#150

Yes, let’s make it an even 150 published blogs for 2015….I just received my WordPress end of year report…I didn’t realize how much I write, the report was very interesting.

  • It seems that I have – up to this one here which is #150 – openly shared and published 149 blogs this year.
  • I have readers in 126 countries around the globe….that’s astonishing.
  • My blog was viewed 41,000 times over the course of the year.
  • I uploaded and shared 70 pictures this year!
  • My best day for readership was for some reason July 29, 2015 on which I had 347 people visit my blog in that single day.  Wow.
  • Oddly my best day for posting was Tuesdays, on which I posted 29 Tuesday blogs over the year.

I love to write.  It’s no wonder that this blog gets so much activity, I am on it several times a day every day.  If I miss a day of reading on WordPress I am either very sick and can’t even get my laptop to the bed, or a nuclear explosion has happened….I DON’T miss days, I read every day.  I write every day.  I have 90 blogs in my private drafts folder just from this past year.  I also have an alternate blog where I write.  I keep that one to myself for the most part.

Social media has become part of my life like it has with most everyone’s lives nowadays. It’s just how we all stay connected with each other, how we get our daily news, how we correspond, how we pay bills, and how we walk through our world without taking a lot of steps.

I like my social media. It keeps me connected and entertained.  I enjoy my Viber conversations, my Whatsapp people, my townies and family that text me during the day, and I enjoy surfing the web, learning and studying stuff that I am interested in and that is just a click or two away from me knowing all about.  Yes, the web has been a good thing.

I am not sure if I will write another blog before the New Year or not, I am leaning towards not.  The New Year is a time for new beginnings, new and fresh stuff, and I want to make sure I start it off that way.  If anyone has any negativity for me, dish it out now and let’s get it over with before the New Year starts please.

Other than that, I hope everyone everywhere has a wonder filled New Years’ Eve and that you kiss that person that you truly want to be kissing!

Peace

~MB~

 

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Our Family Photo

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Me and my girls. Lulu on the left and Nola on the right. Nola was very disinterested in having this “family” photo taken as you can see.  

Christmas 2015

I’m up and can’t sleep.  Nothing makes any sense tonight.  I think I am getting burnt out, I just can’t make sense of this world right now.

Christmas was very nice.  I spent the whole day with my family at my parents’ home which is not far from mine.  Everyone was there save for my one estranged brother of course.  I miss the guy, but he chooses not to participate in family functions anymore, his loss.  He misses some really nice times with his own family.

I got a nice roof rake, which is used to remove the heavy snow from the roof of my home when necessary in winter.  So if we get any good amounts of snow this winter – which I am sure we will eventually – I am now all prepared.  I also got a new awesome Patriots hat, pompom included!  Ha!

I also got a nice new fleece lined zip up front sweater, it’s very cool and very warm.  Just the right weight for the weather we have been having lately.  I also got a box of little Wade collectibles, they are from the Red Rose Tea boxes, I have collected them for ages and my mom saw this box of them at a thrift shop and bought it for me as a Christmas gift…super sweet of her!  I love them.  Went through all of them today, and separated out the duplicates and will sell those to other collectors when I can.  It’s a fun little collection hobby of mine.

My niece Kyle gave me a print of one of her drawings. She’s in her senior year at Eckerd in Florida, studying to be a marine biologist.  She is also an artist. Most of her art is of marine creatures and other natural beings.  The print I got was of 3 butterflies.  I will post a photo of it, it’s just gorgeous.  I am going to have it matted and framed as soon as I can.

Lulu and Nola went to the festivities with me, they really had a good time.  Lulu didn’t really know what all the hub bub was about, it was her first Christmas, but she loved the attention she got from all of the kids.  She played and played while Nola – the anti-kid dog – watched from across the room to make sure no one hurt her puppy!  Nola just doesn’t care for many people, she’s very selective socially.  As long as she can sit next to me she’s content just to watch and hang out.  She’s never been a very “playful” sort of dog, more of the laid back sort.  Lulu is turning out to be quite the opposite. She’s the social butterfly of the family, will make friends with everyone and is quite entertaining to play and snuggle with.  The kids just adored her.

I think I will take down my Christmas tree today later on.  Some years I leave it up until after January 1st, but this year I think I am just done with Christmas already.  It’s been nice, but I’ve had enough.  I am going to leave the string of little blue lights up around my big picture window in the living room.  They just look ubber cool and I like the soft glow when all the lights are off and it’s dark in there save for those little lights.  Very comforting.

So that was Christmas day for me.  I hope you each had an awesome one too.  Spending the day with the ones you love the most is more important to me than the gifts.  One day I hope to spend a Christmas with a partner by my side again too.  That will be the best Christmas I could have.

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas

I want to wish all of my christian followers who read  my blog a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS.  I hope you day is filled with the people you love and want to be with and that the joys of the day fill your hearts to overflowing.  Christmas isn’t so much about what you get for presents, it’s who you choose to spend the special day with and the good feelings you get from that.

I am not a religious sort of person myself.  but I do understand that the holiday is the celebration of the birth of Christ.   I was brought up Methodist attending a very small rural church in southern Maine.  I remember those Sundays well.  I continued to attend church regularly with my family up until high school, when it became a bit more sporadic.

I started out my church going in the little “Sunday school” they had.  I liked it mostly because it was an hour of arts and crafts – something that I loved doing anyway.  Then in the 8th grade I was selected to ring the church bell when it was time to call the people to church.  I had a blast climbing up into that old bell tower and using all my body weight to pull on that huge rope!  I actually had another Sunday schooler who would help me named Bob. Then one day we figured out we were alone way up there and Bob kissed me!  Yes, kissed by a boy in the freaking bell tower of the church!  I knew I was going to hell for sure at that point. Making out in the bell tower has got to be wrong in His book!  That was the last time I volunteered for bell ringing duty. I can’t go to that church today without recalling that moment…and giggling under my breath.

I usually do go to midnight services on Christmas eve there. But this year I skipped it.  I just didn’t have the energy to go out tonight.  I was too into being home and happy with my little dogs.  I am very lucky, they are so good and love me so much.  I was just laying on the couch and thinking about how lucky I am – and so are they! – that we have each other every day.

For me Christmas means that I get to spend a whole day with my loving family.  Pictures will be taken, food will be in abundance, and everyone will be jolly and good.  I really enjoy it when we all get together in one space, which only generally happens twice a year – Christmas and our other most favorite holiday Independence Day July 4th!

So here’s to wishing you all a wonder filled day tomorrow.  Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, have a GREAT day anyway!  ~Peace~

~MB

 

Digital Age Relationships

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How do you feel that your relationships have changed due to being in the digital age?

Digital Dating…Cyber Lovin’….Virtual Hook Ups….

I’m sure that 2016 is going to usher in a whole new round of technology that will keep us glued to our cellular devices and carrying ice packs for our bent necks.  We will run into poles while checking email or responding to that hot woman texting us. We are constantly connected … so I ask, how is this constant connection changing/has changed our relationships with our partners?

Technology has certainly changed my life – remember I hail from a pre-technology world.  Before cell phones…Yes, Virginia, there was a time before cell phones!…hell before beepers even…we had to pick up a thing called a telephone and actually dial a number and speak to someone.  Even those pesky answering machines weren’t around yet when I started to use the technology of the day – the telephone – to start having a social life, to interact and connect with people.  Generally each house in town had one telephone, and there was no “call waiting”. If you called an got a busy signal then you had to wait and call again until you got through.  Yes, the beginnings of social networking were things like clubs you would go to to see people in person; the telephone and the television.  In my youth we had a black and white console television.  I vividly recall the day that my Dad brought home that first colored TV…it was high technology and a privilege to own one!  The colored TV became a social networking device – people would come over to watch, gathered together that became our social networking device of the times.

Sounds rather dinosaur-ish I know.  I am only 53, almost 54, and that seems like sooo long ago in my life.  Today I am prisoner to my communication devices just like everyone else.  I know very very few people who do not own at least one cell phone and one computer.  Most that I know own multiple devices in the household.  We are addicted.  Take away our cellphones and we have no idea how to communicate with one another.  Force us to actually speak to one another and we become all tongue tied and nervous, awkwardly stumbling through the basics of a real conversation.

Technology has changed the rules of relationships too.  I’ve personally experienced the ups and downs of using technology to have a relationship.  I have fallen in love over cyber space.  I’ve been hurt the same way.  It used to be, back in the day, that when you split up with someone you took them to a quiet place, had a discussion, tried to let someone down easy and tried to have some mature conversation and maybe even closure for both parties if you couldn’t work it out.  Today it’s wham-bam “I don’t like you anymore, we are over” via a text message usually.  Sad.

Perhaps it’s because I am fairly old school and I enjoy the physicality of a relationship.  I enjoy being in the same room with my partner, and actually talking with our mouths.  I want to look a woman in the eyes and hear her words with my ears.  I miss this.  I feel like real conversation has become a sort of lost art.  And it is an art, not everyone can do it.  And today’s dependence on our handheld devices just exacerbates the problem to the nth degree.

“We are changing the rules of relationships. Our ex’s are still our Facebook Friends, we have more connections to other people than we ever had, and our busy lives have left us with very little face-to-face time with our partner. We are flirtier, more confidant, and taking more risks online than we would have in person” quote

Technology has definitely changed my own personal relationships, sometimes for the bad and sometimes for the good. One of the biggest challenges that I encounter with online relationships is that what is “said” or “texted” doesn’t come out or the meaning is skewed somehow and that becomes very aggravating.  It’s harder when you aren’t looking at someone and seeing their facial expressions or reading their body language in a conversation; especially when it comes to very intimate relationships.

I knew a woman recently that wanted this constant connection of texting, using Viber, WhatsApp and Skype with me.  I found it endearing that she wanted so much contact with me at first.  Then it got to be a little overbearing because if I got busy doing something and couldn’t answer her right away it would cause complete blow ups on her part.  She would get so angry.  When I was doing nothing wrong, ever.  God forbid that I didn’t hear her text come through.  I would be punished for that for hours or even indefinitely.

I had to step back and realize that she came fully from a world of technology, she was much younger than me and had not know a world of no real technology.  Her phone is her lifeline. And she is just fine with texting and remaining on the other side of a screen and not having personal contact with anyone.  I think it makes her feel safe.  But she’s also missing out on a whole world of possibilities at the same time.  I wanted more contact in the physical realm, to spend time with her and to feel special to her.  I wanted a mature relationship, not one of cyber fun.

Trust is one of the foundations of a relationship, that’s something we can all agree on. I found myself growing in not trusting her, she lived so far away that she could have been blowing smoke at me for all I knew.  She could have been in a relationship already and just wasn’t telling me.  She was very secretive about many things.  She wouldn’t let me get as close to her as she wanted to be with me.   These are all things that people have brought to my attention in the interim.  Maybe they are right, maybe not.  I want to believe she was at least honest with me for the most part.

Even though it was a year long cyber connection it made a big impact on me and my life.  I invested myself in the relationship and it make me sad still that it had to end.  But that seems to be the way with this kind of stuff, people come into your life and then when the tide changes they float right back out again.  Leaving me to wonder many things.

Since ending that online relationship – or whatever it was – I have changed my attitude considerably.  I have grown ever more cautious and skeptical about people.  I don’t believe most people say what they really mean most of the time.  I find myself still hurt over this situation and I am still not sure of how to handle that hurt or when it will go away.

I am a very loving, caring and sensitive person. Perhaps too much so sometimes, and that gets me hurt.  You would think that I am some big tough Butch, but I am not tough at all when it comes to love.  I am loyal and sensitive.  I want and need love in my life.  Doesn’t everyone?

Some Deep Thinking Lately…

I feel like language in the LGBT community and in general has changed and is continuing to change so much lately.  Every time I turn around the “proper” way to address someone or say something has changed up on me.  I just can’t keep up.  I’ve read a lot about pronouns lately especially.  With the rise in those identifying with the genderqueer label it seems that they like more neutral pronouns.

I for one am going to have a hard time with getting used to this, but I will give it my best.  It just doesn’t compute into proper English when you have to say “They have a cold” instead of “She has a cold” …just doesn’t sound right to me.  But if that is what someone wants me to use, the they/them pronouns instead of he/she or her/him then I will do my darnedest to try to do it.

Labels used to be so simple and now they are so complex.  I haven’t even kept up with them honestly.  Being from the old school of Butch-Femme I know those labels and those that go along with them.  There are so many new labels and words people are now choosing to describe themselves or to identify with, the world is just ever changing.  What was right yesterday is old and out of date today.  And as one gets older, anyone, things change and the way you thought about things yesterday isn’t the same as you may think of the same situation today.

I am accepting that I am getting older now.  I’ll be 54 on January 10th.  I plan to make it a good birthday this year, not one that I sulk through like last year.  I am older and I am wiser.  I am no worse for the wear of another year.  I don’t “feel” my age, or look my age, but I truly am almost 54!

In dog years Nola is getting up there with me.  She’ll be 8 on June 10th of 2016.  And Lulu is just a babe, she’ll be 1 on February 17th.

Age is a funny thing.  You can be a certain age and still not be mature or grown up about some things.  You must have experience in things to match your maturity level of them.  In order to know things, like about love and relationships for example, you must have first-hand experience to fully understand what love or a relationship really is.  That’s probably not a good example.  Maybe a better one is that you may know what a horse looks like, but you don’t automatically know how to ride one.  You must experience and learn about riding to be successful at understanding it and what all it entails.

I’ve had a good 54 years – yes, on my 54th birthday it means that I will have completed the 54th year of my life and I will begin the 55th year….fun way to understand it huh?  Make you feel a little bit older seeing it that way?  Ha!

I have had the glorious opportunity to have experienced many things in my life.  To have learned about various life styles, to have lived in many places and in many ways.  I’ve been richer and I’ve been poorer.  Every opportunity and experience has been one more pebble in the shaping of who I am today.  One just does not just grow where they are, there was a voyage of growth to get you there, and there will be a voyage of change in the future.  It’s inevitable.  You never know for sure what will happen even just tomorrow….you could be hit by the proverbial bus, you could fall in love, you could wake up with a whole new attitude, or it may just be your lucky day…whatever happens, it’s up to us to choose the paths that take us to our desired destinations.

Guess I am just in the mood for some deep thinking today.  I keep thinking about love and what it means to my life.  I was asked today some personal questions about my love life and my sex life by my case worker from FPC who monitors my HIV progression – or rather non-progression in my case.

I came very clean with her today, no lies.  I told her I failed the drug test from pain clinic and that I’ve been battling more cravings than usual.  I told her that I am living single and pretty much hating it; but it is what it is.  She’s a new case worker for me, and thus we had to go through an entire intake interview.

Case workers in the HIV field burn out rather quickly in these rural areas.  It’s a lot of thankless work, and very emotional at times as well.  But back when HIV was more of a death sentence (the 80’s and early 90’s) it was even worse.  The case workers would never know how long their client would live because people were rapidly dying from AIDS. They would try not to get to attached to their clients because losing them hurt so badly.  I worked in the field for a while during that time, and I left doing that work in 1999 after a particularly bad December where I lost several good friends to the disease.  I just couldn’t take the losses one after another and so close together.  That December is known in my memories as the “month of funerals”.

I am going to be seeing my primary care doctor and discussing possibly getting on a program of subutec which stops the cravings and works good for me.  I hope she will be willing to prescribe them for me and that she’ll work with me.  Half the battle of addiction is getting a doctor to work with you.  I know my body well, and I know my addiction tendencies well. I know what works for me and what doesn’t.  Let’s just hope she sees it that way too.  I have had good luck with her in the past working with me, so I think a good conversation about it and some research if she needs would be the beginning of getting a permanent handle on this once and for all.

I really miss Kat and wish she were living closer to me.  She and I talk daily on the phone and computer, but it’s just not the same.  I sent her a little box of presents for Christmas; one box for her and one small box for the grandchildren – all of which I have known from the time they were born.  She has 4 now, 2 little girls (7&1) and 2 little boys (5&3).  Their parents – and Kat – struggle hard to make ends meet there as it’s a pretty job-dead sort of town.  So I try to send little things to make it easier on them when I can.  At least I know that they have some gifts for Christmas between what I have sent and what I know others have sent too.  It’s tough raising children in the old coal country. No real jobs, and very little money there.  I wish they would move away from there, but even that is pretty tough when you don’t have the money to even move!  I wish there were more that I could do, or that some miracle would happen to get them out of there.  It’s got to suck being stuck like that.

I’m ready for Christmas to be here .  I’ve got my shopping done, not that I did a whole lot this year.  I focused mainly on Kat and the kids.  I am looking forward to spending Christmas day with my family at my parents’ new home.  We are making a big dinner and hanging out together for Christmas day.  It should be very very nice.

 

Lesbophobic….really?

Lesbophobic….really, it’s a new word to me, I guess it means those who have a problem with Lesbians.

I’m either getting too old for this, or just plain don’t understand.  New words are popping up like buzzards on road kill lately.  I feel so far behind the times that it’s stupid.

I wrote about the Women’s Music Festival, which I guess was also called MichFest.  And it’s Women Born Women (WBW) arguments.  I got some great feedback from my readers.  And today I read about the new show on TV called “Transparent” and how they parodied the WMF and how “lesbophobic” some things evidently were.  Now I didn’t SEE the episode, I haven’t yet encountered it on TV or searched for what night and time it is on through the guide. I’ve heard good and bad about the show, and am not sure I really want to watch Hollywood try to describe a Trans person’s life. When the industry has a Trans producer doing the show then maybe I will take heed and listen up.

I got a new Vape.  I’m trying to use it instead of smoking cigarettes.  It’s definitely an odorless alternative.  There is no smoke, no odor and no nasty tar going into my lungs.  I can smoke it in my new home, which is a bonus because there is NO smoking of tobacco products in here – my rule. This vape seems to give me the shot of nicotine that I crave and it’s not so bad.  I’m not sure about using it in public…seems a bit strange, but after how nasty people glare at you when you light up a real cigarette  it’s got to be better than that.  I’m tired of feeling like the outlaw smoker.  But damn, I do like my cigarettes.  Stupid I know, but true.  I won’t lie.

I’ve been to three parties in the last 9 days…I’m about partied out I would say.  The holidays always entail several parties for me.  And I enjoy them; seeing everyone and the hugs and kisses.  I have fun playing the Yankee Swap game.   The last game I got a gift certificate to Apple’s iTunes store.  Score!  Not a bad gift!  And one I will certainly use.  Now I can get my new favorite song downloaded today!

I’m still working on music and photo transferring between computers and devices.  I have come to the conclusion that my iPod is sort of an outdated, antiquated device.  And it’s redundant because I can use my phone for my music anyway.  So I am trying to clean one computer (laptop) out and use it only for music storage and iTunes access.  That way I won’t have to worry about taking up all that space in this new PC of mine.

Cleaning through all of the photographs has been really fun.  It’s brought back many memories of not just this last year, but of the last few years becasue there were about 3 years of pictures in that laptop and on my various devices.  It’s a task, a hard and long one, but it’s fun and worth it.  I’m junking those pics I don’t want, or that are blurry or just pointless in some way, and keeping only those that I seriously want to keep.  When I am done I will make a couple of printed photo collages of 2015 and hang them in the hallway along the wall where I am hanging other pictures of family and friends through the years.  I have some already in frames that are old now and that I will remove from those frames, add newer ones to the frame and rehang.  I will then scan the old pics into my PC just so I have them in the DropBox.  Ever wonder what will now happen to all of your pictures when you die?  I guess they just get left behind in cyberspace for eternity or til the web dies or is replaced with some other super sonic thing.  I know I wonder this as I am saving pics.  It’s like who besides me would even care about these photographs?  And who would know any of these people I call my friends in them?  I am naming all of the pictures and dating them as best possible. Although generally I am just using things like “Patty and cats” for descriptions.  Short and sweet and I know exactly who they are, guess that’s what matters.  I have much work to do on this project and as far as I can see I have all winter to get it done before it’s warm enough to get back outside and do some gardening around my new place.

I have also been updating my web pages, like Tumblr, about.me, Twitter etc.  Sometimes I just don’t pay much attention to them.  And Tumblr is mostly for a much younger crowd than I fit into anyway, although my blogs do auto post to it when I post them on WordPress.  As they also do to Twitter, but I have my twitter feed locked to only approved followers.  I am ripe for cyber stalking I am sure.  But after being a visible entity online since like 2008 it’s hard not to be.  Once it’s out there, it’s out there.  I still have much to do on my WordPress in deleting irrelevant posts and cleaning it up, perhaps changing the theme even.  Hey, I’m trying to freshen things up, maybe attract some new readers/friends and do some better writing for 2016.

I know that our country has an election in 2016 that’s not going to be very pretty to experience or watch as an American.  That dude Trump has really done some super damage to the Republican party (poor ‘publicans!) which I just laugh at.  How can anyone take this guy seriously?  I have no idea.  In my book he’s a raging idiot.  He’s dangerous and he’s chaotic.  A presidency under him would be a complete fucking train wreck.  We will be – if we aren’t already – the laughing stock of the world.   And he will be very damaging to our political allegiances around the globe.  Can Hillary Clinton beat him?  I sure as fuck hope so!  She’s our only serious candidate that could do it.  And it is time for us to have a woman president, not some billionaire weirdo from Atlantic City!  I am sure that I will have more to say politically as time goes on in 2016.  I’m sure that I won’t be able to not say anyting.  I just won’t be able to keep my mouth shut, the political health of this country is pretty important and all citizens deserve to speak out and be heard.

I hope everyone is ready for Christmas this Friday!  Yup, it’s THIS Friday folks!  Get ready to travel, to eat and to be Merry!  Try to let go of your aggressions and be nice to people.  Be kind to those you meet, they could be fighting a battle that you know nothing about.  Be kind to yourself.

Peace!    ~MB