What a Great Christmas!

It’s almost 6pm on Christmas Day and I am home spending the final hours of this wonderfilled day with myself and my dogs – both of who are completely exhausted and are crashed hard on the couch in little heaps of very tired dogs.  They had a grand time today.

This has been a Christmas season to remember.  I have had the BEST time ever this year.  Yes, this will be a Christmas that I will look back on with some very good feelings and fond memories.  Last Christmas (2015) was so stressful of a time that I really didn’t enjoy it much.  I had just moved into my current home; had just finished living with my cousin for 6 weeks – for which I was completely appreciative of, but it was a difficult 6 weeks with me and the dogs feeling totally out of place and wanting our own space back.  So when I got moved it Christmas was fast approaching.  I basically had 22 days between moving in and the Christmas holiday.  Needless to say that was not enough time for me to prepare physically for a good Christmas, let alone prepare mentally and financially.  I had just gone through some tough weeks of waiting for the closing on this place to happen, being basically homeless, having 2 needy little confused pups on my hands, and I wasn’t working at that time…so yeah, it was a bit of a rough patch to say the least.

This year was a 180 degree turn around.  Life is Good.  I have been at my current job for almost a year now and that is going well for me.  I’ve settled in to the house; made it into a home for myself, Nola and Lulu.  It’s a place we can call our own, where we can relax and enjoy the warm comforts of home.  We even had a grand garden this summer here.  One that grew pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and more.  This spot on the big blue marble is ours and I think we may have even peed on all the corners to mark it as such! hahaha

It has been and will continue to be a good home for all of us.  No one wants for anything.  It has a good roof, solid walls, locking doors and all the comforts that any of us needs to live here in complete comfort and happiness.  And now we have Linda in our lives too.  She has become my bestie; a truly loyal and dedicated friend to me.  She loves my dogs too – sometimes I think she may love them – and they her – more than I do!  I love having a close friend back in my daily life.  We do so much together, it’s almost like having a girlfriend without all the romantic complications of it.  Linda is very straight and I am very gay….thus this works for us being best friends.  We get along famously, and like many of the same things. I’m always telling her she’s too Butch to be a straight chick!  haha

I got some new flannel sheets.  Yes, next to flannel shirts, flannel sheets are right up there in the list of “great things to give a Butch that will make them enormously happy.”  I got two nice sets, one printed with light blue snowflakes on a white background, and one printed with red pine tree designs on a white background.  They will – in combination with the new heated blanket that I got also – make my bed a very comfortable and cozy place to be. And to go along with these great gifts from my mother, father and sister Deb, I got a great pair of jammie pants which are black printed with red and white deers on them.  And Linda gave me a new pair of fleece lined slippers with hard bottoms so I can walk outside to get the dogs in them.  They’re wicked comfy.

So you know that I am going to be sleeping in some serious comfort tonight!  And I cannot wait to see what the dogs think of the new heated bedding…Nola has already fallen in love with the heated throw blanket that I gave to Linda.  She commandeered it right off quick this morning once she figured out that it was soft and fuzzy AND heated!  Nola is one of those dogs that dives deep under the covers, or balls the blanket up so that she is a burrito inside of it.  Lulu is a top sleeper.  She has long flowing hair and I think she stays quite warm thus she sleeps on top of the covers and directly on TOP of me. Luckily I am a back sleeper, always have slept flat on my back, so Lulu just plunks herself down in the middle of my chest and goes to sleep – after spinning 12 circles on my chest to insure there are no snakes in the bed and everything is good.  She’s quite a character.

So, yeah, I had the BEST Christmas ever.  I got lots of nice things from Linda and my family.  Got some new adult coloring book, a coloring calendar, 2 new knives – one pocket knife and one with a belt case which Linda gave me and is my most favorite gift this year.  I got some great new Stanley thermal socks to insulate my feet on these bitter cold days in Maine, a new nail care clipper set and a few other small gifts…all of which made me very happy.  But most of all I got a ton of love from one great family and some seriously terrific friends.  THAT is the gift that I cherish every day of my life.  I am truly blessed.  And I am one lucky Butch!

I  hope that each one of you are having a wonderful holiday season – whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or some other winter holiday, I just hope you are safe, warm and enjoying yourselves.  Best wishes to all as we now begin the count down to the New Year.  It’s time to clean out all that old energy and make room to bring in some of that new, highly charged energy.

I usually spend this week between Christmas and New Years cleaning out things like my closets, my office, files, and do a big general cleaning of the entire house.  This helps me to prepare for the next year; making room for whatever it may bring.

Do you have a tradition about bringing in the New Year?

Peace and Love.   ~MB

Here are some photos of the dogs today.  Lulu got a bunch of new toys and was VERY excited about them.  She hoarded them all on the couch where she proudly guarded them.  Nola LOVES Linda’s new heated couch throw, so much that she won’t give it up.  And the two of them at the end of the day…they had a very full day of food, fun and festivities along with me.  Tonight we are all exhausted and are going to bed early….work tomorrow!

 

 

 

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New Blog Website

Dear Readers, as you know I have been blogging here on WordPress for years now, spouting off on everything I have any experience or knowledge of, sometimes good sometimes badly.

I am in the process of constructing a new dot com website, separate from WordPress.  It’s a process, and I am learning how to set it all up.  If you would like to see where I am in the process check here.  As I said, I am learning and I am using eHost to build and host the site.  At this point it all looks good except for the Contact information displayed at the bottom of each page.  I am having trouble changing it from the templated “fake” information, thus you can still contact me by leaving your name and email in the given space, but the addresses and phone numbers shown are NOT mine.  I am working to correct this and may have to get on the phone with someone from eHost to get it fixed as I cannot for the life of me figure out how to do it.  I have put in my info several times but it’s just not changing it.

My first blog there is basically a Welcome blog.  My intention is to have my own dot com space and to blog there about many of the same topics that I blog here about.   I will continue to speak of being Butch in today’s world, of being part of the Butch/femme dynamic, the LGBT community, of being HIV positive, living in Maine and about political happenings that interest me and spark a response.  I also plan to add product reviews, book and movie reviews and feedback such as that.  Hopefully I can keep it current and interesting to my followers.

I hope you will take a moment to check out the new blog page and give me some feedback about what you think, how I can improve it and what you would like to see me write about or do with the page.  Please keep in mind that I am no professional website builder and this IS a learning experience for me, so any constructive criticism and input would be appreciated.

I will be taking blogs from my collection here, honing and editing them and reposting them on the new site as well.  That should be a pretty interesting task all by itself. I also have a plethora of blogs in “draft” status or “private” status on WordPress that I will be sifting through for possible publication on the new site too.  Some have never been published, and some have been published and then moved to a private status for various reasons.

So, this is what I am up to this Christmas weekend.  Other than having the normal Christmas time festivities with my family, doing some baking and hanging out with my buddy here at the house, I will be working to get this site up and running more smoothly.

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a great weekend!  Peace!

~MB

Trumpy Tweets Nuclear Policy Change

Trump and his Tweets!  When a US president, or in this case a president-elect, speaks the whole world listens.  Yesterday he basically blew 40 years of nuclear policy work out of the fucking water by tweeting

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump 19h19 hours ago

The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes

This is just insanity at it’s worst.  Calling for the proliferation of nuclear weapons?  WHO DOES THAT?  Especially in today’s volatile world.

I was in the Army from 1980-86 and I was unfortunately cleared to serve in nuclear missle units during my entire service.  I was in the motor pool, working on the trucks and tanks that moved the missles or troops when necessary. I had some first hand experience of living around live nuclear warheads, and let me tell you it’s fucking scary as hell.

The first unit I served with held Nike Hercules missiels – ICBM’s (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles) – which are the first arm of the “nuclear triad”.  These are generally pre-designated destination missiles.  I remember clearly that the warheads were affectionately painted by the missile monkeys with the names of Russian cities on them.  Nice, huh?  Doesn’t anyone remember Hiroshima?  Nagasaki?  Millions of people turned to dust in a split second?  Millions of other living lives maimed and crippled by nuclear fallout – and still those areas are wastelands of nuclear fallout and death.  Nuclear war is nothing to joke about, it’s a very serious issue.

The US policy the last 40 years has been to reduce the nuclear arsenals of the world, our own included.  Not to “..greatly strengthen and expand…” it as Trump suggests he will do when in office.  And to announce this to the world, what a fucking bone head this guy really is.  Of course Russias response was to immediately call for their own country to do the exact same, build a bigger arsenal and also proclaim that THEY are the world’s #1 nuclear super power and no one will threaten them because of it.  Of course, Putin, you are as big a fucking bone head as Trumpy.

When I returned the the continental US after serving in the Nike Herc unit in Germany, I was stationed with a Lance missile unit in Oklahoma.  Lance were MLRS missiles, Multiple Launch Rocket Sytems and were mounted on tanks that held like 12-16 of them at a time.  They could be launched on the move, and generally were surface to air, or surface to surface.  And they were deadly accurate.  We would launch dummies from New Mexico and hit targets in Nevada within a 10 meters of dead center.  Scary.  The first time I witnessed the launching of these monsters at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico I just about shit my pants.  They were powerful and deadly for sure.

So, it’s a dangerous game idiot Trumpy is playing spouting off shit about nuclear proliferation like that.  We have a global nuclear non-proliferation policy for a reason.  Nuclear war ends everything permanently and cannot be reversed.  It’s total devastation and you can’t just rebuild it after the fact, like you sometimes can with conventional warfare.

This guy has chosen to announce his policy via Twitter.  This is unprecedented (- yes I spelled it right, unlike Trump) and it’s just plain fucking dangerous.  What is next?  Announcing that Freedom is ending in America?  I wouldn’t put it past him, he’s already trying to strangle the free press and dispense with those who disagree with or challenge him on anything.  He’s definitely not one who can or will lead us to a more peaceful and free world.  Not Trump. That. Is. For. Sure.

 As I say at the end of every post…Peace!  I am hopeful that one day there will be peace on earth, I just pray it’s not the peace that follows a complete nuclear obliteration – that silence of the darkest kind.  Pray with me.  Stand up.  Speak out. Get Angry.  It’s time for all of us to stand together and be heard.

Peace.   ~MB

Tuesday Thoughts…

It has happened.  The electoral college confirmed Trump as our future leader.  I, like many, held out some weak hope that they would somehow reject him and send him back where he came from – relegate him to Trump Tower and reality TV.  But no, now he is the official president-elect and he’s really going to attempt to run this country.  Scary.  Petrifying.  Sad.

This is the man who is going to hold the nuclear codes to our 7000 nuclear warheads.  He’s going to hold our future in his hands, and I fear that we are in serious trouble.  He’s surrounding himself with “yes” men, men who will not question his authority or his choices.  He will not tolerate anyone who disagrees with him or tries to give him sound advice.  He thinks he knows best what is best; narcissistic bastard.  The man is truly in love with himself and wants everyone else to feel the same way.

He will enter office with the lowest approval rating of any president ever.  Which is really no surprise when approximately 55% of the country voted against him.  He won by electoral college, not by popular vote…remember that, because I suspect that this will continue to be a very big and dividing issue in our political system.

In more mundane news…I have an ear ache.  It’s been bothering me for 3 days now and this morning I will go to the doctor to see if it’s infected and hopefully to get some antibiotics to clear it up.  I hate any type of head pain, ears, eyes, nose, mouth….pains that you can’t just ignore because they are so prominent.

I finished all of my Christmas shopping and buttoned up the wrapping of the gifts last night.  I feel good about this.  This year, because I have been working, I was more able to get gifts for my loved ones.  yes, it’s going to be a really fun little Christmas this year.  I focused mostly on my best friend, my parents and the kids.  Although I did get each of my sisters a small gift as well.

Christmas day is going to be a bit more quiet than usual.  My younger brother is taking his family up to the Canadian border with all of their snowmobiles to do some serious snowmobiling for the holiday week.  The cabin they have rented offers them trails directly from it to the trails system, from whence they can go to the grocery store, dining facilities and other places of interest.  I bet they will have the most memorable Christmas ever; the kids will never ever forget “the Christmas we went snowmobiling..”  They have prepared a small Christmas tree to take along and set up in the cabin, and will take all the kids gifts up there for them to open on Christmas morning.  I do hope that they take lots of photos so we can all see how much fun they have!  I know they will have a blast.

My youngest sister is going to host her partner’s family for Christmas.  And my niece, her daughter, will come home from Florida to see us all.  They will do Christmas at her home, which is fairly close to my parents house.  So I will go over and see her that morning and deliver the gifts I have for them at that time.  I am excited to see my marine biologist niece while she’s home visiting.

I will spend Christmas day with my parents.  Me and the dogs will go over there fairly early in the morning to open gifts with them.  I got the dogs plenty of new “babies” to throw around and play with like they do.  I’ll take photos to show you all their enthusiasm for opening presents.  Nola loves to rip off the paper; she gets soooo excited!

The furnace has been running great since the repairman fixed it when it broke down the other day.  And I have learned that putting “mix” in the fuel tank is vital in the winter months.  I cheaped out and put in regular #2 fuel oil, which gelled and caused this breakdown to happen.  Mix has something in it that won’t let it gel and thus avoids this problem altogether.  The next delivery I get will be mix, believe me, I learned my lesson!

So today I will tend to personal health issues, go to the doctor and rest up as I try to shake this ear ache before the Christmas holiday arrives.  I may go and get my hair trimmed.  I’m going to keep it long on top but will take the sides and back up to their normal length of a #1.5 blade.  I’d like to have it looking good for Christmas photos.

My birthday – the big 55 – is right after Christmas in January.  I find it so hard to believe that I am really as old as I am.  I don’t feel old at all, and I suppose that 55 isn’t really that old.  It’s just a number, but the fact that I have made it through 5 and a half decades relatively unscathed is just mind boggling. I will have a small party with family and close friends to celebrate.  I have asked for a pair of Merrell Rovers, which I have a feeling I will have to order online because I need a men’s 7.5 and most places only carry 8 and up in men’s sizes.  I don’t think Merrell is making Rovers in women’s sizes.  rover-mocsI love Merrells, they are the best slip on shoe I’ve ever found.  They offer great support and are comfortable to wear all day long while I am on my feet.  So this will be what I get for my birthday, whether Mom gives them to me or I get them myself.  I need them bad, my old ones are worn out from years of use.

Ok, off to begin the day…Peace!  ~MB

 

 

Timberland PRO Work Boots

I am freak about good boots.  I love a good pair of work boots in particular.  I’ve always worn them, since I was a teenager.  And I have to say that every pair have been Timberland’s.  I have never waivered in my loyalty to the Timberland brand because they have always been the very best of boots.  Comfortable, durable and long lived.  I have a pair that is over 20 years old still, good old fashioned tan work boots.  Yeah, they are dogged and worn, but you would expect that with 20 year old boots.  And I still wear them on occasion!  Mostly now for mowing the lawn and doing yard work – exactly what they were made for anyways!  They are my working work boots, so to speak.

So, I purchased a pair of Timberland PRO series boots about a year ago.  They are classic black, and very nice looking boots.  I fell in love with them.  They were the most comfortable boots I have ever owned.  And I certainly have owned some boots!!!  And damn, did they look fucking sharp!  Went very nicely with a good pair of jeans and a black belt.  (Belt color MUST match the boot color, black with black, brown with brown, etc.).

Anyway, now I have a problem.  It seems that these boots have decided to come apart!  I am astounded because I’ve never ever had a problem with any pair of Timberland’s in my life.  NEVER.  And this pair has been babied, never having been worn to do any kind of hard work or subjected to raw conditions like mud, snow or excessive water.  They have been treated very good, being worn when I would go out on the town, or to work.  I work as a service associate at a convenience store/truck stop.  I stand on a floor mat on top of a linoleum floor.  They aren’t even subject to the wear of a concrete floor!  The wear bars on the bottom of the boots still have the factory hash marks on them, haven’t even worn them enough to wear them down a little bit!  Yet, they are coming apart; delaminating.  The soles are separating from the uppers and the rubber is coming out in chunks.   I am just totally surprised.  I never expected this from a good pair of Timberland PROs at all.

I have written an email and tweeted Timberland and TimberlandPRO and am hoping that they will respond.  I would like to have the boots replaced with a like pair.  I don’t care about the money, and don’t want any money back, just replace the boots and leave me feeling good about the company and their warranty practices.

I did take them in to the Kittery Trading Post , where I had bought them originally, but they begged off dealing with me and directed me to file a “warranty claim form” directly with Timberland.  This would mean sending the boots back to Timberland’s claim center in Kentucky for them to examine.  I felt this was a big process to go through when there was a manufacturer’s representative (the KTP) right here that could have -and should have- just replaced them on the spot.  But since I didn’t have a freaking receipt they wouldn’t deal with me.  Who keeps a receipt on a pair of boots you bought a year ago?  Not me.  But I will keep things like that from now on.  I can easily toss big ticket item receipts into my file in the office or into my jewelry box in the bedroom and keep them until the warranty’s are expired at least.  I do keep receipts for all of my electronic equipment in a file in my office, along with directions and warranty info on the items.  I also keep a household file of receipts for things like the stove, furnace and all the work done on those things.  So it will be easy enough to keep a receipt on a stupid pair of work boots.

So, we will see what happens now that I have contacted Timberland directly about the boots and the issues I have with them.  Will they respond?  Will they be eager to please the customer (me)?  Will they stand behind their product?  We will see.  I hope to hear from them in a timely fashion at least.

Have you ever dealt with a large company on a warranty issue?  What has your experience been?  Do you think that social media and posting about things like this on social media has any influence in getting the problems solved?  I both posted on Facebook and Tweeted Timberland about these boots.  I  wonder if it will do any good.

Have a great Monday!  Peace!  ~MB

 

All that and a woman, too

This is a SPECTACULAR piece relating to Butch/femme relationships. I really enjoyed this and can fully relate! Please read and comment! ~MB

Purple Sage

Sometimes lesbians are asked “If you are attracted to someone who looks like a man, why not just be with a man?” Luckily I have never been asked this ridiculous question, but I see it being brought up by lesbian writers on a regular basis, so there are obviously some dummies still asking it. I have been pondering what my answer would be. If I love masculinity on women, then why don’t I like men? Of course, there is a really obvious answer to that question, which is I’m not interested in men because I’m a lesbian, duh. But you know me, I never answer a question with only one sentence.

To answer this question, I’m actually going to quote a commenter from an earlier thread who made a comment about how a butch lesbian is “all that and a woman too.” Her comment can be found here

View original post 1,339 more words

Living in Maine…the Quirks

north-church-12-16Today was a true test of my patience.  When I woke up it was only  3 degrees outside, so it was really bone chilling cold.  I went to get water for the coffee maker and encountered the fact that the pipes were dangerously cold…as I couldn’t get water, meaning they had an ice block already!  Luckily by working the water for a few minutes I got it flowing again and all was fine.

I went to work and everything was pretty good.  We did our Friday order at the store and I worked until 11am (I left early today, I usually work a couple of hours longer).  I got off work and got everything together to go register my vehicle.  I’ve been driving for a few days now on an expired registration. So, off to the motor vehicle place I went.  I had to go to the main office because our town hall is closed on Fridays.  I made the long drive up to the main office, which took me about 45 minutes.

I got to the office and found out that I could not register without going to the town hall first to pay the excise taxes.  Bummer!  I drove all that way, and now had to drive all the way back home – without having accomplished my mission.  I did take the time to update my drivers license, which took all of 5 minutes, while I was there.  I needed to update the address and have a new license photo taken.  So at least I got that done and off the list.  But still I am driving on expired plates until Monday when the town hall opens.

When I got home it was a mere 50 degrees in my house.  It seems the furnace wasn’t working.  Fuck.  Just what I needed, a 3rd obstacle in my day.  I had to search out and call the furnace repair guys and get them out here to solve the problem.  The furnace guys arrived and dismantled the unit, to find that I needed a new ignitor and new nozzles.  I had used regular oil in the tank, not blend as recommended, and the oil had slushed up in the filter.  It’s so fucking cold that even oil freezes!  The repair guys had to run for a part, but they did return and got it fixed and running once again.  I cranked it up to a whopping 72 degrees and let her rip.  Man, was it nice to come back from Walmart to a very cozy, warm house!

I got home after my trip to Walmart at around 7:00pm and I was some damned tired.   My eyes were closing as I was driving home – not a good thing!  I had just been at it all day and was beat to shit.  Once I settled in and got everything put away I had something to eat and then laid in the living room on the couch. I fell asleep very fast, and slept very hard.  At about 12:30am I fell OFF of the couch onto the floor in my sleep.  It was comical and luckily I didn’t hit my head on the heavy glass coffee table in front of the couch on my way down.  It startled me awake, that’s for sure!  I  blame Nola.  She sleeps along side of me and steals my space. She kind of “expands” during her sleep, spreading herself out in all directions.  So she had me on the very edge of the couch, thus my easy tumble off of it.

It was just one of “those” days.  Nothing could go right.  I was not letting any of it trouble  me too much, there was nothing I could do except just deal with each issue as it arose.  I kept my cool and managed to make it through the day without blowing a gasket.  Amazing because just a short few months ago I would have been losing it.

It was just a day of some weird luck, on the very coldest day of the year.  I’ve seen it cold here, but rarely does it get this cold ever.  And it’s supposed to start warming up today, then we are going to get a fresh new 6″ coat of snow and it’s going to be up in the mid-40’s tomorrow (Sunday), which will cause some icing and melting.   I need to focus on snow control today, making sure that I am clearing my driveway periodically so that I am not having to shovel or blow the snow all at once.  It’s easier if you go out and clear it up every couple of inches or so.  Once it gets deep and heavy it’s a bitch to clean up!

These are all great examples of life in Maine…we deal with Artic freezes, frozen pipes, furnace issues, snow control and town-halls that are closed on Fridays. I’m not complaining though, I know these things about living here and I accept them as part of the overall package.  Everywhere you can live has it’s quirks.  Plus, I do love living here, despite any of the little “hardships”.  It’s a great place to live and I enjoy it for the most part.

Hope you are staying warm wherever you are on this big blue marble.  What’s it like weather wise where you live right now?  What are some of the quirks you deal with living where you live?

Peace!   ~MB

fort-foster-sea-smoke

This picture was taken by Steve Mutch from Fort Foster in Kittery Point on Dec. 16, 2017. It’s a beautiful example of “sea smoke” on the water.  The structure is the old Coast Guard Station – which is currently being saved by the historical society and rebuilt. 

The top photo was taken by Philip Case Cohen and is of the old North Church in downtown Portsmouth, NH – just over the border, this is the closest city to me.  I love walking in downtown on a snowy day, it’s just beautiful and really puts me in the Christmas spirit.