Blog Archives

Down Time

When is the last time I had a vacation? I can’t remember. So 3 months ago, when my job finally made me permanent and assigned some PTO for me (paid time off), I requested a 4-day stretch off work. To my surprise, it was approved so as I write this, I am enjoying my first little non-working vacation in I don’t know how long. Can I tell you how good it feels to NOT have to set the alarm? To be able to go to sleep when I’m tired instead of when I have to? This is much-needed down time for mind and body, especially since the busy season is about to start at work and not only will time off be difficult to obtain, we’ll start seeing mandatory overtime as well. It’s about to get stressful.
So what am I doing with my time? Lots and lots of reading and relaxing for one. Some self-pampering. Today looks to be a day that involves nothing more than a long soak in the pool, followed by basking in the sun with a book, then the jacuzzi. Then dinner with my hunny and curling up to watch some TV, just us.
I wanted to stay local while still being far enough from home for it to feel like a getaway, so we booked a lovely inn that is a little out of town and right down the road from my second-favorite Downtown area and the artisan community interlaced with it. Tomorrow looks like window shopping and browsing at the many antique stores and art galleries. Best way to spend a Monday 🙂
Advertisements

From Silence Came Wisdom

In Response To: Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound Of Silence

In life, I am a very sound-sensitive individual. Certain pitches and volumes that would normally just annoy most people physically hurt at times. Too many differing sounds make me want to cover my ears and scream (perfect example: heavy metal music or a loud television with unpredictable shifts in volume).

Several years ago, when I was actively involved in meeting with my spiritual guide on the astral plane through meditation, I was sitting in my apartment one night about to crawl out of my skin. I ran to the back of the building to escape the noises of the air conditioner, the TV and the cars outside…

I closed my eyes and immediately sought my Guide who was waiting for me and he tells me, “Let me be your peace.” He takes me into his arms piece by piece, frequency by frequency, we shut out all the noise. In silence, he has me spiritually enter a tall, strong oak tree in my neighbor’s back yard and I become one with it. He tells me to hear the heartbeat of the tree.

I say: I know this tree.

He says: “You know because you feel . You feel because you are. Now, what do you feel?”

I say: I feel the heartbeat, which pulses once in a year. Once in a season. The roots swell with the rains and with the force of life which will push up into new leaves and blooms. I feel its slow strength. I feel its serenity. I feel every memory. I feel the cold earth surrounding my feet. I feel my arms reaching high in its branches toward the sun. I feel the energies it draws in and those it puts out. I feel the force of life ever flowing. I feel the dark stillness inside the heartwood. I feel the rush of the wind. I feel the complexity of its internal patterns. I feel its age. I feel it holding strong to its will to survive. I feel its faith. I feel its health and its dis-ease. I feel its healed scars. I feel its perseverance. I feel its slow pulse and the reason for its longevity. I feel its patience.

My Guide tells me: “In the end, what you feel is the secret of life. You truly are awakened. You know. This is your wisdom – the way to peace, to knowledge, to those things that you cannot learn from man. You are one with nature, and it is one with you. This tree has allowed you inside its very core. It knows you are of good will, and it knows you possess the Gift. The others will all feel the mark of its energies within you, now that you have joined it as one. You are indeed a very special, precious child. I told you in the beginning you were gifted. Now you understand… this is what I meant. This is why you are here, because all your senses are in tune with the nature that surrounds you. In silence, you can communicate with nearly everything. Many of us cannot. Many of us only possess a special connection with certain entities but you, my dear, you have the ability to hear the trees, the spirits of nature, the spirits of men, the spirits of all that surrounds you.”

My Guide continues: “I know that you have lost faith in men (people), but do not lose faith in nature, for that is what you are here to protect. Mankind has destroyed itself and now settles into its death. Nature… it will survive, but it will need to be healed and to be able to heal it, we must be able to understand its needs above what we can already see with our eyes. We must also apply our minds to the energies it gives us and decode its secrets with an understanding that very few have managed to achieve.”

From silence came wisdom and with wisdom, the ability to understand the world around me with closed eyes and an open mind. Sometimes after all, we must close our eyes to truly see.

ISO: Stability

Bear with me as I reflect on some out of the way things here, like the connection between Daytona and God.  I’m still unsure which led me to which, but here I am, borderline homeless in Daytona (defined soon) and wondering why after such fervent prayer, life keeps throwing me one backhand after another just trying to knock me down – which, admittedly, it has a few times in the past five months – and keep me from getting back up.

After losing my job in January 2013 due to the death of the owner of the company and subsequent company closure, I spend the next 8 months looking desperately for work that would pay enough to cover my basic expenses: rent, utilities, transportation, food… I’d taken a couple temp jobs in that time frame because they were all that were offered, but it was still nowhere near enough to cover even rent.  After my tax return had run out, rent of course fell behind.  I had given up numerous comforts (if you can consider a proper diet and asthma/heart medication comforts) in order to start paying a little over each week on my rent to catch up.  By August, I was essentially destitute. Knowing I couldn’t continue to pay rent, I gave my landlord 2 weeks notice and moved in with the man next door for a couple weeks.  That turned out to be a nightmare, as he was an ex felon and was extremely controlling and cruel.  He was also just plain disgusting as a person.  His treatment of me made living there unbearable and so I got out before I got into a situation that I wouldn’t be able to escape.

In September, someone I used to date back in 2010 contacted me from Daytona and offered to let me move in there.  It took a lot of very difficult decision making as this would put me 3 hours away from my daughter of whom I have shared custody.  Seeing her 4 days a week would then mean seeing her only once every 4-8 weeks due to miles, gas, funds, etc.  Without work and without a place to live however, I had to make the decision to relocate to try to get back on my feet.  You may as well have ripped my heart out of my chest and taken my last breath away because that’s what it felt like as I started heading to Daytona without my baby girl.  There was no work, unemployment had run out, my tax return and savings had run out, and I was without shelter.  What else could I do?

I get to Daytona and just as I arrive at the house, I find out the water has been shut off.  Not a good omen.  Ex is scrambling to find the funds and we are out of water for days.  It goes ok after that for a couple months, I learn my way around town but never quite feel welcomed. These people have a completely different set of ethics (or lack thereof) from the way I am.  I find work within a week of arriving, but instead of being helped to get on my feet as was promised, I end up financially supporting a household of seven people, sometimes in full, on bills, food, gas, cigarettes, personal supplies, household supplies… The ex… he makes a decent sum of money, netting far more than I ever have in a month, but spends it all as soon as it comes in. As many times as I asked him to sit down and create a household budget with me, he changed the subject. Soon, the money I was making was running out, leaving me with nothing at the end of the week for having to support everyone but myself.  That’s December, about the time his whole personality changed.  He began to withdraw, to push me away, then one of his own exes came back into his life. He stopped coming to bed, started staying up all night on the phone with her, spent nights out (taking personal supplies that made it obvious it was a planned “sleepover”), and started becoming emotionally abusive. Then mentally abusive, eventually moving into screaming, cussing, threatening and being all out vicious toward me.  At that point, I was scared as I’d been through this before and each time it only escalated. This man was becoming completely unraveled and was getting progressively and rapidly worse.

Come January, he’d left me for the third time.  The final time he broke up with me, he did so online without telling me, then told me finally and had the nerve to immediately ask me for gas money. Upon refusing to give it to him because – well – he’d just left me, he threw me out, first with 30 days notice, then with 3 days notice.  I came and went, sleeping where I could but the room he had just haphazardly thrown my few remaining belongings into was unlivable – it is a storage room, full of junk and mold, there is no door, no privacy, no bed, only a bare box spring, and a filthy couch that made me sick to sleep on one night. I felt like an unwanted dog being banished to a filthy kennel, only I think he’d have treated a dog better than he was treating me.

My dad being my angel, he ended up providing a clean, safe place while I looked feverishly for a roommate but Friday will be my last night there.  In the interim, a woman I’ve known for several years and used to work with ended up offering a room to me with her in Sebastian. We talked about it, sorted out the details, and I was to move in with her this coming Saturday, the 8th.  Trusting that my friend was acting honorably, I gave my daughter the good news that I would only be 45 minutes from her now instead of the impossible 3 hours and that I’d get to see her every week like normal again.  She was ecstatic, as was I as we miss each other terribly.  Well I don’t know what happened, but 3 days before I was supposed to move in with her, I noticed she’d deleted me from Facebook.  I called, no answer. I texted, no response. An hour later, I tried to go to her page to message her and it turns out she had blocked me.  There was NO warning or reason as to any of this.  I left her several voice mails yesterday and still no response, so my dearest William sent her a message on my behalf asking her what was going on and still has not heard back. 

Still have no idea why a friend of several years who so happily offered to have me move in with her, saying I’d done so much for her over the years, would – without any warning – delete me from Facebook, block me, refuse to answer her phone, return a text or a voice mail.  Why would someone do that? She knew what I had at stake. She knew I’d already told my daughter that I was moving back to the area, she even offered to come up to Daytona to help me bring some of my things down. The last conversation we had, she gave me the new address and we were making plans for the move this coming Saturday. It was all a go and she said she was happy to help, that I owed her nothing.  I would really love to know what is behind all this, why someone who was always so sweet would out of the blue do this to me.  Does anyone have any insight to offer as to why someone would do that?

So thank God I did not turn in my resignation at work, as I would have had to do had this move gone through.  Something stopped me from doing it, “Just in case.”  I returned to my search for a roommate and happened to call on a listing last night for a room for rent in the area… a little more than I was budgeting, but I will have to work something out if it goes through.  I spoke with the homeowner last night for a solid hour and she was very friendly, an older lady, who really seemed to resonate with me.  In exchange for helping her around the house, she offered to drop the deposit and pay for half the internet that I would be transferring over. I will be meeting with her tonight and am praying to God that everything works out and I can move in Saturday.  At this point, I have no other options so if anyone reading this would please join me in that prayer that I find a place to move into this Saturday, between my faith and your intercession, God can do some amazing things.

The other question bothering me so much is why does God continue to test my faith by allowing me to come into worse and worse situations?  I mean I have lost everything over the past 18 months, including access to my child who is the single most important person in my life.  I’d go as far as to say she IS my life.  Every time I have prayed on this, I have received the same answer:  “I do this to draw you nearer to me.  If you see that I can raise you from nothing, then you will have everything.”  But how much more pain and loss can I take?  I realize God knows my limits, but life has become unbearable far too often, especially in the past five months. In RCIA, they discuss depth of faith often.  It’s so difficult to have faith when all you’re doing is futile even down to your most basic needs being stripped away and the longer it takes to get an answer – or see a miracle – the further that faith sinks.  This becomes a vicious cycle as God detests the lack of faith and puts the person in an even lower situation, pressing the faith to return.  It’s a Catch 22 – how does it stop?  As life – and faith – elude me, I will leave off here, hoping some answers come in the way of a safe place to live with my meeting of this seemingly nice woman tonight.  Thank you for listening, and please – keep me in your prayers.

 

At A Crossroad (Perblog Oct. 19, 2013)

PerBlog October 19, 2013

 

After spending the majority of this year out of work and the most recent 2-3 months couch-surfing after I lost my apartment, I am finally starting to get settled in at my new home.  It is 2 ½ hours from where I have been for the past decade, but St. Lucie County had just completely run out of opportunities for me. After my old boss passed away and the company closed behind him in January, I simply could not find work that was enough to take care of my basic needs. I’d found temp work here and there, but nothing permanent came through.  With my apartment several months behind, that was it.  I started another temp job and put my stuff into storage, staying between my car and a neighbor’s house (which quickly became very abusive situation).  I approached people that I trusted and no one was willing to let me stay with them until I got back on my feet so without an ounce of help from my friends and no family in the area, I had a choice to make:  continue being homeless and unable to care for myself much less my daughter, or make a change in my life.

It’s been a very difficult change to make.  150 miles away, a previous boyfriend was willing to take me in and provide food and shelter while I sought work and recovered my losses.  His family (3 kids of his own plus two extended family) has been welcoming and friendly as I try to find work here in a much bigger city and try to adjust, settle in and find my way around.  I am still looking for work, but do have some calls coming back for interviews and I am hopeful something will come through soon.  I have so much I need to catch up on – vital bills that can NOT be ignored but right now there isn’t a damn thing I can do about them.  I’m still trying to come to terms with the fact that I am 2 ½ hours away from my daughter until I find work and get a couple paychecks in to be able to get back for visitation, the fact that my belongings are being auctioned off at storage because I couldn’t pay for it, and the fact that I lost two pets in the process, Topper and Moppit, my cat and my dog.  I have very little clothing with me, and only one of my journals – the most recent one – even though I had kept every one of my journals since I started writing them at age 9.  I had to leave when I had to leave, and that meant coming up with only what would fit in my car.  This is the third time in my life I’ve lost it all.  Isn’t it about damn time something other than being shit on becomes permanent in my life?

Well, with nothing to my name, here I am starting over yet again.  Praying to God something permanent comes in so I can once again have gas and food (it’s still scarce here in a household of seven), proper clothing, personal bills paid, and a little to live on.  After those basics are taken care of, I look forward to being able to fix the A/C in this house, as it’s got a bad circuit board and was 92F inside today and my asthma is suffering BADLY for being stuck in this hot, humid air and I’ve no means to get my medication.  Internet would be great too!  Right now my only reliable connection is at the library.  It’s sad, the things we take for granted when we have them constantly.  When not having certain things begins to affect one’s health however, I think there is justification for bitching a bit when trying to change the situation that wasn’t working isn’t itself immediately working.  My life has turned upside-down this year and fallen out from under me.  It is HARD.  Bear with me if I’m angry or depressed or bitter.  All that pretty hope and happiness idealism isn’t always possible.

Product Placement Fail (Back Pain Revisited)

Having scoliosis has been a boon for my activity level the majority of my life as even the slightest wrong move sends my sciatic nerve blazing in pain and surrounding lower back muscles seizing up as my body tries to immobilize the affected area.  A few years ago, I ended up pulling my back out by catching my daughter in my arms as she jumped precariously off the back of my car (always the adventurer, she).  As the pain got worse and my back got tighter, I dragged myself to Wal-Mart for some Doans because that was the only thing that has ever helped my back pain when simple heat application and stretching would not loosen it up.  Making it to the pharmacy, I stood there helpless and shaking my head to find the coveted back pain medicine on the bottom shelf where I had no hope of bending over to reach and retrieve it due to my lower back being locked up (though that didn’t stop me from trying in pain vain).  Finally, some kind person did wander by and, realizing my predicament, was nice enough to assist.  I mentioned this obvious oversight in product placement to the cashier who just kind of laughed.

For the past couple months, I have been working a job that requires heavy lifting – which incidentally was not mentioned in the interview – and frankly, it’s done my back in.  The past week, I have been experiencing pretty intense nerve pain throughout my lower back and legs and finally come Friday, my back became stiff enough that I got sharp pains trying to do even simple bending (such as getting up from a chair or lying down in bed).  Again, no heating pad or pain pill is working.  My neighbor C. gave me a Soma, which I took hoping it would relax the muscles enough to at least leave me pain-free for a couple hours but it did not help.  This time I headed to CVS for my Doans, thinking to myself, “History cannot repeat itself.”  Sure enough…

Thankfully, my daughter was with me this time and she automatically dove down to get the boxes of Doans (luckily marked buy-one-get-one-free) that were once again on the bottom shelf.  I actually complained to the cashier on this one too, saying Wal-Mart does this too but I expect such an oversight from them, not from CVS.  She agreed with me, she apologized and said she would bring it up to the manager.  Think about it… someone with back pain is going to have trouble bending over. If they’re going to a pharmacy to buy some back pain pills and those pills are on the very bottom shelf – isn’t that a little cruel?  It reflects poor planning at the least and I can’t believe that two separate stores would fail to see this logic when creating their stock layout.

Daily Prompt Writing: The Nomadic Life

From the Daily Prompt: Rolling Stone

If you could live a nomadic life, would you? Where would you go? How would you decide? What would life be like without a “home base”?”

This has always been a bit of a dream of mine, to live just to live, to enjoy experiences in life that aren’t possible within the constraints of a lease, a day job, shared custody and other limiting factors.  For a 40 year old who treasures new sights and experiences, meeting different people, photographing different areas and being immersed in different cultures, it must be said that I have gotten very few opportunities in life to do any of this.  The extent of my travels has been through the Carolinas, The Bahamas and Mexico.  All instances were limited by time and money and only left me wanting more.  To live as a nomad would still require some sort of stability – ironic, I know.  This means I would not want to live as a beggar but rather be able to earn a little money no matter where I went in order to remain self-sufficient (and fed!).  More than likely, I would take on some kind of art or craft and sell my talents at various events and festivals across the country, throughout the year. Part of those crafts could be hand-penned original inspirational poetry on parchment, ready to frame in someone’s study or bedroom.  Ideally, I would have a small RV in which I could keep my scant belongings and a bicycle to use for travel throughout the area of the moment.  I would of course need to remain tech savvy – Internet access would be vital as it is to nearly everyone today.  I would likely gather information on upcoming events and places to go from the web in order to keep short-term plans in order.  This would allow me to remain a wanderlust but one who would not be caught off guard by not having a place to park, sleep or sell crafts.  I wouldn’t say that there would be no “home base.”  I would have my RV – wherever it took me would be home.  The whole of the continental USA would be my home!  The beautiful thing about the Internet is that it brings people together no matter where they are, so losing touch with family and friends would not be an issue.  It would be a simple life, free of undue clutter, free of the feeling of being cooped up and held captive by societal constraints.  As a Sagittarius, this sort of nomadic life would be what my soul has always craved.  I am determined to one day see this to fruition.

Taking Back The Quiet

Good Sunday morning to you all 🙂

Never underestimate the rejuvenating benefits of just sleeping in.  Looking for a full time job has been a full time job in itself, as has been catching up on housework (starting my Spring Cleaning early while I have the time).  So this morning I wanted a break and didn’t turn my alarm on, just woke up when the body wanted to.  Fed the fur-kids, played out back with the dog a bit, made myself a little breakfast and took my oatmeal, coffee and Kindle out to the front porch to just read the news and relax at my own pace.  Came back in, washed the breakfast dishes and lit some incense to settle in at Ol’ Reliable (my 10-year old dinosaur of a computer) to just… write 🙂  

Unfortunely, sleeping in did mean that I missed a very early message from a friend inviting me to breakfast (Sorry Alyn!) but I’m hoping I can see him later today since thanks to a foot injury (I’m a clutz), I ended up missing out on the reef volunteer work yesterday.  The poor foot is still quite swollen and red and there isn’t a whole lot of movement in the outer toes.  That happens when you somehow dislocate a toe.. then drop the edge of a desk on it that you’re relocating to a different room, THEN end up inadvertently kicking the corner of the bed that you’re balancing to make.  Tellin’ ya.. I need to start wearing steel-toed shoes wherever I go.  This foot has exactly three days to heal up proper though – at least enough for me to get decent shoes on – as I have two interviews coming up this week Wednesday and Thursday.  Flip flops or fluffy slippers are NOT a viable option!  (Actually, even the flip flops hurt at this point.)

So that’s my morning, as boring as it is.  The dog snoring under my desk chair has the right idea.  But you know… sometimes “boring” is a good thing.  No drama, no rushing… yes please 🙂

Per blog June

PERBLOG
June 28, 2011

Well, I can consider today a good day or a bad day. My good outcome from today won’t happen for another week or so anyway.  With about $700 in car repairs recently, needless to say money is a bit tight.  My Internet service with Comcast went over 30 days past due (with me being only 3 days away from being able to pay it), so the bastards cut me off. I called Customer Service and the first lady I spoke with told me they’d be able to release the block to give me that 3 days to pay current, seeing as I have reliably paid my bill with them the past 2 1/2 years, despite their lack of customer support on regular outages. When she transferred me to Billing however, another woman told me I had to pay $75 now to get my service turned back on within 72 hours. Much heated discussion ensued, which ended in my hanging up on her and calling AT&T.

AT&T earned a new customer tonight. Setting up the account was easy, I won’t need to pay anything upfront, and I’m getting the first year of DSL Ultra for $25/month ($48/month after 12 months) for 6 meg download speeds. That’s 3x faster than I was achieving with Comcast at $75/month, and with constant Comcast service drops and shoddy tech support at best!

My new modem won’t arrive til Friday the 8th, but in the meantime I can still access a neighbor’s wireless from my laptop, thanks to its signal booster and from other places around town. Wi-fi is fairly plentiful if I’m willing to go a couple blocks.  None of my other wireless devices can hit the neighborhood one thpu, so I’ve been ending up going out to the movie theater to use theirs.  Still, to save $50 a month for a year – that’s a very good thing. If nothing else, it will definitely cover my summer air conditioning bill and then some!

And now… I will have the ultimate pleasure of being able to call Comcast and do what I’ve wanted to do for the past 2 years – tell them to CANCEL MY SERVICE!!!

Ah well on to scrapbooking to kill my time for a while 🙂 At least until Internet is back in the house!

Enough Nature!

As if the black widow in my flower pot the other weekend wasn’t bad enough… (hairspray and a lighter fixed that one…)

Alright so… Sunday, Alyn and I are out swimming in the Intracoastal. It’s coming up on dusk, lots of schools of fish are out feeding (and being fed upon)… i’m about waist-deep in the water but sunk down to my shoulders just relaxing… along comes a SWARM (not a school, a swarm!) of fish (the surface of the water was rolling) and they start nipping at me so I jump up only to feel something having a hissyfit in my bathing suit top! Yanked my top down (lucky Alyn) – a frikken fish propels itself out and takes off to go find his buddies. I said, “Ok! That’s enough nature for me!” and [quickly] made my way to shore squashing I don’t know how many crabs and sea slugs and God only knows what else under my feet on my way in because at that point I just didn’t care about looking where I was going.

Then!

Today after a very busy day at work and a NASTY virus hit that caused me to have to stay a couple hours late, by the time I got home all I wanted to do was put my feet up and RE-LAX. The sunset was getting pretty after a storm began to dissipate, so I took my book of crosswords outside and went to settle into my favourite porch chair. No sooner did I sit than I was swarmed by freakin’ wasps. I – BOLTED down my driveway, goosebumps head to toe, and waited for them to disburse. They didn’t. I managed to get a look at what they were concentrating on and there was a damned wasp nest attached to the underside back of my chair!!!

So I’m out in my driveway, completely befuddled and freaked out, BAREFOOT, my phone inside, very angry wasps swarming my front porch (and of course the front door was the only one unlocked) – and my only weapon was a crossword puzzle book. Yeh – time to die.

I tried for about 20 minutes to time a mad dash for the front door but they just kept circling and getting angrier. Finally, I walked over to Tracy’s apartment and after hiding my head in shame asked if they might have any wasp spray. NOPE. Todd thought it would be a good idea to go spray them down with the hose, so he did. The result? A hive of WET, pissed off wasps. After while, a flyswatter was acquired and Tracy covered me, managing to maim a couple of them while I dashed inside for my keys and whatnot. I ran back out spraying a cloud of Raid and ducked into my car and went straight to the store for a can of wasp killer. I’m inside now… 2 hours later… and luckily none got inside! Oh, and she was nice and gave me dinner again 🙂

Summary: I DON’T LIKE NATURE ANY MORE!!!!!

A Look At The Savannas

This is a collection of photographs I took at the Savannas Wildlife Preserve in St. Lucie County, FL  All were shot on a Canon EOS Rebel G using Fuji 35mm film.  Yep, that’s right:  I’m old-school.

A little history of this photo set… These were taken in 2005, shortly after my husband had filed for divorce and put me and my then 3-year old daughter on the street.  This is where I ended up living for some time, in my little tent while still holding a full time job.  This collection is truly a statement to finding the positive and the beauty in any situation we are given to handle.  I hope they inspire you as well to look around you, no matter what you’re going through, and try to find something beautiful to hold onto.  Even the smallest thing can be enough to keep you going when you’ve lost everything else.

 

Namaste,

Heather.