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Listen.

For today’s #BlackHistoryMonth in the present, I want to share a discussion I had with a black male born in the late 1970’s recently, with one statement he had. A traveled man himself with the Air Force and time in war in the Middle East. We discussed politics, racism, and travel and then those all hand in hand.

Being a traveler we discussed my project and travel currently and it came to discussing some groups I know, such as https://brownpeoplecamping.tumblr.com and the very white world of RVing. We weren’t discussing ideas or asking why’s, we were just stating what is. And then he said “I’ll tell you why black people don’t travel the way white people do all across America…

Black people don’t travel, hike, do your RVing, camp, and all that because we’ve been told to stay in our PLACE for so long. We don’t even have the concept to step outside of our neighborhoods, our blocks, or the place that the white people have put us in for generations. We are allowed where we are told we are allowed and we don’t go where we aren’t allowed to go. Even now being allowed technically, doesn’t mean we are safely allowed or welcomingly allowed.” He said.

There was more to our long and very good conversation. But this part is burned in my heart. I teared up then and there. The truth and clarity of that statement will literally haunt me. And it is truth. Clear as day. And thus BlackHistory and what Being Black in America is is not history but still of today. Because people still chant #MAGA in open racism.

As a white woman I truly hope to allow travelers of color whom I come across to feel welcome and safe but I’ve been through all of the deep south and through the recent elections enough to know just how unsafe they truly are. I feel unsafe as a woman much of the time. I can’t imagine feeling unsafe all of the time as a black woman or even worse, the way we see black men treated by white men in the media. Forever in my childhood will be scarred the memory of watching the news of James Byrd Jr. And the past couple of years have been black men being murdered by the police for 100% no reason other than being black, like Philando Castile. Never will a police officer fear me, in fact his guard will likely always be too far down. The opposite the officer in the case of Philando Castile was.

It is sad. I remember this being a topic even in California with a guy on a hike-date in my early twenties. His mother worried about him for these reasons. Yet another more recent LAPD beating overkill of a black man had occurred. It was 2004. I had watched this one the news as it happened and then again over and over. My first young and naive white privileged thought I still remember today as being “My mama beat me if I ran, too” but what I was only just about to realize was that the long long generation long history of police beating, lyching, and killing the black man and raping of the black women had come long before and that the reason a black man ran today wasn’t why he was beaten, the reason he ran was because of a generation of getting beaten. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeRLfqxHP00 (Stanley Miller).

What is something to note with our recent gun debate is that the LAPD was first banned of batons because of the beating with them. And then Police Chief William Bratton banned the large flashlight after the 2004 incident and called for manufacturers to make a smaller model. And guess what? There are no beatings with batons and less with flashlights now.  And though the LAPD has had the worst reputation, it has also had the greatest improvements. Not all police training and police departments across the nation run by very high standards if any at all. Certainly, lack of procedure can be pointed out in 100% of all of the media highlighted issues.  Though even they are still far off the mark yet.

This is why the awareness of Colin Keapernick is needed. So many people don’t SEE the problem. They don’t even think what they do come across is a problem. And, as my naive self once was, that is the problem. And prob less can’t be fixed without knowing about them. And it shows that the eveil American treatments of Black people are not #History but that still of today.

We discussed growing up in interracial families. I had the experience of having mixed sisters, but here was a good long come to wakening conversation with a mixed young man and how police treated him, an upright college educated hard working person. Or how dangerous an angry, jealous, or looking for trouble, or racist white man can be. My eye’s had been opened even further than I thought possible as the girl from the south, from Texas, from an interracial family, raised knowing full well what hearing the word Nigger sounded. It’s seen/lived/realized/understood different from child to adult and it’s different from black man to black woman.

A black woman has a lot to fear, too, though. As any woman, times about three more than myself. One friend told me a long time ago, as a black woman herself, “it’s just that black women have only ever known violence toward them to not know there is something else to compare it to. We are stronger for it but the white man will take credit for that, too, so that we don’t even own that. Black women don’t own anything no matter how much we pay for it.” I can’t imagine carrying the weight that they do on their shoulders, but as a white woman and a feminist I will forever try and ease their burden, try to carry my part of the weight. And try to solve some of the problems of justice. If for no other reason than it being simply the right thing to do, then for my two young sisters who will forever live as woman, and black woman, in America at a time when white supremacists speak freely and openly at colleges leading the next generation of racism in charge and promise of a white America, and of their extinction and who have to live with their own white mother calling them Niggers and treating them worse even than the world they will ever meet outside. Their burden will always be greater even than mine even within the childhood we shared and now as grown women in the outside world.

https://www.aaihs.org/the-historical-erasure-of-violence-against-black-women/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Know_Why_the_Caged_Bird_Sings

https://psmag.com/social-justice/a-history-of-police-violence-against-women-of-color

Though this article has two lines that completely devalue black girls and try to twist a story on social media, there is a LOT of good information in here to share, and many links to good sources.

I want to share this particular article because it shows how easily one person can ruin an entire cause with a false debunking. Though missing persons were down, missing young black girls were still very high, it was just getting a voice and a spotlight and #TimeMagazine decided to try and shut it down with two very bad lines and a terribly misleading headline just because out of passing things along on the internet SOME information as inaccurate (that 14 were missing in 24 hours rather than within less than a months time) and regardless, as is said “Members of the black community also perceived a racial dimension to the scarcity of news coverage. Black children who go missing receive less media attention than white kids, says Natalie Wilson, who runs the Black and Missing Foundation. Wilson and her sister-in-law Derrica founded Black and Missing in 2008, after the disappearance of Tamika Huston, a 24-year-old woman from Spartanburg, S.C., went largely unnoticed by national media. A 2016 analysis of online coverage of missing persons published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology found some evidence that cases involving white women not only draw more attention but more intense coverage. (The late journalist Gwen Ifill once dubbed the phenomenon “missing white woman syndrome.”)” This is truth.

Black people get noticed in the media less unless they did something wrong. And that isn’t something to ignore. As example of bad “debunking” articles, recently people sending articles “debunking” 18 school shootings so far this year, while their own articles still note 18 shootings at or in or on school grounds situations…it isn’t false, fake, or untrue. It might be worded a little differently and yes, let’s pay attention to details in journalism. But 14 girls missing in only one months time rather than 24 hours time in only one city without any news media attention is still something to bring to the forefront, and not allow SOME of what is on the internet (14 in 24 hours, or 18 school involved shootings maybe not by a mass bullet spraying killer but still 18 school involved shootings nonetheless, and all just as important as the other way) overshadow it. There are now more articles saying that 14 girls aren’t missing, rather than spotlighting that they, indeed, were legally reported and missing, because of one false timeline of 24 hours rather than a one months time. And now, as before, women of color who don’t get media attention when missing like white women do, or black women’s murders investigation with the media attention that a white woman’s murder gets (you don’t see a lot of black women murder mystery tv movies, either, do you?) So again, their voice is lost, as they often are.

http://time.com/4715136/dc-missing-girls-social-media/

https://www.thenation.com/article/normalization-violence-against-black-women/

And that goes without mentioning the #MeToo movement, started by the voice of a black woman, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/15/me-too-founder-tarana-burke-women-sexual-assault

And even the voice of a black woman in a hospital after giving birth and while, literally, on the verge of dying, doesn’t get heard. http://fortune.com/2018/01/12/serena-williams-birth-story-black-women/

And in all the mental health talk of late there hasn’t been whispered that of black women and mental health. Or even mental stress. Even Sandra Bland seems forgotten already and mention of mental illness then didn’t spark the fire for discussion.

And only recently it was black women who turned an entire tide in Alabama, of all incredibly places, to blue in voting in a Democrat Senate against a racist pedophile white supremacists which the white people of Alabama seemed to be moved even more to vote as bad news came out about him. Without a voice given about it at all beforehand, black women surprised the entire world with the largest American history change in over 8 years, when the first black president had won election, and by the smallest minority numbers to show how powerul even a small voice can be. They did it quietly but their voice spoke volumes to the world and upon history. And as a feminist and a Democrat I truly personally thanked and thank them now, but a week later it seems that incredible moment was already over and of course the focus was, in the end, still a white man who had the Senate seat even if it was black women who allowed him to have it. Do they get that credit? That THEY own that seat, that THEY put him there? No, still it seems somehow yet to be realized. Even white Wonder Woman in a movie got more than a week of media attention than those Wonder Women did.

And when black lives were being killed in large numbers, it was black women who created the Black Lives Matter movement. Simply because Black. Lives. Matter and in the killings America was saying that they didn’t. And what they face everyday is being drowned out by the voice of white people against it. Why doth protest the death of your unarmed men? They say, surprised and mad that the black, much less the women, dare to raise a voice. Long live the America that put black people AND women in their place to be spoken to but who are not allowed to speak! They say in their #MAGA way.

But we need to listen to the voice of the black woman.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-america-needs-to-listen-to-black-women_us_5a0b35cee4b060fb7e59d421

https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/11/13/year-one-when-black-women-lead/

However, even for me and the voice I raise for injustice and people of color, women, black women and men and unarmed killed children and so forth…I had moments, and still do, when I have a whole lot of learning to do. The eye-opening was the naivety of my young 20’s in a time when even many black people seemed to find the most rest they’d had in …ever in the history of America. But once the eye-opening was offered, it was up to me to learn, and seek being taught. And I do every day now. There is so much more to learn but I most definitely try and learn it from the black American’s and people of color all around the world. I always try and listen to their voice, and give them space to be heard.

Why do I care? Because I don’t have the weight of burden that they do. And they don’t have the choice of having that weight of burden which they carry. To be human is to be a friend and help to ease, and to carry the weight of the burden, and hopefully one day to help them fully cast it away. But they can’t do that without being heard. So in the personal experiences listening to the voice of my first story above, and the voice of the second, and the voice of the woman friend of mine in the third….I try and listen because “they don’t need any longer to be kept in ‘their’ place, but be allowed to actually live in the world among us all and us all together.” Real change comes from real stories. And here are three that I have heard in person that have moved and shaped my entire life.  And THAT is America.

#BlackLivesMatter #BlackWoman #BlackMen #BlackAmerica #America. #MAGA can not win. #POC #WOC #Feminism

 

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Who’s your Go-Getter?

Not sure about some of these listed on BookRiot,   but good topic. Who are some of your Go-Getter role models you read on?
Mine change all the time, not change but get added to. Currently, they are;
-Hillary Rodham Clinton and reading what is an inspiring book of What Happened. And the poise she keeps even during 30+ years of lies and rumors and hate and total opposition against her. AND regardless of personal thoughts, still dealt with a difficult relationship in the public eye. Lord, can I relate to all of that. A true teacher.
-Gloria Steinem, especially after reading her book On The Road. That woman of her age and still Go Go Go. But you can really learn a lot as a writer, an activist, a woman, and being a white feminist working alongside black feminists as hard and as much as she does. I don’t think retirement will ever happen for her. And turning her writing into her advocacy. She is also a white #feminist that really opens to door in teaching other white feminists about fellow black feminists, Something truly needed in that gap we white women need to learn a lot of. For us, it will take the voice of the white women to show us that, I know this, and I hope to also be that kind of feminist. She has opened a lot of doors for me on that and taught me to be a better feminist.
-Roxane Gay. This one says her mind but also isn’t a jerk or an idiot. I mean, like take Lena Dunham. I love her work (only recently discovered because the bad feminist in me had to watch Girls all 6 seasons just for Kylo Ren, prior I just avoided her stuff.) As a writer I am in awe, as a woman and a feminist I want to just make her stop. Roxane says some controversial shit without being a twerp. There aren’t moments of hand to forehead and thinking “Nope, you just ruined it for us all”. But as an outspoken black feminist writer, this woman seems to only open your eye’s and make you want to buy her a drink. I suggest reading her works for real, all of her essays. And what is funny is because of what you’ve read about her and then you read her straightforward writings she does seems like total brass, maybe even too much….so then I suggest you just punch her name into youtube for a day and seriously you are like “Dude, she’s so fucking chill.” I could listen to her forever. I often do for a good portion of the day and have in two lectures in person so far. She so fends for herself but somehow you kinda want to beat other people up who say cross things about or to her like you would protect a close friend or a sister. Her writing is a great eye-opener and as a writer I can truly admire. As a memoir writer I can even more so. Her then taking a stance and leaving a publishing house with her book because they chose to publish a right-wing antagonist. A Woman, who is also black, who took a stand and not only got her book published anyway, then ended up staying on the best sellers list for record-breaking weeks, discussed her very tiny advance (I think her’s was about twenty grand while Milo Y’s was like 250 grand with that same publisher) openly which as a writer is like awesome stuff. She has become a large part of transparency in the publishing world that is very needed. And her stance caused the publishing company to drop Milo Y, even in the face of lawsuit over it, and his book bombed when he took it to publish (I think he self-published after that). One woman’s voice made huge waves in not only the world of writing but the meaning of lines drawn in the sand for freedom of speech. We do NOT have to allow ourselves to be bullied as women, and black women do not have to allow themselves to be bullied. And writers DO have the power over the publisher. And good vs evil will win. You know…a lot came out of that. But the backbone that took was amazing. Like, Warrior Queen stuff right there. I had a year of HRC’s book, her doing that stance and reading her book, and Super Woman came out. It was a kick-ass mother fucking 2017 regardless of the wimp that got elected into the White House. I always said there was more power outside of the White House and office BECAUSE we had a voice on the outside without the restrictions of the inside.
-I have to say Joe, because he’s really worked hard and done well. There is nothing to read on him except what I write. And I am sure over time much more of that will be done. He is amazingly encouraging. I had not realized before how little…or rather zero encouragement I had out of relationships of any kind, friend or lover.
I had not realized how much I dove into being there for them, encouraging, and even driving whatever they were doing forward (even to the point of annoying and bossy) while I not only would often abandon my own thing but never once had encouragement or faith in me and what I did. I have that so much now in ways I could never have imagined. It is really eye-opening and heart and soul filling to have at least one person truly under any circumstances in your corner. He works very hard and would do anything for me if I wanted or needed. He doesn’t settle down and he goes after what he wants. We have the best conversations on this stuff and that is another thing, he truly values my input on everything. He is non-conventional and relishes in my non-conventionalism and that is something that truly often drove me apart in past relationships and now only drives me forward. I have constant emotional support and it makes a huge difference when in 36 years you never once had it otherwise.
-Another example would be Jhumpa Lahiri who as soon as I read about her I read everything from her. She is a woman of so many backgrounds who truly strives to pull them all together and live in them, and beside them in her own. These are struggles all women can relate to in some way or another. She also wants things that are a bit unconventional for her and her entire family and she does them. She seeks to learn and she writes so beautifully.
-Arianna Huffington is on the list since reading all about her ages ago and now her books. Sleep and women=the relationship. Striving to the top. Working harder than everyone else. Doing double duty as a mom, wife and CEO in her situation until literally passing out. Stepping out from her comfort zone and creating creating creating and learning about live and living and quality over quantity along the way. Not to mention all she has achieved as a strong woman in the field of the writing and business world.
-Michelle Obama. this woman has had so much class and poise in the face of death threats over literally the color of her skin. She has been a great mother, wife, and first lady, an example of a woman. She comes from amazing educational background and continues to be a presence for woman everywhere. She doesn’t only become someone only some can relate to, but really all (if not the problem is yours, not hers). She dares to be different, herself. In this, I also place Barack for much of the same. I love how they chose their portraits to be done, by whom, and in what style. Black American Art. Not being conventional because conventional America is a racist old and outdated America. And being supporters of great art. Even past, if not more so, the White House they strive for a better America.
-Amy Tan, OMG I am reading her latest now, a memoir. And I can relate to her as a woman and a writer SO much. I have been in awe of her writing, her books. I can’t help but buy two copies, both in hardcover, one to keep sacred and one to underline and highlight the hell out of.
-I have to really put Elon Musk in there because this guy has been Go Go Go since teenaged years. He has a brilliant mind that expands constantly. He tries, he fails, he goes for it, he creates. Good bad or ugly it’s pretty revolutionary and exhausting just reading about it.
-There are some big names like Mark Zuckerberg and both Bill and Melinda Gates, Steve Jobs and so forth because of what they’ve done with themselves and created. I mean…a teenager in college creating things in a dorm room is already impressive. Having created things I literally can’t live without even more so. They are in my lives and influence whether I like it or not. I say this as I type on my Apple laptop and share it on my Facebook page. But they have all been people who truly give back to the world as well in very large quantities. Especially say Melinda Gates, who create motion in ways and places needed around the world for others in need, it goes beyond giving money. But they have all created economy that we run on as well. I mean…I can barely get my coffee made without spilling it all over the floor and here they are pretty much running the world. It’s impressive whether you like them or not. And even if you don’t, your life is influenced heavily by them.
-The organizers of Black Lives Matter, Colin Keapernick, Jemele Hill, the organizers of Pantsuit Nation and the Women’s March as well as The Black women March, when the cast of Hamilton spot to Pence, and other such situations because they literally put their lives on the line for awareness and social justice. They are doing this in my day and age. I get to see this in action. It must be how some people feel about having grown up with Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks, Florynce Kennedy, Cesar Chavez.
-Shonda Rhimes, Oprah Winfrey, Cecile Richards, Wendy Davis (though she didn’t take the opportunities she could have this past two years to come back and do it again, I admire her for the time she did), Alice Walker, Me Too founder Tarana Burke: ‘You have to use your privilege to serve other people’, for women who truly work work work out of the mess of from the bottom up, creating themselves into what they are, doing for others constantly, teaching, bringing teachings through in their arts, showing the capabilities of woman, mother, wife, self, CEO, creator, artist, whatever. Creating entire movements that change the world. Supporting other women. I can name a lot more women and men here, too but these have been some of my most in the lately list. Also, one day I want to be Shonda Rhimes when I grow up. But I need more coffee to even think about that woman. lol Talk about Go Go Go. When I feel I don’t have enough time or feel overwhelmed, I tune into some Shonda Rhimes on youtube speaking in the background of my work and get back at it.
-I am totally loving some role models in various writing, project, or just go-get-em in some like Gina Rodriguez, Tracee Ellis, Lena Waithe, Jessica Williams, America Ferrera among others. I love reading the works of other fantastic women.
I personally did not have good female role models growing up in my life or family. Or any role models really. My grandmother disowned my mother and in doing so disowned all of her grandchildren. That was a huge abandonment issue right there for me. My birth father has not been a part of my life. My mother was the perfect example of who and how not to be as a woman, a mother, a wife or partner. My older sister chooses to be MIA one minute and in your life the next, it really creates trust issues. And not in one place is there or has their ever been true love, support, encouragement (in fact there has been the opposite of all). Ever since I struck out on my I pretty much have sought them out. I seek strong, hard-working, creative, independent, and teachings to offer types who typically overcame diversities and childhood hardships and treat themselves and those around them very well and uplifting in those I read of or those in my personal life as well. I pretty much surround myself with this now. I have a LOT more for the “not alive now” category or who have influenced me in many ways over my lifetime, such as Maya Angelou being my influence to become a writer and writer though life, that you can turn real ugly into real beauty. I more recently run on the quote “I write myself back together” of Roxane Gay. And there are many not listed here who have at one time or another been an influence. Some I may not have even realized. Using your writing or art for what you wish to achieve in the world as well as within yourself is a big part of my influential people in my life. Keeping a head held high and the strength to walk right through the crowd that hates or judges you most has always been one for me, and has really been put to the test. Holding poise has literally gotten me through, and after, seven months in jail, divorce, and small town living and rumors among more. Basically also my entire adult life so far.
Who are your Role models? Your model of Get-up-and-go each day? In your projects and works, and creativeness? In your daily life?
#Influence #Rolemodel #WontStop #CantStop
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Childhood Trauma.

TED Published on Feb 17, 2015 Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on.

 

Understanding is seeking. Questioning is a seeking. Understanding is a platform of where to go next. From the platform one now has the understanding, information, knowledge, and idea (the biggest part) to approach a solution. A solution is never overnight (especially in anything to do with health and especially stemming from childhood). Having an idea and knowledge and information and a voice and a platform now then allows one to create application of solutions found. This is the kind of person we need in the world.

Diabetes is insane. Asthma is insane. Child allergies are insane. Autism is insane. diseases from HIV to Ebola to H1-N1 to the flu we can’t control are all insane in numbers. We write it off to higher population and traveling. But perhaps there is more to it. Nipping it in the bud won’t be by stopping travel, or staying indoors and away from all people during flu season, or even JUST putting down the sugar. If that were the case we would have seen diabetes go down in the age of mothers taking away corn, wheat and soy. Being past the era of the 70’s/80’s hostess cupcakes in our cabinet. And we would have seen less autism by now. Not more…it’s been decades of mom’s talking about this now. It is no longer something new, yet the birth rate of it hasn’t started slowing down. Flu and other diseases would be down because of modern medicines attributions of being high by vaccine and knowledge and safer sex and even abortion (in cases such as HIV).

So, maybe there is something beyond all that of which is handed us to take care of the symptoms when we still rather ignore the cause.

Some of the worst diseases come from some of the most War-Torn countries, and from the most worn-torn generations of them. Mental illness in America is higher of the generation of children stemming from WWII and Vietnam and Gulf War and now the 9/11 war Veterans and protestors and civil rights timelines and children of Jewish WWII survivors and more.

If somebody did a study beginning now of the refugee’s of Syria and followed the children from say 5-10 years of age to mid-thirties, I bet it would be the best study conducted of this to date. Except there is one factor. Syrian refugees pretty much know that they are and can leave. There is hope among the children. The war there has always believed to soon end.

But we could take a second study in somewhere in a part of the continent of Africa that not only is in freshly bloomed war today but has been for decades and there is, let us be honest here, likely less chance of an end anytime soon. The children that were 5-10 years old almost three decades ago could be a study as well as beginning with a comparison to Syrian and American children of 5-10 years old today and through until their mid-thirties.

Each individual household in America is a harder breakdown. As the subject of more recent studies go, some kids got spanked and turned out fine, some not so much and are dying from heroin now. Child molestation turns often to drugs and prostitution in America, this is fact. Raised in a domestic abuse household creates a higher chance for a male to become an abuser and a female to marry into it. But the overall is a lot harder to pinpoint a trauma comparison rather than an individual basis. And demographics vary widely and would affect (single parenthood, drug parents, parents with mental depression or other, white neighborhoods, Chicago black neighborhoods, black & White north vs black & white south as also East/West and Middle, gang territory or not, public school vs private and so forth. Children in war-torn countries or  the continent of Africa (whichever portion at the time is more the same demographic affected at that time/Say Somalia, Syria, And say North or South Korea, (all in comparison of America) are more likely to be much more the same demographic in about every category (same religion/both parents/same type and level of schooling, same type of trauma).

However, the studies within America childhood trauma alone could be amazing in vast directions and large enough groups. It would take a lot for one group to conduct all of these studies and you would want it to be all one group, or all of the same groups working on each of the same projects for their own varied outcome to be evenly found. Five different groups doing five different area’s will only come out with five different results with a few similarities, even if enough of them. In America, each home is a bit overall different where-as in or from a war-torn country the overall situation is THE focus issue. Not too many Jewish child survivors of WWII think back to that one time their sister got a better birthday present than they did over being in a concentration camp.

Sadly there are several situations of childhood trauma to choose from to study, as well as compare and all within the same generations of technology and knowledge. But starting as an adult now, in understanding your own past we could begin as individuals and with these types of studies done now to begin not only to understand but to learn to unwind the tangle of issues and to begin to make better decisions and fewer mistakes, maybe even just mistakes with less weight and less repeat. As far as that part of it goes. Perhaps with better understanding, we could seek care for mental health before it is too late, and even do our best to counter physical health. and, I spent seven months with the time to question myself “I don’t DO bad things, but I KEEP ending up in bad situations. WHY? And why do I make bad decisions? Where am I repeating even when I think I am not and work very hard not to? And then, how can I change this?” I personally have said in life “ok, don’t’ make that mistake” and somehow in a long roundabout way, if it isn’t that exact mistake, it seems to come to another or the same even if another form and from another rout. ALL mistakes are, in the end, the same with just another name. I KNOW better and DO avoid it and yet….so I sat for a LONG seven months and two days meditating on the why, when, where, what, how, (the who being me as regardless of what “happened” TO me, it was ME it KEPT happening to. I was the one who was making the mistakes.I looked back at ALL big and small decisions and ALL big and small mistakes that got me to where I was sitting for those seven months with a lot of time on my hands to think. I was in jail. And this brought me to the NOW. As in what to do now, how to really fix the problems, not just THINK I was? To make better decisions (which was my big come back to focal question).  WHERE I could find in my life that what I had been trying to avoid always became exactly what I did (in one form or another…one mistake for another mistake just like using one drug over another drug way of thought).

None of this, for me, is to lay blame. But to figure out the path of now. It is like trying to stop a wound from bleeding but not knowing where the bleeding is coming from. One you know, you can usually make the fixes needed. This is not a Ted Talk of “Here is an un-fixable problem” in my view, it is a map to give you directions to an eventual destination. This is only one of the very few pieces/studies and more coming out about how much your childhood (and even further in some cases) affects you now and your future. It is an understanding and an understanding is only a beginning.

I listened to Roxane Gay say “I wrote myself back together.” My writing is a way of creating a map for me. This is why much of my writing is memoir literature, Literary realism, though I have a love and a secret side of mythology, and literary fiction. But even in my fiction, each piece is a part of my own map on another level and sometimes mythology rings a little close as well, being some sort of connection felt.

And, though not everyone has a seven-month jail stint to stare at a wall and give yourself time to think and reflect real hard, perhaps some quiet time in a  cabin and a clean notebook and a favorite pen could work for some people. And maybe writing isn’t the way of everyone. But I do believe in people finding their therapy. Their passions separate from that even if intertwined, and I am pro-actual therapist as sometimes having someone who can make decisions or help to lead you to better ones when you aren’t in a place to do them all by yourself is exactly what you might need. And a therapist might be a one time gig in your life, or an on and off someone to talk to in confidence, and lack of judgement. Whatever fits you. As adults we might have scars from our childhoods. We might NEED understanding. But we also have to DO something. And creating our map from where it started to show us where we are going in in our hands and tools like the talk in this video are available to us.  Each person’s “map” might be different and done in their own way. Mine has been reflection and writing for the most part. And I will always have questions that can’t be answered or answers that can’t be understood. That takes a bit more of our own mapping of finding ways to work with that.

In doing this and in learning how the childhood affects adults, perhaps the cycles can eventually be broken. Less domestic abusers, less domestically abused. Less prostitution or loss to drugs, less mental instability and less many small mistakes in our decisions that can add up to very large consequences and heartache.

And perhaps not. And likely not all “issues” will ever go away Or all trauma “healed.” But here, this video is a puzzle piece of understanding and my commentary is only an idea.

TED

Published on Feb 17, 2015

Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on.

#PediatricianNadineBurkeHarris #NadineBurkeHarris #childhood #ChildhoodTrauma #MentalIllness #MakingMistakes #Health #Decisions #ToolsforSelfCare #Ideas #TedTalk #Life #Lifetime

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Georges’ face says it all.

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This is the face George has after Joe has left back to work yesterday afternoon. It pretty much matches my mood, too.

So, Joe works away for four weeks at a time, home for two.

And most people will say “awww, that must be hard.”

When really it is not in most cases. The day before he leaves…really the second it hits our last weekend together (he always leaves back on a Tuesday) my mood starts to shift a bit for it. And the day he leaves – especially when suddenly the presence of him is missing loudly. That is when it is hard.

But for the most part, the nearly three years of dating, and over two years of living together and with this schedule, it works so fantastically for us. It gives each of us time to miss each other…something that is needed in EVERY relationship if you ask me.

Maybe some people do well or best without ever being apart, but I know that I am not that person and I don’t think Joe is, either if given a true chance.

Personally, I am one who likes a lot of by myself time. So a lot of someone around never works well for me. The two weeks he is home we are pretty much always together which is perfect but would be burn out if longer, too.

Of course if schedules were different there would be, or much more effort to be, more time apart each day.

I dive into my work and a schedule that doesn’t always fit him, frankly. And certainly doesn’t leave any time for him at all. I think he’d feel the neglect of it if he were around more often. The way of our schedule now he doesn’t get that chance. Now, if we ever change this schedule of ours, we will adjust…as one does. But I love having a month straight to my work and then two weeks completely away from it as well. It isn’t just my relationship with Joe that works with this schedule, but my relationship with my work which does. I think it takes me a few days to warm up back into my works as well but once I am in…I am in, and flipping in and out every day at 5:pm wouldn’t work for me at all. The last few days of my work month I seem to head back to the surface and begin adjusting. I even begin adjusting toward work before Joe even leaves. Craving it by then…the time I’ve stepped away from it gives me time to miss it, too.

In that I give myself a down day before and after vacation to myself…not to him, not to work. Just 100% to myself (albeit some pet care time and attention, too…they can be needy but still not as needy as real children.)

I don’t have interruption in my work month, or stopping at 5:pm for dinner. Or getting into conversation with Joe during dog walks when my mind is completely wrapped around a piece of my work. And this works for me.

But it sure doesn’t make the parting any easier, either. Suddenly like a big something’s missing enters the home for a moment. I pull my work out that has been put away. The table suddenly loaded with books again. I do a deep cleaning. I take George for a walk. I make a dinner for one. I comfort myself a little in a TV series I’ve been watching which I have zero time to catch Joe up on for him to join…nor do I wish for him to join it. Some things I also want no one else’s opinion or input, or care, like or dislike. This is my time.

We all need our own time. Not enough seem to take it.

And when he first enters…we always call this Day 1, is a little of an off day as well. He personally is always going through a “coming-back” himself. society, driving, lights, noise, traffic, things, a lot of people after being isolated on a boat for a months time. He takes time to adjust…for his knee to stop bouncing at a table. For him to settle. We run tons of errands because he just has to “do things” that first day. And the sudden presence in the house is like a home of guests…the puppy is extra bouncy, the cat not settling, a person to walk around, an energy that can be draining for a person who’s been used to a quiet for her month alone, suddenly someone steps in and it is all gone. I find myself exhausted by the first night we go to bed, and even then my body turns to adjusting to another body there all of a sudden. It takes adjusting, keeping our sealegs on. I literally fear changing it drastically (I would like sections of longer time for moments and we will soon get that as well as soon the choice of month on-month off schedule rather than four and two, all that I am ok with. I am just not sure I’d ever be ok with a 9-5 ish weekends off only life.)

We watched the movie This is 40 last night, the first time for both. And laughed at a little close to home jokes of much of it…realizing in deeper concrete how much we personally do not want children in our unconventional lives. We are asked about this…children, marriage, settling into one place, at least every other breath it seems.

That is not us. Conventional and our names don’t fit on the same page of the dictionary at all.

The awesome thing in our lives is the love and support we give each other for our careers. He my writing, and me whatever the heck he is doing at the moment (his kind of work can change companies, always changes locations, and more, plus he always has big offers and opportunities to field and his career is a constant climbing ladder the past two years and pretty much the next two so always a bit of change). I’ll admit I feel that I get more support from him full on while I usually give my unasked for (he says always asked for) advice, but in the end we both have a “What do YOU want to do?” way of it. And the best part is both of what we do always works with the other. Even the recent “So how’s Dubai sound for five years?”

I LIKE being alone for four weeks. I LIKE having time to miss him. Because let me tell you…me? I would get SO mean when I need space if I didn’t get it…and seeing another person daily probably don’t give it to me even if large chunks of the day were to myself. The day is never long enough. But at the same time I LOVE when he is home, I love his smell, his presence, his voice (after coffee). It has a little give and take I guess, pro and con, or whatever to it all. Either way. And it seems the “con” always really has a pro to it…like the chance to miss each other/appreciate each other more because of it. But neither of us are 9-5 people in any way shape or form. And after four weeks on a boat with five other men I am sure it helps him appreciate me a little more. I am not the easiest person. Lord knows.

– I’ve tried leading men to a more unconventional life before and it never works…even if they think they are, they haven’t been. And whatever their gig is never has room for me, or mine never seemed important (Joe couldn’t think my work more important) or where we needed to be and when never worked out. Or, God, children. Joe has had the same issues in his experience. Not one to stay in West Virginia after the Navy, his then g/f wasn’t one to leave it. –

If kids were involved I wouldn’t want this….at all. I know most of the other men Joe works with have children and a wife at home. I couldn’t do that…they wouldn’t see their father enough. The pets adjust. George did have three off-days the last trip. Typically I just settle into a calm, quiet, we take our walks, and soon we find the rhythm for our month. And then again, if kids were involved, this mommy would need a lot more writing retreat away time. lol

Anyway, this past trip together had a lot of realizations of how unconventional we are, or want to be, or how people see us at times.

We’ve now grown to a deer in headlights look forgetting how to answer when people ask us “Where are you from?” It always takes a moment and we both answer “Galveston Island.”

Well, I am sipping coffee, my work is back in order and ready to begin tomorrow. My next month laid out (I did a major plan in December and this year’s work is pretty set but monthly needs a go over)the home is clean and I now have a new wool sweater because Joe shrunk his favorite one. It is now my favorite one. lol It is cold outside and February but my cold in the South isn’t near as bad as what Joe is heading up to on the river up to Chicago. Poor February Aquarius raised in the north baby that he is. I am toasty in our home. Just missing sharing the couch sitting on opposite ends with books in hands and feet tucked under the other person to keep warm with a cat curled up, a comfy blanket and a dog at our side.

Georges’ face says it all.

#Relationships #Love #Puppylove #WorkLifeBalance #Work #Vacation #Joe #PegandJoe #IAmNotJoesSecretary #TheStoryofGeorge

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Winter as a Habit.

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Yesterday Joe and I experienced a spring-like day after a very cold and gray two-plus months. Even the other sunny days had been cold and windy, but this day was pretty spot-on perfect for the ideal spring like weather. We both knew it was just a peak at what is to come at the end of the very dark tunnel of February. In the last days of January, we were not to be dumped into believing that winter was over, but we were welcoming in what sunshine and fresh air and treat of eventual promise we could get. We grabbed our bikes, after a small repair on mine, we took off for a really good ride. Now…we may not be in snow-filled Iowa where a friend of mine rides but the winter of the south has been cold none-the-less and with the streets still slick enough even if just from rain (and some ice) puts our bikes out of commission unless we change up tires. (Something I have no desire to do) but the cold and face-biting wind that stings your face and eye’s unless you are bundled beyond the ability to control your bodies heat is enough to put us out even on dry streets. Swinging down a hill especially bites right through even the warmest biking pants I could find-doubled up. My toes were cold even with the tricks of cyclists tried out. So…not too much riding has happened lately and yesterday the two of us took the opportunity to hit the roads, feel the breeze, and catch up on a little sunshine.

Aside from the fact that I struggled so hard at the start, I didn’t feel a bit of pain and only gained endurance as I went. Today my ass hurts a little bit, though, even sitting down on stuffed furniture was a reminder that I rode yesterday after some time not riding.

We later took the pup for a long hike and while doing so we were able to actually hold some conversation (aside from the grilled cheese and milk shake splitting we did on our bike ride), and I observed that I was glad we had gotten out and not allowed the cold winter to take us down in habit. Keeping us bundled inside our warm and comfortable home in pjs for the day or espying even to activities such as museums or bookstores, usually reserved for the hottest escape of summer or lately the coldest dreary of winter. We switched our plans around and played flexible and did not succumb to what can become habit. Hugging is good and and all, but the good sun filled even almost warm days should not be forgotten and allowed to pass by because winter has become habit.

It is easier to create bad habits and allow what is a good habit to overflow to bad even than to snap out of the regular- the habit- and take advantage of the chances we get.

Staying healthy through winter (as any other time) becomes an important virulent watch. This year it seems perhaps more than others.

I have only had one flu in my life, a few years or so ago (2013) when I worked for a business which had me in contact with a lot of people and things touched from them (packages) and ended up in the emergency room with H1-N1 virus to boot.

At 36 years old, I’ve not had any others and I never want to experience that again.

To keep Joe and I healthy, I send him off to work (away on a boat for a month at a time) with a package of fish oil, glucosamine (lovely, age, isn’t it?), a jar of my spice mix of cayenne/turmeric/cinnamon, and I am sure on the boat that he understands the importance of garlic, broth, and cayenne every day, of which is supplied well. Along with local honey, tea, lemon, and cinnamon as well. And of course warm socks and whatever can keep him the driest at work…hard to do when working on the river in winter in driving rain at times and the river water doesn’t do well for not breeding infection…one little cut never seems to heel out there where the salt water of Joe’s true heart seems to heal all things.

At home I have been plying us with at least a mug a day of a mixture of loose leaf tea’s/honey/lemon/cinnamon/fresh thyme all steamed together and a bit of mint to boot. Another mug of my home made broth/cayenne/ and heavy on the garlic poured over an extra clove. And garlic in much of what I cook or even some roasted cloves on the side (I love love love them).

On top of scrubbing hands often, especially after going out anywhere in public (I don’t do anti-bacterial anything) and a lot a lot of water.

Plus I go on my little house cleaning frenzies.

But aside from the things spoken of above, sunshine, fresh air, exercise and opening the lungs is a really important part of good health as well. Even the cold stay in days still have us hiking/walking with the pup as he doesn’t really allow us to spend a day never stepping foot out. And a good sunshine bike ride is soaking in the health the sun offers us naturally, fresh air we seem to crave, and the blood flowing. And yoga helps no matter the weather.

And to boot, a healthy winter is not all about the physical, but also the mental. That bike ride does something for that, too. Seeing sights, making us happy. Even laughing. Our moods were lighter. We took my new camera out and about and enjoyed some hobby activity together. And then there is just sharing healthy time as a couple together. Relationship health as a bonus.

Habits can allow bad health. Staying in on a sunny warmer day after 30 (or more) in a row of cold wet and miserable weather is simply a bad habit. Life wasted. And a good dose of natural medicine thrown in the trash so to speak.

To keep a healthy mind, body, and soul when the days are gray and dreary is to simply keep a good attitude about that, too. The mugs of warm and healthy “potions” as Joe calls them help, a lot of water, some time put aside for yourself in yoga, and really learning about the life of hygging are some important ways to keep sane…and healthy of body until Spring comes to release us.

The article is not yet available to share online, but the magazine Breathe has a great piece in this months issue (available at Barnes & Noble) called Edge of Winter for some good keep healthy information.

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Vacation 4.

Blackchow

Vacation day 1. We woke, sometime afternoon. We began looking online while still in bed for the best pancakes. We somehow ended up in a pub having scotch eggs and bloody marys. I still don’t know how that happened. And never did get my coffee. At one point we pulled into a parking lot to find our way and I realized my sweater was on backward…I do a quick switch and Joe says “of all the things I’ve done that I could have gone to jail for, this is what I’ll go to jail for” seeing an empty waiting school bus had freaked him out that we might be near a school with me undressing in the car. We were not.

Vacation day 2. I already don’t remember.

Vacation day 3. We ran odd errands to get my eye exams done…I walked out in fear of how many people there seemed to have the flu. We went for queso and I left to wash my hands asking Joe to order me a water for the moment, get back and he “accidentally” ordered me a margarita. So I guess I accidentally drank one. We then hit the movies and watched The Greatest Showman, for which I felt ALL THE FEELS, and when telling Joe that, he said the same…almost made him cry. We had icecream and walked a new area. Poked around -at night- a beautiful church checking out the architecture and then a bank next to it that also had really neat architecture…somehow didn’t get arrested. Driving back we discovered a concert, we stopped at the concert…last two in before sold out. Unexpected, random, and fun. We also decided we are too old not to have some sitting time at concerts anymore.
Weirdly, on the way home, I swear to god not high….even second hand…I had the first craving in 15 years for cocoa puffs cereal in cold milk. If you know me then you know this is far from the type of food I’d ever crave. (My first craving was married to my first husband and he had told me no, I told Joe this, who laughed and said “WTFuck tells you no? And is he still alive?”, of course, reasons this is an ex-husband.) We made that happen. Upon getting home we had other things we were putting in the freezer and Joe asked: “Do you want to leave the potstickers out to have some?” I said sure. Later, after showers, we are getting into bed and he mentioned if I still wanted pot stickers. I said, sure, he doesn’t move, I say “oh, did you think I was going to make them?” He went and made them, we ate pot stickers in bed.

Vacation day 4. Today we managed to get taxes done…yay.
And somehow I got a new camera and a couple of lenses. Not sure how that happened. It had nothing to do with the taxes.

Also, as much as George adores Joe, I am apparently still the favorite. My heart is warmed.

Not sure what tomorrow will bring but a week and a half to go on vacation.

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Flu Schlmu.

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Flu season is flourishing and I “ain’t havin it”.

Joe said everybody on the boat had the flu or pneumonia except him, so him walking into the house is like a deep scrub, hazmat cleansing in my opinion.

I have not been in public a whole lot this month but the few times I have been there are door handles touched, grocery carts and so forth.

I am all about the hand cleaning on the regular basis, times a hundred now.

I also make what Joe always calls my potions.

I have been making one daily mug of bone (chicken) and vegetable broth with a lot of seasoning and spices such as heavy turmeric, cayenne, and pepper, and heavy on the garlic cloves then stepped over another fresh garlic clove per mug.

Another is a thyme, tea, honey, lemon, cinnamon mixed mug at least once daily. All preventative. Along with the hand washing and extra in-home cleaning and trying to avoid the public more than truly necessary. Which has worked fine for me staying huddled in the warmth and comfort of my home with simmering broths on the stove creating an amazing smell and a pup keeping my feet warm while I worked on my first month of the year. A very busy work time for me, especially this year. Not in places to go, but in many things to do. Joe has been gone for four weeks of time since the day after Christmas but most of the men he works with have children at home and those kids sure do bring home the germs.

Perhaps my potions won’t do the trick, alongside pretty over all healthy eating, extra veggies and high in vitamin C fruits, getting as much sunshine and fresh air walks as possible (and yoga) and being over all two healthy fairly young people and staying away from too much of the public crowd. But I sure do not want this flu.

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Cat’s, dog’s, and Christmas.

Joe will be home about the strike of midnight Wednesday to Thursday night. And he is no Cinderella. lol. But I love my pumpkin. Even if he will walk in after a 15 hour long drive wearing the most comfy things I still can’t get rid of….they are towel shorts. Like for real.

Our Christmas vacation will begin, our first time being able to celebrate together in three Christmas’s. Though he leaves back to work only the day after.

We decided not to get a tree in our RV this year, between a cat who is best on doing exactly what you tell her not to do…as you tell her not to do it, while staring right at you in a defiant “Make, me, bitch” glare before swiping with her paw.

And with a 5 and some weeks old puppy who barrels through like he’s a delicate flower in his mind but truly a bull in a China shop in reality. Last year we had sat our little live tree (later planted) on top of our dashboard (it’s huge) but this year we have a cat AND a dog who thinks he’s a cat and the dashboard is a favorite place for them (my windshield is that of a glass sliding door in a  house with dogs, now. the nose prints are constantly being cleaned). Other than that our RV does not offer much space for a tree of any size. Our dining table is used much too much for actual dining to be a place, I can’t spare the counter space with all of the cooking I do, and my desk is yet to be installed. And the way an RV’s floor space is, there isn’t much to spare and still get around each other…adding now stepping over a 60 pound and still growing dog often right in our way. However on top of that each time we leave I would have to move it behind the safety of a closed door out of reach of a puppy who loves sticks, and bark, and would surely love a tree no matter how well he does at not destroying things…as he doesn’t at all except for that one time with the roll of toilet paper….he is still a puppy, and my first to not kennel train, so shoes, books, and some obvious temptations get put away.

For a week afterward even the remains of that one roll of toilet paper (not the shredded mess part) was left out so each time he touched it he was told no, and when we would leave if we came back and he had he was told no while we held it in our hand. For this boy mama’s No is all it takes. Joe says “I understand his pain.”

The females of this RV seem to definitely be the attitudes, while the males seem to be the relaxed, easy, go-lucky and at times the “stay out of her way” types. Unless you make joe stand in a line at a crowded place or put his back to the restaurant in a noisy restaurant rather than against the wall….easy-going fly’s straight out the window into agitated wound up knee bopping stress-mess.

At least they understand. The less ‘training’ I have to do the better. Lord knows I’ve put in a lot of training over my years.

So, Joe and I have a two week Christmas time smack in December vacation and I have planned the best of it. Since we aren’t getting a tree this year, we are visiting every tree we can as we cross through town after town. We plan on being the goofy tourists and taking fun pictures, mostly with our pup, in front of every tree often set within some small or large town square. I mean if you don’t have one yourself…just borrow everyone else’s.

We will drive and stop and walk about to check out the lights and enjoy hot coco often. We plan on having George with us just about every time. I really need to find him a santa hat.

I, of course plan to find a Santa for George to take his picture with…because I am THAT person. Joe rolls his eye’s and say’s “no” (it’s cute when he actually attempts telling me no, which even he knows is never going to work) when I want to do dorky things with the pup (I am still looking for goulashes and a rain coat) but each time it’s something that gets a smile out of him later. He always does enjoy the results.

So, this and the last are the vacations when eating healthy just isn’t my worry. I should a bit more than I did during Thanksgiving break (which was actually the first half of the month of November for us) but the cold weather and the season called for potato soup and turkey dinner with all the trimmings and cioppino with too much buttered crusty bread and muffins galore and too many desserts even though I am not a big dessert person, trying to fit in many traditional and new recipes for the season into a two week period of Joe-Home time….by the end of it I never wanted to see a rich food again. and the past four weeks have been back to normal for me. One of my things is I have always suffered from chronic fatigue and anemia, arthritis which can make a person feel like a constant flu body ache so I eat for my health and the things to counter those issues. But this next two weeks is Christmas, and then it’s on to the new year when good health can truly come back. Now, my eating plans for Christmas are not quite as bad. My soup will be my famous “Makes Everything Better Soup”, a soup I grew up with called “Garbage soup”, best done from boiling down the carcass (with much meat) of a turkey, veggies and seasonings. Then straining the broth, shredding meat, cutting up and adding veggies and then from there you can leave it as it or add some potato if you wish, or rice and with the rice even some tomato sauce to make one soup into various types. I prefer the plainest first version. It makes the house smell so good to make the broth and then the soup and truly warms the soul. If you feel a slight bit under the weather I use that broth in a coffee mug boiled with extra garlic cloves and extra hot pepper (often a red Thai or a cayenne) and down the magic. I’ll be buying up extra turkeys while in season and making extra broths and soups to stock the freezer. Typically I drink a cup of broth (I make garlic in it always as well, and always have cayenne) a day anyway.

I swear to God it works.

Though I don’t smoke, drink (not much anyway) or have ever done drugs much less any kids so I will age better than my mother did, and her mother before her as the way they both aged has always been a fear of mine…but thankfully at 36 there are still barely a glimpse of a fine line, I still have good healthy skin. But I HAVE gone through times in my life when I saw life takes it’s toll and getting onto a broth daily, and a LOT of water and healthy eating (not strict by any means and dammit still too much cream and sugar in coffee), and sunshine (no tanning) and fresh air made a huge difference, even made what was beginning disappear. I don’t actually fear gray hair (in fact I am slightly bummed I didn’t get my mothers and grandmothers prematurely gray) or aging, I just wish to not age before my time which I always felt both my mother and grandmother had done, and I wish to age a bit more…gracefully in the sense of not FEELING old and stiff and hunched over, both of which also runs in the family. So at 36, when I look back at my family line…as a woman who technically takes very much after physically….I am pretty happy. AND no hunched up shoulders, a nice straight back (thanking my grandmother for every slap on the hand I got for slumping at the dinner table). But I also try for it and don’t do dumb things like smoke and do drugs and heavy drinking (my grandmother only smoked cigarettes…. as far as I know and had two kids, my mother did like 20 years of hard core drinking , cokaine, and 40 years of smoking, plus decided that breeding like a sow was the way to go in life). I simply don’t want to FEEL old before my time. And even then I still want to FEEL healthy.

Anyway, the broth works some magic, I swear.

However (I am always losing my train of thought), during this Christmas season I do have cookie baking planned, muffins making, and aside from the soup making I’ll be doing,  our Christmas dinner is a huge seafood spread…but I am sure there will be enough butter across the table to not actually count as very healthy.

Aside from food, we do have bike riding, hiking, and dog walking. And when I say dog walking I mean typically we cover 4 miles a day. Not huge but for a growing puppy not bad. I have some neat bike rides planned out for where we will be along the way. I am always one for not getting bored and I love enjoying good scenery. In some places I often ride to hunt down things the town is known for…like murals, nature spots, or say in Galveston of course the tree carvings would be something to see when visiting a new place. Every place is known for their own little something…the Natchez trail, New Orleans houses and gardens, The Florida Key’s. There is always stuff you can entertain yourself on a  bike ride with…and sometimes it’s just eye’s to the road ahead and ride out the miles until your legs ache…and then a little past that.

I trail run anytime there are good dirt and preferably hill/mountain area’s to do so. I don’t run on concrete because I really want my knee’s in another 20 years. And I hike any chance I get…an activity that as once a sport of mine and for which Joe wasn’t too keen on before we ever went but once I got him out he was loving it….though I swear to God now if he whispers the words “sore feet” or “Blister” or Are you ready to turn back” I just threaten to knock him off a mountain and tell him “This is what keeps our country safe?!” Referring to his Navy days.

He’s been a fantastic sport, though, even when I decided to make things interesting and take it back to my days as a young girl and be able to identify EVERYTHING. Birds, tree’s, plants, flowers, animals, fish, tracking, paw prints, and poop. Yep, poop. I even got a book on it.

Besides, you never know when things might help in survival skills. Or whatever.

…While Joe is usually discussing the burger joint we had passed on the drive in….

This trip we will drive everywhere playing Christmas music and singings them at the top of our lungs.

We will enjoy hot coco and fresh from the oven cookies (of course I have to have some warm soft Sugar cookies but also have Joe’s favorite cranberry oatmeal, I don’t think I’ve eaten a Christmas cookie in about ten years). I am sure on our long bike rides I will find that Joe slipped a few into our pack. Next to the granola, the home made bars, the oranges and banana’s and the jerky. That just means I’ll push us one mile longer for each cookie he snuck in, though…but don’t tell him I said that.

We have a few “house chores” to do along the way as well. I have a couple of lighting changes, some flooring work, and some painting work plus I think some fittings on a few water connections are getting changed. Even with RV life, there is always much to do. But, playing some music, having a soup going on the stove to warm us up later will make it pretty fun, even with me usually bickering at Joe about something or another at some point about something mechanical or safety or saying something like “Well, if you lose a fucking finger I seriously am going to say I told you so.” My kinda-dad as I call the father of my two youngest sisters, recently gave me advice never to tell a man something like that, I told Joe about it and he said “that advice is a lot too late for you.” Recently I was parked next to a couple in a bit of a close space and while sitting working at my indoor dining table they were out fixing something with their plumbing/tanks, and the husband was very bickery…I typed a message to Joe about listening to what I would sound like if I were a man….he laughed. I said “I could never date that.” This also reminds me of the time someone said to us “RVing sounds so romantic” to which I replied “It’s mostly about unclogging and cleaning your poop tank.” I once did have a therapist tell me I was very “un-romantic.”

I have all of the best Christmas movies lined up to watch, cuddled up with Joe and the pets and super warm blankets. I am ready to do this season right.

Today though I am putting my work away getting ready, doing laundry and a deep clean (I prefer to do before vacation begins) and wondering how the hell an RV actually takes so much to clean (when you do a deep cleaning you find more dust-hiding places than you’d imagine…and a lot of odd switches don’t help), soaking beans and already making broth, hitting the grocery so we have an immediate at home breakfast the morning after Joe gets home. And still procrastinating on sewing a button onto a pair of pants I promised him I’d do…three months ago. (He said last trip home that he knows how to sew a button on and if he really wanted the pants he could manage it himself or take them to a seamstress, so it’s not exactly that I do all the domestic type stuff, I actually have the pants in a pile of a few things I have been intending to do some things on and try to get stuff like that to of the way of vacation times because we never actually have much time during them. But I am a fantastic procrastinator.)

At the same time I realize that as soon s he leaves the new year basically begins and so does an entire new year of work, clean slate from this year and FULLY planned year of 2018 so I am excited for Christmas vacation AND new works.

Tonight will be my last night to watch a little Grey’s Anatomy before my zone turns from girl-life into having to consider someone else’s TV/movie interests. The last night George gets to sleep in the bed, though he will be replaced only by nearly the same snoring and not by much less furry cuddler. I am looking forward to the gumbo Joe is making that the Pennsylvania boy has learned on the boat from his cajun co-workers who he lives with for a month at a time.

And again that time comes when I thought Joe would need to feed the dog, brush him, be the one to walk him to have George used to him and share his puppy-loyalty…but quickly learned visit number one that it doesn’t matter at all, when Joe is home he has all of the loyalty of both cat and dog without an ounce of the effort.

Fuckers.

And so Christmas begins…..

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Political thoughts today.

Today on our own Democratic party:

Other says “Our Best in all Fields are being toppled.”

I say; If “our best is being toppled” we need to have a much better bests.

Expect better or we will never get better.

Hold to our own platform, values, and core beliefs and what we stand up for.

Listen to the ‘hers’ and ‘hims’ that come forward. Listen.

You can’t claim #MeToo and then say something like “5 women accusations aren’t even true…or that bad.”

We arne’t Moore….we are better. There is no comparing what we are to them but only what we are to our values.

The Republicans have long built upon greed, sexual misconduct, guns, and fear mongering, xenophobia, homophobia, racism. But we are not the republicans. We can not say “but we aren’t as bad as….” because there is still a slot filled in the category.

If this is what can make us fear for our party, it only means we need a stronger party. More amazing candidates running all over the country and for very seat big and small.  Just a grocery store clerk? Well guess what? Franken was just a comedian once. In fact our own hypocrisy has had him in the talks for the 2020 presidential running after bashing currently Trump for being a TV show host. It showed a flaw in many ways and sadly many flaws now because we have victim shamed, we have given reason and cause, we have allowed, made excuses, and compared to someone “much worse” because there currently happens to BE someone to compare to. But as long as we allow sexual assault there will always be sexual assault. But how do we support #MeToo while literally silencing our own problems?

In some aspects what Franken has been accused of (and others that have done it) it doesn’t really seem “that bad” and for a “guy who’s long been a comedian” but the thing is…much has been in a virtual “work place” and if we were women of that work place we’d feel pretty violated. And regardless, it’s sexual harassment. Even assault. And where DOES that end? Where IS the line of “not so bad”?

Sure, Franken has done good things for our party. But at this time a person of better morals and values and conduct could have that seat he has. Could be on the track to presidency that he might be on. And that person could even be a person of color or a woman or a woman of color or even our newest growth of transgender….but we still actually come down to having an old white man who obviously believes he can “take what he wants without asking”. I don’t care who’s in office and the color of their skin or their sex or sexual orientation, but what I do care about is that our party and platform is not weakened and cheapened by a simple allegation…which was truth and admitted to and even proclaimed disgusting by the accused. If this is what topples us…we have a much bigger problem. We don’t have enough people in college learning to be politicians. We don’t have enough kids in high school who even consider it. We don’t have enough non-college educated, skill trade, working class people who believe that THEY have a chance Problem #1…one of the largest reasons being the money it takes to run #problem #2.

We aren’t encouraging people to run. We don’t have enough blue states because we aren’t allowing people to believe they have a chance. The #Pantsuit and #Indivisible groups have been amazing at bringing SOME more to this cause. But it’s not yet there. We must do better. And to tell your little girl, your poor welfare raised son, your child of color, Muslim, or of sexual ‘differences’ that they will have a much harder fighting chance than a white male comedian with a list of accusations really…shows where our party stands Problem #3 and #4.

It may not be “as bad as” but it IS existing.

And if it takes a sexual assault to topple a party…we shouldn’t have sexual assaults happening, so thus we should not allow them. And if the Republican party manages to actually practically BUILD on theirs from Trump to Moore, so be it. We must find OTHER ways to topple them regardless of their cult-following voters.

I will not vote for a man who has the accusations so as NOT to have a republican in office. Because that makes me into them. In fact, word for word. And I will not be ok with “some sexual misconduct” while protesting against ANY sexual misconduct. Because that makes me a weak link in my party.

If losing one good Democrat seat (which we may fill with another Democrat anyway) breaks us, we were already broken.

We don’t want weak, but we are weak and we will only grow in our strength by being better. Not having the ability to BE accused to HAVE an accusation be WHAT topples us.

No misconducts in sexual harassment, not misconducts in legal issues, no misconducts in money issues. And more. THIS we must all demand better to grow in our strength. We should NOT have a fear of losing ONE because we should be MANY and many good. We should not be handing them the ammunition to topple us.

But here, we did. And by not standing by our own guns….it won’t stop. We won’t be strong.

Who will fill the Senate seat for Minnesota? Who will begin polishing themselves today for a run for presidency in the future? Polish your boots now, because if we need better, we need to start being better. We need to also run, work, build, climb, and create the future of our party.

But it’s hard to do when all the places are taken by sexual assaulting old rich white men. As we’ve claimed of the other side.

I do hope that Al Franken is sincere in his apology. I do understand that people make mistakes. But there is a price to every mistake we make and he deserves his, not petitions by women to help him keep his job that HE created a cause of losing by assaulting women. I hope he learns from this and does great works. But not from within his Senate seat nor in a future run for presidency because at this moment I wouldn’t vote for him even if fighting against Trump. I won’t be them. I won’t lower my standards or be the weakness of my own party. I won’t be ok with some and dating the women of some while fighting against the other. I won’t be that person.

Al Franken has a chance to do great works and great works for our party, against bills, laws, and Republicans, to change the broken pieces of America of which he has now become one of, from many other avenues. And being a rich white male already makes that possible on its own merit. He has some redemption, some apology to those women, and to all women, and to his party for being hypocritical, part of the problem. And he has the rest of his life time to put into fixing that very exact same problem. Which will only grow and strengthen us as a nation. Past prisoners go on to keeping many out of prisons later by teaching them better paths to walk. Perhaps Franken can do so for young men everywhere. And make a safer work place, environment for women everywhere. He owes the country that for weakening the Democratic party and senate.

#AlFranken #Democrat #DemocraticParty #Senate #Minnesota #TheFuture #Platform #Values #MakeAmericaGreat #MeToo #DoBetter #ExpectBetter

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So this is what 36 feels like?

So this is what 36 feels like?

I thought I’d look and feel and just…be old. I don’t feel old, don’t seem old….other than a little soreness here and there. Hopefully I don’t look as old to little kids as I remember 36 looking (or more seeming) to me when I was their age.

I remember the game with my same aged cousin “We are only 10 years away from 20 now!” And now I am closer to 50 than I am to 20.

Where did the time go?

Time is our most precious jewel in the world. Our most valuable. Money can’t buy it. It is what we take for granted the most. The thing we value the least. We can’t earn it, we can’t work for it. We can’t buy it. And we can’t be granted our wish for more of it.

I remember age 16 just emerging into the actual world. I remember age 26 life had already in a decade been lived ten times over it seemed. I remember the bit earlier aged 25 “WTF am I doing with my life? Am I making the right decisions? What do I REALLY want to do? It’s getting too late to make changes, decisions, to not know!” (I wasn’t a not-know, I was just an ever changing kind.) Funny thing is…starting over, changing my mind, my entire life and not always getting it down right or “pat” has happened a few times over since. Now someone tells me “I’m too old to start over, I wasted time, It’s too late” and I’m like. “pfft, kiddo, you’ve no idea.” There is never a too late and you are never unable. Life is a bit different for everyone and thank the gods for it. There is no wasted time in an awesomely lived life, just be prepared for the changes in the course. What else do you have? The entire road ahead of you is all. And that’s a lot to have the power of. Control…not so much. So says the person who LOVES to control everything (well, love/hate).

I’ve been through a lot that knocks a person down, even “holds them back” of which I don’t believe in. I once had an FBI profiler and criminologist ask me “How do you go on after that?” And my answer was “What choice do you have? What else do you do? I have my entire life ahead of me.”

It’s really amazing to think just how much power one has of themselves….can life come at you pretty hard? Can others really try and change you, shape you, tear you down, build you up? Yep…and influence….they all should be a part of that, good and bad. Seek out the good, weed out the bad. But deal with it as it comes, it can not be avoided altogether. Life is life. But where that clay molds is up to you…fold in that life and spin the wheel but it’s all in your hands, how it shapes, turns out, eventually sets in.

According to plan? Pfft….where’s the nearest window? Not one? Those plans will make one for you through which to leap. So says the person who is a planner to the bone. I am also and thankfully always have been the person who can toss their hands into the air and say “Whatever, that was a great ride. It is what it is. I couldn’t control that. Now, where are we going next?”

Is life a fairytale?  Do I want a fairytale? pfft, no….fairytales always have an ending. But funny enough, to get to the happy they went through the bad. But they always get their happy, so remember that.

I remember about a year ago when my hair really became a bit duller, and after years of having it’s own shades which change drastically over time, it seemed unable to find itself now. Funny enough it was at a time I had felt I’d “found” myself more than ever before. (I’ve never truly been a lost type, though it might seem so from the outside on occasion, but there are still moments of far more “clarity”.)

I remember having a bathroom with great natural lighting….btw fuck the bathroom with great natural lighting….every fine line seemed to etch across my face as I watched them in the mirror. Suddenly. I thought “When did this happen?” And more so I thought “How do I stop it?” And even more “How do I reverse it?”

Well, I will say that going from care free youthfulness and as one who is not into chemicals and barely ever did a thing to my face and never knew a pimple until I even hit aged 30 that I have learned a trick or two…however I still stay chemical free and natural.

I am a little less carefree and truly a little selfceare regimen has become a welcome routine. Sometimes a time in my day when I “Slow down” a moment. I’ve made it all a nice thing..wine, candles, music. the whole nine.

My face is a little more than splash & go now but now I take care of her, examine, and watch her changes like reading a story. It always seems a ‘someone else’s story’ and is a shock when I realize it is my own.  Perhaps I am simply less careless than I am carefree. That can be said of a lot of aspects of my life. As much as I “thought” I had not been careless with any of it I can look back now and think…she was so careless, so naive…

I did try makeup for a minute again after that. I’ve never been one for it. Even modeling couldn’t change that. Being very sensitive with my skin and always anti-chemicals and once reading an article about what those powders inhaled did to your lungs  pretty much killed it for me. Plus I could spend that money on books (Also pretty much my excuse for never doing drugs or smoking or drinking much besides how I knew all that made you look, and harmed your body). I was never one who didn’t have better things to do…though far from being one who meant to look drab because she didn’t care. I did groom and dress with thought. Hopefully I never looked drab. Vanity? We all have that, don’t kid yourself. And I have zero problem going under the knife should I get a flabby chin. But I thought I was “old enough to grow up a bit and start looking it” and began spending a little time each day applying makeup. I love it on other women (when done well) and I simply adore the no hair out of place women I see occasionally. I admire the older woman especially who’s care and dedication really shows in such an elegant way. Now, I am not one for hair in a top bun and sweats. I don’t even own sweats. I have always thought wearing yoga pants when not yoga-ing was nonsense…and sneakers when not headed to or from the gym or an activity  that calls for it? Ugh. I do judge and lord I do like a good pair of shoes even as my older feet don’t take the heels so well these days (FYI, Melania wears them all the time because once they are taken off a woman just…stops. This I know. This I do actually truly understand, and our legs and ass always do look much better in a heel. Beauty is pain and pain is beauty. But I’ve fallen in love with the memory foam inserted sperry, I won’t lie. And frankly I walk too much in my travels or, even when I was always walking around down town Galveston Island, for heels. (And the island will kill you in wearing heels as there isn’t a day that goes buy the best in them doesn’t get a heel stuck in a crack or wedged into the road.) And though makeup is called for on occasion (a power suit can’t be worn without it and a dress and jewelry for any occasion but a casual Sunday need a finished package), to be worn the daily just isn’t it for me. My hair is less drab after finding some natural ways to self care to meet the needs of my body now. Honestly, more fresh air, sunlight, sweat a little (I’d not had any or much sunlight or exercise for a time when it became drab) and bone broth has worked wonders.

I am now a year older than my mother was when she had her LAST child (of nine). I have no child and my life is incredibly different than my mothers, though there has been some parallel from time to time.  My little sisters, once babies I very much took care of, have babies.

And I can’t say it enough; Time is our most precious jewel in the world. Our most valuable. Money can’t buy it. It is what we take for granted the most. The thing we value the least. We can’t earn it, we can’t work for it. We can’t buy it. And we can’t be granted our wish for more of it.

I realize how naive I was and I look at other young emerging women and think “They have so much they are about to learn” but at the same time I feel and KNOW I am naive at times still. The difference between your young 20’s and now…and later…in your 20’s you will never recognize naivety in the smallest moment. She’s a perfect stranger to you. A face in a crowd you walk right past at best. I think in your 30’s she’s like a sister who you know but who is distant to you in space and emotion…but you know her more than a recognized neighbor by far, know intimate details and yet not everyday ones. Later  when I am older perhaps she will be the best friend who you laugh over a cup of coffee with…or cry.

Would I change any of it? Any of these past 36 years? Not at all. Not a chance. I could do without a few parts but it’s a few parts of added clay and a little water added to keep the wheel spinning that made me.

I don’t regret lost loves because I would then have to regret not having that love. I don’t regret the mistakes. I don’t regret the stumbles and the start overs. I embrace the chances I’ve had. I cherish every moment and many amazing memories. I recognize my opportunities. I’ve learned that “starting over” isn’t the end of the world. I’ve learned that people who were a perfect fit once aren’t now…it’s not always them, it’s usually me. I’ve learned it’s the small things, the experiences and not the “things”. I’ve learned one can enjoy cake without it being for a wedding or a birthday. And I’ve learned that I’ve yet to learn it all.

I’m at a time when everything from my life story is in a category of Retro and even Vintage now. But I am also at a place in my life when those things mean something good when I find it. And so perhaps….

And again and again I’ll remind myself; Time is our most precious jewel in the world. Our most valuable. Money can’t buy it. It is what we take for granted the most. The thing we value the least. We can’t earn it, we can’t work for it. We can’t buy it. And we can’t be granted our wish for more of it.

So this is what 36 feels like…

#HappyBirthdayToMe #OctoberSeven #Libra

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