Sunday and I’m A Bit Off Kilter

Dang I need a haircut BAD! But I can wait!

Sunday rolls around again…they seem out of context these days during our “stay-at-home” lifestyle. I slept late today, got out of bed around 10ish to feed the beasts. They were even groggy and sleepy. I think the slow pace we are stuck in right now is exacting it’s toll on all of us creatures, human and animal. I get up in the mornings now and feel like I don’t have a schedule that makes sense right now – and I don’t. I am going to work on that today in my bullet journal to try to develop a plan for the coming week, our last week of April 2020.

Having given up cable television has meant I have had to put together watchable stuff on my computer and 4K smart TV to keep me happy with watching something when I feel like it. I recently subscribed to Disney+, Curiousity Stream, and CBS All access so between those venues and all of the free stuff by Flex and PeacockTV I have plenty to watch. And my bill is FAR lower now, I just pay for internet and the subsription prices for the various apps – which are all on free trials at the moment. But watching mindless TV and news programs is not the only thing I want to be doing! I love to read and research. I watched a great show on the rise of Vikings across Europe and I watch a lot of animal shows. This morning it was a show on the Galapagos Islands and the pollution arriving there…sad, but we need to be aware so we can continue to figure out how to combat the problem and eventually solve it.

I really commend the broadcasters who have stuck with us through this whole pandemic. They are part of the band of heroes, those continuing to expose themselves more than those of us staying at home, so that less people become infected and end up in the hospital, or worse. All of the media outlets have really pulled together to continue to bring us the news – good and bad – but I do want to say this: vet your news sources. If you question something is true or not go to Snopes.com and do a check on it. I tend to stick with the big ones, CNN, MSNBC, Huffpost, The Guardian and The New York Times for my daily stories and to follow what’s going on with the pandemic. They’re not always exact, but they’re closer to true than some of the far-right conspiracy outlets that are working overtime to disperse fake and worse “news” and the like. I would say the #1 violator of that in the USA is the infamous FOX channels – steer very clear of them!

Railing box #3 and the Grape Hyacinths that I need to find a permanent home for in my perennial gardens.

I got stuff to make some cool face masks this week. Going to spend some time with my Mom who’s been isolating at her home with my Dad for weeks now. The doctor said he believes that it’s safe for me to visit her since I have been very cautiously self-isolating as well. He encouraged it even, saying we all need a little social support now, and if we are cautious and following protocol of the 6′ distancing and wearing masks as necessary we should be ok to see family in SMALL increments and no groups of more than 5-6 people in a space. He did say that outdoor visits were best, maybe having a picnic outside or taking a walk together.

Crafting area and some supplies April 24, 2020
Going to try making some colorful face masks April 24, 2020

So, yes, I will visit with her – out at the picnic table by the pool – and we can make some masks, have a little lunch and catch up a bit. I spoke to her this morning and she seems a bit down. Says she has no energy which indicates to me (knowing my Mom like I do) that she’s teetering on being depressed. My mother has never had depression issues that I am aware of, she’s always been upbeat and enthusiastic about life. So, seeing her get down worries me. She misses me and my siblings and her grandchildren very much. In the course of “normal” life goings-on she would see one of those people every day. Coming from a large, closely connected family this “stay-at-home” self-isolation order we are still under is more difficult in some ways for us. We are just so used to having people around all the time. Thus, it’s fairly important for each of us to make a little extra effort with Mom and Dad to keep them safe, happy and feeling loved during this very trying, unsure time in the world.

I got the pansies and ranocula in my railing plant boxes yesterday. They look pretty nice. I want to insert photos here…but am STILL trying to decipher how to bring them from Google Drive cloud into the WP platform…it’s got to be something I am doing wrong.

Grape hyacinths April 2020

Here’s a photo of Nola giving me a kiss…wanting me to get up and take her for a walk most likely! She and Lulu have just been stellar isolation partners throughout all of this. They keep me sane and give me lots of love and laughs. I don’t know where I’d be right now without them by my side every day. And I know so many of my friends and family members are also very grateful for their pets right now, the soothing love of an animal who depends on you for food, warmth, love and safety is just irreplaceable. On Facebook you see so many awesome pics of everyone’s beloved animals. I am specifically fond of dogs, so the dog pics make me extremely happy when I see them flow thru my timeline.

Getting a Nola smooch….

No really knowing what to write about lately has kept me from publishing some of my daily musings. I have them saved as drafts and I do go back to them and pull out chunks here and there to add to other blog posts. The world is just so jumbled. So chaotic and just a complete mess. There is so much to write about, yet so little that makes good sense. I find subjects fleeting through my thoughts, but nothing really sticking with me to delve into very deep. So, this is what I’m doing – writing just about the current day for now.

Railing boxes #1 and #2 Pansies mostly

It’s April 26, 2020 and the weather here in southern Maine is predicted to turn cooler tonight and get this – SNOW! Of course it will not stick on the ground, it’s been too sunny and warm. The ground is nice and warm and ready for spring, not more winter! I’m ready for more outdoor time, more garden time, to actually get to PLANT my garden for the summer! I’m ready for more picnics and outdoor cooking. Walks in the big open field over on Lewis Road and into the public trails that they have opened to everyone now. The dogs and I all love those areas! So, yeah, I am DONE with winter weather! I am happy every day that I get up and snap the furnace to the “off” position and don’t have to turn it on except at night when the temps are still dipping down into the upper 30’s some nights.

I’m grateful for my good health right now. I am grateful for the overall good health of my family and friends. And I am overly grateful for the love and friendship of my dogs and Frankie the cat. Yes, she’s still here…living large as the cat queen of the household. She teases the dogs and they tease her back, but overall things are quite cozy now. No one is fighting, that’s all I ask – no fighting!

Here’s a shot I just took of me starting a newly inspired Bucket List…I have actually NEVER kept a Bucket List before, so this will be a new experience for me. I have done a lot of things in my life, some I have great photos and stories about and some are just mental memories. I want to make sure I do a few more things before I move on to the next life of adventures. The first item I added just now is “Yellowstone by Camper with my dogs” I think that would be the ultimate in awesome for a trip.

April 26, 2020
At home in Maine

I am making this Bullet Journal a journal of lists. Lists like the Bucket List. That is a “long term” idea list to me. Then there will be “To Do” which is current things that “need” to be done. So there will be both a practicality and a fantasy part of this journal. I like that. Everything should be like that.

I have always loved to travel. I especially love “slow” travel, such as car and train trips. I’m a gawker, a rubba necka, I see a squirrel every 13 seconds and my thought process is abruptly altered…haha…laugh, sometimes it’s not funny, but yeah, sometimes it IS really funny! Hahaha, I can laugh at myself, I’m fucking hysterical sometimes…or I think of some pretty insane kind of funny stuff at least! I manage to find myself laughing at myself 2-3 times a day…and when you’re alone except for dogs and a lazy cat, you know you’re a little off kilter…haha…who cares anymore!?

I have this vision of buying a decent used camper – preferrably one that I can drive instead of tow behind. Taking a year to renovate it and put it into the kind of shape that I need to do a cross-country, meandering kind of trip with my dogs. I’ve been to The Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, drove the Old Rte 66 from Oklahoma to California (while reading “The Grapes of Wrath” outloud with my wife). I’ve been down the bob-sled track in Lake Placid New York at 90mph, and I’ve witnessed some incredible wildlife, such as gray whales coming up to the whale watching boat I was on and proceeding to scrape barnacles off of their backs – using the boat ! That lasted for over an hour before our guide had to have us pull away – reluctantly! I have some incredible photos of that – IF I could locate them now it would be close to a miracle. I may try, since I don’t have a lot of other things to really “do” these days! eh.

So, planning and making the trip out to Yellowstone from southern Maine would be a real dream come true for me, especially if I can make it happen in a camper that I am driving! I’m not interested in the fly out and fly back viewing, plus I could do that realistically anytime, no, doing it by road worthy camper is the ticket for this seasoned Butch! Hell, there may come a time that I choose to LIVE in a trailer like that, parking it in various different states as I see fit to move around. Hey, it COULD happen, especially because I would really LIKE that kind of lifestyle to tell the truth. I think I am nomadic at heart. It’s been hard the last 10 years to stay here where I am, but I made a commitment to myself and to my family to be here with them. Perhaps the future will bring different circumstances at some point that will draw me away geographically. I can never be drawn away emotionally. I do love Maine.

Regal 12 yo Nola
Lu and her chewie
Enjoy the nice weather!!! And better air quality!

I wish you all the very best as the new week begins…yes, tomorrow is Monday – again – and I am into another safe week of stay-at-home activity level. I’ll be doing masks tomorrow, some editing tonight, photo books on Tuesday…and the time flies by….not…

Love and hugs to all of you – we ALL need them badly right now! Hug your dogs and cats and kids extra for me tonight, I need to feel that love!

Regards ~ MB

Utopian Reality…

Day to day, this is how we now live – around the world. Each day we wake take care of the first thing business, get ourselves a coffee and visibly flinch as we reach to turn on the news. Never before has life been this unpredictable for some many at once.

The virus was a naturally occurring disaster, the response to it by our gov’t was a totally disaster of willful ignorance and stubborn egotistical shortsightedness. Trump didn’t want it to affect his presidential campaign or chance for reelection – which he obviously values far more than he does any human life that could be saved if he were to do the right things – so he did what he always does with these annoying things, he pretended the virus was not true, it was “a hoax by the Democrats ” to stymie his reelection bid. With this type of blatant inaction he has not jeopardized approximately 3.3M individual lives of Americans by making us ALL more at risk for infection, severe sickness and possibly the ultimate cost of our lives.

Incapable of putting the needs of others before his own desires, ahead of his feelings and ego. It’s having a direct, very negative affect on how we have been able to respond to this pandemic racing through America and around the whole world. As much as I truly dislike #45 I REALLY wish he could – just for this once – make the right decisions for the country, putting his own need for praise and applause on hold for just a little while to get this under some resemblance of control.

Now, due to our complete lack of guidance and leadership, our healthcare workers are being forced to work in dangerous, unacceptable conditions putting many of them directly in the line of fire for catching the CV19 virus. They don’t all have the proper PPE, or enough of it, and are reusing the one-time-use products. This would be criminal at any other time. The gov’t claim they have “strategic stockpiles” and are shipping products to the states…what everyone is asking is WHERE are these “stockpiles” and WHERE is the product promised? It’s not arriving at the designated places, no matter how many times it’s “ordered” by each state governor. Of course, all gov’t officials – including #45 himself, keep repeating “it’s on the way” “it’s been shipped” “so-and-so is receiving those items tomorrow”…etc…just stalling and avoiding the questions asked about these items and their true availability.

Here in America the desperate calls for PPE, hospital beds, ventilators, etc. is being answered, somewhat, by private companies and our citizens. American ingenuity, some people making masks one by one by hand with whatever materials they can procure on their local markets. We are crowdsourcing efforts to get things moving and into the hands of the frontline workers who need them. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have both pledged $10M to help with these private and personal efforts people are endeavoring. If nothing, this pandemic has brought out so much good from people and companies. We are watching and reading about individual heroic efforts to pitch in and help where it’s needed. We have several state governors who have really stepped up to the plate and taken the lead in hleping guide other states who have less. We’ve also sadly seen the opposite, those who align with #45’s temper tantrum methodology of shame, blame and willful ignorance.

With all of this madness going on all around the world it’s difficult to imagine what life will be like when this finally comes to an end – who knows when that will be. The UK is seeing infecion rates double every 3 days. The USA now has the most cases in the world, and although we have over 100,000 known infections doctors and scientists claim that in reality there is most likely 3 times that number. Some countries, like Iran, are suffering devastating loss and have little to no medical help for their people, citing a lack of hospitals, supplies, doctors and nurses and other support services. Yes, it’s a very scary worldwide mess. Everyone has every reason to be frightened, for themselves, for their families and for their friends and co-workers. All we can each do is work together and keep trying to make it through this horrific time in history. That’s all we can do.

Personally, it’s been hard to write lately because the pace of things is so furiously fast. Things seem to be just exploding here in the USA. With the daily death rate continuing to rise and the pressure of seeing people so distraught when they cannot be with dying loved ones, I feel emotionally overwhelmed and at a loss for words much of the time. Meaning well, I plan different blogs out but then when I sit to write different things come from the tips of my fingers and brain than I had originally intentioned.

I have been working like crazy around my property to keep my mind off of things. I’ve been taking the dogs for walks over on the old town farm property, exploring, taking photos, watching birds and trying to think about better times. I’ve written letters to old friends, made calls to people I haven’t talked to in ages, and checked on my family and friends daily as well. My Facebook friends lists are fairly extensive because of my blogging and vlogging over the years and sadly now I am being notified daily about people dying from the virus. Yesterday alone it was 4 people from my friends list that passed away. Sad. Scary. I am ready for this to STOP.

Be well my friends. Practice social distancing and take care of yourself and your loved ones. We will get through this, just keep caring and doing what YOU can do.

Love to all. ~MB

Jpeg

Trump’s Biggest Failure to Date…Corvid19 epidemic

Trump’s unprecedented and very unfortunate mishandling and misinformation campaign about the corona19 viral pandemic we are now in the midst of – the BEGINNING of according to the scientists and WHO, CDC and Dr.Anthony Fauci, our very top doctor and scientist who is TRYING to warn the government as well as us living here in America – CANNOT be allowed continue.

The GOP, Republicans or the Trumpacrats, whatever they are calling themselves these days, MUST take control of this man – their so-called “gift from God” and empirical leader – before he does any MORE damage, causes MORE deaths by continueing to speak his misinformation, lies, made up “alternate facts” and BAD advice he seems to HAVE to go live on TV to spread to the American people – SOME of whom actually BELIEVE what he is telling them.

In this specific case, the health, welfare and the REAL LIVES of Americans are being put in very serious jeopardy due to Trump’s visible, well-known inability to understand science, by him calling it all a “hoax” if it doesn’t line up with whatever he concocts in his head on any specific day and his continued denial to the people that this is as SERIOUS and can be DEADLY to so very many people here and around the world.

Let’s put Trump’s idiocracy aside and look at the Republican party that stands silently, firmly and stupidly in full support of Trump for SOME WEIRD UNKNOWN reasons – we all have our theories of the reasons that these politicians back him like he is God, My theory is that he and Bill Barr obtained Jeffrey Epstein’s “ledger of clientele”, with specific notes of names, dates, likes/dislikes in sexual desires before he was conveniently found dead in his cell. This dynamic duo, Trump & Barr, are holding this book over the heads of the entire male Republican Senators and Representative as a threat to “out” them all publically if they do not FULLY cooperate with EVERYTHING that our “president” and his personal attorney, AG Bill Barr, tell them to do or make them say, write, do or defend for Trump – even if it is illegal, immorral, unethical or just plain WRONG.

No matter WHAT Trump does, says or demands they quickly bow down to his wishes like little boys worshipping a superhero. I find it revolting to watch these men continually belittle themselves so radically and publically for a man who would throw them to the wolves given the opportunity. Yes, I truly believe (as do many others) that Trump and Barr are holding SOMETHING HUGBE over the Republicans, one day it will be brought out into the light and we will all understand, but NOT forgive them. The TRUTH always comes out in the end. Always. Perhaps it’s karma or maybe it’s just plain justice.

I have no proof of this “ledger” theory, the only way to prove it would be to demand to SEE that ledger and the other evidence gathered from Epstein’s properties, banks and other devious connections around the world. Doesn’t anyone else wonder where all of this stuff went? Where IS it NOW? Who has it and who has access to it? I would LOVE to KNOW the answers to these questions as well as others about Trump and Mr. Epstein’s relationship and connections – both personal, sexual, and financially. ALL aspects of their days of running together and abusing their privilege as very rich, famous highly protected men of power SHOULD be investigated and factually reported.

We KNOW they were close friends for decades and that they have BOTH been jointly charged with some very serious sexual crimes, such as rape and assault on children as young as 12 yrs. old more than once or twice! Yes, minor girls ARE still considered to be CHILDREN. It’s high time to shed some sunlight on this dark partnership, especially since it concerns us because this man, Trump, is our PRESIDENT. As his constituents, we all have a right to KNOW who Donald J. Trump REALLY is and WHAT he has done – good and bad – with his power throughout his life. He loves to dig up dirt on others but is highly secretive about himself, somehow believing that the rules don’t apply to him for some reason I don’t understand – does anyone?

This pandemic is a disaster. The biggest part of this disaster is our governments complete and utter failure in response and handling of information dissemination about the virus. Our federal government’s response has been very slow, disjointed, disappointing, confused and is turning more deadly with every passing day that the president and our federal government remain in this disjointed, confused and unorganized state. They are very unsure of WHAT to do, WHEN to do it and HOW to handle this properly, et. We do not have testing. We did not and still DO NOT have ANY PLAN for how our country will handle or deal with a health crisis of this magnitude. Our president blames his predecessor as he always does when he can’t find anything else to tell us. Trump FIRED the branch of our Homeland Security team that was specifically focused on infectious diseases, outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics should they, or when they, occur in America – and in the world. So, of course our government, who are supposed to be working for the good of all people in America, is nowhere near prepared or ready to protect us, prevent more infections, advise people properly and quickly, provide accurate tests, provide the right number of tests, handle the coming medical care crisis looming in our future due to Coronavirus19. Let’s HOPE that we are not going to be stuck in this predicament until many more die and someone in another country find a cure and saves the world. It’s certainly NOT going to be America. We lost that opportunity when Trump fired the scientists and doctors who were preparing for scenarios like this one we are now contending with now in our lives.

We need very aggressive testing, we need the feds to get out of the way and let the highly skilled, knowledgable, researchers, laboratories, scientists and doctors and all of those with the abilities help us through this mess. Individual states and state leaderships are working overtime to do the job that the federal government and our president FAILED to do or be ready for as they should have been. The federal government must give them the money and resources to do their job and find a vaccine that will work in the most timely manner possible. And we KNOW that this will take 12-18 months minimum, maybe longer.

In the meantime, we the people must unify and try to deal with these infections with whatever we can to minimize the virus’s effects and prevent as many deaths as we can until there is a vaccine. Trump and our federal government representation FAILED us as Americans. We are now basically going to have to figure out what is “true” and what is “false or fake” information and share that widely among ourselves through whatever means works – emails, social media like Facebook, instagram, Youtube, Google and any others out there.

We must take care of ourselves -it’s been thrown completely upon us to do so – and be aware of all of those around us, specifically reaching out to those at the highest risk and making sure they understand how to keep themselves as safe as possible, what to do if they feel sick, and also help each other as much as we can with whatever we need. Things are going to get tight. It’s not going to be a family picnic by any means.

This is serious and important and we must be fully aware and properly informed about our personal and family risk factors. Then we each have to make decisions of how to prepare ourselves and our families in the case that one or more in our individual households or living quarters become sick. There really is no other option now.

Our government dropped the proverbial ball, Trump fired the entire department that used to keep us aware and protected from these kinds of things, like SARS and Ebola in the past, and we are now screwed into handling this the best way we can, which will be by unifying, coming together to help each other through this and to take care of those who do get sick as best we are able to do with what little information or support we may have or get from others in China, S. Korea and Italy about how to stop the spread, protect ourselves and others, treat patients that are sick, take care of those who need help getting through this themselves and continue to SCREAM at the president and our government for eliminating the office that was specifically supposed to be protecting us to begin with!

Trump said tonight on live TV that he “takes no responsibility” for eliminating this group of dedicated people who were protecting us. He even called the question about why he did it “a sick question” and you could see him visibly cringe that it had been brought up in the news conference. He now claims that he didn’t even know about it, that someone else did it. He is a LIAR. He said we didn’t “need” that group and eliminated it to get more money for his stupid border wall and to line his family’s pockets. His ignorance and GREED stink like a dead skunk.


Just remember, if anyone in YOUR family becomes sick or dies due to Corvid19 you can thank Donald J. Trump, God of Republicans and personally acclaimed perfect purveyor of hate, knower of ALL – or so he also claims. HE is directly responsible for the disasterous delay and non-existant reliable response to this nasty pandemic – which he was informed and KNEW about way back at the beginning of January 2020….but he said it was a democratic hoax to hurt his bid for reelection – all he really cares about is money, power and how things make him “look” to other world leaders. He believes he is some kind of king and can do no wrong in the eyes of the rich, famous, dictators and autocratic leaders we all know of and are not fans of due to their barbaric treatment of their own people. He’s emulating them. Right down to perhaps allowing many die for his egotistical stance.

In the end my biggest unanswered question is WHY do Republicans continue to protect this man, who is obviously NOT concerned about this virus except that the “numbers” are hurting “his stockmarket” and he takes NO responsibility and has NO PLAN and NO ANSWERS for why we have no test kits, where the test kits are, who is making them, who will get them, and WHEN they will REALLY BE AVAILABLE to ALL providers that NEED them – hospitals, doctors, community partners, etc.

Republicans need to get real with themselves and their constituents and FIRE Trump, ignore his idiotic statements, bad information and lies, and find a new leader that can restore some of the dignity to their party – and our country. Oh wait…only a Democrat will be able to do that, the GOP has no need for dignity and ethics anymore. Those are characteristics of Democrats and Independents in America now. Good luck GOPers…keep believing the lies, we can write your epitaphs accordingly.

Protect yourself and your loved ones. Check in on your neighbors. Perhaps even create a neighborhood care plan so that everyone is checked on during this trying time, especially those who live alone and are in the higher risk groups for infection with this icky virus. It could bring you new friends even!

My next blog will be HOW to have some fun while being vigilant and caring during this health crisis.

In the meantime, wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and stay the fuck home if you are even a little sick!!! Do it for you. Do it for your elderly Granpa or Nana. Just be smart.

Wishing you ALL good health!!!

~MB

My Brain on Over-drive

November 2019

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Fuck. It kind of crept up on me this year as I wasn’t really paying attention. I’m not looking forward to tomorrow, yet it will be somewhat good to spend a bit of time with my biological family. They all mean well and I do love them dearly – most of them. I only hope that the blue / red division won’t come into play. I hope no one is out to trigger anyone else with political bullshit. I hope it’s peaceful, loving and fun. No drama. And I hope that for ALL of YOU out there in the world!

This is so true of my feelings for sure! MB

I woke up this morning feeling a little out of sorts, confused and anxious. I don’t see my doctor until a couple of days before my birthday in January. I think I need a med adjustment, or change, something just isn’t working any longer. I’ve been doing some research and I think that I will wean off of the Wellbutrin and increase the Cymbalta dosage. I did pretty good on the higher dose of that previously, without any other anti-depressant added. I want to go back to a single anti-d med. So, yeah, that’s my plan. I hope my new doctor will hear me out and help me make that change.

I believe that in 2020 the injection for HIV suppression will be available to those of us living with this fucked up virus. I am on my doctor’s primary list to be given this injection as soon as it’s available to us. It’s been super successful in trials and is almost there with final approvals by the powers that be. I’ll be happy not to be taking pills every morning to maintain my zero viral load status!

With only 5 weeks left in 2019 I have begun to put together some plans and ideas for 2020, from books I want to read to places I plan to visit. I’ve just begun the process. I’m starting a vision board and I just started a new adventures notebook to memorialize the year. I don’t like to do much for “long-term” planning, so I keep it simple. I don’t plan out exact dates or exact routes, motels, or make any type of itinerary for an adventure. That’s why it’s an “adventure” and not a planned out visit. My ex-wife used to actually create and print out an itinerary for every trip we took together – and there were many! It drove me crazy, but I smiled and went along with it generally. One trip we took I actually threw the itinerary out the car window in the middle of the mountains in Arizona…she wasn’t pleased, but she already had it memorized anyway. That trip was awesome as fuck and I have tons of great memories from those 10 days.

A few of my ideas/plans thus far are:

  • Four road trips, one during each season of 2020 to be planned around the weather and conditions at the time and in the places I’ll be cruising. Some are going to be Minnesota, Utah, Florida & Texas. Plus a trip across Maine on Old Canada Road, Rte 201.
  • Two long hikes. This I’ve already started gearing up for. I need to be in better physical condition and healthy as I can be when I embark on these adventures. One will be part of the Appalacian Trail, which I have done portions of in the past and loved it. Both are planned to be 3 day adventures.
  • One adventure to Canada. I think I will enter at Niagra Falls (for convenience) and head to Toronto. I have a couple of LGBT friends near Toronto who I would love to see in 2020.
  • Museum of Natural History in NYC, I’ll also go to Ellis Island and visit Ground Zero.

I just had a shitload of work done on my car – not fun – so I know it’s in top shape for long runs. I’ve set up a special account for saving funds for these things, which is going well thus far. The car repairs set it back a bunch, but it had to be done. The car is overall in good shape albeit high mileage at 204K but the mechanic looked it all over thoroughly and he says she’s fine for long distance cruising. Unfortunately, one cannot avoid those kinds of things that seem to happen when you can least afford it – car, furnace or other big expense home stuff. I usually manage somehow, this time was a bitch but I pulled the fucking rabbit out of the hat once again. Thanks to side hustles and Yankee ingenuity.

Nola and Lulu have been great. Lu is silly as usual and going through one of her twice yearly sheds right now. She looks like a pretty ugly long-haired Chihuahua right now. I give her hair and skin supplements and it should grow back in very nicely – it did last time! But in the meantime she’s looking awkward to say it mildly! Nola is just Nola. Stodgy old gal she is. I got this awesome photo of them which I am having framed once the print arrives. Going to do an “assembly” buy at Micheals, it’s way less expensive than just ordering it to be framed. My sister the photographer clued me in on this method. So, I get the frame, matt and photo then take it all to the framing counter and ask for them to assemble it. They do it beautifully I am told, with a nice backing and including hanging hardware and it’s half the price. Here’s the picture…it’s my favorite shot ever taken of them together. Nelson Linscott, very kindly, digitally enhanced it for me.


October 2019

Gummy production has been going spectacular. I couldn’t be happier about that little endeavor of mine. My awesome recipe is all the rave with my customers. They like it way better than last summer’s first round try – which came out awesome and was a great first round learning experience. Someone else actually did the cooking last time though, and this time I did it myself with the new method and recipe. I educated myself in depth about how to make them commercial grade, less sticky, and the right milligram desired. And this batch, instead of translucent, is solid colored and much softer, more flavorful. And they are not sticky. I also learned not to keep them refrigerated, it’s not necessary unless you use real fruit juice, in which case they will mold. Keeping them sealed and in a place that’s just room temperature is fine. This batch here is lime. I am set up to manufacture both orange and cherry flavors this weekend, with another supply of product grown myself.

It’s been a hard fall losing friends unfortunately. On this last Monday my old friend Tractor Bob, who had been sick for years battling cancers, died peacefully at home. I used to call him a “hosta” because nothing seemed to phase him or kill him off – and he went through some pretty traumatic crap during the last years of his life, but he kept on getting back up and fighting. I’m going to miss him, but I am relieved that his pain is gone and he’s at peace.

I also lost another couple of old friends / acquaintances to drug overdoses, which I see as so uselessly tragic. I’m so glad that I got out of that whole scene a few years back now and I have no inclination to return to that crap ever. I’ve made it through some very difficult things without reaching for dope to deal with it, so I ‘m pretty proud of the strength I have in me now. It’s also thanks to some very good friends and my mom’s support and encouragement that I’ve stayed clean, that’s a fact that is not lost on me. I lost my best friend even to that crap. I had to 86 her from my life on July 3rd and while I hope she’s doing okay wherever she is now, I just can’t be around people who use like that anymore. Too bad, 2019 was a year of some pretty painful losses for me, but I survived and I’ve learned. It’s all about the lessons I suppose. (That’s bullshit).

I have to go get myself looking decent now for a pre-game get together tonight. Often a few of us get together the night before Thanksgiving. Although my brain wants to just stay home and write more tonight, I need to go and be social. I’ve been hiding from people far too much lately and I realize it, so I need to fix that right away. At least I’m not reconnecting with toxic people – aka my ex-bestie – which is always a risk when a person in recovery gets lonely. I’m not THAT fucking lonely! hahaha. I get out a lot, just not to hang out with anyone in particular. Generally it’s to the beach or Vaughn Woods to hike with my dogs, or to town to do errands, but that doesn’t count as “socializing” I am told! So, off i go! Hope you all have an enjoyable T-giving eve! Take it easy on the wine and spirits, and have a great time! Hugs to all.

Gobble. ~ MB

We’re ALL Struggling… So Be Kind.

It’s a fact that we are all facing mortality. It starts the very moment you are born..that ONE sure thing, we will all die. No matter how “good” you live, you cannot and will not escape the reaper. The person you are looking at right now, or who you just kissed goodbye before leaving for work, that person is going to die as well. It’s inevitable and part of being ALIVE.

We cannot choose when, where or why we will cease to exist on this plane of time. We cannot take anything we acquired, along the journey through our lives, with us. Someone will be left behind to go through all of your stuff, personal and all, to sort it out and most likely dumpster most of it. This only concerns me when it comes to my journals and my toy drawer, thus I have left special instructions for the disposal or disbursement of these things. The rest I could care less about; it’s just “stuff” and can be trashed, donated or sold, I won’t care – or even know – what happens to the “stuff”. The ONLY thing you get to take with you are your memories. Those die with you.

This came up for me as I am filling out papers for end of life decisions. Some of the things you have to think about when doing this task are things that you never really consider on a day-to-day basis. It’s good to a decent job of being prepared, just in-case you are hit by the proverbial bus today. Until now I have never stopped and taken the hour or two it takes to put my last wishes into some form of organization. Make sure you plan for the care of your children and/or your pets…don’t leave them without a plan for their continued care and nurturing!

It also is a great moment to reflect and count those things, people and other beings that are loved and important to you. Hey, you have got to LIVE while you are still breathing! Wasting your precious time on non-loving, non-helpful, and stupid things shouldears. be stopped. And remember, there is NO tomorrow, only today. Whatever one is waiting for to make a change, take a chance, do a thing, or whatever one waits for to happen to them is purely a waste of your time and energy. Do those things NOW. Waiting just prolongs your achieving acquisition of what you need now. This is my new way of looking at things.

Let go of anything that isn’t exactly what you want and need right now. Stop wasting your time and energy waiting for that “right moment” to magically happen. It’s not going to happen. You only have TODAY. Nothing is promised or guaranteed for tomorrow or any future date, ever.

It took me a few to adjust my brainwaves to things that have whizzed through my own life in the last few years and have brought me right up to this moment in time…this VERY MOMENT. And as the world has gotten so out of sorts, chaotic and unpredictable as of late with everything going on in the world, my individual life and the lives of my loved ones I realized it’s vital to reassess and clean out the compartments’ contents of my life and mind. Our world has changed so drastically in the last 15 years that it’s affected our thinking.

We depend FAR too much on technology and sadly far too little on true, personal human contact. We have lost the ability to communicate without technology. Hell, most people under 40 don’t even know how to live without a cell phone and internet access. Most don’t even own a transistor radio in-case the technology is sabotaged or cut off completely for any period of time. Don’t think it can happen? It happens every day in many other countries and at some point it will happen here in America. Remember, the government owns the internet. They CAN and WILL manipulate citizens with it at some point. Get prepared. Learn how to communicate verbally, and make a fucking plan.

Been cleaning out my house and I dumped out my storage shed and heaved a ton of shit. Drastically reducing the amount of “stuff” I have around me. The feeling is very invigorating. I like it. Less junk to worry about caring for, disposing of, moving or otherwise dealing with by the way of “stuff”. Simplifying makes me much more portable as well, so I believe it will benefit me in the long run in that manner. I don’t plan to stay in this particular place for too many more years, not like I’m moving soon, but I am sure it will be in the cards down the road. I wouldn’t leave New England without a damned good reason anyway!

Organizing my journals and writings is a big undertaking for me. I have a large amount of printed and hand-written personal writings stored in totes in my shed, the closet, and current stuff right here at my fingertips. I’ve been thinking about compiling a book of my adventures and experiences for a long time. I have a friend who has now inspired me to take a harder look at doing this now instead of waiting until I am “ready” – whenever that is supposed to be, no one knows. The thoughts, memories and events memorialized in my writings are good fodder for a book – or a bonfire. One or the other WILL happen in the next 2 weeks – unless the bus comes before I do it!

This last week has been a virtual BITCH in some ways and a relief in others. My tenant moved out – YAY – which makes me extremely happy. He found a place closer to his job. I’m glad he’s gone because, face it, men are pigs in the cleanliness sense if nothing else. Oh, and they smell bad. Just bad. Not appealing at all, even when they don’t have much smell, it’s still not appealing to me, which is most likely because I highly prefer women and 99% of the men I have met in life can easily be replaced by any good woman. I understand they are vital to reproduction or at least right now they are, eventually I am sure the scientific world will figure out how to get around that. Other than that feature I have no need to live with a man in my home. None. So, new policy is female renters only. I know that will have it’s drawbacks, but my immediate, personal world just doesn’t need a man in it.

My new tenant moves in on Friday. I am revamping the room this week. Shampooing the carpet. I want to rip it up and replace it -and I have materials – but I have no help at this time to do it, so it will wait until I can line it up to be done at a more convenient time – or never if the bus comes early! Really isn’t all that important in the scheme of things, or the big picture. She’s an older woman and needs housing for 12-18 months…perfect for me at this time. In 12 months I am sure we will all be in very different places and headspace, so no knowing what will happen. I will just plan for things that make me happy and bring joy and love into my life daily. Plans that I will look forward to; not to wait around for things to change so I can partake of them.

My car…fucking cars…gotta hate em. Last summer I was returning from Logan Airport one night in pitch black and pouring rain. I went to turn into a service station for a beverage and hit a curb – hit it hard. Blew the passenger tire and had to limp home on the spare. Well, come to find out I bent the strut on that side, bent the tie-rod, disconnected the stabilizer arm and bent that…so, yeah, it’s fucked. Needs both struts replaced, new bushings, tie-rods, stabilizer arms, and who knows what once the job is started. So, I’m grounded temporarily while I figure out how to handle it. Either I am going to sell it and buy something else, or I am going to trade it. Either way I am NOT going to invest any more into it. It’s worth about $3500 and it needs a $1400 batch of repairs to remedy the damage done that night. In the meantime I have located a nice little silver Honda CRZ hybrid that should be a nice replacement. More sporty, more economical and they actually do well in the snow due to the battery placement and weight. I did a bunch of research on them already. So, if I can get the price I want to pay I will be driving that in a week or so.

Then my furnace started acting up right after I dropped $502 in fuel oil into the tank. If it’s not one fucking thing, it’s another! Repair guy came out once, thought it was good-to-go, but then it started acting up again a few days ago. This morning, 37 outside, no heat inside. Fuck. Repair guy will be by tomorrow, because I didn’t want to pay an additional $100 Sunday call fee on top of the regular fee, plus parts. I can deal with the temps until tomorrow by using my space heaters, I have 5 of them, 3 large and 2 small. The control switch on the motor needs replacement. I replaced the thermostat yesterday myself thinking that was the issue, then it ran for about an hour and started the shut-down/start-up thing all over again. Last year I replaced the motor and had the blower rehabbed. Once this control is replaced the furnace guts will essentially all be close to new. Should run another 15 years, with a yearly service for upkeep.

I spent a good part of Sunday doing outdoor work around my house and yard. Raking leaves – my 2nd most hated task of home ownership, right behind shoveling snow – and cleaning up debris from last weeks wind storm event. It blew at over 50mph for an entire day…took down my bird feeding station and all. I prepped the dog turn-out area for the winter, staked down the Exofencing and cleaned it all up. My dogs were quite happy playing in the piles of leaves, Nola particularly. Tomorrow they’ll all be bagged and set out for pick up.

I got my firepit out and ready for some November fires. It’s been perfect for fire nights lately. I’ve been going to other’s homes and enjoying their fires and decided to start having a few of my own here. We have bonfires right thru the winter here, it’s really awesome on those cold, clear, calm nights…a nice bonfire under the stars…nothing like it.

Two weeks ago I was sure I was going to have an stressful fall/winter season. Today I feel totally the opposite. I have far fewer worries on my mind replaced by far more new energy to focus on. Somewhere in there I turned a corner, realized I was just allowing myself to absorb too much negativity and it made me miserable and it had to stop. I woke the next morning feeling so much relief. No more waiting, no more wondering, no more bullshit. My mood immediately improved, I woke up smiling and I haven’t had any more trouble sleeping or eating since. I feel like my happy self again, like I felt before the last 2 months happened. Now, new adventures await! And I will insure that the journey will be epic.

There’s a lesson in there I am sure. Still trying to put it into words though. Maybe it’s that I finally realized that I am worth a helluva a lot more than I gave myself credit for…and I know it now, enough to not allow myself to wait on anyone ever again. Either they’re in or they’re out; just that fucking simple! I’m going to focus on happy, not on misery, waiting or placating anyone else by trying to change myself. I am fucking fantastic just as I am – authentically, openly and honestly ME. People can take me as I am or go the fuck away. Misery loves company, I’m sure there’s a group for that on Facebook even, and I am not going to join company with misery!

People are weird. They want you to accept them and all their stuff, yet they don’t always reciprocate that same thing. And having no defensive makes one get defensive. Honesty should beget honesty in a more decent world. So, I’ve learned to believe only half of what someone says and learn more by how they act and react when it counts most. Perhaps I even dodged a bullet. Whatever the fuck it was, it wasn’t good and I didn’t need it to continue. Kind words are so difficult for some to say. Yet they want those words said to them…Yup, in today’s world people are just fucking weird, yet we all love the weirdos!

I have cut my cigg smoking down by over half in the last 2 weeks. It’s been a battle, but I’ve been staying on track regardless. I also reduced the amount of weed I was ingesting as well. I realized I was using it to avoid shit; cover feelings and to try not to feel things. Not good. Thankfully I know myself very, very well and saw my err in judgment with the weed. I make out better by reducing anyways! I will always smoke or do edibles, but I know the right and wrong use and time for it. In the meantime, I made one AWESOME triple batch of edibles. Best batch to date. I used a completely different process all the way from decarbing to the way I made the gummies. They look better, taste better and are nice and soft without being mushy or sticky! Learned some great tricks of the trade from a friend with far more experience and knowledge. If I wasn’t laying in bed typing this I would go take some pics…I’ll do that later and add them here as an update to the post.

I am on the list to get the HIV shot as soon as my doctor has it in stock. That means no more daily meds! An injection once every 6 months will keep everything in check. That makes me exuberantly happy! I changed up 2 other meds, still have to take that med daily but I’m pleased it’s working far better than what I was taking before, and no side-effects like weight gain. After the injections start I will be down to taking one pill a day – plus vitamins and supplements. That will be such a relief as I won’t have to worry about missing any doses. I rarely miss, maybe once a month, but still….misses cause tolerance build up and that is never good.

Today is a big day. My father is undergoing another heart catherization this morning. I’m sure Mom will keep us all updated…it’s fairly routine with him, he’s had several in the past. Hopefully this one will be just as routine and will give him some relief from the chest pains and worry.

Ok, it’s 6am and time to get this party started! The day is going to be nice weather-wise and I have a ton to get done around here. Feels like I always do, but that’s just not really true…I keep up, but it’s a special week. So I am doing extra things and getting my shit all into one fucking sock. hahaha. Holiday fairs start next weekend, need to be ready for those, plus I may go back to HD. I spoke to my old manager and he wants me to come back part time as soon as my transportation crisis is solved. In the meantime I have to keep doing what I’m doing and making ends meet. Going back to HD is kind of appealing, I love the construction atmosphere and the people watching!

Hey, everyone have a GREAT week! Don’t forget to make yourself happy TODAY! Do something kind, be compassionate, be empathetic, be happy as fuck!!!

Peace! ~ MB

Way back memories..

…turned on the tv tonight and saw k.d. lang was on Maine Public…the Ingenue re-do concert from San Antonio, along with an interview with her…

Here’s the video trailer

And this is her and Melissa Etheridge in 1994…now THIS is the stuff I remember; going to these concerts, raising holy hell…fuck yeah. Of course, when they did this duet I was only 32…damn, to look that young again…My hair was about the same as k.d.’s back then too.  80’s and 90’s memories are pretty intense, and lots of fun for the most part.

This time of year brings up lots of old memories. I see various commercials that remind me of things gone by; of people and the historical events of my past. Some nostalgic moments and some that I’d rather not have in the old memory banks, yet there they linger.

My favorite childhood Christmas memory is from the year my parents gave me and my sister, Deb, a fully set up aquarium with fish and all the fixing! They got it and set it up under the kitchen sink to get it ready for fish, then they got the fish and kept it running under there without us two ever finding out before Christmas morning when they surprised us with the beautiful fish tank. It was like 1967 and we lived in an upstairs apartment of a duplex in Poughkeepsie New York, not far from Vassar Brothers Hospital, where my siblings, the twins, were born in June of ’68.

Memories make up the history of who we were; where we came from and what we experienced in life that led us to be who we are today. Good and bad, they all intertwine to compose each of us as individuals.

What is your favorite childhood Christmas memory?

Peace ~ MB

World AIDS Day 2018…My Day of Reflection

Yesterday was December 1st, which is designated as “World AIDS Day”. This year was the 30 year marker for observance of this day. HIV and AIDS have been around long before this day was designated to bring the crisis to front-mind awareness.

I was diagnosed in August of 1993. I had been in a “no-risk” space at that point for approximately 3+ years…so, I was infected in the late 80’s. I actually am one of the rare few who know exactly when and where I was exposed to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). It was a one-time share of a needle, which was very out of character for me, but it happened due to the situation at that moment. I don’t know if it’s “good” or “bad” that I actually know my infection route. I guess it’s good in the sense that I never wonder “how” I got the virus. Yet, it’s bad in the sense that it makes me “blame” someone else in some ways, when it actually was entirely my choice to share that night and thus my own fault. I have always worked to take responsibility for my own actions and I made a split second choice that night that was the wrong choice and thus changed my life – or at the very least altered the trajectory. We never know what’s going to be handed to us in our lives, we just never know. 

In the 1990’s I lost quite a few friends in the height of the AIDS epidemic. Prior to knowing my own positive status I was working with local organizations to spread prevention information.  In the summer of 1992 there was a March on Washington (I’m sure that many of you remember) and it was one of the very last times that the AIDS Quilt was displayed in it’s entirety on the Mall in Washington DC. I was there that day; I walked the quilt with my best friend, Nancy. I was moved to tears over and over that day. Each of those panel represented someone’s life. Each panel is 3 ‘x 6’ in size, representing the basic size of a coffin. Every panel was handmade by someone who loved that person or even a group of people would together make a memorial panel. There was something cathartic in the whole scene. 

I vividly remember sitting down on one of the benches on the edge of the Mall with Nancy, taking in the enormity of the display. It covered the whole Washington Mall. Quite the feat of volunteerism to get it displayed with huge amounts of care and dignity shown by all of them. The quilt idea was borne of Cleve Jone’s incredible mind. It’s called The Names Project and is still in operation today. The quilt now travels in smaller displays around the country. I’m not sure how big it would be to be once again displayed in it’s entirety. I highly recommend that you visit the Quilt’s page and take some time to look it all over, reflect, learn and NEVER FORGET. 

The display that day brought my mind very close to beginning to think about getting tested myself. Up to that point I had not sought out testing for myself. I naively figured that since I hadn’t been using illicit injection drugs for over 3 yrs. and I hadn’t been sexually promiscuous with anyone who I thought of at that time as a risk, that I couldn’t possibly have gotten infected. That was pretty standard thinking at that time. We have learned so much since! I recall having a physical reaction as I walked through the miles of panels and I shudder to think that now the Quilt has more than doubled in size. It still gets displayed, in partial displays, around the world.

So, that was the beginning of me thinking about getting tested. Finally in July of 93 I got pneumonia and my then therapist urged me to get tested; just so I would at least know if there was any chance I had been exposed during my drugging days. So, in mid-August I visited the Feminine Health Center. I was paired up with a great counselor, Assiah, who interviewed me in-depth about my history and possible risk factors. Then we drew blood and it was sent out to the lab for testing. The whole process I remember cost me $25. But in my mind I was going to come back negative and those who kept urging me to get tested would shut up. The tests at that time took 2 weeks to process and you had to go back in person to receive your results. On Aug. 31, 1993 I went back for my results.  

I was taken into the private discussion room by Assiah. She quickly closed the door, spun around and said “You’re positive.” then burst into tears. I stood there stunned. I didn’t know what the fuck to do at that point. She was obviously upset at having to tell me this news. Come to find out, as she told me later, she had never had to inform a woman of a positive outcome before, only men. And the fact that I was lesbian and was HIV+ was very unique. Lesbians are known to be in the least-risk group for infection and were usually on the front-lines of care and prevention.

I remember sitting down and putting my head in my hands. I was super confused. I felt like I had literally been gut punched and was gasping for air. There was now an expiration date stamped on my forehead. Fuck. I knew this was not going to be a good experience; nope, not good. I asked for a second test and had more blood drawn for it, but I knew the result would still be the same. I now had to figure all of this out. I had to first tell my family, and I knew that would be the hardest thing. And I had to get educated; to learn how I was going to beat this beast within.

I have lots of side stories of telling various people in my life about my infection and how it related – or not – to them and our relationships. My family all gathered at my home at the time, and I told them all together. They, of course, had lots of questions, were very upset and concerned for me, all while bursting with love and support for me. Thank my lucky stars for this, I don’t know what I would have done had my family shunned me, as happens in so many instances. Things would have definitely turned out very differently had that been my case. I am super grateful that it was not, but I feel deeply for those who do encounter that kind of response – especially from family and close friends.

My life changed on that day. It was a definitively distinct change. I could no longer be as casual as I had previously been about love, life and living. I quit drinking immediately. I also discovered on that same day that I am co-infected with hepatitis C, a common hepatitis for IV drug users to contract. I had been an on again off again kind of alcoholic. If I wasn’t shooting hard drugs I was drinking myself into comas. Yes, some serious self-destructive behavior, I know. I figured I wasn’t going to live long at that point. Back then the average time between diagnosis and death was 3-5 years, sometimes a little longer for women. I just concluded that my future was over; I had no future in my mind at that time. But I was determined to educate myself and those around me so I could live as long as possible, as healthy as possible. 

So much has gone on in my life since that hot August day in 1993. Life has a way of changing continuously. We grow. We learn. We lose. We win. And life just continues to go on. I had been handed a massive challenge and there’s nothing that I like more than a good fight! I put my whole being into becoming as educated and informed as humanly possible. I began living a cleaner, healthier life. I learned to love those who loved me with a renewed fierceness and determination. I stopped being a total asshole and adopted a kinder, gentler way of conducting myself. And I fought. 

Today, I am healthy and doing very well. My journey hasn’t been so smooth sometimes; I’ve struggled with addiction all of my adult life. It rears it’s ugly head occasionally and it’s a battle to the death for me. I’ve had many, many good years; fun years and years full of awesome memories and tons of love. I’ve travelled, farmed, built, raised, and let go of things when the time came. I’ve had a couple of spectacular relationships that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I discovered real love and basked in it like a snake in the sun. I’ve lived a pretty decent life; being lucky enough to have access to great medical care and the cutting edge in medication I remain healthy and happy.

So, yesterday is my annual day to reflect on these years of living with HIV and to remember those friends of mine who didn’t have the good outcome that I’ve been gifted. I remember their faces, their voices, the laughter and the crying; every one of them beautiful and a gift to earth in their own ways. May they be dancing wherever they are. 

Peace ~ MB