So my dog has M.R.S.A

Actually she has the doggy equivalent of it meticillin resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius please read up on it from an actual expert and don’t just go with what I say. Below is a link to a PDF that is pretty comprehensive and balanced in its presentation of what M.R.S.P. is and does.

A couple of months ago Daisy started having a very sudden interest in her butt. Like most dogs she would occasionally lick her butt but in general this hadn’t been a thing. Suddenly it was a thing. She’d be lying asleep on the couch then suddenly hop up and off it and begin trying to twist around to first sniff her but then lick it. We ended up taking her to the vet where they expressed her anal glands which appeared to give her some relief for a little bit.

It was shortly after that that we noticed her nose seemed really dry. She started to develop flaky spots. Back to the vet we went. It was thought she either had a allergic reaction to something or a mild cold. We were given a topical steroid cream to put on her nose. It only sorta of helped. After that course of treatment we ended up back at the vet where it was decided that they needed small biopsy from her nose. Unlike with humans where you can explain to the patient why you are coming at them with a needle and a knife our poor baby had to spend a day at the vet and get knocked out with anesthesia before they could get the biopsy.

The biopsy was sent out to the lab. About a week later I get a call.

The vet informs me that Daisy has a deep soft tissue infection that affects the anus, lips and nose. Which explains some things. The good news is they can treat the infection with some antibiotics. Yay! Btw by this time we are about $500 in on vet bills which is pretty reasonable considering the back and forth and lab work. For those not in the know there is this thing called care credit that is for exactly things like this. For me it means I don’t have to forgo treatment for Daisy until my payday we can just do it.

The antibiotics start clearing up her nose immediately. Everything seems hunky dory until we get to the end of the course of treatment and all but a small patch on her nose is healed. No big deal right. Now that the infection is knocked down it should heal on its own right? No such luck people!

About a week later and we are at the emergency vet because the infection seems to have come back strong and now there is a lot of mucus and wheezing. The emergency vet take a swab to send out their lab and puts Daisy back on the antibiotics that were helping and sends us home with a snotty dog and a another $500 charge. Emergency Vets are expensive y’all. However over the next few days the wheezing goes away but our poor fur baby’s nose is swollen.

A little more than a week later the Emergency Vet calls us back with the results of the swab. Doggy M.R.S.A.

Well fuck.

Treatment is a month long course of a different stronger antibiotic, 3 pills twice a day for 30 days. The first bottle is only for two weeks and cost over a hundred dollars so we will have to get that refilled shortly. Ouch. The thing is, it’s definitely working already. The swelling is going down and her nose is clearing up. I’m thankful for that because if it doesn’t work the next step was I.V. antibiotics.

The nightmare isn’t over though even though it looks like it’s going to be soon. We’ve cancelled a family members visit because they would be bringing their dog and the family members immune system might be compromised as well. We don’t want to expose anyone else to this. The neighbor thinks his dog may have had it and someone down the block has a cat they are dealing with this with.

Collectively there is going to be some serious disinfecting and social isolating of animals for the next couple of months to try to keep everyone healthy. Our cats are due for a vet visit anyway so Swabs and lab tests for everyone!

Wish us luck and good science!

I Didn’t have a name for it (Part 4)

Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3

Let me backup a second…

By the time the discussion of opening our marriage reached the point where both of us would be okay with it we had picked up and moved across country with enough money to get an apartment and sustain ourselves for a little bit while we both got jobs. Neither one of us are slouches in the getting jobs department so we were both gainfully employed within a month of moving.

Oregon isn’t like the Midwest. Culturally Oregon is a lot more progressive, especially in Portland where we lived. We were literally meeting people who were already in open marriages and relationships. It wasn’t odd to meet a gay or lesbian couple with kids. Or to be talking to someone who was openly polyamorous. There was even a support group in town for people where were in polyamorous relationships.

Christianity and religion faded even father into the background of our lives. In all of that though I still held to my faith. If asked what I believed I always said I was a born again Christian, that I believed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I was done witnessing with more than my actions though. No more Tuesday night visitation teams for me or Wednesday night mid-week service or Thursday Small Group Bible study. Church seemed superfluous for more than building social relationships and I had plenty of those already from my other hobbies and activities.

So open marriage.


I’ma gonna gloss over the particulars a little bit since they don’t really matter and are just salacious bit and pieces of me exploring my sexuality in the physical realm. (and some of it makes me look bad *wince*)

I was free to date women. But I never really called myself gay or bi. This caused some issues with other lesbians my age I met. See, while I had been hiding from my sexuality these ladies had been fighting for the right to even exist in the public sphere. The fact that I was married but dating meant that in their eyes I wasn’t one of them. To them I was dabbling. I wasn’t Really Gay. This was something else that brought to the forefront that I wasn’t facing what I really was.  It’s huge when the people you think are like you look at you and go “nope”.

People used to talk about Gays and Lesbians as if they were all just one monolithic stereotype. Perhaps you’ve heard it said but sexuality is a spectrum. Now that we’ve accepted that there is not just one type of sexuality we are finding that the spectrum is more diverse than we expected. Finding my place on that spectrum was made harder by my clinging to a relationship and all the trappings of another place on that spectrum.

When I finally had the full realization that I was a lesbian it was after my divorce.  It was after I stopped holding on to all of the things that society said I should be.

I’m talking full on no holds barred realization that I am not sexually attracted to men at all, though some are physically pretty to look at or are very good people.  My ex-husband is a good man and he loved me but I wasn’t in love with him.  I Could love him for who he was but there was no spark there for me physically.

Accepting that realization was like waking up from a very real dream or altered state of consciousness.  Suddenly who I was in my heart was just clear.  Everything I’d known or thought about myself crystallized then snapped and shattered.  What was left after that was the real me, unbound by my own or others expectations of who I was. I was free.

20 years of denial. A solid 15 of those years actively fighting the feelings of being sexually attracted to women. Then I spent 5 years just coming to grips with what I was willing to acknowledge before I could fully accept my natural state of self. It took a lot of self knowledge, support, forgiveness, and the acquisition of a vocabulary that hadn’t been part of the culture I was raised in. It took access to information through the internet and conversations with probably hundreds of people before I found the words that fit the feelings inside me.

I am a lesbian. I love a woman. I find her incredible and sexy and powerful and mesmerizing and gentle and intelligent and kind and so much more. I am so glad that now I have the language to accept and give this great big love I have inside me for this woman that has become my wife.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.


I Didn’t have a name for it (Part 3)

Read Part 1 and Part 2

You never know what you believe until you start questioning everything.

So Open Marriage…

When I came across this concept, it kind of blew my mind. I mean, cheating on my husband seemed anathema to me. I was quickly educated that Open Marriages were not about cheating they were about communication. Everyone involved knew what was going on and agreed to the rules and activities. There were various levels of openness. Some couples just wanted to be able to casually date outside of the marriage. Some had regular lovers. In some marriages one spouse was sexually active outside the marriage while the other wasn’t. In some marriages it was a way to explore emotional intimacy with other people but not sex.

Mind blown!

This is the kind of thing I’d only heard about in books and movies and then it was always portrayed as twisted and fucked up. It Never worked out. But again like with gay people here I am talking to real people who are actually doing this in real life and it is working for them. I had a really hard time wrapping my head around it.

To be completely honest this is when my husband and I should have divorced. This is the point in which I should have been the one to say our relationship wasn’t feeding me emotionally or physically and spiritually. If I had been less repressed emotionally and sexually I might have had the vocabulary at that point to ask for the divorce. Or I might have had the understanding at least of what was keeping me in the relationship wasn’t just love.

Make no mistake I did love him. But it wasn’t the kind of love that loves all of a person or that makes your heart grow with the ability to love more. I loved him with a love wrapped in duty and cultural expectations. I loved him because he loved me. I loved him because of our history together. I loved him because of our friendship. I loved him because of his kindness. I loved him because he was my husband. Our love wasn’t passion. It was endurance.

One of the key emotional touchstones of my ex husband’s and mine married life was formed at the altar. Not the marriage altar, but one hot sticky Sunday evening right before we graduated high school together. We were at the Sunday evening service at church. The Sterling Heights Assemblies of God was having a prayer service for all graduating seniors or anyone else that was wanting God’s guidance in their life.

I was down at the altar because of course I was down at the altar, I was Always down at the altar, hoping that this time I’d come away cleansed and made whole by God. That I’d finally be fixed the way he wanted me to be. So there I am praying for God’s guidance. I was praying hard asking the invisible man in the sky what HE wanted me to do. Its tight down there at the altar. There were 75 to 80 graduating seniors that spring. We were all packed in right down front. The pastors where praying. The whole church behind us was praying. There were hundreds of people in that sanctuary, all focused on one thing and that was us hearing from GOD about our futures.I’m standing there my eyes closed, face turned to heaven, my hands raised in a gesture of openness and supplication. I can hear and feel everyone around me doing something similar. That’s when I opened my eyes and looked around. My eyes met his eyes. I just blurted out “I’m going to marry you.”

You wouldn’t believe the joy that lit up his face. He took my hand and we left the crowd. We left the sanctuary, we left the church, jumped in his car and drove like maniacs while laughing and shouting. It had been God! God told us we would be married! It couldn’t have been my subconscious casting around for some way to get out of the emotional mess I was in when my eyes happened to land on my then boyfriend could it? Nooooo this Marriage was ordained by God!

So ten years later I’m married with all of the expectations of that Christian life laying across both of our shoulders while trying to navigate becoming this new person and still remain in this marriage because, God and love and society and family and I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be. The internet then hands me Open Marriage on a plate.

I was very aware of polygamy at that time. Evangelical Christians have been looking down on Mormons as a cult for a very long time. The early practice of Polygamy was part of the justification that was given. The many wives of the Kings of Israel in the bible were kind of glossed over in a “they didn’t know any better” kind of way. The same way slavery or beating your children for disobedience or God directed genocide was glossed over.

What I wasn’t as familiar with was the term polyamory which went along with open marriage. But again I knew people who were. And these people weren’t’ just on the internet. I knew them in IRL and could have sit a down conversation with background knowledge of whether or not something said was actually working and whether or not it was just bull shit. I could ask questions like, “What about jealousy?”, what about this or that or how do you manage time together?

My husband and I didn’t have one conversation about opening our marriage. Or maybe we had one conversation that lasted more than two years before we decided we would call our marriage open. It wasn’t an easy decision or one made lightly. We hashed out what we thought were reasonable expectations. We talked more about what each of us wanted from the other more than we ever had before. These were some of the most honest and love filled years of our marriage. But all of that is kind of mute to the central point that I was gay and married to a man.

I still hadn’t really faced up to that. I’d figured out a way that we might be able to remain married but in essence all it did was turn us into close friends and roommates who shared finances and future plans. It didn’t really fundamentally change _My_ main issue. In fact it exacerbated it.

Now I had the option of actually dating women.

Read Part 4

How Dad met Carol

I have a Mom and a Jack and a Dad and a Carol.

My parents divorced when I was nine so the majority of my really self aware years were spent shuttling between two different households. I lived with my Mom most of the time and saw my Dad every other weekend. When my parents first divorced my Dad moved back in with his parents.

This story is a little hazy because I was nine and let’s face it until something directly affects them most nine year olds don’t really pay attention.

Gramma and Grampa lived in a nice trailer park when trailer parks were cool. It had a clubhouse with a large pool. Okay that’s possibly what made the trailer park cool to me. I love swimming and would spend as much time as my Dad would put up with at the pool. One summer morning I was up early and ready to head to the pool as soon as it opened. Dad was a little slower getting ready and I was eager to get to the pool so I am pretty sure I was your average bundle of 9 year old bouncy energy.

We walked along the road to the thwop thwop thwop of our flip flops smacking our feet. I’m pretty sure mine were already getting too small for my feet since I grew like a frickin weed that summer. I’m also pretty sure I remember my Dad’s attention getting taken over as we made the turn towards the clubhouse. There was lady out working in the little garden in front of her trailer. We kept walking but I am pretty sure Dad looked back at her a couple of times.

I seem to recall that that visit to the pool was shorter than I really wanted it to be but on our way back to Gramma and Grampas trailer, right at the turn where we could see thier trailer Dad sent me on ahead to get Gramma to make me lunch. I flip flopped my gangly way there, my wet towel fluttering like the cape I liked to pretend it was.

Dad arrived home shortly after I’d finished lunch. I think he seemed really pleased with himself.

Later when I asked Carol how she and Dad met she told me that one summer day this handsome man walked up in his swim trunks with a towel over his shoulder and complimented her on her flower garden. They’d talked a little bit and he’d asked her out.

That may not be exactly how the story went but its how I remember it since it means I helped to facilitate my Dad meeting Carol. She’s a pretty cool lady and my Dad seems pretty happy with her. I took my cue on being a stepmom from her. Not the Evil part but the parts about caring about my spouse’s kid and not being a jerk. I know my little tomboy self wasn’t quite the kid she was prepared for but we got on well enough that I claim her as one of my parents.

Do Not Like

I feel bad. I do not like the nurse that our company has come in once a week for everyone. I can’t put my finger on why. I’ve never had a bad interaction with her. She is knowledgeable, happy and polite. She gets along with everyone which means the guys from the plant actually come in and check in with her for health related things they used to let go. Go go preventative medicine! But barring all that I just don’t like her. I haven’t sat down to talk to her. Our interactions are just brief hellos and me signing her time card sometimes. There is no obvious reason for me to dislike her, but I do.

As a general rule I like most people. There are some who I just don’t get or who I have nothing in common with but in general I like most people I meet. It’s really puzzling to me when I come across someone that for no reason that I can determine my brain just says “Nope!” to being around them.

If I could just find one thing that I didn’t like then maybe I wouldn’t’ feel so grumpy about not liking her. I could point to that and go, “That really annoys me!” and be done with it. Instead here I am obsessing over it and feeling guilty for not liking a nice pleasant person that I interact with weekly. This not liking her makes me feel like one of those crazy old paranoid conspiracy theorists from a horror movie who actually turns out to be right when they accuse nice sweet Mrs. Flutterbutton of being the head of a secret demon raising cabal.

Is this really just my imagination run amok or am I picking up on something subconsciously that is setting off alarm bells in my head?

I Didn’t have a name for it (Part 2)

Read Part 1

I Blame the Internet.

My husband and I left Virginia Beach and all of the emotional chaos that had ensued from my attempt to change my sexuality via prayer and pseudo-psychology. We also purchased our first computer that could connect to the internet at the same time. This was the time of dial up and AOL’s ascendance. For a lot of people myself included AOL was our on ramp to the internet.

I was not then nor am I now a technophobe but I have a studied disinterest in the technomagery that is the underlying code of programing. I am not however afraid to do things with a computer system that evidently weren’t originally envisioned by the programmers which has led to hours of frustration on my part.

Once we had settled into our new home in Michigan I focused on my role as wife. I’m not saying things were immediately better. My husband and I spent a lot of time redefining ourselves and our relationship without the interference of the expectations of religion. I am a non traditional woman to say the least. I thought We didn’t want kids for one thing, which I was fine with. My husband respected it as my wish since my body would bear the brunt of such a decision. Our parents weren’t so sanguine about the lack of grandchildren and since they weren’t really privy to my struggle with my sexuality they had no basis for understanding our evolving relationship.

Without the cultural structure of religious norms that we had both grown up with we spent a lot of time trying to figure out what was a valid floor plan for our marriage. I know some Christians will point at that very struggle as a way of justifying their own worldview but for us the Christian Worldview was killing me and destroying any hope of happiness we had as a couple. It only made sense for us to search elsewhere.

The internet was the key to me finding other people like myself. Websites, forums, articles, Livejournal posts, IRC and chatrooms were all new access points to learn about and meet real people who didn’t live conventional life styles. I found a whole new vocabulary for the things I felt and wanted. I also found people just like me who were happy and confident in being gay. They weren’t evil. They didn’t run around molesting children. They had families of their own. They weren’t alcoholic. Some were monogamous some weren’t. Some were bisexual some were strictly gay. Some were in open marriages…

Wait a second….

Read Part 3

Post Frequency

Okay so after 62 days in a row of posting I’m going to have to pull back a on the reigns a little bit.  Like I said yesterday the pieces I am now writing are taking me longer than a day to finish.  Mostly because I only have so much free time during the week to write.  Weekends also have priorities that override spending more than a couple of hours writing.  Darn that whole loving and being engaged with my family thing.

So I call Format Change!

Here is how this will work.  During the week, Monday thru Friday, I may or may not post depending on if I have something to rant about or a little something to share about my feelings or process.  Saturday will be for reviews or recommendations.  If I have nothing to review or recommend there will be no post.  Sunday will be either a chapter in a longer story or a full piece itself.

My site stats review tells me that Sunday night is when most people check out the blog.  it also tells me which type of posts are the most read.  I seem to be doing okay with my Categories and Tagging SEO because folks are still finding and reading me.

I Love writing something every day.  I love that its a new habit that I’ve prioritized the time for. I also need to make sure that doing this blog doesn’t become a job that drains me or that I resent.  So Self Care it is.  I still have a place to come where I can cast my voice into the hurricane of content that is generated every day but that I can do it without the pressure of Having to do it while still having the option open to doing it.  Well that was convoluted! The short version is: I intend to nourish my joy.

I also love having a goal as motivation so having Sundays as my day to post as a goal for each week seems really reasonable.

Okaydokey thanks for your time and attention and please if you dont enjoy the current blog entry try back later !


little vs long

I am discovering that most of the stories I want to tell are longer than I have time to write in one day. This is conflicting greatly with my desire to post something every day. So I either need to break up the stories into sections, which I’ve done for a couple of posts, or I need to figure out how to be more concise.

I am not a concise person when it comes to writing stories.

So what to do? Abandon my posting every day? Increase  my time writing? Unfortunately I don’t have a ton of more time in my day I can give over to writing to create content faster. I have this pesky thing called a job that requires that I actually work at in order to receive money to pay bills. This blog doesn’t pay bills. I have barely monetize anything about it yet. Any adds you see are strictly for WordPress’s gain not mine.

So this post is a delaying tactic while I consider my options and get some more writing done. I’ve picked most of the low hanging fruit from my short short stories. I could roll over into ranting about politics but I am loath to go there. So quality or quantity? Can I manage both?

Stay tuned!


Being made uncomfortable is never fun. But sometimes it is necessary to place myself in the way of ideas or concepts that make me uncomfortable in order to grow my spirit.

I enjoy writing my stories about things that have happened to me. I hope others find them interesting and funny too but they do not make me particularly uncomfortable to write. There is no real ‘stretch and grow’ emotionally for me when I write them. Sure they do provide me with the technical practice of writing a piece start to finish but my inner self isn’t challenged or made to really dig in to the subject to get it down in writing. Of course that may be a clue that I need to go deeper when doing that kind of writing.

I am even fairly comfortable talking about being gay. Not so much the parts of coming out that sucked ass but in general it’s not life altering to dig up those memories now. In fact it’s useful to remind myself sometimes that, hells yes it was hard, and it did suck, and it’s so much better now than it was. That is its own kind of growth.

I’ve mostly steered away from current events and politics in these pieces because there are usually better written articles out there that say what I feel. The piece about what it means to be a responsible gun owner though wouldn’t leave me alone until it was out. It made me uncomfortable to write. But it was more uncomfortable to leave it inside. I don’t usually talk about owning guns or enjoying shooting them with people unless I’m face to face. My opinion has always been more nuanced than “Ban all Guns!” or “ No rules to infringe on my 2nd amendment rights!” It’s been hard to find that nuanced conversation lately.

Am I now going to be all serious all the time? Politics and Homosexual Agendas abounding?

Nah! Just be aware that I might need to update the FAQ to include my penchant to seek out some uncomfortable subjects just for the growth it may provide me to think and write about them.

As always your time and energy in reading is appreciated.

If this blog is not to your liking thank you for your time. I hope you come back to try again later.

What does it mean to be a responsible gun owner

I’ve really struggled with writing about this subject.

I am a dyed in the wool Gay, Liberal, Atheist, Tree Hugger.

And I own guns. Yes multiple guns. Also, I own a lot of ammo for said guns because a gun without ammo is just a club.

After each school shooting I’ve listened to debates pro and con about gun control. I have to say that I’d become a little numb to the news of it. Then this shooting happened. It shouldn’t have been different but this time the victims were able to articulate their views and feelings in a way that made me really look at the issue. And those victims could be my kid.

My son is about to enter high school. The thought of him running for his life from a shooter with a semi-automatic weapon wakes me up at night. The day of the Newtown massacre I left work early so we could pick him up early from elementary school. We weren’t the only parents hugging puzzled kids in the parking lot that day. But I still didn’t look at the gun control debate the same way the Florida school shooting has made me look at my part in it.

I have been personally reconsidering my own gun ownership. I am a responsible owner. And by responsible I mean that I have training that I maintain. I understand my weapons. I know how to fire them, clean them and store them safely. I do not conceal carry but I know I can have that ability. My multiple guns are stored in such a way that you can’t just stumble upon them. You have to be intentional in their retrieval.

I am mindful of the statistics that gun owners are more likely to die by their own gun than those that don’t own guns. I am mindful of the studies about accidental shootings. I am also mindful that the world is also less violent than at anytime in past history. I live in a very low crime neighborhood. Home invasion is not high on my list of emergencies to prepare for. I’ve taught my son to respect firearms and he knows how to handle them. I’ve done all the right things but right now I am seriously considering selling those guns and purchasing just one revolver for home protection. I don’t need the hand cannons I have now, as fun as they are to shoot.

I’m not gonna lie. I really enjoy shooting my guns. My guns are finely made machines that coupled with my skill and training give me great satisfaction in operating. Mastering the art of shooting is a skill that at one time was very necessary life skill. There is a connection to the history of the freedoms we enjoy that I derive from participating in practicing that skill.

There is also a comfort I derive from knowing that if necessary I have a way to kill from a distance. I am no great martial artist or action star with moves to karate chop my way out of danger. Fifty percent of my species on this planet is on average stronger than I am. I am also cognizant that my race and economic position mean I am less likely to encounter a violent situation that would require me to use deadly force than I am to get hit by someone who is driving while intoxicated.

I have depression and I know that having a gun in the house means I am more likely to commit suicide with that gun than if it wasn’t there. In fact I have a family member that committed suicide with a firearm. This elevates my risk level considerably so I’ve taken certain precautions that means I monitor my mental health proactively.

I was raised with guns being in the house. I knew about them. I knew to respect them. I understood the rules about their use. Hunting, trapping and fishing were things I understood were part of everyday life. I lived for a time in Montana where people would drive to school with their hunting rifles in the cab of their truck and park on school property so they could go hunting immediately after school. I have been exposed to that type of gun culture throughout my life and never felt at risk from fellow gun owners.

So what does being a responsible gun owner mean?

I think it means that with my knowledge and experience I have a right to say there are some guns that shouldn’t be available for the general public to own. I am not talking about banning those guns but I am talking about having a permitting process that allows levels of gun ownership depending on ability and need.

I liken it to driver’s licenses. Just about everyone can go to DMV pay their money and pass a test to show a basic level of proficiency with car to a qualified examiner and get a license that allows them to drive a vehicle on the streets with other people. We acknowledge as a society it’s in our best interests that there are laws and rules governing the use of those vehicles and that larger more complex vehicles require a greater level of skill. Those vehicles therefore require a different license endorsement with regular physical check ups and re-qualifications. Reckless behavior can result in the suspension or revocation of the license. People adjudicated mentally unstable can be denied licenses.

Look, we still have race cars. High end, top of the line, blow your doors off cars that need a lot of skill to drive that you can go and pay to receive lessons and get qualified to drive around a track at insane speeds. But we dont let everyone have those and drive them as their daily driver on the streets.

Now do people not licensed or whose licenses have been suspended or revoked still drive? Yes but they also face stiff penalties if caught. This kind of process doesn’t completely solve the problem of gun violence but I bet it would be a damn big step in the direction of reducing it.

And that’s another thing as a responsible gun owner I want science to back me up. I demand that congress get out of the fucking way and let the CDC actually study gun violence so we can do more than guess in the dark about the causes of school shootings and other gun violence! If I am going to argue that we as a society should have guns available to us I want facts and numbers to back me up. The only way to do that from the moral high ground is to have impartial scientific studies that are not funded by people with an agenda one way or the other.

One thing I come back to time and again while contemplating this subject is something one of the students from the Florida shooting said about the shooter.

“He wouldn’t have killed as many people with a knife.”

If you haven’t watched her speech I encourage you to. I will put the link below to the YouTube video. This is one of our United States Citizens that went through this horrific event. She has a right to demand action from us, from the responsible gun owners. We need to accept that with our 2nd Amendment right comes the responsibility to ensure that our weapons are not available to be used in a manner that harms this society that we love and cherish and which we purport to have these weapons to protect.