Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Poerty. Blah.

Pulled by invisible stings
My muscles jerk wildly
Betraying a secret
I keep even from myself.

The stone ogre is solidifying
Moving oh so slowly
Muscles strain, tendons scream
I bite my tongue to hide my pain.

Bones made of lead,
Muscles like molasses in January
Pushing just to do the simplest things
I am alone in this hell.

They look like good strong hands don't they?
My wrist jerks, my thigh jumps
I hold in the scream burning in my throat

Weighed down by more
Than my own gargantuan size
Fighting the good fight
Try as I might, I'm still loosing.

But is it the war or the battle
That is beating me down?
In the pit of despair
It all looks the same to me.

Fight the good fight.
It's more than just words.
I'll never give up.
I walk through hell for the ones I love.

There is hope. I know it.
I can't see it now, but it's there.
I'll wait out the darkness
Because this too shall pass.

In the light of love
Everything is possible
I believe in the dream
I believe in love.

And someday, some way,
This will get better.
No matter how many times
I fail along the way, I will win.

Never give up, never surrender
There must be a peace
Between my dreams
And this disease eating at me

A modicum of control is all I desire
The disease is part of me. I admit it.
Now, how do I get it to co-operate?
So help me Fria, I will find a balance.

So uh, it was suggested in this course I took, that I try to express my pain in some way... This is one of my attempts. Take it for what you will.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


I love fictional characters without restraint, wholeheartedly even. I very rarely love real people half so much.

I'm sitting here crying because I know this is the last season for Amy and Rory Pond as the Doctor's companion. Already I miss them. Already I am sad to say goodbye to them. I fell in love with them you see, and it hits me hard that they...they won't be continuing the story with us.

When Mattiline died - a character in the Hallows book series -  I sobbed for hours, inconsolably. I was heartbroken. Chris came home and found me sobbing. He thought someone had died - a real someone that is. I don't think he ever understood how my emotions could rage, how I could be so very attached to someone who wasn't real.

But that's part of it - for me, they are real. If the writer is any good, their characters become real for me. And when they die, my grief is just as real. This is something I've known for years now, and have become very careful about what I read.

Thankfully most romance novels are engaging enough to be entertaining but not enough to touch my heart. Ha.

What I hadn't realized before, was why. Why do I love fictional people so easily? Why do I let myself love them, feel for them so very deeply, when I don't.... I just don't for people people.

Then it hit me.

Fictional characters can't reject me, can't judge me, can't leave me. They will always be there, right where I left them. I can love them without risking being hurt myself. Sure, losing them hurts, but it's not the same as the sting of not being loved back, of being judged and found wanting.

On the other hand, fictional characters let me into their lives. I get to see them at their best, and worst. I get a pass into their daily lives, I get to spend days, months, even years with them.  Most people I don't get to know half so well.

I grieve the loss of beloved characters. I cry. I sob. Until I have a headache and my heart feels hallow, empty and bereft.

I have never allowed myself to grieve for loved ones like that. I've been lucky, thus far, no one really close to me has died. I've had a cat, a dog, and an uncle die in my living memory. I never properly grieved for any of them.

I was sad when my uncle died. It was a shock, but also not a shock, we knew he was dying, I just didn't think it would be so soon.

My pets, I was in school and I had big tests both of the days they died. I refused to let myself grieve because I had to focus, I had to pass my exams. But when they were over, I never, I never let my grief out. It was like, once I put my grief in a box in the corner of my mind, so I could get through my exam, I couldn't get the box back. I couldn't....find the passion to grieve.

Does that make me a terrible person?

Perhaps it just makes me a frightened one.

I can't help that I love fictional characters. And I don't want to. I like that stories and the people in them mean something to me.

But I worry that I have so much trouble forming attachments in the real world. I've always been shy and awkward. I've always been uncertain as to my worth in the eyes of others. I'm...quirky. I just don't connect with many people. There are people occasionally that I want to connect with, but for whatever reason I don't manage to make a lasting connection. I am only ever on the peripheral of their lives.

I'm not really sure what to do with this epiphany. I'm trying very hard to not judge myself, to not label myself a coward.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Book Review...that Degenerated into a Rant...

2.5/5 Stars for by

Free kindle read. The story is far better than most free reads - the characters are well developed, the plot is interesting, and there are even some very mild sexy bits.

Overall I liked this, I mean, I read it for hours on end (like 16 hours or so) because I couldn't put it down, I was enjoying the characters far too much.

I have one HUGE issue, and a few smaller ones though.

My largest issue is perhaps a spoiler, but I don't really think so. The author keeps mentioning the time the heroine and hero "accidentally had sex". Now, first off, you can't just accidentally have sex, what, did she fall on his cock?? Second, THIS NEVER HAPPENED!! It's mentioned a few times throughout, but finally close to the end you learn it happened her first night in the mansion. I went back and re-read it thinking I might have swiped too many times and passed pages without realizing. Nope. It NEVER HAPPENED.

Clearly there was an edit at some point and the author didn't bother to go back through the rest of the book to make sure the deleted scene wasn't mentioned. To me, it's a big deal because the KEEP mentioning it, and base other decisions/feelings on it. Edit people!! EDIT!

Okay, second issue, related to the first, and more SPOILER. So don't read if you don't want to know!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Love, Teapots, and Shakespeare

I found a few lines of shakespere, unexpectedly, and it brought back such happy memories of our wedding. Our, being my husband Chris and mine.

You see, I found my most remembered line of a favourite sonnet I put in our wedding ceremony. Love is not love that alters when it alteration finds. This is the whole thing:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
                                Sonnet 116, William Shakespeare

Chick logic. The sonnet made me look up the ceremony - I wrote it/put it together you see. And then I had to re-read my favourite part. I admit, that on the day of, I didn't hear a damned word our official said. I was sooooo nervous and excited, it was all a blur.

Have I mentioned I hate standing up in front of people or being the centre of attention? See how I'm clutching onto his hand? Poor man. I was terrified!

But on to the teapot.

What? For the exchange of rings, some mention of why we wear rings is always made. Usually it goes something like, love is a circle, blah, bah blah.  I felt the circle reference was very arbitrary and didn't make much sense. So I wrote something that did make sense to me. Love is a teapot. Yes, that was my favourite part. I wrote it myself, and I think it rather clever. Perhaps it's not, but it always makes me smile. Judge for yourself:

Love, tuw wuv, is a teapot, but we wear rings since they are easier to get on our fingers.  Love is a teapot, love is a circle, a square, a polygram -  love is what you make of it.  And here today, Christopher and Melissa vow to make their love the lasting kind.  Their love will keep them safe and warm through whatever storms life throws at them, just like a good teapot would.

But you have to imagine the priest from Princess Bride saying the first part, for it to make sense. And if any of you haven't seen the Princess Bride, go now and watch it. It..... is one of the most beloved stories for geeks 40-30 yrs old.

I'm such a sap. But every day I marvel at the gift I've been given - in the form of my husband. He is not a boon I ever thought to have from this life. And every day I am thankful, I feel my luck, and know, despite being chronically ill and such, that life could be so much worse, so much emptier. He is my anchor, my port in the storm, and my life-preserver in rough seas. Nothing is ever so bad when I'm in his arms.

Love. I never thought I'd be so damn lucky.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Jerkface Doctor Solves Everything - Pain ISN'T REAL

Yeah, that's right. I went to see my GP for my physical and he went on a half hour long tirade about how pain isn't real.  It's just signals your brain gets. You just feel it. But it's not real.

That man has some gall!

I have Fibromyalgia, chronic tension, sinus, TMJ and cluster headaches, as well as migraines. I have degenerative knee caps (bending my knees hurts), flat feet, and bursitis (painful inflammation) on my hips.

It's safe to say I know a thing or two about pain. I've spent most of my life in pain. Even when I was a child, my bones grew faster than my tendons and I would sit rubbing my legs and crying because I was in so much pain. As a teen and in my early twenties I was plagues by sinus headaches and migraines. And I'm here, disabled, not working, not even able to care for myself, trying to survive with chronic pain.

Until I moved to Toronto and met the group of friends I have now, I honestly didn't know it wasn't normal to be in pain all the time. I couldn't remember a reality that didn't have me always in pain. And whenever I mentioned I was in pain to my parents or others they would say things like 'that's too bad' or, 'I wish I could do something for you', but never, not once did anyone tell me it wasn't normal!! How the hell was I supposed to know that's not how everyone else lived, and I was just a big wimp complaining all the time?! I didn't know! Not until one of my friends said it isn't normal to live with that much pain.

But it's not real. None of it is real. Pain and fear aren't real, my doctor said. They are just signals your brain gets. Sometimes they are helpful, sometimes not. But they are just information; they aren't real.

Sure, I know my FMS means my brain is screwing up, sending pain signals when there is no actual cause. But that doesn't make the pain any less real!!

My pain is just as real me to as him standing in front of me telling me my problem in all in my head, and I just have to learn to ignore the signals my brain is sending me.

EXCUSE ME!?!?!?!  I'm in so much pain I'm fucking suicidal because I'd rather be dead than live in this hell and he has the audacity to tell me my pain ISN'T REAL!?!?!?!

It's not real. Just ignore it. That's his answer.


My pain is real. Thank you very much.

Way to undermine a patient's sanity. Because if my pain isn't real, then neither is he and neither is anything else.

What makes something real?? I can feel it. I can manipulate it. I can make it worse, or better. Just because I can't see it doesn't make it not real. I can't see germs either, but they exist all the same!

If pain isn't real, then neither is joy, or love, or the air we breathe! I can't see the air. I can feel the it. I can smell it. But I can't touch the air - I can't hold it in my hand. So what makes it real?

And I will argue until I'm old and grey that LOVE is REAL. I can feel it. I can see it - by proxy in the actions of the ones around me that love me. I hold it in my hand every time my husband brings me a drink because my feet or joints are too damn sore to get up for myself. I wrap it around me every night - it's my husband cuddling me so hard I have to fight to get up to pee. I hear it in the joy in my parents voices when I make a surprise visit. I smell it when my husband cooks me dinner. I taste it in the batter when I bake him his favourite - banana bread. I can see it, hear it, touch it, smell it, taste it. That's all five senses. What more proof could you possible needl?!

But love started out as a feeling, and I can argue just as well for pain. They are real damnit!

My pain isn't real. I cannot seriously believe he said that to me. My pain isn't real?! I would so love for him to live in my body for a month, and then tell me my pain isn't real. It's fucking real all right, and actually experiencing it would knock him on his cocky ass, is what.

My pain isn't real. Ha. Sure. And I suppose fairies sprinkle fairy dust on the flowers to make them grow too.


My pain is real. I live with it every moment of every day. It's fucking real all right.

Perhaps I should break both of his legs, in multiple places, then when he's all healed up and his bones start to ache in the dampness I can tell him his pain isn't real, see how he likes it. It's only a bad signal. Stop your limping and just ignore it, you big baby. Yeah. That'd go over real well, I'm sure.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Babies, Or the Lack Thereof

I just watched an episode of The Closer that really hit home for me.  The lead character, a 40 yr old woman is worried she's pregnant. Yes worried. Terrified even. So scared she takes a few days to actually do a test. She is relieved when the test is negative, but her boyfriend is disappointed. The way he looked when he saw the test box in her purse (he wasn't snooping, he was making sure he glasses went into her bag instead of on the floor). He had that look - stupid happy, like he'd just won the life lottery. Money can't make you look that happy. Only love can do that.  Well, aside from faking it for film; I'm speaking of when that look happens on it's own in real life. It's been my experience only moments of true joy based on love give that wondrous, happy look.

It's the same look I saw on my good friend Will's face while he was standing across from him wife during their marriage ceremony. It's the same look I saw on my own husband's face in the pictures for our wedding (I was way too nervous to notice at the time).

It's a good look. And man does it feel good when you're the reason!

Anyway, my point, is what happens when you're the reason someone is robbed of that look and all the expectant joy that causes it.

My mother-in-law was shocked at my lack of romance, and possibly tact, when I told her that I told Chris, my husband, on our first date, that if he wanted children, if that was something he was looking for, then I wasn't his woman. I told him, firmly, and knowing me, passionately that I was never going to have children. I like other peoples children just fine, and I'm happy they enjoy them, but I so do not want that life for myself. Which, in a way, is a blessing in disguise because right now there is no way in hell I could take care of a child! I can't take care of myself without help. No, kids would be the miserable death of me. Though, honestly, even if I was perfectly healthy I would still be miserable if I had kids. They are just.... Not something I want in my life.

Now, if I'd done things my mother-in-laws way, and hadn't mentioned my feelings, I could potentially be the person robbing someone of that joy I was talking about earlier. I would have been lucky with Chris, but he's not the only man I've ever dated, and I've always been upfront because, having children is not something you can compromise on. Whether or not you have 1 or more can be a compromise, but if one partner wants kids and the other doesn't, well that's just a deal breaker. I have always felt it is better to state up front what you are looking for in a relationship and what the deal breakers are for you. I don't think it's unromantic, I think it's practical. How romantic is miscommunication and hurt feelings?

Letting things happen naturally, and seeing where the go, is just fine - that's what Chris and I did. But you have to be upfront with people. When I was dating, I wanted to avoid the scenario where we'd date for, who knows how long, and once we have tender feelings for each other, and want to be serious, or even think of marriage, only then we find out that one of us wants ten kids, the other zero, or one of us is a devout Christian and requires not only a Christian wedding, but baptism and child-rearing as Christians, oh, and for the mother to convert and attend Church ever Sunday. Deal breakers. That's what I'm talking about. Upfront no one gets their feelings hurt, you've 'wasted' maybe 1-3 dates instead of months or even years, and everyone can then go off and seek someone that wants the same things they do.

I feel passionately about this. I may not be great at communicating, and my husband will surely attest to that (he has the patience of a saint!), but I do understand the value, and importance of talking to the people in your life. I know it's hard; it's always hard for me, but in the end, it helps. People can't help you if you don't tell them you need help. People can't be or give you what you want if you don't ask. I say people because I mean not just your partner but all the people in your life that care about you. Perhaps it's just me, though likely not, but I find it hard to ask for help in part because I never feel.... sure that whomever I'm asking is willing to help. Fear of rejection is a powerful thing. It's taken me over 30 years, but I'm beginning to understand that I'm better loved than I've ever imagined, and asking for things, especially from my partner, is a good way to get what I want/need. 

Man, am I a lucky woman! Every time I think about the fact I'm married to my Chris, I realise just how damn lucky I am. I'm so well loved. He's so so good to me! We're so very compatible. He makes me happy just by being here. Insert goofy smile here.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Time's Almost Up!

So, I have carpal tunnel. I had my right wrist operated on in 2008, literally two weeks after Chris (my then boyfriend) started working at the Company he still happily works for. His boss was really great and let him have the day off to come with me to get my surgery done. He wanted to be there, bless him.

Well, it's now time to get my left wrist done. I have an appointment for a consult in the middle of August. So, hopefully I can have the surgery done soon after. Again, Chris' work is being great about it. I'm sure he'll take the day off to come with me, and then take a few days, either off, or just work from home. I'm pretty helpless right after it's done because I'm not allowed to move my left hand at all.

Let me tell you, losing the use of your whole hand, and your forearm too really, is a very frustrating experience! There are just so many things we do all the time, little things, that suddenly you can't do, or you have to pause so you can think your way into another way to do it. For instance, you can't open a jar - you need one hand to hold it and another to unscrew. You can't wash your hair - you need one hand to hold the shampoo bottle and the other to pour the shampoo out into. You could just pour shampoo on your head, but without say, a mirror, you'd never have a clue how much you were using. You can't do up a bra, it takes you three times as long to put pants on, if you can at all. It's not too hard to undo a button one handed, but doing them up, esp. with stiff fabric, ugh! It's hard. And I know I am going to be one cranky woman!

But, that wasn't supposed to be my point! Oops!  I wanted to talk about my knitting. Because knitting is one thing I most certainly will not be able to do once I have surgery! It will take three months at best before I can knit again! Three whole months with no knitting!! I think I might just go stark raving mad!

So, the time is running out and I have lots of things I want to get knitting. First and foremost I'm making a stockpile of cotton dishtowels because ours are getting very old, and my mom is running out too. So I'm doing them in 7.5 in sq for my mom and about 5.5 in sq for me.  I am also knitting a shawl in a lovely summer-sky blue yarn. I very much want to have that done ASAP.

Also, if I manage to have time, I really really want to knit a baby blanket for my cousin's forthcoming baby. I haven't knit for any of my other cousin's babies, because, well, that woulda put me in the pour house. I have 24-26 cousins, with about 20 of them having 2 or more children! That's a LOT of Hazeltons! heh.

But, this cousin is special. In that I grew up with him. He may be five years younger than me, but so many of my happy memories from childhood feature him, and his mom, and even his sister. She was so mean to him when they were little! I guess that's part of being siblings, I'm an only child, so I really have no clue. But the four of us (the three kids and mom) went on lots of adventures together. I remember going somewhere, I'm thinking maybe just to Stoney Creek Dairy for ice cream cones. It was summer and we had all the windows down in my Aunt Alice's big red Buick.  We sang Rod Stewart at the top of our lung, with the breeze in our hair and huge smiles on our faces. That memory just bursts with joy. And he, the father-to-be of the aforementioned baby, was a big part of that.

I guess... because I shared so much of my childhood with him, even though we haven't been close since then, I still... I very much want to be a part of his life. I want to celebrate this new stage with him. And the only way I really know how to do that, you know, aside from babysitting (there is a reason I only did that once or twice as a teen!), is to knit them something for the baby.

I mean, what better gift of love than my time and skill? I'll use acrylic, because babies and wool don't mix unless mommy is a knitter too. Just the willingness to use acrylic (I hate the stuff) shows you how much I care! So yeah, I want to knit a blanket, maybe a baby sweater, thought the sweater will likely be in some superwash wool. I haven't found cotton or acrylic I'm willing to knit in a finger weight. And thick sweaters look silly on babies I find.

What blanket should I knit?? I already have the plans for the monkey blanket, but that thing took forever! So I'm thinking perhaps something more simple like the diamond lace blanket I made. Though, knowing me, I will also spent and afternoon searching Ravelry for baby blanket ideas.

Wish me luck! I think I'll need it to get everything knit in time!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Let's Add Socially Awkward to the List!


So last night I went out with my husband to dual birthday party for a couple ladies we know. 

I so did not want to go. I don't feel fit for social gatherings. I'm the size of a house, I hate it, it shows, and I know I get judged for it. I'm shy to begin with, but now, with my size and my long break from anything like a 'normal' life, I don't have fuck all to talk to folks about. Awkward. I am painfully socially awkward.

What do I mean by normal life? I mean a job, employment. Regular social engagements. That sort of thing. I don't have any of that.

I don't work. I can't work. But other than being the size of a house, I don't look sick. I don't look disabled. Hell, even my like 65+ yr old teacher at UofT asked me the first chance she got me in private if I really couldn't work. We had to introduce ourselves in the first class. I mentioned I was disabled and couldn't work due to chronic illness. If she doesn't even believe me, then how can I expect perfectly healthy young people to?

I don't have anything in common with them. They all work, they all lead full lives. I lead the life of a recluse, a social outcast, a hermit. Even my own parents are shocked by the....isolation in my life.  I've gotten used to it. It's not so bad. I've always had hermit tendencies. Without...close friends or any reason (like work) to interact with others.. I don't really. I don't even know how I'd do it in my state.

I'm fat, useless, boring, old, awkward, and just plain miserable. I do not have anything to offer.

So I spent most of my night sitting in the corner of the couch, with a fake smile plastered to my face, saying very little. I was incapable of chitchat. I didn't want to be so fucking silent, but I couldn't think of a damn thing to say.

It's not like anything really interesting happens in my life. I just... I didn't know what to say. Half the time I knew some people just never liked talking to me anyway, so I didn't bother to make an effort. Other people I so very much wanted to say something, anything that would be interesting or engaging or something... But I just.. I blanked. When I did say something, It... I should have just kept my fucking mouth shut.

I was so fucking self conscious I wanted to burrow into the couch and just be invisible. I did not want to be seen.

I mean, if my own doctor, who bloody well knows what kind of chronic pain, exhaustion, and social anxiety I live with tells me I'm fat because I'm lazy.... How can I expect perfect strangers to understand?

I just. I hate meeting new people. What's the first thing some asks? So, what do you do? I don't. I can't work due to chronic illness. That sure puts a stop in the conversation! Then they feel guilty, awkward, forced to console me, and ask about it. Then they hurry away as fast as they can. I'm a fucking social leper.

I don't know anything about corporate life. I barely even remember what it was like to work with people. I'm a fucking housewife. With no children. Who does a really shitty job at you know, keeping the place clean. I'm a waste of space, and I know it.

"Are you sure you can't work?" "So you can't work at all?" "There are lots of temp jobs" "Couldn't you do freelance?" Yeah, with what freaking credentials!? I mean, besides my physical limitations, I was a secretary, an office manager, a jack of all trades, but I don't have credentials for any of it. And it was so long ago, I don't know if I could do a lot of it now anyway. I mean, my last full time job was FIVE years ago. Ugh.

I couldn't do 8 hour days. Not even 8 days a week. I'm that fucked up. But I don't look it. So people always ask. They don't realize, that that outing, the bit where I'm being social or am in school, that's my activity for the day, and in all likelihood it will take me 2-3 days to recover from it.


I just.... I want the ground to swallow me up. I want to sleep and never wake up. I want an easy way out of this mess. Perhaps my doctor is right, and I'm a fat useless fuck because I'm just too gods damn weak-willed and plain old lazy. Yup. That's about right.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Baby Blanket Progress And Life.

I can't show you the baby blanket, because it's a gift, and I want it to be, mostly a surprise for the mom.  But it's coming along! I have actually finished the knitting, after like 10-12 days of straight knitting. We're talking 40+ hours of knitting my fingers off.

Much to my dismay, when I finally got it off my needles... it wasn't square. I did the add two stitches every other row, like the instructions I found for corners told me to.. I'm thinking it might have been better to add two stitches every row... But once I was done, there is no way in hell I was ripping out 40 hours of work!!

So. Acylic..... You can't really block it. Not the traditional way, washing and pinning, it will just jump back to it's pre-washing state. And besides, baby blanket, it's going to get washed, and mom is not about to block the dang thing.

SO! I 'killed' the two bottom boarders. Killing, really isn't as bad as it sounds, you just have to be careful! For instance, leave garter stitch alone as much as you can, as you will flatten it, and it will look...not great. The flat patterned parts stretched really well, overall, and it flattened out the elephants and loins really well, so yay! I did accidentally catch part of a garter stitch ridge in a few places, but I didn't flatten it too too badly.

This entire blanket had been a lesson in imperfection for me. I'm a perfectionist. I can't seem to help myself. But, in making this blanket, I've learned to weigh 'time to fix' vs 'who other than me will notice'. As a result, I've left a few errors that I didn't think were super obvious, left some things alone or did them quickly, when I otherwise would have spent hours upon hours trying to fix.

In the end, the blanket is lovely, and once I get the dang backing on it, will be a lovely edition to a baby's life; imperfections and all. It has character damnit.

On another note, sitting for like 12-16 hours a day knitting, is actually really hard on my body, and I've been crazy stiff and sore for the last two weeks. This week I've also been battling crazy nausea. I've been eating lots of candied ginger, which usually helps, with no avail. I've been fighting with all I have to do what little I've done.

Monday I worked for about five hours straight on the backing and trying to pin it to the knitted blanket. This was before I blocked the blanket. What a mess. And I messed up cutting the backing and ended up making a lot of work for myself. Oh well, that's life.

Made for a very frustrating day. So much work, with so little to show for it. All the while battling enough pain to make me dizzy when I moved too quickly. Fuck it was a hard day.

Yesterday was better. If for no other reason my class distracted me from my pain. But as soon as I left I realised my jaw was in grave pain - I'd been clenching my teeth to combat the pain. I even went to the grocery store. But I didn't have the energy to work on my blanket last night. Every time I moved I was overcome with nausea, and had to sit my fat ass down again.

That's been today. Pain and nausea warring for control over me. Right now the pain is winning and the nausea is more in the background. Which means, I've been able to at least iron down the edges of the backing, which will make it much easier to sew when I get there.

Feeling sorry for myself. Or.. Well... Disappointed in myself is more accurate. I fate being this size. I really do. If I think too hard on it, I get a panic attack. And yet I can't seem to control myself. I have no discipline. I can't resist chocolate, or.... giving in when I'm having a bad day. It's so bloody hard. Food has become my comfort, my balm when I'm in pain. And I don't know how to control it, never mind fix it.

I think about women like Laurell K Hamilton. She's been writing since her early twenties I think. She wanted to be a writer, and by gods, she has worked her ass off to get there, regardless of having a day job, a husband, a failing marriage, a baby, or anything else that's been thrown at her. Still she finds time to write. Still she finds her muse, and fights for what she wants.  Even if I'm not the biggest fan of everything she's written her drive is awe inspiring.

I don't have that. I know I don't. I always have an excuse for everything. The only thing I've ever been able to ALWAYS make time for is knitting. I would likely knit in my sleep, if I could figure out a way to do it. I love to knit. It's to the point I just can't sit and watch a movie or tv. I can't. Not without something in my hands, not without some kind of knitting.

But I'm not The Yarn Harlot either. I'm not funny. I can't tell stories about knitting. I so can't write that sort of thing... it's not in my make-up. Besides, my knitting isn't pretty - the process that is. There's a lot of planning, math, calculator and pencil, graph paper, humming and hawing, and through, always the cursing. I curse like a sailor. If I drop a stitch (rare), or mess up a row (not so rare), or if I don't like the pattern I've chosen (often), or if I'm doing the math, and have to figure out increases and decreases, I curse. My husband is used to me muttering and cursing as I work. He worries more when I'm quiet. lol.

And now, I've used all the energy I had. The pain is taking over my brain, and I can't put the words together to say what I wanted to say. Damnit.

Living like this is really lonely. I mean, aside from the reality that I spend most of my days alone, and my nights across the room from my husband, not really conversing.... It's the knowledge that 99% of the people I know, don't have a fucking clue how hard my life is. I know in so many ways I'm lucky. Things really could be a lot worse. At the same time, my life sure as fuck isn't all sunshine and roses.

The pain eats at me. The nausea binds me to the spot. The stiffness makes me feel like I'm 100 years old. I visit my parents, who are really my grandparents both around80-ish, and both of them are more spry than I am. Both of them do more, are more ambitious, than I've been in a long ass time. I wish I was more like them. They can't sit still, they can't do nothing. The push. They do. They have gumption, drive, follow-through.

I've always been naturally lazy. I actually do like, for the most part, sitting and watching a good movie, or reading a good book. I like sleeping in. I like slow, lazy days.

My fibromyalgia forces me to take it slow, to sit around and do fuck all. And I hate it. Yet I rarely push past the pain. Most days, the pain wins. I crumble.

I feel so fucking weak. Touch my shoulders and hips, even lightly in certain spots and I'll scream in pain.  I ache, all the way through me, and there isn't a fucking thing wrong with me. It's all in my head. Literally. Fucking FMS.

I.... Ugh. I feel like, if it was my mom who had this, she'd push. Even at 78, she'd push and do and be active, and live her life. She's lived with pain all her life too. But unlike me, she almost never complains, and very rarely ever lets it slow her down.  I wish I could be like that. I wish I knew her secret. I just don't have that in me.

I'm disgusted with myself. On so many levels. Disease or not, I'm a disappointment. So many others have what I have, and yet they work full time jobs, they have kids, husbands, houses to clean, and they do it all. Somehow, the do it all.  Me, I just.. I don't have that in me.

I wish I had that strength of character. I wish I had discipline and control. I don't. No matter how I try... I'm just... I'm not that kind of person. Ugh.

I don't.. I don't know how to fix this. I try. Gods know I try. But I just don't seem to have it in me. Makes me...disgusted with myself. I'll never be strong enough.

Friday, March 30, 2012


Having a Queen fest with youtube. Suddenly Somebody to Love popped into my head, and I just had to hear it again.

I find it painfully ironic that I didn't know who Queen was when Freddie died. In my defence I was 13 at the time. I distinctly remember hearing them announce it on MuchMusic.... Because I had no idea who Queen or Freddie Mercury was, or why it was such a big deal he was gay. I've never understood that particular prejudice.

It was only after Freddie's death, with all the media focus on Queen, that I 'discovered' them, and in turn found Rock N Roll.

Queen changed my life. I'm sure that sounds melodramatic, but it's true; I just can't imagine what my life would be like without them, without rock and roll.

I've always been a music lover, I get it from my mom. Before poetry, I had music. Such a powerful thing, to have someone speak to, speak for your heart and soul. Queen, did that for me, still does (as do many other men and women with guitars and attitude). They... they spoke to me, they soothed, they raged, they prayed, sorrowed, exalted with me.They made my passage from childhood to adult, fuller, easier, they helped make me the woman I am. And I don't think I've done too badly for myself. ;)

Also, while I'm being a sap, I gotta say, I cannot be happier to have the particular prayer of this ^^ song answered. Having somebody to love, I never thought I'd get it. All through my youth, it was my deepest wish, but the one I was most certain I would never have granted. Now, now my life is so much fuller of love, because I can see the love that's always been there in my family, and now my husband and his family. So much love spread around. But gods, I'm a lucky woman to have a man who loves me so very much!

Okay, no more sappy time. Time to knit! I've got lions to make! :D

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ahmen Sister!

This lady's story is both inspirational and sad.

I feel her pain, almost literally. Though I have a different cause for my pain, I understand where she is coming from. She is far braver than I. Her determination inspires me; it makes me want to fight for myself.

"Women have a high pain tolerance for a reason. We always thought we had to suck it up. If you think you experience pain that is not normal, ask your doctor. When they blow you off, ask again. And again. And again. My story does not have a happy ending…yet."

I'm getting better at pushing for what I need, but it's hard for me. I... Don't always know how to respond to doctor's who tell me they can't help me, or that nothing is wrong with me.

I am so very lucky to have a husband and our two families backing me up, on my side, and helping me learn how to advocate for myself.

Next week I go see a Doctor at a pain clinic in Toronto. I sincerely hope she can help me. Mostly I hope that I can actually speak up for myself and present my condition accurately, so I can get the help I need.

I know I'll never be pain free, Fibromyalgia doesn't have a cure. Hell, they are still trying to figure out what causes it and how it works. Many doctors don't even believe it's a real thing! I'm a realist. I dream of being able to manage my pain. Every day is a fight. Some days are worse than others. When it's cold and miserable out, there are more bad days, for whatever reason. In the warmer, sunnier weather, I do better. But still there is always pain. I just want to have some recourse when the pain gets so bad I can't think. When it's so bad all I do is curl up in a ball and try to sleep.

This woman has gone through so much, and spent years fighting with doctors and the medical system to find out what is wrong and how to fix it.  Brave, brave woman.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Don't Mess with My Parents.

The Honourable Dwight Duncan
Minister of Finance
7 Queen's Park Crescent, 7th floor
Toronto, ON, M7A 1Y7

March 8, 2012

To The Honourable Dwight Duncan, Minister of Finance:

There is no polite way to say how angry I am right now. I was raised by two wonderful people that raised eleven children including me, ten of them their own. They are seniors, on a fixed income. They own their own home, their own car, and they pay their bills on time. They taught me to pay my bills on time as well. This, I think, is a lesson you never learned.

I was at my parents house today when they got their tax assessments back. My Pa, who makes the same amount every year, whose taxes are taken out of his pension cheques, somehow owes the government $64.12. Usually they get $500 or $600 BACK. How on earth should he have to pay?

I understand that you have decided that the government changed not only the timing, but how they pay out property tax credits, as well as the Senior's Homeowners grant. I realize that six long months from now, AFTER they have to pay their property taxes again, they will finally see some portion of the money they are rightfully owed. Are you going to pay them interest for keeping their money so long? Because if they waited until they got a penny from you to pay their tax balance, I know for sure you'd charge them interest.  Buddy, you have some nerve.

It's okay for people like my husband and myself. We aren't counting on that money for anything other than adding to our RRSPs. Now if we don't actually get all you owe us before we have to pay 2012s taxes, mister you are going to get another piece of my mind.

How dare you decide you know better how to handle Canadians money, than they do! That's not your job. You just want the money, their money, to float your budget.  Like, I said, you have some nerve screwing over the most vulnerable people in our society. Now my parents, are very good with their money, they don't *need* their tax refund right this second to pay outstanding bills, but you bet your ass they want to see it before they have to pay their property taxes. But they won't, because they are due in June, and you aren't giving anyone a red cent until July. Nerve, mister, you have too much.

Also, explain to me what the hell kind of sense this makes?  My Pa has to pay you $64.12, he's going to send that in, someone has to process it, then six long months later, you are going to go ahead and give him that back, and eventually more. As long as he doesn't die. How dare you! If he died, he'd still have to pay his taxes, or rather his impoverished widow would, but you don't have to pay him the money you owe him?! How can you look yourself in the mirror?

He's 84 years old my Pa. He fought in World War two. He raised eleven children. All but me have at least two more, and they have two more as well. My parents are the fountain head of a family of 60+ people, over 40 of which work and pay taxes in this country. Their story is not unique. And yet this is the group you decide to screw over?!  What part of this plan ever seemed like a good idea to anyone who isn't upper middle class? Did you even bother to vet it with the actual working class you planned to mess with?!

Did you even bother to announce this change to anyone other than accountants and tax preparers? I never heard hide nor hare of this until today when I was trying to tell my very distraught Pa why he owed the government money. But I don't understand it myself. He's on a freaking fixed income. There are no surprises. What have you done wrong in collecting his taxes all year long that he now had to pay??

I just don't see how this makes any sense at all. Instead of doing things once, one assessment, one bill/cheque, you've turned it into three or four processes, taking up more resources. How is this possibly helping anyone, even you?!

I'm angry. I'm angry for my parents, and other seniors, students, and those on/near the poverty line. If you had to screw with someone, why not the middle class, why not the precious upper class? Why did you have to mess with those most vulnerable?!

You need to fix this. And you need to fix this now. It's not too bloody late to fix this for this year. You can just go ahead and do the assessments now, like you should have, and give people their money. At the very least, you should send all taxpayers eligible for credits a letter asking them if they would like installments starting in July, or if they would prefer their lump sum in July.

I just read a CTV article that stated you were going to include the option for payments of lump sum on 2012s tax forms. I sincerely hope a) this is true, and b) you actually follow through.

Next time you have a bright idea, I suggest you run it by the people who will actually be affected. At the very least you need to ensure Canadians know what's going on.

My parents are confused and distraught, and I am spitting mad for them. You know, I don't actually expect nor do I really care if there is a Canada pension waiting for me when I'm old, as long as you take care of my parents. And thus far, I see you are doing a piss pour job of it.


One Very Disgruntled Taxpayer.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Day I Lost My Faith

My hubby sent me a link, that brought me somewhere else - to a blog entry recounting the writer's journey from Catholic to Agnostic: It's from 2007, but that doesn't matter, it's still as poignant and thoughtful today.

The article made me think about my own conversion as she puts it. Hers seems... much more thoughtful and torturous than my own. Though, I don't think mine was any easier.

I was 13 when I started thinking about god, and whether or not he was real. I read the bible, hoping it would re-kindle my dwindling faith. I even got baptized in hopes it would help me feel a connection to God. neither worked as I'd hoped. Instead I was left angry and faithless. I spent the year in turmoil before I eventually made my decision.

I read the bible, up to maybe Genesis; it's a whole fucking chapter of who sired who. Watching paint dry is more interesting. But the bits that stuck were before that. The bible straight out says that women were evil, just for being born. As a young woman, this pissed me off to no end. It made my blood boil. I'm evil because Eve opened Adam's eyes to the truth, to the real world?! I didn't see how that was such a bad thing in the first place.

On the whole, the bible is pretty misogynistic, at least that's how my 13 year old brain felt. I haven't picked up a bible since, I don't see any reason to either. I decided then and there, that sunny afternoon, that I wanted no part in any religion that thought me evil or somehow less just because I was a woman. I refused to believe that just because I had a vagina instead of a penis I was less worthy, of less value, less capable, less anything.

I'm pretty sure I was baptized by the time I came to that conclusion and I know the experience weighed heavily on me then, and for years after. You see, I wasn't a 'believer' when I was baptized. I was, instead, confused, scared (who did you turn to when God wasn't there?), and wanting to please my religious mom. My actual baptism was a nightmare. See, I have asthma, so I've never had good lung capacity, and during a baptism - at least at the church I was going to then - the preacher dude held you under the water while he did the ritual, much talking was involved.

They did baptisms in batches, since they had to fill this tank in the floor of the stage with water. Really cold water by the way. And we had to wear white shifts. When my turn came, I gasped as I stepped into the cold ass water. He grabbed my wrists, and pulled them behind me and held them in one big hand. He told me to take a deep breath, then wrapped his other hand around the back of my neck, and dunked me. About half way through his long-winded speech, I need to breath. I tired to pull up, but he pushed me in farther. I squirmed and tried to get away, but his hand was like a vise on my wrists. I should mention, that at 13, I was 5ft 6in tall, and a size 13. I was not child-sized. The water was under 4 ft, so part of my problem was my body was doubled over and confined by the floor, and his body pressed to mine. I was terrified. I thought I was going to die. I needed AIR, and this brute just squeezed my neck harder!

When all was said and done, I didn't die, clearly, and I didn't like Christians one little bit. All I could think, over and over in my head was "he tried to kill me!"  For at least ten, maybe fifteen years after this, any time someone touched the back of my neck, I freaked out, like hyperventilating panic attack. You can imagine what a damper this put on any chance I had to make-out with boys/men! It didn't matter that I wasn't in water, that he wanted to kiss me, pull me in to him, not kill me, I couldn't handle it. To this day I don't like it. I tense up. My husband knows, as I've shared this story with him, and doesn't touch the back of my neck. So yeah, the baptism only secured my dislike of Christians and their views on women.

For years I had a hatred of Christianity. Anytime the religion was brought up, an intense feeling of betrayal, hatred, and disdain filled me. I didn't hate the believers, my mom believed, and still does, in God, and I love her more than I can ever articulate. But I think pushing your beliefs on others is just rude. I don't push my atheism at others. That's one of the things I respect most about my mom: she believes in god, she goes to church, she prays, she says grace at meals, she prays for non-believers in her life, just as she does believers, Christ/God/Christianity is part of her life, part of who she is, but she never pushes, she doesn't try to recruit others. I try to emulate her in that.

I realized back then that religion was a safety blanket for dealing with the world, a way to make it less scary. And when I abandoned mine, I was scared. One of my favourite sayings in my teen years was "ignorance is bliss", and I believed that with all my heart. If I'd just stayed ignorant, if I'd just not questioned God, I could believe in him, that he was helping me, that he had a plan, that my life didn't end with my decomposing body. But, I couldn't not question. I'm not the smartest person, but I have heavy doses of skepticism, common sense, and feminist pride.

Ironically, when I was in first year university, I tried on a lark, to pray to Fria, an ancient Germanic goddess who was an early incarnation of the Viking goddess Freya. I was in so much pain carrying my 50+lbs of school books home with a broken backpack. I saw the moon, half full in the 4pm blue sky, I thought of her immediately.

How did I learn of Fria? When I was 14 I read a book that was based on historical fact, about the time the Romans were invading what is now Germany/Austria.  Fria was an earth goddess, her tree the oak, her 'planet' the moon. Women here sacred, but they too could be warriors in their culture. Women's menstrual blood was scared, because it signified a woman's ability to make babies, to create life, so they believed. Fria caught in my mind then, and at 19, I still wanted to believe. I don't actually believe she's real, and yet... I prayed to her all through university. I have marked my flesh with her moon where my lifeblood runs close to the skin (inner wrists). I freely give her part of my soul.  If she were to command me, I would follow.

That day, with the moon high, facing off the sun, so prominent, I prayed. I prayed for her to take the pain away, to help me get through it, to help me get home without breaking down, overwhelmed with the pain. As I stared at the moon, begging for Fria's mercy, it came. The pain was still there, but somehow, miraculously, it didn't touch me. I could feel it, but it was like I was outside of the pain somehow, like I was looking at it, not truly feeling it. In that moment I believed, or at least I wanted to. My logical mind just can't believe in something there is no proof for. I can't help it. And yet, I made my allegiance to her that day. Whenever I say the moon from that day on, I thought of her. I saw the moon as my symbol for her answer. If I could clearly see the moon, then everything would be all right. If the moon was clouded over, if it kept hiding in the clouds, then everything wouldn't be all right. And you know, it worked for me. It really did. Seeing the moon clear, even in hard times, made me feel like I could concur whatever came at me, that with her at my side, I would be fine. That is the power of faith.

Do I still believe?  I'm not entirely sure. Do I still love Fria? Oh yes. Pain is a theme in my life. To be given a reprieve, even for so short a time, for that one act of kindness, she had my heart and soul, and will always have a piece of me.

I guess I just couldn't live without a safety blanket of my own.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Not As Devoted A Daughter As I Thought?

Last night I had a nightmare, and it's left me wondering just how devoted I am to my mom. I love my mom. I'd give my life for hers. I'd walk through hell for her, and have, emotionally speaking. But would I go into glorious debt, really risk my life? According to my dream, maybe not.

I dreamt last night, that I went to China with some friends on a kind of retreat. And my mom surprised me by signing up and coming too. It was sweet and wonderful, and we had a mostly great week.

On the last day everything was rather chaotic. The ladies were getting manicures and pedicures in shifts (I opted out of the manicure). We were collecting and showing off the things we'd made. We were having having smoothies and light snacks - everyone was going to lunch/dinner together before leaving.

So in the hustle and bustle, I lost track of my mom. I wasn't worried initially. I was talking with one of the girls, and picking out the make-up (from the pile we'd tried the day before) that I wanted to keep - we all got the option to keep the ones we'd used ourselves.

But when I couldn't find her in any of the rooms or out in the garden, and no one had seen her for some time. I got anxious. I asked if it were possible she left on her own, but the organizers said no, that we were all getting in the van together to go to the airport, that if she'd said she wanted to leave, she'd have been told to wait. Only she never approached them. When I told them I couldn't find her, they got worried too. Everyone looked. No one found her.

This huge man, that I guess was security - I'd not actually noticed we'd HAD security until then, went next door to this bar, and laid down suppressing flames before entering. He went in rattled the patrons and came back out saying a crew of gangsters were seen taking her.

There were two options: (1) the gang took her to escalate a turf war that was at a truce between the people(gang?) that were our security, and their gang, in which case she was probably dead, and hanging from the rafters somewhere to show off their kill/taunt the people we were with OR (2) the gang was branching out into kidnapping/ransoming and in that case she'd be alive for now.

I had to make a decision, did I leave her for dead/assume she was dead, or did I send the security crew in, guns blazing, and possibly start a turf war that would get many other innocents killed. The answer was easy, I would risk anything, everything to get my mother back.

This one old woman scoffed at me, and said I was selfish, that it was a fool's errand. I got up in her face and told her my mom was everything to me, she was the person I loved most in the world (I felt guilty saying this, knowing I had a husband at home waiting for me that I loved, just... not as much as my mom).  I'd walk through hell for her, and she'd done that for me. That I owed her everything.  That I wouldn't be there, I wouldn't be the person I am if it wasn't for her. That I would do anything and everything in my power to get her back back. If that meant starting some kind of turf war, then so be it.

The huge guy with the flame thrower, and some others went to their headquarters, and I tagged along. No one gave me a gun, and I was in the middle of a gun fight, it was totally stupid of me to go in unarmed. We got to the building, got in without being captured, but then their numbers overwhelmed us and we were their prisoners.

The leader was an arrogant ass, just as one might suspect. I had more than my mother captive, and at first I didn't see her. Then he lead me by my elbow, to show my mom wrapped in some kind of green tarp, laying helpless on the low table, her glasses and personal effects taken from her. In my dream she still needed her glasses to see (she had cataract surgery last winter and doesn't need glasses to see anymore), so they'd effectively frightened her to near death by not allowing her to know one inkling of what was going on. I thought my heart would break just from seeing her like that. My mom has never been a powerless person, she's always been so capable, and confident.

The horrible man, whose touch made my skin crawl, said he wanted $300,000 CDN, and all the pictures from the weekend retreat. Over the weekend, mostly the younger of us, did a 'love your body' two day thing where we were naked a lot, we did yoga, body painting, took pictures throughout the whole thing - they would be ours to keep, but it was a way to see our bodies as beautiful, they had a pro come in and set up a studio for us. I guess the leader guy was a creepy perv, or perhaps he wanted to sell those too, I don't know.  I was too busy worrying about how in the hell I was going to come up with three hundred grand fast enough, and if I could ever pay it back. 

The big guy that was with us, said they'd get the money, told the leader it was not a problem and started making a call - when the gang goons let him - to some lawyer or banker of some kind? The call made is seem like they were pretty familiar with the whole kidnapping ransom thing, and were good about getting the money fast. At the time I was too busy freaking out about the money - only Chris works, I have no money of my own, how in the hell were we ever going to pay off such a large sum??  We'd never own a home, we'd never be out of debt. My stomach was roiling  with worry/anxiety/fear/doubt. It occurred to me that some of my aunts and uncles might chip in to help pay the debt, as they'd be just as willing to get mom back, but it wasn't any kind of a guarantee. Most of my family weren't... in a position to help, and those that were... well, I didn't trust they would. Which would mean I'd be ruining my husband's life. I'd be ruining our chances of every having the life we wanted. Could I really do that?

Then I started wondering if they would ever actually let any of us go. We'd seen their faces, we knew who they were. This wasn't some anonymous deal. Perhaps they would make me sign over the money, make sure they get it, and then kill us all.

Apparently my brain did not like where this was going, and decided it wanted to start over.

I went back to the point where I decided to go in after my mom, and this time, I went on my own, loaded for bear with as much ammo and guns as I could carry.

I got in easily, confused the bad guys and shot them down while they were still confused about how I got in. I killed maybe half or more that way.  Then they caught on and went after me. There was about 4 or 5 of them, laying down impressive suppressing fire.I managed to hide behind this huge marble stand - they had a museum in the front room of their warehouse - real professional-like, with meaty marble pedestals, great recessed lighting, and glass cases for everything). So I hid, and managed to shoot 3 of the 5 in the legs and one in the hip - their hiding spot initially was no where good as mine. I even managed to get the leader in the knee. Boy was he pissed off. I'd destroyed his knee! But once they got cover they started shooting at metal plates I hadn't noticed before in the ceiling, sending bullets at me from the side not protected by the marble. I hunkered down, and used some kind of wall divider that had been near me as cover, putting it over my head, so at least they couldn't see where I was under it.

Somehow this skinny blond bitch, pretending she was an angel (her look was too innocent, it made my teeth hurt), snuck up on me while I was trying not to die from ricocheted shots. Maybe she was hypnotic, because suddenly my gun was out of ammo, and I was surrounded. I played it cool. I knew showing fear, or panicking would get me no where and just make me look weak.

They captured me, but didn't frisk me. Stupid. I still had my gun. And I had ammo at my back, under my jacket, I just needed to loose my empty clip and refill without them noticing. I set them at ease, perhaps cause I'm such a sweet looking white girl? And managed to dump my empty clip in a closet and put in a full clip without them seeing. Only, they saw me do something, and checked finding the empty clip. Everyone suddenly pointed their guns at me, looking worried. I had after all killed over half of them without getting even a scratch.

They wanted to know where my gun was. I showed them my hands. They asked about my pockets. Very slowly I started showing them my empty pockets on my left side, knowing full well my loaded gun was in my right main pocket. My brain was working fast, trying to figure out how I was going to shoot all four of them, that surrounded me in a half circle without getting dread myself.

And this is when I woke up. I gasped, like I was coming out water from some depth. Immediately I felt shame for doubting, for not being sure I'd take on the debt to save my mom. After the adamant, heartfelt speech I'd made to that woman, when it came down to it, I.. I wasn't sure I'd actually do what I said. I just..  I don't know. The dream is making me doubt. But I don't get my whole brain in dreams, I miss things that become obvious once I'm awake, I don't have the same... decision making capabilities. But if I was alone, without Chris to back me up, and was asked to come up with $300,000... I just.. I don't have that kind of money. I don't know if I could even get a loan! and if I could.. how on earth would I ever pay it back?  *Sigh*

But on the flip side, could I watch her die? Could I stand back and see the tears flow, as she didn't know what was going on at all. Could I watch her suffer? No. No, that I could not do.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tattoo Ponderings

So I've been thinking about getting another tattoo. For over a year now I've wanted to get the word fight tattooed on my left inner forearm. But I wanted something...more to go with it. Some kind of imagery.

Lately I've been thinking Tigers. Something like this:
Only, I'd want the tigers to, well, for their stripes to actually look like tigers. This would also be too much detail for such a small space, but gives the general idea of black and white cats in a cartoony/simple form.

Very recently however, when trying to... flush out a persona for my writing. Writing I really need to get on doing (Why do I always feel like I don't have enough time?) Anyway! Point is, I said, I spent every day fighting the good fight. Which I think is a very positive way to speak of my battle with pain from FMS, and a whole host of other things. I'm trying not to let the pain win. I'm learning half an hour of sweaty exercise a day actually makes me feel better - as long as I'm not you know, curled up in a ball of pain. So I've been pushing, to get myself more active, and overall, I feel like it's helped.

So, do I get Fight or Fighting the Good Fight?!

I can't.. I'm not sure what I want now. I'm leaning towards Fighting the Good Fight. It.. I think it would have more impact, and would have the added benefit of making more sense to everyone.

Having other visible tattoos, I know I'm going to get asked, buy friends and strangers alike, what my tattoo means. Fighting the Good Fight seems a heck of a lot more self-explanatory.

Thing is, fighting the good fight, is a fairly long phase. It will likely fill up my inner forearm quite nicely. 

But, I've been looking at Lemur's (from Exotix Studios) work, and I'm.. well, I'm smitten. I really love his use of splurges of colour in an otherwise black and white piece, and I want him to do that for me.  I'm just... I'm not sure if the tiger will work, or if it's even really me (the tiger not the phrase).

I'm almost wondering if having the tiger wrap around my forearm, under/around the words would work (artistically) and suit me. I'm.. I'm not sure...

I don't see myself as a tiger person, per say. I'm more of a kitty cat person. Or a big dog person. I'm not fierce. But fierce is exactly what I want the tattoo to convey.

I've been wanting to book a consult for the better part of the month, but.... I'm not totally sure what I want, which I don't think will be helpful. Also, this month has been just one thing after another, either health, or shit that needs to get done. *Sigh*

I just. Flip. I don't know what to think. I miss Neda. I miss having her to bounce ideas off of. I know this is going to sound strange, but she's helped me decide on more than one of my tattoo ideas. And I.. I don't have anyone in my life now that I can do that with. She and I aren't close anymore. Heck, I don't even know what country she's in.

Do I just get Fighting the Good Fight, and leave it plain and simple? Do I get Fight with tigers? Do I go see Lemur and ask advice? I mean, flip, I really feel like I should have more of an idea before going to him.

Also, I'm worried how well I'll take a bigger project. I don't have any pain meds per say. I have meds that help the fibro pain, but I have nothing for migraines, or other headaches, or to help with the tattoo pain. Since developing FMS my sensitivity to pain, of any kind has skyrocketed. It's fucking annoying as hell, let me tell you.

So I don't think getting anything too big is a good idea... but how do I convey the fierceness I want to visually?? How do I put into visuals the grim determination I have to keep fighting? How do I make the tattoo motivational??

I just... I'm not too damn sure.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Stacie is a Miracle Worker.

Seriously. I came to Stacie @ Strut Salon, with hair that I'd dyed over twice with box colour (which is, apparently notoriously hard to get out). I also brought two tins of cookies: my ginger molasses cookies, and intense chocolate toffee cookies (from Sorry, I don't have pictures of the cookies. I wasn't thinking of that part!

Check out that Red! Woo!

So she lifted as much colour as she could. My hair came out this even medium copper/caramel colour. If I was going for that tone, it was nearly perfect. Colour lifting is rarely that even! So go Stacie!

A Real Smile.

Then we did an amazing red over it. It came out exactly as I'd hoped!! Omg, so so so pretty! I could do a little dance, I'm so dang happy. And maybe I will before the euphoria wears off. lol.

A Real Laugh.

So the lesson I have learned is: Never never box colour my hair again. The process to fix it really isn't fun, or cheap. Though, honestly, knowing what a pain in the ass (and time consuming!) it would be for Stacie, I thought it would be much more than it was.

I do think the cookies garnished some good will, which is what I'd hoped for, since the colour-adjust didn't win me points. I really do love sharing my baking with people, though. Seeing them enjoy it, is just, well, one of the best feelings ever. Usually I send stuff to work with Chris so I don't get to see reactions. He has started sending me emails with tid bits his co-workers have said, however, which it totally awesome of him; makes my day every time.

(this was my reaction when I saw how red my hair looked in sunlight--super amazing!)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thank the Gods that I'm Canadian!!!

This: GOP Controlled Virginia Legislature Passes Two Of The Most Restrictive Anti-Abortion Bills In The Nation Just makes me sick. I'm speechless (okay, almost).

Personhood starts at conception, and birth control is banned? WTF Virgina?!

It fills me with fear. Fear for the women of America. This is such a huge step in making women not just second class citizens, but property of the men in their lives. What's next, taking away a woman's right to vote and her status as a person?! It can't be far off.


It's shit like this that makes me infinitely glad I'm a Canadian!

Our federal gov't may be a bunch of idiots trending this way, but they move much slower, and seem to have more real opposition with their heads on straight.

On a side note, I've been writing a novella (okay I started it in November and I've been mulling over how to end it since) about a woman that goes to Virgina to spend some time with a man she's falling for. A Marine Lt. Colonel. I was going to end it with her getting a job in Washington and coming to live with him. But I just can't do that now. I can't.

I know it's a work of fiction, and it's set up as a summer thing, and this is February, but fuck a duck! What's going on in the states right now scares me. No, I don't want my character to stay and fight the system. It's not even her system! No. In good conscience I can't have her move there. It would give me a panic attack to think of doing it myself, so I can't let a woman character do it either.

And how could a good man, which my Marine is, how could a good man, with his head on straight advocate such a loss of rights and liberty to the woman he loves?!

I'm a firm believer that love is always enough.

But I make a caveat to that...
It has to be a deep, true love, on both sides. It has to be love with respect of both (all) parties, where both (all) are equal partners, with a true desire to do and allow what is best for the other party(parties).

It can't be a selflish love, nor an 'I love you, but you make me so angry sometimes, and I just have to beat you' kind of love, nor a love where one partner 'knows best' and the other is powerless/doesn't have a say in what happens to them.

But I can't let her move there for him. I just can't. At the same time, if he really loved her, would he allow her to? With the way things are going? Could he, really let her move to a country that makes her a second class citizen!?

Do I have her stay for six months, from Aug to the middle of Feb, where this shit is now happening. Maybe then they both leave. Come back to Canada where she can be safe from oppression. He's in his early 40s. He's done 20 years for the Marines. Maybe it's time for him to retire... Live the good life, in the great white north, as it were.

I know it may seem so damn... trivial that I think of my story... but in my heart I'm a writer.. When I write, as when I read, the characters become real for me. Sometimes more real that actual people. I fall in love with them, and it breaks my heart when they die. It likewise puts me at great unease when bad things befall them, as they are wont to do. And I route for them, for their happiness and their safety...

And I know it's not likely that my story will ever get out. I know it's not likely anyone would buy it with such anti-American content, but it's NOT about that. It's about doing what feels right. Call a spade a spade, or in this case, a bastard a bastard. I will not back down. I can't; it would kill something inside me to do it. No. Just no.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!!

So, as a valentines gift, our apartment building posted a notice that the water would be shut off today 9am to5pm. They gave us plenty of notice, but still. o.0

We showered before 9am, I put two buckets of water in the bathroom, a jug of water in the fridge, and I planned to go out for most of the day.

When I got home at 4pm (sweaty & gross) I was thrilled that the signs were down & we appeared to have water. So I took a shower. In mostly cold water, but it wasn't bitterly cold so not too bad.

As I was finished my shower the water got warmer, and I was enjoying it so much I put the stopper in to fill the tub, soaking in hot water sounded like a good idea... Until I noted the colour of the water. It was yellow! I let it run thinking it would get better. Nope. I unstopped the tub, and ran the cold water; it was yellow too.

Greeeeeeeaaaaaat. So now I was covered in whatever the hell was in the water.


So I pulled the last bucket of water into the tub with me. I'd poured out the other bucket (that I was using to wash my hands) since I thought we had our water back.

Using the cold bucket of water I scrubbed, and then rinsed. Rinsing with a bucket of water is....interesting.

At least I'm clean?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Beauty Ideals, aka She's fat

So my hubby sent me a link to a...interesting/disturbing link from the Anna Utopia Giordano gives Venus a new lean, mean figure

So Anna, is the Italian "artist", who photoshopped Renaissance masterpieces of beautiful women of the day. The ideal then was, as far as I can see, about size 12-14 in today's sizes, with small perky breasts. To me, they look like real women. Healthy, "sturdy" women (i.e. you won't break them when you fuck them).  I look at these women and think: fuck, I'd love to be that skinny!

The article calls these healthy, women, with not a fat roll or bulge among them, BBW (Big Beautiful Women), and plus-sized. When did having a little meat on your bones become plus sized?!

The photoshopped versions are much leaner (to the point of impossibility in some spots), but of course still have the boobs. The boobs that looked smallish on the originals, end up looking large/fake on the skinny versions. I mean, you just don't see many size -1 women with D cup boobs that are real, 9 times out of ten, they had a boob job.

The interesting part for me, is that I find the photoshopped versions look sickly. The original women look enticing, in my eye. The photoshopped women look too skinny, and frighteningly frail. They put me in the mind of starved, dead, Plague victims.

The other thing is, I've had skinny friends, so I know for a fact, when women are that skinny, you can count their ribs, since they show up in high relief in many of the poses. Of course the artist didn't photoshop them in. Making the photoshopped versions, basically impossible to replicate in real life, that is, without having the model surgically remove ribs. Ick.

For me, the bigger picture, or perhaps, more resounding worry/message is:

If the (delightful -IMHO) Renaissance women are fat, Big Beautiful Women, and plus-sized, then what the hell am I ?!?!?!?

I mean, I'm actually plus sized. My honest to god, goal in weight loss right now, is just to get back to the size I was when I met my husband, when I was still morbidly obese, but was about 4 sizes smaller. I'll never be a size 12 or 14. I'd be ecstatic to maintain size 18-20, for fucks sake.

Perhaps this explains some of my other issues lately (like doctors ignoring me or telling me outright they can't help me) -- I'm so fat, so far beyond the "norm" that people don't know what 'box/category' I belong in, and like most things our brain doesn't understand, they just ignore the data, and therefore me.

I'm the hulking invisible fat woman!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I hate my body. HATE.

Last week, the word for the week was Push.

This week, the word of the week (I'm projecting) is Flare.

As in, Fibro flare.


I bought a bathing suit online, and it arrived last week. It fit. As well as I could expect, and I really like it. I bought it so I could mix going out walking with swimming. As I'm trying to be more active in the hopes I'll lose some mass.

Well, that's not going to happen now. I waited too long.

I could cry.

I'm covered in yeast. AGAIN.

It happened this summer too. You see, I'm beyond just fat, or even morbidly obese. I think there needs to be another category. I'm uber morbidly obese.

When I do just about anything I sweat. This isn't just because I'm fat, I've been that way my whole life. Part of it is FMS suffers do just sweat more. Part of it is, I'm well hydrated, so there's lots of moisture in me. And yeah, part of it is that I'm just that out of shape.

Anyway, I sweat. I have...creases. If I'm out in the world I can't exactly wipe them off. My t-shirt soaks up some of it, but it can't help the creases that stay wet until I get home. As soon as I get home, I dry off, and either shower or eat then shower. So I get myself dry and clean as fast as I can, but apparently it wasn't/isn't good enough. Now I have yeast raging all over my torso, well in the creases. Fuck does it hurt!

The only way to get the yeast to really go away, is to apply a cream 3x a day, and do nothing. I mean, really do nothing. Not even dishes or making dinner. Nothing. For three weeks while the yeast slowly dies. Once it's really gone, I can do a bit more, but, as I learned last week, one week of being moderately active will bring it back.

I could cry. Or maybe scream. Screaming sounds better at the moment.

So, no swimming for me! Maybe EVER. Fuck. I wasted $100 on a lovely bathing suit I'll never be able to wear! Yeast is catching you see. I can't go swimming in any kind of pool. An open body of water would likely be okay, just because of the size, my yeast would be so much less likely to meet another human.

So fucking frustrating.

I very much regret not going swimming at least once last week. But there were/are so many other things I really wanted to get done! I haven't been active in well, forever, and there are all kinds of little errands that pile up, and weekly things, like groceries. I haven't felt up to groceries in forever! And I did last week! I even got heavy stuff.

I was so damn proud of myself. I pushed. Every day I pushed, if even just a little. Some days I was more sore/tired, and I'd just go on one little errand, and let myself do it as slowly as I needed. Other days I felt great and I'd be out for two hours or more walking and doing.

I don't think I can do that this week. Or at least I couldn't yesterday.  I kept my active streak up until Sunday. Sunday I had to push really hard, I was so tried. By the time we got home Sunday night, I was beyond tired. I was feverish and my skin hurt. Always a bad sign. I had horrible nightmares, so I couldn't even sleep in! I ended up sleeping all Monday afternoon. At least my skin hurts less now... But it still hurts, which means I'm not done flaring.

Today, today I have a crazy nasty headache that's so bad it's making me nauseous. It doesn't help that the yeast is depressing. So very depressing. And I'm almost out of the very expensive yeast cream (there's really only the name brand tiny tube my Dr told me to get available). $25 for like 10-15g. I'm a large person. I use about a tube a week. And if I keep being active, I'll need a tube a week until I either loose 50lbs or give up.

I could cry. Crying seems the better option right now.

Fuck, I hate my body. I hate it so very very much.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mel's Amazing (& Amazingly Easy) Pad Thai Sauce

  • 1/2 cup Tamarind Juice*
  • 2-3 tablespoons Fish Sauce (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons White Vinagar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 2 heaping teaspoons Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste**

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined. 
  2. Pour over mostly cooked stir frying veggies. The rice noodles will soak up almost all the liquid, so don't worry about it being thin!

    *To make Tamarind juice: soak 2 tsp Tamarind Paste in half a cup of hot water. Let soak for 5 minutes. If your paste is like mine (it's hard and more like dried dates than a paste), you'll need to crush the paste against the side of the dish it's in to loosen it up/make a 'juice'. I also had to strain my 'juice' as it had big lumps in it, like the skin of whatever tamarind is, so if it's lumpy, strain it before you add it to the other ingredients!

    **I can never get the proportions or flavour quite right on my own, so I cheat with the pre-made paste. Thai Kitchen's paste is AMAZING. Can also try red chili sauce or a fresh minced red chilli, but you likely need to add more sugar to balance the tamarind paste.

    Magic Pill

    I know I'm depressed. I feel I have every right to be. But I also know it's not helping.

    I just don't know how to fix it.

    Do I talk to my GP? He'll only refer me to someone in Hamilton, that is if that kinda referral can even be made. I have no idea.

    So do I look for a therapist in Toronto? Do I need a therapist, or a psychiatrist or what??

    I really don't want to talk about my feelings. I just want a magic pill that will make me feel less overwhelmed and more motivated.

    Have you ever had drugs that are supposed to induce euphoria? I mean as a side effect.  I have. More than once. They never made me feel anything.  Which makes me think any kind of 'magic pill' wouldn't make me happier.

    I'm already on a very low dose of an antidepressant, for my pain, but it doesn't seem to affect my depression at all. I can't take more because it makes my eyes swell. No really. ugh.

    But I need something. I'm sooo tired and sore all the time. Fuck, what I wouldn't give to feel like my old self for a day!! I hate this. I hate this so much.

    And the depression just makes everything worse. It makes me not what to try, it makes the urge to curl up in a ball and play dead until it's over so very strong. I have a very hard time fighting it. I think it also makes me more tired. My body's natural reaction, when it can't handle the pain, or whathaveyou, is to shut down. How the hell do I stop that?!

    I just feel so bloody hopeless.

    Saturday, January 21, 2012

    How Lyrica Stole my Libido

    Last winter I was hurting. A lot. Winter is worse for me. Even inside out of the cold, I still hurt more. Maybe I don't get enough sunshine? I don't really know.

    Anyway. Point. I started taking more lyrica to combat the pain. I tried 225mg in the morning and at night; it was too much. After a few days my brain was just constantly fuzzy, and I felt kinda high. Like time wasn't moving right, and my brain didn't work. So I backed down to 225mg in the morning and 150mg at night, that seemed to work better. I was only fuzzy the first night, then my body got used to it.

    I thought it was helping, and maybe for the winter it did. Ever so subtly though, it stole away my libido. There were other things going on though. I was in a lot of pain. I was stressed out, mostly because of the pain. I was battling depression, all of these things make me want sexy times less.

    This November, for NANO, I tried to write a romance. I think I actually got more of a light weight mystery. I had a lot of trouble writing simple attraction, never mind sex scenes. I'll admit the sexy parts have always been the easiest for me, and this November it was like pulling teeth. I barely managed one short one! So not like me. It forced me to realise something was truly wrong.

    Around mid summer I'd noticed something was wrong. My brain knew I needed sexy times, that I should want them, but I couldn't get my body interested, hell, I couldn't even get my mind on board.  But November was the breaking point. I couldn't deny something was fucking me. Or rather not fucking. There was just way too little fucking going on in my life.

    See, my emotional state, depends so very much on my sexual release. If I don't get enough orgasms I get depressed, I hurt more, I'm down on myself, life just sucks. When my libido took a holiday it totally messed with my ability to be happy, to have any kind of energy. My sexual health totally affects my energy levels(oddly more sex=more energy & more ambition), my emotional state of mind, my state of mind period, and my self-image.

    I decreased my doses of lyrica in December, to 150mg every 12-ish hours. It took a couple weeks to get the excess out of my body, but I finally got my libido back! I feel like myself again!! I'm less tired more often, and I actually have some motivation - not a lot mind you, but way better than the nothing I had for the past, oh year maybe? Not really sure, it feels like forever though.

    I just can't get over what a huge difference it makes in my life, in all aspects of my life. I feel a bit... silly, for how long it took to realise something was well and truly wrong, and then more time to figure out the actual cause.

    My body feels one step closer to being my own again. I can't put into words, how... good that feels, what a relief it is to feel more like myself!

    Damn Lyrica. It helps sure, but fuck a duck. I'm sure it had a lot to do with the extra weight I've put on, and it store my libido. That's just not cool. I know I'm going to be very careful going forward, that no other medications screw with me again. Only my husband gets to screw me, damnit.

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    Reading, Writing and Feminism.

    My husband sent me a link to this article -- The reading iceberg: promoting ‘serious’ male narratives over ‘trivial’ female narratives starts at school

    The jist, if you don't want to read it, is that for women educated in the 70s, 80s, and I'll even go so far as to say the 90s (cause I had the same experience then), and frankly men got the same conditioning, that we were taught that great literature, that 'serious' writing was written by men. That anything that had to do with "women's issues", you know, things like relationships, home life, 'feelings', was trivial, sentimental, and a waste of space.

    Reading the article made me feel slightly vindicated.

    When I was 14, I knew what I wanted to be. I'd known since I was 8. I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to tell stories.

    In grade nine we were forced to do some more of that gov't 'standardized testing'. You know, I think teachers HATE standardized testing, I know all my teachers seemed annoyed by it, many gave off the impression they felt like they were doing their students a disservice.

    Anyway, grade nine English, we were forced to do a test. Among other questions for the 70 minute class, was to write a story. I've never ever been good at on the spot writing, or anything else - I'm not great with the kind of pressure to perform while being watched, even as a baby, I didn't want to be watched.

    The point is, I wrote a story, it wasn't great, but I liked it.  And, like the article said, it was about woman's issues, about a girl coming home, only to a home she'd never known, to meet a father that was a stranger. It was her journey both physical and emotional, but I focused on her feelings, her worry, her fears, and eventually her bravery, her stubborn will to face what would come with her head held high.

    I got exactly the response the article talks about. the exact words even. "trivial, ephemeral, sloppy and sentimental." I also got shallow. I know I shouldn't have taken it to heart, but it was so hard not to. Though, to this day I'm still angry and bitter about it. I mean, wth, I was 14! I had 30 minutes. It's hard to come up with a masterpiece on the spot damnit.

    I'm rambling again, eh? Anyway, that article makes me think that I was right to think the man that graded my story was biased. Cause he was. I wrote about something he'd likely never cared about, a young girl leaving the only home she'd known to meet a man and responsibilities she'd never expected to have.

    This is likely also why there is such a big surge right now (I think?) in women's books, or rather books targeted at women. Not just romance, but horror, fantasy, comedy, heck, even erotica. About women, with marketing meant to get a woman's attention. Too many women of my generation grew up with feminists telling us we were equal to men, we should get equal pay, equal responsibilities, that we could do anything they could. We believed them, but when we went looking for our stories, stories about strong women, brave girls, there just weren't many stories for us. Jane Austen, and Nancy Drew is not a long list.  So the women of my generation grew up, and wrote them. 

    What I really want to know, is why are relationships, feelings, emotional journeys, domesticity seen as solely women's issues? Who got to make that call??

    I mean, okay sure, most women want to talk about their feelings, and most of the men I know have a hard time talking about theirs... I'm guessing though, that's a lot to do with how we've been raised. But in any case, I can see that being a chick thing, but, emotional journeys, they are what make or break so many stories, they are what make us who we are! How is that a chick thing?! And relationships take at least two.

    I really get pissed off when I hear the dwems (Dead White English Men) of the world saying emotionally charged stories are shallow, sentimental, and trivial. There is nothing trivial about an emotional journey, it's tears, screams, heart-wrenching pain, and soul-stealing joy. It's meaty, gritty, raw truth. Damnit.

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

    Too much Thinking. Again.

    One of my favourite quotes, talks about dreaming, something I do a lot of.

    "If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time."
    --Marcel Proust

    This is one of the things that I struggle with. I also struggle with fear of failure and chronic pain that kicks my ass on a daily basis. Though, sometimes, I kick it's ass. Like yesterday. Yesterday was a good day. But, as payment, today I'm exhausted. I'm still hoping to do something with myself. We'll see.

    But dreaming. Dreaming I do a lot. I dream about simple things, like tattoos I want, how life would be different if I just have the energy and nerve to go to the gym (no really), I dream about being braver, being obese rather than morbidly obese, about pretty shoes I'll never be able to wear (I have no arches).

    I dream big too. I dream about what life would be like if I'd made different decisions, if I was a different person -- this is often where many of my stories come from, or at least how I flesh them out to make them feel real. I dream about being a writer. About being published. Of course my actual issue is finding the energy/time/creativity/bravery to actually write, to allow myself the possibility of failure. I have such a hard time with failure...

    Proust is right though. They key is to dream all the time. If I did, I'd write. I'd look at my fear, face it down, and just keep going. I'd fight, I'd find the motivation, somewhere, somehow, and I'd fight. Fight the pain, fight the exhaustion, fight the fear, fight the doubt that screams in my head.

    But how does one do that? How does one dream all the time? Is it even possible? Is it selfish??

    Oh how I want to write. I want to write modern love stores, sex stories, mysteries, life stories. The mundane and the fantastic swirl in my head, and come out in my dreams. I want to put them on the page, I want to make them come alive in words. I want to share them with the world.

    But if I'm going to write, perhaps I should look to write for money. Freelance? Make some small amount of money writing crap for hire. Ugh. I find it horribly distasteful, but as my husband pointed out, he wouldn't pick his job, if he had money enough not to work. Work is work, it's not fun, it's not something you enjoy, it's not something you may even like, but it gets you money so you can sleep in a warm bed and eat regularly. Reality shitting all over my dreams.

    I have so little energy. So often I pick doing dishes, getting groceries, making food, instead of going to the gym, or sewing those curtains that have been sitting there for a year, or doing something for me. Writing is just sitting at my laptop, which I do already, but, it's still work. I still require my brain to be with me, I still require a pain level that doesn't blur my vision (yes, this can be an issue). Writing still turns my brain to mush after a few hours.

    So do I dream, or do I let reality shape me? Ugh.

    I mean, I take November, and I let writing be my job. I attempt to write for eight hours a day, sometimes more, because my muse, she doesn't show up when I want her to, she's like a cat, she comes and goes at her will. The point is, that month, I put everything else on hold to write. Because, you know what? Being chronically ill means, I just don't have the energy to write all day AND do dishes, buy groceries, clean the apartment (a job I find difficult when not working), watch our budget, or do fun things like, spend time with my husband, or knit or read or craft.

    One thing Nano has taught me is, I can't write 'full time'. I just can't put in that many hours. I'm just not capable. I don't like letting everything else go. There needs to be balance. I just don't have a clue what that is yet. So I haven't written since then. December was devoted to Christmas. And these past two weeks?  I've been dreaming a lot about the various stories I want to write. I've also been trying to get our lives more in order, and I've been dealing with some very painful times.

    I want to dream. Oh how I want to dream. In my dream, my writing eventually pays off, in that, I make some money, not a lot, but some. I've never dreamed so big as to think I'd be in line with the greats, with the women writers I love, but, man, would I love to be a footnote. I'd just like to see something I write, eventually be in print. Like actual print. Though, the first step, I think, is online publishing. Getting my work on someone's kindle, ya know?  I want to be read. I don't care if all it ever brings in is pennies. I want to be read. I want.... I want to be a writer. I have since I was a kid. I still have the same problem, I still have trouble with actually getting it done. I guess, the real issue is giving it time, taking time to write. Allowing myself the time, and space to fail, to write really badly, to learn from it and get better.

    I sit here thinking about it and worrying. Worrying if I take the time, if I make it a priority, if I write what I want, my husband will get upset with me. If I can use my limited energy to do something that doesn't get me a paycheck, then I should use that energy to find a way to make us some money. I don't even know how to go about finding freelance work. I looked once, and was totally overwhelmed. I don't have ANY experience. There's nothing I can put in a portfolio. I've done some technical writing, but everything I've written was under a non-disclosure agreement, and so long ago anyway, that I don't know if I could do it again. Not well. So how do I manage to get someone to hire me?! No clue. Man do I feel unemployable.