2021/06/10

2021 – Day 161

Da Goddess @ 00:08

My friend’s dog meows.

Yep.

Her dog meows like a cat. I heard it with my own two ears. Upon hearing it yesterday, I immediately enquired about the meow. I asked because I know for a fact that her wife is allergic to cats, so I knew it was likely just some loud neighbor kitty visiting at the door or something. “No cat. That was Molly. She’s really weird now.” I’ll say! When I dog sat for them years ago, Mol did NOT meow. She barked. Like your normal, average, everyday, common, garden variety dog.

That is no longer the case. This previously regular doglike dog is now a badass who sounds like a motherfucking cat.

And that’s pretty cool. I’ve demanded video so we can make her go viral and let her become a big doglebrity. I’m only asking 10% of her earnings. I’m not greedy. There’ll be plenty of cheddar to go around.

Anyone else have an animal capable of subverting societal expectations? I’m thinking we could have ourselves a pretty major double, triple bill for events.

Tell me what your animal does so I can work it into act.

2021/05/16

2021 – Day 136: 19 Years

Da Goddess @ 09:53

Are we who we think we are? Or are we who others think we are? Can both these perceptions exist simultaneously and both be equally true? If you know how others see you — and it gives you pause to reflect — does that invalidate what you thought of yourself? Or, if it changes how you see yourself, does THAT invalidate your previous view of who you thought you were? Should it? Should we then reconsider everything we thought we knew?

Is it possible for our actions to be purely received as we intended them, or is everything we do — regardless of our intent — completely at the mercy of how others perceive them?

These are the things running around my head at the moment.

I’ve been blogging for 19 years as of today. I guess I somehow thought I’d have a better idea of who I am and who I was at this point, but I feel I may never have any answers and I’m not sure if I want them any more.

Of course, I didn’t have any idea when I started this blog back in 2002 that I’d still be at it almost 20 years later. Hell, I didn’t have any idea I’d still be at it even two or three years ago. It makes me wonder if I should continue on; if I should make it a full 20 years of blogging; if I should take it up to May 16, 2023, which would be the end of my 20th year and call it quits then; or do I just keep on plugging away until my fingers seize up or fall off? I won’t make any decisions for now. I’m not in what anyone would call a prime decision making frame of mind at the moment. Have I ever truly been in that frame of mind?

Sometimes I don’t know if the me who started this blog is the same person who is currently writing this entry. I know both of us have inhabited the same body, but is that really all it takes to be the same person? I have no clue.

As I say almost every year, the only thing I know for sure is how much I value the people I’ve met through blogging. Each of you have left an imprint on my heart. Some have taken a bite of said organ, some have helped it grow, some have tried to rip it out and stomp it in to oblivion, and some have returned time and time again to help patch up what’s been bitten, beaten, torn, and bruised. You who have helped me grow, who have nursed me back from the brink of disaster, you are the ones I like best. Obviously. Feel free to tell the others. I won’t deny it. (If you were my children, this would be an entirely different conversation.)

Speaking of nursing, can you believe I was still a nurse when I started blogging? That seems a lifetime ago! It definitely seems like it’s, at least, been half a lifetime ago.

Little Dude was just four or five, and Mojo was eight or nine. Now? They’re grown and off on their own journeys of self-discovery, exploration, adventure, mundanity, heartache, heartbreak, recovery, triumph, and, hopefully, fulfillment and contentment. Instead of the precious, fragile little beings I once held close and fussed over every breath or cry or sigh or laugh, I have to remind myself they’re now capable of wiping their own bums, fixing their own meals (and mistakes, for that matter – steaks and mistakes, anyone?), determining their own lives. In the time since starting this blog, they’ve become fully formed people who no longer need me for, well, anything. It’s both sad and wonderful.

It’s the way the world works. Time passes; living things grow; living things die; we change; we do our best to get from one day to the next.

Using that particular lens, I can see I’m still me, just the older version of me; the me who has seen fire and seen rain (literally, at times); the me who has loved and lost and cried and laughed and LIVED. I don’t think I’d want to be the same exact person I was when I started blogging. Sure, there are some parts of this strange trip I might wish had gone differently, but I can’t say I’d want to have come through all of it and to not have changed in some way or another. I’d be crazy to not want to learn and grow along the way.

And so, with that in mind, I think I’m going to be okay with not knowing if I’m the me I think I am or if I’m the me you think I am or if I’m some mashup of the two. We can revisit this a year from now and see if I’ve miraculously found the answer. See you then?

2021/05/07

2021 – Day 127: Three Years & a New Loss

Da Goddess @ 15:55

Dad’s been gone three years now. I’m 100% aware of this, yet I still have moments when I almost forget. Almost. Just before I reach for the phone or think “he’d love this!”, I remember. Or the memory becomes less foggy. Either way, I have that incredible split second moment of him being alive again.

I know I’ll never stop grieving the loss. I know the edges of it will dull and the corners round off with time. I know this. I’ve done this before. Just never lost a parent before. Grandparents, sure. But they were old and th…oh yes. That’s right. I remember now. Dad was old, too. It just doesn’t feel like he was old in my heart and my heart calls a lot of the shots on such things.

I miss you, Dad! I love you and miss you and wish I had even five minutes more with you. Even if those five minutes were you yelling. I’d take it.

Dad

* * *

I’d meant to post this other news sooner, but I somehow managed to forget each time.

Jan from the Cascade Exposures blog, who also occasionally posted here, passed away in March. At the beginning of April, I texted her a link to a place I knew she’d want to explore. I didn’t hear back right away as I normally would. Odd. And then I woke up Easter morning to “This is Jan’s mom…” and I knew. I said a quick prayer that maybe she was just in hospital or something, but I knew. I just did.

I didn’t ask for details. I don’t know the exact day she died or the cause. I’ve just felt blessed to have known her and for her mom taking the time out of her grief to let me know her daughter was gone.

Jan had just retired after 30yrs at the same job. She’d loved it. But she finally had the chance to retire and she took it. With the pandemic, work was becoming a hassle with rotating team shifts and such. So, she was excited to retire, hang out with her sweet Lily cat, and she and her mom were planning some trips for the moment they had the okay to safely travel. Jan was going to show her mom Death Valley, which I guess she hadn’t stopped talking about since she and I had gone. I completely get that. It’s a special place for so many reasons.

I wish I could say it gets easier to say goodbye to people as I get older. The simple truth is it gets harder for me. Of the bloggers I’ve lost (Rob, Mikey, Scott, and now Jan), it just seems to me that the world keeps losing bright lights and big hearts. There will always be a place in my heart for these special souls, but especially for Jan. I consider myself fortunate to call her my friend and deeply honored that she called me one, too.

Jan

Okay. That’s it. I’m going to spend the rest of my day tending to my body and soul with some TLC and a warm shower to wash away the sadness.

Please promise me you’ll be here when I get back.

2021/02/08

2021 – Day 39b

Da Goddess @ 05:44

There’s a post from yesterday (which I couldn’t publish due to connectivity issues) on another device I can’t access at the moment. In that post, I mention I’m working on something about the coronavirus and basic health concerns. It ties in with the discussion happening in the comments from this post.

As someone who spent a lot of money and time on education to become a registered nurse, and who spent a great deal of time continuing my education in the pursuit of practicing the best care possible (I still do this even though I’m no longer licensed because I want to stay informed and I like to learn), I value the wisdom that comes from those who are on the forefront of medical care — through research and clinical practice — and I have to take care to approach new information with an open mind free of personal or political bias. To be frank, disease doesn’t give a flying fuck what party you belong to or who you vote for. Disease just happens. And we fight disease with science, with fact, and with the knowledge that addresses the disease. Politics may decide funding and dissemination of information to the public, but the actual fight against the disease isn’t political for medical professionals on the frontline. It can’t afford to be.

Anyhow, I have thoughts. So many thoughts. About Covid and healthcare in general. About how information is spread. About how people want to believe in practices other than that based on scientific and medical facts. I’m all for complementary medicine — homeopathy and holistic approaches — when they’re used in conjunction with that of conventional medicine. Together, that’s where the best stuff happens. I have a few too many friends who rely on homeopathic remedies and/or supplements as their own personal shields against disease and who then are surprised when they discover they’re ill.

Basically, my thoughts cover all of this and more and it’s coming. I just want to say it right.

So, please feel free to join the conversation in this other post and I can address topics of concern directly.

My goal isn’t to make anyone feel bad, but to open minds and hope that logic and common sense win out over what feels to be self-interest (even when it’s not intended as such).

I love you all and value our conversations, whether here on the blog or via email or text or phone calls. So, don’t be afraid to join in. I won’t bite. I promise. It’s not hygienic and it’s difficult to do while masked.

2020/12/25

Merry Christmas, Friends

Da Goddess @ 00:09

May your day be everything you’d hoped for, or something close to it. If you’re on your own today, I get that it can be lonely and frustrating, irritating and crazy-making. But, many of us are in the same boat and I think it’s safe to say whoever you’re missing is likely missing you just as much. If possible, give them a call or send them an email, tweet, or message them on Facebook – if that’s your thing. Reach out and let them know they’re in your thoughts.

Go out for a walk today if the weather permits. Hell, even if the weather doesn’t! Just be safe and smart about it.

Make up a plate of comfort food and eat until you’ve had your fill.

Let this be the one day you indulge your appetites and make it a party. Yes, you CAN have a party of one. Use this as a means of practicing for when we all reenter society at some unspecified date in the (hopefully) near future.

Be kind to yourself today. Be kind to others you may encounter. Mask up. Stay safe. And remember how sweet life will be when we’re able to join those we love most and celebrate together. Hold out for that day, BUT don’t forget to find simple joys now, too.

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

If you feel overwhelmed by the day/season/life in general, please dial 800-273-8255 and someone will be there to help you.

2020/07/27

Teach Your Children Well

Da Goddess @ 09:47

I have friends who are teachers. One pair, married and both have been teaching from home, while also having two kids engaged in distance learning. They’ve struggled to keep up with their own kids’ lessons as much as any other parents because they’re striving to provide their “other families” with fresh curriculum, attention, reinforcement of lessons, & sometimes even coordinating food for these kids.

The teachers I know are committed to helping another generation LEARN & build successful skills that will last them a lifetime. They’ve struggled to keep up with growing class sizes and shrinking resources. Some don’t even have enough textbooks for a classroom of 30, let alone enough books for five more periods of classes of the same size.

Now, here we are: the president wants to push everyone back to school. How are teachers supposed to enforce distancing and masks and handwashing in packed classrooms with kids who are often soft (read: resistant) on basic hygiene? Seriously, these are often kids who are lucky if they have enough clean clothes for three days a week and shower about as often.

And what about those textbooks that must be shared? There’s no way to get two kids to a book and still be maintaining proper distancing. Nor is it possible to disinfect the books in any way that would be helpful.

Our children and our teachers have struggled long before distance learning became a “thing” due to the pandemic. Now? We’re putting them in harm’s way because the president wants to make it look like we’re winning the battle against coronavirus when we’re clearly not yet there? How? Why?

After reading Dave Grohl’s piec. In the Atlantic, I gotta tell you, I’m even more worried about what this will do to our kids, our teachers, school staff, and to the families who will be put on the frontlines of this viral battlefield.

Please call, email, and write actual letters to your representatives to urge them to postpone this insanity for at least another six months. Let’s protect our children and our families, our school systems, and our communities until we know for certain that it’s safe for them to return.

2020/06/10

Thanks, Pam!

Da Goddess @ 12:02

Many thanks to pamibe.com for posting my last two entries. I sent them to her via text and she was lovely for posting.

My internets are sketchy at best these days. The only place I can usually get a steady signal is in the bathroom…in the shower or on the toilet. One inch away from either is dead zone city. And I only discovered this yesterday.

Thank you, Pam! You’re a wonderful friend and top notch human being! Love ya, babe!

2020/01/01

Happy New Year! 2020 is Here

Da Goddess @ 00:01

Happy Mew Year!

Wishing you a very happy New Year!

May 2020 be the year we all have good health, loving relationships with family and friends, personal growth, and the kind of prosperity that ensures your comfort, contentment, and sense of security. For the creative amongst us, may you find the well of inspiration deep and full.

Woo hoo! 2020, let’s do this!

2019/12/25

Merry Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:02

May you all have a day full of love, laughter, joy, and a feeling of belonging.

If you’re feeling alone and blue, please know there are many who also feel this way. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, please reach out for help. 1-800-273-8255

2019/11/28

Happy Turkey Day!

Da Goddess @ 00:07

Monica with the turkey

Happy Thanksgiving

Da Goddess @ 00:05

Wishing everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!

I have much to be grateful for and I find myself adding to the list every few minutes. Just as I think I’ve reached the end, another thing pops into mind. I’m almost embarrassed by how many reasons I have to be thankful. But this is one of those times when you thank God for every single item on the list and hope you’re doing justice to the gifts you’ve been given.

Funny how gratitude can change your attitude.

I hope you all have a beautiful day.

2019/10/31

Boo!

Da Goddess @ 02:34

Are you ready for Halloween? I am. And I don’t think Halloween can serve up anything worse than what I’ve been through this week. Yes, I’ve already had my scares. And, yes, I said scares. As in multiple scares.

Let’s start with the winds. And the fires. They’re here. All we can do is be prepared for evacuation at this point. I am totally prepared. Thankfully, after one particularly tense afternoon, I realized we were going to be okay. Others aren’t so lucky and my heart goes out to them.

Today’s humidity stands at 4%. FOUR PERCENT. That’s very, VERY dry. And the winds are alternating between calm and the Wicked Witch is coming for you and your little dog, too.

The winds cause the weathervane on my roof to turn. Unfortunately, when it does turn, it sounds like a ghost crying about how heavy its chains are.

Also, being that my home is about 90 years old, windows sometimes open randomly. Not so much a problem for the windows with screens, but the ones without are usually the ones that pop open. And they usually have the most giant spiders and giant spiderwebs. No bueno. I have enough spiders, thank you very much. I’ve learned to jam paper, cardboard, old gift cards, and everything else I can into the gaps in an attempt to keep them closed. Most stay shut. However, one, in particular, proves difficult. The one with the most giant spider and web. Needless to say, I have been known to wake suddenly and sit bolt upright when I have even the slightest suspicion it’s opened up again. I’m not sleeping well, obviously.

Despite all that, I’m better off than those who are in a fire’s path. I keep praying for firefighters to gain the upper hand on all the fires and let people return home…provided they still have one. Please say a prayer for them.

On to other things.

Then there was the other evening when I returned home after having dinner with my sisters and our mom. Normally, Fletch is waiting at the door. No Fletch. I called for him. Nothing. Panic set in. If he somehow got out, he wouldn’t stand a chance against the local strays or the coyotes that are frequent visitors in these parts. Then, in a burst of inspiration, I rushed to my closet and opened it to discover a VERY upset cat. He bolted out of the closet, practically knocking me over. He’s been known to sneak into closets and cupboards and pantries and just about anywhere he could possibly get closed in. I’m usually very careful about checking for him, shooing him out, and closing doors. I missed him sneaking in behind me as I prepared to leave this time. I was gone all of three hours. He wasn’t happy to have been stuck in the closet, but he was relieved to be let out.

Unfortunately, this was the one time Fletch really really really had to pee while trapped. After tearing apart just about everything stored on the floor, he chose to pee on the two worst things to pee on: a leather backpack (KA paid $5 for it, but it was immensely useful and a personal favorite of mine) and — oh, God, this one really hurts — my camera backpack, complete with three lenses and my old camera. The camera and lenses survived, though I lost a variety of ephemera I can’t replace. The important stuff survived and that’s what matters most.

Throwing out both bags made me want to cry. It was a ridiculous reaction. For one thing, both bags can be replaced (or, y’know, not) and all turned out okay gear-wise. Secondly, I hadn’t used either since moving. Whatever importance they held was strictly (weirdly) sentimental and didn’t warrant tears. Thirdly, Fletch did what he had to do. I can’t fault him for heeding nature’s call. Bodily functions are bodily functions. In fact, I’m kind of proud of him for not getting the urine all over the carpet. Quite thoughtful, if you ask me! Actually, I’m guessing nothing got on the carpet. Every time I’ve opened the closet, I take a significant breath and can’t smell anything.

Now, my new fright is having to find a replacement camera case. I’ve started my search and am overwhelmed. Do I want a rolling bag or a backpack or messenger bag or something else? Do I want a bag capable of carrying two camera bodies, five lenses, a flash, my laptop, and the other accessories necessary for a successful shoot? I don’t have a camera shop nearby where I can dig around and try bags on for size. (I miss you, Calumet!) So, I’m trying to sort through the plethora of options online and finding myself paralyzed by the prospect of making a choice.

After all this, I think I can manage whatever Halloween has in store for me. I have candy for my landlords’ daughter as well as any other kids that might show up. I doubt I’ll see anyone else, but I’m prepared nonetheless. I can always eat whatever’s left.

Saturday is Mojo’s birthday. It’s also the landlords’ daughter’s birthday. Mojo’s gifts were sent and a card is on the way. Little Miss Tiny (Fletch’s name for her) has a couple little, inexpensive presents to open because she’s quite honestly one of my favorite kids I’ve ever met. I can’t help but pick up a book or some other little item for her. Fletch adores her and that’s a ringing endorsement if ever there was one.

I got way off track here and it’s late. This is where the post ends. Except to say:

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

2019/10/04

Where Have All the Good Times Gone?

Da Goddess @ 00:15

Remember when the blogging community was thriving with great (or not) writing, fun & occasionally stupid memes, interaction with others, even bitter rivalries?

Much like television these days, with 500 channels and countless streaming options, blogging has become overwhelmed and drowned by other social media platforms. MySpace came and went (thank God). Google + or circle or whatever, also history. But Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and other sites seem to have drawn most bloggers away.

We’re scattered. Like large families who find themselves vast distances from each other, or maybe more like large herds of deer or other animals, the blogosphere bloomed and now has thinned.

I think one of the reasons so many people began to rely on other platforms is how commercialized or commoditized a lot of blogs became. It wasn’t so much ads on sidebars; it was more like people who had once told stories turned to writing paid reviews, or basically blogged solely for the purpose of income. It took a lot of the joy out of cruising blogs.

On Facebook, well, we could just connect on a realer level. Then Facebook started to “fix” what wasn’t broken, alienating users. You either loved the changes, hated the changes, or just rode them out because it was easier to keep track of family and friends on one site as opposed to going through dozens of websites. Twitter? You could build a variety of niche communities — or none — and cruise through for as long as you wanted. The brevity of tweets made for quick-ish reads and quick-ish replies.

Neither Facebook nor Twitter is perfect. Then again, neither was blogging when it was at its peak. But, at the very least, blogs were where so many people became friends, where people sometimes fell in love, where some found new careers, and/or where some discovered parts of themselves they’d lost or never even knew existed.

I suppose it’s inevitable that the blogosphere would collapse or implode implode or whatever you want to call it. Once bloggers abandoned realness for money, the blogosphere changed. It was as if someone plopped strip mall after strip mall between neighbors.

I’ve considered — more than once — just closing up shop. I mean, there are so few readers stopping by that it seems silly to keep going. However, while I’m not the most consistent blogger, I still find myself glad I have a place to write and post photos and interact with the few people who come by to check in with me. Y’all know who you are.

My domain name was up for renewal recently and I had to make a decision as to whether or not I should even bother. After some consideration, I decided to renew. Oddly enough, Go Daddy’s system decided I needed a two year renewal and I couldn’t get the system to let me renew for just one, so I’ll keep on for at least two more years. After that, who knows?

I’m sad so many of the people I met because of blogging have disappeared. I miss them. I miss what this community used to accomplish when called to action, whether in response to disaster or to raise money for military veterans and their families or raise money for breast cancer research. We were powerful once. As a community, we did some fantastic work and I miss that. But that’s over now and we all get to decide where we as individuals fit in or even if we want to fit in somewhere. Me? I’ll keep on keepin’ on until I run out of steam.

2019/05/16

Seventeen Years

Da Goddess @ 02:59

Seventeen fucking years. 17. SEVENTEEN! I’m astounded by how many years have slipped by.

A lot of shit has gone down since I first started this blog. The worst was last year, of course. But because of you, I made it through. Thank you.

I’m not going to say much more. Really just wanted to make a note of this blogiversary and then hobble back to bed.

Thanks, everyone! I love you.

2019/01/04

Moving Day

Da Goddess @ 20:56

In just about 12hrs, I’ll be loading up trucks with my little bit of furniture and clothing and heading south. My new home awaits and I’m excited/nervous about the whole thing.

I’m a bit worried about the cat. We had an emergency visit to the vet yesterday. He was lethargic and floppy, showing no interest in food, and just looking miserable. He perked up a bit as I was getting in the car, but then just settled in on my lap. Then he was super chill at the vet’s in the waiting room. Didn’t give a shit when barking dogs came in. He just stayed on his chair and looked at me with sad eyes.

When we finally saw the vet, he was less than happy. A thermometer up the old keister has never been his thing. Nor is someone trying to look into his mouth. Or when they put stuff in his ears. When they put stuff on his back? He’s not a fan. By the time they got around to jabbing his rear end with a needle, he’d definitely had enough.

Getting into the car to head home, he wrapped himself around my head. Belly completely covering my face and four sets of claws trying to hold on to the back of my skull.

He’s doing lots better today, but still having moments of blech-i-tude. So I have been cuddling with him as he wishes and pretty much watching him carefully in case he has any distress.

Which is why I’m nervous about the move with him. I’m worried it’ll be too stressful on his system. I’ll be watching him closely!

Other than that, I’m just excited about getting moved. Nervous, too. I keep thinking about the million things I still need to get. New bed. Groceries. Etc. Etc. I have a notebook with three pages of things I need, things I have to do. Address change, phone calls, transportation issues to solve, and more things I haven’t yet considered!

Nervous. Excited. Anxious. Thrilled. Trepidatious. Liberated. It’s enough to turn petrified dinosaur turds liquid.

And this is where we are tonight.

Back to packing and arranging my belongings. I find 30mins at a time is about all I can do. My breaks are spent with Fletch and TV.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow!

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