Early Morning Rantings!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Ahhh..March and Patreon

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Why Should I Keep Blogging?

I just read the most awesome and inspirational blog about what keeps people like me blogging and writing.  Despite having major computer issues right now, I am compelled to write more and more.  I am battling the computer and still I love it, I have a serious passion for writing that’s what spurs me on to continue to post to this blog even though I feel like it is somewhat “stuck” right now.

I had the thought that maybe NOW is the time…right now…to take the leap and make some MAJOR changes to this blog.  It’s time to do some house keeping, to delete some old blogs, perhaps update some, reorganize and spiff it up a bit.  I have all this time on my hands with waiting for this move to happen, why not use it to improve something that is near and dear to me – my BLOG! Yeah, that’s the ticket, I need to seriously focus on doing exactly this.

I’ve been blogging here and elsewhere since 2008.  This was not my original or first blog, I think I started way back on AOL (remember those days?) and when I quit AOL I smartly printed out my whole blog on there, which I have neatly tucked away in my files in storage.  Some of that stuff would be great to re-read and edit to post on WP.  I eventually ended up here a few years back – I can’t even remember when now!  I really like WP’s platform, the options and the fact that it’s free.  I never could really get into building myself a real webpage, although I did try a couple of times over the years, I just never quite figured it out.  I don’t have to do much of that kind of work with WP, I can post all I want, and I have rarely tweaked the pages much.  There is a LOT of crap, tons of posts that can be deleted (and will be very soon), and moved around.

Right now I have 423 public posts, 15 private posts and 82 documents I’ve written sitting in my “drafts” box!  Amazingly I have just over 330 followers/readers, and I’m just 34 views shy of 100K!  I NEVER check my stats or look to see where my readers are coming from, but I did today after reading Greatness via Passion’s blog titled “The Most Important Reason Why You Should Keep Blogging” – an awesome MUST READ for all fellow bloggers.

There are so many things that keep me blogging.  Recently I’ve been blogging about mundane things going on in my life, but in the past I have blogged about all sorts of topics mostly related to living Butch in a small southern Maine town. I blogged about love for a while when I was in a rather heated situation with someone, but I have now chosen not to blog about my love life at all.  It’s something that I will probably continue now to keep private and I will be removing all of the blogs related to that affair as well, although I have to say it was some of my more passionate writing from the heart.  It was not worth the pain in the end.  And is not something I wish to remain in this blog any longer than it takes me to bring the posts down to my private stash.  It’s a year of my life that I will just keep in private memory, and that does not need to be read by any future readers.

Some of the reasons I blog are….

*Passion for writing, the process and the thinking involved

*Community building, meeting new people, making new friends and cultivating great relationships and stronger connections.

*Therapeutic stress relief.  I tend to be very stressed out and writing helps me to think things through.  I am passionate about life and what I am doing all the time, writing keeps me grounded and on track.  It’s also a lot cheaper than the weekly visit to the head doctor!

*Wanting to somehow change the world one blog and one person at a time, to make my mark and let my opinions be heard.  I love a good discussion, and when one of my blogs spurs a discussion I am very pleased.  I promise to do a much better job now of responding to comments to make that happen a bit more!

*I love to share my life and stories with other in hopes of maybe inspiring someone else along the way.  I welcome comments and emails anytime.

*To embrace my life today, and to remember how I got here.

For these, and a ton of other reasons too long to list, I shall remain dedicated to this blog and I won’t give up (as I have been considering doing as of late).  I will be making many changes, and doing much weeding of the garbage out of it, like I have said.

I thank Greatness Via Passion for the inspiration and for really lighting a fire under my ass….yeah I will probably continue to swear, it’s something I do when I am really passionate about something or some subject.  🙂

Please if you are a writer/blogger go read Greatness Via Passion’s blog (link above) and I hope you are also inspired to really look at why you blog and tell us why too, and tell us what you plan for your blog going forward!  ~Peace~

~MB

About My Blogging

I am following suit again and blogging about my blogging experience and my take on things related to blogging, another great prompt from Opinionated Man. or was it Confessions of an Average Mom?  The web is spreading!

I started online blogging way back in the hay-day of AOL, remember them?  I blogged about my daily life there, about my experiences as a horse farmer in southern Maine.  I recently discovered a hard copy of the old blogs from AOL, which I had conveniently printed out.  I say conveniently because I have long since lost my user name and password to that site, and I believe I do still have a profile on there, which is now FAR outdated!  I’ve pondered how to reconnect to AOL a few times with the intention of deleting my profile.  I never have followed through though, because I have no idea HOW to!

Originally I started blogging as a way of venting and also to allow my “friends” on AOL to get to know me a bit.  I had stories to tell and kind of wanted an audience to see if any of them were interesting enough for others to want to read.  Reading back over them, I can now see that my writing has matured quite substantially over the years since then.  I stopped using that platform in 2008, and never have figured out my old user name and password!

Then I started a Youtube channel in March 2009, yes 6 years ago this month!  Happy Vlogging Birthday to Me!  I enjoyed Youtube, or YT as we’ll now call it so I don’t have to type it out a million times, because at that time it was a fast connecting community of people video blogging – or vlogging – about all kinds of personal topics, and less about commercial production like it is now.  I built an audience on YT, mostly of other LGBTQ people because much of my vlogging was about issues and subjects that would interest my LGBTQ community.

When I started blogging on WordPress (WP) I had to basically start over in building a new audience, this time of readers instead of watchers.  I used YT to sort of promote the start and continuation of my written blog, mentioning it in my videos as I saw fit, by linking the two sites wherever possible.  As of late I haven’t been “vlogging” very much, in lieu of the fact that I enjoy “blogging” more.  I’m never going to be a video star, but I am and will continue to be a published author.

WP has been a great experience, and I like the platform because it looks and feels more like I am truly a writer — which I tentatively call myself in moments of self-confidence.  In my opinion actual blogging “sites” such as WP or rival Blogspot/Blogger, and others seem to be primarily about reading and writing and not about building the most beautiful or interesting “profile” like sites such as AOL and Facebook are about.  The difference clearly is that those are “social networking” platforms, and while WordPress has some social networking ideas behind it, it’s mostly about the writing.

It’s been like a game of connect-the-dots in a way.  I’ve been trying to build an audience for my wares, which in my case is about my writing and my writing is about my experiences and opinions about things that are parts of my life.  I try to write about things that I know about, and if I don’t know enough about something but wish to learn more then WP becomes my jump-off platform for gaining the knowledge that I need to write about whatever it may be.

Probably the best blog I have read about how we are weaving “intricate webs” through our interactions and blogs is by a young woman who has a blog called Confessions of an Average Mom.  In this blog “Blogging about Blogging”, she really lays it out very clearly how we each benefit from the other through influence, inspiring one another, reading, and feeding of of one another’s creative energy as we each build and share our audiences.

My blog has gone past the point of being “directed” toward the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) community these days.  Now I write for a wider audience, for my any and all readers who fall all across the human spectrum of identities.  I think I used to limit myself by thinking I could “direct” my writing to just the LGBTQ crowd.  While lots of what I write is from the perspective of a Butch Lesbian, it’s not all about my being queer anymore…it’s about my life and my world these days.  I know that I do have a fairly large following by my community and by supportive allies.  That still matters to me, but it’s not all that matters.  I just want to have a diverse audience, and want to make my writing better, more interesting and sometimes hopefully helpful to someone.

I’ve gained some great insight into blogging from Harsh Reality’s Opinionated Man who seems to be the super blogger and has some great, thought provoking, inspiring and even aggravating at times, posts on his blog.  I wish I could think as fast as he does!

I have much admiration for many of my fellow bloggers such as ButchCountry67, and A Boy and Her Dog’s Jamie Ray, as well as from many others other than the ones mentioned above. I tend to follow most of my favorite bloggers on a daily basis, because for me reading and writing is a daily activity, it’s not a hobby or a sport, but more something I have to do daily or my day just doesn’t feel complete.

The Art of the Note….

Have you ever received a little note, tucked into your lunch or the pocket of your jacket?  Maybe attached to an article you wrote for your local paper?  A note that said “great job, I am proud of you” or something of similar praise?

How did that note make you feel?  Did you smile and feel great for a few moments?  Did you keep the note safely tucked in your jewelry box or wallet?  Reading it when you were maybe having a tough time or a bad moment in a day?  Did it uplift your spirits and make you want to write a note to someone too?

Little notes and cards can touch us in ways that are insurmountable.  They can change us forever with just a few words scribbled hastily on a scrap of paper or a post-it note.  Cards can be even more impactful sometimes – although the spur of the moment note can be our favorite.  The little “Thank You” card you receive for doing some seemingly small thing for someone that helped them and changed the outcome of a particular day or event for them is just as powerful as that scribbled note.  And it’s the more formal salutation to someone we noticed who took care of us in some way.  

I love to get notes and cards, like anyone.  But I love to send them more than I like receiving them.  It makes me feel good inside to sit down, write out a small card as a token of my deepest appreciation; a sign of my caring for someone in some small – or big – way and letting them know that they make a difference in my life every day.

It doesn’t take a lot of energy or time to write these words of encouragement, thanks or gratitude to a person in your life.  And that time and energy is worth it tenfold on the other end.  

My father once said “It is an honorable and classy person who sends Thank You notes and the such.”  I took his words to heart, and wanting to BE that honorable, classy and memorable person to others I have made it a habit to send them to people.  Especially when I know it will touch that person, boost them up and lift their spirits when they open it and read it.  

Writing out cards and notes is just one of the ways that I try to change the world for others.  I offer up words of thanks, encouragement, sympathy or inspiration – whatever is needed and appropriate at the time.  I picture the person opening or finding my hidden note, and the smile that will spread across their faces.  I write in hopes of changing one stressful moment in a day into something memorable and peaceful for their hearts.  

I am very careful not to “fluff” my notes/cards.  I write the truth and I write with sincerity and compassion for the receiver.  I don’t want them to ever feel that I just wrote to be cordial or proper, but that I wrote the words specifically for them and from my own heart.  

Here are my hints for writing a good note or card to someone who has impacted your life in some positive way.  

1.   Be specific, tell them why you are writing, what thing they did that you noticed or appreciated.

2.   Be sincere and honest.  Tell the person exactly how they made you feel, or how they made your day.

3.   Be brief, but to the point. Don’t over do it. Flattery will get you everywhere, until you sound like you are going over the top.

4.  Be prompt, write the note shortly after the fact.  After 2 weeks your message will be old, and outdated to the receiver.  They will still respect receiving it, but it won’t have the same bold impact as a prompt volley.

5.  Unless you live with the receiver, send your note or card in the US mail.  Splurge for that over-priced stamp, use nice paper and a nicely writing pen or choose an appropriate card for your local card shop or your desk top collection (everyone should pick up cards and note cards in their travels for future use, you often see unique ones in your travels, why not buy a few for future use?)

6.  Make your recipient feel valued and special.  Many people work in thankless jobs today, the secretary at your child’s school who helped with a minor problem, the doctor who saw you on the spur of the moment for that sore throat or who went above and beyond with time for you, the bus driver who waited for you while you ran helter skelter to catch the bus, the cashier that always makes sure your groceries are bagged exactly as you like them….there are countless people you encounter every day that are only trying to make you happy and make your day go easier…think of them and drop one a note today  – just because they did what they did.  

7.   Email is NOT a note.  Don’t even go there.  Nor are those online “cards” you can e-send.  Not honorable like a hand written, personalized note or card.

Note writing is becoming a lost art in this cyber age.  Email thank you’s are so generic and in my opinion just plain tacky.  It takes someone to think and take action to hand-write a quick note of thanks, encouragement or inspiration.  You will be remembered for it and you will be blessed with happiness in yourself for sending it, because you just know you are making someone else’s day a little less stressful and a little more bright.  

Write a note to someone today.  If you have a child or a romantic partner put a note of love, pride or encouragement in their jacket pocket or lunch today.  If you had a particularly good experience last week at the town hall with the clerk while registering your vehicle, tell her. Whoever you write to today will certainly smile and feel good about themselves and about you.  They will know you have class and are honorable and their efforts were not for nothing.  You were appreciative, and that is all they want – a little recognition sometimes.  Pulitzer Prizes are nice, but hand-written notes will be saved in jewelry boxes and wallets forever.  Perhaps you will even inspire them to write someone else a note.  In time those notes will even come back to you – tenfold.