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,
PS: the up-to-date Paypal fundraiser link reclines below – feel free to click if you want!
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!)
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.
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,
Like it? (I knew you had great taste!) Spread The Word:
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.
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.
(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!)
Like it? (I knew you had great taste!) Spread The Word:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
“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.
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.
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.
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! 💗❤️💗
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:
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…
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.
Like it? (I knew you had great taste!) Spread The Word:
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.
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,
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,
*Had to redo the fundraiser thing b/c apparently they expire after so many days? I don’t understand modern life. Anyway, here:
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:
NOT DEAD BUT NOT BY MUCH… (LOST A LEG AND FOUND MYPASSWORD)
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
Like it? (I knew you had great taste!) Spread The Word:
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:
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…
Like it? (I knew you had great taste!) Spread The Word:
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.
Like it? (I knew you had great taste!) Spread The Word:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
Cold, trembly, stunned shock.
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.
I’d hoped to spring forth at the new year flinging new chapters around at you guys all willy nilly, but that hasn’t happened yet…and then I figured it was unfair to you guys to remain all quiet with nary a peep coming from my end, so…
Yes, I yet live, and no – despite all evidence to the contrary, I have not abandoned my unfinished works. I’m also not in the process of writing other things “professionally”, either…I’m just in a writing-less funk, that’s all. Granted it seems to be a long-term non-funky funk, but yeah, it’s just a funk.
The fact that I have unfinished stories is quite stressful to me, and I figure that’s likely part of why I’m in said funk (stress + stress + stress * even more stress = no words flowing from me).
But anyho, I really did want to touch base with you guys to let you know what’s going on (cause I’m all that an’ stuff…riiiight…) and to let you know that you are NOT forgotten. I cherish the kind words you’ve sent my way and have in fact gone back to read reviews because they’re an incredible mood lifter-upper. You guys really do rock the mostest!
TL;DR = I’m still here, words will spew forth at some point, and you guys rock. Stay tuned, and I hope you guys have a fantastic 2019!
Like it? (I knew you had great taste!) Spread The Word:
While I’ve not hit this era of my life yet (thank God – it sounds like the body becomes a freakin’ war zone complete with opposing bodily factions, ammo, and a “take no prisoners” attitude), I have to consider that at least a few of my readers are either approaching it or are there already and might need some backup, so maybe you guys might consider this information relevant.
(Plus if I reblog this I stand a better chance of actually finding it again however-much later when I might need it… Yeah, my brain’s still trying to track that FLM, y’all.)
Hope this is helpful to you, your mums, your aunties, your sisters, hell, maybe even your super-grumpy grandad…?
For many women there is also sleep disturbance brought on by a relentless cycle of waking in a drenching sweat, reigning fury on the sheets, then falling back asleep only to waken shivering as the perspiration evaporates while discarded pajamas silently torment from the corner of the bedroom.
And then there is dryness. Skin, hair, but especially vagina. It is like a desert storm, think shock and ow! not shock and awe.
Some women like to call their hot flashes power surges, but they leave me with no sense of strength. Maybe no one else sees the river of sweat on my top lip, appreciates the porcelain gripping nausea, or understands the gesture of grasping for something, anything, to fan my face, but I know and that is enough.
I don’t resent the aging, I resent the break in stride.
I don’t write poetry so I wrote a poetry. Go figure. I blame that damn strange meandering-through muselette (not my MIA FLM who is still vacay’ing w/o me) for this wordage. I may revise it, may not, who knows. I don’t read this type of writing (poetry/poems) so I have no idea if it’s any good (any experience I ever had were haikus and rhyming crap, lol). Enjoy?
What I Want
I want us, all of us, to be free
To be given the foundation, the grounding, of love and care
So that we may be free, boundless,
To fly and soar and dream far above the earth
To fly without fear of losing ourself,
To fly without fear of losing our way and our source and our time
To fly without fear of never finding home again
Yet free to find where our home should be
Free to find home and free to be home
Free to then fly solely for the joy of flight
Like it? (I knew you had great taste!) Spread The Word:
I’ve copied/pasted (with link! b/c I’m cool like that) some info about whatever this GDPR thing is below my meanderings here. While the whole thing is a bit confusing to me (the concept I get; what I’m supposed to do about it on a free 2-bit WP account, not so much), I can tell y’all that since I don’t sell/advertise anything and since this is a free, generic WordPress account, I don’t actually have access to crap like “where you live” (Idgaf, just hope you’re warm/cool, dry, and safe) and “how many times a day you go pee” (that would be creepy as fuck, also, Idgaf just so long as your kidneys are all ok and shit), so…?
I do know it’s easy (or at least SHOULD be easy) to unfollow/unsubscribe to my blog (and if you do go all bye-bye, I’ll wave and hope y’all come back soon, just bring coffee when/if ya do), so, um, unsubscribe if you want? I don’t keep what information you guys *have* volunteered like email address so that my oh-so-frequent post notifications flood your addy (what would I do with it, ghost-blog your ass?), so…um… <insert something witty here>…
Anyway, here’s this from Clicky Link Thing that WordPress.com on Twitter linked to in their reply to questions about whether or not bloggers had to bother about this whole GDPR thing (and no, I did not read all this crap…I have a life to live, coffee to drink, and foes to piss off – read it if you want, though):
Automattic and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (aka GDPR) is a new and far-reaching privacy regulation that takes effect May 2018.
This FAQ provides information about the law and how we are implementing the GDPR’s important principles for Automattic’s products and services, including WordPress.com.
We are adding features to enhance user choice and bring more transparency to our practices around the collection, storage, and use of your data. We expect that Automattic products and services will be in compliance with GDPR requirements when the law goes into effect on May 25, 2018.
We’re also providing additional tools and information to help users of our services take the steps needed to comply with the law, if necessary.
Below you will find a list of common questions we have gotten about GDPR and our answers to those questions.
>> What is the GDPR?
The GDPR, among other things, requires companies and site owners to be transparent about how they collect, use and share personal data. It also gives individuals more access and more choice when it comes to how their own personal data is collected, used, and shared.
You can read the full text of the law here. We also found these resources helpful in understanding the principles and specific requirements of the law:
The GDPR is a European law that grants personal data rights to individuals in the European Union. However, its requirements apply to all sites and online businesses who collect, store, and process personal data about individuals in the EU.
>> How can I get in touch with you with a GDPR related request?
You can contact us through any of the following channels:
Questions About Your Rights As A User of our Services
>> What rights does the GDPR give me?
The GDPR gives EU individuals rights to their personal data. There are some exceptions/exemptions to the rights granted by the GDPR, but in general it includes rights to:
request access to the data we store about you
request updates/changes to your personal data
request the deletion of your personal data
take your personal data to a new service
request we limit our collection and use of your personal data (e.g., opt out of being tracked by our first party analytics tool)
Although GDPR is a law that only applies within the European Union, we are offering tools to manage your personal data to all of our users.
Additionally, you can expect that we as a company will work to protect the privacy of your personal data, will only collect the data when we have a reason to do so, and will delete your personal data once we no longer have a need for it.
>> How do I request access to my personal data? How do I request changes to it?
If you’d like to know what personal data we have stored about you, please contact us with your request. If upon reviewing that data you need to request changes to it, please let us know and we will work with you to make the necessary corrections.
>> How do I take my data to a new service?
Your site is yours and your content belongs to you. We hope you find our services and products useful, but if you are currently hosted with us and have decided to move elsewhere, we provide you with the tools you need to easily move your site without any extra charges from us. If your site is self-hosted, you can work with your hosting company to move your site.
>> How do I delete my personal data?
Although we’d be very sad to see you go, starting on May 25, 2018, you’ll be able to close your WordPress.com account. Please check this page then for more information.
>> How do I opt out of being tracked when I use Automattic’s services?
We’ll offer an opt-out from our first party analytics tool for WordPress.com users. We are still working to finalize this process for our products. We will update the information here, and in our documentation, with more details about how these processes work once they are ready.
>> How else are you protecting my privacy and my personal data?
User privacy is critically important to us at Automattic. Our privacy principles align with many of the GDPR principles, and we built our products and services with those principles in mind.
Control of Your Content. We aim to give you as much control as possible over who can see your content. For example, the WordPress.com Privacy Settings give you choices to make your site public, private, or hidden from search engines, and Page Visibility gives you options about who can see specific pages on your site.
Strict Guidelines on Providing User Information to Governments. We understand that safeguarding our users’ private information is a vital aspect of the trust our users place in our services to keep them safe, and in some cases, anonymous. Our Legal Guidelines describe when we will disclose user information in response to requests from law enforcement or from complainants in civil litigation. (And we have a reputation for challenging overbroad requestsーfor example, we successfully argued to lift non-disclosure orders on National Security Letters from the U.S. government that prohibited us from revealing information about those requests to our users).
Your Security is Our Priority. While no online service can ever be 100% secure, we work very hard to protect your information from unauthorized access. We support and promote encryption of user data and we encrypt all traffic (serve over SSL) for all WordPress.com sites, by default. You can read more about our WordPress.com security features and Jetpack Security Features. We also offer and *highly encourage* you to use our advanced security settings, like Two Step Authentication for your WordPress.com account, to help protect your account and your data.
Questions About Your Responsibilities as a Site Owner
>> What Tools Do You Offer to Help Me Comply with GDPR?
We provide tools to help you manage your user’s data, and to respond to requests from your users, for example, the ability to delete comments on WordPress.com, or to delete order records from WooCommerce. There are also other tools described in the question below. In general we try to make it possible for you to manage your site without needing our help, but if you get a request from one of your site’s users that you don’t have the ability to fulfill, you can contact us to request our help.
>> What data do you collect about the people who visit/use my site?
We aim to collect the minimal amount of data necessary to provide your site visitors with our service. Please see our Data Collection section below for more information about what we collect and when.
>> My site saves people’s personal data when they follow/subscribe to it or purchase a product on my site, and when they like or comment on a post or product; how do I manage this data to comply with GDPR?
Your site saves information about a person who follows or comments on your site in order to provide this service to them and email them updates about their sites
If a visitor to your site requests access to the personal data you have saved about them, we can help you to gather the data we have saved via our service. You can contact us to request that data.
If a visitor to your site requests you delete their data from your site, you have the tools at your disposal to do this. For information on how to manage/delete comments on your site, please see https://en.support.wordpress.com/manage-comments/. Additionally, subscribers to a blog are able to unfollow it at any time and the link for that is included in the footer of the follow emails.
If your site is not hosted by WordPress.com, but on a different server (self-hosted), you can use the tools provided by WordPress 4.9.6 and WooCommerce 3.4 to export and manage your users’ data.
>> Some of the Jetpack modules, like Jetpack Comments, collect the personal data of visitors to my site. Do you provide any tools to help me manage the privacy of this data?
Additionally, because many of the Jetpack modules are the exact same features we offer on WordPress.com hosted sites, WordPress.com site owners can also use the Jetpack Privacy Center to inform their own privacy policies.
>> Can you tell me more about Google fonts on my site?
The Google fonts API collects a very limited set of information and uses it only for serving the font to your site. You can read more about the data Google collects, stores, and uses in connection with Google fonts here: https://developers.google.com/fonts/faq.
>> What is a Data Processing Agreement (or amendment) and do I need one?
DPAs are contractual tools for web sites and companies to make commitments to their customers, vendors, and partners that their data handling complies with the law. It is not relevant or needed for the typical free site owner or hobbyists.
We are able to provide data processing amendments to users of our paid plans/products on WordPress.com, Jetpack, WooCommerce.com, Akismet, or PollDaddy. If your site has an active upgrade on one of these services, please contact us to let us know what you need.
Having a DPA does not change any of our practices regarding your site or your visitors. Everyone using our service gets the same high standards of privacy and security.
Data Collection Questions
>> What data do your various services collect about me?
We have always tried to collect the minimal amount of data that’s necessary.
For example, when you sign up for WordPress.com, we ask only for limited information needed to set up your WordPress.com account. We require an email address and a username, nothing more. If you purchase a paid plan, we’ll need additional information to process your payment. You are welcome to add other information to your public profile and account settings, but we don’t require you to give us any other personal information to get your account up and running. The same principle applies to all our products and services.
>> Does Automattic sell or give away my personal data?
We do not sell your private personal information.
>> What information do you collect if I use your WooCommerce plugin without connecting it to a WordPress.com or WooCommerce.com account?
If you do not connect an Automattic plugin to a WordPress.com or WooCommerce.com account, we do not receive or store any of your personal data, nor do we have access to the data about your site’s users/customers. The exception to this is if you enable WooCommerce Usage Tracking.
>> What data do your services collect about the people who visit/use my WordPress.com or Jetpack enabled site?
As with the data we collect about you, we try to collect the minimal information required to make our services available to the people who use your site. We have created a new privacy notice to detail exactly what that information is and how we use it, which is available to you and to your site visitors at https://automattic.com/privacy-notice.
>> What information does woocommerce.com collect, store and share when someone has a woocommerce.com connected account?
When you make a purchase on WooCommerce.com and connect your account, we will know what sites you are using the subscription on, but generally do not get additional usage/personal data about you or your customers. There’s a few exceptions:
Jetpack and WooCommerce Services do send us data about your customers in order to fulfill their services. You can find more information about that at https://jetpack.com/support/privacy/ .
Our system logs, which record information about visitors to Automattic’s websites, are kept for 30 days after which they are deleted.
>> Where are your servers located?
Automattic’s servers are all over the world. This allows us to provide the fastest service to our users, and to the visitors viewing our users’ sites, no matter where they live. It also allows us to keep our service, and your site, running should one or more of our servers go down.
Although we have servers all over the world, at present all personal and site data is stored exclusively on US based servers.
There, I made it all pink for an enhanced visual presentation. Or something.
Have fun, y’all, and if you find the FLM skulking about, please send that sweet little shit back this way, m’kay?
Like it? (I knew you had great taste!) Spread The Word:
I’m sorry I’ve been MIA. Life has gotten crazy and I’ve just started a new job – but I’m hoping the commute (by bus) will allow me an hour or so a day to write. However, I’ve been ask on more than one occasion about Deathly Fashion Sense. I’ve removed it to rewrite it. But I’ve been asked if I can repost the original for those of you who want to read it again.
So, I’ve created a new location called Unscriptedthat will house such items.
Deathly Fashion Sense is reposted in all it’s faults, bad grammar and poor sentence structure. But since it was my first story, I think I did pretty well. At least I hope I did.
I’ll be posting the new version soon as well as working on the next episode of AED.
Not *all* the words, dammit, but at least some of them, and that totally counts, right? RIGHT?
So…this is just a heads-up: I’m working on the next chapter of Decisions (yes, that antique Godric/Cara fic Decisions) and I wanted to let y’all know in advance so that – if you’d ever been reading it at all – you’d have a chance to do a bit of a (likely badly needed) reread before the chapter magically appears (sometime between “now” and “then”, btw, so no holding your breath…). I’m currently only 1,183 words in, but D chapters aren’t generally marathons. I’m guessing I’m about a third of the way through, give/take, atm. It’s going well, though, hence the “warning”.
Anyway, I yet live…words still exist in places both known and unknown…and occasionally I even find some of them. I feel guilty as fuck about how long it’s been since I’ve posted anything on One Night, Sookie Takes Charge, and The Moon (Gawd but PreggoSookie is soooo gonna kick my ass), and we’re not even gonna talk about EN:ATS… *cries a little*
At least Cara took pity on me and decided to visit for a while. She’s great to hang out with and is really nice when she wants to be. She still has problems with her reflex-o-fangs, but meh, we’re used to it.
Annnnd…well…yeah, so, that’s where I am with the fics for now. Lemme know if you’re still out there!
Like it? (I knew you had great taste!) Spread The Word:
AlphaEN’s “Die Tonight; Rule Tomorrow” – sequel to her beloved “Put Me First” – is an old friend of mine. We go way back, y’all, and the journey she takes Eric and Sookie through in both stories is filled with the most splendid ups, downs, sideways, and everything-in-betweens that you could want.
As some of you know, her site is password-protected, so if you reach a “blocked” page, just shoot off an easy request for the password and voilà – the magic of her writing is, can I say it…?? Magically accessible! If you’ve never experienced that which is AlphaEN, start off with “Put Me First” then build up to “DT;RT”. You’ll be glad you did.
I admit it – I’m sad the story, the grand adventure, is over, but I’m thrilled with how it all ended, thrilled that “our” Eric and Sookie have their well-deserved HEA. I feel like one of my old friends has come of age now, and what an age it is!
Go forth, my friends, and enjoy the marvelous world of “Put Me First” and “DT;RT” – they’re complete in all their luscious, adventuresome, fantastical glory. Be sure to let her know what you think of her chapters – we writers love hearing from our readers – and enjoy. She’s a great lady, a great writer, and a great friend.
Now I’m going to go pout that her stories – THAT I NEVER WANTED TO END – are complete…
Like it? (I knew you had great taste!) Spread The Word: