Author Archives: Willow

About Willow

I'm a disabled woman who plays and mods video games to pass the time.

Adventurous Questions

So, I got these from Melanie from Sparks From a Combustible Mind (I always separate that title, but I don’t think it’s supposed to be separated… oh well). Anyway, she got got them from Rory over at… I think it’s called A Guy Called Bloke…?. Here are the original questions, and here are Melanie’s answers. Go check them out. From Melanie’s page: Today’s topic is … Adventuring, Exploration and Traveling:

What are five [in your eyes only] top quality Adventure films? Adventure films… hmm. I’ll have to think about that. An “Adventure Film” is defined as a film that generally uses its action scenes to show and explore exotic locations in an interesting way. In no particular order here goes: I suppose Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (that would be the first Indiana Jones movie for you whippersnappers) would be an adventure film that most people are familiar with I quite enjoyed that one. I mean, it’s the definition of an adventure movie, right? It was filmed in Tunisia though I believe is was meant to be set in Egypt. And they gallivant all over the world in that movie. I only saw one other Indiana Jones movie, and it was… okay.

I did enjoy the first The Mummy from 1999 too. I mean, that would be an adventure movie as described because it was set in Egypt and I think parts of Africa. And they wandered into other parts of the world.

handmade movie poster
My movie poster – life is an adventure. 🙂

And, according to IMDb and their list of “100 best Adventure Movies“, Deadpool is an an adventure movie. Granted, it’s way down on the list, but hey, why not? I liked it. I don’t recall any exotic locations from the Deadpool movie, but maybe people consider the city it’s set in — is it New York? I dunno. — exotic. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it. I mean, he did wander to a few places on his revenge quest, but is that really all it takes to be considered an “adventure” movie? Whatever. I enjoyed the movie, and hey, if IMDb says it’s an adventure movie, who am I to argue? 🙂

And if Deadpool is an adventure movie, then so is The Man from Nowhere (though it’s not listed as such… but who makes these rules?). I’m gonna put it out there as one because why not? The Man from Nowhere is a Korean movie made in 2010 that is difficult to explain so go read the link or watch the movie. It’s pretty good.

IMDd also lists the first Star Wars — listed here as Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope though when it came out, it was just Star Wars — as an Adventure movie, so I’ll take their word for it. I suppose you can’t get more exotic than outer space, huh? So the very first Star Wars movie to come out in theater is a good adventure movie for me. I liked it. I enjoyed seeing it in the theater. I didn’t really like the rest of them, but I’m like that. I’m not a fan of sequels. I mean, I’m okay with them, but for me the first story is always the best one. I’m just weird that way.

What would be your ideal adventure [not holiday – adventure] I’m assuming you mean “holiday” in the European sense as we in the States mean “vacation” so I’ll go from there. I’m not really the adventurous type (though some would argue with that). I’ve mentioned before how often I’ve moved, yeah? Most of the times that I’ve moved from one state to the next, I didn’t have a job lined up, or a house, or even a place to stay. I just packed my car and off I went, hoping for the best. I did this multiple times in my lifetime. I’ve been told — multiple times — that that’s pretty bold and daring. For me? It was just following my path. My life is basically my ideal adventure.

If you were planning your Adventure of a Lifetime which is the best season for you to go? Whatever season I decide to go on said adventure. I suck at planning ahead, so I don’t even try. One Wednesday morning I said to my then roommate, “Hey, want to drive to Salem this weekend?” and she was all, “Sure, why not?” so we hit the road on Friday night after work (we lived in Virginia), drove through the night — it was a ten hour drive — got there Saturday morning. Did a bunch of shopping and sight seeing. Stayed Saturday night and drove back Sunday. I don’t remember what season it was, but we had fun. Those are the kinds of “adventures” I enjoy. The spontaneous kind. I miss them. And, as I mentioned before, my life is my adventure. I don’t need to plan one. I’m living mine. Well, I was… right now it’s on hold, but I’l be back to it soon enough. I just gotta heal a bit. ^_^

What kind of activities do you enjoy doing and what would you never do? I like walking. Walking is the activity I like doing the most. And sitting. 🙂 I’m not an active person. I could hike. I’ve hiked before. I suppose I could do it again. I would never bungie jump. Not even on a bet.

If you could live anywhere in the world for a year out of the answers below, where would you choose?

In a Castle — I wouldn’t mind living in a castle for a year. I mean so long as I wasn’t the only person living in said castle. Like if it were a castle filled with people, I would be okay with it. However if I were the only person in said castle, that would be a nope for me.

Under the Sea — So there are several horror games revolving about biospheres that went terribly wrong under the sea. I think that the writers of those games have no faith in humankind at all. I do, but! I don’t like the idea that if there’s a leak, we all die a horrible death. I have trouble going through tunnels that go under water, so I don’t think I could live under the sea for any length of time.

In a Forest — You have to be more specific than this. Like, in a cabin in the forest? In a tent in the forest? Will I be stationary in said forest? Am I wandering through the forest? Can I have a car, truck, caravan/camper? Am What am I living off of? Do I get trips out of the forest to resupply over the year I’m in there? I’m not a hunter. I can’t fend for myself. I need the grocery store. Yeah, I said it. I’m soft. I mean I could totally rock a forest house so long as I’m not restricted to the forest for the whole year.

In a Dungeon — Again, details matter. Like, am I imprisoned in said dungeon, or is it just open for me to live in? And where is the dungeon? Is it below a city? Do I have access to the city? Like, a year is quite a long time. If I’m imprisoned in the dungeon, do I get meals and so on? Because so long as I’m getting food, clothing, and shelter (maybe some books and yarn to knit stuff with) and no one is beating me or anything like that, I suppose I could withstand a year in a dungeon. Unless it’s a Skyrim dungeon… then I’m screwed. 🙂

On an Alien Planet — So long as there’s air to breath and interesting aliens to talk to, and so long as said aliens aren’t trying to kill me, enslave me, or do experiments on me, I think that might be doable.

On the side of an Active Volcano — there are so many active volcanoes around me right now it’s not even funny. Mount Rainier can be seen from just about anywhere in the Seattle area and it is an active volcano. I’ve been living alongside it for quite a while now. Now, we can’t live “on the side” of said active volcano, because there’s no property available there. But don’t think that will save us if Mount Rainier erupts. If that mountain decides to blow its top, we’re all dust

What are three great adventure quotes?

Live! Live! Live!
Who knows what awaits us after death?
Sometimes the biggest adventure is simply being alive.

America is named after? The American continents were named after some Italian dude who was on one of the three ships in Columbus’s first trip. I forgot his name. Let me look it up. Here it is: Amerigo Vespucci from the wiki. Like, I don’t know if he was on the ships or not, but that’s what we learned in school forty some odd years ago. I’m very much a Live in the Now person. While people lament about how ignorant we Americans are about our History, I put to y’all that I, personally, don’t care much about history in general other than an overall sense that it happened and all I need to know are the basics. Amerigo Vespucci existed, and the American continents were (probably) name after him. That’s all I really need to know. Everything else is just so much filler.

Who reached North America first out of the following people’s? Spanish, British, Vikings, Portuguese — It’s commonly held that the Vikings were the first Europeans to reach North America by way of Greenland way back in, I want to say the 10th? century or was it the 9th? I hate numbers. Anyway, that’s pretty much common knowledge. I learned about that in school too, and I just watched a documentary on it the other day actually. However, North America was already populated when they got there, so they didn’t actually discover a new land, seeing as there were already thriving civilizations on the continent. Spain came over first, but I think they hit South America, then Britain was all about North American, and Portugal tried but didn’t get a foothold in North America.

What was Christopher Columbus’s aim of his second voyage to the New world? Conquest and gold.

What happened to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan? I dunno. Doug might, but I don’t. I know that the Aztec culture was wiped out, so I’m assuming they died.

What was the most exciting adventure you have ever been on? Can’t say I’ve been anywhere that would be defined as exciting in the traditional sense… like running through tombs from big boulders or being chased through parks by prehistorical beasts, or even seeing a ghost in the flesh (as it were). I’ve been to the Grand Canyon and walked on the Skywalk, which is a glass bridge that extends out over the canyon in a horse shoe shape for about a hundred feet or so (I think, check the link, it explains it). That was kind of exciting. I know a few people who would find that too much for their blood. I’ve driven across this big country of mine all by my onsie about… three times. That was fun, and I suppose some would call it exciting. I enjoyed it. I know a few people who would find that a little too exciting for them. But what’s exciting for one person is just… meh to the next.

Picture of an entrance sign I took during a trip in Mississippi

Where in the world have you had the most fun exploring as an adult? The cypress swamps of the Southern USA. I love them. The Great Dismal Swamp is pretty awesome actually, but all of the cypress swamps are like a mystical places for me. It’s like stepping into a new and different world. I loved walking through them. I didn’t “explore” them in the traditional sense in that I walked the beaten path that was already laid out for me. Because they were swamps, dear reader, complete with water on the ground, and snakes and possibly alligators in said water. But I really appreciated my time there. That and any time I walked through the Redwood Forest of the Pacific Northwest. Man, those trees are enormous. It’s almost magical in a completely different way than the cypress swamps. There’s a rain forest up here in Washington State, did you know that, dear reader? It’s called the Hoh Rain Forest, and it is magnificent. I’ve only driven through there, but even the drive is pretty nice.

When in Rome, one does as the Roman’s do, however When on a Sandy Beach, one does…? Whatever one wishes? I dunno. I don’t go to beaches as a rule.

Whilst out and about exploring on an adventure, what is the most scariest thing that has happened to you? I’ve had a few close calls whilst out and about, but I’ll tell you the one that came to mind. So I was on my way to my sister’s house. She lived in Mississippi, and I lived in Virginia, so it was a 13 hour drive. Now, whenever I’m driving alone (or with babies and toddlers as was in this case), I like to drive at night so I’m not driving in traffic. Many of the roads in the South are lined with huge ass trees, so at night it’s like driving through a big tunnel. It’s kinda freaky if you are like me and don’t like driving through tunnels. Add on the fact that there’s nothing for miles and miles to break up this ginormous tunnel and on top of that there’s always the danger of a deer running out in front of you. So, it’s about midnight and I’m toodling along in my little station wagon with my three kids — two toddlers and a baby — sleeping in the car. And, I’m driving down this huge tree-tunnel. One of my big fears when driving like this has always been having a deer jump out in front of me. But I figured since I was the only one on the road, I figured I could drive a little slower. So I did.

picture of headlights
This is what I saw in my mirror for miles

I was cruising at about 50 when this huge pick up truck comes behind me with his bright lights flaring at me. This person comes right on my bumper and tailgates me for, miles. Like… miles. Flipping their brights on and off, and honking their horn. Now, dear reader, we are the only two people on the road. This truck could have passed me, no problem at any time. I have no idea who they are or why they’re acting so aggressively and I’m certainly not about to find out. I just keep my speed and wait for them to get tired of their game. And I pray a deer doesn’t jump out at us while this person is so close on my bumper. After about ten minutes (I guess, could have been three, could have been twenty, I wasn’t really watching the clock, but it seemed like forever), dude decides they’re not gonna make me go faster and they start to pass me. Wouldn’t you know it? A flipping deer decides that was the perfect moment to jump in the middle of the road. We both slam on the brakes. The deer stops in front of me. I stop just before I hit it, dude goes roaring past, and the deer just walks calmly on. The kids slept through it all. Ha! Crisis averted. But damn if it wasn’t a close call.

Of the following choices which would you prefer to explore?

A sunken city — So I’m assuming this sunken city has been excavated? And is it sunken below another city? We’ve got one of those below Seattle. I’m sure other cities have them as well. Or is it sunken below the sea? Either way, I don’t like being under ground or under the sea, so… no

A lost city — Not until it’s been found, excavated and open to the public.

A forgotten city — Same as the lost city, thanks much.

An uninhabited island — Nope, nope, and more nope. Not unless I can bring a team with me because while I enjoy my own company for a while, I totally need to know that there are other people near me for my own sanity.

Why did you pick your option above, what appealed? I picked none of the above. 🙂

Would you rather swim with sharks or dolphins? This body does not swim in the ocean. Right now, it doesn’t swim at all. If, however, you gave me the choice of a shark or a dolphin, it would be a pretty even choice. Sharks aren’t mindless eating machines, and we’re not their first choice in prey. And dolphins can be assholes. Honestly, I’d rather just leave the both of them alone to go about their business whilst I go about mine.

Read the article this comes from, it’s interesting.

What’s the worst piece of travel advice you have ever received? You can’t drive cross country alone. You’re a woman. All kinds of bad things will happen to you. Didn’t you hear about [insert urban myth here]? You’ll end up dead on the side of the road. Or worse. Take a man with you.

What’s the best piece of travel advice you have ever received? Make sure your spare tire isn’t flat before you head out.

What is on the top of your bucket list? I don’t have one.

Best musical track you can think of for each of the following: exploration, adventuring or travelling? [Please provide links] My brain just can’t link those two things together… sorry. I listen to whatever I listen to.

How many countries [or States/Counties] have you visited – please list. Countries… USA. States? Here’s a map: These are all of the states I’ve visited, as in gone to and stayed one night or more in. I’m not listing all of the states I’ve driven through, stopped in, or just visited tourist traps in. Otherwise, the only states not colored in would be Maine, Hawaii, and Alaska. 🙂

States visited

Just for funsies, these are the states I’ve lived in since my first marriage in 1985. If you take out New York, the rest of them are the states I’ve lived in since our divorce in 1996. So there’s that.

Three items you simply could not travel without? Driver’s license, change of clothes, and cash money I suppose. It used to be that you wouldn’t know who accepted credit cards, and I never trusted traveler’s checks, so cash money was a sure bet, but those rules have changed. Everyone takes credit cards nowadays. Huh. Weird how things change when you’re not looking. ^_^ I think cash money is still handy though. Just in case.

Right now, dear reader, my days of gallivanting are limited. It took me like, five hours to write this post. I’m tired. Way tired. I have good days and bad days. But my bad days are not as numerous as they were a month ago, so there’s that. 🙂 But hey, I’m still here, in this great adventure we call life, and that’s okay by me.

Sharing My World 3/20/19

Is it better to suspect something (bad or hurtful) and not know or to have your worst fears confirmed by sure knowledge? In my humble opinion, I would rather know than wonder. Because instead of coming up with all kinds of things — good and bad — in my mind, I would absolutely know what’s going on. And even if something is the worst of the worst, it would set my mind at ease because I could then get over whatever it is and start to move on from it. Not knowing is way worse than knowing. For example, I have no idea where my dad is, or if he’s even alive. I’d rather know, even if he was dead.

What makes you laugh aloud? Crack up? Laugh until your sides split? When was the last time you had a great big belly laugh? A lot of things make me laugh. Like I have quite a broad sense of humor. The very last thing that made me laugh was this video. Now I don’t watch Game of Thrones and I had no idea who she was making fun of (or “throwing shade” at as they say these days) until I read the comments, then I looked dude up and watched it again and it was even funnier. I like watching this young lady because she has a unique sense of humor and I find it amusing.

Jenny Nicholson

Her name is Jenny Nicholson, she’s got a unique style. I enjoy watching her. She’s not the only person who makes me laugh, but this video was the last thing that gave me a belly laugh.

picture of a woodpecker

Do you suppose Noah had woodpeckers in the ark? If he did, where did he keep them? Apologies to the Darwinians in the crowd…this is merely for fun, okay? Well, I would hope so, because woodpeckers eat insects that eat wood. 🙂 Given my paltry knowledge of natural science, I would think it might be beneficial to have when one has a craft made of wood. Though he would have been smart to keep them to the decks above water because they will bore holes into the wood for nesting. I could totally be wrong though. I’m not a scientist. Anyway, Noah and his ilk were supposedly only on the boat for forty days and forty nights. Like barely more than a month, so even if he were real and had a boat big enough to hold a bunch of animals, including woodpeckers, it’s not like they were out to sea for that long. Supposedly, he planned this thing with the guidance of his god, so he surely had enough water to last, and with all of those animals on board, he wasn’t going to starve. But back to the question, woodpeckers weren’t gonna destroy the boat, but they would eat the insects that were destroying the boat. So… yeah.

Why is “Charlie” short for “Charles when they are the same number of letters? Charlie is easier to say than Charles… it’s not “short” for Charles, it’s just a nickname. It’s considered… friendlier than Charles, more intimate and fun. There is also Chuck as a nickname for Charles – a la Charlie Brown. One “problem” with having a name like Willow is that there’s no real nickname for it. Same with my birth name, there really was no nickname to go with it. Someone would have to come up with an entirely new name for me to have a nickname. It’s also why I write my name on everything — because my name (now and before) is unusual enough to not be written on any personalized item. ^_^

picture of dryer balls.
generic dryer balls, mine probably won’t look this nice

What happened in your world this past week that made you feel thankful, joyful or grateful? So, this might seem trivial to y’all, but yesterday I went out with Doug to the store to run some errands, we did some shopping and afterwards we went to lunch. I didn’t even get exhausted! We went to the thrift store and bought a sweater for me to unravel to make some felted dryer balls (still in the making). We had some drier balls that we bought a few years ago (the kind pictured here), but over the years, they have disappeared. Now we have one left. So instead of paying, like, $20 for six more, I bought a $2 sweater and rolled my own. Now just need to felt them and voilà! cheap, effective, dryer balls. The trip to the store was nice, but shopping with Doug isn’t quite as enjoyable as shopping alone because Doug — like most men — wants to get out of the store as quickly as possible. I was all for shopping leisurely but he was all, “The sweaters are over there…” Ha! Anyway, it’s been a long time since I’ve wanted to browse in a shop, and it was nice to be able to eat out with Doug again. We haven’t done that in a long time. Normally he will go out and get me lunch and bring it home because I just don’t have the energy to go out to a restaurant. But hey we went out and had a nice lunch. I’m tired today, but yesterday, I was good.

Brought to you by Melanie’s Share Your World

High School Questions

So I got these questions from Barbara at Teleportingweena, here are her answers, go check them out. So, when answering these questions, we’re supposed to think about our our senior year in High School. The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be! But here’s the problem with that, I dropped out of high school just after my junior year because I got married in the summer between my junior year and senior year. So I’m still gonna answer them, but with my junior year instead. Because why not?

Did you know your current significant other? Nope, not even close. I lived in California during my high school years and my current husband lived in New Mexico. He’s also two years younger than me so he was probably in middle school while I was a junior in high school. Sounds weird now, because I would have never dated a middle schooler, but in our fifties, a two year difference is nothing noteworthy. 🙂

Make and year of car? Believe it or not, there weren’t many people who had cars in our school. We went to the poorer school in our city — there were two high schools (if you didn’t count the Catholic schools), one for the upper middle class and one for us poorer folk and the Military brats (not mutually exclusive). So anyway, what I’m trying to say is… most of the students at my school, including myself and most of my friends, didn’t have cars.

What kind of job? I didn’t work during high school unless you count babysitting. I did quite a lot of babysitting.

Where did you live? As I mentioned above, I lived in California. Since I was under 18, I resided with my parents and siblings.

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Were you popular? Define popular… I was well recognized because my sister and I were identical twins and we were the only set of identical twins on campus, so people knew who we were. I also hung out with the “stoner” and “misfit” crowds so people knew who I was by association. Did I have a lot of friends? Eh, I had a group of friends, but we did not make up a significant percentage of the school’s population. I was well known and for the most part liked, but I wasn’t popular in the traditional sense of the word.

Were you in choir? Yeah, I was in both choir and drama throughout my junior and high school years.

Ever get suspended from school? Not in high school. ^_^

If you could, would you go back? Probably not to that specific school especially if I couldn’t go back to that specific time. The 80’s were a unique time and place. I quite enjoyed my days in high school, only because I enjoy school. I like college too. I just like learning in general. I would be a professional student if I could afford it. Like I’d go to school all day every day if I had the funds for it. But alas and alack, colleges want money from me to attend their hallowed halls.

Image result for no prom

Still talk to the person that you went to prom with? You assume that I went to the prom, question asker. Not everyone did. The prom is an expensive thing that not everyone can afford. Also, my mother refused to allow us to waste money on such frivolous things as the prom. Buy a dress that we’ll only wear once? I don’t think so. Plus, “Kids do drugs and have sex at these things you know!” Said my mom to us when we asked about going. I mean, come on, I had to borrow my wedding dress when I got married to my first husband (age 17) or I would have gotten married in jeans or something. So yeah, didn’t attend the prom, or any other school dance.

Did you skip school? All the time.

Go to all the football games? I enjoy football, but again my mom wouldn’t let us spend her money on such things as football games, but if I had my own money, I could freely buy tickets to the game — if I could find my way there and back. Which means they had to be home games and they couldn’t be later than the buses ran. Or I had to find a date with a car. 🙂 So yeah, some games but not many of them.

Favorite subject? Anything that wasn’t Math. Ha! Bet that surprises people who thought I’d say “English.” I did enjoy English, but it wasn’t my favorite subject, just the easiest one. English has always come pretty easy to me, like whenever they tested me, I’d been two or three grades ahead in English and one grade or so behind in Math, and about average in everything else. So English class was usually quite boring to me, and Math class was usually frustrating as hell. So yeah, I liked the classes that weren’t Math, but was okay with English.

Do you still have your yearbooks? Yearbooks were another thing my mom didn’t dean to waste her money on. I have two yearbooks from all the years we spent in school. One from Junior High and one from my junior year in High School. I’m pretty sure I have both around here somewhere.

Did you follow the career path you planned? Know what I wanted to do when I got out of high school? Be a drifter. A hobo… a gypsy if you will. Travel from place to place and get what work I could. And yeah, my life pretty much worked out like that. 🙂 I’m getting old now and I’m married to a man who doesn’t do the whole traveling thing as well as I do, so… But until now, that’s the path I set out for myself and that’s the path I followed. It wasn’t a path to a million dollars, but it isn’t about getting the most toys, it’s about achieving inner peace. Was I peaceful in my travels? Not really, but I know for certain I would have been more unhappy running the rat race in some corporate office trying to achieve a goal I didn’t set for myself.

Did you have a class ring? My school probably did have class rings. I’m pretty sure I remember the forms. But I don’t wear jewelry and I don’t lug around things I cannot use, so I never bought one.

Still close with your best friend? I had three close friends in my junior year. One got mad at me for marrying my first husband and never spoke to me again. The other two and I stayed in touch for quite a long time despite the three of us moving to other parts of the country and then the world. Margaret and I drifted apart after she got married and her husband started abusing her. She couldn’t handle the shame and stigma involved even though I never judged her one bit… She divorced that scumbag and dropped off the face of the Earth. Vic and I stayed in touch until about a year ago when we just kind of… drifted apart again. He lives in Japan with his wife and three kids. Life and distance just has a way of erasing ties sometimes. It happens.

Who was your favorite teacher? I totally don’t remember the names of my teachers from high school. Even the choir/drama teacher who turned out to be a total narcissistic asshole and failed me for the year in both classes because I wounded his delicate pride. I had A’s up to the last semester and he and I got into a brief confrontation about something trivial and he flat out failed me in both classes for the year. Luckily I had good grades for my other classes or I would have failed my junior year in high school, as it was, I got a C average. Asshole.

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I totally rocked this…

What was your style? It was the 1980’s, my style was… mercurial. It changed a lot. ^_^ I never really had a style. I wore what I always wear, whatever’s comfortable. So long as it looks good on me. As always, I liked long skirts and big shirts. But more often than not, it was jeans and a t-shirt because jeans and t-shirts are comfortable and you just cannot go wrong with them. You know?

Favorite shoes? The ones on my feet.

Favorite music? I was totally into New Age music which was what a lot of people called “Punk Rock Lite” I liked some Punk Rock, but most of it was too jagged and raw for my tastes. I liked music like Billy Idol and Cyndi Lauper and Culture Club as well as a bunch of others. 🙂 I also liked older music from my mom’s time, the stuff she always had playing, but for the stuff I listened to with my friends it was the stuff playing on the radio.

I could never have this hair Google image search

High school Hair? Pretty much what it is now. I have straight, thin hair. It doesn’t hold a curl, like, at all. I’ve tried to perm it many times. It doesn’t work. And no hair spray or other product will hold it in place. Though that’s partially my fault too because I tend to touch my hair a lot, so there’s that. I just just combed it and either pulled it back or not. Though I am guilty of having my pony tail on one side of my head or the other… The hair pictured was popular in the 80’s, and I totally wanted it, but it was never meant to be for me. I curled my hair and fluffed it up and used all the product in the world on it. It looked awesome! For about twenty minutes, then it was as flat and straight as always.

What kind of cologne/perfume? No specific perfume. I used a lot of store samples or whatever came in the mail as sample or if the Avon lady left samples I liked. I like spicy scents more than flowery scents so yeah, I’d use those.

How old when graduated? I never graduated. I got my GED about five years after I dropped out… I think. It had to be five years after, because I had all of my kids and I had four kids in four years, and I we moved back to California when the youngest was older than a baby. Or maybe I got it between kid three and four? I don’t remember. It didn’t take long to get my GED… three tests, six hours, and it was done.

Did you play a sport? I did not.

Health musings

So, the other day I mentioned that my TSH levels are way down and my free T4 levels are slightly lowered. The doctors have lowered my prescription of Armour Thyroid back to the previous level, and hopefully that helps. But I got to wondering why my thyroid took such a dramatic dip so suddenly. I mean, it could have been the medication, but it could be a lot of things too. Medication doesn’t work in a bubble. I have to look at this thing holistically…

Definition of holistically: in a way that treats the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease.

In other words, totally not the woo “science” that sells snake oil and vitamins as a cure all for everything from bruises to cancer. If you follow such people, I’m sorry for you, but I don’t believe in that clap-trap.

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Google image search

Anyway, I never depend on medications alone to treat my problems, though they do play a big part in the treatment of things that *need* medications. Things like thyroid issues and bipolar — in my humble opinion — need medication and no one will convince me otherwise. I’ve tried other approaches to treating my bipolar without medicine. They didn’t work. The meds work. I’ll stick to using them. The thyroid meds help — I’ll keep using them. But — and this is a big but — I will also treat my whole self. I don’t work because while my bipolar meds do keep me sane, working with other people in certain situations can and will cause me to have breakthrough episodes of mania, which leads to depression and a vicious vicious cycle of… well bipolar rapid cycling. It’s not pretty. I don’t like going through it. So I avoid situations where it can happen. I also don’t work because I cannot take the medications for my fibromyalgia and function as a normal human being. So there’s that. But I’m going off on a tangent. Sorry about that.

So, back to what I was talking about… I got to thinking about what I’ve been doing in my life these past months and realized that there were probably a few things going on with me that exasperated the issue with my thyroid. Now, I take my thyroid meds at night because they do make me sleepy no matter what, and I’m supposed to take them on an empty stomach. Normally, I have a strict rule not to eat after about 8 pm in the evening for two reasons. One, it helps me digest everything I’ve eaten during the day and two because I take my meds about 10 pm and (as I just mentioned) I’m supposed to take them on an empty stomach. For some reason over the last few weeks, I’ve just… forgotten that rule. I don’t even know why. I’ve been eating willy-nilly, even as late as 9 pm. That might have had something to do with the change in my thyroid levels. Maybe. I dunno. I’m only guessing here. You know?

I also did some research online and found something called iodine deficiency. From that website: Iodine is a trace mineral and an essential component of the thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). According to the stuff I found, iodine deficiency is actually pretty common, but happily enough, is easily turned around just by eating the right foods. Especially here in the USA because we have iodized salt. I think that might be part of the culprit because I have not been cooking for myself these past few months — because, tired! You know how it works, dear reader. I got tired, so I didn’t cook, then I didn’t eat the right foods, so I got even more tired, so I continued not cooking, and the cycle continued. See, I used to eat a lot of eggs and leafy greens, which are a good source of iodine, but lately I just haven’t been. Now, do I know if I have iodine deficiency? No, not at all. But it won’t hurt to start cooking for myself again, and eating an egg (or salad) a day with a little salt will hardly kill me.

Also, carbs. Now I’m not a low-carb fanatic, but damn me, dear reader, if I haven’t been eating a ton of what we used to call “empty” carbohydrates — as opposed to what we used to call complex carbohydrates. My caloric intake didn’t go any higher than before — that I can tell, I stopped counting really — but I guaran-damn-tee you that my carb intake was through the roof. I was eating all kinds of crackers, cookies, chips, jams and jellies, breads… blah blah blah… Honestly, it was carb city over in my house. That and Diet Coke. For years and years I went without one Diet Coke then suddenly I was drinking the stuff like there was no tomorrow. I don’t know what came over me. I craved carbs and Diet Coke like they were going out of style. I know for a fact that the carb craving at least is a side effect of the Seroquel, which I take for my bipolar. I know this because it’s happened before, like way back when I first started taking it. But I can’t tell y’all why it hit me again so suddenly and so hard. Maybe they changed an inactive ingredient or something. I dunno. But I’ve controlled that side effect before, and have even lost weight — a lot of weight while taking Seroquel. I can control it again. Interesting note here that I didn’t notice before (see image), Seroquel also messes with the thyroid. Huh. I’ll have to bring this up next time I go to the doctor’s. Let me tell you something, dear reader, I will not stop taking the Seroquel despite the side effects. I’d rather be fat and sane than skinny and bonkers. I’ll tell y’all that right here and right now.

Seroquel side effects
Side effects of Seroquel. From this site This explains so much

Anyway, I’m back to monitoring my food intake, which totally helps keep me in check when it comes to what I’m putting in my mouth. That’s another thing that I’d let slide these past few months. I was just too tired to bother. Having a phone app for it helps — myfitnesspal if anyone’s interested. There’s a widget in my sidebar that shows how much weight I haven’t lost. I totally plateaued at 256 pounds. Sigh. But if you read the little image above, I probably have Seroquel to blame for that too. Ha! I have to eat less than most people just to maintain the weight I’m at. Grumble grumble grumble. Anyway, I’ve ordered a couple of books to read up on the whole thyroid matter. I just now as I was typing this got a call from my doctor’s office to follow up in a couple of weeks to talk about all of this — meds, lifestyle, thyroid, the whole shebang.

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Gotta fix the thyroid… Google image search

I hope that I’m not boring y’all with all of this. I read somewhere that the thyroid is the spark plug for the body. If it’s not working correctly, nothing else works quite right. That’s why I don’t want to mess around with the woo and snake oil. Same with my bipolar. Everything else that’s going amiss in my body is… important but not as important. Like, I can kind of deal with the fibromyalgia, the IBS, the migraines, and all that rot, but the bipolar and thyroid? They’ve gotta be taken care of or everything else just goes to shit.

Sharing My World Mid May 2019

I totally forgot to link this to Melanie’s site. This is, of course from Melanie’s Share Your World. I have no idea were my brain is this morning. Normally I’d link it at the bottom, but since I forgot, I’ll add it up here.

What social stigma does society need to get over already? All of them, really. But that’s impossible, given human nature. We like to create social norms and mores because we must have a “normal” to judge everything else against. I mean, other animals do it too, they will drive out the sick and infirm as a group in hard times because that sick animal is a danger to the survival of the group. It’s only in times of plenty (like we are now) when we look at the “norms” we’ve built up over the long haul and say, “Hey, you know what? Those don’t count so much anymore, we need to rethink those.” And it’s because we’re in this time of plenty that I think we should reassess where we are and say, “Yeah, let’s rethink these norms.” Everyone will have their own, and I think society as a whole should just take a step back and really look at how we treat our fellow human — like, really look at how everyone is being treated, and ask what we can do better. But that’s just living in a fantasy right there.

What was the last photo you took? On my phone? It was a picture of a bookcase… type… thing that I was trying to sell — since deleted because it has been well, given away. And two of them actually. I don’t like the hassle of actually selling stuff. But I’ll gladly give stuff away to get it out of my house. Here are the pictures. I pulled them from the listing. They’re not that great, but they didn’t have to be since I was just giving them away. The lady who came to get them came in a little sedan and we had a heck of a time getting them into her little car. It took us about 20 minutes of straining and planning because she didn’t have a hatchback and these are solid steel, they aren’t bending. But we wedged them in there. I hope she was able to get them out. So, two more biggish things down, and a few more do go. I was going to keep blogging about my purging adventures, but they’re so sporadic that I was just… nah. I do like these shelves, and they do “spark joy” as the saying goes, but they’re big and bulky and we don’t know if we’ll need them in our next house. They were just gathering dust here in the empty rooms, so we decided to let them go.

When was the last time you snooped and found something or found out something you wish you hadn’t? Damn, that takes me back. Like… way back. To my first marriage. I had to have been over 21 because I’m pretty sure we had four kids at the time, and I had my fourth kid when I was about 21. I totally remember thinking at the time, What am I gonna do? I have four kids! But I’m getting ahead of myself. So my husband had just gotten back from WesPac — a tour of duty where they send him over seas for 8 months over the Western Pacific ocean. And at the time of this little adventure, his ship was out again for a shorter, one month run. I needed something out of his briefcase, which was uncharacteristically locked (it’s usually not), so I messed with the locks until I figured out the combination — it’s not that hard. I got the thing I needed from his briefcase and noticed that there were also a lot of letters in there. I am always of the notion that husbands and wives should have no secrets from each other, so I started to read them. They were from a woman to him, a woman professing her love to him and a woman saying that she would be a proper wife to him and that she would most definitely love to come home with him. Blah blah blah. As you can imagine, it was devastating to find. I was 21, I had no job skills, and I had four kids. I was completely and totally dependent on my husband for everything. If he left me, I would be destitute. I was in tears.

I found another letter in with the others from a shipmate of my (then) husband telling him to get his head out of his ass and stop fucking around with that other woman. The shipmate reminded my (then) husband that he had a wife and four kids that he was responsible for and that the Navy did not take kindly to cheating spouses. He pointed out that this was a common tactic for some women in these countries — find a gullible man who is unhappy in marriage, sweet talk them in to divorcing their wife, and get a one way ticket to the USA. Or a single man, but for some reason it was easier to get unhappily married men to marry “homewreckers”. Who knew? Anyway, I told my (then) husband that I found his letters and that he had broken the “rules” of being away — fallen in love with another woman. I didn’t care if he slept with someone else because — I didn’t. Sex and love are two different things. If he wanted to get his pickle wet, that was his business, but he wasn’t supposed to fall in love or bring home any diseases (he broke that rule too). Our marriage never recovered. I’m glad I snooped though, because it taught me a valuable lesson. I slowly became less dependent on him and when the end came, it wasn’t as terrible as it could have been.

What’s the most comfortable bed or chair you’ve ever slept in? I dunno, I’ve slept in a lot of beds and or chairs. I had a feather bed once. It was pretty comfortable.

Can being grateful change Your World? They say it can. The power of positive thinking and all that. I know that I’ve had a way better outlook on life by thinking positively. You wouldn’t know it to look at me, but I used to be way more of a Grumpy Gus. Like… way more. I’m certainly not a fluffy white lighter because I know that evil exists in the world. One cannot have light without the dark because you need both to cast shadows. One needs shadows in order to see. If the world was nothing but light or nothing but dark, we’d all be blind. But, and here’s the important part, dear reader — one has to be truly grateful… truly positive in order to make any changes. Like, a person cannot just mouth platitudes and hope it will make a difference. I say all of the time that I am grateful to have a roof over my head and food on the table, that’s because I’m god-damned grateful that I have a roof over my head and food on the table. I’m eternally grateful I have a husband who loves me as much as I love him. And having something to be grateful for does have a positive affect on my life. Yeah, I grump and grouse all of the time about my rebellious body, but honestly, I’m quite content with a lot of things in my life. And I’m working on the things that have got me discontent. I don’t think anyone can be completely happy all of the time or completely… anything… for very long. Having said all that I leave you with this:

Some times, you just have to find an alternative route

Fashion Questions

So I haven’t answered any of Rory’s questions in a while. I’ve read a few other’s answers to these questions, and I figured why not. Here’s a link to the original questions. 🙂

Today’s topic is… The Fashionistas!

Could you cope with buying no clothes for a full year? Without even trying hard. Unless I gain and/or lose a lot of weight, I tend to keep my clothes until they wear out. I just bought some clothes today because we have a wedding to go to and the clothes I bought last time (for a funeral) just won’t do.

How many pairs of colored/patterned socks do you possess? Um… I don’t tend to wear socks as a general rule. I think there might be a pair or two lurking in my drawer. But I’d have to look for them. I used to wear socks a lot more often, and then almost all of my socks would be colored and/or patterned.

What is YOUR number one fashion rule? All of my clothes have three rules — they must look good on me, they must fit, and they must be comfortable. Anything else is up in the air. I don’t give a rat’s ass if they’re in style or what the latest fashion is.

What is the quirkiest customized outfit you have ever worn and where and what for did you wear it? I’m quirky by nature. I wear long skirts all of the time whether they are in fashion or not. I wear long pants no matter how hot it is. I like flowing fabric and flowing cuts. As to the quirkiest… well, nothing rises to the top.

In your opinion what are 5 basic but important items of clothing? I don’t have five basic, but important, items of clothing. Clothing, like anything else, is a basic necessity. It covers my body because society says that I must cover my body. It keeps the sun from burning me in the summer, and keeps me warm in the winter. It’s nice if it looks good on me, just like food is better if it tastes good, but honestly I don’t give much thought to clothing other than: “Hey this is something I need to take care of. Well, I guess I should make it look good, and as cheaply as possible.”

Okay, so Flares? Once popular for the 70’s sure… but where are they now? Are they back? I didn’t know. Fashions and styles come and go and I honestly don’t pay attention. The jeans and pants in my closet are “boot cut” which are wide legged, but not quite flared. I preferred bell bottoms over flares back in the day anyway.

Which are your best three quotes that mean the most to you with regards fashion /clothing/ lifestyle? Here… have two.

Mae West quote
Normal is an Illusion...
I love the Addam’s Family
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From here

You obviously have favorite colors you enjoy wearing, we all do – but if you were asked to wear the opposite colors to what you normally wear what would those colors be? You assume much, question asker, to think that I have favorite colors in my wardrobe. It goes in cycles actually. Some times I favor black and some times I favor gray and or brown. But I have a lot of color in my wardrobe too. Reds, purples, yellows (not a lot, I don’t look good in yellow) and even a bunch of green and blue. While they aren’t my “favorite” colors, I wear them because they look good on me. I have yellow in my skin and cannot wear certain colors even if I want to — some shades of red and pink come to mind. I have to wear what they call “cool” colors or I’ll look sickly. I cannot really wear white or certain shades of yellow near my skin or people — complete strangers, mind you — will come up to me on the street and ask if I’m okay, if I need to sit down, or if I’m about to faint. It’s happened before. I’ve learned my lesson. So I guess, to answer the question, that my opposite colors would be in the “warm” part of the color wheel.

What are the wrong trousers to wear like ever? Anything that doesn’t fit… Like I had a friend who would lie down on her bed and suck her gut in to get into her jeans and when she stood up, her gut “dunlapped” or “done lapped” over the waistband of her jeans. It was awful. I’ve been guilty of lying down on the bed to zip my jeans up myself, but if my gut was spilling over the top? Ain’t no way I’m wearing those jeans — or any pants (trousers for you Europeans). If y’all’s pants are that tight, it’s time to move up a size.

What is your favorite style of nightwear from the following options? Baggy T-Shirt, sans the boxers/long Johns. I’m leaving the rest of the list out because it’s not needed.

For you what one single musical track just speaks fashion to you?

Call me old fashioned. 🙂

The celebrity whose style you most identify with from the following?Melissa McCarthy, Jack Nicholson, Clarke Gable. Halle Berry, Meryl Streep, Lady Gaga, Charlie Chaplain, Gene Kelly, Other — So here’s the thing. I don’t pay attention to what celebrities wear, so I don’t really know what their style is. I suppose Melissa McCarthy is my size, and I am as unpredictable in my style as Lady Gaga appears to be, but other than that… I dunno. I’m just an old hippie who wanders around in whatever’s comfortable and whatever looks good (on me).

Would you wear stripes with squares? I tend to not wear either, and don’t stripes and squares together make plaid? Of course, that would be on the same cloth, but whatever. 🙂

Which out of the following line up are you most likely to wear?heels, boots, flats, loafers, sneakers, brogues, thongs [flip flops], running shoes, sandals, wedges, slippers, lace ups, decks, wellingtons, riding boots, mules, ankle boots, boat shoes, chukkas, Chelsea boot, slip- ons? So I go bare foot most of the time, and if I must wear shoes, it’s mostly um… what y’all call trainers and what we call sneakers in the winter/fall. And sometimes I wear heavy work boot type shoes in the deep winter with steel toes, and if I’m feeling like dressing up, I’ll wear boots — like simple boots, made of leather, just plain boots, nothing fancy. And in the summer if I must put shoes on, I have a pair of sandals. I have thus listed the entirety of my shoe collection. One pair of trainers/sneakers, one pair of work boots, one pair of leather boots (not quite cowboy boots but in the same style), and one pair of sandals. That reminds me, I need new sandals, mine are a few years old now and falling apart.

Are hats your thing? If so which styles? I like ball caps, I’m not gonna lie. I know, how typically American of me. But they are functional and keep the sun out of my eyes and the hair off of my neck. Sue me. I have a floppy hat that I wore in New Mexico because it kept the sun off my head, and I do like knit caps in the winter.

For women; last time you wore a scarf and for men; last time you wore a tie? So, for me a scarf is a heavy, knitted and/or crocheted object that one wears in the winter to keep warm. I’m guessing that’s called something else where you’re from, oh asker of questions. Let me check. Aha, y’all would call it a muffler. I’m guessing you mean the flimsy little bits of fabric (also called scarves) people wear for decoration. Haven’t worn one of those in coming on five years. Unless you count the tubes I wear around my hair whenever it’s hot.

Image result for Candies shoes

Have you ever physically suffered for the sake of a fashion trend? When I was a teenager in high school, Candie’s were all the rage. I thought they were the bee’s knees too. And for the most part they were kind of comfortable. But heels are uncomfortable by nature for those of us who do not wear them very often. While I thought they were cute and all, they did give me blisters. Last time I wore heels regularly. It’s been flats ever since.

WordPress Weirdness

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huh.

So I have a Google Chrome extension called Night Eye which makes my screen darker, and it helps whenever I have a migraine or a headache. I’ve been using it for many moons now. Suddenly, about five or six days ago, WordPress decided it didn’t like this program. Like, at all. I found this out when I hit the “write” button and came up with a blank screen. I could kind of see where the dialog boxes were supposed to be, and the menu was kind of still there. If I moused over it, it would appear and disappear, but that was about it. So I wondered if there was some kind of strange interaction between the “write” screen and my Night Eye program. Lo and behold, when I turned the program off, everything started working again.

It’s not anything Earth shattering, nor am I particularly worked up about it. It just means I have to go through the bother of turning the extension on and off whenever I want to make a blog post. However, it is strange when things that used to preform well together suddenly don’t like each other. It just makes me go… Huh.