Down and Out with a Migraine

I’ve been pretty useless today everyone, as I woke up with one of my weird headaches that started last summer. I’ve been checked out by several doctors and even had an MRI, and the doctors are telling me it’s a migraine.

I don’t know if I believe them that it’s a migraine, because the pain is very localized – the bottom right side of the back of my head. And whenever I research migraines myself, that’s not a location that’s referenced at all.

And I’ve tried everything to relieve the pain – maximum strength migraine over-the-counters, prescription meds, and I’ve also tried CBD. But nothing has worked to give me any relief.

I even tried a prescription narcotic and still… It didn’t work for any pain relief. I’m almost willing to try something illegal too, that’s how bad the pain is for me. But I wouldn’t even know how to do that so I guess that’s not possible either.

But what really freaks me out about this headache – is the frequency of it. It’s seriously every 3-4 weeks at this point, and it will last from 3-7 days. That’s SO much of my life! Maybe if it was more infrequent, I’d be able to deal with it better, but the fact that it’s almost a chronic issue for me now is just devastating.

So I’ve just given up. I don’t know what else to do. When I get one of these headaches now, I just have to ride it out until it goes away on its own.

I’m just, defeated.

For my previous posts about this, you can tap on my tags for β€œHeadache” or “Migraine” or you can tap on these links:

Mystery Headache is Back

Weird Headaches

Minimalist Life With a Hoarder – A Day in the Life 1

Minimalist Life with a Hoarder

In my personal experience, the minimalist life with a hoarder is quite dysfunctional. I posted a better introduction into our current lifestyle here if you wanted extra context. I am also a big fan of the MindBeautySimplicity site – as I find her blog to be one of the best inspirational sites for minimalism out there. Definitely take a look and see if you agree. πŸ™‚

This current post is just a description of a typical day for us…

Minimalist Life with a Hoarder – The TWO Printers

We have a household printer. That’s normal. Nothing weird there.

Last March however, my husband had to start working from home full-time. Due to his work, he *needs* the printer during his entire working hours and he goes through ink like crazy. I don’t believe he actually *needs* the printer that much. He prints everything because 20+ years ago when we started working that’s how we documented and saved everything. And he just never adapted to saving everything online instead, like I have.

So when he started working from home around this time last year, he took over the household printer, and moved it into his personal office space. And I never go into that space ever, because it is ridiculously cluttered and that makes me crazy.

Since then, whenever I need to print something (maybe once every 2-3 weeks or so, nothing obnoxious), then I email it to him and ask him to print it. It’s never anything urgent either so it doesn’t interrupt his work and he can do it after-hours.

But I just spent this past weekend working on our taxes. Well, there were some documents that I sent to him to print out, maybe 6 pages maximum.

And he went out and freakin’ BOUGHT me a brand-new printer so I could start printing everything I needed myself, and not have to ask him anymore. I was irked about this because I thought it was a legit waste of money. I don’t ask him very often to print anything for me. I was also irked because I had to completely set it up myself just to get those 6 pages I needed for taxes. And then I placed it in the exact same location where the original household printer used to be. I posted a photo of it.

But get this – he’s about to have to go back to his real office in May. So in just a few more weeks, he won’t need the original household printer anymore that he’s been using this whole time. And he just NOW told me that he wants to move it out of his personal office space because he wants to re-do that space to be more man-cavish and he doesn’t want a printer in there anymore. So now I legit have TWO household printers. And THAT irks me most of all – redundancy makes me lose my mind.

I told him I was going to get rid of the original printer then, and now he’s upset. He says we need to keep it because he might have to work from home again in the future, and he’ll want it back. But if that happens, there’s a perfectly good brand-new household computer I just set up that works very well for those needs. And I reminded him that I won’t need it that much – maybe only once every 2-3 weeks, and during taxes once a year.

And this is seriously what we’re fighting about today, which is pretty typical for us in this minimalist life with a hoarder.

Minimalist Life with a Hoarder – The TWO Keurigs

And I didn’t even know he had this bc I never go into this room, but apparently he had also bought his very own Keurig for this “office space”. Not a problem in itself. But now that he’s started moving things out of that room so he can start prepping it to be his man-cave, he has moved it into the kitchen, right next to the Keurig that’s BEEN in the kitchen this whole entire time.

Now there are TWO Keurig’s in the kitchen.

This might be the best time to also tell you – that’s he’s the only family member in this whole entire house that even uses a Keurig. He could’ve moved the original kitchen one into his “office space” instead of buying another one, and nobody else would have been affected. But no, that didn’t happen.

Also, his “office space” has no water supply, so he has to go into the kitchen (where the original Keurig is) to get water in order to use the new Keurig in this room every time anyway. Such a waste.

C’mon folks, tell me… Which one of us is the crazy one? I don’t think it’s me, but maybe it is?!

What Do You Look For in a New Blog to Follow?

I’ve slowly and surely been adding new blogs that I find to my WordPress Reader so I can easily see them again when there are updates.

But there are certainly key things that make me add blogs to my Reader, as well as key things that make me avoid adding them.

I definitely exit as fast as I can if the blog takes a long time to load or a ton of ads pop-up in my screen. Lol I just don’t have the time for that. And it might be a myth, but I’m incredibly paranoid about computer viruses and getting hacked and I always associated slow pages and tons of pop-ups with higher risks for that. So I just stay away.

I also stay away if the blog is heavily sales-oriented. If every paragraph is a sales pitch with non-stop links to amazon throughout it’s entirety, then I do lose interest almost immediately.

However, the subtle sales pitches don’t bother me. You know, where the post is mostly informative or storytelling and the sales links are embedded quite naturally into the content – that works for me and it actually impresses me when it’s done that well.

I also enjoy content that is very interactive, where there are alot of comments afterwards because I do enjoy reading all those too. I’ve found comments to be just as informative and entertaining as the original post.

I also get lured in by visuals. Blogs with a good mix of visuals included within their posts do catch my attention better than others and I tend to go back for more.

What do you all think about blogs that you find? What makes you follow them or exit them for good? And, where do you find your new blogs?

I used to find new blogs to follow on social media, mostly on Facebook. But I’ve lost my taste for those. Of course this is a blatant generalization that I realize doesn’t apply to everyone, but the blogs I find on Facebook seem way more interested in increasing their follower counts and site visit counts than on any authentic interaction. And I simply just don’t have the time to weed through most of those.

So now that I’ve been soured about finding new blogs on Facebook and social media, I’m wondering where else would be a good place to find them? How do you all find your new blogs to follow?

One thing that works much better for me than Facebook, is when a blogger I enjoy posts about all the blogs that THEY enjoy. It’s like, a personal reference. And usually, they’re spot on! A recent post by Happy Panda is the perfect example of this. I couldn’t be any happier when a blogger does this. πŸ™‚

I would LOVE to find a blog directory somewhere that is managed via personal references only. That way, the people only interested in spamming, and playing the numbers game, don’t get included. And nobody has to filter through them anymore. Also, blogs that are spammy or slow or stuffed with advertisements won’t get included either because it’s very exclusive directory that focuses on quality over quantity. Does something like this exist? If not, we all should start one. Let me know if you want in! πŸ™‚

Introducing my Online Alias

Pepper Valentine.

Lol, so I played that alias-creation game “What’s Your P*rn Star Name?” where you combine the name of your first pet + first street you ever lived on, and voila! Pepper Valentine.

What’s your name when you play that game?

Anyhow, this is my story as to why I decided to create an alias. It’s a frequent question I get so it’s a good revisit for any newcomers visiting here.

I definitely want to remain anonymous online. I’ve had issues with an online stalker before, AND, I prefer to blog about my real life and work and the people that impact me, but I don’t want any negative consequences from writing about them. And I’ve posted about my issues with my online stalker here if you wanted to check it out.

I have the alias because I wanted to create a Facebook account for my blog, but I didn’t want anyone from my real life to find it or to know it was actually me. I do vent about them online occasionally, as you know.

I can’t use my real Facebook account bc I plan on blogging about my real life and work stuff, etc. And if people in my real life were aware of that, I’d probably censor myself for their benefit. So to feel like I have freedom here, I’d prefer for folks in my real life to not know. I hope that makes sense and doesn’t make me seem like a weirdo.

So I tried my alias and surprisingly Facebook accepted it as a real name! Lol, I didn’t expect that since they seem really strict about using real names. So now I’m Pepper Valentine online. Nice meeting you all. πŸ™‚

If you are a Facebook fan, definitely feel free to add me. I’m Pepper Valentine, and my link is

I also created a Facebook page for this blog, it’s at I’ve never managed a FB page before, so this will be a learning experience for me. I hope it turns out to be cool.

See you all over there!

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What To Do When People Overstep Your Boundaries?

Well, I cut them out of my life. As much as possible.

Remember that lady I had an issue with last year? The lady that wouldn’t stop sending me gifts via the mail even after I told her to stop. I posted about it here and here if you wanted a refresher… Well, she’s back.

Actually she never really went away for me. I did completely stop replying to her in every way shape or form, but she’s still been texting me this whole time. I’d get random “Are you there?” or “Are you ok?” and even one guilt-trip text of “No matter how busy you are, if you really care about someone, you’d be able to text them back.”

But I stood firm and never replied back. I’m trying to eliminate every reason possible for her to interact with me, and engaging with her won’t achieve that.

So here’s her Twitter account… and I guess this is her way of apologizing to me. Although, it sounds like I’m not the only one she’s done this to. I’m most likely one of many, is how this reads to me.

But I don’t accept her apology because she’s completely clueless as to MY personal issue with her. I’m not ghosting her because she sent me a ton of unsolicited gifts that I didn’t want, nor because I had to pay postage due on some of them when they were delivered, nor because there are reciprocity pressures that I put on myself regarding gifts, etc…

All those reasons above are very easily forgivable. I’ve already done it. Forgiven. I don’t spend another thought on it anymore.

…but my issue with her that I cannot forgive is that I very clearly communicated to her TO STOP. I did not sugar-coat my words, I was very clear. STOP. And yet, she did not stop. I continued to receive these unwanted gifts. She basically ignored a personal boundary I had, and proceeded to continue to overstep it. There’s no justification for that.

So that’s when I decided to cut her out of my life and end all mutual interactions with her.

I simply don’t want any sort of relationship with people that don’t have respect for others’ boundaries. It’s really that simple. I believe it to be a character flaw, usually attributable to narcissists. And one thing that I truly believe about narcissists, is that once they discover a personal boundary, they obsessively push it until it breaks. They don’t stop.

And I learned that lesson the hard way from personal experience.

My coworker/stalker did the exact same thing with my boundaries. I’ve blogged about him before. He’s the guy that I had to avoid at work here and the same one that bled all over my desk and got away with it here. He was definitely a narcissist and whenever he discovered a boundary of mine, he pursued it relentlessly. And it would continue to escalate. He would never stop.

He used to always nit-pick at my work which was ridiculous because we were in separate departments and my work was completely unrelated to his work. I stood up to him and told him to stay out of my work business where it doesn’t affect him, and it escalated to the point where he would start nit-picking at my work in company-wide meetings in front of leadership, purposefully to embarrass me.

At the time, my daughter was 3-4 years old and he started joking about how he was going to date her when she turned 16 just because it would piss me off. I stood up to him then as well and told him my daughter was off-limits and he wasn’t to say another word about her. Did he stop? Absolutely not. It escalated to the point where he was taking selfies of himself outside of her daycare.

So, I have absolutely zero tolerance for people that don’t respect others’ boundaries. I’m not very forgivable when it comes to that particular characteristic.

What do you guys think about this lady? Am I being too harsh on her? Would you be able to forgive and have a friendship with her?

Extremely Cold Skiing at Lake Louise Canada

Skiing at Lake Louise Canada

We typically do a family ski trip every couple of years. Our last family trip was over 2 years ago and we went skiing at Lake Louise in Alberta Canada.

It’s a bit of a trek to get there, however. We flew into Calgary International airport in Alberta Canada. Then we took a car service into Canmore which was about 110km / 70miles away from the airport. Canmore was where we were staying each night, and it’s quite near the Banff National Park area which is very popular.

We stayed at the Lodges of Canmore and it was a very comfortable stay; I would stay there again and recommend it to others. At the time, we had restaurants next door that we could walk to for breakfast and dinner every day. I’m unsure if that’s still the case now due to covid lockdowns. Below are some photos of the Canmore area we stayed at.

Flying into Calgary International Airport, Alberta Canada / Image Source: Pepper V.
Canmore Canada / Image Source: Pepper V.
Canmore Canada / Image Source: Pepper V.
Canmore Canada / Image Source: Pepper V.
Canmore Canada / Image Source: Pepper V.

We had also picked the coldest week possible to go! When we visited, the temperatures never got above -10F / -23C and got as cold has -22F / -30C. I’ve never been anywhere so cold in my life! We did invest in some extreme weather gear for this trip and we were terribly cold the whole time, but, we survived.

Cold Temperatures! / Image Source: Pepper V.

Then daily, we would take a shuttle bus to go skiing at Lake Louise, which was another 80km / 50miles from where we were staying at Canmore. The shuttle bus-stop in Canmore was also a convenient walk from our lodge.

The shuttle bus ride was actually really nice for resting, for warming-up, and also for sightseeing all the beautiful mountain landscape. We considered it our sightseeing tour and it was great.

And then we would arrive for skiing at Lake Louise each day. I’ve included some pics I took below. I don’t have many photos from the snow-skiing because my phone would actually die after being outside for a few minutes due to the extreme cold.

Skiing at Lake Louise / Image Source: Pepper V.
Skiing at Lake Louise / Image Source: Pepper V.
Skiing at Lake Louise / Image Source: Pepper V.

But all in all, this was a great ski trip and I would definitely like to go back one day, but maybe not when it’s so cold. My daughter is actually a pretty good skiier at this point and I can no longer keep up with her, so I’ll have to find her a companion that’s as good as she is so she won’t have to ski alone because I’m so far behind.

None of her friends know how to ski so finding this companion for her might be the hardest thing for me to figure out before our next trip. Hopefully this year! πŸ™‚

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