Saturday, January 10, 2015
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Happy mother's day! Whether your kids walk on two legs or four, may your day be filled with happiness, and far less poop than mine has encountered already today. I woke up around 1am sneezing and congested. My allergies were in full-blown beast mode. I couldn't breathe, my nose was leaking like a sive, and my throat and inner ears were itching like crazy. Nothing like trying to blow your nose quietly in the middle of the night, while praying nobody else wakes up. After I managed to at least halfway clear my sinuses, I went back to bed. Hope came bounding into the room at precisely 5:56am, requesting breakfast and asking when I would hold true to the promise I made yesterday to curl her hair. I did everything I could to convince her to go back to bed, but if you know Hope, you know once she's up, so is the rest of the world. So I reluctantly dragged myself out of bed and handed her a bag of mini-muffins and a cup of milk, then settled into my recliner to try to catch a few more z's before the rest of the house woke up. Just as I started to pass out, my phone started buzzing with "Happy Mother's Day" texts from my friends and family on the east coast. I love you guys, but HELLO, time difference. LOL So at that point I figured trying for more sleep was useless. I convinced Tim to run out to get me some coffee, but had to ask him at least a half a dozen times until he finally put pants on and then wound up convincing his sister (who is currently living with us) to drive him there. Hope hitched a ride and I got excited for a second thinking I could maybe actually grab half an hour of precious sleep while they were gone... until on her way out, Hope yelled, "MOM! Ray's awake!" And once again, my dreams were shattered. I got Raylan out of bed, brought him downstairs, and he started asking for ice cream for breakfast. Yeah, right. But once the rest of the members of the household had left, I caved in and let him have three little bites. Instantly, his mouth turned blue from the stain of the ice cream, and I knew once Hope got home, we'd be busted. I tried to get him to promise to keep this our little secret, but at 2, you never know what he's going to say. So I wasn't going to hold my breath. Tim, Kristian, and Hope got home with coffee and McDonald's breakfast, so I passed out McMuffins and then cleaned up and started a load of laundry. Tim went out back to work in the shop, and Raylan announced panicked that he had to go potty. So I jumped up and ran to the bathroom with him. We've been potty training for a while, and it's still hit or miss with him, so I hurredly yanked his sleep boxers and pull-up down and situated him onto his potty chair. That's when I smelled it. Poop. I got excited! Finally! Poop in the potty was huge progress! Except.. it wasn't IN the potty. It was on the floor. And on his leg... and the wall, and the potty chair... as well as in his pants, stuck to the bottom of his foot, and as he realized what was happening and reached down, also on his hand. It was poopocalypse 2013. I yelled for help, and Kristian and Hope did run-bys, throwing wipes and diapers and extra clothes into the bathroom for me. I spent the better part of half an hour scrubbing poop off of every bathroom service as well as my son, and then disinfecting everything in sight. Happy mother's day. Nothing says "I love you" like poop everywhere.
Monday, March 25, 2013
Yesterday I got a new cell phone. My old one has been on it's last leg for a while, and I have made it last as long as I could, but it doesn't even want to let me answer messages or shut off alarms anymore, so it was time. As I was transferring all of my information from the old phone to the new one, I realized that there was one thing I could not transfer over that I was also not ready to part with. It's a text message from Desi. The last few conversations we'd had and her final goodbye to me before she took her life this past August. I read that message every so often, as morbid as it seems. I go back and look at it and I miss her. She was my very best friend, the one person who never judged me for anything, was always there when I needed her (despite the distance), and who I believe with all my heart was my soulmate. So I did what anyone in this day in age would do, I reached out to my friends on Facebook for ideas on how to hold onto that text message. Unfortunately, none of the ideas worked and the best thing I could come up with was to take pictures of the message thread on the old phone with the new phone. I suppose that will have to do. Many of my friends and family members left nice comments and heartfelt virtual hugs on my post, which felt very supportive and understanding. It's an unfortunate truth that many of the people showing their support for MY loss have experienced very similar losses through suicide in the past year as well. Just as I was about to fall asleep for the night, I got one more comment to my Facebook post. This one was anything but supportive and encouraging - it was downright rude and uncalled for. Someone I've known for many years, who I've shown constant support to throughout his recently troubled past, was going on and on about how suicide was selfish and that Desi had no respect or regard for the feelings of those she left behind. He went on to ask how any of the other commenters could possibly feel grief over her death or be supportive and understanding of my grief, and then went into a full rant on all of the things he'd been through in the past few years and look at him, he was still standing. Truth be told, he's been through a lot. But what he said was downright disrespectful and hurtful, so I deleted the comment and sent him a private message telling him that while each person has a right to their opinions, I did not appreciate his inappropriate post. He came unglued. I tried a few more ways to politely explain to him that while it's easy to judge from the outside of a situation, he didn't know Desi, he didn't know any of the facts, and that while even with the pile of tragedy she'd faced in her life, suicide was not the answer, what's done is done and her death doesn't make those left behind hurt any less than those left after any other kind of death. He was not having it. He went on the attack and once he had me spewing profanities, I knew it was better to stop and just delete/block him altogether. That's what brings me to this blog. What do people think gives them the right to diminish death by suicide as something less tragic and painful for the friends and family left behind in comparison to any other type of death? Do you think people hurt more if thier loved one is murdered on the street in cold blood as opposed to dying peacefully of old age, safe and warm in their bed? Death is inevitable. We know it's coming, we just usually don't know when. Life is about establishing relationships with other people, and when those people's lives end, the living ache and yearn for more time with the ones they lost. It doesn't matter how the death occured, or who was responsible. The end result is that one life is gone and the lives of the people connected to that person are forever changed. Sure, suicide is a choice. People choose it every day. They feel trapped, backed into a corner, left with no other options. Of course I don't condone it, and like most people, I agree that it's just not the answer. But as someone who has been suicidal myself at least once in my life, I get it. And I can tell you, that the belief that suicidal people only think about themselves and don't have any regard for the people who will grieve for them when they are gone is the furthest thing from the truth. It's ALL they think about. And then that adds to the pain they're already in and the deed is done. We, the survivors, don't have to agree with it, we don't have to accept it as a good enough reason for a life to have ended. But we still hurt. We still grieve. We still have a big empty hole in our lives that cannot be filled by anyone or anything else. So before you pop off your opinion that suicide is selfish, take a minute and think about how you would feel if the tables were turned. If someone told you that you needed to quit whining about your poor dead grandmother because she was old, so you should've seen it coming, how would you feel? If I just took your grief and tried to make you feel like you didn't have a right to feel that way, you'd be pissed. So don't judge what you don't understand. Don't add to the pile of crap that someone is already going through by spewing your opinions on how thier pain is unjustified. You don't get a trophy or medal that says, "Congratulations, you did better at life than these other people". Everyone has their problems and they are all handled in different ways. The only life you're responsible for the actions of, is your own. Period. You can judge yourself as fairly or as harshly as you like. But owning the same pair of shoes as someone else is not the same as walking a mile in thiers. Be considerate of the feelings and the grieving process of those affected by suicide. Regardless of what you may think of the act itself, the life lost still has a profound affect on others and belittling the way in which death took someone is not going to score you any points with anyone. 'Judge not, lest ye be judged' so say the Christians. Time to practice what you preach, folks. So what SHOULD you say when someone you know loses a friend via suicide? The standard "I'm sorry for your loss", "let me know if you need anything", and "I'm here if you need to talk" will suffice. Keep your opinions on the matter out of the conversation. Don't compare your long list of struggles to the reasons the deceasaed may or may not have given for why they took matters into their own hands. Don't judge. Because you don't know. That's the cold hard truth about it. You DON'T know.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
While it seems most Pagans take a very Democratic stance when it comes to politics, I do not feel I fit entirely in either party. I have morals, values and strong beliefs that are on both sides of the political fence. I support Gay marriage and am 100% against gun control. I believe this country is a big fat mess right now. I do NOT like Obama but I don't think Romney was cut out for the presidency either. In all honesty, I think our only hope of getting America back to being the best country in the world is to change our laws to elect TWO presidents into office simultaneously. No more VPs, just two equally powered co-presidents, one from either of the two major parties, who must agree on everything that comes across their desks or it cannot be processed. It sounds like a lot of work, and a lot of delay, I know. But in all fairness, how long are we up to now with trying to solve the national budget? Giving one party supreme power over the other doesn't work for anyone. One more big enough government change and we're about to watch this country tear itself apart with another "civil" war. The only way to solve the problems we're facing is to stop making the same mistakes. The other day I got a message from a friend of mine asking me if I had meant to re-post a political comment on facebook, because she didn't agree with it. It turned out I hadn't meant to share it at all, I had clicked it on accident while scrolling through my page in the waiting room at the doctor's office. But it brought a whole new issue into light for me. Being a Republican doesn't mean you HAVE TO oppose Gay marriage. Being a Democrat doesn't mean you HAVE TO support gun control. Just because the party you identify youself as part of favors one side of the spectrum doesn't mean you need to blindly follow suit. Each sector of political figures has valid points about certain areas and there's nothing wrong with agreeing what they have to say even if they're from a party that you don't agree with one single other item on. Forcing two people in power to come to a compromise and agreement over those big issues will help the American public to learn to do the same. Then we really could become the FREE country we have been claiming to be forever. That's just my opinion.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
I have been using Paypal to buy and sell stuff on Ebay since... practically forever. I believe my sign-up date was in 2001. So let's say 12 years, for good measure. During that time, I have had zero complaints. Zero. No returns, no requested refunds, no negative feedback on Ebay. I have, however, credited money back to clients with a note that shipping cost less than anticipated. You know what all that means to Paypal? Nothing. Not a darn thing. 2 years ago, due to a loan modification gone awry, I lost my house and had to file bankruptcy to protect myself. My perfect credit went right down the drain. I have been struggling to claw my way back into a decent looking score ever since. Paypal doesn't care that I have never had a single problem with transactions through them. They don't care that although my credit score is below the national average, I make all of my bill payments on time. All they care about is the word: Bankruptcy. When I opened my webstore this year, I had to upgrade from a simple Paypal account to a merchant account - so that I could accept credit card payments securely as a business. I have to PAY Paypal a monthly fee to use this service. They took it upon themselves to check my credit report and decided that since I had a bankruptcy, TWO YEARS AGO, I was a liability to their other clients. They assumed that a bankruptcy in my past made me a common criminal, out to steal money from unsuspecting internet shoppers. And because of that, they placed what's called a "Rolling Reserve" on my account. They hold 20% of every transaction in an account I can't touch, for 90 days. EVERY. SINGLE. TRANSACTION. Let's recap. They're charging me $15 a month to use their merchant services. They charge 3.5% of all transactions to keep for themselves. And they're holding 20% of each of MY sales in their account, gathering interest THAT THEY KEEP, for 90 days at a time. I have called and raised holy hell several times. Once, I even got a rep to release half of the money they were holding. They still have over $200 locked up that I can't use, even in an emergency situation. I just got off the phone with one of the top-line supervisors at Paypal. I told him (in some not-very-nice words) exactly how I felt about the entire situation. I expressed to him that I have had over 300 transactions through Paypal since January 1 of this year - all of which resulted in positive feedback and happy customers. He agreed that I had performed above the average seller, and agreed to see if there was anything he could do to eliminate the rolling reserve hold. After 30 minutes on hold, he returned to the line and told me that he was 'very sorry, but Paypal will not stop holding 20% of my funds until at least June'. In June, he claims my account will be re-evaluated, at which time they will check my credit score again and determine whether or not I am still a 'liability to their clients'. I am stuck at this point, but I can tell you that if they don't knock this crap off by the time I am re-evaluated, I will get in the car and drive to Paypal headquarters and refuse to leave until they either give me all of the funds they're holding, plus interest, or take me to jail. Frustrated doesn't begin to describe my feelings right now.