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minikin

Minikin's Journal

Routine Ramblings of an Occasionally Interesting Texan


Spring cleaning
Cleaning
minikin
And how are you this morning?

Okay? It’s nice and rainy. It makes me sleepy and calm. Enough rain and there are bright colors. Bright colors make me warm and fuzzy inside.

How do you feel?

Um, sleepy and calm and warm & fuzzy?

Are you happy? Are you sad? Are you angry? Are you lonely?

Does it matter?

Why are you here?

God knows. He hasn’t told me.

Does that bother you?

Should it?

This is not how my psychiatric wellness checks go. She asks about my family, my job. If I get quiet she prods me. She always asks if I feel like my meds are okay. If I ask her questions, she’ll offer options.

My diagnosis is chronic depression. My meds make “can’t” into “won’t,” and emotions happen. If I want to make them a problem, that’s up to me.

She doesn’t hammer me with questions and I’m not a problem to fix.


THE PRECEDING HAS BEEN MY TAKE ON TOPIC 3 OF LJ IDOL SEASON 11.
TO READ THE OTHER ENTRIES FOR THIS TOPIC,
PLEASE CHECK OUT THE COMMENTS FOR THE TOPIC POST.


Living Rent-Free in Your Head
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minikin
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It started out as my widow’s cottage. No, he was alive and healthy. This was after he got the new kidney and there was no particular reason to believe I would outlive him. I was tired of the huge, unfinished country home. The kids were grown; it seemed like an unreachable dream to complete the work. Then repairs became out of reach.

Living with other people. Starting out a life together made it seem easy; it was a natural law that we would be a family, grow and multiply and grow old together. The automatic blending of family customs, the discovery of new ways that worked for us.

Then we added people. New power dynamics; where does hospitality become extended family with the increased demands on compromise? When guest becomes resident, how much remains of private domains within the whole?

It almost seems inevitable that I would struggle with ours changing from mine and thine to yours mine and hers. Looking back, I made no distinction between mine and ours. Moving forward I grasped at mine.

So. A tiny one person abode. Comfortable according to my desires with none others’ considered. A tree shaded, perennial garden surrounding it. A stone path picking its way through to the entry. Plants that encourage butterflies and bees, that feed the birds and shelter squirrels, chipmunks and yard bunnies.

A dog named Doorbell who only barked for company at the door. A snuggly cat – he was too allergic to consider one. A comfy reading nook and a well organized kitchen. A place for everything and everything in its place. A childhood reality become distant dream in maturity.

From childhood through college years to marriage. I’ve never lived independently. In separation I’m safe in my new family home.

The widow’s cottage has changed from dream to vision. Maybe a cabin in the back. Maybe a studio in the garage. I spend my escape time drawing rooms, arranging furniture, browsing through interior design. The years have taught me patience. I spend my working time shedding the baggage of the past and the tyranny of things. When the vision takes form, I will carry only joy with me.

THE PRECEDING HAS BEEN MY TAKE ON TOPIC 2 OF LJ IDOL SEASON 11.
TO READ THE OTHER ENTRIES FOR THIS TOPIC,
PLEASE CHECK OUT THE COMMENTS FOR THE TOPIC POST.


The poll is open.
Vote
minikin
Vote early. Vote often. You can read the entries directly from the poll. There are a lot a great entries this week.

Resolution
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minikin
Angry waves crashing on sea side rock

Was it the moment I stormed out?
The second time I stormed out?
The day I brought the papers and then stormed out?

Why on Earth did he fight ending it? I wouldn't want to be a moment with that me.

A house of cards built on shifting sands over a troubled sea.

The sobbing hasn't gone away, but it's down to overflow spurts of dissolution.

Every last paragraph, sentence, comma is like an impacted wisdom tooth being torn away.

They don't give oxy for emotional pain.

Was it over when he signed? When I signed? Or will it take the last shreds of gasping, grasping composure?

I resolve to march forward into the uncertain future, with hope: the confident expectation of God's ultimate blessing. Both angry and relieved that I don't know what I'm facing.

Dignity, always dignity.

Renata Raccoon icon with bowl of spaghetti upended over her head.

THE PRECEDING HAS BEEN MY TAKE ON TOPIC 1 OF LJ IDOL SEASON 11.
TO READ THE OTHER ENTRIES FOR THIS TOPIC,
PLEASE CHECK OUT THE COMMENTS FOR THE TOPIC POST.


The poll is open. Vote early!
Vote
minikin
I posted my introduction here, and the poll is open here. You can link to entries from the poll, if you haven't read them all. Voting deadline is 9-24-19 8:00 pm EDT.

MINIKIN
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minikin

She’s still got a journal?

Well, yeah, but she hasn’t written anything since 2014. Her dog died.

One of the scotties or the foundling?

The last scotty. But I heard the foundling passed in 2017.

So what brought her back?

Apparently this journaling competition. Idol something? Something Idol.

Oh I know that one. I read LJ Idol every season. She’s that good?

She had some good stuff in the early seasons, but the last time she competed she was really phoning it in.

Does she still work nights?

No, she ’s been working days since way back in 2010. I heard her company got purchased though. She’s got a fancy new title doing the same work for a bigger company at the same location.

Hmm…. If I recall correctly, she was married with two kids. Whew, they must be all growed up by now. And, her hubby got that kidney transplant right?

Oh yeah, last I heard he was doing great, but they’re not together anymore. I guess some marriages just can’t get past the “38 year bitch.” The kids are 25 and 30 now, and working. I heard the older one was getting married.

Whoa, that must be rough. So, she’s using LJ Idol to find her new self?

I guess so. I never thought about it. I guess we’ll just wait and see.

THE PRECEDING HAS BEEN MY TAKE ON TOPIC 0 OF LJ IDOL SEASON 11.
TO READ THE OTHER ENTRIES FOR THIS TOPIC,
PLEASE CHECK OUT THE COMMENTS FOR THE TOPIC POST.


LJ Idol Season 11
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minikin



I've decided to start keeping up with this journal again. What better way than to dive right in with LJ Idol Season 11? I'm in!
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Dizzy died today
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minikin
I posted something long and beautiful when Ouchie died. Tonight I'm just too tired to put together a full post for Dizzy. She was failing. Tigger got to spend all weekend with her last weekend. Tonight he was home to help bury her. Flood took it okay until now. She'll have to sleep alone tonight and she's not happy about it.

Tomorrow I'll write what Dizzy deserved.
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Flar Hates Flood
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minikin
Well, that’s what he says anyway.

Picture of Flood as a puppyFlood arrived at our back doorstep during a heavy downpour, when she was only 6 weeks old. Knight and I noticed her when our outdoor cat, A picture of our outdoor cat, WerthersWerthers, was stalking her. The creek was out of its banks the next morning, so the kids suggested we call her Flood. At the time, we already still had two Scotties in the house: Dizzy and Ouchie. Dizzy is Tigger’s dog, and Ouchie was Critter’s. Flar thought two dogs were enough of a handful and didn’t want to keep Flood. Flood is my dog.

A picture of DizzyWhen we first got Flood, she was smaller than the scotties. They were litter-mates who had never outgrown puppy fighting. They taught Flood how to fight and stole her food. When she got bigger than they, she would stand her ground and fight them when she thought they were after her food. Her worst trait now is aggressiveness toward other dogs. She’s relatively well-behaved in neutral territory on a leash, but when we established a picnic blanket at the dog park she fiercely guarded it. Sigh.

A picture of OuchieFlar grew up with only Scotty dogs for pets. Another strike against Flood is that she is tall enough to reach food on the kitchen counters. Our first Scotty, Quatre, was so well-behaved that you could put a plate of pizza on the couch next to her and she wouldn't eat out of it. (Unless you told her it was for her.) Flood considers anything that is “abandoned” in the kitchen to be fair game. She will also loom over you while you’re eating, in case you need help finishing. When she’s on good behavior, she will sit and stare at you. Since she’s sitting and attentive, she looks like a good dog to those who don’t know her better. ;)

Flood’s name is ironic, as she was much easier to house train than the scotties. Their attitude is, if you’re not in the room, it’s a reasonable relief zone. They ask to go outside by staring at you for maybe 5 seconds, then wandering off to find privacy. Flood will start with staring, progress to whining, then actually bark if you ignore her.

When Flar was growing up, his family’s scotties didn’t bark. Quatre didn’t, Zesty only did to ask in (for herself AND Quatre, it was the daughter’s job apparently), but Dizzy and Ouchie barked for pretty much any reason. They taught Flood to bark. Flar holds it against Flood, not the scotties.

Flood has a bad habit of slamming against the back door to try to open it. That used to work until we started using the dead bolt. The door is steel with a glass panel the length of it. Apparently strong stuff, since it’s still there. In an attempt to break her of this, Flar taught Flood to bark to come in .. by letting her in at the first bark. But he didn’t ignore the slamming — he yelled at her for it. Now she is much more likely to bark than slam, but he won’t let her in either way. And he complains about the barking.

A picture of Flood on the couch where she sheds.Scotties shed their hair in a manner more similar to people. It kinda collects in corners as dust bunnies until sweeping happens. Flood is a short hair and sheds more like a porcupine. She loves the car, but the first thing she does when she gets in is release hair in a cloud like a porcupine shooting its quills. [*]Right -- they can't actually shoot their quills, but I swear she shoots her hairs. Her hairs appear to be equipped with micro-barbs, as they are very difficult to get out of fabric once they set hold. Flar is allergic to cats and not dogs, but he claims to be allergic to Flood’s hair.

Flar calls Flood names and jokes about killing her. But way, way back… In 2005, I got the privilege of taking the boys on a train vacation, circling from Cincy via Chicago to LA, San Antonio, Orlando, DC and back to Cincy. While we were on the leg to San Antonio, Flar was hospitalized with pneumonia. He was released after an overnight, but he was still pretty weak. The next day, Flood got hit by a car. Our house is pretty darn close to our road, the traffic rarely stays under the 35 mph limit, and there’s a hill on the approach from the west that obscures our section of the road until right before you get to it. Flood had gotten out and was ignoring Flar’s attempts to retrieve her. She was hit before the driver could stop. There was a lot of blood. It was late evening.

Flar picked her up and drove her to the emergency vet. They put her in doggy ICU in critical condition. They gave her antibiotics and pain meds. She had a pneumothorax for which they had to stick a big needle in her side to release the air and allow her lung to reinflate. She didn’t end up with any organ damage, but she had a lot of internal bruising.

A picture of Flood napping on Flar's lap.Flar got to stress about how expensive it is to care for a doggy emergency. He got to carry her when he had decreased lung function. He stayed up most of the night she was hit. It all put him back at least a day on his own recovery from illness.

But he saved her life.

Right, he “hates” Flood.

And wow, re-reading old journal entries to figure out when all this happened? It’s amazing he kept my whiney self.

This has been an entry for the home game edition of The Real LJ Idol writing competition: the Final Season, Topic 18 : disinformation.

On preferring calm
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minikin
I used to be an adrenaline junky. Okay, I played with other natural substances too. I seriously believe that I managed to screw up my personal endorphin delivery system by flooding my brain with far too much of it, far too often. I only have to take one prescription SSRI, and it tends to keep me on an even keel. But I get to be extra careful with stuff that messes with the brain. Alcohol, caffeine, pain (and the lovely natural response to it), ditto for sex, and sigh, even roller coasters. And I'm supposed to get more exercise.

I’m working my way back to normal human being level of consumption for various of these pleasures. I can drink one serving of red wine without getting a migraine. Maybe two servings of distilled spirits. But that’s okay; my tolerance is way down, so now I’m a cheap drunk. It’s funny how quickly one can forget how good pain felt, but I am returning to the lovely burn in my muscles after a good swim or other physical workout. All the work I’ve done on riding out headaches instead of medicating seems to be carrying through to riding out pleasure as well. Spreading it out and away from the fragile grey matter.

But I could do without out stress hormones. I used to play with fear. Now I do what I can do avoid uncertainty and try to ride out the unknowns that I can’t answer.

But there’s no boxes left to prep and it’s only Tuesday. Tomorrow is going to be a “training” day. I pointed out to S that I’m not cross-trained on scanning, and she countered with “but You trained Me!?” Thus the quotes. When we got in the new software, we didn’t cross-train on all of it, cause they brought it in when we had hundreds of boxes in the pipeline. Hundreds of boxes that would need indexing. So I got to stay in my nice comfortable hole. Tomorrow I get to climb out and be all generally competent again. And hope for more boxes.

Soon.

Looks like I’m going to be sleeping in again on Thursday.



This has been an entry for the home game edition of The Real LJ Idol writing competition: the Final Season, Topic 17 : "Scare Quotes"
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