Diffuser Bracelets For Sale!

So I am beginning to realize that although I am on the waiting list for disability, I have no way to make money until Christmas season when I can work part time. That being said, I have started making some beaded jewelry thanks to the encouragement of the other crafters at Knott’s Berry Farm and also thanks to my family. My older sister Amanda has been teaching me how to properly make bracelets and I have started making my very own line of diffuser bracelets.

Diffuser bracelets are bracelets which include a lava bead. Lava beads are used to hold essential oils so that they diffuse on your wrist all day long. I have been learning ever more about essential oils because of this and also which types of oils I prefer to wear on a daily basis to diffuse for myself.

I even created my very own Etsy Page called A Rainbow of Essentials where I display the beaded beauties that myself, my sister Amanda and my boyfriend AJ have been creating. It’s been really fun so far! I have learned a bit, but have much to learn still. I am excited and look forward to creating more jewelry in the future. Stay Tuned folks!

NEW LOGO

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My Boyfriend Was Born A Female

Not a big deal these days to be a person who is transgender? Think again.

From the moment I met AJ, I knew I was in for some rough times. Although I have found the vast majority of our life together as a couple to be extremely wonderful of course! I knew the times would come when we would struggle together. Not blaming anyone here of course! I have plenty of issues by myself trust me, what with my seizures and crazy mental health stuff going on. Rest assured, I am happy to say that at least in love I can find peace.

AJ and I met through a lesbian dating app called “Her” which is naturally an all inclusive app. This means that people of all genders and sexualities are more than welcome. I was more than thrilled to find this out when I came to making my account since I am a pansexual genderless person. This means that I love everyone and I do not consider myself a male or female person. I met AJ under the intentions that I was simply meeting a friend for the first time seeing as that is why I had the app in the first place, to make new friends.

Needless to say, by the end of the date he had revealed to me(something I had already kind of figured out) that he was a transgender male. What this meant AJ is a transgender person who was assigned female at birth but whose gender identity is that of a man, or in other words a trans-man, transgender man or transman. This was totally awesome to me and we discussed my personal gender issues that I had had in the past and in my life. We totally hit it off in a sense because we are firm believers in the Gender Spectrum(See “The Gender Unicorn below).

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Along the way in our relationship I have found that his coworkers and even some of his family still do not know that he’s FTM and refer to him with feminine pronouns and by his birth name. It has been a little difficult for me having to spend time with them and refer to him as “she” when all I know is I have an awesome boyfriend and only refer to him as “he” all day and night. Ay ay ay people! It’s tough and I slip up all the time. So far no one has freaked out that I am aware, or said anything to me, but I’m always concerned for something to be asked of me.

Also, public harassment is something that had not happened to me for any such reason as this previously and while AJ and I were waiting on a pizza in Downtown Fullerton, a white male of about age 50 yelled at us from in front of a McDonald’s that we were “Fucking disgusting!”. So that happened a while back… I was fairly annoyed, but simply yelled back that he was ignorant and kept steppin’.

The road ahead is a road that will no doubt be full of struggles, but I plan on being there for my boyfriend AJ, and I plan on supporting him and his transgender self. With all of our friends and family supporting us currently, I think we can overcome nearly anything honestly. We are making new friends and allies all the time and the trans community is so welcoming and loving. This is where I belong!

2015 in review

Thank you all so much for all the support you’ve given and shown me over the year of 2015! I truly appreciate all the love and good feelings that this blog has given me. It has shown me that I could commit to posting about myself and has made me much braver overall!

I love you all and I look forward to more successes in 2016.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 30 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Florida Family Blues: Final Post

In the end, all the happenings and goings on in the household of my great aunt Carol and Hj made me very depressed and upset and I had a major panic attack one night and I was unable to sleep. I purchased my ticket to fly home just in time for my 27th birthday. This left me 2 weeks to tie up all the loose ends that I’d left hanging all over the place. I spent the day with my friend I’d made that summer and attempted to stay in her home until my flight time arrived. I was not able to secure a place to stay through her, but I was able to find a place through one of Hj’s friends whom had taken me out to Bingo a few times. I spent the night with her and she flipped out the next day and decided she was going to try to buy me another flight home to leave the next day. She was telling me that I needed to go home and show my mother that I was alright.

This was upsetting mostly because I’d been away from my mother all summer and she knew all of my plans the entire time and knew I wouldn’t make any rash decisions before letting her know. I had my reasons for remaining in Florida for that span of time and I had plans for it all. This woman was not about to ruin shit for me and so I took matters into my own hands and attempted to get help from my family in Tampa so that I could spend time there and be ready to fly home when the time came.

My last little stop before I left the town of Port Charlotte was to say my goodbyes to Hj and Carol before leaving. And of course to take all of my belongings I’d acquired over the summer and ship them home (I had purchased many souvenirs as well as items of clothing among other things). I made my way to the house over on Easy Street to face the music.

Hj was sitting outside in the sun when her friend and I arrived at the house. I told her I was leaving and she informed me that she was not surprised. I’d been discussing leaving with her for a time because I’d been pushing her to arranging a caregiver for her with all of her dementia issues and her stomach illnesses and I had done all I could I felt to help her. She told me she figured I was bored enough spending my days with a couple of old ladies and helping them out had drained me. I talked with her about how I’d panicked and would be going home shortly. I went into the house to gather my belongings.

I peaked into the Florida Room where the ladies spent their time watching television and looking out onto the canal just off their backyard where the small swimming spa was just outside the sliding glass doors in the room. My great aunt was lying on the small loveseat she tended to doze in most mornings after spending her nights awake due to her restless legs. She lay there now quite asleep. I made my way to the guest room which I’d made my home-away-from-home during my stay and began packing up my things as quickly and soundlessly as I could and taking them outside into the car.

Once I’d packed everything away, Hj and her friend told me I had to have a talk with Carol and say goodbye properly. I walked back into the house and woke Carol and told her I was leaving the house. She reacted defensively and began saying that she’d disappointed me. I told her that no, in fact she had not and that I felt that I had failed her. If I was truly the grown woman I thought I was, I would have come here and helped her as I’d promised from the start to do, rather than being an aid to Hj the entire time. Yes, I had assisted Carol in sorting through some of her papers and such, but I had been unable to help her sort through all her hoarded belongings and had been unable to sell anything. I had failed her completely and I felt it all the previous night when I had been unable to sleep. I told her that I’d been depressed all summer and had done the best I could to try to help her and Hj out as far as trying to convince them that they’d needed caregiving of some sort from a professional, but that all of this had been beyond me. I’d barely known these women for a mere 4 months. Who was I to them? A stranger. I had not felt like family to these women prior to my visit. I had short memories of my great aunt from the last time I’d seen her when I was about 6 years of age. This was the first time I’d met Hj and gotten to know her and basically the first time I’d had the chance to get to know my great aunt Carol.

I can happily say though, through all of the drama and heartache I’d felt over this summer of 2015, that I learned a great deal about these two wonderful, strong, women of this world. College graduates, feminists, and God knows just wonderful people in this world… I love them both. With all of my heart. I am so very happy to know them and have them in my life. Though they have always been far away from me, I know in my heart they are my family. I always will. They are there for me if I need them, and I am here for them just the same. I let them both know this upon my leaving. Yes, it was an upsetting end to the summer, but I honestly know that I left at a moment when I knew I had to remove myself from their home. I had spent time with them, learned about their lives, their struggles, their achievements… I was content in all this. I love them. I always will. One can only hope that family knows this. This is my hope. I love you Hj. I love you Carol. Know this. ❤Carol & Hj

The Gender Playbook

genderqueer.me

A Guide to Figuring Out Your Non-Binary Gender

Figuring out your gender is a very personal process; only you have the “magic” answers to your own identity.  It can be especially difficult if you feel your gender is non-binary, because there is no template for you to follow. This isn’t to say there aren’t some nifty tools to add to your toolbox (or fresh ingredients to your recipe, or whatever other non-macho allegory you wish to employ) making it easier for you to build your identity.

Through the years I’ve gathered snippets of wisdom; advice which seems obvious in retrospect, but is easily overlooked when you’re in the thick of fighting the binary. I also feature voices of other gender warriors who share insights on what would’ve helped them along the way, expanding upon the previous What’s My Gender guide.

So, I present: The Gender Playbook: A Guide to Figuring Out Your Gender.

playbook

  1. Certain Uncertainty

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Florida Family Blues Part II: No Longer On Vacation

Before I knew what was happening, I could overhear Hj throwing up in the bathroom attached to her bedroom. This soon became a norm for me. She said she wasn’t sure what she’d eaten to cause this to happen but that she wanted to talk to her doctor about it at her next office visit. When she did, she informed the doctor of her symptoms of how she’d thrown up and then spent the entire day weak in bed. This had occurred a few weeks in a row since I had come to stay with her and my great aunt Carol. The doctor told Hj that is was due to dehydration. For some reason, Hj always had issues with drinking normal amounts of water and said to me on multiple occasions that she felt as though she was drowning when drinking more than a glass of water a day. So we left with this in mind.

While this was going on with Hj, I had learned about her other ailments as well and about the other medications she took too. Carol told me as well as Hj that earlier in the year, Hj’s memories had began to fade and that she had the beginnings of dementia and had begun to see a brain doctor and take a brain pill to help her memory along. No such luck I’m afraid. Hj’s memory became less and less vibrant the longer I stayed in the household.

I realize of course that I was supposed to be helping aid my great aunt in her sorting of her belongings, and whatnot. However, I realized soon after arriving just what I was involved in. I was to be helping a hoarder. It was clear that this was no small feat to be helping her because she had multiple locations of where her hoarding could be found. It was in her bedroom, where she no longer slept due to lack of space, it was in my bedroom (the guest room), it was in their RV sitting parked outside, it was in the office suite of 3 rooms that she rented each month to store more of her hoarding. This was an undertaking that I had not anticipated. What my great aunt wished to do was to clean up her belongings and sell what she could and donate what she couldn’t so that she could use the office suite as her art studio and then would be able to teach as well at some point. This idea to me sounded wonderful and I was hopeful in the beginning. Then I started to sort through the years and years of unopened envelopes and newspapers and magazines that had piled up over the years that she had not disposed of for some reason or other. These were all habits of a hoarder. And then some. I won’t bore you with too much more detail, apart from the fact that I realized that their was nothing I could do to help the situation and so I got to a certain point and basically gave up.

Carol, my great aunt, had these hoarding tendencies, and also she was a night owl. She’d sleep all day nearly apart from when she had a doctor appointment and of course she’d wake up just a few moments before her soap came on each afternoon to catch the entire dramatic episode of The Young and the Restless. It was obvious to me that Carol was not happy and that she was terribly depressed. Hj and her fought constantly like a married couple. And why wouldn’t they?! They had lived in the same household for 15 years. Carol though, it seemed to me had something of a mood disorder. This thought occurred to me upon witnessing one of their little rows when having dinner and my aunt one moment was throwing her cane across the room, and then just perhaps 20 minutes later was calmly sitting and eating supper with us and laughing over a television show. I believe she has some form of mood disorder because her mood would change so rapidly I felt it wasn’t normal at all. I brought all of this to her attention to no avail. Carol was not up for seeking out help I soon learned.

Hj was my main concern. This was mainly because soon after my arrival, she became so ill that she was hospitalized and had certain tests run on her to find out the cause of her illnesses that were making her stomach upset and forcing her to be so weakened. Five days after being in the hospital, Hj was released home to Carol and I and we watched over her until she was to see a doctor about the results of the tests they’d conducted on her. This doctor basically told her that she had ulcers in her stomach and scarring from ulcers she’d had in the past and that he needed to go in surgically and remove any bacteria in her stomach and bile duct that was causing her to vomit. Once Hj heard all of this, she knew this doctor’s treatments were out of the question. You see, Hj had never had surgery or any major ailment in her life. She was fit as a fiddle and the moment she was less than so, she looked for another route. I couldn’t blame her either. The doctor was a total loon. Hj later found out that her ulcers were aggravating her pancreas and it caused her to have pancreatitis.

During this time, I was basically cooking, cleaning, driving, and assisting both Hj as well as my aunt in anything they required. I became a caregiver overnight when no one was around to realize this. I was working my summer away, all day every day. Making sure that Hj took her medications each day, making sure that her dog Charl-le was walked each day, washing any laundry or dishes here and there, and also cooking meals for her and Carol anytime it needed to be done. Driving to doctor appointments, driving to the grocery store, taking cars in to have work done on them and so on.

I was somehow doing all this and forgot that I needed to have time off for myself. Thankfully a friend of theirs would come by and take me out for an evening of fun occasionally to learn how to play bingo or whatever was nearby and entertaining enough to get me out of the house. Yes bingo isn’t necessarily for my age group, but it got me out of the house and my mind off of the situation I was in for the time being. I had time to think about my future and my time in Port Charlotte, Florida and how I could help Hj and Carol in their home. I also had time to think about how long I wanted to stick around to care for these ladies. Wonderful though they were and even tried to get me to meet their friends by hosting little dinner parties in their home and getting everyone to come out here and there so we could all eat dinner together for a birthday or just because even. Fun was had, but also difficulties as well.

While Hj was over here struggling with her illnesses, my great aunt Carol was in her bedroom playing Sudoku or doing a crossword puzzle or something to pass the time. She tended to keep to herself unless I made a point to spend some time with her and show her some affection. This was all well and good at times, but it was rare. We may be family, but this was the most time I’d ever spent with my grandmother’s sister, as well as the longest amount of time I’d ever spent with any family member other than my immediate family back home in California. Neither of us were used to each other, but we both grew to know each other somewhat over the months I was there. Whether it was by looking over the large family tree she’d gotten from one of our family members and seeing who I was related to, or maybe by going for a short dip in the pool that they had just outside the lanai (Florida Room) right off of the canal where their home was, laughing together over silly songs from her childhood or talking about my sexuality or religion, or whatever else popped into our heads bobbing in the water of the small swimming pool that was heated by solar panels.

These little things that made up my summer; these things that simply helped me get to know my great aunt and her housemate Hj, just made me stay as long as I did. No matter how ill Hj was, and no matter how horrible the tantrum Carol threw, I was there for them. I chose to be.

Florida Family Blues Part I: Getting to Know The Ladies of Easy Street

So as some of you know, I have been in Florida for the past 4 months.

For those of you who did NOT know, I have been in Florida for the past 4 months. 🙂

When I was let go from my job back in March, I had little idea of what my next move would be. Since I was in debt from all the ER bills and other medical bills that had stacked up from my seizure episodes, I had little choice but to hold onto my money and revamp my resume to begin submitting immediately. Or so I thought…

My best friend at once told me I needed to come visit her, so naturally I figured I would do that while I had the time and some funds left over from working hard lately. I bought my plane ticket to head up to Washington to visit Kayleigh in Anacortes, WA. Kayleigh and her family would be soon opening the now open shop of geekery, AwesomeSomething, so I knew that I would be helping out with that while in town.

Next thing I knew, my great aunt in Port Charlotte, FL (just a 2 hour drive South of Tampa, FL), gave me a call and offered to give me room and board if I would fly out to stay in her home and help her with some tasks. She gave me the list of tasks and I informed her that I would have to think about it and should I choose to go, that I would leave post-Kayleigh visit trip. She agreed and I took a week to weigh my options.

My great aunt’s offer was as follows: I was to receive room and board including meals and use of the amenities and pool they had at the house should I assist her in sorting out her belongings and preparing for a yard sale or two and then setting up an office suite for her to have an art studio that she could paint in and do crafting and possibly to teach someday. To me her plans sounded fantastic, however, I was unemployed and had to think about my future and also the most recent medical bills I still had under my belt to pay off. Naturally my first urge was to apply to a few jobs that week so I did, but I also thought about the fact that I had immediately applied for unemployment insurance through the Employee Development Department so I would be receiving money that way for the next 6 months or so. Having thought about all of this, I figured it would give me a chance to do some writing and to get out of my house and away from my parents for a change (no offense Mom and Dad, but I am grown and I could use a little time in a different household even though I cannot yet support myself). My aunt also had told me that she wanted me to help her write about her life and meet a writer friend of hers to get some advice on my writing and on how to get published someday. It all sounded amazing as the week went along.

I gave my aunt a call once a week had passed and told her that I had purchased my plane ticket to fly out in a month once I had visited my best friend up in Washington state for her birthday. She agreed and promised she would reimburse me the funds for the plane ticket and was looking forward to my arrival.

The weeks flew by as I made my arrangements. I visited Kayleigh and in the process fell very ill with a horrible earache and infection, which I also passed on to Kayleigh before leaving Washington. Altogether it was a terrific trip and we had fun just chilling at home and she showed me her new shop that was to open later in the summer with her mother’s help and brother. When I got home I quickly made sure that all of my things were taken care of before I left on my trip to Florida. I was off before I knew it! Frightened to leave my family for so long, but excited as hell! The longest I’d ever been away from home was just a few short weeks. I was in for some shocking stuff that was for sure.

I arrived at the airport in Fort Myers and ended up having to wait over an hour for my aunt and her housemate to come and get me. They ran late and some other stuff, but there they were! My great aunt Carol and her housemate Helenjane (ONE WORD!), who everyone calls Hj. These wonderful ladies decided to take me to Golden Corral for dinner before taking me home since I hadn’t eaten a real meal since very early that morning before my flight. We ate and returned to the house where Hj gave me the grand tour while my aunt went back to my room, the guest bedroom, where she was still clearing away some things she had been storing inside. Before I knew it I was passed out from exhaustion and happy to be in my temporary home for the next few weeks.

My great aunt has a cat that is 19 years old named Purr (Mr. Purrfect) and Hj has a small black poodle who is 15 years old named Charl-le (Charlie). These pets seemed to be their little kids that they took care of as these two had never had children of their own. They also have a small RV that they have parked up in a side driveway next to the house because they go out with a group called the Florida RVing Women. It was clear to me that they had spent many of their retired years in this RVing group and I had heard that they had had several RVs as well over the years. I also found many golf clubs around the house and golf trophies as this was another sport they participated in. Hj had grown up in Long Island New York just up the street from a place called Rockaway Beach. She attended school and grew to love sports. When she went off to college she yearned to teach physical education, and that she did! She ended up teaching physical education at Davis and Elkins College in West Virginia. My great aunt Carol also went to college and moved around much with her family when she was young and became a physical education instructor as well at the University of Wisconsin in OshKosh. The two of them ended up meeting by chance when my great aunt Carol was attending some courses at a later age and the two retired around the same time and moved down South to Port Charlotte, Florida to retire and have been housemates for the past 15 years.

Getting to know these two and caring for them just completely took over my life this summer, and I will tell you all about that in the next post I make.