Deep Thoughts and a Look Back on 2019

 

“No one is ever promised and easy path through this snake infested swamp…and then it’s suddenly our turn to cross that black water, or become lost in the past, perpetually locked in suspended states of illusion. Just where are you going? What’s the purpose of your journey? Do you know? Or have an idea? sigh ah, and there it is…the never-ending stream of unanswerable, internal, silently screaming questions bombarding our brains, commandeering our thoughts; demanding answers — for which we have none…yet.” {asl 2019}

If I died alone, never meeting the one for me, so be it, that’s what was meant to be. But I found the one for me, my soulmate. She is my partner, and my best friend. The mere thought of not being able to talk to her again, discuss science, argue about politics, talk of the obvious existence of extraterrestrials, the chance to make each other laugh…. these things fill me with a dread and sadness I can’t put into words.

It really all comes down to this though: tell your loved ones you love them. Don’t let things end on bad notes. Don’t go to bed angry. Take the blame during a fight even if you’re right, because life is so much more fleeting than you realize. Do nice things for people, express your appreciation. Be romantic, be kind, be optimistic. Do not allow fear and anger to rob you of your happiness ever. Be bold. Take chances. Love hard. Do not let go easily, be resilient. And always, always say ‘I love you’ upon parting.

2019 was an upside down year; one of those years where you learn the hard way to roll with the punches of life events and try not to let that bad taste in your mouth linger for too long as it will slowly poison you from the inside out. It’s one of the years that presented me with a HUGE learning event and some MUCH needed wisdom and guidance around life and living with purpose – not just sliding by from day to day. While that method seems to somehow make sense at times, it’s not really any way to live every day. We each need purpose and we each have desires. Those must be fulfilled or we end up just empty and floating aimlessly in the sea of darkness, alone, afraid and feeling quite useless. Nothing makes sense. No one makes sense. It leads us often to the quesiton “what is the point?” — never a good question to be asking oneself.

I haven’t been myself for a couple of months now. I was losing ground. Feeling stupid and not taking care of myself as I should have been doing. I had let myself become heavily invested in someone who came into my life 2 years ago; someone I believe is a real soulmatch for me. What I did wrong, in hindsight, is I allowed myself to let down my walls far too soon, and far to low.I lost touch with that one major Butch rule: “Never let your life be control or guided by pussy – anyone’s pussy – ever.” Until the day one of my Butch brothers slapped me on the back hard and said those words right into my face from about 10″ away, adding “Get a grip, man. Get a grip!” He was right on the money too. I had given over too much while not taking what I needed in return. I was over-confident that she loved me as I loved her. I let my guard down because of that and I am paying dearly still. Perhaps for a long, long time to come. Guess that’s to be determined.

I’ve been rolling these thoughts over and over in my head for weeks on end now. Trying to make sense of which way to go now. How to I reclaim my power? How do I find my worth once again? Who the hell AM I now??? I am not even sure of that anymore. This really took a LOT out of me. I never, ever saw it coming. Completely blindsided by someone I trusted more than anyone I had ever trusted in my life before. THAT fucking HURT the hardest.

I know that I have to continue to work through this myself. I know that I can and will do it; I’ll be damned if I let this keep me down or change my positiive attitude. I don’t want to live with doubt and fear. Nor do I ever wish to become so involved or over-confident in someone like that ever again without a very specifically laid out contractual agreement of the rules between us. I didn’t move on doing that with this person, because I was taking it “slow” and now I see the very, very big error in that way!

I also see things like making sure that both people have a really good idea of thier personal desires for the direction of the relationship – before becoming overly invested or even tossing out the “L” word. Relationships are great support for anyone, if they are healthy and equally tended to by both parties. One cannot “give” more than the other in the emotional department especially. Both must be willing to be equally vulnerable and thus trusting.

Don’t you just wish like a motherfucker that we KNEW all of these little tidbits of relationship tips before we stumbled into someone we wanted to love with all we’ve got inside? Wouldn’t that just make love so much easier? Ah, but the unknown of ‘love’ is part of the mysteriousness that makes it so damned attractive and alluring. The discovery process is so intoxicating that in our drunken love state we often lose sight of reality and throw caution to the wolves. It’s almost comical -but really NOT – how foolish we get over lust and love as well as how often we confuse the two states completely.

I can still shut my eyes, lay my head back on the pillow and see every curve, every hair, every mark on her body in my mind. I knew that body very well. And I showered that body and mind with love beyond anything I had given to anyone before. That’s pretty fucking deep to even say, but it’s fucking right as rain. Yes, I have lots of photos I could refer to, but I have boxed them all up and stored them away, out of sight to try to keep the visions of a minimum. It hurts to look at her photo and those eyes…those gorgeous eyes. With my eyes still shut I can inhale and still find her smell lingering in the recessed depths of my brain. I still feel her laying next to me, finger tips tracing across my chest, my jawbone, sweeping into my short hair as she leans in to kiss me passionately. Yes, I have all of those so very real memories driving me insane nightly. I wish so hard to be swallowed up by those thoughts and memories and be forever lost in space with only her as my company; my sustenance, my survival until that final heartbeat goes still and I can forget. That is the only thing that will make me forget. The only thing.

Everyone has their own reality in this life. No two are the same. Most aren’t even similar. Often our immediate life circumstance is the basis for most of our reality based choices and decisions. For example, my life as an older, single Butch with no children or major responsibilities at this point in my life is vastly different from my recent girl’s circumstances with having a special needs child that needs 24/7 care, a husband who is there in the picture daily to support the two, and a professional life she tries to manage around it all, and what I thought was a desire for a lesbian partnership too.

Once, in the not-so-distant past, I thought that these two different realities would mesh together and be very good for all involved. I thought, and was willing to, I could provide much physical and emotional support to her and to him as well with the kiddo. Because I love her so deeply – and grew to adore and love the child as well – I believed that I would be good for them all; be a good fit and be a very loving partner in the sphere of things. I personally still actually still believe this could be true. I had reached a point where I am fully willing to change my physical situation in life to be close to her and continue the relationship into whatever the next phase would be. We were close to making something close to that happen when the world fell apart for us. So close.

It’s no longer of any use to rehash the events that lead to the demise of our relationship. I don’t even care about those things anymore. It’s useless to keep even thinking about them, so I have basically forgotten about 90% of it now. I wish it had never happened, but it did and I didn’t know what to do, how to handle it, or which way to turn to figure it out. I found myself standing very alone on the precipice of darkness, without the anchor which had held me happily steady for almost 2 years. It was the saddest day of my life to date. Hands down, saddest. I felt true loss and had no one who understood or to lean on in that time. That’s when I truly learned how fucking strong I am inside. I weathered the most serious storm of my personal life by myself, unassisted and did it with the most dignity I could muster. Maybe it wasn’t perfect, but I never claimed perfection…but I’ve weathered all of it as good as I could.

Our lives happen in chapters. This is close to the end of chapter 5 for me. Generally I’ve experienced the chapters to coincide closely with decades and milstone marks. Childhood, teen years, 20’s (insanity), 30’s settling, 40’s realizing what I was missing something big, and the 50’s trying to find that more stable, decent life I desire, more purpose and a partner I can count on to be at my side. Maybe these chapters are similar for many of us. I know through conversations that I share much with many of my Butch counterparts. And sometimes we even have to refer back to a previous chapter, a specific page perhaps, to help us through the current chapter a bit easier. There’s no set “road-map” of this lifestyle, just a gut feeling and some pretty honestly ethical ways and rules to things. I dislike hard rules, but there are about 5 Butch rules that I find I have to be guided by always or I get off track and all fucked up! Ha!

Insanity is the ritual of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This is the most true of statements ever spoken. Yet, we all do it. We all try to get what we want in the ways that we are comfortable and used to using…even if it doesn’t work this time, maybe it will next time…where that fucked up thinking comes from is beyond my comprehension.

Ok, enough deep thought for today/tonight. It’s been a pretty good last-Saturday in 2019. IT was a super sunny, warm (50 degrees F!), gorgeous day to be alive. I got tons done, preparing myself and my home for 2020’s arrival on Wednesday.

2019 will definitely be a memorable year- if not for the right reasons, then for some of the more bleak or perhaps less attractive ones. Hey, nothing is guaranteed or promised – ever. Not in life, loving or living on this planet in this time dimension. WE ALL struggle to roll out of bed every morning and do it all over again. Some days we literally stop and ask ourselves, “Why?”, and some days we just pretend we are enjoying it as we slurp down coffee and race off to the office or work site for the day. Whatever we have to do to make it work; to keep us going in a somewhat forwardish direction, and to try to live our best lives, as our most authentic selves, we just do it. Over and over. Lather, rinse, repeat. Whether we are happy or not…THAT is literally up to each one of us personally to determine and make it so — or not. Choices.

Peace. ~ MB

My Brain on Over-drive

November 2019

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

This is so true of my feelings for sure! MB

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

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

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

A few of my ideas/plans thus far are:

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

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

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


October 2019

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

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

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

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

Gobble. ~ MB

We’re ALL Struggling… So Be Kind.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace! ~ MB

Confrontation…sucks.

I’ve been up all night dealing with a very stressful, emotional and frustrating situation here in my home. Let me start by telling you all that I am not good at confrontation. There’s history with me and confrontation…history that goes all the way back to early childhood if I am truthful, which I always aim to be!

I don’t believe that anyone likes confrontation, when you must directly deal with a person verbally, in person, about a subject or issue that you most likely disagree on or one of you has a problem with. For instance, when I was a kid and I did something out of line I knew that I would have to face my father, a former US Marine and police officer. Those were my first dealings with confrontation. I generally lost and the lectures could be brutal.

When I moved out of my parents’ house at 18, a week after graduation, to move in with my then “boyfriend” you KNOW that caused some serious ill feelings. I was raised old-school. No sex before marriage. No living together before marriage. Etc. I was starting to grow angry with people by this point and I was speaking my mind; fighting back.

Then I started to drink at 19…I would get into arguments, fist-fights and verbal boxing matches; all just various forms of human confrontation.

I out grew the rowdiness of my early 20’s after a few years. I quit drinking (I was one who did not NEED alcohol, it just made me mean and into a total asshole at times). When I quit drinking at 32 I got into counselling, talk therapy on a weekly basis. My temper got much better as I learned the reasons behind some of my anger with the world and with certain people in my sphere. I learned to use tools of conversation, discussion, cooperation and compromise. I became a MUCH better person and learned how to deal with people in a much more mature and civil way. Still, I did not like confrontation and would avoid it if possible.

I spent the last 2-3 days in my room at my home with the door closed. I came out to eat, us the bathroom and tend the dogs. They stayed with me, of course. They wouldn’t have it any other way. I needed to think. I needed to be alone. I had to deal with my best friend about her plan going forward now that she has had her knee replaced and has gotten on disability so she has an income. She’s been staying with me for months, and prior to her staying here I was doing many things to help her survive without an income. I was happy to do it as she is my best friend. I let her stay here, with her cat, believing at first that it was to help her through a bad spot. It started as a temporary thing. Her plan was to go to rehab and then move in with her son. That never materialized.

She had her knee replaced a month ago. She had been dealing with not being able to use it for years, and then in November 2018 she ended up in the hospital for about 6 weeks with a major infection in the knee area that ate 2 inches of her shin bone, the knee (what was left of it by then) and did lots of damage. The infection was so serious that she had to be hospitalized and IVed with heavy-duty antibiotics. When she got out of the hospital I brought her here because she could not navigate stairs at her own house, had no heat, no running water and was on borrowed time before the electric got cut off. The house was also in default, so it wasn’t going to be hers much longer. Thus, I didn’t mind having her here; taking care of her and helping her through the recovery.

I helped her apply for disability and insurance. Finally a month ago she had the bad knee replaced with a titanium one, and rods inserted in both the shin bone and the thigh bone to pull it all together. It was a pretty successful surgery and she’s healing well. She’s not doing her physical therapy though, which aggravates the hell out of me. Her knee won’t last long or work very well without the therapy. She’s not making a good choice by forgoing it.

So, I’ve been at this for about a year now. And lately it’s been on my mind that she really needs to find a permanent place to live. Rent a room from someone in town or something. She really only needs a room as that’s where she spends 90% of her time. A room in a house with access to the bathroom and kitchen. That would be perfect for her and easy enough to find. But I doubt she will even look for one.

Tonight she got on me asking why I was in my room and so quiet. I had wanted to wait to sit down with her and have a nice conversation; explain to her what I was feeling and what I needed and what I expected from her. Finally , I told her. I need to get my space back and she needs to find a permanent place to live. Sleeping on the couch in my back sunroom just is not a permanent thing and was never intended to be from the beginning.

We get along great. I’ve loved having her here and loved helping her out. I love her cat. It’s been very nice. It’s just that I don’t want it to be permanent. She needs to get out on her own and get back to taking care of herself. She needs to find a room, get a used car, take care of her outstanding business and get back to living her own life. She lived alone for years in her big old house, right up until the infection in her knee where she had to be hospitalized. She couldn’t go back to that house then because of the lacking facilities. And I didn’t mind helping her out; best friends DO that kind of stuff.

I am very frustrated with how it went. She didn’t take it well. Didn’t even let me finish talking to her. All she heard was “move” and she shut down completely. Wouldn’t have a rational conversation with me about it. Wouldn’t let me fully explain or tell her my ideas of a plan to help her get this done. She raged and cried. Then she flipped me off and told me I wasn’t her mother. I didn’t understand and I got ANGRY at that point; all civil conversation, negotiation and discussion went up in smoke at that moment. Our voices were both raised and we were both frustrated and angry with one another. It was obvious that we had very different visions of the future.

Because she IS my bestie and I love her like a very close sister, I do not relish the idea of her cutting me out of her life over this. I do not see this as so drastic that we have to remain angry and not speak to each other ever again, resulting in the death of our close bond and wonderful friendship. I understand that she wants to continue to live here. I gave her an option of renting my spare room from me, but she insists that she can’t possibly handle paying that much rent. I won’t even go into the amount, just let me say it’s everything except food, personal toiletries, and cell phone costs…and it’s very reasonable. I know what she will start receiving in SSDI benefits and I know it’s completely do-able, leaving her plenty of cash for incidentals over the month. Hell, I do it on LESS than what she gets! You just have to be creative, smart and active in making it happen for yourself. Hell, I was making it happen for BOTH of us for a LONG ASS TIME! Give me a break, she could easily make it work if she just put her mind into it and TRIED or even made the CHOICE to TRY and COMMIT herself to DOING IT for HERSELF! I have all the confidence in her that she CAN do this, she just has to WANT to do it. Plain and simple.

I wanted to sit down -back hiding in my room – and write about this immediately. I had to get it out of my head and make sure I am not being unreasonable. I suggested she take the next SIX weeks to pull everything together – plent of time for anyone! And I also offered my assistance with anything I could help with during her search for the right arrangement.

She didn’t want to hear any of it. Stubborn. Irrational. Stupid. That’s how she’s acting currently. I do hope she will think about this and adopt a better, more winning attitude. This isn’t the end of the world, it’s just a change that has to happen in her life. I should have thought the whole thing through and made sure she understood that I didn’t want this to be an on-going thing. I want my zen room back. I want my privacy back and I want my bestie to visit and hangout like we used to – each living in our own places. Hind-sight is 20/20 they say. I’m sorry it ended up in a battle. I hope we can discuss it civilly at some point. Of course, she says she’s moving out immediately; going to Crossroads, the homeless shelter…maybe she said that just to evoke some pity, maybe she’s serious. Its a damned shame if she is serious. She’s better than this, she’s smart and resourceful and can easily deal with this if she’ll just put herself out there and DO IT. No one can do this for her. Time to get back on her own, like we all strive to be; self-sufficient and proud.

Anyway, that was my night. I hated it. I wish I had waited like I planned, but she badgered me about it and I had to tell her my request tonight. I guess we will see what happens now. I want the best for her. I hope she makes good, solid decisions for herself As she said, I’m NOT her mother, son, or wife. And she’s not any of those things to me. While I felt bad that her family wouldn’t help her out with a place to live, so I stepped in, but I did my part. I did all I could do for her and now it’s time for her to get back out there and reclaim her life. I know she can do it. I wish her the very best and I will be here if she wants to talk, wants my help with moving or wants any advice about anything I can assist with now.

Some days (and nights) just don’t pan out like you expect them to. This was one of them.

I need some SLEEP and to collect my thoughts. I might even call my therapist and make an appointment. I need a mental tune up after last night. Really bad.

Hope you are all doing well! Peace!!! ~MB

Catching Up…Mueller’s Week!

Whew…the world feels like it’s moving so very fast lately. It’s like “stop the merry-go-round, I wanna get off!” It’s post-mid-term elections, holiday season, and the tension of waiting for Mueller’s report is palpable. 

This year, 2018, is definitely one of huge proportion. The year of collusion, corruption, and murder. Never in my 56 (almost 57) years have I witnessed such incredible debauchery in my own country. We have been reduced to the laughing stock of the world; a country no longer trusted or revered, with an authoritarian leader who is hell-bent on destroying every good institution in our federal system. Sad. 

Families have become divided over things that Trump is doing or had done. Gatherings are often strained or even combative. The GOP (Republican’s Grand Ole Party) has become silent in their collusion with Trump and his destruction of our political systems and our judicial system.

Extreme weather has devastated the gulf coast of Florida and the surrounding region. Wildfires ravaged Paradise California and Malibu Beach leaving thousands homeless after they lost everything in those fires. It’s been a very tough year on America as a country. I can only hope that 2019 will bring some righteousness and healing because we all need it pretty badly. 

Personally, 2018 has been a pretty good year for me. It brought my woman into my life and lots of great times spent with her. My recovery is going great, and my health has never been better!   I have a wonderful home, a wonderful girlfriend, 2 very healthy little dogs, and a supportive, loving family behind me. So, I have all of that to be grateful for and happy about. 

I put my Christmas tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving. A little holiday cheer in the house is a good thing. I even got Lulu and Nola new Christmas jammies that are so damned cute on them.

Wow!  It’s Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018…and I do believe that Cohen just confirmed Russian collusion between Trump and his family and members of the Trump campaign team.  Holy Fuck. It’s finally going to get put out in the open for all to see and know that all of Trumps “I don’t have anything to do with Russia” bullshit is just a huge pack of outright lies to cover the fact that he made a deal with the Kremlin and Putin in exchange for their help in getting him elected to the American Presidency.  And I think this is just more of Mueller being super smart and circling the slow-motion train wreck called Team Trump.

Holy crap!  Now it’s Friday…the fucking week has been a blur of Mueller letting little pieces of the puzzle of Trump being compromised by Russia (and I believe he will also point to him being compromised by Saudi Arabia and Ukraine as well when it’s all said and done).  It’s been a crazy ass week for US political news junkies like me. This has become a sort of daily soap opera where you can NEVER imagine what is going to drop next. It’s impossible to predict this shit! You couldn’t write this script if you tried! It’s been a full week of finding out for certain, through the disclosure of factual evidence, that Trump is an un-indicted co-conspirator in obstructing justice, lying to Mueller/FBI/Congress, collusion with Russia, pay off plans to gift Putin with a $50M penthouse, and oh so much more is coming down the Mueller pipeline! 

I bet Trump never saw his November coming to this kind of end. He’s got a big Christmas present coming! The American people are getting to the truth, and it’s not pretty for the Trump family at all. Personally, I will be happy to see him put out of office – one way or another. He’s done nothing short of destruction over these last 2 years and it’s time to put an end to this bullshit.

America needs a LEADER. One who will stand tall, be respected and respectful in world dealings, be looked up to by young people, who treats everyone equally and with dignity. We want to get on with normalizing the political climate here and get on with business like improving our infrastructure, fixing immigration, getting healthcare under control and making sure everyone has good access to affordable care. We’re tired of being embarrassed on the world stage by a man who only think of himself and what he can gain from any situation or interaction. We want to be more at peace here at home, while promoting more peace abroad. We want to get our troops out of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria and stop helping the Saudis slaughter the Yemen people and give more help to Ukraine to retake Crimea and force the Russians out of their lands. We want Putin to return the 24 Ukranian sailors he has taken hostage and imprisoned with 13 yr sentences for violating “his” border ideas. We want fair trade policies, not tariffs and over taxation of our trade partners. We just want an end to Trumpism and hatred it has caused.

I’m happy it’s the weekend. I am going to go to a Christmas parade tomorrow morning and to a craft fair at the local high school.  It’s supposed to be a nice day, so I should also be able to finish up my leaf raking and yard clean up before it snows again on Sunday – as predicted. I’m happy; I feel loved and life is good. 

Peace.  Be Kind.  ~ MB

American Leadership

Continental DivideElections were held on Nov. 6, 2018, our mid-terms, across the nation.  There was a very big build up to these mid-terms this time around and for very good reason. We have a tyrant in the position of POTUS and the citizens of the USA are being divided by this man on a constant basis. And the division was very well represented in the numbers seen in the election. More people voted this time around than voted in any previous mid-term cycle since Watergate happened back when Nixon was in office.

I am a proud American. I am a military veteran who served my country for 6 years proudly, loyally and honorably. I want what is best for America and also what is good for the world and ALL good people. I am not a nationalist, I believe in global thinking. To limit my thinking to just America would be selfish and closed-minded. We are a connected world in many, many ways. We depend on one another across the board.

Here in the United States of America we are all the products of immigrants from hundreds of other countries coming to this continent in search of a better life for themselves and their heirs. No one other than the Native Americans who were here for thousands of years, peacefully, before the Vikings and then Columbus invaded their land and took it in the name of Kings. Now we are all here, occupying this same soil, and we must all strive to get along. I know that sounds simplistic, but if we just start with that basic idea – to just get along – maybe we can begin to heal the divisions that #45 has caused, inflamed and encouraged with his words and actions. We the people of the United States must rise above the hatred and bigotry of this “man” and refuse to allow him to further divide and polarize us as American citizens.

I do not know how #45 got to where he is; how he convinced the Republican party to allow a man of his nature to become a candidate – backed by them – and then actually become president of the USA. (POTUS).  I have much respect for all people, regardless of political affiliation, and I want to believe that all people are good and really do want good things for themselves and the country at large. I have voted Republican and I have voted Democrat and I have identified as Independent. I vote the issues, the character of the candidate and I take the time to make sure I know and understand the facts. I wish that everyone would adopt a similar way of thinking, but I do understand that some are so brainwashed or perhaps not properly educated on the real facts, that they think they have to only vote one way – the way their chosen party wants them to vote.

After the elections were tallied I watched as the “leader” of my country mocked and ridiculed candidates of his own party (Republicans) for losing to the Democrats, while he blamed their losses on their not being properly loyal and in line with him and his egotistical, maniacal and hateful priorities. I have never seen this kind of blatantly hateful behavior from ANY former US President – NEVER. It is not right or proper for the leader of the party to belittle those beneath him in stature – for ANY reason. He shouldn’t even be involved in individual state-level politics in my opinion. The President of the United States should remain neutral and out of the way to allow states to hold their own fair and balanced elections. He should not be out there demanding their loyalty and alignment with his personal ideals. He backed 74 candidates and 53 of them lost last Tuesday, most for being Trump backed to begin with. And now 3 states are facing recounts because of razor-thin margins and Trump tweets out that Democrats are “stealing” elections – with no proof, no grounds, and no reason. These elections are being monitored VERY closely by both parties and independent monitors. Election fraud is very front-of-mind in America and we are ensuring it’s not happening. All the people want is a FAIR count of EVERY vote cast in every election. It’s not right to “call” an election before every single vote is counted, i.e. free elections. That is how democracy works. Here is the definition.

Democracy according to Merriam Webster Dictionary:

1a: government by the people especially: rule of the majority. b: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections. 2: a political unit that has a democratic government.

This election was huge for the USA. We changed the make-up of our representation dramatically. Democrats claimed 235 seats in the House of Representatives with 102 of them being claimed by women to include 40 black women, 2 Muslim women, and several lesbian identified women. So women now make up 25% of the Congress. Democrats also reclaimed at least 333 state legislative seats across the country, and 9 governorship positions – including my state, Maine. Democrats routed the Republican party and the American citizens sent Trump and his small base a warning signal that we do not like or agree with the direction he is trying to take our nation morally, ethically or internationally.

Yes, we had a blue wave…although Trump won’t admit it – of course, he won’t, that would mean he didn’t get what he wanted and he’s not going to ever admit to anything that is TRUE.  It may not have been the tidal wave we wanted, but it was definitely a geography changing wave that will change the Congress drastically for his next 2 years in office.

In fear of what this Democratically controlled Congress will do Trump immediately fired his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, and installed a low-level guy named Matt Whitaker who is a sworn Trump loyalist and has spoken harshly against the on-going probe into improper Russian collaboration in the 2016 election. This move is entirely unconstitutional and will be recified very soon I believe. Whitaker is not the right man for this job, he has no experience, no credentials, is currently under FBI investigation for defrauding people out of millions of dollars with a troubled company he represented, he’s stated his opposition to the special counsel,he’s an extreme partisan and cannot serve as an unbiased AG, it’s just not possible. Plus, he must be confirmed and that’s just not going to happen as he will never pass the vetting process.

Today Trump is in Paris, regrettably. He’s supposed to be there to commemorate Armistice day yet he skipped going to the battlefield cemetary yesterday because of rain. The soldiers that lay there dead didn’t cancel because of rain, it was raining bullets as they fought for the freedom of the world from fascism and nationalism 1914 to 1918. His lack of respect for the military is disgraceful. He talks a big talk of how he supports our soldiers, yet he has not even gone to Afghanistan or any other place where we are currently engaged to visit the troops – and he’s had 2 whole years to do so. He’s a draft dodger who is STILL afraid of war, even though he seems to want to create one all the time.

This morning all of the other world leaders walked in a huge line down the middle of Paris in a show of solidarity. Trump did not. He took his own motorcade. Thus, the USA was not represented in that show of solidarity. Disgraceful and disgusting. And it was VERY much noticed by the whole world. He has no respect for veterans, he only talks about the military as a way to try to reach his dwindling little base. His generals don’t even trust him or agree with him, especially when it comes to sending all those troops unnecessarily to the Mexican border. He has not comprehension of how the military works or how he is supposed to use it – or not use it – given particular situations. His performance in Paris was regrettably demeaning to us as veterans and US citizens.

The United State of America has long been viewed as the bastion of Democracy; a free land governed by the people where justice and equality are high priority. Trump does not see this nation as such. He wants to be King and run it as he sees fit, regardless of the fact that he PLEDGED to uphold the Constitution of the United State of America. I am willing to BET that he has NOT read the document, let alone that he does not understand or comprehend the words and principles of it.

What we want here in America is some return to civility. We want to focus on the problems we have; homelessness, healthcare for all, infrastructure, education, economic equality and an economic atmosphere that benefits us all, as well as a myriad of other focused important issues such as improved immigration policy for one. We want to be good world citizens and neighbors to our allies. We want to be a proud country that represents what is good in people and the world; with good ethical behavior, attention to higher morals, and protection for those in need.

We do not want a leader who denigrates people for no reason. Who cannot handle being asked questions about what he says and does without calling people derogatory names and being an outright bully. We want a leader who will not cow to the Russians or kiss Putin’s ass so publically. We want a leader who will treat other world leaders with respect and appropriately, not one who picks fights, calls names, tweets out racist slurs, or sees other counties as “shitholes”. We want a leader who can filter his mouth for hells sake.

I really sincerely hope that the Republican party will find and fully vet a good, respectful, decent and intelligent candidate to challenge Trump for the 2020 chance to run for President. I know they can do FAR BETTER than having to “walk the line” with this egotistical man-boy they got stuck with in 2016. Yes, people wanted change, but they DIDN’T want a tyrant to destroy every limb of our sacred governing body. We want a leader who believes in justice for all; that no one is above the law – not even him/herself!!! We want a leader we can be proud of to represent us to the world; one that our kids can look up to and say “that guy is awesome, he cares about people and I want to be like him” – I know there aren’t any kids out there emulating Trump right now, there just can’t be.

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, said today

“Patriotism is the opposite of nationalism.  Nationalism is the betrayal of patriotism.” By saying, ‘Our interests first, who cares about the others,’ we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what gives it grace and what is essential: its moral values.”

These are very poignant words. I believe as he does, that we all need to be more caring and more civil and work toward the good of the whole world while taking good care of our own countries as well. We need to share the burdens, cooperate to solve the problems and work toward the benefit of all people. I want a president in my country who also believes this – with all his heart, and who tells only the TRUTH to us citizens.

Peace & Kindness.  ~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