Sunday, August 28, 2005

Hell and High Water

We are awaiting the impending arrival of Hurricane Katrina to hit land early tommorow morning and it will ulimately affect a large portion of the country.

The destruction this storm will cause is almost beyond comprehension.

My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected and especially my family members and friends who live in those regions and will be affected.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Divine Intervention?

A few weeks ago I read the most fascinating article about a family that lives in my area. I wanted to wait to see how the story unfolded before I commented.
Today there was a followup.
After reading the unlikely chances that these sisters would ever find each other you have to believe in Divine Intervention.
Lets keep this family in our prayers that this comes to an uncomplicated and quick resolution.

todays followup

Monday, August 22, 2005

Dan's new adventure

Shamelessly, I, as the official Mom of Dan's blog, Journey Inside My Mind, I encourage everyone to take a peek and listen to his broadcasts.

Dan has aspired to being a radio deejay and now he has this opportunity.

Its hard for me to keep up with the technology but this is really creative.

Actually, I listened to it while reading e-mail and it was like listening to the radio.

He invites all comments from all of you to further improve or add content to his broadcasts.

Nice going Dan.And take the time to listen to the audio blogs with Keisha.When you hear about baby Hannah and baby Kitty they are so cute and entertaining.

Dan's 1st Official Podcast

For those of you who may be interesting in this kind of thing, I've posted the first official podcast of my blog, Journey Inside My Mind. Head on over and check it out! Or not.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

scare in San Fransico

Yesterday morning breaking news cut into local programming.

There were substantiated reports of an explosion in the financial district which is also where some of the higher end shopping is located.

Needless to say it was a tense few hours in this area.

People were out on the streets and reporting they felt the buildings shake from as high as the 21st floor in some buildings.
One woman ( a pedestrian) had her clothes catch fire and was rushed off to a local burn center in serious condition.

What struck me as we were able to see footage the news crews could feed us was that although there was great concern everyone was relatively calm.

Apparently, businesses in the area have spent many hours training employees for a situation such as this and everyone responded as they should.Many reported it was frightening and were afarid to walk the stairs in the high rise office buildings but knew this is what they must do in order to reach safety.

Huge kudos to all those companies to put forth the effort the last few years to train their employees to be prepared.

At the same time there was an unsubstantiated claim a suspicios box had been found near or in the Federal Bldg in downtown San Fransisco not far from the explosion.

As it turned out there was an explosion of an electric transformer underground and its impact was so powerful it blew a concete lid many feet into the air and sent up a huge fireball and windows of buildings nearby were blown out.

We are grateful this is all it was and are grateful to know should the worse ever happen here all parties have a plan in place and it works.

One man reported once he heard the explosion he got on the phone to his office in NYC immediately and transferred all calls and work to that office.It took less than a minute and he was evacuating.

I am encouraged that scenes such as this would most likely be played out across the country.
We are a different nation now than we were the morning of 9/11.

Just as the Brits went on about their business after the recent bombings we would go on with the bussiness of operating our country as normally as could be expected.

That is the best way to win over evil.To continue to live your life and not be stopped.

During this time yesterday I was comforted because what i kept hearing in my head was " I am with you and I will not forsake you".

What better reassurance could one have?

Friday, August 19, 2005

domestic violence offender roundup

I read this article in my online version of the Houston chronicle this morning.

I applaud the efforts of all the agencies involved.
These offenders need to be off the streets so the victims can begin the road to healing.The offenders need to be held accountable in every aspect of society; society needs to develop a large intolerance to this issue.

Every one says they hate it; should get the offenders off the street etc.But what happens when it hits your family?
Often, its a different attitude when it hits close to home.Its OK when its someone else's problem; there is such a stigma attached to being a victim of domestic violence issues that its still misunderstood by the general public.

This article states they have been involved in PSA's to educate the population.Long overdue and it needs to become a national effort.

Until there is zero tolerance for domestic violence issues in any form starting in each individual family and reaching out to the communities it is allowed to continue to perpetuate.

Due to the generational components the time is now. Stastically, children growing up witnessing this behavior will become offenders themselves or allow themselves to be victimized.

Society needs to be educated what all forms of abuse are.

Education,information,intervention and incarceration are key components in stopping this.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

SSD decision

Yesterday, I went to the mailbox to get the obligatory usual junk mail and was shocked to find a fat envelope from the Social Security Administration.
I wouldn't even open it for awhile because i was so afraid what would be inside it. I just didn't think I could handle bad news.

I had just talked to the attorney's office the day before to see if they had an update. She said Omar (my attorney) had filed his brief to the judge as had been discussed at my hearing, and in fact filed it ahead of scedule and they had even checked on my case a few days before and there was no news.

She said it could take another 60 days to hear back as it went through the review process.I asked what percentage of cases were rejected by the review committe once the judge had approved it. She said all their cases were always approved as far as she knew.
She said not to worry and if they heard anything they would call. She also said "most likely you will hear when we do as they mail each of us the decision at the same time".

So that is why I was confused and worried that I had received something in the mail so quickly and I couldn't call the attorney's office as they were closed. It was Satirday. I in fact did hear before they did which seems a little appropriate to me.

I finally decided to open and read it because even if it was bad news I had to know.

Right there is bold print at the top- Favorable Finding
I couldn't believe it. I mean I really couldn't believe it.
I had waited so lonmg to see those words.

It was one thing to know inside me I had waited 3 years and to tell people - 3 years - but when I saw the date of initial filing it really hit me how long it had been.
June, 2001.

So much has happened since then:

  • Historically, it was 3 months before 9/11. That is what grabbed me and put it in context.
  • My son was not in the Navy yet. That wouldn't happen until the following January. I don't even think he had talked to the recruiter yet at that point.
  • I was not yet 50 years old.
  • I was trying yet another reconcilliation with Paul.
  • I was working still although it was hard.
  • I had what I believed to be "so many friends".
  • All my children were speaking to me.
  • Going back to Ohio wasn't even a blip on the map.
  • I knew nothing about being on the internet; that was for the kids, not me! A blog? Never heard of it.
To think someday my life would have so many twists and turns that I'd end up in a battered women's shelter and eventually Northern CA and see the Golden Gate bridge, Pier 39, Lombard St., the wine country, a major league baseball game 3x's was unthinkable.
Wouldn't even have dreamed it.

I was back then A divorced wife trying one more time to salvage a dead marrige, a devoted Mom and nana to 2 young grandgirls and one granddog named Duke and a grand cat named Anna.

I ws a loyal friend, empoloyee and community activist. I was involved on a volunteer fire department.

I was still trying to rebuild my life from a major flood years before that wiped us out.

I was still searching for answers to my medical situation. I was still believing there would be a magic drug that would be the answer.

I was believing the doctors had my best interests at heart. I was believing I'd always have insurance.

I believed my little part of the world was insulated.

Things sure changed over those 3 years.

Paul continued his wily ways to the point of alienating the entire family for his transgressions. Who would have ever fathomed that He would break up his own son's marriage through an affair with his daughter-in-law?

I had to leave the fire department and they then left my life.

All the so called friends vanished one by one and several even took up with my ex after we were really finally over and relished letting me know.

Others, once I wasn't working and couldn't finance the " good times' vanished as well. Many just didn't want to know or be reminded on a continuing basis I was no longer the active person they once knew.

I became increasingly more isolated as was able to be seduced by the so called caring attitude of a man who would later abuse me to the point I literally had to flee for my life with only the clothes on my back.

Family members abandoned me.

Maybe it was the bubble bursting that I wasn't perfect. What a burden that was to carry around all my life.

Maybe it was the chronic pain they couldn't deal with.

And all the moments of such excruciating, mind altering, life changing pain it has been. I tried to remember my last pain free day and I can no longer remember it.

The times I would be truly bipolar meaning the chemicals were imbalanced, medicine wasn't working or eventually none to take anymore because that option was no longer available to me.

The slippery slope downward and you know its happening but are powerless to change it; you try but you can't. But those around believe you can.

The hauntingly frightening moments that you grab ahold of any part of sanity you can find to get you through telling yourself "this will pass". And pray it does. The times you read your Bible and earnestly pray for forgiveness because you are who you are. The fervent prayers of healing that you claim and never materialize and you wonder if even God has abandoned you.

The times you struggle to make life work for yourself, but there is something in the way that trips you up. The times you wish you could just get a break so you could enjoy the reprieve even if was shortlived.

Then along the way the most miraculous things happened. There would be a someone somewhere who would perform a random act of kindness, and I'd take it as my creator showing me He hadn't forgotten me there was a different plan than the one I had.

The true caring people I have met online who have become such good friends in the truest sense of the word. I'd never had met them had I not been sick.

I've been able to share my knowledge and teach others when they were willing to be educated. And I've encountered those who have shared what they know with me. Don't ever think one person can't make a difference because each one of those "one" persons made a difference to me.

How can I ever communicate what my son Dan and my sister Mary have meant to my life in those 3 years? They were always there accepting me as I was, flawed. Their love and support and encouragement never wavered - not once.

I have 7 other siblings besides Mary; yet the rest for their own reasons have chosen to leave not just my life but my sister's also. It's their loss.

My other children, although I know they love me, do not accept me. They are entitled to feel what they wish. I still love them. They will be so quick to point out, "you always single Dan out as so special". You are damn right I do.

Not because I love him any differently or with more passion than I do the others, but because his qualities about himself shine so brightly they need to be acknowledged. And should any of the other kids ever read this there is a lesson there. You don't have to always agree or approve of me or my actions. You other 3 just forgot the significance of the word "Mother ".

I am truly grateful to God for all my experiences. I have led a terrific and interesting life. I only recently looked back at my life from its begining up to this point, and only then could I appreciate the life God has allowed me to live.

Not all of it was good; in fact a lot of it was horrendous. I've seen more than my share of ruthlessness, backbiting, condemnation, evil, turmoil and strife. However, along the way I have seen some of the most incredible courage, never-failing human spirit, kindnesses that were so silent they were deafening and undying love.

I've seen my country tested through unimaginable horrors. I've seen patriotism restored. I've seen the evidence of insatiable curiosity and wonder. I've been priveleged to see some of the beauty of God's world He created through travel and in meeting people who lived elsewhere, and I was blessed to meet them.

I have known some of the funniest senses of humors and engaged in many interesting and fascinating discussions.

All of it has brought me to this day. This day that I can still say, "guess what, I landed on my feet."

Sunday, August 07, 2005


The saying I picked today is a cute one.
Compost- a rind is a terrible thing to waste!

I think we all could do a little better about recycling efforts if we think about it.
There are the obvious and usual ways we are now used to like the recycling bins in our homes or workplaces but what about nother ways?
There is a discussion in the message boards i read that is adressing the drought affecting a large part of the country.
An interesting suggestion that a lady made i would never have thought of and unfortunately most of us would say"I'm not doing that" was to put a 5 gal bucket in the tub and save the water that is usually going down the drain until the temperature is where we want it and use it to water houseplants or gardens.
Another was if you use dishwater to use it to dump over a compost pile.

Last week there was an e-cyvle drive here in my town that was accepting all old electronics for free.Normally there would be a $25.00 fee attached to eachitem dropped off.I am proud of Bob.Without any help from me he took the initiative to take ALL the old electronics he still had here and dropped them off.We calculated he would have spent $250.00 if he did it the usual way.Thje company collected more than 250000 pounds of recyclable material through this drive.You may not be aware that a computer has approximately 8 lbs of lead in it so if that goes to the dump that lead is leached out into the environment.
You may want to look into having your locale have one of these drives.

Other ways to recycle.There is an organization called and they are pretty much around the country.Its a way for people to recycle and repurpose items that would go to a dump or maybe a charitable organization that you would then pay money to have it.Another is craigslist.

We accumulate stuff to the point of obession now in this country.If we would live more organized lives we could avoid having our lives cluttered up.
There is an online newsletter I subscribe to called www.getorganized now that gives tips each Sunday to help with organization.In fact, Maria just recently started a blog herself to address this concern.
If we don't accumulate we ultimately don't have to worry about recycling it.How many of us may be guilty of not being able to find something so we just go buy another?

The subject in the saying for today- composting is a terrific recycling method for those who can apply it.Each time I have diligently committed to this I am amazed at how much stuff isn't going into the garbage or down the disposal but is in fact serving another purpose eventually.
In TX I used to save grass clippings and pine straw for mulching my was free and effective.In fact neighbors learned to check with me before they put their umpteen bags out for trash pickup.

The rile of thumb in your closets is if you haven't worn it in a year get rid of it.Donate to charity.Have a garage sale.Give to a family member or friend but get rid of it.

Paperwork.If it can be found online you don't need to keep it in paper form.the only exception is income tax records for 7 years. Look at the paperwork clutter that eliminates.
Shred and recycle the paper and eliminate it coming in if possible.

And volunteering is a form of recycling.We are recycling our energies and talents into another arena to be used for a purpose that either goes unfilled or would have to be paid for.Give someone the benefit of your experience and energy and amke a difference.

Meditate or give yourself some kind of spiritual connection on a daily basis to renew yourself.

Give advice to someone as in mentoring whether its just life experiences or in a professional forum.Recycle your talent and education to be used for the benefit of someone else.
We al know something about something and we know if we don't know the answer how to reference the person in a way they can find it.

Just some thoughts I wanted to share.

Friday, August 05, 2005

new sayings

I belong to the HGTV message boards and many viewers start topics and others comment on the topics.
I've enjoyed it as it keeps me in touch with how the reast of the world lives although some are a little out there.I crack up when they fret and wqorry if they should paint a room with SW117 or BM 35( Sherwin Williams and Bejamin Moore).These women have a worse life than i do if they are truly worried what the exact paint color of a room should be!
In sharing about my fibromyalgia and depression issues i have made some new " friends".Now, you are wondering what does that have to do with decorating? Not a thing.There is a thing called posting OT(off topic).Or in a thread someone will bring up something related to living or home management that eventually leads to a personal situation.
I have learned for instance that Topamax is prescribed for migraines and many have had success with it and they didn't know it can be prescribed for depression.
A lot of the posters have a little saying at the end of their post which is kind of like a signature.Many of them are really good so i thought each day I post I will share a saying and maybe see if I can relate an expwerience to it.
Today I chose" we cannot control the wind but we can adjust the sails".
I chose that one as it relates to my circumstances now.
And it relates to my life in general.
I didn't choose to be abused, molested, raped, to come down with fibromyalgia and its myriad of symptoms,to ne mentally ill.
Thjose were not choices anyone would make.however, that is what my life has given me so i make the best I can each day of what i have to work with.
Overall, really I am a positive person.I am an optimist.I am trusting even when I maybe should err on the side of caution.
I'm still learning to find the balance.
I try to take lemonms and make lemonade.
So if I've learned anything its that i may not be able to change circumstances around me but I have the power to change how I react to them.
Yesterday i received a call from a friend who among other things was threatening suicide.I took it seriously and gave the benefit of my knowledge and directed her to seek help and where and how to do it.
She chose to wallow in her misery.I know that kind of despair but I also know how unproductive it is.
I confronted truths with her that she didn't want to hear.As I told her you can't bullshit a bullshitter and I've walked that road myself.
I realized I could not take on her burden.i could only direct her to the help she needed and it was out of my hands.I planted the seed which was my only responsibility in this.
It was not for me to fix.
And i didn't let it affect the rest of my day.That was a huge factor for me.I, of course prayed for her but I let go and let God.
I adjusted my sails in that situation.
I have adjusted my sails in other aspects of my life as well.
There will always be wind and waves and rough seas throughout life but I always have the power to adjust my sails to weather them.
Soetimes my correction may need adjustment as i learn how to navigate the waters but I am confident my ship will always be righted by the time the storm ends.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

going to be another hot one

Starting today on through at least Monday we are entering into another extreme heat alert here. We are expecting temps in the high 90's to 103 all days.
I never considered "microclimates" much before living here.
Everywhere else i had lived the climate was the same for many miles thropughout the geographical location.
Southwestern Ohio was pretty much the same as the Miami Valley and into Nothern KY and southeastern IN.The area I lived in north of Houston was pretty much the same for an 8 county region; even Galveston would report similar weather patters as we did although there was almost 90 miles difference. You had to get out to the hill country or up into deel east TX to start feeling a change.
I am amazedat how Mother Nature works here in this region.
San Fransisco itself will rarely report temps out of the 60's throughout the year.During a real heat spell they may go to mid 70's and that is there heat wave.They are unprepared for anything too hot.Except for businesses no one is air conditioned in the City.Usually there is no need.On normal days there usually is enough marine layer and the ensuing breeze it brings is nature's air conditioning.
:ast night as i was sitting in front of fans waiting for the fog to make it out this far we were watching the Giants game.Small children were bundled into winter coats and adultds had on hooded sweatshirts tied tight.It was such an odd sight to it was early August, swe;tering daytime temperatures here inland yet 40 miles away they had to wear winter coats.
I've been in the City a few times and you always want to have at least a sweater if not cool weather clothing available.
If you look at a map of the area you woul;d of course look east towards Oakland. Outside of Oakland is the Caldecott tunnels where they bore through the mountains to develop out in the eastern regions many, many years ago.
If you ride the tunnel you definately feel the temperature shift as you are near the tunnel there can be a dratic 15 degree change just right there.
The further east you go the warmer it gets.We are on what they call the Delta. My town sits on an inlet of the Sacramento River.
Our weather is more determined by the desert climate of Nevada and Arizona than San Fransisco only 40 miles away.
So someone looking on a weather map would get a clearer picture of our weather by looking at Sacramento weather than San Fransisco weather. No mountain passes per se to block the air although Lake Tahoe is only a couple of hours away and is in the mountains.
I just think its fascinating to see the different microclimates in this area.A weather report on the news here is broken into sections.
The peninsula which includes San fransisco; the North Bay and above which will start out similar to the City but as you get further north it gets hot and dry again; the East Bay whioch includes Oakland is similar to the City but always a little warmer and Inland which is where I am and will almost always vary from the City.If the city is going to have a heavy marine layer it can take 2 days to reach out this far if it doesn't burn off before.
We don't have AC here in this house so it can get miserable.Yet at night unless we are in a heat wave as soon as the sun goes down the temperature can drop 20-30 degrees at night and windows have to be closed.
Its just an interesting phenomenon to me.
Right now its so dry.All the rain we had during the wet winter and spring made for lush growth on the mountains and prairie but with no rain reported now for a couple of months and the extreme temperatures we are in the height of wildfire season.
Everyone is very cautuous.There have been a few wildfires nearby but they have been under control in ashoty lenght of time.
Its frightening to see acres upon acres go up like kindling in just a snap of the finger.
So far i have yet to experience the other phenomen here; earthquakes. We have small ones everyday 2.0 or under the Richter scale but you don't feel them.
I don't want to ever go through one.For me that would be more frightening than a tornado or hurricane and they are frightening.But, they have a certain predictiblity to them. forecasters can know the liklihood it going to happen and when it will be over.There is shelter from them.
There is no shelter from the earth opening up and how do you know when it will start and end and return.
I don't dwell onit.I have learned the idea that we are supposed to get into a doorway is wrong.Most residential buildings were not built with seismic movement in mind so they are actually very unsafe during an earthquake.You are supposed to get outside away from any structures like into the middle of the street.
I will have a heart attack and drop unconscious or just die if I am ever in a big one so it won't matter!
Its interesting to ride the Bay Bridge and know that is where the big earthquake hit during the Worls Series of 1989.The lower deck is what you ride to head east out of San fransisco or Oakland and the upper deck is what you ride to head towards the City.
If you recall the upper deck fell into the lower deck during that quake.
They are in the process of rebuilding a new bay Bridge to withstand furthwer seismic activity but it has met delays due to political posturing and he said/she said kind of goings on.there has been a recent FBI investigation because the union that welded the parts togethe rclaim the material was hsoddy and inferior and there was payola going on.Work came to a screeching halt about the time I arrived here.The FBI determined this was false and have allowed the work to resume.
The cranes that are used to build this structure are immense.Its no egeration to say it would take someone 30 minutes to walk from ground ( sea) level to the top.They of course have an elevator sytem in place but these are huge.
Its just interesting to me to live in an area where there is so much history.i have been blessed to have those experiences in my life.
In Ohio there was historical significance in many area;of course in TX there was and now here.
To be around or even see the places you had read about but are witnessing with your own eyes is a gift to me.
To be in the City by the Bay and see the homes that made it through the 1906 earthquakes; the Golden Gate Bridge majestically jutting out of the mountain side across the water over to the peninsula; to be at the Piers and look out and see Alcratraz and know the history of it, to see how close it appears yet its an optical illusion and understand why some tried escaping but none were succesful; to be a Pier 39 with its history; to ride through Chinatown and remember heqring about it as a chil;d and understanding the Oriental influence in the Bay area and next to Chinatown is Japan town lesser known but also historical.To ride past acres and acres of vineyards and relaize you are in wine country USA.Beforehand it was PBS documentary or news story or a picture on a label of a beverage.To go past acres and acres of farm land and see the migrant workers hard at work realizing there are faces to the stories we heard on the news.I can go back to the Cesar Chevez days and the notion of supporting migrant farm workers was more an idealogical idea than something tangible yet here they were in front of you.they could be your neighbors.
The wildlife here that we just read about. And of course the endless traffic which to me is worse than Houston any day.
Its dirty, unkempt.Californians are not friendly by nature as Texans were.There isn't a sense of community I feel here as I did there.
I have lived here all this time and have said hello to two neighbors the rest don't even wave.
The sky high prices( higher than a giraffe's ass I say) aremind boggling to me and i think always will be.
Native CA are kind of proud of that fact I've discovered.Its like a badge of honor; a medal they wear, stating they survive the high prices.personally. to me i just think its ridiculous so I am not popular.
There is a lifesytle to be enjoyed here but few can enjoy it because they are constantly working to support even the basics.
For most retirees it isn't a choice to work after retirement but where.
Politically, its time to pay the piper now for all the wonderful benefits Californians have enjoyed over the years.
Cutbacks and cutthroats to education, social programs, infrastructure and health care are high on everyone's concern list which is true across the country but more prevalent here because Californians for decades just supported their grandiose notions of more and more by referendums after referundums.
Even now, the once popular Terminator turned governator is feeling the heat because he wants to do what he was elected to do and the reality has sunk in to the people of this state.
its just an interesting time to live here.
And, the area is proud of one of their own today as Astronaut Robinson makes the precent setting spacewalk today to repair the shuttle to ready it for its rteturn flight and reentry.
he is a native of Moraga.There is a corridor right after the tunnel I mentioned on the east side they call " LaMorinda. It is speaking of the areas of Lafayette. Moraga and Orinda.Its a tony area as are several other areas nearby.
He seems to be an all arounfd good guy as does the rest of the crew and I do wish them a safe reentry and landing home.