The 5 Tigers represent the big things in life. This blog is about facing them.

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Looking for Temp Work

I like my government job, but it is seasonal. That means I can go months without working, and that’s kind of a problem for my wallet. I do get unemployment but I don’t like to rely on it.

I googled temp agencies in my area, and Robert Half showed up. I called them and I have an interview on Tuesday. I sent them a copy of my resume about an hour ago.

In the meantime, I need to finish putting my bed together. I left a pile of stuff on the bed and now I have to find where to put it. I need to sleep in my bed, not on the sofa. I don’t mind it, but my roommates are feeling a little crowded. Not so much L, but F, since with his disability he often sleeps in the recliner.

We are trying to go keto in the household. I find the meals filling but I am often hungry outside of food times. And I don’t know what to eat! I think I am going to have some cottage cheese in a moment. I like the creaminess. I miss milk and cookies. I have some girl scout cookies that I really want to eat but I’m putting it off. Cottage cheese it is.

I have a cat sleeping next to me who needs to be petted, so I know what my next activity is. It makes both of us happy.

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Steak and Chai Tea

Wednesday (yesterday, today is Thursday) was a busy day for me.

I started the day with a COMI meeting. Basically it’s a forum where local mental health services meet up and share their information. I found out, for example, that Dallas has closed 3 mental health hospitals in the last 2 years, and no one has replaced the beds. So there are that many people who need to be hospitalized who can’t access services. That is a crying shame. There are so many of us who need respite and there is no facility for that.

I made a contact to a group called BattleBuddies, which works with veterans, and that led to a project called Stop One. What is important about this is that they offer Mental Health First Aid for free to the community. In my work in disaster relief with the government, I often see people who are distressed and a little training on how to help them would be a good thing.

Then I met up with my daughter for coffee. I like to see her regularly but she does live with her boyfriend. They only have one day off in common so I try not to take up that time. Coffee is a good thing. Daughter made coffee for me and we hung out for a while. She gave me some gears for my art, so that was very cool. And some buttons. We spent about an hour together then I took her to work.

My next stop was lunch with my insurance ladies. We all started at the company at the same time and were in the same training class. Usually there are 4 of us, but T was just back from a family trip so she didn’t make it. We went to Outback and I had steak which was wonderful. I don’t often get meat that’s rare to medium. Meat at our house tends to be fully cooked, which is not my preference, but I don’t have to cook so I’m not complaining. I also had cheesecake, something I don’t do very often. It was very good. We sat in the restaurant for almost 3 hours just catching up on life.

After leaving the ladies, I texted my friend K. I knew she was still at work but since I was in the area I thought I could stop by. I went to Barnes and Noble to kill some time. I took a few books off the walls and a couple of magazines, and I went to the cafe for a coffee. Well they were having a sale on chai, hot or cold, any size, for $2. You don’t have to tell me twice; I got a grande hot chai. So good. I didn’t buy a book, though, I don’t need anything more to read. I need more light in the house so I can read more.

I did go see K. She needed some help turning the mattress on her bed. I know it sounds like an odd activity, but us ladies need to help each other out when there’s nobody else around. There are many of us over a certain age who are single. Wonderful people, just not meeting the right other person. Or like me, divorced and wounded. Or, yanno, just not interested in having a relationship. Not everyone wants to be coupled up. We must band together and be there for each other.

I got home about 11:00, which was quite late for me. I slept well. It was a good day.

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Cookies and Shopping

This morning I went to a Recovery International meeting. Usually I am just a participant but today it looked like it was going to be just me and one other person. The facilitator called in sick. We decided to have the meeting just ourselves and while I was making coffee another person arrived. I ended up facilitating, which is fine, just unexpected. A fourth person joined us about halfway through so we ended up with a decent group. One of the guys asked me if I wanted to grab a coffee after group but I couldn’t today.

When I got home, I texted my dealer about coming over today. Yup, I admit it, I’m addicted to Girl Scout cookies. I particularly like the Do-Si-Dos, which are a peanut butter sandwich cookie. They might be my favorite cookie, though shortbread dipped in dark chocolate is a close second. Got to be the right shortbread though, not just a vanilla cookie. So now I am the proud owner of 3 boxes of Do-Si-Dos and one of toffee cookies. No they are not keto friendly but if I only eat one or two a day I’m still within my guidelines. We all had a nice visit with my suppliers, mother and daughter. Actually the daughter is a very cool kid. She showed up wearing a wolf tail and some wolf ears. I wish I’d been able to be that creative when I was a kid, but I’m pretty sure my dad would have stopped me.

After a few hours, roommate L and I went out to run an errand. I needed some snack food and roommate F needed a carton of cigarettes. We went to Sam’s Club, Winco and Walmart. I got broccoli, beef jerky, nut flour crackers, those veggie straw things, cottage cheese and sour cream for making dip. Sour cream dip is keto. I just needed the crackers and the veggie straws to dip in it. I can eat 17 crackers or 38 veggie straws with dip. That’s a LOT. I probably wouldn’t eat 38 veggie straws even if I wasn’t watching carbs.

Now Walmart was a quick trip. I just needed some red acrylic paint for a project for Valentine’s Day. L needed to pick up a prescription for a friend. The drug was Tramadol, a synthetic opioid pain reliever. For something like the third time, Walmart has the drug backordered. Now really. I know opioids have fallen out of favor, but this is a common drug and lots of people take it. Walmart is a huge company. How can it be that they can’t get this medicine reliably?

Home for dinner: roast beef with jus. It was a little longer cooked than I prefer but the flavor was good. I can’t help it that I like my meat bloody. I am doing laundry and, well, blogging. NCIS is on; we record it, I don’t know if it airs on Tuesdays. I am planning to take a shower later tonight.

All is good in my world. It was an enjoyable day.

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Monday Monday

Back to the daily grind, such as it is.

I contacted the passport office today to see about setting up an appointment to get a passport. Turns out, since I am travelling in July, that I am not a priority so I don’t get to see someone in person. I have to apply the traditional way. So my plan for tomorrow is to go to Walgreens to get the photo and to the post office to get the application form. Then I will submit everything and see how long it takes. Book and card, please.

I ordered some assemblage pieces today. I have started a new book called Mixed Media Paint Box which has about 50 exercises in it. My original plan was to buy the supplies for this week’s exploration but I don’t need to acquire anything so instead I bought other supplies. The one I’m most excited about is a flaming heart shrine which should be about the size of my hand. Flaming heart / sacred heart imagery has become very important to me.

I went to my DBSA support group today. I met someone else who is a SARK fan so that was fun. I like the feeling of connecting with a new person. I used the phrase “airy fairy” to describe some of my religious leanings and it caught on in the group. It got used several times. I also found out I am not the only person who watches Ancient Aliens. I know, I know, but it’s still interesting to me.

I got 3 more magazines today. I really need to get on with my reading. But then I really need to get on with making art too. I keep waiting for inspiration to strike but I think I just need to start playing with the supplies.

Cats have been affectionate lately. Striped Charli has napped with me more than once. She’s getting to be an old lady and napping is a huge activity for her. Momo, who is all black, has been looking for love. He usually isn’t like that, but he’s begun meowing to me for treatsies and climbing up on the sofa for pets. I love his little voice! I love Charli’s voice too but she is so often yelling at me, lol.

Roommate L is falling asleep on the sofa next to me, she should probably really go to bed. But wrestling is on so she won’t until the end of the show. Both my roommates really like wrestling and I totally don’t get it. I guess I don’t have to.

Swiss cheese is good. I prefer cheddar. This comes up because we are going keto as a household so cheese is suddenly an issue. I like stinky cheeses but of course the rest of the house doesn’t, lol. I miss rice and potatoes. I’ll get used to this new way of eating. Except at breakfast. I want cereal but it’s on the no-no list.

Speaking of bed, I should go to bed myself. I have group at 10 tomorrow so I need to be up by 9 at the latest. Up and ready to go, not simply eyes open. Why are mornings so hard? Probably because nights are so easy.

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Asian Night Market

I went to an event today at the Bomb Factory in Deep Ellum. It was a very cool event.

First of all, Asian. It makes my inner weeaboo so happy. To me, it’s as close as I can get to an alien culture. It seems familiar in so many ways, but then there’s a twist. I don’t actually want to be Asian, but I enjoy being able to experience something different from my norm.

Then night. A night market is interesting because it’s not the usual daytime event. I am a night person, though I have become more of a sunlight person in recent years. There is something romantic to me about night events. Romantic in the literary sense, not in the relationship sense I’m afraid. I’m not terribly sentimental so romantic activities don’t tend to have the desired effect with me.

So there were about 20 food booths set up. We – that is, my daughter and I – tried a little bit of everything. We tried steak skewers, pork sandwiches, boba tea, a noodle bowl, and a thing called Tofu-Fighters which of course was made with tofu. We also tried something made with jackfruit, which I never had before. It wasn’t bad, but I preferred the tofu. We had a thing called a SnowBaby that was creamy and icy and pumpkin pie flavored. Daughter got a cocktail called cucumber lemonade. I asked her what kind of alcohol was in it but she didn’t know. What is always interesting to me, is how strong a flavor cucumber is. You would think cucumber would be so mild as to be invisible but instead it is the strong note.

I would have liked to see some vendors selling souvenirs and craft items. Maybe that’s just me, wanting shopping at everything.

The highlight was the lion dancers. There’s 2 men to a lion and the heads are huge. They have manes and glowing eyes that blink. There were 6 lions all together: black and red, white and red, white and blue, white and green, and 2 purple ones. The men do acrobatics in the costume so it looks like the lion is standing up or leaping. The blinking eyes were so cute! The dancers came down off the stage and played with the audience, eventually dancing all the way around the room, with confetti cannons going off every few minutes. It was very fun.

Always a good day when I can try something new.

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Life With the Spirits

Trying to get back in the swing of things. I’ve been to groups almost every day this week. Groups are good for me. Matt was happy to see me at DBSA. I seem to be a calming influence. Jennifer said the same thing at the groups she facilitates. Recovery International was good too. I missed R but I gather she will be back in a couple of weeks. People took time off for holidays but they should be getting back in the swing of things soon.

I didn’t go to a group today. There is an artist group that meets on Fridays but I slept too late. It was raining when I woke up and it just motivated me to go back to sleep. Speaking of sleep, Charli the kitty slept on my lap today. Well, more in my arms, since we were leaning on the sofa. She was so cozy all snoozed out that I took a nap with her. Naps are good.

I had a dream last night that I was trying to put someone out of the house and they said I didn’t have the authority. They did back off but they didn’t leave. I think it was a spiritual thing, and that it has to do with the boyfriend. It’s a whole story, but I don’t want to tell it. Or rather, I’m going to tell it and I think maybe I’ll name a few names, since it seems like at least one person doesn’t need to be protected.

My roommate F has an adopted daughter D. He loves her and she called from Florida saying that she was in trouble and she just wanted to come home. F is protective of his family and friends, so he took off to rescue her. When they got to Florida, suddenly there was also a boyfriend. And a cat named Zelda, but the cat is mostly innocent, being an animal. So F loaded everybody into the car and came home.

I got home from being deployed and was told that the kids were here. That makes 5 of us in a relatively small house with 2 working cars and no jobs, so a bit stressful, but nothing compared to the personality issues.

The boyfriend, Austin, is unmedicated bipolar. He doesn’t like his meds, says they make him a little zombie-fied. I think that means he’s on the wrong meds, but it’s also not the first time I’ve heard someone complain about them. I mean, the point of the meds is to change the way your brain works, that isn’t always comfortable.

Austin believes he has, and I quote, “kicked Lucifer’s ass” several times. Now I do believe in spirits and entities, so I could believe he encountered a demon, but I don’t think he could just beat Lucifer. I think, well, demons lie. Sort of, “oh, yeah, my name’s Lucifer” because the name has power and would invoke fear for people. And beating these creatures gives Austin a sense of power. He is probably not as powerful as he believes he is.

Austin also states he is a dreamwalker, that is, he can affect other people’s dreams. And I had that dream that makes my roommate L think Austin or something around Austin was threatening me. I don’t think I was threatened, I just thought the thing didn’t belong. I do think that whatever it was didn’t recognize me as the authority of this home; it is L’s house and she has fought for it, she definitely has authority here.

So Austin has been asked to leave. I feel a little bad for him and part of me thinks F and L have been a bit harsh, but his energy is just bad and he doesn’t belong here. F and L feel lied to and disrespected, and who am I to say otherwise? I always seem willing to work with bad energy as if I can fix it but of course I can’t.

Oh, I worry for myself, with the spiritual stuff and the mental illness. I think I am not psychotic, but there are psychotic features to mania. My meds should be taking the edge off that, I pretty much don’t get manic at this point, so I think my experiences are genuine. I mean, they aren’t a symptom of my disorder. I want to take it seriously but I also don’t want to push myself over the edge, if that makes sense. There is sensitivity and weakness here, I want to be sure I don’t hurt myself. Everyone has weakness, I just happen to know what mine is called.

I have bought some incense today. Dragon’s blood, and frankincense and myrrh. Frankincense and myrrh have cleansing properties. Dragon’s blood is a personal favorite, plus there are dragons here. L says they work for good, I think they are chaotic neutral. They have their own agenda and they may or may not be helpful depending on how it fits into their plan. Of course I feel that way about most otherkin beings. Even my cats, who certainly seem to have lives of their own that don’t center around me. L says Charli has been so affectionate today because she is protecting me after that dream. I think she’s just chilly since it’s colder today than earlier this week. I may have issues and believe in weird things, but I do try to debunk things as much as I can. I prefer a logical reason to a woo-woo one, but sometimes you can’t tell.

I am planning to find a circle where I can talk about these things. I need people to help me sort through what is spiritual and what is explainable. You know, someone to bounce ideas off.

Because I do believe in other spiritual beings, but I do need to be sure I’m not sliding into symptoms.

Spiritual experiences and mental health breaks can look remarkably similar.

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Food Pantries and Other Needs

Right now there are 5 of us living in the house: myself, L who owns the house, F her partner, D F’s daughter and A D’s boyfriend. We also now have 3 cats and 2 dogs. It’s a little full.

Feeding all these people is an issue. I am the only one with a job and mine is seasonal so I’m not working right now. L is retired, F is disabled and the 2 kids don’t have jobs. Yet. They are working on it. So I figure, food pantry is the next logical step.

My favorite food pantry in the area is North Texas Food Bank. They give you, no joke, like 30 pounds of fresh produce once a month. The last time I used them, I needed to get a voucher from a local food pantry. In Garland it wasn’t a problem, but I am in Hutchins now and there is a dearth of options.

I went to the NTFB website to look up partner organizations. I figured, they would know who refers to them. I put in for any food pantry within 10 miles. And wouldn’t you know, none of them answer the phone or have voicemail. How do poor people get help? I mean, you can’t find out what’s going on here, how do people arrange for rides etc?

I called the number provided for Catholic Charities and it was a construction company. The man was nice enough, but he clearly gets a lot of these calls which are annoying to him. I called 4 area churches, no answer. Now what if it was a parishoner having a crisis? Instead of just a person looking for information. And I called NTFB directly, who referred me to Salvation Army, who also didn’t answer.

I’m assuming places are closed because it’s Friday or because it’s New Year’s week and they’re still on holiday hours. I did notice that one of the places is open tomorrow morning. I think I’ll grab D and take her with me to find out what’s going on. Otherwise I get to start the round of calls again Monday.