Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Barbara Kingsolver is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. The first one I read was the Poisonwood Bible. It is still my favorite that I have read but this one runs a close second.

This story follows two families- different times but the same place. The current family has done everything right but are not succeeding in life. There is a husband and wife, their grown children, the dad (father in law), and the new baby. It is, unfortunately, so real how things sometimes just are out of our control in our lives and the way things are set up, it is hard to recover.

The past family is a gentleman and his wife and her family and their neighbor. He is a science teacher and the neighbor is a scientist. Turns out, she is a real person and her character is based on real correspondence she had with Darwin and other scientists of the time. The community was fighting the new thing being learned called evolution so it was not an easy teaching job for this man who was very intelligent and wanting to expand the minds of the local children.

There were a couple of characters that just stood out to me. One was Mary Treat, the neighbor. I need to learn more about her. The other was the daughter of the first couple, Tig. I just absolutely loved her pure heart.

I highly recommend this book but just know ahead of time that the reality of some things may be difficult. I am one of those people that keeps having things go wrong and I am struggling because of it..

View all my reviews


I love this man’s blog. What he writes so often resonates with me. This is a perfect example. Maybe my ex didn’t realize he did these things but I was often so dismissed for my feelings. I was told I shouldn’t feel this way and that way though I was hurt terribly. Just like when he actually poked on a huge bruise and asked if it hurt. The emotional things were worse. I felt like I wasn’t allowed to have my own feelings.

Must Be This Tall To Ride

lumberjack - crying at the gates (Image/Crying at the Gates)

I did, said, and believed things throughout my youth and marriage that were totally sexist—even though I didn’t view them as sexist at the time—and those things more or less turned my wife against me and ultimately cost me my marriage and family.

If you’d have told me I was a sexist, I’d have undoubtedly responded with defensive outrage and mansplained how you were wrong, all the while believing everything I was saying and feeling.

That’s the real danger. THAT is what causes all of these relationships to slowly turn ugly and then end miserably—that we 100% believe all of the bullshit we peddle. We’re telling the truth. We act like we’re right and like we know everything because we all actually believe it at the time.

Life’s worst things happen while we feel CERTAIN about things that aren’t actually true.

It doesn’t matter…

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I figured since my last post was basically suicidal, that I should update. I made it through that night with lots of crying and very little alcohol. I felt that I didn’t sleep at all. I was so worried about the car and propane. My eldest had called during my breakdown and was very worried. She remembered how I was before meds and called her sibling at work. When the middle kiddo came home, they were so affectionate and the next day, they took over.

When I left for work, I told them to let me know when Amerigas showed up because I might have to make another phone call. I texted them a couple of hours later and heard nothing. I was such a mess at work but I will get to that later. Eventually, I heard from the kiddo. They had been on the phone with Amerigas for almost an hour. They told the kiddo that they hadn’t come out because someone in my canyon told them that THEIR driveway was impassable that week so Amerigas took all of my canyon off the deliver list. There are several things wrong with that. One, I was calling daily desperate for delivery and told them my driveway was clear. Two, this is a large canyon and I am on the sunny side. I have had grass growing while my neighbors across the street still have FEET of snow. There is a road everyone calls the back road that is barely passable year round. How dare they make delivery plans based on a neighbor. I spoke to five people and had two emails that week and was never told this. In fact, the second person I talked to asked me about access. I found out what was required – 12 feet wide- and told her that I would measure when I got home and that if the snow wasn’t melted enough to give the driver 12 feet, I would call, otherwise we were good. That was Tuesday. After my kid was on the phone for a while, the delivery guy called med and said he was on the way. He told the kiddo that we wouldn’t have made it through the night but now we have propane. As soon as the snow is gone, I am changing companies. That was ridiculous.

My meds finally came in the mail the next day. I will not go without again. When I got to work that next day, my boss noticed something was wrong and asked. I lost it. Next thing I knew I was sobbing and telling him everything. He told me that if I ever needed money for meds again, to let him know. My kids did the same, as did R. My boss offered to cover a short term Rx from the local pharmacy. I checked the tracking and found out that it was supposed to come that day so turned him down. When I was on the phone with USAA, he came and stuck $50 in my pocket. I had told him that I hadn’t ordered the meds cuz I needed food more. He told me to go buy something impractical for food and to enjoy. Maybe I will get a good steak. I took my meds that night when I got home and am back on schedule.

About the car, what a mess. So I called USAA the next morning and spoke to my adjuster. He said he had been reaching out to the body shop and hadn’t heard anything back from them. I talked to him for quite a while We got off the phone and he got to work. He eventually got through to the body shop but what they sent was not sufficient but he was going to keep trying. My car was supposed to be ready on Thursday. I was thinking that every day was costing me rental so I was not happy when I finally got a call from the body shop telling me one more day. Friday afternoon, I still hadn’t gotten the call and was starting to think I was going to have to go a few more days with the rental when they finally called around 1500. I left work an hour early at 1600 to get the car. I went to Enterprise first to return the rental. I immediately told them that I had scratched the car and asked what I needed to do. I had already spoken to my adjuster about it too. The sweet guy at Enterprise made my day so much better. I had rental insurance but I had messed up at some time and didn’t have coverage for a car that would get to my house so I was paying extra every day for the truck instead of a smaller vehicle that never would have made it with all the snow we got. He took that charge off and the money I paid for the upgrade went to the deductible. He said we are all good. I am not sure if I will have to pay the remaining $400 of not. We will see. He was wonderful. I have never had any problems with Enterprise. They took me to the body shop to get my car and R had paid my deductible there so instead of $2000 out of pocket, I only had the $500 for Enterprise. R had said something in a text earlier that my day would get better that afternoon but still cannot believe he paid my deductible. I know he will not let me pay him back. He gave me a couple of hundred in the past and he refused to take the check to pay him back.

Things worked out. I had people step up and offer to help and some helped. I wish when I am crazy with my depression that I can see that I cam not alone. I obviously cannot go without my meds. I hadn’t done so since I went on them but it really was a choice of food and meds. I am tired of being broke but I will get through this, somehow. One day at a time.

I am so tired of things going wrong. I am slowly sinking more and more into debt but not because of poor choices Mostly it has been because of car issues and medical issues I have been trying to get a consolidation loan for a while but keep get turned down. I hit a deer in my car a little over a month ago. The only body shop that contracts with USAA locally couldn’t see my car for a month so I chose one that my boss uses. He is also a USAA member. It has been a month today that they have had my car. I have rental car coverage. On February 22, I got a call from Enterprise saying that the coverage was getting cancelled because the body shop had not sent info to USAA saying car wasn’t done. I called the body shop and they said they were having problems with getting parts but they would send information to USAA that day. Today, I get a call from Enterprise telling me I owe them almost $600 and need to return the car and that USAA cancelled coverage. I contact USAA and they never received anything from body shop. Body shop tells me they sent it and talked to Enterprise and not to worry about it. USAA tells me they have not heard from body shop. I hate the fuckin rental they gave me but it was the only car they had that could get to my house. I want my car back. Of course, with the several feet of snow we have gotten in the past month, I slid into chunks of ice and scratched the rental. So I have copay for 2 accidents and have to fight to figure out the shit with the bookshop/Enterprise/USAA. I know that USAA will cover the rental but I have to fix an error because someone is not doing their job.

In the mean time, we have had several FEET of snow and I finally can get up my driveway and dug out my propane tank Sunday night. I have been parking at the bottom for weeks and walking up. I was at 5%.. I contacted Amerigas and asked for a delivery. I immediately got an email saying I would get a delivery the next day. Here it is Wednesday night, I am on zero and no delivery yet. I have contacted them yesterday and today and was told I would get a delivery. I called the corporate office tonight hysterically crying and told her I needed propane. If I don’t get propane, lines will freeze that I cannot afford to fix. She had NO information about deliveries. I had an email and 2 phone calls. I was told yesterday I would get a delivery last night or first thing today. I was told this afternoon, that I would have a delivery today. She did not understand why I hadn’t had a delivery yet. The driver called and asked if I could make it till morning as he was 90 minutes away. He told me he was calling his boss and promised a delivery in the morning I was sobbing. I hope it really happens. I turned my heat down and am grateful for electric heaters and dogs for heat.

One more thing, I am one three regular meds.. One is a med for my heart murmur. I haven’t taken it in almost 3 months because I couldn’t afford to buy it but the other that I ran out of was my antidepressant. I have been off of them for over a week now. I have been crying all day and am struggling to keep it together. The only reason that I am keeping going is I promised my kid that I won’t do anything. I truly wish that I would just drop dead. I won’t kill myself but I am so fucking tired. I don’t want to do this anymore. I am tired of struggling financially. I am tired of being alone. I am angry and resentful towards my ex. I gave up everything to raise our kids and support his carrier. Now he is getting remarried, has a good career and I am struggling to fucking eat. I wish that I could just stop existing. I don’t want to do this anymore. It takes so much for me to get up every day and face another day of struggling but I will continue. I sure hope that someday my life gets better. I am lonely, I am broke. I am tired. I often wonder if it is worth it.

Day one of the Durango Independent Film Festival. First was A Better Future Doc Shorts. Three short films. The first one was fascinating about how screen time with young children actually prevents brain development. It was very depressing but good and informative, Child, Disrupted, 2nd was Look Up, awesome guy takes people climbing to top of redwoods. I wanna go. Third Ocean Quest XPRISE about some kids in a competition to map the ocean floor. 
Next set of shorts was Life’s Journey Doc Shorts: Five Films: RJ Ripper, about a young man and his passion for mountain biking in Kathmandu, My Paintbrush Bites a man and his horse that paints, Tungrus a family and their pet rooster, The Road Between Us- A man and his son ride Route 66 together on bicycles, and my favorite, though it made me cry, Mr Connolly Has ALS. 
Next was Moving Stories. It was about a New York dance company that travels the world working with children that have been traumatized in various ways to help heal with dance. 
The last I watched tonight was 8 Slices about a pizza place in North Carolina and the employees and the employer. It was a very uplifting movie. I really enjoyed it. I had one more I wanted to see tonight but I have been fighting a headache for a couple of days so decided to come home and sleep early. I will be out late tomorrow and Saturday. 
I love the film fest. I am so glad that I have gotten involved with it.

Some real good advice here

Be Inspired..!!

There are some harsh realities that we try to run away from but sooner or later we get caught and it becomes difficult for us to accept them. So, here we go with the truths of inner peace and happiness, which nobody wants to talk about. But, let us be real and accept these realities. 

  1. It’s impossible for anyone else to define you, you’re the only one who gets to say who you are.

2. You were born with everything you need, you’re not missing anything.

3. Perfection is a man-made illusion, we’re all beautifully imperfect.

4. You are NOT your thoughts, you are the calm awareness behind the noise in your mind.

5. Your beliefs can be modified to lift you up, you are fully in control if your happiness.

6. The past and the future don’t exist anywhere except in your mind. Now is the only real moment.


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Naked Wines link

My eldest told me about this and I got my first box recently. You can rate wines and they recommend based on your reviews. If you use this link, you can get $100 off your first box and the wines are already at a good price. No commitments or automatic shipments which is why I have been hesitant on other wine delivery services. I have opened four of my twelve bottles so far and have tried wines I never would have tried before. I like that they send wines from independent wine makers so it is helping the smaller vineyards. I chose to get a mix of red and whites even though I usually do not drink white wine much. I have been pleased with the wines I have tried so far. My favorite has been David Marchesi Provare Zinfindel

I also love that the web site and app tell you what to pair the food with, aging and pouring advice- to decant how long to air, alcohol content. You review the wine and can reorder it if you like it OR it will suggest wines based on your reviews. Shipping isn’t that bad- $9.99 or free if you spend over $100. You can put money into an account and then order when you have it saved up.

Overall, after one order, I am very happy with Naked Wines and recommend it to others.