Uncluttering

My life has been over-cluttered, not just with the things I’ve collected that are scattered about my house (although that’s certainly an issue), but with too many distractions and influences that aren’t really adding to my quality of life. It’s time I do something about it.

No, I’m not about to do some mass Facebook unfriending, but there will be some. If you are reading this, you aren’t likely to be on the chopping block, particularly if we interact on a regular basis. Quite honestly, that paring down process has already begun, but I seriously doubt those that have been cut have noticed.

I’m simplifying my feedreader. I just don’t have the time or inclination to read each and every blog currently listed there. I find more and more often that I am hitting the mark as read button anyway. Again, those that will be removed aren’t likely to notice as I probably haven’t been interacting with them already.

And yeah, stuff. I have books that I haven’t gotten around to reading that I probably never will. I have half-finished projects that I should really be honest about and pass on. I have too many “things that may come in handy someday.” So many, in fact, that if someday ever came, I’d never find them.

I want my house to a place where I can welcome my friends. I can’t do that today. And I want my relationships to be real and interactive. I have no need for drama and gossip in my life. It doesn’t enrich my life or make me a better person.

Why should I even tell you this? I don’t know. Few, if any, of you will even be affected. If I suddenly vanish from your friends list and you miss me, message me. I probably cut you off by mistake. That is not my intent.

My intent is a refocus on what is really important. I saw so many people who I really care about this weekend, most of whom had fallen out of touch. I met their children that I didn’t even know existed. I saw the devastation on the other side of my city where people lost their homes and all their stuff. Nobody cared about the stuff. They were just glad to be alright and able to be together.

I want more of that and less clutter. I want to shoot more, both firearms and photographs. And I want to share it all with the people who really matter. People that are a real part of my life, both online and off.

Am I going to stop blogging? Fat chance, you aren’t getting rid of me that easily! Hopefully, I’ll blog more. I want the conversation. The real conversations rather than the drive by kind. And hey! We’ve made some tasty food that I need to share with you all.

She Has Overcome

 

10296634_765089633525106_5060874179762599544_nI have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

That’s the verse printed on the inside of this bracelet. It’s been on my wrist almost constantly for the last year. I took that picture April 30th of 2014. It’s in support of Amy. I’ve told you about Amy.

Early this morning, she ran out of tomorrows. She is cancer free now, and she has overcome this world. And this world is a colder, darker place today.

She leaves behind a devoted husband, 2 young girls, two siblings, her mother, father, and countless friends whose lives she enriched.

 

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Her daughters brought her this flower. I understand she held it until the end.

Amy,

You were truly a gift from God. A light that shone too brightly for this world. I am blessed to have been a part of your life and heartbroken that your role in mine has come to an end. I know, my tears will dry and I will be left with only the blessing, but today is not that day.

Claim your crown and your new body. Rest in the peace you so richly deserve.

Whew!

So as I’m sure you noticed, SqueakyB came to visit. There was shopping and eating and gaming and pedicures and a missed flight (d’oh!).

We even squeezed in a little zombie shooting.

Photo by Micah Heath

Photo by Micah Heath

Just one of the dinners

She came out to experience the mess that is our house and the awesome that was Super! Bitcon. Full report to come once I’ve recovered. Here’s just one of the 1400 pictures I took of the event.

Cosplayers

Madness! Chaos! Release the Hounds!

Ok, don’t release the hounds. Give them head scratches and treats.

We’re about to launch headfirst into crazy season around our place. In a few short days, we’re going to head down to the airport and bring home a houseguest. A Bonnie houseguest. Yes, this Bonnie. Squeee!

So, I cleaned the bathroom. Nope, not sharing any before pics.

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And we added a new to us medicine cabinet. It seems downright civilized in there.

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The rest of the house? Well, let’s just call that a work in progress.

Bonnie is coming to visit for Super! Bitcon. Oh yeah, we’re getting our game on. That’s right friends, we’re crossing the streams. Gun blogging and game blogging. The world may not survive. If you’re local, you should come out to the big event. I made a thing. It could be yours.

Then Easter, then NRA, and a host of things to get done in between. So the house is not likely to see a lot more progress for a bit.

But hey! The bathroom is clean.

 

Chancellor Edward Pantsington “Chance” ?/??/2007-2/20/2015

Those of you that follow me on Facebook, already saw this.

It is so very hard to lose a furry family member. It’s funny, we took him on intending to be his caregivers. We were doing a favor for Pat’s mom. It was EvylRobot‘s idea, as I reminded him on multiple occasions. We never really expected him to become such an important family member.

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Pat worked for me from 2006 until she passed away in 2011 from breast cancer. It was ugly. Folks, seriously, don’t buy into the snake oil some people try and sell you over the internet. If you do, you may find yourself in a situation where your nurses break a crap ton of HIPAA  regulations and give your much younger boss detailed medical information so she can convince your mother not to put you on a ventilator once you’ve died but before your body has figured it out. Not a thing I should have ever had to do, but I did it. I’d do it again.

But this isn’t about Pat. This is about Chance. Even though we already had a house full of critters, Evyl thought we should adopt Chance. And so we found ourselves at Pat’s mom’s house. I had crammed myself into the space at the end of the entertainment center where I spoke gently to this absolutely terrified ball of white fluff. He’d had so much upheaval in his world, all he wanted to do was hide under the bed. He certainly did not want to chat with this strange lady that kept insisting that everything was going to be alright. He eventually relented and came home with us where he promptly found a place to hide. It was the worst thing ever. If we so much as looked at him wrong, he’d growl this amazing wall shaking growl, hiss, and lose bowel control.

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We thought we’d made a terrible mistake. But then he came out of hiding. At first just a little.

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He was still scared. It was around this time that Ferrule found it entertaining to mess with the newcomer. Cats can be jerks sometimes, but even though Chance had been declawed on all four corners, he found a way to overcome.

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Soon, Ferrule stopped being a jerk. They still fought, but they fought like any siblings fight, but they loved each other like brothers.

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Chance freaking loved all the critters in his new family.

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But he loved the dog most of all. Sometimes he slept in her crate.

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He was exuberant in all the many ways he loved his life. If he spoke, this is a cat that would have said ‘dude’. As in, “Dude! I just got this great idea. I’m going to get in your lap now.” Or, “Dude! Cat Tree!”

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In the end, he was with the people he loved. Evyl wanted to bring him into our lives and lovingly shepherded him out. Chance put his head in his hand and left in peace.

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For those interested in the technicals, it was an aortic thromboembolism. A blood clot blocked the blood flow from his waist down. There really was nothing that could be done, mercifully sparing us from watching him slowly dwindle away and needing to make some decision about when was the right time and how much suffering was enough.

 

To You, My Love

Everyone is going to post their sappiness tomorrow. But for us, tomorrow is just candy and empty platitudes. Today? Ah! Today is Friday the 13th! Today is ours.

Friday the 13th has grim connotations and dark implications for most, but we aren’t most people. You, most certainly are not most people. And much like 17 years ago, this is the first of two consecutive Friday the 13ths. A month from today will be the 17th anniversary of the day we became a thing. I tell you, the whole world shifted.

Individually, we are fire and ice. Chaos unchecked. Together, we are force unlike any other. We are more than the sum of our parts. Dangerously, we even reproduced.

You, my love, my partner in all of our adventures, not only caught my eye, but here we are 16 years and 11 months later, and I am still enthralled. I am still captivated by you. Still, we stay up too late just talking because we are still fascinated by one another.

You are, have been, and will always be, my love. You are the partner in all of my schemes, and I in yours. I am the me I am today because of you. My flame would have burnt out without you. Sometimes, you are my counter-balance keeping me from falling off the edge; other times, you are the spark that lights the fuse so I can rocket across the chasm. But generally, we strap in together and we’ll figure out the landing when we get there.

I love you, Michael. You are so very special to me, today and every day. Here’s hoping you didn’t expect a tribute on this day 16 years and 1 month prior to us becoming an us. and to all of you with your sappy tributes for the Hallmark holiday? *insert raspberry*

Recognizing a Stroke FAST

I was a latch-key kid back in the seventh and eighth grade, my parents each working long hours to support our lifestyle. I’d catch the bus after school and come home to an empty house, which I had to myself for the next two to four hours. This was before the days of the internet and even though we had cable with every channel, that got pretty old pretty quickly.

So I did what any enterprising adolescent with entirely too much time on her hands does, I started getting off at the wrong bus stop. Specifically, the stop that was four stops after my own that just so happened to be a close friend’s stop. Her mom was a stay-at-home mom that always had something delicious to share although her dad worked, he worked odd hours and always enjoyed entertaining us when he was around. And he was a riot. You never knew what might happen next. I remember mentioning that the sugar cookies were rather mundane and so he laid them out directly on the kitchen counter and covered them in chocolate syrup. It was a mess! I couldn’t believe it.

One Sunday morning as the family was getting ready for church, he wasn’t feeling well and sent them on without him. Those were the last words he ever spoke to his family. They returned from the morning services to find him collapsed in the bathroom. They called the ambulance, and I got a frantic call from my friend.

We spent hours in that hospital waiting room. Doctor after somber faced doctor passing through with updates. He’d had a stroke. A big one. And he was gone. Just like that.

I stayed with my friend. Ate the seemingly never-ending casseroles that arrived that she couldn’t work up the appetite to eat. We were in the eighth grade. No one should lose their dad in the eighth grade.

Could that story have ended differently? Maybe, maybe not. Medical technology and knowledge has come a long way since then. Early intervention makes the biggest difference in the outcome for a stroke victim. But you can’t call in the pros unless you know what to look for. That’s where FAST comes in.

Graphic Provided by the American Recall Center

Graphic Provided by the American Recall Center

F-Face Drooping
A-Arm Weakness
S-Speech Difficulty
T-Time to Call 911

The American Recall Center reached out to me* to share this information as we are getting into the holidays. Hopefully, we will all be getting together with our families and friends that we may not see the rest of the year. This can be a wonderful time, but it can also be a stressful time. Stokes spike around this time of year and knowing the signs could make all the difference.

*The American Recall Center asked. They did not compensate me for this post in any way. I agreed that the information was important. Please visit the Xarelto page for information regarding some negative side effects.

Thoughts on 36

Thirty six. Doesn’t really seem like any sort of landmark. Just one more trip around the sun. It’s a mathematically interesting number. Second number being double the first and the whole thing is divisible by 9. At 9 years old, I was in the third grade. My little finger was already crooked due to a playground fight where it was broken. I would go on to break my arm that summer; just in time to start the fourth grade in a cast.

9 years later, the world considered me an adult. This is the year I had all 4 wisdom teeth removed and totaled my first car. In fact, I think my face may have still been swollen from the oral surgery when I went careening into the median on I-40. No, I was not on any kind of pain meds at the time.

9 years after that, I would find myself working for my current employer. First job I felt like I really got on my own. Prior ones obtained through some connection.

Today I have officially been an adult for as long as I was a child, at least in the eyes of the law. It marks the point where my adult days outnumber those of my childhood. What a thing that is? This is also the year my son will be able to get his driver’s license. I think that means I can officially shew the kids off of my lawn now.

We shall see if this is finally the year that Weird Al recognizes our shared date of birth.