Friday, June 28, 2013

What to do???

I have been trying to think of something to do tomorrow for my birthday.  I do have to work a couple of hours in the afternoon which should be fun.  It is Brothel Days in Virginia City.  Ellen Baumler is doing a presentation on brothels in Montana, Dave Calendine will be playing historic piano and bed races.  So I should be entertained all day. :D

In the evening I think I may do a lantern tour in Nevada City.

This is what I found online:

In the summer of 1864 a feud between two men Murphy and Brady, led to a shooting and hanging. Museum visitors witness the incident firsthand as this historic performance unfolds by the light of a lantern.

Tours meet at the Nevada City Living History Museum Music Hall at 9:30 pm.Follow a 19th Century Costumed tour Guide by Lantern Light through the streets of Nevada City, watching history unfold before your eyes. Our Nevada City Living History Tours have been called "The closest thing to stepping into a time machine in Montana." You will be in the middle of the action, watching as townspeople recreate "historic events that happened in Montana's early history. Immersed in the sights, sounds, of the past. Unlike many 'ghost tours,' you will be the ghosts, Nevada City residents will not be aware that you are there, and they will carry on with their daily lives. You will have the opportunity to observe history as it happens. This one of a kind tour is not for the faint of heart, expect occasional gun fire, hangings, cowhiding, as the Vigilantes control the night. At the end of the tour you will be taken back to the Music Hall and have the chance to ask questions about what you witnessed, and how it relates to the historic events of Alder Gulch

I will let you know on Monday what I do... and pictures. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Hard time of year

This time of year is always a little off for me.  One... it is my birthday on the 29th and I have the hardest time with the concept of celebrating myself.  And two, it is the anniversary of when I went inpatient for 32 days at the Renfrew Center.  It has been 13 years but for some reason every year around this time I think about that time spent there... the women I met, how alone I felt and my parents disowning me while I was there.

This year I am going to work on celebrating myself by myself.  It is important for me to be able to celebrate me even if there is no one around.  I don't know why I feel I need that external input to feel worth something.  The only thing that matters is that I feel I am worth something.   Well, at least that is what I tell myself.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Energy is back. :)

I finally found my energy again.  It took a good week of sleeping every chance I got to get my energy back from my last travels to get myself here to Montana.  It was 2 weeks of non-stop riding or being with people and I was exhausted.  My ribs are feeling much better this week and I am feeling back to myself again.  Now I feel like I can actually do something on my time off.

I had a ton of energy with the super moon on Sunday.  I didn't sleep at all.  Gotta love it... either I sleep all the time or not at all.  Hopefully I will get into a normal sleep pattern this week.

Here are some pictures I took on Sunday around the property where I am staying.

 These two pictures are my "neighbors".  No one lives in them but they are just fabulous.

These next two pictures are part of the property of where I am staying.

 An outhouse... which thankfully I don't have to use. ;)

A cabin... quite a cute place.  I wouldn't mind staying in there... it is like 10 times as big as the shed I lived in in upstate New York.

With my energy back I hope to take quite a few walks around the area and many pictures.  There is a lot of history in the area and I think it will be quite fun.  This is the gold mining area... can't wait to see what I will find along my walks.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


This last Saturday Virginia City had a ball and there was a promenade before hand.  It was great to see all of the period outfits.

 They had musicians playing while they promenade (not sure if that is the proper use of promenade... not quite a word in my regular vocabulary)

 The minister led the way

 Walking down the street of Virginia City

 I love this guy's coat.  What great material!

This weekend Virginia City had a few robberies and shoot outs.  It was quite fun.  This next Saturday is Brothel Day... can't wait to see what that is all about. :)

Monday, June 24, 2013


I just can't believe how nice it is this time of year in Montana.  We had 1 warm day of mid 80s this last week but then we had a dust storm and a little bit of rain and the temperature dropped to the high 50s.  I was also told the day before I got here it had snowed.  How crazy is that?!?  Coming from South Florida this has been fabulous.  I have heard it does get quite warm here later in the summer... but 90s warm not that midwest 100+ warm.  So we will see how it feels.

The sun has shown itself almost every day and I love seeing the stars at night.   It is usually pretty dry here so rain will be few and far between... which of course I love... but the locals always want a bit of rain since it is so dry.

The summer is starting off quite fabulously.  Right now I am going to enjoy the cool temperatures.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

First week in Montana

I have been in Montana for a week.  I haven't gotten out much since I have been sooo very tired and my ribs have been bothering me... well, and the rattlesnake. ;)  I did take a couple of pictures around where I am staying.  This next week I hope to go for a few walks around.  So many things to see.  This area was big during the gold rush so it is rich in history and the scenery is fabulous.  So hopefully I get some energy and  get some more pictures this coming week.

This first picture is a view of Nevada City.  Many ghost towns in this area.

Of course there are mountains.

This is where I am staying... as you can see my little trailer and Blue.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Relaxing Day

The day of the rattlesnake was my day off so the boys and I chilled in the little trailer most of the day watching the Golden Girls.  Here are some pictures of my boys.

Randall's favorite place is by the window and Nube likes to join him.


Poco is usually right by my side.

My boys appreciate the Golden Girls.  Nube loves Betty White. ;)

All my boys love to be under the cabinet where my feet go.  Here is Poco and Randall chillin.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Rattlesnake Neighbor

Put the tip of your two pointer fingers together... then put the tip of your thumbs together... that is the size of my rattlesnake neighbor.

Yesterday my boss came over to tell me the gas man found 2 rattlesnakes under the tank.  He killed one of them but the other one he let be... so I can't let my boys out unattended.

Just so you know how close that rattlesnake is here is a picture.  It is living under that tank.  YIKES!!

I had been hearing a rattle of sorts but it seemed like multiple something so I thought maybe it was grasshoppers or something.  I was wrong.   I went really close to there earlier in the day to dump Randall's litter box.  I have been putting Poco and Nube out on a lead but I usually had an eye on them because of birds, snakes, bears... who knows what is out there.  It is like National Geographic out there.

I was told rattlesnakes are green this time of year and as the summer progresses they turn more brown.  They came and mowed last night so I would be able to spot him better if he should come out from under the tank.  I asked if the mowing would scare it away.  She just kind of chuckled and said nope.

This morning I heard the sound of a woo of sorts but it sounded almost human and a human in pain.  I have heard this sound before when I lived in the shed in upstate NY.  To say the least I moved the boys inside the apartment so they could run around and I wouldn't have to worry.

I also saw this cute bird this morning.  It was black and white and had somewhat long legs.  So many critters.  Hopefully I will only have to see these from afar.  I surely don't want to know what it is like to be right next to a rattlesnake.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Virginia City

I started my new job for the summer on Sunday.  I will be working at an Old Time Photo place in Virginia City Montana.  The people I work for are very nice and I had dinner with them the other night.  They are my kind of people. ;)  I realized that the jobs I get and really enjoy are usually with people who have done the traveling and nomad life.  These people have traveled around the world and also around the country in a VW Bus.  So they totally get me.  They don't question my lifestyle or my bald head and I feel completely welcome.

I had to take a picture of the VW Bus with my trailer because the bus matched my sheets. haha... I just love the picture.

I have my own spot to camp that has an apartment on the property so I have a kitchen and bathroom.  Very excited about the shower. ;)  It is so quiet and I love listen to the sounds of nature.  The sun seems to be up forever.  The sun is up by 5:30am and sets around 9:30pm.  I will be getting lots of sun therapy in the couple of months I am here.

I work a mile from where I am staying and there are back roads to walk on and beautiful views.  I will have lots of great pictures throughout my time here.  They said I could see a moose... I hope I get to see one.  I think those are amazing creatures.  They said I could also see Bald Eagles and many other birds, rattle snakes, and deer and such.

Where I am staying there are these very aggressive birds... they don't understand the concept of personal space.  They fly right next to you and it feels like they are watching every move I make.  Makes me think of that Birds movie.

Here is one of the birds that are stalking me.  Their wings look fierce like they could cut you in half.  I'm not a huge fan of birds... especially ones that fly right at you.  Hopefully we will all learn about each others space and have a great summer.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


I made it to my new destination in Montana this weekend.  It was such a beautiful trip.  The wind was a bit rough on Friday and I had to cut my riding short that day but all was good.  I was almost to my destination and had to stop about an hour and half short of where I wanted to stop for the night.

The whole time thru the mountains all I could do is say ooo... and aawww.  It was so very beautiful.

I was really bad about stopping to take pictures but here are a couple along the way.

Blue did quite well pulling the trailer thru the mountains.  I was a bit concerned and nervous but all turned out great. 

Sometimes when I ride I get nervous and think I'm not going to make it to my next stop... there is something intimidating... like the mountains or being out in the middle of nowhere for too long.  The other night I had my doubts and was telling myself to turn around.  I kept looking at the map and trying to figure out what was the best way.  Then I look at it like i did throughout my recovery... I break it down into small pieces.  I give myself a few different stops to choose from for the day so I can stop if it is too much for one day.  I research the entire area to make myself feel comfortable with where I am going.  

This time when I got anxious I let myself have a short riding day.  I try to give myself a couple extra days so if I need a shorter riding day or an extra day for myself it isn't a problem.  So the morning after my very anxious evening I had a short ride of about 4 hours and that cut down my next day also.  It was just what I needed to gain the confidence and reassure myself everything was going to be alright.  And it was.  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sensory Issues

The older and wiser I get the more I realize I have some serious sensory issues.  If I would of known about all these sensory things years ago I think my time with my Eating Disorder and Depression would of been a little less intense... or at least I would of known why I did the things I did.

The other night I had a really off sensory night.  I had a half day of riding in strong wind so I thought I would be worn out by the time I had stopped for the night.  I was extremely anxious and I just couldn't sit still.  I stopped at a Walmart for the night and kept going in and walking around... I went in and got a ice cream cone from a Dairy Queen (inside of Walmart... how cool is that).  Then about an hour later I went back in for dinner and Subway... then a little bit after that I went in and got a movie from redbox.  All night I just wanted to move.  I finally fell asleep around 8pm which is sometimes when I fall asleep after a riding day... I woke up at midnight crawling out of my skin.

It was a little late to be wandering around the parking lot but I did go inside to use the restroom.  It didn't seem to help.  If I could of run around in circles singing at the top of my lungs in the Walmart parking lot I think I would of felt so much better.  Darn societal norms... I probably would of been arrested and sent to the psych hospital.  haha... The wind had picked up a lot so I was stuck and couldn't even ride to the next town.  The trailer was rocking a bit with the wind but I still needed more input.  So I started rocking inside the trailer... I put on headphones and listened to music as loud as it would go.  I never listen to music so that just goes to show how much input I needed.  With the trailer movement and my own movement I was making myself dizzy.  It still wasn't enough.  I really needed to go to sleep so I would not drive myself crazy but nothing was working.

I finally made myself lay down and listen to music and I eventually fell asleep.  It was just weird that I needed that much input when I had a day of a lot of motion and fighting against the wind... maybe it was sensory overload... or maybe too much caffeine... who knows.  The next day I was still a little anxious and rode more in the wind on the interstate to get more speed and ware myself out.  One day I will figure it all out.

This is why I need to live on the road... without being out on Blue I feel completely out of control.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Cute Trailer Etiquette

I just have to say there are a few things people should realize when they see a cute camper.  I don't mind talking to you if I am off the bike and standing outside of the trailer.  I usually enjoy a good conversation... not to say I never like to be just left alone but I will usually chit chat for a bit.

It is NOT ok to come knocking on my door because you think my trailer is cute.  If I am not in there you freak out my animals and if I am in there I don't want to talk... that would be why I am inside my trailer.

I only say this because the last few nights I have had people yell through my window, knock on my door and also stop their car right next to my trailer, stare in and then honk because they want me to come out.

Come on People!!

This is my home and I would like a bit of privacy.  Just because I pull a cute camper does not mean I don't need my personal space or that my time is somehow for your pleasure only.

I do love meeting new people but these last couple of nights have been a bit much.

Just so you know if you should come across a cute camper and you really want to talk to the owner. ;)

Sunday, June 16, 2013


I had such a great time in Kansas.  I got to stay with one of my most favorite people and her most fabulous family for a few days.  I always feel so welcome and that is rare for me.  I can sit and have a conversation with her, her husband or any of her 4 sons and not feel out of place at all.  They also welcomed my boys like no other home we have been to.  I brought my boys in and took Poco and Nube outside.  I told her not to worry about Randall because I wasn't sure if we let him out we would be able to get him back in again.  While I was out she let him out.  :)  Gotta love her.  She knew what a hard time I had had with almost re homing Randall and she kept telling me he was happy with me.  They were so welcoming that it only took Randall about an hour before he was out from behind the couch and saying hello to everyone.  He loved it there.

I had a great couple of days talking, relaxing and just having a good time being around people.  We got pedicures, watched movies and took nice walks.  The weather was great and we spent some time outside and my friends also had a morning yoga out at the park.  I wanted to join but since my ribs were broken I couldn't... maybe next visit.  I sat and watched and also took some pictures.

I was sad to leave but will be returning on my way back to Kentucky in August.

Then on my way to Nebraska I stopped in Lawrence Kansas to have lunch with another friend.  We had been researchers together for the Adaptive Use Musical Instruments project.  It was great to catch up and lunch was really yummy!!

Saturday, June 15, 2013


I had a tough couple of days the other week.  People kept telling me that I was not treating my boys very well.  That is always a huge trigger for me because I never feel I am good enough... that my boys deserve better.  Finally it had worn me down to the point I put an ad on craigslist to find my cat Randall a new home.  I had convinced myself I didn't deserve him and he needed a better home... a more stable home.  It was so very difficult for me.  I love all my boys very much and just want to give them an amazing life with the limited resources I have.  I know I am not the best mommy and I never will be but I don't think that means I don't deserve the love of an animal or that my animals are somehow worse off because of me... well I have to keep telling myself that because I don't believe that.

I have broken down in therapy many times about my boys and how I think I don't deserve them.  I tell myself when I am at my worse that they deserve so much more than me.  But they love me through all of that.  They love to be around me and that is evident by the fact they have to touch me all the time.

Anyways... I thought I had found a home for Randall and I cried for over 24 hours thinking about  loosing him.  The morning I was leaving on the road I was suppose to meet his new family.  Here is a picture of us waiting in the car... I stopped crying for a moment to snap this show... as you can see Randall was quite scared.

Lucky for us the people never showed up.  I was so happy and felt whole again.  I figured out a way where Randall could be loose in the trailer when we stop for the night and he has been loving it.

If that isn't a happy, relaxed cat I don't know what is.  I am so glad he is part of my life and will be for quite some time.

Friday, June 14, 2013


Nebraska is my home state... I was born and raised in Seward.  I was excited to stop by real quick to visit my nephew.  He is 4 and I haven't seen him in person since he was 6 months old.  I have made faces at him a few times over skype but it just isn't the same.  I spent a couple hours with  him and we had pizza .... well I had pizza as he didn't quite trust me.  He was excited when I first pulled up but then he was grumpy for about an hour after that.  It is hard being 4 and having school all day and then someone visiting late in the evening.  He eventually warmed up and showed me some of his toys and such.  Right before I left I let him sit in my trailer.  He was so excited.  He wanted to push all the buttons and look through everything.  I told him when I come back through in August we can go camping.  So I cant wait to come back through and go camping in his back yard.  He was so excited about camping in the motorcycle trailer.  I think I made a good first impression... I mean how many aunts ride around on a motorcycle pulling a trailer you can sleep in. :)

The second day I was making my way north west as I wanted to visit Carhenge in Alliance Nebraska.  I had been having problems with Blue staring on the first try for a few days but that day it got really bad.  I would have to wait around 45 minutes before she would start.  I thought it had something to do with the security system.  I had changed the battery in the FOB multiple times and it just wasn't working.  I tried putting in the code which worked once but the next time it wouldn't let me.  So I decided I had to go get it looked at but the closest Harley shop was in North Platte Nebraska... 65 miles south of where I was.  I made the detour and luckily it was a cheap fix.  It wasn't the security system but something with the starter.  It was a cheap fix in the Harley world... under $50.  She is now starting every time (knock on wood) and they tightened her up so she is running great.  I spend the night in North Platte and then headed back to where I left off the day before.

I did make it to Carhenge.  Just one of those things I have always wanted to see... just to say I've seen it... but had yet to see.  So now it is checked off my list. :)

I spent one more night in Nebraska in Chadron.  I know I grew up in Nebraska but boy I could not get over the smell of cattle and the lack of cell phone service.  I had the use of my cell phone in the Walmart parking lot in Seward and that was it my entire rest of my trip through Nebraska.  ATT needs to get it together because their coverage map shows coverage in Nebraska but there is next to nothing.

I was pretty excited to have cell service in the first town I went to in Wyoming.  It is the little things.  Makes me a bit nervous when Blue is acting up and I have no way to call anyone.  Luckily I wasn't stranded in the middle of no where... well I guess if I was that is why I have the trailer.  I would just be camping out on the side of the road until help came along. ;)

3 Meals a Day continued

Here is an update on the 3 meals a day that I would like to be able to accomplish for 365 days straight.  I hit a bit of a snag as I went in to see about food stamps.  I really hate government offices and especially any that are there to help you... this was no different.  The receptionist I spoke to was really nice and told me to fill out a form and was really helpful but the lady who was suppose to help me apply and such was really rude and really should be fired.

She didn't listen to me at all... she made a judgement upon me before I even sat down at her desk.  I have known many single people without children who have been on food stamps and medicaid... these are people without disabilities and are just going through a rough patch... like me.  So I didn't think I was out of line asking for help... which I never do because of people like this woman.

I have chosen in my life not to go the disability route even though it had been recommended to me multiple times in my past.  I did go through Vocational Rehab to help get me on my feet and back to college.  Vocational Rehab ended in an abusive way not much different than this food stamp thing.  I did exactly what they told me to do... they would pay for books and tuition but I would have to take out loans or whatever to pay for everything else including living expenses.  So that is what I did year after year and then 4 years later I got a new counselor who told me I was cheating the system and threw my folder on top of the filing cabinet and told me that is where it would stay... and I did nothing different than I had been told and had done for the 4 years prior.

Anyways.... back to the food stamps.

I told her my situation that I didn't have a job but will be having a job in a couple weeks but making around $500 a month and that I live in a little trailer.  I didn't have a physical address but I had a mailing address.  She first told me she couldn't help because I wasn't disabled or pregnant.  Then she acted like I had some nerve coming in and waisting her time.

She told me we could submit the form for food stamps but it was just a waste of time.  I told her again I was pretty much homeless parking my little trailer at Walmart parking lots and finding jobs where ever I could.  She then told me that people who use this office can't afford to go from place to place for a job that they are stuck where they are.  I said I don't have the expense of rent so I have the ability to go from job to job so I can make some sort of income... All she said was "good for you."

After that I really had enough of the abuse of her unjust judgements and walked out in tears.  I told her thank you for helping me feel worthless.   There is nothing worse to me than someone telling me I didn't deserve help to eat.

Each time I deal with offices like this I get frustrated... not just by the way I was treated but for the people who can't stand up for themselves, who are really at their wits end and need some help.  I know again I am thinking others are worth more than myself.  I am someone in need and this woman couldn't even tell me how I could help myself.  Where to find food pantries or anything... she was just a bitch.  Yes, I said it... a bitch.  I sure hope one day she will realize she is not all that and learn some compassion.   As for me... I am done asking for help and will figure things out on my own.  Like I always do.

Friday, June 7, 2013


I can check off another one of those things you wish you never had to deal with while riding. On my second day on the road I had just crossed into Alabama and I sneezed... I heard a pop. I yelled. It was a grunt kind of like those tennis players but times 10,000. I immediately pulled to the side of the road and laid my head down on Blue's tank.

My left side had been hurting me the last week I was in Florida. I had a swollen stomach and I was concerned that it could of been an enlarged spleen. Since I don't have insurance I figured I would wait until I made it to my parents house and then find a low cost clinic to get it checked out. Well, when I sneezed I wasn't sure what had happened. All I heard was a pop and an extreme amount of pain... of course at 65mph.

So, here I am on the side of the road not sure if I get back on the road or what I do. I told myself whatever it was the pain will go away so I started riding again. Every little move I made I would grunt. No tears just a whole lot of grunting.

I had to get on an interstate for a short distance and the exit I took to get back on the highway had a hospital sign. I debated if I should go to the ER or not... was I really going to be able to drive another 7+ hours to my parents house in this amount of pain. I knew as soon as I tried to put my foot down to stop at a light the ER was a must. I screamed in pain and luckily the hospital was right off the highway I was on.

I walk into the ER not even knowing what town I was in and the first thing I said was: "my name is Jackie... what town am I in". Now for someone who has been in psych hospitals you think I would know this is not a very good first statement to make. The guy at the desk looked up at me and I corrected myself very quickly... "sorry, my name is Jackie and I am traveling thru... can you tell me what town I am in?" The concerned look disappeared from the man's face as he told me I was in Opelika.

I kind of chuckled to myself as I remembered this time my friend had brought me to the psych hospital in Nashville. Her and I were meeting with an intake person and they were chatting about me and I was kind of spacing off. I really didn't want to be there... but I guess who would. Anyway, there was this fly buzzing around my head and I decided to try to catch it using 2 fingers as if they were chop sticks. You know like in Karate Kid. So here I am in the intake room as I was being put in to a psych ward trying to catch a fly with my 2 fingers. I was doing these quick motions in the air all around my head. Their conversation stopped and they both just stared at me. I stopped what I was doing and told them I was trying to catch this fly. I don't think that helped my situation at all. haha

Anyway... So I told him how I was in pain and that I was riding thru on my Harley with my 2 dogs and cat. He was very nice and I had got to the hospital at the right time because it was not busy. It was a Sunday morning so I figured everyone was at church. They did all the vitals and such and each person I had to meet with I had to tell them every hour or so I had to go check on my pets in my trailer. They were quite accommodating.

At first the nurses kind of gave me this suspicious look... I mean here I am a smelly, dirty, Harley riding gypsy coming in looking for pain meds. It is unfortunate that people's first assumption is the worst in people but I guess I can't blame them. Once I started talking about my travels and such their suspicion had turned into intrigue.

They gave me a couple shots of muscle relaxers and took a few x-rays. I ended up with 2 broken ribs. They gave me a couple of prescriptions and told me what I could take while riding and what I could not... most was not. I got in and out of the hospital in about 4 hours and back on the road.

I drove a bit and stopped to get my prescriptions at the first Walmart I found so I would have something for the pain in a couple hours when the shots would wear off.

I got into Birmingham mid afternoon and was going down this huge hill with a light at the bottom. I had no problem stopping at that light but right after that light my foot brake went out. So here I am in a whole lot of pain at a gas station working on my bike. Luckily, I needed to pump the brake a bit and add a little bit of brake fluid and all was good. I decided that I was done for the day and there was a Walmart 3 blocks away.

I stopped for the night and got all settled into my little trailer. Laying in there like I usually do I realized I couldn't get back up. What was I thinking... I honestly thought I would have to call the police to get the jaws of life to get me out of my trailer. I wasn't able to sit up at all. I tried pulling myself up using the cub-bards inside the trailer and pushing myself up with my right arm not using the left. It all caused so much pain. I opened the door and tried to use the door way to pull myself up. I realized I was just going to have to do it quickly and hope I don't pass out from the pain. I finally got myself in a seated position but I still had to get my legs out of the door so I could stand up. So I am shifting a little bit at a time, grunting each time. Finally about 10+ minutes later my feet were outside the trailer and all I had to do was stand up. I held my breath and pushed myself up screaming just a bit.

As you can imagine it was quite the painful night. I had to sleep in this trailer somehow so I decided I would sleep sitting up so all I had to do was wiggle myself out of the trailer in the morning. I didn't sleep to well and was on the road again at 3:30am.

The rest of the way to my parents house was pretty uneventful. My side didn't hurt so much while I was on the bike and I had made adjustments to the way I rode so I would not be in pain when I would stop and go. Instead of putting both feet down to stop at the same time and up to go at the same time my right foot had to take on most of the weight so right foot first and then the left so there was no pain.

I am not in much pain 5 days later but I still ache a bit. Just another story to tell. ;)