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

The Aftermath

TimeOnlyPasses

Summer of 2018 will go down in my memory banks as one of the BEST ever, I am sure!  And the best part so far has been the extended visit of my girlfriend and her daughter.  They spent about 24 days with me…and it was so awesome that I can’t even find the words to exclaim my exuberance  I was feeling over the whole time they spent here with me.  There is just something about having the woman I love so deeply right here with me.

Taking them to Boston’s Logan Airport last Thursday was a bitch.  I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t get upset, but before I even made it to the interstate highway I started to choke up and tears came to my eyes.  I told her I didn’t want to take them to the airport, but I knew that I had to do it.  They have a life and people in Texas that the two of them needed to return to and my time was over.  It sucked, but it had to happen.

She’s been gone a number of days now and I miss her badly.  I admit it, I’m a fucking sap.  I’m trying very hard to keep my game face on and drive forward.   It’s a good thing that I am adept at compartmentalizing my life because I need to keep this in the right perspective.  While I wish that she were here with me, I know that’s not a possibility because of her home and professional life back there in Texas.  Sure, if she lived closer to me it would be easier, but easy isn’t always convenient when we need it to be.

Long distance relationships are hard as fuck.  And this particular relationship has a couple of other slightly challenging angles to it as well, but my intense love for her makes me determined to try to keep this together; to continue to see her as much as we can manage, while trying hard not look too deeply into the future.  You never really know what will happen down the proverbial road.  While it is hard sometimes not to wish into the future, it is more realistic to stay in the present.

 

I’ve been slowly reorganizing my house.  Put the antique highchair away, out of my sight so I don’t see it and think of little Bean’s face and her infectious giggles.

I slept the first 3 nights after my girl left on my living room couch, being in denial I chose to avoid my bed and the memories it silently held.

Yesterday I cleaned my car out and while vacuuming the back seat one of Bean’s red plastic balls rolled out to say hello.  And her wipies were in the way-back area…little subtle reminders of some very wonderful days and a super sweet little girl.

Doing laundry I spotted a tiny sock…then found some of my girls clothes in the dresser where I usually store the dog’s bath towels.  Sigh.  The clothes even faintly held her scent.

There’s one helping of blueberry cobbler left in the fridge that I’m reluctant to eat because I know it’s the last thing she made for me.  I just want to open the fridge and remember her delight in making something for me that I love so much.  I’ll have to finish it today, or it will become a science project in the near future.  And I don’t want that!

So, yeah, I miss her wicked, wicked bad.  I haven’t let myself cry about it or get overly emotional.  I keep trying to just stay in a neutral space in my head.  Don’t over think it.  Easier said than done, but at least I’m giving it the good ole Butch try!  I can’t always control what my heart feels, but I can choose how I am going to deal with it.  I’m still figuring that out right now – the dealing with it part that is – so stay tuned.

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In other rather mundane news of my life…the dogs are doing great. They were stellar little souls while my visitors were here.  I am pretty proud of them.  Lulu is growing up and maturing quite nicely.  She finally gets it when she’s outside and I tell her to “go to the house,” she runs right up the porch stairs and to the door.  She’s about 75% responsive at this point; it’s a work in progress for sure.  Nola, of course, is VERY well trained and generally knows what I am going to tell her before I even speak.  She’s intuitive as fuck.

I got the house all nice and clean this morning, I just need to wash floors and it will be completely done…for another few days.  It’s a bitch keeping up with it sometimes, but I do like a clean and functional living space.  I can be a little neurotic about it sometimes, but generally, my mantra is “clean enough to be healthy, dirty enough to be happy.”  And that’s basically how it works out.  But today I even washed the covers to the dog’s stair units and some rugs.  It’s always something and never really feels “done”.

I took the last week that my girl was here off from work.  Started back last Friday and it’s nice to see everyone again.  That job keeps me on track.  Without it I would have endless time on my hands that I don’t need to have!  It’s not my long-term plan to stay with that job, but for now, it’s working to my advantage and it’s good for me – gets my ass up in the morning and makes me think.

I named the marijuana plant I am growing Hilda.  It’s doing magnificently.  I’ve been taking photos of Hilda daily, marking her progress to maturity.  I am thinking I may print a chronology out and make her a book…my first grown since I was a young hoodlum.

It’s been a lot of fun watching the plants grow.  There are actually 2 of them.  But Hilda has really gone crazy with growing!  I haven’t done anything special, just put them into my veggie garden after fertilizing it with cow manure compost earlier this Spring.  They looked pretty pathetic for a couple of weeks and then the magic started to happen.  It seemed they were sprouting new leaves and gaining in height and width daily!  Here she is yesterday…

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She’s just started getting her silvery hairs near the tops where the buds will soon begin to form.  I have a buddy who’s going to come by and give me some pointers and help with cloning 12 plants from this one, plus will also walk me through the next couple of months of the process, including cutting the buds and processing the plant.  I’m fucking excited as hell!

I hope all of you, my dear readers, are having just as fantastic of a summer as I am having!  Fall is coming soon, my girl visits again in October – sans child this visit – and I’m looking forward to that very much.  It just feels so right when she’s here with me; by my side and in my every day.

Peace.  ~  MB

Happiness and Dreams…

Dreams are so fucking strange sometimes.  This morning I fell asleep on the couch and had the strangest dream about being part of this really screwed up sort of “intervention” bunch.  But no one would listen to common sense.  And it was going really badly.  Then the phone rang and woke me up.   Now my day is off to a later start than I wanted…grrr.

It’s Tuesday.  July 24th, 2018.  l

We all have life stories.  We have what happens to us; what we tell ourselves happened to us, and what reality says happened to us.  We can deny the story, but if we accept it then we are given the gift of being able to change the ending for ourselves; by our own rules and ways.

I heard from someone who I care very deeply for today.  She had many words of wisdom for me, telling me to ignore some of what the Russian Puppet Cheeto is doing to my country at the moment and take the time to find happiness in my world – which now includes my girl and her daughter, the loves of my life today.  I was quite touched by her choosing to reach out to me to say those words.  Very touched.  I appreciate her so much.

I’ve got the house all set up for the extended stay of my girl and her little princess.  The little girl has special needs; rett syndrome, which is really heartbreaking, but she’s such a happy little tyke.  Just gotta love her.  It’s so incredibly hard on my girl though, I feel so helpless for her sometimes.  It’s frustrating, it makes her super angry at times – just the fact that this is happening to her little girl.  Rett impairs fine motor skills and walking is something they learn usually very far down the road.  The baby is 3 now, she chatters but doesn’t form words, she cannot walk or feed herself.  There are treatments for this type of genetic disorder coming down the road, but the wait is horrible.  This is also why I am so pro-science and modern medicine.  We need genetic research and development of genetic modifying therapies. I just want a therapy now that will unlock the world for this precious little kid and others like her.  Rett is pretty rare, only about 300K and is mostly seen in girls.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what the world must think of America right now.  It’s really just off-the-charts craziness happening here in our White House.  Trump is a tyrannical bastard, and a moron to boot.  He’s slowly ruining all of our relationships with our allies, and shooting firey texts at our enemies.  Yet, he’s also coddled up to Putin like a purring kitten in Putin’s lap.  It’s sickening.  It’s wrong.  It’s NOT normal!!!

I’m like any other concerned American.  I watch the news, try to stay up on what’s happening – which is insanely hard as he keeps throwing new stuff into the mix to distract us from the real deals.   He’s gone after Iran with words to provoke them this week, he’s got new “tapes” just released with him discussing payouts to porn stars for sexual favors, and he’s now threatening to decimate our Endangered Species Act, putting many animals and wildlife in danger of extinction. He’s also threatening politicians; if they are not swearing absolute loyalty to him he is pulling their security clearances.  He is turning into a TYRANT.  He thinks he’s fucking King of America.  I don’t know what the answer is other than to somehow get this guy out of the office of President and behind bars where he and his corrupt family belong.

It’s become a little different, more strained and scary living here and being openly Butch lesbian these days.  I find myself more conscious of my surroundings once again.  I’m more tuned to peoples’ reactions and the verbage used when speaking to me.  I do get “sirred” quite often – at least 10 times a day at my job.  Working at a truck stop it is inevitable that I am going to be mis-gendered by mistake, hell I look a lot like a guy with my flat chest and crew cut…and I never correct anyone, just take it in stride and shrug it off.  I guess I’m just used to it.  I’ve noticed an uptick in hostility towards anyone “different” than the fucked up redneck, white guy and his pollyanna wifey.  I’m sick to death of reading about active Nazi groups, and white supremacist rallies around the USA.   Today we read in Newsweek that Sean Spicer reveals that Trump’s embracement of the LGBTQ community during the 2016 Russian election was false and misrepresented intentionally to garner votes.  Fuckin Liar.

The LGBTQ community has always come up strong.  We’ve fought some pretty fucking courageous battles along the way.   From Stonewall forward, it’s been an uphill battle, and now we have a big fucking orange Cheeto pushing us back down the fucking hill.  Yet, we will continue to press on and live the lives we’ve been given.  Live our truth.  Live our way and flip off the world. It’s awful that I’m made to feel that I am somehow inadequate in my society; that my being Butch lesbian somehow makes me less-than and thus the object of ridicule, harassment and sometimes violence.  Our society just isn’t right.  To object to and fight against the power of love and human compassion is to truly be a tyrant.

I read where Ivan Coyote got called a “dyke bitch” up in Moose Jaw Pride Festival in Canada.  That’s so typical in today’s world for many of us more Butch lesbians and FtMs I believe.  I’ve been called the same before.  It’s something stupid people choose to say to me and guys like Ivan.

I’ve been trying like fuck to recover from laryngitis and it’s been almost 3 weeks now without a good voice.  It flakes in and out and is very raspy and hoarse, so I try not to talk as much.  And when I do talk it’s a real strain on my vocal cords.  I’m on prednisone and a major antibiotic for it.  Yet, nothing seems to be happening with getting my voice back…and there’s no other discomfort or pain.  Just no voice.  Huh.

I emailed my doc today, hoping for maybe more tests or to see another specialist.  I think I’m going to call the ENT tomorrow and try to get back in to see him quicker for follow up.  In the meantime, I’m seeking alternative remedies if anyone has anything to share for antidotes to help.

Thursday, early morning….very fucking early…

I’m up; awake and raring for the day to get started.  My girl arrived last night and I’ve been on cloud 9 since.  It will take us a couple of days to settle into a comfortable routine together I think.  We have little trips around the area planned; day outings mostly.

We picked a couple of pints of blueberries off of my 2 bushes last night together.  I now have a freezer full of frozen berries off of these bushes to use in recipes over the fall and winter.  My blueberry bushes did SO GREAT this season!  The harvest has been epic!  And with just TWO bushes!  It’s freakin amazing!

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I have to work for 4 hours this morning, then we don’t have any real big plans for today.  My girl and her daughter need a nice day at home to rest, they’ve been vacationing in Bar Harbor for the last few days and have been on the road quite a lot.

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Have a GREAT Thursday!  I hope you go out into the world with open minds and happy hearts today!

Peace.  ~MB

Mid-July Update

I have several blogs half finished.  So fucking much goes on that it’s hard to get one out before something else goes on and distracts me.

Let’s do the updates:

I’m doing pretty good.  I currently have laryngitis.  Went to the ENT doctor today and had my throat scoped to see what’s going on.  He says inflamation.  DUH.  I could have diagnosed that one myself!  Anyway, a course of antibiotics and prednisone, and hopefully I’ll have my voice back!  Other than that I am feeling strong and good.

My gardens are thriving.  Everything is producing!  Blueberry bushes out front are loaded with ripe berries that I’m picking as fast as I can!  I froze some today.  Going out to pick more in a little while.  I have two types of bushes, both high bush types.  One is a super fat berry, the other is a regular wild blueberry strain.  Oh, and my weed clone is doing well too, as you can see!

The dogs are doing great.  Lulu shed in a major way this year. She looks so different !  Shed out her undercoat, it just came out in fist fulls.  I attribute it to her being spayed recently, the hot, hot weather and it was just time to shed!  She’s perfectly healthy.

Nola is doing great too.  She’s in her glory on her daily squirrel hunts.  If she ever caught one I don’t know what she’d do! In the pic above she’s diligently on guard at the bird feeding station.

My girl and her daughter will be here in a few days.  They’ll be staying with me thru mid-August.  I’m very excited to have them here, and for a good long visit!  I’ve got a few outings planned for us, like a trip up to the White Mountains, a picnic day at the lake, fishing locally, a trip to York’s Wild Kingdom (zoon and amusement park), day trips to the beach and go-carting.  I’m sure we’ll all have a blast.

The long-distance relationship thing has been working out pretty well for us.  We talk daily, text alot, and Skype frequently.  It takes energy and commitment, but I believe we’ve both got that.  This woman treats me like gold, it’s just awesome.  I completely adore her.  And I’ll do whatever it takes to keep us happily together.

Those are the personal updates…you all know I am active in politics…and I am so ashamed of the performance that Trump put on in Helsinki with Putin.  He’s a traitor.  That’s all I have to say.  I only wish he were treated and persecuted as a traitor, as he should be right now.

It’s a gorgeous night, I need to go enjoy it.  You all take care.

What’s been the best part of your summer thus far?

Peace.  ~MB