random stuff

These Days

These days of summer, the month of June, has been spectacularly obnoxious for me. Here’s why:

Near the beginning of the month, my debit card was stolen, and a number of charges were made online. The charges themselves were not very big, but my bank has added HUGE overdraft fees, leaving me nearly $900 overdrawn at the end of the month. I don’t even get nine hundred dollars in SSI/SSD each month!! We are working to fix this, but it seems as if the bank just doesn’t care. I hate it, and am not happy. And I’m broke, probably forever, now.

Add to the money problems the health stuff. The last year has been bad, seizure-wise, and we cannot seem to figure out why. OHSU, where I am a patient at the Epilepsy clinic, assigned me to a new doctor last Autumn, and I’ve seen her once. She keeps rescheduling my appointments. So I’m asking my GP, Dr Jeff, for a referral to the Providence Neurology & Epilepsy Clinic. I am done being shuttled around. That appointment, with Dr Jeff, is tomorrow. I get my thyroid level checked, too, after being on the med for over a year. Let’s hope things are looking up!

Some things are looking up, I can admit that. I’ve lost some weight in the last year, but not nearly what I need to lose. I am a short woman, with small bones, and weighing this much can’t be good for me. Now, I watched a TED Talk this week, and based on their info, even at this weight, I’m in the healthier group. See, I do 3 of the 4 things it takes to make you the healthy person: I eat plenty of fruits & veggies, I don’t smoke, and drink moderately. I don’t get enough exercise, but I’m working on it. Makes me feel better about myself, even if my clothes are a bigger size!

Seriously, 75% of what I eat these days is some sort of green smoothie. My NutriBullet gets more use than any other appliance I own, except my laptop! I am feeling better, and I know I am healthier. There are days when something happens to change that; last week I had a fairly bad seizure, and managed to injure myself in some strange places. How I got what looks like a rug burn/bruise underneath my boob, I have no idea, but it hurts like a bitch! Wearing a bra has been out of the question for the last week. (Oh, and the heat here, that’s only made things worse. I miss winter.) I’m finally not sore everywhere else, and feeling like a human being again. It’s amazing. Somedays I think my body hates me. Somedays I hate it.

These days, I only want to stop feeling as if I crawled out from under a rock. I looked like I should live under one for a while, but now I’m looking better, thank Merlin. I swear, I looked in the mirror last Saturday, and thought I’d been dead for a couple of days! Ick. Only my hair looked decent; I colored it the week before, and it’s very nifty. I’ll post some pics in the next couple of days–check Instagram!

These days, I am also having some interesting things going on; I’m back on the online dating scene, because I am apparently crazy (I will write about this later), and have no idea what I’m doing. I am trying to grow my nails out again, and not biting them is torture! Trying to answer Oprah’s “20 Questions Every Woman Should Answer.” I have no good answers. I never do.


home · random stuff · stuff

Planet of the Ants


I hate having bugs in my house. Except spiders. Spiders, I don’t mind. Without spiders, we’d be over-run by other creepy crawly things, and I cannot have that. Back in Colorado, my bedroom was in the basement, and every spring & summer, I’d get crickets in my room. I’d spend hours trying to track them down with my spray can of Raid, until I’d finally have silence, and could sleep. I’m sure I ingested enough bug killer between the ages of 11 and 17 to explain nearly all of my health problems these days! If those dumb crickets had stayed quiet, they’d have been safe; I don’t go after bugs I can’t see or hear! After all those years of Raid, I started trying to use greener methods of insect control, and some of them even worked! The vinegar trap for fruit flies was a great success– an inch or two of apple cider vinegar in the bottom of a jar, then cover the top with plastic wrap and poke a few holes, They are attracted to the sweet smell, but drown in the vinegar! And the beer trap worked great for catching slugs. The problem has been ants.

We had ants in our old house, and could never get rid of them, and we have them here. Just little black sugar ants, nothing dangerous, but highly annoying, and fucking EVERYWHERE! Not just the kitchen, and dining areas. I found them in my bathroom, and they’ve been swarming in my bedroom this week. The first time they showed up, I tried a few green solutions I found online. I sprayed a solution of white vinegar around. Didn’t do anything but make my room smell like a pickle. I sprinkled coffee grounds around where they come in ( apparently ants don’t like coffee?); not a thing happened, but at least that smelled better. The coffee grounds did keep the ants and other bugs off the plants in the garden when we tried it there, it just didn’t work in the house. In one area I lay down a line of black and red pepper, because it was supposed to stop those ants in their tracks! Nope. I just ended up with a dusty floor. The only thing I haven’t tried that all the green sites recommend is borax, and peppermint. I didn’t have either of those on hand. Today I swept and cleaned, dusted and then sprayed all the nooks and crannies of my room with good old Raid Ant Spray. For a couple of hours, my room smelled like a chemical bomb, and my head hurt like a bitch. But for now anyway, all the ants are gone. I plan on buying some peppermint essential oil and using it -or maybe the peppermint castile soap–maybe both–to spray around the room and bathroom. I don’t want to use borax, because we do have pets, and that stuff will get on their feet and hurt them! One site I saw said that windex is a great ant killer, so maybe I’ll try that. I can clean my windows at the same time!



blogging · lists · random stuff · writing

List It Or Lose It


I like making lists, but if you’ve read many of these posts, you’ve probably noticed that. Lists keep me sane, or at close to it as I come. I make lists of things I need to do, things I want to do, things to buy, things to sell, and all sorts of other lists. I have entire journals filled of lists: what I’d like my dream home to look like, what I’d like my dream man to be like (that’s actually the most difficult list), lists of items I’d have in my dream wardrobe, the songs I’d record if I made a cover album, favorite books & movies & songs, things I love, things I hate, things I cannot live without, and things I’d be happy to never see again. Sometimes at night when I can’t sleep and my brain just won’t shut up, I lie in the dark and give myself a topic to make a list. For example, bands from the 1970’s, going from A to Z, or a list of 25 female characters I really disliked. I usually go in alphabetical order on these lists at night, simply because it helps me keep things in order, and I seldom get all the way to Z before falling asleep.This is how obsessive I get about lists: when I was taking the medication Topamax, my neurologist would give me a quiz each visit to test how it was affecting my verbal skills. He’d give me a letter, and in 60 seconds I had to come up with as many words (no proper nouns, nothing that I’d just said with a modifier –no green then greener) beginning with that letter as I could. I usually did very well on this test, not as well as I thought I should, but I stayed in the top percentile until I’d been on Topamax for several years, and then I started having real trouble finding words. But the lists–after each visit, I would spend my ride home on the bus making a list of words; I’d have always asked the doctor for the list he wrote down as I said them during the test, and then I went from there, until I’d have pages of my journal or dayplanner filled with words. It annoyed me so that I only got a minute to do the first list, and I knew I could do better. When I told my doctor about this, he asked me two questions: “does it make you feel better?” and “how many words do you come up with?” Since I was worried he’d tell me this was a sign I was crazy, I was happy to tell him that yes, it did, and for one letter I came up with nearly 250 words before the bus got to my stop.

My lists are almost always on paper; I’ve tried the list-making apps on my phone and tablet, and it just isn’t the same. I use one occasionally for my grocery list, because it’s easier, and I don’t lose it. But for my other lists, those that are for my soul, I need the feel of a pen on paper, or hands on a keyboard. I think this is one of the reasons I like sites like Pinterest so much–it’s essentially a bunch of lists of stuff people like! I can spend hours just reorganizing my own pins, just getting lost in nothing… Wow.

So. There’s a site called listography.com and I love it. Reading other people’s lists is fun, and I just signed up, so now I’ll be posting my own! https://listography.com/readbetweenthewhines?m=6404158689 That’s me. And I have a list posted, so go and read!


random stuff · The Monkees

I have no idea what this post is about.

Don’t expect a topic tonight. I spent an hour today cleaning my room, and swept out whatever ideas I had, along with the amazing amount of stuff there was on my floor. I say amazing, since I’m really the only person who’s ever in here, and I seldom go outside, so where the hell is all this bark dust coming from, and I no longer have a pet, so the cat hair really confuses me. The toast crumbs, scattered push pins and those little spongy things that go on the end of headphones–those I claim responsibility for. Oh, and the water bottle cap, that was mine, too.

Anyway. I’ve been watching a bit of telly online this week, since I don’t have a cable hookup in my little room. I’ve always watched stuff online, but channel surfing on the web is an odd experience. Long ago I discovered the joys of YouTube: lots of old shows are posted there, in full-length, as well as clips, and if you look, you can find almost anything. Last week I watched nearly every episode of The Monkees. Again. Back in the 80’s when they were running them on VH1, my sister, and nieces watched all of them, even set the VCR to record them! (I still have those tapes, somewhere…) And when the band toured, sans Mike Nesmith, to capitalize on this new success, we went to see them in concert, in Provo, Utah. It was a good show, too, although it would have been better with all four Monkees; without Mike, it was missing something.

So yes, I watched these shows again, and they made me smile, again. I once again realized that most of my brain is taken up with totally useless stuff: not only do I still know every word to the Monkees songs, recorded before I was born, but I still know the words to most of these tv shows, made & aired before I was born! Here’s a clip from one of my favorite episodes, ‘The Fairy Tale,’ featuring Peter Tork as the hero searching in the forest, and Mickey Dolenez, in this scene, as Goldilocks.

random stuff · whatever

I’m writing this in the dark.

Not that that has anything to do with anything, but I thought maybe somebody somewhere might care. I like my new room, it’s filled with bright colors and has lots of space, but gets dark really quickly. And I need more light sources. One floor lamp, a small table lamp, and a set of fairy lights just ain’t cutting it. My next purchases will be light related, I believe.

Oh, and if I can scrape together the cash, I’m going to get myself a treadmill (there are always treadmills for sale on Craigslist!); I want to lose some weight, but do not want to go outside. I’m not an outdoor girl. I want to be able to do everything right here in my little room. I am the reason the internet was invented–for people who want to socialize without leaving their chair. I’ve done the online dating thing, but that didn’t really work so well for me, now did it? It’s way too easy to lie about who you are, and how you are in an online profile, and trick somebody; I found that out the hard way. So while I may enjoy socialising on Twitter & Facebook and all of the various other places I hang out online, I don’t think I’d date anyone I met there ever again. One bitten twice shy, or something like that.

Anyway. This week I’ve managed to fight off two killer migraines, fall out of the shower (bringing the shower curtain down with me), finally finish unpacking my moving boxes, and bite my nails. The fingernails it took me nearly a year to grow out into reasonably strong, heathly nails, are now gone, gnawed off in a few hours of stress. I am so disappointed in myself. But, I know that as they grow back, they’ll be healthy, not like last years, when they were all weak & fragile from all those years of being stuck under acrylics! I did it once, I can do it again.

Tomorrow, I have errands to run, and then you’ll get a book review. 🙂