certainly much more intimate than the club where he had to maintain a false front before minions and dinner.

He found the differences pleasing.

Eric gave a mental shrug; nothing about this had to make sense, did it?  Not really, no matter how often Pam would snicker at him as he left to visit “the little blonde fairy”.

His thoughts were interrupted when Sookie reached for the three cans of frosting.

“Why these three?”

Sookie thought Eric’s indignation was cute.

“Well, you made good choices.  This one,” she held up the butter pecan cake frosting, “will be good on another cake but these two will be perfect.  We can put some of the cherry vanilla between the layers and cover the whole thing in the dark chocolate.  That’ll work out great.”

“Do you know how many different types of cake coverings there are?  I barely narrowed it down to these!”

He quirked a brow.  “Some of the cherry vanilla?  What will you do with the rest?”

“Eat it on pancakes later,” she answered with a grin.

The ageless Viking nodded wisely.  He had no clue what she meant but she was smiling and that was good.

They chatted while Sookie put away the ice cream and washed the few dishes now dirtied.  Afterward she made herself some coffee and handed him a warmed blood beverage he tended to stock in her refrigerator.

Eventually the cake was baked and cooled and deemed ready to frost.

Absolutely out of his depth, Eric stared in confusion at the off-set knife-looking tool now in his hand.

“Here,” she said as she handed him the cherry vanilla frosting.  “Grab up a bunch of frosting with the spreader then smear it around there,” she pointed to the top of the bottom layer of cake.

He hadn’t minded leveling off the cake – using knives was in his blood warm and cold both, after all – but…well…smearing?

“I would rather smear this on you,” he replied faux-seriously with a smirk.

“Eric, hush.  Wait, hang on a sec, let me drizzle some of this Maraschino cherry juice on the cake first.”

He thought the red syrup smelled far too much of chemicals to be healthy but stood aside anyway.

Then, he slathered.  After leveling the top layer of this convoluted cake and allowing Sookie to repeat the drizzling to her pleasure, he found himself covering the entire cake with the dark chocolate frosting.

He decided he was, in fact, quite good at it. 

Naturally.

In short order and absolutely unwilling to wait, Sookie served herself a slice of the newly made cake and tossed a handful of hulled and rinsed strawberries on her plate.

The evening had felt pretty much like every other evening Eric had spent with her – fun, easy going, flirting both gentle and lurid, some teasing, lots of conversation about things that mattered and things that didn’t…but it was also a bit more, somehow.

Sure, there was unexpected cake.

The cake was delicious. 

But…it was a Valentine cake, one that she’d had to help make at that, but still, he’d thought of her and brought it to her and had even tried to at least start making it.

For her.

She looked over at Eric and, yes, he looked a bit smug at his obvious success, but he mostly looked comfortable, relaxed – he looked right at home.

A glance at the clock showed it was a little after 1:00 am and so, with a soft smile and warm eyes, she reached over and covered his hand with hers.

“Thank you for a great Valentine’s Day, Eric.  You did a great job and I loved it.”

Slowly a true, real smile graced his lips as he turned his hand to hold hers.

“I still want to smear the frosting on you.”

(The spider tsked and shoved his weary head – hey, spidering was hard work! – into the corner of the wall.  Great, the Viking had scored big with Ms. Landlady…great…wonderful…now if they’d just turn off that damn light and go watch a movie…in the other room already!)

All tsking spider-creatures aside, that’s it, folks. It’s meant to be a brief “scene” showing This Eric and This Sookie takin’ the slow route toward getting to actually know each other. I hope it didn’t suck too badly – my writing fingers are incredibly rusty, but I wanted to give you guys something for you time and support. I’m incredibly lucky for being able to write for the best fandom in the fanfic Universe.

In other news, well, there ain’t none, so there’s that. Excepting the above, FLM is still being her aggravating self but I am dearly hoping that “this” calls her sweet li’l ass back home ’cause it truly aggravates and frustrates me that I’ve left stories unfinished. I know – it’s not like I ever planned for my life to go swirling down the cosmic toilet and that *waves hand vaguely* things happen, but still. It’s not fair to you and it’s not fair to the stories, either. (My bad, totally, for having more than one going at a time instead of holding them until they’re completed BEFORE posting, but I’m not that organized…or sane…)

Anyway, I hope you liked it and feel free to comment below. Hope you have a great Valentine’s/Galentine’s/Palentine’s/Pawentine’s Day! 💗❤️💗

~Mer

Obligatory PayPal Link

Obligatory PayPal Pic

ONE MONTH INTO 2022 AND…

So this post is meant to accomplish three things: words, link, then more words from yours truly. (There ended up being more words than I’d thought there would be, lol – sorry?)

WORDS: First of all I need to tell y’all that your kind thoughts, words, hopes, and well wishes absolutely mean the world to me. I should probably be embarrassed by how often I click over to reread the written evidence of your kind souls, but I’m not. When life gets me down, which it does with amazing and sad regularity, your words lift me up; they make me smile; they make me want to overcome the latest struggles of the day with a grin of “bloody-minded” determination.

Your words have brought me to tears and I ain’t even kidding. It’s a good thing (ok, so my house is dusty but that’s irrelevant, right?). You really are a fantastic group of people.

LINK: A very kind reader let me know a bit ago that the fundraiser link has expired. The thing with PayPal Fundraisers is that they only last a specific amount of time before they auto-close. At that time a new fundraiser has to be created. I’m not technologically sure I can go back and update the old links so, um, here:

FUNDRAISER LINK FOR MEDICAL BILLS, COST OF PROSTHETIC LEG, ETC LIVES HERE

My left leg now

A srsly huge batch of kudos to the lovely reader who brought this to my attention. Mongo hugs and thanks, TD!

MORE WORDS: Gotta say, so far this year doesn’t look remarkably different to the past two years. COVID is still covid’ing right along, people are still having to be hospitalized, hospital room and nursing shortages are getting worse in waves here and there, people are still dying, social distancing and viral-aversion rules still apply, stores are still low on the oddest things (saltine crackers?? – weird), that feeling of impending doom is still…dooming right along…

*sigh*

But you know what? We’re humans and we’re…inventive. Creative. Sometimes we’re as dumb as mossy rocks and sometimes we’re as brilliant as the night stars over dark fields. We’re not perfect – more “perfectly imperfect” than anything – but we’ve got guts and determination and a strong sense of “fuck that shit, I ain’t goin’ down without a fight, dammit”. So we’re gonna make it, somehow, some day. We’ll get there.

What we’re experiencing now is most likely the transition to a new normal. I detest that phrase, seems like a cop-out to excuse the bullshit of the moment, but in the long-run, we ARE in the transition phase to a “new normal”, and you know what? That’s ok. If I were healthier, I would be using this time to clean my house of the clutter from my parents’ marriage and my old apt…I’d be organizing, tossing, sorting, donating…all that good stuff. I’d be examining what I actually WANTED to do when avoiding deadly viruses isn’t the Order of the Day. I’d be dreaming of places I wanted to visit or visit again, making lists of the friends I value and making plans to meet up (even though mine all live in my computer), stuff like that.

This is a time for self-focused action, reflection, creation, organization, and other words ending in -ion that bespeak movement, shedding baggage, going forward, plopping down roots (mobile and not) to build on in the future. This is the time to clear off the dust, cut up those empty delivery boxes, take the dog (and, hey, the cat, too, if you’re brave and have lots of Band-aids…) for long walks, writing crappy poetry, changing out that old drawer hardware, sitting near beautiful scenes and relishing the fact that YOU are YOU.

You are precious and are the only version of YOU that has ever or will ever inhabit our Universe. Appreciate yourself for who you are (I certainly do!); celebrate all the extraordinary aspects of yourself; change the bits you genuinely don’t like (fuck society’s perceptions and rules – you know what’s good and holy and right FOR YOU and striving for THAT is what you should do for yourself) – and fuck the rest.

It’s your life; live it as best you can. We are all in differing circumstances. Some of us CAN give the world a ginormous fuck-it annnnd some of us can’t. Some of us CAN flip off the rules and do what we want while others have to at least pretend to follow said rules until times are better. But through it all, you are the only one responsible for your thoughts. You are the gatekeeper to what goes into your heart and mind and soul, so make it FANTASTIC. You ARE beautiful! You ARE brilliant! You ARE capable and able to do the most amazing things with sometimes precious little to work with!! YOU are miracles made real with dirty feet and stars in your eyes!

Fuck the world – celebrate YOU.

And that, my friends, is a hell of a lot of words, lol. I hope they helped you to feel even a little of the kindness, comfort, and joy that your words have given me.

Y’all are the best.

~Mer

NEW YEAR, HAPPY, UM, HAVE ONE

This year, how about let’s drop all notions of silly things like “resolutions” or “plans” and just huddle in our jammies in a blanket fort (heated or a/c’d depending on your location) with a good book and a cup of something eminently sippable, yeah?

When I was a kid I was always soooo excited to stay up and “watch the ball drop” ’cause there was some sort of indefinable magic associated with The Coming of the New Year!! 

Now?  Yeah, not so much.  There will be no resolutions or plans and staying up to watch the ball drop?  Nah, probably not.  Damn thing never bounces anyway…

New Year’s Day or Eve or whatever.  Yay.  So like is everything gonna ALLUVASUDDEN change because the date on the calendar did?  And if it DID change, would it even be for the better??

Between all the old, new, and future COVID variants and associated and/or unassociated health, financial, and weather disasters… there are just too many disasters running rampant for me to have any hope for that.  It ain’t like THOSE things will suddenly disappear.

*sigh*

Oh, 2022, I’d love to have oodles of faith in you and your magic but…

Srsly.  Don’t even look it in the eye… 

Eeenyway, what about y’all?  What are your New Year’s plans?  The night of, the day after, etc.?  Are y’all gonna bother with resolutions and plans and hopes and such?

Also, here is a place to tell us about the GOOD things that happened to/for you this year.  Acknowledging the bad is necessary for reality and mental health but we can ALSO acknowledge – and revel in – the good, too.  I hope plenteous good things DID happen for y’all this year.  Just because the universe flushed my life down the toilet doesn’t mean that I begrudge you your wins! 

LAY IT ON ME, BAY’BE!

Did you kick his/her unworthy ass to the curb?  Did you get that book/play/’script published?  Did you finally pop that hidey-ass’d “bone deep” zit?  Did you finally find a back-scratcher that actually works?  Did you manage to get that one specific plant to bloom?  Did you meet the love of your life?

TELL US!  Let us celebrate with you!

To conclude whatever this was, I really do hope you beautiful, glorious wee beasties have a thoroughly amazing year in 2022. 

I hope your personal Universes collectively decide to make up to you for all the bullshit of the last two years.  I hope your coffers are filled and overflowing with currencies legal in your area, that all your health problems miraculously resolve themselves, that any family/friend problems do the same.  I hope that all who are important to you accept you for the glorious entity that you are, and I hope that your imaginations work overtime to bring light and magic  and resolutions and that maybe, just maybe, you will have a truly fantastic year.

I wish for these things myself, and hope that all our wishes come happily, completely, and irrevocably true.

Before I sign off on this wonderment of meandering, I want to thank you for your generosity. Your kindness whether in word or in deed, or in both, means the absolute world to me. When I say that every little/huge/tiny bit helps, I mean it. It means my cats and dog can eat; it means my lights are still on and that I still have internet. It means I owe a bit less to the vets and to the leg people, to the ambulance people and the anesthesia company and the… It means I slept a bit better those nights. It means that you are priceless and beyond wonderful.

Love, coffee, goodwill and a non-shitty 2022 to all,

~Mer

UBIQUITOUS FUNDRAISERY THING BC FAKE LEGS/BOARDING FEES/MEDICAL BILLS ARE EXPENSIVE

Also a link but as a pic of my awesome furbebes (the ones who were boarded for over 2.5 months thus the humongo vet boarding fees since I had no one to care for them):

Go hug your pets. Now.

THAT TIME O’YEAR

This…post? collection of words?…whatever…has two functions.

First and foremost, I want to wish every single one of you magnificent creatures truly fantastic Christmas/Yule/Holiday tidings. I hope you feel the warmth, comfort, and festive spirit of this time of year. I wish you warm, cozy toesies and eggnog burps, spiced wine and the comfort of a firelit hearth, cold wet puppy noses and little kitten purrs, and most of all the joy – the “hug” – of the season.

Second, if you are just not feelin’ the joy, dude, I got’cha. That’s where I am, fam. It just ain’t happening this year either. I am just too <everything icky and negative> for the “warmth of the season” to have a chance to take hold. So, I get it. YOU ARE NOT ALONE, and there is nothing WHATSOEVER wrong with just plain not feelin’ it. Grump is the word, y’all. Maybe next year?

But that’s no excuse to ignore the eggnog and fruitcake and cookies, tho’…right??

All that being said, I wish you great tidings and eggnog, warm hearths, mulled cider and wine, gingerbread and sugar cookies, huge platters of favorite foods, warm buttery puffy pastries and jelly tarts, cozy blankets and lovely flickering candles. I want the best for y’all.

You deserve it.

You are absolutely the best readers any writer could ever want and I appreciate every single glorious one of you. You mean the world to me.

I’m vaguely mentally planning another post/whine session/group hug before the new year but jic not, HAPPY (effin’) NEW YEAR to you!!

(Srsly, fuck this year.)

Love and appreciation and all that warm and fuzzy stuff,

~Mer

*Had to redo the fundraiser thing b/c apparently they expire after so many days? I don’t understand modern life. Anyway, here:

Same fundraiser, different day

A TIP O’THE HAT TO YOU (THANK YOU)!

First of all, y’all made me cry. I would say “shame on you” but these tears were weird…they were from happiness and gratitude and…and good things. I wasn’t quite sure what to do about them but between your amazingly kind words and generous donations, said weird tears were definitely warranted.

So, thank you. Thank you for your kind words. Thank you for clicking on the PayPal link.

But most of all, thank you for caring. Thank you for reading my words and giving a damn about how it’s been going with me. The fact that you care enough to to help with words and donations warms my heart. Our specific community may have dwindled down some, but the hard-core warm souls are still right damn loud and proud. Heh, I knew y’all were the best readers a writer could ever have!

In case anyone missed my last post, this is what I’m talking about:

PREVIOUS POST

PAYPAL DONATION SITE

All my love, weird tears, and gratitude,

Mer

NOT DEAD BUT NOT BY MUCH…  (LOST A LEG AND FOUND MY PASSWORD)

NOT DEAD BUT NOT BY MUCH…  (LOST A LEG AND FOUND MY PASSWORD)

Ok, so y’all know 2020 sucked major ass for a lot of us;  well…2021 has sucked major ass, too, for a lot of us (meaning, well, me at least).

Grab a bevvy and a kitty/puppy/iguana, kick back, and peruse the story of how I lost a leg and found my password.

So…2021 busted 2020 wide open and it’s gonna be a great year, right?

*pfft*

Silly me – I don’t *GET* great years. 

As the months progressed, I kept feeling worse and worse but it was all so gradual that, between anxiety and depression, I never realized just how bad my health was failing.  Sure, I was in a lot of pain and “discomfort”, but then, I’ve always been in a lot of pain and “discomfort”, right, so nothing unusual there.  No red flags were noticed; life such as it was went on.

Then the pain started getting markedly worse, especially in my already-partially-amputated left foot.  Soon enough every single step caused excruciating pain like red-hot blades stabbing from the front of my foot all the way back.

It also hurt when I wasn’t walking on it.

Keep in mind that:

*I live in the U.S. where healthcare is but a dream if you’re an uninsured mortal…
*I suffered from both anxiety and depression…
*I know a lot about some aspects of medical care but by far not everything, and…
*I am diabetic…

The pain and “discomfort” wore on my nerves so badly that at one point I seriously considered just ending it all. 

Instead, because I have cats and a dog, I called 911 (emergency services for my foreign friends) on my ass.  The pain, the “discomfort”, the anxiety and the depression really were that bad, but an angel kicked my ass, reminded me of shit, and made me reach for the phone.

I was admitted on Aug. 4th and wasn’t discharged until Aug. 25th.  I remember small bits and pieces but most of the first two weeks I was in hospital are a foggy blur. 

Amongst other issues, I was diagnosed with Charcot foot and an atrocious UTI.  The X-ray of my foot (what was left of it, remember that about 1/3 of it had been amputated in 2017…) showed a tremendous degeneration of bone mass, and apparently I’m one of those people whose mental processes are severely affected by a UTI.  The foot had been “hurting a little” until it was suddenly unGodly painful; I had no idea about the UTI except for a little lower back pain but who doesn’t have that?

Anyway, things happened and a body part was removed and another body part was disinfected (no wonder that FLM fled the scene – she must have known what was gonna happen and the horrid little beastie never even told me!) and time passed like my left leg.

When I was released, I had nowhere to go, no insurance therefore no rehab facility, no continuing physical therapy, no place to stay, no family I could call upon, nothing.  Even if I had been able to get a ride home from the hospital, I didn’t have a wheelchair I could get to, and even if I had, my house isn’t compatible with wheelchairs and had no one to take care of me.

The reasons for my depression were real and realized.

The angel that guided my hand to my phone provided once again.  I’ve been online friends with a group for well over 15 years now (and I cannot believe it’s been that long but it has) and led a member of that group who lives about 2 hours away to pick me up at the hospital and let me recuperate at her house in another state.

She had to acquire a wheelchair and a bedside toilet for my newly single-legged self to use.  She provided transportation – 2 hours each way – for me to keep my appointments with the surgeon and then to keep appointments with “the leg guy” – the company recommended for the prosthetic leg.

Fake legs are strange animals.  Newly amputated limbs are strange animals.  These two animals do not speak the same language…I’m still on crutches.

Phantom pain is real, and it can hurt like a bitch.  It can also itch.  Right this moment my left toes are hurting.  They vacated the premises back in ’17.

Currently I still have swelling at the amputation site and on above (I’m a “below the knee” amputee in that I have 3-4″ of bone below the knee).  Doc cut the bone up to that point but was able to save a LOT of back calf muscle which he brought forward to cover the cut bone and sewed to the front of my remaining leg.  He was genuinely shocked at how well I did – infection-wise and I guess mentally and emotionally accepting of the new reality – after the surgery.

I don’t miss that portion of my leg.  By the end it not only was painful as all fuckout but wasn’t at all dependable.  The new leg isn’t exactly dependable but with experience and gradual “downsizing” replacements, it will be.  Eventually.  Probably. 

But at least the fake motherfucker doesn’t hurt.

Anyway, while I was stuck in bed for 3 weeks (a terrible time I just don’t feel like revisiting right now), the only computational device I had was my Kindle Fire.  Thank God I had it.  Problem was, I couldn’t remember hardly any passwords ESPECIALLY to…here.

I received a review today and that reminded me just how much I like you beautiful, glorious saints, sinners, angels, and demons.  So I got bright, checked to see if I had the password saved on my browser – annnnd yup, I do!

Voila!  Here I be!

I am still depressed but I’m handling it in a much more responsible way.  I am drinking figurative gallons of fluids a day and monitoring for color and “discomfort”.  I’m getting around in my house very, very slowly and I can’t do much of anything when I’m “up” except crutch along…slowly, but I’m doing it.  I’m focusing on taking my insulin shots when and as I’m supposed to.  And I’m freaking the fuck out about hospital bills, vet boarding bills for 2 cats and a dog for Aug, Sept, and over half of Oct, and the cost of this fake leg (they are VASTLY more expensive than you would EVER think).  It’s all painfully, extortionately, ludicrously expensive.

But I’m alive, for whatever that ends up being worth.

Thank you for listening, for caring, for wondering where the everlovin’ fuck I am, and for reading.  You guys are a bright light in darkened days, the memory of better times, and the hope that they’ll return someday.

 TL;DR = LOST A LEG AND FOUND MY PASSWORD…

If you can and if you want, I do have a PayPal donation site thingie, and ANYTHING and EVERYTHING is very much appreciated. 

PAYPAL FUNDRAISER

Ok, you can go pee now and maybe think about letting the doggie out and giving the kitty cats some treats.  Cats love treats.  Wait, so do I…am I a kitty now? Don’t forget the iguana.

Love, peace, and paper towels,

~Mer

Titles Still Go Here, Right?

Dear Readers-Mine,

To my shocked amazement, I’ve recently received several comments from my beautiful readers enquiring as to my continued existence.

Y’all make my heart sing because I truly thought I’d been, well, not exactly forgotten – more like allowed to just fade away into the beloved ether.

I haven’t been posting anything because it would mainly be whining, complaining, bitching, moaning, and other words ending in -ing that denote general and specific problems with the Universe and y’all just do not need to be brought down by my problems – y’all probably have enough of your own without me adding to it.

But eeenyway…

Ok, fwiw, I still exist.  I’m not the same person I used to be and, honestly, none of us are.  We can’t survive in a global pandemic with all its accompanying mental, financial, physical, and emotional trials and tribulations and NOT be changed in some fundamental way.   It will likely take YEARS for all of us affected by this bullshit to “unpack all this damn baggage”.  The death of a beloved, and last, parent during all this simply makes every single thing infinitely worse.

I won’t wax lyrical (again) about how hard the loss of my last parent has been for me. If you still have your parents and care at all for them, hold them close, get their stories and voices and images down in some permanent way, and if you have already lost one or both…then you already know.

Now, let’s discuss current, relevant life matters that are likely understood by far too many of us if you want. 

Tell me your stories.

You need a place to vent, a place to scream out into the Universe?  Here ya go.  Please, feel free to use my comments section to do just that.  It might/might not change a damn thing but it CAN feel “a bit less bad” when you release your dramas, your heartbreaks, your aches and sorrows and trials to the Universe. Hell, use ALL CAPS if you want – it’s YOUR story.

Me?  I’mma do it right here thus giving you wonderful beings a glimpse into my current life.  Skip to the end if whining/horror bores you.

I’m broke.  I desperately need a job (and the job market is so great, right), only, because of my shitty health, such a joyous thing is not easily attainable.  I need medical care but…no insurance because no job.  I need a work-at-home job because my health is not only laughable but also super-vulnerable – I catch the virus, I die.  The end.  The cats and dog starve because I live alone.  Not a good scenario, right? 

The vaccines are a lovely thing and I would get Shot 1 tomorrow if it were possible but, like many others, my county isn’t being given nearly enough vax – TL;DR = it’ll likely be April or, more likely, May before I can even get Shot 1. 

I still haven’t gotten/likely won’t get that second stimulus payment (that supposedly exists) because of weird loopholes, either.  Oh, and for the shit cookie on top, my car hates me and is possessed by an evil entity that interferes with that whole “battery and ignition” thing.

So, my life sucks ass because of money, health, red tape, stupidity, and evil car entities.

And the cats’ litter boxes need changing again.

Wheee!!

However, I am not alone in being handed a shit sandwich followed by a shit cookie.  While some people probably are doing just fine and I am glad for them, there are multitudes of us who aren’t. 

So, let’s commiserate.   There is an odd power in unity even when it’s “just” online.   I might not be able to help y’all financially but I can certainly give you a safe place to vent and hopefully some mental/emotional comfort, too. 

Y’all truly are the best and definitely deserve all good things.   Consider yourselves hugged and mauled by puppies and kittens (and baby dragons and unicorns if you’re into that sort of thing)(lol).

WP sure has changed, man…hope this posts right and that the comments section is actually still enabled!

Weird.

Love y’all!

~Mer

Dad Was Buried Today + Existential Ponderings

Yeah, that.  Dad was buried today, at 11am, and I couldn’t safely be there.  My heart was, and my thoughts, and my mind and soul and grief were there, but my body wasn’t.

That makes me feel…a lot of things, honestly.  Sadness, grief, regret, guilt, sorrow…

He’s irrevocably gone, now, no doubts about it.  Lowering the body into the ground and then covering it up with dirt has a certain cold and cruel finality to it, doesn’t it?

Oddly, I feel like I should feel guiltier about not being there.  To be sure, I feel quite awful that I wasn’t physically present at his grave site when his body was lowered into the ground and I will probably always feel very sad and torn about it, but on the other hand my dad would not have wanted me to expose myself to the virus, not with my health problems at any rate.  (From December into January he kept at me me until I finally got the flu vax…)

COVID-19, that horrid respecter of no one, is ramping up nastily in my area and he truly would not have wanted me to risk my life to pay respects to his empty shell.

He’s like me – the body is just the vehicle which enables us to exist on this planet, and once we’re through with it, it’s…meaningless? and should be left to return to the earth.  We should show respect, of course, through funerals and burials and familial rites and all that, but once the person inhabiting the body is gone, the body no longer serves a purpose other than to remind us of what was and will never be again.

Depending on your funerary traditions, it’s just a cold…mass lying in a cold place in the cold ground usually with a cold marker of some sort so you’ll know which of your dead is where.

It should be noted in one of my famous “interests of full disclosures” that I am by far not a “funeral person”, either.  (Got that from my dad, too.)  If I knew the person while they were alive, while their heart and soul and mind were engaged, why would I want to experience them without those beloved signs of life??  And when those parts of them are gone on, there’s nothing left but sorrow and grief and…and standing beside an opened and then filled hole in the ground won’t help at all with that.

According to my beliefs, in due course I will see my dead again.  They’ve gone on but aren’t forgotten, and until I’m with them again I’ll cry and then eventually I’ll try to remember them fondly rather than with huge fat tears rolling down my face.

We hold our dead firmly in our heart and our mind and our soul because that’s where they are; they are no longer inhabiting the “shell” they used while they were here and have no need for it…”there”.  We pay our respects to that which enabled them to walk our earth, and then we let it go, and we keep the parts of them that live in our heart and our mind and our soul because those are the parts that matter.

My mom and my dad mattered to me; she and now he still live on in my heart and my mind and my soul while I spend the rest of my days on this earth.

I appreciate you guys letting me whine and drone on at you about all this.  It’s doubtful that relating my on-going saga to you has helped anyone but I really hope it has.  We are creatures of emotions and we need a safe, welcoming place to let them run free and I hope you feel that “here” is safe and welcoming for yours, too.

If nothing else, I hope all this has encouraged you to hold on to you living stronger and better.  You can’t really do that anymore when they’re gone…and life really is shorter than you think.

Your support, and yes, I include your Paypal gifts in that, has truly been invaluable.  I’m sorry I haven’t been in a decent enough mind/emotion place to reply to all your wonderful comments here but I have genuinely cherished each one.

Y’all are some damn fine people, and when you share your grief, I grieve with you.  You are not alone.

I can promise you that.

Ok, here’s some generic “end of whine” housekeeping links to click or ignore:

Saga Pt. 1
Saga Pt. 2
PayPal b/c funerals are painfully expensive
Vit. D vid by a cool British doc b/c I don’t want you to die

Now go wash your filthy hands (and take your Vit. D – and no, it is NOT a cure-all but, srsly, look up the research on it FOR YOURSELF then make up your own mind).  If I’m not allowed to let a stupid COVID virus take me out, then neither are you.  I mean, y’all got pets and kids and, like, relatives and stuff who’d miss your ass.  Keep it safe and clean.

I’d miss you, too.  You matter to me.

I can’t swear there won’t be more whiny parts to this saga but I’ll try not to – I’m sure y’all have hella better things to do than read my rambles…and some of y’all need to get back into writing…

~Mer

 

HE’S GONE.

Yeah, that.

Last night at 2 minutes to 2am, his spirit left the body, the shell, he’d used while doing time on planet Earth.

Things are going in “frantic slow-motion” over here now, and it’s fucking hard.  I wanted to keep y’all updated in case you were wondering but…chaos…so I went with another regular post. 

The link to the “backstory” is here (aka: the post before this one):

On Life and the Vile Beauty of False Hope in the Time of Crisis

Thank you for your kind wishes, thoughts, prayers, words of wisdom, offers to talk, and donations.  Every bit of it is appreciated. (And the donations came in especially handy for gas, the “stuff” weird emergency situations require, and food en route to/from for me, so a definite thank-you for that.)

Now I get to muddle through planning my dad’s funeral and burial. 

This sucks.  I don’t want to bury my dad; I just want him to come home.

Rest in peace, daddy, and give’em all a rought time – especially my mom (your wife) and my favorite aunt (your sister) for leaving so damn soon.

I miss you, daddy.

~Mer

On Life and the Vile Beauty of False Hope in the Time of Crisis

My dad won’t be coming home again. 

After traveling around the world working in beautiful and amazing and sometimes frankly dangerous places, my dad will doze the remainder of his life away in a hospice house.

Why?

Because cancer, lung cancer to be exact, robs dreams and lives and hopes and futures.

On March 13th, he was fine.  He ate a nice dinner (Salisbury steak on toast if you’re wondering), took a little nap in honor of his full belly, then later wandered through the house to eat half a fresh green pepper.  Eventually he and his doggie went to bed then a bit later I eventually went to bed, too.

Along about 4am-ish he banged really loudly on my bedroom door to wake me up because he was in physical distress.

He was shaking, clammy, his shirt and t-shirt soaked through with sweat…and he could neither catch nor keep his breath.

I called 911.

One of the last things he did before leaving the house, unknowingly for the last time, was make sure I had the keys to the car. 

The paramedics arrived in good time, quickly surveyed the scene, and within a few minutes they were walking him out of the house to the large “ambulance bed” waiting by the front door.

Dad left the house on his own two feet albeit greatly supported by paramedics.

So, early in the morning of March 14th, dad was admitted to the local hospital, put on a ventilator, and at some point in the mix suffered a mild heart attack likely from the physical stress of struggling so, so, so very hard to breathe.

Remember, this is happening during the major opening salvo of CV-19 – appropriate fears were being shaped, new information about the virus was coming at us right, left, and center.  We were worried that he had what will become known as “the virus”.

He was likely the first in my county, hell, in my part of the state (NC) to be tested and it took almost a week before it came back negative. 

I almost wish it had been positive – that would likely have been easier to cure.

The original diagnosis (while waiting for the results that his then-doctor and I both agreed wasn’t likely to be positive given all the data we had on hand at the time) was bacterial pneumonia.

Yucky, sure, but highly treatable, right, so treatment began.

For some reason, maybe a doctor’s “6th sense”, they sent him for a chest CT scan a few days after treatment began.

Tumor. 

Large tumor snuggling, strangling, around the branch leading into one lung and possibly into said lung as well.  The other lung has some “scar tissue” from a life-time of smoking (and likely inhaled desert sand/silica, who knows) but was nicely functional other than the pneumonia.

Tumor.

Tumors are treatable, right?  Chemo, surgery, radiation, options…lots of options…  Desperate hopes for desperate times, right?

So eventually my dad – still heavily sedated because he was still on the ventilator – was transferred via ambulance to a much larger hospital with many more pulmonologists specializing in…pulmonology things.

This hospital was 1.5 hours away…during the time of a pandemic crisis…may as well have been on a different fucking planet as far as actually being with him is concerned.

I have asthma (CV-19 STRIKE ONE) and am an insulin-dependent diabetic (CV-19 STRIKE TWO) and have COPD (chronic bronchitis if you care) ———– (CV-19 STRIKE THREE). 

No personal visits for this daughter.

I haven’t seen my dad since they took him away on that bed to the ambulance on March 14th.  If I become infected, I will most likely die.  If I remember to do so, at the end of this I’ll link to a couple YT vids by actual doctors that will scare you shitless about the damages this shitty bastard virus inflicts.

Anyway.

So now my dad is in a much better hospital surrounded by lots of super-docs and I’m being told that once he’s off the ventilator (after words like “bronchoscopy” and “biopsy” and “stents” are tossed around like parade candy) and his throat heals from the intubation and he can swallow and eat and drink on his own so he can start regaining his strength, they’ll likely choose radiation to combat the cancer rather than chemo that would be so much worse on him and surgery wasn’t possible given the location/etc of the tumor.

But:  YAY – hope!  A long and bumpy road, especially for him, sure, but hope!!

I’m calling for reports on him two and three times a day, often having the nurse hold the disinfected phone to his ear so I can “cheer at him” – he’d been in “isolation ICU” then when transferred to BiggerBetterHospital just “regular” ICU.

After a while…a very long while…he’s off the ventilator – yay, progress! – and a couple days after that he’s finally able to swallow and drink – granted he’s not back to “Salisbury steak on toast” yet, but still, yay progress!

Surely now that he can actively eat and drink he’ll start recovering his strength from the pneumonia and, dang, but his “heart numbers” had began falling the very night he’d had the problems so his heart’s pretty much ok, too, so there’s hope!!

Right?

Today I’m told he “isn’t a good candidate” for the radiation therapy because he’s so weak and to talk to the hospice coordinator. 

Shock.

Cold, trembly, stunned shock.

But…but wait…

Where did the hope go?

There was hope…and…and now there’s…not?

Why are they giving up on my daddy? 

Why are they shuffling him off to die “in comfort” but without hope?

My head doesn’t doubt their logic – he was on the ventilator for a long time and it did take him a couple days longer to reactivate his swallowing muscles, etc., etc., etc., but my heart is kicking and screaming and bawling her eyes out.

He’s my last parent – mom died in ’11 – and I don’t want to lose my daddy.

But I’m going to unless God drop-kicks a miracle down to his lungs.

Anyway, I feel like I’ve been…lied to?  Like I was given hope only to have it jerked out from under my feet for no good reason.

Hope can be a lifesaver, but, in my experience at least, it can be a cunning, devastating, heart-ripping lie.

So, that’s what’s been up with me.  I’ve been dealing – alone – with the terror of CV-19 while at the same time – and of vastly more specific importance to me – the terror of losing my father.

And because of everything going on and especially given my physical health and vulnerability to CV-19, I can’t find a job.  And because I can’t find a job, there’s no money for gas to visit him in hospice every day assuming I’m even allowed to do so.  There’s no money for a funeral, for a casket, for the burial. 

There’s just me, three cats, and a doggie who misses her daddy horribly.

We originally got Happy for mom – she wanted a little lapdog to enjoy while she became more and more sedentary because of her health problems (the original reason I’d moved back home in the first place – she needed help).  Soon enough that little ‘world’s largest chihuahua’ mutt became the world’s most spoiled UN-lapdog. 

She and daddy were perfect for each other and got along great whenever he’d come home on RnR from Baghdad and, when he retired after mom’s death, Happy became HIS dog.  She took up with him like crazy and they’d prowl around the yard and all on their walks; she’d pile up beside him on the sofa and easily eat half of whatever meat he was eating (“She knows that if she sits next to me she’ll get fed” he’d often say); she slept with him at night. 

They were the best of buddies.

But he’ll never be home again for her to pile up beside of to eat his food, beg for treats (little begging actually involved…) or nag him to take her out for a totally unnecessary walk…or anything.

It breaks my heart on her behalf and on his.

She keeps running through the house looking for him every time I bring her back in from the walks that he should have been taking her on in the first place.

This is killing me and that kick in the gut called “hope” is just making it all the worse.  I feel like the world, God, life, everything is just giving up on my dad and, through him, me.

So…that’s how all this is going for me.  I deeply and sincerely hope you guys are weathering all this shit better than I am.

This pandemic is fucking scary even without suffering through the slow death of a loved one.

I hope you have safe shelter and good food, that you have fun entertainment and protective gear if you have to get out for necessary work or supplies, but most of all…MOST OF ALL…I hope you are not alone.

“Alone” is a terrifying place to be when your world collapses.

After mom died, it was just me and my dad.  He was getting on in years (I was a late baby) and he’d never been one for cleaning house or cooking all that much, that kind of thing, definitely preferred doing the yard-work, tending cars, etc., so it was just simpler for me, already in bad health (whole other story), to stay home, keep him company, and deal with the house and the bills and the cooking, etc.

And so I did.  I quit work in I think it was 2007 to move “back into the family home” to take care of my mom when she needed it, but my health “broke” during that time so that when dad retired a couple months after her death, it truly was simpler to maintain the status quo doing all the things that dad didn’t particularly care to do.  At the time I was still actively writing which took up a LOT of my time as well. 

Life went on. 

And now it doesn’t.

No good deed every goes unpunished, eh.

He has, at best, maybe a month and the doctor wouldn’t even commit to that.

Please forgive any typos…don’t have the heart to read back over this given that I’ve wept the entire time I’ve typed it.  Sadly this wasn’t as cathartic as I’d have liked but I had to try.

What I hope that y’all take from this is:  I don’t know. 

I want you to love your loved ones with all your heart but at the same time I don’t want anyone to ever hurt like I am, so…find a balance? 

I want you to take hope when hope exists but I don’t want you to be kicked in the teeth by that same vile curse.

I want you to hold fiercely to your parents, by whatever definition, as long and as fiercely as you can, but at the same time I don’t want you completely and utterly devastated when they fade from your world.

This is real life and the pain, despair, and terror of this real life is killing me. 

There is no parting salvo to end this on a good note; I just don’t have it in me.

I do care a lot about y’all, so wash your nasty hands and stay home if you can and by all means, stay alive.

Here are some links.  The first one should scare you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4J0d59dd-qM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDAvxSKu5kc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5yVGmfivAk

And here’s my paypal if you’re able and inclined to help this constantly weeping daddy’s girl out during a devastating mess.

I’ve cried so much today that my eyes and nose are red and irritated and my head is pounding.  Tomorrow I “get” to park my dad in a hospice home where he will die.

All prayers, vibes, juju, etc., very sincerely appreciated.  Now go wash your hands again and stay home if you possibly can.  Nobody wants to lose you.

~Mer