Sleepless, Where Do I Go From Here…

I seem to be staring at a blank page a lot lately. I want to write, there are things running around up there that want out, but I pull up a page, even just a Google Docs page just for me, and …crickets. I don’t know if there is just too much up there that the gate is clogged or if I just really have nothing to write about at the moment. Maybe I just don’t feel that what may come out is worth the effort of putting it there. I don’t know.

My mood, for the most part, is pretty good – no doomsday thoughts – but I’m still not sleeping right. In bed at 9 pm, up at 1:30 am, stay up all day thinking this will reset the internal clock. Go to bed, again, at 9 pm. Up at 3. Crap. From what I can find so far on the internet points to perimenopausal symptoms as the culprit. Oh fun. This is bullshit.

My pillow, blankets, and I have always had a great relationship. I love sleep. I love the comfort and cuddles of nice soft, clean, great smelling blankets cocooned around me. Snuggling up to my pillow is a frequent day dream. Sleep and I have always been close. I still love the crawling into bed, burrowing into the covers, smooshing into my pillow, and falling asleep, I’m just incapable, it would seem, to sleep for more than 4-6 hours at a time anymore. I want more damn time with my pillow.

Ok. That rant is over, at least for now. Sorry. Lack of sleep leaves me cranky.

So, I’ve been trying to find work. Well, I’ve been trying to try to find work. I start looking to see what is available but then, when I see all the different postings, none of them mentioning anything I think I am any good at, my anxiety kicks in. Once that happens, looking seems pointless because I’m reading the ads without really reading it. Does that makes sense? The words are being read, their meanings understood, but the info just isn’t coming through. I think I am going to need help with this.

The other thing with trying to find work not in my industries is the pay. Such a huge pay cut. I’m supposed to go from averaging $20/hr, minimum usually, to minimum wage? Its painful enough changing industries since I can’t do my work anymore, but I have to take a monstrous cut in income, as well?! Less than $400 in take home pay?! SO, now, not only is my anxiety making it difficult to even assess if a position is OK for me, I’m looking at the pay thinking there’s no way this will work out. I used to be able to make that weekly amount in a couple of days. Ugh. Suck it up, buttercup. I know. There’s just got to be a better way.

I’m still being told I should write, turn that into an income. I want to. My biggest barrier is myself, I guess. I don’t feel like I have what it takes to become even ‘support myself’ successful with writing. Maybe I could. The desire is there. I am told the skills are there, or at least lying in wait for me to polish them up through use. There are supposedly tons of ways to write and make a decent living at it, so I’m told through so many different internet searches, such as a “write for us” Google search.

The search yields 996 million results, which one would think that would make finding an income super easy and perhaps it does to the masses. I am not trying to be terminally unique here but I hit the part asking for a query letter and I freeze. How does one write a query letter? I know there are about a thousand or so different links to “how to write a query letter” but I have to admit my whole system seems to shut down while I’m scanning the page to collect basic info before diving into the meat of it that I have discovered I’m not really learning anything. I’ve got to stop this vicious cycle, get over myself, learn query letters, write articles of different natures (I have the info in here, somewhere), and GET OUT OF MY OWN DAMN WAY!

I had really thought the anti-anxiety medication they sent me home from the hospital with would have helped me get past some of my anxieties but I guess that was a bit unrealistic. They just don’t have the ability to completely remove the existence of anxiety from things that require me to put myself in front of what feels like a personal firing squad. Putting myself out there. Why is that so hard for me? Where did this come from? Why?

Ok. I’m going to go. I feel like I’m prepared to face off the learning to write a query letter so I’m going to run at it while I’m feeling all supercharged about it. Cross your fingers for me!!

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The Pains of Age and Experience…

I’ve been up for about an hour and a half. So much pain. My back, hip, left knee, and hands are just throbbing. Thankfully, typing doesn’t seem to exasperate the hand pains. This is becoming too much.

I am currently working on an article about sleep needs of the 40-something woman. I am one and my sleep patterns have gotten really off track, though I am learning maybe not as much as I was believing. Tonight/this morning, I hurt. I hurt so much it woke me up. I can’t roll over without my lower back/sacrum area hurting. I can’t stretch, fully body stretch, without my left knee hurting, badly. I’m complaining, yes, but I don’t think unreasonably so…

While I was in the hospital they introduced me to a pain reliever I’d never heard of before: Voltaren. Voltaren (diclofenac) is an anti-inflammatory type pain reliever that works more specifically with arthritic type situations to help reduce the inflammation that causes joint pain. I fell in love with this medication within 2 days. Why? I actually was not in pain except the joint to the left of my sacrum, which at least reduced in intensity. Day 3, even that joint stopped hurting. I couldn’t believe it and was so overjoyed to be pain-free for the first time in 3 years.

I didn’t want to build up a tolerance to the medication so I wasn’t taking it unless I was in pain. Label says take as needed for pain. Now, I’m in so much pain I’m losing sleep, which makes me wonder if “take as needed” was not the right prescription to give. I took one about an hour ago, but I had also taken one right before bed, around 9 pm. That’s only 4 hours. I can’t find any info telling me if this is not good or just fine. I just want to not be in pain, to sleep through the night without being woken up every time I try to turn over, to stretch fully without pain, to not be up at 1:30 am writing unless I’m doing so because the idea woke me up.

What pain medication do you use? Are they working the way you want them to? Would you recommend them? What type of pain are they for? What’s your trick to help with the pain when it just becomes too much? I ask so that I can be better prepared when I go to the doctor tomorrow. I want to be able to have ideas of what could work. At the very least, I want to be able to understand what I may be prescribed, if it is something different. I want to be able to participate in my care.

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Warrior Down but ok…

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt; April 23, 1910

I should have written this post a few days ago, right after I got out of the hospital. Things were a lot clearer, like feelings, my actual thoughts at the time, but a lot seems like it has faded since then. Even the names of a few have hidden themselves from quick recall.

This may not be an easy post for some to read. Mental health issues tend to bring up intense emotions, whether pro or against, understanding or disgust, whatever, but continuing to buy into the opinions of others about mental health is what keeps so many of those that deal with mental illness suffering in quiet, and sometimes taking their life in silence. I, too, could be a statistic. I am grateful I am not.

On Friday, June 15, 2018, I went into the hospital after having a complete breakdown and slitting my wrist. I am not sure what exactly set it off – whether it is the stress of having no idea how I’m going to make money since my back, hips, knees, wrists, hands, fingers are so damaged that I am no longer able to do what I make money at without severe levels of pain, the fluctuating finances, the stress of being at Lance’s brother’s place – but, when I saw the blood gushing from my arm, bringing home the fact that I had just slit my wrist, I was not only terrified but mad. I was pissed that I had done it and that I was now having to face the fact that it was way past time to do something about the mental space I had been lying to myself about living in.

After spending a night at Evergreen Hospital, I went to Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital, where I spent just over a week. I have realized, again, that I am too capable of talking my way around mental health professionals. Once I realized I was doing that once again, I had a talk with myself and throw all in. I would like to say that all the talk around shenanigans ended right then, or at least didn’t show up much, but that is not what happened, unfortunately. I made a bit of progress, and I am feeling a lot better, but I think I got home sick, started thinking about the different things that were already scheduled to happen coming up, and talked the loop toward getting home. I am ok enough, I believe, to be home, but I think I could have gained a lot more benefit if I had stayed a bit longer. My husband and my puppies are such an integral part of my day-to-day and I was miserable without them.

My wonderful husband visited me about every other day, which was perfect in my mind. This beautiful man would come and hang out with his wife (me) for about an hour then go out to the van, get the puppies, and walk around to the back of the building and throw the ball and disc for the dogs so I could watch them play. I had asked him, once, if he would be willing to play with the dogs so I could at least watch them play since I couldn’t be with them. Lance faithfully did so every time he came to visit, even when I knew he didn’t really feel like it. As an added bonus, others on the unit started watching Lance and the dogs playing and benefited from it, so started asking for him. I am certain we were quite the sight – three large windows with people looking out of them, smiles on their faces and in their eyes. What a gift to see.

So, this all means I’m back on meds, something I didn’t want to do but had to become willing. Will I be on them forever? Possibly. We shall see how things go and how I’m feeling. I’ll be seeing someone for a bit, but I have other methods of healing I utilize that the therapists at the hospital agreed would be beneficial to me and my mental health. I have such faith in the powers of Holotropic Breathwork and the Choose Again 6 Step Process (go to YouTube and search “choose again 6 step”). They have provided me with so much healing, processed through so many things that have been huge barriers to my forward movement.

How can I still have faith in these spiritual methods when I had a breakdown anyway? Easy. I wasn’t taking care of myself, wasn’t going to the healing circles, hadn’t been to Holotropic Breathwork for quite a while. There was one scheduled for the Sunday after I went in, if only I could have held on. But breakdowns happen when they happen. You can’t ‘schedule them in.’

So, what did I learn? A few things. My diagnosis still comes back as bipolar, this time 2 instead of 1, ADD, the second class of psychosis, and a high likelihood of borderline personality disorder. Thankfully the meds “cocktail” they have me on this time around is minimal, and the plan is to get me back to no meds if possible. I would really love to see a naturopath for this but that requires money I don’t have to spend. Oh well. Progress, at least.

I came out of the hospital with a new-found sense of purpose. I am not going to clean anymore. It stresses me out too much and I firmly believe the 3 day clean I did right before going in to the hospital contributed to the breakdown.  My body has already said no to the cleaning, LOUDLY. Construction is out. Pretty much all the things I know how to do really, really well are out. SO how am I going to make money? I have no idea. I would have my medical scribe certification by now if I hadn’t of had to drop out of school. That’s only a touch painful. Not having a backup skill to fall back on is the super painful spot. I’ve connected with a few of the remote working rv-ers groups and am preparing to pick their brains and hopefully find a financially ok (at least) future.

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The Unexpected…

I have a love-hate relationship with the mobile life. There are the freedoms that come from not being rooted to any one spot but there is also all the hassle of moving around – making reservations, which park can we get into, how to cover the one week out of system – there’s a lot. Then, you pile on that Marilyn has some serious issues that need to be dealt with, that hinder forward movement, at times, and you’ve entered moderately overwhelming.

I’ve been getting back into the groove of mobile life. Its gotten me back out into nature and the benefits of that are countless. I have been getting our future reservations set up for after we are done staying at Lance’s brother’s place. I had us booked through July 9th, with a week out of system from June 18-24 that I still needed to cover.

I had been thinking that maybe we could start covering our week out of system, every time it came up, with KOA reservations. Yes, that would mean we would have to pay for that week each time but, with the KOA Value Kard Rewards ($30 annually), we would earn discounts that would help alleviate some of that cost. Lance and I had discussed it and had plans to move forward with it. Then, Lance’s brother, Travis, changed all that last night.

I’ve talked about the relationship, or lack of one, that Travis and I have had fairly consistently over the past 12+ years. I have wanted to like Travis but, for whatever reason(s), we just never really seemed to mesh well. I’m not laying blame over it, though I know I have in the past. I’ve been trying to re-examine things over the past year. It’s not always been easy to remain open-minded and there have definitely been times when I have come to the decision to be done with Travis, despite his being Lance’s brother.

So, last night, Lance and I were eating dinner in Marilyn when Travis came over and ‘knocked’ on our door. The dogs haven’t exactly acclimated to Travis, yet, so they were a little on alert when he opened the door. Enzo was right there so I allowed him to greet Travis. Enzo is the least anxious of the dogs so all went well there.

Travis stepped into the RV and closed the door. I have to admit my first thought was that this was the “I know you two were going to be here for the 10 days we were supposed to be in California, but…” talk but it couldn’t have been further from that. It went more along the lines of “It looks like there are some things you need to take care of on the RV to make it more reliable and safe for you so I was thinking you two could just stay here for as long as you need to make that happen, like through the Summer.” O.O

I nearly cried. Such unexpected generosity. Such empathy. Compassion. To say I never saw it coming is an understatement. In all reality, Travis is the last person in the world I would have thought would have offered such a wonderful gift to us. I guess that’s what I get for thinking. Not only did Travis give us the unbelievable gift but he opened his home to us – laundry, showers, he’s even getting the downstairs main area set up so we can watch TV in there if we want. We all went out and played with the dogs (our dogs) so they can start getting used to Travis and acclimating to here.

Travis’ dog, Scout, and our dogs still have to get to know each other but its on the list of things to do asap. Another benefit of being here is that there are people coming and going fairly regularly here since Travis has his business set up here. This will help the dogs get used to people and becoming friends with Scout I think will help them not be so anxious around other dogs. They’ve never really gotten to make friends.

So, we are stable, again, for a while. No moving around. I’m so incredibly grateful there are no words to adequately express how I am feeling. Relief and grace from a completely unexpected source…beautiful.

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The Return to Mobile Life…

May 13, 2018

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, especially the two I have been blessed with!! I hope your days are blessed with endless love and joy!!

off ramp

Off-Rampville

So, Off-Rampville lasted 4 1/2 days, which is when my beautiful soul friend, Jen, and her hubby, Jim, drove all the way up from the Ocean Shores area to tow us off the off ramp with their truck. No, they don’t own a tow truck. They pulled us off, Marilyn and the travel trailer at the same time, with their pickup. We went from the off ramp to a parking lot in front of an apartment complex. Though I wasn’t too excited about being in that parking lot, options were extremely limited (this parking lot or ???) and pretty much anywhere was better than the off ramp.

Soon after Jen and Jim towed us to the apartment complex parking lot, the latest mechanic in our list showed up. He had it figured out so incredibly quickly that I ended up having some resentment toward the two previous mechanics. It was getting late, light was dwindling, so the mechanic hopped on the phone and ordered the part we needed for us to pick up in the morning. He would be back the next day to get us going.

apt parking lot

Apartment complex parking lot

After everyone had left and we were getting settled in to call it a day, a couple of police officers showed up. Apparently, a tenant had called in and asked the officers to make sure we weren’t some mobile meth lab or something. We showed the officers the inside of the trailer and the RV and they deemed both to not be part of some mobile drug lab. This was the only hassling we received, which didn’t even seem like hassling.

Next morning, we were up and going. We had a part to pick up in Federal Way that we could switch out ourselves: the ignition control module. The mechanic would set the distributor when he got there later on. Thankfully, the mechanic wasn’t supposed to come until afternoon, because the part ordered turned out to not be the right one for our vehicle. Unfortunately, we wouldn’t know that until after we had gone back to the RV. Crap.

I immediately hopped on the phone to find the right ignition control module for Marilyn, if I could. I found it on the first call. Since it was not a special order part, Lance and I hopped back in the car with the dogs to go pick it up. About the time we were picking it up, the mechanic called and said he was almost to us. Crud. Lance let him know what had happened and gave him a time frame for us to be back to the RV. The mechanic wasn’t bothered and didn’t end up charging us for his wait time.

Back to Marilyn, put in control module, and the mechanic went to work. Within an hour he had Marilyn running, almost purring. I was elated! Lance was ready to head out of there right that second. I was not. Sure, I didn’t want to be in that darn parking lot, but we had just gone through 5 days, this was day 6, of being stuck, thinking we had the solution only to find out that no, we did not. I was needing the good news of Marilyn being functional, again, and the time to just enjoy knowing that we were no longer stuck. I told Lance that I wanted to wait until the morning to head out. I just needed the time for things to be ok before we took the chance they would stay that way. Lance wasn’t super pleased but conceded. The next morning we headed out, again.

One thing we learned during our Off-Rampville adventure is that these engines are notorious for running hot. Marilyn definitely does. When we replaced the starter, someone had made a heat shield for it, though we weren’t aware at the time that that was what it was. Lance didn’t put it back on but, for some reason, I felt the need to keep it in case it was definitely needed. Once Marilyn has warmed up, shutting her off means waiting at least an hour for things to cool down before we can start her, again, and usually only with a jump. We will be putting the heat shield back on, once the idea off having to do anything with the engine stops feeling like such an overwhelming burden.

Lance bee-lined for his brother Travis’ place, parking in a church parking lot up the street. I didn’t like where we were parked – it just didn’t feel like a spot that we were not going to be bothered – but Lance and the dogs loaded in the car with me and we went to his brother’s house. Travis had mentioned something about a place we may be able to ‘land’ for a little bit, which is why I thought we were going there. It turned out Lance was going to work.

Travis has a dog. Cute dog, sweet, a little skittish but friendly enough. Our dogs are pretty un-socialized. It’s not an intentional thing, just the way things have turned out. When our dogs are on leash, they are great, extremely well-behaved (well, Enzo pushes the boundaries a bit), and don’t really react much to anything.  Off leash, or when they are just with me, they tend to display their teeth and posture a lot, bark a lot if someone they don’t know or a dog is in sight. This is my fault. I have not trained them as I have my other dogs before them. Lance has trained them and, though he has done an amazing job, the dogs don’t hold me as the one in charge since I have not taken that role or participated, for the most part, in their training. Not like me at all. Life…well, I have no excuse, really. I have spent a lot of time not being emotionally well, I guess.

So, we get to Travis’ and his dog, Scout, is out. My dogs are getting anxious and a bit barky about it. Lance gets Enzo out of the car since he is the once that is the easiest to introduce to new people and dogs. I am thinking he has the intention of introducing each of our dogs to Scout but that isn’t what happens. He introduces Enzo and Scout, they do their posturing a bit, the standard ‘who are you’ sniffing, and things progress without problem. Lance goes to work.

I’m stuck in the car with Achilles and Luna, who are losing their minds, barking whenever they can see Scout and Enzo, which is often since those two are running around. They will not stop no matter what I do or say. After about 5 minutes of this and after I realize Lance is working, I’m done and not happy.  I call Lance as I start the car, telling him he has Enzo and I’m headed back to the RV as Achilles and Luna are barking like crazy.

I get back to the RV and there are people at the church. I head in to let them know that we are working out the final details of where we are going to park and will be out of their parking lot asap. They are not pleased we are there.

“Well, how long have you been here?”

“”Oh, only about half an hour.”

“How long will it take to finalize where you are going?”

“We will definitely be out of your parking lot today. I’m thinking maybe a couple of hours is all.”

“OK. Well, you can’t stay here.”

“Oh, I know. We have no intention of staying, we just didn’t have enough room to turn around at my husband’s brother’s place, which is right down the road.”

“So how long do you think you’ll be here?”

“Only a couple of hours, tops.”

“Ok. Well, you can’t stay here. Just so you know that.”

“Oh! Definitely. We have no intention of staying. As I said, we are just finalizing the last details and we will be out of here as quickly as possible.”

This man turns and walks into the church, comes back out in a couple of minutes and starts taking pictures of the RV and travel trailer, then goes back in. A couple of minutes later, another man comes out and talks with me, pretty much the exact same conversation. I call Lance and tell him we need to move, now.

This is where I need to say that I am always surprised when people from a church react this way. Churches were once known as sanctuaries, safe havens, where one to go to find shelter from the cold. My experience has been this is no longer the case, not even a little bit.

I go pick up Lance and we try to Marilyn going. She hasn’t had enough time to cool off, yet so won’t start. Lance sticks his head into the church to let them know we are just waiting for the RV to cool down so it will start, then turns around and walks away before they have a chance to say anything.

I’m so worn out from Off-Rampville and annoyed by the lack of compassion displayed by these church goers that I am almost hoping they follow him out. I’m game for an argument at that point. I know, not very mature, but it was where I was at. We had been struggling to get everything sorted out and figured out for about a week (6 days at that point). I was done with being nice to anyone that couldn’t hold an ounce of compassion or an iota of understanding, or at least attempt to.

Lance, the dogs and I head to go get something to drink and get all 3 dogs out of the car, discussing things and formulating a game plan along the way. I had already looked into campground rates per day, week, month. All were a bit more than we felt comfortable investing for such small stays and the monthly amounts were…well, unreasonable to me. I see things differently than most, I guess. So, what to do?

We started looking to camping memberships. We had used Lance’s parents’ membership when we first started RV life 9 years ago and that had worked out pretty well. Sure, there’s the whole two weeks in the system, one week out thing to deal with but at least we would only have to figure out the one week thing every two weeks. We could do that. It’s a hell of a lot better than the every day thing. We hop online to see what info we can find. In the end, we settled on purchasing a Thousand Trails membership with a two a two-year commitment and very reasonable monthly payments. I hopped online and made our first reservations.

Thankfully, I got us in at the Monroe location, Thunderbird, starting that day. We would only have 4 days, since that was available, but it would give us a chance to get a bit more into mobile mode and we would have 4 solid days of not having to move Marilyn. Score!

Thunderbird

Getting set up at Thunderbird

We are now up in Bow, WA at the Grandy Creek location. It is absolutely beautiful! I managed to set up 7 days here. We pull out of here on the 17th, then have to be out of system for 7 days. We are talking about learning of other camping memberships that may offset the 7 day out of system requirement. I’ll probably get on that today. Or tomorrow. We have been so busy, with my dogs spending way too much time in the car, that today may just be a relaxing, spending time with the dogs, doing whatever we actually feel like doing day.

cuddle puddle puppies

Puppies in the car

headed out to concrete

On our way out to Grandy Creek

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Tired Warrior…

May 3, 2018

Very early in the morning yesterday, we hooked up the travel trailer to Marilyn (our new-to-us RV) and drove out of the place we have called home for about 4 1/2 years. It was a bit bitter sweet – there are many ways I am happy to be out of there and moving on, but there is a part of me that will miss the level of stability we had there. Our Brucie Bruce was nowhere to be seen, adding to the bitterness of having to move. I drove down today to look for him. Whistled a bunch, called for him, was there about one of the times he is usually, no Brucie Bruce.

We made it about 38 miles north to Renton before the RV just stopped running. Uh oh. Little did I know then just how uh oh that would be. As I am writing this, we are on day 2 of being stuck on the side of an off ramp, dead in the water. I am grateful that we have not been hassled, but that doesn’t seem to take anything away from how devastated I am to still be here, not running, many dollars poorer, and still no idea why its not starting.

off ramp.jpg

Off-Rampville: I-405 Exit 4a Maple Valley/SR 169

Right now, we have a mechanic working on replacing the distributor. Its the next logical step, I believe, and have been told by more than just the mechanic we have here. So far, we have replaced the battery, voltage regulator, starter, plug wires, coil, distributor cap, rotor, and…maybe that’s it. Oh! And the ignition ballast. It feels like we have done so much more but I guess that is because we had to put the plug wires together ourselves in order to have ones that were the right length. That took every bit of four hours, the last hour and a half in the dark with headlights on our heads. Ugh.

This RV is proving to be a difficult beast to need to fix. Number one, its the van front style, which is my least favorite type to work on. Number two, finding parts for it is challenging because there is no way to look up this RV. It was a limited edition that Country Camper, Inc put out right before they stopped making RV’s. Its a 1979 Dodge chassis, 360, 4 barrel, 1-ton, which, at the parts stores, opens up too many options that have some that will work fine but not others, depending on model. Putting in the VIN number to try to find out more information is no help either. Our lovely Marilyn comes up as a 2008 Hummer. Searching by license plate yields zero results. (I know! That one doesn’t make sense to me either, especially since we have registered the RV into our name.) Marilyn is proving to be…high maintenance.

For the part of yesterday I kept almost calling this RV Marv, accidentally, as in the Marv RV we went through hell with 5 years ago. I didn’t want to put that energy on this RV so told Lance we needed to name this one and quick. As I drove the car behind Lance in the RV, I tried to think of a name. She looks nice, fairly good condition, reliable (this was before off ramp-ville).

Her previous owner had named her. I am going to apologize ahead of time because I am going to slaughter the spelling of the name. I truly have no idea how to spell it. Marilyn’s name used to be (sorry) Sheniqua. Again, I am truly sorry. I tried Googling it. My spelling must be so wrong that Google’s search results show me things like businesses. Hell, spell check on here gives me Shenanigan.

Anyway, she said the RV earned the name because she would gently sway down the road. Her kids would love to climb up on the overhead bunk and they would fall right to sleep. Obviously, great memories for them.

We want to name her because, well, its a new beginning, claiming a bit, I guess, but, honestly, both Lance and I just didn’t feel that the name she had didn’t fit right. Sure, its us, I know that. Everyone sees through their own eyes and feels with their own heart and dreams with their own soul and every single one is different.

So, I’m driving behind Lance when it comes to me: Marilyn. I roll it around in my mind for a bit – does it seem to fit? what does the name make me picture in my mind? Oddly enough, the answer to the second question was Marilyn Monroe. Huh. I called Lance and told him what I had come up with to see if he agreed. He did, almost immediately. I was feeling pretty good about this beginning of a new adventure that had me slightly nervous, a bit anxious, and oddly relieved. I was driving and smiling.

And that’s about the time things went to crap. Damnit. I think getting kicked when you’re feeling peaceful, joyful even, is about a million times worse than when it happens on an average day. I’m really struggling with that today. I have found myself thinking that maybe Marv fit her better as a name. Yeah. I’m not dealing very well. Ok. I am, most of the time, but even warriors get tired.

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Move Day: April 30, 2018…

 

Well, today is the day. Lance will get up and take the dogs on a walk to the field for the last time.  We will finish loading ourselves up. Hopefully, the travel trailer and the 5th wheel will go away. At the end of the day, we will pull out of here for the last time and not look back. Today, the last word on the last page in the last chapter of this book will be thought, uttered, written. Tomorrow, the first word on the first page in the first chapter of a whole new book will begin. It is bitter-sweet.

We have learned a lot about being settled in one spot for as long as we have been here (4+ years): we not only nest into a spot over time, we root. Not light, filigree-like roots but large, driving straight for the middle of the earth tap roots. That said, there is no way we will have everything done here when we pull out. I hate that we will be leaving a mess, no matter how well-organized a mess it is, but I have to let go of that. We are at the finish line, have spent more time than  I care to think of getting things packed and cleaning up as we go, and it doesn’t seem like there is an end in sight. Where the hell did all of this crap come from?!? Perhaps we have a bit of a hoarding problem, which is disturbing, to say the least.

There has been pile upon pile of free stuff put out to the curb. Thankfully, it all keeps disappearing so there’s that. The 5th wheel has been on Craigslist for over a week, for free, but still sits in its spot. There’s been moderate interest but no takers. I put the travel trailer on yesterday, not for free but close to it. A couple of emails of interest but no one with follow through, yet. Lawnmower $25, grill $50, both still sitting, despite there being interest – those saying they want it (“very interested”) and asking when they can come get it. Of course my answer is now but that is as far as that has gone so far.

My biggest concerns, at the moment? That the trailer and 5th wheel will still be here when we are ready to leave, that the lawn mower will still be here, the grill. I’m not really worried about anything else – the RV will run, get us around, our stuffs are in it, the dogs will adjust, the cat will torture us until he has adjusted, the stress of continuing to be here will be done with. It’s not a perfect picture or anything like that but it is…well, what is next.

A whole lot of me, most of me, wants to hop on the freeway and keep going, see where we end up, what adventures we have, what things we see, but this tends to be typical of move day in the RV for me. I can’t help thinking and feeling that, if I have to live on wheels then I might as well go see what I can see. Right? -sigh- Instead, we will head up North and find a place to park that will perhaps work for us for the next couple of months. I’m thinking campground, maybe.

With all of the hassle of this move, I have found myself missing the days of Winnie, our 1968 Winnebago. Sure, Winnie had her own set of problems but we were somewhat less troubled by them, in many ways. We reached a point of ease rather quickly with Winnie and moving around. We didn’t entrench ourselves in any one spot because each spot was entered into with the knowledge that it was a very temporary spot. Move day? Put stuff in Winnie, batten down the hatches inside (make sure nothing is going to go flying around the RV while driving down the road), make sure we had the cat (Bellenus), head out. Easy peasy. We would have been out of here in less than a day.

The war going on inside my head is between wanting to be done with this and a sense of responsibility and integrity. I want to clean this place up to the point that the only way you could tell we had been here is by the spots of dead grass where an RV or trailer had been parked but there just isn’t time. Plus, I do not have the funding for dump runs, and there is the need to make some of those. Again, where the hell does all of this come from. I keep finding myself staring at things, all the things, completely overwhelmed and unable to decide how to proceed. I’ve come to the point where I am just grabbing the things that I really want and have a plan to move the rest of everything to the curb, placing a Craigslist ad **CURB ALERT!! FREE!!!** to get rid of it all.

Well, its ten minutes to 7, so I had better get back into ‘make it happen’ move mode. Wish us luck and wait to see what adventures unfold for us. May they all be great ones 😉

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Challenge: Funding to Move…

Today was supposed to be our move day. I managed to get us another week though I’m not sure if that is just merely putting off the ugliness that could be or an actual grace period. I’m hoping for the grace period, though there is so much in front of us that requires cash to take care of that it is feeling more like just putting off the ugliness.

We picked up a RV off of Craigslist. We did a trade: one day of work with both of us for the RV. It’s a 1979 Dodge Country Camper, 25 feet long. I’m not sure if it has the 360 or the 440, but I’m pretty certain it is the 1 ton chassis instead of the 1-1/2 ton. It seems to run very well, starts right up, but it has a caliper sticking, meaning it is not road worthy, at the moment.

It also has been leaking through the roof, but we are handling that. Tore off the old ceiling as much as possible, removed old ceiling insulation, replaced some framing, and caulked the inside of any roof penetrations along with any other little pin holes or whatever in the metal roof. Today, we will put in new insulation and close up the ceiling. Next, remove all of the old caulking from the roof and re-caulk. Hoping to get to that today, as well. A new snow coat on the roof would be great, and is needed, but that is just going to have to wait for now since we do not have the funding to pick up snow coat.

I called Les Schwab yesterday to find out how much a brake job would be on the RV. Les Schwab does not do just the brakes on RVs. They do an overhaul: rotors, calipers, drums, and pads. Well, crap. That’s a base price of $1500. The guy at Les Schwab said to call around to see if there is someone who is willing to either just do the caliper and brakes. I should be able to find someone, probably for cheaper, according to the guy at Les Schwab. Fingers crossed, though, at the moment, it doesn’t matter how much is would cost with someone else. It most definitely will be more than the $20 I have to my name.

Lance has some work prospects but they all seem to be scheduled for a week or two from now. It’s great that the work is sitting there but we need something great, a few something greats, to come in asap. Now, if I could only clone my husband so he could go work and I would have his clone here to help me with the rest of everything. I need to find a tire for our travel trailer, post the 5th wheel and Marv on Craigslist, put a bunch of things on the curb to get rid of, flush out the holding tanks, take things to donation station, pack up garden, cleaning, and tool sheds…the list goes on. We, obviously, have rooted down here but I guess that is to be expected after 4+ years.

We have no idea where we are moving to, as in we have no landing spot. I know we are planning on heading up north toward where Lance tends to do all of his work, but, as far as where we are parking our ‘camp,’ we have no idea. I guess we will have to just be mobile for a minute while we are figuring out that part. I know it seems as if we should have had this all figured out already, but we don’t, and there are a lot of reasons why that is, though it doesn’t change the feeling.

Moving ‘camp’ is a process, and when your income is…not necessarily verifiable or fixed, it makes it hard to find someone to want to rent to you. Also, we both tend to work and live in such a way that doesn’t create a paper trail. It’s not an intentional goal, just the way the things have turned out. Unfortunately, this makes things challenging, as well. We just don’t live within the system that society has established, which has about a gajillion benefits and almost as many deficits.

I have to admit that I am having the ‘run’ bug, again. A whole lot of me just wants to hop in the RV and just keep driving. Anywhere but here. I do understand this is not really a feasible plan for us, at this time, if for no other reason than the funding part. My kids are grown, both out on their own, now – I have nothing holding me here in Washington. Yes, some great friends, soul friends, but most of our interactions are through the phone in one form or another. I think we will be ok. The idea of being so far away from my kids is heartbreaking, anxiety causing, especially with my son just starting his ‘on his own’ adventure, but I have to learn to let them just be adults, figure out some of their own messes. Ugh. I know it’s a good thing but how does one let go of their children? How does one stop feeling like they must be no more than a few hours drive away just in case a rescue mission is needed? How am I supposed to stop running below their soaring souls just in case they fall? The answer? One breath at a time, which isn’t necessarily easy.

I’ve also withdrawn from school. I’m ashamed in some ways to say so. I just couldn’t manage this move and school at the same time. Call me weak if you need to but that is yours, not mine. I have the ability to go back once we get settled, but we shall see how that goes. Something had to give and it was the only thing I could see. I didn’t want to, was severely depressed for about 3-ish days, then had to let it go. I have a lot in front of me that needs my attention.

Well, it’s already 8:30, so I had better get going with the RV ceiling. Hopefully, I’ll find someone to come fix the caliper on it for not tons of money and I’ll find the money to pay for it, to register the RV, to put gas in it, to move on down the road.

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If I Only had a Brain…

I’m sitting here completely overwhelmed. I should be doing my school work – I am in the last three weeks of the quarter and there is no shortage of what needs to be done – but I can’t think straight. So, I’m here to vomit it all out so I can get back to the priorities sitting directly in front of me that I chose to put there.

  1. I’m slightly panicked about my biology grade. It’s still a B, and I know I always get super stressed out at the end of a quarter, but… it’s a low B. One wrong move and its all over for me and school. I’m doing all the work, cramming extra hard with the final looming so close, loving the labs (dissected a heart last week, a kidney this week – so incredibly cool).
  2. A friend that we had taken in seems to be tanking on life. Its going to sound mean but I’m going to say it anyway: the girl has about zero coping skills and I find myself less willing to help her find her feet. It seems she just keeps running at the things that hurt her the most and then is depressed and ‘damaged,’ wondering why everyone/everything “hates” her. It’s frustrating to be on the front lines of that. She was supposedly going in for an assessment this morning to get into treatment to deal with her loss, grief, and trauma. She stayed at a friend of her’s last night and they were supposed to bring her to the assessment then here. I’ve heard nothing.
  3. Lance is working at his brother’s – a completely great thing other than the distance. We had talked about him staying up there during the week since it is so far but nothing had been sorted out. I had agreed that it was probably a great idea – less gas used, no morning and night commute, hypothetically less outgoing money for him to work. Lance informed me the night before last that he was going to start staying up there, starting the next day. I have no idea why but I immediately felt like he was leaving me, as in not coming back. We talked about it together but I never really got over the feeling and now that he is gone, it is more intense. Despite it being a useless feeling at this time, I can’t make it go away so I feel like I am grieving. I hate this.
  4. A friend of mine is going in to have a tumor in her brain removed tomorrow. All of me wants to hop in my van that doesn’t do freeways, drive like a crazed maniac to her home and glue myself to her until after she is better. I know she is not alone and my presence will change absolutely nothing, but I still feel like I am failing her. I get it. That’s my issue. What it comes down to is the fact that I do not have mystical powers that would enable me to just visualize her tumor gone and have it disappear, no recovery time, no need for surgery. This is a friend I would love to be able to place a anti-mayhem and anti-bullshit protective barrier around to eliminate any negatives that may have nefarious plans of either doing a drive by or taking root in her life. I am so scared for her and feel like a horrible friend.
  5. The impending move. Yeah, we still are dealing with that. Its sounding like this spring/summer is going to bring a mandatory move. How am I supposed to handle a move like the one we are going to have to do and my school work? Was I an absolute moron for enrolling in college, again? Am I going to have to drop out or put it on hold until…? We land again??? I know there are a bunch of people who are thinking I am just not adulting this situation but I am doing the best I know how to do and not making any progress. Suggestions?

I am struggling through this pile of things that seem to bring intelligent thought to a halt. I’m in this by myself, it feels. Sure, my husband is beside me, physically, but I feel like I’m still the one that has to figure it all out. If I didn’t have school going, my son living with me, my dogs, a credit score I’ve been diligently working on improving, I would probably just let myself blow in whatever direction the wind takes me, again. Then, again, I know where that ends.

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Just a Check-In…

School is kicking my butt a little bit. Ok. That’s not true. I feel like school is kicking my butt but I believe that it has more to do with life stuff than actually school. It’s not that anything out of the ordinary is going on, at the moment, it’s just that I have come to realize just how much more…involved our life has become since the last time I was going to school. Things were a bit more relaxed, though it really didn’t seem so at the time. Perspective.

I’m carrying an A in my medical terminology class and a solid B in biology. Did I mention that last time? Anyway, I am feeling a lot less stressed about the B than I had been. It could be worse, a lot worse, and then I would definitely have something to worry about but not a B. I do plan on bringing that grade up, if I am capable, though.

Anyway, life is life as it tends to be and I am sitting inside the yurt where we do Holotropic Breathwork. Lance and I are here really early so he could help his brother with some stuff before the breathwork this evening. I am really looking forward to breathing, as I always am, though a bit more this time. The centering and awareness it seems to provide me is something I feel has been missing some for the past week or so. Time to have a talk with myself and see what it has to say.

It looks like Lance will be coming up here to work for a while, again. This is a good thing in so many ways though I hate that he won’t be home. I guess that just gives me more time to focus on my schoolwork, time that I would normally guard preciously as ‘our’ time. We shall see how I’m feeling after he has not been home a few nights in row. I may feel differently, though I’ll have to just get over it. This is where we are and what needs to happen so…well, there you have it. No crying, ladies and gentlemen.

I have my van running, again. I still can’t seem to give up completely on it. At least I have the van as opposed to not having a vehicle to, at the very least, get to the bus with so I can get to and from school. Thank God for the $5 bus pass that lasts the whole quarter.

So, yeah, life is moving along at a steady pace. Moving is going to have to happen this Spring or Summer, depending on when things are put to the forefront in that department. I’m hoping summer. It just sounds easier, less complicated, I guess. I don’t want to have to move at all, but, again, I’m just going to have to get over it.

Well, I’m going to get some studying done for my biology quiz tomorrow. Hope the rest of the world is doing great and finding their bliss.

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