I am a survivor

I am the sum of all my parts. Even the broken bits and the parts I don’t like. The cracks are proof that I’m still alive.

People tell people with chronic illnesses to not let their illness define their identity. People say are you sure you want that ‘label’ in relation to being diagnosed with mental illness(es).

Well. Chronic illness makes you feel all kinds of things. I’ve come to believe that people without chronic illnesses don’t understand how it’s part of your identity and always will be. Every time I leave the house I have to account for a list of things a ‘normal and healthy’ person doesn’t. That’s part of who I am.

The same goes for mental illness. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression over a decade again. In the past 5(?) years I started to wonder that there was something else. There were other things about my brain that made life hard to cope with, and they weren’t anxiety or depression. There’s been so many times I felt broken. Because I couldn’t remember something (from yesterday, this morning, or three years ago) or confused because I forgot where I was going when I was halfway there. I often feel disconnected – from everything – including myself. My therapist at the time dismissed these concerns. More than once. Hindsight says why didn’t I go elsewhere? But logically, I know it’s because I was too busy trying not to drown. (Now I know what a shitty therapist is like.)

Before now I was scared to learn more about my traumatic first five years of life and how that trauma effects me as an adult. Neglect and abandonment are just the traumas I know of for sure. In fact I have focused on my physical health until the last year or so. I wanted to be “normal” so I could go back to work. In that time my mental health suffered more. Probably. And I’ve survived too much stuff to be “normal” – but that’s the thing. I was strong enough to survive.

Last year I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and PTSD. (It’s probably cPTSD but I haven’t remembered to ask my doctor.) So I have more labels. But the labels are important because now I can get the treatment I need.

Now I understand much about the effects of trauma on the body, how these effects stick around, and what I can do to heal. I’m working on it and I still feel broken but now more importantly I realize I’m a survivor. Understanding trauma has given me some answers but theres so answers I’ll never have.

I’m broken and sometimes I feel like a mess but I’m still whole. I’m sick but that doesn’t make me less. I’m strong and I’ve always been stronger than I realize. I’m a survivor.

…. This post has sat as a draft for a long time. I’ve edited it a few times. I’m not sure the point, but I still feel I should publish it instead of deleting it.

NIN Set List from NOLA 2018 turned into playlist

Mostly I want to record these links somewhere together so this seems like a good spot!

The article where I found the set list for a concert on November 25, 2018, in New Orleans LA.

The cover by NIN of David Bowie’s “I can’t give everything away.” – youtube because the song isn’t on Google Music.

The album of NIN and David Bowie performing together in 1995 which past me would have probably loved for so many reasons. (The lost teenager inside me is sad right now.)

And the playlist I made on Google Music trying to get as close to the set list as possible. There’s David Bowie songs on it though.

My Hobbies and not Hobbies this summer

So far I have –

  • knitting: “Stitch Your Stash” (Local to DFW Texas) started June 1, 2018. I’ve got way too many projects started. Like usual.
  • knitting: “Tour-de-Sock” (not local) – I’ve registered and debating if I want to knit the crazy “warm up” pattern.
  • Camp NaNoWrimo in July.
  • I “restarted” my novel idea. Ready in time for Camp in July?
  • Doctor appointments. Doctor appointments. Doctor appointments.
  • Movies! Haven’t seen Solo yet. Looking forward to Ocean’s 8. Something else too. Deadpool 2 is awesome. Go see it if you haven’t.
  • Learning more about Borderline Personality Disorder and schedule testing. It’s an answer for a lot of things and I want answers, not excuses.
  • Computer games. I think it’s time to continue more of the larger quest lines in Fallout 4.
  • More computer games. Started playing Hearthstone and Eternal. Do I want to read about Hearthstone deck building?
  • Keeping the potted plants. The pepper plants need repotted into bigger pots but it’s *hot* outside. Highs in the 90s, daily.

What’s something interesting going on for you?

Gorgeous Lilacs close up

There’s a few things you end up missing when you move everything and go live in another state. After moving from PA and living in TX for over a decade I still miss the spring flowers of the Northeastern US…

Thanks to Summer for sharing these pictures. She periodically posts more flower pictures on her Instagram (and cats, and life, and stuff).

I thought it would be nice to throw the pictures up here based on Instagram’s limitations. Especially since I’ve had “a day” and these are so pretty! <3

Please don’t share these pictures without giving credit to Summer via her Instagram.

Things to do with old T-shirts

Otherwise known as: ways to turn t-shirts into something useful but who knows when I’ll have the time since I have so much to knit.

This is a list of things to do with old t-shirts that are still in good condition. No holes, awful stains, or badly worn designs. These are shirts you have decided to not donate to a charity. Final requirement: No side seams on any t-shirt. I have a lot of t-shirts that are now too big but they have fun designs on them!

First is a really well done youtube video of how to make t-shirt yarn – in one strand. She uses a rotary cutter/ruler/cutting safe surface and after cutting up one t-shirt by hand I went ahead and ordered this set. There is a ton of youtube videos all about this and then what you can do with said yarn. Someone also shared a way to “tie together” t-shirt yarn without having to make a knot. I’ll look for that later if I can’t remember it.

I’m wondering if I can knit a blanket or rug with said yarn, but I might need to remember how to crochet instead since that might be easier?

There is also a thing called a ‘bento bag’ that I just recently learned about. It looks quite handy for small items. Here’s a site where you can buy said bags in different sizes and fabrics, which makes me wonder if I shouldn’t try to use t-shirt material to make one. And here’s a link for a tutorial to make one but since I’m still not very good at getting the sewing machine to sew in a straight line I might want to hold off? Or just use this as practice! Here’s a second tutorial link for bento bags that looks slightly less confusing.

Another tutorial link and this is super easy though a not very pretty t-shirt tote bag. This looks useful as a shopping/grocery bag. (Link goes to page 6 of the tutorial because there’s a finished product picture.) I’d still like to find another tutorial/pattern for making larger bags from t-shirts that will make a nicer/better quality final product, more sewing is ok but that’s going to take even more sifting through Google search results.

And last thing. There are tons and tons and tons of t-shirt quilt walk-throughs, tutorials, and instructions. You get even more options if you add “for beginners” or “for dummies” to your Google search. I found one that’s fairly straightforward and skips a few “steps” for what might be a more traditional looking quilt. I really do hope I can manage to make this one, I even already have fabric that should be great for the backing – only had it for over a decade!

There’s lots more things you can do with old t-shirts, I’m sure, especially with the Internet. I didn’t look anywhere on pinterest after all. (Shock! I know. I just don’t like pinterest much.)

If Bob Ross was alive today

If Bob Ross was alive today he would have a youtube channel and then a Twitch channel. He would post pictures of trees and creeks and mountains on Instagram. He’d use crowd funding websites to continue his seasons of painting lessons. People would expect him to help them become famous as artists. Some people would learn a lot from him.

I imagine that people would make comments about how Bob seems to be on drugs, or question why Bob couldn’t button a few more buttons. There’d be comments of how drugs are bad and how he’s bad for children. Other people would use his shows to teach their children or themselves to pain. I already know thanks to Twitch that people would comment RUINED when Bob added a large tree in the foreground of a painting. There would be so many more Bob Ross memes…and people would make Bob Ross wallpapers for computers and phones and tablets. Maybe Bob Ross would be like Weird Al?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was really really good

Saw the new Star Wars movie this morning. We actually went to a 9:30 am showing. We are seeing the movie again – in theatre – next weekend. I’m not going to actually talk about movie specifics, just about the movie in general.

There are multiple strong female characters in this movie. So many good females! I think some of the movie they went safe. Some things had to be done since it’s the first movie of more Star Wars movies. If this movie shows how there is more to come, I’m happy. As far as Star Wars is concerned, there’s lots of tidbits and questions, not many actual answers for anything. Probably goes back to it being first movie of more than one movie. The droids were cool.

In general, I think I have to watch the movie a second time to decide if there was a specific thing that I actually didn’t like and if you spoil this Star Wars movie for anyone I hope you get coal for your winter holiday presents.

I will welcome our nanobot overlords

Someday we will have nanobots and you won’t have to wait for your body to get over a cold. The nanobots will fix it. Everyone’s immune systems and bodies will work so much better but then, there will be a nanobot uprising. The nanobots will eventually take over because they have infiltrated everywhere. Except some people will welcome the nanobot overlords and become human conspirators in the great nanobots war. Finally, the human conspirators, all the chronically ill and disabled who cannot be fixed by human doctors, will rise up and rule all the world.

*Inspired by a conversation with my husband this morning

July was full of dragons

Unfortunately though, I didn’t get a chance to write any stories about dragons. I started out the month attempting to participate in Camp NaNo. As of about 8 hours left for writing I’ve hit over 5000 words – out of my goal of 30,000 words. I figured 1000 words a day was a reasonable goal. Well. I didn’t account for things.



Emergency visits to doctors involving the word cyst in a place you don’t want to consider. Followed by a few days of pain meds and a week of sleeping through antibiotics. I cannot write on antibiotics it turns out.  Then there was also finding out one of our cats likely has cancer and that’s why he’s started to lose weight. Same day I had the emergency visit to my doctor actually. Cause everyone likes to handle everything at once.


Don’t forget the normal every day things, like laundry, trying to exercise, and remembering to eat lunch. Even when you aren’t hungry. I also didn’t manage to read anything all that interesting this month and I have no idea why. I feel like I was busy keeping my head above the surface of the water…. I but I didn’t even know I was having any problems. I can barely remember the first half – or the middle half? – of the month. Maybe there was too many dragons.

The highlight of the month has been the spinning wheel. I have a new to me / used spinning wheel. Traditional Ashford I’m told.

The low point of the month is a tie. It’s either finding out our cat has cancer or my anaphylaxis. Technically, I almost died because I didn’t recognize the allergy/asthma symptoms I was having until the reaction was acute and I had to drive myself to the doctor. The almost wasn’t dangerously close – but at the same time I do not remember actually driving myself to the ER. Thankfully it was two minutes or so from home.

Now, I seem to have run out of things to say, but I don’t want to end on the discussion of being freaked out by anaphylaxis and how too many people (with or without allergies) don’t actually understand what the symptoms of anaphylaxis actually are.  Regardless of the dragons, I am happy to be alive and breathing. Even if I’m sitting here on the couch, mainlining Netflix, perhaps while knitting.

All of this scares me a little because August has a lot of things scheduled in it…..  including (outpatient) surgery. But, come hell or high water, horses or heat waves…. We will be attending the NIN/Soundgarden concert.  (Surgery scheduled AFTER aforementioned concert.)

Finally, I could say that I learned things about how well I can handle writing, and that I’m still in the process of putting my health before everything else….

but I can’t remember the things I actually feel that I learned. I just remember thinking: I won camp nanowrimo even though I didn’t win.

Geeks need shelf space

We have lots of bookshelves in the living room. Bookshelves are (gasp) full of books, graphic novels, and comics. Where there are not books there are other things like Transformers toys, pretty rocks, and game manuals. Conversation with the husband from this morning in regards to shelf space use.

him: I intend to find and purchase the Arcee, Chromia, and Windblade toys for you.

me: Ok. I don’t know where in the world we are going to put them but ok.

him: We’ll get rid of some books.

me: hahahahahahahaha

Edit: Windblade is fucking cool in the comics and I really like the looks of the toy. She was fan created.

Things and Stuff

This is a blog post about how I wish I had something to say because I’d like to write but lately there has been NOTHING.

I’m a bit numb because of everything going on with my health. Adding in more drugs. Having to do more things. Beginning to feel trapped at home.

While at the same time feeling like I need to get out of the house for a writing session to get back into writing. But, hey, this counts as writing!

I’m running out of time to decide if I’m going to participate in Camp NaNo in July – and what I’m going to write. I could “pants” something or I could start outlining something. No idea.

Numbness makes creativity difficult to process.

An unexpected and very useful benefit of bluetooth

Had a doctor appointment today and on the way back home I decided I could stand stopping at Kroger as long as I remembered to grab a cart instead of a hand basket. (Muscle trying to spasm in my back and I was waiting on muscle relaxers to kick in.) This also meant walking into the grocery store without a physical list which can sometimes end in disaster.

I just needed Greek yogurt (part of my breakfast since I need to eat to take medicine) and to look at the meat department for dinner. Anything else I could remember was bonus. So, obviously, because it’s part of the long and involved subsets of Murphy’s Law – I found more stuff! Does anyone walk into the grocery store without a list and only plan to get the things they had on the mental list? No, you either forget something or find other stuff you forgot.

Anyway, I made my way around the grocery store. I remembered a few random things. Including the husband’s random craving for key lime pie. (Which I’ve never made….) I found a mix free of corn starch, natural flavors, and gluten and there’s a gluten free pie crust in the freezer at home so I went with it. In the meat department I called the husband/cook again to see which cut of meat he preferred as well as if he wanted a specific size. Not knowing if he a specific idea for dinner I wanted to check. Turns out he had no specific ideas or plans for dinner tonight and just wanted one of a specific cut of meat. Hung up with him, picked the chunk of plastic wrapped raw meat and continued on. (Not important later it turns out.)

Finished at self check out (no line!) and got to the car. Unlocked and opened the hatch first, leaving the cart there. Then I grabbed my purse from the kiddy section of the cart and went and unlocked the rest of the car and left my purse on the front passenger seat. (That will be important later.)

In the car, I looked for my phone to check notifications….. COULD NOT FIND MY PHONE. It usually goes in one spot in my purse, checked there first. No where else either. COULD NOT FIND MY PHONE. So, I remembered having the phone call in the meat department so I turned off the car (That was a mistake.), took a deep breath, and headed back to the meat department of the grocery store. No phone to be found back there. Waited to talk to the woman staffing the meat counter – no phone seen by her. From there I stopped at customer service and explained my predicament. I left my name and my husband’s cell phone number. Annoyed but…. you know. The thoughts of OHGODWHATIFSOMEONESTOLEMYPHONEWHICHHASMEDICALSTUFFONIT had only just started up.

Back to the car and I turn it on, realizing I should watch and see if my phone connects to the bluetooth. I had forgotten to check this before I walked back INTO the store. (Could have saved myself the walk.) Sure enough my phone connects, so I call the husband, explain my utter confusion and ask him to call me back after I turn off the car. I turn off the car. Can’t hear anything. I get out and go around to the passenger side, can’t see or hear anything.  Finally, because I’m freakin’ hot I turn the car back on and he’s called me back again…. SO, THE PHONE IS IN THE CAR????

I give up, and decide to leave Kroger. I’m out of the parking lot when the call disconnects and the phone is no longer showing in the car. That meant the car was now out of range of the phone. The phone was not in the car.

DID I SOMEHOW DROP THE PHONE ON THE PARKING LOT AND NOT NOTICE? Soooooo confused. Sooooo very confused. Did I mention confused? I swung into a left hand turn lane and made a U turn to get back to the store so I could go back to where I had parked. (Thankfully this was around noon. Thankfully this wasn’t Walmart.)

As I arrive back in the same parking spot I had left…. my phone is connecting to a call on the bluetooth. Husband is calling back. What the hell? Where is my damned phone? What is going on?

So, I explain to the husband what’s going on and how I need to turn off the car (less noise) and get out and walk around. I walk around in puzzlement for a minute or so. Look under the large truck parked two spaces over. Confirm I had remembered and parked beside the cart return I remembered being beside by looking for the cart I had used…. walk around the cart return I parked directly beside…. and there it was! My phone was just sitting there. Stuck against the plastic insert thing on the back of the kiddy seat part of the cart was my phone. It was literally pinned by one of the bars of the cart. I only managed to see it because I looked down as the phone started to ring. (That ringtone I gave my husband is useful for more than one thing I guess.) Also, black background, black phone, in the bright Texas afternoon sun.

So, I pick up my phone, answer it, and get back in the damn car! RELIEVED!  Now, reunited with my phone, I’m free to take the groceries and go the hell home! Hot, flustered, and terribly thirsty.

Moral of the story? Bluetooth on your car for your phone has more than one useful property. (And yes, I did thank the husband person for his help.)

Later I figured out my phone must have fallen out of my purse when I grabbed my purse when standing from the other end of the cart…. None of this would have happened if I’d been able to use a hand basket and have my purse on my shoulder.

Reminds me of the time I thought I’d left my kindle at the eye doctor (30 minute drive away from home) but really the cats had knocked behind a couch cushion.

Lost but not drowning

I feel lost. It’s not like I’m drowning this time but more like I’m stuck in a forest. The forest is so beautiful it’s distracting. It makes you forget you’re tired, thirsty, and hungry. The sights you see make you forget you’re in pain and need rest. The forest is also really easy to get lost in. I feel like I’ve just blinked and realized I’ve been walking around on the same circle of animal paths, trying to find the path to somewhere else that was never there to begin with – but in the dusky light of the twilight, I never saw the truth because the shadows were too dark.

Sometimes the circles are wide and deceiving, you don’t even know your path is curving. Other times you may as well be spun around in a circle like when you played ‘pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey’ at a birthday party as a small child.  These quick, tight circles that leave you lost and spinning are the hardest ones. When you finally stop spinning there is no way to get your bearings without falling over, and possibly puking.

I’m spinning so fast I cannot tell I’m actually spinning, until I stop. It’s the absence of the spinning that makes it obvious I was spinning.  Then I sit down and notice all the things that went by without me noticing. I sit down, find my mental bearings with my mental compass and try to figure out how to pick up the pieces of what has been waiting for me to stop spinning for no reason other than to spin. Because that’s the thing about this lost spinning feeling, I don’t know how long I’ve been lost and I don’t know which direction is north. So I guess if there’s a way to be lost without knowing it because you just assume you know where you’re are, even though you can’t see where you’re going or where you’re been until you stop……

Maybe it’s like what being lost in in the future when space travel is common will be like.

I guess that means it’s not right to say that I feel lost. It’s more that I feel like my life is spinning out of control and I’m just watching it go… I can’t catch it because I’m spinning too fast and if I stop I’ll fall down. Everyone has spun in a circle as a small child. Everyone remembers what it’s like to spin until you get dizzy and the world goes crooked and you fall down. It’s one of those things you don’t really appreciate as an adult, maybe because as an adult you know what a hangover is like?

Is that why I detest this feeling so much? Because it’s like a hangover? It would explain some of the physical ailments, but I’m not sure if it explains the mental afflictions.

That also means it’s not that I’m stuck in a forest, except that the forest explains how distracting being in a daze can be. Maybe all this just shows that I have no idea how to explain how I feel right now!

A Marvel expansion for Civilization 5

There should be an expansion, leader option, or scenario that applies some Marvel mythos to the Civilization 5 game.

There’s a couple ways you could approach this. I’m going to use the movie because we happen to be re-watching it right now.

Leader option: Director Fury (alternate for America obviously)

Great People (would be more interesting and you’d also have different spies)

Bruce Banner = great scientist

Tony Stark = great engineer

Black Widow = spy (obviously)

Hawkeye = ????

Captain America = great general (duh!) – benefits provided regardless of where unit is stationed

Agent Coulson = ?????

Erik Selveg = great scientist

Jane Foster = great scientist

Thor = great general

Loki = ????

Pepper Pots = great merchant ????? (Steve Jobs is considered a merchant)

Tourism options

Stark Expo: hosted by whoever reaches Information Age first (whoever hosts it also gets a research bonus for x+y turns besides the tourism bonus for y turns)

Landmark for the battle of New York, can also find tech from the battle as artifacts or a one time research bonus – only after researching future tech

artifact: Coulson’s Captain America Trading Cards

artifact: Glowstick of Destiny

Other buildings

Stark Industries: replaces factory, also provides 1 science

schwarma stand: 1 food, 1 happiness

Avengers Tower: reduces enemy spy success (like Stark Tower but not)

Other things

Replace building a space craft with something ?????

This seems like a good start