Hold the Diapers

It’s official: I am DONE with diapers!! The Twins have mastered the public potty which was the only thing holding them back as far as potty training went. NO MORE DIAPERS HALLELUJAH!! I’ve spent the last near seven years changing other humans’ diapers and now I am FREE. Hey, it’s the little things that get me excited anymore around the House of Hale. lol.

In other news, Hubs has finally found a medication cocktail that seems to be working which has lowered my stress levels to near zero in the first time I can ever remember in my adult life. In the past when things got quiet and peaceful it made me nervous, like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop so to speak, but now? Now I’m just sitting back and enjoying life in all it’s blissful simplicity.

Unfortunately, our European vacation has been postponed. Hubs injured his knee somewhere between work and cleaning out our garage. He’s in the process of getting everything evaluated now, but it looks like he might need surgery in the coming months. It’s a little disappointing for sure, but thankfully we were able to get our tickets refunded and since we also paid off the entirety of our small debts with our tax refund this year planning another trip overseas doesn’t seem like such an abstract concept anymore. This year just isn’t the right time. We still plan to take a weekend trip somewhere over our anniversary weekend, it just won’t be as far away or as lengthy as we originally intended.

I’m okay with sticking a little closer to home this Summer anyway because I have a great opportunity with my books. Being here this Summer will free me up to work on all of that. My most recent signing went really well and gave me an opportunity to volunteer with a great fledgling organization in support of survivors of sexually based crimes. They’re a local-ish organization based out of Cincinnati Ohio. Indianapolis is a near desert when it comes to resources for survivors of sexually based crimes, and I aim to change that. At least as much as I can with my books and free time.

My third little book is scheduled for release this April. It’s a baby book by comparison coming in at just under 70 pages, but I’m proud of it just the same. After this release I’m going to take a break from publishing for a while and really focus on editing some of my other stories. I have three more projects that I’d like to get on shelves by 2025, but all of them require major editing.

Trying to balance time to edit and time for school and time for mom life is a challenge. It’s possible, but damn is it difficult lol. School is going well over all. I’m stuck on my current course because it’s as boring as snow in Alaska. It isn’t maintaining my focus and dragging on FOOOOOOOOREEEEEEEEVER. Even with the speed bump I’m still on schedule to finish by mid 2021. If I survive this course anyway… lol.

Broken Shards of a Shattered Dream: I Shot A Man In Reno Just To Watch Him Die Vol #6

Things Carla Loves

So what is the purpose of mindfulness?

Maybe you can see that it’s worked a bit for me, and maybe you’ve even noticed that taking a few minutes out every day to de-stress and just think about what you need has worked for you, too.

And maybe it hasn’t yet, and that’s okay.

What works for some doesn’t always work for others.

However, it is a process, and if you find something that works for you, even a little bit, I think it’s something you should consider sticking with.

So, other than my therapist’s suggestion, what made me consider practicing mindfulness?

Well, to be honest, it’s this constant, toxic “be positive” mentality that too many people have, and how so many physically healthy and neurotypical people think that chronically ill (either mentally, physically or both) people are just not positive enough.

No photo description available.

And before I tell you exactly why chronically ill…

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Ignoring Racism Won’t Make it Go Away

bookmarkchronicles

“The only way to end racism is to stop talking about it.”

In case you didn’t already know, this quote is complete bullshit. Let me explain why:

Ignoring a problem is not the proper way to handle it. For example, if you find out that you have cancer, you don’t just wait for it to kill you. You start treatments and take medication to slow it down and stop it. In other word, you fight. Obviously, I’m comparing apples and oranges here but the concept is somewhat the same.

The quote above was said by Morgan Freeman and it makes a lot of people think that if a black man said it then it must be true.

Wrong.

Morgan Freeman was wrong.

That is not the way to deal with racism.

In my experience, the people who repeat this phrase the most are white people. This is an issue…

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Oceans Away

It’s official friends and followers. We finally got some little debts paid off, and now Hubs and I are finally planning a trip overseas!!

Right now the preliminary plan is to join my family in the UK for a few weeks but we’re still working on details. Hubs and I both have our vacation requests granted, babysitters lined up, passports in processing and we’re shopping for airfare. I’ve been trying to get Hubs out of the US since we met 11 years ago.

Before we seriously began dating he was accepted for an internship at a recording studio in London. He turned the opportunity down in favor of staying stateside because of a cute girl… *ahem* but now we have the chance and means to actually go together and dammit we’re going to make it happen. If not the UK we’re at least going to Canada. Hubs needs to live a little.

While we were discussing our initial plans Hubs goes: “Are you sure they’ll like us over there? I mean… as Americans?”

I paused and looked at him trying to figure out if his concern was genuine or if he was just making a joke and then replied: “Honey, we’re going to visit my family in the UK. We’re not going to the Middle East. No one will even know we aren’t from there unless we say something with our funky accents. We’re fair skinned, our last name is Hale… we could live in the UK unnoticed. I think we can visit without issues.”

And that’s when I decided where ever we go will be outside of the US because my Hubs needs to broaden his horizons. I wish I could pick up Portuguese as easily as I was able to pick up Spanish and German because I would love to go back to Brazil, but that dream is a bit lofty for our vacation this year. And I don’t think I could get Hubs to go with me to South America until he gets over his fear of leaving the US in general lol.

Either way, I’m pretty excited about things to come this year. 😊

Not a Drill

Yesterday was a day of epic suck.

My day began with my Twins attempting to eat toilet bowl cleaner. They snuck out of their room and unlocked the bathroom while I was still asleep. I woke up when I heard wrappers crinkling and excited squeals about cookies. We didn’t have cookies. I dashed into their room to snatch the cleaner tablets away from them just before they each took a bite. 20 minutes later as I’m taking my Little down to the bus stop (it’s right at the corner of our lot) the Twins escaped from their kid gated baby safe room (where I put them every morning when I go outside to put Little on the bus) I walk out, the bus arrives, I walk back. 5 minutes, maybe 10. The front door is always open. I can hear the Twins usually playing the entire time. Except yesterday.

Yesterday, they escaped from their room, got into our Costco Sized box of Pop Tarts, and dumped all of my brand new bottle of Cajun seasoning everywhere. When I walked back inside they panicked and in between trying to cram as many pop tarts into their mouths as they coulf they also threw Cajun powder into the air! It rained down on them and they both got it in their eyes. It hurt, they started crying; then screaming because it was also all over their hands and every time they rubbed their eyes it made everything worse. IT WAS NOT EVEN 10AM YET.

We got that crisis averted and then I got a text from my husband: “so we’re on lockdown. I guess the police were chasing a suspect and he got through the fence and into our building” That was one of the more intense half an hours of my life, but soon they had the all clear and everything went back to normal. No one was hurt and the police apprehended the suspect in the parking lot on the other side of the property. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllll before 11am.

By this point I was tired. I was stressed tf out. I still had to report to work and my brain/body just said a big fat NOPE. Migraine city. One of the worst migraines I’ve had in a very long time. I was nauseous, my vision was blurred even with my glasses, it was a mess. Then I get to work. My work day was fairly easy all things considered except as I was unloading my giant industrial lettuce spinner, the weighted lid fell closed and smacked me right on the forehead. Instant bruise. Coupled with the eczema breakout on my face which is in the dry flaky stage it looks like I got into a fight.

To be honest I kind of felt like I’d been in a fight. Bah. I was so glad to come home to my cozy fireplace, giant knit blanket, and safely snoozing husband. This isn’t the first close call he’s had with threats of violence or lockdowns at his plant so it didn’t affect me as much as the first few times. Or my PTSD Perks kicked in and I haven’t really felt the brunt of my emotions about it all yet. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

#WhyIDidn’tReport: Cry Wolf

Things Carla Loves

— Trigger and Content Warning —

Like with the “Friendship Breakup” series, over the next few weeks, I’ll be answering commonly asked questions surrounding, specifically, Dr Ford and the entire fiasco that we just watched. 

As this topic is of a sensitive nature, and many of you may have questions or stories you’d like to share or have answered, please feel free to drop a message in my Facebook inbox or DM me on my Instagram, @thingscarlaloves. You do not have to share your story in the comment section (or anywhere else) if you do not feel comfortable. 

As always, there will be a list of helpline services added, if you need help. I strongly urge that you confide in someone you trust in order to help you heal. 

*NB: Until I am back on my feet, The Leaders will be replaced with misc posts until…

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Curiosity

I’ve noticed something in the midst of all of this Gillette ad campaign controversy. Yes, I know that happened an entire week ago and most of the Internet has moved on to other things. I think the ad and the backlash speaks for itself, but watching this mess unfold took me a while to notice the pattern I’m addressing here.

Entertain my observation for a moment.

I’ve been in the social media trenches, not really voicing my opinion outside what I chose to post here and share on my other outlets. But I have been paying attention and what I’ve noticed is the most vocal, albeit small faction of men upset by this ad are voicing their often vulgar opinions online while their wives and/or female partners are working, breadwinning in fact, to support them.

To those men:

I’m curious just how evil this so called “feminist agenda” can be, allowing women to provide for your families while you (male partners) are left at home either with the kids, or a disability, or just not being motivated enough to keep a decent job, or maybe even actively looking for a decent job but unable to find one. Hmm?

Really, the reasons these men are left at home to muppet flail on the internet are vast, and none of them are necessarily bad.

Choosing to be a stay at home father is admirable if it’s something you and your partner agree is best for your family. Choosing to be a stay at home father that sits online and rants about the evils of feminism while your wife pays the bills? Not so much.

Disabilities preventing you from working? They’re out of your control. You can’t help it. I make the general assumption that people unable to work due to various disabilities WOULD if they were given the opportunity. But if you have a woman taking care of you as someone who is disabled and not contributing to the family financially (not to say you can’t contribute to a family in any number of other valuable ways) why are you yelling and raving online all day about the “evil feminist agenda”?

Lack of education and/or skills is a complicated one. In some circumstances it’s a choice not to pursue higher education. In some circumstances it’s not, so you can’t really say some one without an education has necessarily made the choice to be lazy. Still… whatever the reason your wife and/or female partner makes more than you allowing, you to be at home ranting and raving about feminism… she would never have been able to accomplish such a lofty goal as providing for herself and you, her ignorant ass partner/husband without the women who stood up for feminism before her.

Do you know where you would be if it weren’t for feminism and you weren’t able to provide for your family due to health, or choice, or education and or skills? Why you’d be stuck in a workhouse, or prison. Thanks to feminism, your wife/female partner is able to earn a decent wage (still less than a man with comparable skills but decent none the less) and you are able to live in relative comfort while ranting away about the downfall of society via decent human morals and rights for all.

Curious, isn’t it? This small number of men whining about needing “more real men” or needing more “traditional masculinity” as they sit in front of their devices taking full advantage of the institution which they supposedly abhor.

I think they’ve forgotten what so called “traditional masculinity” actually is. You know, back in the 40’s and 50’s when the men went to work and the women stayed at home raising the children. The men all had cooperate 9-5 jobs or hard laboring factory jobs to accomplish the goal of taking care of their families. They worked long hours and only spent Sundays (if they were lucky) with their wife and children.

They weren’t artists, or hobby enthusiast, and a very few of the working class were self employed. They were taught basically from birth to accept their fate of being salves to “The Man” and to enjoy the opportunities that were afforded to them ie a life of hard labor for the working class, and a life inside an office and board room for the upper class. And if it hadn’t been for women demanding equal rights in the workforce and voting booths, that would still be your fate as a working class man in America today.

Boys were taught to be tough, and suppress their softer emotional sides as coping mechanisms for an unfulfilling life in the workforce. They were taught that women were accessories to complete their picture perfect American families, but nothing more. Marriages were for convenience, and social status. Relationships were rarely healthy and men were rarely happy. That’s what “traditional masculinity” looks like. Normalized emotional abuse. Hence why it earned the label of toxic masculinity because in any other aspect of modern society the same behaviors ARE toxic.

SO while you don’t have to agree with every facet or aspect under the umbrella of the feminism label, and you’re certainly allowed to vocalize your opinions. I’d suggest if you are a man who is and has benefited from your wife/female partner being able to financially support you, that you take some time to reflect before you attack the very reason your life is so comfortable.

Lost and Found

Buried at the bottom of a box in the back of my garage: I found it. It was tangled in a mass of other long forgotten jewelry, floating around at the bottom of a jewelry box I received as a gift for my 16th birthday.

The chain that came with the charm my ex’s mom gifted me so many years ago. With it came a flood of memories that I had repressed immediately following the end of our relationship.

I was getting ready one evening to go out with my ex while he was home from BMT over Christmas break. We were going to the mall and he was treating me to a shopping spree. I donned my favorite blue sweater, pulled my hair back and tried to fasten the necklace his mom had given me a few nights before. It wouldn’t cooperate so I asked him for help. He wandered into the bathroom and I pulled my hair off of my neck while he gently pulled the delicate chain around my neck and also fought with the clasp. It stayed fastened long enough for me to grab my coat but as we were headed out the door the necklace fell from my neck and into my jacket.

I scolded him for his carelessness to which he argued until I glanced down and noticed the clasp itself had broken. It wasn’t his fault at all. I was upset. The necklace itself wasn’t something that I would wear all that often, not being my particular style nor taste at that point in my life, but it was still special for the fact that it had been a thoughtful gift. That, and I would be expected to wear it at any and all further occasions with his mother. I needed it to be repaired, which my ex would assure me that he would/could get it repaired.

We actually ended up taking it to the small jewelry shop his mom worked at to have it repaired. The only time I actually set foot in the store honestly. We dropped it off and a few days later he returned it to me good as new.

When I found it tarnished and tangled, the repair is the only thing that stood out to me making it distinguishable from the other chains it was clumped with. I pulled it out of the blob, cleaned it up and added my own personal touch which I felt completed it’s journey.

When I was given the chain it came with a charm baring the wish for happiness in my life. Since I was still heavily meshed in my trauma immediately following the end of the relationship, I missed the significance of the charm itself and gave it away. I’m pretty sure the only reason I ended up keeping the chain is because it was broken… but anyway!! I have this chain, and over the passage of time I’ve discovered something else about myself. I’ve found my happiness, my (sort of decentish) health, and my peace. The other thing I’ve discovered about myself is written on the charm I’ve added here which I think really belongs on this chain all things considered.

Novelties

Check it out!

Rebecca MacCeile

Before she wrote her memoir Candy Apple Butterscotch, Rebecca MacCeile had a library full of dusty notebooks with long forgotten fictional tales. Each one of these short stories encompasses a different world, and different ideas. Most of them are light hearted, some of them are fantastical, and still some of them have echos of her own struggles as she used her creativity to cope with her undiagnosed PTSD.

Take a peek into her raw private texts with Novelties: A Collection of Unfinished Short Stories, meet some of her most endearing characters and get a glimpse into the world of an author seeking to find the “one” story deemed good enough for the masses.

Novelties

Kindle and paperback editions available NOW on Amazon! Audiobook coming soon!

Copyright R. MacCeile 2018

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