Vivid Dawn's random ramblings

Rootin’ tootin’ shootin’!

A local, certified firearms instructor offered to give me a free (first time) private class, as I’ve been getting an interest in guns. So he met me at the gun range yesterday. For the most part it was great and I learned lots of nifty stuff and had fun shooting. Didn’t have much fun with the heart freaking out and ruining our fun with an ambulance arrival :p

Short story long:

We met in the parking lot so I could learn some basics before just going right in and getting ahead of myself. This is okay with me, as I’m in no rush and realize it will take time getting to know about guns. He showed me all about bullets, casing, priming, cleaning, loading, general safety tips, etc. I asked questions, got clarifications, and I hope I’m a good student 🙂

So then we go inside and get to the cleaning supplies so I can see the different oils and brushes and all that good junk. Then to the counter to rent an aisle (free! Apparently Tuesday is Ladies Night) and a gun. Another .22 but a little bigger than mine, and honestly a little intimidating. But I guess bigger is better for my worries of the noise and recoil and all that junk. Got the ear and eye gear on and went into the shooting booth.

I expected it to be noisy, but good grief! That gunfire was still loud even with earmuffs, and I could also feel it physically in my chest. And it startled me the first couple times, as nobody gave any warning (aren’t you supposed to yell “Fire in the hole!” first? LOL) just all of a sudden BOOM!  … BAM!  But after a few times I got used to it and focused on him and learning more. At this point I’m thinking “Okay, this is it, I’m really doing it” and getting both excited and a little nervous. So my heart is a bit jumpy – but I figured that would happen. No big deal.

We get to our aisle, and I wanted him to shoot first just so I could watch how that particular gun (the rental, not mine) sounded and acted when shot. I have seen slow-mo video on YouTube and know that there’s a small fire burst when they’re shot, and wondered if it would sting my hand. Also worried that any recoil would make me drop the gun, since I have wimpy weak little hands. Over-all I’m just sort of worried about shooting and ending up hurting myself.

So he did a few first, and my heart starts pounding a bit faster as it gets to be my turn. So I adjust my hands how instructed, take a deep breath and slowly pull on the trigger. Click. Eh? “I think I broke it!”

Nope, he messes with it a moment and hands it back. Another deep breath, clench my teeth and slowly pull the trigger… BOOM! goes the gun, and BOOM goes my heart too.

It didn’t hurt. In fact, it really didn’t even ‘kick’ at all. The only thing I wasn’t expecting was a dull tingling in my trigger finger (kind of like how you hold a vibrating thing for a while – vacuum cleaner handle, electric screwdriver/drill, etc.) and have a mild numby feel). It wasn’t painful, just odd and unexpected.

And it was fun!

But my heart decided I was having a bit too much fun and excitement and kept pounding and racing. I sat down and tried to relax a bit. Big steady breaths, clearing mind…. He suggested I go out into the shop where it wouldn’t be so loud and cramped. So I do and take all my head gear off and take another breather. After a couple minutes I could tell that it was “stuck” in an episode I’ve had before…200 beats per minute and pounding hard! The only fix is IV meds. Oiy!

So. I got to shoot ONCE, and we were only there maybe 20 minutes or so. I feel bad for ruining the fun so quick. And kind of embarrassed to be toted off in an ambulance! LOL

Since I haven’t had SVT in a few years, and it took over an hour for the meds to fully work (they’re supposed to work instantly, but I needed 2 doses and my heart kept trying to go back to speeding), they decided to keep me overnight for observation. And I got new meds.

The morning doctor who came to see me said maybe I shouldn’t do gun shooting for my poor little heart’s sake. But MY doctor (who came in the afternoon) actually encouraged it. He wants me to not only be out, active and enjoying life, but wants to see if these new meds work. I hope they do! And now that I know better what to expect, I probably won’t be nearly as nerve wracked either…I’m looking forward to next week! 🙂

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Excuses, excuses…

I have to rant.

Whenever people (usually online, sometimes in “real life”) find out I’m on Disability/SSI & food stamps, 99% of the time they automatically make the assumption that I’m a lazy moocher and tell me “get a job!”.
Good grief, you don’t think I’ve tried?? For one thing, this economy doesn’t make that task the easiest to fulfill. For another thing, I am limited in what I can do on a daily basis.

Here’s a history of what jobs I’ve tried – and failed.

These are jobs I got when I graduated high school AND had Voc. Rehab “assisting” me.
3 months = Video game store at the mall. – Yes it was seasonal, but they did say employees could stay after the season. Obviously I wasn’t good enough to be ‘rehired’ after New Years.
0 = McDonalds. Interviewed but not hired.
0 = Wal-Mart. Didn’t even get called in for an interview at all.
0 = TONS of secretary/office clerical jobs that I applied to. Never got past a first interview, if even that far.

I decided that Voc. Rehab was not being very helpful, so I started looking for jobs on my own. While I knew I had to be a little picky (couldn’t physically do stuff like construction work or anything requiring more education than HS Diploma), I did try to do what I thought I was able.

2 months = soup & sub sandwich shop (quit because standing for 6 hours was KILLING my back, even though I liked the job…didn’t like the daily pain that made me lose focus halfway through my shift because I was so distracted with HURTING!)
3 months = “bather” at a dog grooming place (I can’t lift more than 20 lbs, so was constantly having to pull other workers away from their jobs to help me with hefting dogs up into and back out of the tub)
3 weeks = Target (explained my disabilities and they said they’d work with me… yet 3 weeks later I was fired for being “inefficient”). Really the only reason I got this job at all, was my sister works there and put in a good word for me.
2 years = telemarketing (had 2 heart attacks where the ambulance had to come get me, and I finally quit from the stress)
2 years = accounting (also had a heart attack with ambulance called AND had a stroke and heart surgery before they finally let me go).

So when people say “just get a job, and stop giving excuses”, it really annoys me. Easier said than done.  Mentally, I would love to work. I am more than WILLING! However, actually being ABLE to is another matter.
Yes I help a friend (also with disabilities) do her house chores a few times a week, but it’s only for a couple hours (10 per week max). And unlike a regular employer, she lets me go slow and take a break if I need to. There’s been many times that I end up taking a nap in the guest room halfway through chores, and resuming later after I feel better. It takes me a good 3 hours to do 2 hours of work. No true employer is going to be as lenient and accommodating (even if they SAY they will, like Target had).
Doing simple things either put me in pain, or aggravate my heart problems. Sweeping or vacuuming a floor gets my heart pounding and fluttering. Standing to cook or wash dishes makes my back hurt and cramp.
I understand there’s lots of fraud with the government assistance programs, and it irritates me too…because it’s not fair to the people who REALLY need it to be ruined by the few “bad apples” in the system.

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Food survey

The dieting community I’m a member of had a food survey posted. So I decided to take it, just for fun.

1. How do you like your eggs? scrambled with lots of shredded cheddar cheese melted in with them

2. How do you take your coffee/tea? 1 drop with 8+ oz of milk

3. Favorite breakfast food? Fresh/warm croisoint with all natural fruit preserves (none of that junk with high fructose corn syrup and dyes)

4. Peanut butter, Almond butter, or Nutella? If PB,Smooth or crunchy? Nutella

5. What kind of dressing on your salad? Depends on my mood…usually buttermilk ranch or bleu cheese

6. Pepsi, Coke, or Sprite? Sprite. Root beer is my favorite soda-pop

7. You’re pressed for time, what do you make? Carnation Instant Breakfast powder in 10 oz whole milk

8. You’re feeling lazy. What do you order in (must choose something)? Call my sister to see if she has any leftovers in her fridge she wants to bring (too poor to order from a “fast food” place!)

9. You’re in a cooking mood. What do you make? …I’m NEVER in a cooking mood! But if I do, it’s usually slow-cooker stuff that I just dump in and leave for a few hours. Lamb with brown sugar and pinapple sauce is my favorite healthy food, berry cobbler is my favorite dessert.

10. What food reminds you of your childhood? Peanut butter…which is probably why I don’t like it (rough childhood)

11. What food can you remember hating that you now like? Tomatoes (like…not love!)

12. Is there a food that you currently refuse to eat? pickled beets

13. What was your favorite food as a kid? ice cream (and I still like it)

14. Favorite restaurant meal? roast elk with stewed cherries (had it in Wyoming on summer holiday a few years ago…yuuum! Worth the $40/plate price!)

15. Favorite junk food? Only one??? caramel filled chocolate stuff (Rolos, Mily Way, Caramelo, etc.)

16. Food creation that you love and others think is weird? Ranch salad dressing on meat

17. Favorite dessert? Just about anything if it has caramel in/on it, or caramel based

18. Food when you’re sick? ramen noodles and 100% mixed fruit juice

19. Food for celebrating/special occasions? seafood (lobster, preferably)

20. Frozen/Canned/Pre-made meal? The Bertoli bag stuff is pretty good.

21. Food you’re most confident preparing for guests? A glass of water.

22. Food you eat most often? (ex. I eat X every single day–which is more than you eat any other food) MILK!!!! Okay it’s not a food, but I -do- have it every day…several times a day. In fact, I think I am literally addicted, thanks to the casomorphin in it :p

23. Fruit you’re most likely to eat on a daily basis? Bananas, but that’s cuz they’re cheap. If I could afford it, cherries, mangos, mulberries

24. Veggie you’re most likely to eat on a daily basis? (notice i didn’t say “favorite”) None. If I could afford it, spinach, asparagus, brussel sprouts – produce is expensive!

25. Favorite packaged snack food? Flipz (chocolate covered pretzels). Or again, caramel stuff.

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One step forward, one step back

All those goals I set… sooo not happening. YET!  Hey, tomorrow is a new day, fresh start, and all that good junk.

I have taken a few pictures, but not every day like I wanted. Still, probably more in the last couple weeks than all of last year.

Articles….eh, I keep looking at the work list, and just can’t get into the writing mood. I really need to shape up with that though, because being in debt is starting to get more annoying than having to drudge through work.

Diet. Oiy! I was really good yesterday and ate 4 of 6 meals and got more than 2,000 calories. I even weighed an additional pound this morning (77.4 lbs). Then I ended up slacking off today about the diet thing. I did plan out meals, got everything all ready to go… then got distracted with other stuff and just didn’t bother being self disciplined enough to take breaks to eat. Bleh…so now my weight will probably go down to the starting mark again (76.6).

And of course blog posts aren’t getting done too often. But I did one now, really quick, before I go to bed early! (got my TV fixed yesterday and stayed up until 2am watching “Law & Order: S VU” for 8 hours)

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It’s that time again…setting goals and trying not to break them after a week or so. Here’s mine, in order of importance:


I am such a whiner…about everything! I need to remember that I’m living a WONDERFUL life, compared to other people, and I should be grateful rather than grudging about what’s “wrong”.

* Pray and read scriptures every day.

* Go to church at least once a month.

* Use less vulgarities (yup, I got a potty mouth. I should at least start using words that would be appropriate in front of kids if I have to cuss)


* Gain weight (15 pounds (to be 90+ lbs) by the end of the year at the latest! Sooner is better.)

* Eat healthy (or healthIER anyway)

* Take ALL medications and supplements (I’m bad about being lazy and “eh, I’ll do it tomorrow”. Not so bad with vitamins, but very bad with Coumadin!)

* Wear oxygen 15+ hours per day (7+ at night with AvAP, 5+ during the daytime)

* Wear AvAP no less than 5 nights a week.

* Walk 15-30 minutes 3+ times a week. As it is, I can barely make it halfway across a store parking lot without feeling like I’m gonna die. Gotta get my heart stronger!


* Spend time for ME and relaxing. I have been so busy lately with volunteering, working, and just saying “yes” to anybody who wants something. This year I would like to still help out as much as I can without getting burned out (which then leads to me to the complaining part, when I should be doing it heartfelt)
I would love to be able to go camping at least once a month during the warm season, and just sit around with a good book and hot drink for a while during the cold season and not have to worry about being selfish.

* Take at least one photo per day. I want to take one photo of the view out my front door every day, and at the end of the year compile a slide show of the changing of the seasons. I would also like to take 1+ pictures of things I find beautiful, interesting, fun or just plain random every day.

* Make at least one blog entry per week. (and of course this isn’t the first time I’ve set and broken that goal!)


* Don’t use credit. Pay everything with cash – if I can’t pay in full at the time, I don’t get the item/service. (exception is car stuff: insurance ($400/yearly) and car registration ($200/yearly). Had to use credit for new tires last year too as they were $300 all at once! And now my intake manifold gasket is leaking and gonna be a good $200 if I can do it myself…$700+ if I take it to a shop!)

* Pay off debt as much as possible. I will not be totally debt free this year (though that would certainly be nice!), but I need to stop just doing the minimum payments and put more into it so it gets done faster.

* Put money in savings…and keep it there! Last year I did have savings, though it was a “dedicated” account to remodel my apartment. I got that done! I probably should have another “dedication” or else I won’t have a clear reason not to dip into at random times.

* Earn extra money. I do have a fixed income, but it barely meets the requirements of meeting the above goals. It would be nice if I could get another $100 a month and split it between savings and debt paying.

That’s it, really. There are tons of other “little” things I want to improve, but mostly they tie into the bigger goals anyway. Now…let’s see how long I actually do all this!

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Not the brightest bulb in the lamp…

Sometimes my (lack of) smartness amazes me!

I feed a group of ferals on my dad’s property. A bag of food and a couple gallon jugs of water are replenished once a week, but otherwise stay outside next to the feeding area in a plastic storage bin, so that I don’t have to lug stuff to/from the house every day.

A couple weeks ago the water was half frozen, so I had the idea to just whack it with my fist and break up the layer of ice so I could pour out the water underneath. I was wearing gloves, so figured my hand would be cushioned…right? Nope! Hit that jug with the outter side of my hand and it STUNG!!! Burned for a couple minutes, but then I was fine. Left no bruise later. So guess what’s hurting right now? I have no idea why it decided to be sore NOW.
My hand didn’t break, but neither did the ice. I got the ice broken by banging the jug against the storage bin, which I probably should have done in the first place anyway.


Also, Zinny came back after being missing for 5 months. But as it’s currently 4 am, I’ll have to post that later. Now I’m goin’ back to bed!

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Going up makes me go down!

So…apparently my body doesn’t like high elevation. Less oxygen (forgot my oxygen tank this time!), makes my heart work harder and use more energy…lots of energy!

Weighed myself yesterday morning, and was 74.8! I’m usually about 80-82! So yesterday I tried to really stick to my diet and eat every couple of hours. This morning’s weight is 75.4 which is barely over half a pound.

Today I’m going to try to stick to the diet again. It’s only 9:45 and I’ve already eaten twice. Of course, they weren’t big meals or even very healthy…but at least I got calories in me! Twix candy bars (150 cals) at 8:30 and now I’m trying to gag down some Carnation Instant Breakfast made with whole milk (280). It’s not that I don’t like it, usually…but silly me, I brushed my teeth an hour ago, and now it tastes weird! Plus, even though I slept decent last night, now I’m already tired, and I don’t like eating when I’m tired… well, don’t like doing ANYthing when I’m tired.

Gotta scoop my 2 litter boxes, then off to work to do Gabi’s grocery shopping and scoop her 25 litter boxes! Maybe I can get home early and go to bed early…maybe…hopefully…


Quick Update

I have been taking care of a friend, who had hip surgery, for the last couple of months. Gabi is the founder/Director of A New Beginning Animal Rescue. Not only is she my “boss” at the cat rescue, but we’re good friends. Actually, we seem more like soul twins… we like a lot of the same things in music, food, humor, etc. and get along wonderfully. Sometimes I’ll get done with work early, but still go home late because we get to chatting and just go on forever!

She is 50 years old…so not too old, but her body seems to think it has to start klunking out already. She had her right hip replaced on August 9. Due to a nerve block that didn’t reverse after 36 hours like it was supposed to, a couple weeks later she couldn’t feel infection at the surgery site (and can’t really see at that angle, either)…the staff infection built up until it went septic, and suddenly she was VERY sick. The doctor said if we hadn’t gotten her back to the hospital within a couple hours that we had, she might have died.

So on Aug. 31 they had to take the hip out, clean out all the tissue that was contaminated, and put a new hip in. Well, it hasn’t gone septic, but the infection just doesn’t seem to want to go away! She’s been on home IV antibiotics for the last 8 weeks, and is still very weak …and frustrated!

I practically live at her house now, helping out with whatever I can. She does pay me a little to cover gas for getting to/from and eat lunch out sometimes, but I also do it because I like to. She doesn’t really have anybody else – her son is in jail (again), and all other family is in Austria where she was born. The church members help a little, but they all have family and jobs and other stuff to take care of.

Soooo, I spend about 10 hours a day at her house, doing chores (scooping 25 litter boxes and cleaning up other messes from her 60 cats, laundry, dishes, fixing her food and bringing it up to her bedroom, shopping, banking, and other errands), and then I try to use a couple hours at home for my own chores and activities.

While I don’t mind helping, it’s frustrating us both. She can’t seem to get better, and hates being dependent – I would like to have a more steady/lighter schedule and more time for my own stuff, like remodeling my apartment which I have had to put on hold for this. Oh well…I guess it’ll happen eventually.

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While I would like all my posts to be “worthwhile” (not even totally sure what that would mean, exactly), at least I’m doing a post relatively sooner than I have been. ….and that didn’t make sense either. It’s SO bedtime!

Anyhoo. Tomorrow is the Fourth Of July, which means purdy sparklies in the sky. I have purdy sparklies in my hair…as soon as I find my camera, I’ll take a picture. Red, silver and blue hair tinsel!

I have gotten back to writing articles for internet content. My jobs both don’t really need me at the office anymore, and since I bought a fancy (aka – EXPENSIVE) new computer…I sortta need income from somewheres.
My goal was $10 a day…yeah, that’s working out great! *sarcasm*
In the last 4 days, I’ve made $7.29 and just submitted an article that will be another $7.58 if it’s approved. IF…already had one article returned for me to revise this week.
But I refuse to work tomorrow (even though there are more articles worth $6 to $8 in the pool), and just gonna have fun with my friend. I’ll get back to the drudgery on Thursday.

Oh, and my birth control implant doesn’t hurt much anymore. Friday I wanted to chop my arm off! Now it only hurts if I bump it.

I think that’s it. And if it’s not, too bad… I go beddy-bye!

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Biological and physical maintenance

My menstrual cramps are so agonizing that I can’t get out of bed (even just to the bathroom or get a drink makes me queasy with pain). So, I’ve been on the Depo-Provera shots for the last 10 or so years.

Besides the fact it’s not supposed to be used that long, I’m so skinny with no real fat for the medicine to go in, the shots make my thigh so cramped I can hardly walk for about 3 days… which sort of defeats the purpose (being able to be up/mobile and functional) of the injections in the first place. Granted, it’s only every 3 months, but enough of an annoyance that I wanted something longer lasting. Doctor suggested Nexplanon.

Yesterday I got the Nexplanon birth control implant. Waited over an hour to have a 5 minute procedure! My arm is more sore and tender today than it was yesterday…I figure it’ll be like that for a few more days until my body finally adjusts and heals from having a rod (4cm in length, 2mm in diameter) of plastic shoved into it.

At noon today I was allowed to take the pressure bandage off. But put it back on (loosely), because every time my shirt sleeve brushed against the site, it felt like somebody was swiping a hot coal on my arm! So I’ll keep the bandage (gauze pad and stretchy-“tape”) over it, just to give it a little padding and protection for another couple of days. Supposed to keep the little strip of cloth tape over the hole (yes, there’s a HOLE in my skin!) for 3-5 days anyway, until it heals closed.

Also yesterday – the “check engine” light came on in my car. Called the place I usually go to for repairs, and they said a diagnostic would cost $43. Uummm…that much, just for somebody to LOOK for a problem? I researched on the internet and it could be anything as simple as a bad spark plug, to a bad catalytic converter – now, I’m not going to pay $40+ just to be told I need a $5 or $10 spark plug!

Took the car into AutoZone and they did the check for free. My gas cap had come loose. Yup, soooo glad I didn’t pay nearly $50 to be told to tighten my gas cap!

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