A House for my Family

After leaving my home state back in fall of 2015, my life has been a rollercoaster of moving into a 29 foot 5th wheel RV, briefly traveling, unexpectedly settling, the passing of my father, living in a yurt, moving into a 43 foot 5th wheel RV, a bit of traveling, moving in to a 39 foot motorhome, and then transitioning into an extended stay hotel where I’ve been for the last three years. It’s been a series of RV parks, campgrounds, boondocking, and hotels for 78 months, or approximately 2380 days. I never intended to take this path, and yet here I am.

I am really pleased to say that, two days ago, I signed a one-year lease on a house with my husband. It is in a quiet neighborhood near a state forest just outside of my state’s capitol. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, small yard, single car garage, and an unfinished basement. The property is on a well with septic so it’s one less utility bill to worry about. The yard is unfenced, which is less than ideal with three dogs, but the quietness of the location is what swung the decision to rent this particular house.

The move initiates in five days. I’ve set a goal of being out of the hotel, with our bed moved from our storage unit to the house, and having attended to two safety items I’ve identified regarding the dogs, by the end of seven days. Those two safety items are fairly simple: 1) a mat at the bottom of the basement stairs to prevent the dogs from skidding, slipping, or splaying on the concrete floor, and 2) using a temporary product, probably a static-cling film, to frost the glass of the rear sliding glass doors.

At the upcoming walk-through and acquisition of keys the plan is to submit three proposals to the property management for consideration by the owner. First, temporary fencing – probably using some type of T-bar and Tenax product or “hog wire”. Second, adding some type of product to the basement stairs to increase the friction on the treads, as they are currently bare wood. Third, covering the ceiling of the basement with some type of poly sheeting, stapled to the beams overhead to sequester the exposed insulation.

This is a big step forward. I’m crossing a threshold that I could not have navigated even just a year ago. My mental health has been rough for many years. I have finally reached some success in bringing about a higher level of executive function and mood stabilization. My journey is one of trauma healing and this new home will create the physical, mental, and emotional space to grow further into a healthier, capable person.

This is a Test Post for Embedding a TikTok

As I mentioned in my pervious post, I will be publishing my tests of WordPress functionality. Learning and doing is all part of the process of growing.

This is a test post for embedding a TikTok video. I am using a plain link and not an embed code.


Scatter feeding Lucy near the dog park #doglife #doglove #rescuedog #reactivedog #scatterfeeding #counterconditioning #dogpark #dogtraining #dogtok

♬ original sound – kiirkas

Edit: To make this work I had to enable cookies for tiktok.com in my Privacy Badger extension for the Chrome browser. Otherwise I was getting a plan text post with links but no video. I found the answer to my problem on this webpage: https://wordpress.org/support/topic/embeds-not-working-on-all-websites/

Style note: I do not like the white background with the site’s dark theme. I will need to think on this.

This is a Test Post for Linking a Goodreads Book & Review

Check out this book on Goodreads: He’s Only Playing! Meeting, Greeting and Play Between Dogs. What’s OK, What’s Not

(test post – sharing a book from goodreads)

I’m posting this as part of my testing process. I’m choosing to make this process public, since my journey is all about learning. For this post, I had to download an image of the book’s cover in addition to posting a link. I’m going to check out if I can link my own review or if I need to copy and paste it here.

Edit: My review will need to be copied & pasted. It’s good info to have.

My Book Review: “Short, simple, and informative.” The book is only about 16 pages. It includes photos of dogs in various social situations with a focus on their body language to understand their interactions – friendly, neutral, and unfriendly. The images were hard to see very well on my Kindle. I recommend it for any dog owner or dog professional.

March 25, 2022

I updated the website today. I added a new picture of Tyler as the primary photo and moved the older photo to the bottom of his page. I also added more pictures and expanded blurbs for both Lucy & Molly. Jax’s page looks good so I’m leaving it alone.

I managed to do well today until I hit a low blood sugar incident around 3:30 pm. It kinda took the wind out of my sails. I’d done enough errands by then but I had to leave the dog park early and that disappointed Jax. I did my best to make him feel special anyway.

I’m finding some thrust to do long-form journaling again. It’s been many, many years since I’ve done that kind of writing. It seems to go hand in hand with my elevated executive function. I’m still figuring out if I’m on a sustainable positive trajectory. I hope it can happen.

Everyday Headspace: Neutral Thinking

Today’s Everyday Headspace meditation was titled “Neutral Thinking”. In a world full of slogans and propaganda, learning to think neutrally can enhance one’s experience and reveal deep truths about the world around us. One can practice acceptance of what is, rather than forcing an artificial narrative.

Blessings on the journey.

The image above reads: “‘Positive thinking’ creates another story in our mind. Awareness transcends both positive and negative, allowing us to free our mind.”

#headspace #everydayheadspace #neutralthinking #mentalfreedom

Dec 31, 2019

I posted this picture to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter yesterday with the caption:

“Recent #selfie for #newyearseve. I chose this picture because it hides my turmoil and pain. It’s been a really rough year. I’m just trying to make it through.

I’m working on creating a better life in 2020. To me, that means sharing hard truths, even if I am scared & ashamed. I don’t mean to be a person who struggles. But I am, and I do.

Best wishes to all in the new year. May you and yours find and share kindness, compassion, love, empathy, and stability.”

I’m working to turn my life to a better path in 2020. Honesty is the first step.

Christmas 2019

There has to come a time I allow myself to be vulnerable. To reject the conditioning which causes me to hide myself and truths about me from the world. This is one of those times.

I am currently living in a room at an extended stay hotel with my husband and three dogs. It’s crowded but workable. It’s clean, I can cook meals, and I’m safe & secure. I am also lonely, isolated, emotional, and deeply sad.

Life has not been kind, and I am an expert at being unkind to myself. Growing up, I was always treated like something was wrong with me. Turns out, it’s true. I am broken and I probably always have been. If not always then the trauma visited upon me in my formative years scattered the pieces of my soul to the winds and I’ve never recovered.

On the subject of my brokenness, I remember my father repeatedly lamenting the “money [he] wasted on therapy” when I was a kid; the same man – a month before his own death – looked at me with disappointment in his eyes when I told him I was mentally ill and asked, “do you really believe that?”, like somehow I’d failed him, again. How could he not have known? Then again, to acknowledge what was truly wrong would have meant admitting he abused his kids and that was out of the question.

It wasn’t until I was ‘grown’ and into my 40s that it was revealed to me my paternal grandmother (father’s mother) was hospitalized every winter threatening to kill herself. Classic mental illness. Yet, it was treated like a family secret instead of a fact of family history. It carried a stigma because it was given one and then hidden away.

I know that many family members on my maternal side have died on or around Chistmas. It’s like a morbid, ugly tradition. And that’s before I get into the number of holidays ruined by my parents’ anger. My mother especially liked to pick fights before we’d even left the house, yell at us in the car for an hour, and then tell all the relatives upon our arrival what horrible children we were. As if she wasn’t the adult in the room shattering her children with a sneer on her face and words like knives. A thousand little cuts every time. Bloody children empty of anything but the contempt they were constantly shown.

And so I sit today, eating cheese & crackers and watching YouTube videos, crying frequently, and unable to escape the black hole in my chest. I dread Christmas every year and it never gets better. So much death, so much instability, so much anger all poured into a vulnerable vessel. No matter how much work I might do I can’t honestly say I’ll ever get any better. The science says it gets harder as I get even older.

I am conditioned to assume no one wants to hear about my life because I was always told & treated like 1) it didn’t matter, or 2) I was making it up. I don’t know how to “get over it” but if I’ve learned anything it’s that people who use that phrase the most are the ones who abuse the most and they just want their victims to be easier to abuse in the future.

If you’ve read this, thank you for for your time and your energy. Traumatized people do traumatizing things, and they have stories full of hurt and horror which are hard for others to digest. This is just a bit of my annual story.

I attempt gratitude sometimes. It can be hard to find when my head & my heart tell my soul to give up – that trying again is a lost cause, that I am a lost cause. Still, today I am grateful for a roof over my head, a clean room, a regular shower, food in the fridge, a vehicle that runs, three healthy dogs, and a partner who shows love and kindness when I’m in pain.

It hurts to know that in many ways I’m lucky, and it hurts even more to know there are others out in the world in much deeper anguish and pain. I do my best to cultivate loving kindness for them – especially, and for all – generally. May 2020 be a better year for everyone.

Merry Christmas.

Taking action on my health – intermittent fasting edition

Four months of committed, tracked intermittent fasting has led to weight loss, body recomposition, the reduction of medication, the cessation of medication, the end of my GERD (reflux) problem, better bloodwork results, clearer thinking, fewer food cravings, getting full faster while eating less food, an end to my after dinner eating, and an appreciation for more nutritious food.

To put this in perspective, I had an A1C measurement of 10.1% when I was diagnosed with diabetes some years back. My most recent measurement was 6.3%. Anything under 6% is generally considered non-diabetic.

I’m proud and happy of what I’ve accomplished for myself. I need healthy habits I can rely on when other things in life get tough. Especially when my head & heart work against me, sometimes.

I wish the best for everyone, and I pray for loving kindness to all.