Come sit with me, let's visit

Come sit with me, let's visit

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Change of Heart

Well, I hit bottom. About two weeks ago, I thought it couldn't get any worse. And then, my bank account got hacked for $600, when I really was pinching pennies. That seemed like a real annoyance. Bank forms, police report, late fees.... 100 days to recover lost monies.

But, something happened in the bank. Something inside me just 'snapped'. Sorta like it did before, only back the other direction. I felt centered, in control. Tired of being the victim. No one else was going to do anything about this. No one else gives a royal crap that I am in pain, and broke and spiraling down a dark abyss.

Don't get me wrong. I have family, loved ones, those that love me. But no one made such a big deal of all this pain that I was having besides me. And I was letting it consume me, almost literally.

See, I wasn't so much contemplating suicide as listing the ways I could NOT kill myself. I spent three days in this place, like a small shack on the edge of Hell. Treacherous cliffs, burns on my skin from the heat, and a triton in the corner, waiting for it's owner to come and shove me over the high side.

Then, I got hacked. SNAP. Done. I feel completely normal. No deep depression. A tune rolling around in my head over and over. I felt a healing in my bones. No shack, no dark burning abyss, no triton.

A few days later, my 12 year old dog collapsed. He died about 14 hours later. In my lap, in the parking lot at the vet clinic. Just died. After asking a few questions to my house mates about what they had seen in the last few days... it sounded like he had acute renal failure. My best mate, gone from my life. I was in tears for three days. No matter what I was doing, or what positive or negative conversations I was having, my eyes were full of tears and they rolled down my cheeks. Weeping for my lost, beautiful dog.

Don't get me wrong, this didn't put me back into the abyss. But it did give me a place to lay an enormous amount of grief. For patients lost, and partners lost, downed firemen, police and emts from a long past. Near misses, write ups, career shifts. I got to grieve a great deal. I saw, in my minds eye so many things that I got to let go of. Babies, kids, grannies, grampas, moms dads, and an assortment of those who died completely alone. And me. My broken armor and my broken heart. I got to grieve for me. For that I thank that smelly old dog dying in my arms.

And so I grieved. Deep and wide and long. My beautiful dog. Monster taught me more than I wanted to learn, or expected to learn from a dog.

Tomorrow will be two weeks. I don't like missing him. But when I do, I let myself weep, for a few minutes. But I am so fricken' tired of not flipping people shit, being a pain in the ass and generally making sure that I get my bite out of world. I am tired of being in charge of every body else's shit. I can't make it happen for you, I have tapped myself out. Get over it, I am healing.

I feel better, and that doesn't mean I will continue to feel better. But there are things I no longer have to deal with. I am tired of being a victim of my own brain.

So I did some house cleaning. Got rid of shit that was a burden, wasn't inspiring. I reconstructed several things here. Brought stuff in that makes me peaceful. I am done 'owing' strangers my life. My heart. My depth. My energy. I think my family could use more of that.

But first, it's me.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I am in pain. Things were going so well and then the dreams started again. Shredded. Torn. Burned. Bleeding. Screaming. Smells. Sound. The ever present flashing red lights.

I am not thinking clearly either. I forget from one day to the next. I cannot assert my thoughts clearly to others. I think in movie lines. I cry several times a day.

I am sad at my situation. I try to alleviate pressure from here and there. I get poor responses from those who are supposed to be helpful. I don't get calls I want. I get calls I don't want.

I try to breathe. I try to be present and appreciate the air, the sounds, the warmth around me. Then the thinking gets confused and like searching on the internet for a term paper on the statistical probabilities of next years income formula and finding myself in ancient Egypt discovering Ahkenaten was the first recorded person to worship a single god. Fuzzy logic in my brain. Useless things that still remain. Years of asking "Why?", then ascertain.

I am weary. Of hearing "No" or nothing. I am weary of my lack of assets. I am weary of my prospects. I am weary of my fears.

I listen to pop music. I listen to blue grass. I listen to "oldies" rock tunes I grew up with. I listen loud and long. I sing my pain. I sing loud and long.

I sit quiet. I listen to my heart beat. I listen to my breath. My mind wanders and the sound of my internal riot picks up. I slow the noise, I turn it down. I listen to my breath.

This is tiresome. This is weary. This is me, wallowing.

I love my best friend. I love my children. I love my parents. I love my grandbabies. I do love the concept of conquering this shit, crushing it beneath my toe. Making this time in my life a healing. Accepting the feelings I have. Feeling it. Knowing intimately. Learning the texture of it. Letting the weariness pass away. I look forward to the refreshing feeling of what strength this will leave me with, like a steamy hot shower after completing a filthy job. Being clean of these times. Letting this negative black tar drain away.

I have, like most people, considered suicide, once in my life, long ago. The reasons are not important. I got to the edge then, and found that I am too damn curious. Most of you that know me have experienced this curiosity in me.

I am too damn curious to see what comes next.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Do not yell at me any longer. I do not fear your wrath anymore, not like I did when I was little. And I never respected you for being angry with me. I am a grown woman who has fought you my whole life, in my head, in my heart and in making others 'be' you and then hating them instead. My hate runs deep, my heart is as cruel as yours. I would love them and cherish them and run them through with a blade of ice.

Hating you was never an option. Your lap was the safest place in the world. Your arms around me, smelling like Blistex and Old Spice, it was Heaven. It was perfect. It was Home to a vagabond girl that knew of boxes and moving and change, all too well.

Do not yell at me when you cannot see my eyes, so much like yours. You would learn fear, as I did when my eyes could see no higher than your elbow. Looking into your own eyes would paint a strip of fear in your heart as wide as the one you painted in me.

I love you and I respect you, but no more yelling. None. I am no more yours to yell at, than you are mine to abuse. Try learning to respect me, as a woman. Might heal us both.

Right now, all I feel is hurt, and the weary fear of my own creation. Right now, all I want to smell is Old Spice and Blistex, to feel safe.

Still I open my heart to you. I let you run me through, again, with your blade of ice. I try to remember. I try NOT to continue your Legacy.

I love you.

Old Spice After Shave Lotion Splash, Pure Sport, 6.37-Ounce Bottle (Pack of 3)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Clotho and Lachesis and Atropos

The Three Fates are really not well documented in mythology. There are the three hags in most tales of heros and legends. These are the Three Fates. Some say they are the daughters of Zeus, some say they are the daughters of Necessity. It matters not to me, they are part of too many tales not to be important.

Clotho is a spinner, she creates the moment of your birth, she spins the thread of your life. Is it golden and pure? Is it tattered and thin? Is it brown, grey, or a fine silvery thread that blows in a gentle breeze, like gossamer?

Suffering is part of those threads. Do you suffer? What is your tale of woe? Money. Love. Illness. Abuse. Neglect. Is your car broke down? Suffering is part. But so is happiness.

Are you rich in family? Are your pockets full of money? Do the dogs lick your toes just to watch you jump?

These threads can be woven into a tapestry of your life and either warm you and comfort you or feel like a wet blanket on a cold night. Are your threads rich in embroidery of joyful moments of peace? Your outlook is purely your own, she only provides the threads.

Lachesis determines the length of the thread. And the quality of life, or your destiny. Will you create ripples on the pond that span the world? Or will your ripples make your families life richer by your love and ability to knit wonderful booties every year at Christmas? Will your life bring happiness to millions? Or will you keep body parts in your freezer? Lachesis determines that with the creation of your thread. Free will still applies, but that thread is your destiny.

Dip a thread into a glass of water, it makes ripples. If you dip the same thread into a pond, not so much with the ripples. If you dip this same thread into the sea, the ripples are hardly noticeable. But some say if a butterfly flaps it wings in Brazil, it can create a tornado in Texas. Your presence has purpose. And you may never know what that is.

Atropos is the woman with the "abhorrent shears" to cut the thread. At times she does so with little notice. An infant that breathes twice and lays lifeless had a very short thread. Their lives were not meaningless, as their deaths were felt deeply by someone, somewhere. A prison guard wept bitter tears when this baby died, the prisoner only felt the pain of childbirth, her daughter meant nothing to her. She cared little for her own situation, the baby was only a burden.

My great-grandmother was over 100 years old when she passed. She saw the automobile evolve from a hand cranked bicycle-type gadget to a bat-winged door Ferrari. Her thread was long and rich. Full of learning and knowing and very busy fingers. She took her thread and made quilts that still warm us, even now, nearly 20 years since she breathed one last time. 

I have made a difference in someone's life. I don't know whose. But I have touched too many lives in precarious and dangerous places to not have made a difference. My ripples are unknown to me. I like to think they travel far. I know there are two wonderful men and wonderful young woman that travel the world. I have made a difference in their lives, and they have made a difference in mine. Those changes affect those they touch. So my ripples are in Cuba. My ripples are in Indonesia. My ripples are in Ghana.

I do not know if they are good and pure. I do not know if they are harmful. But so far, my tapestry appears to be rich and full.

Happy Thursday.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Sincerity is very difficult for some. It is second nature (so it seems to me) that lots of folks have a separate agenda when they speak to you. Either to glean information, or to make certain that your intentions are blocked. To what end, I do not always know or understand. Why would someone be so deliberate in their actions?

To say something to someone and leaving something withheld (that is not a sarcastic remark), is to lie to them, or be insincere. This is a very narrow path, to me. I love the sarcastic remark, and don't like to hurt people's feelings when my opinion is petitioned. Honey, where did you get that hair cut? At the dog groomers? -- Funny, yes, sincere, no.

I want to try something a bit less hard edged. Such as, darling you have such a pretty face, that hair cut is not flattering at all. This could hurt a person's feelings.  But should be considered as a more tactful way of being honest with someone. According to Franklin, even this is too much of a lie.

It is difficult to find the sincerity in myself without using humor and sarcastic tone. At that point I know I have failed to be honest with what is the center of me. This is the me that presents itself to the world, humor and sarcasm. It is funny and it does dance around the topic that is at hand. Therefore diminishing it's importance or lesson. This is also the character I present to my loved ones. This has shaped my relationships with them. With that in mind, can I please say something about your hair? It is very pretty and catches the light a glistens in a beautiful way. I think the waves in your hair show your character quite nicely. The way it is shaped does nothing to show off your good qualities.

How is this? I could not be more proud or more excited for both of you. You are both choosing paths that will challenge you and bring you great happiness. For this I am filled with love for you both. I hope with all my heart that your pains are few. But I will be here, as best I can, for you when you need me to be happy with you, and to hold you when Life hurts.

Today's reflection

~~Edward R. Murrow

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.
Oscar Wilde

I have spent a lot of time in your home, listening to your story, while I read between the lines. I have come when you called, even for a hemorrhoid that you have had for years, but now has a pregnant belly providing extra pressure. I have apologized for things that were not my fault, but it closed a ridiculous issue. I have smiled to keep your day nice, no matter what my day has been like. I have eaten crow publicly "No sir, I did not do as directed". I have patted those on the back that deserved it, as well. I knew a man I called The Airway God. But the thin veneer of bravado is very poorly maintained, even by the best of us. We put on our suit of armor, and our loud and comfy boots. Every item is a fragile piece of rice paper, even us ladies wearing makeup, waiting to be ruined by some unexpected bodily fluid. This is what happened to me. Blood saturated through my long standing suit of armor, and contaminated my body with God, only knows what. I have my last test this week. All clear so far. But the panic that set in, and was almost immediately was profound.

I have Combat-PTSD, so they tell me. Flashbacks, nightmares, insomnia and startle reflexes are common place for me. I can only read a few pages of a book at a time, it becomes too much information and my brain downloads the newly absorbed text and drops it out the bottom of my head. There is an abundance of advise to 'heal' from this, but my doc says, this stays with you forever. Learning to manage it is the key. The need for grounding is strong and leaves me with  a sense of isolation that can only be described as complete. There are voices in my head, whispering just out of range of detecting any words. Like exuberant roofers wanting to complete a task that has run two days over schedule.

Cortisol is your friend and your enemy. Too much and you rage like a bull elephant in musk, too little and you are deeply depressed, over eat and cry endlessly. Meditation is the best thing to keep your levels under control--CRAP. I can meditate for an hour, and in 30 minutes I am a black rage that has me at the verge of breaking my house to pieces.

I know I am taking my anger out on my housemates. I do not intend to, but I find that particular anger has a beginning, a middle and an end. The 'end' part is good, it suggests I may be done with my stress (open mindedness, makes any possibility present itself). I love them all, and I want to provide, but this extended leave has me in a position that no longer allows for such things.

This is my thought- when you hit rock bottom, there is nowhere to go, but up. And hey! it aint cancer. So there is that.

A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.
Oscar Wilde

Once a Warrior--Always a Warrior: Navigating the Transition from Combat to Home--Including Combat Stress, PTSD, and mTBI

The Dog's Day

If I could be anything I wanted in the whole world, I would be one of my dogs. That sounds vain and ridiculous, but my dogs have it good.

I have three dogs, and a poodle. I cannot call her a dog, but will include her here as 'the exception'.

Napping is an art form here. Either lying in the sun, or stretched out in the middle of the floor, flat on their backs, napping is taken quite seriously. I adore that moment when the dog lays down on the floor, takes a deep breath, and moans long and soft, letting go of every care in the world. To slumber deeply for a few moments. They probably get 10 to 12 hours of sleep a day, mostly in short 15 to 30 minute periods. And never seem tired always vital and refreshed. I could live without the steady snoring, though. At any given moment, somewhere in the house, there is a dog snoring. The exception is almost always laying out, baking in the sun. If she were a person, she'd be overly tanned and wearing frosted lipstick, and that would be smeared all over her crooked mouth.

Eating is another thing. Timeliness is very important. If, at 7:02 there is no fresh food available, there is a dog attempting hypnosis on me. "You want to fill my bowl. You want to fill my bowl. YOUWANTTOFILLMYBOWL". But the food is really just grazed upon. One at a time, they mosey by the bowls, and take a few bites. Then slop water all over, so their slightly dirty  feet make darling little muddy foot prints in my kitchen. There is the occasional belch, and a wet whiskered nose shoved at me.

Playing. I have, at any given moment some sort of dirty, slobbered upon toy in the house. I actually don't mind. They are like gifts. They make dogs happy and can be thrown by dogs, or by people. Two of the dogs fetch, with single minded purpose. It took some work, but there is no longer competitiveness over who plays with what. There is a large variety of balls here, soccer, tennis, and football. The football is my favorite. The boy here has worked for years on his fetching and catching skills. It is astonishing to see him catch a football in midair. I have a small collection of ropes floating around here too. Two of them are fetching items, they get caught in the tree once in while. One is either used for tugging or untying the knot, over and over. It doesn't matter how often or how difficult a knot, she works at it tirelessly until it comes free (not bad for only being four months old).

I want to be one of my dogs. I want to learn that tranquil peace; that comfort of routine; that determined focus. To live completely in the present moment, as though there was nothing to worry about.

Protected By " Australian Shepherd Home Security System " Parking Sign Dog

Monday, April 18, 2011

How the Garden Grows me.

If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I would not pass it round.  Trouble creates a capacity to handle it.  I don't embrace trouble; that's as bad as treating it as an enemy.  But I do say meet it as a friend, for you'll see a lot of it and had better be on speaking terms with it.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

This sounds ridiculous to some, but I have learned quite a bit about Life just by gardening. Some things live and some things just don't, but there are some basic rules about what you do in the garden.

Soil. A steady base, with good drainage and room to grow as far as you need. (This could be a sticky wicket.) Not all plants need dirt, but a steady place to put their roots. Plants need good soil, you cannot grow an orchid from the dirt you've been pouring your old motor oil in. It is important to keep your soil free on contaminates and watch the amount of negative content gets in.

Food. Not exactly fertilizer, this is the other stuff that your plants eat, at a much smaller level. There is nitrogen and hydrogen and oxygen, and carbons and lots of other lovely things. Well, they are lovely if you are a daisy. Sometimes, these things such as worm poop, or even a nematodes corpse, could be as delicate as a crisp salad with flower petals or as sturdy as a peppercorn rubbed steak. Nourishment needn't come with a big extravagant meal, just a small  snack can sometimes provide all you need.

Water. About this time every year, my skin has been just a little bit drier than it was last year. My skin is amazingly dry. One of the reasons is because I go out and stick my hands in the dirt a few times a week. Just to make sure there is enough moisture out there. Living in any environment you live in you must absolutely give enough water to the plants. I lived in Oregon for years, I had a lovely cactus garden that sat in my dining room. I never watered it, it was able to get what it needed from the air surrounding them. This is not the case when I tried to keep a few "Air Plants" alive. Balance is very important.

Weeds. Let's face it, there are things that grow out of the ground that have pointy things in them like like to poke you in the feet and ruin your favorite sweater. But if Man had pulled every single thing that had points on it, we would never have the patience to watch a rose bloom. Or anything as tasty as blackberry cobbler. Perhaps we are too impatient with weeds, there is a reason for them, in the first place. They could just be holding the dirt in place.

Poop. Well, not one of Life's best topics, but lets just hold hands for a minute. Shall we? Poo gives the plants something to chew on while they bide their time getting big and strong and making you a lovely pumpkin for Halloween. Fertile ground is important, gives the mind something to do. Never be afraid to experiment with fertilizer, you may just find the perfect one, by accident.

Light. Every day has a certain amount of lightness and darkness to it. It is the balance of the planet, you cannot fight it. Wake, sleep, play, rest. Okay, you can fight it inside you, but it is as unhealthy as trying to grow moss in the desert. When you are gardening there is little you can do about how long the day is going to light. The plant knows. That's why the crocus and the hyacinth pop their pretty faces out before the last snow melts. That is also why certain things just will not grow if they don't get the direct amount of daylight, or darkness.

Finally, you must, absolutely must, just give up on some of your favorite plants, because they will not come back every year, no matter what hocus-pocus you do. Others, will come back over and over again, no matter how many times you dig them up, burn them or throw them away. Those little determined things, are called 'Family'.

Remember this-that there is a proper dignity and proportion to be observed in the performance of every act of life. ~Aristotle

RoseFeather Handmade Feather Roses - 6pc Gift Box

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Resolve- not Dissolve

I wanted to write a really profound article on Resolution, as it is one of the 13 Virtues laid out by 'ole Bennie Franklin. So I did a bit of looking around. To "resolve" to do something is not what I thought it was. Or to put it a bit more familiar to some:

You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means. 

I believe it was intended to be a 'Resolve' to complete a task you have set out to do. So, I resolve to make the bed every morning? Or do I resolve to complete the studies of Mr. F? Or I resolve to be?

So, being an old fashioned researcher, I want the parameters of my topic to remain in clear focus (ha!). I looked up the definition; and was amazed at the results.

1. Obsolete: Dissolve, Melt -- sounds like a reference to baking with chocolate to me... "allow the ingredients to resolve together to form a liquid consistency"

2. To change by disintegration-- Marvin the Martian's misfiring ray gun? "Why haven't you resolved into nothing?"

3. To reduce by analysis--Algebra anyone? "Resolve the problem into it's simplest elements"

4. To deal with successfully-- like the debate on the death penalty?  "to resolve doubts or disputes"

Now, here is the one that I thought we were talking about:

5. Possessing determination and purposefulness/motivated or displaying determination.

So, now that we know so clearly what we are talking about(?), exactly what am I to do with all this information? Do I choose one? Or do I integrate, or resolve, all of these processes into my 'resolute' character?

By the way, I am not so sure I need to possess much more determination than I have now. Good Lord, I am a red head, which by nature causes me be hard-headed as well (as though the copper curls counteract constant cantankerous comportment-curious concept).

As far as reducing by analysis, Quantitative Reasoning for Business counts. And I resolve to find all the resolutions in this class. 

And I think it is about time to locate that chocolate mousse recipe again. I think I shall try that this time.....

In summary, to beguile you with my astounding tale of resolution; let us compile all our genuinely surprising research of the word "Resolve". It is a complex word which composes different aspects of our lives and asks us to conduct ourselves in a truthful, if less than complex character. So take your favorite definition term and incorporate that into you, today. Resolve to resolve your inner conflicts into a more resolute resolution.

Happy Tuesday!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Not forgotten

I am nearby, and studying the numbers we all have to work with, and a few hundred combinations we never need outside a classroom.

I have been contemplating a few things deeply, and shall be back with something soon. Don't go far.

Monday, March 28, 2011

School Starts

I am trying to be optimistic here. I start school on Wednesday. My first class is a 500 level Statistics. It has been over a year since I was a student and nearly two since I dealt with math on a college level. I did College Algebra five times before I passed. Of course, that was over a 20 year period (I'm what ya call a slow learner). So now, to challenge me completely, I return to class, to complete my MBA. While I am dealing with my own mental crap, and, oh yea, do so while completely broke.

Here is the plan, I applied for financial aide, so that should cushion that blow a bit (if they don't deny me, for whatever reason). I complete my final 19 credits and then-poof- I have an MBA. I have absolutely no clue whatsoever to do with it. I may have to write a book and go on the lecture circuit. "How to completely ruin your life, while saving others". Or, how is this; "EMS, hands on". The one I have always wanted to do was a photo-filled folio of sorts, about calls I have heard, or run, filled with pictures of what we, in EMS always see, food wrappers, on the dashboard, going down Anonymous Road, racks filled with O2 tanks, 'ambulance parking---->" signs, and hands. I have pictures lots of pictures.

What do you do with 18 years experience, and an MBA. I need the recipe for the lemonade there. Perhaps it will come to me at night, in my dreams.

I realize I said "here is the plan..." and got side tracked. Not exactly acrobatics for me these days. I plan to go to school on Wednesday. That is the plan. I have final blood draws to make sure I have no residual issue with my blood borne pathogens exposure (all have been negative so far, not worried about this last one-much). Then the next week I go see the shrink, who is referring me to a doc that is supposed to get me thru to therapy and group sessions. Really? Group Sessions? (why do I hear in my head that 'Bob, has bitch tits'?)

I must find an intelligent, and financially lucrative way to make my life experiences, and my education come to a fruitful and cleansing middle ground.

Fight Club: A Novel

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Life's Little Frustrations

I am broke. There are reasons for this and its sort of my topic:

I am classified as 'injured' at work. Makes since, the thought of actually stepping on an ambulance only makes me nauseated now. I don't really go into rages, or crying fits that last the day. Nightmares aren't preventing sleep-- well, more than once a week.

My life has gone through LOTS of changes in the last 12 months. Personally, in terms of the way my house runs, and professionally. Most of that is due to the simple fact that once your earned income exceeds a certain dollar amount, apparently they have what is a 'top' number of how much they pay you. Ya- my income was two thirds more than what I receive. My home is a third world country right this second. Robbing Peter to pay Paul at least half of what we owe him. And Susie, well, I ain't payin' her right now, because it's that or eat.... TFB Susie.

And--why is it that the best jobs are on websites that wont take consistent user names and passwords? Seriously, if you want to go back to, you have to remember a fairly complex user name, and what was it? I was so annoyed, I couldn't remember.

There are people in my house trying to find jobs. It has been a fruitless search, so far. It has been very frustrating to forget these passwords, take the time to have them emailed, and the go back to the website, and sign in, only to see there is nothing available, in either your location, or your job requirements.  And why can't you reach an HR employee to save your life? Isn't 'PERSONNEL' part of her job requirement?? I am not saying I returned every phone call, but I did return the phone of someone who called twice in two days.

I have money coming, from different locations. It just never seems to be enough. I spend my day on the computer, because this is my office, that and a corner in the garage. There needs of the many outweighing the resources of the one. I am pedaling as fast as I can. No more money problems. I am giving them 30 days to resolve themselves. Or I am going to started eating my housemates..... I have the soft and tender one. The lean and juice one. Or there are two other choices, old and rangey or young and losing weight, so I am thinking she will be last.

I want to work, but there are resounding "No's" from multiple locations. Mostly those who sign the documentation. But the encouraging part is there are 'Resources' for folks in my shoes. How much documentation to you need to get wheels under this Resource, cause it just lays there like my old dog right now. Well, what about school? I am 19 credits away from an MBA.
That's what? 9 months, a year? Then I don't need those smelly old boots again. They will be bronzed.

Right now I couldn't bronze an old coin. I am so broke. And this frustrates me to no end.

The Anthropology of Cannibalism

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I have haunted dreams. They are haunted by my dead. The ones I have pronounced dead. My dead. They belong to me. There is something intimate about being present with the dead. It is personal, someone called 9-1-1 and now, standing in the bedroom, I have worked the Paramedic magic, and their body has failed.

But I take each one with me, like a badge or an albatross, I don't know which. To be present at the moment of death is a remarkable event. There was once, that I was working on what going badly, no matter what I did. At the end, I was the one doing CPR and I was directing the rest of the folks that were there to do as I asked. There were four of us in the back of the ambulance, sweating and breathing hard. Two working at each place on this man, to reverse, or postpone, what we all knew would happen, me doing my part, and the patient failing. Trying to get him into an ER where there were more resources and more folks. Suddenly, the lights got very bright in the back of the ambulance. This was my beloved 2676 that had a good solid pattern in its misbehavior. The lights were a new problem, could be the electrical system, or the distributor, the power conversion system. I looked toward the ceiling, to see if things were as bad as all that. The light wasn't coming from the interior lights. It was around me. Bright. Very Bright, and very warm. I suddenly felt very calm, and a question popped into my mind "Why are you working so hard?" It wasn't my voice. It was male and he was ever so peaceful. Then the lights went back to normal. He was pronounced dead shortly after we arrived at the hospital. The other folks in the back of the ambulance with me, saw light, thought it was the truck lights too, but it 'looked funny'. And they were too busy to check all that, afraid I would yell at them for not doing as I instructed.

My dreams are haunted by these people. Those I worked on, I became part of the breathing system, or I could try to control their heart beat. There are also those I couldn't do anything for, and they are here too. They don't seem to be trying to hurt me, but their sudden presence is frightening, sometimes. Like a horror flick, the world is turning on it's axis, all is right and "BLAM" someone gets run over by a bus. All their wounds and my perspective a replay of reality.

I have been reading about dreams and their meanings. I know, magic, psycho-poo-poo. But I find them useful tools. It helps sometimes to learn that 'if you are bound in your dream it symbolizes the need to be free'. Sounds simplistic enough, and often they are easy once I take them apart and look them over.

"To see something burning in your dream, indicates that you are experiencing some intense emotions and/or passionate sexual feelings. There is some situation or issue that you can no longer avoid and ignore.  Alternatively, it may suggest that you need to take time off for yourself and relax. Perhaps you are you feeling "burned out" or "burned up". " Huh- burned up, you say? Hard to imagine. Or, "Babies symbolize something in your own inner nature that is pure, vulnerable, helpless and/or uncorrupted." Sometimes you have to take elements apart, to see them clearly; a bird with a  beard, singing in a flowering bush:  there is the bird singing (aspirations and hope); he has a beard (old age and insight); and the flowering bush (personal growth). All together it is a hope that you would be wise in your old age, and will (or are) growing in that direction. Sometimes a cake is just a cake, and means nothing. Getting side tracked is easy, but what rings true is what should be addressed, no matter how painful.

Sometimes my dreams are senseless garbage, something my brain decided was recreational as opposed to important. Like an Alice in Wonderland fantasy. Nothing rational or real, just a smile without a cat, or a top hat too large for any real person to wear. A mouse working the metal of a sword to perfect sharpness. 

No matter the terrors of the night. The dead have left me each with something, like the coins given to the Ferryman. I must create the value of it to me. Be weak where I must be fragile and delicate. Be strong when that is called for. Ultimately tearing down the facade that I have created over so many years and be what I AM.

Dream Dictionary : An A to Z Guide to Understanding Your Unconscious Mind

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Perfect Moments

As busy as my days can be, I try very hard to find the 'perfect moment' in the day. That moment when everything is in order, and no needs are made on you for the next 60 seconds.

Sometimes it is a natural thing, Sunrise painting the clouds. That moment at twilight when the very first star peeks through. Moonrise is one that I really like, the moon all fat and yellow peeking up, usually over some mountain. The sun in a loved one hair, painting it in light. An owl that swoops in during a dark hour of the night a peers down at me haughtily, as though I had no right to gaze up at him in wonder. That first smell when you step into the flower shop. A herd of any animal you can name, sides turned toward the morning light, their healthy hides glistening. Siting a whale spout. Painted mountains standing tall and proud in the day. The first thunder cloud of the season rising tall and ominous, and the smell it makes when it finally reaches the dry desert ground. A rose bush in full bloom. That sound a dog makes when he found that perfect zone take a nap.

Sometimes it is a man-made thing. My first sip of coffee in the morning (Coffee-Goood). The smell when you walk into a good bakery. Running my hand down a fine piece of fabric. That place in a book, where everything has culminated, but the book isn't quite over (I know the tale, but am not yet faced with the need to choose another book). Music, no particular kind, but it must be the perfect tune for the moment: Bob Seeger on a sunny day driving down the road, windows down; Norah Jones with a freshly opened bottle of wine; Mike Oldfield when the whisky pours freely; Shakira in the garden; Gordon Lightfoot on cleaning day. The Queen of the Night Aria, from Mozart's Magic Flute, when the mood is deep.

Sometimes it is just a movement. Having the strength I needed to lift what had to be hefted. Catching something that was suddenly tossed at you. Dodging the car that just made a bad move. The perfect stretch in the morning. Being able to put a large vehicle in a place that someone else said it wouldn't fit, and getting it successfully out again.

These moments, to me, aren't the places in between. These moments are Life. They are religious, cleansing, healing moments. The rest is in between, waiting for that perfect moment to remind you where you are.

Diana Damrau - Arie di Bravura (Mozart, Salieri, Righini Opera Arias)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Organize What- Exactly?

Cleanliness and order are not matters of instinct; they are matters of education, and like most great things, you must cultivate a taste for them. ~Benjamin Disraeli  

About a million years ago I couldn't organize my thoughts, let alone my home. My house keeping skills were on par with bag ladies and those that live in clutter piles. Problem was, I hated it, and didn't know how to not live that way.

Somewhere along my path I was given a book called The Messies Manual. It suggested that you start at your front door and clean the first thing you come to, not just dust it, but empty it out and put those thing where you want them to be: Trash, Kitchen cupboard, garage sale, etc.

Honestly? It took me years to finish. I kept finding reasons to not do the work. It was too hard, I was too busy, and oh, yes, the ever popular, why am I doing this.

But my brain needs order, I am the person that takes lint of the person in front of them in a line. Whether they notice or not, I don't mind. I can't stand that off-color fuzz distracting me. So, I cleaned, I filed, I organized. I found that once it was done (years later, mind you), it didn't take long to do much. Wipe, scrub, a load of laundry, and a few dishes.

Of course having the space for everything you want to keep becomes an art form in itself. I cannot stand fiberboard furniture, so I had to address that. I don't remember when this happened in my life, but I do recall a piece of loved furniture that got saturated, and filled with water, and the veneer popping off showing me the swollen and foul fibers inside the cheap piece. No fiber board. Right this minute I have a antique pedal-style Singer sewing machine showing off a collection of dragons, and a trunk in my living room the size of a small car that houses my linens.

Okay, my closet: Here is the thing 2 rules, no wire hangers, and color coded. okay, laugh

Are you done? This happened at a time in my life when I had absolutely no control over anything whatsoever. My whole life was uncertain. The only sanctuary I had was brushing my hair and keeping my closet looking like a photographer was about to do a photo shoot for Martha Stewart. It gave me a sense of calm in the storm. Clean is, afterall, free.  It's much less perfect than that now, still it's color coded. Still, no wire hangers.

Nowadays, the dishes get left overnight, every now and then. The laundry piles up until I want my favorite jeans. And the floor gets mopped twice a week or so. If something smells it must be tracked down and disinfected. Windows, however.... still just not into cleaning those.

I learned a great deal from this process. What really was necessary, what was just sentimental and taking up space, but serving no purpose whatsoever. What was sentimental and I loved could be used to hold pens, or a pile of hair bands. Or placed on a shelf for appreciation. I learned that giving to Good Will is actually very cleansing. And if I am not getting back to that particular craft project, then I need to disassemble it. Oh, and one other thing--lemon juice and water cleans most everything and smells very good.

              The Messies Manual : The Procrastinator's Guide to Good Housekeeping

Friday, March 11, 2011

What Time Is It?

Time, to me is a just what's on the clock. Day Time. Night Time. It matters not. I have been awake for days at a time. I just read a line, in an Ann Rice book, about working in a hospital, that the light never changes, nor the temperature, so it was "a submarine, passing through time". I really liked that concept.

I have been in an ambulance at any given moment on the clock. I have been both in the front, and in the back. A submarine passing through time. The light outside and inside changes. But time still must be documented somewhere.

As I sit here, the sun is westering and just coming into my eyes, making the dust motes dance in the room, highlighting the dust on my computer screen, and illuminating my hair and eyelashes. What time is it? I don't know. What time of year is it? Could be 1500. Could be 05:00 pm. I just don't know. I seldom care, unless someone else needs a meal by a given time and I am the one cooking.

I used to force my body to sleep at nights and be awake during the day. But my 24 hour schedule demanded something different from my body. I finally gave up. I sleep when I am tired, eat when I am hungry and zone out in front of a bad movie when the mood strikes me. My body has a 72 hour cycle to it. I have worked in some sort of three day system for too long. Rest, refreshment, relish, rejuvenate, rugged, recreate, run-down and really rowdy.

The only time I worry about what time it is, when the radio goes off, when I arrive at someone's side to respond to their needs. When I execute a protocol. When I arrive at the hospital with them. And when I am available for another call. When, if needed, I pronounce them deceased (or born) then I want to know exactly what time it is.

Otherwise, that big box is a submarine, passing through time. Long ago there was one ambulance that I had a great affinity for. I found my skill in there. It was a late 90's van conversion. Big blue ugly thing. 2676. Ran like an overloaded pick up. Screaming against the laws of physics, demanding brakes and oil and once, a motor. But I learned about my skills in it. I 'absorbed' what patients needed. I 'listened' between the words they said. I 'felt' pain with them, or 'heard' their line of complete shit.

There was once, I was accused of voodoo medicine in that ambulance. Funny story. Someday I may tell you that tale.

The sun rises and sets on its cycle, my body has its own cycle of rest and energy. Just a submarine, passing through time. Creating a wake, making waves of it's own.

The Witching Hour

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Crone-The Apocalypse

So, there I was, minding my own business and a crone told me to revisit "The Crone". I am not the least bit happy about this concept, and revisiting a old topic required me to get your attention.. So, like any money making movie mogul-- CRONE-THE APOCALYPSE.

Bits of me that ache now when the weather changes. I can hearing popping sounds when I stand up. I can sit still and be reminded of something I did yesterday, just by which joint aches. I have two pieces of titanium where part of me used to be. There are parts that fall asleep when I lay down, long before I can, because now I have to readjust, to improve circulation. I have parts that have been disconnected. I have parts that are slowing down - a rhythm that was once like clockwork. I have parts that used to be up here, and are now located a bit further south. I have a special part that gets fingerprints, nose prints, baby prints and have to be cleaned a few times a day, because I can see some things up close, and some things far off, but I just can't see very well at all without them.

Skin that is more visible in its imperfections, my hands, my face, what was a laugh line, is there all the time now. And what's with the brown spots, like freckles on steriods? I use a cream in the shower, and a gel after, and an oil too. I wash my hands a thousand times a day and they feel like a pair of shoes I once threw away. I have some skin as soft as the back of Grandma's arm used to be.

My hair and I have had a long and painful relationship. It's red, you see. So I was sort of a standout in a hispanic community. Well, it was red, and in the early 80's I wrestled with blow dryers and hot rollers and no matter what, I could not look like Farrah. I've pushed the shade from time to time with a box, or a very expensive visit to a salon. About a year and half ago, my daughter convinced me to dye it red, because I was going so gray. I thought we had a fade out variety-oh, no, we did not. We had a 'covers black dye great' box of dye. I had a head of hair that looked like Lucille Ball for nearly two months. Last year, on my birthday, I paid for a trip to the salon, I got lots of blonde shot through it, and now, as that is fading out, my new silver curls are popping in. They add to the 'wisdom' look of me, but they are coming very quickly. Soon, I'll be Valerie the White.

The stuff I know and the stuff I have seen should make me a wise crone, of sorts. But I feel like a box of rocks, dense, heavy and dusty. I have seen cruel, calculated things that make no sense whatsoever. I have seen stupid things that should go in the Darwin Awards. I have seen careless acts go ever so devastatingly wrong. I should have good advise, like 'happiness depends on ourselves' and 'one swallow does not make a summer'. But I am no Aristotle. I stumble and fall too. Life is messy, they say, and I don't want to be the person that has to clean it all up.

I am not even sure this is a mess. Perhaps I have put too much emphasis on being in control of my life, afterall.

Growing Old Is Not for Sissies II: Portraits of Senior Athletes (Bk. 2)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Open Heart or Endorphins?

Imagine you are standing at the top of a very high place, looking down and away from you. It is so high, small clouds are moving below you. You can see far into the distance, the sun is warm, the breeze is slightly cool, and blows your clothing. Now, spread your arms wide, take a deep breath.... and just be there.

You are driving on the interstate, and the semi in front of you tosses up a three foot piece of tire that comes right at your windshield, while you are driving at eighty miles an hour. You turn the wheel, as gently as you dare, and you see clearly the torn treads as they careen past your window, never touching the car... and are forced into this moment, with complete clarity.

You are standing in full uniform, polished, ironed and sparkling as the casket goes by. You knew him, laughed with him. Cleaned gear with him. He was always professional when called upon, and attentive, alert and fun. Now, his casket goes by. You feel grief for yourself and his family, the loss of his future. There but for the Grace of God, go I. The uniform demands your professionalism, the human inside the uniform sheds tears for your grief.

The person you love the most is with you in THIS MOMENT. They open their arms and give you a hug of complete understanding. Your heart near to theirs. The hug is long and safe, as you each take one long deep breath together. One tear escapes each of you, as you both know you were there right then, sharing that together.

Are these moments of complete oneness with the present moment? Or are they a compilation of hormones that rush through your body allowing you to survive? Or somehow is the chemistry that is your pile of YOU, truly aware and one with the surroundings? Are these moments the ones that show you the face of a Deity?

I believe. I am here. I am listening.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The last five words

If you are known as a smart ass forget to say the last five words you want to. This really isn't advise for smart asses only, anyone can use this advise.

For instance, you are in a meeting with 'THE BOSS'. He is tooting his horn and saying how wonderful business is, because HE exists. You say, biting down all the bile, that yes, indeed he is a wise man and has done wonderful things for the company. What you should not add, no matter how much you want to: Thank God, you have me. Even though its true.

Your children, grown and wiser than you, are falling down the way young adults do, and you watch and you wait and you hold the net beneath them, as best you can. They call, complain, request, or just rail on about the woes of the world that is against them. "See, I told you so." Also, not a good idea.

I have often thought about my last five words, whether said or bitten off before they could be said, and it seems I sound a bit wiser, knowledgeable, and patient without saying them. When I reflect on them, they do convey my mood, or attitude quite well. But is it really necessary to make sure that my disdain, or displeasure is clear in each situation? No, it isn't. And it can leave some lasting, negative impressions.

So now, to close off today's lesson in Silence:

Do I wake or Sleep?
To be or not to be
God bless us every one
Well, you are wrong, again
I'm the final decision maker
I'll get back to you

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Not happy with this word. It reminds me too much of what my body is doing. But we will investigate it anyway- perhaps with some animosity.

To me, the crone is a character I read in Stephen King's Gun Slinger series; Rhea of the Coo's. Terrifying woman. Bony to the point of being too thin. Joints bulging from the skin. Breasts hanging useless. Hair thin, of various lengths, and hanging unkempt from her head. She has a potion for illness and a powder for money. She can see everywhere in her pink crystal ball. She laughs to herself and kicks her two tailed cat. She looks at young men with lecherous greed.

Perhaps I am not too far from that myself, in many ways.

Short one today, not too keen on investigating my Crone, as of yet. She is too close for comfort.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I have a mother. You have a mother. I am a mother. (and that's not half a word)

A mother's love. I love the surprises of being a mother. My shoes with their special gift that found it's way between my toes. The meal I never should have fed them in the car. The day I put them in that one outfit that was for The Special Day, and that's when I found out what was last eaten may not have been the wisest choice. I knew a Mom once. An amazing woman. Would go through three dish towels a day, each residing proudly on her shoulder. First for faces and hands, then counters and tables, finally the dog's mouth, he was a giant of a dog, stood in the middle of the kitchen most of the time. She kept telling him to move out of the way, he never did. She walked around him like an island in her kitchen.

Mother's cooking. Everybody has something that they loved that only Mom can cook. I'm just going to say right here, it was not my Mother's liver and onions. I like to cook in the kitchen with my daughter. Although somewhere along the way she became a four star general in the kitchen and any soul in the house can and will be recruited to stir, watch, roll or clean something. No one ever seems to question her when this happens. It's sorta like Patten screaming at the boys in the hospital, at once terrible and historic. She and I made a Gingerbread E.R. once. Did the floor plan after the ER I worked in. Complete with Ambulance bay. Had a blast doing it. I'd like to make something a little more challenging next time. Maybe a Gingerbread Garden?

Mother Bear. That's what happens when someone does something that I consider unfair to a young person I am protecting. It doesn't matter the age of the child. Or the level of unfairness. I become a growling snarling dominating animal that will consume any threat that comes near the 'child' in question. I don't know any other way. I have threatened to kill two men, and I would have. I have snarled at Teachers, Principals, ex-husbands, husbands and other children. This is MINE and it WILL BE SAFE.  There have been times that I have tasted blood in my mouth and wondered at what blood lust felt like.

A mother's love is complex and necessary. Anyone lacking in it, should get a hold of me.....

Sunday, February 27, 2011


What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how
infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and
admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like
a god!  --Hamlet, Act II, Scene II

If anyone who knows me reads this you will know something of me.... I love men.

Men of all shapes and sizes and worth. Tall and lanky, short and round. Asian, Mexican, black, white. I love to see them at their strength, weakness and sweating like a horse over some menial task. I love beer bellies and washboard abs. I love to see them cry in movies, and hide their emotions when saying something important to someone they love. I love the way they smell. How they bark when they know they are wrong.

I love men in jeans, suits and nothing at all. I find them fascinating in uniform. I find them sexy in a bathrobe and slippers.

Most of my readers will know I have been married more than twice. I love deeply and passionately, and like a roman candle, eventually I 'poof' my last. I still look at the man near me. I find them sexy in their own way. Does the hair curl over their ears, or do they shave it all with a Bic twice a week?

I flirt relentlessly. I smile and coo and touch them on the arm. I can make them laugh and even if they are the most sour-I can get a smile. There is some promise in me when I carry on. That I am uncatchable, except by you.

The truth is, I am Wild Woman. I cannot be caught. I cannot be tamed. I cannot live under the premise that you will keep me until I am old. That means I would get old. I have an untamed heart that has been broken too often to be held in a pair of hands. If you love me, really love me, and want my love in return you must do one thing. Actually love the crazy, wild, sweet, innocent maiden that has long gazed at the eyes of men, and found both beauty and insanity.

One of my many loves told me once that I was a great fisherman-of men. Apparently I have been on the catch and release plan. But, baby, I will always love you.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Today I get to ignore the texts on my phone. I have had the pleasure of ignoring these texts for months. Though, I can tell which Supervisor is having a bad day with absences. Or lots of transfers.

I remember answering them, most of them. And putting on a uniform and going to work. A "Sasquatch" is a drink that I found here in town: five shots of espresso, with steamed cream. Took me 6 hours to drink it, but it was gooooooooood.

I have the fourth pair of boots that I bought for this job in my closet. They are breaking down on the inside. That's usually the part I loose on boots. My feet go in, my feet come out. I have ruined three zippers that lace into boots. I had one pair of boots that the zipper didn't fit quite right, it was too long. I kept the zipper in there anyway.

Wash the truck, patient care, unit checks, wash the truck, endless paperwork, clean socks, take a nap, wash the truck, what are we watching?, standing by a wall in a hospital, trying not to get run over by techs, waiting for a bed, washing the truck.

OH! and lets not forget the armchair quarter backs, 'you shouldn't have...' and 'why exactly did you do this...'. The quality assurance review "you forgot to....." eh, piss off.  "Why did you give Dopamine to an obvious stroke patient?" Because I called the doctor at the receiving facility and told him that her blood pressure was dangerously low and if I didn't she may have been dead by the time I got there (she lived, boys and girls, that one managed to live). "Why didn't you cancel the helicopter on this patient? The volunteers said he was fine." He wasn't fine, he had a heart rate of 160 according to the volunteers on scene. And he was stabbed six hours ago. Did you hear that his vital signs bottomed out when they landed at the hospital? Yea, he barely made it TOO surgery. But he lived, so no, I did not cancel the helicopter based on volunteers information.

I work, and miss school concerts, sporting events, the night before the dance. I work and I miss guiding a young girl to woman-hood. I work and I don't have energy for my son, who needs me. The pager, or the phone goes off and I put on my boots, with their broken insides and their over-sized zippers. I work, and missed most of their growing up. I took care of someone else.

I sleep on sofas, on lumpy beds, in smelly rooms, and in the front seat of the ambulance, with my leg leaning on the steering wheel.

I eat fast food, hot dogs that have been on rollers for God knows how long, just as long as the grease is still lubricating the rotation. I eat dried fruit, nuts and drink caffeine, not enough water and the occasion fruit juice. I eat cookies, I have eaten my weight in cookies.

I've been cussed at by patients, family, cops and the occasional fire fighter. I've been cussed about, and would probably have enjoyed most of that, had I been a fly on the wall. I nearly got arrested once for assault on a police officer, but the reason I shooed him off my patient was a closed head injury he was certain was drunkenness.

I have held hands. Hands of the pained, the birthing, the dying, the family. I have given hugs and held small children in my arms who were very frightened and barely comforted by my presence. I have held badly damaged hands in mine, removing large stones and sticks from them, so I can run water over in the injury and bandage this expressive hand my way. Your hands are so important, expressing love, hate, art, and great gestures. Injured hands are my weakness, they gross me out.

I love my job. I found myself in amazing places. In upside down cars, on rocky coastlines, in a tree, going through a house window, kneeling on the floor in a strangers bathroom, standing in a foyer bigger than my living room, afraid to touch the ornately carved banister. Silver Streamlines so small that I can smell in patients infection from the door. I love my job.

I love my boots. They make good sounds when I walk, soft and rhythmic like a quiet heart rate. They fit my small feet and make them look bigger. I feel strong and powerful that I can heal others. I feel very sad a small when patients die that I tried to save.

I love my job. I hate my job.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ben Franklin

He that can compose himself, is wiser than he that composes books.

I have had Ben Franklin's list of 13 virtues in my calender for the last 5 years. This week it is Temperance which, according to what I see is: "Do not eat or drink to excess, only consume what is necessary.  Drunken states serve no purpose.  Gluttony will feel great for awhile, and take forever to work off. He does not allow himself to lose his balance in life, such as by easily losing his temper when stuck in a traffic jam.  The temperate man will not let his emotions or passions control him.  He will not devote himself wholly to the pursuit of pleasure, to the neglect of his duty to himself and to his family."

That is a lot to swallow in one single day. So I have read this, which I constructed from many sources, and I review what I may have done recently, and how I can conduct myself more appropriately in the future. I think I can say I have seen a change in a few things. I do, on occasion gorge myself on something delicious, but it really is a temporary pleasure, with the occasional gall bladder attack to bring me back to reality. My drinking has lessened considerably. I can count on one hand the times, in the last year I indulged deeply. The weekend my son got married only counts as one, by the way.

My temper is something I have fought with for ages. I did learn that I need two things. I place to vent, and a place of solitude. There are days when I simply MUST call out in rage my colorful and often selfish anger. I have had a few sounding boards and they are a wonderful resource. They tend to be some of my closest friends, because they will call and share their pain with me. It has created a few very nice bonds in my life and I am deeply grateful for each. But I have long since stopped throwing things and swinging at stuff.

Neglecting my family... ah, that is an interesting one. I have deeply complicated relationship with each of my children. I love them both unconditionally, and am so very proud of each. I have learned many things about being a parent, often the hard way. But that's my style. Shoulda. Woulda. Coulda. But we get wiser with age.  I still have them both, and the rest of my family is getting more of my love than they have in a long time. I have taken those walls down. I have learned that honesty, forgetfulness, with a dose of forgiveness is the key to strong family ties.

And that is just one of the Virtues Ben discusses. Five years I been working on this. Ben did it his whole life, I wonder if I will. Next week may be good, it is Silence, perhaps we wont have a blog... :)  

Friday, February 18, 2011


It's funny the way things remind you of other things...

Like the smell of baby powder smells like Grandma. Like a school bell turns you immediately eleven on a hot Spring day. The Post-It says to 'take to the post office', but it's not attached to anything. What had to go to the post office? Did I do it? How old is this note?

I have a bell on my phone that goes off three times a day, to remind me to do some things that I do to feel better. I stop everything I do and do what the bell reminds me of. If I don't stop what I am doing I get distracted by the next shiny object and forget where my day was. Then it's 5:30, and I haven't planned dinner.

I don't have a physical head injury. I don't have Alzheimer's. I have a perfectly good memory and can recall things of a caliber that have no necessity in daily living, like 'triskaidekaphobia' is a fear of Friday the 13th. But when I try to remember whether or not I said something to someone yesterday? Not so much, with the memory-remembering-thingy.

The love of a good friend can remind you where you left your center. The smell of puppy breath can take you back to childhood. A candle can remind you of a romantic evening.  The wrinkles you didn't have yesterday can remind you of the birthdate written on your driver's license.

Of course forgetting that you are pouring your heart out online is rather kind in it's own way...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Moon Rise

When was the last time you looked at the sky? I mean the shapes of the clouds, the colors the sun has painted for you to see right then? When was the last time you laid on the ground and watched the stars move across the sky?

I have seen the sky in lots of different times and places. I have seen the sky when Mount St. Helen's painted colors with her ash from my place on the planet in New Mexico. I have watched countless sunsets over both the desert and the ocean. I have held my breath and listened while the sun settled for the night into the deep sea, and waited to see if I could hear the 'hiss' when the outer edge touches the water. I did hear something, it was memorable.

Do you know our planet is the only planet that has no moon? Our orbit is called the Moon, but it is not a true moon. A moon rotates on its own axis, our little orbit shows us the same side all day all night, we never see the dark side of the moon. Every other planet in our solar system has a moon, even Pluto has Charon.

I saw Hale-Bopp in the middle of the night during its closest moment to Earth, the tail could only be covered by my out stretched arm, with my whole palm. To date, probably the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in the sky. Like glitter spread in the wind, held motionless.

I have watched the stars so long, my eyes so used to the darkness, that satellites were easily seen traveling their lonely cold endless trek. I have wondered what they were doing, listening or talking... to who, and why.

One lovely night I was practicing as a junior pharmacist. Mixing a bit of this with a bit of that and the stars glided around for me. Graceful and elegant, nearly audible in their dance, or was that a mixture of music and an affinity for physicists?

The point is, you and I are very small and the universe is above us and showing us time and distance. Giving a perspective that can only barely be imagined by those of us with our feet planted on terra firma. So, just stop, and look up, pick something you recognize, say our little moon, and take one deep breath.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Okay. Fine. [crosses arms, like a much practiced 2 year old]

Daddy. You have one. I have one. There. End Blog.

Don't know why I started this damnable blog anyway. Don't no one read it no how.

I remember being cuddled in his lap. I remember the smell of his cologne, his lip ointment (Blistex) and his after-shave (Old Spice). I remember the smell of spray starch (Niagra) that Mom used on his uniforms. I remember him picking me up to give me this big noisy good night kiss. I remember him making me a "Monster Tape" of horrible scary haunted house sounds, including the sound of footsteps of the 'man that got out of the scary haunted house' (Mom was mad, and said that it would give me nightmares). I see a man in Air Force khaki and my neck about snaps off making sure it is/isn't my 30 year old father.

Those are warm and fuzzy memories. I like those. They make me feel -warm.... and fuzzy.

There are other memories not so kind. Not so happy. No reason to put them on the internet. Daddy could read this and would be hurt. Maybe more hurt than I was by experiencing them. I will not absolve him here. I absolved him in my heart - at least I thought I did. Details aren't necessary.

I can weld, I can ride motorcycles, I spent nearly 20 years in what was a male dominated profession, when I started. I fix appliances. I fix the commode. I can shoot a gun with a pretty good accuracy (better than I will admit). I puzzle out that stuff that men stand around and swill beer and converse over. Some would call me 'Fun'. Some would call me 'Whore'. Some would stand in line. Some would never admit that I fucked them, and you know who you are. Some have made accusations, that were true, and some I swore were false, and are none of your business. No, I am not bragging. I am telling you what I can do, and have done.

Apparently, I want to either fight him, fuck him or forget him. I can do none of those things.

There are two Daddy's. One resides in his own body. The other resides in my mind. Is my conscience, or my ka, or my inner me. I don't know what shrinks call it, and I don't care. I can hear him, and he sounds like me. Telling me I am never good enough, never smart enough and if I were a boy, I could do more.

No, I don't want a sex change. Yes, I have penis envy, most who know me, know this. I want to beat you at what you can do. Not rub your nose in it. I just want to do better enough that I know I did better, and you aren't real sure I can tell.

I want him to call me and tell me he loves me. I want him to tell me he is proud of me. I want him to stop ignoring that I live, I breathe, I suffer his absence.  If he does this because I said all that, it wont count. I want him to read these words and know that I cried many times, because Daddy didn't tell me he loved me. I fought him, I hated him. I fucked him. and I left him- professionally, personally, intellectually. I did this in jobs, with lovers and inside myself. Over and Over and Over. I suffer his absence. I miss him. I need him. But I haven't the energy to bridge that gap, except with this cry, the cry of a small child, locked away in the cellar of my soul. Daddy, I miss you. 

It was short. It was brutal. It was the second one today. 

This is your Brain

I have mentioned the brain several times in this blog, and today I am going to talk about it exclusively. I will try not to get too technical as I know far more than I want to, I shall try to stay in the realm of the comprehensible.

The brain is a interesting thing, it keeps memories, emotions and physical abilities all tied up in its little electrical lines. Imagine millions of connections that tell you that the stove is hot, don't touch it: the husband is in trouble, and he's getting a butt chewing; and that (fill in the blank) is intellectually stimulating, and I want to know more.

This leaves us with a few different brains. Or brain behaviors.

Primal Brain, think of a baby cold, wet and hungry. This baby would scream - quite a lot. It also is the food, clothing, shelter brain. When you are afraid, it causes you to flee or fight. It insists that chocolate is your friend and there is no such thing as a frienemy. It gives you your gut instinct that the person you just met is not that cool. It doesn't give you any excuses for not being attracted to someone (like, the fact that you're married). It doesn't rationalize your budget or what the Jones' think. It is pure WANT. And pure NEED.

Mom Brain, think of the eyes in the back of your head (this, by no means is restricted to females). This is the brain that keeps you from getting thrown up on at the last second. Knowing when baby is really sick, versus just a cold. What that babble nonsense no one but you understands. It also makes you do things you would never do with an adult (make kissy sounds to entertain baby, not think twice about chasing that booger nose to it's source with a piece of plastic). It tends to work too long, if you were to ask some adults. Mom Brain, once established, doesn't go far. Those of you that have doted over random individuals that are sick, or hungry or emotionally upset, will know what I mean.

Medical Brain, this is what all medical folks should have. That isn't what Grandma has after her stroke, it's an ability to organize the tremendous volume of information that comes with learning medicine. Either the specialty of hematology (the study of blood), or pharmacology (the study of medications), geriatrics, pediatrics, odontology (teeth) or some mini version of all (paramedic). It also begins to automatically translate what a lay-person means in latin when they talk about Uncle Westley's leg wound getting all gross and gooey. Medical Brain is what happens when you find yourself thinking in latin terms pretty much constantly.

Any of these could be altered slightly for any person's life style (Teacher Brain, Doggie Brain, Crafter's Brain). But primarily they are all just a matter how we teach ourselves and interact with the world. Primal Brain doesn't go anywhere, we all WANT.

Today, I WANT to thank you for reading this to the end. Have a great day.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Split Day

It is still early, this could all spiral out of control in a mere second. So I write this thinking it is a Good/Bad day.

I have a honey-do list. Lawyer, Everclear (we will get back to that in a second), creditors, shrink, doctor, and the ever present yard duties (or 'doodies' as today's task will be called. I have completed most of these tasks and will be headed out to the liquor store then the lawn when I finish here.

The last few days have been full of tears and moods and manic behaviors (cleaning the baseboards, for goodness sake, and painting flowers on the door frames to the kitchen). I am running from my lover. He knows, he sees, he lets me spin endlessly and then he is there when I stop, breathing heavily and reeling. He holds me and says he loves me and that he knows he is part of the problem, but will be here for ALL the resolution. No matter what. I called the shrink to let him know the meds may not be working the way he thinks they should, if he leaves me out here, I am in trouble. Because this has to change.

There is a cold running through my house, adults, teens and baby all sick. About 12 years ago, I met a wonderfully unusual person. She taught me the 'magic' in stones. She taught me the medicine in herbs. She gave me the secret to killing any cold. Most of the time, I had some steeping and waiting for the next bug to come into the house, and make everyone sick. What was taking 2-3 weeks for everyone else to recover from, took a week or so to get over--even the lingering cough.

This magic potion is in the herb Osha (not to be confused with the Safety folks). It is hard to come by, and MUST sit in a bottle of Everclear for a month, at least, to be effective. Drain off the liquid, throw away the smelly herb- and take a dropper full. Tastes like nasty bitter licorice. Works better than anything on the shelf at Walgreen's.

This wonderful concoction is finally steeping in my dark cupboard. Good Day. Gotta deal with a few legal issues. Bad Day. Rake the yard. Good Day. Nap pending my signing off today.

Overall, good day.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Oscar Wilde

I discovered this week that The Picture of Dorian Gray was written by Playwright Oscar Wilde. This surprised me. Oscar wrote of the complexities of relationships, and I didn't fathom the depths that one character displayed until now.
 It was only in the theatre that I lived. I thought that it was all true. I was Rosalind one night and Portia the other. The joy of Beatrice was my joy, and the sorrows of Cordelia were mine also. I believed in everything."
"The common people who acted with me seemed to me to be godlike. The painted scenes were my world. I knew nothing but shadows, and I thought them real. You came--oh, my beautiful love!--and you freed my soul from prison. You taught me what reality really is. Tonight, for the first time in my life, I saw through the hollowness, the sham, the silliness of the empty pageant in which I had always played."
"Tonight, for the first time, I became conscious that the Romeo was hideous, and old, and painted, that the moonlight in the orchard was false, that the scenery was vulgar, and that the words I had to speak were unreal, were not my words, were not what I wanted to say."

It was only in EMS I lived. I was what they needed. I trained every single day to come and take care of YOU right now in your life. I embrace you as a human, in pain, and lost. I empathize with you. I give. I lost. I sacrificed. 

Then it all looked like rice paper walls and distorted masks of kindness faced to me. 

This feels like the beginning of a long tired night.