Dog Talking Buttons

As of today, Sophie and Kai have three buttons, two of which Sophie has used on purpose occasionally.

Those are Outside, Walk and Park. The chart at TheyCanTalk shows Outside and Walk as “Where” words, but we use these as “Doing” words (go outside, go for walk), so that’s how our tiles are set up.

We have a new Park button because the old one is acting up. I dunno if the battery needs changing or the button was damaged in the many trips. Sometime I’ll take time to look at it. While we were in Eden, with nothing even remotely like a Park available, I had repurposed it as a second Boop button to help Kai with target training. But I’m running out of buttons now. More are on order.

Sophie has been asking me for water with her voice and face a lot lately, so I wanted to introduce Water soon. But caveats:

  • It’s better to introduce words in pairs.
  • It’s better to hold off on food buttons if a learner is highly food oriented, as Sophie is.
  • We’ve been verbally modeling Play and All Done a lot lately.

So our order is probably going to be more like:

  1. Outside
  2. Walk and Park
  3. Water and Toy
  4. Play and All Done

And so on from there, but I’m waffling on the mixing and matching of items in 3 and 4 since we more heavily use “water” and “all done” verbally. How much does it matter, though?

Human Skin Things

I’ve been having trouble with my skin off and on for a long time, but the most recent “on” has been going on now since around June of 2019. I didn’t realize the full scale and scope until looking at my health diary recently and collating all the things labeled “eczema” and “dermatitis” and “psoriasis” together.

I’ve never actually had a diagnosis.

I started a spreadsheet of everything I’ve been prescribed for it and looked up what those things are for.

Yesterday I learned that the Mayo Clinic says that seborrheic dermatitis is diagnosed via biopsy. I’ve never had a biopsy for this!! Not even when I had the same dermatologist over multiple visits. Which, admittedly, has been a rarity, as my insurance provider changed 5 times over 4 years and then changed again last year. It’s about to change again because I’m moving.

Anyway, I gathered all the data, found out what was what, and developed a treatment plan. So far it’s going swimmingly. But I also realize that I need to learn how to moisturize.

Like a lot of white people, I didn’t grow up with moisturizing of any sort. And then when everybody started saying we need to moisturize every day, it seemed like we were talking about delicate rejuvenators for faces and hands. Not lotion for the whole of me.

I am finding out from TikTok that I need lotion for the whole of me. So, um yeah, exploring this.

Because I’m oblivious (and now it’s increasingly apparent, neurodivergent) this data gathering exercise is helping me discover:

  • I have actually applied the same medication multiple occasions before and not realized it.
  • My container of face moisturizer is three years old. I’m throwing that out.
  • I thought dermatologists would know their stuff, but their approach is random and capricious, compared to the Mayo Clinic. F that.

Update: while doing some research into moisturizers, I stumbled onto this page and OMG science!!! But I’m discovering things …

Current products:

  • Nizoral Anti Dandruff Shampoo
  • OGX Tea Tree and Mint Shampoo
  • OGX Tea Tree and Mint Conditioner
  • OGX Tea Tree Mint Extra Strength Scalp Treatment
  • Dr. Bronner’s Hemp Pure-Castile Soap Tea Tree
  • Noxzema Original Cleansing Cream
  • Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Manuka Honey Balm
  • Nuvel Cocoa Butter Lotion

I’m finding out that the Noxzema, Honey Balm, and Nuvel have to go. They all use oils that Malassezia yeast loves to eat. The soap and hair products do too, but good rinsing will help with that. It’s what persists on the skin that I’m concerned about and Noxzema persists like a lot, even after a hard rinse. So I’ll need a new:

  • Face cleanser
  • Face moisturizer
  • Whole body moisturizer

Relationship Pitfalls

I’ve been married four times, domestic partnered once, and engaged a forgettable number of times before the first marriage. I don’t know the recipe for a good marriage but I know four recipes for ones that don’t last.

Recipe the first: the undiscovered country.

This sunk all the engagements and the second marriage. Do not get involved in a serious romantic relationship until well after you’ve done your epic journey of self discovery and self acceptance. Be happily single for a couple of years first. Make sure you have a completely firm foundation of who and what you are. When you are happy and well adjusted by yourself, you can properly date compatible people and have a reasonably well balanced marriage or other romantic relationship.

I think this is the most common, most pervasive, and most invisible cause. The more marriages I see break up, the more obvious the pattern is that one or both of the participants didn’t fully know themselves going in. They chose partners who were compatible with their mistaken image of themselves. Not who they actually were. So the two were fundamentally incompatible but didn’t know it. The journey of discovery uncovered it. Painfully.

And I don’t think we can avoid it by setting a time limit on when to get married. Some people seem to know themselves fully coming out of high school, and others never do. My ex is around 60 and he is still jabbing all around the target but missing it. Some people never try.

And how do you know when you get there? For me, it was when I finally came to acceptance about my family of origin, about the things about myself I like least, about things I used to accept unquestioningly about my culture and the world. In fact, I’m still in that process, but the hardest, most painful work seems to be finished.

Recipe the second: ignoring red flags and gut feelings.

I knew my first husband was untrustworthy well before I married him. He was cheating to date me. When I set a boundary, he committed a fraud to get around it. I knew while I was holding the divorce decree that something wasn’t right, but I didn’t go with my gut. I kept my word and married him. When he would not budge on the topic of changing my last name, that was a clear signal that it wasn’t me he was interested in, but I ignored that, too. We had a week or maybe two before the fresh lies and absences began.

Recipe the third: accepting (or assigning) the role of parent instead of partner.

Don’t get me wrong; for some couples that kind of relationship works, provided everyone accepts that going in. This is what went wrong with my third marriage and domestic partnership. I didn’t treat them like fully formed grown-ass human beings, and then I resented doing all the heavy lifting. I see a huge number of relationships with this problem. This is the problem most others can easily spot too. Folks are learning how to develop good boundaries about this as an additional benefit of dismantling the patriarchy.

Recipe the fourth: changing somebody’s life without their consent.

I don’t hear as much about this as I used to. Remember in like the 50s when globalization was emerging, and men who worked at these big corporations were getting reassigned to offices in other faraway cities? It used to be customary for men to accept these assignments without even consulting their wives. “Hi honey, we’re moving to Boston.” That would totally not fly now.

But there are other ways that one partner can completely change another’s life, and life changing things require consent. They just do. It is the height of selfishness to sell your shared house, trade in a shared car, or adopt a pet without the consent of your partner. This one got my fourth marriage.

Money Automata

I’m feeling a little stoked this morning. My financial plan for 2022 has launched very nicely. This is the first paycheck where my direct deposits for retirement, savings, and personal allowance kicked in. It’s nice to know those funds have been funneled away from the churning whirlwind that is (was) my bank account and, in two cases, being nicely put to work generating some funds of their own.

Also, I’ve moved most of the churn out of my primary bank account and parceled my expenses to separate credit cards based on whether they are routine regular expenses (like cell phone and power) or fluctuating out-of-pocket expenses (like food and fuel). Then I can pay off the credit cards once or twice a month. Because I pay with the credit cards, if I make an error, there’s not a cascading overdraft failure. But it also means some personal discipline, as I cannot afford to let debt creep up again like it did in 2021. Once I get a picture of how this all flows, I can set up auto-pay for these two cards and not have to worry about them.

I feel like a dweeb to be so excited about this, but I am definitely excited.


Things I don’t like:

  • Too much credit card debt
  • Not enough savings
  • Not enough time to do what I want

Things I like:

  • Houses paid off
  • Decent income
  • Job I love

Things I want to do:

  • Travel
    • Sailing trip
    • Overseas trip
    • Yellowstone
    • Valley of the Gods
    • Nova Scotia
  • Improve Robert Smalls Station NC
    • Native habitat landscaping
    • Electrical access
    • Guests
    • Fostering
  • Improve Camp Mary Jane Richards MS
    • Move the house
    • Native habitat landscaping
    • Heating system
    • Porch/shed – sink, washer, shower
    • Guest shack
    • Fence
    • Electrical
    • Septic?
  • Improve Fort Abraham Galloway NM
    • Water collection
    • Earthbag house
  • Improve Fort Mary Fields UT
    • Water collection
    • Earthbag house
  • Fix/improve the truck
    • Transmission
  • Get a van
    • Set it up for camping

Things I Dream About

  • Having my own business
    • Copywriting
    • Native plant landscaping
  • More serious traveling
    • Vanlife
  • Activism
  • Volunteer work

Some Steps to Do

  1. Analyze spending.
  2. Set limits.
  3. Reorganize auto-pay.
    • All auto-pay from Primary Credit Union Credit Card, except one expense each from Big Ugly Credit Card and Big Patriotic Credit Card.
  4. Pay off Big Ugly Credit Card.
  5. Pay off Big Patriotic Credit Card.
  6. Use Primary Credit Union Credit Card for recurring expenses.
    • Include Big Credit Cards.
  7. Use Secondary Credit Union Credit Card for out of pocket expenses.
  8. Auto-deposit from Primary Credit Union Account to Secondary Credit Union Credit Card.
  9. Auto-deposit from Primary Credit Union Account to savings.
    • Save for travel.
    • Save for home improvement
    • Save for gifts
  10. Auto-Deposit from Primary Credit Union Account to investment.
  11. Big Credit Cards are paid off, apply for a credit card that earns points.
  12. Put money away for retirement – Brokerage Firm Rollover IRA (I already have 401k).

Song Ideas

Any Genre

“Tables and Shelves” about leaving room on horizontal surfaces so that cats can jump from one to another without knocking all your stuff onto the floor. Find a way to rhyme “shelves” with “behave themselves”.

“All the Free Sofas in the Classified Ads” .

  • So many sofas. So many.
  • Also something about all the roosters and rabbits, and whether they’ll be eaten by next week.
  • And why are all the cats named Fluffy?!?!
Jump down
Run all around
'Cuz we heard that sound

About what all the dogs and cats do when I open a pull-tab can. Include the actual sound so that listeners’ animals can go crazy too.

“All the Lost Dogs in My Facebook Feed.”

Song about the things to believe in, starting with pilot holes and star drive screws.

  • If going corny-sweet, use “the words of One who was a carpenter too”.
  • If going creepy, end with foil hats and the Illuminati.
  • If going occult, use the story in the neighbor’s rooster’s entrails.

I want your sane-sane. I want your sensible demeanor. I want your practical attitude. Cray-cray is for idiots.

Song about a kitten called “Everything’s a Toy”.

“Too Much Stuff” Rhyme Rubbermaid with KitchenAid.

Piggle to the wiggle
Little to the biggle

Song idea about Piggly Wiggly. Jingle material? I have since fallen out with PW.

“(There’s No Escaping) Candida, the Ubiquitous Yeast”

Nights are cold
Days are dusty
Getting old
Going rusty
Have and hold
Long and lusty?

Rhyme “stucco and vinyl siding” with “poseurs and muggles hiding”.

How different my current self is from my childhood self. Rhyme “compliant” with “defiant”.

“Will You Be My … Emergency Contact?”

Explicit track about trying to use WordPress called “What The F Is With All These GD DIVs?!?!” Include further outrage about <SPAN>.


Immensely catchy song about Thanksgiving.


“Dumps and Traces (A Software Story)”

“Snapshots Are Not Backups”


A song about all the diseases you can get from mosquitoes.

A pop song called “Snap a Chalk Line”. Also one called “This Is Why You Knot Your Cord”.

A song that rhymes sensor with soap dispenser, and is about how the soap lands on the counter while you’re moving your hand around trying to trigger it. (This needs to be done in the style of Eminem. Dunno how I do that in a pop song.)


“Cat, You Need To Bury That (Because That’s What Cats Do, Dammit)”

Country song about someone stealing the ladder off my truck. Note: my ladder has not been stolen. It’s just a possibility whose emotional implications I am now realizing.  

  • Is it a two-step?
  • The song should be. Not the ladder. That would kind of suck.

Honky-tonk song about how a 4th husband and a 6th wife should have somehow made a 10. Needs a funny line about a dawg.

Mama’s cookie tin of buttons. Daddy’s coffee can of screws. Granny’s blood donations. Granddaddy’s evening news. Sister’s cooling the roof with a water hose!

Country song idea about how disappointing it is to only find bolts when you’re looking for a screw.

Country song idea: “It Was a Long Time Coming (And Now It’s Gone)” 

Once you were moving in, but now you're moving on.

Country song idea about being a middle-aged person on TikTok. Find clever ways to rhyme fit check and thirst trap.

Country western song that rhymes dog crate with baby gate.

Find a clever rhyme for Dollar Tree cutlery.

Song about white supremacy called “Mayonnaise and Raisins”.

Country song idea about how I want a hundred pit bulls because they’re just so gosh darn sweet and how I’m gonna get em all from KC Pet Project in Swope Park.

Country song idea “I Feel Guilty, But Not Enough To Stop”

At the end, the reveal is it's not about cheating. It's about eating meat.

“Give it to a Dog” Examples:

  • love
  • leftovers
  • anything you want to get the grease off of

“Grits. That is All.”

Country song idea and title track for album: “I’m a Nobody on TikTok”.

It don't matter, cuz nobody cares.
I hardly ever get Likes, Follows, and Shares.
Never been flagged. Never been banned. (Now rhyme that.)


Gimme a lager, I don't want no ale. 
Why they only got IPAs for sale? 
They got enough Oberon to fill a small whale! 
Gimme a lager, I don't want no ale!

Take Your Crackers With You When You Go. By a band called “Don’t Blame the Goldenrods”.

OMG BoldGrid and WordPress

OMG so much frustrate. None of this is intuitive and I do NOT HAVE TIME TO DEEPLY RESEARCH DESIGN TOOLS every time I JUST WANT TO MAKE A DAMN EDIT ON MY SITE!

Seriously, all I want to do is add some images to my slider. Even after finding where the hell the slider controls are, “Add Slide” does absolutely nothing and I DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR THIS!

I’m going to wind up scrapping my entire design, aren’t I?

What Happened at Work

A new position opened up on my old team. I applied for it and got it. It’s been a couple of months and I am extraordinarily happy. It feels so good to do meaningful work again on a supportive and cooperative team where the leader listens, cares, and actively leads. You are so jealous you are not me.