I finally got in to see a counselor today. I had some serious misgivings, and almost flaked out. I’m glad I went anyway, because she’s awesome. It’s a very good fit. In two weeks, her office will call me to start getting me on the schedule for real. Today was just an evaluation.

However, since she can’t prescribe, she can’t adjust my meds. She gave me two numbers to call, and, of course, they’re not accepting new patients, and don’t have waiting lists. This makes 9 phones calls I’ve made since March trying to get help with medication. I HAVE INSURANCE. There just aren’t enough providers in the area. Very frustrating.

So I’m down to the county walk-in clinic. Hopefully they’ll be able to get me in, since the walk-in hours are only M-Th, 9:30-11:30pm. This is crazy.

To you, with love

In the end, this was an imperfectly executed writing challenge. All I can say is that I really did do my best. It will have to be enough.

All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.
– Samuel Beckett

Big love to everyone who visited my blog and left a comment during the A to Z Blogging Challenge. (Or big appreciation just because I visited your blog and thought it was AWESOME.)

In Order(ish) of Appearance

(Because I’m resisting the temptation to alphabetize.)

1. Tami Von Zalez, the Thrift Shop Commando.
2. Elizabeth, who is Scribbling in the Storage Room.
3. Nilanjana Bose, who is Madly-in-Verse.
4. Anna Tan, who is releasing a book (!!).
5. Renée from Life Spoken Through Fingers and Engaging Quotes.
6. Karyn, who provided the smart, sexy, romantic suspense.
7. Yolanda, who is solving all the mysteries.
8. Holli, full of hoots and hollers.
9. The Sugar Free Runner, who shall remain nameless.
10. Stephanie, fabulous children’s author.
11. Monique, who Chooses to Cook.
12. Nissa, the Antimatter Antihero.
13. Nicole, the The Obsessive Planner.
14. Becoming Cliche’.
15. Half a Thousand Miles, because her Ace of Vagina post nearly killed me.
16. Mason, whose thoughts are in progress.
17. Rosa Temple Writes, and does it beautifully.
18. Deb, who is more than her fingerprints.
19. Srivi, who in addition to having a cool name, writes at Piscean Me.
20. Julia, who has the Sweetbeariest art photography around.
21. Rhonda, who adventured as an A2Z ninja minion.
23. VanillaBean, whose traveling spoons made me drool profusely.
24. The truthful Liar’s Den.
25. Tawnya, living authentically.
26. Anita, enjoying the little things in life.
27. Julie, author of young adult books and various other fictions.
28. Natalie – sharing the places she’s been, sights she’s seen, and everything in-between.
29. Red, who may very well sing the body electric, but who definitely does not speak Klingon.
30. Rhonda the adventuresome.
31. Trisha, fellow cat lover and rescuer.
32. Betty, from her Bench with a view.
33. Jen, of Lexical Creations.
34. Jen. No, seriously.
35. Nerdy Girl Confession, just because she’s awesome.
36. Melissa, because she’s my snail mail hero, and is just generally freaking amazing.
37. Lissa Johnston, Writer. History Nerd. Knowledge Junkie.

I’ll be visiting you all again, because you made my heart happy. Thank you.

An Unlikely Fangirl

W is for Wentworth Miller.

I wrote my first bit of fan mail, to an actor previously not on my radar, who seems to be doing a lot of good in the world. I’m an unlikely fangirl.

Dear Wentworth Miller,

I’ll start with this. This last year, my husband has had 27 weeks of chemo, 6 surgeries, and 7 weeks of radiation therapy. I lost count of how many times he was hospitalized, and how many times I took him to the ER. I got to know the hospital so well that I found myself helping strangers find their way to where they needed to be. (I’ll be volunteering at the hospital after I get my ducks in a row.)

My husband was diagnosed on February 20, 2015. His last surgery was March 4th, this year. We’re finally, finally done. He got a clean bill of health, with good clean margins around the area that they removed the cancer. It was hard.

Somewhere around the midpoint of his treatments, we started watching geeky shows, like “The Arrow,” and moved on to “The Flash.” They were good fun, and we both needed that. So, the first time I saw you act, it was as Leonard Snart. You just seemed to be having so much fun playing the part that we loved when you were on screen. It was a bright point to our evenings, when my husband was well enough to watch.

Then you wrote that unbelievably eloquent response to a mean-hearted meme.

Then you started posting “Today self care looked like…” on Facebook.

You, sir, are my hero.

I’ve been fighting depression and bipolar my whole damn life, and this last year was so terribly hard. Thank you for being a mental health advocate, and for the smiles your acting gave us during a dark time. Keep up the good fight.

Much love and best wishes,

Jerimi Paul-Burnside

Honestly, it’s hard to beat a $0.47 antidepressant. Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to the mailbox I go.

letter to wentworth miller

I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge, and you can see the run down and complete list of postings relating to my “Abecedarium of Self Care” here.

The Very Virile Viking

V is for the Very Virile Viking

My darlings, I decided I needed some entertainment for my self care today. I also wanted to make my pen pals smile. I wanted to add something extra to their next letters – something special and handmade. I wanted to make the recipient feel especially cared for. So here’s what I did.

I found some inexpensive, somewhat damaged books from a second-hand shop. Books are too near and dear to my heart for me to destroy a perfectly good one. Look at these treasures. Classics, I tell ya.

When I was a kid, my mom and the other mothers would show up to the kids’ sporting events with mysterious paper bags. They’d all be giggling and red cheeked while they traded those bags with each other. Sometimes one would peek inside and manage to look both scandalized and delighted. No, they weren’t brown bagging it. They were trading stacks of romance novels. It was a different time and place. (Did I mention I grew up in an isolated mountain town in Idaho? Population 939. No bookstores of any kind, and long before internet.)

Those furtive swaps of pirate for English gentleman; construction worker for highwayman, were my first glimpse into romance. I don’t mean the books themselves, but how even fictive romance could turn normally Very Serious Adult Women into naughty girls laughing over a shared secret.

I gathered up these vintage Harlequins, put on “The Walking Dead,” (yay Netflix!) and got to cutting. It made me realize that this would be a much more enjoyable project with company, so I think I’ll ask around to see if a friend would like to join me on this, sometime.


In case the title is too out of focus, that central book is called, “The Very Virile Viking.” I only skimmed it. Honest.

I spritzed the hearts with some Vanilla Shimmer Smooch Spritz, which I’ve been holding on to for literally 2+ years, waiting for the perfect project. Well, this is the perfect project.


I’m going to put a few in my Etsy shop, both loose and as stickers. I think I’m going to have to switch to using a punch to make the hearts, though, as the artisanal method I’m currently using is going to lead to madness.

What about you, dear reader? Are these hearts something you’d like to receive in a letter? Any recommendations for changes or improvement?

I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge, and you can see the run down and complete list of postings relating to my “Abecedarium of Self Care” here.

A Fantastic Love of Everything

U is for Underappreciated.

Over the last not-quite-a-year, I’ve found a real appreciation for the humble launderette. Almost without fail, when I mention the launderette, the person with whom I’m speaking has an immediate opinion (almost unfailingly negative), whether or not they’ve actually used one. It’s like jury duty. I thought it was an interesting and useful experience, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Where else will one be thrown in to a room with six utterly random strangers, and expected to negotiate with them over a major decision? We seven formed quite a bond, and remain in touch even five years later. Yet everyone I mention the words “jury duty” to invariably have something nasty to say about it. Even if they’ve never served.

But back to the launderette. Where else can one sit with a book or assignment or letter-writing kit and be completely uninterrupted, while at the same time surrounded by industrious people? The hum of dryers is hypnotically calming. Here one can see a complete view of society, from the renting regulars to the annoyed homeowners with broken appliances? There are children and child-free. Conventionally attractive and interestingly irregular faces. Quiet, loud, reading, interacting, smiles, jokes, shyness, you name it, it walks through those glass double-doors.

I remember one evening where an (obviously exhausted) young father loaded the washers in slow motion. Then he curled up on the folding table with the empty laundry bag under his head. He fell asleep immediately. EVERYONE tiptoed around him. There were looks of quiet remembering on the faces of an older couple. There were quiet smiles. Given a chance to be rude or kind, callous or caring, everyone chose kindness and caring. How can one not love the launderette, when it brings out this kind of response?

No, it’s not all lovely. The willingness to allow that it might be, though, makes all the difference. Like jury duty, and the launderette, enjoyment of daily life requires the willingness to be a happy observer. I could have come blasting through both experiences, impatient to be done with them and on with my “real” life. If I had, I’d have missed so much, including six new friends – people I otherwise wouldn’t have met. I try to remember this during my weekly trip. It makes the laundry baskets lighter, and the trip more interesting. I’m trying to bring that willingness into more areas of my life. It’s like joy. One must choose it, and then keep choosing it.

ps. I love the word “launderette” so much more than “laundromat,” don’t you? I’m adopting it as my default term. I think using a word ending with “-ette” to describe a huge, utilitarian building is hilarious.

captain hammer

I snapped a pic of our launderette, and my husband photoshopped Captain Hammer into it, because he’s awesome like that. You can see Travis’s photography here.

I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge, and you can see the run down and complete list of postings relating to my “Abecedarium of Self Care” here.