Dear Mother

I’m still feeling under the weather, but I did a drawing that was inspired by the conflict going on right now. My blog is definitely not a place for politics. I don’t enjoy engaging in politics because it never tends to end well for any of the parties involved. You’d have to be living under a rock right now not to know what has everyone so emotional right now.

I drew this thinking about my birth mother. She was living in a country where abortion is illegal. My parents met her before I was even born. And I have no idea the details of my birth father. I just know that he must not have been someone that my birth mother could reply on. I’m thankful that my birth mother went through the labor of bearing me and that I was adopted by my parents.

That’s all that I’ll say on the matter. I would never want to make a decision concerning someone else’s body. I just hope everyone is hanging in there right now during these times. Thanks for stopping in today and checking out my blog. I’ll see you guys tomorrow!

The Longest, Darkest Day

June has always been a hard month for me. It’s hard to explain why. Now that I’m older, I realize that part of it is due to my mental health being out of balance. I’ve had mixed episodes during the summer months so many times. Depression and Mania. I’ve covered that before, but one of my worst episodes happened back in 2013.

I literally begged my Primary Care Physician for help. For a referral, for medications, for some kind of help. I was under so much emotional, physical, and mental stress that I had no other way to cope and figured that living was no longer the ideal situation. I’ve had moments where I feel suicidal ideations overwhelming me. Since 2013, I’ve gotten the medications I need. I stay on my medications. I take an active role in making sure that I know what my medications do and that they stay refilled. And when medications aren’t enough, I fill in that gap with therapy and other things.

DBT: Dialectical Behavior Therapy has given me the skills I need for taking control of my thoughts, emotions, and relationships. I still have a lot that I’m struggling with and I won’t say I’m perfect. I have bad days. And worse days. But I have a tool kit to help me through those times. It’s like I’ve taken those suicidal ideations and buried them somewhere that’s easier to ignore. They still exist and sometimes I can hear them, but they aren’t hammering me in the face daily.

I actually have a board I put up with this quote on it. And I have a board with all the “Everything is Awful” checklist as well. I handwrote these on a chalkboard just because writing them myself helps remind me of what I need to do to be self-aware. It’s been nine years since my last hospitalization. And this year was a really hard June. It gives me hope that even during my hardest year, I’ve done acceptable. Maybe not good. And maybe not fantastic. Even if it felt bad, I’ve survived it and that’s always good. There’s only up from here!

Only a few more days left in June! I know that things won’t magically get better on July 1st because it’s a new month. Just counting down the days seems to help. Small steps. I’ve got this! I hope whatever trials you’re facing right now, you should know you’ve got it too. Thanks for stopping in today. See you guys tomorrow.

Inktober52 – Week 24: RACER

I didn’t feel like doing the driver so I just drew the best part of Speed Racer! I know the anime was corny as heck and I didn’t even see the more recent remake, but it was one of those shows that I watched when I was younger because I ate up anything that I could find. So much nostalgia for the Mach Five. Drawing was soothing to do since I’m still pretty sick with COVID.

Thanks for stopping in! I’ll see you tomorrow!

38

Shout out to all the Summer Birthdays! To all the people who understand that no one really celebrated your birthday because everyone was on summer vacation. The teachers never had anything special for summer birthdays the same way that kids who have birthdays during the school year do. I.E. Being allowed to bring cake or cupcakes. Having mini parties during the school day. Etcetera. Birthdays have never been a huge thing for me. I don’t want to sound cynical. I usually make a bigger deal out of other people’s birthdays rather than my own.

One of my most memorable birthdays was in college. I was living at my ex-husband’s fraternity house. The girls in the house put together a little celebration. They got me my first kettle! And threw together a rag-tag Mad Hatter-style party. Everyone gave me a box of their favorite tea and the kettle was something they all pitched in to buy for me. When you’re a broke college student, it’s definitely the thought that counts. Right?

The first year I moved to Tennessee, I hadn’t been living in the state very long. I got here, started my new job, and then had my birthday. My SO and roommate got me this cute birthday cake that year. I made my SO write the happy birthday text on it because it’s supposed to be done with love, right? I still treasure that memory!

As you know, this year, I have COVID and my SO got me a Decadent Italian Creme Cake. No candles or pomp and circumstance this time, but it’s the thought that counts. He’s also taking care of me while I’m sick so that’s been so appreciated. I’m wearing a mask around the house so I don’t make MIL sick. I’ll be semi-quarantined for as long as necessary. I have to help take care of the puppies, but I don’t think I’ll even be able to take them to their vet appointments or anything like that until the COVID has been cleared.

My SO got me a copy of Sonic Origins for my birthday! I might do a review on that later. If you really like the classic 2D Sonic the Hedgehog video games, this one will be right up your alley. I’ve only played it a little bit so far.

I wish I had something insightful about getting older, but it’s been a bit depressing lately. I haven’t had a child yet. And it’s not looking possible. It’s not something I suppose some people would think is a bit deal, but I do lament not having any blood-related children. No matter what anyone says, there’s a huge difference between being a stepparent and being a parent. I don’t have the career I always imagined myself having by this age. Nor did I ever finish my degree. (If I can ever finish knocking down my student loans, I might go back and do a more practical degree.) And my health is not in a place that I’m proud of right now.

I’ve had people make spiteful comments on here saying I’m whining about things I can change. So I want to say I don’t want to whine about those things. I’m remorseful that I’m not in a place that I’m satisfied with right now. June is my depression month so I don’t really have a plan in action, but I’m not going to let this keep me down! I’m aiming to do more! Do better! More better. As my karate sensei always says. Maybe by 40, I can say I’ve at least accomplished one of those things I want to change?

Anywho, thanks for stopping in today!

Early Birthday Present?

Tomorrow is my birthday. I had so many plans. I was going to pick up a Dunkin’ Donuts drink with my birthday coupon. We were going to pick up the step kiddo from her camp. We were going to go out and enjoy some delicious food then maybe go shopping or something like that… now… I’m not. Everything has been super chaotic these last few days. My MIL went to the hospital because the doctors wanted to handle some of her health issues. Like, a super emergency, they brought out oxygen tanks for her. So she was at the hospital for the past two days.

About two or three days ago, I started getting a cough. Then yesterday I had a fever of 100.6 F. Definitely not good. I took something for the fever and just assumed I might be a little under the weather because I’ve been going outside a lot more than I’m normally used to in this heat. But this morning I felt like my chest was going to explode. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my heart. So of course my first thought was … I’m so young, but could it be a heart attack?!?

My SO is a genius and realized I might have COVID. So we pulled out one of those rapid at-home tests and the rest is … as you can see in the photo. I have COVID and what a wonderful early Birthday present that is… My stepdaughter will be picked up tomorrow by her mother so that we don’t risk contaminating her. My SO pointed out that she just spent a week at a camp with dozens and dozens of children from all across our state, which does mean she has a chance of having/catching/spreading COVID. My point is we don’t need to expose her to a known case.

Since he already had to go out for a Walmart order, my SO picked me up some cake for my birthday! And pizza. And White Claw. Since he can drink White Claw too, this made things perfect. I made him some keto pizza’s on low-carb tortillas so he wouldn’t feel left out. I’m not entirely that hungry because of the COVID, but having my favorite foods as an option really makes me feel better.

He also got me a “Decadent Italian Creme Cake”. And I’ve got to say it lives up to its name. Don’t knock Walmart cakes. This thing is really tasty. Also, I feel so lucky that I still have taste buds while I have COVID. So yummy! Urgh, I just wish I wasn’t sick, then I’d probably enjoy it a hundred percent more.

That’s sadly it for me today. So much for this Happy Birthday. See you guys tomorrow!

Pokémon Go

Okay, I know that I’m so far behind in the trends. Pokémon Go came out in … what? 2016? My phone never really could handle the game. I still remember actually trying it out for a bit when I still worked at the University of Tennessee. My building actually had a gym or Pokéstop that was used quite often. So I honestly just reactivated my account, but I’m a complete and utter newbie to this game.

I started playing Pokémon Go again to motivate myself to walk more. To get out there. Surprisingly, even though this game has been out since 2016, they still haven’t made it possible for you to change the hairstyles very much. The clothing is at least changeable. I’ve done a crazy amount of walking since I downloaded this game a few weeks ago. I need to do more, but the heat has really been preventing me from accomplishing my goals.

Can anyone explain to me Team Mystic, Team Valor, and Team Instinct? I picked the yellow team if you can’t tell by my ridiculous avatar’s attire. I know that there are a ton of Reddit groups available to help with the game, but I’ve really just been stumbling my way through things. I’m a bit stubborn and I take a long way around in learning things.

There are daily tasks you can do and you do things to bond with your Pokémon. Most of the people who apparently used to play currently do not. There’s just no “end game” for them. There’s always more and more added. I can see why that might be daunting for a phone app game. But some part of me thinks that’s good. At least, that means that I’ll be able to keep playing for a while?

Until I don’t. We know how well I stick with things. Only time will tell. Does anyone actually play Pokémon Go? Pointers are welcome. You can add me as a friend. My trainer code is: 5277 2689 9296

If you are interested in trying out the game, my Pokémon Go referral code is: 6HRQJ8CM3

Thanks for stopping in today!

Also, today would have been Kevin Wolf’s birthday. He would have been 40 today…

We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States.

Summer Solstice

Happy Summer Solstice! Or Estival Solstice. Or Midsummer! It’s officially Summer now. And if you’re anywhere in the southern part of the United States, you know that it’s sweltering hot. The woman at the grocery store said that the green beans in Florida have been burnt to a crisp and Georgia’s aren’t far behind. I lived in the ATL for over a decade and my friends there have complained it’s in the triple digits this week. I do not miss the heat or humidity of the South. I’m technically still in the South here in Tennessee, but it’s nothing like south Georgia where I grew up. Hot, muggy, and gnats.

I’ve been helping my MIL with her garden on some of the worse days. We water twice a day to get the garden alive. To celebrate Summer Solstice I decided to snap some photographs just for the practice and to enjoy the beauty of the garden everyone has worked so hard on.

I tried to go celebrate the beautiful day with the puppies outside, but even in the shade, the heat just really is overbearing and daunting. I’m biased because I cannot sweat. Yet I cannot deny the puppies were ready to get indoors right away and Millie hogged the AC vent as soon as she was able to access it. I love hanging out in the hammock, but it’ll definitely need to wait until the weather has cooled off more.

An amazing sunset at Stonehenge was shared on Facebook yesterday.

https://www.facebook.com/englishheritage/videos/5477718768958192

I hope everyone enjoys their Summer Solstice and the official start of the Summer Season! Stay cool, stay safe, and have fun.

Camp Chaos

Church, county, and children’s faces have been edited out or blurred! The step kiddo went off to her first sleep-away camp this morning. Oof, it feels like forever since I did camp as a child. This will be her first time away from home for an entire week without any family members. She didn’t want us to wait with her so I just snapped a photo as she was waiting to board the bus.

I’m amazed at how smoothly check-in and load-up went. Every kid had to be checked in, given their camp shirt, checked for lice, luggage loaded in the trailer, then bathroom break, and finally put on the bus. We arrived at 7am and the children were boarding the bus at 8am.

I went super overboard and had my stepdaughter’s bags packed last week. Since we didn’t want her to forget anything. There are no electronics allowed and no phone calls into camp. So if she forgot anything, she’d just have to suck it up for the five days she was gone. Everything had to be labeled with her name or initials. I think next year I’ll try something I saw on TikTok. I found out the day before she left so it was too late to try this.

Personalized Iron-On Fabric Labels from Amazon

The only thing that’s not on that packing list that we added to her bag was feminine hygiene products. Everything was labeled and put into ziplock bags to make organization easier. I packed this list for my stepdaughter to use to double-check she didn’t lose anything when she returns home from camp. Her ADHD is really bad. At one point I had three of her hoodies on the floor of my car because she’d drop them and forget they were there. We’ve honestly resigned ourselves to the fact that everything might not return home. (Probably one of the reasons they don’t allow electronic devices at camp.)

Plus they have so much to do. Swimming, canoeing, archery, rifles, crafts, too many sports to name, rope courses. The kids are planned to be going from 7am until about 11pm each day. It boggles my mind how expensive camp is these days though. $25 to hold a child’s place. Then $325 for camp. Most of the activities like tie-dying shirts, airbrushing shirts/canvas bags, and woodworking crafts are anywhere from $3 (if you bring your own shirts/bags) to $10 for craft activities. Meals are provided, but snacks are not. And outside food and drinks are not allowed. So drinks, snacks, and other treats are $2-$5. We generously budgeted about $200 for activities and refreshments.

It makes sense, but at the same time, I cannot help but feel like everything is so expensive these days. With the rising gas prices, this will probably be step daughter’s biggest summer trip at least for our side of the family. Her mother’s family lives across the state so they might be going for a visit over the holiday. With our local state park’s pool closed, I’m not entirely sure what we’ll end up doing for the rest of the summer.

I wish I could have added photographs of all the packing I did for my stepdaughter’s trip but her full name was plastered over EVERYTHING. Just know that it was a thing of beauty and chaos all wrapped into two bags of luggage. Thanks for stopping in today! Yesterday’s post was my last pre-planned post so I was scrambling today to pick a topic. See you guys tomorrow.

Happy Father’s Day

Here’s to the

Dads

Step Dads

Adoptive Dads

Grandfathers

Father Figures

Fathers-to-Be

Fathers Everywhere

Happy Father’s Day weekend!

There are so many strong male figures in my life. My loving SO is an amazing Father. His Dad has always been someone we look to for guidance. My brother is an amazing father to two amazing children. My Step-Dad has been there during some of the worst times in my life with my Mom. And my three Karate Senseis have been leading me through a robust martial arts journey.

Our time on this planet is so short. Please cherish your time with your loved ones. I don’t have very much to remember my Dad by. I wish I had been a better daughter. I wish I had been more involved. I wish my own mental health hadn’t been a hindrance to so many experiences we could have and did have. I know that my Dad wouldn’t want me to beat myself up so much, so I’m trying to struggle through.

Happy Father’s Day to my Dad in Heaven. And my Step-Papaw. And all the other Father Figures who can no longer be physically present in our lives.

My last visit with my Dad before he passed.

Happy Birthday to my Big Sissy!

June 18th is my big sister’s birthday~! I absolutely love her and wanted to take today to promote her! She’s an amazing older sister, mother (to 3 fantastic, brilliant girls), and an actress. In case you cannot tell, we aren’t related by blood. I was adopted as a child. Family is definitely a bond created!

Before and after the height of COVID, my sister and my nieces and I spent Christmas together. Last year was our first Christmas away from home. And I can’t even find enough words to describe how fantastic it was. I think I posted about it earlier in the blog. It was my first Airbnb experience. I’m definitely looking forward to doing it again. More importantly, looking forward to seeing my sister. Once a year is definitely not often enough.

The age difference between my sister and me is about 12 years. So she was almost like a second mom to me sometimes. I still remember her letting me sleep over at her apartment when I was little. She’d take me on car rides down a road in our hometown. She’d put the top of the convertible down and the way the oak trees hung over the road, if you tilted your seat back and stared straight up, it felt like you were flying. Even now, late into my 30s, I still have a habit of writing my name on my corndogs in mustard because that’s what my sister would do for me when she made me lunch at her apartment. And I only know how to throw a softball/baseball properly because my sister was my coach.

You can check out my sister’s IMDb page here. And her movie: Wake Up is on Amazon. Thanks for stopping in today and reading.