Sunday, May 31, 2020

Come As You Are Party: Me in 3D with Four Poems

It's all a bit too much, I think. Too much going on, not enough of it good. I don't know if I gave up a long time ago or if it just came to a point where I was so jaded that nothing really mattered. I'm honestly not sure why I bother most of the time, but still I do. I may just be too stupid to have figured out that whatever I may do or not, it makes no difference.

I read a poem that made me think about the days of youth, and this was my reply to it:

It was a simpler time when it was fun to find discarded cans and trade them for a few cents to buy a treat. Today would have been my father's 84th birthday. Sometimes I wish I could go back to one of those moments when he was still here and there were possibilities.

I read another poem with which I resonated, and this was my reply:

I resonate with this. Sadly, I think society has learned nothing from the past six months.

To a poem trying to convince me that I'm a masterpiece (which I most assuredly do not think I am) I had this to say:

I'm generally of the opinion that I'm a mistake that was cobbled together out of spare parts. Still, I don't think this gives anyone the right to treat me or anyone else unkindly just because they don't find us appealing. This is why I'm not nice or compliant and why I bite.

In reply to a poem about the manner in which the British won their conquests in territories such as Malaya and Borneo while the United States lost ours in Vietnam, I had this to say:

I believe that your weapons were much better than ours. As a U.S. citizen, I also feel it is my duty to apologize for the spray-tanned horse's ass that is our so-called leader and I am grateful for those British citizens who fly the tRump baby balloon whenever he pays a visit to your country.

Too deflated to bother being ornery today

Friday, May 22, 2020

Fat Friday: Fuck this Fatphobic Asshole

So I was reading a thread on Reddit about a surrogate who was told by her doctor that she was "tipping the scales" during her last appointment. She said that it was "too late to change doctors." I don't know where she is in the world, but this kind of size shaming bullshit is never appropriate. However, the fact that she is pregnant takes it one step beyond the pale. So, fuck this fatphobic shithead of a doctor. There are far too many of his kind.

However, along comes some champion of diet culture to defend his crappy ass. And they said:

"I understand that this woman should be able to switch doctors, but we also have no clue if she is dangerously overweight and should be keeping it off.

Being obese brings its own health risks and she could be putting herself in danger."

To which I replied:

Good god almighty. The whole BUT TEH OHBEESITEEEEEEEE nonsense benefits no-one except the multi-billion dollar diet industry. It is never appropriate to shame someone for their body type, but during pregnancy is an especially awful time to be telling someone to "LUZ TEH WATEZ AND KEEPZ IT OFF!"

Size shaming results in increased eating disorders and self-loathing. Only about five percent of people (who diet) lose weight long term. Further, chronic dieting slows the metabolism, and people wind up even heavier than they were before they started dieting.

What a doctor should be looking at with extreme weight gain during pregnancy is the possibility of toxemia. A sudden increase in fluid can be a sign of serious complications. I still have stretch marks on the backs of my calves because of the amount of fluid I gained when I developed toxemia. Fortunately, my doctor was not a fatphobic asshat. He realized that there was a serious problem.

In conclusion:
Seriously, fuck both of these assholes.

Free use image by Open Clipart Vectors on Pixaby
Fat and Ornery

Free use image from Pixabay

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Alzheimer's disease, the insulin resistance and a bit of crypto ranting on the side

Alzheimer's disease, the insulin resistance and a bit of crypto ranting on the side: For years it was hypotethised that there is a link between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. But, as the latest researches point out, both illnesses got something in common: poor blood sugar management and insulin resistance. 

I have heard this theory before, and I have a lot of problems with it. Not everyone who has diabetes develops Alzheimer's (or any other type of dementia, for that matter) and not everyone who has Alzheimer's has diabetes. People with diabetes are definitely at greater risk for vascular dementia because of the potential vascular problems inherent with uncontrolled elevated glucose.

There are people who have both Alzheimer's and diabetes, certainly. I worked with the elderly population for many years. The risk of both Alzheimer's and other dementias increases as a person ages, as does the chance of developing type 2 diabetes for those who have a genetic vulnerability. However, I very seldom encountered anyone who had both Alzheimer's disease and diabetes. 

Managing high blood glucose is certainly imperative to preventing life-threatening vascular problems, including strokes and vascular dementia. It has very little to do with the prevention of Alzheimer's disease.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Guerrero Words: Ungrateful A-holes

Guerrero Words: Ungrateful A-holes: I stood in line in front of the hospital, doing my best to stay six feet away from someone who felt the need to scream into their phone. ...

The last time my son and I physically went to the doctor's office back in January, him for a sinus infection and me for my quarterly blood draw for the mess that is my endocrine system, I was wondering to myself why they were playing the TV so loud in the waiting room. 

Then I looked and saw that the TV was off. It was a woman playing videos at top volume on her cell phone to entertain her kid. 

I thought that it was really lovely of her to share her videos with the entire waiting room and to teach her kid to be an entitled asshat too. That's what I call multitasking!

Monday, May 18, 2020

Sly Likes: Feminist Poetry from H. Hennenburg

Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

The statue depicts Dame Millicent Fawcett (11 June 1847 – 5 August 1929), an iconic British feminist.

Today I encountered a thought-provoking poem entitled The Shape of Water. It was written by H. Hennenburg in 1998.

"But do you know that a woman's voice will change the world slowly? Light will creep in where she unburdens her heart."

This poem inspired a train of thought for me.

It makes me think of a line from the song by Ten Years After.

"I'd love to change the world but  I don't know what to do. So I leave it up to you."

Then there's another song that comes to mind, this one by Ani DiFranco.

"I am not a pretty girl, that is not what I do."

Here I am, a woman who sees the ways in which we could be kinder to one another and make the world a better place. But since I am a strange old bird and not pretty at all, I have a hard time making myself heard. The world doesn't tend to listen to women who look like me.

Then again, they don't tend to listen to the women that men fall all over themselves to get next to either.

~Sly Has Spoken~

Royalty-free image copyright Julia Henze. Purchased from

Sly Fawkes is your ornery old Aunt Cie's snarky political alter-ego.

The Icky, Sticky, Nit-Picky Legalese, if You Please (Or Don't Please)

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Sunday, May 17, 2020

Ornery Poetry Story Time: Lotus Laments

Image copyright Carlo Paulasso

Always believing him out of her reach
There was a subtle trembling in her speech
Whenever she had something to report
As she daydreamed of being his consort

But dreams become nightmares for foolish girls
He stole a treasure more precious than pearls
Never could she believe he was that man
A cur in an alley grabs what he can

She believed him to be a righteous gent
Quickly from her heart was that belief rent
He was a doctor, she minded his kids
She is left with the guilt from what he did

Her innocence died upon that cold night
There is nothing on Earth can make it right

Lotus Lakshmi Martha Clifford
13 March 1963

Sharing with these sites: (for Promote Yourself Monday)

If all you wanna see is the poetry, this is is your stop. If you wanna take note of the notes, stick around!

I am very grateful to the folks at the Sunday Muse blog for providing this photo. It turned out to be the push I needed to get out of my stuck place with my WIP, The Ballad of Gerry Clifford.

Lotus is the older sister of the titular character. She was adopted into the large, loving Clifford family when she was six years old. She wrote this sonnet after being molested at twelve years old by the doctor whose children she babysat for.

If you would like to see more snippets from this and other stories as they develop, please click the following link to check out your options.

The Icky, Sticky, Nit-Picky Legalese, if You Please (Or Don't Please)

Content copyright 2020 by Cara Hartley

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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Tackle It Tuesday: Tackling the Truth Part 1: I Suck At Blogging

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I am a walking contradiction. It isn't that I set out to deceive anyone, but I'm not always forthcoming. This may be part and parcel of the fun shenanigans played by a brain with bipolar disorder. (Type 2)

When I am hypomanic, I tend to be very forthcoming.

When I am depressed, I withdraw because I don't figure that anyone wants to hear anything that I have to say.

When I'm euthymic, it's somewhere in between, only without the self-loathing. On one hand, I don't feel like I have anything to hide. On the other hand, I figure nobody needs to know anything that I don't feel like revealing.

I have a high degree of social anxiety. Sometimes the hypomanic component overrides this, but it always comes back. This is why I may have a day where I'm waltzing around promoting my faboo posts on blog hops, and the next day I am overwhelmed and may not be able to reply to comments for a long time.

People tend to feel that someone who doesn't reply to comments right away is simply a rude a-hole. Most of the time, I find that people are overwhelmed by trying to do too many things, for instance, they may have a job and a family and are also trying to create and promote. Also, many people have anxiety and other psychological issues and these can sideline them. I tend to assume in most cases that the person who didn't reply isn't rude, they're simply overwhelmed.

There are two things that I suck at. Sheesh, I wish it was only two. Truth be told, I suck at everything, but these are the two things that pertain to this discussion.

I suck at blogging. Seriously, I am not a good blogger. Someone once said that being a blogger and being a writer are not the same thing, and boy howdy is that ever true. 

I suck at promotion and networking and all that kind of happy crappy. I seriously wish I had the money to hire someone to do it for me because I make such a mess of it. This ties into the whole sucking at blogging thing.

Here's how I messed things up this time.

On Sunday, I thought: "Say, let's do some blog hops with my Sunday Dinner post!"

On Monday, I thought: "Well, let's continue with that..."

On Tuesday, I was still trying to get to all the blog hops that I thought it would be a good idea to share that post with.

There are some of y'all out there who participate in a metric butt-ton of blog hops every week and I have to admit that I HAVE NO IDEA HOW YOU DO IT! That right there is a full-time job. Maybe (probably) I'm just stupid. But my hat would be off to you if I wore a hat. I could take off my pants, socks, or shirt, but ain't nobody wants to see that.

I have a group of goals (more like a cluster f**k of goals) that I'm trying to make happen. Some of them I've been trying to make happen for years. Admissibly, it's harder for me because I'm not a social butterfly. I'm more of a social hermit crab. My attitude tends to take one of two forms.

1) I scuttle up, present my work, and say "here ya go, love it or leave it." Then I scuttle off to make something else.

2) I scuttle up, present my work, and whimper "please don't be mean to me!" Then I scuttle off and withdraw into my shell for a week or so.

Now, let's talk about me for a minute.

I've been belittled on many occasions for not honing in on JUST ONE BIG THING WITH LASER FOCUS!!!111!! I've also been belittled for having shaky self-esteem. I always beat myself up for both of these "shortcomings." 

Why would I put "shortcomings" in quotation marks?

Because I don't think these things are shortcomings. It sucks to have poor self-esteem, but how the actual hell do people think it helps someone overcome their low self-esteem when you're berating them for having low self-esteem? Improving one's self-esteem isn't the kind of thing that happens overnight.

People with low self-esteem have one thing in common. We have all been abused. Whether this abuse comes from family, schoolmates, or society at large, we've been abused. Abuse gets internalized, and it can take a long time to reverse that process. Often, it is never fully reversed.

The self-esteem issue is a post in itself, so I'm going to table that for now.

As to being unable to hone in on one target with laser focus and pigeonhole myself into a niche, I've tried that. Again and again and again. I have failed at it every time. 

It took me 54 years to learn some important things about me. First, I have ADD. This has an effect on the way I interact with the world and what it throws at me. Combine ADD with bipolar disorder and you're pretty well guaranteed to have a person who will not do well trying to have LASER FOCUS!

ADD affects the way I write. I'm a prolific writer, but I go off on sidetracks. I learned that instead of trying to write focused novels, I need to write collections of novelettes that have a central theme and that can work together or be read as separate short stories. 

My thought process works a lot like the way time works according to Dr. Who.

What I'm getting around to is this:

My writing comes first. I get very upset when I don't do it. I hate the fact that I have to promote it. It makes me very anxious. I know that I'm an acquired taste that most people don't tend to acquire. So is my writing. I doubt that I'll ever make a lot of money off my writing. But I can't hold a normal job, so I'm trying to find alternative ways to make money.

I need to promote the alternative means, just like I need to promote the writing.

But then people get angry with me for promoting...well, anything, really.


Here is what I'm getting around to.

I didn't mean to make anyone angry at me. I'm sorry if I didn't reply to your comment yet. You may think I'm a jerk, but I didn't mean to be. I'm still trying to refine my process, and I may never be any good at any of this. 

Thanks for reading. I'm going to go make some soda bread now.

~Your Ornery Old Aunt Cie~

Monday, May 11, 2020

About Me Monday + Money Monday: Saving on Groceries

Image copyright Steve Buissine

The following is my reply to a post by Jessi Fearon, a SAHM who has a blog dedicated to debt-free living.

My only kid is 30 years old. We live out in the middle of nowhere, and I'm disabled (trying to get disability) and doing freelance work on the computer. 

I hadn't cooked in years, so I started ordering meal kits. They've helped a lot, but as my son says, I think we're growing beyond them. There is a good local butcher about 50 miles from where we live (it's about 50 miles to any city where we live!) and we are going to start getting our meat there. 

My son agreed to get in on the meal planning. He is high-functioning autistic, so a lot of food textures bother him which wouldn't come into play for someone who isn't autistic. His input is vital if I'm going to make this work! 

I have ADD, so I tend to get excited in the planning stage and then bored before I am able to implement my plans. His job is to keep me focused and on track.

Further Thoughts:

Meal kits are a great place to start (and maybe stay, if that's what works best for you) when you haven't cooked in a long time (or ever.) We have saved oodles of money by ordering meal kits from Everyplate and Hello Fresh. We used to get takeout all the time. It was costly and often not very satisfying.

I was sad when my son suggested that we should move away from the meal kits and towards planning our own meals every week. I like choosing the meals to be delivered and I like it when the box of goodies shows up at our door. However, my son is correct that we can save a lot of money by getting many of our staples at Costco and by going to the local butcher for our meat. 

I became excited again when I realized that I would be able to plan meals every week and also have a make ahead and freeze day either every Sunday or once a month. I'll have to see what works better for me with that. I've been researching recipes that lend themselves to being frozen, and also reusable, freezer-safe containers. 

Which reminds me, I'm starving. Take care and stay safe!

~Your Ornery Old Aunt Cie~

$100 worth of Watkins products would be a grand addition to your pantry. Click the link to try your luck!

Sharing with these blog parties:

About Me Monday @ Crazy Creatives Cheerleading Camp
(This is my mental health blog. This is your warning that it tends to be sweary and ranty.)

Busy Monday

Grammy's Grid

Hearth and Soul

Inspire Me Monday

Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party

Party in your PJs

Senior Salon

Share the Kindness

Snickerdoodle Create-Bake-Make Link Party

What's for Dinner?

You're the Star

The Icky, Sticky, Nit-Picky Legalese, if You Please (Or Don't Please)

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Sunday, May 10, 2020

Come as You Are Party + Sunday Dinner at the Grover Hotel: Watergate Cake + Poke Cake Hybrid

Free use image by Pexels

It's been an age since I did a Sunday Dinner post. I've been concentrating on my literary projects, and I am horrible at taking breaks. I did take a couple breaks to research making my own cake, cookie, and pudding mixes, but that's a post for another time!

My son's 30th birthday was May 8th. Physically, I was feeling much better this year than the year he was born. I wasn't conscious when he was born, and I certainly didn't make a cake.

My son doesn't like people making a fuss over his birthday, so I didn't put candles on the cake, and I didn't traumatize him by singing. My singing causes birds to drop dead and airplanes to fall from the sky, so there was none of that.

This year, I did make a cake. The cake was a modification of the following recipe for Watergate Cake.

1 box white cake mix
1 small pistachio instant pudding
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon water
4 eggs

Beat ingredients together and pour into 9x13 baking pan, greased. Sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped nuts on top and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup water
Poke holes in cake and pour topping over. Put back in oven for 5 minutes.

I am unsure why it's called Watergate Cake. Maybe President Nixon enjoyed a slice while listening to the infamous tapes. 

I didn't have pistachio pudding mix, so I opted to make a poke cake with Jello instead. I used a box of vanilla pudding mix instead of pistachio, I used 3/4 cups of melted butter instead of oil, and I added four tablespoons of dry milk to the water. The result was a very smooth, rich, tasty batter.

I let the cake cool for a couple of hours and then poked holes in it with a fork at approximately 1/2 inch intervals. I didn't measure, so who knows? Then I mixed a small box of pomegranate blueberry Jello into 1 cup of boiling water, stirred until the Jello was dissolved, added a cup of cold water, stirred a little more, and poured it over the cake. We had to let this sit for another couple of hours.

I didn't frost the cake. My son isn't big on frosting. I'm the sort of person who likes a little cake with my frosting. In any case, the Jello makes the cake very sweet, so the frosting would probably be a step too far. I would use whipped cream or whipped topping rather than regular frosting.

I am going to try the Watergate cake at some point. It sounds really tasty! However, the recipe is very adaptable. Use what you have on hand and make it your own!

~Your Ornery Old Aunt Cie~

Win free vanilla + $100 worth of good stuff from Watkins

The Inevitable Legalese and Other Blah-Blah

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Sharing with these blog hops:

Busy Monday

Come as you Are Party (my mental health blog. Tends to be sweary and ranty.)

Grammy's Grid

Hearth and Soul

Inspire Me Monday

Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party

Senior Salon

Share the Kindness

What's for Dinner?

Friday, May 8, 2020

Flashing Back and Forth: Wisteria & A Birthday

Image copyright Vũ Đỗ

In the moonlight,
The color and scent of the wisteria
Seems far away.
As far away I think as
My sense of belonging here

Buson & Cie

Join Friday Flashback at:

Join Haiku My Heart at:

New Notes:
This will be a long post, so if you only came for the poetry, this is your stop!

Today is my son's thirtieth birthday. It is also Friday Flashback day. So I am leaving the notes from last year when I wrote the post.

Last year at this time, my son, his dad, and I were in the process of trying to get things in order to purchase the property that my son says is his literal dream house. I often say that I'm a pretty useless excuse for a person and pretty much a waste of oxygen and skin cells, but I am the one who found the house, so I have done two good things in this life. I brought my son into the world, which he sometimes may not think is such a great thing as it has been a bit of an uphill fight for him given that he lives with anxiety, high-functioning autism, and major depression in a society that demands a very rigid degree of impossible perfection and an ability to play by certain rigid rules.

This is the house, and you can well believe that I nearly peed myself when I saw that this property was being sold for $90,000. We had just finished looking at a very "meh" three-bedroom townhome in southeast Denver that cost $240,000 and kicking the worst real estate agent ever to the curb. Thanks for sucking, Matt. You did us a huge favor.

If you're interested in seeing just what this clown did, you can read this post.

I'd like to thank Xenia, the real estate agent we had prior to Matt, for sucking too. Rather than being a professional and telling us that she wasn't the right real estate agent for us, she did the bad high school break-up thing, hung up on me, and refused to return my calls. It was very unprofessional. Note that we didn't do anything wrong to her, we were always polite. We were looking for land, and she only wanted to sell upscale properties in Denver. Also, note that she approached us first, touting her abilities as a real estate agent. 

We instead ended up with Jason Wadsworth, who is a fantastic real estate agent. If you are ever interested in buying a property in Northern Colorado, Jason is your go-to guy. He can be reached at

I am glad that my son's dream house is now a reality. There has been a lot of work done on it, and more still needs to be done. We are also still tackling the nightmare that is my old mobile home and hope to have it on the market this summer. I will be extremely happy when it's gone.

I couldn't end this post without giving a shout-out to Ghost Town Grover and Cactus Clem. I hope to be giving more attention to their adventures once the whole trailer mess has been wrangled.

Ghost Town Grover

Cactus Clem

Ye Olde Notes:
The Hokku (Haiku) stanza of the poem was written by Yosa Buson (1716 - 1784). The Akegu (closing) stanza was written by me.

I have never felt that I belonged in this world. When I was younger, I always hoped I'd find people I belonged with. There have been a few where I feel like they put up with me to a degree or felt sympathy for me, but I have never had a sense of finding my "tribe." The only person I'm really at all close with is my son. I tend to form only very superficial relationships with other people.

Dinners with my mother are perilous and fraught with small talk. She has never approved of any of my choices, and she knows almost nothing about what is really transpiring in my life.

I am not at all close with the other members of my family. I would not recognize most of them if I passed them in the street.

At this point in my life, I do not wish to party and socialize. I have one friend whom I confide in via email, and that means a lot. This friend lives a few thousand miles away from me, so it isn't as if we could get together for coffee.

I have felt a degree of understanding and acceptance from the people participating in this little Tan Renga challenge, which I usually don't get a sense of during such challenges.

I usually feel as if I am an outsider who has crashed a party when participating in blog hops, and the general sense is "what is that freak doing here at our exclusive soiree?" Some of the blog hops I participate in are very focused on clothing and fashion although other sorts of posts are allowed, and if you don't think I'm an absolute outlier when it comes to fashion, you don't know me at all. I can't afford nice clothes or even new clothes, and I look like an unmade bed most of the time.
One would think that I would feel more at home with creative blog hops, but I usually don't. I've been surprised by the feeling of peace I've gained participating in this one. Maybe it's just that no-one has attacked me yet. Hopefully, we can do without that happening this time.

The Inevitable Legalese and Other Blah-Blah

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Lesser-Known Symptoms of PTSD, and Why the Borderline Personality Disorder Diagnosis is Crap

It doesn't, actually. it creates scar tissue.
Free Use image by Alexas Fotos.

This is a good post. One of the things I like to talk about is the theory (which I believe is correct) that "borderline personality disorder," a label that is applied disproportionately to girls and women, is a subtype of PTSD. Everyone labeled with "borderline personality disorder" has a history of trauma. Their behavior doesn't come out of nowhere.

It took me forty years to realize that the main reason behind a lot of the acting out I did in high school was the fact that I had been assaulted by a creepy guy that I agreed to go on a date with. This was 1980, and back then, it wasn't considered sexual assault if there was no intercourse. Without going into details, what this 19-year-old guy did to my 15-year-old self was clearly sexual assault. I kept it hidden and blamed myself for not fighting back harder and for being stupid enough to go out with him in the first place. I knew nobody would take my side and would blame me.

I started cutting class, cutting myself, and doing a lot of drugs. Rather than anyone asking me if anything had happened to me, all I ever heard was "you used to be a good kid and now you're a bad kid. You need to straighten up and fly right." Surprise, surprise, at sixteen I was labeled a "hysterical neurotic" by one of the most inept clowns of a psychiatrist that I've ever had the displeasure of meeting. I was later given the equally useless label "borderline personality disorder." 

"Borderline personality disorder" is the modern "hysterical neurotic." It is a way of writing off girls and women who are acting out because of trauma. It is a label that needs to be retired.

If you're interested in reading the piece that I wrote about the traumatic incident, the link will follow. Fair warning that it isn't pretty and it doesn't have a happy ending.

Ornery and Sly
Telling it Like it Is

Ornery Owl
Free Use Image by Open Clipart Vectors on Pixabay

Sly Fawkes
Image copyright Julia Henze, purchased from

And now, the unavoidable legalese blah-blah

Content copyright 2020 by Cara Hartley

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This post is cross-posted on my mental health and sociopolitical blogs on Blogger. 

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Review Resurge!!

Review Resurge!!: Obesity is a medical condition that occurs when a person carries excess weight or body fat that might affect their health. An expanding waistline and obesity are sometimes considered as a sign of getting age. 

Snake oil. Here is my rebuttal to this bullshit. I think I was reasonably polite. I'd like to think that I educated the poster, but I doubt it.

Stuff like this has been around for years and it really does not work. A person's body type is the result of multiple factors. The primary factor in determining body type is, very simply, DNA.

Body type is also determined by factors such as endocrine and other health issues and the medications a person is taking. It surprises most people to learn that one of the biggest contributers to "obesity" (which is an offensive term, by the way), is repeated dieting. Weight reduction diets work long term for only about five percent of people who engage in them.

When people go on a diet, their body doesn't know that it isn't facing a famine, and it reduces the metabolic rate. When the dieter starts eating normally again, their body, its metabolic rate now reduced, starts storing adipose tissue to be prepared for the next famine. The first few times a person diets, they will lose weight. Over time, however, their ability to lose weight will be sharply reduced.

When you are looking at an "obese" person, you are very likely looking at a person who has dieted numerous times and tried every trick in the book, including pills like these.