Fear – Working Through It

This is my home:IMG_2710

 

Two Men

Earlier today I had two unknown men run across my backyard and out our side gate. As I saw them run past my french doors, I kept my eye on them following them around to my other french doors in the dining room,  I noticed those doors were locked.  About that time Ferguson jumped up and started barking as the fumbled with the gate catch. I quickly jumped up and flipped the lock on the first set of doors.

I ran for my phone but I’d couldn’t get it back up quick enough.  I’d just shut it down and was rebooting it when this started.

These two guys didn’t look like vagrants.  What they did look like were two men running from the law.

Complacency

Our home overlooks a canyon, which of late has been housing some homeless.  I’ve never fussed about it as some of you may have noticed in previous posts, my feeling has been one of compassion.  However, we have a new batch and they have littered and destroyed the terrain below us.  They say you can tell a lot about a person by how they keep their home, perhaps that’s what contributed to my discomfort, I don’t know. Nonetheless, as my hubby and I looked out our backyard the other day we were grateful for the thick growth of thick trees and bushes below us which appear to be impenetrable. It has always made me feel safe.  If I can’t get through them then who can?

My Why

Right now, I sit here overwhelmed with fear. I can’t stop crying afraid to open my doors.

The night before the police helicopters had been searching for someone and on their bull horn gave a description. Could this be them? Was there a them? I thought it was just one guy.

I did finally get through to the police and they were nice. The dispatch lady tried to calm me.  The dispatcher said, no, it wasn’t the man they’d been looking for, they caught the guy last night.  She asked for their description which I gave to her.  She wanted to be sure I was okay. I told her I would call my husband as he worked nearby.  She thought that a good idea.  So, as soon as I could somewhat calm myself I tried to him.  I couldn’t get a ring and it went to voicemail.  I’m thinking perhaps he’d forgotten to charge it.  So, I called his work. By now, I’m crying in a panic rush but I’m not getting anywhere there either.  It kept asking for me to punch an extension which I didn’t know, always relying on the cell.  So, I hit HR, but get nothing.  No one answers. I do this three times trying different extensions.  It’s like WTF!

I’m angry and in a dither.  Through all this I actually debated whether or not I could show up at his work with no makeup and my hair still wet.  How vain am I?  VERY!!!

Yes, I’d just moments before gotten out of the shower. At least I was dressed but I’d not yet blow dried my hair or put makeup on. I thought I’d just hang out for a change and yes, I put makeup on every. single. day.  But yes, I got in the car and started to back out of the driveway when the police showed up, so I stayed and showed them around.

I took them to the backyard, which I’d not been out to and there were 5-6 police cars and vans searching the brush.  I looked up at the cop and he said, that what happens is when they cruise the homeless camp areas, the ones with warrants will run off and that is probably what happened.  Even though that should have eased my mind, it didn’t.

We talked more about home security systems for our home and weapons, should I want to add that measure.  Yes, we talked about that. They actually recommended less harmful weaponry that can ward off a perp but have limited range and not hurt anyone else, should you fire it. I can’t remember what, but that’s not much good to me.

Knowing California law, I sold anything I had (nothing serious, just enough for the coyotes, possums and varmints on the farm), now I wish I had something for the varmints that might come up my slope.IMG_2718

I was grateful that my door wasn’t hanging open like it usually is.

I finally got through to Russ, he had checked his phone and called me back and of course, came and checked on me.  I put up a stiff upper lip and he went back to work.

I felt like such a whiny, cry-baby lady.

I don’t know why it left me so rattled.  They weren’t in the least bit interested in coming into my home, but some how I felt violated and less safe. I’m alone 10 hours a day.  I go to the gym a few hours a week and go shopping on occasion.  I have very few friends that live nearby. Since I moved from Alabama, the people I’ve met here are too busy with their own lives and families.  I’m not one of those that locks her doors, my husband is fanatical about it. Now, it looks like I will have to and it makes me so angry and sad.

We are not in a bad neighborhood or part of town. It’s just a regular suburban home and yet… I no longer feel safe.

Right now I’m yearning for the farm.

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The Farm

 

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Want to Be Happy? Do This One Thing

It’s all about your mindset, despite the fact that it sometimes feels like you’re the salmon swimming upstream.

Cristian Mihai


There are two ways to be happy: change the situation, or change your mindset towards it.

Today’s society is obsessed with happiness. We want instant gratification, success, fame, soulmates that never die…

We grow complacent with people and ideas. We grow cold and bitter because we want what we want and we want it now, and sadly the Universe doesn’t work like that.

We don’t fight for what we want. We don’t have the patience to wait for the good things in life. And we certainly don’t want to put in the effort required to cultivate the necessary perspective for happiness.

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Roseanne –

When I first heard the grave news that Roseanne’s show was cancelled by ABC because of a racist remark, I thought oh no,  Now what? What are people getting all hot and bothered about now?!

Weeeell, She deserved to get flack for her comment, she should not have made it and she knows it, but to cancel her show? Really? I wonder what is going through the networks minds these days?  A person can’t say boo and they’re running like scared rabbits.  Where is that coming from?

To be honest, I don’t like the show in the first place.  It involves a lot of yelling and inconsiderate and demeaning comments from everyone to anyone. Granted the underlying sentiment is that despite disagreements and differing opinions, they still love one another… or so I’ve been told. I don’t think I’ve ever sat through a whole episode. To begin with, I don’t watch anything with histrionics in it so no, I don’t even like the popular Modern Family either.  It’s too hectic.

I think too, what bugs me the most is that if she’d slurred the president, Christ, Christians,  a white person or even a Republican, she could have gotten away with it. Neither ABC nor any other station would care enough about them to yank a show over it. Yet, that’s where we’re at these days.

I am not fond of Roseanne, but I think she got a bad rap here.  Perhaps because she gets away with it on her show, she believed she could in real life, I don’t know.  I don’t know what is going on here, but people seem to be quite edgy about what others say or do (though I can see removing someone from a project for convicted offenses).  I certainly would not have thought her comment to be a reflection of ABC or any other station nor that of the show and it’s cast.

You may think I’m off base, but everything else seems to be sacrosanct but those designations I mentioned above.  I mean, people might talk back and complain about it but no show would ever get yanked for anyone making fun of Trump or Christians and they do all the time. Am I wrong?

To be honest, I am not a fan of comedy or comics in general because, in my opinion most of it seems to involve laughing at and the ridicule of someone at the victims expense.  Yes, I was made fun of a lot in school and so perhaps I’m hyper sensitive, but … it often gets out of hand.

I wouldn’t want to be the butt of anyone’s joke or derisive remarks. Maybe I’m thin-skinned too. I am more fond of “do unto others as you would have done to yourself” and by golly, think good thoughts and love your neighbor.

So, in the future (if you even have one now) Roseanne, stop and think and remember “freedom of speech” does not apply to you.  I was taught “It is best to keep one’s mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt” – or as the  Proverbs of Solomon 17:28 says: “Even a fool, when he holds his peace, is counted wise: and he that shuts his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.”

Mostly folks, if we’ve learned nothing else by this, remember, “if you can’t say something nice, it’s best to not say anything at all.”

“And that’s all I have to say about that!”

 

 

The Transfiguration 

What a beautiful and inspiring story of one person looking out for another. Can you just imagine how beautiful the world would be if we all did that.

The Mahdheebah Blog (TMB)

Hey guys, let me share with you a quick emotional and inspiring story of a woman from Kenya (Africa) who found her childhood friend on the streets suffering and struggling from drug abuse and starvation. How she transformed his life will prove to you that God exist in human form!

With no words said I’m sure we all understood that story. It is very imperative at every point that you do not look down or trample on anybody because that person just might be the angel that God has put on this earth to help you in your time of need. You see, God knows that we can’t do everything on our own, we are bound to stagger, faulter and make mistakes, that’s why Adam had Eve and even Jesus had disciples. God sends anEarth Angelalongwith us the day we were born, we usually never know who this…

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Befuddled and Betwixt

 

Paying the piper.

I just caught myself up on The Handmaid’s Tale.  Love it!!

One of my concerns is how it portrays men, not to exclude religious dominance or perception but as hypocritical bullies.  I hope we will never get to that point.   I love men, shortcomings and all. Obviously, the climate here is not one I would do well with.

I remember once many years ago, my daughter thinking she was in love with this handsome “older” man from Persia. He admitted that he had singled her out because, she was a virgin and young enough to be trained.  Of course, I nixed it.   It might be peaches and cream for awhile… until the luster waned. She was too much like me and she would not have taken such rigid rules for long. She’s been married three times since and is now off to fulfill her dream to be an actress.  I digress.

With all the hoopla going on about sexual harassment, women and other diversity issues, we sometimes tend to lose focus on other equally important factors.

What is our gauge?  I am specifically referring to the Academy Awards and the possible why’s of the selections made and that are up for vote. I’ve already been hearing murmurs from some that the selections may have been due to peer pressure, to filling quota’s, or shunning, because they thought other work out there had more merit but got vetoed.  I’m inclined to agree a certain amount of that has to be true.  A case in point might be the film by Harvey Weinstein’s company.  I’ve not seen all the nominations for best picture but I’ve read the screenplays and found them worthy candidates on writing alone … sans viewing them all.  All but one anyway.  It just didn’t rock my world, at least not beyond the first ten.

Is it fair to artists involved in his project (which was done prior to the scandal) have their work shoved aside because of his bad behavior? I read other comments that tend to agree with me on that, while at the same time it is understandable, after all, why should he profit?  I hesitate sometimes to bring up incongruities of this nature and as I’ve mentioned before, for so many years everyone knew this existed and what I don’t understand is why such a heavy ax coming down now when so much of the work in Hollywood has exploited such behind the scene “goings on”?  It was never right. Never should have been, but it was. It is aptly illustrated, if not a bit over the top, but very well done in The Handmaid’s Tale. 

Women in the past had no say and no recourse.

It really is not far fetched because that was basically the plight of women not that many years ago.  Now is this every man’s dream? To put us back in our place?  God forbid!  In God’s defense, He never intended it to begin with. That of course, is how I perceive it, given my knowledge of His word.  WE were, after all, produced of Adam’s rib, not his ass or his head or any other part of his body.  So, if we believe that, we are meant to be equal and at the same level, rib to rib, eye to eye, taking into consideration, of course the differences in our various statures.

Hugh Hefner, in his Playboy magazines reinforces men’s perceived entitlement and the attitude of the day with his cartoons:

 

Women having fought tooth and nail for years to earn the rights and privileges they have today and are only barely a step ahead of race, but only barely.

For awhile, I resented the big push for equality.  Not because I didn’t think it was necessary or appropriate but because of how forcefully it was being done.  Could there not have been a more congenial way?  I was living in a fantasy world. The reality is that sometimes you’ve got to club people over the head before they’ll listen.  That goes for all the hollering and noise being made to be heard and listened to.  Yes, at times it has been downright offensive.

It’s like, I hear ya, quit cramming it down my throat. I get it, I understand and agree. Yet, that’s just me and there are many more people out there of the same mind who have yet to come to terms with it.

My husband has a hard time with some aspects of the MeToo movement. I don’t believe he knows, not that I care, I’ve just never gotten around to bringing it up. (To be honest, I echoed it not expecting the explosion it would cause or how quickly it would grow.) He was raised by a single mom (his dad died when he was 8) and he never formed the machismo attitudes that has plagued men for centuries.  He was the guy I ever dated who didn’t run around to open doors for me, because “women aren’t helpless and there’s nothing wrong with their arms”.  You get the picture.  We mostly went dutch on dates. He lacked a lot of the finesse men learn from other men.  The only thing he cared about was riding his bike to a competitive level as a young adult. He wasn’t into playing the game. So, he doesn’t get it and doesn’t in a genuine way.

So to hear so many women out there emerging with stories he can’t conceive, is difficult. In fact, he worries that guys today may not be able to ask a woman out, tell her she’s hot or with an accidental touch while talking without finding himself slapped with a sexual harassment charge.  That’s his perception.  The latest episode of The Good Doctor had a young woman tell the doctor not to touch her. He had laid his hand on her shoulder to reassure her that everything would be fine. There was obviously no ill intention there.  He agreed readily, but you could see his mind processing it. I was waiting throughout the whole show to see if you would make more of it.  She didn’t.

It reminded me of the time, many years ago when I got “counselled” by the elders of my church that I shouldn’t touch when I talked even though it was only on the forearm or hand.  I remember being deeply  hurt by this, because I mean’t nothing at all by it and it was just a conversational mannerism. I did not process it well so I knew and understood what my hubby was saying. “They” said, it could be misconstrued and be a temptation to some man, whose home life may not be perfect. Yikes!  That’s their problem was my thought.  So, I learned to talk without touching and it was difficult.

We have often talked about these websites, like Tinder and other sites that hook up for sex only.  How does one navigate through these? It is a given or assumption that it’s all about the sex.  Isn’t it like playing with fire?  The implication being that the end goal is sex? How does anyone risk their job and reputations with a possible single misstep?  How does one know?  Not everyone is, as hubby calls it, socially aware.  Many people are ill trained to navigate through social situations adroitly.

women and sex2

I have been hearing, in the wind, the importance of teaching our young, both men and women of what is appropriate behavior. Yay!

A few months back, my young great grandson, in kindergarten, got called out for  possible inappropriate touching.  I didn’t get the whole story, but I immediately got a visual of a cartoon I’d seen many years ago (I’m guessing in the 50’s or 60’s) with two children of the opposite sex, looking down their shorts, realizing they were not the same.  It’s interesting how this was once considered a joke, whether appropriate or not and not taken seriously.  I don’t recall the comment that went with it but that alone surmised that kids will be curious.  In the 50’s sex wasn’t really discussed at least not in my experience and the word alone was bad and not mentioned, period.  Times have changed and perhaps that’s the biggest reason all this media attention. Needless to say my granddaughter had to have a sit down talk with him and explain the why’s and wherefore’s, which he is, even at 6,  savvy enough to expect. Once explained, he got it.

I am so glad this teacher had the decency to call my granddaughter first rather than making more of it than necessary. The other parent was also a party to this discussion. End of story.  That’s how it should be done.

Yes, WE CAN TALK ABOUT IT NOW!  Or, at least we should.

There is a scripture in the Bible that I always liked and that regardless of  religion or personal beliefs. It makes sense and one to consider as the first step for most things.

Matthew 18:15-17 English Standard Version (ESV)

If Your Brother Sins Against You

15 If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

____

There was a radio talk show Saturday that asked the audience to call in with grudges they still had against someone who had wronged them in the past.  There were so many and these people were willing to air them and admit they had not let go. The point of the show was to give the worst experience a prize. I wondered how many of them made an effort to take the above steps?

Basically,  if you have a grievance against another, go to them and not blab it to everyone.  If the party in question is not amicable to a remedy, then call in another as witness that you made an effort to fix the problem. If at that time it is still not working then you call in a higher authority. In theory this would be the best solution, but for some it isn’t enough and perhaps it shouldn’t be.

There’s the added danger here that if sexual harassment is not exposed and out in the open, it could occur again with a more timid victim or someone who finds the whole experience too embarrassing to reveal.  That’s what has occurred in the past. So how do you nip it?  Put it out for everyone to see.  20 years ago or so Monica Lewinsky and others  like her were derided, ridiculed and humiliated for their efforts.  Today, women are being applauded for coming forward. It is a different time.

Right now, it’s people in power and those who have money being exposed. I wonder if there are those and how many who have paid a hefty price to keep “their garbage” out of the media?  I know it seems as though we’ve heard an excessive amount of dirty laundry being aired, but I would bet there’s more out there than we know about, those we never hear about.  I’m wondering how much has not been exposed but instead hushed or kept quiet? Is it even possible? I’m guessing not if there’s money involved. What about Joe Blo at your typical workplace?

50 years ago —

When I was a very young girl, I had a doctor who molested me.  Of course, I said nothing, but… many years later he was found out when several women came forward. He lost his license and was prosecuted.  By then he was quite old.  I never added my name to the list. Why? Because it was embarrassing to me plus I questioned my own perception of the event and I didn’t want anyone to know.  When the others testified against him, I realized it wasn’t just me but by then it was enough for me to see it finally caught up with him. He died soon after.

I have a friend who came forward when she was about 15 and instead of being protected, she was humiliated and put in a sanitarium for trying to expose the person, who happened to be her father and the mayor of the city.  Her sister who was also molested, was angry with her for airing their dirty laundry.  No one came to her aid. This was over 50 years ago.

Even though a good many men and women are wriggling in discomfort over these issues coming to light (including myself, after all I am from another generation), it is a purge to endure. In that way I am befuddled and betwixt.  On one hand it’s uncomfortable but on the other, it’s necessary.

Perhaps in the end, it will be a good thing.

Yes, times have changed. I wonder how it will play out in the end? I’ve posed this question before, and still not heard about the women who abuse their power?

A film with Jennifer Anniston illustrates this in Terrible Bosses. In my mind, sexual harassment is sexual harassment. Could there be a possibility of a backlash? Hmmmm…

when women vote

 

Please note: All photos are from the www and I’m hoping these were old enough to be fair game.

The Art of Saying “no”

I think you’ll all like this post.

Love Life and Bella

So often in life, women find themselves in situations that they don’t necessarily want to be in, however, time and time again, comply and go along with it. In this particular post, I am referring to romantic/ intimate situations. My thoughts are based off of personal experiences and experiences that I have known friends and acquaintances to have found themselves in as well.

There are women out there who are strong-minded, strong willed and do not hesitate to say no. However, there are also many women that do not have that strength. How often do we hear about women who went along with an uncomfortable and undesirable sexual/intimate situation with a man when inside, that was the last place they wanted to be? Verbally, they say yes or maybe nothing at all. Inside, they are regretting putting themselves in that situation and just want it to be over.

I know…

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Huey, Dewey and Louie

When I was a child, we had a pair of ducklings called Donald and Daisy.

After some time, Daisy hatched out some little ducklings. There were about 10 or 11 and we gave them all names. We started out with Huey, Louie and Dewey, but from there, who knows? One day our father decided it was time we learned what farm life was like and marched us out to the yard. He grabbed one of the ducklings (now grown) and lopped off it’s head with an ax. We were aghast. What was worse is he let them go and they ran around the yard headless. This terrified us and we kids all scattered in tears, screaming and cursing him. (well, yelling at him – kids in those days didn’t use curse words like they do today, especially not around parents).  I was frozen, watching them go in circles. He thought it gruesomely hysterical and had a jolly good laugh on us. This of course, made us sick and angry. Over the next few days, we would have nightmares and to this day, that sight and feeling has never left my mind.

Later that evening mother sat the roasted duckling on the table but we all refused to eat. Instead, we left the table squalling and cried for days. Angrily, Dad ended up giving the plucked ducks to friends and neighbors because we wouldn’t eat them. We had no clue.

One day we went to our friends house and unbeknownst to us they had been recipients of our beloved deceased friends and proceeded to serve us the duckling. I had taken a leg as I recall and bitten into it, but my brother so much wiser (or perhaps less trusting) than I or maybe he’d caught a gleam in daddy’s eyes waiting for us to take a bite, realized what had been served and asked, “Is this our duck?”. When they replied in the affirmative, he then crossed his little arms across his chest and refused to eat. My little sisters joined him but I being the older sibling struggled with being polite and eating. It bears noting how as we get older we submit to peer pressure and will often make unethical compromises.

Dave and I
My brother and I

Many years later, my girl friend and I went in halfsies to buy a calf to raise and butcher. She considered me a city girl and would not let me name it or look at it. She probably suspected she’d get stuck with the whole cow if I’d named it. So I didn’t and I got through the experience fine. She pointed out that once you name it, it becomes a whole different ball game, so it is best not to give names to prospective food.  That, in of itself changes ones perspective.

I would in my later life, move to Alabama where Tyson and Pilgrim’s Pride (amongst others) have their chicken farms.  It was there I decided chicken would not be on the menu. I became aware of how they were raised, housed, fed and carried to be butchered.  I learned from personal experience that it took months for me to raise a chick to adulthood, whereas chicks delivered to chicken farms are harvested in approximately 9 weeks! That alone ought to tell you something.

Then there’s the delivery system. On the mountain above us was a chicken farm and every few weeks we’d hear the trucks go by late at night or early, early morning to deliver them to the processing plant in town.  If you happened to be behind one of these trucks, you would see all these slatted crates chock full of chickens crammed tightly within them.  On occasion I would see a dazed chicken on the side of the rode that had somehow escaped the cages and fallen out, or so I thought. I felt so bad because the chickens didn’t run off.  It was months later that I mention this to my vegetarian friend,  and she explained to me that those were the hobos.  When the cages get too full, they cram the extras in between the cages. They are listless because they have been raised in tight quarters and have never used their legs much, so there’s no strength in them.  Btw, it’s not permanent and not true everywhere. I’d heard tell of folks who have picked them up and taken them home and they grew to be fine.

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One day, one of these trucks somehow overturned and the chickens scattered.  Some died but most were easily retrieved. But, oh my, chickens went everywhere. It made the news of course, and it was funny to see people cheering the chickens on.  It was reminiscent of Jennie yelling “Run, Forrest, Run!” and that was pretty much the sentiment.

Although I vowed not to eat chicken, I do.  Since those days of driving behind the chicken trucks, I learned that more companies are going “organic”.  What that means, I’m really not sure.  Are their conditions now more humane?  I don’t know. Chicken is still one of the least expensive forms of protein.  I still look for free range though.  They are pricier, but I’m guessing that’s because free range chickens take longer to mature and have a higher mortality rate due to predators… if they are truly free range, that is.

I say this because of my own personal experience. I know when I tried raising my own, I had to contend with snakes, coyotes, dogs, raccoons, opossums, hawks and drownings.  Yes, drownings.  Chickens are not too bright.  It was there we had a duck we called Chuck because he was hatched out by a hen. You know, Ch(icken) (d)uck? Chuck was never to be destined for the table, so he was named. Alas, we didn’t have him long.

Ducks, we discovered require lots of water to stay hydrated and… because ducks require lots of water we made him a small pond of water nearby and… I think because Chuck was the bigger of the brood, his little brothers would follow him in and drown.  So we removed the pond and then Chuck died of dehydration… I’m guessing. We were new to farming. It haunted me for some time until I learned that Chucks mortality may not have been the issue of water alone.  My cousin Jack explained when we found his rooster drowning in a 1/2 to 1 inches  of water because he didn’t have sense enough to pull his head out! We were glad we found him and resuscitated him and sent him on his way. Jack said, “they’re just plain stupid.”  So, take it from me there’s a reason free range chickens cost more.

Bottom line?  Don’t name your food and don’t complain about the high price of organically grown, free range anything.

And… if you have the will power to eat vegan or vegetarian, more power to you!

PS – If you look up chicken transporting, you will see videos of how more high tech farms do it and for sure you will not want to eat another chicken for the rest of your life! The farms near us used men to catch the chickens for loading.  I’m afraid the site I found was so disturbing, I screamed and clicked out of it so fast that I forgot to snag the link to share. I couldn’t find it again.