Monday, August 21, 2017

10 Giants - John Paul Jackson (J1466)

10 Giants - John Paul Jackson (J1466): What giants are you facing? Joni looks back at one of John Paul Jackson’s most talked about programs, “10 Giants We All Must Face.”

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The This-Shows-ME, Scripture

A dear friend of mine has what she calls a 'life Scripture' : its one where - when you read it - no question! it defines her  She has even made a posterboard that has photographs of her living out this verse throughout her lifetime! ... So I was just now reading My Morning Offering, an e-devotional, & the Scriptures were ones I'm very familiar with ... except ... except today I found myself thinking, 'Oh yes that's me too!' And that was when I realized -- THIS IS MY LIFE VERSE, ISN'T IT?! THE LIGHT SWITCHED ON! I don't always have all of it (I'm referring to the end part of it) BUT here it is, to help me navigate and not crash, especially when I do so before I'm affected negatively! And so, without further ado, here it is, now -- ""For I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me."
Philippians 4:11b-13

Monday, July 24, 2017

My own theory of relativity

I can distinctly recall a better day, standing outside in the evening air, chuckling and nodding my head in agreement at the number of people within a certain group of people that we both knew (& were part of), that I, too, was one of X number in there who could comprehend  Einstein's theory of  relativity ....

.... along similar lines, there are lots and lots of things I understand ... for example: the company my father worked for had a terrific way to handle employee vacations:  they closed the plant for the first two weeks every August and paid everyone :>  

Yet the older I get, there are less and less things that I do understand - especially those that everyone else seems to take in stride as "well ... thats the way it is! how it works!" :  fidget spinners and putting lanterns together and how soap pumps & command hooks work and Cold Stone ice cream and how you have to have a credit card to try a "free" trial on Hulu (and other entities) ....

... and why Charlie Gard wasn't allowed to come over here to get well, and how those same doctors are now jumping up and down now about how much pain he's experiencing, when others in the same community abort babies who feel pain.  

... my own theory of relativity is that I'll just sit here with "Miss" Delilah on my lap, and try to find a video that doesn't annoy me or make me further upset, confused, or in tears, and keep praying inbetween, because --

-- because, well now!, there. are. just. so many things! that I don't understand the relevancy of!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Its growing in MY bathroom

I'll cut to the chase and just tell you:  a couple of years ago, my common-wall neighbor had a leaking toilet that flooded my bathroom so severely, the landlord had to rip up the floor covering.  A. couple. of. years. ago.  I am always home, always in my bathroom - because of that, I always have piles of books, magazines, et al, as a library extension.  This week, I moved all of that out of the way to clean BUT sitting down on the toilet BEFORE I replaced books, I realized - I have black mold growing up the wall from where that flood site was.

With all the signs that God has given me that its time to get out, THIS IS THE LOUDEST!

I'm now questioning anything and everything, from my itchy eyes to my MS-like symptoms - to the crackling and ticking noises I hear in the walls in the extremely cold weather, that sound to me like paper disintegrating - NOT NORMAL HOUSE SETTLING NOISES:  I know what those sound like, and, it ain't that.

Black mold toxicity symptoms include alot of things:  I'm simply listing the ones that I have.  NOTE - remember, I am already disabled, with chronic fatigue///fibromyalgia, and yes I do realize these match those, too. --

dizziness, balance problems  --- Multiple sclerosis like symptoms

Chronic coughing and sneezing, irritation to the eyes, mucus membranes of the nose and throat, rashes, chronic fatigue and persistent headaches.  chronic sinusitis, sore throat
abdominal pain, diarrhea
difficulty with thought processes, memory loss, loss of concentration, confusion, disorientation, “brain fog”
numbness and tingling
temperature regulation problems
excessive thirst and urination
Panic attacks  ...  Anxiety, depression  Difficulty handling any kind of stress

Hair loss

Sensitivity to sound

1. If your symptoms cannot be explained by a known medical condition. Doctors don't know what is wrong with you,consider toxic-black-mold-syndrome.
2. If your symptoms change frequently, either from day to day, week to week or month to month, consider toxic mold exposure.
3. If your symptoms started after a flood in your home or workplace or a move to a new home or workplace.

Feeding A Giraffe at the Nashville Zoo

Monday, June 19, 2017

Why I stubbornly! insist on a real newspaper!!!

A newspaper's main focus is to deliver what they call news ... it sits as still as you are.  The ads are in boxes or slippery circulars that fall out when you pick it up.

Yes, I do read online news, but it literally gives me a headache - its all full of ads that freeze my slow ISP, and yak at me to buy something - or just as bad, flash it over what I'm in the middle of reading!

GIVE ME A REAL NEWSPAPER, DAMMIT!!!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

What that T-shirt says ....

I was looking at a catalog and had to chuckle at what a woman's t-shirt for sale, stated --

Of course they're fake - the real ones tried to kill me!

I was thinking of this with everything I've been going through w/ my healthcare provider, the only brand within 50-60 miles, so - not really giving a consumer too much of another choice!  Found them without any type of medical generosity towards the patient without prescription coverage, and its definitely a for-profit healthcare system! where they nag you senseless with phone calls to get their pound of flesh -- all that said, I was very happy with my N.P., so the greater entity was - tolerable.  Until, that is --

I only found out she had left the practice when I called to make an appointment.  God bless her, what she's doing to try to hold on to the house she has here, but NOT to work for this conglomerate -- 

-- about why I called --

I have Irritable Bowel.  Its completely stress-related, not diet-related, when it goes into overdrive, that is ... Mine began to flare in late April, and I realized "oh ... Mother's Day yeahhh" so I hunkered down to wait it out ... and ... it didn't stop.  It. Did. Not. Stop.  It got to where food was completely unappealing, because I knew it would only cause spasms, pain, and violent sickness.  And so, post Mothers Day but still May, I called --

Thats when I learned that my N.P. had left the practice.  Ok - whom do I have now?!

The answer was that I didn't have anyone at all, actually.  I was told by a nurse to go 16 miles one direction to the emergency room ... which I decided against - not only end of the month and less travel money to drive with, but because I knew it would be a ridiculous waste of time, with them now having additional reasons to bill me, for all the elaborate testing that I knew would tell them, what I already knew - oh, its stress-related (duh ....) .... It took me a bit longer to realize that now leaves me with NO DOCTOR AT ALL, but thats a whole other post - back to this one ---

Towards the end of the week of June 4th - yes, still violently sick - I decided to AGAIN look upon the IBS boards (written by people who actually have this illness), to see if there was anything else I could do for this, that I hadn't thought about - probiotics, yes, I know, I need to start taking them again ... and then, once again, I bunked into mention of diverticulitis (die-vur-tik-yoo-LIE-tis), which is an infection in that part of the body ... Hmmm.  I had that, the winter that the biggest light of my life ever, was extinguished, and it was a horrific experience, but one that must be treated immediately, with antibiotics, as it is an INFECTION:  without antibiotics, you can have a perforated bowel, which is an extremely serious condition!  Grace Slick of the Jefferson Starship nearly died from it.

Hmmm.

I dug in the back of my catch-all drawer and did find a bottle of unfinished antibiotics.  I decided to start taking them the weekend before my birthday - that way, if I had to talk to a doctor, I had a specific start date I could remember!  And, if it didn't make a bit of difference - well, it was only two days worth of antibiotics - I could hear my mother's voice in my head - "Its not gonna kill ya!"  --

It immediately began making a significant difference, this gift of old antibiotics - to where I can see visible results; I can see my body trying to correct and heal itself, even tho it is slightly off-kilter still ...

 It was midweek (of this week) that the whole horrible ugly reality began to dawn on me.  It was worse than not having a doctor - it was worse than being harangued by phone calls -- 

essentially, it was as if they were trying to kill me, by not having someone at least see me locally, assess me - instead, giving me a brush-off over the phone via the nurse by some doctor I've never met in my entire life, without a concern in the world of how I was going to cross that geographical distance ----

The writing has been on the wall, a long time now, that God is telling me to MOVE ON - MOVE FORWARD, JEAN!  THIS IS NOT YOUR PLACE NOW!  .... I get overwhelmed and scared and have more questions than answers, so - no, no, that hasn't happened ... and ... as God does!  GOD SPEAKS MORE AND MORE INSISTENTLY (its Biblical - I recommend you start with the Old Testament, with  passages concerning  Jonah and how he wound-up in the belly of the whale, considering we're talking about tummies! --) --

They tried to kill me, in short (dramatic! but true!) order.  They won't assign me a doctor, and as someone with chronic illnesses (in addition to Social In-Security needing regular updates!), that's untenable ... essentially, like going without decent air, or "BabeDidrikson without a level athletic playing field .....

But - how?!  where?!!!  -- LORD, I'm waiting on your speaking to the spirit ... or email, if you choose to be so modern ;)

This brought a smile to me today ....

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Belshazzar's feast

Perhaps, indeed, the writing has been on the wall for me, for where I reside, for some time now - especially going back as when an 8-year resident - who had done nothing but continual improvements to her apartment, beyond the natural of what would be expected in an apartment that you rent and don't own,  and who was never the type of woman to draw the police or any unsavory persons to this complex -- was evicted:  she couldn't pay her rent because of an injury that occurred on this poorly maintained property, and the landlord wouldn't even give for a "I won't sue you, if you excuse me rent", because - after she was injured - she could no longer earn her steady, decent income that had sustained her throughout her time here ....

... now in the end it all turned out the best for her personally, a miracle, and she's in a much better living location! .... However, the whole thing just left a very sour taste in my mouth:  if they can throw a good woman out on the proverbial streets like that - what about any of us?!  what about myself?!! 

Sad to report, but nothing happens quick OR easy for a woman such as myself, who is poor. easily overwhelmed, and far too often undermedicated, and so any applications for the actually decent public housing in this area - where I could live far more comfortably, on several levels - has never been filled out -- the paperwork being as long as a mortgage, and requires the organization and assembly of reams of other paperwork (even in such a computer age as this one),  that has to be hunted down, collated, et al.

A neighbor who has been here six years just knocked on my door to deliver absolutely devastating news that she is taking far better than me - she is being evicted: this despite an angel's personal check as well as the assistance of a local charity - even that has been rejected, federally-backed rent assistance!  And they are giving her until Monday.  Hearing her tell me all of this is far more frightening than anything that can be delivered to the screens to make us scream around Halloween every year!

My neighbor is calm, for a couple of reasons: Thank God! she has friends that are the cure she needs right now - a couch to crash upon; a place to store her belongings until she gets resettled.  And - another thing:  in her frantic packing of the place she has resided with her two sons (who are staying with there father), she has discovered water seepage through the walls, resulting in black mold she didn't even know was there - and with two young growing children, this is truly awful! - so that's why she's kind of turning this back around and regarding it more of a Mardi Gras, than a Good Friday ....

... and as for me???  The writing has been on the wall, and its only getting darker and darker --

-- in fact, it may even be written in black mold, for all I know.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

City That Never Sleeps 1953 Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

There's A Girl In Texas

Its the strangest thing: as I'm trying to mentally process what's going on within the Interwebs (and - is there anyone on them that I could discuss this, w/o sounding like Gossiping Gertie?!) - the title of a Trace Adkins song came to my mind -- and, as it's appropriate for a title --

There is an early middle-aged mom on Youtube who makes videos - from Texas, yes.  But lately she hasn't been uploading content.  Considering she has a child who is now home for summer, I figured that was it ... but decided to check it out anyway, as she's had a few health issues now and again ... what I did find (on her Instagram) was a slew of supportive messages from others who watch her avidly for hauls, DIY, like so, to 'not listen to those haters and come back, please!'

What gossip?  What haters?!!  What's going on here???!

Even YouTubers are aware of the websites that exist solely to talk about YouTubers, by watchers - and generally in the content of the worst yellow journalism I've ever come across, more vile than even reality tv can be at times!  ... That said - very occasionally certain places provide information you cannot find anywhere else, like --

What gossip?  What haters?!!  What's going on here???!

Oh sure there was plenty: one I said "well duh ..."; one I said "ok, yeah, I thought so, BUT! .."; but the third disturbed me tremendously and is where I'd want to sit down and have a chinwag with another person who avidly watches YouTube -whether or not they're her fan.  

I figure this may be my better option, so here it goes:

The first thing she was being lambasted for was not using her real name.  Well duh ... an awful lot of people do that online, for privacy reasons, mainly - so, no foul here!  In fact I kind of figured that one out, since the name she has been using, is 99% heard as a middle name.

Next, was the whole thing around her recently moving ...Ok, sure: as someone who has both rented and owned places to live in, I kind of cued in that this house she said she was BUYING, was actually more so of a RENTAL.  I didn't get too fluffed about it, attributing it again to the whole privacy type of issue ... but several of these 'online investigators' did.  What they found was that the house she was living in when she  moved (another "I own it" that was really a rental) she had to move because the landlord sold it ... now, I started to get uneasy.  While I didn't like her veering off subject to go into great talking vlogs about the guy next door who was making her life miserable - and while I thought that she was overblowing it, allowing him to chase her out of such a nice place for stuff that was yes annoying and possibly even a shade criminal, but not even anything that would land you on the show Nightmare Neighbor -- so now you're telling me she completely made that story up?!  THAT WAS ALL A LIE, INCLUDING YOUR SO-CALLED VIDEOTAPE EVIDENCE OF JUST HOW BAD THIS GUY WAS, AS WELL AS THAT YOU HAD TO CALL THE COPS ON HIM?!!  

But then there was the coup de gras -- When people started screaming on and ON about her 'fake giveaways', just the title of such things didn't make the least bit of sense to me:  of course she's had giveaways!  No, I haven't won one - well, I have only gone for the ones I REALLY wanted, so I wasn't very often in the running - but - she's always announced a winner, so - c'mon, how can they be --- People had screen shots, account information, etc, etc, etc, that showed a clear line :  that every person who won a giveaway - people who often times were regular commentators who had decent things to say on her channel, so that if you comment-scroll you'd recognize the name - were FAKE ACCOUNTS SHE HAD SET-UP.  So - in other words - she never actually gave anything anyway, only pretended to do so, in a polluted haze of a fake person ;-

Whether or not I like them, personally subscribe to them, I can understand alot of things that happen online - like people protecting their privacy even as they thrust themselves into the "it lives forever!", very un-private, world of the Internet ..... but what I can't understand, can't condone, in any part of my life, is blatant lying.  And - from what I'm reading - that's what we've got here --

-- Let's see how this plays out.  I'm still subbed to her, because sometimes people do surprise you IN A GOOD WAY and make a video - "Ok, true confessions time!" --

But -- you know what, now?  Two things are occurring to me now as I type this out --

A.  Is this why God has kept placing her and her daughter on my heart to pray for them?!!  I figured God knew what that was all about, but I honestly couldn't imagine why someone upper-middle-class, living a life with no chronic illnesses or anything - but sure God ok sure I'll pray +

B.  Would I be able to believe anything that came out of her mouth, now?!  Hmmm .....

My jury is still out .

Monday, May 29, 2017

A movie that asks some very stark & very real questions - of the world!

'Always look for the helpers!' (Mr Rogers)

I was reading the news story about the debacle on the Portland light rail .... and .... there was even some type of so-called 'expert' who gave an advisory on something to the effect of 'do you know if, when, how, to safely react to a person in danger?!' which is ridiculous! because ---

-- when a situation happens, it has to completely and utterly come out of your heart and soul.  If you're not wired, weren't raised, and///or didn't retrain yourself as an adult, then - it sadly just won't.  AND - when a situation suddenly develops (as it did on that train ride) -- you have NO TIME! to go through even a mental checklist --

-- but, hey, I give the responding guy a break, too, because he was just trying to fill news space to go next to the box asking readers on CNN if they would be the helpers in such a situation .... since CNN has no comment board that I could find, I thought I would answer the question on my own blog :) and there question was specifically around this situation:  seeing someone verbally attacked for there *otherness*  ---

-- and -- because of how I was raised - and - because of my faith and my belief system -- my answer is this --

Yes.  And, I did so, actually.  And to be honest?  Looking back at it now, I realize it could have potentially ended in the same horrific tragedy that happened in Portland - at that time, tho, that wasn't in my thoughts --

I was in Wal-Mart, at the pharmacy counter, where a hijabi-wearing woman is a regular cashier. In my interactions with her - even when I've gotten exasperated because it seems I almost never get the pharmacy to do the right thing the first time! - she has been overwhelmingly professional, soft-voiced, kind, and polite.  

Well, apparently, my prescriptions are not the only ones that Wal-Mart screws up ... and there was a customer - an overfed, wild-haired woman, white - having this problem at the register.  Her cashier was this Islamic woman.  And - as it happens, and I'm even guilty of this myself - she took it out on the person who wasn't responsible, just the bearer of bad news.  That said -- she did so in a way that was hate speech, clearly, AND VERY LOUDLY, stopping absolutely everyone within a mile range at least.

The cashier looked like she wanted to melt into the floor.

And - it just emerged from me.  I screamed back.  A whole lot cleaner than the woman delivered, by the way, and not hate speech, either -- I'm paraphrasing, but essentially what I said was 'if she's wearing a bomb vest, then yes, she is a terrorist - but if she's wearing a Wal-Mart smock and standing behind the register, then she's a working woman trying to figure out your order.'

I honestly don't remember what the hate-speech woman did, but it was nothing else - no screaming, no ranting and raving - and it certainly wasn't violent!  But I suppose, in the light of three hurt on the Portland rail - two fatally, with their throats slashed ----

The aftermath happened, actually, not even that time (I think we were all a bit dazed and shock-y) but the next time I needed a prescription AND this Muslim cashier waited on me - which was possibly even as long as six months away .... She smiled as I approached the counter, and she said, "Oh, hello!  I will never forget you, but I'm sorry I don't remember your name!"

And I told her my truth:  as long as you'll never forget there is at least one decent American who doesn't vilify you for practicing your faith so openly, that's all you need to recall!!!

On this Memorial Day, in light of this tragedy and so many, many others, some of which don't even make it to the news cycle, I'm calling all of us To Be That Person - To Be That Type of American -- That Type of HUMAN - because - after all! - it is called humanKIND! - and, too - never forget these words of Martin Niemoller:

.First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me - 

The updated, social media version, by Raphael Bob-Waksberg, reads:

First he came for the Muslims, and I said "Guys, let's take a wait-and-see approach here."
Then he came for the Mexican Americans, and I said, "Let's not be sore losers just because the other guy won."
Then he came for the press, and I said, "What makes this country great is our peaceful transitions of power."
Then he came for the women, and I said, "Try to have some compassion for the frustrations of the other side."
Then he came for the black community, and I said, "I know it sucks, but wait four years."
Then he came for me, and I said, "How could this have happened? I did everything I could."

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Almost June :)

"And this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth day of life and of love and of wings ..."  e. e. cummings


i thank You God for most this amazing” by e.e. cummings

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
e.e. cummings
1894-1962

SLICE OF LYME 5-24-17: PEOPLE'S EXPECTATIONS OF THE CHRONICALLY ILL

That Blue Line & an 8 year old little girl ....

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

And you say - what is this, now?! (incredulously-voiced, eyebrows raised, ? eyes)

I will preface this to say that one, for-profit, healthcare system swallowing///forcing out any other 'brand' for 60+ miles, is not a whimsical, lighthearted situation for the patient on the receiving end! - for too many reasons than I can even type in ;- But what made me hold on and not literally, physically drive myself to exhaustion just to get any type of healthcare, was my specific provider, Donna ... She listened.  She cared.  We have a shorthand that happens between close people. And ... she had a problem w/ this healthcare system, too, but - bought the house, her & the hubs liked the area, this was her field - whaddya gonna do?!

Whenever I have an IBS flare, it almost always begins with some type of extraordinary stress - the whole situation with a certain mobster's girlfriend in the hit show "The Sopranos" tells it extremely accurately!  And so, when a flare hit me, end of April - with Mother's Day lurking around the corner to kick in my heart some more - I figured well that's to be expected, after all ... and as soon as that dammed 'holiday' blows the calendar ....

Except that's not at all what happened - it has continued onwards, to the point that I can't even stand myself in my unwashed, musty clothes I'm wearing around the house, because I am too depleted to make it to the laundromat and be held hostage ... and - speaking of such a term - yeahhh.  I'm being held hostage by this dammed IBS flare that won't stop!  It has already derailed and altered things, things even far more important than feeding quarters into slots ... and so earlier today, I decided to adult myself, and call Donna - well - ok: the way the system works is you get the nurse, and you leave a detailed message, and they call you back --

And that's exactly how it did work, with the recorded message naming all three providers for this one particular nurse, including the full name of Donna, my medical blessing .....

When the nurse calls back, she delivers such amazingly bad news, that - when I get off the phone with her - I actually have to go in the other room, cry, hug cats and dollys ... it seems that Donna has figured out a way to stay in her field AND her house AND get out of this system, too: she's putting in an extraordinarily long commute, to work with the vets.  God love her!  I love the vets!  I support the vets! --

-- one question, tho:  who's going to support me?!

... so the nurse takes all my info down ... and after I try to do a few little things online again, I realize that yeahhh I need to go lay down again. The cats and the dollys and all of that, and hugging my sore tummy, too .... and as I'm laying there, the phone rings.  DO YOU KNOW THAT - 9 TIMES OUT OF 10 DURING THE DAY WHEN MY PHONE RINGS - IT'S NOT A BUDDY OF MINE: ITS THERE FOR-PROFIT HEALTHCARE SYSTEM, WANTING THERE POUND OF FLESH FROM A PERSON ON A FIXED INCOME, WHICH GAULS ME & REMINDS ME OF A CERTAIN SCRIPTURE VERSE - HEHEHE, YOUR DAY IS COMIN'! -- ANYWAY, BECAUSE OF THAT, I DON'T GET UP TO ANSWER IT --

But when my cell phone gives me the signal that I do actually have a voicemail, I figure I'd best drag my aged to imperfection self out of the bed and come out and see --

-- I'm - stunned.  A doctor - a doctor who has never, ever seen me f2f - based on the nurse's notes - thinks I need to drive myself 16 miles one way to the ER and request a cat scan and bloodwork because he said so.  -- And you say - what is this, now?! (incredulously-voiced, eyebrows raised, ? eyes) -- BECAUSE -- were this Donna who knows me and who has literally examined me inside and out -- honey, I wouldn't even be typing!  I'd actually be in the emergency room!  

As the old primal-scream rock song says, WHO THE HELL ARE YOU YOU YOU whoareyouwhoare  ... if you can't even see my body in person, WHO THE HELL ARE YOU TO TELL ME TO TAKE MY BODY TO SOMEONE ELSE I DON'T KNOW?!  Yeahhh, I'm ready to take my body, alright -- back to NJ, to some previous doctors I had -- or would another state I used to live in be closer?  yeahhh but in NJ at least I could visit people .... sad, sad, sad, mad, bad old world it is, and I'm just sick and frustrated enough, I may even do just THAT!

Cyndi Lauper - Time After Time

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Remember that nice guy with the odd stutter ....

In the early 90s, I worked in a large organization that had its own print facility.  The manager's name was John.  He was a pleasant fellow, but he had an odd stutter, unlike anyone else's I'd ever heard - he repeated every word twice.  So, for example, I would arrive at the Dutch Door for their department and he would smile his way over and say, "hello hello Jean Jean how how are are you you today today?"

I was at a point in my life where I was wearing an engagement ring but ... it was to Mr Hem and Haw and geee I don't know ... and would you believe, we got into a big fight over John!  Because I walked down to the Print Shop one day and there was a big party going on - John was getting married!

John was getting married?!  The geeky guy with the double-word stutter was getting married, while the handsome, well-spoken, athletic, ok slightly quirky but so am I and how he loved my daughter!, I was engaged to, couldn't move past the ring?!!

Needless to say, my engagement ring was broken within about six months or so, if I remember right ...

A few years pass by; a world passes by, in my own life; I've changed jobs, for one - oh, there are constants, certainly - one of which was that I always worked as an election poll clerk ... This year, we are shorthanded, ergo, they are sending someone in from another district ...

In walks a woman whose appearance screams I AM A DYKE WHO BELONGS AT THE NEAREST GAY PRIDE PARADE - in fact, some people actually didn't even think Kay was a woman ;-  However, as the long day went by, even the slightly suspicious older ladies melted, when they heard Kay talk endlessly about her baby boy, even showing his first professional portrait she just so happened to carry in her wallet (well - of course she had a WALLET!) ... In the ebb and flow of conversation, we learn that she is one of the only female prison guards in a notoriously tough mens prison - well, gee whiz! that wasn't any shock to me personally! ... Now, this was circa 1991-ish, and times were different than they are today, and I figured to myself, 'Ok ... so she married a guy because she wanted a baby.  I get that - somewhat.  I mean - why MARRY?!  Or maybe its compromise on both sides?!'  My mind went spinning and spinning with questions that not even I - as tacky as I can be at times! - could just pop right out and ask the woman with the Marine Drill Sgt. haircut.

AND THEN HER HUSBAND CAME IN WITH THE BABY, AND I WAS LITERALLY FALLING BACKWARDS INTO MY CHAIR, AS HER HUSBAND SMILED DIRECTLY AT ME AND SAID - JEAN JEAN IT IT IS IS SO SO GOOD GOOD TO TO SEE SEE YOU YOU AGAIN AGAIN!

I knew John enough to know - nooo, this wasn't a compromise marriage; the man was as straight as a plumb line.  But - how?  and how did this baby --?  and why?  -- my poor head just wouldn't stop! but thank God my mouth was stopped-up, because Kay actually worked for us several other times ... once she told a marital story - the kind bored women with no voters share - about how John had been distracted in traffic and bumped the car in front of him ... and she put her hand on his arm, and said, "Let ME take care of THIS."  We all tittered away in girly giggles, with knowing glances at one another ... We also learned that John's parents - two hardworking, middle-class souls - honestly never thought there son would get married, and so - "but - we INSIST!":  wedding present: they bought them a new house!

Oh boy, I remember thinking to myself - this is going to go like a lead balloon at divorce time .... because - how else could this story end, right?!

So I was just sitting here and guess who came to my mind???

Ahhh, in the age of Google and social media, you know ....

I was sad that Kay had passed away at age 62 of heart disease, after a distinguished career as a sports official (no word on her former employment), but what stopped me completely and made me re-read was - one of the survivors is HER HUSBAND OF 26 YEARS, JOHN

There were TWO children listed, and they were far much more easier to locate, being of the technology age ... both are or have been, college students of the highest order, community-spirited - the whole list of things that would make any parent burst with pride!  The daughter - well, she reminds me of another couple I knew, where both husband and wife fell in the homely as a holler-creek hen house category, yet there only daughter was beauty queen gorgeous! -- same here.  The son looks like a younger version of his dad, without the glasses.

26 YEARS?!  How -- and how did they -- and how did they even meet?!  I'm a writer, and as the late, great Ann Landers always said - folks, I can't even make this stuff up!

Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Another shock ....

I honestly don't even know if I should publish after I type this out, because even without using names and details, it may just be too easy to put pieces together -- be that as it may, my solace, my way of working through something, is to write, so .....

I was just sitting here, watching a video, and I had an "oh yes! " moment : it was about creating a vision board ... and of course! I very distinctly remembered the dear soul who introduced me to one, and how all that came about, and so I did the 2017 thing - let me Google her ....

Well, she passed away several years ago now, actually.  She was still young enough to be out in the work force.  It was listed as "suddenly, at home".  She was not free from a serious illness back to the time I knew her (which was in the earliest part of the 90s), but she managed it very well - so well, in fact, that she was able to hold down a full-time, demanding job, raise 3 children, have a successful marriage, a lovely home, even counsel people on the side - which was actually where her truest calling and direction was, always, but economics of living in the most expensive state in the country dictated otherwise ... so - remembering all that she was to me in even the brief space of time that we worked together - I next decided to see if I couldn't find one of her children and write them a lovely little note on how dear their mother was to me.

AND THAT'S WHEN I HAD THE TRUE SHOCK

Back when we worked together, her two daughters were teenagers ... and she told me that she & her husband were going to have figure something out, about their working hours - because one daughter was starting to run a bit wild, and taking her sister along with her.  "Jean, I came home from work the other day, and the two of them are hanging half their bodies out the second-floor window, talking to these - guys - derelicts!" (or some word to that effect) "in these cars" -- you get the picture!  Well --

-- its not just what happened in the time after I knew this woman --

-- its the WHEN.  The when of what happened - of that one daughter that was the wild one as a teenager -- who became an adult that 'seemed' to be 'doing ok', including having 'a decent job' -- until it was discovered she had stolen a considerable amount of money from them.  And ... she did prison time for it.  And -- yeahhh.  The dates are too close.  It literally broke her mother's heart, "suddenly and at home".  In this beautiful home where she had brought so much good and so much God, where she poured her love so freely; in this home where her daughter began running around with the wrong crowd, taking wild advantage of parents who had to work to put the food in her stomach and the hair rinse she neeeeded and all of that ... she went Home.  

My heart is broken, too, my dear friend ... but I want to be so much more like you now, I'm trying not even to be angry that THIS DAUGHTER is the one posting all over social media beautiful photos of her beautiful life ... including tributes to her late mother .... 

... ok, I'm not as good as you were sitting at that desk beside me and teaching me about vision boards inbetween handling the switchboard, the ever-beeping fax, all of that ... so, I'll ask for your help ...

... just as I realize you must still be directing it like a sunbeam to your children -- including the wild child that broke your human heart but never, ever your soul

Quotes, and birthdays, and all of that ....

When I went to publish on my Facebook wall all that today, May 18th is - the famous days, the this and the that - I was reminded that it is the birth day of Pope John Paul II ....

So much has been written about this man, by far better writers than myself - well!  So instead what I going to do is ask you to keep his image in your mind (or, in front of you, if you have it) while you look at these quotes from our U S President - oh, there are more I can add ...:

(On Carly Fiorina)  "Look at that face - would anyone vote for that?!"

(On one of his own close relatives)  "If she weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her myself."

(1991)  "It doesn't really what the media write as long as you've got a young and beautiful piece of ass next to you."

(On hiring working moms)  "She's not giving me 100% - she's giving me 84%,and 16% is going towards her children."

Friday, May 5, 2017

Lighthouse Faith - Lauren Green (J1669)

Lighthouse Faith - Lauren Green (J1669): Lauren Green, Chief Religion Correspondent for Fox News reveals her own personal journey to a deeper faith and validating the accuracy of science aligning with a Biblical view of creation.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Abbey Roads: Matt Talbot's Birthday

Abbey Roads: Matt Talbot's Birthday: +2 May 1856 – 7 June 1925+ Lord, in your servant, Matt Talbot you  have given us a wonderful example of  triumph over addict...

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Six Celebrities Who are Pro-Life on Abortion

Six Celebrities Who are Pro-Life on Abortion: 2015 will go down as monumental year for pro-life movement after a series of undercover videos exposed the nation's largest abortion chain, Planned Parenthood,

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Rachel Lamb and Joshua Brown's Wedding

Rachel Lamb and Joshua Brown's Wedding: We're thrilled to be sharing the full ceremony from Rachel and Josh's wedding with you, along with some of our favorite, never before seen moments from this special day. You can see it all right here On Demand!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Embarrassed///Blessed .... Oh yeah, acceptance!

I got the idea from a blog: to practice a different virtue every day of Lent.  Excitedly, I took down my kitchen calendar and filled in each square with a different virtue.  Progress is - interesting!  Some days, more than I'd care to admit, are blank: some have stars.  Oh yes today gets a star, but for a completely different reason than I figured on .....................

I needed to go to the bank this morning.

We're talking, the local, small-town, they know me, THEY REALLY KNOW ME!, bank.  The one where I was waiting to go inside on a frigid winter morning, so I was sitting in my vehicle - and just happened to be looking the other way, too - when I distinctly heard:  JEAN, GET YOUR BUTT IN HERE, GIRL!   Not kidding!  Local, small-town, yes! they know me ;)

Ok - I may not do the makeup thing anymore, but <she sniffs> I do have SOME pride left.  I have one pair of jeans that (sort of) fits me.  They're the only ones that I don't swim in (ok - the legs ...), that don't fall off my hips, that either have to be donated or are donated.  YES - they need to be replaced, but I'm at this weird in-between size, can't just buy without trying .... Be that as it may, when I go out, I wash, I brush things, and especially if its not going to be a coat-bundling day, I try to dress appropriately: i.e. nothing I slept in; hardware ....

Sooo .... I'm standing at the tellers window and the young girl with the covetous life is waiting on me, and The Bank Manager (heretofor referred to as T.B.M.) walks behind me and - "Jean, are you losing weight?!"  Of course, for most women, that would be hearing the Gloria chorus; I wince.  "You're not - sick - are ya?!" T.B.M. looks concerned that she made a gaffe.

I smiled and simply replied the truth, "No, no ... its called The Poverty Diet."

Thats the truth - I've lost 40 lbs off the last several years of hitting food pantries, because nearly half of what I get, I know would make me ill, so I pass it along.  

So I finish my transaction, thank the teller, and as I'm walking towards the exit --

"Wait, Jean!" says T.B.M.  "You're not finished yet!"  I stand there, confused, while she dashes back into her office and --

She returns, grinning and handing me a dozen eggs, and says, "I just went shopping, and I would like you to have these!"

As I said to one pre-Christian friend, I found out what its like to feel BOTH embarrassed and blessed at the same time! ... But there was something -else -- something --deeper:  God was using T.B.M. to teach me acceptance - of a handout; of my station in life - of a dozen eggs that I really could use, too!  

I smiled and thanked her ... and I earned my star for Acceptance today, too!


Be Bold For Change and ditch CAN'T DON'T and WON'T #IWD17

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

For friends as good as these!

There must be a heaven
for the animal friends we love.
They are not human,
yet they bring out
our own humanity...
sometimes in ways 
that other people cannot.
They do not worry
about fame or fortune...
instead, they bring our hearts
nearer to the joy of simple things.
Each day they teach us
little lessons in trust
and steadfast affection.
Whatever heaven may be,
there's surely a place in it
for friends as good as these 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

2844 signatures on this - & the # is still growing ....

Our pledge

We, the undersigned, are employees of tech organizations and companies based in the United States. We are engineers, designers, business executives, and others whose jobs include managing or processing data about people. We are choosing to stand in solidarity with Muslim Americans, immigrants, and all people whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by the incoming administration’s proposed data collection policies. We refuse to build a database of people based on their Constitutionally-protected religious beliefs. We refuse to facilitate mass deportations of people the government believes to be undesirable.
We have educated ourselves on the history of threats like these, and on the roles that technology and technologists played in carrying them out. We see how IBM collaborated to digitize and streamline the Holocaust, contributing to the deaths of six million Jews and millions of others. We recall the internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War. We recognize that mass deportations precipitated the very atrocity the word genocide was created to describe: the murder of 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey. We acknowledge that genocides are not merely a relic of the distant past—among others, Tutsi Rwandans andBosnian Muslims have been victims in our lifetimes.
Today we stand together to say: not on our watch, and never again.
We commit to the following actions:
  • We refuse to participate in the creation of databases of identifying information for the United States government to target individuals based on race, religion, or national origin.
  • We will advocate within our organizations:
    • to minimize the collection and retention of data that would facilitate ethnic or religious targeting.
    • to scale back existing datasets with unnecessary racial, ethnic, and national origin data.
    • to responsibly destroy high-risk datasets and backups.
    • to implement security and privacy best practices, in particular, for end-to-end encryption to be the default wherever possible.
    • to demand appropriate legal process should the government request that we turn over user data collected by our organization, even in small amounts.
  • If we discover misuse of data that we consider illegal or unethical in our organizations:
    • We will work with our colleagues and leaders to correct it.
    • If we cannot stop these practices, we will exercise our rights and responsibilities to speak out publicly and engage in responsible whistleblowing without endangering users.
    • If we have the authority to do so, we will use all available legal defenses to stop these practices.
    • If we do not have such authority, and our organizations force us to engage in such misuse, we will resign from our positions rather than comply.
  • We will raise awareness and ask critical questions about the responsible and fair use of data and algorithms beyond our organization and our industry.
Neveragain.tech

Friday, February 17, 2017

Quotes that resonate w/ me!

"We are all wounded.  But wounds are necessary for God's healing light to enter into our beings.  Without wounds and failures and frustrations and defeats, there will be no opening for his brilliance to trickle in & invade our lives."  Bo Sanchez

"Grace is not part of consciousness; it is the amount of light in our souls, not knowledge or reason."  Pope Francis

"I may not be able to live in perfect serenity.  But I can ask:  What will I, what will ou, make of the gift of this hour, this day?"  Deborah Landau

"Happiness is knowing there is a God ... and being on speaking terms with him."  Nancy Nichols

"The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in."  Mitch Albom, quoting professor Morrie

"Its not about finding someone who completes you; its about finding someone who gives you the opportunity to complete yourself."  Rabbi Sharon Brous

"People wonder why I'm always smiling: its because I don't allow the negatives to keep me down ... because I'm just so blessed.  I know I got my gift from God, and every day when I go to practice, I'm just giving him the  glory by trying to make it the best I can."  Sanya Richards-Ross, one of the world's fastest women

"The flower doesn't dream of the bee.  It blossoms, and the bee comes."  Mark Nepo

"The struggle is real, but so is God."  Iman

"A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles."  Roma Downey

"God loves you and there is nothing you can do about it."  Susan Griffioen

"What I do today is very important because I'm exchanging a day of my life for it."  Lynn Ramthun

"You do not write your life with words ... you write it with actions."  Patrick Ness


Sunday, February 12, 2017

5, 6, 7 ... and then there's what I REALLY want to talk about ...

As someone who's disabled, there really are no more weekends, just one day at a time, so I don't truly have so-called "weekend goals" (5)

I think I'm going to skip the least favorite words, in hindsight (6)

Goals for my blog?!  (7)  Sort of scratching my head at this one, as I'm no Fashion Mumblr or what was once Young House Love (don't even get me started on THAT ONE ....)

But then there's what I'd really rather blog about, anyway :)

In The Upper Room daily devotional for Sunday, Feb. 12th, is a devotional written by Patrick Castleberry, of Mississippi, who writes about "I have a habit of living in the past.  I find myself wondering how my life would have turned out had I done things differently."  Insightful devotional, that goes on try to teach us "God does not want any of us to live in the past ... We can enjoy the present as we experience God's love."

BUT I LOVE THE PAST!!! - whether its my own, my parents, or things that are in the vintage line, including clothes, movies, books & magazines, etc, etc, etc ....

The past fuels story ideas and influences what I watch and read, but - more than that --

It brings me to a much better location!  

Oh, sure, sure - there's all this talk about "be here NOW" and "stay in the moment" and all that's well and good, and I agree with that, even participate in that!  BUT  

Why would you want to be very present in the moment if you're undergoing a medical procedure?!  Or you're sitting in a courtroom, and not as a support person, either?!

What if you've just had it up to your neck with seeing disrespectful young men in pants that glorify prison rape and women half-naked and both sexes talking out of sewers?!!

What if your own life sucks, in plain English, and you want to transport yourself even just for a few minutes, hours, time it takes to put pen to paper ...???!   What if you have a darned good inkling what dating again at 53 years old would look like ... and would rather see far better dates?!  Or with families ... with homes .... go on, you can add your own here ______________

I soooo love the past!!!  

Watchman Episode 29: Why Syria Matters to You

Friday, February 10, 2017

3 of the #30 day challenge: I am looking 4ward to ....................

The biochemical wake-up that will surely arrive with new meds - I see my doc mid-week :)  My house, and my person, will be cleaner!  I will start to wrestle with (kinda like Delilah with a paper towel roll, yeahhh ... ) the two big C's I New Year's Resolved myself to tackle, that in the very end can find me in a far less expensive and in fact in one way more expansive! residence.  Hell's bells, Marita, the laundry may even be FULLY tackled ;)

2 (of the #30for30) Things You Are Good At!

Writing!


Thursday, February 9, 2017

St. Jeanne Frances de Chantal - Saints & Angels - Catholic Online

St. Jane Frances de Chantal - Saints & Angels - Catholic Online

#30Lists Challenges

The idea is to write 30 lists, for 30 days.  And you are supposed to utilize #30Lists to share it with the greater community.  Here's my thing:  This may take me more than a month (I may skip days, in other words, simply because I'm not feeling well, lack of Internet access, et al) AND - I'm more of an essayist, ergo, this may just read like 30 Essays, for 30 Days :)  That said, let's get started, shall we!:

1.  A few things about yourself .....

I am a religious person.  I've been most of my life, BUT living in the South has taken away any slight shame for being so open about saying "I'll pray for you", for example ... plus maturity///ok, age! has made me realize I don't have to pick just one category to be religious in -- I identify as a Catholic, as well as evangelical, as well as with A Course in Miracles & other places not in the mainstream, like Unity, as just one example  - I think you get the picture!  (Hmm ... saying so may make my more Protestant friends slightly hesitate when I'll say "I'll pray for you" - afraid I'm going to slap the beads on ya, huh ;)  Well, then again!, I do belong to an international prayer group of close to - if not more - 2k members, on 6 continents! - and that's not the only one, either!)  Because my religion is perhaps best defined as "what's in my heart", I tend to confuse people - I Marched both on 1.21 AND for Life, virtually - and that did confuse alot of persons! - but I am very grateful for the ONE friend who did ask nicely about that!

NO, I don't like the way my small apartment looks behind its front door!  If I had my druthers, and the energy and the money, I would have stacked Totes neatly behind furniture, and extra shelving constructed above interior doors, closets, and both windows.  And I would have far less stuff as it is, having been able to find an ebay and we sell it store, where I can get close to the actual value, and not have to deal with hauling it OR struggling to make change (remind me to tell you about the three different paydays for Yolanda, story, sometime ....).  Taking my druthers all the way out, I would have someone help me with this stuff, including going through the laundry to figure out what's dead and what's not, AND THEN help me bring my parents furniture downstairs :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Love her heart!

Elizabeth Warren #shepersists

I went on my Twitter feed just now, and so I was able to catch-up on the whole Elizabeth Warren debacle going on #nevertheless,shepersists!

What alot of people are saying is, naturally, about silencing women who speak-up ... and, also naturally, each and every time I read about some woman going through this, I, too, think of my own experiences - but there is one that especially comes to mind --

I was a resident of such a large city, that it literally encompassed THREE COUNTIES.  A tour by feet would NOT be recommended here!  In fact, in the years I lived there - even when it was years - I was still finding spaces I didn't even know existed! ....

As unfortunately happens to me far too often, a dental problem punched through my usual pain levels and into the stratosphere ... I went to one of those walk-in, emergency dentists - I had seen there huge sign on my way rolling past to other areas, and so when the need arose - well, I thought this would be perfect, you see ....

I did NOT have a good experience.  About the only GOOD thing I can say is I walked out of there with antibiotics to treat the infection, BUT I certainly knew! that I needed to see 'a real dentist' to address this ... and .... not knowing one and this being such a HUGE area, I asked a friend if she could make a recommendation???

Oh, I sure can!  He's actually been rated the #1 in this city, and for more than one year, too!  (Research confirmed all of that.)  Sigh ... well, I knew this would mean $$$ to get help, but I had that, thank God, so I called and made an appointment ...

I went in, and - at first - everything was fine:  lovely office; professional, friendly staff; even patients who had just had a small part of there body removed, seemed happy and were shaking his hand!  Gee, this guy must be somethin' else!

I went into the treatment room with the dentist and an assistant, and of course we had to talk before as well as during (don't you love when they do that?!) and then after -- and the after is when the problem happened:  He asked me a question - Jean, you've obviously had a tooth removed back here - but why in heavens name did that dentist leave half of it in your gums?!

Well, there was a whole story about that, actually - one that in hindsight was kind of funny, actually (especially if you stand for dark humor) ... so ... I proceeded to tell him and his assistant, when --

He shushed me and told me I was being one of those too loud women

The perfect dentist, rated #1 in this three-county city, had just become at least a jerk, if not a slight misogynist ... and ... I was done.  In more ways than one!  I not only had all the dental work required at that time (nooo thank you I'm not AT ALL considering making a major life plan with YOU to come in here and spend time getting the work done I should have done), I had all I could tolerate of HIM, too.  

Mr #1 dentist, yeahhh ... I can hardly even imagine what #2 was like ;-  (Oh, wait, do you think he's in politics?!!!)

Monday, February 6, 2017

It's not pleasurable, & in some cases, it's too much so: Life W/O Antidepressants

Antidepressants and I work together for roughly a year; then, they quit on me, and something anew has to be prescribed .... This time, however, the ticking down of the clock on this particular medication was - for the first couple of months - to be so incremental, so slow, that it was hardly even realized -- but then, by the turn of the New Year -- and definitely what conveys this even more so is looking in bewilderment at the January calendar, and wondering where it all went?! because I just about got a load of laundry done and THAT WAS IT!

Not to worry:  I see my primary care in two weeks, and we'll begin the dance around the ballroom of life, on something new -- That said, let me give you a glimpse of what my life is without them, besides truncated --

I'm so, so, SO sad .... I'm in my dirty little apartment too much of the time, now because I'm crying my eyes out over anything and everything.  I have to monitor what content I take in, knowing that certain things are as verboten as wearing black or white to someone's wedding -- but, too, there is always content, always sudden news and happenings and events, that come crashing through my emotional front door with all the finesse of how the dumpster guy comes calling to empty our rustbucket wasteholder in the corner of the parking lot --

And oh brother! do I irritate easily! I have to watch out for what Joyce Meyer has preached about, 'A Spirit of Offense', which can happen when friends that swear you're like family, have events you're not invited to but get to hear all about on social media - the rational side of my brain tells me there was most likely a drinking part to it, but the raw, nerves exposed, side, makes me feel like that haunting line in the Janis Ian song 'At Seventeen' I always overidentified with.  

I also get much more claustrophobic - which may sound like it wouldn't be an issue (as well as very much craving sunlight and electric lights, in addition to the ocean - at least for the latter, there are videos! ) as I DON'T live alone:  I have two cats that I do love very much, who just love to come calling and plop on parts of my desk.  I love that!  I love them!  But sometimes its just all too much!!!  Bless there kitty hearts, they gave me space without so much as me having to whine and ask (repeatedly) and pick them up (repeatedly ...) yesterday, with Big Mama nesting in my coat, and Delilah on the back of this chair.  

Ahhh, soon this shall be but a mist-memory - and gratefully so!