Kiss5Tigers

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


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Tuesday Night Thoughts

I didn’t sleep last night. I get manicky sometimes and sleep eludes me. I surfed the web and watched some Netflix. All good and not conducive to sleep. Finally about 8 am I fell asleep. The problem being, I was supposed to be somewhere at 10 and I slept through it. I meant to just stay up then come home and crash but that didn’t happen.

I am sleepy tonight and it’s only 11 so I might be asleep before midnight.

I need $145 for my passport. I have about half of it, unless I need to put gas in the car, which I probably will. But my friend paid for my airfare so I think I need the passport more than I need gas. Except I need the support groups and I have to drive to them, so . . . I hate being on the horns of a dilemma.

I am thinking about B. I know we haven’t planned anything other than hanging out and there isn’t anything that makes me think he likes me especially. I went through this with Joe back in the 80’s. He was good looking, sincere, kind and had a way of looking at you with his full attention. He also had a girlfriend that he was very serious about and eventually married. The first few times I interacted with him, he rather took my breath away. I don’t think he ever knew I felt like that and it’s well over now so if he happens to read this, it’s funny more than embarrassing.

So B is better looking than I am, and kind and polite and pretty smart. He’s a balanced individual and respectful. Earnest. And he has a way of interacting that feels like you’re the only thing in the world. But he’s like that with P too and I know they’re just friends. Aside: there is something about friendships between men that makes me happy. Anyway, I will just be friendly, I can always use another friend, and hopefully he will never know I am getting all day dreamy.

But for myself, it’s nice to feel like this. I have had no sex drive or even interest in years. Here I am all butterflies and blushes and I thought it was over. Time of life, medication, being plain and pudgy, just seemed like there was no hope of this kind of juiciness. I’m happy for myself, regardless of whether this turns into anything. It’s fun

I long for a couple of dollars to spare so I could get a mocha at a coffee shop. I would like to take my letter writing stuff and take over a table and drink some professionally made coffee. From espresso, not from drip. With dark chocolate. Oh, decadent. LOL. It’s just coffee.

I am tired of being poor. And I will be poor for some weeks more. I need to just suck it up and get on with life.

Someone was very kind to be at the Marvelous Message Board, my SARK group. The organizers decided to drop my membership from $20 a month to $5, which was huge even though I still couldn’t afford it. Then someone anonymous paid for a year for me. So, wow! The kindness of humans is beyond amazing. I am a valued part of the community, and someone was willing to back that up with action. I am honored.

Well, 3 and a half more weeks until food stamps renew, 2 weeks until I can apply for unemployment. Even if I qualify, it’ll be 3 weeks until I get paid, and I’ll only get paid for one week because Texas holds back the first week.

I am going to be so poor for so long. I can’t stand it.

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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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Making Coffee in a Strange Kitchen

I’m house sitting for a friend. She went to Europe. Often I would be envious but not in this case: I know what she puts herself through to save for her adventures. I don’t have that kind of self-discipline. I hope she has fun.

What she does have, is a cat named Archie. He apparently doesn’t take well to staying alone so I am here to take care of him. He is meowing for food but his dish has food in it. From this morning and from yesterday. In the morning, before I leave, I will clean his dishes and put out all new food.

Now what she doesn’t have, is cable tv. I am a person who runs the tv all the time for background noise. I’m darn glad she gets Netflix is all I can say. And she has set up a profile for me. I’ve watched way too many NCIS, a few Person of Interest and some Sherlock. I saw a documentary about eating called The Magic Pill. One of the things I thought was interesting was the connection between how we eat and the environment. I also watched a movie called Dumplin’ which was about a girl who loves Dolly Parton entering a pageant. Spoiler: she doesn’t win. But it was heartwarming nonetheless.

My coffee is cold and there is no microwave to hot it up. My friend lives close to the bone to save for travel, but the no microwave thing is more of a life choice. She objects to them. She claims they are not good for food and she is into clean eating. I’m struggling with keto and she is adding in the secondary layer of ethical sourcing. Hats off to her, it’s more than I would do.

I need to rearrange my stuff tonight. I brought an extra bag of activities so that I would have something to do while I was here, but I don’t want to check a bag on the plane tomorrow so I have to consolidate. I figure I’ll leave the extra bag here and pick it up later. But I do need to go through the bags and figure out what goes and what stays.

The travel. Not sure if I mentioned that already. I am going to Alabama for some training next week; Sunday – tomorrow – is my travel day. Oh that reminds me, I must get my boarding pass into my Apple wallet. I can stand a week of pay, since I’m not going to Alaska this time around. My training counts as a deployment so I probably go to the bottom of the list. I’ll have a wait.

I have written about 20 letters for International Correspondence Writers Month, called InCoWriMo. I have maybe 10 more addresses that I pulled off the website. Then I have a stack of mail that needs replies. I figure the nights this week will be good for getting some writing done. I need to get going on my morning pages too, even though I don’t actually do them in the morning.

I will miss my support groups this week but work is good. I should make myself some eggs and toast, and settle in to sleep early.


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What I’ve Been Doing

I was sitting here drinking the coffee that my roommate L has made for me and I realized that you don’t know what I actually do with my time while I’m demobilized.  I’ve done a fair amount of complaining about things and I’ve certainly shared my (mis)adventures, but really life is pretty good and I want to share some of that.

I sleep most days until 9 or 10 in the morning.  I usually wake up with my cats cuddled up to me, which makes me happy.  If you have pets, you understand this.  Or children, I suppose, though as a mother I dislike comparing pets and children.

I get up and check facebook and email and other online things I’m working on.  I take my morning meds and eat some peanut butter toast.  I like the way the hot toast melts the peanut butter.  Usually by then L is up so there is coffee.  Now you may ask why I don’t make my own coffee since I certainly know how.  The truth is, we use a French press and the thing is just a pain to clean.  I am lazy.  That’s my big secret.  If L makes the coffee, she cleans it up.  Yup, that’s it, silly as it is.

Most days I go to a support group.  I use a peer run support group cluster that is available through a local mental health facility.  It’s free.  Mondays is DBSA, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance and we are working out of a book about managing life while struggling with a behavioral health concern.  Tuesday is Recovery International which has a very formal method.  It does however teach you to deal with daily life, something I don’t always do very well.  Wednesday is the PTSD group.  I don’t have PTSD but nobody is without trauma.  Thursday is a depression support group.  Friday is ATTA, which stands for Achievement Through the Arts.  It’s for artists with brain differences, so there is a mix of people with issues ranging from schizophrenia to injury.  Most of these groups meet for 2 hours, so that gives me a whole lotta free time.

I have been writing letters.  I have an extensive mailing list that I am trying to send everybody something and see who writes back.  Then I’ll keep up with the respondents.  I like getting mail and to get mail, one must send mail.

I also have been working on the 100 Hats project.  I want to sell them but I suspect most of them will wind up donated.  And that’s fine, for me the joy is in the making.  Speaking of making, I am working on some art pieces as well.  One of them is based on my friend K’s living room.

I stay up with my roommates until around 1 in the morning, then I lay in bed on the phone until 2 then I sleep.  So 10 am is really 8 hours of sleep, which is good for me.

I do see friends and go out to eat and run errands.  It makes for a pretty full life, but I would like to be deployed again.  Not that I wish for bad things to happen, but when a disaster hits, I am ready.


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The Need to Connect

I love words.  Obviously I do, since I choose to blog.  I love that blogging allows me to explore an idea in more depth than, say, Facebook does.  Not that Facebook puts a limit on how long a post is, but the format doesn’t lend itself to ruminations of any kind.

Now I like Facebook.  It gives me almost instant access to people.  But lately I am missing the old BBS’s.  I miss the connection of paragraphs rather than sentences.  I miss feeling like I really knew people.  It’s the difference between chatting at a cocktail party and having a meal with someone.  Both are good, they’re just different.

I write letters to connect with people.  I do.  I write actual pen-to-paper snail mail letters.  I’d say, if you want one, contact me; but the internet will be around long after I am no longer blogging and I can just imagine some poor person trying to reach me and I’m not around.  I do have a mailing list and I do send out mail on a regular basis.  In fact, I’m planning to send some stuff out this week.

So what is it, this drive to connect with folks?  I don’t build community much in person.  No, I take that back, I am part of several communities.  I have a friend or two who I met just socially.  I have 2 different groups of work friends from different jobs.  I have more than one friend from support groups.  And of course I have roommates.  Oh, and my extended family (the nuclear family have all passed away, but the cousins remain).  So there are several communities of which I am a part.  I am more social than I give myself credit for being.

And yet I feel disconnected.  The only thing I know to do is reach out more.  Go back to The Cat Site and IUOMA and see what’s going on.  Plan lunches with the work ladies.  Call my family and see what’s up.  Write some letters.

Maybe, if you read this, you could leave me a comment so I know we touched each other’s lives for a moment.


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Mentoring

I have received an email from a lady whose creative work I follow and it includes an offer for mentoring.  This is a group email, so no big personal decision here and frankly while I could probably use a life coach, I’m pretty sure I can’t afford her.  I’m sure she would expect to be paid for her time.  No judgement implied, we all need to get paid somehow and if I didn’t have a job, I’d want to do what she does, get paid to talk to people.

The thing is, I would like to be mentored but I don’t have a goal.  If I had a career goal or a life goal, that would be one thing.  But I don’t have a real career goal, just to do something I enjoy and I think I’ll be doing that soon (more in a minute).  And my biggest life goal is to learn to love people, which I do the best I can and I am getting better at it.  I don’t have something specific that I could be coached to do.

This is not the first time I’ve gotten an offer, or even just been reminded that there are opportunities if I choose to pursue them, for mentoring.  I wonder if this is something I should reconsider.  Would it help me find a goal?  Is a life goal even necessary?  Is it enough to be sure my daughter manages her life in a good way?  I mean, for parents, there is an age where your children are the purpose of your life.  She’s past that age though she still needs help and guidance sometimes, but I’m not sure I want another long term project that requires that kind of dedication.  Not that my child is a project, but parenting, man, that’s a long term commitment.  Do I really want to take on another big goal?  I don’t know.  On the other hand, do I need maybe a little more direction than I have right now?  Maybe.

Yeah, work.  I passed the background check and I will be a reservist in about a month.  I’m just waiting for the start date.  I have 3 more emails to receive — the final offer, the training schedule, and the travel itinerary — and I can’t wait until I get them.  I am very excited about this.  More details will become available as time passes.

I still want to put together the subscription box too.  I love mailing things out and if I can get it to be self-supporting, I mean I don’t even need to make money just not lose any, that would be great.  The theme is chakras.  I am hoping for a $25 dollar box with maybe $5 shipping.

I am into the M’s in my mailing list project.  Once I get to the end, the next thing will be to answer the letters I’ve received in response.  Then I will move on to the mail art list.  I just want to get cool mail so I have to learn how to send cool mail.  Mail as a hobby is like instant karma.

Nothing deep in closing.  Just wishing you all love and joy.


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Unhappy kitty

I had to wash all my bedding today.  One of the cats peed on my comforter.  Based on the amount of moisture, more than one time.  Since it was rolled up at the foot of my bed, I simply hadn’t realized how wet it was until I moved it.  Yup.  But a good hot water wash with bleach and OdoBan, and it’s usable again.  ( link to OdoBan if you’re interested http://www.odoban.com/ )  In the meantime, I need to wonder about why the cat was peeing in my bed at all.  It’s usually a sign of being unhappy or threatened.  Practicing feline psychology is difficult because they don’t give you any feedback.

My mail project is moving along.  I’m down to the J’s.  I’m very pleased with this.  I’ve had a handful of responses, which is more than I expected, and a few returned, which is less than I expected.  Some of my addresses are quite old and people move.  I need to write a one page piece about who sunlion is and what Kiss5Tigers means.  Sunlion is just my most common online name, other than my own.  Kiss5Tigers is, well, something else.  I guess it’s  my studio name.  It’s the name I associate with my projects, like this blog and my art.  I really don’t know how else to describe it.  It has an EIN, what is commonly called a wholesale number.  It’s the name that’s going on the subscription box, and it’s noted on my zines.  ( Contact me if you want a zine.  They are very short. )

I am ready for the time off between jobs.  I just wish the company would get in touch with me about the details.  Once they’re handled, once I have flight information, I can make the rest of my plans.  I do want some time off before the new job starts, maybe a few days, maybe a week.  I want to make some art and get the air conditioner in the car fixed,  organize my room a little more.  I really need to acquire some more drawer sets so I can start pulling stuff out of the boxes.  I’ve been living in boxes for 2 years now and it’s time to actually act like I live here.  I expect to be here for 2 more years anyway, since that’s how long my contract is.

I went to Kinokuniya in Plano the other day.  They had a book for sale on Japanese culture that I really want, but I didn’t pick it up.  I want to go to Japan with my daughter.  My current plan is to go in about 2 years when my contract is up.  We’ve been talking about going for years now and if I don’t make plans for it, it will always be a dream.  I’m thinking of taking the trek back to Plano to get the book.  I’d have to do it in the next week before they rearrange the store.  I wouldn’t be able to find it if they move it!  Here is a link for Kinokuniya:  https://usa.kinokuniya.com/  .  I bought a lovely green pen there and a cute glass bat for my daughter, totally worth checking out.