Category Archives: General

So behind

I’m behind at everything in life right now. It is a very interesting thing to be for someone that is not a procrastinator.

In December we purchased the house. I have a blog for the house but have barely written anything. That is a mixture of free time and free time where I feel creative and not exhausted. Most of my creative energy has gone into the renovations that I so dearly want to write about.

I have not had a real yard in seven years. Now I have a neglected one that I am slowly bringing to life. But, we have had one of the wettest springs in years. Things are going well but it is an exhausting learning curve.

And exhaustion. I’ve picked up more overtime then I have since I was in my early twenties. A coworker went out for baby leave and that left an entire shift open. It also destroyed my spring’s free time. Now, I have one more extra day left next week and my schedule is back to normal.

Except that I am an idiot. There is no normal schedule. I got a puppy in March. I have another one (probably) coming in September. I may hate myself without meaning to.

Oh and I am launching a side gig to make more money.

Yet, I feel pretty good. Mildly annoyed at my poorly structured time but after six wild moths it is starting to pull itself together.

But the tomatoes look great.


Good changes have nothing to do with the time of year

For the last two months or so, I’ve been pretty consumed by the house we just purchased. I’m still consumed by it, but in a different way.

Creativity, in my case, writing, seems to come from a very particular point. Its raw energy that I can lose connection to if I work to many hours or find myself obsessed with something. When we decided to get this house, I became obsessed with many things.

I updated my knowledge about finances and mortgages. Rental properties became a priority and I had to update and learn several new skills for building projects. On the side, I had to deal with trying to push my unresponsive mother along on getting her house occupied and rented out. That required getting it cleaned out and fixed. That entire thing is an emotional vampire of a drain on me as I fight down futile anger and frustration. I also work and the holiday season is a horrible time to have my job.

It has left me not very creative. I’ve been uninteresting because I have not had complete thoughts. I should write my partial thoughts.

The best part is that I was going to write a book in November but I, instead, had to develop a game plan for the house. I could have worse problems in life but I need to organize myself a bit better. This fall has been a bit of a mess with many productive projects but not all of them productive as I would like them to be.

So changes are that I’ll make sure to put time aside to write more. I’m going to be blogging about the new house. And I will finish my project for Eve and writing about the CSM. The holidays are thankfully past and I have a very clear plan for time management over the next three months.

I hate when new things happen with the new year. It looks so premeditated.

Project braces is live

Yesterday, I started project braces. It is step two. Step one was the consult. I’ve had the spacers put in, x-rays taken, and molds taken.

At first the spacers were not bad. They are rubber bands to make sure that the bands can get on. The first few hours were fine. They were a bit annoying by the evening. This morning, I woke up with sore teeth. I feel like something is wrong with them because not only are they tender but my gums are tender. The spacers feel like a huge wad of food is stuck in four spots. And now the discomfort is causing jaw pain and a headache as it radiates out.

Man, the brackets are going to suck. Chewing is hard because my teeth hurt more and more as the day has gone on. This afternoon wasn’t bad, but I tried to chew a soft pretzel this evening and I wondered if my teeth were falling out.

But! They are still in my head.

On the 29th, I get the top braces on. On the 5th, I get the bottom on. How exciting.

At the end of next month, the husband gets his spreader in. He gets to have his upper jaw spread by slow pressure. I suspect I’ll have to stop whining once that happens.


I wanted to write a novel in November. I wound up learning a lot about DIY plans for the house we put an offer on. If all goes well, we will be in a new house by spring. I say if all goes well. While it is okay to fall in love with a house you have to keep a step or two back until everything is done and move in day happens.

The house is a Fixer Upper. Not to the extent of the show but it has not been loved in a very long time. It has been maintained but not loved. There is so much of the house that is original and we would be the sixth owners.

I thought the first owners may have done the crazy basement, but now I suspect it was the third owners. They owned it from 97 to 2005 and they put a theater in. The theater seems like something that would be done then. It feels as if the basement was put together in pieces. There are two normal rooms and two weird as hell rooms, and then a sauna.

Anyway, there is a lot of original stuff in the house. In 2005 it got its fourth owners who only had it for a year before foreclosing. In 2006 it got its fifth owners. They are now short selling it as is. A lot of it is just very worn. The laminate floors need to be replaced (I learned that they do have a life span). The entire place is grungy and we stalked the seller to find that they’ve had some civil lawsuits for money owed dating back over the last three years.

There are a lot of builder basics. A lack of upgrades to the kitchen and bathrooms leaves a lot of room for rationalization. That also costs money and I’ve been creating a budget and game plan to approach this house, fix what has to be fixed and do edits before we move in that will be much harder after.

That is what has led me to learning how to pour concrete counter tops and refreshing my knowledge of tiling. I’ve also researched paint like I have never researched paint before. I get to build half walls, extend an island, and have an electric ranged turned into a gas one. That’s just to name a few.

The End of 2017’s Garden

It is the first week of October.

Temperatures have been lovely but it is cooling down. As it cools it becomes to cool for pollination. My cucumbers and tomatoes are still producing and we have carrots as well. Still, the time comes to ponder the end of this years production. It takes a week or two to take all of the plants down.

It is hard to think about while they are so healthy and productive looking.

They are also hanging from the deck nicely.

But it has to be done before it gets to cold and miserable. Sigh. I have no idea where to start.

Braces at 38

No nuts, popcorn… not even hard taco shells? This is going to be a rougher two years then anticipated.

Teeth. Exposed bits of skeleton that we tickle with synthetic fibers and collect when they fall out. Interesting things are teeth, they can make or break a smile. We can suffer our entire lives with confidence issues. Dental health is important but something we neglect due to cost or fear and often both.

My childhood dentist was a kind man. As I hit puberty, and my overbite from years of thumb sucking was still there, my mother took me off to get braces. Braces are very common around the age of 12. I didn’t think much of it. Not really… not even when everything broke down and I was left with half finished orthodontic work that wound up rotting out several of my lower molars. I remember the dentist that looked down at me and told me that I needed $10,000 in work done. This was when I was twenty-one and working full time as a waitress. I didn’t make $10,000 that year and it took me months to save up enough to get the rotting teeth removed to slow down the damage through my mouth.

That was a painful visit. Most of it because they didn’t believe in my nova-cane tolerance. It sent me off of dentists for years until I discovered my current dental office.  My dentist, a sweet woman that passed away last month, pried the brackets from my teeth at no cost and cleaned up the cement. It ended an era of people asking about my brace brackets. I didn’t even know how tired I was of that discussion.

I’d been thinking about implants for years. But they are costly things and I’ve waited and waited. Now, we’re in a place where I can start the journey and the journey to implants starts with braces.

Ah well. There are several things that I will get to correct. My incisors do not meet correctly. There is a small gap there as the remnants of my buckteeth from childhood. Those came from my thumb sucking.

Now I’ve met a very fun orthodontist and find myself excited for braces. I had planned on invisalign. I should have known that it wouldn’t be that easy. Traditional braces it is. Watch my husband get invsalign. He doesn’t even like nuts, popcorn, or hard tacos much less biting into apples. Sigh.

He also doesn’t like the cost. We will see how he feels after visiting. If not, I’ll forge my way alone.



Being sentimental has dangers. Making poor decisions is one. Hording is another.

As I sell my collectibles and comic books, I find myself occasional sentimental. Most of the time I push it aside. But, I found a comic book yesterday that is very interesting.

This comic book was the last one my father purchased. It was published a month before I was born. I found that out by the simple steps of logging in all of the comic books.

My father’s collection starts when he is around 12 to 13. That coincides with his move from Norfolk VA to Baltimore. From there, he mostly starts with Disney, Gold Key, and Dell comics. They made comic books of popular movies and shows.

It was at that time that I was able to connect something my mother told me. My father was not quite illiterate but he really did not have basic reading skills as a young man. One has to remember that it was the late 1950’s into the 1960s. Civil Rights were peaking and illiteracy was not uncommon for young, black men.

My father also had learning disabilities. They were not properly addressed but back then, they were rarely addressed at all. On top of that, his mother’s solution was to embarrass him in public. This may be where my father developed the fake front that became a true one later in his life. The one where he was always the best, smartest, and most talented no matter who he tromped over.

He was also a gifted mathematician. My brother got that. I unfortunately got a weird, mutated version that gives me an amazing ability to intuitively do math and come to correct conclusions with zero knowledge on how I get there or how it works.  Math and reading are quite different skills and his reading is what suffered.

With these early comic books I can see my father’s reading progress. He starts with movie comic books. There he knows what is said and what the plot is and he is able to teach himself to read and read well. As he becomes 14 or so he starts picking up superhero focused comic books and for the next ten years he collects steadily and heavily.

Once he meets my mother his collecting slows. Once they have my brother it drops to occasional issues. And then there is this last issue purchased the month before I was born.

There are no comics after my birth date. On a humorous note, I questioned if my birth sucked my father’s comic book interest into me. When I was 12 I developed quite the taste for comic books. I eventually fell out of them because they were not enough reading material to satiate me. This was before volume bundles were common.

I suspect that it was a combination of life, job, and time, and access. My father did not like to shop and I don’t think he’d go out searching for comics. The way the books are numbered show patterns that create an image of places he went now and then and grabbed the comics for convenience.

Shortly after I was born my father decided to move from the area and almost split up with my mother. He didn’t like being a family man and was surprised that shedding his wife and children was so complicated. He was in his mid thirties by then. His focus on social appearances may have made him stray from his own self interest when it came to his comic books. In the eighties, men in their thirties were not to buy comics.

I’ll never know the answers. For one, my father is dead these last seven years. For another, even if he was alive, he’d never have told me the truth. He abandoned the truth a long time ago when he learned the power of creative fiction.

All in all I’m left with memories and pieces. So this comic book, this one… I’ll keep.

A little bit of cheating

This morning I went to the DMV to renew my driver’s license. My husband and I are both due for renewal within a week of each other. He is going to be out of the country when his driver’s license expires. I’ve been pushing to get it done and this morning we woke up at the ungodly (to us) hour of 0700 to go.

It was a much smoother process then I expected. The cold, overcast skies kept people away. The middle of the month is a much safer time to go. There are fewer people rushing to meet deadlines for expired things. I saw couples getting titles for new vehicles and a mother bringing her daughter in for her learner’s permit.

My husband was grumpy. He is such a grumpy, growly person in the mornings. I finally stopped trying to talk to him. Thankfully, we waited for about fifteen minutes before his number was called. Another five minutes later, I was called to the opposite side of the line of counters.

I asked a few question to the puzzlement of the  staff member. The application asks if you have or have ever had a driver’s license from another state, territory or country. It then asked for the number and the date it was issued and expired. I changed my license to this state ten years ago. How am I supposed to know what my driver’s license number, issue, and exasperation dates where? He tells me that is only for people coming in with new licenses. I stared at him and commented that ‘ever’ is a rather confusing term.

As I smiled for my picture, I watched the security guard come over and say, “#7 is cheating.”

#7 was the 16 year old girl getting her learners permit. There is a row of stalls where the tests are done. Above their walls is a mirror. They called her out and her mother over and told them she couldn’t retake the test for two weeks due to cheating. Her mother seemed so confused. She walked out and then came back and to my delight, asked for details.

It seems that the young lady made google searches four times. The fourth time is when the security guard called her on it. She was slipping her phone out of her pocket and then back in. The girl had that stone faced look that said, “I have been denying it and now I know they really saw and didn’t just get a lucky guess.”

My husband says that he blames the parents for not making sure she was prepared. I can see that. I remember walking around with my manual reciting passages and begging for quizzes. On one side I thought that she should have not had her phone. On the other, she should not have cheated and her ability to resist temptation is part of growing up. A part that she failed. It also makes me think, what else does she cheat on? To cheat at the DMV is a rather aggressive first attempt. To me, this means it is not a first attempt.

Eyes are still there

I’ve worn glasses most of my life. In 2006, at the age of 26, I decided to get lasik done. I really couldn’t afford it but I was in a pretty good point financially and decided to pay it off. It all worked out and that June I put my glasses aside.

It has been eleven years. I’m looking at my thirty eight birthday. I need to renew my driver’s license and I have not been going to the eye doctor. So, I finally took a deep breath, found a local office that takes my insurance, and went.

Things seem fine. It seems I may be prone to dry eye later in life. She said that my ducts are narrow and my oil glands seems grumpy. I’ve never had a dry eye issue. I’m going to have the big scan done later this month. Things look fine for the most part but there is always a bit of discomfort and fear when facing a new medical procedure.

Fear. What is wrong with me. What will be wrong with me. What can I not stop from going wrong? Morality haunts me. I enjoy my life and my senses. But, I’ve learned that I won’t always work perfectly. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure when I turned 31. I can only manage it because at 31 my biological destiny clicked on. Now, instead of cheerful lack of worry I find that something like an eye exam makes me hope that there is no shoe to drop.

Not saying anything

I first stepped into the internet as a social experience when I was sixteen. Understand that was around 1995-1996. I’ve been online as a large part of my life for twenty years.

The early days of the internet was finding chat-rooms of people of similar age. We all tended to get along because we were all in the same, exotic escape. The people met there would, on average, be a better fit then the ones I met in real life. In many ways, those early days corrupted me and leave me shaking my head and puzzled at the changes twenty years has brought.

This morning, I was checking on messages from reddit. Reddit is such a fascinating forum. I like it well enough but I consider it an acquaintance, not a love. Days like this morning remind me of why.

Last night, in between finishing diner I tapped out some replies to gardeners even newer then I was. I knew the problem. Her pumpkins where not being pollinated. But,t I did one of the ultimate horrors on the internet. I used the wrong word. I used fertilization instead of pollination. Yes. Such a bout of horrific ignorance did grace my response, rendering it useless.

Perhaps, I go overboard in my annoyance. A message received this morning from someone else said, “It is pollination not fertilization.” A true comment. Yes. But necessary? No. Not even a bit. But it is not the first time that I have or will receive a message because of a typo or a word usage case. This is better then the day I was told not to call a dog a boy because gender is a society construct on a dog forum. Still, it makes me close my eyes and take a moment to find the self control to not answer and move on.

It leaves me wondering. Why? Not why they do it. There are dozens of reasons. Correcting someone feels good. It is more why the need. That stems from the incorrect assumption that other people feel like I do. The insecurities. Questioning themselves. Struggling with adulting while being fatigued by the same thing.

Maybe I just question that need. The need to correct people in casual settings. In a professional environment I understand the need for permissions. But I am reminded of that person in a chat room that corrects everyone’s spelling. Or they lecture them on usages and in general make themselves insufferable.

What am I missing in personality, I wonder?