Kiss5Tigers

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


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Brunch and Mall Walking

It’s been a good day.

I went to an organic plant sale at St Andrew’s church in Dallas. It was raining mildly when I left but not horrible. By the time I got to the highway, it was practically white out conditions. Yes, a rain white out! I kept going anyway because I am fearless. Well not quite, I was only going 55 mph the whole way. South Dallas was a swamp. I hit every light red and the water was building up so fast that the storm drains looked like whirlpools in the middle of incredibly deep puddles. But I made it to the sale, and didn’t find anything to take home. I liked the cat mint, but cats apparently don’t care about it. I know it’s not the same as cat nip, but I thought maybe it had cat attracting properties. There was also an adorable little plant called red amaranth with hot pink stems and pink leaves. Turns out that sucker grows to be like 5 feet tall, and apparently might get taller, so not a good choice for me. I’m going to repot some aloes I trimmed tonight and bring one to my friend tomorrow I think. She couldn’t find anything either, but her problem is a shady porch. Most plants in Texas want full sun and she just doesn’t have it.

We then went to brunch at Cindi’s deli. I paid. I get to do that from time to time. But also, I know that soon enough I’ll be flat broke and I won’t be able to do it. It feels good to treat a friend. I had eggs and lox. The first bite was SO fishy, lol. I don’t know what I expected! I mean, it was lox, of course it’s fishy! The hash browns were perfect; the bagel, well, my only complaint was that a full bagel could use 2 packages of cream cheese, not just one. Coffee was so good. I also really like the reuben sandwich here, but I didn’t want one for brunch.

Then we went to the Galleria and walked. We circled each of the three store levels and got almost 2.5 miles out of it. I worked up a sweat so that was probably beneficial. I don’t usually care to sweat. Usually it just means I am uncomfortably hot because Texas is a hot state. We went to Old Navy and my friend bought 2 dresses and a blouse. I saw a lot of really cute stuff, but I won’t buy it. I have lost 10 lbs in the last couple of months and I’m hoping to lose more. I just refuse to buy new clothes until I don’t fit into what I already own. Unless I need something, like to replace my black jeans with the broken zipper. Or the bra that the underwire is poking through.

Now I am home, with my cat snoring next to me. She has soft little kitty snores. It took me the longest time to figure out what the sound was and my roommate didn’t hear it so I couldn’t ask her. We had pizza for dinner and there is some soup that I’ll probably have a bowl of when I’m done here.

I have posted some of the hats from the 100 Hats Project on Etsy. You can see them here. They are pretty inexpensive for a handmade item, and for now any money earned will be spent on more yarn for more hats. I saw such a good buy 2 days ago and I just couldn’t do it. So please buy a hat!

Also, don’t forget about my GoFundMe for Envisioning Wellness. Looking for something to do with your tax refund? I could stand a few more donations!

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Brrr. Well, For 4 Days, Because This Is Texas

It’s cold. It’s so cold, the dogs are sleeping on my roommates. It’s so cold, both cats are sleeping next to me, under a blanket. It’s the “under a blanket” part that is unusual.

It’s so cold that I have a blanket over my lap because my feet are chilly. It’s just plain cold.

It was colder today in Texas than it was in Connecticut. Probably the only place colder is Alaska, where several of my friends are working.

Ah, I wish I was working. But that’s another matter. That’s just because I live better when I’m working. Of course, last time was such a good experience, I was quite spoiled. I would do that again, it was that good.

The regular facilitator for DBSA Monday afternoons is gone for the next 2 weeks so I’m taking over for him. I actually like facilitating. I want to get the peer support specialist certification so I can lead more groups. That would be wonderful. Then I can figure out how to get paid for doing it.

I am really pushing for a geriatric group, though we should no doubt call it something else. We’ve had several people who were over 70 come through, and they are dealing with end of life issues that could be addressed separately from the rest of us. I mean, younger people (and I am younger in this situation) don’t really understand in a visceral way what it feels like to deal with your body slowing down or facing mortality. Well some do, some are facing those issues, but not most of us. It’s not that older folks don’t belong in a general depression group, it’s more that they have issues a typical group is not prepared to understand. And being understood is the biggest thing any of us get out of peer-led groups. I know this because we all say it.

Tomorrow is Mardi Gras and I am meeting a friend for early dinner of pancakes. Yep. I am knowingly blowing my keto, but every once in a while that’s okay. Plus I’ve wanted pancakes for a while now. Fat Tuesday indeed.

I sent out a round of postcards, St Francis of Cape Fear, to a list of mailartists I found online. I have heard back from a few past mailings. I hope to hear from some real mail art / fluxus type people, not just the arty-crafty folks. I love the work the arty people do, but fluxus is more within my aesthetic and ability. I am working on developing my eye more. I need to draw, that would really help. Drawing is pretty basic to almost all art.

I am out of Lamictal. I called the pharmacy to refill it and got a message that 2 scripts were ready, I just assumed the Lamictal was one of them. I was wrong. So I called the pharmacy again and was told that there isn’t a renewal available. Now I have called the doctor’s office, but I don’t know if they got my message. I’ve left one earlier today and one after hours since I didn’t hear back from them. I’ll call them again tomorrow. Hopefully I can get back up to regular dose soon. It’s the one that helps manage my mania and I am seldom manic but I don’t want there to be any backlash from missing doses.

Looking forward to tomorrow, Recovery International in the morning, see my daughter, then pancake dinner. Should be a good day.


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What Do I Bring to the Table?

So I’ve posted my “I want” list, this is my “I am” list.

What do I bring to a relationship?

I am loyal. Stupidly loyal, ask my family about my ex husband, but there you are.

I can support myself. I don’t expect someone to pay my bills for me. In fact, I will never be financially dependent on another person if I can help it. I plan to work for 20 more years, which is into my 70’s, as long as I’m able to.

I expect and assume the best of people. This makes me a little naive and gullible. I am easy to deceive which is great if you’re planning a surprise party for me and not great if you’re cheating. I’ve had both.

I don’t do fights. I tend to leave the room if I’m upset and come back when I have something I can say calmly. I prefer to see anger as an indicator that something needs to be addressed, and to come back with a solution not just to complain. I am solution oriented. Although, there are times when I just need to vent.

I will support you in whatever you want to do. I will even put my desires aside to help you with yours but be careful of that because it can make me resentful. Yes, even though I choose it. I need you to be supportive of me too.

I have become more guarded. You will need to work at getting past my hard outer shell. I am told the creamy center is worth it.

I’m adventurous. I will try things, at least things that aren’t beyond my physical ability, because I am not buff.

I’m not a hottie. That means I have had to work harder and settle for less. It means you can reap the benefit of that, because I am likely to go the extra mile and make more of an effort.

I am looking for someone who I am their One. I like the idea of polyamory but I feel like I’m always competing for “my” guy’s attention and that gets to me. I want to be comfortable in a relationship, not always on edge. I want to be able to say “yeah, go with whoever you want” and be sure that he will come home with me. I don’t mind flirting, but he is mine.

I am secure in myself. I know who I am at this age and I’m good with me. I won’t be looking for constant validation. I know whether these pants make me look fat and I’m not looking to pick a fight.

I believe in time alone and time with friends. I don’t need you around 24 / 7 although I may want you around. Need and want are very different. I have friends and hobbies and I don’t want to give them up just because there is suddenly a man in my life.

I am smart. I am putting myself through college and I am 3 classes from the degree. It’s taken me a long time to get here and I plan to finish it.

I am not religious. I can do the church thing as part of life but not my whole life. And frankly I’d rather sleep in on a Sunday. I need a day of rest.

I am bipolar so balance is very important to me. I spend a huge amount of time seeking balance and that includes in relationships. Now balance is not static, it is dynamic so it takes constant attention. Obsession is not good for me, neither my own nor someone else’s.

I love animals, but especially cats. I am city girl rather than a country girl. I live right outside of Dallas, and it doesn’t feel like enough of a city to me. But I am a bi-coastal girl at heart.

I have some friends, S and H, who have what is to me about the perfect relationship. They live 4 houses apart by accident — they bought the houses before they met. They’ve been together something like 30 years now. They’ll probably never get married. And they adore each other. I kind of want that, though probably in a neighborhood I could afford! lol I can support myself but I’m not wealthy.

I’ll think some more about this but that’s a good list to start.


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The Best Nurses Ever

I am sick as a dog.

I’ve had the flu shot so it’s not the flu but I haven’t had a cold like this in, well, probably decades.

Yesterday, all I did was sleep. I was sitting on the sofa and I just couldn’t keep my eyes open for more than an hour.

Of course that means now I am up at 4 am because I slept so much.

I felt so bad I went to the doctor. It’s not bacterial so there wasn’t really anything they could do for me. I am now taking 2000 units of vitamin C daily and living on over the counter cold meds.

Yesterday my throat was sore, my face hurt from my sinuses being all blocked up, and my eyes were just dripping. Today I am not in pain though I am blowing my nose every few minutes because things are moving. It’s good but a nuisance.

Throughout this all, I have had the best nurses. Both of my kitties have been affectionate and lovey. Charli especially has been all over me. Momo is more of an onlooker from a distance but he is next to me on the sofa right now and he slept on my feel earlier. Charli was in my lap, in my face, on my chest or stomach, on the back of the sofa behind me but leaning against me. Either she loves these rainy sick days or she was very worried about me.

By far the most touching thing was my roommate L. She made me tea and chicken broth. She let me pick the tv shows even though I slept through most of them. I haven’t had anyone take care of me when I was sick since before I got married. It was very kind of her.

I hate being sick, but I have a great family of choice.


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Ah, Dating. No I’m Not Doing It But I Might Wish I Was

Thinking about dating again.

Thinking I might like to be dating again.

It’s been a long time since I thought that.

But let’s be clear, I actually mean dating. It is not a euphemism for fucking. I am at a weird place where I really don’t care that much about sex. I understand it’s common for those of us going through menopause. Maybe it’s just not knowing someone I’m attracted to. Or the few who I might think are cute, aren’t interested in me.

Attraction is a funny thing. Physical is part of it. Now I have friends who thing people are good looking that I don’t agree, but I’d never say that to them. You think he’s hot, he’s hot. Not my version of hot, but that’s okay. And yet the most beautiful person can be ugly inside. And I’ve dated some people who were not good looking but their personality made them attractive. So sure, I have a list of physical preferences, but I’m not married to them.

My biggest part is my must-have list. Must have a job. I can’t tell you how many boyfriends I’ve had where I’m the bread winner. Nice if he has a career rather than just a job, but shit happens. Must have his own car. I used to say, must have his own place, but now not so much. I mean, by my age, people often move back home to take care of parents. I have roommates because with my job it doesn’t make sense for me to pay for an apartment that I’m gone from for months at a time. Handy is good, but if he isn’t handy, have the money to pay for repairs. Not everyone is good with cars, but getting the brakes done shouldn’t be a hardship.

Then traits. Let’s see . . . Smart. Doesn’t have to be highly educated but can’t be ignorant. Probably liberal or at least progressive; conservative would probably kill me. Some kind of creative life, whether it’s building stuff in the basement or playing guitar. Cat person, because I will have cats. Cares about people, so that would be . . . humanitarian? Some kind of spiritual life but not a fundamentalist or an evangelical. It’s just not my shtick. Be active. I don’t mean athletic but I do mean like to get out of the house and do stuff most days. I don’t want someone who spends every weekend crashed on the sofa “watching” football or NASCAR. I want to do stuff on the weekend. I’m not much of a sports person so that would be a bad match for him.

Be honest. I have been married to a manipulative liar, I don’t need that again. Be trustworthy. Be into me. I have dated that, too, where I know someone is settling for me. That’s no fun. But don’t be obsessive. I don’t want to live in your back pocket, don’t want you in mine. Choose me, don’t cling, I get claustrophobic. Trust me. I am not going to hurt you because I choose you. Fight fair. Arguments are going to happen, though I prefer to keep them to a minimum, but listen to my side, don’t just yell me down. My concerns are important too. Support me emotionally. I can support myself financially — I can’t support both of us — but I can always use encouragement. Be kind not just nice.

Teenage to adult children are okay but not required. Divorced is understandable. Pets are okay, even the unusual ones like reptiles or hedgehogs. Hobbies or interests are a good thing. Be a sci fi buff or a theater geek or a homebrewer or something. I prefer something I can share with him, but that’s not cast in stone. I mean, I want to spend time doing my hobbies and hanging with the girls, he should be able to pursue his interests and hang with the boys.

Oh, and I am back to the ex’es. Don’t lie to me. Don’t say things with the intent of deceiving me. Don’t be looking for the next girlfriend. Don’t put your vices ahead of me. Don’t mock me. Don’t put me down to your friends. Don’t ignore me. Don’t avoid me. I have had men do all those things. And they hurt.

I need to think some more, now, about what I bring to the table. Because otherwise I am just making demands, and that’s not fair.


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Love Cat and Better Days

My striped cat, Charli has been all over me today. You’d think I’d been gone for a week or something. (Sarcasm, since I was gone for a week.) She has been sitting where she can see me or touch me all day. When I am not petting her, she is patting me or even poking me with that one claw, usually in the side of the face, trying so hard to get my attention.

At the moment she is sleeping on the back of the sofa. That means I can take a minute to lean forward and type. She is sleeping so hard, just limp with her ribs rising and falling.

Black Momo and striped Charli, who doesn’t like the flash. Yeah I take bad photos

I ordered a recovery workbook called Better Days. It’s a different kind of workbook. First of all it’s rather thin. Then the exercises are maybe a half page of reading and 3 or 4 questions to answer. But I think it will be perfect for my Wednesday afternoon depression support group. We need something to keep us on track but we like to talk. This is more open ended than a lot of the other books have been.

The back page includes a link to a webpage called Punks In Recovery. They have a book about, guess what, punk rockers with mental illnesses or substance abuse issues called You’re┬áCrazy that looks pretty interesting. I might have to order it sometime in the future.

My roommate is making whipped cream by hand. It’s taking a long time. I can hear that he is getting tired because there is more time between the whisk hitting the side of the bowl. Longer and longer pauses. But it no longer sounds like it’s sloshing so it must be firming up.

I have letters to write and “morning” pages to get to. Supposedly they are written in the morning but I just can’t seem to focus early. I am a slow waker. I fall back to sleep without much effort. But I have Recovery International tomorrow at 10 am, so I’d better get up by 9 at the latest.

Then I am taking to car to the shop. When I picked up K at the airport the other day, the service engine light came on. I took the car for an oil change and had them run the diagnostics. I have cylinders misfiring and it looks like I have an emissions fail. Inspection is due in March so that emission problem is huge. But so is the cylinder problem. Though I’m hoping that’s mostly spark plugs not the pistons kind of thing.

Charli has woken up and is fussing for attention again, so I guess I’m done writing.


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Back to Life, Back to Reality

I hate looking at my visit stats and seeing so many days with nobody coming to my blog. I know part of it is because I haven’t posted anything for a week or so.

I’ve been at a leadership training for work this past week. I can’t really say much about it, mostly because so much of it was not new material for me. A few things were new, like the Johari window or the Katz model.

What are these things? Well the Johari window is a 4 panel grid comparing traits you know you have / don’t know you have, with traits other people see / don’t see in you. Traits you and others see are your arena. Traits that are known to others and not to you are your blind spot. Just as examples. It’s a personality matrix.

The Katz model basically says there are 3 types of skills in the workplace: technical skills, people skills and conceptual skills. As you move up the corporate ladder, technical skills become less important, conceptual skills become more important and people skills stay equally important. People skills make up about 80% of the skill set needed at all levels.

Oh, and the Oz principle. That’s as in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, not Dr Oz. Basically the idea is, you have to take responsibility for your own destiny, and the corollary that if you don’t, someone else will. You already have everything you need. At least that’s what they taught us in class; the books seem to be more about accountability, based on what the reviews say.

Most of this seemed pretty common sense to me. That is, I scored 90 on the pretest, so clearly there wasn’t a whole lot of theory for me to learn. I own the fact that I need lots of practice for putting it into action. I have studied business and management for some time now but I have never had a supervisory position so this will be new for me.

I got to see my friends Charlie and Lenny, so that made me happy. I like those guys and they have been good friends. I have also made a few new friends, I hope, which would be good. (Shout out to Mimi, Doc, Vince and Shirletta.)

I was in the bathroom and got elected table chairman. I did most of the speaking for the first 2 days because every time a question was asked of the table, Charlie would poke me until I answered. On the third day, I finally asked if anyone else wanted to speak up, because I was happy to do it, but maybe someone else wanted a chance. Well Vince did. Then the instructor said we as a class needed to choose someone else to answer so that everybody got a chance to participate. I think my table was surprised that I came up with that idea independently of the teacher. And I think they realized that just because I am low key, I still am paying attention.

In other news, my cat missed me terribly while I was gone. Apparently she realized this morning at about 6:30 that I was back in Texas and started yelling for me. She does yell, different from meowing. I didn’t get back to the house for another 12 hours, but she knew I was almost home. Or so the roommates tell me. “Your cat is psychic,” they say. Maybe. Or just coincidence. You can never quite tell.

My car, however, is complaining. The service engine light came on. I took it for an oil change and the kid ran the diagnostic for me. One or more cylinders is misfiring and it has an emissions fail. This is not good. I hope it’s as basic as a tune up but I am afraid it’s more serious than that. Still, it got me home from the airport, can’t really ask for much more than that. Tomorrow is a government holiday, so I’ll be taking it to the mechanic on Tuesday.

And I have completed the paperwork for Robert Half so hopefully I’ll get called for some temp jobs now.