A Glimpse into My Life

I know I’ve been writing about a lot of different things lately, like my political rants and things like that, so I thought I would write you all a personal note tonight, to say #1, I am very very appreciative for all of your presence here on my blog.  Thank you for your readership, comments, conversations and support.  It means a lot to me, I mean it.

On more personal notes, I’ve been doing quite well lately.  I’m strong in my recovery and have been attending Groups: Recover Together meetings every Wednesday.  It’s group therapy for opioid addicts, primarily heroin and oxycodone.  We meet weekly, voluntarily are tested for substances abuse, see the doctor once a month and pick up our Suboxone prescriptions.  The Suboxone is a life saver.  I haven’t felt this good about my recovery ever.  The suboxone kills the cravings for the drugs.  Flat out.  It’s a miracle drug in my opinion.  I had previously tried detoxing and maintaining with methadone, but I found that it made me high just like the heroin did and I didn’t want the “high” feeling.  With the suboxone you don’t get that, you just don’t have the craving for the opioid at all.  Don’t know why, but it works the balls!  I highly recommend it as part of your recovery program if you are an addict.

Also, the group therapy piece is important too.  It gives me a place where I can bring up subjects and talk about things that are challenging during this process, with other people who are in similar situations with their addictions; a place where I am not ashamed and can actually be proud of my accomplishments and have someone understand that pride.

Around home things are going really well.  I did run out of heating fuel this weekend, which was unfortunate.  I didn’t want to pay for an emergency weekend delivery so I borrowed two 5 gallon diesel fuel containers from my brother and hauled 20 gallons of diesel over (2 trips to the station) and put it in to burn until I can get 100 gallons of heating oil.  The hardest part was getting the furnace running again.  I had never had to do that before, so I watched a YouTube video on it, tried to bleed the line and get it running myself…no luck.  Several tries later, I conceded my defeat and called my heater technician.  He came by and was here all of 12 minutes, got it going and walked me through the entire procedure so that I can do it myself next time.  I just have to get over to Home Depot and pick up a jumper wire, which will help me to get it going in the future if this ever happens again.  I’m going to be a bit more vigilant now and not let it run out!  I did calculate and figured out that I am burning approximately 50 gallons of fuel mix per month, in the dead of winter, to heat this place.  That’s not bad!  And knowing this will give me a better idea of how to budget for next winter’s oil deliveries.  Live & Learn.

I have been uploading new videos to my YouTube channel.  It’s been a struggle to get back into the swing of doing videos.  Plus, of course, I have changed a little bit in the last couple of years, and the world has changed too.  I’ve gotten older, perhaps a bit wiser, and definitively more comfortable with myself.  It’s fun to go back sometimes and watch the really old videos of my younger, cockier self.  I feel like I am much more conscientious of what I am saying in my videos now.  I am more aware of my own internalized phobias and prejudices to begin with, and I fight to change those.  I never realized that one could have those types of things.  I like to think of myself as open minded and educated, but I had to admit that I, like most every person, also have my baggage and am not perfect in my thought processes.  Like today for instance, I was reading about the Russian people revolting against Putin and the powers that be in Russia where they suffer under his rule.  It occurred to me that while I hate Putin and Russian politics, I am not a hater of the Russian people, and I hope they over throw that demon.  Formerly, I would say I hated Russians…but it’s not exactly that way, it’s more a hating of the authoritarian rule of Russia and a healthy fear of it as well.  Am I making sense?

The first day of Spring was last week, but it still is very cold and wintery here in southern Maine.  I am really looking forward to some warmer weather, sunshine and the greening up of the landscape.  Right now everything is brown and dead looking, with smatterings of snowbanks that haven’t yet melted.  It will be good to see green grass and buds on the trees soon.  I always fight my depression more in the winter too.  Although this winter seemed to be a bit better on that front.  I had my best friend Linda around a lot and she helped me snap out of my moods quite often.  She wouldn’t LET me get sullen and depressed; she would refocus me on doing things to keep myself busy and not give me time to get bored, which often brings on the depression for me.  I really thank my lucky stars that she is there for me.  I’ve even come to depend upon her in many ways, which takes a large amount of trust for me to do.  She’s shown me real friendship, and for that I am grateful.

The dogs, Nola and Lulu, are doing great.  Of course they have been cooped up a lot with the inclement weather of winter too.  I try to get them out of the house any chance I get, taking them with me in the truck whenever possible.  They love to ride in the truck and are just as happy to wait for me in the truck when I get out to go into any place we stop at.  Thankfully they are good dogs, don’t chew or destroy stuff and can be trusted to wait patiently while I get things done.  As the days get warmer we will do more outings like going to the local beaches and parks for walks and outside time.  They also have a nice pen outside of my house that they can safely be outside in during good weather, and to do their business every couple of hours.  That pen is a lifesaver.  I built it right out my back door, so all I have to do is open the door and they can scoot out into their yard, which is like 20′ x 40′ in size.

So, there you have it.  A basic update about me.  No politics.  No deep questions.  Just a little window into my more personal side.  I’m healthy, happy and doing well.  And I hope all of you are too!  Peace!  ~MB

 

Snowmageddon 2017…Another Nor’Easter

I am hunkered down at home today, weathering out a super duper bad Nor’easter.  It’s snowing heavy and the wind is whipping at 40+mph, gusting as high as 80mph.  Yes, this is as bad as it gets here!  And it’s become so common place that we all joke about it now.  Everyone on my Facebook friends list is posting pics of the storm from their homes, or pictures of sunshine from other parts of the world.  It’s been a real active day on FB, everyone is stuck inside with not much else to do.  The power keeps flickering on and off here, I am waiting for it to go off for an extended time at some point, which means no heat or internet.  I am praying that that doesn’t happen because this is my main source of entertainment for the day!

My dogs are even a little stir crazy today.  They are leary of all of the wind noise, and the shaking of the house in some of the gusts.  Yes, it is blowing hard enough to literally shake the house.  I live in a mobile home, so it’s more susceptible to hard wind gusts.

I’ve been spending a good amount of my time alone lately and doing quite a decent amount of writing.  I am still in total denial that Trump is really president.  Although I do not dispute that he has invaded the White House with all of his corruption and his cohorts in treason.  I’m very disappointed in Congress…they ALL have no guts.  They will not stand up to Trump; they won’t call him on his bullshit, no matter how bad it gets they dare not cross him or do anything that would upset or anger him.  Anyone who is watching can see how nut-less this governing body has become.  It used to be that Republicans wanted everything done by the book, and wouldn’t stand for anything that smelled of corruption or lies, but this new Congress – under Trump – is just as complicit as he is.  Just as guilty.

The new health insurance bill that the Republicans have presented is anything but good.  First, it’s nothing new.  It’s basically just ripping all of the good stuff out of Obamacare and adding in more tax breaks for the rich while leaving millions and millions uninsured.  They keep throwing around the word “access”…saying we all have “access” to health insurance.  Well, right NOW we all have access to it, you can go out and buy health insurance any time you want – IF you can afford the premiums.  So “access” is NOTHING NEW.  And removing Medicaid and Planned Parenthood funding is NOT what Trump promised while he was campaigning.  He specifically promised to protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.  This new health insurance bill would eliminate Medicare funding for millions.  Thus, once again, leaving millions without any alternative than to use the ER for their primary care needs. I am hoping that there will be many revisions to this new plan, that Congress will not just pass it “because” he said it was to be.   Trump has said that it “will pass, one way or another” which indicates to me that he is not shy about using executive privilege to force this bill into law.  It’s just sad that Americans have to fight tooth and nail to get good health care, and for it to be affordable.  America should be better, we should have the best health care in the world and it should be readily accessible and affordable to all Americans.  Period.

I find it interesting that Trump has remained so quiet all week.  Since his stupid “wires tapped” Tweets he hasn’t said two words really.  Some WH lawyers must have jumped in and stopped him from Tweeting, that’s the only thing that makes sense.  When directed to provide PROOF of his accusations by yesterday, he declined to do so and sent Spicer to face the press.  Poor stupid Spicer.  The guy is just short of a full stack.  You would think that Trump could find a better WH spokesman.

And Kellyanne Conway….her and her “microwave” surveillance comment has really gotten her into the Twitterverse this week.  Hell, I even suspiciously eyed my own microwave….hehe.  She is just a looney tune.  Half of everything she says is just air facts, the other half doesn’t make ANY sense.  She’s another WH spokesperson who needs to fade into the woodwork and NOT be allowed to speak.  Even her voice grates on my nerves.

I am writing other blogs, just trying to find the words at the moment.  Thank goodness I have my writing as an outlet.  I do get mighty lonely here….it’s high time I change that, and very soon!

Be kind.  Peace.  ~MB

Early Morning Rantings!

Once again I am awakened at 2am, just am not meant to sleep like a normal person should right now.  I wake up and I am just…up…no going back to sleep in the immediate future.

I had a really great conversation with a great woman that I have been talking to lately.  It wasn’t an easy chat at all, but it was good for both of us I believe.  I confided in her a good bit about my addiction history, and she didn’t go running away like a scared cat. Addiction is not an easy topic to navigate and I admire her for her inquisitiveness on the topic, as it is a big part of who I am and why I am.  I look forward to more conversations with her, about everything.  She is someone I very much want to keep in my life.  🙂

Today was a bit hectic, but seriously productive. I worked til 1pm and then got together with my best friend and went to do our Friday afternoon errands around town.  Every Friday we have a ritual of doing this.  It’s called living paycheck to paycheck.  We get paid, go out and pay our bills, do the shopping for our respective households and take care of whatever else needs doing in town.  It is a struggle sometimes, but I make it work somehow.  And I realize that there are millions of others who are making it work this way as well.  It’s not easy in today’s economy or job market to do it any other way – especially if you don’t have a college education to fall back on, which I don’t.  Sometimes it feels likeI am always trying to play catch up on things, but hey, that’s just how it is.  I do alright.

I visited Trader Joe’s grocery this afternoon, I love that place!  I actually requested an employment application when I was checking out, and the woman who checked me out told me it was a super great place to work.  Everyone in there seems pretty pleasant and happy to be there, so they must enjoy the job.  I love the diversity of people in the place, from old hippies, to housewives, to young dykes, it’s just a palate of different people. They must have a really good company equality policy.  I am going to research the company a bit just to be sure that I would be a good fit there.

I also visited Staples office supply store on my excursion about town.  I needed a ream of copy paper.  They had a really good deal on some excellent quality paper that I had to take advantage of!  That is another place I could picture myself working.  Although a bit more “stuffy” than Trader Joe’s eclectic atmosphere, it would be fun.  I was in the corporate business world for many years and used to frequent the place quite a bit for supplies for my company.  I imagine working with people who were doing the same thing would be right up my alley in skill sets. And being the techno nerd that I am, I can imagine I would probably reinvest in the company and that might not be a good idea!  I’d be buying stuff like crazy.

Meanwhile, in Trumpy-land the Twitterverse is running wild with Trumpy stuff.  This Russian connection thing is really getting out of hand, Jeff Sessions needs to resign and a full investigation needs to ensue.  It just has to happen to put this subject into some sort of understandable terms. I was Tweeting with a friend in Texas who is petrified right now.  Being our age and queer isn’t going to be an easy path under Trump as he keeps going along with ripping away our rights and equalities.  It’s also just plain scary as an American, not withstanding being a part of the LGBTQ community!   Everyone seems to feel the impending doom of being attacked in some way by all of the executive orders and wild things that Trump and his team are doing or proposing to do.  I know I’m fucking scared.

Living in Maine has some pretty unique advantages.  Where I live especially because geographically it’s a great spot.  Right between Boston Mass, and Portland Maine.  I can be at the beach in 5 minutes, in the White Mountains in less than an hour and to either of the two cities in about 45 minutes.  Geographically it’s fucking perfection.  Maine also has a good equality rating. I just read an article in the Bangor Daily News about Maine being at the top when it comes to gender equality.  We also have good protections for the LGBTQ citizens here too.  I am glad that I live in this type of state.  From personal experience I can say that there IS really good gender equality.  Maine women are a fierce and tough lot.  Especially those from “down” Maine, which is actually upstate Maine…it’s a Maine thing…those women are hardened by the lifestyle of living in a very rural state, where you have to be fairly tough to survive.  I live in the more populated area, it’s a bit easier to navigate life here, but my cousins are down Mainers’ and they are not to be messed with.  The women are equal to the men up there in so many ways, they do equal work and expect equal pay. And truth be known, I believe they run the whole fucking show!  I have a healthy respect for my down Maine women cousins. They take no prisoners.

I hope your weekend is a great one!  Signing off from southern Maine….Peace!  ~MB

 

Ahhh..March and Patreon

I’ve been trying to find better venues for publishing some of my blogging work.  Not really the day to day blogs, but more the topic blogs that I do, as well as the political opinion blogs.  I just jointed Patreon, which is a site to promote my work.  I am still in the early stages of working on the Patreon page, my MainelyButch.com web page and trying to tie the three – WordPress, Patreon and MB.com – together neatly.  I would like it to be fairly easy to navigate and would like to make it all work together.

I have been having a real struggle sleeping lately.   I’m thinking that it’s a combination of being stressed out over Trumpy things, a bit of late winter depression and fighting my addictions all kind of piled up on top of one another.  I finally got fed up with feeling so out of sorts and went to see my doctor yesterday.  I am going to see a clinician at Groups, an addiction recovery center here, and hope to get into their long term recovery program.  My intake appointment is on Wednesday, wish me luck.  I have been clean for some time, but I fight like a bitch to stay clean every damned day.  The more help I have with staying the course the better I think.  It’s a life-long fight and one I intend to win.

Trump almost looked vaguely presidential during his most recent address to Congress. I was amazed that he wrote – or at least someone wrote – a speech that didn’t have any bragging about his election win, no dissing the media, and no crying about his inauguration turn out.  He kept things on track and it was the best I have seen him do yet.  I am imagining that behind the scenes there it’s really chaotic when he has his little tiffs and meltdowns with the press.  I bet that someone close to him had to write that speech and then absolutely convince him to behave himself.  The one part that I didn’t like was him using the widow of the Navy Seal that was killed recently in a Trump ordered raid.  Trump didn’t heed the advice of his advisors for that raid, he ordered it and then it turned out badly while he wasn’t even in the situation room to monitor what was happening,  Pathetic that he would try to use this Seal’s widow to garner some sympathy and to try to get some praise for himself for “going after the bad guys”.  There needs to be an investigation into that raid just like there was in Benghazzi, because upper level mistakes were surely made that cost us dearly.

And now Sessions has recused himself from this investigation into the Russian connection to Trump’s campaign.  And he admits now that he LIED to Congress….ooooo….Republicans HATE when you LIE to Congress.  I’m sure that his own party is not looking favorably upon him being chosen as Attorney General now.  I believe there will be a special prosecutor brought in and a full investigation will ensue.  So far we have 3 people, all lying and all about the Russia/Trump tie up.  This isn’t good.  Almost like it’s 1973 again….hard to believe that this is real life in America right now….Are we having fun yet?  haha

Off to my regular job now. It’s a fine day in Maine, the sun just came up and the sky is very pretty.  I can hear all the birds singing – even with the windows closed!  Which reminds me the feeders need filling this morning as I do my chores before work.  Yes, it will be a sunny clear day here and hopefully will just get warmer by the day, as I am sick and tired of winter! I’m anxious to get back outside and rake and garden, do things that are good for the soul once again.

Take care dear readers.  Remember be kind.  Peace.  ~MB

 

 

Living in Maine…the Quirks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace!   ~MB

fort-foster-sea-smoke

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

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