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About this blog

This is Bree's journal talking about how life changes, and how you grow with them (probably with the occasional freakout, I'm good at panic mode too!).  Life has been hard since day one, and not doing it alone is the key!

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Every time I think I'm figuring out the changes in my body with age, most of which no one ever talked about in my family, something else goes weird.  I'm not talking the "falling apart, unable to live" state like my mom, but the constant parade of guessing how food is going to affect me, sleeping patterns, how easily I injure/bruise myself, changes in the rhythms of my asthma making it harder to predict after I'd had it down to a science, acid reflux crazy, little things that add up to both a medicine cabinet full of things (antacids, gas pills, throat pain suckers since I dehydrate at a moment's whim of my body now, things like that, prescription medically our lifestyle changes are reducing that amount at least).  But we really should come with individualized manuals, this trial and error nonsense sucks. 

The manual should include actual nutrition too.  Our culture has so obscured what healthy food is it's crazy.  And most people trying to eat well are unintentially eating unhealthy in a variety of ways because packaging and manufactures are allowed to lie and obscure a lot from us.  It's even worse in other countries, china has a crisis of a variety of fake food facing them.  Our crisis is fillers and additives.  One of the many things Trump defunded was an initiative to make manufacturers list how much sugar they ADD to the food.  *headdesk*  

And, on a note of pure curiousity and interest, I want a manual that tells me how the parts actually work.  So I can look up any organ and see what it's doing, how it does it, interesting facts.  I know I have the internet, but one all collated and at hand would be fun.  I know, I have a weird sense of fun.  

I'm off, I took a temp job to earn the money for movers, so we don't have to slog with a uhaul this move once house sells. :)


So realtor lady after breaking the news gently that we'd missed the pricing bubble and our house was worth less than we hoped, said that we would know if she'd set the right price point, should have at least one showing a week.  So we set it, and our first week is now over (went up Monday).

We've had three.  No ​offers yet, but I think I would be really surprised if my house sold in five days or less.  But I really want it to sell asap.  But that's good news, people are taking the time to go look at it, not just looking at it online.

I really need this to go smoothly and fast, I need to move outta here and get back in my own space.  With my things.  Girl time for Nikki, he can't exactly do that here.  Alone time for me.  Logic and reason ruling the house again.  And my poor cat is frazzled, she's always trying to pet him.  She's a cat person.  But my cat is a one human cat, he only really wants to interact with me.  He'll tolerate Nikki's attentions, but he only really wants attention from Nikki he's angry and punishing me, he's always been like that since a kitten.  Didnt' want my son, Nikki, or even his sister to mess with him, only me.  So he's really not happy right now.  Poor little guy.

Lizard, as ever, is chill and doesnt' care what is going on as long as she gets her food and heat.  Dog ​is happy that she's literally never alone right now.  Nikki's dealing better than me, but he gets more time outta the house, although I do have a part time job now for either a month or indefinitely, I'm so confused and different people keep telling me different things.  I'm sorta worried it's gonna last eleven years, since the last time I accepted a brief temp job through nepotism it did just that.  I actually temped for Nikki, and did so well at it that other people in the office asked me to come in for them, which lead to three days a week starting this week.  I sorta hope it's just the month, so that i can re-earn my savings to pay movers (the rains came, flooded, and broke the furnace and it ate up my movers fund).  If it's longer, I'll take it of course and do my best, to reflect well on Nikki, but dang I liked my happy vagrant housewife life. LOL

​It's done.  By end of day tomorrow, my home will be listed.  It's a bunch of mix feelings, this is what is holding us back from moving forward, but it was MY HOME for eleven years, second longest I have lived anywhere, and longest Nikki has ever.  I'm not surprised, I have learned I really  hate endings of any kind, even when they are what I wanted. we are in the next phase, and this one sorta sucks.  There is nothing more I can do, it's just waiting until someone decides they want the house enough to pay us.  Meh.  

I will give it this, MUCH easier paperwork wise to sell a house than buy one.  :)  I asked ​the realtor what paperwork we needed to gather to bring to closing, and apparently nothing.  Title agency does all that for us, we just have to show up, sign our name six times (as apposed to what felt like six hundred at closing to buy) and we're done.  No 80 millions trips all over town trying to gather things and turn them into the bank.  Of course, then we have to go through the buying process again.  Yay.

I've been gone a long time, I'm sorry!  :)  Got ​really sick, found multiple causes, and started addressing them.  One of them was our diet, and Nikki and I are living on the DASH diet as best we are able to right now.  It's hard when you are staying at someone else's house (our repairs and slave labor to the house should be done tomorrow, and it should be listed within the week.  That took FOREVER!).  It helps that Nikki really loves my cooking, and has been visibly on the same page with me when my mom started trying to sabotage our efforts to get healthier.  I know that sounds melodramatic, but it's been a struggle while we're staying here.  I can't sell that house and buy a new one fast enough.  My mom needs me to stay sick and not be able to improve my health and life so that she can keep telling everyone that all her weight and diet induced illnesses arent' her fault.  And when I started getting better, so started the pressure to each junk food and salty things again.  I resisted though, and Nikki has been great backing me up.  It's kind of empowering to realize that I don't have to turn into my mother, that I CAN be successful after all without bariatric surgery (which I was ready to sign on for, but my insurance doesn't cover, and neither did my savings account!) and hopefully will continue to succeed going forward.  (If you have hypertension issues, and want to address them without medication in a real not-creepy-anti-science food culty way, I can't recommend DASH For DUmmies enough.  It explains how the science works, the research that went into it, how to shop, set up your kitchen, and a variety of starter recipes).  I'm still taking my meds, but doctor thinks she's going to take them off once we're back in our own home and the stress of dealing with my mom is removed.  I'm a bit stressed out.  :)

Nikki has been really great working on the prior issue I wrote here about about not backing me up and being on my page.  I can't say enough how awesome he's been about it!  I'm not sure I would have been able to deal with the last four months of illness and mom crazy if I still felt all alone like I did back then.  I think I'm flirting with depression, and maybe had slipped quietly all the way in for a while when I really sick, but the dash changes having improved how I feel dramatically on a day to day basis is helping me climb out of it.  :)

​So we have our eye on a house if ours sells and no one else snatches it up, but if they do, there'll be other houses. :)  ​I'm sorta stuck on a fireplace, so I did my due diligent Bree researches how to safely own and operate a fireplace.  I have learned a great deal about wood, chimneys, laying out the wood for a fire, storage, how to tell a good wood supplier and chimney cleaning profressional from a bad one, and I'm ready to spend a snowy winter's evening cuddling on the cough with Nikki making Smores!  I'm ready, so Nikki said okay, we'll prioritize a fireplace.  WOOHOO!

Aside from my health, Dash has propelled me thirty pounds lighter and I fit in clothes I haven't worn in years!  Nikki too, but for once I lost more because Nikki cheats at work and lunches at fast food. :)   I got to see his office environment, and if my last job had been that nice and calm I would still be working!  But I like my housewife life. :)  And ​I spend a great deal of it working on increasing our variety of food and compliance with Dash.  Salt is the enemy!  I was the average American, and WAY overdosing on the stuff.  It just never percolated how dangerous it can be in those amounts for me before. 

Life goes in waves like the tide.  But I came out of this down cycle with a long term plan to address my physical issues, and several new coping mechanisms for emotional ones, and I can finally see that at some point there will be an end to this weird "I have a roof, but I feel homeless" limbo.  We basically have a bed in a tiny room, and a corner in the sunroom where the laundry is, and that is our entire plot of "our space" here.  It will be lovely to move back into our own place!  Sell quick little house.  I will really miss you, but gotta go.

And supposedly one glass of wine a day is good for your heart too.  So...bought a cheap bottle of red and I'm going to try to overcome my aversion to alcohol like I did my aversion to broccoli, pepper, and cauliflower in the last few weeks.  It promises to taste like a cherry cupcake.  I somehow disbelieve.

I'm done rambling now.  Tell me about any adventures I missed while I was gone!

So I need to start going through my house every coupla years and just looking at the stuff that is lying around/saved somewhere.  I have saved some really useless junk over the years.  Anyone remember the Isle of Lost Toys from the old Christmas specials?  Apparently we are running the Sanctuary of Lost Cords.  Which of course Nikki won't let me throw any of those out because we might need them some amorpheous day in the future.  Fine, he let me throw most of the rest of the junk out, and we can do a great device to cord matchup event when we settle to be sure what is junk beyond doubt I guess.  

It really is amazing the accumulation of things in an average life.  We're not shoppers, we go outta her way to not do that.  We're not garage sale hounds, or antique hunters, or any sort of real collectors of anything.  I can only imagine how much more stuff people who enjoy those things either have to dispose of often or build up.  

Well, back to work.  :) At least until the Cheeto declares everything in the country as his.   I'm surprised that man hasn't tried to pass an act yet that he owns everything and we have to pay rental on our things.  After the pay to have them in the first place, of course.  


By Briannah,

So I just saw photos of St. Maarten after Irma passed through.  On top of the horror for those people, there is this creepy feeling.  I was there, in March, with Ashe.  We lounged on a beautiful beach, we had lunch at this awesome open air restaurant right on the beech and iguanas joined us for the lunch, there was a drive through the beautiful now underwater streets.  It just feels weird when it's somewhere you have been.  Like when I see flood photos from the one we had here.  It's not a feeling of extra bad, it's just oddly disorienting to me and I have no idea what my brain's issue with it is.  

I looked at the livestreams on Key West, another place I've been and enjoy watching on cam when I'm far away, and it's just so eerie to see how deserted it was.  Also reassuring that the people have gone to safer ground on the mainland.  The storm has not yet hit key west, but the winds are already amazingly and unusually loud on the cams that have sound.  I can only imagine what it will be like when the actual storm hits.  

There was a collection truck near the Kroger's by us collecting for Harvey, and I found myself wondering how long til it's for both.  And then I further wondered how bad it's going to be.  I remember how bad Katrina was, with the Fema director really nepotism-based friend of bush's and no clue how to actually handle a disaster, and Harvey is in two separate states, with Irma barreling up to take on a third state.  I'm not really confident our current dysfunctional government is going to handle this well.  And I'm not sure what is going to happen to the insurance companies.  They function based on the idea that these massive disasters are few and far between, and it hasn't really been all that long since Katrina.  I also worry what else the Caribbean is going to shoot up our way before the end of storm season.  

And Houston/Harvey is also a glaring warning of another issue that I fear people will ignore.  A group of scientists warned them they were paving over too much grassland several years back, explaining that it was going to magnify flood issues in the city.  They were ignored, the grassland was paved over because "what do you science guys know" and now they are paying for it.  New Orleans kept trying to get federal aid to fix the aging levees prior to Katrina, and were ignored.  Safety and infrastructure have fallen by the wayside in favor of legislating morality and corporate profits in my opinion, and it's only going to get more dangerous as time goes on.  :( ​ I really worry for the future generations.  Heck, I worry what is going to happen in the next forty or so years while I'm still here.

So things are starting to happen faster now.  We have moved in with my mom as planned, and I am alternating between helping Nikki move things and cleaning mom's house.  (Seriously, it took three hours to go through the pantry and get out all the expired food from years 03 to 16).  And the rest of the house is insane, but I'm slowly taming it.  Mom is getting the better end of this deal, really.  Free cleaning and repairs and cooking until we sell and buy a new house.  Old house is nearly empty, just a bit more to pull out and then it's painting time.  We're still waffling on whether or not to fix the damaged laminate.  New car is working out great, old main car is doing great, old secondary car is going to the scrapyard, the costs to fix the brake issue and make it sellable are higher than we could sell it for.  Bummer, some extra money would have been nice.  

It's kinda weird being here again.  I lived here with Grandma, my mom, and my son when I met Nikki.  I had the downstairs basement finished room, although ever since the big flood it's impractical to use as a bedroom anymore.  Which is a same, as it's HUGE and was lovely with lots of space.  Only ever had to come upstairs to use the bathroom.  I was the hermit Bree in the basement!  :)  

Nikki's girl mode items are all packed away with a decoy tag, he's still very much closeted as far as our families go.  Since he realized transition is not a path for him, dealing with our awkward families is a door he doesn't want to go through.  As in most things (other than anything food related, do NOT EVER trust Nikki's judgement with food, trust me) I trust his judgement and respect his choices.  And he pointed out I won't be at risk for giving myself a black eye again slapping myself with the breast form.  (Didn't quiet get a black eye, but I did have a nice red mark from that oops.  Why do they put it in such clingy plastic?)  Nikki does have a nasty set of scratches across his back, so I've been teasing him he made a ghost angry that we're leaving.  It sounds more fun than I think the cat did it while we were sleeping.  

I haven't had any really awful burning for a week, had one bad night last weekend, but it's been good since.  Nikki's physical health is solidly great, and his dysthymia has been very much under control.  He continues on his medication, but the improvements in our life have done wonders also.  Once his job is less demanding (they're in the middle of some big changes that take a lot of hours from him) he's going to see about finding a new therapist in our target town and he can just go after work and then come home until we move.  He has to start over anyway since his passed and then we went on insurance hiatus.  He'd rather do it just once instead of twice. 

It's sorta amazing how far we've come since last years confusion and upheaval.  :)  ​I'm proud of us.  Now I have to go continue trying to convince my elderly cat that moving was a good thing and that he should eat some of his food.  Dog is loving the adventure of a new house (wish she would stop running full speed into doors though, she's traumatizing ME with her poor banged head) lizard doesn't care.  Our lizard is too cool to care.  :)



By Briannah,

So doing much better.  Yeah, that stupidly expensive Medcline wedge thing with the body pillow costs around $300, but WOW if you need some sort of sleeping wedge for a medical issue (I'm pretty sure apnea, copd, and some other conditions besides acid reflux benefit from the incline sleeping position) then I really really recommend this one.  The wedge is pretty firm and holds you up well, and it has a 'stuffer' pillow so you can change which side you sleep on (the other conditions it doesn't matter, only acid reflux really needs it to be left).  Also, don't get the cheater $220 version without the pillow to use your own, the candy cane shaped body pillow for the extra money is awesome.  It's really comfortable, the top wraps around you and stays in place amazingly, and the long side trails down to go between your knees for a spine alignment support.  If they can 'fix' this acid reflux and I can sleep flat again, I'm SO keeping this candy cane pillow thing.  IT's that amazing.  If anyone else here has my issues, this was completely worth the money, and going to pay for itself in a few months from the amount of medication I'm not buying now.

So between the Gaviscon (works much better for reflux than the pink stuff, it really does not only neutralize the acid but creates a sort of foamy barrier that helps keep the rest of the acid in place) and the Medcline I'm doing MUCH better.  I've stopped taking the Prilosec (lots of potential side effects with long term use) entirely, and in the last week only needed the Gaviscon once.  I think I'm winning!  Feels good to win, but man do I miss my garlic.  I miss garlic more than I miss chocolate.  I have a serious garlic bread craving going on, but I'm not brave enough yet.  Food actually became scary.  Will this make me burn?  How little can I eat and still live so my throat isn't on acidfire?  IT's a weird feeling to be scared of food.   Not just nervous about calories or sugars, but actually frightened to eat at all.  I'm told on a forum I persused by other people with the condition looking for control information this is a fairly common reaction for those who don't have it under control, and it will fade away again with time.  You know me, research gerbil.  :) 

Still going to see a doctor to talk about this when I can, find out if something slipped out of place inside, some sort of hormonal issue (it all started with that months cycle, I really hope this isn't gonna be a cycle thing or a menopause one, I am getting close to that age), or what.  The websites all indicated even losing a couple pounds will lessen it, in my case I lost 15 and it got worse.  So I have no idea how to take that.  Maybe my stomach is just really mad and wants to digest me.  

On the state of the Nikki: He's genuinely happy with his job now.  The utter lack of drama and actual ability to do his job and solve problems instead of just playing message tag with corporate people has done WONDERS.  He's putting in some long hours right now, but they use completely different systems than his old job and he's learning what he needs to know to master it.  It's amazing how much our life situations change how we feel and are.  I think its' done as much for the dysthymic depression as the pills are doing really.  so is having a more natural to his bio rythms sleeping habit.  Having all of that together is really bringing him back to his old self.  Which is doing wonders for us as a couple, and an education in how much when one spouse is not doing well it affects the other one, as I'm also doing dramatically better inside as a result of having a happy spouse again. :)  He bought powerball tickets cuz the jackpot is huge, and turned and asked me if we beat the odds and won, would I still wanna go to Florida?  And was all relieved when I said no, we'd just get a nicer house in new town than we could afford now because I can see how much he loves his job.​  But in 10 years it would be early retirement and this couple would be moving to my beloved Florida.  

​So life is good, house feels like an unending pit of work to try to get it ready for listing (that has slowed down as a result of his hours, a lot of the stuff that needs done now is things he is good at and I just sorta maybe understand how), and we bought a new car that gets really good mileage for all the commuting (and both our current cars be old and tired).  After much searching we found a good deal on a former rental car with only 17k miles on it.  Yay! 

We did look into potentially getting a bridge loan and went to our credit union to crunch the numbers to see if we could afford to move now and just pay a higher mortgage until this one sells, but the first and only downside of using our credit union in our 15 year history with it cropped up, they only do home loans within the county.  Car loans are statewide (so we were able to snag up our great deal, with was 25K less miles and $4k cheaper than any available in my town, everything in my town has a weird expensive bubble) but we can't get a home loan for new town.  They offered us an equity loan to use as a downpayment to try to help, but managing THREE home loans at once seems...out of control.  We're going to research options with commercial banks, but I doubt it will really happen and we'll probably just stick with the original plan of being trapped here til it sells.

Hope everyone here is doing great and making all your dreams happen!

So.  I'd been doing rather well mostly the last year or two medically, ever since that emergency surgery issue in 2015.  So...Cobra for insurance between Nikki's old job and new job is $875 a month.  We don't have that much extra money.  We just don't, even with the really nice raise new job has afforded us.  And of course, I develop a problem.  My stomach acid is trying to digest the rest of me.  Acid reflux gone crazy.  *headdesk*  I have to more months until there is insurance again.  And I'm REALLY hesitant to scrounge up the money to go to the urgent care, for fear of what the senate  is doing with the legislation and inadvertently getting a 'pre-existing condition' and having them repeal that protection and then I'm really in trouble.

So in the meantime, trying to control it with life style changes as best I can.  I just ordered a $300 pillow.  Seriously. It's called a medcline, and if anyone else here has acid reflux, look it up and see if it's good for you.  I'm a side sleeper, so sleeping on a wedge is a big issue for me.  This medcline thing is a wedge, but it has a hole built in for your arm, which both holds you onto the wedge at night and comfortable gives your arm a place to go on the wedge, but also keeps you on the left side, which reduces the acids ability to escape.  Now I have to wait for it.  

Changed my diet according to the recommendations, and it's slowing down the burning feelings, but this really sucks.  

Either way, it's a good reminder to myself to not get complacent about what they are doing with medical care laws.  For me, this problem is temporary.  For millions of retail and food service workers for example off the top of my head, this is every day reality.  Someone asked me why I care so much the other day, when I have access generally.  And this is why, because I can't imagine not having a reasonable end date to being able to get help, and then in two more months being able to.  There is a real fatigue in following the political crazy, but it's important.  

Love to you all, and I hope you're all in good health.  

As a couple: We're good.  Our marriage is strong, and we've been doing a lot of study on interpersonal skills as well as how brains, both the male and female, work in social relationships.  Some of our issues and misunderstandings cleared up from a really good Ted Talk about the role of hormones and physiological gender differences in the brain.  We're learning to communicate better than ever, and when and how to have deeper talks.  I'm super excited that Nikki landed a really good job the day after a different company made a really insulting payscale offer(literally a little less than standard entry pay for his field, but they wanted all his skills and experience to even apply, and wouldn't disclose pay til way late, they knew it was bad).  That was messy.  Current corporation Nikki works at for six more days is launching a massive reorganization of his department in a few weeks and STILL have not told anyone if they have jobs, where they have jobs, and what changes they can expect in their pay scales (if they get shunted to other departments, there can be significant reduction in pay).  It's stupid and just another reminder that corporations really don't care about their employees in any meaningful way.  And they're all surprised that Nikki is jumping ship.  But this has led to us finally choosing where we're going to live once this place goes, and we have been spending freetime jaunting around chosen town getting to know it (well, he is getting to know the layout, my internal navigation is confused but I'm getting to know my choices even if my phone will have to tell me how to get to them).  The town pool has two amazing looking waterslides that I plan to hit up next summer (hopefully my house won't sit on the market for years, crosses fingers) from time to time in addition to time in my own pool.  The park is huge, got horribly lost in it.  There is a house I'm eying, good price nice big house.  Here's hoping, but I'm not getting attached, it's just one option.  We culled my zillow list hard due to unsuitable backyards.  The stairs I've whinged about came out amazingly.  Epic pinterest success instead of a fail!  Now we're working on painting things.  Oh, the smell of paint.  *gags*  But having a direction and choices has been great for us both.  This summer is not really cooperating with my pool, it's either really cool, or really astounding hot and storming like mad, and neither of us are into death in pool by electrocution as a great way to spend an evening.  The storms are also making the yard crazy hard to maintain, so Nikki's been busy in our backyard jungle.   We're struggling with mad mosquito craziness after several years of very little, vampire bugs are eating us.

Nikki: Nikki has found confidence and comfort in himself despite continuing attacks on his state of being on the internet (the there is only binary male/female and if you move back and forth you're a liar sort) so Nikki's backed away from most things like that online.  He's focusing on his art, new job, life changes, love of movies, and doing whatever he wants while working with his therapist to continue to control the depression and has found a lot of peace with everything.  Some days it's full boy, some days full girl, most days a mix, but very very rarely is it a bad depression day if at all in the last several months.  So he's healthy again, and that is what matters most.  He's super proud to have gotten new job, which is both a promotion in duty and pay, and has been doing amazing work in the house.  At this point his depression is well controlled and Nikki's been pretty happy.  

Me: Still fighting losing internal battle with the dismorphia and my family issues getting poked on a regular basis, but have regained my footing in my day to day life and my marriage.  People sometimes seem to think of marriage as disposable in a very real way, and even if I don't go into full disclosure and just gloss it over with 'there were secrets and we're rebuilding' and let them think he cheated on me or whatever they read into that, they're all astounded that I want to fix things instead of bailing.  And I think that is a partial factor of our societal marriage rates, but I like that we worked it out and all the secrets have been aired out and worked through.  I did have a stupid where I agreed to too much change for my personality in too short a time frame ,but I am surviving this and the more direction there is to work towards the better I feel inside.  My asthma has improved dramatically, so we are more and more active, and I expect it will further improve in new town, since it's about 90 miles south of here and well outta swampland.  I'm super excited to go to a new place and just do new things with new people.  My internal life in my house is wonderful, so next step is obviously to make the life outta the house match. : ) 

Edited to add:  I'm really looking forward to getting away from Christmas decoration, lawnmower, and grill stealing neighbors and their creepy behavior>  WOOHOO!

That's where a lotta stress, communication, therapy, education, new friends, old friends, and sorting out the important from the fluff and fixing health issues has taken us.  It's been a ride, and I'm happy so many people here shared in it and helped make it a bit softer on those bumpy tracks.  *hugs to all*

Bad week.

By Briannah,

Having a crap week, and am going offline for a bit to sort it all out. 

Last week I was feeling...odd.  Especially late at night.  Saturday night I felt really odd, and checked my fitbit, and had a crazy high pulse rate for laying down.  40 bpm above my usual resting rate doing nothing.  So after goofling symptoms off the er I want, were I spent the next five ours waiting to find out if I was having a heart attack, pneumonia, viral infection, acid reflux onset, or a mineral deficiency (and those can be extreme, scariest medical moment of my life as a mother was a magnesium deficiency from the stomach flu where my son literally could not control his body or move on his own, scary ride to hospital, then once the blood panel came back a magnesium iv set him back to normal like magic!).  So the winner is...acid reflux.  So now I take Prilosec generic stuff (and omg what is with the fizzy cough syrup tasting coating on these things?).  It must suck to be a doctor when five such varied causes all have the same symptoms really.  Doctor was lovely, and I'm okay now.  I'll still feel weird with the pulse rates for a bit, Prilosec stuff needs time to work. 

Then today Murder Kitty was acting weird, and wrong.  So we took him to the vet, and came home alone.  My five year old murder kitty is gone, and I'm trying to process.  I always assumed this crazy cat would be there when Creed (15 and counting)  and Alita (10 years old this summer, pretty old lady dog) went, and just outta nowhere he's gone. MAYBE they could have saved him this time, but he could have re-experienced the issue right away and faced a lifetime of vet care (which he REALLY does not do well with, he lost his mind as usual so bad they had to sedate him fully to even examine him to find out what was wrong) and we can't turn his life into an endless battle royal of endless home and vet medical care he just won't tolerate.  So my Logan went to sleep.  And I miss my cat. 

So everyone be well, I'm going to go sort through all the emotional turmoil of the week and focus on furthering my health and Nikki's mood, which is at an all time low after this week.  I'll be back after things are better.  *hugs for Emma and Monica on their new journeys!*

Just spent the last hour having my hair painted with my favorite green dye to repair the damage from the sun, spa, chlorine pool, hot tubs, therapy tub, and sea on vacation.  There was a girl with pink hair tipped in purple and me with my green, and by the end of the week she was completely blond again and I was almost there, with just the front part clinging to the green.  Looked like deliberately done modern streaking through, so I was somewhat happy with that.  It's really relaxing to sit around having someone painting on your hair, to be honest.  Nikki wanted to try the brush technique instead of bottle and massage since that kind didn't go so well, although it did dye my computer room a lovely matching shade to my hair.  LOL  As expected from someone with painting experience, this went beautifully for both painter and paintee.   And as it's drying it's coming out really well, I'm thrilled. 

The day is lovely too, it's a clear lovely day after a morning storm and around 83 degrees.  YAY SPRING!  Please stay spring, I'll be REALLY nice to you.  Totally.  I'm done with your sibling winter.  Nikki's cold/flu thing continues, but he's in much better spirits with the better weather.  Still only have a surprisingly light case of it myself, this is weird.  Usually I fall pretty to germs and he doesn't.  Once a few years ago a bug ripped through town, but targeted people with generally strong immune systems like Nikki and my bff but left those with weaker ones like me alone.  It was weird, and this seems to be acting like that. 

Now I plan to spend the evening enjoying the scent of the Argan oil in my hiar (the dye uses it, smells really good) and killing things in my favorite mmo.  Bring on the cyberenemies!  :)

SO it's my job to keep an eye on the housing market and come up with reasonable solutions for later, while Nikki full on job hunts and we work together on the actual physicality of packing and repairs.  So...he'll give me a city  he's found a potential job in and I yay or nay based on  housing prices.  But now I have looked at so so many that they have blended into one insane, nightmare of a house riddled with water damage, hideous pink bathrooms, strange flora outside that looks like it want to eat me, and weird inexplicable THINGS I can't identify that my brain hurts.  I am dreaming of bizarre and ugly houses now.  And, of course, getting lost in them.  I do have to say though my unconscious mind comes up with some awesome floor plans, that I can never remember when I wake up.   Cosmetic damage I can handle, water damage makes me really leery of getting involved.  You never know how that will play out long term in a structure.  Although in the one house I am legit confused how the dining room, in the middle of the house with no logical exposure to any of the piping whatsoever, looked like an aquatic bomb of some sort went off in it.  And the rooms above and to the sides are fine.  Just that one room.  Did they run a fountain or something in there???  And what exactly is the deal with people feeling the need to put a weird little wrought iron fence next to the door inside the house?  It just looks goofy.  And don't get me started on what I mistook for a stripper pole but realized was actually some sort of duct pipe from the basement to roof through both stories, that was odd.  One house had columns just hanging from the ceiling, like creepy wooden stalactites, but not touching the floor. I assume a base has somehow gone missing, that's all I got.  One looked like a crime scene happened and never got cleaned up.  And Ohio has a truly terrifying love of the pink, yellow, pink AND yellow, and yellow and hideous green bathrooms. And none of them done well, my eyes.  But unless I'm going to win the lottery tomorrow, I'm going to have to keep my eyes on potential 'this can be fixed down the line'.  I do draw the line at a pink bathroom though.  Just no.  And really just no to the one that wasn't the usual pastel bathroom pink, but some bizarre neon pink-magenta horror that I think should require the realtor person to offer sunglasses to show the house, or at least a warning incase buyers didn't look at the photos.

And now we're in full on debate of the pool.  I get Nikki's point it's a lot of work if the house sells quickly to have put it up and then take it back down.  However, I also kinda feel it selling quickly is a sorta pipe dream and I don't want to be slowly baking away all summer either without my pool retreat.  One of those utterly stupid decisions you don't really know what the right one is til afterwards.  We don't have central air, only have small window units that sorta work in the computer room and the bedroom, so the pool is the main source of cooling down.  A quick dip in the water makes the summer heat feel reasonable for several hours at a time.  And our town pools have become ragingingly expensive.

So Nikki met new therapist, and reports that she's easy to talk to and he's happy with her, so that is good. There's also hints that one on one therapy is winding down, on a monthly schedule now that most of the big issues have been worked through.  So maybe it's time to consider marital counseling.  We've been unable to work out some differences on our own, and it's really getting frustrating this 'whatever you want' and then getting mad about what I decided to do ongoing behavior.  And I TRY To find out what Nikki wants, but there is a real in ability to ever tell me he wants anything or offer up some kind of opinion to work with.  Personally, I think either he really truly has no internal wants or needs or his antidepressants aren't high enough to overcome the mental fog yet.  I can't tell which.  Can you sorta...hollow out after a few years of depression and just not come back even with treatment and meds?  I don't even know if my expectations are reasonable or if I'm wanting crazy things, but I'm tired of driving the bus and everything falling to me to decide other than a few big gesture choices (which how they happen then ends up to me to drive the bus on, even his part of the job hunting I've had to start helping out and scouring the net and e-mailing a list) versus a partnership  I know I'm the research gerbil, but either help me out a little or get me some carrots at least.  And yes, you better believe we have this conversation clearly, and often.  I'm not the wife type who whines to everyone but her spouse and then wonders why things don't get better, I tackle it first with him and then brainstorm for ideas/reality checks/empathy/wisdom/whatever comes my way.  I tried refusing to decide and waiting until he did some of it, but literally nothing happened but some tv watching.  For two weeks.  Till I couldn't take it anymore.  I hate tv.  ​Sorry, venting before I explode at my spouse I guess, unless someone has some useful advice, I'll make you cookies. :)​  Have tried talking to him with every tactic I could think of, refusing to do it, trying to engage him in every step, just doing it myself, trying to get him to talk about it with his therapist, I got nothing left other than joint counseling it feel like.  But only after he's really done with his single, cant' float two bills right now.  :) ​ And you know, insurance companies don't value counseling like people do.

I'm going to try to get some sleep now and snuggle up with my cat.  My cat probably makes neon pink bathrooms less ugly, he's a pretty cat.  :)

So I was warm for something like 11 days.  10 really, the second day of the drive home was cold and insanely rainy and foggy depending on where we were.  Managed to not fry my skin or drown in the spa.  Seriously, that was nearly a thing.  We got the spa access package this cruise which we never do, but Nikki's injured back benefitted greatly.  So we tried new things.  Here's how that went, feel free to laugh.  :)

​1) Heated Ceramic Loungers - big ceramic lounge chairs designed by a chiropractor to help align your body properly and they are heated from within.  Being hard ceramic covered in pretty shimmery tiles sounds rather uncomfortable, but holy cow those were comfortable.  And warm.  So this only went a LITTLE wrong for me, as stuck.  They are easy to get onto, but weirdly hard to get back off.  You have to push up in a weird way and the first day I couldn't figure it out.  Of course Nikki rescued me, laughing like a crazy person.  And mid week I might have fallen asleep and had to be woken up as I was snoring rather unfortunately. :) ​ Other than that they were easy to use, and I realized while I can't quite recreate the chiropractic curves to force the alignment at home, I can take a heating blanket on the recliner and recreate the lounge/heat effect for sore backs at home.  So that's a win.  Really did end up loving these warm comfy trap couches by the end of the week.  Nikki hates the heating pad, even with the cover the plastic part under it somehow makes the skin sweat a lot, and it moves around constantly, so I think this might be a better solution with the blanket/recliner.

2) Dry Sauna - what it sounds like, a sauna room with no steam.  There was a little fountain emitting the pleasant running water sounds nad pretty.  The benches were the inner heated ceramic covered in shimmery tiles like the loungers, but shaped like normal benches.  The room was VERY warm and nice.  And you didn't have to be in a swimsuit to use this one, so it was nice after walking in the winds on the promenade.  Getting out was easy, just go through the door.  Until you realized the the door makes a dying walrus scream in the quiet lounger room and everyone is not glaring at you.  Really like this, and am aware it's possible to have one in a home, so must look into costs on this thing.  I might actually like one.

3) Steam Sauna - Pretty much what you expect, but holy cow those were wet.  So very very wet.  It really felt like you were drowning trying to breath.  You could choose different scents for the steam by pushing some buttons, but I was too busy trying to get oxygen in with all the water in the air.  I thought maybe it was an issue with my lungs from the asthma, but Nikki has no such compromising damage to his lung tissue and he couldn't breath either.  So we are apparently not steam sauna people.  The feeling of drowning while sitting on pretty shimmery tiles with a pretty lovely sounding flower fountain was really disconcerting.   On the plus side, the door was quiet to this. No steam if I ever do get a sauna in my house, just no.  No more steam.  Another cruiser later said her spa gives you chilled wet washcloths for your face and that helps with the breathing thing, but I don't think I would like my face being covered like that.  I'll stay dry.

4) Jungle shower.  So I paid for access to this stuff, I was gonna try it.  What could go wrong?  This was a shower in a circular wall of that pretty shimmery tile on just about everything else in this area, you're inside a column with part of an arc missing for a door.  You shower in your swimsuit, no doors.  There's a soothing green light in the top.  SO I'm in the warm shower, and notice there are buttons.  So what could go wrong?  I push the first button, and woosh!  A monsoon of cold water in the middle of my cozy warm shower.  I shriek because I'm that started and leap out, Nikki thinks I've burned myself, and busts out laughing when he realizes I just ran away from a little cold water.  In my defense it was a LOT of REALLY cold water.  So there is a second button, and now I'm really wary, but I push it anyway.   Maybe it's the warm jungle rain right?  Nope.  A whole bunch of little hidden nozzles drench me in icy cold fog.  So I am definitely not a jungle shower type of person.  Silly me thought maybe the buttons did light shows in the top, or jungle sounds or something.  Maybe aromatherapy jungle orchid scents or something.  It shoulda been called the surprise arctic shower.

5) Hydrotherapy tub - this is a big tub, 3'9" deep, with water heated to the body temperature and filled with calcium and sea minerals.  There are three sections.  The first is a tall pipe you stand under, and it forces water in a flat sheet down on you, good for shoulders, neck, and back.  That went reasonably well, until the boat shifted suddenly and I got a face full, but easily corrected.  Then there is a metal circle in the middle with a small opening to get inside it, and what looked like a steering wheel in the middle that you apparently grab onto and hold.  The whole area works like a hot tub, with energy saving buttons, so as I was entering the metal circle in the middle of the pool it all shut off and Nikki went to push the button.  So I can see the buttons starting up from the holes in the floor in the metal circle, and I'm ready for bubbles.  Spa lady said this part was good for legs and hips.  Great, I have hip issues.  Bring it on!  Well, it did come on.  This REALLY strong bubblestorm rises up, and swirls around the metal circle.  I was on the far side from the start point, so I had a moment to contemplate this frothing mass coming at me.  Then it hit, and I was standing at some weird angle and managed to force all that frothing bubblestorm not to my hips, but strait up my body and into my face and I'm drowning myself standing up in a tub that only is a little over my waist.  Only me, honestly.  And before all these facial dunkings I had tied up my hair to keep it dry, that was funny.  NOw I look like a drowned rat with a crooked, odd updo.  :)  ​But...once I figured out what I was doing wrong and altered my stance, it really did do wonders for the legs and hips.  Wish I had one of these things at home!  So now it's time to try the last part, this 'couch' of metal tubes (so the bubbles can come through) that puts you in a reclining position in the heated water.  Remember, I'm clumsy.  I managed to bang up my happily bubble massaged legs, hips, shoulders, and head trying to get on to this thing.  But I did finally get in position, and was less impressed.  So I just did the first two, and then sorta free floated in the water loosely outside the metal circle of face water attacking, because I cannot even tell you all how much that calcium and sea minerals did amazing things to our skin.  I had never felt skin so TOUCHABLE.  So very very touchable.  So I was sitting at dinner probably freaking people out around me by petting my own arm in awe. 

So...I think it was more or less a success.  :)  The ​treatments helped Nikkis back a lot, and I managed to use them without killing myself or ending up permanently trapped by them.  Which is kind a major victory for me.  WOOT!  So now I'm going to look at our local spa options and see what sorta lounger/sauna/tub options they have.  They can keep the jungle showers though.  But I was heated, relaxed, steamed, watered, and massaged within in inch of my life.  We possibly overused the stuff, but it was kinda addicting and easy to get to on a ship with the spa just a short elevator ride up.  It was on our side of the boat! 

I have to figure out something to do with my hair though.  All the pool, spa, and seawater stripped out the dye really fast.  It's hard(so far impossible) to find permanent dye in the shades of green I favor, so I'm thinking getting a clear cassia (jic sorta like henna, doesn't chemically alter the hair but wraps it in a sheath of clear protection that slowly washes out) after I use the semi-permanent dye to protect it for a few weeks against being stripped out by the pool this summer.  I used to use it when I was younger, it made it incredibly shiny and soft, but stopped when I moved here as it's not easy to find locally, but I have located several online options.  Meanwhile, must hit the supply store tomorrow to get more green.  :) 

Side note: The current one I'm using has argan oil in it.  So I got a bottle of leave in conditioner with this argan oil (after I looked it up on Wikipedia to even know what this stuff is) and I'm totally a convert.  Argan oil is amazing for hair.  It won't work crazy miracles, but it has done wonders detangling my cotton candy hair and dealing with the bleaching damage.  Supposedly it also helps strengthen hair, but I don't have a lotta breakage issues so I can't really tell.   On Nikki it's done wonders reducing his somewhat unmanageable frizz into soft smooth waves.  I'm often late to the party on these things, but in case I'm not for once I wanted to share.  :)

So.  The neighbors.  Again.  Yes.  One of the many reasons I'm not sad that Nikki pushed the moving idea.  :)

I have a trick for large item trash to avoid paying fees.  I put the times out the day AFTER trash pick up, so they have roughly a week until the next one.  And only once has it failed me and the item did not 'just wander off on it's own!".  So we found out that Yuriko had been peeing behind the filing cabinet I had for years to organize.  She died of brain cancer, but no one knew she had it until the day we had to put her to sleep, but in the last six months or so of her life she had developed some strange behaviors as the cancer was changing her little brain.  My poor kitty.  But anyway, she had taken to peeing behind the metal filing cabinet, and apparently on this ancient pressboard bookshelf I've had since I was 16.  That is 1988 for those who really wanna know the age of this thing, and no, I have ZERO idea how it lasted that long, it's the kind where they sorta glued sawdust together and called it wood but this thing really didn't wanna die.  So pretty much unsalvageable, so I put both out on a Friday afternoon and resolved not to think about it unless they were still there by Wednesday, in which case I would call the trash company and arrange for the Thursday pickup to take them.

Saturday morning I am started out of my bed, at FIVE IN THE MORNING.  By the sound of grown men arguing LOUDLY just under our bedroom window.  I am exceedingly confused why it seems two random strangers chose to have some sort of what sounded like a deeply emotional conflict on my yard at that hour, so I hauled myself out of bed and reached for the curtain, and pulled it aside just a wee bit to see.  And yup, it's the neighbor son, fighting with some random dude who was loading the filing cabinet into his pickup.  Which I suspected would go easily, it's metal and metal salvage is big here among the poor now . But the neighbor is yelling at him his mom saw it first and it was theirs.  Dude was finally like then you should have taken it, finished loading, and left.  Yes, there were two people who argued for nearly a half hour over my TRASH.  We have reached the point where people are actually fighting over peed on, trashed furniture that really isn't usable anymore. 

So I figure that's the end of it, the bookshelf will sit, and I'll have to pay a coupla bucks to get rid of it.  Or Nikki can take the hatchet to it and we can burn it in the fire pit out back.  Whatever.  I got back to sleep, and we get up a few hours later and go out to run a few errands.  As I'm standing by the car, something is bugging me for a minute, and I can't figure out what... and then I realize, yup.  The creepy neighbors actually took the ancient bookshelf that had finally begun to disintegrate and was so soaked in cat urine that no amount of the enzyme cleaner I tried to use to salvage it made a difference into their house.  Where they have cats, who are going to take that as a challenge and pee all over my cats pee. 

Some days the crazy just won't let me not look at it and contemplate how we got to this point on this street.  Here's hoping future battles over my trash occur at reasonable hours at least.  Do you think it would be taken amiss if I put out a sign that reads "All battles over our trash must occur in this corner of the yard, and only between the hours of 1pm and 6pm".  LOL

So Nikki's back has been out for a while now, so I dragged him strait to the doctor Friday, based on the pain response from limb manipulation test, they think at this point it's an inflammation problem rather than an injury from all the physical labor we've been doing.  (I'm sore as anything too, but I still have full flexibility and only sore-pain not crazy pain like after the surgery I had or what he's feeling so I'm sure I'm just tired) and they gave us anti-inflammatory pills that are helping.  And new doctor reassured me a bit that maybe this relationship will work out because she addressed on her own that the pills and his antidepressents are contraindicated for each other, but he's not going to be on the new stuff long enough to run into trouble so not to worry without us having to ask or see the warnings.  These days a doctor who is paying attention to what medications you are taking and how they mix is great, so many have stopped. 

We start driving Friday, and board the ship Sunday.  I'm so tired, stressed out, trying to figure out how to proceed forward in the best way, I need this vacation.  I had a weird breakdown over trying to pack.  Simply the act of deciding what clothing to take was the last raindrop that burst the dam, but there is so much going on right now internally and externally that I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  Like I told my friend recently, you feel what you feel, it doesn't go away even if you don't act on it, and you do have to deal with those feelings. So taking my own advice and trying to sort through it all.  A reminder that no matter how good you have it there are things that harm you.  I know I have a good life, I do, but still, there are ugly things trying to claw my eyes out.  And when people say "I wish my life was as simple as yours!" it's a trap you can start to fall into and forget that your life isn't really so simple.  I just keep a lot of internally irl, I don't talk about things nearly as much as I do here, and aside from coming to learn about transgender, I have also come to learn a great deal about the safe space concept and it's real world emotional applications here.  Good lesson.  So I try to make my home and interactions with others safe space. 

So getting to know my paternal aunt a bit better, we've been talking on Facebook a lot, and at first she was trying to fix things between me and my dad, but as time goes on she's coming to understand what happened and that it can't be.  She just got back from a visit with him, and his 70-something pound german shepard just bit her, and instead of controlling the dog or correcting it, Dad just stood there laughing about it.  And when she was rightfully upset, he did the whole "Roscoe wants you to know he's a scared little being in a world he doesn't understand, and he can't help his feelings".  Really?  No one is challenging the dog, and as usual, Mr You have to take responsibility refused to take any for his responsibility to properly control and handle his pooch.  It's a beautiful dog, and I don't really want to see that poor thing put down because my dad is stupid about his dogs.  And then it became 'you're obviously an unhappy person, and we'll pray for you!" when she refused to just brush it off and left.  Which is really sad, because my Dad made so much fun of my poor grandma for saying things like that.   I didn't really want to be involved in that conversation, but she was worried I needed to know about the dog and the issue. I already knew, same thing happened when I was younger, to both her and me.  She'd forgotten about that, and it was her aha moment, that she really didn't understand the dynamic between dad and me was a lifetime of things, and calling my kid and me stupid was just the final thing that made me realize how unhealthy it is.  But hey, at least I sorta have a relationship with an aunt I didn't really have one with before, so that is potentially good. 

I'll relax when we've achieved the goals I guess.  Even on vacation this stuff is inside, it goes with you.

Just life.

By Briannah,

Life evolves.  The original plan was only moving if Nikki found a job out of town. Which as of yet has not happened, but it's always a potentiality.  Unfortunately, I got curious, and I looked at towns around our area and asked NIkki what the maximum commute was, as apparently there are several choices in a city a half hourish south of us that would put our mortgage at a third to half of what we pay  now.  Let that percolate a moment, yeah.  And the houses are bigger and nicer.  One is so flat out gorgeous.  but we're not ready to list (although working hard at it!) and that city doesn't have a huge it's possible it will still be there when this one sells.  I need to sell this one first for the down payment for the next one.  And watching Trump deconstruct our country has forced me into the realization that we need to get a setup where if we have to we can survive okay on minimum wage jobs.  We can't do that in this house, and I feel financially insecure in what he's going to do in the next four years to realize now is the time to change that.  Course, if he drives us into another Great Depression, I'm not sure there will be any burger cooking (I just can't say flipping, I've worked at McD's, no flipping involved it's a giant really hot clam thing) jobs to be had. 

Especially if you're me.  Republicans are trying to pass a bill now giving employers the right to genetic test employees and get the resutls.  So much for Hipaa.  I'm asthmatic, among other things, and I have no idea if that will show up or not.  But I imagine if that law passes people with conditions can start saying goodbye to jobs so employers can save money on insurance feees.  There is seriously no real reason an employer needs that level of medical information on potential employees.  And since they also want to defund medicare and welfare and everything else, I wonder what these jobless ill people will do to survive.  I imagine it won't be pretty.

But the decision to sell the house and go has been finalized no matter what he does job wise.  And it's weird.  On the one hand, there is new life possibilities!  on the other much work, and crazy fears, an waiting for the house to sell being stuck in a limbo you can't control til that is done.  And resentment that it literally is the fact that I can't count on my country to care about people like us, or anyone not in the top 2% financial positions, that i have to do this.  Weird headspace for me right now, and I"m sorta volatile.  The trump fans are trying to tell me I'm overreacting.  I'm not.  When you see a potential weakness, you fix it.  $676 a month when I could get $150 to $290 a month is not an overreaction, it's a positive change so that if they automate, offshore, or just downsize nikki's job out we're not screwed. 

My offspring is coming home next weekend to get the rest of his things, he's moving back with crazy ex.  Here's hoping she's grown less crazy with time and it works out okay.  It'll be great to get to see him, originally he was coming the weekend after but his moving plans changed, which is good becuase the weekend after I'll be driving to wehre it's warm to hop on a boat.  PALM TREES!  I'm coming palm trees!  I can't really explain the palm tree thing, they just make me happy. 


So I watched about a billion youtube videos about doing the fairly simply, layered haircut I favor yourself.  And it is actually fairly idiot proof, you basically let your head do the work for you.  Ponytail it all at your forehead instead of your crown, cut teh ponytail at the desired length, and take the band out.  Voila.  The natural spaces on your head arrange the hair at different lengths as it takes further from the nap to your forehead than mid-head and crown, etc. etc.  It's faster, no awkward descriptions and miscommunications, and best of all, no product hard sell.  There is nothing a the salon I can't get cheaper elsewhere.  And my hair is long enough that if it doesn't work out for my texture(you never know, salon or at home really, what a particular cut will do with your individual hair I have learned the hard way, I look like a weird porcupine with some kinda bent quill birth defect if I try to rock the really short hair) I can go in and get the layered bob I was thinking of.  I'm going to cut it longer than I was thinking I would like it to see how it looks first, and then I can always do it a second time if it works for me.  Then I have to redye it green, it's fading into blond really fast now.

What is everyone else doing with their hair? 

So there is a still a lot of work, I swear the cosmetic parts are more work than the actual structural parts, but the decaying and failing runners have all been replaced by new ones, that are deeper (the come out a but further, giving a larger space for the foot) with new pine runners.  Nikki did an awesome job, sawdust is everywhere (sawdust smells good, I forgot that), and w'ere ready to start worrying about making it look nice now.  I forgot how QUIET stairs are when they're not...well...ancient.  I'm really having to confront some internal senses of helplessness about changing things in a house and diy stuff that I didn't realize I had or the extent of which I allowed to hold me back.  I'm firm on the professionals only for electrical work, but the rest is negotiable apparently.  This has been good for me, and I think Nikki likes all the praise. :)  I helped.  Awkwardly.  And at one point AssassinFeline decided he was going to be a carpenter too, but we got him shooed away without bloodshed.  That's a victory! 

Nikki is really good with wood, while I'm still terrorized about power tools.  In my small defense though, I was constantly given the message since I was small "Machines will hurt you" and I'm having trouble overcoming that lifelong conditioning.  It didn't help when my 8th grade metalshop teacher cut his finger off (not when I was in the room, it was a few class periods before mine, but still) and my father worked accident scenes with trains and used that to scare me to make sure I respected trains and the damage they can do. 

Nikki didn't get the first job he tried for, but we're not giving up.  :)  We had a talk with the people at this therapy place, and they recommended a second therapist who went to school with the one he was seeing and has a similar approach, so he's going to start seeing her when we get back form the cruise.  Like the day after I believe.  I think with the stress of trying to job hunt and move us it's better to have someone than wait, and he either agrees with me or is humoring me hugely. 

I've started plotting out a deep clean as stuff vanishes into totes and boxes and moves to my mom's.  We might have to invest in new carpet for the upstairs, 10 years of cats puking is problematic, but I'm going to try to shampoo it first and see if I can't coax into something reasonable enough to present to buyers if we reach that point.  The weather has been fairly reasonable, I think Nikki is eyeing fixing the broken fence cracked by the falling tree from the neighbor next door (Yes, I know he should have fixed it, but he's a slumlord and sugin him would cost more than just dealing with it). 

I've been dealing with my mom having a cow that my aunt new about our work to leave town before she did.  Of course my aunt new, she and I talk all the time.  Aunt is unpredictable and can be difficult without warning, but she genuinely is trying to help.  If he does secure the job, I was planning to ask her to come to Dayton with me and do the house tours, she has a great eye and is super nitpicky and notices EVERY little detail, great resource!  I'm sure that will give birth to a whole herd of bovines with my mom, but I don't have time to humor the fantasy land anymore.

In one month vacation begins!  WOOHOO!  CARIBBEAN here we come!  *stupidly excited*  And the night before we get on the ship a guild mate of ours from an online game is in teh area, we're planning to meet up for dinner and have a bit of silly chatter. :)  It'll be fun to put a face to the voice in my headset. It's going to be a great trip! 

So that is what I've been busy with, how are all of you? *hugs all around*

So I got the new webcame to skype and roll20 game with my son now that he's moved, and I Thought, ya know what?  I wanna say hello to the world.  Omegle, here I come!  So I loaded it up.  Now, I FULLY expected to run into a lot of pervyness.  I went into it with the realization I will see things, there is no way around that, the next button is my friend.  But I had it in my head that there were other normal people who just wanted to talk to the world, and after I waded through the unspeakable things, I would find and chat with interesting people.  But it seems like the ENTIRE thing was unspeakable things. 

And it makes me really sad.

Random video chat is a lifechanging technology.  It has the power to connect people around the world, to talk, meet, share their lives and stories, educate each other about different places of the world, and learn the truths in the world for yourself through contact instead of media.  And we've let it languish into some sort of perverts only waste.  We could change the world here, and we just...don't.  I wouldn't even mind wading through the random body parts and weirdness if it meant there would be gems of awesome somewhere.  I"m an adult, I can push the next button and not be irreparably harmed.  But there was nothing no matter how many times I nexted.   If you are under 18, stay off these things, even the ones rated 13+ the users really don't care.

So my webcam sits off quietly, until someone I know someday might also get a webcam other than my son.  And I'm still lonely at night hwen it's quiet, and I could have spent that time broadening my understanding of the world, and I think I"M a little mad at the world for not being there.  To tell me why Togo is an awesome place, why I need to fight pollution to try to save the Maldives from vanishing because they have this awesome thing, what this custom I don't understand is all about, or to answer any question they have about american weirdness.  Lonely turtle.

How Nikki sees the new tool kit we got today (because I broke the drill, don't ask) - Ooh, cool, I can do cool things like built in book shelving and better closeting!  I can be all sorts of productive!  These things are kind of dangerous though.

How I see the new tools: Hm..if anyone breaks in again, I could totally kill a person with those....and not have to worry about a cord.  I wonder if it would get stuck in the bone?

Some days I think there is something really wrong with me.  In my defense, it was IF someone breaks in, not I could just go out and drill into someone. :)

Between you've drank the Kool-Aid, joined the paranoid tinfoil hat brigade, or are having a reasonable response to something? How do you REALLY know? 

Because I might be over that line.  *closes prepper information websites*  Or the line is over me, and I'm just starting to realize things can slide really quickly.  I don't know.

Nikki's therapist, his younger than me, super healthy therapist, had a heart attack and passed away this weekend.  I can't wrap my mind around it.  She has been so helpful working everything out, and such a huge part of our lives (Nikkii's directly, mine through the effect she has on our life) that i just am floored.  So far Nikki is okay, but I don't know how this works for a patient.  If my former therapist had just died, it would have really messed me up, I can't even imagine.  And she was so sweet.  :(

I know rationally that if we moved, a new therapist search was in the near future, and nothing we feel is anything like what her family feels, but the finality and suddenness of it is just stunning.  And of course now I"m worried for Nikki, having that taken away so suddenly can't be good for him. 


By Briannah,

So it was a rocky year, but we made it out okay.  Today was our 18th anniversary, and we had a great day.  And the weather was almost nice!  ;)  We had a nice brunch out(Nikki is trying to live on my schedule during staycation, silly sleepy boy so we didn't wake up til 11), my aunt stopped by to drop off my birthday card since I was busy yesterday only she actually forgot the card on her counter, then we packed up more tubs and moved them to my moms and stopped and my aunts on the way home, grabbed some dinner, and spent the night gaming together.  It was fun.

Right now my cat is super high on a catnip stash I didn't know he has, and is amusing the daylights outta me.  Drunk cat. I think he may be in need of Catnip Anonymous. 

So I bit the bullet and had the we're leaving as soon as reasonably possible talk with the family, it went better than I expected.  Turns out the aunt's interest aligns with our desire to be outta here (She's not eager to be rid of us, but she thinks my mom will have to come outta lala land without us to pick up the slack).  She asked to see some of the houses I saved as potentials, and we had fun looking them over.  She has a good eye too and was helpful picking out little tidbits and we had a good time.  I like my aunt most of the time, but sometimes she gets WEIRD. Runs in the family.  She also thinks we just sorta lingered too long here after Grandma passed.  The deal with Nikki was we couldn't leave unless there was no way around it until Grandma passed, and she went in 2011.  There was a long time of depression where change was a bad idea, and then we just sorta got into a holding pattern.

It was kinda disturbing when I talked to my mom though, I asked nicely if I could stay with her for a while and before I could finish explaining she got all gleeful thinking I was getting divorced.  It's not about Nikki at all though, don't misunderstand.  My mom married my dad reasonably young, I think they were 21, I"m not really clear on that bit.  I think they were married three to four years before I was born. And only three years after, my dad had the affair I talked about before that he involved me in.  So they divorced, and she literally never did anything again.  No dates, no talking to anyone, didn't even make a single non-work friend, just sat around all the time reading romance novels.  It's creepy to me as an adult, but as a kid I thought that was what grownups did.  And we never got along after my divorce when I didn't sit around doing nothing, and started dating again immediately on the separation (it took me a few years to save up for my actual divorce, but everyone I went out with knew I was legally married but not in contact with my husband at all and why).  And then it got worse when I succesfully married again.  She literally resents me for making it obvious it was her own choices that led her to her current life, that you can get up and start over and find the happy ending.  So I get frustrated realizing how it is, but at the same time I just sorta shrug cuz what can I do?  I can't make her less crazy.  And I'm not going to babysit a grown woman who won't do anything to improve her situation.  I make no apologies for continuing to kiss the frogs til I found the prince/ss. I do make some apologies to the frogettes for not understanding the difference between bisexual and biromantic though, I dropped the ball on that one and hurt some women's feelings and own up that.  But those experiences were part of what made me me, so that's ultimately okay too, I didn't do it on purpose. 

So sorta creepy in an otherwise great fun weekend.  I think I don't even understand how much pressure and emotional weight will be gone when I am.  Sometimes I back burner things I know I cant' really change, and then am astonished when the situation is gone and how happy I am that it's gone.  

And let's be real, with the Cheeto destroying everything, lower living expenses to pay the crazy medical fees that will be there since there won't be any protection against my pre-existing conditions or lifetime caps is important.  I may have to go back to college and major in chemistry just so I can figure out it the local water is safe to drink. 

I'm 45 today.

By Briannah,

It's after midnight, that makes it my birthday!  LOL 

And even better, NIKKI HAS AN INTERVIEW!  And while I fully comprehend the difference between an interview and a job offer, it's still good to see him get a nibble less than two days after he applied.  It's done wonders for his confidence, and I'm proud of my Nikki.  :)  It was amazing news.

And if it does work out, both GREAT and OH MY TURTLES IT"S GONNA GET CRAZY.  LOL


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