Valuable quotes

"No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow." ~~

"The minute you start talking about what you're going to do if you lose, you've already lost." ~~

Cree Prophecy - "When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money." ~~

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Learning the Ropes

I'm dipping a tentative toe into the blog world with these first few words. I have not always tagged behind people, so this is really rather different for me. However, it's only one part not having the know-how and equal parts wondering if I have anything to say that might be of interest to anyone else besides myself. But then, I guess that really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things because primarily, I'm doing this for one person anyway, and that's myself. If I can help anyone along the way, that's a bonus. As I peek in and read other blogs I see it all comes down to that end anyway, so here goes! It's cheaper than going into therapy and we really want to stay away from those drugs now, right? Or hey! Worse..."natural supplements". They aren't even regulated. Ephedrine...or Ephedra is a supplement and not considered a drug.

As I ponder and contemplate the things that have occurred to me the last five years, I realized I needed a place that I could lay it all out to examine and analyze it's nuances. So many times when something medically immense has taken place in a person's life, we don't know how to deal with it. Because it's brand new and because it's not usually something we get the chance to practice on, we so often flounder and get it wrong.

 We are also 'directed' on how to deal with it by others who have no clue how to deal with it themselves, yet feel that they are because they have that medical degree and are armed with all kinds of text books and journals.

Or because they love you, they feel they're expert advisers for you. Right up front I have to say, until you've worn the moccasins, (as the saying goes) stick to suggesting, but don't try to tell me how I feel - or should feel. I already know that. And it's not even close to the way you might imagine.

Five years ago in May of 2001 I had an aneurysm. It ruptured. And it was heavy duty! Pre to that, I had been an extremely active person; I ran daily, biked and hiked weekends, climbed mountains twice a year...or as often as I could get to them.

I ate healthy and stayed fit in my own complete home gym. I didn't smoke and rarely drank but for the few special occasions such as weddings or the holidays. There never seemed to be enough time in my days for the things I wanted to do, but I crammed as much as possible into every 24 hours and loved it that way!
My life was generally full and not complicated with health issues of any kind.

Then May 29th 2001 arrived. I found I wasn't as energetic as I wanted to be in prepping for a busy Memorial marathon weekend. I needed something to keep me going without lagging. I knew with all the things we had planned, that I needed an energy boost. So I bought some Metabolife to balance my metabolism. Yesirree! I was going to get it done. Much the way Steve Bechler must have felt that day in 2003 as he was getting ready to pitch his game for the Baltimore Orioles. Steve was the 23 year old pitcher who wanted to combat fatigue & decided to try Metabolife to revitalize himself. But like Steve, that wasn't in my future either.

I say "like" Steve, but not quite, because I lived, Steve died.

At that time, Metabolife contained the Big E. For those who still haven't heard about this wonder herb, that's Ephedrine. The herb that people are trying to get put back on store shelves because they want to 'look good'. Gambling with their own lives for vanity. Russian Roulette for the buff body. All of which could be viewed very prettily laid out in a casket.

I took my first little pill in the morning of that first day, another in the afternoon and pill three before bed. I was feeling pretty good about all this; I was doing something healthy for myself and doing it "naturally" and not paying out money for prescription drugs.
So! The following morning I took my fourth pill and went outside to do a little gardening. That was the last thing I remember until I 'woke up' in hospital seven weeks later totally paralyzed on the left side. My good fortune and what probably saved my life was that I had two doctors living right next door to me and they were tending their garden as well, when I hit the ground. They ran to where I was laying on the ground and made an immediate evaluation. They had me medi-vaced to the hospital downtown in eight minutes.

That was to be the first day of my second life. The one where you find out you're incredibly more resilient than you ever thought possible; the one where you find out through sheer determination that you can amaze yourself as well as the medical world. The one where, if you look at things as a challenge instead of a disability, they are surmountable. And the one where you find out who your friends are and sadder, just how very weak your family structure is. Those people who 'love you' were all of a sudden way too busy to call or lend a hand. The ones who will 'try to get around' or if they find the time, they will pick up that item you're needing but can't get yourself. Have they always been that self-involved or have you just been too self-involved yourself to notice? New life; new questions.

Counter that however, with those you never noticed in your life before. They come forward and quietly sustain you as you plod along in your new life. Supportive, helpful, not just given to lip service as surprisingly, family members only seem to manage. These quiet friends are there to bring you out of the hospital for the day and take you for long peaceful drives and/or to a wheelchair-friendly restaurant for lunch. They run all the little errands for you that your loved ones are (sic) too busy to run and they sit and listen as you try to figure out what happened in your life literally overnight.

I am learning so many valuable lessons in my second life. Some I wish I hadn't ever needed to learn; others I am eternally grateful for learning.

As Maya Angelou so eloquently stated:
"Courage allows the successful woman to fail & learn powerful lessons from the that in the end, she really hasn't failed at all!"

At any rate...bear with me here...I'm still learning. Now there's this blog thing! ~*wink*~

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Birds and I...

Sassy little Catbird
  I'm always asked why I feed the birds year round. I do it for their benefit when times are difficult like winter of course, but I continue feeding in the spring and summer because one, they are accustomed to always finding a meal at my house, and two, so I can view migrating birds and the generational passing of the seed.

   My main reason for feeding the birds is rather selfish, I will admit to that. It’s the psychological benefit that comes from seeing their flamboyant colors on a dreary day. It’s listening to their music in the
antelucan hour while everyone’s asleep and then waking up to their excited conversation. It’s knowing the families of birds find sanctuary in my yard for the summer, plus it really beats watching brain consuming TV anytime.

Catbird flashing me!

Junco taking shelter from the rain
    It seems like bird activity is higher now than it was in wintertime. If they’re not filling every conceivable cavity with nesting material they’re feasting at the bird feeders. After shopping around, the Bluebirds finally moved into a house hanging from my eave. The Wren house at the front of the house still is vacant but I'm sure not for much longer.  Tree Swallows chaotically investigate each nest box but as of yet have not made their mind up on one. My Chickadee has already added her first layer of moss to her fairy nest. The Purple Martins appreciate the new gourds I put up this year, a new one for me. Hopefully, with more nesting holes, my colony will expand. The vibrant procession of spring is marching through the fields and woods and it’s exciting to observe.

    I consider our kitchen window to be my personal television of the world I want to know. It doesn’t come with a remote or have a thousand channels playing the staid documentary of humanity’s shame and decline. It’s rather old fashioned in that it only gets one station and only shows nature programs day and night. It has a regular cast of characters like Chickadees, Titmice, Cardinals, Catbirds, Nuthatches and Blue Jays with occasional guest appearances by a Pileated Woodpecker, Brown Thrasher or a Towhee. Lately a new series has started playing; it’s called The Courtship of the Birds. It’s being billed as a heartwarming avian soap opera of spring love with a spectacular cast.

Cardinal selecting the best seeds.
    Watch as the male Cardinals courts his paramour by passing a sunflower seed to her, beak to beak. See the dandy little Goldfinches go round and round the finch feeders sporting the latest in daffodilly frocks. So many Woodpeckers spar over the suet dough that I actually have six suet feeders up. I’m keeping my seed feeders full in case the Indigo Buntings and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks stop by on their journey north too. It might only be a temporary visit but it sure is special.

    Toward months’ end, one of my all time favorite feathered friends, the Catbirds will arrive, plus the Orioles and Hummingbirds will appear, so this is the time to get your fruit and nectar feeders out. The Bluebirds will devour all the blocks with mealworms I leave for them. While it's not a favorite thing for me to buy, their enjoyment makes it all worthwhile. Some male birds are known to feed the female while she’s incubating the eggs. Once the young fledge are up and about, they’ll follow the adults around to find food, be it natural or what you provide at your feeders. It’s quite enjoyable observing the tattered fledglings’ first visit to a bird feeder. 

My little patient - a victim of a cat who I nursed back to health!
   And so having said all this, we need to protect those youngsters as well as their parents. There is 'love your cat, love your birds - keep your cats inside'. Those who go outside should be belled and it shouldn’t be made overly easy for the others, the ferals, to feast from your yard!

   I will share with you a small gallery of my visitors and I hope you will consider making your yard a safe and healthy haven for all who wish to visit and grace your landscapes...!

Red Bellied Woodpecker

  I love the colorful birds as most everyone does, but my favorites are really the little birds...the titmice, the Nuthatches...the Chickadees who will land on my head and shoulders when I'm at the feeders. And the Catbirds and finches, sparrows and sweet Juncos. I do think people don't pay enough attention to these little birds to realize how beautiful they really are!
Junco in the rain

Titmouse waiting for breakfast to be served!
Vigilant Junco

Trump, pachyderm slayer extraordinaire all hail Trump...

America, meet your Presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump. Are you worried yet? No? Well then, my condolences because if you aren't, you must be brain dead! Perhaps we should review our possible leader-to-be and how he's managed to work his way to the top...not like cream, but much the same as dead fish do in a lake!

First off, he killed off his opposition, not with sharp debate or a show of intelligence but by bullying and name calling! As his followers were swept up in this they became more and more convinced that 'This was what America needed to be great again."

But let's take a look at the bigger picture...the one they probably couldn't understand even if a tutor stepped them through it.

He is hate. He is peddling hatred. He is a racist who is peddling racism. He doesn't have too much peddling to do on either score - they are deeply entrenched in the U.S.A. already.
He is what you call a fascist! Or at best he loves what it stands for. And continues to operate as one.

Off with their heads! Now they will endorse me!
What are friends for?
 But in reality, even Fascism doesn't deserve what Trump is. No, to call what Trump is doesn't really even do justice to Fascism. At least Fascism had in some measure of an ideology and some show of occasional coherence that Trump lacks completely.
Fascism grew out of right-wing populist critiques of capitalism.  What is a right-wing critique of capitalism?  A hatred of the “meritocratic” overthrow of the traditional socioeconomic hierarchy that grew out of ancient European tribalism and feudalism.  Sound right so far - no pun intended? Now this could mean something as innocuous as anger over downward mobility due to the killing off of protections that the peasants once enjoyed.  But in practice, it manifested as anger that the aristocracy had been overthrown by an overly-Jewish, urban, cosmopolitan entrepreneur class.

But Trumps rhetoric is clearly Fascistic in it's demonization of foreigners, suggesting threats from domestic minorities such as Mexicans and Muslims, he is offering himself as the new supreme leader with a deep belief in violence and coercion in our democracy, one that until now has operated on persuasion and debate.

The horrible monster they have created
 The fascist critique of capitalism in practice was to NOT put the blame on the inherent nature of private property to polarize wealth, or call for redistribution of wealth to reduce gaps between races.  It was to divide the rich into Good Capitalists and Bad Capitalists.  The Good ones were often manufacturers, many of those military contractors like Krupp.  They were thus seen as patriotic and as defenders of the social order.  

The Bad capitalists, of course, were usually in those non-goods industries that characterized urban living; entertainment, publishing, and most of all banking. All were already accused by conservatives of fostering immoral values.

In Trump’s case, the media has emphasized the downward mobility anger, but evaded the anger about “aliens” rising to fame and fortune over “our kind”.  And the media has totally failed to remind us that both forms of anger were tools of Hitler.

Of course, in much of Europe Jews had traditionally been shut out of landholding and were disproportionately involved in those urban industries, so it was all a sham meant to direct hatred to Jews, that cosmopolitan people who aren’t real patriots.  Thus private property and inequality were shielded from blame for their injustices. It’s different in America because the colonies were largely started by English capitalists and their heirs have organized hierarchy and hatred around skin color rather than faith.
Driving hate home to the masses... 

Trump, as a real estate hustler, was a famous part of the FIRE (finance insurance real estate) sector that economists have warned for years was becoming too powerful.  So when the Crash happened, what did he do?  He drew an imaginary line between himself and the bankers and stock speculators and started hurling insults at them that sound like what the Nazis used to say, but with the J-word edited out.  

So he didn’t expect some old anti-Semites out there to put that word right back in? Just as the fascists appealed to those post-peasant Europeans who refused to accept that they were betrayed by their love of private property, God and Country, Trump is concocting conspiracy theories to let those clinging to God, Guns and greed to displace the growing failure of capitalism onto people different than themselves. Which is just what the Christian Right has been doing for years.
The media never called them on that either. 

Trump drives huge traffic to neo-Nazi websites

Blaming a multi-trillion dollar crash on measly programs to help a few non-whites get homes. Blaming societal immorality on millionaire rappers but not the billionaire media conglomerates, or on millionaire athletes but not billionaire team owners.  The rich non-white, non-Christian is always the cause, not the Kochs or the Anschutzes.

In Trump’s relentless march to restore all the old hatreds to their positions of honor, he’s explicitly targeted everyone but gays and Jews.  He is feeding the terrorists propaganda machine. He is relighting fires which were on the verge of being snuffed out with the election of Americas first black president Barack Obama in 2008. But all this is about to end now, I'm afraid, as he rekindles all the old bias and hatred, all the prejudice and ethnic bias that so many fought and died to remove.

And so we have a new, very dangerous enemy, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, who wants us all dead...and Trump is inciting their hatred toward us, provoking them with remarks like stopping Muslims from entering the US as well as sending those already here away - providing them with rhetoric coming straight from his incredibly ugly mouth as he enrages his followers into a violent frenzies which ISIS plays over and over to prove to their young recruits just how much "America hates them and how unwelcome they are here. That these young men and women need to join the movement and obliterate all Americans and their allies from the face of the earth.". This is not something that 'could happen' or 'might happen'. This will happen thanks to Mr. Trump. It’s only a matter of time.

"I am rich! I am smart! I am the best there is! So sayeth I"

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The visit of Pope Francis 2015...

Pope Francis holds his hand out over masses of people
So far the papal visit & Pope Francis' tour have been a very refreshing & yes, so far, a joyous experience for me, a non religious person. To watch & listen as he makes his way around Washington, speaking with the people & to the people in an intelligent & supremely caring manner.

Pope Francis Skips Lunch With Politicians To Be With Homeless In Washington, D.C.

Let's be honest here - this is not just a man of God, this is a man of the people...a man of the ages. A man who truly loves the people he sees, who truly holds compassion & caring for all of them, above everything else! He does not just lend lip service or the church dogma with each stop, but shows he wants the best for all people...& he is calling for the best from all of us as well!

He doesn't have to be a man of God...a man of faith, for me to listen to him. He had me with intelligent dialogue.

All I have to know is how important his messages are to the masses & how important his station is on a global level. Perhaps in his loving & humble way, he will achieve the things we all need to have happen! And many who feel as he does, want to have happen.  Will those in high places, those who hold important positions listen to him? Take to heart what he is saying? 

Or will they again tell him to 'butt out' when he doesn't come in line with their agenda like he's already been told pre to this visit? The line they've been 'preaching' in God's name is being contradicted by his speeches & how do they deal with this? Or will they bother? It seems to me that the people they speak to don't really care what the church says, or what the bible & Jesus said. They only care about what their 'party' says...those politicians wishing to hold on to support with the use of religion & discredit each other by using the same.

We are all the same in Francis' eyes. All equal. And all too often that is not what is seen in this country. Oh, we can deny that, but actions speak so much louder than words & Christians themselves might want to take a closer look in the mirror, as well as at their actions & stop hiding behind God's name.

In his soft spoken way, Pope Francis asked us to not trample peoples equality...women's as well as everyone else. He reminds people, politicians specifically that the country is founded on immigrants & some, like himself achieve greatness if allowed to prosper without being shut out, sent away or persecuted. He also reminded us that 'all' religions should enjoy freedom of worship, not just the one you follow. And if you choose to follow none, that's fine aren't a heathen nor should you be hated or called some of the names that I have been called.

Some of us follow a God, some of us follow a philosophy. But as long as we care about one another, for one another & hold out a helping hand to the needy, to those who are crushed under events that have taken place in their lives, leaving them with little to nothing, we will be doing what he wishes. He reminds people that nowhere in their bible does it say 'you earned that money so you get to keep it all & forsake those in need'. In fact, your Jesus taught quite the opposite...

Other good well as women, have preceded this man & after the spin put on their words by politicians & those who wish to minimize them, we are left with not a lot of what they tried to teach us actually getting accomplished. Do we stand a chance that this good man has reached the right people where heretofore no one else seems to have?

I guess we stay tuned now & do whatever we can to promote his words.

For the consideration of family & friends...