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When someone loses a loved one..

When someone loses a loved one.. that is the time to put grudges aside. It is a time for forgiveness. It is a time for understanding. It is a time to give them that extra bit of slack.. or huge amounts of it, if necessary.

When someone loses a loved one.. that is the time that they are most vulnerable. It is a time when they are the most 'human'. It is a time when they are the most fragile.. and easily broken.

When someone loses a loved one.. they are not going to 'get over it' tomorrow, or next month, or even next year. They are not going to stop thinking about the person who has passed. They are not going to forget what is missing, even after everyone else does.

When someone loses a loved one.. they need compassion. They need love. They need to cry, to scream, to laugh, to fall apart and put themselves back together, over and over again. They need you to realize that every day of their life is now different.. another unique reminder of what they've lost.

When someone loses a loved one.. don't be afraid to comfort them. Don't be afraid to acknowledge their loss. Don't be afraid to make them cry, because they're going to cry anyway. Don't be afraid to say the wrong thing, because the worst thing to say is nothing at all.

When someone loses a loved one.. they are haunted by the person they used to be. By the life they used to have. By the memories of the one who is gone. A person can never be replaced, and those they leave behind are never the same.

When someone loses a loved one.. they will be angry. They will be sad. They will tell you the same stories, share the same anecdotes, over and over, until you could recite them yourself. Let them. It is a way of keeping their memory alive.

When someone loses a loved one.. be kind to them. They are going through their own private hell, and every single day requires a strength that, until you've experienced it yourself, is simply unimaginable.

Change is coming...

The past 8 years in this country have been frightening ones. We watched the towers come down. We watched as our fear slowly replaced our constitutional rights. We watched the economy fall. We watched as our brave soldiers came home in droves, not to the joyous embraces of their family members, but in body bags. We watched as our great country that we should be proud of became something for which we felt shame. Something needed to change, for the rest of the world as much as for us. And, now, that change is coming.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the beginning of that change come in the form of John McCain's concession speech. It is unfortunate that some of his supporters felt the need to interrupt and patronize him while he delivered what I thought to be one of the most heartfelt, compassionate, hopeful and honorable speeches a candidate could make. It was the beginning of the return of a feeling of pride in being an American, something I haven't felt in a very long time. And, although I did not cast my vote for him, I want to thank him for restoring some of my faith in these states being united again - for reminding us all that, despite our differences, we are all Americans, and in the words of John McCain, "Americans never quit. We never surrender."

McCain's Concession SpeechCollapse )

Apparently, endometriosis is contagious..

Apparently, endometriosis is contagious. They thought it might be hereditary, and they are still on the fence on that one, but my observations tell me that it seems to be something women can 'catch' from one another. At least, that's what people who've known me seem to believe.

Women... listen up. Just because you have pain, it does not mean you have endo. Just because you have a heavy flow day, a bad period, a difficult week, depression, occasional back pain, a bad break up, nausea, or vomit once in awhile, it does not mean you have endo. Just because you're infertile (or believe that you are) does not mean you have endo. Just because you have a friend, mother, sister, daughter, teacher or boss with endo, it does not mean you have endo. Just because the nurse at the ER mentioned it as a possibility, or the quack doctor you see told you it could be, does not mean you have endo. Read very carefully: unless you have had SURGERY to diagnose endometriosis, please stop claiming to have endo, because that is the ONLY way to diagnose it. No ultrasounds. No x-rays. No pap smears. No diagnosis based on symptoms alone. The female body is a complex thing. There are many, MANY things that can cause one (or all) of these symptoms. Any woman who has struggled with and actually been diagnosed with endo or infertility will tell you, it is extremely disrespectful to them, and all women who suffer with these issues, to parade around as though you are 'one of us' when you really have no idea what your problem actually is.

And, here's a little newsflash for you... if you truly believe you have a condition that is causing this sort of imbalance in your body, there are a few things you can do (prior to as well as after your diagnosis) to help alleviate some of those symptoms.

1. If you drink, STOP. Alcohol (and expressly, the abuse of it) will only cause further problems, and it doesn't mix well with pain pills, (narcotic or otherwise) and trust me, ladies, if you have endo, you NEED pain pills. You'll only end up destroying your liver in the end.

2. Limit your intake of sugar, caffeine, dairy and meat. Think I'm joking? How do you think us 'endo girls' get to be so skinny? The more endo tissue you have (and the more places you have it in) the more these things will aggravate your digestive system, causing pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and frequent urination.

3. Have the surgery to find out what is really going on. Endo symptoms are similar to a lot of other conditions, (two being ovarian and uterine cancer) so it's best to find out right away what is wrong, in case it's something a lot more serious (and deadly).

I've been dealing with this condition for 10+ years. I suffered for years before being diagnosed, because at that time not many regular doctors even knew what endo was. Now that the medical community as a whole is more knowledgeable, they seem to toss the word around like candy. Even if your doctor mentions endo (and no matter what he or she may say to the contrary) they cannot diagnose it without surgery. In fact, if you have a doctor telling you otherwise, it would be in your best interest to quickly find a new doctor, because they clearly aren't very educated on the disease.

Only you know how you feel, and if you are having symptoms that alert you to a problem, by all means get yourself checked out. However, until you do, and a definitive diagnosis is made, please stop saying you have endo. It could be any number of conditions with those general symptoms, and assuming it's endo without finding out for sure is both disrespectful to those of us who are long-time (diagnosed) endo sufferers, and dangerous for you if it turns out you're wrong.

The first few months after someone dies, people rally around you. They check up on you. They worry about you. They tell you it will be ok. Then, time goes by and people who aren't directly connected, they forget. It is less prominent in their lives, and they don't think about it as much, if at all. But the people who lost someone, they don't forget. Every day is different for them. Every moment is a reminder that something, someone, is missing.

I guess people think I should be "done" grieving by now. I don't believe that time heals all wounds. I don't believe that things will ever be "ok" ever again. My Dad was my best friend and my parent who raised me and cared for me for 30 years - who called me everyday to see how I was - who brought me Gatorade and movies when I was sick - who was proud of me when I did something great and there for me when I totally fucked up - who always told me he loved me, every time we talked.

Death makes you realize, no human is replaceable. All those little things combine to make a person you can never, ever forget.

I don't know who 'they' are, but they've obviously never lost someone close to them because 'they' don't understand... there is no expiration date on grief. It comes in waves, smells, words of strangers, the father in the supermarket who swings their kid around in a playful hug or calms them when they cry, the old man and the middle-aged one out fishing together, his favorite candy, or a tv show.. I know that, even if I live to be 90 years old, I will still cry for Dad. I will still think of him every day. It will still hurt... and I will never be 'done' missing him.

the chaos factor

It's funny, the things you find while browsing friends' blogs on the internet late at night (or is that early in the morning... whatever). This cracks me up: a dating site for (who else?) Zombies! I know what you're all thinking... it's about time.. lol.

Either I've had too much Sudafed, or not enough. Either way, it's got me awake and thinking when I should be asleep and dreaming... about things I've done, things I didn't do, and things I wanted to say but probably shouldn't have anyway. Funny the times I decide to remain silent ~ I guess I do possess some sort of filter, after all. Who'd have thought...

Yes, I am aware that I'm rambling. It's partially intentional, and partially due to lack of sleep. My throat is a bit sore and I've got the beginnings (or endings, I'm not really sure which) of some kind of bug or flu. I've been downing Airborne, trying to keep it at bay. I think the move has got me a bit stir crazy. I just want to be settled and in some normal pattern for a change. The past 6 months of my life has been a roller-coaster and I am in serious need of some stable footing to get my bearings back. And, at the same time, I'm craving some marvelous distraction that will take me out of my life for awhile. I want to feel something again, something besides this pain. I think the regular characters in my life (love them, though I do) are getting a bit predictable and mundane. I want to shake things up, and that always seems to get me into trouble. It's not my fault that trouble always looks so good...

Mi Casa, Su Casa?

I am SO TIRED of this shit.... husband and I have been looking for a house to rent, and I kid you not, every single one I have emailed on is a scam. I had heard about this particular ploy months ago, but I never thought it would be so successful that it would invade craigslist on this level. This is probably the tenth or eleventh email like this I have gotten in the past few months.. and it's always the same story. 'My wife and I are missionaries, blah, blah, blah, who have been stationed in [insert foreign country here], blah, blah, blah, just wire us the money and my agent will bring you the keys, *insert more broken English here*'.

Here is the one I received today...Collapse )

Now, I normally just don't respond, but today for some reason, I was particularly offended, and sent this response...Collapse )

And, I mean every word of it.

Scent of a Ferret...

Long before we got the two that we have now, I had a ferret for several years. This was back when I was 18 or 19, and I knew very little about them at the time. I learned from experience that they have the potential to smell a whole lot worse than a dog or cat does. I also learned that proper care and feeding can eliminate most of that smell, to the point where it is almost non-existent. It takes time (cage cleaning - at least litter scooping every 2 days, and a full cage clean every week to two, depending on how many ferrets use said cage), money (better quality food costs a bit more - not a lot, if you know where to get it) and education (minimal bathing, since their natural oils will dissipate between baths and be re-activated once washed). In reality, it depends on how much you really want to be a ferret parent. Any pet requires these things, in varying degrees, and a ferret is no different. And, just like a dog or cat, if poop grosses you out, if you don't have time to clean up their messes areas or to learn about their specific needs, and/or if you can't afford good quality food and proper vet care, you probably don't need a pet... period.

My ferrets live in a good-sized cage (24"L x 24"W x 37"H). We have recently purchased a larger cage online (36"L x 25"W x 62"H), with the intention of rescuing two more ferrets. For those without experience, it should be noted here that ferrets are fairly clean animals. Like most animals, they don't like to soil their eating or sleeping areas, and will generally pick a preferred corner of the cage as their 'restroom'. Unlike rats (which I have also had in the past), they won't just go anywhere and everywhere. This makes clean-up fairly simple for their companion human (and again, if done on a regular basis, it doesn't take much time at all).

Their cage is in our bedroom (we live with my in-laws, temporarily) and I am vigilant about cage-cleanings. Every 2 days I scoop their litter and waste and replace with new litter, and every week or so, I clean the entire cage itself. We have an air-conditioner/air-filter in the room, an air-freshener (Glade plug-in), and a specially designed carbon packet that is supposed to help absorb urine and ammonia odors in the air. We sleep literally a few feet from the cage, and I never smell them. We keep our bedroom door shut at all times, so it would be quite obvious when we returned to the room after a day of work or school, if a smell was present. They are fed high-quality food, which is a decision based mainly on better health, but also contributes to the lack of odor, as lower-quality ferret food has fish oils which contribute considerably to their smell. I do these things for two reasons, the main one being that I love them and I want them to live long and happy lives - if I depended on someone else for my care, feeding, and cleaning my 'bathroom', I'd sure appreciate if they were vigilant about it, and if they weren't, I'd likely get very stressed (at best) and (at worst) very sick. The secondary reason is that I don't want to live with a bad smell, either, so I do what is necessary and everyone is happy... right?

Apparently not... my in-laws have to bitch about every little thing. No matter what we do (husband and I) it's never quite enough, and yet their expectations of others never seem to live up to their own ambitions. For example - they have a cat. They might clean the litter box (and by 'clean', I mean scoop it out.. I've never seen them actually dump all the old litter out and clean the entire thing) maybe once a week. The door to the room where the cat box is located is along a main hallway, and is never, ever closed (how would the cat get in to use it?), so every time you walk down that hallway, you smell cat shit. FORGET actually walking into the room itself unless they have literally just cleaned it, (which is, incidentally, the cat's favorite time to crap) unless you have a very strong gag-reflex. It's gross. Couple that with the fact that, across the hallway from said room is my brother-in-law's room (he's 19 and a HUGE pot smoker), which he continually leaves the door open to, and fills the rest of the hallway (and the main parts of the house) with skunk smell from all the weed he smokes, basically 24/7. These (and NOT my beloved ferrets) would be the two main reasons that I keep my own door closed - not to spare them the smell of my pets, but to spare myself the smell of theirs, and their habits they insist on sharing with the rest of the world.

Today, in casual conversation, I was talking with my mother-in-law about the ferrets. They were playing in their play pen and I picked one of them up to snuggle, and mentioned to my husband that I needed to clean the cage, and asked could he watch them while I did that. My mother-in-law asked how often we have to clean it, and I told her. I asked her (fully expecting her to be reasonable... stupid me) if she can ever smell them, and she said "only when the door's open", to which I responded with 'oh.. well, the door is never really open unless we're going in or out.. we also have an air-freshener and I clean their cage religiously, so that we never smell them, so I can't believe that you guys can'. She went on to say that she doesn't smell them, per say, but she can tell that we have "animals in there" (we also have a small dog, which I bathe weekly and snuggle with frequently, so if he stank, I'd be the first to know about it, hence the weekly baths - their dog on the other hand, gets bathed maybe once a month, if she's lucky, and she's an Aussie who is also an outside dog... often, she can stink up an entire room just by being there).

As a side note, their pets are not flea treated, not vaccinated (I think their 9 year old Aussie may have finished her puppy series and one rabies shot, but nothing since then) and not fixed. She doesn't even do a heartworm or parasite preventative, because as she puts it "other dogs never come into the yard, so we don't need one". My husband informed her that, actually, heartworms are spread mainly by mosquitoes and not by other dogs, so there is no 'safe' place for an outside dog, but she ignores it... she knows everything, you see. She feeds them crap food from the grocery store, and table scraps that aren't even healthy for a human to eat - pizza, etc.

I couldn't believe my ears. I picked up both my allegedly stinky animals and nuzzled them up to my cheeks and smooched their little foreheads, and went in the bedroom to clean the cage. If anything in this house stinks, it's their attitude, not my ferrets.

sometimes I wish...

Sometimes I wish I could be one of those people who is amused by idiots instead of infuriated by them..

My fatherfucktard-in-law is absolutely intolerable. I actually lost it on him the other day and told him how fucking ridiculous I thought he was. My mother-in-law (and everyone else unfortunate enough to get the joke) thought it was hilarious. He's a pompass, arrogant, pessimistic jerk-off, and no one ever stands up to him. But I did. I cannot wait until we can get out of this hellhole.

I don't know what ever possessed me to believe that living with my in-laws was a good idea, even temporarily. Grief? Panic? The misguided belief that the miserable bastard would have one fucking ounce of compassion for another human being? Who the hell knows... all I know is, it is less than a month until we are 2,500 miles away, and it ain't far enough.

When that fucker dies, I'm coming to his funeral in a red dress so I can spit on his grave.

Craigslist Return Policy

.... they don't have one, so make sure you can really handle the responsibility before you take on a new pet.

Case in point:

We took in a dog in a temporary foster situation. We thought we'd found him a new home, with a nice family. Within a day, we were getting emails saying that the dog was skittish around their 2 year old. We explained that any dog in a new situation is bound to be a bit nervous and uncertain in their new surroundings. We received a response that they would give it some more time. A day later, another email came, which was followed by many emails, each more 'urgent' than the last. Apparently, the child was pulling the dog's hair, etc. Rather than teach the child (who they stated had never had a dog before) how to properly behave around animals, they wanted to return the dog to us (it should be noted here that we were assured that the dog in question did not behave aggressively in any fashion towards the child).

Children need to be taught how to behave around animals. This is common sense, and I'm sure many of us can remember our first dog or cat. I myself was bit by a dog when I was around that age, for pulling on his ears. I didn't know any better, but I learned, not from the dog bite necessarily, but more from my parents' reaction. I grew up to be a loving person and animal advocate because my parents taught me to respect them.

This particular family said they didn't want a puppy that they'd have to train. What people often fail to realize is that a new pet is an adjustment, for everyone, no matter how old they are, and even with a dog who is a bit older and already potty-trained, there may still be behavior patterns from their previous environment that the new family wish to change or has to get used to. Older dog doesn't = no responsibility. All pets require constant care.

It is unfortunate when people realize too late that they don't have the patience necessary to give a new pet a fair try. It is unfair to the pet, and everyone else involved when people do not think things through first.

Twice in the past few months when I've gone to the pump to get gas, I've asked for $20 or $30, and they've "accidentally" filled it. Hmm... I caught them (both times, different stations) but I thought that was a bit odd, as it's never happened before when prices were normal. Now that they're high, all of a sudden I'm getting over-pumped all the time (in Oregon, you can't pump your own gas.. it's against the law. We have gas station attendants that have to do it for us). Coincidence? I think not.. I just saw a story on the news about this little bait & switch a lot of stations are doing now, because no one is filling up as often as they used to. My friend was just joking the other day that he was watching the price climb up while filling and he started to wonder if he was going to have enough in his account to cover it.. lol. At $4.25 a gallon, it's getting a bit ridiculous. Thank GOD I own my Jeeps and have no car payments, or I couldn't afford to drive at this point!

On the subject of Jeeps, it seems the Cherokee needed a new radiator. Not a big deal, I took it in and had one installed. When I came to pick it up, I paid the bill and drove it home, and then popped the hood when I got there, to have a look... except, the hood didn't pop. So, I got out, looked at it and noticed that it was misaligned and only opened on one side. I know every inch of this Jeep and I had just opened the hood before I took it in, because when your radiator leaks coolant, you have to keep the coolant topped off until you can take it in, or your engine over heats. Having just opened up the hood this morning before I took it in (and having opened it many times before, installing new hoses and an oil change, etc.) I knew the hood was not like this before I took it in. I called, and asked if they'd removed the hood for some reason. The guy acted like I was nuts, and said no, they only replaced the radiator. Now, I know I am a girl and I have a vagina and all that, but I explained to the guy that I am not completely stupid when it comes to cars, and I knew they didn't need to remove the hood to replace the radiator, however, the hood was not opening or closing properly, and it had been there all day, so they must have done something. He said to bring it down, so we did. When we got there, he could clearly see that the hood wasn't aligned properly, and didn't open properly, but just kept saying that the radiator had nothing to do with the hood, and finally, after 10 minutes of arguing with the guy, said "why don't you just come right out and call me a liar", to which I responded that all I knew was that the hood wasn't like this when I dropped it off this morning, and if they didn't fix it, I was prepared to pay the $102 to file a lawsuit against them. He then went next door and got a guy from a body shop place to come and look... who promptly told them that the hood was fine, they'd installed the radiator incorrectly and it was causing the hood not to close properly. He told them to move the radiator over into it's proper position so that the hood would close, and walked off. The guy went into the shop, got another guy who came out to fix it, and took off, without saying anything to us. Fucking jerk-off... I had to laugh, though, because the body shop guy looked at him like he was nuts, proving that 'girl' does not automatically = 'stupid' and 'mechanic' does not always = 'smart'. It would have been nice, though, for the guy to at least say he was sorry and didn't realize that could happen, etc., instead of acting like I'm some crazy person and then walking off. In any case, the Jeep is fine now, the other shop guy was very polite, moved the radiator into the correct position and apologized profusely. Needless to say, I won't be going back to that shop again. I didn't spend $xxx to be treated like shit!