Panic Attack…

17 03 2014

I was in traffic when it hit.  It felt like something physical… tremors in my heart and an ever growing physical discomfort till I couldn’t breathe.  It felt like it came from outside of me and I didn’t have control over my reaction.  That made it grow.  The feeling that every thing was fine and for no reason that I could control, suddenly NOT FINE, added a terror and a grief that easily overwhelmed me. 

I globalized it.  Worried that I shouldn’t be driving anymore.  Shouldn’t go anywhere alone.  That I couldn’t be trusted.  That at any moment that feeling could hit again and I could get THAT out of control frighted me.

That afternoon was shot.  I raved like a loon to people who cared.  They held my hand and wanted to take away the fear and that did.  Then when I calmed down, I pulled apart what happened.  

What started it?   What was I thinking?  Where did I feed into and help myself lose control?  Where could I take some control if it happened again?  From there came a plan.  Not a perfect formula to follow but tools added to try next time.  

Comfort is taken from the recognition that no matter how I felt, the feeling did pass.  First tool is time.  Recognize that it is a waiting game and I can do this.  I have done it.  Bleed off time.  Ignore the changes in my body.  The pounding in my chest, the changes in how much air I feel I get.  They didn’t really harm me.  I got enough air.  I didn’t pass out … nothing really bad happened.

Something about Harry Potter… That scene where the class takes the scary thing and makes it funny.  Try to find something humorous.  Break the grip fear had.  Tools for the next time.





Love resides here…

17 03 2014

I am in the mist of this really good thing.  It is a world of enough.  Enough money, enough love, enough time, where bad things never happen.  Like some paralleled universe to my own and when I am in his arms I am so safe.  Everything is quiet and wonderful and the world was created to be enjoyed.

I had to fight back the fear that hit when I first went there.  It felt irrational to feel safe and scared.   Fear that I didn’t belong there and would never live in that world.   I get angry at my brain but I also appreciate it.  I don’t stay stuck too long.  I move on to being OK with who and where I am in my life.

It doesn’t matter if I don’t belong… for what ever reason I am here.  Life is good.  I have for this moment a respite if I take it.  A few days a week of visiting a foreign country and experiencing what the world might have been like had the dice rolled differently on the day I was born.

I take it knowing that the days may be numbered.  That it is just another thing to add to my experience bank.  I drink it in and steal back to my life which is abnormally good right now.  A world of sharing new baby’s, having my needs provided for and being appreciated.

For now we pass from one world to the other seamlessly without settling in.  We are, just for a time, observing.





Adapting to a new vision.

9 03 2014

Last holiday season was a season of grief and loss and I needed time to process the changes.  I have been in the hospital again and this alone bought about loss.  For over 40 years I expected that I would someday figure out what was broken in me and fix it.

That someday I would be “normal” is a hard dream to let go of, but it has finally died.  Normal meant that I wouldn’t have my body shut down on me against my will because life was a bit more stressful than usual.

It also meant that I would trust my thinking process.  Longing  for the day that I not worry that it’s so flawed that I might do things that I would not be able to live with later.  This happened far too often because the part of my brain that kept track of my belief system would not be accessible.

I thought that I had finally achieved that when this current breakdown occurred.  It brought with it a new weary that wears on me long after the effects of the stresses I have had.

One that says I will NEVER be “well”.   I will never be able to tolerate what is a normal amount of stress for others.  I will never be able to live without my family’s watchful eye, telling me when I have strayed from what is usual for my behavior, so that I can seek out the help I need to get back to being able to function normally.

I am blessed that I have a loving family that keeps a watchful eye without needing to control me.  I know that it’s not always so.   I resist being maintained 24/7 on medication that Doctors have claimed that I could never function without.   Most of the time I function fine, but I realize under other circumstances their dire predictions might bear out as true.

So now the new vision.  One of me always dependent on those who love me, and as always, ever grateful for their gift in my life.





I have been in a bad space lately…

16 02 2014

I realize that it’s guilt coming up and overwhelming me.   The thing is I am not an extraordinary person.  I am absolutely average.

I live everyday being as kind to others as I find possible and caring about the effect I have on them.  I don’t have a job, but I do work, and I look for work.  I don’t invest myself fully in the long distance relationships I have but my life is full and busy: Who does?

I’m married and date but my husband has been aware of it and we have lived apart for 6 years now…I signed the divorce papers, he just hasn’t filed them.

All the things that I have done that make me feel crappy, others do and I wouldn’t blink twice nor waste a moment judging.  Why does it devastate me when its ME doing it?





28th of January

28 01 2014

First anniversary of your afterlife.  You tried to hang on: Not wanting to ruin everyone’s holidays.  It seems a disservice to everyone to even morn, but for the most part I haven’t … and I promise and from here on to only celebrate the fact you shared your life with me. Forgive me for not being able to do that this year..





Please forgive my absence…

19 01 2014

I have been stuck in a pattern of destructive thinking trying not to pass that on.   I have been shutting down and it looks a lot like depression, but I have found it to be a necessary component of resetting my brain function.  Life is getting better, I will see you again soon.





Tell me how to put the Merry back in my Christmas…

26 12 2013

I know that I once loved the holidays.  Now I am dragging myself through them.  I’m surrounded by people who love me and yet still feel isolated and alone.  I want to be happy but all I can muster is some anger over not living up to my own beliefs.  Just one more reason to hate myself and hate even more having to be alive.

I want to give from my heart to those I love but find nothing in there.  What does a person have left to give when even a request for pets from her sweet kitty is met with gritted teeth.

Crazy animal knows when I am needy.  She knows when I am ill.  I begrudging pet and put her down again and again wanting only to be left alone.  She knows this is the last thing I need and jumps back into my lap and curls up purring.

Funny cat.  When I feel my worst she refuses to leave me.  Her heart pressed against mine.

May you all have some kitty to love you this Christmas.





This is news…

26 11 2013

I remember reading the paper as a child and there were things in it that really affected our lives.  It was about the weather and the Sunday comics were there but it wasn’t news about fashion, or about Hollywood Star’s and which Congressman was caught with whom in the washroom in Washington.

It was repeated accidents happening at the same corner, someones barn burning, someone hospitalized and not able to work their farm.  Half of someones crops being lost.  It was also about fairs, kids getting together to clean up around the school, big fish caught in our river, someones new tractor, upcoming events, and town hall meetings.

When you read that something bad happened you could actually do something for the person, or volunteer to help.  New’s actually affected you and no one ever questioned if you could trust what you read.

THIS is new’s,

http://gawker.com/5980549/how-to-solve-homelessness-the-mundane-miracles-of-the-doe-fund

and this…

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=574792132608494&set=a.157796790974699.40772.157750900979288&type=1&theater

Why don’t we see more of it?

So many people are angry, filled with hate.  I remember a kinder gentler world.  A world where we depended on each other.  Looked after each other.  You can’t imagine how my soul aches to in some small way recreate that in my life.  Am I totally alone in that?  What do you see as new’s worthy?

As always thank you for being here.

Sincerely, SB





My name is Shannon

26 11 2013

I hope someday I can say that and want to step up and claim the person the name represents.   I’m still a work in progress and a most fallible human being.   I am probably more left leaning then right but when it isn’t just hate that’s being pushed I know we can find a middle ground where our beliefs meet.  I feel that we have a responsibility to look after each other but when you say that it shouldn’t be our Governments job to do it, I believe that too.

When it comes to religion, I believe in an all-knowing, omnipresent, creator, which most people that I encounter share, but I also believe that there is a possibility that belief is wrong; that we can’t KNOW.

There are always feelings inside of me that say we need to respect where people are in their own lives. I can accept their belief system even though it’s different from my own.

When it comes to Politics, nothing I think or believe should mean anything at all. Only what I do.  I want our Political Party’s to actually represent the people voting for them. I want that but I don’t feel that most of the time they do.

I have a little experience with advocacy, and trying to work with the system to get things changed. I also worked as a precinct person for the Democratic party for 8 years. That gave me a bird’s eye view of how things get done or better yet why they are not getting done.

I am not alone in wrapping myself in my beliefs like they are some flag of honor instead of doing the work it takes to make this world resemble the one I want to live in, but it has to stop.  There is too much decline in the quality of the life that’s passed on to those I love to just let it continue.

I want to do something to spread honesty and build strong communities through thoughtful experience and contribution across the political, religious and social lines we have drawn.  I have spent years debating issues and don’t think it accomplished anything, not even changing what people already thought.  In my mind we need to stop the debate and get to work.

It has to start here.  I can’t expect the world to do more then I am willing to do myself.   





It was a mistake!

25 11 2013

It’s almost my moms birthday.  I have been looking over my old post trying to find some to send my mother to share the bond I feel with her one more time, and I found this. It was originally posted on  Jul 4, 2012 .  One of my first posts here and long ago lost in all I have written.

I had to post it again.  I don’t know that anyone but me would find it funny but it’s always worth sharing a laugh.   More than that it’s a wave at an old friend.  You are loved and missed and I am so sure you know that, as I can see you active in the lives of your baby girls.   Hugs and smooches my friend.

with love,

Sincerely, SB

****************************************************************************************************

I tried to bury the household pet turtle and it kicked off a late night of lying on the bed with our feet kicked up like school girls having a sleep over; chatting and laughing.  It was a mistake that my sister-in-law thought that she would never have made!

To start with the water smelled funny and had a suspicious film on it that I hadn’t seen before. Then I fed him twice and he hadn’t even lifted his head. In our family, I am the one that takes care of those kind of things so I went out back and dug him a hole.

I picked up the bowl and headed out, and it wasn’t until I had poured out almost all the water that he suddenly sprang to life!  And to think we were that close to having room for a cat!

Valerie has decided that we have to restrict his T.V. time due to the fact that he has either watched to many Geico commercials and was beginning to immitate the oppossum or we foiled a planned escape using the methods that he had learned watching finding Nemo.  Either way she was sure that the T.V. was a bad influence on him.

As long as we were on the subject of death and dying, (and if you think that’s a tad morbid you don’t know my sister-in-law) we spent awhile laughing over the coffin that she had picked out.  It was Purple!   She “found one much cheeper at Cosco but she couldn’t get it in the color she wanted” so we’re going to get it and completely cover it in faux purple gems and right across the face of it we’re putting Live, Love and Laugh.  Like her it will be an original!

Valerie fights hard for every moment she has here and is giving me lessons close up and hands on that it’s not really what happens to us, but our attitude about it that determines our level of happiness in this life.  Over that, we have complete control.

You have to find the roses; the thorns will always find you.





It’s been a while…

24 11 2013

since I have been on here writing on a regular basis.  I have been working on another project and finally launched it.

I have a couple of insights that have come from this.  One is that if your going to do something big…Don’t tell anyone.  I have the most supportive family in the world but even they can say and do things that deter me from following through on things I truly feel are important.

Months back I wanted to bicycle across the country, and not doing it has me angry with myself.  I am still determined to do it only now I think that I will just jump out there and go when I am ready without any announcement or fanfare.  I don’t see them now: how would they know?

The other is don’t get discouraged when you work for months on an idea and then get it all together and launch it and no one notices.  Really!  A million people have already figured out that launching a business on the web doesn’t mean anyone will find you.

I have been on here for over a year and before I disappeared totally I had a little following but they came one or two at a time.  It takes time and work, so here I am devoting 18-20 hours a day to it.  Just when I begin to feel exhausted another thought of something I can do or need to do comes and I have to take care of it.  Thoughts escape unnoticed by anyone if you don’t capture them somehow.

Anyway I’m back.  Thank you for being here.

sincerely, SB





Dating and cisgender/transgender issues

28 07 2013

I am over 50 and dating and that has brought up some thoughts on things that I long ago stopped thinking about.  I can’t help but to look at prospective SO’s and consider how they view our gender identity and how we will mesh long-term.

I am far from being OK with guys who say “this is me not giving a f__k” when it comes to the inequity’s that keep woman held down, but feminist issues have stopped being a hot button for me.  Even close inspection barely reveals the feminist who used to dwell here.

The last guy I dated was amazing.  I met him on a dating site and we seemed to be a great match.  When we started talking he said “I am one of the first metro-sexual’s”.  For the first few dates that seemed wonderful.

We went to his place and it was spotless.  He didn’t just cook, he was a chef and he prepared meals for us with ingredients I hadn’t heard of till then.  He always looked polished and didn’t mind wearing a suit, even though jeans were more his style.

Being with him was easy.  Our days together flowed without conflict, but I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t commit to a long-term relationship with him because I realized that I didn’t feel necessary in the relationship.

Looking back I have the benefit of logic that was lost on me at the time.  I was an idiot.  He was with me because he wanted someone to share his life with and I was good at that but it wasn’t enough for me.  I felt so insecure that I couldn’t get comfortable.

Have you ever been in a relationship where they broke it off saying “it’s not you, its me” well maybe you can believe that when I tell you that is EXACTLY what I felt here.  Everything about him was wonderful.

For a year and a half now I have reflected on what was wrong with me!  I have felt undeserving of a relationship since because I felt that God gave me something really good and I tossed it aside like it was nothing.

I wish I could say ‘I have come a long way baby’ but what I realize is that as I have gotten older I have solidified my cisgender qualities.

In my 20’s I had gender issues that ranged from fears that my size kept me from being feminine enough to being blind furious that when ever I made enough money to survive, and it put me in direct conflict with angry men who thought I had no right to compete with them for “jobs that could feed their families”.

I was 29 when I learned to dance.  Not that wiggly independent do what ever you feel to the music dancing, but the kind where he takes you across the floor and you know nothing about what you’re doing but you’re doing it because he directs every move wordlessly with everything he does.

It is hard to be a feminist when what you want most is to feel that again.  To be able to follow blindly and trust that the result isn’t going to reflect that you had no idea where you were going:  You won’t stumble and he won’t take you anywhere you don’t want to go.

Not long after that a friend said, “Let a man take care of you.  You know you can so you have nothing to prove, and it makes them feel good to let them do it”.  Between that and what I felt on the dance floor it changed everything I ever felt about gender roles and woman’s equality.

In the last 25 years I have molded myself into the woman who loves to clean house; takes pride in the fact that she can hand sew a stitch so perfect that it looks machined, loves the smell and feel of laundry just out of the dryer but wants her sheets line dried so her bed is “sunshine fresh”, and enjoys pressing perfect pleats into “permanent press” clothing.

After over a year of hard contemplation I realize that’s less who I am then what I do and hopefully when I meet the next perfect guy we will mesh more comfortably then I did with the last one:  I think I am ready to try again.

 





Recently inspired…

27 07 2013

“The Beautiful thing is that healing happens and one day you can actually wake up and find that what “defined you” is just part of a long ago history that really isn’t important at all. It is easier said then done, but sometimes you’re looking so hard at a way to make it happen that you don’t realize, it just does.

You wake up and find loving yourself doesn’t need excuses, it doesn’t need validation, it isn’t something you need to earn. You were born deserving it and one day you just know that nothing anyone did to you after birth changed that fact.

Then you look around and realize this is YOUR life and every moment is a new one to start fresh and paint again what you want it to look like from here on and THAT becomes the focus of your whole life, just to be in the beautiful world that you want to live in.”

I have landed in a place in my life that there is little for me to feel inspired to share anymore.  It has become a drama free zone and like someone slipping into a pool on a warm day I am just soaking in it and feeling blessed.

I really am not painting or creating anything.  It is part of the tapes of my growing up to feel that there is something really wrong with that.  The just breathing and taking up air without contributing to the world in any way that others profit from, but strangely enough they are missing from all the moments of my life now.

I feel Gratitude.  I feel love.  I hear silence where there has never been silence before and don’t question it.  Don’t fear that it’s a fleeting gift.  I aim for being a mirror of it.

I don’t fear being a sponge.  I know who and what I am, finally.  I am soaking in what I have now.  This part of my life is no longer connected to the life I had.  It’s not even based on who I was before.

Something miraculous has happened.  I reached a point where I stopped believing I earned pain in this life: That I deserved pain.   I can almost put my finger on when it happened and I can see the whole world changed to accommodate that new belief.

When you stop the way the world is spinning and spin it in the other direction, for a moment everything stops and your caught in the blur as you’re still spinning.  That’s where I have been and I feel like I am IN the moment of celerity, peace and silence that is that moment before it changes direction and everything begins again.

I am moving into a selfish zone where I get something for myself out of the life I have left.  I KNOW the reason we were put on the planet was so that something existed here that could appreciate all that God has done and I do.

I don’t know if you will want to be where I am.  I don’t even know if I will wake up tomorrow and be here myself but for this moment in time Life is so beautiful.

Without any artificial enhancements of any kind I assure you, the sadness, the blackness, they are all perfectly balanced and perfectly beautiful and it’s really OK to experience the other side.





FILLERS…

8 07 2013

My guess, when looking at this blog, is that most people would just think that I lack focus, but I think its more that my brain doesn’t stay in the same space.

In reality I tend to drift, become micro focused and then drift again.  They are always trying to put me on some kind of medication but the things they want to medicate me for, are not the things I think need fixed.  I wonder if there is medication that would fix that.

Even when I am able to write, I tend not to retain focus for very long on one thing.  Most Blogs seem to stay pretty much on the same subject and I know that is something I need to get better at but I fail miserably.

I can’t even read with focus.  Really if I keep reading one blog constantly because I am emotionally attached or for any reason really, in a short time I find it annoying that everyone else is soooo micro focused!

If they write about being depressed … they never seem to pull out of it.  If they craft it is mostly the same things over and over and over.  I want fresh … new … at least a jolt of something different now and then.

I always thought I would be a writer for a newspaper, but I wouldn’t write columns I would write fillers.  Those little bits of stuff they gather that have no timeline attached that you can put anywhere to take up space where ever you need them.  Useful but really not normally newsworthy as NEWS.

The stuff that is written for people who read from need.  They read the cereal boxes as they eat because they need to read something…it doesn’t matter what.  They consume with their brain.  That way I could hop around and chat about anything that moved me at the moment.

That’s  what I do here.

People drop in and see something about keeping on track with their exercise and diet and hit follow because they think they can come back and find more motivation here later.

Probably not any time soon folks.

Mental health is another focus that seems to come and go.  I tend to follow more of those blogs than any other.   I feel close to those who know that struggle, but for the most part I am healthier than ever and can’t churn out the constant stream of how do I work this through, anymore.

So how do I write a blog that will maintain its followers?  According to what I have read subject hopping isn’t going to build readership.  Good thing I don’t need to be paid for what I do because that is what I do best.  If you read the box of cereal as you eat, hopefully you will find a home here.

sincerely SB





The rest of the story…

27 06 2013

Everyone who knows me knows that I have been raped, and knows very personally how damaged I have been by it.  Few know the other side, because it took a lot of digging for me to get it:  It was so that I had the answers that I needed, not for anyone else.

Now I have been sucked in to this story that I found and the wave of opinions that followed, and I think its worth the telling.

Over a decade ago I moved back to the town I was raped in.  It had been a long time since I had lived there and little was familiar anymore.  The bar where we hung out was there but repainted and under another name.

That lonely street it was on had become a business district so little else looked the same.  My daughter lived in a new apartment complex just a bit further up the street so that I had to drive right past it to see her.   The first few times I could barely drive past without being sick, but it wasn’t long till it began to be just a part of the neighborhood she lived in.

We were out together in her car one day and I had this over whelming need to go looking for where I had been raped.  I hadn’t thought about it at all in a long time but that day I was driven by the feeling it had to be done right then.

My Daughter looked at me a bit worried, but took me where I asked her to.  It was miles out that road and I had only been there that one night over a decade before.  Didn’t know if I could even find it.  Then I saw it in the distance and the knot in my stomach said that we had to turn back, that was all the further I could go.

A long time past without a thought about it, when again I felt this overwhelming need to be there.  Again I was with my Daughter.  This time it was late and we drove right up to where it was.

The business was closed and almost looked abandoned.  We got out and climbed though the fence and looked around.  I looked in a window and the bed where I was raped was still there just as it had been years before.  That seemed to be enough and I let it go.

The last time we went there I had been obsessed with thoughts all day that I had to go there and called my Daughter.  She said that she would go with me.  This time we went when the business would be open.  I wanted to see him.  To know how he was.

We walked in the door and the man at the counter was not familiar at all.  He was waiting on a customer, so I looked around the room till there was no one left but the two of us.  On the wall by the door were a bunch of pictures posted on a pin-up board and one of them was Doug.

Seeing that face was painful and I was glad when I could get a moment alone with the guy at the counter.  I asked for Doug and he said, “There is no one here by that name”.  I told him that was his picture there on the wall and he said “ohhh, yea he died a few years back just before I started working here.”

I thanked him and he went back to working and as I was leaving I had this need to have that picture.  I grabbed it off the board as I left.  I was crying as I got into the car and showed it to my Daughter.  “MOM, I can’t believe you stole that picture!”  I didn’t know why but I knew I needed it.

That night I scanned it and put it on my computer.  It brought up a whole ton of feelings I had long forgotten so I just spent the night processing them all.  The next morning I went to take the picture back and talk to the guy at the counter and see if he knew any thing more.

When I came in this time no one was there and the same man was behind the counter.   I told him what I did and apologized for taking the photo.   “I’m sure that you can keep it, it seems to mean more to you than it would to anyone here”.

I told him I needed to know what happened to him.  “He was good friends with the mechanic down the street and was married I think.”   Here is the guys card.  I’m sure he would be happy to meet a friend of Doug’s and talk to you if you wished.

This time I couldn’t let it go.  I called the number on the card, to speak to this man who knew Doug so well.  “It’s funny how you should call now”, he said, “Yesterday was his birthday”.   “He committed suicide 3 years ago.”  He gave me the number of Doug’s wife, and said if I would like to come by and talk I was welcome to do so anytime.

I hung up and called her number and gave her my name.  She knew that I had been a friend of Doug’s but she didn’t seem to know  much more about me.  She said she loved him very much but that “he seemed a haunted man”.  “It was hard to get him to leave his room, then finally one day he just ended his life and left her and her daughter to deal with the loss”.

It isn’t every guy that will carry a shit load of guilt for getting away with what he did.  I am positive that this one did.  I think HE was the driving force that kept bringing me back there.  I think he needed to work it through as well.

I know Doug didn’t just go on like nothing happened.  I wasn’t the only victim that night.  I wrote a few poems and processed the grief for a while and have pretty much left it at praying that he finally has peace.  I know that after this that I did.





We still don’t know how to deal with victims of Rape.

26 06 2013

This Morning I came across a picture of a child at Disney with the Headline “It happened to me: I was raped at Disney World and nobody cared”   IF you read the story the woman was not a child at the time and WASN’T RAPED AT DISNEY!

I had a very visceral reaction to the fact that they would post something so libelous.  The site routinely posts supposed first person accounts all the time under the subtitle of “It Happened To Me”.    I was extremely offended that anyone would do that!
What about free speech???  Doesn’t this person have a right to say what she feels happened no matter how inappropriate her blaming Disney was?  Yes she does and without the headline and photo the story was fine, but no one would care to read it.

The unfortunate fact is that I really feel that most people seeing that headline wouldn’t bother, yet that photo and headline will make an impression that will fuel their doubts about the safety of Disney World.

OK that was my first reaction but I have had days of reaction time now and can’t seem to let this go.  I am not the victim and I have no ties to Disney.   I am a rape survivor.  This person needs privately counseled in a way that helps her work through what happened, not further exploited.

In the post She is randomly assigning blame and it does nothing to help her situation.  It is clear from the account that she hasn’t sorted through her issues, and that nothing posted will bring about any real change in how people see victims.
As a society we often blame rape victims for their own predicament. I don’t want to imply that this woman was in any way guilty for what happened to her, nor for how she was treated afterword, but she is not getting what she needs from most of the posts people have left on that website.Now that I have spent some time there I hope that she never goes there at all.

There is a flood of posts that I think are just to flame people and keep some kind of interchange going between themselves and anyone they can engage to start a flame war with.

Wow…that people would out of boredom or some warped need of their own to be noticed say hurtful horrible damaging things just is beyond my comprehension.  It’s damaging beyond belief to someone in the mist of trying to sort through the blame and guilt they are dealing with after a rape.  I want to shake them and make them look at the damage they are doing and ask them if its really worth it!  Sadly I do believe that there are people that exist and can’t see beyond themselves to care about anyone else.

There is a camp of people out there that really are trying to change society’s view of victims.  Then we have those who would like to but just don’t know how.  The best place to learn is from those who make it their life’s work at the Rape Advocacy centers.

I really feel that this local Rape center needs to work with Disney so that if anyone has problems in the future, that they feel comfortable having them contact someone at the rape center FIRST, so that they get an advocate immediately to help them work through all the issues they will face.

The Rape Advocacy center in Orlando may have to do some major work to get Disney to trust them enough to do that but IT IS CRITICAL to the emotional welfare of these woman that they get that support.

Rape Victims are horrible at self avocation!  Most often their thinking is clouded by self-doubt and feelings of complicity.  It takes time to process those feelings and that compounds what happened.  They need support.

People’s attitudes about rape haven’t changed enough, and the person that’s been raped is in the best position to help change them, but NOT ALONE.

Very few people raped have been trained in how best to deal with people who are not supportive.  Advocates at these centers HAVE BEEN, and the more they are used and seen out in the community the more respect people will have for the victims.

If you have been Raped these centers are the best first contact you can have.  Call the hotline.  They even have a national toll free number who help you find the center near you.

Rape Crisis Hotline 1-888-956-RAPE (7273)

They will support you through the process.

They will help you figure out what to do next and know where to go in your area, to get you the help you need.  Just as important is the fact that budget cuts are a consistent threat and if victims don’t use the service it will cease to be an option in the future.





Who is to blame?

26 06 2013

This a repeated theme in my life lately and I am finding that people who have been traumatized are often not capable of figuring it out.  I am wondering what is the best way to help them process what happens so that this blanket of blame and guilt doesn’t impede their progress.

Also this whole process of assigning blame seems to be counter productive to me.  First off the first person EVERYONE wants to blame … including the victim themselves is often the victim.  That only compounds the damage from what has happened to them.

There is definitely a feeling that someone has to pay for what has been done … When a crime has been committed isn’t that the goal?  Look around lately and I am not sure getting the perpetrator off the street so that our streets are safe is even a possible outcome anymore.

We have to find a better way of dealing with crime.  What we do isn’t working.   What if we when ever you did something wrong we posted your picture on a community web page with the crimes you committed… so people knew to keep an eye on you.  Everyone everywhere would be responsible for keeping you honest instead of a prison system.

Really wasn’t this how we kept people in line before?  We all knew each other … EVERYONE knew everything about everyone and shamed them into behaving.

I would say yes but that wouldn’t work anymore.

When it did work we KNEW each other.  We knew everything…the good and the bad.  Yes you knew Toby stole, but we also knew it was because his parents were drunk all the time and ignored the fact that he was hungry.

We would make you really uncomfortable for a while … but all in all we basically would forgive you and let you go on living without the constant reminder that you screwed up, eventually.

Every human in the community you lived in really decided for themselves how long they would remember…and if it seemed too extreme there would always be those who would stand with you and keep you from bearing the weight of it alone.

We don’t know each other any more.  How do we resolve things now?

Maybe we should focus more on the positive and shine more light there.  When people do something good why doesn’t that make the news where others can acknowledge it openly?  Maybe that would encourage others to do something good as well.  Maybe just maybe this could change people’s programmed negativity.  It would make this world a bit brighter and easier to live in.





Change your thoughts to change your life.

22 06 2013

One of the effects of healing is that my world has opened up immensely.  Being wrapped in pain really keeps your focus at a pin point where it is impossible to know that there is a bigger ANYTHING then the pain you’re in.

I can see major mental shifts in my life and am a personal witness to the fact that the Universe responds to that shift.  Like the fact that the first time I knew that I would never let anyone hit me again: I didn’t have to learn how to defend myself, because it stopped being an issue.

2002 was the first time anyone snapped at me and I realized that I hadn’t done anything to cause it.  Wow.  What a concept.  It took years but that thought finally globalized into “if I am not guilty for every bad thing that’s happened to me, then I deserve good things to happen to me as well”.

The big story here is NOW THEY JUST DO.

Early on in my life I felt helpless to change anything.   Only now do I see that there are REAL effects in my life that have come from the mental changes in me.

Change your thoughts, change your life has been a life long chant for some people.  People who have made a living telling others that this was the way things work in this life and that you too can tap into it.  Can anyone just tap into it?  I finally believe WE CAN.

I am doing it and I want to scream out to those that are just behind me.  YOU CAN!  I am flailing about so you may not want to follow me but it doesn’t happen in a vacuum, so you can try some of the things that I know have worked.

You can change you focus.  Stop looking at the things that keep you down and look around.

Challenge your old ways of thinking in every way you can.   You are Blessed.  You have the internet at your finger tips!  Read as much as you can.

Seminars!  They are designed to tweak the way we’re thinking.   They can take time and money but for now at least there are still internet sites that offer them free.   Google TED talks and spend time checking out everything that interests you.

Keep track of how you’re doing.   Diary’s are great as they let you look back and see where you were and how far you have come but any kind of recording process will do it.  Use photos, graphs, charts, home movies, anything that makes sense with the goal you have, to chart your progress so that you can see it.

Find some way to be tangibly grateful for what you have.  Prayer is a wonderful way if you have a God to pray to, but anyone can give thanks directly to the things that gave up their lives, so that they could live.

There is a belief that thanking water before you drink it changes its molecular structure into something more nourishing to your body and they do have ways to see that change.

Thanking flowers for the beauty they add to your life has been shown to make measurable changes in how they grow.  There is power in your thoughts and releasing positive thoughts into your own environment will allow you to see it.

Your attention has the power to bring about what you focus on.  Keep perfecting your vision of what success looks like to you.  Add that to your newly expanded field of vision and you will get a lot closer to having it.

Everything needs attention and just the act giving something your’s does change it.   Those who have been here, help to keep me motivated in my own personal struggle to thrive:  Thank You for being one of them.





Confessions of a Grooveshark Junky…

13 06 2013

I though “Crimson and Clover”was the most beautiful song alive.  I would lay on the floor with a speaker on each side of my head, and listen in awe as the music shifted from one side to the other.  It was one of my first experiences with STEREO sound!  Most of my records were passed down by my parents and all mono till then.  I had a “stereo”, but you couldn’t experience that sound without a stereo record!

I have one real addiction in my old age, Grooveshark.  All my music is on cassettes.  I discovered that not everything is replaceable  when I went out looking for a new one to replace the stereo from my grandfather.   It had begun to eat my tapes.  You know you can’t buy a decent cassette player anymore!

Somewhere in a plastic grocery sack, in a box, in a storage unit, in California, is my cassette collection, complete with about 20 personal recordings of my own family, that will never be played again.  Oh well.  Such is life.  It was more heartbreaking then when I discovered I could no longer buy 126 film for my camera that was literally glued to my right hand till then.

Anyway I found myself alone for the first time in my life only about 5 years ago.  I left my husband.  I had my clothes and my computer, and a tiny apartment on the second floor of a converted building that was once a flour mill.

I borrowed camping gear from my kids till I could get some furniture.  I bought two bath towels and 2 knives, forks, and spoons from the open stock at Walmart.  I cooked in the same pot that I ate out of and slept in a sleeping bag on the floor.

I had 2 camp chairs so I could have company and that was it.  My apartment echoed for the whole first month because I had to save every last penny I earned to pay off the deposit that my landlord graciously let me move in without paying.

It was then that I discovered Grooveshark.  There were several versions of it but it took me no time at all to realize that laying on my stomach on the bare wood floor for hours picking out music wasn’t working for me, so Grooveshark was it.  I am up to 10 playlists to fit my every mood now, and this is what has made me the junky that I am.

I have all my favorites from when I first discovered music in my teens on one.  I have all the country that my mother loved and those old fifty’s tunes of my fathers that I grew up with on others.  I have my workout music, and my suicidal music, dish washing music some clasical, some jazz, 80’s hits, and a whole list of odd ball stuff I have collected that I can’t put a heading on.  Pat Metheny, Alanis Morissette, Dan Hicks, and Nils Molvaer couldn’t have less in common but their all on that list!

My best friend lived right next door and often brought me coffee in the mornings.  She would sit with me and listen and talk for hours some days and we made her up a list so we could play her favorites when she was there.

Tommie was just a few years older than I, and we didn’t listen to a lot of the same stuff, but she knew music.  You could say a few lines and she could tell you what the song was, what year it came out and who did it.  When she wasn’t around I would remember a few words and have to type them into Google, so that I could add it to one of my lists.  We spent a lot of our hours together just remembering all the music we ever loved and sharing it with each other.

When I wasn’t at work, back in that empty apartment it was all I had; just me and the music.  I would lay on that sleeping bag and crank it up.  In just a few seconds I would be whisked away.  With one song I would be 11 again, laying on the diving board enjoying the sun and the calm of my Aunts pool just getting a tan.  With another I would be crying out all the pain my heart was hanging on to with long choking sobs.  With others I would be heart to heart right next to my parents, both gone for years now.

For three years I lived in that apartment and I never got used to living alone.  I hated every minute when someone else wasn’t there, and it seemed like it would never end.  The music often went all night long.  One of my first acquisitions when I started buying things were a set of headphones so that I could crank it up without disturbing Alice downstairs.

One day I just decided I couldn’t do it anymore.  Living alone wasn’t for me and I went about changing my life, yet again.  Now here I am living in Florida, over 2000 miles away from my kids, my friend and everything I knew then.

Funny thing that playlist of my best friends picks has become my favorite list now; and it always takes me right back there to the two of us having coffee and Groovesharking music together.

This one is for you Tommie!  “It’s My Life”  Heart to Heart again.





Flashbacks

12 06 2013

window

It’s late on a Thursday night in 1991 when the ambulance brings me into the back entrance and they take me inside.   The sound of the door is heavy and metallic clanging shut behind us.  They show me to a small bare white room with only a sink, a toilet and a bare mattress.

I curl up on the mattress and can’t sleep the words sticking my haid wrong wrong wrong wrong head and scaring me.  stop stop stop stop malfunction lockup lockup lockup lockup lockup … long animal like screams coming from other rooms…terrify me.

He is there “please, please, please, don’t, send, a man, in here!” … I am under the sink and won’t come out and cry; He returns again and again so that is where I stay.

This and the screaming go on late into the night.  Several cycles of me sleeping intermittently between the visits where he seems as uncomfortable as I am with his presence there.  They keep tormenting us both by sending him in again and again.

Time passes and I can’t stand my teeth.  I am tormented as much by them as by the men they keep sending into my room.  They just stand inside the door.  Out, out outoutoutoutoutoutout!, I scream at him.  But they don’t move.  When I turn and face the wall quiet he finally leaves.

The next one is just a kid and looks as scared as I am and I feel sorry for him.  We just stay in our assigned places till the time has passed and he too is allowed to leave.

I scramble back to my mattress and try again to sleep.  Words words words words…the chanter guy comes back and mumbles over the top of them so that i don’t hear them any more.

It must be getting close to morning as the screaming is back.  Long wild monkey wails of grief and torment.  ”48 hour hold”.  I can do this,  but then it is the weekend and no one comes; NO ONE.

I am alone for how long;  I don’t know.  I sleep till I can sleep no more and drink water from the sink.  The lights are always on and I can’t tell the day from the night.  The screams come and go and I am left alone.

My teeth are making me crazy and no one has been here for a very long time.  It is quiet again.  I try the door and it opens.

I hadn’t seen anything when I came in.  The fear was shutting me down.  Now I look out and mine is the first door in a long hall next to the nurses station.  A small square room with windows on all sides with the one that has a pass through and a metal vented circle to speak through on my side.

A much larger room surrounds it  with lots of chairs and a TV up in the corner high up on the wall.

The floor is brown with a path of cream tiles going all around the outside of the room just one tile space from the walls.  No one is out and I think if I stay on the cream tiles it is safe.

I slip out the door and walk that safe path to the window and whisper to the nurse.  ”may I have a toothbrush please?”  She makes me repeat it and it is almost more than I can do.  The tired weighs down on me again and the need to go back to my room.

She can see that it is hard for me and steps out and presses one into my hands.  It is cheep, white, and wrapped in cellophane with a small envelope of pink powder.

Suddenly there are people moving everywhere, someone brings me a peanut butter sandwich and chocolate milk I forget to follow the path and let them lead me to a table where I can sit down to eat.

For the first time since I came I realize that I am hungry.   I have no idea how long its been since I have eaten.  I manage a thank you but other than that we don’t speak.  When I am done I ask to go back to my room.

Now there is a problem: The table is in the middle of the room.  I don’t remember leaving the white trail of tiles against the wall but am suddenly very anxious about it.  Just do it; there is no other way!

I take several big steps and get back to the wall and am breathing hard when I get there.  Now I can safely make my way around the room to the corner, turn, then to the first wall of the nurses station, turn, to the corner, turn, to the corner, turn, carefully retracing the path back to my room.

When I step inside I am unsure that this is the room I left.  Sink and toilet are in the same place but now there is a cot so that the mattress is up off the floor and there are crisp clean white sheets, a blanket and a pillow on it.

I went to the sink, wet the brush and poured the pink powder into my palm and rubbed the brush into it.  I scrubbed and scrubbed my teeth until they returned to their normal state of smoothness.

The sheets smell of bleach and it is such a comfort to slip between them that in moment I am sound asleep… but as I do I get it…They offered me nothing till I made some request.  I did something right and this was my reward.

Monday comes and the therapist has me brought to his office.  They have extended my 48 hour hold “my behavior is to bizarre, to return me to the general population”.  I cry as they take me back to my room.  It is clear they can keep me as long as I don’t conform to what they want from me.

I am assigned a psychiatrist.  He asks what medications they have given me in the past and I tell him that everyone wants to give me Lithium and that I hate it because it makes me feel drugged.  I tell him my Dr’s keep telling me its only a salt and CAN’T do that.

He says IF you need Lithium you feel nothing when you take it, but if a normal person takes Lithium they feel drugged.  Finally I feel heard.  I have found someone who listens and will work with me to fix this.

He is trying me on some medication.  I take it the first few times but don’t like it’s effects and begin to refuse to take it.  I get called back into his office and he says he will change it.

Now I am lucid in my mind but my body is stiff and robotic.  I feel the drool from the side of my mouth and can only imagine what I must look like.  I grieve for what I have become…this shell of a person that can’t function or interact with others in any tangible way.

I get it.  I feel angry and tricked.  I have a right to refuse but they can do worse.  I will do what ever he wants.  Get me off this and out of here.  I can’t be this anymore.

Once I start to co-operate I am off the locked ward and sharing a room with someone else.  My roommate tries to cut her wrist with a safety razor, I am thinking of ways to remove the blade from the plastic but say nothing.  She is an idiot.

I ask for something to draw on and am given a rather nice flip book of blank paper and some pencils.  I am beyond grateful for the gift.

Now I am required to go to group.  There are men in the group.  The first day they confront me about my behavior when I was first admitted.  I tell them I was afraid.  Of what?  I say “I don’t know”.

The groups facilitator is quiet a moment like he is thinking about that.  Then he says.  ”I believe that”.  ”I really believe that you don’t know” and he moves on to the next person.

Every day I take my drugs.  I go to meals, and to our exercise periods, and I go to group.  Other than that I lay on my bed and draw.  I think about my children and wonder what they know.

Some how I let it out that i have been raped in one of those groups.  I don’t even know when or how.  I just know that one day I am in a group with a guy who has been in them with me before and he is talking about “going down to the boulevard and picking them sweet young strawberries.”WP_003086

I ask him what he means, and he says he picks up underage girls that will trade sex for drugs.  I totally lose it then and think I will rip his hair out, I am screaming as they pull me from the room and He is saying “I ain’t the one who raped you bitch! “

That night I am dreaming that I am sitting on my bed and there are lots of pills on the night table.   I am sliding them off and taking them one at a time saying “I don’t want to go home”.  ”I don’t want to go home”, and taking another and another.

They don’t make me go to group anymore.

I have been in almost 2 months when I am called in for a long conference with the psychiatrist who has been prescribing my drugs.  He tells me they are thinking of letting me go home and I break down and cry.

He asks about the side effects of the drugs they have been giving me lately and I tell him that I don’t notice them anymore.  I feel good.  In fact that this is the first time anyone has given me anything that seemed like it really helped.  They give me one months supply of med’s and release me to go home.

For the first three days I am curled up on the couch when I am not asleep I pretend that I am so that I don’t have to deal with anyone, till I realize that no one will push me.  I can do what I can and rest when I must.

Finally I begin to do what I used to do.  I wake up and clean and help with homework and we learn what it is to be a family again.  In a short time I go back to work.  At first its clear they are watching me but before long they forget to do so and everything is normal again.

I have my life back and that is more than I ever hoped for just 2 short months ago.





“It’s the job that’s never started…

11 06 2013

as takes longest to finish”.  JRR Tolkien   Yesterday I started again.  Today I got up and worked out on my Total Gym.  Both times I could feel my body responding in positive ways.

I feel the determination build for me getting back to being healthy, but shortly after the first few days of built up determination pass find myself without the motivation I need to continue to fight my own unwillingness to do it anymore.

I though the magic was in my Total Gym.  It’s here, its set up and when I get on it, my body feels challenged. The memory of what I do is still there.  My workouts still feel smooth and I move through it without much thought, but then a morning comes where I just don’t get on it, and its done.

I had no end goal before.  I wanted my body strong and capable and healthy.  The last time my determination then was caused by the fact that I saw people my age loosing their ability to get around and giving in to it, and I had a limp.

I let myself get close to 250 lbs and my body wouldn’t carry that weight anymore.  I had problems climbing even just a few steps, having to pull with my arms as well to navigate them.  I had to fight back.

Several times I have hit that place, but my Mother has been there pushing me.  This was the first time I did it all on my own.  I saw myself losing my ability to walk and fought back, but I am not there now.

I am not at the fitness level I was when I got here but there are no real limitations to what I feel like I can do.  The older I get the more I have to work to keep my weight at a level that feels healthy.

I am not my size.  I only compete with myself.  The paint brush is in my hand, I have to create with it or this will be just another wasted canvas.  Normally when I start working out the pounds drop off but once I turned 50 that changed.  When I fought my way back the last time it was months before I lost a size: I felt physically better and more capable just the same.

How did I get there before?  I just did it.  I knew what I wanted and every day I started toward that goal again.  Some days I couldn’t do it, but they got fewer and fewer as time went on till the times I didn’t do it were rare occurrences, and I WAS DOING IT.

Just DO IT.  That is what it means.  Don’t think about doing it.  Jump in and start and do it till its done.  No more excuses.  No more depression.  No more thinking it over.  I KNOW it’s really what I want.  Its time to just do it, again.





Trip to do list.

9 06 2013

“There has been a growing amount of fear for my taking this trip building within my family.  There are a few that have tried to talk me out of it but they fall further from that goal then the ones who try to be supportive but show the strain of the stress of their fear.

My Granddaughter is one of those.  She is building anxiety that she will never see me again, to the point that at School her teacher sat her down and helped her figure out just how long it will take me to get across the country by bike.

She is only 10 and she loves me with an unfailing heart like no one else on this planet.  I can’t ignore her fears, so tomorrow I leave to fly back to Oregon.  It ate my budget but I am placing myself and my dreams in Gods hands and doing what I need to do for this child.”

If your here often you know that was months ago.   My going back to Oregon was a necessary thing but nothing went as I planned.  With in 3 days I was ill and stayed ill for most of the first month.   My croupy cough only ended when I came back to Florida.
Oregon has felt like home since the first day my feet touched that soil.  Somehow over the last 2 years that changed.   I spent time with those I love.  That was why I went and that’s what I did, but I felt stuck in a waiting game where my life would not restart till I left.
I am here now and getting my land legs back.  I am home.  Its time to get my butt back to work and do something with the life I have been given.  This is my home as well and I have missed it.  It’s nice to be back.
Sincerely, SB




I’m up early…

6 06 2013

and sitting by the window watching the fog lift on our back yard.  As I lay in bed for over an hour this morning going over what the day would bring, I was looking for that first glimpse of light that would signal it had arrived.  Finally, tired of waiting got up to find that it was here but obstructed by the haze.

I came to WordPress looking to make a separate life for myself from the world that I find myself in and the move was a good one.  I find I don’t just come here to write but to read and it’s become a place of inspiration and encouragement.  I have several blogs that I follow now and add more daily.   If you weed carefully through the sites that are clearly here for self promotion you find blooms of extraordinary value.

I forget sometimes that this identity crisis that I am going through is pretty normal for people my age, and way past expected for what I just did!   I have ended a long term relationship; my children have all moved on; I have moved clear across the country leaving loved ones, pets, and all my possessions behind; I am going through “the change” and I don’t have a job!

Top that off with the fact that I shaved my head and for so long didn’t recognize the person that I saw in the mirror and it’s no wonder at all that I felt a bit crazy!  I get wrapped up in the fact that my own stuff compounds it, but boy oh boy is this normal!

Daily exercise was something that took me years to incorporate into my life and I just seemed to let go of it when I got here.  I thought picking it back up when I was ready would be easy as I have so much time now to do it, but it has turned into more of a challenge then I thought.

It was kind of funny to experience that first day as it was several days coming, and just to finally get to it, I was having to yell at myself every minute like I was a small child not wanting to get ready for school.  “I don’t care that you don’t want to … YOU HAVE TO… just DO IT!”   The second day was easier and today before my eyes even opened I was feeling around for my ball to work out with.

I am still only doing a few exercises every morning but I know myself well enough to know I will do more and more as I feel my body getting stronger.  I do love working out.  I am surprised that I have to let my body discover that again and again.   Someday every part of me will know this and I won’t have to try so hard to keep at it.

Sometimes we think we need a closet full of shoes…when just one boot will do.

Speaking of time… I have a huge awareness of the fact that I have so much of it that I can really experience so many things that I have missed since I was a child.  Once I had children of my own it was easy to feel overwhelmed by all that had to be done each day, and not take a moment to really feel and enjoy just being alive.

I lived next to a church steeple once and it was the only clock I had at the time.  I loved hearing it chime.  While I was walking down town yesterday it turned 2 o’clock.  I was in the very center of town and could hear several Church clocks chiming at once.  I can’t tell you how blessed I felt just sitting there experiencing that moment.  I experienced total heartfelt joy just existing in that point and time.

Writing what I am grateful for was also on my to do list, and today that was mine.





Virtual Dating and other realities.

5 06 2013

There are some realities about caring for a family member that having a computer has made so much easier.  Shopping on line is one of them.  I have even shopped for a mate on line and it does have some advantages.

When your housebound it also gives you another option, virtual dating.  I was introduced to this option by someone from OKCupid who took me to Secondlife for virtual dating experiences.  I am over 50 years old and I am sure younger people have no problem with this, but for me this was a problem.

To start with navigation has to be learned.  I love my computer for many things but I have not spent much time playing RPG’s on it.  I was quickly able to figure things out well enough to walk from one point to another.  It took me longer to follow when someone could virtually pop from one place to another, and keeping them from getting bored while I fumbled around with the controls was even harder than learning navigation.

The first thing you do is make an Avatar or a virtual representation of yourself to use in your ‘Secondlife’ account.  Remember when your Mother told you that you could be anything you wanted to be?  Well, here you really can.  You can be young, thin, tall, blond, and you can make this virtual space as much your life as any you currently live.  You can choose a career, design your own stuff, even run a virtual business.

Shock and dismay here but you can even use REAL money to by virtual stuff.  I can see this being a generational issue but I am doing non virtual stuff to earn that money and spending it on Virtually NOTHING is still beyond my comprehension.

We had a few dates on secondlife but not successfully.  While these times did get to be enjoyable much of my time not wrapped in this new world of possibilities was spent deciding just how much I was willing to let my secondlife take up of my first one.

I put an end to the virtual dating a short time after trying it.  I have been around a while and have a history of making choices that put me virtually as much as possible in the world that I believe I am living.  I have refused to be medicated long-term for anything, and don’t often drink or use drugs as I feel doing so takes away from my ability to experience this existence.

I also wanted to be in a relationship with another human being in such a way that I could feel that I knew them.  I believe; that the only point of this life is to experience living it, that when I look into someones eyes I can know what they are feeling,   that we can actually share our true character with another human being, and that they are able to share theirs with us.  How would either of us know if anything that we were sharing in that virtual world had any validity at all?  If I couldn’t then what was the point?

My brother likes video games.  He has one game that virtually puts you behind the wheel of what ever car you want to drive on almost any racetrack in the world.  It is so perfect in its re-creation that there is reflection from the signage in the front end of the car as you go around the track.  In another game he rides a horse through the old west.  I have been on a horse; what you see on the screen is incredibly true to that experience!

We are blessed to live in an age of infinite possibilities.  It may be a true measure of my age in how resistant I have become to embracing all of them, but I have spent more than a little time lately thinking how much it will influence my ability to make what I consider “real” connections with people in the future, when so many others do.





Real Beauty…

18 04 2013

As a woman we’re constantly getting the message that we are not valuable without beauty.  We are sure that age, weight, moles, freckles, scars and wrinkles make us ugly.  That who we are and what we do with our lives isn’t as important as how we look.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpaOjMXyJGk

Dove has a Real Beauty campaign meant to show that we often see ourselves less positively then others view us but it created a backlash by those who say that is ONLY IF you happen to adhere to what society has always said is beautiful, because they basically chose young pretty, thin, woman to do the study with.  

What do you think about the Dove Campaign?  Do you think that all the critics are right?  

I would love to study this further.  This is fascinating to me.  I want to do a much larger study.  Would the people describing the participants that were being drawn be just as positive and forgiving of flaws if the people being drawn didn’t fit that profile?

Do you think if the participants were all fat that the outcome would have been the same?  Would it change if the participants that were drawn were all over 70?  Or Men?

How would it change things if the people describing the person being drawn were from different cultures or economic backgrounds?   Would we get a different outcome?





Two months ago…

8 04 2013

when I proposed my transcontinental bicycle crossing, ocean to ocean, from Florida to California, someone sent me $20.00 as a show of support for my success in actually doing this.  The fact that someone heard me and believed in me and was supportive enough to open their wallet to help me do this, floored me.

Since then I have been working toward this trip and my excitement is building as time is getting close.  Financially I am about 1/3rd of the way to having the money I need to make it.

I am looking for sponsors to pledge money for each mile of my ride to Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.  I am blessed to have a good friend who has offered to help me do that.

I have paid for post cards to be printed that I can give out to those interested in donating before my trip and along the way.

Image

We have our page all set up to accept donations and pledges now.   Here’s the link.

http://ocrf.kintera.org/wallofhope/valerieogilvie

I plan to be on the road by June 1st, 2013.

Please pass this on to others you know who might be kind enough to make a pledge of support for my dream and if you are blessed enough, make a pledge yourself.

One penny a mile will cost you less than $30.00 if I make the whole trip as planned.  I am 54 and have never made more than a 25 mile ride before… so pledge more if you’re betting against me getting there.

It’s going for a great cause and you have my gratitude for your support.

UPDATE 6-4-2013

We have raised over $250.00 for cancer research and for that I am grateful.  The ride of my dreams is still in the dreaming stage but I haven’t given up on it yet.   I have to earn the funds for the ride itself and now that I am home I will start again.  Thank you again for all your support.

sincerely SB

 





Today will be the 8th day …

29 03 2013

that I have been painting for a friend who has been on vacation.  Between that and my cleaning jobs I am over 1/3rd of the way to having the money I need for my bike trip.  Whoop Whooop!

I have not worked this hard in years. I get up at dawn and home after dark every night, my body tired and hurting and I’m happier then I have been in a long time.

So far, I have seen one problem after another bite the dust and having a string of small successes that are building my confidence for each new thing I tackle.   It is a great beginning to this trip across the country, which I know will bring many challenges of its own.

You can’t imagine how much just using a ladder taxes your body until your 50 years old and suddenly find yourself on one for 10 hours a day.  I expected my neck, back and shoulders to be in pain but the bottom of my butt cheeks hurt.  That has to be good for the muscles I need for riding my bike!

I have been working so much I have had no time for my art or writing.  I am going to blog my whole trip by phone.  My niece has given me her old one, as she just upgraded to the newest everything!

This one has an mp3 player, 5 megapixel camera, tons of apps like games and google maps, a touch screen, internet access, an emergency flashlight, and YOU CAN EVEN CALL PEOPLE ON IT!

I had to have a way people could reach me and I am searching for a way to hook it to a site on the internet so that those I know and love can track me on-line with it and know where I am at all times. 

This trip has them more than a little stressed but it isn’t slowing me down from doing it.  I just get more excited with every passing day and every bit of progress made.

Well its time for me to get back to work.

sincerely, sb





In the middle of doing …

24 03 2013

and not had time nor energy to post.  I’m tired but dang its a good tired.  It is wonderful to make progress and to see something your working for begin to take shape.  I don’t want to slow up on the doing yet but as soon as I do will take stock and let you know where everything stands.  

My dreams are showing promise and sucking me into their draft!  For now all I can say is WHEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!





Sometimes all it takes…

11 03 2013

is a nudge from a good friend.  She showed up and kidnapped me this morning and we mapped out a 30 mile route.  We road our bikes for a while and walked it off, then enjoyed the peace of the front porch.  It was a great way to start the day and get me back on track.  Thank You Mary.  Will see you again soon!





Love, living and death…

9 03 2013

I have spent my life caring for people who were at the end of theirs.  I have held their hand while they were passing and once even held them in my arms as the life left their body.  Once you have actually witnessed it, there really isn’t a question; you know that they are just not in that body anymore.  It’s only a wax shell.  For me death isn’t frightening, It isn’t beautiful, it just is.

When your dealing with death, People you don’t even know think that it’s their job to pass on their perspective of the meaning of life and what you should be doing with your’s.  This last week we have kind of lost our sense of humor.   I have refused to live medicated, but I do know what works for me, and going to church isn’t it.

I don’t know how it will be when it comes my time to stare death in the face, but I do know how hard it is watching those I love do it.  I sometimes wonder why I chose a life doing it.

Part of what allows me to go on doing it is my belief system. One of the things that I KNOW is true, is that if you change your beliefs, you change your life.  When it comes to death and dying I cling with teeth to the ones I have.  A few things I have experienced have influenced those beliefs.

Not the least of which is my beloved Aunt. When She Lost the love her life, She went right on having coffee with her every morning.  She would pour them both a cup; set them on the table by the chairs they always sat in, and talk to her about her life.

It was not long after her death that Bunny started finding hearts in the cup.  Every day she would make the coffee and day after day there would be the heart.  My aunt took tons of pictures and showed them to everyone who would listen.

I myself witnessed those hearts; some were clear, strong, and boldly centered and others were lacy around the edges or seem to curl sweetly around the side, but there were clearly recognizable hearts in those cups.

She was going to write a book and publish all those shots so people would know that love lives on even after you lose someone, and I truly believe it does.

When Bunny herself passed, She had been told she had cancer and only had a short time to live so I had been going up every day I had off to see her.  That last day as I drove into Portland it was covered over in a rainbows.

I had never seen more than two in the sky in all my life, but on this day they were everywhere;  Hundreds of them!  One came arching down from the sky and touched the front of my car!  I was so excited thinking that I would be blessed with good fortune and rushed to tell her what I had seen but she was gone.

Every fiber of my being believes it was her way of kissing me goodbye.  I think of her often and when I do I wrap my arms around her and give her a big squeeze and feel loved, just as I always did when she shared this earth with me.

I got the biggest complement of my whole life last night. “you are the only person I know that doesn’t add stress to my life.”   Wow, I couldn’t have thought of a better goal if I spent months trying.

I am no longer the seeker of truth that I was then.  To quote billy…”if you get the answer you’re looking for, hang up”.   For me this conversation is over.





I have been stuck

9 03 2013

in what I thought was a place of nothing; no pain or feeling or need.  I have been angry at myself feeling it was just total lack of motivation.  A pitiful excuse of a life wasted.  I keep finding myself crying and feeling how stupid it is; I AM, for doing it.  I have no reason to be sad. I quip that we are all dying, everybody dies.

Part of me feels that it is a gift.  Death puts an end to this terminal pain we are sentenced to at birth.  I try to make myself stop typing her name.  Stop making everything in my life revolve around her.  She is gone!  It is done, over, I can move on: I can’t.

Val used to hate how people would make those who died into saints.  It is OK to speak ill of the dead, she would say. “If they were an asshole in life they are no better than what they were because they are dead.”  When I speak of her I can feel me doing that.  Sticking her up on that pedestal that she hated.  She was human and she was flawed, and I miss her.

There were a few times she told me she didn’t want me to stay.  She said I know you did this for others and it was OK, but they weren’t me.  “This will hurt too much, You should go”.  You don’t know me, I would tell her, I don’t think of death the way you all do.  I will be fine.

I feel guilty because my family wants me back.  I have truly missed them.  I honestly grieve the time I have missed with that precious new baby girl, and the equally beloved older grandchildren as well.

I feel guilty for every day of progress I haven’t made.  For as many days as God has granted me that I have wasted.  For all the beautiful moments and gifts that I refuse to notice while I am stuck here depressed.

I have felt that guilt weighing me down just adding to the pain I already carry and yet deny.

Val was right it is different.  The pain I felt when I lost my Aunt, Father, and Mother to Cancer, was different, then the pain I feel for her.  I miss her in a much more personal way. It is major denial to say she isn’t gone from my life because she is still in my heart.  There is nothing new she can give me from there.

It doesn’t seem right that I haven’t wanted to live the life God gave me and I am still here:  Yet she loved living and she is gone.  I need her to tell me its OK to move forward without her, that she won’t feel that I loved her less if I do.

Val loved life.  She was never like me.  Cancer robbed her of years that she wanted to spend with her children.  She still had things she wanted to do and see.

Cancer even robbed her of so much of the enjoyment she should have had of the years Chemo gave her.  It was an endurance contest and in the end it beat her.  She was tired and ready to let go.

I thought I was at peace with her passing.  That I shouldn’t feel pain.  This place of denial is the nothing that I have been stuck in.  I have refused to just feel the loss and pain.   I have feared posting anything like this as I really didn’t want to add anything to the pain of others but I realize now that it wouldn’t.

Pain expressed isn’t added to the pain in the world, it was already there.  If others read this and feel pain, it is only pain they already have and have found no way to express either.  Maybe it isn’t a horrible thing if we cry.  Maybe it isn’t a horrible thing if I do nothing for a while and grieve.  Letting it hurt may be the only way I have of letting go.   Perhaps it honors us both that I should do so.





STILL STUCK…

8 03 2013

I hate being in this place of not doing!  I have a to do list a mile long and when I chip one thing off it that is a good day anymore.  I don’t paint or craft or clean or do any productive thing.  Before I was feeling lousy because I didn’t exercise.  Now bathing and brushing my teeth are on the list of things I can’t make myself do.

Hours and hours of wasted nothing.  The things I can’t seem to do are things that would help pull me out of this.  Is this grief?  Maybe if I could label it … and understand I could work it through.  Instead it feels like I am just frozen unable to move forward.  I hate this and I hate me for doing it.  I am useless, of no value to anyone, wasting what is precious and irretrievable.  I know better.  I KNOW BETTER.  Do Better!  Do something even if its wrong!





My own bucket list.

4 03 2013

 

walletsDo 54 new things before my next birthday.  Yesterday Alex taught me to make a wallet from duck tape and I made 2 for gifts.  Thank you Alex.  I have lamented for a while that I had nothing personal on my list of things I make, for the men in my life.  I love this!

Today I realized that I can’t really claim that as a new thing as Khi really did show me how to do them over 2 years ago, but I just never finished the one I started there, and quickly forgot all about them.

This isn’t going to be easy.  I am 54.  I have done a lot.  OK…This is the first time I have finished a duck tape wallet.  I am putting it on the done list anyway.





I have been wrapping myself in depression…

3 03 2013

curled in a ball unable to do even the simplest things that I KNOW pull me out.  I have been here so many times before that I knew this was coming!  I tried not to predict its path.  I knew what I needed and because I felt what was best for me was bad for others and I waited till I am stuck in the mist of it.   I have been here before.

I keep trying to grab onto the positive.  Keep looking forward.  Keep holding on to some thread of a dream that might draw me back into this life.

This last week I have done not one good thing!  NOTHING!  I have to work to keep the pain of just that from overwhelming me.  I am fighting back the fear that says I am nothing… just like my Aunt and my Father used to say, “You are trash like your mother”,  “You will never be anything, you will never have anything.” This morning I was thinking “All this crap swimming around in my head!” and you know what that got me???

Dory!  God knows that I have been beaten with HIS Bible so he speaks to me in the silliest things.  He sent me Dory.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBtc254NIMc

I watch that stupid video and know God is speaking to me and as the tears are flowing I feel not so alone anymore.  Not so afraid to move forward with faith and watch what HE can do with what others have discarded!

I am not an artist; I am not beautiful, or creative, or strong, and I don’t feel capable of big things, but God knows I need to be.  God YOU make wonderful things!  Make something of ME!  Please don’t leave me this pile of trash that so many see so clearly!  I know that’s why you brought me here to be with Val.

Val never preached.  She never judged.  She never told me of her faith but she lived it every day.  She isn’t the only one.  Why Carla?  Why would you send me Carla to lift me up and tell me of your love when I abandoned her child, my Grandchild, and made a life without them?

I see them contrasted with the Christians in my life and I see, really see, that the hurt that robbed me of being able to wrap myself in the label, hasn’t robbed me of YOUR love.

Today I am Grateful.  I will swim, even though I am afraid; even though I feel wrapped in darkness without any sense of direction or peace, even though I don’t feel like I have the strength to move forward anymore.  I will just keep moving, because I know that is what your telling me to do.

I am following YOU.





My new friend…

28 02 2013

my new baby

is old like me, and yet the time I spend with her is treasured beyond words.  She is green and less than beautiful and blissfully all mine!

I jumped on her yesterday and road a while and felt that instant happy that always hit me as a kid.  There is nothing like a bike!  You can get around much faster than walking, allowing that I can actually GO places that my feet would have never taken me.

Several times in my life I used a bike as my main mode of transportation and often felt sorry for people who drove in cars.  I always got everywhere I needed to go feeling happy and challenged and alive.  I was part of everything around me and not closed off and isolated.

I have already made riding dates and can’t wait to get some armadillo tires for my bike so that I can feel unafraid to ride everywhere I need to go.   Actually that list of bike accessories is growing and I have decided that its somewhat like buying a Barbie.  There is no end to the buying possibilities once that first purchase has been made.

In order to make this purchase I spent hours surfing the web for information and am finding stuff too good not to pass on.   This is a video on the proper way to lock your bike.

I use public transportation and sadly have encountered pieces of bike still attached to the pole it was locked to more times than I can count.   Unfortunately even putting a pad lock on it doesn’t mean you will come back to find your friend is still there waiting.  If you love your bike as I do mine, you will want to feel as secure as possible when leaving it.

I am off to spend time with my new friend, hope to see you soon.

Sincerely, SB





One size does not fit all!

25 02 2013

I was blessed this week to be able to work and have earned enough that I thought I could find a semi decent bike to ride, so I spent yesterday determined to secure one.  Ended up coming home with Birthday cards and my next canvas, to make me feel better about not finding what I was looking for.

I searched the internet and then researched the ones that I found and since so much driving was involved, just picked those that seemed the most promising.  I managed to spend enough time lost to build up my determination to a frenzied level only to have it matched by the amount of depression I felt when I couldn’t possibly make what I had found work for me.

I don’t really get it!  The one thing that was pretty dependable about our childhood was every couple of years we got a new bicycle.  No one ever took us with and yet every time I just jumped on it and rode away.  They were all perfect!  I have borrowed other people’s bikes, and never found one that just felt really wrong and yet that’s all I found yesterday.  Bikes that were very wrong for my needs and abilities at this time.

Learning what doesn’t work is also good, even when it doesn’t feel so at the time.  I know now that bikes, like shoes really need to fit well if your going to put any miles on them.  To buy the right one I will need to go somewhere that I can try several that seem to fit my budget.  If I need to get a better deal I can shop on-line but ONLY after I have found the one I really want.

I do like the idea of buying used though.  Like clothing, you get to see how it stood up to the abuse the first person gave it.  You can’t really tell how good things will hold up with that new shine on them.  With all the miles I need to put on it, that will be the most important part of the fit.





There was a girl…

18 02 2013

with a pretty little curl right in the middle of her forehead, when she was good she was very very good, and when she was bad she was horrid!

I woke up this morning realizing that I had been really bad yesterday, horrible, awful, bad.  I didn’t work out thinking I would do it later and instead I ran off to meet the guy who will mentor me in this bike trip.

We had some very strong coffee and I really enjoyed our time together.  It was really good to get a chance to know him.  We have kindred spirits.

I gave him a gift of banana bread and he gave me a cookie, which I popped into my mouth immediately before he could suggest that I start with only half.  His gift was more special then mine.

By the time I got home I was laughing my behind off.  Then I was wishing I had stayed and spent some personal time with him.  After that I started eating everything in the house.  Every crappy cream filled, sugary, salty no no thing in the house was on the list.

When I realized that single handedly I had eaten a whole bag of chips, (eeek! all that salt!) I made myself take a nap to quit!  7 hours later I woke up and it was dark.  I wasted that day!  I wanted to get up and make amends for it by jumping back into working out and behaving, and yet I was really NOT wanting to.  My body was just not into that idea.

Finally this morning I put on the music and made myself move and I was really feeling how hard it was to push myself to do it.  I am getting pain in some mussels like my abs which I am usually very unaware of.  After my 40 minutes, I felt pretty happy with myself.

Then I took my BP and went to put it down, and actually counted it out and realized that I had SKIPPED 3 DAYS, before I started working out again.  No wonder my body put up such a fuss!  Now I am recommitted to doing this everyday and back to my healthier way of eating…Oatmeal anyone???





Memorials, memory’s, memorandums…

16 02 2013

Image

I have tried to make this site Valerie free so anything that I ever said that might hurt anyone would be gone, but Valerie is as much a part of my mind and heart today as she was 6 months ago.  Everything that’s a part of me eventually spills out on these pages.

Val’s memorial was last night.  For those that worked so hard to make it happen, it is done now.  I know that you did it because you loved her best.

I was the only dry eye in the whole place.  I was watching the pictures of her life play over and over and grinning from ear to ear.  Those were good memories, and for a lot of them I was there.  I can’t think of her and be sad.  The gifts she gave me I have kept close to my heart.  They are not gone; those are still mine.

Getting to stay at the nice hotel and going to the beach with the kids; really special meals at renowned restaurants, the births of our children, us cleaning like the dickens just before inspections, and honestly all the most tragic horrid moments of my life, she let me share those with her.  I never through out my hand that her hand didn’t grasp it.

This woman knew how to live.  Everyone spoke of her smile and her big hair, but it was her bigger then life spirit behind it that made you know that smile was genuine.  She was glad to be here on this planet, glad to share her life with those she loved, and really happy that people were so moved by her presence.

Life isn’t lived in minutes but in Moments.  She set life on it’s ear, the same as any artist would, to make you stop and take a second look.  Valerie made me appreciate the gift of this life and I truly don’t believe I could have without her.  Her gift was making memories and bestowing them on others.  She didn’t take that with her, she passed that on.





Three days straight of working out…

14 02 2013

Image

Back to painting again and heard from the boyfriend…it’s Valentines day!  Its stacking up to be a very good day.  If you’re here, I LOVE YOU!  Be good to yourself!  I am going to give myself the gift of a clean house and put the paint away for a while.  :D

See you again soon.





Check it

12 02 2013

DSCN0980 (2)I am a list maker and a goal setter.  I set goals for no reason other then to have one.  I like the process of breaking things down in my mind to small achievable steps and working on it.

This trip has me blissful.  I have a huge number of obstacles; I don’t have a bike, a job, any money, my health was worrisome, I probably couldn’t walk 5 miles in less then 2 hours, and I want to bike over 2,500 in 2 months, I can’t leave my cat, and we haven’t even started planning the trip itself yet.  This is great!

I have worked through the health issues for now.  My BP and blood-sugar should only improve with exercise, so I’m good.  Check.

Started working out…check.

Funding is up next.  Today an old friend is putting me to work, so I am out of here…yea!  Check!    God loves worker bee’s!

Sincerely,

SB





For three days now…

12 02 2013

my blood-pressure has been lower than it’s been in years, its gone from a high 10 days ago of 211/117 to  ~129/80!  Feeling pretty awesome about that, and determined to stay with my program to get healthy again.  Have basically added a half an avocado, garlic, vinegar, dill pickles, and fruit to my daily diet and dropped some of my meat.  Go Me!!!

Worked my behind off yesterday but when I get up in the morning, I start officially working out!  I have the workout clothes and music set out… Rocky is back!

OK it’s morning and I re-arranged the room with most of the furniture on the bed and worked out!

I took it pretty easy doing lots of slow stretches and moved carefully not to do anything that used my rotator cuff so I could test that injury and strengthen that arm without re-injuring it.   (Not trying to be a wimp here but don’t have time to wait for it to heal again if I am going to do this.  It was months before I could sleep without pain.)  After a 40 minute workout I feel Great.  Remembering now exactly why I used to do this.

BP this morning 126/67!  My body is giving me great feedback that this is exactly what I should be doing right now and it’s not too late!  I can reclaim everything I have lost.  Wooo Wooo!!!





My Brother and i

10 02 2013

took different gifts forward from our childhoods. In the last year I have been a personal witness to the most glaring difference and it’s become just as painful for us both, even though we chose different paths.

For most of our childhoods we were raised by a man who made the “truth” something held higher in his esteem than any other human trait.  He made our child hoods a living hell in the name of it.

He had his own business’s.  Always opening and closing them.  Running new ones to replace the old.  Rarely did he have less than 3 going at the same time.

We were told on a daily basis to lie to people.  Mostly  little things like He wasn’t around to take their calls, but there were things that we we’re witness’s to everyday that were constant reminders of the fact that he was less than honest with his day-to-day dealings with people.

My brother being the boy was more pulled into his business dealings then I, but even I knew that he  rigged things so part of his income never went on the books to avoid paying as much in business costs and taxes.

When he was given a credit card to buy supplies for jobs, he would also buy stuff for personal jobs he was doing around the house and he often kept tools left around job sites.  When we were old enough to handle the money we were expected to handle it in the same way.

In the privacy of his home though he demanded absolute honesty.  Nothing was to be hidden.  The truth would be routed out by any means necessary.  His favored way was a beating.  He would take both my brother and I in a room and start beating us till we broke.  If we had lied then we got the worst beating of all, “the liars whipping”.

This was a 200 lbs man who wielded a hammer all day long, wielding a belt most often but when that didn’t seem like enough to him what ever else he could find to up the pain, switches, planks of one by and even a horse whip for as long as he felt it necessary.

When it was me and it was going on, my mind could think of nothing but the excruciating pain but when it was my Brother in there, I would fervently be praying for what seemed like hours till it would come to an end.  Either way it was torture to endure it.

That gift I was telling you about.  Well my Brother learned a lesson about how to tell them.  Look we all lie.  Who hasn’t said “tell them I’m not home”?  My brother learned when you get caught in a lie you go down with it, take it to the grave and never give it up.   Watching it play out in his life is almost as painful as sitting there on that couch witnessing what caused it.

My gift.  I learned to take a grain of truth and wield it with laser-sharp precision.   Believe me, it too is damaging and I am no less horrified of the results.

 





She ain’t heavy,

9 02 2013

Image

we were buds.  This was my favorite picture of her, because for me Valerie was bigger then life. She didn’t understand why people who didn’t even really know her seemed to love her so much.

She had this diva quality that said she knew her worth, but the thing that made her irreplaceable is that she showed you your’s. She was able to make us know it, without ever putting it into words. As someone who uses so many of them I know the problem with words is so often they are never convincing.

I want to be more like her. She saw outside herself. She really looked at the people she was with and experienced being with them. You knew she was there because she wanted to be with you, not just with someone.

Even when it was on the phone.  She wasn’t talking just because she wanted to talk…it was you she wanted to talk to.  She was the diva but the feeling she gave was that in that moment you were the gift, and for that you had to love her.





The pickle thing…

8 02 2013

I have been drinking water with fresh lemon juice in it for the last 2 days thinking the vitamin c couldn’t hurt.  Have taken 2 tbsp vinegar with 1 tbsp  of raw honey in a half cup of water once a day as well,.  Other than that I haven’t lifted my head from the pillow except to use the restroom.

I have taken my blood pressure and it seems a bit lower 152/97 but the bottom number is still too high.  If this all natural way is going to help I am primed for it … there really isn’t anything else in my system anymore.

I ate watermelon for breakfast and just had a sauerkraut sandwich on sprouted wheat bread…(which my cat went insane over) and a pickle. Turns out fermented pickles are not all that easy to find and they are a bit pricier then the other kind, but the extra work seemed worth it as I am thinking I should reintroduce good bacteria into my system.

They have to be refrigerated but not all the pickles in the refrigerator section are fermented…in fact I went to 2 stores that had none.  Public’s had them and an all natural sauerkraut as well so I got them both.   Most companies add preservatives and then pasteurize the kraut, which kills any beneficial  bacteria that ever lived in it.

I am eating pickles to bring down my blood pressure but high blood pressure isn’t something you want to mess around with.  It really puts a strain on all your vital organs and ups the chances you will have a stroke or heart attack.

While regular exercise helps lower blood pressure I am not starting an exercise program without bringing mine down to a healthier level.  It feels risky and I want to get healthy.  If my blood pressure isn’t in the acceptable rage by Monday I am off to the Dr for Med’s.  I don’t want to spend too much time playing with this …just hoping that I don’t have to go..

Just how much can what you eat regulate your health?  We seem to have 2 major opposing camps here…there is the group that says, you don’t need anything but a healthy variety of foods, taking extra vitamins and eating all natural and organic is a hoax; and then the camp that says the way food is processed now changes everything; you need to go organic when ever possible and supplement to get what we used to get naturally from our food.

I have done the all natural thing and gotten my health back before.  I’m still thinking its possible for me to do it now.





I was hearing Rocky music…

7 02 2013

Then I got this flu that’s been going around.  The first day of it I was feeling cursed but I am feeling a bit better today and choose to see it as God helping me to jumpstart my new eating plan with a fast and cleanse.  Wooo wooo …gotta head back to bed now… sitting up isn’t good.








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