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

Don’t Wait While Life Melts Away

I have insomnia tonight! It always seems like so much to do around here and it’s getting colder by the day. This is the weekend I chose to put everything away, redo some areas, move things around, sort, discard and donate stuff. I was listening to Maine Public Radio (MPR) playing their musical album of the week, it was really good too, and while listening I did some meditation then started doing some research and updating online.

Then I stumbled upon this VERY GOOD video – I even watched it twice, or rather listened mainly. “Change Your Closet, Change Your Life”– Gillian Dunn, TedXWhiteRocky.

I think this one really helped me because I am currently really cleaning my closets out and rearranging storage in my home. Doing this has a cathartic affect on me; change things and purge the junk. I want to get all of these little cumulative tasks and repairs finished before the deep cold weather sets in. Being all alone, it takes a ton of energy and planning, yet I really actually get into it and like the accomplishment feeling when I am finished and can stand back and say, “There. That’s better.”

It also reminds me that waiting for things to happen before you do something, like waiting for a special occasion to wear a certain piece of clothing, you got to think to yourself “What if ‘someday when____ never happens?” Then you’ve lost the joy for nothing while needlessly depriving yourself the pleasure and happiness you should have had while it was there? No, choose your happiness NOW, live NOW, because in that emergency moment in life the important things become very clear in your mind, you won’t remember what you were waiting for.

Yeah, as stuck as I am at this moment with some things in my life, I do know what is important to me and if I were only rich I could do what I really want to do right now, so I am just trying to be patient with life while doing the best things I can do with what I have and keeping myself. I don’t want to let the candle melt…dammit. Life is happening right now, TODAY. Go get it. Wear the stilettos, the good boots, the dress, the new suit, and treat yourself good. Make yourself happy with what makes you happy. Small actions can lead to big things, it’s up to each of us to make it a life we enjoy for ourselves.

I hope you all enjoy this video. I know it’s a little long, but it’s worth it believe me! Hell, I even saved it in my video folders on my channel, so I can remind myself that we can change our lives to be better for us and for the world around us.

I’m off to sleepyville I hope. Damn, I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in I can’t tell you how long. I tend to sleep 2 hour increments and never before 2am lately. It’s actually extra late – or early depending on how you look at it – it’s 3:47am…yeah, time to crash!!

Peace ~ MB

Be Part of the Solution: Stand UP, Speak OUT!

Here in the USA the news reporters are talking about the “national anxiety” level most nights, kind of in addition to the weather report.

It’s torture to listen to the daily news now. We suffer not only from high anxiety, but also from Trump fatigue. You cannot escape it. He’s managed to turn our lives upside down.

Many people choose not to watch news because it stresses us out. I completely understand that perspective, but myself, I HAVE to watch. I HAVE to know what the hell is going on so that I am prepared and ready as things get worse – and unfortunately the situation with our current fake President will get worse; he will continue his path of destruction and stoke more and more hate. We must be prepared and we must continue to band together and fight against this corrupt administration and take our country back. It will take decades to heal and repair the damage done, but we must do it regardless of the discomfort and pain we will experience.

My girlfriend asks me what she can do. She’s a super busy woman, raising a special needs child and running her own practice. It’s difficult for her to find the time to take care of everything she must do as it is. So, for her and others who may have little time I am going to lay out a few things they CAN do that will require minimal time and effort, but will make an impact and keep the wheels of Democracy turning for the future of our Republic.

Join (and financially support as you are able) one, or three groups fighting for causes that you believe in. Whether it be voicing your opinion on women’s reproductive rights by supporting your local Planned Parenthood – or one in a state or locality where it is badly needed.

Some you may want to consider are:

Planned Parenthood Action Fund. From the White House to the Supreme Court, our basic rights are at risk. Defend reproductive health and rights wherever they’re under attack. Defending Women’s Rights. Women’s Health & Rights. Act. No Matter What. Fighting Extremist Laws. Types: Birth Control, Health Care Equality, Voting Rights. Link

Human Rights Campaign. The Human Rights Campaign represents a force of more than 3 million members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community. Visit them and join at HRC.org

DLCC – Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee We elect local Democrats to statehouses across America.

Stand Up America – a grassroots group of millions of US citizens fighting the Trump agenda that is destroying America. Here’s the link. StandUpAmerica

GLSEN – Supporting youth in the LGBT community. This link will take you to their Safe Space kit,

Planned Parenthood Official Site Planned Parenthood Federation of America is a nonprofit organization that provides sexual health care in the United States and globally.

Democratic National Committee – find your local office and volunteer, write letters, send emails and texts to your representatives. They provide many templates and ideas.

Moms Demand Action working to end gun violence. This is a FAVORITE of mine, dear to my heart. Join this group, please! They are holding “August Recess Rally” around the country on August 18th – in hundreds of cities in all 50 states. They are the strongest anti-gun organization right now. The group started after the Sandyhook murders. Even if you don’t go to their rallies, at least you will know what’s happening with common sense gun reform around the country.

What else can we each do to help our country fight corruption, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, transphobia and to make America the safe, loving, receptive space for all of us???

Local elections are important to YOU and government STARTS at the local level.

Get to know your local representatives, Congressmen/women, Sentators, county reps, Mayors, Govenors, and those with political clout in your own state, county and city. Your state, county and town/city NEED you and WANT to hear your voice! If you don’t like how things are done where you live – change it! Become a candidate, join a campaign, volunteer, write and email your reps, get to KNOW their stances/positions on the issues like reproductive rights, gun reform, immigration, jobs, climate change, preservation of our national parks, and corporate welfare programs. Without our voices telling them what we want they are left to their own devices -which is NEVER good!!!

Yard signs, bumper stickers, posters in the workplace, etc. are all good things to do as well. Use your social media accounts to let us know you are concerned; you care and you are mad as hell that things have gotten to this point. You don’t have to post political stuff all the time like I do quite often, but maybe put a VoteBlue2020 hashtag on some posts, use interesting backgrounds that you can often get from the above sites. Be creative.

So, my “list” is just a smattering of what is out there. I will update this as time goes on, but I wanted to get this post up and hopefully help some of you get more involved without too much stress. The above are all good, solid organizations working for the good of America and all of us. Even if you don’t have a lot of time once you check out a site, sign up for their alerts and for them to send you information to keep you up to date on the important issues you can pick and choose what is feasible for you to do and become part of the solution to ending the insanity here in the USA.

Not everyone is cut out to follow and participate in politics like I am. And some of us, like me, are FURIOUS with the destruction taking place with Trump and his cronies in office. I don’t expect everyone to be as involved as I am, but you should KNOW the basics of what’s happening – before it’s too late. And you MUST vote!!! Always be aware of when and where your polling place IN YOUR AREA!!! Register to vote, if you are not already registered. And if you are a woman, did you know that if EVERY woman in America voted we could RULE this country EASILY. That’s a FACT.

Basically, just be a little bit more aware. Try not to stress yourself out, but don’t be complacent either. Do what you are ABLE to do and know that that’s enough. Leave the harder stuff for those of us who are crazy enough and have enough time on our hands to DO the footwork and the harder things. We are all in this together. Support each other, love each other and know that we CAN change things. Be a pebble in the pond…cause ripples that may just turn into gigantic waves!

Vote Democratic in the 2020 election. #VOTEBlue2020 !!!

I do hope that this resonates with you and helps those looking to become more involved. I’m always looking for more good suggestions / actions. So, if you want drop me a line at MainelyButch@yahoo.com or OneAngryAmerican2019@yahoo.com I would love to hear from other politically active women and about your local hot-button issues.

Peace ~ and remember…ALWAYS BE KIND! ~ MainelyButch aka Ang

Making it Work…My LDR Experience

I’m heavily involved with a woman in a very long-distance relationship. I am madly in love with my woman and i believe the feeling is mutual for her as well. We met about 18 months ago online and hit it off very quickly. Neither of us were looking for any sort of “relationship” like the one that has taken us both by major surprise! I am super happy being with her; being around her and just having her in my life in whatever ways I can manage to make that happen.

She works especially hard at keeping us in tight contact and in visiting me as much as she possibly can manage. She also has an almost 4 yr old daughter who requires major amounts of her time and energy. It’s been really terrific how she has allowed me to fit into her busy life; welcoming me into her heart and her home.

At the beginning of this month I took a flight down to Texas to spend 5 days with her and the little one, in their space and learning about how their lives go and what they like to do.I have to say that it was the most relaxing and awesome 5 days for me. She treats me so incredibly good. I don’t know what good deed I did that brought this major good karma to me in the form of her and her love for me, but whatever it was I hope I keep doing it! I truly do not want this to ever end. Ever.

I could see myself completely in a full-time daily relationship with this woman very, very easily and I believe I would absolutely love every minute of it – like I love every minute I spend with her. The electricity between us in high-voltage for sure. She is definitely my Kryptonite.

The most difficult thing for me is the distance and the communication at times. I miss the things that can only be had in a closer vicinity relationship, like daily kisses, dinner together and discussing our days, sleeping next to the one I love the most in this world and waking up next to her in the morning. These are the things you give up when you agree to a long-distance relationship. What makes them easier for me is that when we ARE together everything is so very important; every moment, every second counts twice as much. I find that I cannot fill my vision with enough of her and her smile, her eyes and those sexy lips so I am often staring at her alot when we are together. I value our time in the presence of one another more than anything. And it’s very hard when we again have to go our separate ways and back to the lives we live daily without each other’s physical presence and touch.

I have said in the past that I wouldn’t do another LDR, but I was swept off my path by the entry of this incredible woman into my life. We started by just innocently talking online, by email and then by messenger. One thing lead to another and we began Skyping – which is a terrific way to get to know someone from a distance in my opinion. I found myself very drawn to her; moreso every time we spoke and every time I saw her beautiful face on my computer screen or her name come up in my messenger on my phone. I got excited to hear from her, even the smallest things I wanted to know about her and wanted to talk to her about. I love that she is super smart and very dedicated to her daughter, her job and her life in Texas. I love that she has somehow found ways to make time to fit me into that picture as well. She means the whole world to me.

I don’t usually connect with women who contact me online looking to date or hook up. It’s a sketchy thing to me. I don’t trust people and I am a miser with my time and energy. When she contacted me I didn’t realize it would result in major feelngs and changes in my life. I didn’t realize it would lead to a deep and growing love and passion beyond expectations, but it did and I am extremely happy that it has worked out this way.

We’ve been doing this long-distance thing now for about 16 months…We have managed to see one another every 6-8 weeks since the beginning. We did just extended that and went almost 3 months without any face-to-face time and it was EVILLY HARD!!! We decided we didn’t like that at all and are going to try to stick closer to the six to eight week schedule that worked better for us. I just hope we can keep it working on that schedule somehow.

I know I give up a lot by choosing long-distance love. Some days I want someone who is right here with me, who wakes up with me and has morning coffee and sleepy chat. It’s harder just being alone all the time. No one to depend on, no one to share with, no one to notice things and no one to understand the days. I’ve contemplated a more poly arrangement, but I don’t believe a substitute in my bed would really workout very well. Plus, finding a woman who would be amendable to that type of arrangement would be a tad more difficult. No, I know who has my heart and who I want in my bed. Enough said.

We each choose to be exactly where we are at this moment simply by doing the things we have done and continue to do. That is our reality.

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

F*cked up America Right Now

Trump diverted $9.8B from FEMA funding (Disaster Relief) to fund more child detention centers…WTF???

We have a HUGE hurricane taking aim at our east coast, Carolina / Virginia area, and he DIVERTS funds????  This man is MORE than a FUCKING MORON, he’s a complete imbecile and someone needs to get him out of that office, take his fucking phone away and break all his pens and pencils.  He should NOT be allowed to communicate with anyone.

AND our federal deficit has ballooned by $832B.  That’s a 32% increase under Trump.  Yeah, this is the idiot that gave his rich buddies a huge tax break so we could go further into debt as a nation.  He actually told Cohn to “print more money” to fund his deficit….yup, he really thinks it works that way.  And you conservative idiots actually elected this moron, with the help of Putin and Russia.

At this moment we have an impending crisis here with this incoming hurricane Florence.  Yet our “leader” is busy touting his own ego, telling us that losing 2,975 people in Puerto Rico was an “unsung success” and not understanding the magnitude of his stupidity.  He’s a toddler.  He has no mechanism for empathy or compassion at all.  Yesterday, the anniversary of 9/11/01, he arrived in Pennsylvania acting like he was at a fucking Trump rally.  No couth.  No respect for the dead or the suffering of the living.

Trump takes no responsibility, as former presidents have done when they were wrong or came up short on something.  He refuses to admit when he is wrong.  He lies constantly, and even his lawyers have worries of him telling lies to Mueller and the American people. It’s disgusting. It’s wrong.  It’s NOT American behavior at all.  This “man” is nothing short of a total buffoon.

Other frightening things to be angry about…

  • Over 12,500 children remain in US custody in detention camps on our southern border.  This is the highest number EVER and is partly due to sponsors and parents being afraid to claim the children now because of their own fears of ICE.  What a vicious thing he has created in our immigration system.
  • The official death toll for Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria 2017 stands at 2, 975 people.
  • The Vatican and the Catholic Church is finally being called out on all of the massive cases of sexual abuse by clergy on mostly young children and vulnerable adults.  I want to remind everyone that sexual abuse is not a “bad habit” that can be arbitrarily forgiven, it’s a fucking CRIME and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.  Transparency will be the only healer from this for many people around the world.  The Vatican is hell-bent on hiding this whole thing from public view in fear of further tarnishing the reputation of the church – HA!  I say! HA!!
  • DHS has quietly funneled $200M from various programs and departments, such as FEMA, to fund more child and family detention centers and ICE.  Sick fucks.
  • Flint Michigan is now on day 1601 without clean drinking water.  Our govenment did this to them; poisoned a whole city and KNEW they were doing it.  We MUST find a solution for Flint and bring justice as well.
  • Kolin Kapernick (sp?) is still on his knee…and I am still supportive of his protest.
  • Nike saw a 31% jump in sales after the KK ads ran…despite the burning of shoes.
  • The bumblebee has been designed “endangered”.

Well, that’s it for this angry blog.  I’m still watching Florence churn towards the Carolinas and it should make landfall overnight I believe.  The weather coverage has been really good on this one, I just hope we are as prepared as our officials lead us to believe.  Hard saying,  I just hope everyone has heeded the warnings – or written their name, ssn, and next of kin’s name on their forearms so we can identify the bodies after we sort it all out.  Anyone who is numb enough to challenge mother nature’s wrath in a storm the size of Florence better not be whiny afterwards!

Peace.  ~  MB

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the week starts…

I have a couple of things to talk about here today.  It’s Monday, August 27, 2018 and with just 4 more days of August ahead of us I am beginning to look toward September; the arrival of cooler temperatures to Maine, fall festivals and agricultural fairs, the leaves beginning to turn colors and yes, the annual return to wearing flannel shirts and work boots.  Fall or Autumn is my most favorite time of year.

I noticed yesterday that the lawns and tree leaves were now reflecting that “mature” darker green in their preparation to begin the colorful yearly die-off; getting naked for winter.  It’s around this time of year that I get mums for the fall, to display on my front steps and in the garden.  It’s really the only true annual flowering plant that I do invest in every year.  They’re hardy, kind of impervious to the vast temperature flux of our September and October days, and they last a good long time.  I like the bright yellow, orange, lavender and brick read colors too, they’re different from the brilliant summer blooms of other plants.  So, this weekend I will hit Lowe’s and get probably 12 of them and create my fall display outside.  Oh!  And I have homegrown pumpkins from my garden!  It’s been a banner garden year.

Sen. John McCain’s death

America lost a truly great politician a couple of days ago.  We knew it was coming, and with his refusal of all treatment the day before we understood the time was near.  The next news was his passing at 4:28 pm with his family and close friends at his bedside.  It was a sad point when the newscaster came across with “Breaking News” of his death.  I stopped for a minute, remembered how cantankerous and incorrigible McCain could be, but then also remembered how brave and courageous he was too.  I didn’t always agree with his politics, but I always agreed with his patriotism and with that love of country that the man had in him.  I always respected him from a military point; he was a pilot with the US Navy and was shot down and became a POW.  During his detention he suffered brutally at the hands of the Vietnamese, often beaten and tortured horribly on a daily basis.  THAT is some bad ass shit to live through, and yet he did and spoke of it often.  It was no secret that he had witnessed or experienced directly some pretty fucked up stuff. And yet, his love of country got him through it and gave us a well-rounded man of honor that served his country for 60 years altogether.  Yeah, John, you did good.  Now rest. We got it from here.

I won’t forget how he was staunchly against Trump’s rhetoric and evil policy bullshit.  I won’t forget the photos of him returning, a mess, from Vietnam.  I won’t forget that he is the father of Megan McCain, a lesbian woman, and yet he did not support same-sex marriage or civil unions, yet he was endorsed by the Log Cabin Republicans, who supported both.  I often wonder how Megan feels about her father’s lack of supportive position?  McCain was a Liberlist Conservative.  Voting conservatively about 60% of the time and more liberal leaning about 40% of the time.  He often voted with Obama, which was a good thing. Now Obama and Bush 43 will be giving the eulogies at his funeral.  Appropriate.

I am imagining it will be a HUGE television event, watched by millions here and around the world.  THAT will just serve to piss on #45 and could instigate him to do something stupid or bombastic just to re-focus attention on himself.  #45 is an egotistical fuck and cannot stand to be upstaged.  I can hear his stupid ass saying “…fucking McCain! What kind of man is he?  Dying in the middle of MY precious news coverage extravaganza?”  yup, he’s crying in his koolaid about now.

I only wish that we had MORE men in our political system, specifically the Senate and House, that had the balls and fortitude of John McCain.  #45 wouldn’t stand a chance.  He’s afraid of REAL men and women; those who talk back, question him, tell him he’s wrong and call him out on his crimes.  It’s pathetic and makes me sick that almost ALL of the current office holders in our government don’t have the guts to stand up to #45.

I am now calling him “#45” instead of his given name.  He’s just a number.  He’s a bad number, playing a horrible game with the USA and the rest of the world.  After he’s gone we will right things once again and his memory will fade, he’s just a number now and will be just another stupid number in the future.  He was put into our highest political office fraudulently; through the use of criminal activity, Russian influence, voting interference and black money.  He will NEVER be remembered for anything “good” but only as the worst thing we ever allowed to happen to America.  And yes, we allowed him to take office.  MOST voting eligible citizens of our country did NOT even vote in the last presidential election in 2016.

My Weed Plant

…is growing like a WEED!  Bwhahaha!  I laugh!  Yes, it’s kind of amazing, the plant has broken the 6′ height mark and is thriving.  I am going to build a hot house around it this weekend.  Two reasons: security and maximum growth.  Hilda is in the stage of white hairs appearing, the hint of buds coming, and just getting fatter by the day.   I’ve learned a LOT from this experience of growing marijuana plants.  I’m very interested now in furthering that experience by starting a hydroponic grow in my back room / zen room. Once I procure the necessary eqipment and set it up properly I’m going to give indoor growing a shot.  I have not yet decided what I am going to DO with all this weed, whether I leave it as flower or make it into edibles and dabs.  We shall see; the research is not complete.

Missing my girl

It’s been about a week and a half since my girl left to return to her home in Texas.  Fuck.  I miss her wicked bad.  But, life must go on, and get back to some sembelance of “normal” for both of us.  She has her life, work and a business there, and I have my own set of responsibilities here.  Long distance relationships are difficult at very  best.  We both “get” this completely.  We’re not fooled by any of it.  Relegated to messenger, phone calls and the sporadic Skype-a-thon we’re making it work.  I even get to see her little girl when we Skype on the weekend mornings.

We have photos and shared Google albums, but there isn’t anything that compares to real time spent together.  I look forward to her next in-person visit, hopefully in mid-October.  And in January, when I can travel once again, perhaps I’ll venture to Texas at some point while it’s cold and snowy here in Maine.  All I know is that I can’t spend enough time with this woman and with that in mind I’ll do whatever I am able to do to see her whenever possible.   When we are together I want to keep her within three feet of me at all times!  RAWRRRR…damn.

Ok, I’m off to work on some photo books and other crafty stuff today.  Hope you are all doing well.

Answer this in the comments:  How do you manage distance in a relationship?  If you live with your lover, how do you manage space and alone time?

Peace  ~  MB