01 April 2016

A Woman's Best Friend

Barkley & Aydin (3)
For six years I have been learning about the interaction of dogs and humans.
In 2010, I met two dogs: One Staffordshire Terrier (Barkley) and one Australian Blue Healer (Baker). Barkley and Baker taught a then-44 year old
woman (and her 3 year old grandson) not to be afraid of big dogs.

Aydin & Baker
Even when they are capable of killing. Barkley was, and did on several occasions while I was living in close quarters with him. Interestingly enough, he never did it in front of me. When I saw him (soon after he had done "the deed"), he would cower in a corner and shake, as if he knew what he did was wrong... he just couldn't help himself. His owner (and the neighbors) always were quick to forgive.
Barkley & Baker

Baker went on a "walkabout;" leaving his owner's campsite never to return, a year plus a few months after I met him. Somewhere near Glacier Lake, he decided to run off Over the Rainbow into Heaven. I know he is waiting for a very large family to join him.

These two dogs also showed me in person, what I later learned through reading: Canines have the capability to change a human's mood as well as ability-level.

When I was crying my eyes out, both of them would lay next to me and encourage (quite forcibly) me to pet them and give them attention. As I was to learn, the very action of petting a dog releases the same hormone, oxytocin, as is released in nursing moms & babies. It is known as the "comforting hormone". Better than any anti-anxiety drug I know!

Athena's Daddy - Ruger
When I met another pair of dogs, Brandy (chocolate Lab) and Ruger (Blue Pit-Bull), owned by the same extended family; I fell in love.

Ruger's block-headed but adorable ways absolutely thrilled me. They would both sit on my feet, demanding me to pet them when I was in pain. When I would pet them for a little while, the pain got much less intense. Sometimes I even forgot about the pain. Since I could easily deal with daily pain that reached levels of 8-9 (on a scale of 1-10); the idea that a dog could lessen that pain was astounding!
Athena about 10 days old

God answered my prayers. I stayed with my friends Robin, David and Katie for a month in the spring. As I was getting ready to move on they realized that in spite of being separately kenneled, Brandy had gotten pregnant with Ruger's litter.
On the first of April, 2011, I woke up to smells and sounds I had never before experienced. I went downstairs to learn that puppies were being born. Before my friends left for work and school, five puppies were born. When I went back downstairs after my shower, there was a sixth. She was later adopted by me and named "Athena Brooke" for the middle names of two of the strongest young ladies I have ever known.
Athena 7 weeks old

Having never raised a dog from a puppy, I had a lot of learning to do. We hit the road before she was even 8 weeks old. Although I had been planning to re-start my cross country road trip with my new-to-me BMW 525, I hadn't previously planned to have a brand-new puppy in tow! Fortunately, God had me covered; I had friends across the country who's pets and advice taught me and Athena.

Together, Athena and I visited people from Idaho to Florida. She made friends with little and big dogs, kittens and even a few house bunnies. Athena was patient with me, and I learned to get my behind out of bed earlier in the morning or pay for my laziness by
having messes to clean up.

Smokey eating with Athena in Florida
When Athena and I had been traveling and living together for less than a year, she made her true "job" or "service" apparent to me.

As a survivor of multiple traumas, I have certain symptoms that are quite distressing. One of them happens quite unexpectedly: I lose most sensations below my waist suddenly, making it difficult to walk or stand. When Athena was only 9 months old, she sat at my feet and barked me into the chair behind me. We had not had the economical ability to procure formal service-dog training for her, so I was unsure as to her intent. When I sat down, she stopped, seeming pleased with herself. Within five minutes, sure enough, I lost all feeling in my legs.
Athena & me

Athena has made her place in my life with this skill on many occasions. She has also calmed me, or separated me from a situation, when my PTSD acts up.
She has learned my triggers, and has learned to give notice when I am needing help.

Athena and I had many adventures in the past five years, but unfortunately we both eventually experienced some emotionally traumatic events together.
Athena & "Uncle Barkley"
She was left with a habit of barking, making it difficult to socialize her enough to use her as a formal service animal.

As she gets older, and I learn more, I hope to more
formally train her. For now, she is an excellent member of the family and she is truly my very best friend.

07 March 2016

Grand Old Penis Party

Republican debate: 
aren't their hands great?! Elect a Republican 
and increase our world of sin!
Sexual innuendos, 
euphemisms abound, Yet in the hearts of church members, 
a leader is found?!
Is the desire, 
the need for change so great,
That we condemn our children 
to a new world of hate?!
Our playgrounds and schools 
are where this will play out, Rulers and math belong there, 
no reason to doubt, Until little Tommy gets sent home from school For breaking all the decency rules.
When mommy and daddy ask what went wrong, The debates you allowed me to watch, will be his song.
The Grand Old Penis Party teaching our children indecency and sin, Is this really what we want to be seeped within?

26 November 2014

My Best Girlfriend

I have far too many friends with cancer. Far too many friends with stage IV cancers in particular.

This is about my best girlfriend. I found out some information today, that made me very upset. I found out that my dear friend is in the hospital, and that she has been placed on hospice. I decided to share a little bit of her and our story.

It was over 20 years when we met. We met over FidoNet. Both of us were software nerds, allowing our male halves to take a lot of credit, but we were fast friends. 
My children grew up knowing her as more than a friend, more like an aunt. Most like a sister to me.
We drifted apart due to life and husband drama, but found each other again on Facebook, like most of my friends, a few years ago.

I hadn't heard from her for over a year, but that wasn't unusual. Then one day this year I got a call. 
On that May afternoon, she informed me that she had been diagnosed with Stage IV renal cell 
carcinoma a few months prior. She also informed me that her father had been diagnosed with cancer and had died very quickly. Her mother was caring for her. 

During the surgeries that she underwent, she sustained both a heart attack and a stroke. 
The stroke caused her to loose her sight completely.
My best friend had not texted, or called or written on Facebook, because she was completely blind.

That weekend we attended her father's memorial service and held her hand as she went out into a large group of family and friends for the first time. Many of which had no idea she had completely lost her sight.

Shocked at her appearance, I hugged and helped her any way she would let me. But everything I did, felt like too little. 

She began the recommended courses of chemo in the summer, having a violent allergic reaction to the first one they tried.
In September they started another type of chemotherapy. This past one has resulted in her being admitted with the hospital, having lost another 15 pounds and experiencing a severe abdominal infection. 

She has decided to stop the chemo. Apparently she has been told that it will take approximately 3 weeks to get out of her system. Her family has been informed of her decision. 

Today when I first spoke to her daughter, I was told she was given only a few days to live. 
But I called Melanie today, and she is talking and sounding in good spirits. 

At this time she has no one providing her with any alternative treatments. I am doing my best to figure out a way or a method to get to Yelm to help her. If it is meant to happen, it will. Please keep Melanie and her mother and daughter in your prayers.


22 December 2013

Forced Accident

Forced Silence
turned Paradise.

Data speeds
Slowed by overuse --

Expected video
Silence Remains.

Thoughts Expand
Imagination's Playground --
A ponderer's delight.

An accidental
conversation --

with God.

21 July 2013

Me - July 2013 -

In May of 2012, I wrote a little essay, entitled "Who am I, May 2012".
I currently felt the need to revisit that self-examination having had evolved quite substantially in the past year.

I remember being a little girl, vacillating between wanting to be a stay-at-home mom, and also wanting to be a physician. When I escaped through my reading into the James Harriott novels; I longed to be a country vet.
No matter the profession I desired to have; one goal has maintained a constant: I want to help others.
The past few years, I gave of myself to many. I have rarely been selfish with cash or anything else. But I have longed to serve in a deeper way.

I attempted to serve my fellow human by being active in political causes. Frankly, when I-502 passed, it took the wind out of my activism sails. Although I was happy that I was able to personally register a few voters, the spirit of contention that is present in so many in the activism paradigm brings the phrase "pathologically anti-authoritarian" to mind.

That is not me. I follow the rules. To the letter of the law. Always have tried, always will. I feel awful when I don't. It took me literally being knocked on my behind to remember who I was.

When I remembered who I was: A grandma of three, a mom of three, a woman who values her fellow human being (especially the children) and more than that; values God beyond anything else in this world or the next, it became imperative that I explore my relationship with my Heavenly Father. To this end, I prayed and asked how to become closer to my Heavenly Father, and my Savior Jesus Christ.

This spring I was baptized after a personal revelation lead me to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
So, now, when I look at myself and who I am; I include the fact that I am a Latter-Day Saint. But I also maintain many of the goals and ideals that I did before my religious conversion.

I do not believe in judging other people.
I believe in doing everything within my power to help my fellow man. We are our brother's keepers. We are not in this life alone. I will always give the shirt off my back (don't worry, I have a habit of wearing several layers ;) ) for the shivering homeless person. That is who I am.

I have been in a situation where I thought I had it all: The house, two jobs, three kids and a husband.
I have been homeless without anything, temporally. I have been closer to God when I was living out of my car at a Montana rest area for eight days. God sent me my "lightehouses" that eventually were to lead me to the "ultimate lightehouse": Jesus Christ. The Light and the Life. My Savior.

God showed me the way home. I am looking forward to the rest of my journey. I have more than half of my life ahead of me. It is bound to be an incredible journey.

My current interests still include independent sustainable permaculture. Organic food production and alternative holistic medicine as well.  I long to build Lightehouse living areas throughout the world. Hemp based & holistic permaculture. I am still interested in helping others step away from the prescription drug paradigm. As I further my own rehabilitation, I am continuing to write about the holistic changes I am making in my life and I am sharing the results in an attempt to help others.

I am still actively in the process of rehabilitating my own body and mind. My physical and mental health are gaining as much of a testimony as my spiritual health has. I am actively involved in helping my body catch up with the energy that my brain has felt during the time of my conversion.

I am enjoying getting to know new friends, but the words of a  Girl Scout song rings in my ears:
Make new friends,
but keep the old.
One is silver,
the other is gold.

A circle is round,
it has no end.
That's how long,
I will be your friend.

For those wonderful friends who have been there for me; through whatever decisions I have made, without judging, even when it was hard not to: I love you with all my heart and soul. You are forever part of my "intentional family."

For my blood family; those who have experienced the worse brunt of my sinful actions throughout my life, to them I continue to ask their forgiveness. I am so sorry it took me so long to remember the mom and grandma that I long to be.

For those who are just getting to know me, you know a person who has lived many lives. Feel free to ask me anything. I am anything but shy. But my heart is tender. It's been broken.
My Wonderful and Forgiving Heavenly Father currently holds it in his loving hands.

May the Heavenly Love and White Lighte of the Holy Spirit embrace all of you.

26 June 2013

Spring Showers....

The wonderous smell
of a spring

the world.
Minutes before
bathed in
and warmth.

A shower

the little blue
flowers within.

A crack
of thunder;
no lightning
is seen.

of the day
to night;

dampen not
the brightness
of the hour.

One lone
of thunder:
An exclimation point
the brief
spring storm.

to light shower;
a shower
brought a

A dry dog
on the porch,
in discontentment;
her gaze upon
the lawn
and her
previously dry,
very clean,


25 June 2013

Our Dance


I Love to Dance.

I've Danced,
many a Dance
varied partners.

For an
I have danced:
eyes of others,
with a partner,
drawing in
the bemused.

My last
Dance Partner
My only.

Foreheads touching;
Eyes closed,
we danced.

Souls touching,
we danced.

Our Dance:
The dance
of eternity:
to me;
I am free.