Thursday, March 23, 2017

Letter to Melissa

Dear Melissa,

you know, since you're a friend of Mollies, that she and I have few, if any, secrets. And she tells me what's going on with her friends. She knows I care. I care because I want to know what's going on around my daughter and also because, well, I give a damn about you.

So girlfriend, I was more than a little worried to hear some of the choices you've been making. Especially with the drinking.

I know there's a good possibility that the gossip I heard isn't close to the truth. Maybe you experimented once or twice with alcohol. Hell, most kids do. I remember my brother and his friends imbibing in high school and none of them have turned into raging alcoholics or criminal underbelly types.

Drinking might be a right of passage. Just like trying cigarettes and sex and pot.

So why exactly are these rites of passages anyway? Seems that maybe we excuse things like that because there might be other things happening behind that which we want to ignore. I smoked cigarettes and pot because I was miserable as a teenager because my father sexually abused me and my mother pretended not to know.

Choices at fifteen are the same as choices at fifty-eight: we all have reasons we make them.

I'm going to tell you something that you don't know.... and I can imagine that at 15, you're rolling your eyes at an old woman giving you advice. After all, it's been over 40 years since I was your age. But see, there's something I know because I am so much older than you: I know regret. I know embarrassment. I know that there are still moments from my elementary school years that continue to make me blush. And those were innocent things.

It's easy to think you know so much with the internet at your fingers and strangers telling you what they want you to believe. But I'm not a stranger, Melissa, and I know something they don't know. I know you. I know that you're talented and you have dreams. I know that you love acting, that you're a good friend, that you have a good heart.

And I know you're going to regret the choices you're making.

At 15 years old, you're not thinking of the future but I am. I'm thinking of who you might become and I'm afraid that the choices you're making right now could change the bright future to a dimmer one. Naturally I'm afraid of teen pregnancy and Mollie knows that I'm here to help any of her friends get contraceptives if needed.

I'm also here to listen if you want to talk, sweetheart. I know you have concerns and issues that I know nothing about. I saw the bandages on your wrists too, you know.

I promise you, whatever is happening is transient. The world keeps moving and so does life. I'm here for you and so is Mollie. Confide in someone. Let someone here the truth of you and your life. And know that there are answers, there are better paths, there are other ways.

Call me. Call someone. You're an amazing person, Melissa, and I want the world for you. Let's work together to make sure you get brightness and joy.

Love you.

Lori

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Dilemma Sunday

So last night was Irish Fest at my brother's work place and Mollie and I were volunteered to work there. As was my nephew. Mollie worked putting together corner beef slider meals, nephew worked the bar and I was cashier. There was also one other person working, Mary, who made the corned beef and worked next to Mollie.

My knee is out with a possible worsened meniscal tear and so I was promised a sit down job. However, cashiering between 2 stations that were opposite each other meant I was on my feet moving. A lot.

Mollie and I didn't get a free meal. We didn't get a cut off profits. My nephew gave Mollie some money from the tip jar on the bar. At the end of the evening we hadn't eaten dinner, my knee was worse and my brother, his wife, Mary, brother's boss (possibly also nephew) went for a free celebration dinner at the steakhouse there (their meals are written off on the mall's dime) while Mollie and I went through the Burger King drive through to get something to eat.

I've always liked working the events but I didn't enjoy last night and I especially didn't enjoy the feeling of being taken advantage of. I'm thinking that was the last time I'll agreed to be volunteered. But I don't know if I'm over reacting.

I should mention that when I wrote The Fall, my brother objected to some pre-sale ads I posted that insulted the president and so he didn't/hasn't bought the book. I understand. All actions have consequences.

So am I wrong to decide to be done with volunteering? Or am I over-reacting?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

This has been a hard week. I worked on Sunday (yeah, I found the only doctor who does the occasional weekend) and I was supposed to have Thursday off. Coworker called out sick and I did six days. Not a huge deal except I was exhausted.

By yesterday I couldn't keep my eyes open and I wanted to eat anything that wasn't nailed down. I ate a piece of fried chicken at 8 am yesterday. Followed by popcorn. Didn't go over my WW points but it was tempting.

Something bad happened to my knee. I already have an ortho appointment scheduled for Friday so I'll just baby it along till then but I can't really walk. I have a bad feeling that my meniscus, which was torn over 10 years ago, tore further because of my recent added activity. I'll get a steroid shot in it for the pain and ask for an MRI to see how bad the tear is.

Listen to me.... I can tell from the pain what's happening inside my body.

My first month on my super-duper new budget plan and I blew it. Made three mistakes: I paid off a bill I wasn't supposed to pay off. I was only supposed to make a minimal payment and pay it all off next month but I decided to get ahead of the game. Bad move. I planned it that way for a reason but I let my emotions make a bad choice.

Then I miscalculated my money and had less of it. And then I paid a bill which had 2 charges on it and didn't realize that I only paid one charge and not both. So I had to make a second payment and it wasn't budgeted. I totally fucked it all up.

Good thing though: two more bills are now paid off. I worked nine hours of overtime this week so my paycheck next week should even out the budgeting woes.

I'm going to get this all in order. I know I will.

18 pounds down on WW since Feb 5. Real happy about that. I don't see any changes but others are starting to notice. What excites me is that I'm starting to get interested in cooking again. I don't have the time to do a lot of it but on a day like today I can make myself a cool lunch (low point pepperoni pizza), that makes me smile.

Other things that are a yay: found AztecLady on Twitter so now following her and Willaful. Major happiness that. My brother volunteered me to work tonight at a St. Paddy's party at the mall selling corned beef sliders so I need to ibuprofen myself into a stupor and get my game face on. I actually love working their events because it fits my extrovert personality. I flirt, tease, joke... I've been asked if I work parties as a professional. Seriously. It's so much fun.

Anyway, that's the update. Righ now it's Saturday morning and I got lots of sleep, I have hot coffee and since I can't go walk the waterfall as planned, I'm going to Frankie and Grace myself on Netflix and enjoy.

Love to you all out there.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

SMH! Feeling Sorry for Trump Supporters

It's no secret to anyone who knows me that I'm a progressive, liberal, socialist Democrat. And I live in a home with three demented human beings. One has Alzheimers and the other two are Republicans.

I bite my tongue a lot.

But not joking, I decided one of the best ways to survive during this politically charged time is to keep my opinions to myself at the dinner table, politely but firmly stop conversations about Trump and call my senators (or Tweet/Facebook them often). I have some great representatives, I must say.

And it's worked. We've avoided fighting, we don't talk much politics and life has been pretty calm.

Recently, both my Republican family members have admitted to embarrassment of the president. Or as my SIL said last night, "I liked the message but I despise the messenger." And before anyone jumps on that: they like the economic message, not the racist one. They believe in stronger borders and a stronger military, they don't believe in banning religions.

I feel bad for them. I really do. Because to express any dismay as a Republican that the president is an amazing, flaming, orange jerkwad of astronomical proportions is to open yourself up to ridicule. Especially when there are still parts of the message that resonate with you.

I'm sympathetic. I really am. I understand why they voted for Trump and I hope that as the true despair and horror of the megalomaniac sinks in, they can keep their heads  upright and not crawl about in muck because of their shame. But I won't pile the muck on their shoulders.

I feel bad for them. I really do. Because as every day goes by, they see the horror they unleashed and as they try to defend their choice, they have to admit their own culpability and bear that weight. As well as hear and deal with the shaming that so many around them vocalize.

It isn't easy to be a Republican nowadays. And I love the ones I live with. But now I'm privy to seeing the dawning realization of what they've done and I feel sorrow for them. Never thought I'd say that. But then again, I never thought that they would both, within a week of each other, express the same embarrassment of the Cheeto in Chief.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Goal Check

I made three goals for 2017: lose weight so my knees feel better, get out of debt and start writing again.

Goal 1: Lose weight. Going well. Weight Watchers was a brilliant choice, not just because I'm losing weight (16 pounds so far) but also because I've had some over-eating days on it and gained weight (1.2 pounds) and remained accountable.

No diet will ever be perfect. But the WW community is supportive, the plan is easy and if you're willing to remain honest then results will happen.

And even more than that, there's a greater spike in energy when weight starts to come off. I can stand longer, move more and not be in as much pain. My exercise is still intermittant but there's more of it. So no complaints here.

Goal 2: Budget/Debt.  That is a longer term plan and not one that will be accomplished by the end of the year. But as someone who has always lived paycheck to paycheck, my need to stop living that way is huge.

I created a plan for myself and so far I'm sticking to it. Not counting monthly bills like the phone bill and car insurance that will never go away, I started 2017 with 12 bills that can be paid off. With the aid of a tax refund, 5 are already gone. Plus I paid off Mollie's trip to Oahu from last year as well as paid her trip to Maui this year (with some spending money put aside too).

I'll have another bill paid off by the end of March and then I'll be concentrating on getting the bigger ones gone. It's hard to stick to because there's so many things we want and some we actually need but damn t, sticking to plan and being accountable.

Goal 3: Writing.

Complete fail.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Boris and Natasha? Naw, Just Trump and His Minions...

The title says it all.

So now Sessions is remembering (oh, those faulty brains) that he might have had a conversation or two with the Russian Ambassador previous to the American Presidential elections.

Do you love it?

Basically we can infer the following:
1. Donald Trump borrowed money from Russian banks.
2. Russian banks have Donny by the short hairs.
3. Russia hacked the US elections.
4. Donny became president.
5. Donny owes Russia still and will be paying them off through the presidency.

Better than a novel and not half as believable.

But this is real life folks.

I've gone from outrage and shock to befuddlement and amusement.

Attack the press so they won't follow the money. Lie to everyone. Attack the press so they won't investigate the lies. Blame Obama.

Get busted.

Oh yeah. The dominoes are going to fall. Get your slippers on and popcorn popped. It's going to be a shitstorm folks.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Vaginal Atrophy

After menopause, women's bodies stop producing certain hormones, like estrogen. The lack of estrogen affects us differently; some women might suddenly grow whiskers, some lose their sex drive and some get vaginal atrophy.

When I first heard about vaginal atrophy I thought it was just disuse and could be reversed by more use. But that's not it at all. Atrophy thins out the skin and tissues, causing the skin to smooth out and become painful. The outside skin, becoming so thin, begins to itch painfully. The inside skin shrinking can also cause urinary issues.

Why am I writing about this? Because I had a pap today and I almost cried because it was so painful. It's never been painful before. And my practitioner told me that I have severe atrophy and will probably never have intimate relations with a man again.

She said she could put me on estrogen replacement but that, of course, carries a risk of cancer. I'm not willing to do that. I'm going to try some over the counter meds she told me about... but I'm not expecting much.

I'm reeling. I haven't been involved with anyone in years but I thought that maybe in the future when Mollie has gone on to college, that could be a possibility.

How am I supposed to feel about this? It's a little heart breaking. I never thought that someone could just tell me that I shouldn't have sex or intimacy again because it will guaranteed hurt me.

Carol and I were talking about aging, just a few hours before my pap. It was as if we knew what was coming...

Please pardon my heartbreak here. It's not that there's someone currently. It's just the idea that the door might be closed forever.