An update on me. I am moving.

I haven’t been active online very much lately. There is a lot going on in my mind. Stress, mostly. I have been planning the rest of my life since I have come to terms with a few things. Mostly that I can’t get or keep a job and I am not a people person. People who knew me from way back are probably shocked at the second part.

I can forget about getting a job

Don’t worry. This isn’t all negative. I swear.

I am never getting a job so I need to be self-employed. I am sure I can spend another five years job hunting (and I will continue to job hunt just in case) but once I get a job, they will find out I have epilepsy and find a reason to fire me. I am not holding my breath. I NEED to be self-employed.

I need to be independent

I can’t continue to keep depending on my ex (technically my husband) for the rest of my life. I need to be able to support myself. This part is mostly me wanting to be independent. But I am sure he would like to have his life back too.

Don’t get me wrong, the help has been greatly appreciated but I am sick of having to depend on someone else for everything.

I tried being a Virtual Assistant and, frankly, I can’t handle crazy people. The pay sucks. The bullshit “deals” that people offer sucks. I got tired of, “I’ll let you work for free for exposure” and “I can only afford to pay you $3 for your two days of work. Is that okay?”

My pay averaged out to $1 an hour on the lowest days and $5 an hour on good days. No one wants to pay me what I am worth and I am tired of working for slave wages.

Oh and my absolute favorite when I back out of a “deal” is, “I am trying to HELP you. I am doing this for YOU.” Yea, uh-huh. You sure it’s not because you keep lowering my pay and can’t find anyone willing to work for slave wages?

I like the area but there is nothing here for me

While I love Libby, I really have no reason to stay here.

Family? I can come back for a visit. I have a lot of family I haven’t seen in 11 years that I would like to see again. I can travel eventually.

The culture is as toxic as the asbestos. Individual people, I do fine with. However, as a whole, this area is not the culture I want to live in. I’ll come back to visit but my whole life doesn’t revolve around drinking at bars and doing not much else. I need something else to live for.

I came here to get closer to the family I didn’t grow up with. I did that. I feel like my move here served its purpose.

Having no income, I am treated very differently, than when I was full-time employed and had money. I have noticed the shift over the last five years and it’s not helping my mental state.

Therapy only goes so far. Now I need to do something.

I have gone to therapy for five years. FIVE YEARS! And I could probably go some more but my last day was yesterday. Honestly, in the beginning, I really needed someone to tell me I wasn’t crazy. Trust me, I tried to convince her I was but she is a good psychologist. I came a long way. She helped me see a lot of the abuse, getting treated like a doormat, and helped me come to terms with my limitations.

Yesterday was my last day. I feel good about this. I feel like I am on the right path. No amount of therapy is going to help when you are in rut. This is my time to get my life back together.

I am moving!

I made a joke to my ex one day that went something like; “I can always move back to Tennessee and be a chicken farmer!”

At first, I was kidding. Then I got curious.

  • How much do chickens cost? (About $5 if all grown, depending on breed. Less if raised from chicks.)
  • How much does it cost to feed a chicken per day? (About 70 cents if I make my own feed. Even less if I turn the feed into fodder.)
  • How many chickens do I need? (I am still debating)
  • How do I raise them? (researched a books worth)

Then I started searching Craigslist. I can get a lot of the stuff I need to get started for free, even the chickens! 

I started searching for homesteading information. I also searched for living off grid. I ended up talking to several people… and I decided this might be my best chance at being self-sufficient and self-employed. 

I can sell food at the farmer’s markets and flea markets. I priced booths. I will have fewer expenses. Phone, internet (hopefully), land taxes, fuel for a generator until I can get solar power set up, food, hygiene supplies, and animal supplies (and things of that nature). 

I’ll slowly work into being a hermit… I mean, a homesteader. I’ll be able to start generating my own income if all goes well. 

At the end of August, I will be moving. I plan to update the blog occasionally but when I get there, I can update from my phone… actually, I can do a LOT of stuff with my phone. I’ll also be a little more excited about doing YouTube videos because I’ll have something to do besides recipes and a little more excitement… even if it only excites me.

Plus, that will be great for family and friends updates. This blog and YouTube will be my way of updating my family and friends. If I run out of data, I can wait until the month is over. 

I want to get as independent as I can and get divorced. I am tired of waiting for a divorce! Finally, I will be free! I will be a farmer/ living off in the woods but I am really looking forward to this now! I can do this! 

I have a list of goals (I’ll post them later) that I plan to start working towards as soon as I get there. Top one is to stay connected to people. Leave me to my own devices and I’ll become a recluse in a heartbeat. That’s not healthy. The goal is long but that’ll give me PLENTY of stuff to keep occupied.

Until next update… I’ll keep adding to the list and get it ready to post.

 

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Abandoned Blog? I Don’t Think So!

I have not fallen off the planet, I just needed to take some much-needed time for quiet introspection. I was having a really hard time and I tried to get back into blogging and YouTube but it just wasn’t happening for me.

Those of you who know me in real life know that at the end of June I actually got a job! I was thrilled. I was on cloud nine. It looked like my life was taking the turn I needed. And then about two weeks later I was fired. I was devastated. 

I don’t know why I was fired and they didn’t have to tell me because it was during my probation period but, they said it wasn’t my performance. I did very well. I have some ideas of why but nothing that I can prove. I would love to know why because if it’s something I can fix, then maybe it will help me keep a job.

Not knowing why, I felt like I didn’t have a good direction to go. From a comment made during my firing, I know it’s something in my background. I spent time researching my background and ordered a full background check. Nothing. I am a good girl. All I can tell you from that background check is that I move a lot, have kids and a husband, own land in Tennessee, and no one can spell my name correctly. 

But for bettering myself? Yea, I have no idea. That is why I decided to check out from social media (except for family) and really take a good hard look at my life. Like, I really met it face to face. I finally believe the doctors (from years ago) who told me I would never work outside my home again.  I believe them now. I didn’t want to believe them before but I fully do now. 

I am never going to be able to hold a job outside of my house so I need to focus on what I do best. As much as that hurts to say, I accept that. I don’t have to like it to accept it. So I am accepting it.

And now I will focus on what I am best at… Writing. Because I am not letting this depression get the best of me! I set goals for this month to keep me focused.

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I am back!

Goals for this month

My goals for this month are easy so I can get back into my groove.

  1. Each week I will make six posts.
  2. Each post will start with a letter of the alphabet. Nov 1 is A. Nov 2 is B. Nov 3 is C. And so on.
  3. All posts will be about positive things or will be about something that I am grateful for. 

I am hoping to get on YouTube video in each week but we’ll see how that goes for now. I am definitely working on this. 

I want to make it to where this is my full-time “job” so that I make it my habit.

I am looking forward to this. Since I won’t be getting a job… ever… I am back to blogging full-time! WOOHOO!

Websites Wednesday

I decided to post every other Wednesday on websites I have visited throughout the last two weeks that I found interesting, neat, weird, useful, or anything else that strikes my fancy.

I’ll try to limit it to about five or so. If you find a website that looks cool, let me know in the form at the end of the post. If you don’t want me to use your name, I won’t. I’ll just make one up.

Website #1: DNRC Interactive Wildland Fire Map

This past month the DNRC Interactive Wildland Fire Map has been my daily check. We’ve had Wildfires near our home. While I don’t think it would jump a river to burn our town to the ground, the smoke was unreal and we left so we could keep breathing.

Website #2: AirNow

Going hand in hand with the first website is the AirNow air quality map. It helped us decide which path we would take out of the state. Usually we go one route but that one was covered in smoke worse than our area. We decided to go the other route instead.

Website #3: The Spruce

I was searching for a gluten-free recipe ideas for a cobbler (because I miss cobblers!) and I found this gem of a website. I started on this page (a recipe I can alter) and ended up browsing her whole gluten-free recipe collection. I am a fan! I am also learning about canning food from there. This is something I have wanted to learn for a while.

I’m Back! Did You Miss Me? I Did!

I have been slightly busy lately. I did get a job for a bit. I worked two weeks before I was fired. I can’t get anyone to hire me so I am considering the fact that, eventually, I may need to move. I dread this idea because Montana is perfect for me. I spent time thinking about it and deciding where to go but I am just not sure yet. 

I traveled to southern California to get away from the smoke of the wildfires raging in Montana. The trip was nice but made me realize how much I really love it in Montana. When I go back, I am going to double down on either making my own money or getting a job. I’m not really holding my breath on either though. In five years, I have not had any luck with either except for a spurt of income here or there.

I was thinking of starting YouTube back up but, I am working on the motivation… I figured, if I started blogging again, I would get motivated to do YouTube. Is it working? We’ll see.

The CV Axle, The Drive, and Why Does No One Listen To Me?

Ever since I started therapy years ago, my big complaint is that no one listens to me. I am not taken seriously. Let’s take this trip as an example.

No to CV – Part 1

Before we left, like a month or so before, my son took the car to a mechanic. He’s a good mechanic and I needed the CV axle changed out. We had the part and everything. He dropped the car off and left for So Cal. I got a call that it wasn’t the CV axle and it was the (forgot which part) instead. I asked if they could change the CV axle anyway and they insisted it didn’t need changed. It was fine. So they got the part, fixed it, even drove it to my apartment. But, they didn’t change the CV axle. Meh. Fine. Whatever.

I drive the car to a few out of town places and I can still hear the occasional sound of my car wanting the CV axle changed. It sounds… off. The wildfires start, the smoke rolls in, and we debate on leaving and heading south. The smoke was pretty thick. I mean, the state was on fire, it was bad.

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Screenshot of the map before we left… or the day we left… or something.

I have asthma but my youngest son has worse asthma than I do. I was starting to feel dizzy just walking through the apartment to use the bathroom. I forgot to screenshot the air quality map but it was pretty bad. It wasn’t the worst level, but it was really close.

We finally decided we did need to leave because we had the doors and windows shut and it was still hard to breathe. Plus, with the doors and windows shut, it was hot as hell in my apartment. So, we finally packed up and left.  I snapped this picture at one of our stops.

Smoke at a rest area
Smoke masks the mountains at a Montana rest stop.

There was so much smoke filtering the sun that I could walk around with no sleeves on and we could stare directly at the sun without solar viewing glasses. Each stop was a quick, “Get out, go pee, get back in, and let’s go.”

Starting to worry

I was starting to worry about the car around Missoula. I could really hear the metal on metal sound. I didn’t say anything to my ex or my older son in Cali because I didn’t want to worry them.

We slept at a rest area near Billings where the sky was clear. It was so nice to breathe again without feeling like I was snorkeling through Jell-O. We were still coughing up crap (and we still are to this day) but it was easier to breathe, we could stop for longer rest breaks, and Jack-Jack was able to run around a bit at the stops. 

We made it to Buffalo, Wyoming for a gas stop. When we were pulling into the gas station, I heard a sound that I am not sure what the hell it was but it wasn’t good. I pumped gas and then tried to drive off. It was horrible. The car was shaking when I tried to move. The only blessing is that we broke down right in front of a mechanic shop. 

No to CV – Part 2

I went over and they said it was the power steering pump, ordered the part, and let us hang out in their parking lot (because, like, where were we going to go?). One of the ladies came to the car and offered to buy us a hotel room for the night and watch our cat. I was really happy about that but we were fine car camping. They were great! I mean, they really went above and beyond… except they wouldn’t change out the CV axle.

At that point, I was just happy they changed out the power steering pump and still happy that they worked to get us in the day the part came in (usually it takes a week to get your car worked on. They were booked.) The next morning, they got the power steering pump changed out, and we got on our way.

We can still make it!

And that is when I really started to worry about the car. I was consistently hearing a clicking sound (for lack of a better description) and feeling the grinding every time I turned. I started having issues with it vibrating when I hit 65 mph so I started driving anything below that. 

We made it out of Wyoming and into Utah. I HAD to drive highway speed through Salt Lake City area (it was a little south of it, I think) because I didn’t feel like being run over. We made it out of the heavy traffic and by then, I was a nervous wreck. The car felt like shit, it was vibrating so bad I half expected to watch a tire run off from my car, and the grinding was worse.

I still didn’t say anything because I thought we’d be able to make it to the Lancaster area without having someone come rescue us. (I was wrong)

I can’t drive 55! No really. I can’t.

So, after Salt Lake City, I found a private/public rest area to take a nap in because my adrenaline rush wore off. They have nice rest areas! It’s at a Chevron station that has a HUGE parking lot. We parked in the back and I slept for a bit. Then we headed off to the next rest area once it was cooler outside. 

The ride there was slow. I could do about 55 mph without it shaking to pieces while I drove. So, to everyone in Utah driving on I-15 southbound… I am so sorry. I know I held up traffic and I apologize profusely… and thank you for not running me off the road.

After rest area #2 in Utah, we headed on with our trip and I knew I was going to have a hard time. I could only go 50 mph without it shaking to death.

We made it to the Moapa exit in Nevada. I slept for a bit because it’s really draining to drive a car that you aren’t sure is going to fall apart while you are driving it down the interstate. I was seriously worried I was going to end up killing someone when the car fell apart.

Then we headed out again. I was dreading driving through Las Vegas but we made it through. I drove at about 65 mph with the car shaking horribly the whole way. I white knuckled the steering wheel. I won’t lie… I was terrified. My chest hurt from the stress.

Once out of Las Vegas, I slowed back down to 50 mph. Then we hit the mountains coming into California.

You shall not pass!

Driving up the mountain pass this time was like trying to bike uphill. I was happy when I hit 35 mph. We made it almost up the mountain when the car overheated and I had to take an exit to let it cool down. We sat there for about an hour… maybe. And then headed to the rest area the was not too far from there. It had overheated by the time we got there.

By then, it was getting hot, we were miserable, and the car sounded like it chewing metal while we drove. We couldn’t go very fast at all. I was updating the guys in So Cal to how bad it really was at this point. I figured it was close enough for a rescue if I needed it.

Eff this! Come get me!

Back on the road, we made it to Barstow where we stopped in a park and parked under a tree for shade. I needed Benadryl from the extreme heat and I was starting to get a headache. I took my medicine and sent messages of how we were staying right there until it cooled down.

After chatting through text about how bad the car was doing, my older son decided to come get me with his friend… and I was totally cool with this idea because I didn’t feel like getting stranded in the desert with no cell signal!  I also mentioned that, oh yea, by the way, no one will change out the CV axle. He wasn’t happy.

They stopped to get some parts to help fix the car and then headed there. I slept for a bit enjoying the shade while we waited. 

And my car is toast

When they showed up, first thing they did was check the fluids. I had already checked all the fluids (except the transmission fluid) and they were good. When they checked, the coolant was low. WHAT?! I was so mad.

Then, I was like, “Hey, let me drive this so you can hear the grind.” Only when I drove it… no noise. I was so pissed at my car I could have spit fire. After a little bit of inspecting, they decided to test drive it. They didn’t make it out of the parking lot before stopping and saying, “Oh hell no! This is getting fixed here!”

We found a parking lot that was flat so they could fix it. They started taking it apart and saw how bad it was and decided to call for a tow. Only, the AAA that we have, only covers seven miles for towing. You gotta be fucking kidding me. Who the hell needs a seven mile tow??? It was going to cost $780 something to tow it back to my ex’s place.

So we debate amongst ourselves on what to do. The meds were all fine by then and my headache was gone, so I said I could just drive the car while they followed. I mean, I drove it this far, right! Right? Hehe.

It’s like slowly driving the car into the ground

We started driving and Oh. My. GAWD. We could safely do about 40 mph… if you want to call it safe. The car was shaking to death. We would pull over to let people pass then pull back onto the highway. And then I hit a railroad track… I could feel the wheel shaking and it sounded like the car was coming apart at the seems. 

My older son had to take over after that. We were safely doing 25 to 35 mph the rest of the way back to his place. The front driver side tire looked slanted and you could see the shaking from the follow car at times.

My car is now parked in a garage awaiting repair. And guess what needs to be replaced…

The CV Axle! It’s the CV axle! It needs changed. Who’d of thunk it!? It was like a huge mystery that no one would have guessed! 

I am not mad at the second mechanic. They fixed the main problem of the moment and went out of their way to get us in ASAP to fix it. I thank them.

But the first mechanic… why didn’t you just change it out? We had the part! I was willing to pay for it.

I am over being pissed off but THIS is what I keep saying. No one will listen to me. It’s like I am yelling into a void. Is it because I am a woman? Cuz I will totally have a sex change if it means someone will finally fucking listen to me! 

Why won’t people listen to me? I want to know. 

Anyway, we are here now. I am making pizza today. I will be working on a YouTube video for my gluten-free flour recipe. We’ll be here for a least a couple of weeks. I’ll keep you updated. we’ll probably be here a couple of weeks. I miss home but this is okay for now because at least my CV axle will be changed out (and everything else we ruined by driving with a bad CV axle)

What I Am Up To…

Well, this year hasn’t been the best. But it hasn’t been the worst either. I can honestly say I am looking forward to therapy on the 7th though. February was just my shit month which is why I haven’t posted.

The biggest thing was that my cat, Gizmosis, died. I was devastated. I am dealing with it okay, I think. I am not sobbing daily anymore. I just get a bit teary eyed now. Here is the last picture I have of him.

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Tattoos!

To start out the month, it was going okay. I have my new tattoo gun (actually two of them – one for lining and one for shading), needles, ink, transfer paper, and everything I need to start learning how to tattoo. I did my first tattoo just above my knee. for a first, it wasn’t horrible. I do have a long way to go though. I tattooed one person for practice. As soon as I have more needles, I will be able to practice more. 

Therapy and hurting myself (not like that!)

Then I went to therapy where I discussed a lot of my plans and I talked about stuff that bugged me. I showed off my stupidly long scarf. Then I mentioned walking home. I was thinking of calling my son to come get me because it rained and the ground was freezing. As I left, I changed my mind because I needed exercise.

I walked home because I thought maybe I would feel more invigorated and then I could blog! I needed to do that. I hadn’t posted anything. As I walked, the ground became less “a little icy” and more “a solid sheet of ice”. I walked slowly across the roads and then walked on the snow because it was crunchy and had texture and the ice would give way so I had a little bit of traction. This was going well until I was about half way home.

I was crossing the road and decided to walk in some truck tracks for more traction. That was kind of okay for about two steps, next thing I know, I am face down on the road. Oh. My. God. The pain didn’t quite hit right away. In fact, I didn’t really feel anything wrong until I tried to get up. That is when I knew I done fucked up. I had to slide myself over to a snow berm to crawl up so I could get up. Walking the rest of the way home was more like limping very slowly.

Since then, my shoulder is still really messed up. My knee healed but my shoulder is really messed up. I had an MRI yesterday and I’ll find out Monday how that is. But I am able to use it a very little. At least now I can type again without crying. That’s a plus!

Still Looking for Work

I am still looking for work but now I am thinking work at home is my only option. I have talked with a few people about moving but I want that to be my last resort. If I can make $800 a month, I can pay all my bills and survive. So right now, that is my goal… no matter how small it is.

I’m making myself available as a virtual assistant, working on illustrations for a children’s book (which I learned how to do!), and hopefully will have one done and ready to publish soon.

At first I was saying by the end of March but I don’t think that will happen. My plan for now is to have the draft ready by the end of March and to have a book ready to publish by mid-April. This is my very first illustration I attempted. I just grabbed the first picture I found and did it. I created two styles and I kind of like them both. Here are the samples. But first, the original picture.

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The Original Picture
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I like this style.
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My first illustration!

First lesson learned? I need to really brighten the pictures so they look better as the illustrations. But I do like the styles.

I also found a company that I can back that I will be selling products from. It’s a health and wellness business. And I am trying to find my Mark make-up seller information. I know I have it I just can’t find it.

Between all those, something has to give! 

And back to Blogging

Now that I can type again, I will be blogging more. Probably not daily but my goal is to write a little something every day and then post when it’s long enough. I’ll have a post about twice a week if I can keep it up and still be able to work on my other projects. 

YouTube?

I was asked if I am still going to do YouTube videos. I really want to! But that may just have to remain a hobby for now. Let me get the promising stuff done first, then I’ll think about YouTube.

Okay, now I need to get back to focusing on work. 

50 Questions: My Bad Habit and Something I Lost

I decided to answer two questions since they have short answers.

50 questions #33 is

What are your bad habits? Share yours and why you won’t give it up. Ever.

My bad habit is…

Coffee!!! It’s really my only bad habit I can think of. I love coffee!

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Coffee Beans. Photo by Dotchi Latham.

Why I won’t give it up?

Migraines. It keeps the migraines at bay.

50 Questions #32: What is something you lost?

Psh, that is SO easy. First thing that popped into my head when I read this question: my virginity!

What? Don’t act you didn’t know. I gave birth to three boys. Here are two of them with Nana.

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Nana is so tiny next to them lol

Sorry, Mom. The stork didn’t really deliver my babies to me.