Station Status Update: The shop got another update

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Yes, the Amberwoods Station shop got another update. This time I pulled most of the stuff off of it and focused primarily on steampunk.

Yes. You read that right. I’m focusing on steampunk for now.

I do have a couple Middle Aged Simmer items in there, and I will be adding a few more from that later on. But mostly it’s going to be steampunk related stuff. Why? Because I love steampunk and I know a lot of my friends/possible readers do too. Not to mention I’m trying a few targeted ads ideas and decided to target steampunk fans for some reason this go around. So I figure I need to make sure I get more steampunk items into the shop.

Yes, I will be adding more stuff for my books and fantasy/sci fi worlds as time goes on. Right now I need money for the move, money for necessities, and money to facilitate my writing career. And that means marketing and targeting certain groups. Since I’m currently targeting my ads to the steampunk fans…well, you see why I’m doing it this way.

So, if you love steampunk – or know someone who does – head on over to Amberwoods Station! New things are added in every day and you never know what’s going to show up.

(Plus by following the link below you get 15% off of all purchases $40+ until 6/30/18, so it’s a pretty good deal.) 😉

Amberwoods Station is AWESOME!

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Station Status Update: Moving info update

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Okay, so I promised this last week but…stuff happened.

Let me start out by saying this – no, the situation with the roommates isn’t any better. We’re at a stalemate right now and just trying to co-exist without stepping on each other’s toes. We’re at least back to being civil so that’s a good thing. Actually I guess that is making it a little better, though our landlord is still a giant jackass who needs to get the stick out of his ass.

We’re managing to stay sane enough, but that wouldn’t have been the case if we’d gone ahead with our plan to be out of here by the 1st of this month. In fact, we’d have been in a world of hurt if we’d tried to be out of here by the 1st of this month. Life didn’t play out in a way to get us out of here by then and I think I’m glad for that.

We were depending on my husband’s commission check to help pay the deposit on a roommate situation and he hasn’t gotten it yet. He won’t get that paid out for another week or two. So that would have hurt us. Trying to find a roommate situation who’d take a couple, a cat, and a dog was nearly impossible so we were going to leave Whiskey (my puppy) behind. That was breaking our hearts and making Tims feel horribly guilty. Me too, but I was trying to dissociate myself from my feelings. I do that when I can’t handle life anymore and it was becoming a real problem.

In the end, we were both super close to breakdowns. Tims was afraid if I went up first – alone – I’d get raped, mugged, killed…all the worst things imaginable were going through his mind. I can’t say they weren’t going through mine as well, because they were. I couldn’t find someone to stay with and was facing the reality of having to live in a homeless shelter, which would have been even worse because since they’re first come-first serve there was a chance I’d have been sleeping on the streets.

So we decided to push our move out until August, when we’ll have had time to save up money to get into our own apartment instead of needing a roommate. This will also give us a chance to work things out with the asshole landlord to see if he’ll not screw us over and give us the 3 year rental history we need to get into our own place. This means job hunting again in July, but for now, that’s something we’ll deal with when we come to it.

We’re also going to have to put Tims’ commission check into repairing Red Chief, our roommate’s mini SUV that we’ve been using (since we don’t have a car of our own – which is the OTHER reason we’re not moving just yet). We plan on getting our own vehicle before the move, which is another reason for delaying it.

So that’s where we stand right now. I’ll update everyone as things progress.

Oh, if you want to see what else I’m doing with my time – other than writing – go check out my Tumblr. I’m doing a lot of Sims 4 related storytelling there as well as posting my Middle Aged Simmer YouTube videos.

Middle Aged Simmer Tumblr Blog

There’s also a few new things in the shop, so go take a look and maybe buy something? It’ll help go towards funding the move.

Amberwoods Station

Station Status Update: The Amberwoods Station Shop is UP, LIVE, AND STOCKED!!!!

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So, if you’ve been around for a while, you know I’ve been trying to get a shop up and running for the Amberwoods Station. Well, that day has arrived. IT’S UP! IT’S STOCKED! IT’S READY FOR CUSTOMERS!

Follow this link for a 15% discount on purchases over $40

Seriously, come support me and my fellow artists and help me get some money to put towards my move to Portland. (I’ll update y’all on that bit of news tomorrow.)

*points to the link*

Go! Shop!

Oh, and while you’re at it, if you’re feeling curious, go subscribe to my YouTube channel to – Middle Aged Simmer.

Calling all artists, poets, and clever people! Help a desperate shopkeeper here!

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Hi everyone!

This is a follow up to the “I’ve gone nuclear” post.

Let’s cut to the chase here – housing everyone in Oregon sucks. Everywhere you go you’re looking at anywhere between $2500-$4000 just to get into an apartment, and that’s if you’re lucky. And rent isn’t cheap either. Many studio apartments – and we’re talking 300-400 sq ft here – will cost you upwards of $800/month (yes, I know, in some places this may seem cheap…but it’s not out here.)

Now, my husband and I can afford up to a certain amount for rent and still pay our bills and set money aside for savings. We’re looking at anywhere between $900-$960 for a one bedroom that’ll let us have Whiskey and Reidar – and we can’t leave them behind and I WON’T send them to the shelter. Reidar would be euthanized almost immediately because he’s 9 and Whiskey…I have a bad feeling he’d pine away because he’s so attached to me.

So, onto the reason for this post. I’m building the Amberwoods Station shop on Shopify. I’m creating swag like t-shirts, cups, mouse pads, cell phone cases, etc. with stuff to promote Amberwoods Station, The Tiger’s Keeper, various other writing projects, and I’m even tossing up some sayings my husband and I live by for variety. I’ll be working with a print on demand service to actually create the things so there’s no upfront cost to me to make the stuff.

Now, for how you can help me and I can help you. I’d like to offer all my artist/poet/witty saying friends a deal. If you want, I’ll put your stuff up in my shop. I’ll give you the base price for each item. You tell me how much you want for it. I’ll get you that price. I take care of shipping. Yes, I will get some money off of it too, but I’ll still make sure you get paid what you ask me for. My husband is very good at marketing and will be handling that side of it.

So, if you’re interested, email me at amberwoodsstationATgmailDOTcom.

Station Status Update – Why I need to move NOW!!!

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I woke up angry, probably because of my roommate situation imploding. And the worst thing is the particular roommate who caused the situation? Won’t ever admit the fact that they’re the cause. They’ll blame US for everything. Yet they are the one responsible for every bit of stress caused to both me and my husband for the past three years.
 
Let me explain –
T1 – the roommate that we don’t care for but don’t really have a problem with
T2 – the roommate we despise and no longer want anything to do with
 
We arrived in Lincoln City, OR in 2015. We were invited by the Ts to help set up a business. My husband had already survived TWO FAILED BUSINESSES with them but this one was a gold mine waiting to happen. Why? It was a cannabis farm in a burgeoning legalized cannabis market. Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to be a full partner at that? At that point in time it really was a multi-million dollar business opportunity.
 
So on May 11th, 2015 (my birthday, by the way) we packed everything into our little truck and drove the 531 miles (854.5 km) to Oregon. We knew this was going to be a one way trip for us. We also knew we were going into something interesting because we have no family and had no other friends – because they were still friends at that point – up here. We were coming in blind as well because the house we were coming to was owned by one of the two’s parents, who’d retired up to the coast.
 
We got here and our truck became problematic. It was smashed in the back, we’d gotten it that way, and really not legal to drive here. So we parked it and left it there. My husband was eager to get started. The Ts were glad to see us – as were T1’s parents. The deal was I’d provide groceries as our form of rent while my husband and the other two worked on the business. However, the first of the imbalances became very obvious at this point. The other two weren’t required to do ANYTHING to provide for the household. They weren’t required to find jobs to produce financial aid. They weren’t really required to do any housework, though T1 did some of the cooking. T2 played at gardening and mowed the lawn ONCE in a while. That’s it.
 
As soon as my husband got here, he pretty much got handed the duties of taking on the bulk of the hard labor on the farm as well as working on the cannabis business. Except there was no movement on the cannabis business. There was some personal medical growing on the property, but the most that was done was some half assed attempts at getting a few things for the commercial grow while my husband did about 95% of the farm work. The Ts sat on their asses and played video games.
I was the only one with an income, other than T1’s parents who owned the property. They had their retirement savings and their Social Security payments. I had (and still have temporarily) my disability. So the deal was I’d help pay for the groceries for the six of us. Within a few months it evolved into me paying for all the groceries with my limited $750/mo. It was really hard, but I managed to feed 6 people on my very limited income. I managed with some clever budgeting and SNAP for food for my husband and myself. But I was still paying over half my disability for the other four.
At that point I also was pretty much forced to take over the cooking by T1’s mom. She was very sick with multiple health issues and T1 had a bad habit of not serving dinner until 8 PM or later. She couldn’t eat that late and would get sick. So I started cooking dinner. Then I wanted breakfast, as did everyone else, at a reasonable hour. So I started cooking breakfast. Then lunch. At that point I was pretty much relegated to house slave.
 
Why do I call myself that? Because all housework, other than the living room which belonged to T1’s parents, was dumped on me. I would ask for help and the only one I could rely on was my husband. He was the only one who did anything around the house with any regularity. The others would half ass things and nine times out of ten, I’d have to go back after them and fix shit. Also, it didn’t matter if I was sick or injured. I’d have to be in the kitchen if I wanted decent food at a decent hour. In fact, I could count on not being allowed a full recovery from anything – including fucking SURGERY – because I couldn’t trust the Ts.
 
It took my husband (in mid 2016) taking things into his own hands to get the cannabis business going. He did the bulk of the work himself, yet T2 took all the credit for everything. T2 claims THEY pushed my husband into it when they did nothing but play video games until my husband guilted them into getting involved. They did as little as possible, other than demand money from T1’s parents. When T1’s mom died on Valentine’s Day 2016, said roommate pushed even harder to get money because the wife wasn’t afraid to stand up to T2 and tell them no.
 
T2 drained our landlord’s retirement to the point where he’s down to maybe a year or two’s worth of money left. T1 let T2 do this, and even helped T2 by pushing their dad into paying out for things when he didn’t want to. T1’s dad expected to be paid back in full by the cannabis business, but T2 made it clear they had no intention of paying him back. Instead, they were going to do some shadowy, half imagined “improvements” to the 10 acre farm we all share. My husband was then expected to give up a portion of his share to pay back the actual retirement money. This is yet another example of T2’s narcissistic attitude.
T2 has said many times that they see people as pawns. They have no emotional connection with anyone. They’re only “friends” with T1 because T1 gives them everything they want. T2 claims to be a grand strategist, yet T2 couldn’t get off their ass to save the cannabis business when it became obvious that haste was needed over laziness.
Even now T2 treats us like shit. They demand that we do more work in the house than we are, even though we’re the ones with viable jobs. We provide the only income – STILL – in the house. We pay rent by paying rent to our landlord. How rent is calculated is bullshit and the fact that they aren’t being forced to contribute is bullshit as well, but that’s another vent for another post.

On Thursday things finally came to a head. T2 made the mistake of getting in my face over something stupid, accusing me of “stealing money from <landlord>, demanding treats we don’t deserve.” This coming from the person who is constantly taking money from him for stupid, trivial things even though they don’t have a job or a viable home business to bring in money to repay our landlord. I lost my temper. I hit the Big Red Button. I went nuclear.
I ripped into T2, calling them an ungrateful leech, a burden on me and the landlord, a useless lump of flesh, and many other things I’ve kept inside for the past 3 years. T2 just stared at me, eyes wide, and when I stopped talking, bolted from the kitchen where we’d all been getting lunch. T1 followed them out. Now, here’s what pissed me off even more. T2 convinced themselves – AND T1 – that the blow up never happened. They convinced themselves – AND T1 – that everything was still status quo and we were all still good friends.
FUCK THAT!
I told my husband the whole story over FB messenger and told him I no longer cared if he lost his temper and went off on them. He’s been holding back because I asked him to. Well, he got home from work and we talked a bit about the day, and I told him about the fact that the Ts were acting like I’d never lost my temper at all. This irritated him as much as it did me. Then he went in and took a shower. Then I took a shower. We have to pass through T2’s room to get to the shower the four of us share. Before I went into the shower, T2 messaged my husband and asked him to come to their room to discuss business.
I got out of my shower and they were still talking. I got back to the room and was trying to upload stuff to YouTube when I heard shouting from across the hall. I turned my music up because yelling is still a trigger for my PTSD but I was still half listening. My husband came into our room, slammed the door, and told me he’d finally let his temper go. He said T2 had a look of shock and fear in their eyes because my husband actually got into T2’s face when he blew.
T2 knocked on our door a few minutes later and wanted to talk. T2 started demanding things of my husband, saying they felt disrespected, that my husband was being rude, that my husband had gone off for no reason, etc. My husband got up, got in their face again, and yelled at them to get out of the room. It took three times before T2 got the hint and left. T2 was very pale when they left. I don’t think they expected my husband to react that way. He’s never even shown he had such a temper in the six years they’ve known each other.
So now we’re looking for a place to rent up here. We can afford, at most, $1000/mo and still pay all our bills. We’ve also in the market for a car. One of my coworkers is bringing one in today for us to look at. If it isn’t for us, he’s already put in a word with the local car dealer to talk shop with my husband – and try to work out something so we don’t have to put down a down payment.
In 4 hours of internet searching I found THREE potential options for housing in this place that’s shit for rentals. In 8 hours of working as a cashier yesterday I ended up with something like SEVEN options. Plus a good suggestion on how to go about our search. I have customers AND co-workers watching in their small towns (that are within a 30-45 minute drive from here) for rentals popping up.
My roommates can barely function socially. My husband and I, through our constant contact with the public, are building up quite the social credit in this town. We are well liked, always meeting new people, and always having people asking about how our lives are going. My husband’s job is to schmooze people. He’s in good with the Chamber of Commerce, many high ranking members of our community, and is even connected with people at the casino that essentially owns a good chunk of this town. I’m familiar to many of the local restaurant owners who come to the grocery store I work at to get stuff when being busy runs them out of supplies. You’d be surprised at how often that gets me some interesting conversations and tips.
We need money. We need a vehicle. And we need our own place. We’re NOT doing the roommate thing again for a very long time. If ever. It’s just going to be me, my husband, and our fur kids. And realistically? That’s all we really want in life now.

Healer Report #2 – An update on my, well, my uterus (TMI again)

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Okay, if you DON’T want to read/hear about the female reproductive system, my upcoming surgery to resolve a rather specific issue with mine, and general female issue discussions, please close out of this blog post now. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

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Okay, for those of you who actually stuck around, in mid April, I’m going in for a minor surgery to (hopefully) deal with the sheer agony and rather heavy flows of my monthly cycle. I got an ultrasound last month and it was ultimately found that my uterus wall was 17 mm too thick, it looks like there are polyps in there (possibly cancerous, possibly not), and there are a few other abnormalities my OB/GYN wants to take a look at.

So, in mid April I’ll go in, get knocked out, and my OB/GYN will go in with a tiny camera and a small little tool. He’ll take out the polyps, cut down the uterus wall back to 5 mm, and insert a Mirena IUD. We were already going to do that last anyway, since being on a blood thinner (Eliquis, if you’re curious – been on it since…November, I think) estrogen isn’t an option. Ordinary birth control pills, which he’d normally prescribe to regulate the flow and help with the debilitating cramps, are out. The Mirena IUD is a progesterone based system. Progesterone doesn’t have the risks for blood clots that estrogen has.

This surgery is very minor and doesn’t have the stroke/heart attack/major blood clots in the lungs issues that a hysterectomy would have. We’re going to see if all of this helps the pain and heavy flow. If it doesn’t, we’ll have to discuss other options.

So, that’s the upcoming surgery.

Brief note on the one I had earlier this month on my left leg. It’s healing nicely. I’m still bruised, but that’s a side effect of the Eliquis as much as it is the surgery. The blood clot (which is an intentional one) has settled into place nicely. The swelling in my left leg has been reduced by quite a bit. Next week on the 4th I go visit with my specialist/surgeon to check in and see what he says. So life is somewhat good.

Station Status Update – Why I’ve been MIA

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As you may have noticed, this blog has been silent lately. A lot has been going on lately and I thought I’d give you an update.

First, I finished the first draft of The Tiger’s Keeper. I’ll be getting started on the second draft soon. I’ve seen doctors, specialists, the ultrasound technicians, and a few other random health people. I see my neurologist on Monday (the 5th). I then go in the following Monday (the 12th) to get my leg surgery done.

The OB/GYN is reluctant to do the hysterectomy due to the fact that I have a history of blood clots and that I’m on blood thinners. I have a very high risk of way too many side effects (most that lead to me being dead) that I’m willing to take his alternatives. Same with the surgeon I met to discuss my pain in the area where the gall bladder is. He’s not entirely sure it is my gall bladder. I’ve got a test coming up to determine if that’s what it is, so we’ll go from there.

This leads to my latest bit of news…

I AM EMPLOYED IN A JOB OUTSIDE THE HOUSE!!! AND I’M EXCITED!!!

I’m now officially employed full time as a cashier at a local grocery store. I’m extremely excited for that. My husband has been out for the past two weeks looking for a job since the business he was trying to get started was pretty much defunct thanks to some poor planning on our state’s part. I decided I was going to give it a shot.

TWO DAYS! It took two days for me to walk in, talk to the store manager while dropping off my application and resume, for the store manager to hire me. This was back on Tuesday. On Thursday, I went in shortly before lunch and filled in the paperwork.

I start on Tuesday. I work 8 A to 5 P with a trainer. I work Wednesday and Thursday too. Then on Friday and Saturday, I work on my own – with someone helping me if I need it, of course. What’s even better is the store manager told me the second person he hired doesn’t get away from the trainer for at least a week, possibly more.

Now I have worked retail before, but it’s been a little under two decades since the last time I was behind a cash register. Yet I’m the one being trusted to run a register sooner.

Anyway, I’m writing this at 1:40 AM, so I’m headed back to bed. All of you have a great day and I’ll report back later with how things go.08

Healer Report #1 – Dangers of major surgery (TMI ahead…if you’re squeamish, watch out!)

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Hello everyone. First, you’ll notice the blog changed again. That’s to proudly display the Amberwoods Station banner that my friend Sara made for me. She did some other stuff for the Amberwoods Station for me, and you’ll get to see those later.

Second, yesterday I went to the OB/GYN to discuss the possibility of a major surgery to deal with my monthly cycles. That was what I really wanted. However, he laid out what the risks for me were. I’m a high risk candidate for major surgery. I have a clotting disease – it’s genetic (we tested that a few months ago) – and if I have major surgery, I run a high risk of having more blood clots that could easily form in my lungs and kill me. I could also have a stroke, which would either paralyze me or kill me. Or I could have a heart attack or two…which would most likely kill me. Can you see the trend here?

We discussed several different options and I finally agreed to try one that I wasn’t sure I wanted, but if it takes care of some of the issues I have every month I’m happy to try it. The first option we’re going to try will take six months to start working, but six months is better than death.

One thing that my doctor said has stuck with me, and I thought I’d share it here. He told me yesterday: “People think surgery is like buying a plane ticket to New York City. You buy the ticket, go to NYC, then fly home. They think, ‘hey, that was easy and I’m very happy.’ Surgery isn’t like that all. It’s a very serious thing to consider, especially if you have other health issues. Always do the research before you request a surgery. If you’re referred to get a surgery, research the procedure before you go through it so you know what to expect.

–End report

It’s been a while…

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Hey everyone. So it’s been a while since I posted here. Let me assure you it’s not because I’ve been meaning to neglect all of you. Life just seems to keep getting in my way – that and I’ve got one hell of a crunch to get my novel done in time for my June publication date.

As you can see, the blog got another overhaul. I’ve decided to incorporate both my fantasy and my science fiction into one place. That place is Amberwoods Station. As the tagline says, it’s the “waystation for the characters from all the worlds created by Alison Guynes.” And Alison Guynes is, well, ME.

I have so many stories knocking about in my head that I decided I wanted a collective umbrella to put them under and – ultimately – publish them under. So Amberwoods Station now exists. It exists on Facebook as both a business page as well as a group. My DeviantArt page, as soon as I figure out how to change things up a bit, will reflect this as well. And the website I abandoned working on several months ago will also bear the Amberwoods Station name.

I have a good friend who’s working on my logo for me, so right now the images you see on this site are placeholders until I can get the full work up done. Also, as my publication date gets closer, you’ll be seeing more hints of my cover art, snippets of The Tiger’s Keeper (aka Tiger, Tiger), and other fun stuff tied into everything I’m doing.

So watch this space closely!

You never know who or what will show up. 😀

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