It’s that last day of November, wow has this month flown by! It feels like just yesterday it was early September. It’s raining here in Maine and it’s cold. I am just thankful that it’s not snowing! I know that snow is inevitable but the longer we go without it the happier I am.
I’m off from work today and not positive of what my day has in store just yet. It’s very early and I just got up about an hour ago. Yes, I am a very early riser! My body just won’t allow me to sleep past 5am. Sleep is overrated in my opinion anyway. I feel like I am wasting time if I sleep too long in the mornings.
I have been watching the news reports of Trumpy’s cabinet choices and nominations. It’s been a virtual who’s who of straight white men parading across his golden carpet. Sickening to think that the alt-right is going to gain so much MORE power in our country. It angers me and makes me want to find a group of like minded people around my area to gather and discuss strategies for us all to be of support to each other and to react to the outrage I am sure is yet to come. I feel the real need to be prepared to protect myself and others from things I can only imagine are in store for us all.
Tomorrow is World AIDS Day 2016 around the globe. The theme this year is Hands Up for #HIVPrevention. I was reading that the new push for self-testing will help to give people better access to testing and information on accessing treatment and prevention. I don’t know about self testing…mitt seems to me that having a test done by someone who understands the ramifications should that person test positive. And taking someone with you when you get test results is a good idea. I went alone 25 years ago. I remember it like it was outlast week. It was the day I felt like I had an expiration date stamped on my forehead. I didn’t hear mush after the woman who told me I was positive told me. I started immediately to think of how I was going to ever tell my girlfriend and my loved ones. And I asked for a retest on the spot. I had to make sure that there was no mistake. But there was no mistake and I have been living with this virus in my blood for over 25 years now. In the first few years I did a lot of outreach and prevention work trying to get others to not make my mistake and to protect themselves. Nowadays I keep up on thing and concentrate on keeping myself healthy and happy with my second chance at life. Before the availability of the medications that I take every day to stay healthy and virtually HIV free, I lost a lot of friends to AIDS. At the height of the epidemic there was no good oh gmail like there is today. If only we had moved faster when this started they might all still be alive. I’m one of the lucky ones. I managed to stay alive, suffer through many failed treatment options and live to see this day where we now have the potent drugs needed to sustain a healthy life living with HIV.
SO…I am truly thankful for my life and for all of the support I have in it. I feel like I am certainly blessed in so many ways. Tomorrow I will pause to remember those who weren’t so lucky and those who we have lost, but I will also remember that this fight isn’t over until we find a cure and make it accessible to all of those who need it. I shall light a candle of remembrance. And I will thank God for giving me a second chance and a chance to make a difference in the world.
I spent about 2 hours tonight rifling through the in-box of my email account. I then deleted the entire in-box contents…after discovering that I had saved emails from people who I don’t even know anymore. Disturbing to see them still. But all the emails are gone now, and my in-box is clean as a whistle. Yay! Feels good to have a fresh slate there. I think I’ve been purging some pent up feelings lately, and doing that was just part of me getting rid of stuff that I didn’t need to be keeping for any reason whatsoever.
It was a good day to be Butch. I raked leaves for 2 hours this morning and bagged them for curbside pick up. I then hauled everything out of the shed (because I couldn’t get in there!) and neatly put it back in – after sorting through thing and making 3 piles, one for donation, one for keeping and one for the trash. Then I reorganized things and got the stuff taken to it’s proper places, i.e. donations and trash. I felt very accomplished after getting those two big tasks done. And I worked alone today because I needed to do these things myself. I needed some alone time, and I needed to exert myself physically to work off some pent up rage. It worked, I am cool as a cucumber tonight. My world is organized and I feel good about it.
I’m all ready for the holidays I think. My tree is up and decorated real cute. I spent some time by myself on Sunday after work decorating it. Nola and Lulu just watched from their designated couch spots and thought about how insane I was being to be decorating a tree in the house! haha. I chose all of my favorite ornaments and then sorted the rest and donated what I no longer wanted to the Salvation Army store with the rest of the stuff I purged. I have been working through my address book and writing out Christmas cards. I find that to be a cool thing because it makes you think of every person who is in the address book for a few minutes, where they are in your life and what they mean to you. It’s a good exercise I believe. Of course there’s always the line through those who are no longer around, because of death or just plain ghosting (those that just disappear from your life for one reason or another).
I need to look back through my blogs here and do some study on which posts garnered more views than others. I would like to up my readership and need to figure out how. I know these posts about my general life aren’t that interesting and it’s hot topics that seem to get more hits here. Thus I am thinking of doing more blogs about those things and perhaps just a weekly update about life in general.
I watched a TED talk about How to Speak Up for Yourself by Adam Galinsky. It was really a good talk and I highly recommend it to everyone, it’s a 15 minute long piece and the time will be well invested. Personally, I learned that I need to have more self-confidence if I am going to stand up and ask for that raise at work that I feel I so deserve. Perhaps today is the day I will find the confidence to ask for it.
I’ve been working hard on cleaning up my yard around the house all week. I am seeing a lot of plants poking up from the ground in all of my gardens, but in the middle of the lawn these beautiful blue crocus flowers bloom every spring. They must have been dropped there somewhere along the years by a bird or something, because they are no where near a garden, just sitting out in the middle of the lawn. I thought they were so pretty today, in full bloom and all, and I snapped this quick picture with my cell phone….I think the photo came out spectacular for a cell phone pic! This was taken pre-raking of the area, so you get the full natural effect of the leaves and a stick that needed to be picked up too. I actually left it and the area around it totally undisturbed, because it looked so beautiful in it’s natural setting.
So this is my photo of the day share with you.
There is a sort of “challenge” going around on WordPress right now where you post a photo a day for 5 days and write 5 stories/poems/paragraphs about the photo. I was inspired to join the challenge when I saw Cee’s Photography Blog and her post today of the sunset. She always has the best photography and photo type challenges on her blog, and it’s all quite inspiring to us amateur photographers.
I would like to see Butchcountry67 and Kris of Tangled Web both do this 5 day photo challenge too! 🙂 And anyone who is secretly wanting to also do the challenge is welcome to jump on board! I am going to actually take a fresh photo each day instead of using recycled or previously taken photos, but you can probably do it either way, use a photo you have that has an awesome story behind it or take a new photo of something you encounter during your day.
I’ve been seeing the Bald Eagles a LOT lately. I think they’e become my totem or something. They have evidently nested near the river between Maine and New Hampshire close to where I live. I travel that road every day and cross the river. Yesterday I saw one of them sitting on a stump IN the river fishing…He was just gorgeous and such a bright white head and tail, and such a HUGE bird. I would LOVE to get a photo of one or both of the Eagles, now THAT would be a great picture if I can get close enough. I tried yesterday, but I could only get on the bridge, and I only had my cell phone so the pictures didn’t come out very good. I will keep trying, over the summer I am bound to catch a good picture sometime!
The weather here in southern Maine is STARTING to break, it was actually about 30F today, which is like a freaking heatwave to those of us who have survived this record cold and snowbound winter we have been having. Only 15 more days until Spring, but still the threat of storms, although accumulation will now be lesser because of the rising daily temperatures. Thanks God! It’s been brutal…as you all know from all my bitching and moaning about the snow. I know…move…it’s definitely on my mind for next winter for sure.
I am inspired by Opinionated Man’s blog to post photos daily, and this will also force me to be taking photos daily — something I mentioned that I wanted to do more of once again as the weather permits. Today I didn’t get out to do any “fresh” photos, but I shall recycle some of life here, as I would like to continue to participate in the “Daily Life in ____” challenge. I think it’s a great prompt and one we can all use to show bits and pieces of our lives in various parts of this wonderful world.
Here are today’s photos from Eliot Maine and my life.