It’s been 23 days since I lost my voice.  I’m still not sure what happened, but I am pretty certain that it has to do with Mom’s passing. When dad told me, there was quite a bit of screaming. The next morning, my voice was completely gone. After a week, I went to the doctor, who told me he didn’t see any inflammation, and I did not appear to be sick in anyway. He told me to drink tea and try not to use my voice so much I guess, but that was two weeks ago now. I still sound terrible, and it is starting to effect my life in ways that I do not like- I had to miss a couple of days of work because I had absolutely no voice, and tonight there is a poetry workshop that I really want to go to and don’t know if I’m going because I cannot speak, ergo I cannot read.

On top of that, I am actually dictating part of this blog because my fingers are too numb at the moment to type. So really, I am already using my voice limit for the day. I spoke with my therapist, and she thinks it may be psychosomatic, which would of course not surprise me in the least. I mean, yes, I was screaming the night mom died, but there have been many nights I have screamed and I never ended up losing my voice for over a fortnight. Right now it is low and gravely, which is the only way I can get the words out. If I speak in my normal register, it sounds like a whisper. Frankly, I think I will be calling my doctor today to see if there is anything else they can do. I don’t know if any antibiotic would help, probably not, but I have tried every homeopathic remedy under the sun and I am running out of options. I need my voice back – I work in education and customer service. How am I supposed to help customers or teach children if they can’t hear the words coming out of my mouth?

I feel silenced – which is one of my least favorite feelings, let me tell you. Thank God I can still type, although maybe not at the moment because of the numb fingers, which only makes me feel more voiceless. Today, I have to go to work and struggle through speech to small ones. Then I will probably still go to that poetry workshop, because it is hosted by a performer I like, and worst case scenario is that I can pick up a few performance tips. Even though, and I’m very sad about this, I don’t think I’ll be able to read the poem I wanted to. Or maybe I can, maybe that room full of poets will bear with my gravelly voice. One can dream, can’t one? In the meantime, I will drink my tea and use my throat lozenges, and hope for the best. Laryngitis is no joke.


Christmas Hiatus

Hey, Readers. I am dropping this note to let you know that any updates here or on my Patreon will be sporadic over the next couple of weeks. The time has come, and my mother passed away Christmas night. I am obviously heartbroken, and I have no intention of being able to concentrate on my words in the next week or so, as we lay her to rest. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Love, Brig

Christmas Vacation

I have a snow day from both jobs, so I have decided to throw the towel in early and declare Christmas vacation right now. School is closed until after the new year, and I I’m not back at Avis until Monday, and there is something called a “bomb cyclone” in our meteorological area this holiday weekend. Which means Christmas at my Grandma’s might not happen as planned, which would of course suck terribly. What would be worse is not being able to be with my father on Christmas Eve, but our plan is to make our way over at some point tomorrow and spend the night so we are together Christmas morning. And then I’m going to make a bunch of food, and we’re going to open presents, and I’m probably going to drink most of the bottle of RumChata I bought at the liquor store yesterday. Hopefully, the weather doesn’t ruin all of my plans. Right now, all I want to do is say stay safe indoors while this crazy snowpocalypse does it’s thing. So I wish you, my dear readers, a safe and happy holiday. I am off to enjoy my snow filled few days of peace. I hope you enjoy yours as well.

Sleep Deprivation

Right now, the clock reads 3:15 a.m. It is obviously winter now, as I find myself seeking hibernation, and going to bed only a few hours after the sun does. This presents the problem of waking up far too early, and leaving me tired midday. I am not very good at napping, and I try not to unless I am sick or have a headache. Alas, I have already been awake for an hour, so a nap might actually happen today. I do like the early morning hours though, mostly because of the quiet. The things I do hear include my husband snoring, and in about 15 minutes, my upstairs neighbor will wake for her day and take the dogs outside.

Right now, I desire a cup of coffee, but I am also hoping I will doze off on the couch while I watch TV. It is simply still too early, but I find myself pleased that I awoke feeling the way I did. I slipped on some ice on Sunday, and today my back doesn’t hurt as much. Not to mention, no puking! (Knock on wood.)

I suppose I cannot do a whole blog on the fact that I woke up too early. It’s just that I don’t have much else to say at the moment. This past weekend, I drove across state to visit my in-laws, but it wasn’t a happy visit. Unfortunately, we don’t get out there very much for happy visits, given an unreliable vehicle. I borrowed dad’s car so we could go out this time, but what I would really like to do is visit this summer. I would like to go out there without some looming catastrophe, or reason for tears. Still, it is hard. I mean, we all have jobs and families. They find it hard to visit us as well, likely for the same reasons. So it has come to be that he only sees his family for major life events, and I really think he would like a weekend or so where he could go spend time with them without having a huge life altering thing smack dab in the middle of it. Alas, this still means I need a better car.

Anyway, Christmas is coming. That will likely be tomorrow’s update…or Friday or whenever I get to it because c’mon, the holidays are rough. I promise to try to do my best. Right now, I have to go brainstorm some content for my Patreon, which is new every Wednesday- hint, hint, nudge, nudge. The problem is I don’t have any time to concentrate on anything right now. I’m just trying to get to the end of the month. How about you?


I guess the obvious blog for the week is that I have been buried under several feet of snow for several days. The seasoned reader knows that I hail from Western New York-Buffalo, in particular. We are known for many things, mainly chicken wings, and apocalyptic snow storms. Myself, I can’t eat a chicken wing anymore. But, I can be buried in my house for 4 days!
I wrote a while back about how I think our mayor sucks. This is not an uncommon thread throughout the city- in fact, the man did not win the primary. You can read about that here, if you’d like. Anyway, when he was campaigning for re-election, he went real hard in the South District of the city. Now, as I wrote about after the Tops shooting, my city is fairly segregated. I live in a predominantly white, mostly Irish neighborhood. Yet our mayor is black, and so was his opponent, but here in South Buffalo they sure seemed to like calling her a God-forsaken devil socialist, for some reason. I personally believe this has to do with the fact that our country is a lot more sexist than it is racist, but I digress. The point is that the mayor went really hard scooping up those white votes down here. And he won, and then a huge snowstorm was projected, as it is nearly every year. I mean this is not new-he’s been in office forever- but he still allocates resources inappropriately during snowstorms. Everybody knows this…the new thing this year was a map that told you which streets were plowed. Which worked awesome until you noticed that the worst hit part of the city had absolutely no plows in it whatsoever, but the mayor’s street was fresh and clear. Then, the map suddenly stopped working, just as the rest of the city was released from a travel ban. But no, not my neighborhood of South Buffalo. We ended up needing outside crews.
The ban was finally lifted on Monday night, so I went out and started my car to discover that the battery had died. The perfect cherry atop my sundae of despair. Then, I found out school was canceled for the rest of the week, and since I wasn’t able to make it to Avis, now I will definitely be late on rent. So what did I do? I kicked this s*** out of a pile of snow.
AAA came and replaced my battery, and I was able to make it into work the next morning, which is in Orchard Park, where they had significantly more snow. Our parking lot, which is not just for parking but is essentially my office, is an absolute disaster. I spent most of my day yesterday cleaning returned cars and watching Boss-Mark try to get a Honda Civic out of a pile of snow.
Then, on the way home, the end of the street I live off was blocked. There were cops everywhere, and I kind of just assumed it was another snow removal crew. When I got home and went on my phone, I discovered that one of the workers for the city was killed last night down the street from me by a front loader. So now snow removal is suspended for another 48 hours. Which I totally understand, but I’m also not sure of the logistics for traveling around the city today. It really is scary to think of though, especially when just on Monday afternoon I was walking down that street because I needed some air. I feel terrible for that worker’s family right now.
So, the storm is over. Yesterday at work I didn’t even have my jacket on, and frankly I was mad I wore my boots because they hurt my feet. I am very nervous about the next few days, because Boss-Mark is out of town again, so I shall be running the shop. But today is Thanksgiving, so I get a little break first, more or less. Actually less, because in about an hour I’m going to drive to Salamanca to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in a nursing home with my mother. Then I’m going to my father’s to cook some foods to take to my Aunt Mary’s for dinner. We had Thanksgiving at Mary’s one year, the year that Mark lived there. It was nice, and it was fun, and I remember Mom being stress free about it. But we never did it again, and a lot of that had to do with the fact that Mom just loves making Thanksgiving dinner. She always invited over Sharon and Kevin, and it was always one of the best meals of the year. This year though, mom won’t be an attendance. Sharon and Kevin are doing nothing. I’m happy we are going to Mary’s, because at least we have done that before, so for me it is less stressful of a change, but my mom won’t be there. And that, my friends, just f****** sucks. There’s no other way to put it.
I need to focus on things to be thankful for. Like maybe the fact that I can actually drive my car down to see my mom today, instead of having a dead battery and impassable roads. Or that my aunt is swooping in as she does to cheer my spirits. Thankfulness for my new home, and my good job, and my loving friends and family. I will do my hardest to focus on these things today, because that’s what my mother would tell me to do.

Snow Daze

As I sit here, and begin this blog, thunder roars in my ears. Here in Western New York, we often have thundersnow during big storms. I received word Wednesday night that my afternoon job would be canceled Thursday and Friday. And this morning, I texted Work-Mark and told him my street had not been plowed and there was a driving ban still, so he told me to stay home.

Okay…now what?

I really want to write, to spend the whole snowy day immersed in my words. But the truth is, I am still not comfortable at my desk for some reason. Currently, I am writing on my phone while sitting on my couch in the living room. Maybe it is that I am not ready to write in the space I have created, or maybe it is because I am taking my snow day to heart.

Do you remember being a kid, and listening to the radio, or watching the runner on the news? Now I get a robocall when school is closed, or an email or text message. But what wonderful anticipation we had that children today will not experience- we sat there and prayed to the gods of childhood wonder and hoped that we would be free for one day! One day, with no questions or teachers or homework. They would say our school’s name over the radio and we would erupt in cheers! I would run upstairs and change out of my uniform and back into my pajamas. My mom would make me a nice breakfast, and we would watch TV together. In the afternoon, I would play in the snow, building snowmen and forts and having snowball fights with the kids in the neighborhood while my father shoveled the driveway.

Today, my kids are home from school- at their mother’s currently – and they will be here later, provided driving bans lift. They did not wake up at the crack of dawn today to listen to the radio with that delicious anticipation. In fact, they are probably still asleep, already fully aware that the world is blanketed in white. I never went back to sleep on those snow days- it seemed a waste of a perfectly good day off. So here now I am at 8:30 in the morning, thinking of what I shall do with my day that exists within the four walls of my apartment. Eventually, Mark will shovel, and I will dust off the car. But until then, I will stay in my pajamas and drink hot coffee and think of all the things I could be writing if I could just get my butt to sit at my desk.

Happy Friday.

Murphy’s Law

No blog today, because I am talk to texting this whole thing, and you know I absolutely hate that. I have officially moved out. I have found a lovely little spot where I intend to welcome in a brand new life. But first, I have to figure out how to get internet into my computer- the technician is coming on Wednesday, so hopefully I will be back online that night. Anyway, I am alive, even though I managed to sprain my ankle in the process.  As one does.
Happy Monday. It’s Monday, right?

On Vacation

It’s Wednesday night and I’m typing on my phone because I’m doing this blog inbetween preparations for my first vacation in many years. Once upon a time, I  went to the Bahamas with my sister on a cruise and it was magical in a tropical kind of way.  This time I am on the hunt for a different sort of magic.

I decided to go to Salem over a year ago, in true “girl’s trip” fashion. I invited all my friends, and about 10 of them were down to go…until the months went on, and the numbers dwindled. I didn’t mind, though I was sad my friends had to bail, but then my sister got a new job and had to jump ship, too. That one made me super-sad.  Now, a year later, my ten friends turned into two.
But two of the best! (I mean, they’re all the best, but we’re highlighting my travel buddies today.)
Sahar was, of course, ready to go from the mere mention of a trip. And Chelsea was on board right away, too. Neither were discouraged by our diminished number, though I feared they, too, would want to cancel. Alas, here I am the night before, packing a bag.
I travel so rarely. This is quite exciting.
Anyhoo, I am off to go on an adventure. I will be sure to tell you all about it Monday!


Well, today I am not writing at the computer because I can’t read the screen. However, I am sitting here looking at my phone through half an eyeball and dictating to you. Editing will be ridiculous of course, because talk to text barely picks up what I’m saying. However, it will still be easier than sitting at my computer with a bright screen blaring at my retina. My left eye, my bad eye, is working double-time right now because the only way I can read the phone is through its crap vision. My right eye is completely blurry without my glasses on, however…I popped the lens out of the right side of my glasses and discovered I could finally see distance. I haven’t seen distance since I was nine years old. So now I am excited for next Monday, when they will do the same thing to the left eye, and who knows what the result will be? Hopefully I will not have to wear glasses for distance anymore, which will be very strange if I’m honest, because I’ve been wearing them for so long. I will need reading glasses, but that also means I will be able to READ. So really it’s a trade-off I can live with. Anyway, they gave me some Valium at the doctor so I think I’m going to have to go and sleep that off now. Just wanted to give a quick update and wish you as always, a happy Monday.