Tithing for Taxpayers

The following post is from Lydia’s blog:



Just a quick follow up to yesterday’s post regarding the billionaires, politicians, and their families who were recipients of the C-19 relief money that was intended to keep small businesses afloat:

The Evangelical church received $7.3 billion from that fund

That’s it, I just want to update you on my post’s inadvertent omission, but I’m not going to comment on it…except to say this: there is so much that is wrong with the way we do things in this country. That’s it, I’m done… but let me add this: Churches pay no taxes, so why are they getting taxpayer-funded relief? I mean, the first amendment to the US Constitution clearly states:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

The third word from the end of that quote☝️🏼is free. Free is synonymous with exempt. That doesn’t mean tax-exempt. It means exempt from persecution. So who decided churches shall be tax-exempt, and who decides which church, and why are they getting tax bailout money?

Okay, moving on…Let me first clarify that the “freedom” Jefferson referred to is that of choice. You can worship a televangelist or Tom CruiScientology or the sister-wives religion if you choose to, and I can worship my bunion and hammertoes if I choose to, but (this is bullshit,) my feet are subject to taxation. How can churches be tax-exempt but not bailout exempt? My bunions get no relief.

What this administration did when it chose to dole out our great grandchildren’s tax dollars to one denomination is akin to tithing on their behalf. Mike Pounce, his big daddy, the family’s pet turtle are tithing for taxpayers for generations to come because that’s how long it will take to make up for this GOP kleptocratic crap.

That’s all I wanted to say…but who voted evangelical? When did that become the national denomination? It wasn’t on my ballot. I might have chosen my bunions.

Let me blog-evangelize for a minute. The idea televangelists have been using to get rich on is that if you give your money to God, he she will bless you with more money because God wants people to be prosperous.

How is giving your money to someone like Joel Osteen, who is worth 50 million tax-exempt dollars the same as giving money to God? During Hurricane Harvey, that asshole locked his flock out of his Ostentatious Lakewood Church. Who can blame him; they were wet. WWJD? (What would Jesus do?) NWOD. (Not what Osteen did.)

America is the land of the free, free from religious persecution. Also covered by this proverbial blanket is freedom from organized religion, or you can live your life without religion altogether if that is your preference. Americans can have faith in a car salesman pastor, or my bunion, for which no basket will be passed.

Theology is a tax-exempt cash cow. The hypocrisy of this prosperous gospel, of Evangelical Protestants, siding with the GOP is grounds for losing their tax-exempt status. When a church endorses a political party they are no longer neutral. Make them pay taxes!

That’s all I wanted to say…Donald Trump does irony better than anyone, smiling for cameras as he holds up a Bible, after gassing his subjects. He has shined a light on the conflation of religion’s posturing for power, and the flimflam piety of the Evangelical Republican Party.

I will only say this, it’s an act for the benefit of God-fearing voters in the flyover states, the ones whose votes hold eight times more weight than that of a New Yorker, courtesy of the electoral college.

I will not expound…except to say that organized religion is not a ticket to heaven, it’s a money-making scheme that targets the same gun-wielding people whose electoral votes are counted many times over.

I know the rules. Etiquette dictates that the subjects of politics and religion should be avoided. I possess limitless self-control, which is why, as I said, I’m going hold my tongue…I’m just telling you that we bailed out the Evangelical Church with a forgivable $7.3 billion dollar “loan,” and churches don’t pay taxes. This administration is tithing for taxpayers.


a phone insurance you do NOT want


Spend Saturday cleaning out closets, boxes, books, rooms packing garbage, repurpose, box for later, etc. Cleaned out an entire room upstairs.


Phone shit-the-bed July 4th – Independence Day in the p.m. July 5th, as soon as Apple store opened, I went – thinking that I’d get a new phone easy-peasy after checking to see and file a claim with my phone insurance (“You’re Covered”). Left the house at 11:30 a.m to arrive at noon, when the store opened, joined the already long line, waited another half hour for my “appointment” and had the sweetest guy take care of me….for 1.5 hours. In that time he contacted Verizon, he contacted Asurion (the so-called ‘insurance’) and back and forth, and back and forth and here, there ,and everywhere; this PW didn’t work that phone number wasn’t correct, can’t get into my email…and the whole time he/we are talking to people are repeatedly saying, “She doesn’t have a phone so you can’t call, you can’t send a text, you can send a code, you can’t reset a password!!!!!” and on and on.

FINALLY – because he, Sam, was so nice and “understanding” the woman at Asurion, who had said that my phone would be MAILED out Monday and I’d get it Tuesday (Hello!! Some people still work; I won’t be home) and Sam said, “Listen, she needs her phone before Tuesday”…and, voila, the woman said, “OH, well, we’ll have someone drop it off at her house TODAY….”

LATER that same day, SUNDAY:

Very nice woman comes to my house, on time, with a phone – wrong one, this phone is definitely an older model – and after multiple attempts, the (new) phone doesn’t work. SHE gets on her phone with her own company, customer service, who walks her through how to get the phone to work (it still doesn’t), then transfer to insurance ‘claim’ person, wrong person, transfer to “warrantee” person who expects me to accept the phone that doesn’t work, I can’t get into it, and I state – with flowery speech, No Effing way am I accepting a phone that doesn’t work so I can send it back and wait – again – for a new one…transfer to yet another person,…Eventually, this one agrees with the nice woman who has now been at my house for one hour – that, yes, you go ahead and take the phone back with you BUT customer won’t get another phone until Tuesday – NO WAY can they bring me one Monday. I tell him….I WANT A NEW PHONE, NOT A USED, INOPERABLE PHONE THAT SOMEONE ELSE SENT BACK TO YOU SO YOU CAN SEND IT OUT TO SOME OTHER SUCKER WHO’SE PAID THE INSURANCE AND $100.00 DEDUCTABLE…AND I WANT A COMPARABLE PHONE OR BETTER – NOT AN ANCIENT PHONE.

It’s been 48 hours without a phone. It’s inconvenient but I don’t miss it. I’d rather do without it but…our culture has made it impossible to go without a phone as all service industries expect you to have one so they can send you codes, updates, emails, forms, etc, etc. To be without a phone is like having no hands and feet and eyes.

I had to have it sent to my daughter’s house because I work Tuesday thru Wednesday night.

ASURION. A Verizon third-party insurance company for your phone. FYI: Sam, at Apple said, “I’ve had to deal with them before. It’s always like this. They are difficult. I switched to Apple insurance. Had you had Apple, you’d walk in the store with your busted phone and walk out with a new phone.”


ASURION. A phone insurance company that makes it as hard as possible to get a phone replacement so that – hopefully – you’ll give up and just go and spend hundreds of dollars on a new phone and they can keep all the money that everyone pays them for phone insurance. NOT MUCH DIFFERENT THAN CAR INSURANCE AND HOUSE INSURANCE AND HEALTH INSURANCE.




I hacked the shit out of my backyard. It’s a mess right now because all the trees I’ve cut down need to be cut into manageable pieces and removed. That’s okay. I knew it would be a work in progress. I also knew it would be hard, heavy, dirty, sweaty and I’d probably suffer. I have cut, scraped, and banged the shit out of my legs (sitting with ice pack on one now)



Still have to do those. What’s the date? Next Tuesday?


House hunting:

I’ve given up for now. I’ve been cleaning and taking things to Sal. Army…in the event that something arises that I might like to try buying. One fucking fiasco at a time, please.





trying to find the ‘perfect’ place without losing my sanity

Hi Everyone in ! It’s a Friday here at work but, since it’s “technically” a paid holiday for the M-F, 9-5 set, it feels like a Saturday – which is why I was just about to do my SoCS post for Linda G. Hill (“toss”) but now I’ll wait for the actual Saturday, July 4th –

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My dream small stone house bordering a river!

Instead I’m going to post about this little gem above that has been driving me to the point of anxiety. I found this listing 33 minutes after it was posted on the web and I can’t tamp down my emotions. I’m not going to launch into details about the subsequent call to the agent and the dialogue and my heart palpitations, no, I’m going to cut to the meat of my deliberations per my usual. So, if you are not up for reading about what’s going on in my head about moving – or not moving, this is where you stop.

We all know that moving/relocation is one of life’s BIG decisions and, therefore, a decision that is weighed very deliberately with thorough examinations on so many levels it’s exhausting. I am currently one hour away from my job but 5 minutes close to my family. I have a ‘big’ house that I want out of for something smaller and more manageable. I want to be closer to work but not the-other-side-of-work so that I’d be more than an hour away from my family. See? I love Vermont. I’m okay with NH if I’m in the right place. I plan to make my forever home also my final move so it has to be the best I can find for me. I also realize that nothing is forever and shit happens, blah blah blah but I am trying to be more optimistic and plan for the best while being aware that things change.

Assuming that I get what I want, if I find a home I am in love with but it’s almost two hours from family, do I move? If I forgo the dream house for something that is closer to them, what’s to prevent them from moving to Alaska, for example? NH has no income tax but, allegedly, higher property taxes overall. Vermont is beautiful but poor. Vermonters are easy going, more relaxed and NHites are more uptight but have more lakes, rivers, ponds, mountains and places to shop. ~ It’s really 6 of one, half-dozen of the other to me. Pros and cons to both that I can live with and I don’t have young children so schools are not a consideration.

I’ve dreamed of a small stone house for so many decades that I’ve lost track. I’ve never considered looking or even thought of the possibility of a small stone house because there are so few of them. When I saw this I swear I had a PVC – premature ventricular contraction – an extra heart beat. There are no photos of the inside but the outside is so immaculate that – in my mind – the interior is my dream home; open concept, clean, light, hardwood floors, a deck or patio in the back ** I forgot to mention!!! the property has umpteen feet of river…the whole back of the property line is river!!** Yes, I have considered flooding, etc. so THAT is a consideration.

Some snags: property is flying of the ‘for sale shelf’ because (damn) outer-staters from the cities are flocking to rural areas and because they have bags of disposable income, unlike rural folk, they are buying up property sight-unseen IN CASH. Which also means that this will continue and the prices of property will continue to go up. So, there’s that little wet towel. (why am I always on the shit end of things when I decide to make a move?)

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My beautiful VT home on rolling hills with a brook!

I am trying to NOT become obsessed. I am trying NOT to become anxious. I am trying to maintain that when I find what I believe to be THE house for me, it WILL become mine if that is indeed what is best for me. Meanwhile you better believe that I will be busting my ass fixing, cleaning, excavating and ridding my current house of everything to make it as appealing (and ready to move from) as possible in the next few weeks. If I am going to jump on an opportunity, I’ll have two homes until I sell my own, which, given the current market, should fly off the list as fast as every other property especially since it’s about a half-hour drive to Boston and less than an hour to the White Mountains. **hmmm….am I being crazy to sell? UGH. Why am I of two minds about this? No, I want to sell. I don’t need all the space and I’m sure another buying will love it and I want to ‘move on’ to something that I really, really love.

…I was interrupted. I’m exhausted from just thinking about all this. Back to work.

BI #34

Do you think that reading is an important prerequisite for writing well? If so, what kind of reading material inspires or affects your writing?

~ SaltedCaramel’s Blogging Insights #34

There was writing before reading so the importance of reading as a prerequisite to writing is relative. In short, some writers just have a ‘natural flair’ for writing and others would do well to broaden their ‘experiences’ & techniques  by reading other authors.

I would love to believe that my writing is ‘affected’ by reading others’ work but it is not; my writing is just my stream of consciousness about nothing by what ever is crossing my mind. I really love good writing or sometimes just okay writing but interesting subjects (some writing is more conversant than ‘good writing’).

Rory’s question.

Rory writes:  “Why do some mothers believe they know their children inside out when it is blatantly obvious they cannot and more so if they have had very little contact with them – what is it that makes them think – they know them forever? Is it a mother’s bond or is that purely poppycock? Is it perhaps more a case of wishful thinking … what?

When do you think and at what point would you say that a person knows another person by a good 85% if not more and if at all – what qualifies another to say something like ‘I know them forever?’”  ~~~ as found on Melanie’s post here.

Well, I wouldn’t stop at “mothers”…as it seems almost every one thinks that they know more than they actually do and men are the greatest at knowing the mostest. But, sticking to mothers ~ and spouses/sig.others ~ because it’s more about intimacy or a simulation of it, than anything else.

I am the exception to the rule; I don’t pretend to know my children or even my friends. I’ve always been fascinated with the cry of family members and some friends that they have ‘known’ someone and they’d ‘never’ do such and such – blah, blah.

Here’s the thing: when any of us ‘get to know’ someone, and that includes a brand-new someone who is a blank slate, we are getting to know the someone that we are shown – by them. Sure, children are more transparent – at first – but that quickly changes when they realize that they can become more…sneaky, or lie, or think that the parent/adult doesn’t know because they ‘didn’t see’ and that’s how it all starts. We all do it. Okay, most of us do it. From starting to lie, etc., it’s just an evolution for all of us of pushing the envelope to expand our boundaries, to find out who we really are, what we’re made of and how much we dare. And don’t we all gravitate toward those with whom it seems we have some common interests? And since that’s how the dance starts, why would either dance partner shake that up?

It’s a slippery slope when someone thinks they know someone else. I can understand how spouses or ‘couples’ would adopt that conviction; after all, they live together, sleep together, eat together, brush their teeth side-by-side, etc. One would think that after a few years of that you’d ‘know’ someone but I take a cue from observing and it seems to me there are a lot of people who think they ‘know’ someone who are later so shocked at  a behavior or something said, what ever. I’d think that more people would at least hold some reservation, some margin for error about the people that they think they know.

Also, when some “Surprise!,” your husband’s a child molester, having an affair, or squandered every penny you thought you had shared, there’s usually a bread-crumb trail leading right up to this point – only had one been paying attention and not taking their partner/relationship for granted. And that’s all part of the problem; we are all so busy, so immersed in our work or other activities that we don’t really pay attention to small details. Plus, who doesn’t, when in love (or really, really like), assume all the good details and subconsciously disregard the negative ones? Don’t see, don’t notice, didn’t hear the tiny clues?

I remember reading a blog post, I think it was, I’m really trying to remember the details because it was a smart idea, where the guy relayed that he and his newish-girlfriend went on a backpacking trip for weeks; carry everything you need on your back, sleep in tents, filter water for drinking and eating, shit in the woods, out beyond ‘civilization’ (of coarse it’s a good way to be murdered too, speaking of ‘knowing’ someone) to see if they were compatible. I thought, “Good one”, because if you want to ‘know’ someone, put them in an uncomfortable place for a period of time and see how they break, along what lines, how they display frustration and see to what behavior they resort.

Everything is rosy as long as we are all comfortable and getting along. As soon as the shit hits the fan, it all changes.

Back to mothers and my the answer; it’s probably not unlike men bragging about something; the biggest fish, the most lucrative job, how many women they’ve laid. It’s about competition and being viewed through a flattering lens. Mothers are not immune to what other people think, especially since they are the most judged humans on earth, so naturally women, whose “job” it is to raise children, often alone, having devoted ‘the best years of their lives’ to birthing and growing other humans, like to feel that they have some insight into these very same people. If you’ve never seen any news or video or movies, let me tell you, any mother of a rapist or murder or what-evil-have-you are vilified. Same for wives. It’s been this way since the dawn of time. Not likely to change even with enlightenment.

We’d do better to distance ourselves when those baby birds start to flap their tiny wings because we do not REALLY know them once they start growing older, thinking for themselves, learning behaviors from others (family, friends, schoolmates, TV, etc.) and generally becoming. *I wrote a post with a similar perspective and when I find it, I’ll link it. They are their own person. We are not responsible for what they think and say and do. And once they leave the nest…you know them even less.


Colby & Zoey; my reason to live

Colby (foreground) and Zoey

Steve over at MSichChronicles (“Resilience” is an excellent post by Steve, click the link) suggested I “…post about them” – so here it is. These are my  pooches, or dogs, or “kidz” or my two ‘shits’ – as in Shih Tzu.

This is a photo my son took from his apartment in 2017 when he was dog-sitting for me while I was on the AT. They look the same now as then – if they’ve been groomed.

This isn’t a bad photo but neither of them like to have their picture taken – it’s true, they turn away and have these morose faces – here they look more curious. Most times they have a look of anticipation and sometimes, when we are playing or walking, they smile. I love the smile-faces. I’d never be able to capture that on camera.

Almost everyone I cross paths with while walking acknowledge them, some ask to pat them and children especially love them (the ones who aren’t afraid of dogs – I swear parents are doing a disservice to children when they don’t ‘socialize’ them to dogs. Dogs are not going anywhere and people will spend a lifetime unnecessarily ‘afraid’ of something as ubiquitous as dog/pets – it’s silly) and they are mistaken for puppies all the time. They are eleven and 1/2 now – they’re seniors but they don’t act it.

I got Colby first – he was about three months. I had searched a few years off and on for a ‘small’ dog (rescue) and it was incredibly hard to find one that; 1. I wanted and 2. one available that wasn’t scooped up as soon as its photo was online. Anyway, I finally decided to go the ‘pure-bred’ route and found a woman in northern Vermont. I had Colby about two months when I decided (because we humans anthropomorphize) he was lonely while I was at work and he would like a playmate. Well, maybe he would have but after I adopted his litter-mate sister, Zoey, – who would rather be an only-child, he was basically on his own anyway. They ‘get along’ but they don’t play.

For several months – maybe a year, I ‘groomed’ them myself. I allowed their hair to grow and I put in the little top-knots on their heads but – Whew! – that gets old. Their hair grows EVERYWHERE; around their eyes, over their nose, under their nose, on their ears, and between their toe-pads! When I finally found someone – a groomer – who was recommended, I had them ‘shaved’ down, “Puppy Cut,” except tails and ears. Then I had the ears trimmed so now it’s just a long-haired tail, which I like because their tails bobble and looks like pom-poms – plus it covers the butt-hole when they walk.

They are my “constant companions” – they go every where with me (including, sometimes, work) unless it’s too hot if I’m going somewhere that they can’t be out of the car = grocery store. My daughter has accused me of caring more about them than my two grandchildren. Well, it’s a different kind of love so – depending on the circumstances, she’s not totally wrong, I may ‘defend’ them over the grandkids.

I think of them while away from them…just like a mother. I love how they come running to the door when I enter…so happy. They have to get a hug, Colby first then Zoey, and get their ‘kisses’ in – what makes us think that them lapping our faces is “kissing”?? Anyway…I allow a few swipes of the tongue under my chin then I’m done with that. Zoey is a hugger; she leans in and her head lands just below my chin so I snuggle into her head. Colby loves to sit facing me so he can stare into my eyes while I scratch his back and he’ll ‘punch’ my chin if I don’t give him my undivided attention – I have to look into his eyes too.

They are the sweetest dogs. I tell people who inquire, they are very devoted and sweet, usually skittish but….BUT…the grooming is a lot of work and expensive – unless you do it all yourself. If you have small children, you won’t want to devote the necessary time for the dogs – it’s unfair to everyone (especially the dogs. I’ll always defend the animals over people/kids.)


#RDP: Enough

What I found today at the river that wasn’t yesterday

While walking with the pooches this morning, I – holding court in my head – enumerated the reasons why I’m planning on a move. Yesterday I wrote about my decision to move and today I was thinking about how long it took me to ‘wake up’ and realize that I’m being pushed out of this environment (by Spirit, the Universe, God, what-ever-Presence it be) – all the “signs,” the hardships have been here all along and I just didn’t connect the dots.

I bought the house, not because I liked it (the realtor showed it to me twice and basically talked me into buying it) but because I needed a place to live with my three young kids and a dog. We were living in a tent on a friends property for months and, before school was to start in a few days, I obviously needed a place to live, a residence. I have always appreciated this house, this piece of property for the purpose it has served. I do not take it for granted. I think it’s a gem in the right hands.

My plan was “as soon as the last kid is out of high school, I’m moving” but that was 2008 so it didn’t happen. That was fine though, in hindsight, as this house also provided a home for my daughter and her family for about six years. It’s also been the place where my other children have come back to at various times and it’s been ‘home’ to a few other displaced teenagers.

But the whole time I’ve been here it’s been a challenge. It’s not exactly a “money-pit” but it has been financially, physically and emotionally draining for me. It’s not been a place that I’ve ever really moved into spiritually (I still have naked walls.) I have not made it my home but I’ve tried to be content with what I have. I’ve had to put tens-of-thousands of dollars into many, many areas of this house and property and it seems to never be enough. I’ve alway tried to envisioned a ‘pulled together’ look, inside and out, but it just doesn’t happen; everything I attempt to fix is just the first layer in an onion of problems and beating back nature (which normally I love) is a never ending battle that just never seems to come together for me. It’s always felt like this place is against me.

In addition to my inability to stay on top of problems, I finally truly realized that I am not exactly welcomed in my own neighborhood. I’ve sort-of known that but I’ve always rationalized that I don’t really need my neighbors to be friends as long as they’re not bad neighbors. And that’s true but today when I made my list this became more than – or less than – just okay. It became another sign.

There are few things about this property that I ‘enjoy,’ few things that make being here more tolerable and one of those short-listed things was the view out my front window. As I stated in this post, it wasn’t a grand view, it was just a nice, peaceful small view of space: green trees and sky = openness. Well, the most recent change is that my neighbors across from me erected an eight-foot high solid fence that completely obliterates any ‘view’ that I once enjoyed. This really became the last straw.

I’ve finally seen that it’s time to move on, move forward and I don’t know where but, it seems to me, if The Energy is pushing me out of this environment/space than it must also be moving me into another environment/space. I don’t know how or even when but I do know that I deserve to be happy. I deserve to be in a community that appreciates me. I deserve to live in a space that reflects (from outside) the person I am on the inside; peaceful, in harmony with life & nature, balanced. I’ve re-realized that I have enough inner strength and faith that it will all work out as long as I do the work in the meanwhile of moving forward and being conscious and content with how this will all unfold.

#RDP – Friday: enough


My verbal purge a few days ago prompted me to renew my daily positive soundtrack (what ever I have in my audio-library I play every moment I can to lift me from murky emotions) and re-evaluate my life (plans/goals) in a more sustainable way. I have come to realize that…I need to relocate not only for me but for another family.

Environment (my home, my refuge from the world) is very important to me. I am a person who is very aware of environment: weather, surroundings color and texture and light. When I go out to eat or a pub or a library or any place that I am spending my very precious time, I am very, very selective about the environment. I only go to restaurants that I like the ‘feeling’ of and I am choosy about where I sit; I will go as far as sitting in various chairs to determine where I want to be (this obviously isn’t the case if it’s busy.) I had never given valuable consideration to my home. I have, due to circumstances and finances and, in part, my up-bringing, always been grateful for “what I have” and not considered that I do deserve more and more appropriate than I have now. I realized that my constant and frustrating struggle with my home now is probably because it’s time-to-move-on and I’ve been trying to make it work, trying to be grateful.

You know what? Maybe this four-bedroom home in a most desirable area with the wonderful backyard and walking distance to the best school in my city is meant for a family who would appreciate it more than some middle-aged woman who doesn’t use all the space and doesn’t want to maintain the “up-keep.”

I can’t believe that I have never considered this. Maybe “the Universe” has been telling me, via a 2×4 over the head – because I just haven’t been ‘getting it’ – that it’s time to move on to something that is better for me at this time in my life and will simultaneously make available a home that is more appropriate for another family.

So I’ve renewed my dedication to home-improvement while I am watching real-estate availability. I don’t know exactly where (Vt or NH) I want to be but I do have an idea of what I want and I’m trusting that, eventually, I’ll see something that will just speak to me. In the past I’ve been concerned with family: stay close to the grand-kids (availability) and what will my son do? (he currently lives with me while he’s paying off school debt) but I can’t let concerns (that are not really mine) limit what I do or where I go.

The other realization I had is that I’ve stopped growing. I’ve been focused on ‘time-off’ and retirement – time that, in my head, is static. I need to refocus my attention on doing things that I want to do – goals/accomplishments. One thing that has been a constant on my mind is getting licensed in financial advice (license for life insurance, bonds, equities, etc.) and instead I’ve been just going about life and postponing (procrastinating, really) doing the work. So I’ve decided to reframe my intentions: do DIY home projects and balance that with work and study. I like and I am grateful for my ‘job’ but I’d prefer to be independent (financially and with my time) and help others to become more financially stable.

Another thing: health. I have neglected my health – which is foolish considering the whole cancer thing. I need to devote time to a daily ritual of “exercise” (at my age this involves stretching/yoga and a small amount of cardio) and go back to the ‘diet’ that made me feel the best. I feel like a sack of dead-weight every day and I’m done with it.

In the last three days I’ve come back into myself. I’ve been reminded that life isn’t an ‘end-game’ but it’s a constant flow of energy, it’s constant work and balance and re-evaluation and adjustments. There is no destination (that’s death) at which time we just stop and ‘relax’ but it’s a continuous cycle of growing and moving and learning.


#RDP: wilderness


RDP Saturday: Wilderness. I couldn’t resist snapping this photo while walking on an obvious trail but no blazes and not on my local map of trails. It was one of those perfect days that I look for when I wake up and get outside. The sky was blue with a few floaties (clouds) for contrast, mild temperature, a breeze and the sunshine in the woods highlights the green of foliage and ferns. Just to the upper left is a hint of a pond with lily pads and tall grass where a couple of geese were paddling around. I was glad of having my dogs on their leashes; lately when we’ve been out, we’ve encountered wildlife that, had the pooches not be controlled, would have been a potentially dangerous situation (one day it was a fully-loaded porcupine that crossed in front of us) and this day it was a squawking, fully puffed up bird that came out of the brush making a ruckus (“drumming”= flapping its wings) and darting at us.

Full circle: A ruffed grouse project | Brainerd Dispatch
Ruffed Grouse

Common sense told me that it/she was protecting a nest of eggs or young’uns nearby and I pulled on the hounds and quietly retreated back the way we came. My dogs are pretty good because, probably unlike many small dogs, they don’t bark (they can but I’ve trained them to be quiet; nothing more irksome than an uncontrolled yapping dog). I would like to have travelled farther along the trail but we’ll go another day when I bring a little snack as there are parts of the trail that ‘meet’ the river and provide a nice rock/space to sit and meditate on what a beautiful world we have…in the wilderness.

*I thought I’d posted this on the ‘prompt’ date but….I guess not; so here it is.

emotions and other murky stuff

It’s a wonderful 72* outside right now and I know I have to get out and ‘enjoy’ it while it lasts but first….

Yesterday was blah. Blech. Ugh. Not good. For no reason – apparently – as I am merely human and emotional roller-coasters are part of my being. Most days are okay. I manage to do what I gotta do with little resistance from myself. But some days I feel out-of-sync, I question, is this all there is? I’m unhappy or unsatisfied or restless. I get depressed. I get morbid.

I’ve written about this before.

I know it’s a crutch.

But I’m alone and I need support…positivity – even if it comes from some other source such as audiobooks or “programs” that are meant to inspire and motivate. I know many, many people think it’s malarky but I can only assume that those people have resources; a mate, a strong foundation of love and support and guidance from parent(s)/family/friends who care(d) enough to help them become a grounded and healthy person. It must be a nice feeling; to know who you are and where you are going and if things get tough or complicated or perplexing, you have options, opportunity, resources.

I feel like a tumbleweed. I feel like an unmoored dingy being tossed about in choppy waters. I feel like I had no real beginning (no foundation) and I have no destination. I’m floundering in life and I try to be aware of my gratitude each day (because I know it could be worse) but some days are harder than others. I feel my best when I fake it – ’til I make it…when I believe that there is a purpose, that someone (up there) is guiding me in this world even if I don’t understand it. I have found that I have to convince myself – against all evidence – that things will work out, that fear is just a feeling and I should and can let it go, that if I remain positive and focus on a dream (like a ‘home’ or financial stability) that one day it will manifest (not like a miracle; I have to work toward it.)

I have a problem though,..the problem is that I never encounter people ‘like me’ in my world. The people I encounter are part of a couple or single but with a network of friends or people that don’t understand where I am coming from or what in hell I’m talking about when I (barely) venture toward the “philosophical” or “metaphysical” or anything other than concrete, black & white, solid stuff. I have no tribe.

Here’s one cycle of thought: I am sick of this property that is in constant need of maintenance – inside and out – and I am sick of the GD traffic that goes by at 45-50 mph instead of the posted 30 mph and I’m sick of neighbors that prefer to be strangers (or behave like I’m a foreigner; I presume it’s because I am “not like the others,” not like them) and put up fences that make me feel closed in but….and here’s the thing

…..I have to work so GD hard just to get what I have that I am SO appreciative of what I have that I dare not allow a day to go by without expressing that even if it’s just in my own head/heart. I feel “I’m fortunate that I have my own property, a house, a backyard and neighbors that are peaceful – they could be intrusive, obnoxious assholes.

Is my appreciation, gratitude keeping me from believing that I do deserve more? Is my fear of being worse off keeping me here when I am not happy here?


I took a walk in the woods, a trail that parallels the river and is mostly shaded by the green canopy. I talked to myself (in my head) the whole time. When I say, “myself,” I mean the Universe or God or The Spirit but although I am prep-talking to my own self; it’s a prayer. Because I have to seek peace and quiet to reframe my thinking and boost my moral and, if it’s been productive and I haven’t digressed or segued into other territory, I can put myself into a more positive mood and tackle what ever needs to be done.

Below, Kim, from WordsOnAPage, posted a comment and I’m going to address it here:

My ‘loner-ism’ is both a natural result of my being “different” and my choice to accept that not everyone is extroverted, charismatic, socially gifted, and easily accepted by others. Pre-Covid I had been involved with many social groups explicitly to make friends by doing things that I naturally gravitate toward. However, the obstacles to making lasting friendships have always (an interesting pattern in itself) been:

My work schedule; my commute to work (potential ‘work-friends’ don’t like to ‘travel’ so meeting up always landed on me to sacrifice my time, gas, etc. – I have since given up on those one-way-friendships), my interests or lack-of (I don’t care to drink to get drunk, I like to be active, I don’t care to gossip, I am not attached to my phone constantly, etc.), I’m a third wheel usually and I am not materialistic and I don’t live above my means and I am not going to spend hard-earned money on things that I don’t really want to do (or can’t do). Every real friend I have lives an hour or more from me and the hurdles that I just named in addition to others keep us from ‘getting together’ more often than we do. This has just been my life. I have neighbors but, again, I wear my hair very, very short and I’m not half-a-couple so I must be ‘gay,’ my property isn’t Better Homes & Gardens (because I don’t have the capital, time, and help), I don’t have small children, etc., etc. I am different from them; they are civil if/when I approach but not friendly or inviting. By now I am just not that interested in trying to work/force/establish relationships with people who have been pretty clear about not being interested; I am content to be by myself. It’s the lack of support from genuinely interested people that I sometimes miss and could certainly ‘use.’

One can’t keep giving endlessly and indefinitely without being ‘filled up’ in return; the well runs dry. My entire life has been inservice to others: I ‘raised’ my siblings, I raised my children alone, my job is ‘service’ to others. I don’t regret any of this but…it is depleting always putting others first and not receiving some of that in return. I like people, I like talking to people, I like ‘helping’ people, I like to be generous, I am open-minded and I almost always take the high road when it’s necessary. And I don’t mind taking care of myself either. We all have to rely on our own at times so it’s not a bad thing to just be independent and I do try to be balanced so I work and I have my relaxing time, my “me time.”

I think I sometimes run into these funky moods because I have not kept growing, I have not moved from a place that is not ‘home’ for me because I fear that this is the best I can do/have, I am trying to settle (for ‘less’) when my spirit wants something else – I am telling myself that I should be content here and I should be grateful for what I have but, I’ve realized, that is just stifling my growth, my spirit, and my joy. I need to move on. I need a change of environment. We all know that our environment, our home/refuge is important to many of us. It’s scary. It’s intimidating. It will be a challenge. But what’s the point of forcing a relationship with this property, this place in my life, if I am not happy here? I’m not bonded with the city/town. I have no friends here. My daughter/family is here but I know that, given an opportunity to relocate somewhere else, they’d take it and not consider me and I’m not complaining; I’m stating that this is exactly what I am doing. I am justifying, in part, staying ‘here’ because they are here.

A planned disruption needs to take place. I have to decide to change my course, choose a different path, take a detour, disturb my comfortable uncomfortableness and refocus on a new vision, a dream. And I plan on sharing this with everyone I ‘know,’ planting seeds “out there” where, as I work toward this goal, the universe can assist by my networking and making it more real than just a fantasy.

Okay. I am sorry for this lengthy post but, hey, you didn’t have to read it.

Thanks, though, if you did.