Failure with To-Do Lists

All too often I will wake in the morning with great plans and expectations for the day, ‘to-do’ lists in my head which after pouring my first 20 oz. cup of coffee I will rush upstairs to my office to transcribe. I will sometimes do this, grab coffee and take the stairs two at a time before I even complete my morning absolutions because I have a very short memory in the morning and my ‘to-do’ list will have come to me in that in-between state of sleep and wake.

  1. Clean & Sort the Closets

  2. Organize Office

  3. Sort Bookshelves

  4. Sort Music Cabinets

  5. Sort Clothes & Shoes

  6. Clean / Sort Garage

  7. Clean / Sort Kitchen Cabinets

  8. Clean / Sort Pantry

  9. Clean Refrigerator

  10. Clean Oven

Cowgirls have To-Do Lists

That is my list right now, does it look short, easy, simplistic maybe. I wish it were. It might be actually except for one little, tiny thing. I simply have no real enthusiasm for most of the items on that list. Oh, I know they all need to be done; in fact some of them are horribly overdue, some of them I have even started, which makes my world even worse than it was before I started.

There is more to the list above but this is the gist of it. Last year we did a significant update to our ground floor, I love the finished product but hated getting there. The upstairs feels woefully neglected and outdated now, it isn’t well loved, especially by me. I have always, my entire adult life despised carpet and need desperately to rip all carpet from my homes. This  house has lasted the longest with carpet on the floors, not much longer though I am coming to the end of my patience. It is my feeling if I am going to replace the floors I should get the big stuff done all at once, so I can feel at home in my home. Before I can start any remodel though I have to rid myself of mess.

Why can’t I seem to get the get up and move it, the inspiration, the just do it, the whatever it is that gets any of us to do what it is that we do when we finally get up off our butts? My answer is I don’t know, I start a project such as pulling everything out of my office closet that contains years’ worth of electronics, software, books, files and other things I haven’t yet identified and begin to sort these into boxes marked:

Sorting for Good or ill

 

Last Week

During a frenzy, a fit of enthusiasm I decided I could no longer stand to work every day in an office that did not reflect my personality or live up to my standards. That was it, I was done. Even if there was still carpet on the floors, mini-blinds on the windows and popcorn on the ceilings I was still going to at least begin the de-cluttering and scrubbing of my office. Once this was done, I knew I would be all revved up and ready for the next closet, the next bookshelf, the next task on my to-do list.

Disaster Strikes

I am certain you are thinking to yourself, how bad can it be? Really, how could this marvelous erudite, funny and lovely woman be a hoarder or a mess, who would have thunk it, behold my office closet.

Views of Closet Hell

As much as I would like you to think this is the disaster, it isn’t. I took it so I could be proud of myself when I completed the de-clutter project, the worst of the closet organization tasks. The disaster, I have dragged much of this out of the closet, some has even hit the sorted boxes. Woe is me though, some is in piles in my office and all the way out to the hall; the job is half done (this may be an exaggeration).

I live in Texas, land of 105 degrees. Land of central air. Land where even children know heat rises.

Last week my second story air conditioning died. Coughed once and died. Every single ceiling fan in my house is twirling at full speed. My first floor air is set to 65 to help, my bedroom feels like an igloo; but the upstairs, where my office is located feels like a sauna from 11am to 11pm every day. The compressor for my air conditioner is on back order, if we are fortunate it will arrive Thursday and will be installed this coming Friday.

Will having a cool breeze blowing across my neck re-energize me? I sure hope so. For now all I can say…

Career Trajectory at Fifty-Five

Let’s talk about some of old adages we use to accept as truth, but not so much any longer.

  Age before beauty
  Practice makes perfect
  Experience is the mother of wisdom

What has changed you ask? Better, what exactly am I referring to when I say these are no longer truths within our culture?

These I think are more apropos for today:

  Hype and arrogance trumps experience
  Blame the other guy or circumstances beyond your control for your failure
  Two in the bush for half as much makes perfect cents

Why do I think this, it is a fair question. Honestly, this is about career progression and how those of us who have not been fortunate in our bonus checks, must navigate the ever-increasing rough waters we find ourselves in as we age up and out of our career relevancy.

My career and educational path was not a straight line, by the time that sheepskin was in my hand, the shine was slightly tarnished and I had a few years of work behind me. What that first degree gave me was the burnish I needed to move up the ladder, be taken more seriously and yes, be paid a little more for the work I was already doing.

As a woman in the world of business, you may move up, usually more slowly than men; this will depend on your willingness to throw others under the bus in your climb to the top, including your friends and family. My rise

The difference truly men are willing to go to great lengths

through the managerial ranks was impeded only by lack of corporate / political sophistication; encumbered by my failure to identify my enemies and my belief that ethics and quality outweighed arrogance and a penis. It didn’t, not even once.

In my thirties I was handed a gift, a career opportunity that would change my trajectory and open doors that might not have opened otherwise. I walked through those doors; I also walked through University doors once again and pursued a Masters to polish my credentials, one more time. This gift didn’t come without sacrifice, including playing in an entirely new sandbox with much different, bigger and more aggressive dogs. There were pros and cons to this career gift such as:

PROS

  • Challenging work
  • Fascinating, always new experiences
  • Travel, national and international
  • Education, lots of it
  • Decent income and decent opportunity for women, myself included, initially

CONS

  • Long hours, 70 hour weeks were the norm
  • Long weeks away from home, it wasn’t unknown to be away two to three weeks at a time
  • Dog-eat-dog mentality within the industry
  • Ten years ago the industry was outsourced badly

Career Relevance and Age

I don’t think of myself as old, irrelevant or outdated. Truth be told, I think of myself as damned near in my prime. I am experienced, knowledgeable and unencumbered by many of the outside influences others might still have. I no longer want to move up the career ladder, been there done that and found I didn’t all that much enjoy some of the jobs I landed in. Now I know the jobs I enjoy and am happy when I am doing them. I love challenging work and love to produce quality results, whether for an employer or a client.

I have worked as both an employee of consulting firms and as an Independent Consultant. There are clearly pros and cons of both. The problem with independence is the market is no longer geared toward individuals and their

How it feels, stop and all

capabilities or past references. In fact it is rare to find an opportunity that isn’t through one or many off-shore farms that advertise on the boards, set the rates (low) and nine times out of ten will rarely talk to you if you are (1) a woman; (2) American.

Does the above statement sound bitter? It is not bitter; it is simply the truth of what has happened in our market today.

What is happening?

I did not think at fifty-five my future would be no-future or at least as frightening as it is. I didn’t think that all my work my 70 hour weeks, my time away from hearth and home, my investment in certifications and additional

degrees would result in nothing. Just a career that came to a screeching halt in my prime. What I thought was I would do my consulting time, I would learn my craft and prove myself (I did this in some of the most difficult

environments there are) and then I would go to work for the last fifteen or twenty years of my career in some capacity as a full-time employee. I would earn a decent living, with benefits no less. I would mentor younger members of an enthusiastic team. I would write books about my experiences. I would be a visiting lecturer at local universities about quality, ethics in business and values, how to do things right.

What I didn’t realize is at fifty-five I am old and perhaps the best I can hope for is Wal-Mart Greeter.

Rapprochement or End Game

Egregious actions and the complete lack of human empathy, compassion and ethics is what this week has brought to us in the wake of Aurora. I will not go on a tear about Gun Rights or my position on them, yes, I have one and it might surprise many who know my history. What I will do though is pull some very real actions and words from this past week’s headlines and talk about why we are completely out of control as a nation, that we casually accept this behavior and these words. That many of us think nothing of these ‘Leaders’, elected or otherwise vomiting their vitriolic and noxious thinking into the airwaves without a single person standing up and saying to them;

SHUT THE F’ UP YOU VILE EXCUSE OF A HUMAN BEING

Example One – Rep. John McCaherty (R-High Ridge)Missouri will be raffling off an AR-15 at a fundraiser to be held 27-August-2012. According to him and his office this has been planned since April and it is simply, well too

Rep. John McCaherty

late to change the prize to be awarded for a donation of $25. Never mind, this is the same gun used in the Colorado Mass Murder of 12 people last week, never mind whoever wins will not have had a background check before picking up said Assault Rifle and will be perfectly capable of killing everyone at the raffle if they come prepared. No, never mind any of that, John McCaherty is planning to go ahead with his Raffle (note he has renamed it a Drawing) but he is praying for the families of the dead.

Example Two – Kenneth Roop, 52 of Cape Coral, Florida who on Wednesday the 25thof July for no reason other than he damned wall wanted to shot and killed a door-to-door steak sales man, Nick Rainey 30. He didn’t have to

Nick Rainey shooting victim

shoot him the second time in the back of the head, after he was down, indeed in his statement to the police Kenneth claimed his victim had screamed ‘You shot me’, in an antagonistic manner after he had shot him in the shoulder the first time. Using words, we have heard from another ‘Stand your ground’ defense, Roop claims he was still in fear when he shot Rainey in the back of the head ‘for effect’. It should be noted, this isn’t the first time Roop has been in trouble with the law for brandishing guns at unarmed persons, at the time those involved believed he wasn’t in full control of all his senses.

Dr. Jerry Newcombe

Example Three – Dr. Jerry Newcombe, of Truth in Action Ministries. Could not wait for the victims to be identified or their families to be notified before he was jumping on the Biblical bandwagon and blaming this tragedy on our Secular nation. Yes, this self-serving bottom feeder was already writing his pronouncement of damnation as they were announcing the numbers of dead and wounded. He was already blaming society and secularism, along with the loss of prayer and Christianity from our public institutions, as if the Constitution and our foundation demanded this from its beginning. This pompous jackass didn’t even have the decency to ‘pray’ for the victims of the tragedy.

Azzhats, all of them.

Of course, the list goes on when it comes to gun violence and the responses to the tragedy of Aurora. My question though is simply this, when we take the time to look at just these examples don’t we ask ourselves what is wrong with the world we have created for ourselves? Can’t we do better than this? Are we so entrenched in our views it is impossible for us to take a step forward, to meet halfway across the table, sit down for détente and find a reasonable middle that will show our respect for each other and our future.

The following are some Facebook postings I came across, at the time I was stunned. Now I am simply numb.

In fact this isn’t true. The shooter in Colorado obtained his guns legally. The shooter in Florida was a legal gun owner. This is at best disingenuous.

This is nearly as good as comparing guns to cars. Yes, it is true guns don’t kills people. People with weapons in their hands kill people. People who purchase weapons with the ability to fire 400 rounds per minute. People with guns in their hand, inanimate objects with only one purpose, to kill living things; unlike a rock or a car. I find the arguments those who insist their rights to gun ownership without a single restriction to be fabulously narcissistic. In the face of terrible tragedy this is the best you can do, defend your right to kill and wrap it in God, the Bible and the Constitution.

I say this all the time, I will always land on the side of being a Nation of Laws. I will always land on the side of defending the Constitution no matter how offensive I might at times find it. But this, this complete lack of empathy for the victims of tragedy is offensive because I am a human being with compassion and concern for my fellow humans, those I share this soil with. All I can say, grow up and get over yourselves. Start serving more than your own self-interests.

I apologize for my rage. I will hopefully move on from here.

I am Mute Today

I have been quiet the past few days, in trying to process the horrible news out of Colorado and my own reactions I have been quiet. No, not entirely quite but more quiet than is my norm. Some people who know me well have asked when I was going to jump into my normal forums with both feet and all ten fingers, others have asked why my Facebook page isn’t full of condemnation (there are a few comments). Instead, I have stayed mostly quiet.

Why you might ask, it is a good question. I am not the quiet type; in fact, I am a bit of a firebrand most days. I admit to being quite outspoken on some issues. There are issues in the public domain that chap my ass, cause me great anger and some sleepless nights. Truthfully, there are many such issues these days.

I don’t want to talk about politics though, not today. I don’t want to talk about the public domain at all. I want to tell you why I have been mostly quiet, not even visiting your blogs for the last few days.

I just couldn’t.

I was paralyzed by my own personal sorrow, fear and memories.

All I could think about is how terrified those victims in Aurora must have been. All I could think about was how terrified their families must have felt while waiting for news, was it their mother, father, sister, brother, husband, wife or child. All I could think about is my family when I was shot and left for dead by strangers. All I could think about was how I felt laying on the side of a road with three bullets in me, put there by strangers who were not crazy, were not insane and did not have any reason to hate me. 

I was paralyzed and my voice silenced by fear and memories. Each time I tried to write, each time I tried to comment my hands would shake and my eyes would fill with tears the screen would blur, coherency lost to muteness. It has been 7,367 days since I was shot; that is a lot of days. Some days I think it is behind me, some days I don’t even think about it in the sense of bullets flying. Other days I have no choice, the repercussions of that day are with me from the moment I wake up to the moment I lay down to sleep, sometimes beyond that moment.  

Aurora tied my tongue, made me mute in the face of great tragedy. More than this, I could not watch the news without my tears pooling in my eyes and streaming down my cheeks, their salt leaving a trail of bitterness in their wake. This morning I realized part of my sorrow is rooted in the great tragedy that is our national personality. That we are unable to come together even now and talk to each other without rancor, ideology and the drums of political animosity getting in the way of human decency. I saw this in my few forays on social media since Friday, each side standing their ground firmly refusing to step down from their positions even briefly to mourn the great loss of life. I backed down from the fight rather than continue.

I don’t have the heart for it not this day, not now.

Avoidance, Confusion, Consequence of Choice, Manipulation

I am heartbroken, partly because I was rendered mute. I didn’t know my memories were still so close to the surface. I didn’t know they could so easily shake me. I don’t know why this affected me more than other equally horrific acts of terrible violence. What I do know, we are a people that seem to ignore compassion and empathy as valued trait. I know many people on both sides of the argument who individually are wonderful human beings, who have compassion for those they know as individuals and don’t realize their words fall like hammers or fly like bullets, leaving gaping wounds. This is what demanded my silence, that I not stand my own ground even for what I believed was so desperately true, even for what was so personal.

Yes, we come together during times of tragedy, but then we turn our backs returning to our ideology and our rage with equal fervor, thus making certain the next heartbreak will occur and likely with more frequency and greater loss.

I didn’t have the heart for it today, tomorrow I will because I have to!

Now What America?

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Declaration of Independence, Adopted 4 July 1776, Continental Congress of America

What has happened since those significant words were adopted by this nation? Did they mean what they wrote? Well we know they meant to be inclusive only to the extent of their understanding of human and man at the time of the writing. Since the time they wrote those words we have expanded their meaning, but now it seems we are contracting them again. Contracting them how far is the question.

Let’s talk about misdirection, the idea that what is important is directly before us but we look the other way. Focused on what is not important, not relevant to our public or national lives or future. We stare mindlessly at the little screen, listen thoughtlessly to those who will never live in our neighborhoods, walk in our shoes, work in our factories or send their children to our schools; we listen as they tell us what to think, feel and fear about our neighbors. We grow ever more terrified of those who mean us no harm, certain they will bring about the demise of all we ‘hold dear’, the American Way of Life, The American Dream. All the while, that dream has left the building, tripped blithely out the door with a wink, a nod and a secret handshake.

We all stood by and let it happen. In truth, we applauded the sleight of hand, the magic trick that stripped us with each presidential term since Ronald Reagan of opportunity and Rights, more of our chance at achieving the much-vaunted American Dream. Meanwhile, our cities, suburbs, schools all become more dangerous. We not only fear for the lives of our children each day we send them off to school, we have to fear they will not have the basics of literacy the competency necessary to compete in the world of the future in a world that increasingly is leaving our nation behind in basic skills, as well as, new sciences and innovations where once we led the world.

The American Dream popularized and defined most accurately perhaps by James Truslow Adams in Epic America:

“But there has been also the American dream, that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”[i]

What is your chance of achieving a slice of The American Dream? The better question might be if you are a parent, what is the chance your children will do as well or better than you in life? The outlook isn’t good for either you or your children today.

Charts courtesy Mother Jones

Where does this leave us? We have been fooled into believing we are the best, the greatest nation in the world. We no longer are, we have in fact been sold down the muddy river our futures and that of our children ransomed for a pushcart and extra bullets at Wal-Mart. Fewer of our children will graduate from college and have a job in the coming years or if they do they will be saddled with tens of thousands of dollars of debt they will be unable to pay in their lifetime. Violence is escalating across the nation, yet those in high office refuse to have a conversation about gun control for fear the NRA will spank them, withholding their future support at election time.

We are a nation on the brink of failure. We have failed our children by looking away. We have failed future generations by refusing to take action when we could. Instead of rising up and saying HELL NO, when we had the chance to do so we looked away, we sat idly by enthralled by our cheap toys and two-bit entertainment; we allowed our nation to fall into disrepair. No matter what we call ourselves, Progressive, Liberal, Democrat, Libertarian, Republican, Conservative, New Whig, Green; we have failed our children and our nation. We have looked away for far too long, allowing those in power to strip us of our voice through misdirection and outright lies.

The question is:

Now What America?

Couldn’t say it any better than this

Chief Writing Wolf

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Welcome to the Revolution

“For Negroes are not the only victims. How many white children have gone uneducated, how many white families have lived in stark poverty, how many white lives have been scarred by fear, because we have wasted our energy and our substance to maintain the barriers of hatred and terror?

So I say to all of you here, and to all in the Nation tonight, that those who appeal to you to hold on to the past do so at the cost of denying you your future.

This great, rich, restless country can offer opportunity and education and hope to all: black and white, North and South, sharecropper and city dweller. These are the enemies: poverty, ignorance, disease. They are the enemies and not our fellow man, not our neighbor. And these enemies too, poverty, disease and ignorance, we shall overcome.”

Where did we go wrong? I am inclined to believe complacency plays a large role but more than this is the determined actions of those shadow and moneyed figures who have for nearly 60 years worked aggressively to turn back the hands of time.

Some believe this is a dial back to the 1950’s; a time when the little woman met hubby at the door with a Martini and dinner was on the table at exactly six pm. Dysfunction hidden behind a wall of smiles and silence, everyone in agreement to speak softly and pass the mashed potatoes. Children, bright and shiny faces smile up at their teachers and learn by rote their ‘A,B,C’ and who the enemy is, the big bad Communist behind the brick and razor wire www.sitcomonline.comwall.

It is the world of Beaver and Wally Cleaver.

The fifties were a time many look back on with great affection, considering this the idyllic time in our nation’s history, but was it? What is it about the era that is so attractive to so many; shall we explore the difference sixty year’s makes in the history of a nation and our memories.

  • Taxes – could it be we had a lower marginal tax rate during the idyllic 1950’s? Is this what the attraction is? No, this isn’t it, the average top marginal tax for those wonderful ‘job creators’ during this time was 85%, that’s right one of the highest rates in our history; of course back then we didn’t call them job creators, we called them wealthy and expected them to contribute to the health of our national coffers for the good of the nation.
  • Jobs – we had them back then, at least some of us did. Minorities weren’t in the workforce in any meaningful way, certainly not as a threat to the “American” way of life! Women? Well we have put awww.squiddo.com real dent in things! Our numbers have grown since the 50’s by 394%. We have girded our dainty loins for battle and skipped blithely into every single arena of high crimes, chicanery and flimflam and demanded our seat at the table! I suppose this does cause angst, the competition likely makes many uncomfortable.
  • While we are talking about jobs – we should look at the other reason we had jobs, fair trade policy and practices! That is right, since the 1950’s our borders for trade have sprung wide open. While this prying loose of trade polices began after WWII, the grease was applied by the Lord of Free Trade, President Ronald Reagan with GATT and applied even more liberally by his predecessors in trickery, right up through present day WTO trade agreements. These agreements keep import Tariffs at all-time lows while doing nothing to address trade imbalance with those nefarious ‘Favored Nations’ and slips through the cracks the idea that Americans are ill prepared, to stupid even to fill the jobs available in the market those requiring on-going infusions in the tens of thousands from other, smarter temporary forces of resources who will work for half as much while Americans languish.
  • Civil Rights – perhaps the most reprehensible problems of the time machine bunch. Why you ask? What we are seeing today is a return to the policies and programs of that time, a return to a time of Jim Crow and Plessy v. Ferguson; a time when it was legal to separate, abuse even kill a man or woman based solely on the color of their skin. Segregation, voter suppression and separate but equal were all at play and fully supported by the courts and those elected to offices both high and low.
  • Now we have the issue of SEX, that’s right SEX. Blue laws throughout the land controlled who had it and with whom it was legal to have it with, even in some cases in what position it was legal to have it in and on what does of the week. But it wasn’t just sex it was the purpose of sex and women were the receptacles, the bearers of children! Both contraception and abortion were illegal in all cases. In most states so was pre-marital sex but only women were ever prosecuted as lewd women. Men? Well they were just being men.

“ I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Recognize the above? No? It is the original Pledge of Allegiance written by Francis Bellamy (1855-1931), a Christian Socialist who frankly would be rolling in his grave were he to know that his simply pledge of commitment to the Flag and Country has become such a historical point of contention. The Pledge of Allegiance was said in schoolrooms throughout the nation daily by schoolchildren from Kindergarten Wikipediathrough High School, with exactly the words above.  It was not until June 14, 1954 by Joint Resolution of Congress after being introduced by President Eisenhower the words ‘One Nation Under God’ were added to the Pledge, hardly historical and certainly not the intent of our Founding Fathers.

So let’s do a quick synopsis, shall we? What do these historians want to return to?

  1. Higher taxes
  2. Jim Crow
  3. Voter Suppression
  4. Segregation / Separate but Equal
  5. Protectionism, return of tariffs
  6. Blue Laws, criminalization of Abortion and contraception
  7. Removal of God from Public sector including money and Pledge of Allegiance

No, I don’t think they want the list above. They want a selected set of the list above. Clearly, we are moving on a fast track toward achieving some of these. I think President Johnson had it dead to rights in his Civil Rights speech of 1965; the enemy is poverty, ignorance and disease. It is truly unfortunate today we have all these running rampant and even being promoted.

What think you?

TB and Rick Scott in Perdition

Beware cold blooded slide of Florida Cottonmouth

Yet another example of malfeasance by Florida Gov. Rick Scott and the rest of the motley crew. Of course, at this stage of the game who of us aren’t surprised, it seems corruption and misconduct is the name of the game in the Sunshine State. The venality of Gov. Rick Scott is only exceeded by his on-going thumbing of his nose for federal law and the safety of others. Honestly, as a Texan I thought no Governor could be worse than the that other Rick, yes I do mean Rick Perry. However, Rick Scott truly has my own Rick beaten hands-down, in fact Rick Scott could beat Rick Perry for downright snake in the grass mean, crooked and degenerate with one hand tied behind his back.

What am I going on about you ask? Is this the Voter Suppression Rick Scott has pursued with such glee? Or the suppression of Doctors by the NRA in the infamous ‘Docs vs. Glocks’ case? Maybe it was the grab for power in his sidelined attempt to dictate Foreign Policy; with the misguided piece of legislation, he signed in May and struck down by U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore. Or perhaps it is his on-going fight with the EPA and his denial of their authority over Clean Water and greenhouse gas emissions.

No, it is none of these things, although all of the above show his complete unsuitability to serve as a Governor of a State within the United States of America.

The latest sampling of this egotistical maniac’s complete disregard for public safety and more importantly human life is far worse. It is especially worse when you consider the primary victims of his latest decision do not look like him, are not in the same economic stratosphere and are highly likely not part of his primary in his voting bloc. So what is the Great Terrible that Gov. Rick Scott has done?

Wouldn’t want to step in it. Vile and clings long afterward.

The CDC report went out in April, but as early as February 2011, it was already known Florida was struggling with the worst outbreak of Tuberculosis in the past sixty (60) years. What did that bastion of compassion for the weak and downtrodden do about the potential threat to public health do you ask; absolutely nothing other than hide the facts, sweep those nasty’s  under the carpet of Sawgrass and Alligator shit (pardon me).

The facts as they are known:

Three thousand (3,000) people potentially have been exposed to a possibly deadly and drug resistant strain of Tuberculosis. Of these only 253 have been found and one third have tested positive for exposure.

Ninety-nine (99) people are infected. Of these six (6) of them are children. Most of those infected are poor, many are Black men. Many have not been treated in time to stop the disease from progressing and have or are wasting away.

Thirteen (13) thus far are dead.

I suppose the thinking by Rick Scott and his cronies is those that have been exposed, those that have thus far died or will die; well, they are simply ‘NOT LIKE ME’. As one of the articles so eloquently put it;

“Believing the outbreak affected only their underclass, the health officials made a conscious decision not to not tell the public, repeating a decision they had made in 2008, when the same strain had appeared in an assisted living home for people with schizophrenia.”

Since most of those infected appear to have been exposed to the killer disease in the states jails, soup kitchens and homeless shelters it is apparent they have indeed made the same heartless decision. The same NOT LIKE ME decision. Why waste time and energy, certainly why waste money that could be better spent on LIKE ME people and programs that LIKE ME people support.

I am stunned by the callousness, the heartlessness of Governor Rick Scott. He is one of many GOP state leaders intent on destroying the very heart of our nation. He though is the poster child for the GOP and their march to perdition.

The heat isn’t Global Warming Rick.

My suggestion, stay the Hell away from Florida!

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/07/08/florida-accused-of-concealing-worst-tuberculosis-outbreak-in-20-years/

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-07-08/health/os-ap-fl–tuberculosis-report-20120708_1_tuberculosis-outbreak-tuberculosis-cases-health-agency

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/scott-has-more-strikeouts-than-hits/1239081

This is the saddest collection of signs, proof positive of our failure.

Chief Writing Wolf

It’s not news that the U.S. lags behind other nations in math and science test scores.  But, we also suffer from poor reading and writing skills.  While our politicians debate creationism and abstinence-only sex education, our students are busy downloading music to their I–pods and eagerly await the results of Dancing with the Stars.  Then again, you just have to look at these marquee signs and realize where the problems lie.  Source.

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Hearts Home

I was an emotional desert, sandblasted and laid to waste by the years of ignoring what I needed from those around me. I was bright and shiny; I knew my assets and molded them into a near perfect package. The problem was even with all the bells and whistles it wasn’t enough, I still struggled with the horrible need to make my father see ME, I remained the same little girl, who wanted her father to say,

“It is going to be just fine, I will protect you. I won’t let the monsters get you. I am Proud of you.

My father had begun to soften; he found his heart in the most unlikely of places. After years of dating women who though not near as horrifying as my mother often reminded me of her, he finally found one that was the polar opposite. Found her and nearly lost her, but she stomped her foot and laid down the law, “marry me or leave”. After years of friendship and a lifetime of knowing each other, my father found his true soul mate in Texas, in his sister-in-law.

Is that incest?

My brother asked this question. I laughed in part because it was a silly question and in part, because I believe my brother felt truly threatened by the idea of our father’s remarriage. He might lose his best friend to another, to love. Our father and his soon to be wife had known each other since elementary school, she had married his brother at eighteen and raised five children with him in a small West Texas town. My uncle passed in 1977, for years my Dad and my Aunt had been friends. For years, they would visit when he visited his mother. Their friendship was based on shared history, shared values and shared interests over time it evolved into something much different than either expected.

The Best Wedding Day

Theirs was a true love story. They married in 1990 surrounded by their children, grandchildren, friends and other extended family. Honestly, we didn’t know quite what to make of each other or our new relationships at the time. Suddenly cousins were siblings of a sort. Despite being cousins, we didn’t know each other well in the early days; we had to work to find how we fit.

I did not recognize my father after his marriage. He was easier, softer and kinder. My stepmother soon became the center of everything for all of us, drawing us in and together. She also became my heart mother, the holder of secrets and my confessor. She was the one person I had ever seen tell my father he was wrong but say it with such kindness he would smile and ask for a hug! This didn’t happen instantly; that softening of the heart happens as a person recognizes they are loved despite their flaws.  He was loved passionately by his wife; he was loved without conditions or history by his new ‘children’ and grandchildren. He was drawn into the life he had always dreamed of, always wanted. My father was finally the patriarch of family extending generations. My brother slowly grew to accept our new stepmother as a part of life, she was there to stay and she didn’t take away from him. His relationship with our father remained exactly what it had always been, best friends.

A small part of a large family

Two years after my father married, I was carjacked and shot, the first person I saw when I awoke from a coma was my father. When I believed I might not survive I asked for three things:

  1. That I survive long enough to tell my sons I would always watch over them;
  2. That I could tell my father I had become a woman he could be proud of;
  3. A last cigarette (don’t hate).

I did survive but struggled with the relationship with my father even then. His view of me remained a historical view without context. There came a time when I finally had to either be willing to give him some of the context or accept defeat, it was then my stepmother became my confessor. It was over coffee one early morning after a random comment by her about my ‘exotic’ looks as a child the story of my childhood began to unfold.

I swore her to secrecy

Yes, I did this. We struggled with the idea that my secrets were becoming hers and my pain was the wall between my father and I. Finally, over many early morning coffee confessionals, tears and hugs we also agreed that my secrets were killing my soul. My heart mother knew my father would never hear the secrets from me. She knew he couldn’t because I couldn’t tell, but she could and did. No, not all of them because even she didn’t know them all and some she agreed were mine to tell or not. Like me, my father had told her many of his own secrets and she was able to piece together our life apart, our life in his absence. Without blame and without breaking her promises she was able to begin to build bridges between us and heal old wounds.

We found some of our way

With her great love for both of us, we found our way toward each other. It wasn’t always easy; we were a prickly pair, both ready to take umbrage even where no offense was intended. We learned to hug though, not just those

My Heart Not Divided

cursory hugs you give family members because it is expected, but those hugs you give because you want to be right there, right in someone’s arms because you love them and it feels perfectly good and right. We learned to say, “I love you”, mean it and not forget.

I didn’t get over my jealousy of my brother’s relationship with our father; it changed though from jealousy of their closeness to jealousy of the missing time.

In 2001, my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I watched closely as his brilliant mind withdrew. My wonderful heart mother was his primary caregiver and with medicine, the march of that horrible disease was slowed to a crawl. In 2008, my heart mother fell and hit her head, she passed away two days later. At her interment, my father held my hand, leaned over and whispered to me;

“I am done”

He stopped taking his medicines, all of them. He stopped taking his medicine for Alzheimer, for his heart, for his blood pressure. His health rapidly declined. My father passed away in November 2009, almost 13 months to the day after the love of his life.

I miss my father and my heart mother. I miss watching their marriage. I miss the relationship I eventually developed with my father as an adult. He is the one person who ultimately saw me, demanded of me my best and

How I always see them
Just Loving Perfectly

thought I was precious.

By the way, yes my father did tell me

‘I am proud of you’

One of the greatest gifts of all.

One way I will always see my Dad

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