Monday, August 14, 2017

Where I'm At

These days my preferred writing platform is at

Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Warm & Peaceful Sunday

I'm once again thinking of discontinuing Blogger because it's so much easier to manage one place for journals, and this is my preferred platform these days. I won't delete the Blogger blog, but I'll leave it sitting there along with LiveJournal and my-diary.

Right now I'm waiting for it to cool down another 10° so I can go out for a quick run. In some ways, this climate is worse for outdoor exercising than Oregon was. It rains more here and it gets hotter. It might actually be easier to run through snow and ice, not that I would ever want to live in such a cold, snowy climate ever again.

We went swimming before 9 PM last night and the water was disappointingly chilly. There were half a dozen people there too, but all adults.

It was a surprisingly quiet Sunday. We did some things around the house and we also went to Raley's.

I thought the washer hose was clogged but when Tom went to check it out he said there was hardly anything there.

He sprayed the outside of the house because these big fat creepy looking spiders have been showing up in here.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Haircuts & Endless Projects

We didn't even make it a whole day before the next project started. I really can’t catch a break in this place. We're thinking that the guy that had a stroke (I don't know his name) was moved to a home and that they're getting ready to sell his house with all the activity going on over there. Yesterday someone was using an insanely loud gas-powered power washer to hose down some carpet. This was in the evening. That went on for a couple of hours after having to listen to the usual traffic and landscaping sounds.

That loud white truck has been coming around twice a day to Geri's lately, and I had to listen to the distracting bumps and bangs of something being loaded onto it for a while after the power washer stopped, so it never went quiet here until around 9 PM yesterday. It's just ridiculous the amount of activity I hear around here. Although Tom disagrees, I don't think it's much quieter than Phoenix was, when I think about it. It’s just different sounds made by different people. Instead of dogs, kids and loud music, I hear traffic, landscaping and loud machinery/equipment. What is better about this place is that the shit doesn't extend into the night. You won't hear parties at midnight here or dogs barking at 3am.

Today I heard the power washer for over 6 hours. Even on the weekends, I can't have any peace. I'm hoping that now that it's after 6 PM they'll pack it in for the night and that Geri's company won't come and sit and idol its loud truck while loading whatever into it.

Now I hear some hammering. *sighs with frustration* Well, I may not be able to get much peace around here unless it's in the dead of night, but I can go swimming. Going to go for an evening swim. It seems to be pretty dead at that time and then you don't have the sun glaring in your eyes. It's going to be easier now that my hair isn't down to the small of my back. Yeah, a very nice lady named Nicky with purple hair took off 6 or 7 inches for me today. It's still long enough to be pulled back in a ponytail and the ponytail is about 5 or 6 inches long. In about 18 months it should be back to where it was, but hopefully a lot healthier. Now that I'm staining the color into my hair instead of dyeing it, that should help. Also maybe now that I'm using the right leave-in conditioner that will help as well. Nicky told me that the Paul Mitchell Skinny Serum is actually a bad thing to use and that it dries the hair out because it shrinks the hair follicles or something like that. It makes sense when you think about it since it's silicone, and I would notice a buildup of the stuff every now and then and have to take a few days off from it. Why I was ever recommended it, I don't know.

Don't know if I buy that trimming the hair makes it grow faster or that hairs with split ends are dead and won't grow anymore. Hair grows from the roots, not the ends. So I'm not going to get it trimmed every 3 to 4 months like she recommended but maybe more like every 6 months. She said she trims hers every 3 weeks.

Miracle 10, Paul Mitchell's replacement, does all kinds of things I want it to do. It detangles, reduces frizz, protects against flat irons and stuff like that, and so much more. After we go swimming I'll give it its second Swarzstar treatment, then hit it with Miracle 10. She said the stuff is super concentrated and that once I've used about two-thirds of the bottle I can add water to it. I guess I just spray it into my hands a few times and then rub it into my hair.

Oh fuck. It's 6:30 now and the fucking power washer just started back up. What, are they going to do this until dark? This has got to piss off even those who don't usually mind noise.

Got the pond sticker and it's way nicer than I thought it would be. I love it! It's got 10 fish, 3 water lilies, and 3 large leaves, one with a frog on it, and is surrounded by rocks. Tom helped me apply it on the master bathroom floor. It looks more 3-D the further you stand from it and that way you also don't see the texture of the floor.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Asphalt Filled

Been keeping busy with Grammarly, correcting old journals, stories, bios and other things. The number of typos and other errors it's catching is both shocking and disappointing. I realize, though, that with so much content they're bound to be found.

They came and filled in the asphalt today. I didn't hear much and I didn't smell anything. This doesn't mean it's always peaceful. Still gotta hear the usual landscaping and traffic.

Not too long ago I mentioned the house behind us driving me crazy all day long with cutting trees and shrubs in front of their place. You could barely see their doors or windows because it had become so overgrown. Well, now I could thank them for that annoying day which turned out to be very worth it because it's backed off the woodpeckers. The wind usually blows toward the back of the house and I was beginning to suspect whatever the woodpeckers were after was coming from their property. I realized yesterday that I hadn't heard them in a while. Hopefully, they'll keep up on it and not let it get so overgrown again.

I washed my long hair for the last time in what should be a while as I still plan to get it cut tomorrow.

Using a Rolaids bottle as a mold, Tom made a little cup with some of the dull original colors that the 3D pen came with. The bright green is okay, but I still say the yellow looks like angel hair pasta and the red looks like ketchup. He ordered a better variety of filament colors, including my favorites, pink and purple.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Won CampNaNo

Sure enough, the workers were here yesterday to annoy me with their loud equipment on top of the loud traffic. So, done by Monday or Tuesday my ass. Things didn't quiet down until early evening. It was like OMG! Never have I lived in a place where there were so fucking many loud vehicles. Yesterday a worker told me that that was it for them and today another company will come and fill in the asphalt.

So what will the next project be, who will do it, and how long will it last? I doubt I'll even make it much more than a week or two before the next annoyance around here hits. Not that regular traffic and landscaping sounds aren't more than I need to hear. Then beginning at 6 PM it's loud car stereo time from just outside the park. There's always something to listen to here, but I've totally given up hope of ever finding a quiet place to live. Like I said, if you haven't found it in 30 years and an adult community, it doesn't exist. At least not for me. It seems we all have some things that are meant to be no matter what while others are not meant to be. Well, I wasn't meant to live in peace any more than I was meant to be tall.

I won CampNaNo yesterday going nearly 1000 words over my goal, which I set low at 15K words. November's NaNo is the big hard counts of 50K words. Whether or not I'll jump in depends on what ideas I may have at the time. It better be one hell of an idea too, because I don't normally have the patience for 50K words.

Tammy congratulated me on the win, and while I don't know why, this put a big smile on my face. I would still continue on my merry way spinning my tall tales even if no one ever said a word, but I guess congrats and encouragement are always nice from those we're close to.

My Blogger blog hit 50K all-time page views. The stats don’t list every single country, browser and operating system to ever access my blog, but it lists those in the lead. Germany remains the runner-up country. Nane? Christiane?

I'm now down 2 pounds, but I still have to see myself lose more than just a few pounds to believe it. Then again, Tom has always had a very slow metabolism all his life, even when he was young. For him, it takes very few calories to maintain a healthy weight. This is part of why he has a low HR. He's lost about 15 pounds in three months, but he has a lot more to lose than I do.

I was just the opposite when I was younger. I couldn't gain weight for the most part if I tried, and keeping over 100 pounds was very hard to do.

I was definitely eating 200-300 more calories than I thought I was. It's human nature to under/overestimate things, I think. Chances are you're not eating as little as you think, things aren't as bad or good as you think they are, and you're probably not as smart as you think you are either. :-)

I used that coloring shampoo yesterday and it’s WAY better than regular dye! It doesn’t stink as bad since it’s ammonia-free, and it only takes 10 minutes instead of the 20-40 minutes regular dye takes. I can tell it’s going to be much gentler on my hair. It still can be messy and stain the skin like regular dye, though.

Now that I know what product is best to use for hair coloring, and since my hair is so damaged, I’ve decided that this weekend I’m going to go get it cut to the shoulders. So I’ll be cutting about 10” off. The last time I cut it to the shoulder was 2 years and 2 months ago. So, in the summer of 2019, it should be a lot healthier at this length than it is now. I usually cut it to the shoulders and let it grow till it hits my ass. This takes about 4 years.

Last night I dreamed I was staying in a hotel with Tammy and some other woman. There was a radio in the room playing music too loud and I was trying to figure out how to turn it down so I could hear Tammy and the other woman speaking.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

3-D Pen

I've lost a pound so far, but I expect the rest to come off very slowly if they even come off at all. It should take years doing this method, but I'm in no hurry. Doing this has gotten me to see that I was definitely eating more than I realized. I was probably closer to 2000 calories a day as opposed to 1500.

Still feeling calm and sleeping well, although last night I did awake with a nightmare. Tom and I were giving me an injection of some kind. I hesitated and wondered if we should tell the doctor something up front, though I'm not sure what I wanted to tell them. But we went ahead and injected whatever it was and it made my heart race. I woke up with my heart racing a little for real and felt warm too, but I settled down and returned to sleep after I used the bathroom.

My GYN responded to my message and said to stop using the steroid gel and we'll reevaluate the situation when I see her, saying that every now and then it can cause inflammation of the skin. NOW she tells me, but yeah, I stopped last week. I could tell it was caused by the gel, just like I could tell the thyroid meds were causing me to feel anxious.

Tom's 3-D pen came yesterday and it's pretty cool. He did a little tree his first time around and it was funny because the bottom was bright lime green while the top was the color of pasta and tomato sauce. It was funny because it almost looked like a clump of angel hair pasta that someone squirted ketchup on. He's got more filament with more colors arriving today, along with my dark brown Swarzstar coloring shampoo. It's supposed to be a lot easier to use, a lot less messy, a lot quicker, and a lot gentler on the hair.

The reason it was so quiet here yesterday was that the workers were finishing up further down the street. Tuesdays are usually bad for landscaping, though, so I'm sure I'll hear enough of that at some point. I've already heard some things around here.

Monday, July 24, 2017


"Ever heard of Swarzstar?" Tom asked me via Skype.

No, I haven't. But I do know that "swarz" means black in German. So I asked him why he was asking and he said he was telling a lady at work about how we stripped the dye out of my hair and all that. She told him she uses Swarzstar because it's like a shampoo that you just wash your hair with. Looked it up on Amazon. It's got good reviews. It doesn't stain the skin or take as long as regular dye to use. They only had black or dark brown. I would have preferred medium brown but dark brown will do. Going to try it.

Still haven't decided whether or not I'm going to cut it to my shoulders. I know I will eventually because there's only so many years I can stand to have it so long. The question is when. It's pretty damaged.

We may have to call them out to tune up our air conditioner soon. It really struggles on triple-digit days. I keep it at 78° when I'm awake, which means that it turns on and off more often the hotter it gets, and that's what puts a strain on it and causes the compressor to seize up. Too bad I don't like it at 76°, but that's a little too chilly for me unless I'm sleeping, working out or doing something physical.

The electric bill just came. $191. Yup, shoulda replaced the windows, but oh well. Still beats the $450 electric bills we would get down in Arizona.

Not that I would ever complain about peace and quiet, but why has it been so quiet today? I thought the workers were supposed to return to finish the irrigation project. If they have, they sure are going about it quietly.

Since it's been successful for Tom, and it's actually what most doctors recommend, I've decided to go on a diet that isn't really a diet, but more like a healthy lifestyle change. For the most part, I eat healthily. But I was still having a few hundred more calories than I should, so what you do is you pick an ideal weight and you eat the amount of calories necessary to maintain that particular weight. This way you don't have to practically starve yourself by cutting your calories really low. 1000 calories a day just isn't sustainable. It would work and quickly too, but the suffering along the way isn't worth it. Better to go the slow, less torturous way. It may take me a year to lose 10 pounds and 10 pounds may be all I'll ever lose, but even just that is fine with me, and I'm not in any hurry. So... 1500 calories a day it is! I just have to be sure to do it every single day without taking any breaks, days off or deviating from this plan in any way. I can assure you that 1500 calories is a lot more doable than 1000 and even 1200. On top of a reasonable amount of food that's not so little that I'm going to be a lightheaded grump with a growling belly, but also not so much that it's unhealthy and guaranteed to keep my weight up, I keep active as well.

The biggest and best thing is that I haven't had one single shred of anxiety. I always knew that the main culprit was my being overly sensitive to the thyroid meds, and I don't care what anyone says. I know my mind/body. So does my hubby. :-) I still think I can take it every day once I hit menopause. Some day we'll find out for sure.

I spent all day yesterday playing with Grammarly. It's not perfect but it's definitely better than a regular text editor. I've gone through everything on Blogger, and now I'm working on my Prosebox entries, but only stuff that's public. Going to be rechecking stories as well.

This morning I got an email from Grammarly that said:


You were more productive than
99% of Grammarly users.


You were more accurate than
99% of Grammarly users.


You used more unique words than
99% of Grammarly users.

I seriously hope I'm that good! I'm a professional writer after all. :-)

Sunday, July 23, 2017


Grammarly is a totally awesome extension that really helps eliminate many of the typos and missing words caused by using speech to text as I've been addictively using for a while now. I've been systematically going through old entries as well as other things that are private. After I run it through some journals, I'll do some stories as well.

Speaking of stories, I went to reset my story account PW, but never got the email with the instructions to do so. Hopefully, I'll get that soon enough.

We stripped the dye out of my hair, and wow! I've forgotten how much lighter my natural color really is. I usually dye it dark brown, but it's a light to medium brown. I'm also not as gray as I thought I was. I'm somewhere between 20% and 25%. Definitely going to re-dye it so that I get a more even color from now on. I'm not sure yet if I'm going to cut it off first. It's pretty fried, so we'll see.

I don't know why they waited this late in the summer to send us this (maybe someone complained), but we received a list of the new pool rules. I'm kind of pissed too, because they extended the kids' hours from 1:00 to 2:00. Do they not realize that some of us come here to get away from them and their ear-splitting noise? They should have two pools here, one being totally childless.

We went to Raley's to get a form notarized yesterday, and I got an awesome serving tray with a picture of watermelon slices that's so nice. Don't know what I'm going to use it for since I don't entertain and I'm not a foodie, but I'll think of something.

For just $20 Tom is getting a 3-D pen. According to the YouTube videos we saw, it looks like it might be kind of fun.

I had a dream I was swimming somewhere, and then I got out of the pool and walked up to a nearby fast food place. I realized that my flip-flops were on the counter that a guy was trying to wipe down, so I took them off and stepped into them, having a hard time getting them to fit.

Once I finally got the flip-flops on, I decided I wanted to get in the soda line. Not realizing it had gotten so long so fast, a girl I almost cut in front of said something like, "Hey, I'm here."

So then I went to the end of the line and soon became aggravated by how long people were taking to get their drinks. I shouted, "Just get your drinks and go!" lol, I guess I was totally out of patience.

Saturday, July 22, 2017


Got up early today, changed the rats' cage, then went bike riding with Tom. I spotted Janice and Carolyn along the way, then Virginia sitting out front on the way back.

I totally hate the hell out of these bikes! His seat kept falling and my gears are all messed up. Of all the different size wheels I've had on bikes, 24" is the best. 26" is too high for me and makes the bike practically fly. But 20" under powers the bike. I shouldn't have to pedal going downhill.

It's a lovely time of year. Full, leafy trees, flowers of all kinds and colors. Not a fan of daffodils and marigolds, but I like most of what I see around here.

After we got groceries I did a load of laundry, worked on my book, did a little coloring, watched some of my show (season 12 of Criminal Minds), and I'm going to be taking it easy for the most part today.

Hopefully the weekend will be peaceful, since Monday the irrigation people are coming back to annoy us with their insanely loud machinery. When they dropped those heavy metal plates onto the road before they left yesterday, I could feel it shake the entire place even though I had headphones on with blasting music.

Didn't sleep as well last night, though I'm still sleeping well overall. I'm not sure if the Amberen has been helping at all, but just in case it is (along with lowering my levothyroxine dosage just a touch), I ordered another month's supply on Amazon for half of what it costs at Walgreen's, along with a coloring book.

Last night I woke up often enough to remember some dreams. Kathleen was in one of them. Something about me showing her my "universe," which seemed to be something on my phone. But the phone was plugged into a wall and I couldn't get it to reach where she was standing.

Then I was staying in a hotel with Aly (ugh) and I think someone else as well. Not sure what the occasion was but I told her I was going to go out and feed the fish. She said okay from another room. I told her I loved her and she said she loved me too.

As I approached the door to go out I found an old scrap of paper on the floor. Then I opened the room and found the housekeeper and her cart just outside the door. I looked for a place to dump the paper, but couldn't find a trash container on the cart. So I began to walk down the hall and the housekeeper, who might not have spoken English, came up behind me. I thought she was going to take and dump the piece of paper for me, but instead she thrust a dollar bill in my hand.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Boats on the Lake

"Anyone can experience mental health problems, no matter how good or bad life may appear. You should not compare your experience to others."

This was written by a fellow blogger. Well, as I learned once I entered perimenopause, no, something bad doesn't have to be going on in life in order for you to feel bad. Fortunately, though, I've been doing well since cutting back the thyroid meds, something I may have to do every few months as accumulation occurs, until menopause.

My only real complaint today is what I've been complaining about for most of my adult life... noise. I talked to one of the workers and he said they should be done by Tuesday at the latest. Yeah, but then the park or someone else around here will just go and do something else. It's just fucking ridiculous that at age 51, I still haven't found a peaceful place to live. If you can't find it in an adult community, where can you find it? I totally believe without a doubt that my quest for a peaceful place to live is forever out of reach. That's gotten way beyond obvious at this point, so I might as well be open to apartments and condos as well as houses in the future. Sure, some places are certainly worse than others. Norwich was worse than Klamath Falls, and Phoenix was worse than here. But noise is noise in the end and I'm obviously not going to escape it no matter where I live. Rural, city, suburbs... it'll follow me anywhere.

The loudest part of this irrigation project has definitely been when they cut holes in the road. But then they have something that makes a low grinding, rumbling sound that they run on and off.

It's just bullshit. Totally ridiculous that there's always something going on no matter where I go, but I might as well just accept it, embrace it, and get used to it because it ain't going away.

Finally decided to check out what Friday's Boats on the Lake is all about, but when I rode down there nothing was going on. Some people were sitting on the bench and others were hanging by their cars, but it was too hot to wait around. Fortunately I have very strong legs and I was able to pedal back here in just a few minutes despite the hilly terrain, probably faster than the speed limit in here allows for.

Another thing to piss me off was that my bike is fucked up. The gears kept clicking and slipping. Oh, to have the address of the person who stole my beautiful Cruiser!

Other than noisy projects and faulty gears, life is running smoothly. Not sure what we're doing this weekend.

Except for a few days since starting the Amberen nearly a month ago, I've slept well. Not sure if there's a connection or not or if I'm going to get another month's supply. I have another week to decide. But yeah, I'm sleeping so much better I barely remember my dreams anymore.