Sunday and I’m A Bit Off Kilter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grape hyacinths April 2020

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

Getting a Nola smooch….

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

Railing boxes #1 and #2 Pansies mostly

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

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

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

April 26, 2020
At home in Maine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Regards ~ MB

The Aftermath

TimeOnlyPasses

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

———

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

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

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

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

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

2018-08-19 21.57.28

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

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

Peace.  ~  MB

Mid-July Update

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

Let’s do the updates:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace.  ~MB

Nola is Turning 10!

2018-06-07 17.33.58Tomorrow is Miss Nola’s birthday.  She was born on June 10, 2008, so she will turn 10 tomorrow.  The obligatory McDonald’s breakfast will be served to her, and she will be hyper-excited when I wake up and say “Happy Birthday Nola!”  She KNOWS what those words mean:  cheeseburger and fries….and a ride in the car!  And Lulu will be just as excited, they will both jump all around on me on the bed and bark for me to get up.

Nola has been with me since July 31, 2008…the day I found her inside of a cardboard box, with the words “Free Puppy” written on the outside.  I looked inside and saw 2 tiny eyes and a puppy about as big as a guinea pig.  She was tiny, adorable, shaking and scared.  I fell instantly in love, and scooped her up right there. She and I became partners.  The deal was sealed, I told the young woman with the box I would take her and she told me that Nola’s mother was a dashound and her father was a chihuahua…thus she’s a “Chiweenie”.  Funny name for a funny little tiny puppy.

First thing I did was go to the pet store and buy her all the necessary puppy equipment.  I was in New Orleans Lousianna…so I named her NOLA, after the city she was born in.  It fit.  It was appropriate.  I also call her “boo-boo” affectionately.  She likes it.  Nolie-boo-boo.  She traveled with me, loved the car, trucks, u-hauls – anything that moved.  I even took her for rides on my motorcycle when I had it.  The dog just loves to BE with me, wherever I am going, whatever I am doing.

For those of us who have chosen not to have human children, a pet can become the “child” that we need to nurture.  Nola has been my best friend.  My confidant, and my sole source of comfort in times of sadness or grieving.  She’s loved me unconditionally; no matter if I was a good person or a bad person on any particular day. She just loves me, period.  And I never take that love for granted.  I make damned sure that I love and pet her as much as possible.  I keep her near to me all the time.  If I must leave her home, like when I go to work, I tell her where I am going and when I will be back.  Perhaps, you think I am nuts.  It’s a dog.  Yes, it’s a dog, but she has feelings and instincts.  She knows when I am preparing to leave and she likes the reassurance that I will be back.  She’s smart.

I love my dogs.  Nola has given me a great 10 years of unconditional support.  Lulu joined our family unit 3 years ago, and she’s just as important!  She’ll be right next to Nola tomorrow morning, celebrating Nola’s AWESOME 10th Birthday!!!!

Peace!  ~MB

2018-04-10 15.33.51

Ice cream love.