Kiss5Tigers

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


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Paying For What You Already Own

For the last, oh, 4 days, I have been texting my daughter with no response.

A day or two with no answer, well that could be bad timing. It happens. It’s unusual because you can text back at any time, but whatever.

This was 4 days, and I could see she’d been on Facebook, so I decided to call.

I’m glad I did.

A man answered the phone. We had a hard time connecting, it was as if he couldn’t hear me at first. I thought it was one of my daughter’s friends being funny, so I said, “This is Elcie’s mom. Is she with you?”

“I found this phone in Deep Ellum,” the man said. “I’ve had it for a couple days. This is the first time anybody called.”

That’s probably true. Most people text these days and my daughter lives with her friends so she they don’t need to call.

We made arrangements to meet at the 7-11 to do the phone swap. I figured I’d buy him some cigarettes or a 6-pack as a thank you.

I got to the 7-11 and there was no place to park. In fact, the store was closed down completely for remodeling. Good thing I had a little cash to give the guy.

I thanked the man for being honest. He said his mother raised him that way. I told him his mother did a good job, and he blushed. I think the compliment meant more to him than the money, though no doubt the money was welcome.

In the meantime, Elcie and her friend C also called the phone and got the guy. He said he was on his way to meet someone, and they assumed it was another friend. After I got the phone and left, they met him but of course I already had the phone.

As I was waiting outside her apartment, the phone rang. It was a Houston number but I answered anyway. Turned out to be C. They headed over to the apartment.

The price of getting the phone was only $35. I just resent paying for something we already own. I don’t begrudge the man his reward though. I guess that makes me ambivalent.

For my daughter, the price of the phone was spending an afternoon with mom. She made out pretty good though. We went to Aldi‘s and ordered curry from Thai Thai. We also watched a so-bad-it’s-funny movie called Kung Fu Hustle on Netflix.

So it cost me a few dollars, but I got to spend some time with my daughter. And that’s always good. I wish it was under better circumstances. I think I’m gonna Gorilla Glue that phone to her body.

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Life Moving Forward

I got an invitation to speak at a DBSA meeting in December. I accepted, pending deployment. At this rate, I assume I will not be.

It’s a panel discussion, sort of “meet the facilitators” type of thing. I don’t really have much to say. I feel like I’m something of a unicorn. I haven’t been hospitalized, I haven’t tried suicide, I gave up self medicating without a struggle, the doctor got the medication right the first time. I mean, I’m proof it can happen but I don’t feel like I’m typical. I am a little embarrassed by how easy it’s been for me.

The WRAP class is coming together. The facilitator has picked dates and times, I am just looking for a location. If we get enough people, we can have a room at UT Southwestern, but that location alone will cut down on the people who can get there. Ah, the balancing act. If they want it badly enough, they will come. But if you make it impossible for them to get there, you are not serving the population.

I have a dreadful cough. It’s making my ribs hurt but is rarely productive. Clearly an itch, post nasal drip. Probably an allergy. This is Texas after all.

Took my daughter to Planned Parenthood the other day. She has a boyfriend and doesn’t want babies, so she needs birth control. I like Planned Parenthood. They were affordable and professional, and she felt comfortable. Clean. Kind.

We tried a new poke place, Royal I.T. Cafe. It was adorable. We both got the Seafood Bowl. It was huge. The rice was hot which was a nice contrast to the chilled fish. There were 6 shrimps, an ice cream scoop of spicy tuna with mayo and a huge serving of salmon. Plus red onions, avocado and furikake. Neither one of us could finish it, but it was SO GOOD.

I went to art therapy today at Dallas Art Therapy, sponsored by Foundation45. It was interesting. I am too much in my head, though. I did better the first one than the second, but I did learn something. I wrote “the pain is not symmetrical” by which I meant physical pain, but it applies to my emotional pain as well. Most of my pain is due to loss. I feel it. The other person, the dead person, doesn’t miss me. Which is okay. I would hate for my mother to spend her afterlife missing me. Grief is rather one-sided, I’m afraid, but that is the nature of it.

I have signed up for a course from Leonie Dawson called “40 Days to Create + Sell Your ECourse“. I figure, I can be inspirational. I can use a stream of income that flows even when I’m busy. And Leonie, well, I remember when she was figuring it out. She’s got it sussed. I should definitely follow her path.

Maybe instead of writing a book, I should release a series of e-courses. Each chapter could be another course. There’s a thought . . .

I am also working on a book about human pollinators. They do the job that bees used to do, but by hand. I am trying to work out the action in the plot. I have some ideas, but no real outline yet. Still, everything starts somewhere.

I think that covers it for now. Like most of my posts, not really anything earth-shattering, but then life is full of average moments. I’m thinking of a nap now, actually bed based on the time, though it’s a bit early. Rest is so important.


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Hopeful Things

I’m feeling better, so that’s good. My ribs are still sore from being sick so it’s painful to cough but that will improve with time.

I made an amends to someone today. I don’t know what I needed to do, apologize doesn’t exactly work, so I ended up with 12-step language. She said we’re good, so I’m glad I did it.

Group was good today. The tables in the room had been rearranged and it gave us a different energy. Plus new people. One of them talked about his wife with such emotion, it’s so cool to see married people still in love. Made me happy.

I had breakfast with my daughter. She is planning to go back to school in January, assuming I get to work. She’s only planning on going part time, so with books it should be around $600, which is affordable. IF I’m working. Which I probably will be, since it’s storm season.

Ah, work. I enjoy working when I can. I wish I would be called back to work soon. It’s been since December, and people I know have been deployed, just not me. Well, that 12 day deployment earlier this month, so I hope they contact me again soon. I need to spend more time on USAJobs.gov to see what I can get.

I need to start reading the grant writing book that Bonnie gave me. I meet with her next week, wait, later this week, so I should have at least some idea of what I’m doing.

Grant writing is one of those things that, if I’m going to work in mental health, I’d better learn how to do it. It would be great to be able to take Kiss5Tigers and make it a 501(c)(3) non profit. (At least I think that’s the right code.) Or if I could set up 5Tigers Charities as a wholly- owned entity. Ah, dreams, lol.

So yeah, it will be useful to me, it will give back to a place that has given me quite a bit, and it’s a marketable skill. Win-win to be mentored in grant writing. Which I’ve known for years.

I need to be in touch with APAA about space for the WRAP class. I did speak with someone a couple weeks ago and he said it would take a while, but I need to make details public as soon as I can. I have the instructor, I have students, I just need a classroom.

I need to work on something creative. I have a scarf I can knit, but I really want to paint. Maybe tomorrow afternoon, after Recovery International.

I need to get that list of bands to my friend. A friend is looking for some new music and thought my daughter would be a good source, so I asked her for a list of 6 or 10 bands she thought I’d like, that I could share with my friend. I have the list, I just haven’t shared the information yet.

Things are going well. Stuff in progress, all looking good.


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Down to the Wire

I went to the passport office today. It was a bit difficult. At least they have planned for walk-ins.

The website said, parking would cost about $6. Not so. Parking was $10 for the first hour up to $22 for the day. I didn’t know how long it would take, and I didn’t have $22 if I needed it. I ended up parking for free at Mockingbird DART station and paying $6 to take the train. I guess I got my steps in but frankly it was deucedly hot for walking 4 blocks.

It’s a federal building so you get scanned going in. At least I didn’t have to take my shoes off. And there was a water fountain, a bubbluh as we say in Yankeeland, which I was so happy to see.

After I got into the passport office itself, I had to sit in a special section of chairs and get instructions. Turns out they want to documents stacked in a certain order. Then I had to fill out the application form again. Already I was glad I brought my birth certificate since I had been told, “All you have to do is bring the passport card.” Then you attach proof of travel itinerary, passport photos, and drivers license.

There were 2 lines, one for appointments and one for walk-ins. Of course appointments get preference, but that’s reasonable. When I got through the line, the lady told me I had filled out the wrong paperwork so I had to do that and go to the end of the line again.

I was number 141. When I sat down, they were on number 118. It ended up being a 3 hour wait. I dozed off several times since I was on short sleep. But I didn’t miss being called, and it went pretty fast. I was surprised at how speedy it was, until the lady told me I would have to come back on Wednesday to pick up the passport.

I have to come back between 1:30 and 3:00 to pick up my passport, and I am leaving on Thursday. Talk about cutting it close!

Done with the passport office, I went to support group then helped my daughter move. Then I came home to vacuum, take out trash, eat dinner and clean up. I wasn’t on my own time schedule for any of that. I wanted to vacuum while my one roommate was out of the house.

“Are you watching this on TV?” I asked the other roommate, “so I can vacuum.”

“It’s just TV,” he said, “We can pause a show if you need to vacuum.”

I didn’t say anything but I thought, “Oh you’re so cute, need to vacuum. There is no known universe where I have a driving need to vacuum. I do it because you ask me to.” And honestly I have never looked at the living room and thought it needed vacuumed. Not that I’m the best judge, but still.

I dumped out the bagless vacuum into the living room trash and it was full and the lint was fluffy so I closed the bag. I was going to wait a few minutes for my back to stop aching but the one roommate brought me the bathroom trash and the cat waste. Clearly I wasn’t going to sit down, I was going to take out the trash.

I did sit down to eat, but afterwards I had to wash my breakfast dishes as well as my dinner dishes. Finally I sat down and I had to call my travelling companion. I am just now settling in for the night. I’ve been on the go for 16 hours. Longer if you consider that I didn’t sleep last night.

Tonight I should sleep well indeed.


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Travel Excitement

It’s less than a week until I leave for Alaska, and I’m starting to get excited. I have so much to do before I leave.

Tomorrow, Sunday, I am having poke bowls with my daughter in honor of her birthday. It’s Hawaiian comfort food, sort of like deconstructed sushi. I know she’ll like it. I also have to request my next unemployment payment.

Monday is passport day. I need to go through my room and find the remaining passport photo, or I need to find an extra $20 and get them done again. In the afternoon is group if I can make it. I’ll already be in Dallas. I have to get up early early early Monday morning. So early I might not sleep Sunday night. I’m supposed to go as a walk-in so I want to be there when they open. Oh, and I need to print my airline schedule so I can prove I need the passport. Probably better print the cruise schedule too.

Tuesday needs to be laundry and shopping day. Shopping of course assumes I will be paid by then by unemployment. I want a book and I need some things like underwear and bug spray. And a new back pack.

Wednesday. Wednesday! I need to pack, I might need to go shopping if I didn’t do it Tuesday, and of all things, the unemployment office wants me to come in and do orientation! At 9:00 in the morning! So far that is 3 days in a row of getting up early, and I am not made for that.

But Thursday is the big day. Thursday I get on the plane and head to Vancouver to get on that cruise ship. I can’t wait. I mean, obviously I can wait because I have to, but boy is it hard! I’m so excited!

Better get started on the things I can do because there are a lot of things to do between then and now. Wish me luck!


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Waiting or Enabling?

I am trying to tell how much of this is my own fault.

I was going to give my daughter a ride to sell plasma today, and she was going to slip me $5 gas money. I put my last $20 in the gas tank, anticipating having that $5.

I went to a meeting and got out around noon. I did not have a message from my daughter with an address, so I checked into a book store to kill some time.

It’s all good. I copied some hat patterns out of some knitting and crochet books that I can’t afford to buy. It will make some variety in my 100 Hats Project. And I wrote some “morning pages” in my journal. I put it in quotes because, to be honest, I almost never write them in the morning. I drank a whole large water with ice. And I realized I was hungry.

I had tried several times to reach my daughter, waiting about an hour between attempts. The hunger eventually won out, and I texted her that I was going home.

Two hours after I got home, she texted me. She appears contrite. She did not ask for a ride. Which is good because I don’t have the gas to drive her and it was too late to sell blood for her to get gas money to give me.

It’s not very respectful of my time. I mean, I didn’t waste time, but I might have done something else if I’d known I wasn’t going to see her. I’m a little disappointed.

But more than that, I wonder if I”m a little too available. I wonder if I am excited to see her and she isn’t that interested in seeing me. I wonder if I”m preventing her from growing up and taking responsibility for herself. And if I’m wondering about it, the answer is probably yes.


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Background Check and Meds Issues



It’s been an interesting week so far.

I loaned my book Coping Skills by Faith G. Harper to one of the ladies at group. I just hope I get it back at some point. I need some of the information in it for the “book” I’m writing.

I put book in quotes like that because it doesn’t feel like it’ll be 100 pages, and most books are 200 pages or more. Some of those Harry Potter books were almost 2 inches thick, that a lot of words! I don’t have that many words in me any more. I used to, before meds, but now it’s just impossible. I have become a good listener and not much of a talker.

Anyway, I seldom loan out anything, so it was a rare moment of generosity for me. Especially since there is the possibility it won’t come home to me. Slight, but still.

Sunday was the storm in the picture I posted the other day. It was apparently a thing called a rain bomb, where a very small area has a terrible downpour and high winds. Of course it moves as the storm front moves. It took down trees and took out power for 3 days in some parts of town. What I have learned from this is, Dallas is not prepared for a disaster, if it took 3 days to restore power after a storm. What if something significant happened?

Monday I went to deal with my passport at the post office. It went pretty fast, but boy it was hard to part with $125. The passport itself isn’t that expensive, but I’m less than a month from travel so I had to expedite it which is another $60. Photos were $20 and there was a cost for cashier’s check, which the government needs since they don’t take bank cards. So this is a good thing, but I’m missing the money.

There was no group on Monday because power was still out at the facility.

Tuesday I had a work meeting so I didn’t go to Recovery International. I was told the meeting was at 10:00, so I signed on at 9:55. Well, sure it was at 10:00 — EASTERN time! I’m in central so it started at 9:00 for me and I only went to like half of it. At least I’ll get paid like $10.00 for it. I feel a little dumb about this, I mean, I know the meeting is webcast from DC, I just spaced on the whole time zone thing.

Then I had to drive up to the office for a background check. I’ve been working for the government for 2 years now, and they’re just getting around to the background check. What if I don’t pass for some reason? I mean, I’ve proven I can do the job, would they really let me go? But I was honest with them about what they asked. They asked about my work history and I told them about getting fired from the bank job. I mean, why hide it? The job became a call center, I am not cut out to work in a call center, and I was glad to be fired. They also quizzed me on my credit report. There were of course medical bills, which I may never pay. And my student loans. But they had something with TD Bank, and I’ve never done business with them to my knowledge, so I’ll have to call on that one. I don’t mind paying for what I owe, but I don’t want to pay for the other Allison.

You might remember the other Allison. I mentioned her in a previous post. She has my same first and last name, but she has a middle name which I do not, and she was born in the same town I was but 3 years before me. That means when I request my birth certificate, I usually get hers. Pain in the tushie. Plus I have had her stuff show up on my credit report. I know it’s hers by the location. And I have had her information show up in those verify your identity quizzes. They pull the information from public records online, and we are too similar to avoid computer confusion. I wonder if I should have mentioned her in the background check? Probably not, it would be too confusing.

I stopped at Buc-ee’s on the way home and got a peach ice tea. It was so good. I also got chicken salad but it was a bit too mayonnaise for me.

Today I went to group, the first one this week, and it was so good to be there. It’s truly my safe place. I will miss it when I’m deployed again, but so it goes. Someone in group payed me a great compliment today. She said I am her accountability partner, because she texts me and I always text back, and I don’t take sides or have an opinion about things. I know she is used to people just piping up with their take on situations in her life, and I don’t do that. I just mirror. She feels heard and understood. I bet I turned red when she said that.

Then I took my daughter to get her meds and dropped her off in town. She has a friend visiting who is catching a bus home at 3 a.m. tonight. I’ve taken buses, it’s a hard way to go. But the friend bought my daughter’s meds and some cat food, so that was nice. I got home and remembered that I hadn’t picked up my meds so I had to go back out.

I take 3 things for my bipolar disorder: Prozac (anti-depressant), Abilify (atypical anti psychotic) and Lamictal (mood stabilizer). I see the doctor about every 3 months, unless I’m deployed. He usually writes the prescriptions in 90 day lots. Well, I got 90 days of Prozac and 90 days of Abilify, but only 30 days of Lamictal. I called for the refill, because the bottle said I have 2 refills, and the pharmacy said I didn’t have any. I asked them to contact the doctor, and I called the doctor myself. Of course that was Friday, the doctor sent the refill on Monday, and it has taken until Wednesday for them to be ready to pick up. I’ve been out of my mood stabilizer for several days now. However, I have felt pretty good even without it. I might ask the doctor about that, since I’d prefer to take less medicine if I can get away with it.

Right now I am sitting in the living room, enjoying the air conditioning. Momo kitty has been affectionate and Charli cat is napping nearby. I have some reading material to get through and then, if I feel like it, some letters to write. I made 2 more sales on my Etsy shop, so that feels good. Those need to get mailed tomorrow. I also found I had $20.00 more than I thought I did. I celebrated by getting a frozen cranberry limeade at Sonic. I also stopped at QT and got a huge cup of ice water and an ice cream cone. Didn’t even come to $1.00 so that was a nice treat. Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference. Ice cream and a cold drink, and I feel like my day is complete.

Time to get working on my reading material.