Sunday, October 28, 2018

There's a visitor here...

A little dog that had to be pulled from the clutches of  Cruella de Vil to avoid being taken to the pound. A very unfortunate situation that I am peripherally involved in and could not just stay out of it. He's a little MinPin/Doxie mix, small, 3 years old.  It will most likely be an extended temporary situation. I am probably a fool for doing this, but it is what it is, and I couldn't just let it get killed.  He wants so badly to play with the other dogs, lol, and he and the Meemonster are doing okay, but the bigger dogs scare me. Molly is known to be a little snarky and Bella is so big that I don't trust her for a few days.  The other dogs are outside right now  and he is in here with me, whining to go back outside in the sunshine.
Myma keeps staring at him like she thinks it's her. lol  The big dogs are a little befuddled too because they do look a lot alike. lol He's about  2/3  Myma's size though, and every bit as annoying. lol

  Life has been a crazy whirlwind lately. I've been working  [too much], busy with other things, trying to keep my house clean [and failing]. Called off today because I haven't slept hardly at all last night and felt really crummy. I'm off tomorrow, so should be able to get myself back on track. Ran over around 8 AM and picked up this dog. Laying low for the rest of the day.

   Here's Myma:

  Here they are. laying together on a pillow by the computer..

And now it's days later. The little guy was rehomed to some very nice people, the proverbial shit has hit the fan at Cruella's house (it needed to) and lots of stuff in the air.    I have to leave for work in about 40 minutes, a young woman just came to the door and asked if it was my cows that were out at the bottom of the hill, and the dogs went bonkers when she came to the door. lol  There's never a dull moment around here.

  Yesterday there was a horrific shooting in a synagogue in Boston. There have been bombs being sent to Democratic leaders and outspoken critics of this current administration. There is so much hate in this country and unspeakable acts being perpetrated every day. This practice of hate and fear mongering is going to be the death of this democracy. The elections are coming up next week and I hope to God that we can shift the balance of power of this tyranny we live under.  I almost threw up yesterday when tRump said We must unify America...he is the one that has been stirring up all this hate in his base and in my opinion is the one responsible for anything that happens as a result of it. He has outspokenly blamed Democrats for everything under the sun. Even the caravan of migrants coming from Central America. Blaming the  media for anything they say about him or his policies as being fake news, even when it direct quotes ON FILM of things he has said. My guess is that he thought this was all very funny until it got so out of hand. Watch clips of him at his rallies. Listen to the words coming out of his mouth. Never in the history of America (except possibly Andrew Jackson) has there been a leader of this country with less dignity and integrity. The reputation of America has been ground into the mud in the past 2 years and I don't know if we will ever recover from it.

  I know a few people who truly believe in and defend this presidency, and I do not understand it.  If a lie is repeated enough times, it still is not the truth.   If America becomes a country that refuses to live by all it's basic tenets, then who are we ?  There is so much fear. This hatred, this living in fear...this is not who we are.  This is not who I am. 

Monday, October 1, 2018

Not feeling elegant or blessed...

Feeling angry. Enraged. Furious. 

One in 5 women will be raped at some point in their lives. 1 in 71 men will be. 81% of women who experienced sexual assault suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome and other  short and long term impacts. 
  • The prevalence of false reporting is low between 2% and 10%. For example, a study of eight U.S. communities, which included 2,059 cases of sexual assault, found a 7.1% rate of false reports (i). A study of 136 sexual assault cases in Boston found a 5.9% rate of false reports (h). Researchers studied 812 reports of sexual assault from 2000-2003 and found a 2.1% rate of false reports (g).
  • Rape is the most under-reported crime; 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police (m)

  I am walking around like a time bomb. I'm not the only one. Every time I hear one more stupid thing come out of Washington DC I want to scream.  And now with the investigation into Brett Kavanaugh and the accusations of rape by 3 different women (so far)... I can barely control myself.  In case you don't understand what is happening, let me clue you in.  When you have been the victim of sexual assault, it sears into your psyche like you've been branded. With a burn that never heals. And sometimes you can walk around in your life for a long time, pushing it down, ignoring it and distracting yourself enough that it isn't in the front of your brain. But all it takes is a little ignorant remark, a smell, a sound... and you are right back in it like it happened this morning. And the nature of post traumatic stress is that it consumes you. It takes you over.  It disconnects you from the present and sends you right back down to the hell that you found yourself in when you were assaulted. 

  I am in that hell now. And I  cannot seem to shake it off this time.  And it is dressing itself up as rage. I am so everyone. At everything.  I am screaming and crying and generally losing my shit. And it's scaring me to death. 

  I have always prided myself on not playing a victim. Of anything... of fate, of circumstance.  But lately I am feeling like a victim. The word HATE keeps spewing out of my mouth.  I am swearing and  screaming in the car. I am getting so angry at inconsequential things that I am shaking. And I'm not sure what to do.

  I am afraid. 

  I am afraid that everything we have accomplished in the realm of women's rights is being lost. I am afraid that all has been for nothing. I am afraid that violent men are being encouraged and rewarded for their abhorrent behavior by the fact that we have a serial sexual assaulter in the highest government of this country who thinks he can do anything he likes to women because he is a [rich] man.  And in all the levels of government as well. And when these men and the things they say are in the most public arena and it is declared that "Boys will be boys"  the vile acts of predators and rapists are considered acceptable.  Well, it is NOT acceptable. Not to me and not to the millions of women in this country who have been raped and assaulted. 

  I am afraid that I do not matter, in the end. Because when these acts are trivialized and ignored, you are telling me that I don't matter. And it triggers the rage that I am experiencing right now. In case you don't know it, rage and anger save me from my fear. They empower me and lift me up. And they exhaust me. Because like drinking those energy drinks or using cocaine, at some point you have to crash. The anger and rage are not sustainable and the crash is inevitable. And that's when the real trouble begins.

  The deck is stacked.  And we are on the losing side. And it scares the hell out of me, because we are playing for keeps here.  I need to speak my truth. I need to face my fears head on. I need to stop telling myself that I was responsible for the things that happened to me.  I need to stop believing the giant lie that this culture perpetuates when it makes it too hard to report and prosecute these events.  When it marginalizes the victims of sexual assault.  I was 9  the first time, molested for a couple of years.  There is no way that it could have remotely been my fault, yet everything was swept under the rug and I was told I was exaggerating or making it up.  I was 14 the next time. At a party drinking. And I believed that it was my fault then too... I shouldn't have been at the party. I shouldn't have been drinking. Me Me Me. And in my early 20's I was violently assaulted and raped by a complete stranger.  Again,  I somehow believed that my behavior was partly responsible because I have heard this shit all my life.. "She shouldn't have been THERE.  She shouldn't have been doing That. Look at how she dresses--she's asking for it. " And a million other inane ridiculous things people say. Like so many wrong things I have heard all my life, I internalized them, and after my experiences at 9 years old, I NEVER TOLD ANYONE AGAIN. I never asked anyone for help.  And now, at almost 66 years old, I am about to implode.

  No More.  I know there are decent men. I know not every man is a sexual predator. But when I am in the middle of a melt down of this proportion, you all look alike to me. It isn't fair I guess. But you will never understand that you have been making the rules regarding me and my body and my psyche my whole life, and that makes you guilty. I can no longer sit here on my hands and not speak. This society of ours constantly tells women that we are not enough (look at national advertising). That we are not worth as much as men (look at pay scales). That we do not have anything to say in the way laws are made and this country is run  (look at the disproportionate numbers of men vs women in our government offices). Yes, I am angry. And I can't tell you how many times I have been told growing up that it...isn't very ladylike to be so get angry... and I have pictures of me as a child where I looked so enraged that it scared the adult me. This anger is not new. And I have been very angry and very scared for the past 2 years, as I have watched and heard unbelievable shit come out of the mouth of that man  that sits in the White House (and seemingly decent people just laughed it off, or looked a tad embarrassed and averted their eyes. But still endorsed him). As I have watched  again and again as men in the government are being charged with sex crimes of one kind or another. Ministers, Priests... when does it stop ?  When do you stop looking the other way?  When it's YOUR daughter ?? YOUR sister ?  YOUR mother ?  When ??

  Yes, I am angry.  And I am old.  And that is a very dangerous combination. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Thunderstorms and Hummingbirds

  Well well well...

  Been a little crazy around here. A few days after my last post, I had some kind of an "episode" and wound up in the ER.  Came out of the blue and knocked me on my ass. Severe pain, left side of my chest, through my breast and chest wall.  They gave me nitro(x 2) to no avail. They gave me morphine (x 2) to no avail.  They ran tests... I was afraid it was a pulmonary embolism (I couldn't breathe without crying). Himself thought I was having a heart attack (I didn't). Doctors can't figure out what it was. Not GERD.  The CT scan (with dye) showed no clots, but did show some weirdness in my lungs, so yesterday I saw a pulmonologist. He is ordering more tests to be done in the next couple of weeks. They kept me overnight for observation  finally around 3-4 AM the pain started abating.  Nothing since then, except a little shortness of breath, but nothing serious. Who knows ??   I was finally discharged and came home and packed and headed off to a conference up north. lol  Been on the run ever since. Helped someone move last weekend which wore me out.  Working short hours this week for a couple of reasons. (If only they paid you better to be retired. I like it best). lol   I have a visit tomorrow with my new doctor ( primary care) and we'll see what she has to say about all this.  Everyone is very proud of me for following directions and actually following up with drs after the hospital visit. Pfffttt...  lol

  Things seem much more quiet around here without my big old boy cat. Down to only one cat now. 3 dogs. One fish. This is an extremely small menagerie for us here on Honeysuckle Hill. Still... I really don't want any more critters at this point. My heart is bruised still from the loss of my Caylee and my Keiko.  Molly McGee the Jack Russell Terrorist will probably be next,a s she's about 13 years old and starting to act like it. Unless this stupid puppy runs away and gets run over out there (not the smartest knife in the drawer, that one) and I question her ability to pay attention enough to not get  killed.  She likes to streak out the front door while himself is trying to get the other dogs on leads. She will stay gone for hours and no matter how hard you try you cannot get her in. It's a glorious game for her (if you DO find her) to let you get within about 4 feet of her, she wags her tail, grins and shoots off in the other direction at about 50 mph. Sigh...

  It's a rainy day here. We've had a past week of stupid high temps again, with heat indexes in the triple digits. You can't breathe when it's like that.  Today's high is supposed to be 79. Then back into the low to mid 80's again. The corn is drying, the leaves are starting to turn (slowly) and it feels like the end of September today. But it's not.  Goofy worldwide, I know. 

 Anybody know how to disable that stupid reCaptcha thing on my comments section ? It's driving me nuts. I fooled around with it a bit last night but gave up.  Grrr... I hate when they put stuff on my internet without my express permission to do so.  

 So, in a nutshell, it's been pretty boring here. I am not canning. I am working about 22 hours a week, mostly.  I got my first paycheck. Blah.  lol  The world keeps surprising me in good and sad ways.  I am growing old. Hell, my SON is growing old. lol I am off to work in about an hour where I will do some light housekeeping and probably play a few hands of gin rummy with a woman who's been on the planet about 20 years longer than I have and has lots of funny stories.  It's a short shift, so I'll have plenty of time to get home and do some cleaning of my own. In the meantime I'm opening a few strategic windows and turning on some fans to blow out the dog stink. That's always a good thing...

 I love the feel of the negative ions in a rainstorm... 

Columbia University’s ion researcher, Michael Terman, said, “The action of the pounding surf creates negative air ions and we also see it immediately after spring thunderstorms when people report lightened moods.”
Columbia University also conducted a study using negative ion generators to see their effect on people with winter and chronic depression. The study showed that these generators helped relieve depression as much as antidepressants.
“The best part is that there are relatively no side effects, but we still need to figure out appropriate doses and which people it works best on,” Terman said.
Felix Sulman, head of the applied pharmacology department at Jerusalem University, conducted experiments with negative and positive ions using a cross-section of men and women between the ages of 20 and 65. When they were put in a room that contained primarily positive ions, they became irritable and fatigued.
However, when they were confined to a room containing primarily negative ions, their brainwaves suggested increased alertness and relaxation. Their alertness and work capacity were tested by various means.
What is significant is that they all scored higher during and immediately after their exposure to increased levels of negative ions.

  Have a good Wednesday, everyone... 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

My world is spinning out of control...

In the great cosmic scheme of things...

    6 planets in retrograde, eclipses, alignments... the heavens are crazy.  Here on planet earth, I am crazy. Crazy things are happening.  Birth, death, and all the time in between.  I am at an age where the people who are my peers are starting to die and it's got me freaking out a little.  I found out this morning that my high school pal that I reconnected with a couple of years ago has died.  She was going in to the hospital for one last surgery, and was found unresponsive after she got home.  We had just talked and were planning another of our famous "lunches"  as soon as she was back on her feet.  I will never get to hug her or laugh with her again.  She had such a zest and joy for life. In my memory, that light will never be dimmed. Off to her next adventure... peace be with you, my darling girl.

  I have been weepy all evening.  I have been very angry the past few days.  Angry at my husbandman and the dogs and everything that makes me work harder and more than I care to.  Angry at myself for being so angry.  Been sitting in meditation and praying and doing any and every thing I can think of to quell these emotions.  Everything, that is, except trying to figure out what's triggering all this.  It's a fact that I am tired.  I am in the middle of my second week of being back at work after a 17 year hiatus.  I haven't settled into a routine yet.  My  householding chores need organizing so I don't have to feel like I'm working 24/7.  (I'm not- but it feels like it).  Some days I am better than others. And it isn't work-- that is proving to be a good thing for the most part. I haven't gotten a paycheck yet, but will on the 24th. I only have to see my toughest client once this week, as I am going to a state conference for AA this coming weekend, and asked for Fri-Sun off.  So, there's that.  I have a friend who works in a bank which was robbed today. She is  going through what anyone would after having been in that kind of traumatizing situation.  My heart hurts for her... and then I realize that in 5 days (8/20) it will be the 33rd anniversary of my father's death.  The year I became an orphan. Lots of  cell memory there. I always react on a psychic emotional level to this every year when it comes around, and it is always a surprise when I realize that's what's going on.  I will probably never understand it.     I find a small comfort in knowing that it's the reason for my  over reacting and my (sort of) misplaced grief.  I seem to have a lot of people in my life right now with cancer. My father died of cancer.  Another friend of mine just underwent surgery on Monday for cancer.  Am waiting for her call... the daughter called and said it went well, and that her mom would call me in a few days. I am getting antsy, but trying not to call her because I have no idea what's going on over there. Her family is with her...I am not her family. I feel like I am in limbo... and that doesn't help things.  So I try to just... breathe.  And cry. And rail at death and all it's injustice. And sit in the quiet a little more. And try to make sense of my life and this world and all the stuff that goes with it. 

  It's nearing midnight and I need sleep. Have to get up at 6 to begin a long split workday tomorrow.  Then I am off to the conference, where I will talk and be with like minded people, many of whom are probably going through their own brand of tragedies and fears and  happinesses and successes.  And I will just keep walking, trying to make sense of things that are truly beyond my ken and probably none of my business.  I will keep trudging, and learning with each new day little life lessons that will prepare me for the days ahead.  And even through my tears...through my anger... through my fear... I will try to be grateful for this life that's been given me.  The grief I am experiencing will abate. (Until probably this time next year).  My weeping will stop. And I will wake up to a new day...a little stronger and maybe even a little wiser. 

  (Hey-- it could happen.)

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Why do I write ?

  I think the only thing missing from this picture is the clumps of hair that you pull out, as you gnash your teeth and beat your breast.  And spilled coffee, or coffee rings on all the papers where you don't need them to be.

  I recently finished a short story.  One that I started a few years back and then tossed aside thinking it wasn't going anywhere.  I ran across it again recently and read through it, thinking it wasn't too bad. Some parts of it are marvelous.  Then I couldn't stop thinking about it.  Now, having a few more years of life happen to me since starting it, I have finished it.  I think.  Not sure what to do with it, but I'm sure the answer will come.

  Yesterday my dear old Paco the cat died. He was considerate enough to wait until I got home to say goodbye. At the very end, I walked him out into the sunshine in the backyard, one of his favorite hunting and sunning places. We walked around, him wrapped in a towel and me crying like a baby. Looked at the mess of a yard, the daisies, the overgrown garden beds, the butterflies. Told him how much better my life had been with him in it. Asked him if he remembered when he first walked into my life, up from the direction of the pond, and waited until the older male cat had passed before he would come in the house. My heart is breaking even as I write this, but it's important for me to write it down. To get it out of me and let the healing begin. He had a good spoiled happy life here on Honeysuckle Hill, and I will be forever grateful for his presence in my world. Here's one of my favorite pictures of him:

 The vet thought he was probably at least 14 or 15 when he came to us. Which makes him 19 or so now I guess. Which is a good long life for a big cat. RIP my darling.

  So, I have written on my social media page about the loss and about a hundred people offered condolences. Some phone calls (although last night I really didn't want to talk to anyone).  And it helps to know that people care about you when you're hurting. But for me, nothing helps as much as writing.  I started journaling as a young girl, probably about 10 or 11.  A teacher had suggested I try it. A way to chronicle my emotions and my frustrations, and empty out my head.  It was great advice. I grew up in a crazy house with too many kids (I'm the oldest, so you know how that goes) and a mother who drank and a father who was always at work. I was smart, but angry.  I was rebellious. And this teacher suggested that I try channeling the anger especially into putting words to paper, and so... there you go.  I have been writing in one form or another ever since. I have written poetry, short stories, technical stuff, blogs (thank you God for the internet age !!)  and even have had a thing or two published.  And I write lots of crap, that is just puking on paper. (That's pretty poetic, isn't it ? lol)  But more than once it has saved me in ways I didn't know I needed saving. And so I am grateful. 

  I cannot imagine people that do this for a living. Some days I would rather clean toilets in a big city bus station than write. But I do it because I need to. Because I have to. And I wouldn't change it for anything. (But I'm still working doing something else. )  Sigh...

  Okay. Enough of this dithering. I have a few things to do before I leave for work. Today's shift is from 12:45 to 4:45.  Even I can do that. But here on the hill there are floors to sweep and porches to clean up and a load of laundry to dry and fold because yesterday I bought a new package of socks for me and underwear for himself and I need the socks today. lol I may even get this desk cleared off so I can get back to knowing what I'm doing from one day to the next. (Can't see the desk calendar, and even if I could, it's probably still on May...).  

  Once again, I get to choose gratefulness over grief, and pull up my big girl panties and soldier on.  The sun rose once again, there are dogs to be fed and householding to be done. And in the end, love conquers all.

  Doesn't it ?

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Wednesday- or, My Week (or two) At The Races

  ...oh, I remember her. She's in my face all the time, lol.    Peering over my shoulder, putting her fingers in my pies.  Egging me on.  Pushing me to heights I have not reached for in a while.  Telling me I'm not as old as I feel.  Reminding me that no matter how bleak things might feel for a minute, I have so far survived 100% of the things I have had to go through, and that's a pretty impressive record. lol

  The last 2 weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. Decided that I needed to try to get a job (part-time) to help with the financial crunch. Pay down the new car loan. Maybe get some home repairs made. You know, that kind of thing.  I encountered some fears, because not only have I NOT been on a job interview in 20 years, but I have a 17 year gap in my employment record.  And I'm old. Nevertheless,  I sallied forth and put together a new resume, pulled up my big girl panties, filled out some job applications and applied with 2 home health agencies, went through the TB testing, the background checking and the fingerprinting.  Had 3 interviews and was offered 2 jobs on the same day. Then I underwent 3 days of nonstop videos and training, took an exam and scored 97% on it and started work this week. I'm trying to figure out some balance between all the other things I do and this... the end of summer is a bit of a busy time and I have been on the run .  Today is only 3 hours, so I am  going to run to the store in town and pick up a small roast to put in the crock pot and be at work at 11.  Home at 2 and I SWEAR, I am not leaving this house again until Thursday morning at 8. lol  I was off yesterday, but had  a meeting with a friend getting ready to have cancer surgery, lunched, volunteered at the office  and then hooked up with 2 other crazy ladies and went to a meeting.  Got home about 9. Monday I worked 8-2, and got home, did some housekeeping and went to my regular Monday night meeting. You can see my dilemma... I'm really way too busy to work.  LOL    I have a big bag of cucumbers sitting on my table waiting to be turned into pickles. I need to buy some tomatoes and can some salsa-- only a couple of jars left in the pantry.  I have got to get a schedule in place that doesn't have me running all over hell and  Moderation.  (WHAT??)   Reason  (WHAT ??)  

  My old boy cat is running out the end of his life .  I have been giving him eyedroppers of broth and electrolytes, but he is dehydrating and weaker ever day. I Love that old stray so much and will miss him terribly.  We have no idea really how old he is...the vet thought maybe 15 or 16 when we got him 4 years ago. Or when he got us.  It breaks my heart... and am just trying to keep him comfortable. He had a really good life with us, and we with him...

  So--that's what's going on here.  I'm gonna post this and head to the market.  The temperatures have taken a cooling turn again. This weather has been so strange this summer. It's either fall-like or hot as hell.  Today's high is supposed to only be about 84.  70 right now. Last night it was foggy coming home. SMH...

  Signing off for now, from Honeysuckle Hill...

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

I saw Venus, dancing with the moon last night...

  Pretty spectacular... I love sky stuff and star stuff and summer nights when the fireflies are twinkling across the soybean fields like Christmas in July.  Sometimes I stop the car coming down my road and turn off the headlights (I live in a pretty isolated area, so it's not a traffic hazard, lol) and just sit in the dark and watch the magic. I love the quiet and the almost complete lack of lights out where I live.  Makes the sky even more wondrous with no light pollution. From some places you can see a little bit of the town lights  but from my house you can't see squat. Just the way I like it. lol

  I did some of the yucky pricey cleaning today... pricey in what it costs me. Vacuuming, sweeping and carpet cleaning. Kills my back. And I cleaned the big handicapped shower . Yikes. It gets pretty rough in there and today was the day to also take down the shower curtain and wash and bleach them too.  I did buy a cleaning tool at Dollar General that has a scrub pad on one end and telescopes. Still had to bend some...just enough to make my back hurt lol  We had a light supper of turkey salad on top of a mixed salad with all kinds of good stuff in it.  I was too tired to do much more than that. I also hauled all the garbage out to the rolling can that will go to the curb tomorrow night. 

  I have had a long running sinus headache going on for a couple of days. A bit ago I took some allergy medicine, because I have had watery itchy eyes and a very dry throat as well. So I put some eye drops in (supposed to be using them regularly and I don't).  And of course, when you have those kinds of headaches, you drop everything you touch, because  it really hurts  when you bend over or put your head down. lol  I might take take it pretty easy tomorrow... trying to get some rest as I've been on the run for over a week. Most all of it was good stuff, fun stuff...with a funeral and bank bs thrown in for good measure. lol  But all in all it was exhausting and I am ready for a complete day of rest.  Turns out it wasn't today.  

  Well, I'll keep this short and sweet. I have some other stuff to say but I am falling asleep at the keyboard. (Sexagenarians do that.)

  Nighty night fartlings...