Here’s What A Teal Pumpkin On The Doorstep Means For Halloween

This is a really great idea. So many kids have allergies, especially peanut allergies. 😦 I have allergies and I know it’s far worse when you’re a child and want to be able to enjoy things normally. I hope some of you will do this. I’m going to look for one.

Bad Days, Sweet Cats

As I will explain in a future post, I’ve been having some incredibly bad days (it’s been many, many months, actually. I am not pointing any fingers in saying that, life is simply unpredictable as hell.). Some of it is health-related, but the rest is not worth repeating twice, so I’ll save it for the other post, which I’ve been working on for the past few days. I’m not quite ready to emotionally complete it.

This morning I was struck with the realization that there aren’t a lot of constants in this life. You can only hope that your true friends and family know who you are, as opposed to pretending they know you, and will love you unconditionally. You learn from the people who place conditions on every aspect of their “love”. God & Goddess, please don’t EVER let me be such a selfish, vindictive person that I use “love” against people. It’s not meant to be used as a weapon, much like a child is not meant to be used as a pawn during divorce proceedings. With each passing day, I feel like some people become uglier on the inside and quite frankly, it makes me sick to my stomach.

I went to bed early last night with a migraine I can’t seem to shake. Inevitably, due to the medication I took for it, I ended up wide awake by 1:30 this morning. I’ve been writing ever since, thinking, and doing a lot of soul-searching.

When I entered my sleep time into the Migraine App this morning (it doesn’t always pick up the exact time if I go to bed earlier than usual), I found a message from my brother that is quite telling. I’ve been explaining a few situations to him for many months now and at times he has been supportive and other times, quite vacant. I understand his anger and frustration. He’s been through crap I wouldn’t wish on a single soul and is still kind, caring, forgiving, and devoted. He tells me to forgive people on a near daily basis and insists that I pray for them instead of being angry. I’m often thinking “Hello? Have we met?!”, because I’m more likely to react than he is, at least these days. I haven’t reached any Zen states, mostly because too many people are taking shots at me. However, his message is a reminder of so many things. “You keep being yourself. Fuck everyone else! You are great as you are, do you understand? Don’t ever change for anybody.”

When you hear negative shit every single day, and you’re told it’s “merely feedback”, you occasionally start wondering if it’s true or if you’re going insane. It is 100% a form of brain-washing. You either shrivel up into a ball and believe the lies you’re told about who and what you are, or you put your hand up and say “Wait one fucking second! I KNOW who I am. You don’t get to define me with your negativity and issues.” Some people are not happy or satisfied unless they are hurting others verbally. Being emotionally abusive is still being abusive, and it’s not okay. I wish people could hear themselves 24/7 because if they could, they’d be apologizing for a lot of the crap that comes out of their mouths when they are tired, stressed out, worried, etc. I will always apologize if I’m wrong, even if I realize it three days later, but never being apologized to is incredibly hurtful to me.


This year is NOT going as I planned. I have gotten a lot of doors slammed in my face, have had a lot of promises made to me broken in ways that are incredibly harmful, not to mention unforgivable, and I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced such severe despair before. Every day, week, month, etc., is a battle of pure survival. I am not happy. I am not enjoying any aspect of my life, and I loathe certain times of each day when I am forced to place every single ounce of who I am into a Tic-Tac sized box and pretend it doesn’t exist. It is nearly as bad as aspects of my childhood. The only difference is, back then I knew one of two things would happen; I would kill the abuser (my father) and spend the rest of my life in jail or my mother would finally gain the strength and courage to leave. Obviously, the latter happened. I don’t know that she ever truly had the strength and courage, but she did have the emotional support, and when she didn’t, she leaned on me. I was her rock.

Sometimes I feel as though the few people who remain in my life forget what I’ve been through, denounce what I am capable of, and try to make me feel guilty for being ill. People underestimate me. But when accusations regarding my character come into play, you’re asking for more trouble than you can handle.

I’ve said it before, but perhaps it bears repeating; I’m not a nice person. I don’t strive to be someone people trifle with and through experience, I have seen what nice brings. I can certainly be nice, I have my moments, but I don’t suggest testing me to see if you can reach the point of no return. Most people will interact with me and find me pleasant and lovely to be around, and that’s because they’ve chosen not to challenge my existence. They’ve chosen to treat me like a human-being. They’ve chosen not to start crap with me. I don’t respond kindly to threats, accusations, or anything negative. I might be looking at you and/or listening to you, but I may also be plotting your untimely demise in my head. That doesn’t mean I’ll act on it, but we’ve all reached a point with someone (or multiple people) and had a thought we might not normally have, leave alone share with others. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with us. If anything, it means we’re human. If you haven’t contemplated slapping someone, knocking their teeth out, breaking their jaw, or killing them in their sleep and telling G-d it was an accident, then I don’t trust you, because these are common thoughts. I know, because I’ve done a poll.

Nine times out of ten, it is mere words. “I’ll beat his ass.” or “I’ll slap the rude right out of her.” It’s not what you truly intend to do, it’s not even what you’re going to do when you calm down, it is simply a manifestation of anger in the initial moment. These are total “heat of the moment” reactions, and they are entirely human. Unless you’re a saint, you’ve had these thoughts. Unless you’ve reached some type of Zen Master level that I am not aware exists, you too have had these thoughts at least once in your life. No one is perfect and no one should claim to be. I will not pretend that thoughts haven’t crossed my mind. It makes killing characters off so much easier, because you can take your anger and write it out of your system. Or at least, I can. Sometimes all a person has to do is breathe wrong in my general direction and my first thought is “I’ve figured out fifteen different ways to kill you off in book four. In another minute, that number will go up to sixty.” You’ve managed to react without raising your voice or harming another person physically. In my case, the reward for this is bigger than chocolate, cupcakes, or a shopping spree at Sephora. This is HUGE, it warrants going all out. 😉

Again, this is all human. It does not mean I will be on the ten o’clock news having done something heinous. Will I have thought about it? The probability is quite high, yes. But acting on something and thinking about it are two completely different ends of the spectrum.


I have been battling pretty much the same killer migraine for almost a week now, getting 3-4 hours as a “break” until another one slams into my head. Stress is the number one killer in this country, causing all different types of health issues, and when you suffer from migraines, they are often borne out of stress. Even if you think you lead a relatively stress-free existence, migraines are migraines and they don’t necessarily give you a break when medication doesn’t help.

This week it’s been migraines and my allergies taking me down. I’ve either been completely erratic with my sleep schedule or I’ve been unable to get out of bed, there hasn’t been a lot of middle-ground.

Through all this, Kitten has fiercely become my companion again. Both Cat and Kitten have been distant all these months. Less affectionate, less happy-go-lucky, less relaxed. They’re afraid of hands and they get snippy over the most basic things. They aren’t as open to affection as they once were, but I’ve done my best. They are an immense priority in my life, but you cannot force animals to change their behavior or to spend time with you when they’d prefer not to. So, waking up several times this week with Kitten glued to my side has been a nice change. She has patiently stayed with me while I’ve been ill, has been her normal, loving self, and has insisted on giving me kisses and trying to eat my hair again. This is progress; she is seeking me out for more than just food. Seeing them playing and not being fearful makes me smile. Unfortunately, they scare easily these days. 😦 I pray that one day, they will feel secure again. They are little blessings. I know they were both sent to me, that they’re both gifts of the highest order, so I pray their fear dissipates and their happiness and health surges. All I can do is keep being me, which shows them that while life has changed, Mommy has not. I always tell them that I’m their safe place. Apparently, Kitten is listening and Cat pretends to listen in case the treat bag makes noise. 😉

I ordered their food online because the price was unbeatable and you don’t always see large bags of grain-free food on sale (Occasionally I am able to get a local store to price-match, but this time it simply wasn’t worth the effort.). You’ve never seen two cats happier to see a shipping box. I’m schlepping in a thirty pound box Saturday morning (Thank you FedEx and for saving my butt!) and they both watched and waited to see what had arrived. I opened the box and they both stared at the packaging and each other before they each lifted a paw to swat in sync. I quickly unboxed everything and they stared at each other to see who would get into the box first. Kittens defers to Cat on most things, especially if she’s unsure about something. Cat wasn’t happy with me for breaking the box down so quickly. But give her a purse and she just might go anywhere with you! This is new behavior I’ve never seen before. A lot of their behavior is new. Kitten is now extremely interested in my purse and I keep saying “Get your paws out of that bag.” I caught her trying to take my makeup bag out of my purse and drag it off like prey. It’s cute once, the second time makes you question all that you carry around (I’m like Mary Poppins, with a different accent. LMAO!). I haven’t weighed it, but I’m certain it weighs more than they do, combined. It would explain why my shoulder hurts every time I am out for more than twenty minutes with my bag on my shoulder. Clearly I am a masochist. 😦 Clearly, Kitten is trying to get me to see the error of my ways.

The week ends with the birthday of one of my best friends. She is my soul-sister; beautiful, talented, and as afflicted by Fibromyalgia pain as I am. I am wishing for her a healthier, prosperous, and supremely happier year. If there is good in me it is most reflected in my friendships, which are pure platinum.

Welcome to all the new followers; I appreciate both your readership and comments. 🙂

I will attempt to decompress as much as possible and I wish you all a wonderful weekend to come.

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Are You Ready For Ragweed Season?

Apparently, I am NOT. I came home late the other night and my eyes were nearly swollen shut from all the crap in the air. Also, someone had either hit or spooked a skunk, which could be smelled for a good three miles. The fact that I had to take my contacts out three times and clean them like a mad woman before putting them back in didn’t help. I don’t normally use drops every few minutes, but it was maddening and the lenses are new, so I knew that wasn’t the issue. And yes, I had a migraine that made me want to die the entire time. The weather going back and forth between Spring temperatures and Fall temperatures isn’t helping either. I’m hesitant to put my contacts in today, but it’s not really an option to go without them. I’m just worried about how warm it’s supposed to be and how the thunderstorms may or may not affect the migraine I currently have.

Here’s hoping it’s quick and painless. I’m in too much pain for anything else.

Pain Levels

I’m sitting here, minding my own business, and my pain levels shot from a 4 to a solid 15 in just a few minutes. Has this happened to anyone else out of nowhere?

Not being in complete control of your own body is HELL. I cannot see past the blinding pain that starts in my neck and spreads down the body, right into my toes. It’s terrifying and nauseating. The strongest thing I have to “fight” this is two Aleve. Yeah, I know. I might as well just call in dead.

No one should have to live like this, except maybe Hitler, members of the Taliban, religious extremists, and terrorists. Give me a few hours, I can probably think of other people to add to the list.

I am off to procure Benadryl cream for the “itch that refuses to stop”. It’s only my eye… It’s not like I need it or anything. <rolls eyes>

Is a 9:00 a.m. nap completely pathetic? I am sending someone an e-mail to wake me at a reasonable hour. This shit has GOT to stop!

Pissed Off, Pained, & Frustrated,


Sleep, Pain, & Stress


Sleep doesn’t come easily for me these days. In fact, I often wonder how long I can function without sleep. Seemingly I can only sleep when I’m sick, upset, or exhausted beyond words. No one likes wasting time staring at the ceiling. Tossing and turning for hours is overrated and I’m not going to do it.

Over the weekend, in the midst of two straight days of research, I kept waking up to write additional notes. I already had about 40 pages of thorough, detailed notes. Apparently I am an overachieving planner. If I had a question, I immediately consulted my phone for the info so I could jot it down. If I had a new thought or idea, I got out of bed and consulted the appropriate chapter in the notebook I am using. It was in those brief moments where I realized that it wasn’t just lack of sleep, but OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) rearing its ugly head.

I’m not one to joke about things of that nature, but I am quick enough to see the signs within myself. It’s not textbook, it’s obsessively writing notes and planning, and there are other things I’ve been doing lately that are simply not me, but are happening just the same. If you’ve experienced repetitive forms of trauma in your life, especially when they haven’t been treated properly, or at all, other things can start surfacing.

OCD in varying degrees runs in my family. I used to think my Grandmother was nuts, always checking the stove to make sure the gas was off, even if she hadn’t used it, and making sure that every window was locked before leaving the house, even if she hadn’t opened them. It drove me insane, but now I see I have things I do before I leave the house that are similar. I don’t check my stove or windows religiously, but do I lock the door a certain way? Yes. Are there other things I do each day that come across as OCD in nature? Yes. I’ve never seen them as anything other than faith, cleaning, or “it’s better to be safe than sorry”, but now I am starting to see it for what it truly is There is no doubt in mind.

I have a ‘before bed’ routine that I’ve always considered ‘good skin care’ and/or ‘good hygiene’ as opposed to ‘ritual’. Most people simply go to bed. I spend at least 30-120 minutes “getting ready for bed”.

Last night I decided no computer, no e-mail, no reading, no checking my phone. Absolutely NO wasting time. I did one part of the ‘before bed’ routine, recycled a bottle of mouthwash, and got into bed. No muss, no fuss. I fell asleep once it was quiet and my brain was able to shut the hell up. Unfortunately, I went to bed a little too early, because here I sit, and it’s not even 5:15 a.m EDT. No sane person wants to get up at 4:00 in the morning unless they have to be somewhere. I thought it was later than it was, but it’s not. In my attempt to get a healthy amount of “normal” sleep, I ended up confusing my body, myself, and cat and kitten, who both think it’s breakfast time because that’s what I do when I wake up in the morning; I prioritize their immediate needs. The birds are chirping, so other living beings are awake, but all I can do is sit here in a panicked state.

I woke up from a nightmare and it’s stressing me out. After checking the time, refilling water bowls, checking the thermostat (It’s unbelievably hot in here, but the thermostat says 64 degrees. Yeah, I’m not buying it either!) and making sure that dry food in readily available to my little ladies, I returned to my room and turned my computer on for the first time in well over 15 hours.

In my attempt to decompress and de-stress, I am trying to be on the computer during daylight hours only. By 7:00 PM, the only way I’m going to check e-mail is via my tablet. Nothing is SO important that it cannot wait. The app for my phone that allows me to check e-mail is also turned off, so even if I wanted to check or sneak a peek at incoming messages, I’m intentionally not allowing myself to read them. I started implementing this a few days ago to see if I could disengage. I know it will eventually allow me to sleep better at night.


Pain, the constant ‘companion’ that is Fibromyalgia has been both restless and lurking beneath the surface, flaring up at inconvenient moments that cause me to get into bed for no apparent reason in the middle of the day, thus insuring I will not be able to sleep at night. I’d gone a few days without taking OTC pain medication of any kind, but I am still in pain. My body still hurts. My muscles scream for pain relief. And my allergies are so bad, it’s hard to function without wanting to rip my skin off. My face has only recently stopped burning. My eyes, however, are driving me insane and I am pretty sure my nails have scratched a path from the middle of one hand to below my wrist. My eye drops are not working and the Benadryl cream I’ve used is a temporary fix, at best. 😦

I wish I had something incredibly thought-provoking or witty to interject with, but I don’t. I have no pearls of wisdom to share, not even a splash of humor. I’m stunned into silence, unhappy in ways I cannot communicate. One of the worst parts of unhappiness is knowing that there are people who relish in your misery. They drink it as if it’s their morning coffee, because it makes them feel better about their own lives. It’s so negative and evil that the thought makes me sick. But I can handle assholes. In fact, I can handle everything I don’t believe I can handle. I just wish I remembered why I have to keep handling it at all. 😦

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Breaking Point


I think it’s admirable when people say “Keep Fighting”, but in actuality, they do not know what you are battling, they do not know your mind, they do not know your heart, and they do not know your breaking point.

We all have lines that, once crossed, send us into different modes of survival. It is perfectly normal to freak out, panic, cry, scream, be incredibly angry, etc. It’s also okay to want to curl up into a ball and not emerge from that position for a while. It is okay to think your feelings through, in your own time and in your own way. When you’re going through something rough, something most people will never have to face, no one wants or needs to be yelled at like a dog that just shit on a persian rug.

I am going through something tremendous at the moment. It is terrifying, heartbreaking, cruel, evil, wrong, and a plethora of other things that I will refrain from saying. Maybe in a year from now, I will feel comfortable sharing the story without feeling as though I am being judged.

There may reach a time when I am not able to be present here on a daily basis. I might be able to check in once a week for a few months, if that. I hope that you can all be patient and stick by me through this, but I will also understand if you don’t. I’m not going to take it personally, but I do feel it is better to be honest in advance, as opposed to simply disappearing for a while without any explanation. I do not intend to abandon what I have.

I LOVE what I do here. It brings me an immense sense of peace and contentment. It is a daily reminder that I’m not just “some person who writes” or “likes to write”, but an actual writer. There’s a difference between the three, but I don’t have to explain it. A great many of you “get it”.

For now, I will remain as present as possible. I will let you know through my work when the insanity is going to start and hopefully have a “I’m going to be back full-time” date as well. Please know I am doing the best I can, trying to remain sane, and trying very hard not to cash in my “life chips”. I am reminding myself this morning that I have survived all of the worst days of my life up until this point. That’s a 100% success rate, and now I just have to keep moving forward, despite wanting to shut down and lose my temper.

In the meantime, I really want and need several solid weeks of uninterrupted sleep each night. My allergies have decided to become a full-on pain in the ass out of nowhere, so I took half a Benadryl last night before going to bed (Because that’s all I had left, or I would have taken two.). My eyes and parts of my face are still itching and burning with no logical reason whatsoever, except that I am stressed and already have eye allergies. Even my eye drops are utterly useless, providing absolutely no relief. Stress, it turns out, manifests in a myriad of ways.

Stay healthy and safe everyone. I’ll be around until I say otherwise.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 


Utterly Useless


Hello everyone! I’m sorry that I’ve been completely and utterly useless for the last few days, which explains my lack of posts. I got slammed by allergies and haven’t really been able to function a whole lot. The shift into Spring is difficult for those of us with allergies, especially if you live on the East Coast and you’re experiencing the incredibly odd shift each day. The nights are either cold or mild, the days are mild, warm, sometimes way too hot, and if the pollen count is high, forget it. There is nothing consistent about this, it’s all incredibly random. This time around, my allergies are seemingly pet related. I’m not giving cat and kitten to someone else, so I just have to suck it up. Clawing at my face and eyes all day isn’t exactly a clear picture of who I am, so I think it’s best to handle it and get on with my life. I’m fine, until the Benadryl wears off. Basically that means I’m fine, so long as I am knocked out on Benadryl and resting, to some extent. My eye drops haven’t been very helpful either, which makes me grouchy. In my attempt to “make it better”, I obsessively laundered every single thing either of them has touched or slept on that could affect me, because naturally they both insist on fussing over my things and only sleeping on their own when convenient. I discovered one additional item this morning. If I contemplate it for too long, I will end up in an allergists’ office demanding allergy shots. Alas, it can take years for those to work, if they work at all.

If it hasn’t been killer allergies, it’s been other things keeping my “under the weather”, for lack of a better expression. I simply do not feel right these days. My Fibromyalgia has been so bad that I feel bruised, achy, and sore from the top of my spine down to my calves. The sparring I did Sunday night resulted in a bruised right hand from a knuckle on knuckle hit. Properly job is apparently equals out to “more pain”. Unfortunately, it’s one of the few things I can do for several hours that doesn’t make me want to rip my limbs off. I have to chalk that up to a cruel joke.

Beyond that, there’s really not much to report or say. I am working on some ideas, letting them stew. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day for what I want and need to do, especially when I feel like crap. This, I suspect, is the chronic fatigue aspect of Fibromyalgia that often rears its ugly head when you’ve done too much in a short period of time. It certainly explains my intense desire to take naps when I normally power through the afternoons with writing or editing projects.

Here’s hoping all of this passes soon and that I can return to status quo. Pain is still pain, but sleeping like a coma patient and acting like a zombie the rest of the time is disturbing.

I hope your week is turning out to be far more productive. Just don’t brag if it is. No one appreciates a smart ass. 😛

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.