Friday, May 17, 2019

Rambling Outlet #UseYourWords

Welcome to May's Use Your Words round-up! This is how it works: participating bloggers chose four to six words or short phrases for another blogger to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That is the challenge, here is a fun twist; no one who is participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: 
coffee ~ drawing ~ outlet ~ infrastructure ~ voice ~ performative

It was submitted by: (Thank you, Jenniy, for such thought provoking words and the wonderful discussions we have had recently!! Also, coffee. <3)

This is going to be one of those posts, where I just ramble on and on, and hopefully you follow along, and maybe you don't, but in the end at least I got stuff off my chest. Not the best type of post, but probably the exact post I need to make at the moment. I have so much on my mind lately, and this blog is probably my best outlet for my thoughts and emotions. When I was younger, my biggest outlet for my thoughts and emotions, was art, and it was definitely my happy place. I don't care if I was drawing on random scraps of paper, painting on canvas, experimenting with charcoal, or attempting to create a 3D art piece, I was definitely in my happy zone. I spent every possible moment of my senior year, in the art room. 

These days, I would definitely say that art has taken a backseat in my life, and reading and writing has become my thing. I know part of it, is because art supplies are expensive, and I could never justify the spending, when really I would just be doing it to get my mind to calm and my thoughts to sort themselves and simmer down. I definitely think I spent my teens and twenties using my art in place of my voice, on many occasions. These days, I use written word to be my voice, and I am not sure if the irony is rich or just sad. When I was younger, I was not scared to voice my thoughts and opinions, but I think I felt like my art shared it better than my words ever could. These days, I am still not all that scared to voice my opinions, but I am more cautious and conscientious of potential consequences, and so I often just write out my feelings. 

One definite irony to my current method, is that the vast majority of the stuff I write, where I voice my feelings and thoughts, is never even read by anyone other than myself. I guess it really does not matter who hears or reads what I have to say, just as long as I say it, and get it off my chest. Most of the time, it comes out in the form of poetry. Sometimes, it is in the form of a blog post or a Facebook status. I do sometimes tweet out my thoughts, though that does not happen all that often. I have become more aware lately, of the importance of me getting things off my chest, and I have also become aware of the potential consequences of speaking out, and I had even created a completely anonymous blog, so that I could just say anything and everything. It never really developed into anything, though I have been thinking about trying to make it work again lately, as I notice more and more, the impact stress is having on me physically.

The main reason I basically abandoned the anonymous blog, is because I feel like if I have something to say, and I choose to say it, I should stand behind my words one hundred percent. I really did not want to say anything too crazy in blog posts, but I definitely wanted to be less edited. This is my blog, and I can write anything I want, and I do, but often I find myself holding back some. Sometimes, it is simply by not adding in swear words that I think in my head, and other times it is by writing an entire post on a subject, and then simply never publishing the post. I do not mind being controversial, but at the same time, I want my blog to be a peaceful place. These days, it seems like when controversy strikes on the Internet, it can grow out of control quickly, and I really want to avoid that on my blog.

A good example of this, is something that happened to me recently. It seems like everyone wants to be YouTube famous these days. I know that is a terrible generalization, and that the number of people who could care less about being YouTube famous, far outnumbers those who want it. It is just undeniable that people are often hungry for recognition, and trying to be the one with the video that goes viral. Sometimes, that comes in the form of actions that I find to be terrible. A good example of this, is the videos you see of someone who obviously needs help, and yet people are more worried about getting the incident on film, than on helping. 

Another thing you will often see are pranks. Sometimes, I feel the pranks go too far. I know some people have even gotten in actual legal trouble over stuff done in videos, and I am grateful for that. Sometimes, the pranks seem harmless enough, but if you look at the bigger picture, it is not as harmless as one may hope. Recently, on an episode of Live PD (A show on A&E, which is similar to COPS, but just live), one such prank happened. As I was watching the guy interact with the police, I remember thinking... This cannot be real. This has to be a joke. I was also very worried for the guy. I was thinking, either he is on some hidden camera show, or he is mentally unstable and possibly a danger to himself/others.

The next day, I found out that it was a YouTube star, and he was filming a prank video. He purposely stalked the area where he knew the Live PD officers were filming, and did everything he could, within a reasonable level of wrong, to get pulled over, and then he put on quite a show for the Live PD cameras. Of course, his followers knew what he was doing, but for those of us who had no clue who he was, it was quite the confusing segment, and many of us were genuinely concerned for him. It was actually a relief to find out it was just a YouTuber doing a prank. 

I did not find it funny, because I guess I have zero sense of humor. However, after thinking about it for a few minutes, I actually was a bit upset with him. He wasted the time of those officers, and did it all in hopes of going viral and growing his YouTube fame and success. The more I thought about it, the more I felt what he did may have been a simple prank, but it was also just plain wrong. So, I commented on his video of the prank, saying I hope he gets in trouble, so he can learn a lesson, and that I think he should be fined. I wrote the comment, in hopes he would read it, and realize that not everyone felt he was funny, and to let him know that he deserved to be punished for his prank.

I also hoped that if he had not taken a moment, to realize that his prank really was a waste of valuable manpower, my comment may make him think on it. I have no clue if he read my comment, but I can tell you that his fans read it. They did not waste any time before jumping down my throat. So many assumptions were made, as were some downright hateful comments. I was called a racist. I was called a cop lover. I was called various horrible names. I was accused of being a horrible parent. I was told multiple times to kill myself. I was blown away by the absolute level of hatred that was unleashed on me. I was grateful that I am as strong as I am emotionally, and not some young kid feeling lost and alone. I could see how many of the comments could negatively impact a person's well being, particularly their metal well being. It was then, that I decided YouTube really is a horrid place.

Not that I owed anyone an explanation or a reason, but I did reply to many of the first comments, but then I eventually just quit even reading the comments. One of the very first comments was someone calling me a racist. I still really do not even understand what their thought process was, that brought them to this conclusion. Considering I am a "white" person, and I wanted the guy in the video, also a "white" person to be in trouble for his prank. There were no other races involved, so how was race even a factor in the situation at all?

I simply told that guy.... My own child is black, so please get out of here with your ignorant assumptions. I really wanted to add on, asking how they even felt the need to bring race into it at all, but honestly I did not want to drag out any communications longer than necessary. Of course, saying that opened me up to a bunch of people making racist comments to me. Racism and my daughter are definitely subjects that I am most sensitive about, but I just reminded myself that these were ignorant people on the Internet, and I moved on. 

It blew my mind, that many of the people who were commenting and insulting me, were also saying that I needed to get a life and lighten up. They said that if I had a sense of humor, I would realize that it was such a funny segment. I do not find it funny. I know all too well what a difference a few seconds can make, in certain situations. I told them that they were laughing now, but that if their loved one needed the help of an officer, and the closest officers were being kept busy by someone doing a prank for YouTube, so the second closest officers had to rush to help their loved ones, but did not arrive in time, they would be the first ones to be outraged. Nobody should ever waste the time of cops, firemen, or paramedics. Not ever. In emergencies, every second can be the difference between life and death. No Internet fame is worth more than a human life.

I do consider myself an ally. I am not just an ally to certain groups of people. I feel like I am an ally to everyone. Well, everyone except for racists and rapists. Fuck you, assholes. You may need allies, but I am not the one. Bye. Anyway, I am not just someone who says I am an ally, and then when situations arise where I need to stand up, I don't because of the negative backlash I may face. No. I am not a performative ally. I am a genuine ally. If you are transgender, and you need someone at your side on Capitol Hill, to fight against a law that wants to deny you your basic rights... I am there. If you are black and there is a group of KKK members harassing you, and I am walking by... Do not worry. I will not keep walking. I will stop and be in front of you. If they are going to hurt you, they will have to go through me first. If you are a Jewish person, and you are being harassed, you can bet your butt that I have your back, and you are not alone. 

I simply won't stand for hate. I will not tolerate it. We cannot tolerate it. If we do, it will win, and we cannot let hate win. We cannot let hate take over our world. We cannot stand up for what we "believe" in, but only when it is easy and does not cost us anything. We must always stand for it. If we are an ally, we need to really be an ally. I have been told more than once, that I am going to die one day, for standing up to someone who ends up being violent. I always say the same thing... That is okay. I died doing the right thing. I would rather die fighting for what I believe in, than to live forever, watching hate destroy everything I believe in.

Plus, if I am honest, I don't understand how I could not be an ally to the LGBTQ community. It is my community. How can I not support the community as a whole?! I am asking this genuinely, because it was recently brought to my attention, that a certain makeup artist, who is obviously a member of the LGBTQ community, has actually spewed hate against a branch of the community. How?! Talk about confusing nonsense. I was a lesbian for many years. I was older when I finally genuinely liked a guy. I had had a few "boyfriends", but they never went very deep in the connection. I was always a woman who loved women. Period. After I was an adult, I met a guy that I actually liked on a very deep level. That is when my "label" changed. I honestly do not label myself. I honestly don't see a need for a label. I feel like my sexuality does not need to be announced or explained. I am just me. I love who I love. That is that.

I have never hidden my sexuality. In many ways, I have always felt like I wore it on my sleeve. It is not my fault that people have not properly figured it out, and I have never felt the need to correct people who assume wrongly. I figure that people will figure it out eventually, and it really does not matter anyway, so why waste time on the subject?! That being said, I would never deny my sexuality either. If I were ever asked by anyone, even someone I know would hate me, I would speak the absolute truth, and stand proud for who and what I am. Period.

So, lately, I have been planning out blog posts I want to write. Some of them may never even get posted, but they will most certainly get written, if for no other reason than I need to get it off my chest. Also, I often write blog posts in my head, and never actually write them out, but some of them, I feel would actually be really good posts. I should get better at writing those down. Others, I am sure you would all be grateful that I do not actually take the time to sit down, and write down all the thoughts I had, while I was mentally drafting the blog post.

A good example of that, happened this week. Gigi was recently diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism by her doctor, and was referred over to a Endocrinologist. That is all good, except for the fact that will take weeks for her to actually get into the doctor, and she has symptoms that are bothering her now. After a lengthy call with her future Endocrinologist's office, I was told that we needed to bring Gigi into the ER. Sadly, the ER that was associated with her doctor was two hours away. When it comes to Gigi and her health, I will drive any distance necessary. So, that is why I ended up on a road trip with Chad and Gigi on Tuesday. I am hoping that by tomorrow night, she has improved a lot, and that by Monday she is back to good. Unfortunately, if she doesn't improve quite a bit by tomorrow, we will be back in the ER on Saturday. That was when the doctor wanted to see big improvement by. So, if you pray, and want to send some her way, I know Gigi would appreciate it.

Now, back to blogs you would be glad I did not actually type out. On our way home on Tuesday, I mentally drafted a blog post. I wanted to rant about the road and highway infrastructure here in California, and how it not only needs massive improvements, but that I would love a detailed explanation. The roads are absolutely terrible here, and yet we pay sky high taxes, and often pay extra, with the very purpose of bettering our highway and railway infrastructure. Something tells me that the money cannot possibly be used properly. If it were, I cannot imagine our roads and highways would be as terrible as they are. Something definitely needs to change, because I have traveled on roads all around the United States, and the ones here are by far the worst. Amazing views but terrible highways.

I mentally drafted a post earlier today, and I got sidetracked with caring for Gigi and raging against the post office, for the mishandling of my package, but I still may actually write this post. It was about coffee. You're not surprised are you? I know, I am predictable. I was just waiting for a delivery from Dark Side Roasters, and I started thinking about writing a post, to tell you about my favorite coffees. I am loving several that DSR offers, plus I have favorites from a few other brands. My post about coffee quickly became a post about small shops. I thought I would highlight my favorite small shops to buy from, and what items I love the most from each shop. I do not know if the post will ever get written, but it just might. 

I told you I was going to ramble, and I certainly did not let you down. I did exactly what I said I would. I do not know whether to say you're welcome or I am sorry. Maybe both? I will tell you that you may start getting more of my rambling posts, because one of the main reasons I started this blog, was so I would have a place to voice my feelings and thoughts, so I would not go insane from holding it all in. Gigi was a baby, and I was overwhelmed. Now, she is about to graduate Kindergarten, and I am still overwhelmed. In some ways, I hope that never changes. In other ways, I could use a break. Maybe that break will come in the form of more rambling blogs, so I can get more of my thoughts out into the world.

I promise to try to focus more on things like coffee and awesome shirts and magical cups, and less on the highway conditions in California. In the meantime, you should definitely get yourself a drink, get comfy, and go read the rest of this month's Use Your Words posts! I will see you there, right after I get a fresh cup of coffee, and make sure Gigi does not need anything. Fingers crossed we do not have to return to the hospital, especially since the road we take to get there is horrendous. 

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Friday, May 10, 2019

Stop and Count #SecretSubjectSwap

Welcome to May's Secret Subject Swap. This week nine brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is:

As you are driving, the car in front of you stops at a stop sign and six more people than can fit in the car pile out, run around, and climb back in, then drive off.

It was submitted by: Bookworm in the Kitchen (Thank you for such an awesome subject prompt!! I am not sure I did what you had hoped with it, but I truly enjoyed my trip down memory lane, that you sent me on!!)

I may have been the worst person to get this subject. I am sure for most, this would have been an excellent short story starter. For me, it simply brings back a memory. A fond memory, now that I think of it. 

I had just graduated high school, and I was wasting a few days on fun, before I had to start working seriously, and preparing for going away to college. I lived in Connecticut, and our favorite way to have fun, was to hang out at the casinos (Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun). I still enjoy visiting casinos, even though I never do any major gambling. I think a lot of my love for them, is the nostalgia of my fun, younger days. So, it should be of no surprise that it was a Friday night, and I had just gotten paid, and my friends and I had just left Mohegan and were headed to Foxwoods. (I should add in, none of us were even old enough to gamble. We just loved the buffet, concerts, stores, and people watching! I actually met one of my most meaningful boyfriends at the casino!)

This was back when everything was still new, and many things were still in the process of being built. I have not been to either casino is quite some years, but they have both expanded a lot from the days I spent there. We were at this area, where there is really nothing around, you come to a big intersection, and you can see the casino a short ways down the road. It was as if the casino was an oasis. Now, it has built up extensively. I actually hope to go visit both one day soon. I want to go for the food and shopping, not the gambling.

So, it was raining and my friends and I were sitting at the red light (sorry it's not a sign), and suddenly the doors all open on the Jetta that was stopped in front of us. Then suddenly all these buff looking athletes (probably early 20's), are running laps around the car. There were five of them. My friends and I were laughing and honking, and some old guy was yelling out his window about "idiot kids", and then suddenly they all piled back into the Jetta, and we all traveled on our ways. 

It was so random. My friend and I were trying to figure out how they all fit, considering there was a girl who was in the center of the backseat. I would be lying if I said that something similar did not happen a few hours later, only it was three girls and one guy, and the car was a Jeep Grand Cherokee. I would also be lying if I said that I wasn't one of those girls. I would be telling you the truth, if I said, if you ever did decide to do something like that, don't do it with a police car three cars behind you at the light. 

I still have no clue why those guys did it. They ran so many laps, that we lost track, but we were pretty sure they all returned into the doors they came out of. So, they did not change drivers or anything. Nonetheless, it added some laughter into what turned out to be a really fun night (Minus about twenty minutes being lectured by a Trooper).

Gigi better never do anything crazy like that though. It is funny how as a kid we don't think twice about doing something, but then when we have a kid, we do NOT want them do many of the things we did ourselves. It really gives you a bigger respect for your parents. 

Do any of you have stories of encountering the same or similar thing as we did?! Did this prompt put a short story into your head?! If you want, you are welcome to send it to me, and I will add it onto this, with full credit to you.

I hope you are all having a wonderful May so far!!

Here are links to all the blogs now featuring May's Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a drink, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado                      
Wandering Web Designer                
Cognitive Script                              
Southern Belle Charm                    
Bookworm in the Kitchen                 

Friday, April 26, 2019

Pump it Up #FunnyFriday

Today’s post is this month’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write five captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.
Funny Friday  150 X 150.jpg
Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Dawn of Cognitive Script.

1. Why is this so slow?! My Grandma's molasses, is faster than this. 

2. Susan prided herself on never needing a man, but admittedly, not needing to pump gas would be nice. 

3. Please, be under forty dollars. Mama wants new shoes. 

4. As she watched her hard earned dollars trickle into her gas tank, Susan began to think investing in gas and oil might be wise. 

5. I don't need to be stupid rich, but rich enough to not need to stare at the cost meter, as I fill up, would be lovely.
Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:
Baking In A Tornado   
Southern Belle Charm      
Cognitive Script               
The Bergham Chronicles   
Bookworm in the Kitchen

Friday, April 12, 2019

A Woman's Strength #UseYourWords

Welcome to April's Use Your Words blogging challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked four to six words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That is the challenge, here is a fun twist; no one who is participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:
power ~ woman ~ strength ~ endurance ~ forever ~ trials

It was submitted by: (Stacy, these words were AWESOME!! Thank you!!)

One thing, that I have heard a lot, especially these last few years, is that I have so much strength and endurance. Not necessarily physical strength and endurance *points to the cane I utilize so I cut back on the number of times I fall*, but strength of mind and endurance of life trials. When I was younger, I heard about a different kind of strength. I was so strong and powerful for a woman/girl. As annoyed as I would get at those comments, I wish I were still hearing them. I wish I could hear them forever. I wish I had never lost that physical strength, and I wish I had appreciated it more, and taken it for granted a lot less. 

I just want to start by saying.... I really hate stereotypes, especially ones based on gender. I hate women being thought of as weak and men as strong, simply because of their gender. I know some strong women. I know some weak men. I know people of all different abilities. I have seen weak people become strong, and vice versa. So, I really wish that stereotype would stop. Really, I have zero use for any stereotypes. For pretty much every stereotype that exists, I have met at least one person, that proves it to be false. So, why do we keep stringing them along through the generations?!

Who knows. I am the last person to ask about why things are the way they are. I often struggle to grasp why things are happening as they are, or why people aren't stopping certain things, and are allowing other things to happen. I am honest so darn clueless. I am also not some super human. Have I endured a lot of trials? Sure. Have I survived them all? Yep. Am I strong because of it? Pretty much. Guess what?! I am pretty sure the same would be true about anyone reading this. I think we can all handle way more than we ever give ourselves credit for. They say we don't know how strong we are, until we are forced to be strong. I agree.

As a high school kid, had you told me I would one day be thirty-six with two angels in Heaven, a stubborn five year old, and no other kids happening ever... I would have told you NO WAY! First of all, I never thought I would lose a child, let alone two, and whenever I thought about losing a child, I thought there was NO WAY I could survive that. I was also convinced I was going to have six or more kids. Not going to lie, I am kinda glad I was wrong on that last part. Could you imagine six Gigis?! I promise you, I am not that strong! LOL That girl keeps me on the toes, the same as six kids, and she is just one little girl. Phew. Five others?! Goodness gracious.

As for my angels in Heaven. It happened and I survived. Barely at times, but I did survive. That is what we do. We survive. We handle it. We push forward. It is just what I have been doing, since my daddy passed in September. I did not want to go forward. I wanted to go back. I wanted him back. I wanted a do over. I wanted to hug him more, and tell him so many things, and make sure he knew I loved him. Life doesn't work that way, though, so you just keep going. I promise everyone who hears about something I have gone through, and thinks... I could never survive that. You could, and you will, if it ever happens to you.

It is funny, because I am not the strong, young kid I once was. No way I could lift weights the way I used to, or play ball the way I once did, or even walk the way I used to. That girl is gone. At least on the outside. On the inside, she is still here. I don't know that she will ever surface again, however, I think she probably would, if Gigi were ever in danger. I am pretty sure I could move mountains for that girl. I may die immediately after, but I would make sure Gigi was fine first. It is the mom in me. Yes, things happened, and my outward strength deteriorated, but my strength of will, is still inside me.

Honestly, I used to be such a ferocious advocate for so many things. These days, I am just a housewife, that tries to push through the day to day, and hopes for a miracle one day. However, occasionally my advocate button gets pressed, and I come out with a mighty roar and just as fierce as ever. I am much more tired afterwards, but not before I speak my peace. It is physically exhausting, but really good for my soul. It reminds me that I am still the same me I was before I got sick. She just does not get to come out as often as before. 

Also, I know I am biased, but men really need to stop saying women are weak. Listen, I was on bed rest for nearly two years. My muscles were done. I was weak. I was sick. I still grew a human being inside of my abdomen, and then with atrophied muscles and all, I pushed her out. All. By. Myself. Without any medicine. I would love to see a man do that. Seriously. I'll wait.

Seriously though, no gender is stronger than the other. We are all awesome. We should all coexist peacefully. Truly. I really hope and wish for that. I am so tired of the hate and judgement and racism and sexism. Tired of it all. I want equality. I want mutual support and admiration. I want respect. Maybe one day.

I do hope a day comes, when a young lady gets told.... Wow. You have so much strength!... They are referring to the strength of her character, and not her ability to carry all the groceries in, in one trip.

Seriously though... Can we all agree?! One trip with groceries or die?! 

Okay. Enough of me rambling on. Get yourself a drink and go check out the rest of the Use Your Words posts.

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Monday, April 8, 2019

Cleaning out my Closet #BlogWithFriends

Welcome to April's Blog with Friend's Round-up. Each month, a group of bloggers choose a theme, and then create posts based on the theme. The post can be anything the blogger wants it to be. You will find any range of things, from poetry, recipes, short stories, lists, essays, DIY projects, crafts, and anything in between. There tends to be a large variety of post types, and I like to participate whenever possible.

For this month, we chose the theme Spring Cleaning. I am sure, from the title of my post, you are expecting advice on cleaning closets, or a progress report on my Spring Cleaning of my closet. Ironically, cleaning my closet is high on my to do list right now. I hope you do not end up hating me, but the title of this post is a bit of false advertising. By cleaning, I really mean rambling/venting, and by closet, I really mean my mind. Yes, I am really just going to talk about some things I have really been wanting to talk about lately.

So, for starters, I want to vent about my hair. Well, more about my hair quality, and my inability to decide what to do with my hair, and my lack of skills for styling my hair. I had a plan, and then I had a new plan, and that was followed by another plan, and now I have no plan. I wanted to keep my hair red, the bright red, and then I decided that was just too expensive of a plan. So, I actually am loving my natural hair color at the moment (even the few grays that have popped up), so I decided to just get a perm. I don't want tiny poodle curls, but big curls. This is ironic, because I had naturally curly hair, and I spent years stripping the curls out. Now, I want curls, and my hair is this weird mix of straight and wavy. So, then I chickened out about a perm, but did get a curling wand, which I have used once, and I am terrified of it. Then, as much as I love having longer hair, I am tired of all the long hairs covering everything, since my hair falls out at an alarming rate from my medicines. So, I had thought about going short again, but admittedly, I think I look better with longer hair, so I decided against a huge cut. So, here I am with terrible hair, and no plan for improving it. Sigh.

Of course, I know I need to be thankful, because at least I do have hair. I do not even have the huge bald spots I had not long ago. They have filled in. I know I need to appreciate the fact that my medicines have quit making me bald, and it has actually started growing again. So, yes, I should be thankful. I am. I just wish I had some skills, and could make it look at least halfway decent. Really, I feel bad for Gigi, because my dad never taught me hair styling skills, and so I have none to teach her. I also have no ability to give her beautiful hairstyles, and so she is really getting a bad deal. I am hoping as she gets older, and makes closer friendships, some one's mom will teach her (and possibly me) some styling skills, and then we can both have nicer hair. I realize that this is a silly thing to vent about, but well, I really want to go into Spring, and the rest of 2019, with a clean mind, and finish on a very positive note. So, I am literally cleaning out my mind, of all the things I have been bothered by.

So, something that has been bothering me, probably more than anything else, is Gigi. Not her, though we have had some battles recently, but her body. She has never really been sick. Not really sick. It is a blessing really. Of course, she has had her ear troubles, but those are beyond our control. She has never really had any super bad illnesses, until recently, and now she seems to be sick constantly. First she had the flu, and then she had a stomach bug, and then she had this weird week of tummy issues, and then this week she had tummy bug round two. Now, I find myself genuinely worried about her. I have Crohn's, and the issues she has had these last three weeks, have me worried she has Crohn's or something similar. She has been so beyond gassy (burps and toots), and it is unlike anything I have ever witnessed from a human being. She gets teased about tooting in school, and it has her feeling very down, and my heart breaks for her, but mostly I am stressed that something big is up. So, I am hoping to get her in for an appointment this next week, and hopefully we can get to the bottom of it all.

Which brings me to my next topic of upset, school absences. Between my daddy's death and illnesses, she has missed many days of school, and now I am worried she will be forced to repeat Kindergarten or do Summer School. I am really hoping for Summer School. I do not want her held back, due to bad luck. It is not her fault she needed to miss days of school, so we could handle my dad's affairs, and she had no control of her getting sick. I feel bad if her entire school career is impacted by this. So, I am hoping the school and I can come up with a solution, that does not involve her being held back, in this next week. The school year is nearly over, and I am really hoping we can finish strong. She has done so well. Of course, she could do better, and as she grows, I am hoping she does do well, and I hope she really aims for the stars. She has so much potential, and I would love to see her live up to it. Something tells me, she will do really well. I just hope she can stay on track, to finish school with her original class. If she does get held back, we will make the very most of it, and we will use it to her advantage.

Now, I do try to stay away from controversy on my blog and blog's Facebook page, because I tend to rely on my blog to be my happy space, separate from the craziness of life. I like to stay positive and upbeat, but at the same time, I pride myself on always being honest. So, as much as I have being negative, or being controversial around her, I think it is important to not keep stuff too bottled up. Recently, as most people know, I have been having some heart issues. Unfortunately, I am one who stresses with very physical consequences, and as we discovered in 2014, my heart cannot handle me stressing in big amounts. Well, lately, I have been so stressed, and my heart is showing the signs of it all. I do my best to keep myself calm, but in this world these days, it is hard to not stress. I do not live under a rock.

Watch the news for ten minutes, and you will be given so many reasons to stress and be upset. Add to that the stress that my personal life has been handing me, and you get me on the verge of a heart attack. So, I have been letting my stress out, bit by bit. Mostly I vent to Chad or Karen (Baking in a Tornado) or my friend Jessica. Well, today, you guys will get a glimpse into it as well. America's current political climate has my hairs turning gray and my blood pressure rising. I am so disgusted by it all. I am ashamed by basically everything our POTUS says. The blatant lies and incorrect "facts" he spews, are enough to make me want to scream. It is BAD BAD BAD.

Add to all that all the blatant racism I have witnessed, and you really have my stress level at beyond high heights. I do not care where you stand politically, if you are okay with these blatant acts of racism, well, you are an asshole. A disgusting, racist asshole. I have ZERO tolerance for racism. If you are a racist, kindly see yourself out. I do not want you near me, my blog, my life, my family, or even my country. Racism makes my blood boil. I am disgusted by all the racism that has been exposed in recent months. I guess it is good to know it is there, but I just wish it were not there. You would think, that we would all know better now. To think anyone is less of a person, simply because of the color of their skin, and to think they deserve to be killed or treated poorly, in inexcusable. Honestly, I just want to throat punch every racist, and send them on a one way rocket ship to the sun. Bye bye, worthless piece of crap. I hate speaking this way, but it is how I feel. We are all human beings, and we all deserve to be treated well. We do not deserve to be judged, especially not by the color of our skin. The content of our character, the beauty of our souls, the quality of our integrity... Those are the things that matter.

You know what else really upsets me?! People judging others based on who they love. It is really nobodies business. Honestly, if you do not approve of some one's life choices, fine. Just choose not to include them in your life. That is a simple thing to do. What you should not do, is judge or shame people, attack or insult people, or harm people mentally/physically/emotionally. We all deserve common decency. We all deserve to live our lives in our own way, and to be equal, and to not be harmed. Nobody wants to be judged or harmed, but yet people have no problem judging and harming others. It is that golden rule.... Treat other people, the way you want them to treat you. At the end of the day, we all have to deal with the consequences of our life choices, whether they are positive or negative. That is just how it works. So, for us to feel entitled to make our own choices, but to judge and harass others based on their choices, and feeling they are not entitled to live their life as they wish, is ridiculous. You cannot have your cake, and eat it too. You cannot expect to be able to live your own life as you wish, but to deny someone else the same right, simply because you do not like the way they wish to live. Obviously, this is aimed at people who want to deny LGBTQ individuals their right to be considered equal as non-LGBTQ individuals and unworthy of the same basic rights.

I also can say the same, for people who feel women are not entitled to equality and the same rights/benefits/entitlements. Misogyny is something that is right up there with racism, bigotry, homophobia, xenophobia, liars, and sexual predators. We really need to learn to accept others, and to live and let live. It is not our job to judge other people's life choices.

Also, when our "founding fathers" founded this country, they did so for religious freedom and new opportunities. I won't go into the wrongness of America's beginnings. I will say, I am glad we have come as far as we have, but hate that we still have so far we need to go. One of the best things that was done for our country's sake, was the separation of church and state. They wanted our country's citizenry to enjoy religious freedom, but knew we needed law and order. They were also wise enough to realize, to support religious freedom, and to maintain law and order well, we needed to not have churches involved in our government. Well, people these days are all too into forcing religion into our laws/government, and it is going to do so much harm.

If you let one set of religious beliefs into our laws/government, you will need to let them all in. Every single one. Fair is fair. You cannot pick and choose. Believe me, if one gets in, and gets a place at the governmental table (so to speak), every single religion is going to want a seat at the table, and it will happen, whether peacefully or by war. There is no way all religions can peacefully and cohesively exist within a balanced and well maintained government. Our founding fathers knew this, and knew that religion had no place in our government. We deserve religious freedom. We deserve peace. We deserve law and order. We deserve a government that is run for the good of all our citizens. Not just a select few. Not just one type of religious believers. We ALL deserve it. I really hope people come to their senses, and stop trying to force their church's best interest into our laws.

Yes, I am applying this in large part to those currently trying to ban abortion. Women were dying left and right, from backyard abortions. They were dangerous and inhumane. The current system in place for abortions is as safe as possible for the women choosing them. If you ban abortion, it will only cause more women to die. If someone wants/needs an abortion, they will get it. That is just how it works. If you do not want an abortion, or do not believe in it.... Great. You will never get one. However, if someone else wants one, they should be able to safely get one. It is not up to us to make that choice for them. At the end of your life, you will not answer for their choices. They will. So, just live your life making your own choices, and let everyone else safely do the same.

I am personally pro-life. I would not choose to have an abortion. Not even to save my own life. My pregnancy with Gigi was extremely high risk, and it was largely thought I was not going to make it out alive, and it was also believed she may not either. However, I chose to give her the best chance she had, and made it very clear, if ever it came down to her or me, they were to save her. That is me. This is my life. That is my choice. I could just never choose to end my baby's life. I cannot afford another child. I could not give Gigi and Embee and another child a decent life. So, if I got pregnant today, there is no way I would keep the baby. So, would I abort the baby? No. I would put him or her up for adoption. It would kill me, but that is the choice I would make. Despite my own personal beliefs and choices, for my life, I do not feel I have the right to force my beliefs on anyone else. They deserve to make their own choices, and if they choose abortion, they deserve to be able to do it in the safest way possible. Their life, their choice, their business. End of story.

I can only hope that we make the right choices, that are best for our citizenry as a whole, and not just what is in our own best interest. I pray that separation of Church of State stays firm. I pray people come to their senses, and gets their heads our their butts. If this applies to you...So be it. Sorry, not sorry. It is the truth, as I see it. You are welcome to disagree. That is your right. That is what is so beautiful about life. We all have free will and free thought. I respect your right to think whatever you want. I do not have to agree with you. If you are racist or prejudice in any way, the chances of me agreeing with you, are slim to none, but that doesn't change the fact you are entitled to live your life your way.

Bullying has also been weighing on my mind. We all scream about how wrong bullying is, and schools boast about zero tolerance policies, and yet bullying is still happening. I imagine it probably always will. I feel like we could make a lot of improvement though, if we stood our ground against it. Schools need to REALLY have zero tolerance policies, and if a school is slacking, parents need to stand up against the bullying. I know, if I heard a kid at Gigi's school was being bullied, and the school was not combating it strongly, then I would stand with the other parents, and let the school know that zero tolerance means zero tolerance. Gigi is the biggest sweetheart, and sadly, she has been victim of some bullying behavior, but gratefully, it has always been handled well, by the school, and I have really helped Gigi cope with it. I reinforce in her, that she is perfect as she is, and the important people will love her just as she is. 

Sadly, in our world today, I even see adults bullying. Honestly, whether you want to admit it or not, the POTUS does a lot of bullying. I honestly have no idea why nobody has made him stop yet. His wife's platform is anti-bullying, particularly cyber bullying. You think she would get him to stop. Nope. He keeps on going. We really need to adopt a zero tolerance policy, and hold anyone accountable, even if it is someone we love. I definitely would never let Chad or Gigi, get away with bullying, and I would hope they would also hold me accountable. We need to be better, in so many ways, and an end to bullying would be a huge step in the right direction.

I experienced/witnessed the most abhorrent thing on Saturday, and it has also been taking up a lot of space in the closet of my mind. We had our town's Spring Festival this week, and we spent Saturday morning there, volunteering at the booth for the Foster Care program we volunteer with. It was such a lovely day. We met a lot of people, and got to see and pet some awesome dogs, and enjoy some deep fried zucchini. Overall, it was definitely a great morning. Then I went to walk over to our car, so I could bring Gigi to her painting party. 

As I was walking by a tow place around the corner from our house, and right next to where Chad was picking me up, I had the agony of overhearing a conversation between two "men", who were sitting on the sidewalk. They said some of the most heinous things I have heard, though they were oddly similar to something I once heard a politician say. (Fair warning.... The language coming up is abhorrent, and may be offensive. You may want to skip this next bit of this post) They were going on and on about how women want sex. How we are born with these pussies that crave their dicks, and how even if we play hard to get, and throw around the word no, we actually really want it. They harped on it being their duty to give us what we really want, which is our pussies to be fucked over and over by their dicks. Then they spoke at length about training pussies, and how it is best to train pussies starting when they are young. They literally spoke at length about having sex with young girls. I stood around the corner, listening, until I really wanted to go and punch them both.

I did not think that action would get me anywhere. So, I walked across the street, as Chad pulled up, and called 911. I told the dispatcher verbatim what was being said. I told her how they were literally talking about how they would have sex with children, and how if an adult woman said no, they would fuck her anyway, because she was born craving their dick. I was blown off entirely. Half a block from where these men were sitting (at the entry to the town's festival area), was the majority of the police force, just walking around and saying hello to festival goers. However, the dispatcher would not even send one of them over to get these scumbags to disperse. They were sitting at the entrance to a festival full of women and children, in the entry footpath, with women, children, and men walking by. Yet nothing was to be done, because it was totally okay for them to be talking about training children to fuck dick well. 

I mean, thinking about it now, I guess if the POTUS can discuss grabbing women by the pussy, whenever he wants, two scumbags could definitely say basically the same things, as women and children walk past. Sure. Why not? That is the world we live in eh?!

We. Need. To. Do. Better. 

We. Need. To. Be. Better.

For the sake of our future generations, we need to stop this despicable stuff NOW. We need to fight against racism. We need to fight against sexism. We need to fight against corrupt politicians. We need to fight for what is right. We need to stop bullies. We need to stop sexual predators. We need to stop labeling men as champion swimmers, in the titles of articles written about them raping women, and label them as the rapists they are. We need to do better. 

This is the stuff that is bugging me lately. This is the stuff filling up the closet of mind. This is the stuff I am holding in, and that is making me want to explode. 

This stuff is NOT okay, and we need to stand against it. 

We need to stop judging others, and start loving others. We need to be good, honest people, and we need to help our fellow humans. 

We need to realize that just as we want to live our lives however we want, that others just want the same thing. We need to stop trying to force our religion of choice into politics, and we need to stop trying to force our religious beliefs on others, through laws that are clearly in violation, of the much needed separation of church and state.

Most importantly, these people who are doing this, need to realize that if they succeed in getting their religion a seat at the political table, every single other religion will want a seat. If one is allowed in, it is only fair, that all be allowed in. After all, that is keeping with the freedom of religion, which was one of the biggest reasons for the founding of this nation. They need to acknowledge that if one religion is allowed in, they will all want their seat, and wars will be fought to see that it happens. War is never a good thing. 

We need to be better. We need to live our lives, and let others live. 

Okay. I think that is enough cleaning of my closet for now. I have so much more I could say, but I digress.

I hope you all have an amazing week!! 

***EDITED TO ADD: UPDATE. The fact that the dispatcher did not do anything about the two men, really had me upset. I ended up calling and leaving a voice mail for the Chief of Police. I explained what happened  explained the dispatcher did nothing  and requested to speak with her. I told her I feel that there must be something that can be done in these instances. I received a call back from a Sargeant yesterday. Ironically, we volunteer with him, for the Foster Care program, so we know one another. He's in charge of the dispatchers. The Chief forwarded my message to him, as she wasn't happy with hearing what happened. He then got the recording of my 911 call, and listened to it. He apologized to me. He let me know that the dispatcher was spoken to. She was informed that she had wrongly handled my call. She was then trained on how to handle future calls of that nature. He apologized that nothing had been done. He informed me  that at the bare minimum  the officer would have made them leave. He also said in some circumstances arrests could have been made. So, my faith in my town's police department was restored. I'm sad that they got away with their behavior, but I'm relieved to know, if ever I have that terrible experience again, something will be done. Honestly, I was sickened by the entire experience, so getting this progress, is really helping me process it all. ***

Do not forget to check out the rest of this month's Spring Cleaning Blog with Friends posts:

Karen of Baking In A Tornado
Lydia of Cluttered Genius
Stacy of Stacy Sews and Schools
Dawn of Spatulas On Parade
Melissa of My Heartfelt Sentiments

Rambling Outlet #UseYourWords

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