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Fighting Depression #33 – The Holidays Are Here

November 24, 2017
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Been over three months (!!!) since my last Fighting Depression update.

That’s kinda a good sign; been very busy with work, which helps me not have too much time to dwell on things and beat myself up over them.  That’s not to say that I haven’t had some issues with depression, I certainly have.  A couple weeks ago, had one week that was particularly rough, pain management and depression-wise.  (And I notice that when the latter is bad, the former tends to be amplified.)

Yesterday (obviously) was Thanksgiving.  The holidays are always rough for those who deal with depression.  Especially when you’re alone.  I’m missing having someone special in my life, someone to share holidays with… and I’m also missing having friends to spend time with, hang out, share the holidays with.

Money is still tight, even making over $3/hr more than I was this time last year. It seems I’m always dancing a fine line, juggling flaming bowling balls, just hoping my car lasts long enough, hoping nothing breaks around the house, hoping my health stays outside of anything serious…

But, there are things I’m thankful for. The presence of people in my life, even if just through social media. Having a good job that pays better than I’ve ever been paid before, that has benefits, that actually takes care of their employees, instead of taking advantage of you while praising you to your face for years and then tossing you aside with no explanation given. (No, I’m not at all bitter… actually, I’m mostly not any more… it’s just that’s exactly what they did.)

I’m thankful that I’ve managed to keep my house; it’s been touch and go multiple times over the years, but I’m still here, it’s still mine. It’s not in the best condition, there’s lots of things that need to be attended to, but it keeps me comfortable/safe from the elements, keeps my critters safe and content.

I’m thankful for my critters; I’m surprised Smiley is still with us, I know she’s at least thirteen years old now, VERY likely older.. and the average life expectancy for a pit bull is usually thirteen to fifteen years. It’s my job to keep her safe and spoil her (and she’s snoring on her couch – yes, HER couch, not mine – right now, so I think I’m doing a pretty good job, there.)

The cats are happy, well-fed, comfortable, safe, too.

So, it’s an effort, but I’m reminding myself of what I’m grateful for.


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7 Days 7 Photos 3/7

October 24, 2017
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(Whoops, forgot to post one yesterday, gonna try to schedule posts so I don’t do that.)

Today, I’ll challenge Kerry Awful, I think he’d have some neat photos.

Rules to the challenge:

  • Black and while photos
  • Photos of your life
  • No people
  • No explanation
  • Challenge someone each day


Fighting Depression #24 – Stumble, Fall, Get up again. (Also, dieting.)

April 25, 2017
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So, I’ve been applying for jobs over the past several weeks, using LinkedIn and Indeed mostly, applying for some directly on the company’s own sites.  Still tweaking my resume, and just trying to find something interesting (if not actually fun) to do that isn’t too strenuous on my back (or if it were, part time but also paying enough that I could live off of.)

One of the jobs I applied to on Saturday called me early yesterday morning; I was out walking Smiley, so I didn’t get the call.

Oh, for those of you who aren’t in the know, this is Smiley.  She’s a senior (at least 13 years of age, probably more) pit bull that I adopted from the shelter four years ago (the last Sunday of April 2013 she went home with me.)

In fact, here’s the pic I took the day she came home with me, at the end of the work day:


And here’s a recent pic of her:

april 2017 smiley

(As you can see, she’s camera shy.  And, yes, a lot more white in her face.)

But, I digress.

So, I didn’t get their call.  They texted me to inquire if I was interested in a phone interview, I said I was and was available and they called.

I thought it went well.  We discussed the job, the responsibilities, my job history, my skills and predilection to work customer service type jobs.  I was told that my resume would be passed on for review for calling people in for in-person interviews, and if I were selected, that I would receive a call by 5pm that day.

5pm came, went, no call.

It hit me hard.  I know I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up just because *I* thought the phone interview went well, but I did.  So, I was majorly bummed out.  In a deep funk.

Late last night, finally occurred to me why.

This is only the second interview I’ve EVER had that did not end up with me being hired.  (And my first phone interview.)  Now, granted, my memory is iffy at times, so I’m willing to concede that it might be my third that never resulted in a job… but no more than that.

I guess I interview well.

But, yeah, so I was down, but once I sorted that out in my head, was feeling a little better.  Today’s been working on other stuff, then tomorrow, back to job-search related stuff.


So, I’ve been going to the gym twice a week for the past several weeks.

A few days ago, I started tracking my calories again.

See, back in 2010, last time I was unemployed, I got fat.  252 pounds, the heaviest I’ve ever weighed.  (Caveat – I was 252 in March 2011.  Last time I weighed myself before that was Sep 2010, and I was like 230 pounds then.  Which I’d weighed once before, in 2000.  And in 2000, I lost 30 pounds in about 3 months while working in a high volume kitchen.  So, at the time, I felt it was no worry… but I kept gaining weight, obviously.)

Right now, I’m about 220-225.  (I only weigh myself about once a week.  Weighing myself daily doesn’t do any good.)  I’ll weigh myself either tomorrow or Thurs morning.

But, anyhow.. so, March 2011, I get on the scale, I’m 252 pounds and I freak out.  I’d been going to the gym 2-3 times a week, but doing just basic stuff.  So I got myself in to the gym, talked to a personal trainer, came up with a program, was working out 4 times a week, sometimes 5.

And started counting calories.  Not really cutting out anything, just cutting back on the heavier calorie foods.

Which is what I’ve been doing (mostly; yesterday, feeling bad, kinda didn’t.  Oh, yeah, I’m an emotional eater.  Happy, sad, stressed, wired, depressed, euphoric, don’t matter, I eat.)

Anywho… using FatSecret (website and app) to track things, we’ll see how it goes.


Welp, that’s it for now.  As always, thanks for reading along.

Fighting Depression #11 – A week gone by.

March 2, 2017
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(Actually, it’s been eight days since my last post, but ‘a week’ rolls off the tongue mo’ betta.)

So… it’s been a pretty hectic week+.  Well, three of the days were hectic, the other four were recuperating.

As I’ve detailed before, I volunteered with D, someone I know from my time at the shelter (she’s a volunteer there, has been since mid/late 2010), helping her with a fund-raiser she does every year for the races in Daytona.  In the linked post there, I talked about Saturday the 18th, which was the first day.

A week ago today, Feb 23rd, was the second of the four days she needed my help.  (They do five days, but one day isn’t very busy, so it’s just her and one other person.  The other four days it’s the two of them, myself, and D’s brother, R.)  It was also the longest day (but not by much, truthfully… just seemed like it.)

I got up about 8am, showered, took Smiley for her morning constitutional, had my morning coffee, and left the house at 9am.  Swung by the library to drop off a movie, then headed out to her place.  Took her truck to Daytona.

We were there until 7pm.  Parking cars, taking money, socialising with the race fans.  Making sure our reserved parkers got their spots, taking reservations for the rest of the week.  Busy, busy.

It was almost 8pm by time I got home and fed Smiley, then showered and fed myself.  I was beat, my left foot/ankle REALLY didn’t feel too good (and I wasn’t able to find my ankle brace, so I ordered one off Amazon to get delivered on Friday.)

Friday the 24th, I did some grocery shopping and basically took it easy.  Tried to go easy on my foot as much as possible.  Did the usual goofing off (played video games, notably NO MAN’S SKY, which I’m still having a blast with, watched some telly, listened to some music) and minor housework (dishes, laundry.)  Watched EVOLVE 78 on FloSlam, was an enjoyable show.

Saturday the 25thwe had to be there at 8am, so I had to be up about 6:30am.  Earliest I’ve gotten up in almost two months… and hell, longer than that, as my usual wake up time when I was working at the shelter was 7am!

Saturday was fairly busy, but still not a madhouse.  I think Thursday was busier as a whole, though there was more of a later rush on Thursday because it’d been overcast and a little rainy until 4-5pm.  (The Thursday race was a late race, didn’t start until 7pm, I think – about the time we were leaving for the day.)

Saturday started off overcast and breezy and cool, but by 1pm, the sun was out in full force.  It was a good day, but I was BEAT when I got home.  (And more than a bit sunburned.)  It was an afternoon race, so we actually got to leave about 3:30pm.  I stopped at the library on the way home, as a movie I’d reserved was available (MOONRAKER, which is next on my James Bond watch-through, and not available on Amazon Prime like the rest I’ve watched thus far.  Roger Moore isn’t my favourite Bond – in fact, he’s my least favourite – and this movie was god-awful.  I didn’t even finish it.)

Got home about 4:45p, fed Smiley, showered, ate and watched EVOLVE 79 – a fantastic wrestling show, really one of their best yet.  Went to bed early, because Sunday, I had to get up at Stupid O’clock.

SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY! The day of the Daytona 500.  We got there at 7am… so, yeah, I was up at 5:30am.  I don’t even know when the last time I had to get up that early was.  I think I might’ve been asleep around 11:30pm, certainly before midnight, so I got 5.5+ hours of sleep.

Thank goodness I did.  Sunday was crazy.  I think the best way to sum it up is to post what I shared on social media that afternoon after getting home:

Waking up at Stupid O’clock happened.
Getting dressed happened.
Attending to critters’ needs happened.
Coffee happened.
Driving in darkness (cuz, Stupid O’clock, remember) happened.
Riding happened.
Wisely putting on knee brace happened.
Frustrations (not mine) over stupid people (not me) happened.
Setting up signs happened.
Pancakes happened.
Taking money happened.
Directing cars to be parked happened.
Running happened.
Sweating happened.
Candy happened.
Sunshine happened.
More sweating happened.
Vienna sausages and Starbucks Iced Coffee happened.
Getting people to not park in reserved spaces happened.
Making people happy we could arrange for their buddies/niece/other family to park next/near them happened.
Extra donations happened.
Dealing with other volunteers drama happened.
Bottled water happened.
Candy happened.
More directing cars, correcting cars happened.
Making people laugh happened.
Parking lots filling up happened.
Finding creative ways to park cars happened.
Making peoples’ day happened.
Forgetting to take pills happened.
Realising that pills were left at home happened.
Grateful for someone else having pills happened.
More parking happened.
More candy happened.
Parking lots filled up completely happened.
Ticket scalpers leaving happened.
More cars parked happened.
Cleaning up parking lots happened.
Sitting down happened, briefly.
Breaking down the set up (signs, chairs, coolers, snack tray, trash cans, etc) happened.
Riding in truck happened.
Getting in car and driving home happened.
Diet Pepsi happened.
Getting home happened.
Attending to critters’ needs happened.
Hot shower happened (and, oh, was it glorious…)
Relaxing happened.
Yogurt happened.
(Later, ham steak and mashed taters and salad will happen.)
(Movies will happen.)
(Early bedtime will happen.)

Here’s a pic of me Sunday afternoon, post-shower.  Exhausted, but feeling GREAT.  I was reminded that I am, very much still an extrovert, even though I’ve been acting rather introverted the past year.  Talking to people, helping them have a better experience, laughing/joking and interacting feeds me.  (And scroll down to the bottom of this post for some pics of the parking…)


img_20170226_160225Check out that good looking guy…

Monday/Tuesday, very little happened.  I was in all sorts of pain.  My foot was swollen (still is a little, but going down and hardly hurting any more now), my legs were sore from all the running (seriously, even working a physical/active job at the shelter for years, I have not been that sore/that active in a single day in many, many years.)  Some serious slacking happened those two days.  (Some housework, caught up on laundry, stuff like that.)

Wednesday, finished catching up on laundry (changed sheets, washed the dirty ones), did some more housework (vacuumed carpets, first time in a week+ I’m sure), took Smiley for some longer walks as I was more mobile.  (Not that she does long walks, she’s a senior dog, probably 13 years old, so we do shorter walks as a rule.)

Finished playing Telltale GamesTHE WOLF AMONG US.  Really enjoyed it and like the fact that I’ll be able to go back and play it again with different choices and see how the story goes.  Bigby Wolf is my favourite character from FABLES (no surprise there, right?), so getting to play him was a lot of fun.

Started playing UNCHARTED 4: A THIEF’S END again; I’d played it briefly when I first got my Playstation 4 at Xmas, b/c it was the game that came with the console, but hadn’t played it since.  Such an excellent game, really enjoying this one so far.  (Still playing NO MAN’S SKY, and loving that game a whole lot, too.)

Today, I started the day with some coffee and UNCHARTED 4, then did some yard work.  Not much, b/c my back let me know it’s not happy, but cut down some branches to put out at curbside for yard trash pick up today.

Next couple days, will be doing some more of that, catching up on housework/organising, running some errands, and, yes, playing video games, watching tv/movies and reading.  (You can check out my Goodreads for my book reading/reviews.)   And, since the new gym that I signed up for is open, I’ll probably get my ass out there.

As promised, here’s some pics of the parking.  Doesn’t remotely cover all the parking we had, and I have more pics that I’ll probably edit and share later in a separate post.

Fighting Depression #2

February 7, 2017
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So, yesterday… what’d I do yesterday?

Got a Redbox movie rental for $0.27, thanks to a promo code for being signed up to their text messages.  (If you Redbox, it’s totally worth it.  Most weeks, maybe one message.  Only more on special occasions and promo codes.)

So, I got Edge of Winter with Joe Kinnaman(sp?) and Tom Holland.  Pretty good movie, very atmospheric and tense… sadly the preview I saw on another disc pretty much gave away 90% of plot/twists/story, so it wasn’t as powerful as it would’ve been otherwise.  I fucking hate how much essential stuff they give away in previews any more.

Had Chili dogs, salad and a dark ‘n stormy for dinner, so that was fun.  Food is a big deal to me, as I’m sure anyone who follows me on social media knows.  So, a fun meal like that, that’s important to my mental health.

(And, yes, I know I have to be careful about my weight, especially now that I’m four weeks into not working a physical job.  I did sign up at CRUNCH DELTONA and am waiting for them to open later this month.

Ordered some canned cat and dog food off Amazon, so I now have enough for 2 months-plus.  One less thing to have to worry about, so that’s a good thing.

Plans for the rest of the week: general housework (been hit-or-miss with that, yay depression), some yard work (Thurs is yard trash pick up day, so I’m going to bundle some branches and bag up some other yard debris today and tomorrow), and I’m thinking I’m going to go see DOCTOR STRANGE at the $2 Theatre.  (I missed seeing it during full price run last year.)  Oh, and here’s my thoughts on Doctor Strange from a few years back. I’ll let you know what I think of their approach after I see the movie.

This weekend, a couple WWN wrestling events on FloSlam will be live, so that’s always a good thing for me.  Also, have a couple events of the “Secret Season” of CHIKARA to watch, and another wXw event from last week on FloSlam that I haven’t seen yet.

Been watching a fair amount of tv and movies, so that’s kinda cool, too.

Money wise, I’m doing ‘ok’.  I need to get off my ass, get stuff listed on Amazon and eBay and hopefully start making some that way, too.

This post is the 2nd of the FIGHTING DEPRESSION series.  You can find the first one here.


The Bestest Boy In The Whole Wide World

January 14, 2012
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When I first started working at the shelter, we had a former bait dog named Slim. Slim came to the shelter as a puppy. He was nearly dead, and was not expected to make it through the night. He was a pit bull puppy, I don’t know how old, but not a year, I think somewhere between 3 and 6 months. (He was at the shelter several years before I started there.) My director and her husband took him home and he made it through the night. Every day they’d come to work, they’d bring him with them (and his wounds needed constant tending) and my director’s husband, who is 6′ tall and 380#, would crawl into the not huge kennel and lay down and curl around the puppy as he laid on his blanket, and talk to him and tell him he was loved. To this day, they swear that had Gary not done that, they do not believe Slim would have lived.

Slim never got adopted – he was too unsure around so many people, and there was no way he could be in a house with other dogs. The first day that I worked there, the day I met Slim, he greeted me with such a nasty, furious growl and bark that I thought “now there’s a mean dog”. Later that day, I was scooping feces out of the kennels and I had to do his. I stepped in, prepared to offer him my boot (so that he could attack it and not harm me, while I cleaned up his kennel) and he looked at me with those big eyes, and I said, “Hi, Slim” and his tail started a-wagging so much his whole body was wagging. From that day on we were best of friends. He passed away several years ago, ultimately because of the trauma he’d suffered as a puppy – there was irreparable damage to his organs that shortened his lifespan. He’s buried at the shelter, behind the dog kennels, and we placed a dog house on top that reads ‘Slim’s House’. I still talk to him, when I walk by.

I have a special name or title for each of my favourite critters. Slim’s was “The Bestest Boy In The Whole Wide World”, and he was and always will be. (Gonna go dry my eyes now.)

(This post and thoughts of my Bestest Boy In The Whole Wide World came about after seeing this short video on Duke, a rescued bait dog)


Ending the year with mah critters (with pictures!)

January 9, 2012
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So I ended the year at the shelter, spent the night, just hung out there, me and the critters. I’d done it for several years (New Year’s Eve on 2007, 2008, 2009) and missed doing it last year (as I was not working at, or frequenting, the shelter then.) I worked Saturday, then headed out after closing up to grab a burger from a (relatively) new place in DeLand called Flippers. I got the BBQ Bacon burger, fries and macaroni salad (seen below):

The burger was most excellent – very thick (easily over 1/2″ thick) and the bun was definitely not your low-end burger bun.  The fries, while certainly frozen, were cooked well and salted just right (not too much, not too little), and the macaroni was a bit of a surprise – I’m used to the creamy/mayo based mac salads, this was more of a pasta salad – oil based with bits of ham in it as well – quite good, once I got past the initial surprise.

It was still light out when I got back (I ate at the shelter, so I’m posting out of order) – here’s the shot from the front gate:

The rest of the evening was doing some organizing of supplies, checking on the critters, spending some time with them.  About 8pm, I was getting hungry again, plus I knew I wanted to get something for dessert at midnight, so I ran out to a local Publix and bought some sushi for my meal, plus some potato chips to nibble on, juice for the morning’s breakfast, and a half of a mango key lime pie from the bakery.  (Sadly, I did not take pictures.)  O’Malley the office cat watched as I ate my sushi and hoped for some:

Then we settled in to watch some stuff on my computer – brought a couple movies on DVD, got in some wrestling (which O’Malley sat and watched with me, as the next picture illustrates):

About 11pm, I made my bed (in the front office); Charley, the office dog (the little guy you see sleeping in the corner) would spend the night under the blanket with me:

Stayed up through midnight, toasted in the new year with mango key lime pie and a Mike’s hard Lemonade, and was in bed by 12:45am.  Slept well, woke up several times during the night, got up about 7:15am, broke down my bed, fed the dogs, and started making breakfast for myself and my coworker, who came in at 8am:

Then, worked half a day and went home.  Was a good way to end the year/start off the new one.  Hope everyone else found a fun/special way to celebrate/honor it.  I spent a lot of time in reflection – 2011 was not the best year for me, but better than 2010 was.  The holidays were especially hard on me this year, and one of the deeper dips on the emotional rollercoaster I’ve been on… well, most of my life, if we’re honest.

My birthday weekend

September 25, 2011
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So, last weekend was my birthday weekend (technically, Saturday was my birthday) – the big 42. I took the day off work, and went and saw Apollo 18 at the Oveido Mall Marketplace 22 theatre. (The movie was good, very creepy and spooky. Great set design, f/x and acting. There’s a plot hole or two, especially considering the device – the “found footage” horror thriller – but if you check your disbelief at the door and enjoy it for what it is – a spooky thriller – it’s a great film.)

For dinner, I went to my fave restaurant, Bellini’s, and grabbed take out – an Italian hero (all the way, hot) and an order of jalapeno poppers. I spent the night at the shelter, as I had to get up early to ferry some cats to Orlando for the CFA Cat Show at the Central Florida Fairgrounds.

Here’s a pic of my bed I set up at the shelter, and the critter who bogarted it the moment I had it set up…

The cat show was really neat – I’d never been to one before. Lots of gorgeous kitties. We had several cats entered in the Household Pets category; I’ll include some pictures of them in the bottom of the post, but I wanted to feature one particular ‘cat’.

We had a table of knick-knacks and items for sale, as a fundraiser for the shelter. One item was a Halloween decoration – a black cat, back arched. Right before we were called before Judge Jody, a lady was at our table, talking to our volunteers, and she bought the decoration. When our cats were called for judging, she followed us to the ring, carrying her ‘cat’.

Each judge has a clerk, and the clerk for Judge Jody took the ‘cat’ and placed it in a cage, as if it were one of the cats in the competition:

Judge Jody, however, could have ignored it. Household Pets is more relaxed, more casual than the breed categories. As such, she ran with it and judged the ‘cat’:

When Judge Jody asked the owner what the cat’s name was, she was given the answer “Stiffy”. By this time, we were all laughing, especially when Judge Jody posed with Stiffy and his ribbon. (The director of the Cat Show even came over and took pictures of our shenanigans.)

Our cats did well and took home many ribbons. The show was fun, but I really had hoped to go on a date for my birthday. 😦

Ah, well. Time for some kitten pics!

Check out my Guest-Blogging at French Fry Diary

August 10, 2011
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So, my home skillet, Glenn Walker, loves french fries. So much so, he has a blog about french fries and other potato-ey things. I’ve blogged for him twice, last year about Taco Bell’s spicy potato bite taco, and now about the former shelter mascot, Booger, and her love of Glenn’s favourite finger food.

Please, click here to visit his blog and read my post. It’s about animals and food, what’s not to love?

In loving memory of my little ones

August 5, 2011

Frodo closed his eyes for the last time. He was so tired, so very tired. His years, though not many, were a lifetime, and he had no complaints. He bedded down with Silly Willy, Brandy and Elwood, his pack, and drifted off into slumber, not knowing, or perhaps knowing, it was the great slumber.

It was dark,, but he could move. He was no longer tired, no longer sore, no longer old. In the distance, there was a light, and a familiar presence. No, presences. He scampered towards the light, with the undying energy of a kit. He ran along, in that funny, almost awkward way all ferrets run. The light got closer, brighter, and there were smells and.. yes! Yes, he could hear other ferrets, romping, playing!

He exited the darkness through the hole that led into the light. It was a great field that went as far as the eye could see. There was smells galore, ones he’d never smelled before, and some he’d smelled before when Terry came home from the outside world.

For a moment, he was sad, he would miss Terry and the rest of the pack. But, then, before he could dwell on it too long, other ferrets came romping over. And he knew them! There was Jake! And Abby! If there were here, then maybe…

YES! SAMMY! Frodo ran to his bother and they wrestled, biting and scratching in sheer joy. Jake and Abby jumped in and it was a great romp! There were others there, too, and they played and played.

My Frodo passed away this morning. He was approaching 7 years of age and Sammy had preceded him a couple months ago. I had them since they were 1 year of age, back in early 2006. Jake and Abby are other ferrets that I had when they first came to me.

Typing and crying is really hard!

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