Well I got home yesterday after spending three days and two nights at the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. I went up to see my favorite entertainer Anne Murray perform. She is fantastic. I encourage all of her fans to see her in concert at least once.
She's currently on tour promoting her latest album "What A Wonderful World". She touring with her 5 piece band and with area symphonies. It's a beautiful combination to hear her voice and the strings. The highlight of my trip was meeting Anne after her concert on Tuesday night. There was about 20 of us who got to go back stage for a meet and greet with Anne.
I have tickets to see her again this evening in Detroit. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to attend tonight's show. It's snowing here in Battle Creek right now. We've gotten about 4 inches so far with another 3 to 5 inches scheduled to fall by mid afternoon. More snow is supposed to fall over night making my return trip as bad as my trip down to Detroit.
Besides that I've hurt my back again. With my back I can go to bed feeling fine and get up in the morning with it out. This time I hurt it in the shower Tuesday night getting ready for the show. All my pain medication for my back was here at home. So I've had to suffer for the last three days. I'm trying to get ahold of my back doctor to get in. Right now I'm watching one of nature's pain relievers. I have a pair cardinals at my bird feeder. I'm surprised that my cats haven't discovered the birds. It's so pretty to see the male cardinal bright red against the white snow.
I also have a cat in my arms as I type this. Little Bit. She's 7 years old. She's a silver tiger with 6 toes on all 4 feet. Very rare for a cat to have 6 toes on her hind feet. Please keep checking my Cat's page for a picture of her.
More later ...
I woke up this morning very angry with both myself and the world. Why? Iím not sure, but I think itís a byproduct of being bipolar. And unless youíre walking in the shoes of someone who is bipolar, I canít describe the incredible loneliness I feel right now. I know this will pass. I carry a diagnosis of Bipolar II Ė which is the opposite of Normal Bipolar or Manic Depression. Bipolar II as it was described to me includes episodes of extreme depression followed by little feelings of hyperactivity or mania.
I get tired of my friends telling me to cheer up and be happy. Happiness for me is being just a little bit depressed. Thatís when I seem to function at my peak. Iím not saying that is normal. But that is me.
In my case I get really, really depressed for no apparent reason. This can happen at the drop of the hat. I canít explain this. I can usually tell when itís about to happen. And I try to remove myself from any activities, which could provoke that my anger be directed towards my friends. Sometimes I canít always do that. For those times I feel sorry for my friends, because I canít control what comes out of my mouth. Itís best for me to go and hide. Itís safer that way. For all involved. I donít have to describe my feelings, when I canít describe the feelings. These episodes can last for just a few minutes to several days. Right now Iím in day four, I think, of going without much sleep. (This is one of my longer episodes that I can remember in a long time). I donít sleep well when Iím really depressed. I sleep better when Iím hyper or maniky.
I usually get much comfort from my cats. But right now they are even fueling my anger and depression. And they sense that Iím not right and they are trying very hard to offer all the comfort and love that they know.
Am I writing this to get people to feel sorry for me? No. Iím writing this to try to make my friends and family understand whatís its like living with a mental illness. Itís not fun. With a physical illness you can see the scars from surgery or the weight loss or even the cast. But with a mental illness all too often the scar are internal. And not shared with the ones that we love unless itís in the form of a violent outbreak.
I think something is wrong with me.
I used to love getting on the computer. Playing card games (Pinochle, Euchre, Cribbage) on Yahoo. Don't worry Alex, I'll be back to play pinochle with you real soon. Chatting with friends on ICQ, Yahoo IM, MSN Messenger etc. But now I hate it.
Even my cats are bothering me. And I love my cats. That scares me. To think that they are bothering me.
This all started about a month ago. I'm not even sure how or why. It just did.
Don't get me wrong. I do love the jokes that I get in E-mail. Some jokes are better than others. Depending on my mood.
Could it be that I've been sick for about a month and maybe that's why I'm not into my computer anymore? Or do I have a big case of Cabin Fever?
For those of you who really know me. I used to could spend hours on hours looking at naked fire truck pictures. Searching the web for the best fire department web site. Now that doesn't even interest me anymore.
My Dad was a firefighter. I still love watching firefighters win against the enemy (fire).
My nephew turned 16 yesterday. Happy birthday DJ!
I've been talking to an interesting lady over E-mail the last couple of weeks. She seems awful nice, yet there's just something about her that has me a little leery about the situation. Maybe it's the age thing. I'm mid 40's and she's in her early 30's. I'm not sure.
What do I look for in a potential girlfriend? Ummmm. It's hard to say.
Before I forget it. I'd like to thank my neighbors Danny and Barb for the beautiful yellow roses that they gave me. They are very beautiful. You guys are two very great friends. I'm really glad that you guys are in my life right now. They are the owners of the two puppies in the picture of my going to the dogs. There's Emmy the boxer and Angel the boston terrior.
I've been thinking a lot about death and dying lately. Maybe that's because I've had another death in my extended family. I don't have any close family. My parents are both dead. And I was an only child. When I die who will bury me.
At this point in my life, I'm not even sure I want a funeral. Who would come? Just send out an e-mail over the net to all the people on my various e-mail lists and instant message machines, telling them that I firerabbitt has gotten the best promotion ever. The one home.
So that every time you hear a siren, think of me
Or when you see a hot air balloon, think of me
Or when you hear an Anne Murray song, think of me
Happy 90th birthday Aunt Gertrude.
Safe journey home cousin Tonya.
Tomorrow marks the 44th birthday of my friend Nila. Happy birthday sis!
Tonight is the night that we must move our clocks ahead one hour. And in doing this I would hope that you all would put new batteries in your smoke alarms. The life you save with a fresh smoke alarm might just be your own.
Today's first topic is eyesight. NEVER under estimate the power of your eyesight. I have been gifted with eyesight that has gone bad right now. I feel the loss of my eyesight has cost me many enjoyable things. From watching the cardinals in my yard, to recognizing dangers on the street, to working at my writing craft, to watching television, to even playing on the computer.
I've been busy looking for a job. Writing and rewriting my resume. That is hard to do when you need glass to read with and you can't use your glasses because you can't see through them because every thing is blurry. I AM DOWN RIGHT TERRIFIED THAT I'M LOSING MY EYESIGHT PERMANENTLY. I'm currently under doctors care and hopefully we can find out what's wrong, correct it and I can get new glasses SOON so I can get back in the working world.
Being stubborn like I am I waited before going to the doctor.
My neighbor finally convinced me to get my blood sugar checked. She has an in home blood sugar testing machine. So I gave in. On March 31, 2001 my blood sugar was 298. Barb, my friend panicked. She then took her husbands blood sugar. His was normal. So she took mine again using the other hand. It was even higher. It was 319.
Coming from a family of diabetics, I knew I was in trouble. I wondered how high my blood sugar went because that was the week that my eyes went to hell.
I decided that I needed to change my eating habits from somebody who's main food groups were chips and dips, ice cream, fast foods, pizza and pop. And boy has this been hard.
Well something must be working. On Easter weekend Barb took my blood sugar again and it was down to 223. And my eyes were still not working.
So I gave in and decided to call the doctor. I got in to see him. He ordered lab work. My fasting blood sugar was 153. My Ha1c test was 9.9. Normal for that test is 5. That test is an average of what your blood sugar has been running over the last 3 months. It's a fairly new test and not many doctors use it.
When I went back to the doctors to get the test results. They took my blood sugar again. It was 157 after eating breakfast. So I still have a long ways to go, but I feel I'm on the road to getting well again.
My eyes have come back to almost normal. I know that I will need to get my eyes checked soon. After all it's been over 15 years since I've had them checked. So it's time. Don't ya agree.
I go back to the doctor's next week.
I'm still working on my eating habits. It's hard when you don't know how or even like to cook - to eat right. But I'm learning.
Now I need to start exercising.
Keep checking back and I'll keep reporting on my progress. I didn't get like this over night and it's going to take more than over night to get me better.
I need to apologize for something. I missed my adopted mom's birthday. Her birthday was May 6th. Happy birthday Jo. I wish you were here so I could celebrate it with you. But she died 5 years ago from Breast Cancer. Men and Women do you part get mammograms. The life you save could be your own.
Jo was a sweetheart. She took me in after my mom died in 1973. As mother's day approaches and with my diagnoses of diabetes, I find that I'm missing her more than ever.
Back to today. My eyes are doing much better. I can see to read the computer. I'm also finally able to read newsprint again. Sometimes I need to take my glasses off. But not as often as before.
WEATHER UPDATE: When will this rain stop. We've gotten over 8 inches of rain since Monday. I'm ready to build another ark.
BIRTHDAY UPDATE: I turn 44 on Tuesday, May 22. I wonder if I'll live another 44 years.
Until next time. Celebrate pride in all that you do.
For my writing friends - Writer's block got you in it's grip. Check out this site for a daily writing assignment. My thanks to the Writer's Digest magazine for complying these assignments. I plan to try to write my own assignments for 2002. Check back to see how I'm doing.
Summer cooking - I'm not much of a cook. In fact I generally dislike cooking. But during the summer I love to cook outdoors on the grill. For starters it gets me outdoors in the summer. I usually spend most of my summer indoors in air conditioning because I can't stand summers hotness. But grilling is different.
For a nice meal try this
and in foil cut up 1 onion and 1 4 ounce can of mushrooms for those who like onions and mushrooms on their steak.
Later Saturday: Well I had to rescue a baby bunny this evening. My cat Jake caught it this evening. He was so cute. I wanted to keep it. I hope that it was able to get away before one of my other cats could catch it.
My computer died Thursday evening. I'm using a laptop right now. Thank you my laptop owners to letting me borrow this to get back on the net. I went to put a game on my computer and the game was like trying to park a motor home in a space for a VW Bug. No go. And it messed up my memory, video card and monitor.
Lately, I've been very worried. I've loaned 5 people collectively a rather large sum of money. Out of the 5 people only one has consistently paid me back. For that person I say thank you. For the other 4 people and you know whom you are, I wish you'd hurry up and start paying be back. (I hate to nag or even remind you.) You promised me that you would pay me back with your respective federal income taxes. Well here it is June 12, 2001 and I'm still waiting. Moral of this story is NEVER, EVER loan money, because you'll never see it again. AND always get the loan agreement in writing. At the time I loaned the money I didn't need it. I figured my friends would start paying me back in January and I'd have money coming in to live on, while I looked for a job. Well I've been shitted on and never again will I loan any money out, without getting the agreement in writing. I'm not even sure that would do any good.
I'm job hunting for an office position. If you need somebody with over 20 years experience and an associate degree in accounting, please e-mail me at email@example.com. Thank you.
I'm so confused about building a resume. If you know of any good web sites for building resumes, please let me know. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks
I'm going to be changing my front page on my web site soon. If you like the new changes sign my guest book and let me know.
BALLOON NEWS: I'd like to thank Ken Durkee and Ed Rocha the two balloon pilots that I crewed for. It was fun going from a spectator on one side of the snow fence to being a crew member on the other side of the fence. There were times when I was even acting crew chief and got to sit in on the pilot briefings. It was fun for me to watch the spectators watch me as I walked from the pilot briefing area back to the field through the gate checkpoint. So if you're in Battle Creek this week look skyward and watch the balloons.
The USAF Thunderbirds arrived in town late this morning. That is an awesome sight. Watching them come in from the east over the downtown area.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE: Out of the blue this evening I got a phone call from my Aunt Jennie who lives in Big Rapids, MI. She only calls me when she get into town. She's stay for a few days with my Aunt Margaret. I'm going to go visit them tomorrow for a little while. Thanks to my neighbor Barb for talking me out there.
FAMILIES: How does one go about reconciling with ones family? I lost touch with my dad's family when my mom died. After my aunt and uncle died I kinda became an outcast in my mom's family.
Maybe I should share a little bit about my family. I was the only child born to my parents. My dad was a Battle Creek City Firefighter. He died when I was six. My mom worked at Kellogg's (the home of Tony the tiger) in Battle Creek. She died when I was sixteen. I didn't have any brothers or sisters.
The closest to brothers and sisters that I had was my Uncle Art and Aunt Winnie's children. My uncle looked after his sister after my dad died. His four children were like the brother and sisters that I never had.
And now because of problems in my life we've gone our separate ways. So Sandi, Lyn, Bill, MaryLou, MaryB and Anna, if you ever read this just remember that I love you, miss you guys and think of you often. I look forward to meeting up with all of you again someday in heaven. Or maybe even sooner.
Diabetes - My Blood Sugar was 112, normal is between 80 and 120. I've gotten my new glasses (bifocals). I'm still trying to lose weight and exercise. But I am eating so much better.
Bipolar II - That keeps me on my toes. I am currently taking St. John's Wort. That is helping. I do feel I need to get back into counseling soon rather than later. My depressive state is coming more frequently. Also it's being proved that being depressed causes problems if your diabetic. Which I am. So on to the next item
JOB HUNTING: I am still actively seeking a new job. I am sending out resumes everyday. I hope I can find something soon. More on the job hunt as it happens.
And finally for tonight: I'm going to be adding a new page to my web site. I'd like it to become a gay yellow pages. On that note, I'm going to get ready for bed. Thanks for reading.
GET WELL WISHES: To my neighbor Danny who has to have surgery on July 18th.
BALLOONS: They didn't fly this evening. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so I don't think they'll fly tomorrow either. You can always tell balloon week, the weather usually turns crappy.
This summer the zoo has a very special resident a white tiger cub. All I can say is that pictures don't do this cub justice. You need to see it in person for your self.
I also got to visit Africa and feed giraffes. It's so cool to watch them eat. Their tongues are really long. To feed them you place a wafer type cracker on their tongue. They wrap their tongue around the wafer and slowly swallow it.
Well I'm a very happy camper tonight. I got to see three hot air balloons land. My neighbor's Barb and Danny have grandchildren visiting from Holland, Michigan this weekend. Hi Alex and Nicky!
We went out to eat and the balloons flew right over the restaurant. Before we left the restaurant Barb asked me where would be the best to watch the balloons fly over and possibly see one land. I recommended heading back over towards our side of town. While heading back to Pennfield we got behind a chase crew. So Barb followed it. We ended up at Pennfield Community Park. While there we watched over forty balloons fly over and then three landed. I hope Maury Sullivan, pilot number 19c, Canton, Ohio, that your chase crew finally found you.
The type of girl/boyfriend you are looking for. - You like serious, smart and determined people. You don't judge a book by its cover, so good-looking people aren't necessarily your style. This makes you an attractive person in many people's eyes.
Your readiness to commit to a relationship. - You are ready to commit as soon as you meet the right person. And you believe you will pretty much know as soon as you might that person.
The seriousness of your love. - You are very serious about relationships and aren't interested in wasting time with people you don't really like. If you meet the right person, you will fall deeply and beautifully in love.
Your views on education - Education is less important than the real world out there, away from the classroom. Deep inside you want to start working, earning money and living on your own.
The right job for you. - You have many goals and want to achieve as much as you can. The jobs you enjoy are those that let you burn off your considerable excess energy.
How do you view success? - You are confident that you will be successful in your chosen career and nothing will stop you from trying.
What are you most afraid of? - You are afraid of having no one to rely on in times of trouble. You don't ever want to be unable to take care of yourself. Independence is important to you.
Who is your true self? - You are mature, reasonable, honest and give good advice. People ask for your comments on all sorts of different issues. Sometimes you might find yourself in a dilemma when trapped with a problem, which your heart, rather than your head, needs to solve.