Saturday, September 18, 2010

The buisness blog has moved

Hi folks!! I wanted to make sure you knew about my buisness. I'll make it quick, I promise. It is (of course) trans friendly and we'd love your support. You can see my most recent here: "What is soap?". Please add it to your feed reader! We make skirts, soap, bags and purses. We'd love your support!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Flutterby Gifts is now on Facebook

I promise I'll be back soon with a *real* entry but for now I just wanted to share that Flutterby Gifts is now on facebook!!! Click here. I'm getting so much support and interest by putting up a page there and I have no idea how I didn't think of it before!!! Thanks to a friend for helping me was her suggestion that I get a facebook page and it just hit me like a sack of bricks. Duh! Yes of course!! So there you have it.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Adult tutus are loaded in the Etsy shop!

Today we went into the forest to snap some pictures of the tutus for the Etsy store. It was so fun to doll up some and "play" at modeling. Here's Cyndi sporting the purple tutu:

This is SERIOUSLY my new favorite picture. Seriously.

I'm not sure I'm quite cut out for modeling...more the photographer and clothing creator than model but it was fun all the same. Here I am in the blue tutu

Monday, July 12, 2010

Growing and changing

My my's been a LONG time hasn't it!? Goodness.

There's been an ebb and flow between "I don't have anything to talk about..." and "oh good lord! I've got TOO much to catch up on! The post will take forever!!" So...I never wrote here. Sad really. The other thing that prevented me was that I didn't want to talk about my transition (see the family in transition blog if interested in those topics) because I wasn't fully out yet and didn't want family or friends to find out via stumbling across my blog.

What I really wanted to talk about though was the growth that's happened as I look back on a chapter that's coming to a close.

Sept of 2008 my spouse and I had just moved from Phoenix to NE Washington. Talk about a culture shock!! I'd only worked sporadically and didn't have much for solid work experience. I took a job that sounded promising as an Americorp member. I knew a bit about the federal program but really had no idea what the state program entailed. I just knew the economy was headed for a bad space and 10 months of promised, contracted work sounded good. The pay was terrible but the experience sounded well worth it.

My position was to take on a Computer literacy program and teach computer basics to adults. What I didn't know at the time, was that all the program was; was a thought! That's it! I created it from the ground up. I had no idea what I was doing. I'd never had any experience in managing or advertising. However I quickly fell in love with my position and gained confidence.

WA stat Americorp positions last from Sept-July. You can only be an Americorp member for two years. I really wanted to build this program up to sustain itself and make a long term job for myself. It became my baby. I partnered with the library system to spread my classes. I was invited to stay on in my position over the summer of 2009 until my next Americorp term started. I was so pleased that my bosses seemed to see what I saw! I was nurtured and trusted and allowed to do as I saw fit for my program. Never have I been given such freedom in my work environment!

My second, and last Americorp term started Sept 2009. I went back to my measly stipend. We made it work though.. My partnership with the libraries bloomed and my program saw great growth from it. We expanded from three classes to six. I started teaching at all of the libraries in my whole county.

As July loomed I began to ask my site supervisor about what his plans were for my program. As I work in a social services office we're entirely dependant on federal and state money. It came down to $$. He wanted to keep me on, wanted to keep the program but had no idea what the money would look like for it. It came down to the wire but I've been granted stay through the end of Aug at least. I'm so proud of what I've accomplished. I really hope that I can continue on past that.

The Computer Literacy program kind of runs itself, so I'm only working part time through the summer. This works out perfectly for me as I've also come full circle and re-opened my Etsy store! I've consolidated my skills and shrank my inventory to the items I REALLY love to make. Skirts. I will be taking custom orders for bags or other items that are within my skill set, but I think that perhaps I just spread my store too thin and filled it with too much diversity. It may work for Walmart but it didn't seem to work for me. Here's hoping that my skirts can take off and I can build a name for myself and my art.

More than anything I feel a great peace in this length of my journey. I feel more settled in my skin than I ever have and I don't feel frantic about where our money will come from. Tomorrow will take care of itself, I have only now. There is only one *now* and I must enjoy it to it's full potential because there will never be another *now* like this one.

Be well friends. (here's hoping I post more!)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I want to be like a dandelion

On Sunday I was pulling weeding...clearing out all that "didn't belong" in my bulb garden and I started thinking....I want to be like a dandelion.


The dandelion sets down roots where it sees fit. In the middle of the lawn...amid other flowers...ya know, where ever. It reaches toward the sky with no shame. Just pure joy in self. It stands alone surrounded by grass. Doesn't need a well manacured purposed and tilled garden! Any ol' spot will do. Doesn't need others around...grouped tightly with others like itself. Nope. The dandelion stands alone. Unique...a rebel.

How could you not like the dandelion? Bright yellow circle...just as the sun. Shining and swaying in the breeze. Defiant. Little does it know...there are many more just like it...across the grass...standing tall, independant and unique. Unashamed....yes....I want to be like the dandelion.

Monday, December 1, 2008

My diagnosis, my day, my life.

As it was coming closer to Dec 16, I kept trying to make excuses as to why we shouldn't go and get tested. We really couldn't afford it (for some damn reason they were charging an arm and a leg!) but hubby just really had a strong feeling that it was time to get all of our tests done. We had to take the bus down there, we just went to Planned Parenthood because that's where I was getting my birth control so we just made the appt. When we went in they were backed up, I was cranky because for some reason I just really didn't want to be there.....They had just gotten a new computer system, and none of them knew how to use it. Go figure! Finally after waiting there for over an hour they took hubby back and ran all the STD tests on him.

*Informational Sidebar* In some places HIV tests are done almost like a pregnancy test, in that you get results in 20 mins. They just take a finger prick of blood and put it on a test strip and it tells if your positive or not. If you come up positive on that test then by law they have to take a full blood sample and send it off to a lab to double check it. And that's the test we got done.

So when they were finally done with hubby they took me back and ran all those lovely tests. Then they made us wait.........I couldn't understand what was taking so very long. I was getting more and more anxious and I just had a feeling in my gut that something was wrong. Finally they took hubby back to give him his I was sitting there waiting, one of the nurses said to the other "She's got it...what do we do?" when I looked up at them they were very sheepish....yes indeed that's how I got to find out! When they didn't bring hubby back out, I knew it was true....because he had to go back and get his full blood draw, so when the Dr came to get me I knew.......she was new at this job, and it turns out it took so long because she didn't know what to do or how to say it, so she had to call someone else and take down notes! How very heart felt. But she was sincere, she almost started crying. I was just in shock, at the time it was like it didn't even matter, I didn't care. (oooooo I would later!) So they took me back to draw my blood, hubby was done and I knew he was in the lobby........waiting.. I didn't want to face him......I was sooo scared to see him.....the lobby was completely full of women waiting for their birth control, I mean standing room only. And poor hubby is sitting there all by himself crying. When he saw me come out he burst into tears all the harder and rushed up to me........"I'm sorry honey I'm sooo sooo sorry" I just wanted to get out of there, I didn't want all those other girls staring at us like that. We had to wait for a taxi to come and pick us up, and we didn't have any medical insurance.
We got tested on Dec 16th, but because of Christmas we couldn't get in to see an HIV doctor until after we got on state insurance and then the long long long wait. We finally got in to see the doctor at the end of February! My god I don't think I will ever forget December 16th 2004
Those first couple of months were hell. If you search the Internet you find lots of very old information that can really really scare you. How do you know its not current?! Most articles don't always have a date attached. We received some counseling and the woman I was seeing told me...and I will never forget this...she assured me that catching it as early as we did in me..It would be 10 years, maybe more before I needed meds!!
She could not have been more wrong. I needed meds two years (aprox.) after being diagnosed. My numbers just kept declining until finally I wasn't able to fight off even the easy stuff. Small colds were a big deal in our house. I can remember my first night of taking meds. I am on three different medicines that we call the "cocktail" sure I only take a small handful and that's much better than it used to be...but its still four pills that I have to take everyday for the rest of my life. That night started it all. One Truvada, one Norvir and two Lexiva. Pete had been on this same cocktail for years already. He tried to offer words of wisdom...letting me know it was ok, that they aren't so bad...yea. Hard to believe at the time. I stared at them in my hand for far too long...finally, down the hatch. It took me about a month of living on the couch and sleeping alot before I was acclimatized to the pills. Every night. Same time. Same pills. Sure its not "so bad" but they feel like shackles quite often. Tying me down. Take them or die. Simple right? Sucks.
The poster's for the pills show happy people riding bikes, taking hikes with words like "just once a day!" I hate those posters. This is not easy. Yes its just once a day. Yes it used to have been worse...much worse! Five times a day, upwards of 25 pills a day....yes, that was worse. There is no doubt that was worse than what I deal with today....but I wasn't there. That wasn't my experience. This is.
My feet tingle now. Starting signs of nueorpathy. My dear sweet husband already has a more advanced version of this. It will crawl up our legs....progressing. I try not to dwell on it.
Then I see on the news that our government thinks abstinence only education works!! Others...headed for my fate. Please Gods no....let the world wake up from the AIDS inflicted nightmare.
Today I got my latest lab results. Every three months, same dance. Viles upon viles of blood taken....we joke that our blood must be particularly tasty to the vampires. A delicacy maybe. Yes. That's why they take so much blood! Today both hubby's tcells and mine are as high as they've ever been. Our meds are working and working well. Our viral load is undetectable still. Most likely there will come a time when our meds won't work anymore....and then we have to start all over again with a new cocktail. The couch will still be there for me. Now if only we can find that cure....what a wonderful day that will be.

Some links to some articles *I've* written on the topic of HIV. (in the entry below this there are links to articles I *didn't* write that are great to check out as well.)
How HIV has changed my life
My feelings about my disease
What to do when a loved one tells you they have HIV

DePhoMo 1: World AIDS day

I highly doubt I'll be posting all my DePhoMo[December Photography Month] entrys here (One picture taken by you, or with you in it everyday for the month of December) I wanted to make sure I got this one in....While this may not exactly be a "picture"...I still created it, and its more fitting than anything today.

AIDS is not everything I am. It does not consume me, it is not *me* entirely, but it is part of this whole. There are many many times that I feel like this:

But then life is also filled with hope, peace and much love. There is more stigma than ever surrounding AIDS. Please, educate yourself. Learn more, open your mind...and then judge. You don't know how I got it. You don't. You don't know what I've been through to get to this point of advocacy and hope. It touches anyone indescriminatly. If we cover our eyes and pretend we can't see AIDS...we miss out on some powerful opertunities.

Please...please don't put HIV in your bag of denial:

Happy DePhoMo kick off. Now go get tested, and then read some about what AIDS REALLY is.

HIV+ women having HIV- babys

HIV stigma and women

No viral load=No transmittion!!


Please read any or all of these articles. None of them are written by me. All studies are by professionals. This is not a matter of opinion. This is fact now. Thank you for your time. Your own education is a blessing to me.