Friday, July 8, 2016

I just don't understand

Maybe its a good thing I don't understand, because if I did understand then I would be a part of the problem. Why is there so much hate? Why? Why are people in 2016 who are different in any way, shape, or form being killed-tortured-beaten-maimed-threatened-hurt or even living in fear?

Why are parents in denial that their little darlings are bullying other children?

Why do we have to prepare for active shooter situations at work and school?

Why are those of any faith (Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Pagan, or any other of the bazillion faiths in this world) worried that they will be persecuted?

Why are members of the LGBT community fearful of violent acts against them?

Why are different ethnicities being shot and profiled while other races are getting away with murder, literally?

Why are protestors retaliating by shooting police who had nothing to do with violent acts that happened in other states?

Yes, if you are breaking the law and the police try to stop you from breaking the law, you should stop- don't run, don't try to escape, blah blah blah... That doesn't mean you deserve to die if you do try to run to avoid getting caught for a non-violent crime. The Police are supposed to protect us, the citizens. That is their job. There are more good ones than bad ones. However there are some that are bad. There are some that screw up royally and it costs someone their life. There are some that get so wrapped up in the power trip that they think they are above the law. But again, there are more good than bad. My hope is that all the bad ones get caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

I can not for the life of me figure out why any of these things and so many other horrible things are taking place and why we as a society can not figure out how to stop it. Are we so beyond the hope of living together peacefully that we should just give up? What kind of a society are we leaving for our children? This is not what I want for my four sons.

Where I grew up there was not much diversity. I didn't know many people who weren't white. I honestly can say I didn't meet anyone who wasn't under the Christian umbrella  until I was married and moved to Central Ohio, except for a few Pagans I met in college. I only knew a handful of gay people and they were closeted for the most part. Once I met some people who were different , it was very intriguing to me to get to know them and broaden my horizons. I had so many questions and always asked their permission before bombarding them with my usually silly questions (everyone laughed in good humor at me wanting to know stuff that seemed so common place to them).

After a few years the novelty of diversity faded and I loved the fact that my four sons all had friends of various faiths, races, and genders. They didn't care if someone was gay or straight, male or female, a believer or not, what mattered is that someone was nice and was their friend, and that made me proud. Seeing them grow up in a society where everyone was equal and differences were embraced made me happy and sad. Happy for them and how lucky they were, sad at how much I had missed out on and that I didn't get these experiences until I was an adult. Better late than never.

Then one day my youngest son, he was four or five at the time, came running inside upset. He'd been playing outside with kids from our neighborhood when something went sideways. He was madder than a hornet who's nest had been busted up. He stormed into the kitchen to tell me all about it. "Mom! This stupid black boy..." I cut him off right there. I refused to let him call names, much less make comments that could ever come off as racist. But he continued all about the stupid black boy and that he had said something and done something and each time he said "stupid black boy" I chastised him. He grabbed my hand and pulled me to the door so he could show me the traitor. When we went outside, there were no children that were African American. No Latinos. No Somalis. No Indians either. Confused, I asked him if the child had left and he said "No Mom, he's there!" and pointed at a little boy with blonde hair and fair skin. He was wearing a black shirt. To my son, this was the stupid black boy. He wasn't describing his skin color, but the color of his shirt. It never occurred to my son to use black as a descriptive word for race since my son is racially colorblind. I wanted to cry. Happy tears. Why can't we all be racially colorblind? His closest friend is African American. When I think of it, all of my sons closest friends are different races. Either African American, Latino, Greek, Vietnamese.

My husband's best friend is African American and Muslim. We consider him and his family part of our family. Even if they are not blood, they are still our family, maybe even closer than some of our blood since we chose them. I have very close friends who are gay. I have very close friends and family who are Jewish, Buddhist, Catholic, Atheist, Pagan, and pretty much every variation of Christianity. I fully support the LGBT community. I will never know what it is like to be
African American, LGBT, Muslim etc., but I have had crap held against me for being fat, for being female, and I am not saying that what I have dealt with is anywhere near the same bullshit that these groups have had to face and still face... but I have had a taste and it sucked so with that said, I will stand with those who are being mistreated, those who are being threatened, hurt, violated and even if no one ever reads this blog post, I at least know what I stand for.

This shit needs to stop. NOW. Stop attacking each other. Stop the hate. Stop hurting one another. Just stop it so we can hopefully start to heal.

Black lives matter. Gay lives matter. Muslim lives matter. Police lives matter.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Did ya miss me?

Wow... I know I hadn't blogged in a while, yeah I've been bad, but I had no clue it had been ten months, yikes... I'll be better I promise. Isn't it funny how life gets in the way and flies by? Anyway, no excuses. Let's get reacquainted and caught up.

So we bought out house and got moved in, that was huge. My oldest son (who recently turned 19) moved out, nearly as huge. Our second son graduated and turned 18, super exciting. the younger two, 13 and 15 are going into 8th and 9th grades and are working out and getting super pumped for our family trip to the beach.

My publisher went out of business. That sucked. My book was pulled off of all sale sites. I stopped getting royalties. Not like I was getting bank, but still, the random checks were still nice. I remember when I go the very first one and how excited I was, I even took a picture of it. It was sort of cool to have a tangible thing to prove that I actually made money doing something that I loved doing, something that I never meant to do, something that a lot of others never believed I could do. I actually considered NOT cashing it and framing it. For a few minutes. Then I took the picture and went to the bank. My publisher reverted the rights back to me. Now I own my own book. I already owned the cover. Now I own it all. It is mine.

I am reworking it. Editing it. AGAIN. Changing things. Making corrections. Tightening the story. And fixing all of the little details that have been pointed out to me over the past few years that somehow slipped past my editors. I've definitely learned a lot since Illuminated was first published in 2013 and I stopped working on the follow up Enlightened out of frustration with the publisher and a few other things that I just didn't feel like dealing with at the time. Now I am faced with what to do with them... As of now, once I am done, I will re-release Illuminated then shortly thereafter Enlightened will follow, both will be self published.

Now that those unpleasantries have been shared...

I've been dealing with back and joint pain for several years now, elbows, knees, ankles, wrists, hips...  I've gone to several doctors who have told me that I'd be pain free if I'd just lose weight and get in shape. So I did. I lost 95 pounds (yay me) and would go to the gym and afterwards would be in agony for days. I would walk on the treadmill for 15 minutes and halfway through I'd be holding onto the rails bent over supporting myself because my back hurt so bad. I'd try to do arm curls and it felt like my elbows were going to snap. Lunges and squats were impossible. I could do yoga, pull down type weights, and a few others but I was super limited and if I pushed just a bit too far I paid for it for days. No one would listen to me. Even my husband would get frustrated that I didn't go to the gym as often as I should after my surgery. I wanted to.

I went to my doctor again and asked her again for help. She wanted me to go to physical therapy for the third time. Three times per week for eight weeks, with my insurance at $30 per visit that comes to $720. I insisted that the previous two times were no help and I didn't think another time would be any different and I really didn't want to pay $720. Finally she agreed to refer me to a rheumatologist. So a week ago I had my appointment and he actually listened to me. He and his staff spent nearly three and a half hours with me, he ordered a full work up, blood work, and even x-rays! He said his initial impression is that I have arthritis, calcium deposits in my joints, and fibromyalgia. He told me he wanted to wait for the tests to get back to diagnose, but he felt confident with the fibro and arthritis. He prescribed a neuro med for me too.

This week I heard back from his office that the x-rays showed that my sacro-illiac joints are eroding which he is super concerned about. So now I am waiting to hear back from his office about when I will have an MRI of my back/spine. I am so glad that there is someone listening to me but I am also scared what will be found. At least I have found help and that is what is important.

So that is what is going on in a nutshell. I will do my best to keep you apprised to the details as the occur and not take so long to do so. I am going to finish up will Illuminated and Enlightened and Bael's story (I really need to come up with a title for that one). I'm going to go for now, my wrists and ankles are really sore and I'm getting tired. Good night blogsters.