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Southwest Leather Dreams

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Southwest Leather Conference has been on my bucket list for 5 years. I have been feeling deep in my gut for over a month now that I need to go to SWLC. It’s this feeling of *GO West!*

I am once again at a crossroads in my life and can’t seem to find that deep connection to the energy, the woo, the universal consciousness, whatever you want to call it and I need it. This last couple years is the first time in 30 years that I haven’t been able to reach out and jack into that energy at will. I know the blockage is from all the life miasma that’s been building up but I haven’t been able to shake it. I know with what has happened and what is to come I need my connection back. I have been feeling the loss of it for a while now but not really sure what to do about it. All the ways I used to connect when I was feeling like a stray pup haven’t been working for me. My body is tired, my heart and brain are exhausted.

I know it’s probably too late in the game to even be thinking this is possible but I can’t shake this feeling. I shelved the push when it started because all I could see was how impossible it would be to go. I want to cry when I think about the overall cost of going but at the same time something is telling me this is path to follow. (In my typical smart ass fashion I asked the universe why it couldn’t have been this insistent six months ago when I had a chance of trying to make it happen…no answer was forthcoming.) The Truth is that I already know the answer; I get to the jumping off point when I get there. I am there.

I needed to get it out of my head, own where I am out and put it out into the universe. This is that vulnerable 2am writing that may get deleted when I wake up and the overly logical and defeatist part of my brain kicks in.

21 Years of Gratitude

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Today marks 7670 days clean & sober for me. That’s 21yrs for anyone trying to calculate that at home. (I cheated & used that info from an email someone sent me today. lol)

I am so very mindful of the miracles in my life the last 21yrs and even before that. It is miraculous that I lived to get clean; I shouldn’t have with all the chemicals I was mixing in my body and the dangerous, risky situations I put myself in. But I did live and I have thrived slowly but surely through the years. I am grateful for every singe second of my life; the hellacious to the blissfully joyous. Each and every second has brought me to where I am now.

Even when I am struggling in my life I know on a deep cellular level that it will work out. It may not work out exactly how I think it should but it will be ok. I know this because I was not supposed to live to see 21 much less 45. My higher power did not bring me this far to drop me on my ass now. If I remain open, keep learning, growing and doing the footwork then it will all work out just as it should.

It has taken a few villages to raise this kid in sobriety and I am grateful for each and every one of you today and every day. This chip & prayer are from me to all of you, past & present who have been with me on this journey, whether for a few minutes or many years.

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Prayer to the Great Spirit

Oh, Great Spirit,
whose voice I hear in the winds
and whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me.
I am small and weak.
I need your strength and wisdom.

Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes
ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made
and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand
the things you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden
in every leaf and rock.

I seek strength, not to be superior to my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy – myself.
Make me always ready to come to you
with clean hands and straight eyes,
so when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my spirit will come to you
without shame.

Bullheaded Masochist, That’s Me!

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Uuuuuuugh I fricking hurt!

Last night I happily helped a dear friend last night accomplish some important projects. I pushed past what I should have done because I get going and ignore my body: unwise. I loved helping out and glad we got things accomplished that they really needed done. By not listening to my body however there is always a hefty price these days. By the time I got home around 1am I could barely walk. There was a cool shower followed by  Deep Blue and pain meds before bed so that I could sleep. This morning was a super hot shower to try and wash away the pain meds grog, Deep Blue rub and a good long session with the TENS unit to get me moving again.

Because I am bullheaded and a masochist I was still determined to get done what we had originally scheduled for today. I know, I know…

However, in exchange for more massive body pain, what was formerly the dog’s/mud (literally) room – we now have a usable guest room/play room and art studio for me! I would jump up and down in excitement if I could move more than my fingers right now!

It’s about 70% done if you don’t count painting the room and the closet purge (which I am not currently). I have to finish staining the dresser to go in that room (which holds art supplies of course lol). Staining is on the docket for early tomorrow morning before the heat hits, if I am able to move that is. I wanted to get it done today but I am so far out of spoons I will be lucky to get it done tomorrow. I could probably push through and do it tonight but I am already paying for last night and today so pushing it would just be even more exceedingly stupid.

I still have to put away all my art supplies on shelves etc in the room while purging (1/3 of the closet is art supplies too). That should be fun and inspirational for projects though; at least that is what I am focusing on it being! When we finally decide on a color we will just have to do a wall at a time. I prefer to paint with an empty room but you know at this point I will take what I can get! lol

I can still do things even though I am majorly physically challenged these days and I will most likely pay for this little escapade for the next several days. The thing is, you still have to live life and get stuff done when you have chronic illness & pain. I am still learning the balance of doing it a tiny bit at a time versus kill myself for a while and get it done sooner but pay a much more massive penalty. I really have been trying to do a little bit at a time. The problem there is I feel like I get a tiny bit ahead and then a major wave comes through and I am further back than I was to start with. That’s when I reach the fed up point usually and go for broke like this.

I can definitely be a slow learner and bullheaded. Last night and today were hopefully worth it and I do feel accomplished. Tomorrow is back to working on the little steps and balance work!

But now, it is now time for a nice long shower to wash away the sweat & grime followed by more TENS unit, Deep Blue, being horizontal in the bed curled up with the kitties purring me to sleep.



Helpful Items!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

In dealing with several chronic illnesses I have come across items, apps, services that help me manage my illnesses and make life a bit easier. I am going to begin sharing them here along with which of my conditions the item/app/service helps me with. Let me know if you try any of these and how they help you. Please also share things in the comments you have found to be helpful.

The categories will be tagged by type. Exemplary items get a Gold Star Award.





I use RoadID for my interactive medic alert band. I have been a VERY happy customer of RoadID since 2006. Their customer service is exemplary and their products are top notch. They have a wide range of products that you can customize to suit your needs. I have moved to the interactive ID as it suits my needs more fully these days. It gives me control over what info I want to enter and that I want first responders to have access to.



These have been fabulous with the IBS and Herpes1 outbreaks brought on by steroids used to treat my Lupus. They also come in a travel size which is awesome so I keep a few in my backpack at all times! These are flushable, biodegradable and don’t have a bunch of junk in them. We have a septic system and they have not caused us any problems in the past year that we have been using them in our home.

Each ingredient below is linked to an info page if you want to know more. Well, ok I didn’t link water because, really?

Ingredients: Water, Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate and Citric Acid.

Flushability: According to the Dude Wipes site, “Dude Wipes are certified flushable by the highest of international standards. This means our wipes are proven to break up per the standards of sewer or septic systems. Besides being flushable, we use a unique and innovative material that is 100% biodegradable & from sustainable natural sources. Below is a super exciting clip of DUDE Wipes superior performance during a flushability test in an ISO certified lab.”



Between the Lupus, chronic pain, etc. I often mean to get with people about something and forget…until the middle of the night or wee hours of the morning, if then. This app has helped me immensely with that problem. I can write out the text and choose the day & time to send it and then it’s done! I use this app a great deal and have found it to be a great tool.



Tactical Retreat

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

So unintentionally I have been out of the loop for over a month thanks to tech and health issues.

My laptop conked out on me so I can only post from my desktop…which if there’s days I feel less than neutral I don’t make it to sitting down at. There’s been a lot more feeling less than good days of late so there’s been very little writing or posting. I know I feel better when I am writing and have tried to write some in my paper journal over the last month but ended up petering out on that too.

I have been struggling with all the miasma of feelings that come up with my physical & mental health stuff. Of course, when the physical is overwhelming it triggers the psychological stuff…fun times for all! I am dealing with the disability filing and all the stuff that dredges up; you wouldn’t think it would but boy does it dredge stuff up. I have been repeatedly besieged by thoughts of worthiness and failure due to my health. I mean really? I know my health doesn’t define my worth but all the feelings are a definite slippery slope and easy to crash down face first.

Add to all that jumble that I am also helping to put together two weekend long workshops and one of them is a retreat. The retreat comes to fruition in August and the other is in October. I feel kinda of great about the things that I have been able to do for both events to help get the foundation under them for long term stability. I am awesome at that kind of work and I truly do enjoy it.

There is still a good bit to do in order to really firm up the foundational work but I think we are all up to the task. For me, as much as I can do far in advance it helps reduce stress at the time of the event. Because something always comes up right at event time, that’s got to be some sort of universal law that there must be at least one thing to go wonky. Lol

I realized the other day that everything had just overwhelmed me and I had beat a tactical retreat into my bunker. I get frustrated with how over stimulation from everything, even the good stuff, can cause me to basically short out. When that happens my auto save response is to turtle up. I had worked so hard to get past this and I feel like I am regressing over the last year or so.

Time to update the battle plan! More work on not automatically retreating not to mention actually being able to recognize sooner that I am in tactical retreat mode. I know I can do this and I know I need to get back to reaching out to others even when it feels terrifying. I can do it alone but we do better together.


Netflix you outright FAILED!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

UPDATE: Post from Max Reimelt (Wolfgang). “Do you want Sense8 to be renewed? READ THIS!”

        We are in mourning in our household tonight after finding out Sense8 has been cancelled. We sit here at home in shock wondering what really brought this abrupt cancellation after two wild ride, passionate seasons. It feels like a close family member has been abruptly ripped from our arms. Sense8 was the only show that we sat on the edge of our seats for in YEARS. We waited anxiously for the new season, something we have not done for ANY show in over a decade! We talked about it with others, introducing them to the Sense8 world and saw the spark ignite for them. The fire and passion of the characters, actors, writers & directors inspired us! Sense8 gave me serious hope for honestly portrayed LGBT characters, that weren’t the butt of a joke in some way, in a major show for the first time in my life. They were real, imperfect, passionate, fun, loving and oddly, fascinatingly deep.

Read more…

Please, Think BEFORE You Speak.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Alright kids, it’s time for some education and hopefully enlightenment.

If I am in your store, shop, library, bank or wherever and I try to politely and gently educate you on how to act around a service dog let me tell you something important now. If someone is trying to educate you on etiquette that means you already crossed the line. So if you are being educated, the first words out of your mouth should not be “I used to (or currently) train service dogs.” Why? Because. if you did or do train service dogs, we wouldn’t be having this conversation at all. Please stop and think for a second before you speak that phrase in response. When the aforementioned words come out of your mouth when someone is trying to help you with service dog etiquette it makes you look like an idiot. Why? Because it then makes it look like you just don’t care about the rights of someone with a service dog and are being willfully dismissive of their rights because you feel you know better.

I do not have a service dog myself but spend a good deal of time around people who are close to me that do. I also have disabilities myself that may lead me to one day needing a service dog so this is a topic close to my heart.

Now, let’s try to get some tiny bit of perspective on what it’s like to be a regular person who happens to have a disability or disabilities living their day to day life.

Read more…