Yeah, that’s right – I have mixed emotions about hunting season.  I understand that it’s a way to control the overpopulation of deer in our area.  I understand that venison is a great way to supplement the family’s food supply.  It’s also a way to connect with your ancestors who were forced to hunt for survival, and a way to give thanks for all of the blessings we have in this life.

But that’s not why most people do it.  They make killing into a sport.

That’s what bothers me more than the random gunshots in the middle of the day, the fact that they leave their cars and trucks haphazardly on the side of the road, or that some hang dead deer from trees in their front yard.  (For anyone who isn’t a hunter, you have to hang the deer for several days.  I would just prefer if they did it in their garage or barn.)  I simply can’t get behind the idea that killing something should be held to a fun pastime.

‘But it’s only a deer’, right?  Yeah, it’s only a horse, a dolphin, a whale, a bald eagle.  Their only animals, so who cares?  Who cares about causing pain with the intention of sport?  Who cares about hunting something and leaving everything but the head?  Who cares about wasting a life for a trophy?

I’m not saying don’t hunt – that is useless and wrong.  Hunt if you like.  Do it safely, responsibly.  Don’t leave the body in the woods.  Don’t be cruel.  Don’t be heartless.  Do it for the environment.  Do it for food.  Do it because your ancestors did.  But remember that you are taking a life – you are making a choice, and it should be treated with the proper respect it deserves.

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So far, I have written general posts about rural life: chickens, horses, snow, cooking, and so on.  These are things I enjoy – they make me happy, and I figure there needs to be more happiness in my life.  Really, anyone’s life – yours included.  It goes by too quickly to be unhappy.  Whatever you love to do, get out there and do it NOW.  Frankie’s wisdom of the day! 

I was raised in small town America – horses, tractors, bonfires, and beat-up pickup trucks litter my childhood memories.  I love the quiet, open air; the forest with it’s musky smell of underbrush, the beautiful nothingness of an empty field, or long summer evenings with family and friends reminiscing about days and years not yet forgotten.  This is my home in every sense of the word. 

Here’s the kicker: I left. 

When I graduated from high school, I hightailed it out of here.  I went to college in a completely different state, encapsulating the small-town girl, big city stereotype.  In one swift move, I left my tiny comfort zone and experienced life – life, the beautiful and terrifying eternity we share with billions of other humans in an infinitely complicated web that lasts forever, and ends in the blink of an eye.  I lived in Florida, California, Pennsylvania, and finally ended up back here in Upstate New York.  Cities, suburbs, towns, and villages each have their own characteristic uniqueness that have molded me into the person I am today.  No, it’s more than that – these places have allowed me to find, accept, and embrace who I really am.  It took a while, but I finally made it.  There’s only one problem.

I forgot what the people are like.

I really did.  I went out into the world and forgot how afraid they are of what they don’t understand.   I left a shy girl looking to see the world, and I returned as something that scares people.  Gay. 

Rainbow Quote

Yeah, like this Gay.

Now, I know you don’t ‘turn’ gay.  I was born this way, and it took a long time for me to find myself (a short time comparatively in the grand scope of things), and let me tell you – the feeling of being yourself, and actually liking who you are, is indescribably amazing.  For me, it was an internal transformation.  I never really feel the need to scream “I’M GAY” from the rooftops.  I am comfortable being who I am, and that positively impacts my life.  

The people who live in rural America are apparently mystified by me.  They see my jeans and t-shirt as commonplace while I had long hair, most likely thinking me a variation of a tomboy.  However, I cut my long hair off for donation (as always was the plan), favoring a short haircut again.  This is not the first time I have cut my hair, and I didn’t think it was a huge deal.  (Okay, so it was a big deal to me, but my hair was like twelve inches long and SUPER HEAVY.  It feels nice to not have to rake it out every morning!) Cutting my hair was the only change I have made in the last week, and my goodness, you would think I turned purple and grew a third arm.

I get weird looks going into the women’s bathroom at school.  Today, two girls snickered and got quiet as I entered one of the stalls, leaving with awkward laughs and whispers.  Alone in the bathroom, I wondered what was so funny.  

Now, I have cut my hair short several times while living in urban areas, and I didn’t really get any backlash for it.  Sure, friends were stunned, and always said it looked nice.  Occasionally, while working retail a customer would call me ‘Sir’, quickly apologizing politely when they realized I was a woman.  I never minded, and I smiled, saying it was okay.  I was never treated negatively for having short hair, nor was I made to feel like I was wrong, or bad.  

It is the most ridiculous thing that this is happening.  I get significantly more looks in the past few days than I ever did while being out and living abroad.  It’s just hair!  What is everyone’s problem?  I dress exactly the same as I did before.  I eat the same things.  I use the same bathrooms (literally. Like every day).  It took me a bit of pondering to figure out what the problem was.  Do you want to know?

I look gay now.  With long hair, I was just a tomboy.  Now, with short hair, I’m a dyke.  I’m something that people just don’t understand – they fear.  And, just as you would think, they hate what they don’t understand. 

I’m not that scary.  I promise.  I have stuffed animals all over my bedroom.   Small dogs, cats, chickens, and horses are my furry family.  I play the guitar and like video games.  My favorite music frequently includes annoying synth dance music, rock, and metal.  I drive an old car.  I get a kick out of math humor and science facts.  I’ve never shot a gun, I’m afraid of using big knives in the kitchen, and I have never punched anyone.  When I am angry, many times I cry as a stress relief.  

Yeah, I’m pretty much the devil. 

Through all this, I don’t really hate them – those people who would rather live in the darkness of ignorance rather than the light of acceptance.  In reality, I pity them.  They judge me on how I look instead of who I really am.  Instead of talking to me, they laugh at me.  Instead of stepping out of their small comfort zone, they belittle.  It must be terrible to be afraid of someone because of how they look.  It makes me wonder how small their world really must be.  

I really want to show them how beautiful our differences are.  I will not allow fear to dictate my life.  I am happy being me.  Why is that scary?  

If you are reading this, I know that there are scary things in the world.  Big spiders are pretty freaky.  Heights and deep water are my phobias.  Nuclear weapons is a terrifying reality.  Genocide is unthinkable.  War, poverty, hunger, HIV/AIDS, and Cancer are unavoidably horrifying to think about.  There are a lot of things to be afraid of in the world.  A big lesbian who sleeps surrounded by cats and small dogs really shouldn’t be one of them.  

PRIDE

Love is Love!

 

 

The last six months, I have been having intense, shooting headaches.  They got so unpredictable and bad that I was afraid to drive a car.  The Doctor told me they were Cluster Headaches, attributed them to stress, and proceeded to prescribe an anti-seizure medication.  I really hate taking medicine as it is because many times I feel that it treats a symptom, and not a disease.  Therefore, I didn’t take the medicine (since I don’t have seizures) and proceeded to de-stress my life.  I did research into my blinding headaches, and along the way I decided to stop eating gluten.  I figured that even if the Cluster Headaches continued, at least eating less wheat products and more fruits and veggies is healthy.

My Cluster Headaches completely stopped.  Every time I try eating something with gluten, within a half hour I get another Cluster Headache.  Even one single tortilla sets it off.  I was stunned that changing my diet would have such a dramatic result.  I quickly learned that gluten (which is in Wheat, Barley, and Rye), is an ingredient in everything.  Every meal had gluten, and it’s hidden in things you would never imagine. It has been difficult to give up things I love; like bread.  (I know there is gluten free bread, but it doesn’t taste very good, and it crumbles in an instant, making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich impossible.)

My birthday is less than two weeks away, and I absolutely love cake!  Preferably chocolate cake with butter-cream frosting (because the cake exists to hold the frosting up). I have been gluten free for about a month, and in that time my Mother and I have been experimenting with gluten free baking mixes.  I have a secret for you: gluten free cake mix sucks.  Well, the one we tried did anyway.  We ended up tossing it in the bin because neither of us liked it, and that is saying a lot.  

On a side note: I had a jar of frosting, and I didn’t think to look at the label.  Why would I?  There’s no wheat in frosting!  Surprise!! There was wheat protein in this particular brand, and I didn’t think to look until after I had frosted the cake.  I was super happy about that.  

We found a gluten free bakery in our area, and on Monday we are going to try a cupcake.  We don’t want to spend a bunch of money in something I won’t like.  I have high hopes for this cupcake because in addition to cake, I LOVE CUPCAKES!  They are the perfect little (and sometimes not-so-little) pieces of cake heaven.  Of course, there is cupcake eating etiquette, and that can differ from person to person.  I always eat the bottom first because, as I said before, I love frosting.  You always save the best for last!  

I wish that I could eat gluten.  I really miss eating cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets, sandwiches, croutons, soy sauce, and more. I miss cheap cookie mixes and brownie chunks in my ice cream.  On the flip side, I really enjoy being in less pain, and I have been generally feeling better.  The next step is exercising in a more frequent basis.  This is all new, and I still miss those things that have been staples in my life, but really thinking about what you are consuming is a humbling experience. 

This is a response to the wordpress daily prompt! http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/daily-prompt-pour-some-sugar-on-me/  They are a fantastic way to open up your creativity!  

My Mother often tells me that Fred and Steve, our Daschounds, radiate heat. Last night, Steve joined Yani, our coated Mexican hairless, in bed. It was better than a heated blanket. Thy both snuggled up to me under the cover, and it is nice not to sleep alone.

Up here in the U.S. it’s cold. You wouldn’t think that was record news, but because it’s wisespread, everyone on television has to freak out. As if they didn’t have heated homes, cars, and workplaces designed for comfort. Oh, what a terrible life they have!

Obviously, that is sarcasm. Who I really worry about are the homeless. In the city near me, they set ‘warm up shelters’ to help people not die from exposure. I have been praying for them.

I also worry about the people who cannot afford heat. They have homes, jobs, and an income, but they cannot afford heating oil. Out here, most people heat their homes with propane. With the high prices, it can be impossible. The difference between rural poor and urban poor is that way out here, nobody talks about it.

I think it’s time we do talk about it, because it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Please, keep those cold people in your thoughts and prayers. If it’s cold where you are, stay warm, stay inside, and be careful of frostbite and hypothermia.

Thank you for reading! Have a lovely day!!

Saturdays are made for spending time resting from the busy week. Of course, there are times when we actually have to leave (gasp!) and so stuff in town, but we decided to do blow it off until tomorrow. Instead, we spend time at home with our pets. Yesterday and today I haven’t been feeling well either, so I didn’t object. I snapped a few pictures, and I would like to share them with you!

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Fred is one of our Daschounds. He hates it when I take his picture, and therefore makes it his mission to look as pathetic as possible. Here, he lays in the sun on top of a blanket in a laundry basket. Hard life. 🙂

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Yani wiggles every time he sees me taking a picture. He always looks up at me with this expression, and though my mother says he looks weird, I think he is adorable! He is my baby, and I love him so much!!

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Dusty kitten this morning! She has doubled in size in the last six weeks or so! She is still small, but she has so much personality! I am pretty sure she has attacked everything in the house more than once!

These are tidbits from my silly life. I have an instagram where I post pictures like this. @maubelmaniac 🙂 I enjoy sharing my furry family with everyone. Many times, they are all that get me through the tough days. They are marvelous creatures.

Goodnight! Happy nights bring happy days!

Here in the U.S. it’s Thanksgiving.  Now, normally I am not a very happy person during this time of year.  However, I have decided to do my best to ‘get in the spirit’ and not have a shitty holiday season.  Don’t get me wrong, I am stressed, tired, and up-and-down on the daily depression meter.  However, I see my Counselor every week at school, which is helping me cope with life at the moment.  The good thing about the state community colleges is that they seem to really care about you.  It’s a totally different experience than the bigger universities, where you are just a number.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving (the real spirit, instead of the bastardized version that promotes excessive shopping), I decided to put down a list of things I am thankful for.  Now, this is not by any means comprehensive, nor will be in any real order.

1) The sun.

2) The moon and stars.

3) My Mother, who supports me through the good and bad times and wants only my health and happiness.

4) Raspberries.

5) The Computerized Drafting and Design program, because I really, really like it.

6) That I chose to live.

7) That I have had the opportunity to live in different corners of the United States.

8) My pets, who love me unconditionally.  I love them so much.

9) Mashed Potatoes.

10) Spaghetti.

11) BBC. (Doctor Who, Sherlock, and so on)

12) Tattoos.  My tattoos are symbols of where I have been.  They remind me of the past, of good times and bad, and that I have the strength to get through anything.

13) I am thankful for the strength I have found in myself.  Or, rather, developed.  I still suffer from depression and grief, however I have a stronger character then when I was a teenager.  I have become self reliant, and I love that about myself.

Like I said, a short list, but I wanted to share some of those things with all of you.  In general, I am thankful to be alive, to wake up in the morning, and to know that I am on the right path in life.  Life isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it.

🙂 Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Yeah, this is one of those posts.  

A lot of things have been happening in my life, not all good, and far beyond my control.  It has been a tough summer and fall for me, physically and emotionally. It’s easy to get drained going through stressful parts of your life, and I wonder when things are supposed to get better.  These days I always hear, “It gets better”.  I wonder, when? 

I have had a lot of family drama happen, and all of it unwanted.  I don’t do well with drama; in fact, I begin to shut down, especially when it is all blamed on me.  

Here’s a little back story.  A few years ago, I decided that I needed to do whatever I had to in order to be happy.  There were people in my life that made me feel bad about myself.  I stopped going to family events like Christmas, and stayed home with my Mother on those special days.  That was what we always wanted to do anyway.  We enjoy spending time home.  I saw this like cutting out an emotional tumor, because I didn’t need to feel any worse about myself.  This went on for a few years, until now.  I haven’t been to ‘family’ christmas in over three years, similarly with ‘easter’ (which hasn’t happened for even longer) and the fourth of july (I don’t even like barbecue, and I feel that you should love your country every day instead of only one). 

Before my Grandparents traveled back south for the winter, one of them waited until I was alone, and then proceeded to have a ‘conversation’ with me.  This family member told me that I had to overlook people’s shortcomings in order to keep the family together, and that the only way a family can stay together is to forgive them.  Or, something like that.  Of course it wasn’t that simple: I am generalizing here. This made me feel hurt and sad that they didn’t see how I felt so bad around these family members, and how I deserved to be happy.  It also sent me a clear message: I am tearing the family apart. Nobody else got that talk – just me.  I am the only person that did anything wrong.  Everything is my fault. 

As per usual.  

This set the tone of my autumn season.  Awesome start, right?  

Then, there is school, with all the silly drama there.  All my family problems, which are more than what I have talked about here, have made me feel depressed again.  Well, the holidays always do that to me, but it never gets any better.  

So, I have recommitted to myself.  I love being me, and I don’t want to change for anyone.  I will not allow myself to spiral downward into deep depression and suicide again.  Now, don’t get me wrong: there will be bad days.  Everyone has unavoidable;e down days.  However, I will not allow anyone to bring down my life, be it family members or new acquaintances.  

In the spirit of this, I am vowing to ‘get in the spirit’ of the season.  I celebrate the holidays – Santa and yule and such.  I am going to make Christmas cookies because, well, COOKIES!  It is thanksgiving soon.  I will try not to be negative this year.  

I miss my father terribly.  I know he wants me to be happy, and after all, this was his favorite time of year!  I will try my best to have a good time.  Nobody can drag me down again.  I will not let them. There’s nowhere to go but up. 

Thank you for reading.  I appreciate all your support.  

Yani, left and Fred, right bathing in the afternoon autumn sun! We have been busy, a few setbacks here and there, but all in all out spirits are good. 🙂 I am beginning to post again, which is also good. 🙂 Knitting projects galore. I will share soon!

Have a lovely day everyone!!

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I’ve lives in several different states across the U.S.; Pennsylvania, Florida, and Southern California.  Everywhere I went, I got one big response.  It went something like this: “Oh, terrible weather there!”  Sometimes, there were more colorful metaphors involved with the comment, but essentially it was always the same.  Oh, the terrible weather!  Why would anyone ever live there? 

It always perplexes me that people judge Upstate/western New York without even visiting.  They have no idea what it’s really like.  They always think, “SNOW!” and they immediately treat it with disdain.  The thing is that half the world has snow.  It’s part of the whole climate aspect of the planet.  

It makes me sad that most people don’t even realize that there’s a state attached to New York City, but there’s so many other amazing things through the year that make rural New York amazing!  So, I thought I’d share some of them with all of you! First up: Fall.  

Fall is in full swing.  I live in Western New York, near Buffalo, Rochester, and the Finger Lakes.  The first and most obvious are the trees! There’s forests everywhere, and the trees become a bonfire of colors that really make the season pop!  Reds, yellows, and oranges like roads, hills, crop fields, and especially the Great Lakes.  There’s even foliage reports on the news.  

Secondly, Fall is the time when events and festivals are still in full swing.  For example, there’s Oktoberfest, and New York comes alive with Wine and Beer, giving local businesses a chance to really show their stuff!  There’s also The Fringe Festival in Rochester, New York, and it highlights the performing artists of the area.  There’s more than you think to Upstate New York! 

Fall is the time for family fun!  Hay rides, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and trick -or- treat events are a constant in our area.  Bits of the harvest is coming in, and you can find the farmer’s bounty at farm stands and farmer’s markets all along the roads.  Delicious!  

That brings me to a topic that needs only one word. Apples. New York is the apple state, after all.  They are amazingly wonderful!  New York Apple Cider is the tastiest drink!  Try hot mulled cider on a chilly evening!  You won’t regret it!

My favorite is the cooler temperatures – but not too cold yet.  I love to take the dogs for a walk, sweatshirt and a brightly colored scarf keeping me warm.  I live in an isolated area, and so it’s very quiet through the day, and it makes it perfect for afternoon strolls.  The dogs love to smell and sniff everything!  I love spending time with my furry family. 

These are only a few of the reasons why Autumn in New York is fantastic.  If you visit our lovely countryside, consider Fall for the time of year! 

What do you love about the season?