About luckyotter

Recovering from C-PTSD due to narcissistic abuse from childhood. I was married to a sociopathic narcissist for 20 years. Proud INFJ, Enneagram type 4w5. Animal lover, music lover, cat mom, unapologetic geek, fan of the absurd, progressive Christian, mom to 2 Millennials, mental illness stigma activist, passionate anti-Trumper. #RESISTANCE

I’m terrified of losing my healthcare.

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I’m freaking out right now.   The GOP is going after ACA (Obamacare) AGAIN.

This time, some federal judge in Texas (whose actual name is Reed O’Connor, though that hasn’t been widely reported) said the law is unconstitutional and therefore needs to be repealed.

Here’s the whole article from the New York Times.  I’m too disgusted and angry to try to explain why he thinks it’s unconstitutional and don’t really understand his logic anyway. I think it’s all bullshit, frankly — just another way the GOP can try to strip healthcare away from 20 million Americans and ratf*ck the poor and elderly.

I happen to be one of those Americans who will be affected should this cruel law be upheld (I have heard it will probably be appealed and not be upheld, but I’m not getting my hopes up).   The ACA is the only way I can afford health insurance.  I’m way too old to risk not having health insurance (though I’m fairly healthy, I know I won’t always be), and I’m still too young for Medicare.  The way they keep raising the age for eligibility (they want to raise it to 70, I believe right now it’s 67),  I may never be “old” enough to get it.

This predatory regime wants the elderly poor and working class dead.   I’m convinced of that.  All their actions and their lack of empathy and general cruelty makes it obvious.   Once we’re too old or too sick to make money for the oligarchs and corporations, we’re just “useless eaters” (using one of the GOP’s actual terms for us).  Taking away our healthcare is a sneaky way to kill us off when we lose our usefulness to them.

Hopefully the new Democratic Congress, headed by Nancy Pelosi (I’m very happy she will be the Speaker) can work out something that will allow us to keep our healthcare, or maybe even work with the less partisan Republicans (do they exist anymore?) to come up with something even better than the ACA.

More people than ever, even some Republicans, are demanding Medicare For All (single payer healthcare, like other developed countries have).  Maybe one day that will actually become a reality and we can stop worrying about dying or going bankrupt should we become sick or disabled.   At my age, it’s a very real worry, and right now, I’m absolutely terrified that I could lose my ACA with nothing to replace it.    I do not have a job that offers health insurance, I’m not married so no one is paying for me to be on their plan, and there’s no way I can afford the premiums on my own without the ACA.

Certain things should not be privatized or not at least have a public option (such as education).  Healthcare is one of those things.    Some things are necessities that benefit the common good and should be paid through our taxes, meaning that We, the People own these things, not private shareholders and individuals.  Those things include national parks and monuments, fire and police, education (though private schools should and can be available as well), the post office, healthcare, the military, and prisons.  Privatizing these things (or not having a public option for them) leads to nothing but further inequality and fascism.

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Pinterest interest.

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I was just looking at my stats, and while they’re not what they used to be (my viewership is less than half what it was two years ago when it reached its peak), I was surprised to find that I get most of my hits and new views through Pinterest!

A few months ago I decided to start sharing posts on Pinterest (I already had an account there, but never used it), after StumbleUpon changed its name and format and was no longer an option for sharing my posts.   I had been getting quite a lot of views through SU, but Pinterest beats that.    I wish my Google ranking was higher, but I’m pretty sure that’s my fault, for not posting nearly as much as I  used to.   (I used to average 2 – 5 posts a day!)  Maybe one day I will post that much again.

If you’re a blogger who wants more views, add a Pinterest sharing button (it can be found in the WordPress.com widgets), start a Pinterest account, and share your posts there.

The white squirrel of Brevard, NC

Brevard, North Carolina, is just to the southwest of where I live, in Transylvania County.

Transylvania County was named that because of its physical  resemblance to the Transylvania area of the Carpathians of Romania.  In fact, the movie “Cold Mountain,” which takes place in western North Carolina during the Civil War, was actually filmed in the Transylvanian part of Romania due to the less developed, mountainous terrain which would have resembled western North Carolina during Civil War times (also because it was cheaper to film it there).   Even today, the appearance of both areas are strikingly similar, as the below photos show.   They also share a similar climate and rural mountain culture.

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Transylvania, Carpathians, Romania

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Whitewater Falls, Transylvania County, NC in the autumn

 

It rains a lot in western North Carolina, but nowhere does it rain as much as it does in Transylvania County, which is actually classified as a temperate rainforest.  Transylvania is also known for its many waterfalls.  Within this temperate rainforest lives a unique creature that lives nowhere else on earth:  the white squirrel.    It’s not an albino, because its eyes are pigmented, but other than its unusual color, it’s a perfectly normal squirrel.    No one is quite sure why the squirrel (also known as the Brevard squirrel) evolved a bright white coat in an area that doesn’t normally get an abundance of snow.

 

Frida Kahlo in 1946.

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Frida Kahlo was an artist born in Mexico in 1907.  She died at age 47, in 1954.

Kahlo was a woman who was way ahead of her time.   This photograph, taken by photographer Nikolas Murray in 1946 in New York City (where Kahlo resided) shows a woman who was definitely her own person, though living in a time when women didn’t have many choices and were expected to behave and look a certain way.

You just didn’t see this type of eccentric, bohemian individuality in those days…or perhaps it existed in big cities like New York, but was still so very rarely seen.

I think she looks gorgeous and badass all at once.  Vulnerable and fierce.  This wonderful photo has a timeless quality.  There’s no way you can look at it and tell when it was taken.  It could just as easily have been taken today.

“Sawinery”: woodworking as PTSD/C-PTSD art therapy.

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Credit: Sawinery.net

Once in a while my readers reach out to me with questions, their own stories about abuse, or projects they are working on.  I can’t respond to all of these, but I do appreciate when my readers want to share things with me.    Occasionally, something stands out so much to me or is so innovative that I feel like it might be of help to other readers, so I asked the person who sent me the email about this if I could share it on my blog.

Sawinery is a blog about the woodworking world.

Woodworking? Why would I want to include an article about that?  It’s not a topic I’ve ever written about and isn’t the kind of thing I do write about.   But this is different, because the blog’s owner told me they have started to explore the power of woodworking as therapeutic healing art for trauma related conditions of PTSD and C-PTSD.    In the owner’s own words:

We recently interviewed 3 people: two men and one woman, who suffer from CPTSD/PTSD, one because of abuse in his childhood and one after retiring from the army — who are all doing woodworking as therapy.

They describe how it improved their creativy, that it helps to cope with confusion and anger as a result of trauma, that their confidence has improved and that they can now communicate more easily with other people.

You can read the full interview here:
https://www.sawinery.net/blog/woodworking-cptsd-ptsd-therapy-interview/

If you suffer from a trauma related disorder like PTSD or Complex PTSD, or know someone who does, you may want to take a look at the above link and share it.

Outside my door.

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Indulging my diving fascination.

The snow from Diego (since when did they start naming winter storms?) is coming down hard, and I’ve spent much of the day watching diving videos, and being reminded of summer.

I’ve been fascinated by diving (both Scuba and freediving) for the past couple of months.   The underwater world is in its own dimension.  It’s like being on another planet.    I can understand why so many divers think of the sport as an almost spiritual experience.  At the same time, the many dangers — and the great depths — associated with diving make it terrifying, but I think that’s part of its allure to me.  I’m also fascinated by the kind of people who have the guts to take such risks — and get to experience such beauty as a reward.  (I’ve also been watching cave diving videos — yikes!)

I’m not sure I ever want to try diving in real life.   But modern technology lets me experience it vicariously, with none of the dangers.

I fell  in love with this video.   Be sure to enlarge it so it fills your computer screen to experience the full effect.

Snowbound blogging.

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We’re expecting a big snowstorm here in western North Carolina starting in about 24 hours.   They’re saying we might get up to two feet!  (I’ll believe it when I see it).

Since I’ll be pretty much housebound, as long as I have power, my plan is to write some new blog posts and catch up on some reading.    I’ve been getting lazy about doing both, but if I’m snowbound, I have no excuses to not write!

I’m not a winter person, but I’m still looking forward to sipping hot cocoa and spending several days in intimate contact with the written word, cocooned by a world of white.  If we get the two feet of snow, I doubt I’ll be going to work on Monday.

This guy sure has the Christmas spirit!

My son saw this guy with his car at a gas station, so he took this picture. Haha! Or even better, Hoho!

Life is full of surprises.

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9 ways to survive the holidays.

It’s that time of year again! Why write a brand new article about surviving the holidays when this old one will do just as well?

You may be one of those people who really gets into the holiday season, but if you’re not (and believe me, if you’re not, you’re far from alone), here are some great ways to survive it (and even enjoy it in spite of yourself)!

Lucky Otters Haven

Originally posted on 12/12/15

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Now that Thanksgiving is over, the Christmas season is officially here. That means crowded stores, grumpy drivers clogging the roads on their way to and from said stores, horrible office Christmas parties, commercials showing perfect happy families living in big houses with tons of relatives all appearing to love each other (are they TRYING to make us jealous?), fake cheerfulness, fake sleigh bells (did anyone ever REALLY go on a sleigh ride?), horrible canned Christmas music you cannot escape from, “Jingle Bell Rock” (quite possibly the most annoying Christmas song ever) playing endlessly on every pop music station, and maybe worst of all, the shortest days of the year. It’s dark in the morning when you get up for work, and it’s dark again at 5 PM when you get off.

All this is enough to make you want to shoot yourself in the head. But…

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