Friday, April 18, 2014

10 Signs You Should Invest in Rain.

The next time you are tempted to wish the rain away, think again.  Be thankful for it.  Rain has many, many good things that come from it.  It's power is worth more than all the gold and silver combined.  We should consider investing in  water because as time goes on the demand for it, will far outweigh the supply.

1) Rain is the fluid of the Earth. 
2) Everything on this planet would die without it.
3) Lack of rain can cripple our food supply.
4) Rain and plenty of it is good for washing pollen to the ground level.
5) Rain forces people on the Earth to be flexible and change plans.  In so doing,
    it helps us to be aware of forces beyond our control.
6) Rain helps people to be employed.  Where else could rain coat makers work?
7) Rain replenishes our water tables, and perfectly does the job of watering our plants.
8) Rain gives us a reason to sleep.  There is no greater sleep that during a rain storm
     under a tin roof.
9) Without rain, we would not see the bright rainbows that we do.
10) Rainforests would no longer exist to help protect our climate.  Right forests take in like
     a big sponge half of all the rain that exists and through the process of watering their trees                from  deep below it send out mists and clouds. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

New Word: PELF

Yesterday was spent helping a friend. 

Today, was very much the same but....let me just preface this by saying aloud and in writing
I don't do funerals.  Let me repeat that, I don't do funerals.

That is an understatement!  However, when a friend/coworker called this past week to say that she was making a long journey to Tuscaloosa, Alabama and back in one day to pay her respects to a family member at a small graveside service...and asked if I could help her by riding along, I gulped really big and took the plunge knowing this would be the perfect time to catch up on our lives without the normal hassle of work interruptions by health and all things that break through in a normal day.

Today we began our journey.....need I say before God turned the lights on for this planet?  I don't do mornings way more than I don't do funerals........eeeekkk.  Not only that but I had company from out of town who arrived in the middle of the night.  :)

To make a long story even longer, our day was good.  We arrived at the said destination an hour early, scoped out the area where the funeral would be held.  I noted several big tents and quite a few men working on the various graves.  It was chilly, damp and windy and funeral goers of close family showed they had not prepared properly with black, no sleeve dresses.  I didn't see a man there offer his coat or help a lady to a chair even though there were quite a few attendees who had obvious limitations to standing/walking.  I just stood back and watched.  I gave my coat to one of the women and went back to the car to grab a spare jacket my friend had and arrived back to see them all bowing heads for prayer. 

I felt totally on the outside.  I didn't know the guy who passed.  I wasn't touched by any of the personal comments that were made about his life, except the poem read aloud by the preacher who stated that this man had turned 80 years old some years back and when the family came together for his birthday celebration this man recited to them word for word a poem.  The man preaching the funeral recounted that day and then stated that his memory wasn't as good as "Thad's" so he was going to read the poem from print.  Everyone laughed.

The Guy In The Glass

I felt the words read to me today.  I made a mental note to share this poem as I don't recall ever hearing the word PELF before and I didn't truly understand the meaning of that word even in the context that he wrote it.  Of course the dictionary gave further details and it must be much different than the word "wealth" as it is money earned dishonestly.  In this regard PELF is in my estimation any money not hard earned (through lottery, dishonest dealings with men/women, or otherwise "theft" even by taking too much labor or by paying too little for an honest day's work).  Our economy is built on hard times these days and people are focused on money, how much they have compared to others, how much they need to get by or how many fools they need to succor to sustain their wants and desires).  I think it has much to do about integrity of a man and therefore the gentleman who wrote this knew the word very well.  It would pay all of us to look into our dealings with our fellow man and find if we could look ourselves in the mirror at the end of the day.

The ride home was uneventful but safe and the day was thoroughly enjoyed.  I am so glad to have another day where one of my own loved ones wasn't in the box under the tent.  I dread those days and I intend to continue my practice of "not doing funerals".  I find too much sewage in elevated talks about those who have gone before me by well intentioned pastors and preachers.  Deceased people are not attractive and should never be on display in that condition and funerals cost too much.  Don't get me wrong, I have grieved many a day over losses of good souls from this Earth.  Again, Tomorrow is the 44th anniversary of my younger brother's death but tomorrow I will be honoring his life by looking in the mirror....and maybe ice cream.  Ah yes, ice cream!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Epic Failure of a Misfit

There are so many times when I feel like a misfit.  At work, in my community, in the neighborhood I live in and sometimes even in my own little house.  I have never been one to really fit in.  I'm not one to keep my mouth closed and let things ride along and I'm not one that will sit back and wait for solutions to problems I see.  Being a misfit is only bad if you see it that way.

Sometimes I'd like to fit in, sometimes I would like life to just casually roll along and sometimes I would like to take comfort in the fact that there were a few people I could trust after I turned my back.  However, it is not like that for me.  I don't want it to be really......I mean, how much would life literally suck if everyone was your friend and everyone played along nicely?  The very fact that nothing goes as planned is very much like the life of the Seattle, WA community.  I very much like KNOWING full when to grab my umbrella before a stormy day.  Things like that are things I can count on.  The copier at work is going to fail...including the scan to printer option every day without fail.  Some scatterbrained lolly gag is going to call me up just to make sure their brain is hitting on at least two logical synapses and I am going to be on the other end of the line having complete understanding for all my failings.  And when I say ALL, I mean ALL. 

Recently, it seems I am not able to keep it all together.  I feel out of touch with the whole lot of things I do, including work.  I forget what I did within moments of doing it.  I'm easily annoyed by things and people that never seemed to concern me before and I feel like the biggest klutz ever to face the planetary orbit.  Misfit I am.

I think strange things.  For instance, just the other day someone was reporting that Jesus suffered every imaginable and unimaginable thing and while I kept my mouth from blurting it out, I reasoned that the person was wrong since Jesus never lived during old age.  I mean....really when you think about it, who wants to go there?  Old and crotchety is not a token ending for this epic failure of a misfit.  Sure I do know some kind and gentle souls who endured that part of life very well but they are rare.  Or maybe, I didn't chance to meet many of them.

I have given very little thought to this planet minus me.  Misfits must be required for the nature of this planet to survive because I have met a lot of those.  I wonder if they all feel so out of place, if they can tell that something is missing from their genetic make up or do they mascaraed on this planet hoping to catch up with some sense of "Einstein-ness" (for a lack of a better word). 

If I had had the money to survive beyond the bills, I would have given all I possess to children.  By manner of birthright, all children should be allowed to learn and explore all they can possibly soak in.  Children should be cloaked with education of the highest degree imaginable and should have plenty to eat and drink and the nurturing touch of angels.  They should have clean, fresh drinking water and peace on their Earth.  All children/all races/all religions! 

I would have also contributed to literacy of all people.  There should never be a charge for those who want to learn another way of communication.  All peoples, all nations should be able to communicate in more than one language and we should be more eager across the span of adulthood to languages other than our own.  In America, it is a sad thing when an elderly person has not only grown in years beyond what was required to be read in books but has also been surpassed by technology that left him stranded by the wayside begging for help.  I would have voluntarily given to or helped to mandate a desire or quest of knowledge be instilled on all ages of people free of charge because free people must be literate to remain free.

I would have contributed to a policy that required all those seeking election spend 30 days a year homeless, cold, wet and hungry and looking for work with no bath and no safe place to lay their head at night.  I believe that would clear up any problems we have in law enforcement, city, state, county and/or federal government.

I would have given my time as a Volunteer to teach, to mentor, to advocate for children, for literacy, for compassionate rescue of animals, for gardens, for wildlife and make sunrise watching optional but sunsets mandatory.  (Hence the evening/afternoon person that I am).

Warm cookies and naps for everyone too...... oh the bondage folks would be in---if yet I had more money than the bills require.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ralph Davis "Ralphie" Hewett, Jr (1967 - 1970)

Ralph Davis "Ralphie" Hewett, Jr (1967 - 1970) - Find A Grave Memorial

Every day I think of you and one day I hope to see you again.  The veil that keeps us from seeing one another is cruel in my estimation but I try so hard to remind people here that you lived and loved.  No matter what I say or do, every day children are hurt or put to death by their own parents, step parents, boy/girl friends of their significant other.  Some die, some recover only to live a life of scars and emotional turmoil that never leaves.  I still haven't quite gotten a good grasp on how I made it out of the situation we were in and why.  I struggle to understand it daily.  Sometimes I think you're standing near me and other times I feel worlds away from you.  Time doesn't heal ALL wounds, in fact it comes no where close to having spent the last 44 years without you.  So for now, I will wipe my tears and face another day.  I hope that talking about you helps other people refrain from hurting their children.  I hope it encourages them to get psychological help and I hope God can forgive me for the lack of trust and faith that I have for people in general.  This has not easy and the years of being apart will someday be accounted for by a just God.  I'm hoping that I live long enough to do all the good I need to do to prove I am worthy enough to see you again.  If my only purpose here is to help those I can in their time of need then I will gladly endure that to see you again.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Living Off the Grid

After reading the following story, it really seems crazy that we cannot live off the grid.  I have known people who had homes that were considered uninhabitable by human life because they did not have running water.  None of those homes that I mentioned had their own solar energy systems and they did have children at risk of being unable to bathe, drink water but it does give thought to "rights" as a human.  If you are lucky enough to own a plot of land and you are able to build yourself a sustainable abode that does not interfere with anyone else...then you should be able to live that way. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Express-Scripts Complaint

Letter sent to

Recently I took an entire day off of work to visit my doctor, to ask for three month supply of medication RX and to get these sent to you all so that I could begin saving money with your company (as you offered via letter). 

I have had nothing but problems ever since.  You all can see my medication history.  You know that I take insulin (a very strong dosage) but it has been two months now and I have not had test strips, insulin and other medications that I have requested.

People with diabetes die without medication and testing supplies.  What part of killing someone would you like on your hands?  How long is reasonable and customary for an insulin dependent diabetic to wait for medical supplies and medication?  Think about it.  Put yourself in my shoes for just two minutes.

I have had to do prior authorization for diabetic test strips which work with my insulin pump and you have cancelled every order except the one I cancelled with your company yesterday after frustration..

I'm fed up.  You are not saving me money.  It is not easier to work with you all and have my three months supply delivered to my home.  It is more hassle than what it is worth.

If a doctor (after her many many years in school to become a doctor) can prescribe a medication and write that it is medically necessary--then a pharmacy should be able to fill it.  But sadly yours can't.  Why is that?

I have a medically necessary insulin pump from Medtronic.  I have had that pump for nearly two years and I have purchased the necessary supplies from Medtronic but I can no longer afford the price they charge.  At your urging, I attempted to switch to get them all on a three months supply.  The scripts were sent to you.  You wrote that they were cancelled and not understood. Yet, you can clearly see my recent medications and could make sense of those.  And if not,  do you not have phones?  In this age of computer technology can you not communicate with my doctor who's name and number are neatly printed on the top of the RX that you got in the mail?  What is wrong with you people?

When I call to inquire, you tell me that I need to get with my doctor and get corrected scripts.  Seriously, I just took an entire day off of work just to get everything taken care of.

My husband drives a semi for WERNER Enterprises.  They are a major company and we pay dearly for medical coverage BCBS of Omaha, NEBRASKA. I explained the problem to him and since he understands the seriousness of the problem, he attempts to call you.  This should have been no problem as I have added him to my health care surrogate list and when he tried to call you, you all tell him you cannot communicate with him either!  This too, is wrong.

So therefore, I am forwarding a copy of this email to WERNER, to BCBS of Omaha, the insurance commissioners of Nebraska and Florida (since that is the state I live in) and I will be posting about this problem in an online blog.  I've had enough!  If you and your employees want to keep your jobs, I suppose you should get off your asses and try to do the things you promised as you sell your products  to major corporations.  Businesses like yours do not last long for good reason! Customers do not spend their money with companies that do not meet their needs....plain and simple.

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Forbes list of billionaires...

In my walk of life today, I didn't think about how much money was in my bank account not one single time.  I did not think about global markets or the downward spiral of the stock exchange.  I didn't think of Nancy Pelosi or give one single billionaire a thought.  I came home and completed my normal stuff cooked up a couple of eggs and made myself a little egg sandwich.  I sat down with my laptop and ran across the story in the Huffington Post about a billionaire who felt that the 1% are being picked on.  Wilbur Ross 1% is being picked on.  I know very little about Wilbur Ross, or any of the other members on that list.  I read down the first hundred on the list and the names mostly seem like foreign people who came here with wealth--or quite possibly even earned it here with the help of new technology and joy riding on the American dream.  I have always known there were "rich" people in this world.  I don't want their money and if they want to keep it to themselves then we should let them.  However, when Wibur stated something about how lazy middle aged Americans are and how ill prepared we are for life,  I felt like I needed to stand up for those who are working.

At this day and age, if you are working, it is most likely not a casual job that you could do without.  One paycheck rides the back of the next in real life.  Jobs today want more for less and it is often required of a person to have two part time jobs that equal about 58 hours just to survive.  No health benefits or retirement plan given either.  So if you're out there and you're rich and do not have to punch the time clock, hold your tongue when your boss flies off the handle, and you never have to wonder how you can keep food on the table all while juggling a sick child--with no health insurance, sick days, mommy and me playtime or yoga--then consider your life as living above the bar of "normality". 

If you feel so entitled to buy fancy cars, dine out in the finest of places and vacation in the Swiss region of the haven't lived.  Trust me when I say this.  Those of us who are working aren't asking for your dime--our government is.  It is to government that you should lay your disgust.  We haven't asked for your dime--ever but if the chips were down in your arena of life, most of us would give you our shirts, jackets and share our last meal with you.  Are you really so strapped for cash that you think it would hurt you to give a little more?  How uncomfortable does a little extra from your pocket make you?  Honestly?  There are people who have nothing and give all they have and then there are those who have everything money can buy but truly lack everything money can't buy---like true friends, family and love.  Perhaps the merging of the money with the poor would help to create in your life the things that you cannot buy with Federal Reserve Notes. 

I would like to know why the one percent feels as if they are picked on or cheated by the other 99 percent and if you have time to reply, be my guest and fill me in.  I am eager and willing to learn and it will not cost you a cent. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Dogs are Snoring

What do you do when your dog(s) snore?  Some nights the insomnia just won't let me go and blogging is somewhat a way to release some of the thought that swirls like a CAT 5 tornado in my head at night.

 I blog.  Some people read, shop, chat with friends....heck I have no clue what most people do at night but I do imagine.  So much happens in a day and there is no way to capture it all.  There frankly isn't anyone who would understand one single person's day.  The thoughts, the times you count to ten dealing with a co worker and then, end up having an emergency need to run to Publix...the talking yourself down from wanting to slap stupid people, the questions, the phone calls, the getting in the car to drive home and remembering that you (on one of the coldest nights of the year) have yet to kick start the heater wires in your car so they will make it blow heat....and then the halfway home memories of the dogs having their last bit of food before you left them this morning and the fact that you're out of every last thing that has to be used in tomorrow's luncheon.  (that does happen but thankfully there is no luncheon tomorrow)
  These things don't happen every day but I often find myself gasping at the sheer amount that goes on in a day's time.  The gulp of the knowledge that you're also getting older and can't go as fast as you could when your child was small is starting to bother me..  And then the thoughts go to when your child was small and ......oh those memories.  It rattles my mind to think of the many, many times I got up-dressed for work-woke the baby, dressed him, fed him and dressed him again before I drove him to the sitter so that I could go to work 8-10 hours a day and then did it all in reverse order cooked dinner plus bathed the baby and myself, bedtime stories, laying out clothes for the next day and packing the diaper bag, formula, sippy cup or what have you for tomorrow.  And I only had one child.  :)
 And now, I do well to get myself out of bed, the dogs fed/bathed/played with and be at work on time......always hitting the work door with a loaded down purse from last week (silver spoons I was going to try to return to a lady who thinks I borrowed two spoons from).  It's too trivial but I did borrow and lose one spoon of hers----I think.

 It really is trivial isn't it?  Still my purse is loaded down with too many things to return, to do list, coupons on a good day......and the rest of the junk we women would just not be caught diabetic supplies, glucose strips, alcohol swabs---you name it, my purse has it.

What is that last paragraph about?  Anyway, back to the dogs snoring.  I want to be a sleeping dog most nights.  They snore and growl and make puppy snorts and stuff.  It is the coolest thing for me to have them  especially on all the nights I'm home listening to them snore and can't sleep myself. 

Sometime between Tuesday about midnight and Wednesday about 12:30 pm someone went into my car and went through my glove box and other things.  Thankfully, I can't say that they stole anything but a couple of documents were missing.  A deputy came out and made a report, took swabs of my car's DNA and told me that someone else's car was broken into about a half mile from here the during the same time frame.  Now I understand that I need to submit my own DNA to be ruled out of the swab that was taken in my car.  I really need to do better about locking up and being more cautious. 
Maybe the info that they took of my car will help them find the person who robbed the other car too.

One thing is for certain, I didn't leave my purse in the car and whoever was rummaging through my stuff should have had to dig in there to search for whatever they needed, spoons and needles!  That would have had blood DNA had that been the case.  I can't tell you how many times I've been digging and gotten stuck by sharp objects and that is the reason today that if my husband wants something out of my purse, he will bring it to me and ask for whatever.  He and my son have had their share of putting fingers where they do not belong.  My purse is a DNA trap for sure.

So anyway, the dogs got a full tummy and they are snoring.  The car is locked and I've washed the dishes, cooked my meal, talked to a boss about some work problems and blogged my night away.  And the mere fact that I did all that without frying the jaws of single blue haired snow bird!  I say that but I've never wanted to hit a snow bird or any other bird for that matter.

However on the off chance that I don't make it to blogging--Tuesday night.......well let's just count on me blogging through this another day.  Grrr.

Why are my dogs still asleep and snoring?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

In my shoes

No one asked...I am just throwing this out there.  I hope these thoughts scatter to the wind and I hope they find a new home.
I had high hopes for my life.  I never intended to be where I am.  I always dreamed I'd have the high life with the nice big house, the nice car, the family that never broke up and all the money I needed for said family to take a big vacation.  In poverty you see those things that other people have,  watch them spend and go places and you see yourself in the exact same place you were the day before ---day after day-- hoping you could just try out someone else's life....even if just for a half day excursion. 

I went to church with a few folks who had traveled, a few that had some money, a few that were good friends of my grand parents and a few that showed up at random on a Sunday afternoon, rolled up their "go to church wear"  sleeves and helped my dad dig (yes, hand dig) a septic tank.

I went to school with kids whose parents showed up for the occasions that meant something.  I'll never forget Marge Henderson Cosson who made sure I had a ride to church and a ride to anything that was major at school.  Neither one of my parents came when I finally had the GPA to be considered for the honors program.....but Marge Henderson Cosson did.  I'll never forget some of the conversations we had in my teen years.  She single handedly convinced me that women needed to go to college.  Looking back my parents probably didn't show up because my dad had cancer and cancer took it's toll on our lives.  I let Marge's expertise go in one ear and out the other as I was leaving home the day after I graduated and never looking back.  In my shoes...the day after graduation, I deemed myself officially an adult and left everyone in this town behind.

Thankfully, some of those  same kind church people took me in as they had moved away to Crestview and they lived close enough to town that I easily found my job at Pizza Hut.  I won't go into detail about this whole ordeal but the next six months I spent getting married and divorced and still intent on not going back.  They were my shoes, my life, my dreams coming true.  I went to Texas for a little while and then to Jacksonville via a greyhound bus. 

I landed at a relatives house.  I had three part time jobs....Pizza Inn, JCPenny and a mechanics shop ordering parts and organizing his paperwork.  I walked to all three jobs rain or shine in probably the deadliest area of town--yes I did say walk and yes, the Pizza Inn job often left me walking home around 2:30 in the morning on most weekends.  It was during that time in my life that those words from Marge Cosson came back to me.  I needed to go to college so I picked a church college in Rexburg, Idaho (now BYU Idaho).  I saved all my money that I could possibly save up and I went by Greyhound Bus ALL THE WAY to Utah where I called a friend and she drove me the rest of the way.  LONGEST TRIP EVER with people I didn't know.....

I had tried to apply for a PELL grant but my father refused to sign any paperwork for me to get that.  He said he didn't want the government in his business and that was it.  He put his foot down and I managed to get a job cleaning urinals  ,professor's offices and classrooms at 4am every morning before my 8 a.m. class.  I found an apartment that was shared with four other people I didn't know and that was eye opening!

I didn't even have a driver's license my first semester.  No car and did I mention how cold it was at 3:30 am?  I didn't have a meal plan.  I made friends with Ramen noodles, pasta, potatoes and bread.  There was no fresh sausage in the freezer, shrimp or fish and no fresh veggies--peas, tomatoes and others.  Looking back I grew up the most there on my own providing for myself and working.  The classes I took were insane.  I don't remember counseling/advising or any of that but I am sure that there is no way to make up that bowling class that I took.  Once I humiliated myself by bowling backwards and being laughed at.....I just never went back.  End of class.  No one called to see if I was withdrawing....I suppose once the money was paid, if I didn't go back it was my own loss of funds.

I made some friends there.  We did crazy things but the lessons I learned, the things I saw, the things that I heard from my professors were notably the things that kept me seeking education for myself.
I learned that there was no limit to what I could learn in my lifetime and I found that I didn't need Marge Cosson in the back of my mind driving home the importance of education.  I was hooked and having paid for everything myself, I was proud.  I feel awkward sort of like Forrest Gump-- when I say this but going to college/higher or lower learning are what you put in. 

Having to ask myself if I'd go back if I had it to do over again....I KNOW I would... but I could have stayed at home.  My dad probably needed me home to help him to doctor's visits, through hospital stays..and just being here to help out.  Lately, I wish I had done more but in my teen mind---I had to go and get a life.  Had my dad lived, he would have been 73 on 02/03. 

Some things you just have to experience to understand completely and my leaving home was calculated and determined.  There is no other way to describe it.

I think about young people today who just give up, quit school or have no plan for their future and I just want to hug them and tell them to go to school.  Go to school every chance you get.  Always be a love to learn, not only will it make you wiser but it will open doors that no one can open for you without your OWN education.  High school was never enough for me.  The fast food of my day put a little jingle in my pockets but it did nothing to empower me for the years to come.  Go to school!

Getting higher education is a don't have to choose it but the consequence of lack of school is poor self esteem, lack of money in your pocket and limits the choices you can make financially and socially.  If you to hang out with pediatricians, FBI folks or Chemists odds are that you will not be able to do so working as a Walmart buggy guy or a Dollar Tree cashiers.  It really limits who your friends are.  So choose the high road and let the doors of opportunity swing wide open.  Make your life limitless by choosing what you will do long before finding a job to survive finds you. 

So you test low.....get over it and do the work.  I can't tell you how many times people come to me for a test and want to look to their neighbor for the right answers.  Tests measure where you are.  They have nothing to do with who you are or your ability.  You choose your ability by making the choice to study until you get it.  Find a tutor if you need one.  There are no dumb questions...well except, the questions you fail to ask. 

Financial Aid is currently available.  Go to a college website to get direct links to register for it.  Apply for scholarships, internships or work study.  Do not borrow any money!  Loans strap people with degrees.  Do your best to live meager.  It won't always be that way.  Plan your young years getting an education, trade school or whatever it is you want to do/have the skills and aptitude for.  Yes, there are tests for that to help you narrow the field when you are ready to take those.

And like I've learned a million times over, you don't have to leave home like I did.  It doesn't have to be cleaning urinals at 4am.  Seriously, opportunities are often available if you only humble  yourself enough to ask for help. 

Step out of your comfort zone and try college or technical school.  Find a career that makes you want to get out of bed every day.  Seriously, if you hate your job 5 days a week/40 will regret every day of your life.  I have a job I love now.  It wasn't always that way....but I am so blessed to wake up and like all the people I work with....except one (well that's everywhere you go) but I do love my job.

I am just taking a look at my worn out shoes and wanted to say to everyone to go to school.  When you find that you love your job, you love your community and the people that you've known all your life love you---you'll find you're at home.  That is where I found myself tonight.  Sharing my gratitude for Marge Cosson's words, my Grandmother's love and a million other reasons to tell people about what it was like to walk in my shoes.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Adoption, Yard Work and Bizarre Florida Weather

This has been a crazy week all the way around. 

On Monday, I did very little but I did check the mail, alert an elderly family member that our area was forecast for snow, *(even though I really didn't think it would) and dropped a small package off at my friends house.  About *snow*, if the flurries ever make it here, they usually melt before they hit the ground.  I then went to the grocery store and purchased a can of tomato soup, some milk and a half gallon of milk.  I was happy knowing my grilled cheese sandwich could be dipped into the creamy tomato soup.  Some people make it with water but not me, I like it with milk---and I don't normally drink milk so it is a big treat when I get to make this.

Tuesday came and the rain just poured.  The college closed as did all the public schools and people were urged to take shelter or go to one if they needed to do so.  The dogs and I stayed at home and we were fine doing so.  In fact, they rarely left my side.  Everything was freezing and we leave our faucets dripping when it does....trying to make sure the pipes do not break.  It has worked for the most part and this time was no different.

Wednesday came and so did the rest of the rain, the ice and snow.  Local bridges closed to traffic as ice freezes on bridges before anything else.  The emergency crews helped those without power, those who wrecked and then had to close the bridges to pedestrian traffic as some folks were using their laundry baskets as sleighs to slide down the bridges.  It is so rare for us to get snow, I wished that the law enforcement crews would have just let people play.....but I suppose there was concern for injuries but for whatever reason that had to stop.

On Thursday morning at our house, there was more snow but since I work south of where I live, I had no problem getting to work even though it was cold going and coming.  I often have to kick start the heater or air conditioning in my car as there is a loose wire that no one seems to be able to fix.  The hardship there defroster doesn't work without the air blowing (which is normal) so my co workers were ready to leave the parking lot before I could even get my car to begin defrosting. 

On Friday, I worked to make up hours I missed all week.  It was a nice day and I enjoyed being out of the house and at work again.  After work a friend and I went for pizza and she brought along her grandchildren.  Since I do not have any, it is a treat to take children somewhere.  You are quickly reminded of how precious kids are and how needy they are for time and attention. They are both so special to me.

On Saturday (today in fact)  I slept in and when I woke up and checked outside it was sunny and warm---the whole day was just so nice.  I started working outside and ended up going over and picking up the kids to help me haul all of the sticks to the burn pile.  We got a lot done and even had enough time to sit down and watch a movie.  I can't remember the name of it but basically tinker bell had a sister named periwinkle and they both lived in separate environments and did not know about one another.  It reminded me of how it felt to live separate from all of my siblings and made me remember how wonderful it was to go to Pamela's in Texas when I first met her.  Both fairies were so happy to be together---anyway adoption is like that when it separates siblings.  They live in two separate worlds and when they finally get to be together it is healing on levels that most people cannot understand.

It is hard to believe that we went from the teens to 70's in the span of a few days but it was so nice to go outside and see the birds and tidy up some of the plants I've let go for way too long.  I look forward to spring with great anticipation.  I need to get some potting soil and get these plants growing where they can have access to sunlight and shade.  I really need some help with my grape vines.  I need to find a way to give them more sunlight also.  So much to do---can't wait to have another day just like today.  It was perfect.

On Saturday

Monday, January 20, 2014

On a Lighter note

I met several different songwriters this weekend.  I was impressed with David Berkeley the most.  He's married with two kids but looks very young with shoulder length curly hair.  His music was a little melancholy but there was a richness to his voice and one could quickly assume that he knew pain but used it to connect with others.

He gradated from Harvard which I thought was equally impressive.  I plan to keep up with his travels and listen to his music as it struck a chord with me.  Just fantastic is all I have to say about him.


So I just got off the phone with a lady named Rosemary about the situation with my family member.
She told me that this family member is "not my responsibility".  To top it off, this family member does not qualify for services because "he is getting all of his basic needs met".  Apparently running water or electricity are not something that her program helps with.  WOW.  So how many elderly people are out there tonight without a place that has power and water?  How many will suffer the 25 degree temperatures because that is something no one helps with.  I asked her if he could get meals on wheels and she told me that HE could call and ask for it and then he would be put on a waiting list until they can help him.

I have lost faith in our society just now....

What is wrong with this world?  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Love Letter To Motherless Daughters

I suppose I'm a bit eccentric to many but I have feelings just the same.  I'm not anywhere close to Leonardo Di Vinci or Ludwig van Beetoven.  My life will never be the subject of a biography, scientific study and no one will ever spend hours in a college class studying my boring open blog.  I am fine with that.  It is no more coward of me to sit behind a computer screen and unfold tales than to hide messages in paintings, drawings or music.  Writing is a release though.  It is a way of making sense of the jumbled messages jumping from synapse to synapse and even a way to go back over and say it makes no sense at all.  When I write something in this blog, I never know who will chance to venture here to read and even though I tried quite some time ago to figure out how to monetize it...I have failed at it ever making me a dime to spend.  I just don't have the time to do much more than post a note here or there.

Tonight I saw a challenge from another blogger to write a message about something I've lived through so that those who may be living through that challenge today will have something to give them hope.  This is my attempt to give a virtual hug to all motherless daughters tonight.  What I say here is intended to uplift someone who may be wondering why they were born into a world without a mom to nurture them.

This blog post will mean absolutely nothing to most people. 

If your mom has been in your life from day one, you can exit now or be bored to tears.  Either way, your choice.

I was conceived in 1965.  My parents married to do the "right thing" and I do not believe they were ever in love.  I was born in Feb 1966 and my birth mom also bore another baby in April 1968.  Court records show our parents divorced by December of the same year.  Do the math equation if you must.

In 1969 my mom had moved and had another child.  The same scenario in 1971, 1972 and 1973. And with all due respect, I will not fail to mention that her first child was born in 1962.  Seven total children by six different fathers.  No shock there as many have done the same. 

All of my siblings except two were placed for adoption.

Like wise, my father had many relationships and had me call them all "mama". 

You've heard of kids being tossed from pillar to post (my younger brother and I were the poster children for that life event).  Grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends of the family, new acquaintances, babysitters from the newspaper were our caretakers on any given day and sadly my brother died of asphyxiation of stomach contents which was a coroners way of stating the facts without screaming out child abuse.  Child abuse didn't happen in 1970---really?  So not true and while it wasn't our own mother's hands lashing out on us, it never would have happened had we had a mama.

One can have a mama at birth and one can have a mama every day of their lives---mothers make that choice.  There is nothing a child can do in this life to cause a mama to abandon her children.  That is a fact....unless of course, they aren't able to bond with their infants due to their own childhood abuse.  These mothers cannot pretend to love even if it was driven through their corpse like an impaled heart or other object.

So no matter where you are tonight, tell yourself that you were never unlovable but the circumstances of your being did not require far as I can tell--the only thing needed to create is sperm and egg in a warm cadaver.  It may sound cruel but the way I see it, everyone was created in that same divine way and the only difference was the commitment of two people to see that what they created was escalated to be loved and adored by the two creators. 

Now men for the most part have been let off the hook.  They are always working to provide, to hunt, to fish, to play ball or watch ball but it is usually required of all women to love, nurture, cook for, watch that creations every move, plan and see that the creation was hugged and read to, snuggled with, put on every school and church pedestal looking clean and pressed--you get the idea by now.

Somehow though, mama's that don't show up for the first day of preschool or kindergarten, fail to ever cook a sit down meal for, fail to sign report cards, attend school functions, awards day and PTA do not get off the hook.  Other parents and teachers everywhere expect it, including Mother's Days in church where the little flowers are passed out to all mothers.  So if you were the child in anyone of those scenarios, I'm sorry and I felt your pain.  You are not alone.

As wicked as it may sound, let your mother off the hook.  Whether she passed away of some serious illness, died in a accident or from spousal abuse, suicide or if she's a recovering drug addict, and even if she caved to alcoholism, or God forbid was busy playing bridge (what is bridge?) or she just plain was out screwing the next Jack-Ass in town--you grew up and she wasn't there and it is all going to be okay.  Seriously! 

Be thankful that the prison of childhood doesn't last forever.  Yes, I said prison.  You were there and you know what I'm talking about.  Adulthood while it comes with serious challenges of its own at least gives a person one rung up on the ladder from hell, embrace it.  It could be worse, you could be a kid again literally dying every time someone says the word "Mom".  I get that.  I didn't always but I can openly admit in this adult world that I actually sought out a replacement for every occasion of absentee mama.  Replacements are a let down, a 360 degree letdown.

If you then grew up and created a child and then reached the dilemma of not knowing how to be a mom, I've been there and done that too.  Seeking out the most nurturing women you can find and then emulating their actions is usually a good practice.  However it cannot teach you how to bond, empathize, sympathize or be a firm mother without harming your offspring.  Unless I've missed a parenting book, you won't find it in the confines of a book at all.  You must rely on your own best judgment.  You must rely on yourself and you will need confidence never seen before in the face of your mama and know that you will miss being able to rely on the person you should trust the most in the face of any turmoil or conflict.  Again, you are not alone and while the paths that will lead you at 4am have been walked on before you must do it time and time again--just knowing that your child will benefit from having you there 24/7 even when you thought you couldn't do another second.

Given the fact that all parents fail at some aspect of their parenting, none of us do anything perfectly. 

What will matter most is that you are there--time after time after God given time.  And even though you might have on smeared mascara from the day before and your offspring chose to photograph you in the worst possible way and post it to 40 million Facebook cannot give up, give in or phone your mom for help.  It stinks but it is worth every second, you'll see.

Motherless daughters can choose to create motherless sons and daughters or not---and that choice is up to you, the mama.

So do what you have to do.  Invest in therapy.  Invest in yourself.  Pat yourself on the back if you've read this far.  READ.  Invest your time in learning through the mistakes of other people.  Motherhood is a choice.  It is a daily choice, hourly, minute by minute/seconds or whatever.  YOU choose the outcome by the investment you make in it.

Nothing should be sweeter than the sound of your little one saying "Mama" and nothing will compare--not men, nor money, nor power, nor employment, not even church choir......and every time you have to make the choice to parent or not--pull out a photo of that child and say to whatever is calling your name "I will not create another motherless child" and then move in the appropriate direction.

You can do a positive thing today and choose to be the mother you never had, to say to yourself that you are worth it.  Your child is worth it.  Again nothing you ever did or did not do was cause or justification good enough for your mom to be absent. Leaving the scene of a child (is very much like jumping ship).  If this were a profession in Florida, she (the absent mother would lose her license to practice. Absence as a parent is unacceptable. It is abuse.  There isn't much around that tells a child that they are not worth the time and effort, like absentee parents.  There is nothing in this life that will ever come close to touching the pain that losing your mom inflicted.  Reach out to others, cry if you must, mourn this devastating loss and stop trying to create the person that doesn't exist in your memories.   Just know that there was another person who blazed through this very difficult path and is finally at peace with the ordeal.  The way I figure it....if it didn't happen in almost 48 isn't going to.  Some things like high school graduation and weddings---there are no do overs.  Either you have a mom there at those special times or you don't.  At my age.....who needs a mother?  A vacation maybe, but not a mama.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Epic Camel Story

I've had an interesting life to say the least.  There are few people who know why "camels" and I have such a history but seeing a camel makes me laugh and laugh hard.

I've considered some of the scenarios that might play out by telling this story and before I let the cat of the bag, I have to publically post that this whole writing event tonight is for humor only.  if upon reading this story, you are not laughing--then, I haven't told it well enough because it was a very emotional experience when it initially happened.

In order to be able to share the story, you have to know a little history which are a few details that I am not eager to share but will do so as only God could have delivered me out of this situation when it happened.

First of all, I was a foster parent many moons ago.  My husband and I had fostered children, two specific children for a period of five years.  And so what I'm about to say really was worse than a bullet to the heart at the time it happened.  I was born to a mother who gave birth seven times to seven children fathered by six different men and born to a father who had three children by two wives and multiple girlfriends in between and finally he married a woman with five children of her own.  My father was physically and emotionally abusive, authoritarian and often more concerned about his own desires than that of his children (like taking us fishing)with him and leaving us in a dark car parked on the shoulder of the road and dared us to sit up.  I spent many nights afraid on the bank of a river shoulder/curb.  I grew up being passed back and forth between him, my mom, my paternal grandparents and babysitters, friends or whoever was convenient at the time.  As a result, I grew up wanting to be a parent who was not absent or divorced and that kind of thing because I wanted to have my child know he would have the love and concern of both parents.

So when I learned that the husband I was married to had molested a male foster child, I fell completely to pieces.  (NOte: HE IS NOW EX HUSBAND) I knew the right thing to do and with much prayer and contemplation I was able to file for a divorce without any hesitation and return the foster children who I loved back to state custody (even when they defined me a suitable parent to continue fostering the children.)   I chose to let them go which was the right thing to do at the time.  Thinking back I wish I had kept them as I believe now that I could have managed but my own issues with self esteem were really deflated. 

So we're still not to the camels yet......but here goes.....After a move to DeFuniak Springs, (my grandmother passed away ) I requested that visitation be held in Panama City as they had a center there that was supposedly a supervised visitation facility.   All of this came about because I personally requested from the judge that my son have his visits supervised.  However, this center only supervised visitation via video monitors and just about every visit day my son would come home crying because of things that happened during the visit that no one talked him through or protected him from.  Mostly verbal things that hurt his feelings and the way his father referred to me and the conversation was never redirected.

After conversations with the director of the center who refused to do anything about the visitation, I told her that she would not be putting my child at risk again by failing to supervise the visits in person to make sure that they were appropriate.  The woman hung up on me.  I was at a dead end with her and it just infuriated me to know that most centers not only have an armed policeman at visitation, have licensed counselors to help redirect conversations and keep them positive and they often cancel visits where visiting parents are not adhering to policy in the visit.  So there I was with a court order to take him to this particular center and I was worried.  I had to pay a lot of money to hire an attorney to deal with the case and there was a chance that I could have gone to jail for failing to meet the requirements of the court order.  Either way, I just wanted to the hurt to stop for my child.

Several weeks later as I was thumbing through the local newspaper that had been delivered, I ran across a story about a woman who had been sat on my a camel and died.  Apparently her husband had bought her a camel for her birthday and she had invited the media cameras out to film her with the camel.  During the filming she was in the pen with the camel and the camel sat on her and she suffocated and died.  Horrible right?  Yes, I believe to die that way would be miserable but they say it was mating season for the camel and that is what they do during mating season.

It was so sad, but at the same time I felt like a camel's crushing weight had been lifted from my shoulders.  After I got over the sadness from what had happened to her, I felt that the intervention was from God (as there was no other way for me to get out of the situation).  It may be weird but you would just have to understand all that we went through week after week.

Back in court, the attorneys for both sides of our case could be heard laughing hysterically in the judges office before the case went before him.  What a relief that was!  The court had nothing else to do but recommend that the visitation be moved to another venue! So that is the camel story and  there is more to it but I do not have time today for the rest.  It may be whacked thinking but I do see this as a God miracle.  But whatever, it is what it is.....and I am so thankful it is over.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Most folks cannot even relate...but here goes.

I'm alive currently.  The circumstances that brought me to this point would blow your mind though.  I'm currently at home after just coming out of the most deplorable conditions trying to help someone else ( a male family member who is currently 74 years old).  In Florida this week temperatures were below freezing two days/nights this week and the current weather is rain, rain, rain.  While we are not blanketed with snow, like many states we are still having miserable outdoor conditions. 

It is hard to imagine an elderly man, living alone, without transportation (our city has no public transportation), no phone to call for help, no electricity, no running water, no lights and no food.
When I realized he was here, I took him fresh sheets, a huge comforter, a sub temp sleeping bag, pillows, towels, washcloths and food.  Since he didn't have any way to cook, I got him some little heaters to go under foil pans so that he could warm soup etc.  I personally filled a five gallon water container and hand carried it to him at his place because I just couldn't imagine being without.  One night too tired to cook, I had my husband buy him a pizza and take it to him.  He smiled the biggest smile I'd seen in a while.

This has been going on since sometime after Thanksgiving and he still has no power, now water, no light, heat, way to cook or even a bathroom.  While he does own the property the little travel trailer is on, it is in bad condition and the roof leaks to the point that he had to put a tarp on the top to try to keep it dry.

Some years ago, his son came and helped him install a well and pump for water and electricity but the property next to him was purchased by a doctor and when the survey was done, the new equipment belonged to the new owner of the property next to him.  The new owner refuses to allow him to use the equipment and the elderly man is not able to defend himself against what happened.

It doesn't make much sense but the elderly man appears to be paranoid and sometimes combative and rarely asks for help.

To put the situation in closer context, you would have to understand that in November I was in a car wreck where the seatbelt sliced my liver and I was unknowingly bleeding internally.  After my husband and I (both being off work for the time I was hospitalized and recovering--the financial end of the situation began to hit hard and we have struggled and it has been extremely hard for me to bounce back physically, financially and emotionally.  All around me, I see people in need, people that are sick, children and animals that need to be cared for and humans turning their backs on them.  I have witnessed mental breakdowns of others, people going in for simple surgeries and not coming out of them without complications, I've known of deaths of young parents with children and children who have no business being with parents because of maltreatment and I cannot see anything but darkness in this world.  I try to hide my feelings and I'm told that the world and all the people in it are not my responsibility it but emotionally, it is very hard for me to look the other way and take care of myself.

So today, I went to thrift stores and looked for items for this man (socks, gloves, hats, shirts, pants) and then to Walmart to purchase some food for him to sustain him until I can do better.  I brought all of the wet laundry home which I obtained after a long walk in the woods in the pouring rain from a very unused path to where he stays and had to actually beg him to let me take them.  With no refrigeration, these food items will not last long.  He has a bike which he has ridden to town before and admitted falling off of.  There are no paved walkways for him to stay out of traffic and if he goes to town too late on his bike, he is an easy target for people to hit with their cars as he has no reflective gear or helmet.  DeFuniak really needs sidewalks on the outskirts of town especially for elderly people to walk on.

Does it matter that this man grew up very poor, studied and worked hard to put himself through medical school, served in a war, fathered eight very successful children?  Does it matter that although he has not been formerly diagnosed, he exhibits signs of mental illness?  Does it matter that he lives in America?  Will it matter when he passes away?  Who will miss him? 

I have seen it over and over again where elderly people's belongings were fought over after they passed away.  Who will have the right to lay claim on anything of his especially when these same folks have turned their backs on him?

I am not well off but I do have a part time job and today I spent all that I have so that he could live a little more comfortable in his aging years.  I am not supposed to pick up more than twenty pounds as I am not quite over everything that has happened to me but I did.  I had to get supplies to him and all the wet soaked laundry to my house to wash them.  And then I realized I'm out of laundry soap!  I came home soaked to the bone, cold, tired and showered.  I am finally thawing out and wondering how long I can go on like this.  My husband works away and is gone a lot.  We have so little time together.  I miss him terribly.  I miss my own son who rarely calls.

UPDATE: (1/14/2014) My husband made quite a few calls regarding this situation and actually talked to two children who say they are going to come and help take care of some of this situation in late January.  Incredible that this man to this point as my husband says lives less than a murderer.  It would be unconstitutional to all this man to be imprisoned under the same circumstances.  Sadly, none of his children sent a card for Christmas, no care package, no phone calls.  Many of them were in Hawaii on a three (or more) week long vacation rather than caring for any of  the needs of their father.  I don't know what they have done in the past but maybe they are burnt out.  It just bugs me and I will deal with that alone.  Seven siblings are still alive and getting up in years--no card or concern from them either.

I am just not in good spirits today and there is no one to call and share this with.  I will share it with the world here on my blog. 

I used to believe that families were forever.  I don't believe that anymore in fact I don't want it to be true.  Knowing the family I have had and the experiences I've had with most of them, I would rather forever be alone, than to be hurt by what I know as family.  I know people who I've shared a few minute details with about my life and they say, "Wow, I've never been treated like that by my family."

I've never known family not to be this way, so I suppose I should just wipe off the tears and continue on but I am so tired of being strong and trying to take care of people by myself.  This life sucks and there is no other way to put it.  I cannot be alive and sit by and watch all the hurtful things play out and choose not to help because this goes against every bit of my grain.  This is beyond homeless for this man and it is just incredible that people in authority, in positions of knowledge, people in city council positions (who by the way look out for the people in their city) do nothing, people in abundance of time/money/ or other  resources easily skip by this man, justify it because of some things that happened years ago.....and can just turn their backs.

Dear God, make this life go away and take with it the hurt and suffering from the world. Or please  turn the sinners out of church for a couple of years and give them something to fight about or fight for.  Teach them to be gracious and kind to people in need.  Teach them to offer support before it is begged for. And could you please refuel my resources so that I can keep going?