I’m Having a Scentsy Party!

I’m wondering if everyone is this busy during the holiday season! I have been outrageously busy, and it’s just starting!  Today is December 2nd and I have spent the afternoon (after I got out of work) preparing for a party that I am having here tomorrow.  I am actually hosting a Scentsy party here at my house at around 3pm.

Scentsy is an international leader in home and personal fragrance, offering stylish, innovative and customizable products designed to Warm the Heart, Enliven the Senses and Inspire the Soul.

The products offered by Scentsy are awesome wax warmers and all of the fragrances of waxes to melt in the warmers.  They also offer diffusers, and a wide range of products ranging in price from $2. to $120.  There are products for everyone!  I have several of the wax warmers around my house and they keep the place smelling great.  I keep on with the lavender wax in my bedroom, and it offers up a very relaxing fragrance that I love in there.   .

I’m not really the “type” to have these kinds of parties, but my cousin Laurie is a consultant and I am hosting the party to help her get her Scentsy business off the ground.  I’ve been to other Scentsy parties and have been buying the products for years myself.  I love the wax bars and the incredible variety of fragrances available through this company.  Plus the wax bars last a LOT longer than the ones that you get through the corporate big box stores.  I like keeping my business as local as possible, and buying from friends and relatives is always nice.  And even this Butch loves things that make my atmosphere smell and feel great.

If any of you are interested in the Scentsy products please contact me via my personal email at mainelybutch@yahoo.com and I will be happy to get your personal order in with my party order.  All orders will be shipped in time for you to give them as Christmas and Hanukah gifts.  The car air fresheners are great small gifts for just about anyone, and priced under $5.00!

So I have all of the food prepared and ready to put the final touches on before the party. My fridge is full tonight!  I got the wine chilling, plenty of ice, and all of the fixing for a nice little gathering. I’ve invited all of the women in my circle of family and friends, many of which haven’t seen my new place since I moved her a year ago tomorrow!  HEY!!!!  Tomorrow, Dec. 3rd, is my 1 year anniversary of living my new place!!!  This JUST NOW dawned on me.

I love my little place here.  I’ve really made a nice little home here for myself and my dogs.  This place has such character with it’s hardwood floors and nice layout.  I have a great office room with windows on all three sides where I can retreat to to write and take care of paperwork.  Yes, this is my sanctuary.  My home.

This is the front door and entrance to my house. I’ve decorated it for Christmas as you can see…keeping it clean and simple with the lighted snowflakes that can easily stay up through January.

Peace.   ~MB

I’ve Missed Me

I have really been feeling great lately.  I’m realizing how much I have missed this feeling.  My overall outlook and mood is so much better.  I actually look forward to getting up every morning to see what the day has in store for me next.  I look good, I feel good and I am healthy as can be.  Yes, life is a good thing once again.

I’ve struggled with a few things in life over the years.  I’ve coped with addiction, depression and health scares.  I’ve come to the realization that I am no different than anyone else because everyone has some sort of baggage that they carry just like me.  You cannot go through life wrapped in plastic, so you have stuff you have to deal with.  For me it’s the abovementioned things, it’s different for everyone, but in the end we are all seeking the same basic things — love and understanding.

I’ve seen people come and go from my life.  Some for the better and some for whatever reasons.  People who love and understand me have stood by me through the bad and the good times.  That’s how you know who is really there for you in life’s big picture.  I am very thankful for the people who have stood by me through it all. And I know who I can count on to continue to be there for me.  

I’ve learned some hard lessons in my journey through this life.  But I can say honestly that I have no regrets because what hasn’t killed me has made me who I am today.  I’m strong and I’m on the right path.  That’s what really counts.  

It feels so good to get back to a place where I am feeling so good about things once again.  I really missed this.  I’m glad that I didn’t give up on myself. And I thank God for good friends and those who love me.  Their encouragement and understanding helped me through the troubled time I was having and they didn’t give up.  I just hope that I can be as good a friend in return.

I’m still learning and working on things.  The process is never finished.  And it doesn’t end until you get buried in a box.  And I know I’ll never be perfect, but I can be perfectly happy with who I am.  

Live life today as tomorrow things will change, it’s inevitable.  MB

V

World AIDS Day 2016

I have been HIV positive since at least 1992 when I tested positive. That’s over 25 years now and counting.  This makes me what they call a “long-term survivor.”–for which I am very thankful. Today was World AIDS Day 2016.  I, like millions of others, stopped to remember those who have been lost as well as those who are still courageously living and fighting this virus every day.And tonight I watched as they turned Niagara Falls red in remembrance. It was very cool.  I watched live on Rise Up Against HIV ‘s live Facebook broadcast.  I liked that I got to participate like that too. It’s always been such a somber day for me.  Many years ago I stood up in front of a large  crowd at the local church, holding my year old niece in my arms, and spoke about living with this virus and wondering whether I would live to see her graduate.  Well, she’s almost 23 now and a marine biologist in Florida.  Not only did I see her graduate high school but cover as well.  I have been blessed for sure.

I know I am one of the lucky ones. I was infected in the late 80s when the drugs to combat the virus were not that good or available.  My treatments early on were horrible. I often suffered with side effects from them and it was miserable.  But I lived. I lived to see this day where I now take 4 drugs once a day to keep myself undetectable.  Which means that no virus can be found in my blood at this time.  My treatment is working.  My t cells are in the mid-600 range and I am healthy as hell.  I’m certainly one of the lucky ones and I know it.  I don’t take this life for granted; I know I have been given a second chance. Today I remember all of those I lost.

I have been blessed with the love a d support of my wonderful family and friends.  This is another respect in which I consider myself very lucky as so many don’t have this kind d of support in their battle with this disease. I feel for them.  I don’t know how I would live without the support and love I get from my family especially.  They have stood by me solidly all these years.  Yes, I am one lucky Butch.

On another note…I am trying to write every day now.  It’s something I have challenged myself to do from now on.  I am in need of topics and questions from you my dear readers!  I want to know what you would like me to talk about in these blogs; what interests you, what can I write about?  Please leave your comments below or email me directly at Mainelybutch@yahoo.com at your leisure. 

Peace.  MB

Butch Christmas Stuff


ITs common around this time of year to hear partners of Butches – usually in my experience our femme counterparts – ask what to get their badass Butch for Christmas. Of course if they are asking for something specific  or special then your job should be pretty easy.  You just have to figure out if it’s a one gift exchange or if you have in mind maybe an assortment of smaller gifts which will take her to open on Christmas morning and will be much more exciting and pleasing for about any Butch I know.  Maybe you just do stockings filled with little gifts and maybe some of their favorite candy.  Whatever you choose as your tradition is cool…but make dampened sure that your Butch partner is on that same page!  One thing that we tend to hate are surprises.  Don’t say you only want one gift and then present your Butch with several from you.  Because we do listen at this time of year.  We secretly want to please our girls and make the move us more.  So make sure that your Butch knows what you want too!  
Ok now I like the multiple present kind of Christmas if possible.  And I love just thoughtful small gifts.  I’d rather get things that I need and will use or wear rather than get something I won’t use and don’t really need or want.  

Here’s a suggestion list of small gifts you are sure to please just about any Butch with a at Christmas.  Of course this is just a list of things that I am ways happy to receive, but I am a typical Butch with typical masculine tastes. I like to get lots of little things that I use everyday. so here’s my list I think you’ll find it might be helpful in making your Butch happy this Christmas.

  • Pocket knives — every Butch lives a good pocket knife or 3.  
  • Ties and belts.– just be sure you know your Butch’s tastes in these kind of articles, like I like black belts with my black shoes and brown belts with my brown shoes. And I like my ties to be fairly thin. if you know your partner well then  you’ll know what she likes.
  • Good pens — we can never have too many good pens especially as writers. if you want to make it extra-special have her name engraved on it or a nickname.   Like I’d love to have a pen that said “mainelybutch”
  • Watch or bracelet — just remember don’t make it too girly we like thicker things, heavier things.  Rings are cool too.  Just make sure you know what type of metal to shop for. I E. Does she like gold or silver?
  • Her favorite cologne or aftershave.  Just make sure she hasn’t got a full bottle in back up.  We don’t wear much of this stuff and usually only on special occasions.
  • Good hair gel.  I recommend “Sebastian Liquid Steel”  It is awesome stuff and spikes up a crew cut like nobody’s business!
  • Small electronics like a wireless speaker or a nice set of wireless headphones.
  • Hobby gear.  If you are significant other likes to fish why not buy her a fishing license for this next season. you can generally get them at any sporting good store in your local area. If she likes video gaming then maybe the latest video game she’s been raving about would be the ticket.If she likes to ski for half the lift ticket for the two of you for a nice weekend would be a good present.  You get the idea you can pander to her interests. 
  • Then there is ways clothing that we need yearly to react the stained or worn out old stuff like new plain white t-shirts, boxer briefs, and good socks.  Personally I always like that stuff.
  • Good hard bottom slippers.  Just in case we have to run outside and chase the dog.early in the morning before we get our boots on.!
  • Gift certificates — to the barber shop, movies, bookstore, Sears (they have nice tools), sandwich shop, coffee shop, etc.  

So that’s my simple list of little things that will please just about any Butch on Christmas morning.  It’s really not that hard or expensive to make us smile.  

I hope this helps some of you as you go about your Christmas shopping.  And if you are Butch let me know what I missed here!  I’m sure this is,a list that can be expanded in many ways.   PEACE. ~MB

Last of November

It’s that last day of November, wow has this month flown by!  It feels like just yesterday it was early September.  It’s raining here in Maine and it’s cold.  I am just thankful that it’s not snowing!  I know that snow is inevitable but the longer we go without it the happier I am.  

I’m off from work today and not positive of what my day has in store just yet.  It’s very early and I just got up about an hour ago.  Yes, I am a very early riser!  My body just won’t allow me to sleep past 5am. Sleep is overrated in my opinion anyway.  I feel like I am wasting time if I sleep too long in the mornings.

I have been watching the news reports of Trumpy’s cabinet choices and nominations.  It’s been a virtual who’s who of straight white men parading across his golden carpet.  Sickening  to think that the alt-right is going to gain so much MORE power in our country.  It angers me and makes me want to find a group of like minded people around my area to gather and discuss strategies for us all to be of support to each other and to react to the outrage I am sure is yet to come.  I feel the real need to be prepared to protect myself and others from things I can only imagine are in store for us all.  

Tomorrow is World AIDS Day 2016 around the globe.  The theme this year is Hands Up for #HIVPrevention. I was reading that the new push for self-testing will help to give people better access to testing and information on accessing treatment and prevention.  I don’t know about self testing…mitt seems to me that having a test done by someone who understands the ramifications should that person test positive.  And taking someone with you when you get test results is a good idea.  I went alone 25 years ago.  I remember it like it was outlast week.  It was the day I felt like I had an expiration date stamped on my forehead.  I didn’t hear mush after the woman who told me I was positive told me.  I started immediately to think of how I was going to ever tell my girlfriend and my loved ones. And I asked for a retest on the spot.  I had to make sure that there was no mistake. But there was no mistake and I have been living with this virus in my blood for over 25 years now. In the first few years I did a lot of outreach and prevention work trying to get others to not make my mistake and to protect themselves.  Nowadays I keep up on thing and concentrate on keeping myself healthy and happy with my second chance at life.   Before the availability of the medications that I take every day to stay healthy and virtually HIV free, I lost a lot of friends to AIDS.  At the height of the epidemic there was no good  oh gmail like there is today. If only we had moved faster when this started they might all still be alive.  I’m one of the lucky ones. I managed to stay alive, suffer through many failed treatment options and live to see this day where we now have the potent drugs needed to sustain a healthy life living with HIV.  

SO…I am truly thankful for my life and for all of the support I have in it. I feel like I am certainly blessed in so many ways.  Tomorrow I will pause to remember those who weren’t so lucky and those who we have lost, but I will also remember that this fight isn’t over until we find a cure and make it accessible to all of those who need it.  I shall light a candle of remembrance.  And I will thank God for giving me a second chance and a chance to make a difference in the world.  

Purging before Christmas

I spent about 2 hours tonight rifling through the in-box of my email account.   I then deleted the entire in-box contents…after discovering that I had saved emails from people who I don’t even know anymore.  Disturbing to see them still. But all the emails are gone now, and my in-box is clean as a whistle.  Yay!  Feels good to have a fresh slate there.  I think I’ve been purging some pent up feelings lately, and doing that was just part of me getting rid of stuff that I didn’t need to be keeping for any reason whatsoever.

It was a good day to be Butch.  I raked leaves for 2 hours this morning and bagged them for curbside pick up.  I then hauled everything out of the shed (because I couldn’t get in there!) and neatly put it back in – after sorting through thing and making 3 piles, one for donation, one for keeping and one for the trash.  Then I reorganized things and got the stuff taken to it’s proper places, i.e. donations and trash.  I felt very accomplished after getting those two big tasks done.  And I worked alone today because I needed to do these things myself.  I needed some alone time, and I needed to exert myself physically to work off some pent up rage.  It worked, I am cool as a cucumber tonight.  My world is organized and I feel good about it.

I’m all ready for the holidays I think.  My tree is up and decorated real cute.  I spent some time by myself on Sunday after work decorating it.  Nola and Lulu just watched from their designated couch spots and thought about how insane I was being to be decorating a tree in the house!  haha.  I chose all of my favorite ornaments and then sorted the rest and donated what I no longer wanted to the Salvation Army store with the rest of the stuff I purged.  I have been working through my address book and writing out Christmas cards.  I find that to be a cool thing because it makes you think of every person who is in the address book for a few minutes, where they are in your life and what they mean to you.  It’s a good exercise I believe.  Of course there’s always the line through those who are no longer around, because of death or just plain ghosting (those that just disappear from your life for one reason or another).   2016-11-27-17-12-14

I need to look back through my blogs here and do some study on which posts garnered more views than others.  I would like to up my readership and need to figure out how.  I know these posts about my general life aren’t that interesting and it’s hot topics that seem to get more hits here.  Thus I am thinking of doing more blogs about those things and perhaps just a weekly update about life in general.

I watched a TED talk about How to Speak Up for Yourself by Adam Galinsky.  It was really a good talk and I highly recommend it to everyone, it’s a 15 minute long piece and the time will be well invested.  Personally, I learned that I need to have more self-confidence if I am going to stand up and ask for that raise at work that I feel I so deserve.   Perhaps today is the day I will find the confidence to ask for it.

 

The Truth Hurts Sometimes

I’ve met more than one woman in my life journey that could not handle all of the technicalities of being with me.  I admit, I am not easy to process.  I have a bit of a troubled history.  Don’t read me wrong, I’m a good person with some high morals and ethics, but I’ve taken some forks in the proverbial road of life that others have managed to avoid.  I’ve had issues with drugs and addiction.  That’s probably the one thing that I’ve struggled with most in my entire life.  When I was young I sought out a safety net for myself and found it substance abuse and the people involved with it.  I wised up in my late 20’s and got clean and sober for many years.  I did the typical “mid-life crisis” shit in my mid 40’s and backslid a bit.

I strive to keep that stuff out of my life now.  I stay away from the “friends” that I have that are involved in that world now.  That’s a big part of how I am staying clean and following the good road now.  I tend to let myself be influenced by them if I hang around them, so now I avoid them and I avoid the whole drug scene.

It’s really hard to meet women as you get older.  Being single isn’t easy in your 50’s, believe me.  But add a history of drug addiction to the menu and it becomes even more difficult.  I completely understand that some people do not understand me or understand addictions.  That is just the way that it is.  When I begin to show interest in anyone I make sure that they know 3 things about me right up front – why?  Because I would rather they walk away sooner rather than after I become attached to them – or God forbid, fall in love with them.  what are my 3 things?  1.  I am Butch and that will never change.  2.  I live with HIV infection, which is under control but it’s a fact of life for me….which leads me to #3…I am a recovering drug addict.

Those 3 facts put me into a whole new space with people.  Either they are able to handle it, and give me a chance, or they are not, which is completely okay.  I get it.  Those are 3 major pieces of who I am.  I can’t hide them very well.   And I don’t want to pretend that I can.  Those 3 things are only a small fraction of what I am made of, but they are important if you are going to be involved with me – or even be a friend to me.  It’s important that you understand that I struggle with all 3 on a daily basis.  That doesn’t mean that I am unhappy – quite to the contrary, I am very happy in general.  But I am well aware that these 3 things make me “different” than the typical 55 year old lesbian with 2 dogs and a college degree.  I bring a whole different scene to the table.

I have lived with my addiction and my HIV for many years.  One lead to the other obviously.  Yes, I was an IV drug user and this is how I contracted the virus.  I’ve been clean for many years, fell off the wagon and got back on a few times.  So what is involved for me is knowing what triggers me to fall off and avoiding it altogether.  I’ve gotten pretty good at that, and I am proud to say that living clean and right is what I strive to do every day now.

It’s not easy being with someone who has addiction in their history, and it’s even harder when you add HIV.   I know the precautions to protect my partner from HIV but there is no protection from addiction.  No guarantee that I won’t relapse again, except for my sheer determination to stay on the straight path.  I don’t know how to reassure someone that I will stay on this path.  I guess they either have to believe me, or not.  There is no magic bullet or cure – for either condition.

I don’t want to pursue anything beyond a basic friendship with anyone who can’t deal with the baggage that I carry.  I know everyone has their struggle in life and their burdens to bear, mine are just a little more difficult for some people to understand, and that’s perfectly fine.  There are zillions of other people out there to be involved with, I am just one.

I have been fortunate to have been involved over the years, with women who gave me the benefit of doubt; who trusted me and tried to understand my complications.  I’ve sincerely appreciated them.  I’ve been lucky.

Right now I am trying to deal with quite a full plate of issues in my personal life.  I’ve avoided bringing anyone else into my life for this reason.  But I so want someone special in my life on a regular basis.  I would like to let down that wall that keeps me by myself.  I’ve punished myself for the past 2 yeas now and I’m sick and tired of it.  I’ve seen people who say they care disappear more than once.  I built a wall around myself, insulated myself from hurt and despair.  But it’s not a happy place all the time.  I want to learn to trust again, and to love again.

I’m a good person, I am strong, sensitive and caring.  I deserve to find someone good who can deal with life with me and who won’t be afraid of my past.  Someone who sees me for who I am now and not who I once pretended to be.  But how can anyone believe in someone who has such a history?  I don’t know if it can be done, which is exactly what I fear the most.  (although my ex did it for almost 14 years and never let it sway how she felt about me…so perhaps it could be possible again.)  I long for a good strong relationship that will endure.  Something beyond “just friends” –dammit, I want to be loved and understood.  Maybe it’s just too much to ask for at this point.

Ok, let me close this up before my mind explodes.  I am trying so hard to just be cheerful for the holiday season, and to keep on keeping on.  But tonight I was reminded of my flaws (see above) and it stung hard.  I am hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst – as always it seems.  Sometimes the truth just hurts.  There’s no way around it.

Peace.  ~MB