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Coffee Talk

Let’s do a little catching-up and have some coffee talk, shall we?

Yesterday I had a dental cleaning. My exam was done the week before. I need some old fillings taken out and replaced. I have one tooth that has a stress-fracture from an old filling. We are going to get that taken care of with a crown. I have ‘okay’ insurance. It isn’t fantastic but it’s better than nothing. My dental care will cost about $600 out of pocket once it is completed.

Just over a week ago I was finally able to get my shoulders looked at and had an MRI done. They’ve bothered me for a number of years. I have a high pain tolerance and simply just didn’t have the ability to see a doctor for ‘aches and pains’ until recently.

Turns out that my left shoulder has a small muscle tear in one of the muscles of the rotator cuff, some arthritis, tendinitis, bursitis and fluid in the joint. That was the GOOD shoulder…

My right shoulder has an impingement that will require part of the bone surface of my acromion shaved away. It has bursitis, tendinitis, fluid in the bursal sac, arthritis, bone marrow deterioration, and the same muscle has a major tear that is almost all the way through. It’s hanging by a few threads, apparently. Okay, well that might explain the constant ache I’ve been dealing with, progressively getting worse over five years? I’m a little stubborn. Hey, but I’m tough! LOL

My right shoulder has taken a serious pounding for many years. I was a high school discus thrower, a fast-pitch softball pitcher and had a mean volleyball serve (overhand of course). I’ve since worked with horses, dogs, worked retail, lifted weights for many years, had a run-in with a chainsaw back in 2011 that caused me severe pain (and I’m sure was when I tore these muscles). and I’ve learned to just ‘deal with it.’

I’ll be referred to a specialist and probably have surgery on the right shoulder for sure. I don’t know what they will want to do with the left one. I’m not happy about the down time. I’ve been writing articles for companies in the cannabis industry and enjoy it. I’ve also got property in Oklahoma that I’m planning on building a cabin on this summer, as well as a partnership in land that will be happening in probably June, in Alaska.

I haven’t talked to you all in a very long time. My blood sugar is completely under control for the first time in about 15 years. I am on Trulicity. That stuff is amazing but it makes me have upset stomach sometimes. Other than that, I’ve been able to eat like a normal person, within reason, and my sugar stays very low. It’s great.

Sadly, it is very expensive and not available to all Americans. That is a tragedy. One month of Trulicity is $927 and that is absolutely wrong. I have a cousin who has had struggles keeping his insulin in the house and I have worried about him many times.

People shouldn’t have to make such choices. Right now, I’m not happy with this country at all. I’ve even considered moving to the Dominican Republic. Panama maybe? We’ll see how 2020 elections go. America really doesn’t feel like home much anymore, to be honest.

Actually, the entire world has gone mad hasn’t it? New Zealand, my heart hurts for you. I fear that the idiot in charge of my country is the main reason for this hate. I’m so sorry. I’m exhausted from being angry and sorry over the last couple of years.

I can’t trust my own government and I hate the state of the world. I fear that I’ve grown so numb to it all that the only thing I can do right now is disengage. I have no energy to scream about politics anymore. I just want to get away.

In fact, my plan for my Oklahoma mini-farm is to plant my own food and live off the land as completely as I can. I believe that the food industry is poisoning us all. I believe that cancer is the biggest killer of people today, due to the pollution in the environment and in our food supply.

I’m going to get back to vegetarian, clean-eating again. I enjoyed that period of my life the best and now that I’m getting my body all patched-up and the blood sugar is good, I hope to last a few years longer. I’m actually looking forward to doing some canning. I think we began to decline, as a society, when we began relying on grocery stores for all of our food, personally.

I also don’t understand the way we poison our planet and trash out environment. If you are still using plastics, you’re contributing to the death of our planet. How do you look your children in the eye? Or grandchildren? Upcycle, recycle, buy bulk, and say no to plastic!

So Jake and I are looking to finalize a piece of property that will give us each at least 5 acres of our own in Alaska. Target area is the Kenai Peninsula. He is traveling there in June. I declined to go as I’m in the midst of squaring away the mini-farm here in the lower 48.

Alaska is going to be the real ‘get away from people’ place to go. I’m looking forward to some salmon fishing, to be honest. I’ll be needing a really nice camera for bear photos. Now that I think about it, I’ll be needing some better fishing poles and a kayak too. I’ll be needing a kayak in OK as well. Homestead is very close to a massive lake and state park. I’m hoping that kayaking is good physical therapy because I intend to be doing a lot of it.

No offense to anyone, but I really don’t like people very much. The level of hate, entitlement, the lack of common decency, manners, kindness…. I’m just pretty much over people. I can barely handle five minutes on Facebook without wanting to slap a bitch most days.

Then there are the “mansplainers” who seem to think they know more about feminism than women do. I just can’t anymore. You’ll see less and less of me as I get neck deep in planting crops and finishing the interior of my cabin.

I’ve been single a LONG time, by choice. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, to be completely honest. There is a lot to be said about being able to do your own thing without explaining anything to anyone. Zero drama. None.

I don’t do drama and I hate bullshit. Some people don’t know how to live without at least one of those; often living up to their ears with both. I’ve never ‘needed’ to be with anyone and I’m happily independent now. I honestly don’t understand people who panic if they are single.

There really is more to life. I’m putting myself first, my health is top priority and I’m going to enjoy however many years I have left on the planet, making sure that I don’t do any harm to her. Leaving a tiny carbon footprint is my goal from here on out.

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The health benefits of CBD are numerous. CBD or Cannabidiol is one of over a hundred compounds found in the cannabis plant that belongs to a class of substances called cannabinoids (non-psychotropic components). It is a wondrous molecule with potent antioxidant, analgesic, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antipsychotic effects. Proponents of CBD oil claim that it can treat a wide variety of health issues, ranging from everyday ailments to chronic medical conditions.

It’s also said that CBD oil can promote sounder sleep, reduce inflammation and pain, fight oxidative stress, improve heart health, support weight loss, and protect against some forms of cancer. CBD Oil supplementation offers a range of physical, psychological, and neurological benefits, to support improved quality of life.

PHYSICAL BENEFITS:
CBD Oil stimulates an anti-inflammatory response which helps reduce all forms of chronic aches and pains. Regular use also helps support joint health, mobility, and flexibility.

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CBD Oil helps positively regulate mood patterns which help reduce anxiety and stress. It also promotes better sleep cycles and in some cases may offer a safe remedy for depression and bipolar disorders.

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Go improve your mood, your health and relieve your chronic aches and pains. CBD is an amazing product that I’ve been using personally for a long time. Get rid all those aches and pains that come with age.

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Origins of Happy Christmas

Just Another Way for Nationalists at to Further Divide?

The word ‘happy’ comes from the word “hap,” which means “luck, or chance, and may imply good fortune. Some of you may have heard the term happenstance? Happenstance synonyms are words and phrases such as, “chance, serendipity, fate, fortuity, fortune, a piece of good fortune, a bit of luck.”

 Happy doesn’t seem so bad, does it?

Happy Christmas is the terminology most frequently used in Europe and was the original way Americans welcomed the holiday.

 “Merry” comes from frequent usage during the 18th and 19th centuries, respectively. The term was often used as a term for having fun and was a way of displaying the emotion of happiness. Therefore, the two words became very interchangeable in most cultures who ever used the word “merry” for anything. Over time, happy took on the more emotional connotation, while merry became the word for expressing that happy feeling.  “Merriment” was the word that referred to the making of merry, which in today’s slang might be referred to as a “party” or as “partying” with younger people.

Standing on Traditions

For those who enjoy fussing about traditions and the terms that are most proper, they should learn a bit about the history of linguistics and look outside of themselves more. The words that you yourself grew up using, are not necessarily ‘proper’ or even ‘traditional’ terms, even in your own country. Just as you may have learned Merry Christmas from the traditional Anglo-Saxon upbringing that came from migrating to the United States several generations ago someone else learned traditional words from their own grandparents who were Dutch. Words also begin to change over time.

The United States of America has become a melting pot of different traditions over the nearly 250 years since its colonization. I will not use the term ‘discovery’ because that is also simply a point of view.
Natives who already called this place home never discovered it. If I take a wrong turn on the way to Cleveland, OH and end-up in Louisville, KY, I didn’t discover Louisville. The people who already live there may take some issue with that! 

I digress. The song Happy Christmas was released in 1971 as a protest song about the Vietnam War. It was a hit, recorded by John Lennon, with Yoko Ono, and the Harlem Community Choir, based in the United States. John was a famous singer/songwriter who originated from England and grew to fame in the band The Beatles. John was shot and killed in New York City, which had made his home. Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon in the back, four times, killing him. He was pronounced dead on December 8, 1980. The reason given for shooting John, Chapman had become a born again Christian and found Lennon‘s off-the-cuff statement, “The Beatles are more popular than Jesus” to be offensive. Perhaps if more people did feel that way, the world would be so different today? John preached love.

The song opens with the words, “Happy Christmas” being said to each of the couple’s children from previous marriages. In 1980, immediately following John’s death, the song again rose up the charts and peaked at the #3 spot on Billboard. It has become a Christmas tradition to younger generations. Many living today have grown up with this song , having been a song that was released in the birth of the 1970s and still popular today.  This could be behind “Happy” coming back to Christmas?

Why Does It Matter So Much to People HOW You Wish Them Christmas?

The people most often irritated by this issue are those who are most unwavering in their own beliefs, however little facts they use to substantiate their claims. It’s about how it makes them feel. In other words, your feelings don’t matter, only the way in which they perceive Christmas to be is acceptable. These same people are quick to claim disrespect when they respect very little, at the expense of others.

These are the same people who refer to our country as America, never realizing that America is made up of two regions that form a CONTINENT, comprised of North America and South America.  We are The United States (of America –you, know … because we are on the North American continent, as are Mexico and Canada).

When these people say things like, “This is how we do things in America!” They are being so haute and boisterous as to claim that every single country located on the continent made up of North and South America also do things that way.  Mexicans and Canadians are also Americans in the most technical of terms, the same way in which Germans are Europeans. (It really isn’t rocket science!)

These people really should wake up and realize that the world does not revolve around this country. By now, you would think that we humans would have lost our centrist views. We now know that we are not alone in the world, nor are we probably alone in the universe.

We, as a country, have behaved like toddlers long enough. Now that we have a president who behaves the same way, some of us are realizing how awful we look, and we’d like our country to grow up now, so that we can sit at the grown-up table with the rest of the world. This presidency has been an awful look in the mirror at the worst side of ourselves. 

Some of you are spewing , “I will not acknowledge someone who says ‘Happy Christmas’ to me and I will only say ‘Merry Christmas back to them because that is how it is done in America!” I hope that you can one day come to realize how ridiculous, childish, self-centered, poorly educated and hateful you portray yourselves to be. Grow up. Join the rest of in this thing called humanity. 


If Someone Wishes You Anything Other Than Merry Christmas What Should You Do?

I’m not the most approachable person in the world sometimes, due to my ADD, my spectrum issues that make me pull back from people, with my auditory processing disorder, and my general need for space, so for what it is worth:

When someone looks at me and says, “Happy Christmas!” I look them right back in the eye and I say ….

“You TOO!”

When someone walks past me and says, “Happy Holidays” I smile and say…

“Thanks! YOU TOO!!”

When someone at the grocery store tells me that they are Jewish and do not celebrate Christmas,

I smile at them and I say…

“Have a wonderful and Happy Hanukah!”

I’m a human being, just like them. We are all from the human race. We all bleed, we all have hopes, dreams, fears, and we all cry from pain and grief. If someone takes the time out of their day to wish me something meant in merriment, expressed in good cheer, I am going to receive that gift from my fellow human being with gratitude and love, because the world needs more of that. The United States especiallyneeds more of that right now.

Categories: life lessons, love, Politics, self-help, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s Going On In America These Days?

Artwork by Steve Penley. His work is really patriotic and beautiful! 

What Is Going On?

Kamalah Harris is going to announce, very soon, whether she is tossing her hat into the ring for 2020. She’s sharp. A lawyer, she is brilliant. She has served as an attorney general in California. She was supported by Republicans in law enforcement there because she was a person who could reach across the aisle. We need that. We need fair, level-headedness that will work for the people!

 She is quick-witted and razor sharp. I like her a lot. Watch out for this woman. I will say that many women in rural farm country will not be comfortable with her. The reason why, honestly, is that she is the opposite of the way they are raised. She’s”big city” and the farming communities hate that because they feel left behind by our government.

The reason they feel this way amazes me because they honestly believe that republicans are going to save them. Yet time and time again, Republicans vote for special interest groups and for big business. They always stand with the wealthy. They have clearly shown that their values are not with working class people.

This Isn’t Rocket Science

I hope that people living where I grew up can still understand simple math. I’m not sure of that as we used to have a great school but most of the tiny schools, with low teacher to student ratios, were forced to consolidate. This was mostly due to the strangulation of the education system that also began in the 80s. As small communities begin to shrink and shrivel into nonexistence, because there is no growth, no jobs, no raises, no infrastructure, and no schools, …. maybe they will wake-up and realize that the problems in America are rooted in the wealthy not just taking your money but in keeping it. 

It’s very simple; a wealthy person doesn’t need more money. It only takes so much money to live and to survive, the rest is gravy. Even those with yachts and million-dollar toys eventually run out of ideas for spending their money. They refer to is as’wealth fatigue’ and it is a real thing. Wouldn’t you like to have this problem?

What they do is get obsessed with growing their money into more money. The way that they do this is to invest into offshore accounts and banks in order to get tax benefits of places that have lower taxes. When this happens, you are moving money out of the country and out of circulation. 

Now the amount of money available in this country is a smaller pile from which we all must pull our share from – including wages and government spending. That money gets taxed and the pile grows even smaller. Bigger companies like Walmart take all that money in,because you need spend it to survive, and they pay very low wages to the peopleat the bottom of the pile. Bigger deficits also mean less for us, as budgets are tightened to make up for it when we have responsible presidents. 

Games With America

It plays out like the divorced parent game. Dad comes along, tells you want to hear, has fewer rules, and he gives you want you want more often than not. Mom comes along and says, we must have rules. No, cannot have everything you want and now we must pay our bills. In this scenario, Dad is a Republican and Mom is a Democrat. We remember Dad as a great guy who cared about us, but reality is that Mom was the best, responsible parent who made sure we had things for rainy days. Am I making this simple to understand? 

The people at the top, who in the 70s used to take about 20 to 50x the amount that their employees made, are now taking salaries that are 600x what they are paying their lowest paid employees! Sometimes they take more than that because they find ways to pay themselves big bonuses, all while they show a business ‘loss’ for the year so that they pay no taxes.

Since no human being really needs that much money, they invest it …into offshore things that they don’t have to pay taxes on. The pool of cash remaining within America gets smaller each year. It isn’t rocket science. Big businesses have slowly killed America. Even worse, politicians have utterly convinced you to blame your problems on low income families rather than on their corporate greed.

They’ve managed to get you to believe that the wealthy  earned their huge salaries and deserve to keep every penny, and any other thought is socialist. No, people, they have conned you. They didn’t earn it. They used corporate tax breaks that they received by paying off members of the House and Senate to put those tax laws into effect. They played the system to steal from America by getting politicians to make it legal. They took from you. They didn’t make those huge profits, they squeezed it from your hard labor. They padded Rand Paul’s pockets and Mitch McConnell’s pockets, Paul Ryan’s pockets, and a hundred other people. Meanwhile, you take the trickle down and smile, while continuing to vote for them because they want to ‘give power back to the states and protect the second amendment.’ What you got is lip service and laid off. Right Ford? Right GMC? Harley Davidson? WV coal miner? Your second amendment was never, and has never been, in jeopardy. Some decent regulations would be nice but that is another article. 

Helping Ourselves Out Of This Mess

We NEED to shop small! You need to imagine every dollar that you spend at places like Walmart being put in an envelope and being sent to Russia, or Saudi Arabia, or Bermuda. Yes,it may cost you just a little but, in the end, it will come back to you! Can’t you shop at the local store that is closer to your house? That money is going into a local bank account, will probably be used within your own community to pay bills and find its way back to the employer who pays you.

This is how local communities thrive, by keeping their money freshly circulating in a big circle that doesn’t stop. You grow by finding ways of attracting some outside money occasionally. Tourism is a great example of bringing in outside money. Having a local high school, with home football games that attracts the opposing teams’ fans is also a great example. When you lose your school, you lose your heart, as a small town. Sadly, you also lose revenue potential. In terms of a country, it is the same practice, simply on a grander scale. None of this is rocket science!

I’m going to write to all the United States’ democratic senators and representatives. I’m going to ask them to consider a CAP on the amount of salary and bonuses that any CEO can take from their company. It should be based on a percentage, which means that if your lowest employees get a raise, you can too. The more they make, the more you can make. It means that more money stays in America and it also means that capitalism is still strong. You can control your salary and be upwardly mobile if you are taking your employees too! No more of this capitalism running amok!

Perhaps we even offer a bit of a tax break to the companies that have a lowest paid employee of at least $15 per hour? Maybe that break is structure to be in tiers so that if you start people out at $20 per hour, your company gets a better tax break at year end? Perhaps we say that that amount must be $20 per hour within 10 years in order to keep that tax break or lose it?

The Struggle Is Real

The working people aren’t even really living anymore, they are surviving – barely. Some people aren’t even surviving and if they manage three square meals it is a miracle. People wouldn’t need welfare if they earned enough money! Research has shown that we would spend less on food stamps and housing subsidies, as a country, if companies paid what they should in taxes and pay employees a fair living wage!

Working people, we already know, would spend that money they earn. Folks would go straight out and buy steaks instead of chicken and splurge on that package of crab meat. Parents would sign kids up for after school programs they can’t afford now. Families could all go out to the movies again. Parents would buy more clothes for the kids that they couldn’t afford for school last year. Families would take vacations again – something that has drastically dropped since the 1970s, which coincidentally was a time when auto workers and steel workers were earning $20+per hour. Is it also a coincidence that Walmart got its big start in the 80s?

In the 80s it began to become the norm for businesses to pay themselves outrageous salaries. Families began living on credit cards while corporations sucked up all the actual money. Because of credit, which was a relatively new concept, companies were able to quietly steal the cash and put it into countries like Saudi Arabia, in oil stocks, only it really wasn’t done all that quietly. Thanks to fewer regulations at that time, Wall Street wasn’t keen for anyone to see what was going on. THEY were making enormous commissions on all this offshore investing.

Ironically, all these things were happening in the 80s, as a direct result of another Republican in office who didn’t really know half of what was going on. Ronald Reagan was in beginning stages of Alzheimer’s and it was kept from the public. Suddenly, after years of being heroes, the union was a bad guy. They had “too much power” according to the press releases being fed to the public. It was all setting us up for where we are today. 

This union busting became popular and was a mantra all throughout the 90s. Today, unions have less power than they ever have. Wages for skilled workers is at an all-time low. We desperately need skilled labor, but they don’t pay well compared to inflation. In fact, most of these jobs start for less per hour than they did 30 years ago. In 1979, people were being paid $20 per hour to start as floor sweepers in factories that included the steel mill my father was working at. 

In the 1980s, the American public was distracted with the AIDS crisis, we were neck deep in theIran-Contra Affair, and politics was a shell game that the American people seemedto stop trying to figure out. When that happened, we opened the door to what we have today. Banks were also digging the country into a huge mess that would later cause recessions; the subprime loan industry being one such example. That came back to bite us in the rear end approximately twenty years after it began. Credit as a means of living better than we ever had would soon become the problem that took us down.

What Now?

Your recent Trump taxcut was temporary and when you do your taxes this year, you are very likely going to realize that. The stock market went up over the last year, only to lose it all in the month of November. This is because it was a manipulated rise. It wasbound to happen, and the smartest analysts tried to warn you but some of you were so desperate to hear that you could find your way out of this dark tunnel without having to make any personal changes, that you swallowed hard. It will take a huge December to finish off with a market gain for the year. This will be hard when 150K employees have gotten their walking papers this fall from major employers, like GM and Ford. 

The current president talks that talk but he walks the walk of the wealthy. He is a white dude who is protecting the other wealthy, white dudes. Look around. People all around you are still struggling. Trump’s father made his money off that housing market and used huge loans to build projects for housing. He then stiffed skilled laborers who built his buildings and then he refused to rent tominorities because it would cause his buildings to drop in value. His son did the exact same thing. 

We need to put a cap on the percentage of salary a CEO can be paid in relation to their lowest paid employees. This will guarantee a higher wage for even the lowest paid people. We need to offer tax breaks with CLEARLY SPELLED OUT RULES to avoid things like GMC laying off 15,000 people after receiving $6B in tax goodies and then asking to payout something like $5M in bonus money to CEOs! NO!!! The payouts in such cases need to be percentage based also, so that those being let go receive a portion as severance pay!

I will be voting in 2020. I will likely vote for someone like Kamalah Harris. There are many who talk about running and some of them are great. The primaries will determine which candidate stands out from the pack. I’ll be voting for the person who puts American workers back to work and does it the right way, not by manipulating a stock market via Tweeting. I’ll vote for the person who understands that most Americans can’t afford to invest in stock because they are worried about food, rent, medication, and utility bills – all while caring about the homeless and giving constantly to good charities that keep each other going. I’ll vote for the candidate that remembers that unions are good, and they’ve been there to help families when no one else was.

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Growing Old Is Getting Old

 

It has been a wild ride, these last 50+ years. This winter, the shoulder pain has been tougher than ever. CBD oil helps immensely though!. If you’ve not tried it, I highly recommend it. The oil helps my ADD and pain. I also recommend turmeric with curcumin. That stuff is an amazing natural anti-inflammatory and scientists agree that it has benefits and warrants more research. It works wonders for arthritis and joint pains from injury. Aches and pains are just there to remind us of the fun we’ve had I suppose, but growing old really does get old some days!

It’s good to be back here in a space I have always held so near to my heart. Butch Ramblings was my healing journey and my happiness. Ramblings was my home for a long time. I blogged my way through isolation, heartache, stupidity, growing pains and more. Someone once said to me that it was’ time I settled down and put down roots somewhere.’ That life isn’t meant for everyone. It isn’t meant for me. I’m an adventurer.

Don’t let people tell you what to do. You do what is best for yourself and you’ll always be fine. Trust me on that. These are my roots right here. This is my legacy. This website will be around long after I am gone. Hopefully that won’t be for a little while yet. On the other hand, if it happens tomorrow, I’m prepared. I’ve lived a good life and I’ve come to terms with most of the lessons I have learned along this path. I’ve had ups and I have had downs.

I’ve had many sleepless nights. I’ve had other nights where I have slept like a log. I have awakened with clarity over things I had been worried about. I’ve ruminated over a decision for far too long. I have still made the wrong choice. In fact, I’ve made a lot of bad choices. I’ve also made some pretty damned great choices. The universe is awesome that way because there is balance in everything we do. The wisdom that we receive, once we are open to it, is pretty amazing.

I have heard people whine about losing their trust of others. I’ve seen people place blame on everyone else in their life for all the messed up shit they have been neck deep in for years. At some point you have to take responsibility for yourself and realize that you’ve been an asshole to everyone around you and that’s why nobody sticks around. At some point you choose to trust or not to. You either get tired of living a life that is an empty shell or you get down in it and get dirty. Bathe in the mud!

I’m a mud bather. I admit it. If shit gets deep, I’ll swim out into it a little further just to see how deep it will get. I figure once I have some mud on my boots I may as well get really dirty. I take chances on people. I walk away from people fast too. Things that will get me to walk away fast are people who become passive aggressive. People who don’t know when to shut up or respect my space drive me cuckoo too. People who, in every single conversation, relive the past and place blame on other people constantly. That gets old really, really fast. At some point, stop being a victim in your own novel. Choose to be the hero.

That’s all of my deep thoughts for now. I’ll move on to reality. I am living with a friend who is letting me use her place as a staging area before I make a big move that I’m not quite ready to talk about yet. While here, I’m trying to help her as much as possible. She’s getting older and her house has been falling into disarray for the last few years. She broke her back and has had difficulty with mundane tasks. My goal is to do some work, help her put into place some things/processes that will make it easier for her to function, and make sure that she has what she needs to survive. Right now we are in the middle of showering her with Christmas gifts, thanks to so many Facebook friends! I’m so blessed to have really good, caring individuals that I’ve met there and I choose to keep them around in my life! Such GOOD we get accomplished as a tribe! Love and kindness really do go a long way in keeping people in your life.

I have plans to do some wildlife photography soon, while I still can. I’m writing again, while I still can. Last year I was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. In other words, the capillaries in the backs of my eyes have been bleeding. It clouds the vision over time. It has slowed drastically with my blood sugar more under control but the odds of me going blind in time are very high. My eyesight is not what it used to be and I have issues already. I miss little typos here and there. The doctors at the Kittner Eye Institue in Chapel Hill, NC,  also noticed that I have a cataract on my left eye. It isn’t really operable and it is from scar tissue, likely from blunt force trauma. Apparently, according to them, I’ve had it my whole life since infancy. It is very old and that explains a lot about my sensitivity to light. Lasting effects from childhood abuse I presume but don’t really know for sure. At any rate, my vision is an issue but I don’t intend to let it stop me. When the time comes, I’ll see about voice recognition software and dictate.

I’ve been playing guitar again over this last year. I promised myself that I’d do something for myself, personally enriching, for my 50th year on the planet. I’m having the time of my life with it. I used to noodle around with some chords a long time ago. I’ve picked guitars up and put them down a dozen times over the years. I never really got enthusiastically involved in practice and learning because I never really knew exactly where to start. Fender Play got me down the right path. Technology is so advanced these days that there are lessons online everywhere and I’m really absorbing them. I love it! Best thing I’ve ever done was to pick it up again.

I have plans to begin submitting articles, with wildlife and outdoor themes, to some magazines in the outdoor genre. I have lost a lot of weight in the last year and gained a little winter weight back but I’m on an indoor bike trainer that I was able to plop my Fuji mountain bike on so I am hoping to get that weight right back off plus some more. My mental state is free and easy these days. I’m not running from anything or to anything. I just AM. It’s a great place to be! I’m living life for me. I spread a little joy here and there and just work on being the best me that I can be. If everyone else did that, the world would be such a better place! Don’t you all agree?

Categories: ADHD, aging, child abuse, death, life lessons, love, self-help, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

I’m BACK!

Oh the Ramblings that have been going on in these past few years! There are more adventures waiting to happen! I’ve been in about 5 more states with stints in Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina and everywhere in between since the last time I posted a blog here.

I have recovered from some very sore wrists and burn-out from my writing. You could say that I just needed a break, so I walked away from writing. I wasn’t feeling it anymore. I think I have my spark back!

Life has been, as always, a bit up and down over these past few years but I’ll be updating you soon. I wanted to reach out and say hello to old fans, wave at new fans and dust the cobwebs off of Butch Ramblings. It is time to start getting things set up to start again!

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Let The Adventures Begin Again!

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Dear friends, fans and followers,

As many of you are quite aware, I’ve posted relatively nothing new here in about a year. I took time off because I needed some time to heal, absorb things and make some sense out of my world. I’ve also been involved in some business dealings that have been quite the kerfuffle, with legalities, politics and more. I have begun to feel like a secret agent with all my contacts in other countries and within our own government. I really wish that I could go into details, but if I told you I would then have to kill you. 😉

So I came back to Illinois and endured some fierce cold almost 2 years ago. I was in touch with Jo still but have since completely broken ties and think I’ve probably got her blocked all the way around now, so that she can’t even be an ant at my picnic anymore. I feel good about it and I feel that moving on was the right thing for me and I have not looked back.

My ex-girlfriend from 20+ years ago and I were in touch for about one year. Ellen, as it turns out, hasn’t changed much in those twenty years. In fact, I think she might possibly be MORE tormented than she was back then. She’s no longer speaking to me because after about a one week escapade of her calling me several nights in a row and talking about gloom and doom and how suicidal she felt, I finally gave the Suicide Hotline her address and phone number and asked them to try to deal with it and help her.

I knew it was probably futile and I told the woman on the phone that she’d be dealing with an highly intelligent, mentally ill person who honestly was going to chew her up and spit her out. Turns out I was right about that. I received a nasty message stating “never contact me again” and I was strangely okay with that. I suppose after all the drama that she was bringing and laying at my feet, I was glad to be done with it? I had gotten what I needed from it, which was knowing that the child I had helped her bring into the world at Bayfront Medical Center all those years ago was fine. Complete closure for me…that’s two notches. Let’s move on…

I let myself get involved with another woman which I quickly learned was a complete train wreck of a situation and I got out of that very quickly. Apparently I have learned some important lessons about getting out of a bad situation quickly? Make that three notches on the post for me so far this year! Moving right along….

A woman in England started chatting me up one day. I really liked her but things seemed sort of one-sided. I was going to go there to meet her. She made it clear that she wouldn’t be the first one to travel anywhere. Red flag number one. She found out her daughter was pregnant and kept going on and on about how she didn’t look like a grandmother and it all began to center around how she had raised her kids, was not going to be stuck babysitting and that she didn’t even want to be called grandmother. Conceit because another red flag, as well as ego issues. Eventually we got into it a little over the fact that she let her friends dictate to her just how involved with me she should be and she became more worried about their opinions than my feelings. I ended it. Yay for me! More proof that I had learned lessons! Make that FOUR notches in my post for the year and mooooo-ving right along!

As some of you may recall, I lost Captain shortly after getting back in Illinois. I have since been acquired by an old dachshund named Harley, a 13 inch beagle named Hannah who just turned one year old, and Jack Russell terrier named Hank who is such a little love. They drive me crazy sometimes, especially Hannah because she’s so young and full of energy but I wouldn’t trade them for the world. They’ve helped me heal from many wounds.

When I parked this RV here again, if my emotional wounds and scars had been visible, I’d have looked like someone who had been horse-whipped and drug behind one. I’ve always been a strong person. I’ve gotten even stronger over the years, but I have literally been at my breaking point many, many times over this past year.

The children have also healed me. Again, they make me crazy sometimes but there is simply nothing more soothing nor healing for me as the hug of a two year old who lays her head on my shoulder, wraps her arm around my neck and pulls me close to her as I carry her. The level of trust and love overwhelms me and brings me to the verge of tears so many times. I’ve been blessed to hold an infant many times in the past few weeks and look into his beautiful, blue eyes. When he smiles at me I melt into a puddle of emotion. At the bottom of that puddle I found peace and love brought me back to the surface.

Several weeks back, a few months now already, I was very blessed to find myself talking more and more to someone whom I had actually had a crush on for a while. You all know what I’m talking about and I know it. You KNOW….that person who you see in your Facebook feed and you always have to stop and look at what they say. Sometimes you find yourself looking at their pictures and thinking how lucky their girlfriend or significant other is. Maybe you even feel a little twinge of jealousy? Well…I admit it. I did feel all those things.

I’d see her post all these sweet things over the past year or so about her spouse. I admired the way she was so devoted and loyal. Drove me a little crazy because I wanted that with someone and I also thought that she was very beautiful. I was attracted but I’m a very old-fashioned person. I don’t flirt with someone that I know is with someone else. That’s bad juju and you just don’t do it! Well, one day on my wall, lo and behold, she posted that it was over. I won’t go into why, but I can tell you that it surely wasn’t her fault.

I found myself in a conundrum. I wanted to talk to her SO bad and at the same time I wanted to be respectful. After typing and erasing about a dozen messages, I finally sent one of them and then I sat back and nearly had a nervous breakdown wondering if I’d hear from her. I literally, and I’ve told her this, sat there and had a discussion with myself trying to get the balls to send this message to her. I said to myself, “well, maybe you SHOULD reach out and go after someone. For almost 20 years you’ve let women chase you and that hasn’t exactly been working out for ya…” SO….I did it….I made the first move.

A few moments went by and holy cow, I got a response. Now let me assure you that it was all very respectful. I expressed my sympathy for what happened and what she was going through. She thanked me. We had some very nice discussions. Eventually, we both sort of realized that we were moving beyond just friends and I have to say that she is absolutely, hands down, the most amazing person I have ever come to know and when it comes to my past choices….I think that I finally got this one right.

So….there is the last year in a nutshell. So what now? I am happy to say that the business side of things is paying off and that very soon, probably a matter of days, my income will again be freed up and I’ll be in a very good place financially. My chains will be cut away and once again this bird is free to fly. I’ll be headed to the eastern coast of the upper United States. That is where the mystery lady resides. For now, I’m keeping things just between her and I for a lot of reasons. Perhaps that is another thing that I’ve learned?? 😉

My plan is to spend time there while some family things are resolved and just bide my time. I do have some business things that will be happening as well, but now is not the time for me to disclose them. I will say that many people are going to be shocked and excited all at the same time. It is ALL good, folks. Honest.

To start things off on the correct foot, I’ve given the blog an updated look. I’m taking on more of a warm and inviting look, rather than the pained and hard-edged look that it had before. In the last year I believe that I have changed drastically in the way I see things and feel things. I feel happier and kinder. I feel ready to move on and settle down a little. So there you go…a new look and a new outlook. This holiday season, from Halloween thru New Year’s Eve is going to be a whole new start for me. The world has taken on new colors and they are all happy.

I’d like to ask you all to please, share my blog with friends and in groups that you belong to. There are many more adventures coming, as well as plans for three books I have in my head and need to get on paper! This blog is essentially free and takes a lot of time, which was also part of the reason that I stopped doing it for so long. I’m now in the position that I can afford to do it again! What little I receive from advertising only pays the fees for keeping the URL and the site going. I appreciate all your shares. Also, don’t forget to come by Facebook and like my fan page www.facebook.com/mybutchworld

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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 56,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 21 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Dear Keeper of My Heart

Dear Keeper of My Heart,

You reminded me that it had been a while since I had written anything. This I already knew because writing anything at this point in my life is almost more than I can bare. My wounds run so deep. Daily I feel the pain, just as fresh as if it were all just yesterday. Like the cold steel of a razor blade cutting into my flesh, I feel the pain; sharp and cunning as it sets my nerves on edge and makes me feel as if it is my soul which is bleeding out all over the floor. I look down and I see the pool of blood at my feet, always there with me though no one else can see. The emotions that I am feeling are impossible to explain. I feel as though I pour my heart out to people all the time, yet a reviewer can say that I do not share enough of my pain or go deep enough. How do I bring people into my hell? Perhaps she had a point? In shielding myself from it, perhaps I do not do it justice – the pain that is.

Keeper of My Heart, I met you a long, long time ago. My mind would not accept the attraction that I felt initially. You were in a relationship with someone else, even though it was a very bad one. You were also much younger than me and I felt like I was somehow wrong to take advantage of that.  Me – always trying to be the one with scruples and the one who stands for something. I always tried to have some code of honor that made sense then but it makes no sense to me now. I loved you and I wouldn’t accept it and I would not act on it. “Keeper” you persisted. You stayed in contact with me. You talked to me and you poured yourself out to me. I got to see parts of you that I know you have not shared with others, even now. You had yourself wrapped-up in a relationship that damaged you daily and had your emotions up and down. You wanted to do what your own honor told you that you should do – stay and make it work. Admirable quality in all honesty. I just wish you weren’t always trying to make things work with everyone else but me….

Eventually I had to walk away. It wasn’t because I didn’t care or that I didn’t have the patience. I left because my heart felt as if it had been shoved through a meat grinder and I hurt so bad. I left feeling not good enough. I felt like I was good enough for you to reach out to, depend on, flirt with and talk to but not good enough for a relationship. I wasn’t good enough for you to leave her and give me a chance. I blamed myself for putting you off in the beginning. I told you that you were with someone else. I told you that you were too young. I told you everything except that I loved you but I did.

I ran away from you. Those were even your words. I went to another state. I wanted and needed to be alone. No one really understood why. They saw a bigger picture I suppose, but the truth was that my heart was broken and my feelings of not being good enough – or just “enough” – had me feeling rejected, humiliated, angry and lost. You left me feeling frustrated and never good enough. I needed to go heal and be alone. I chose the woods and a cabin.

I started down a path of punishing myself. This I didn’t realize until recently. I was so angry at myself for not knowing what to do to get you to leave her. I was mad at ME for never being enough or what you needed. I wasn’t enough to get you to leave that abuse and the thoughts that you’d stay with someone like that when all I wanted to do was love you and protect you was just too much for me. I swirled into depression and anger. I eventually ended-up in FL to date a woman who was what you weren’t. She was free, she was closer to my age and she wanted me around. I couldn’t stand her almost from the beginning. Yes, she was my age. Yes, she had a fantastic career and she wanted me to move in with her. Still…she wasn’t you and her soul just didn’t speak to me. I didn’t like who she was underneath all of those superficial things.

Oddly, you contacted me – you basically found me – shortly after I had told her goodbye. I was several states away by then and all we could do was talk. We talked and talked. My heart got happy again and I realized that I had a chance to make good on the huge mistake I’d made before. I should have stuck around and I should have had more patience. My heart had been so hurt, but soul had never forgiven my brain for running. I had a chance to fix it all…and I loved you. I struggled through more heartaches and pain to get back to Illinois and I survived through extreme conditions for several months only to find that you STILL weren’t ready to leave her. I cried myself to sleep a lot of nights. I felt like you misled me and once again, I felt like you had made me ‘second best’ in your life. I felt like I just was destined to never feel quite good enough for you. I spent countless days and nights just waiting and hoping that I’d get to see you or spend some time with you. All I wanted in this world was to just touch your face! I waited and waited and finally, after several months, I gave-up … but I didn’t leave here this time. My soul won that battle this time. I knew there was unfinished business between us I guess? We can’t help who we love or how our heart reacts.

A few months later, you contacted me and told me you were finally free. We talked and I wanted to see you. I hoped to see you alone, but you always protect yourself by being in groups. I get that and yes, I recognize it as a behavior you have when you are protecting yourself. It is very scary how much I actually understand you sometimes. I agreed to come out and meet you with a group of your friends. Somehow we missed each other and I felt stood-up. I felt like I was right back to two years prior and you made a promise to me that you didn’t keep. ALL those times you told me you’d ‘try’ to come by and see me when you knew I was there waiting on you. All those times that you told me I would see you and I’d wait around for hours only for you to pop online and tell me that you got busy with something or sometimes to not even mention that you knew you had let me sit there – hopeful, sad, and broken-hearted.

Don’t get me wrong, on one hand I completely understood. Just on the other hand, my heart was being completely shredded and I just had to assume that you had NO CLUE how much I really did love you. So anyway, I got mad. Very mad. My anger was a reaction to my pain. Drinking six beers while I waited and got more and more upset did not help. I went home and I sent you a message that was probably the nastiest thing I have written to anyone in my life. Looking at it today, I cry. I never wanted to say such hurtful things to you ever. I never wanted to hurt you at all. I only ever wanted to hold you and wipe your tears away. I wanted you to feel my love and know that I’d always be there. Instead, I ended-up saying hurtful things and walking away again because of my own pain. It wasn’t what I wanted.

Yes, I had a rebound relationship this time. Not something I typically ever do but I guess she said the right things and I was vulnerable. It lasted about two months. My thoughts went straight back to you and I contacted you and apologized. I needed to and I knew that. Regardless what ever would or wouldn’t happen between you and I, I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t apologize to you for hurting you. I find you dating someone. I take the kick in the crotch as well as can be expected. A) I understand all the reasons and B) I had no right to be upset because I’m the one who walked away and fucked things up when you were finally free.

Here is what I know though: this new person doesn’t know you like I do. They don’t know half of what you have been through nor who you really are. They don’t know the precious gift they hold in their hands…and the things going on and being said already actually prove that. You know what I mean. I know I’m not perfect, but I’ve held on for three years just hoping for a chance to show you how much I truly loved you and wanted to be able to take care of you. I wanted to be able to hold you and touch you and tell you that you are perfect just the way you are. I wanted to tell you that you are beautiful and that your soul is a bright, shining star in my universe that has led me and kept me going for so long. I wanted to build something with you that would last and I think in a lot of ways that scared you too.

I’ve decided that I’m going to be okay with what you are doing with your life right now. Go ahead and have your fun. I’m back and I am not going anywhere and when you are ready to settle down and start moving towards all the dreams you ever wanted, with someone who values who you are and respects you for that, I will still be here. So when you flirtatiously told me that I really needed to write you something…we both know you didn’t mean like THIS, but here it is – the whole truth, nothing but the truth and totally honest. Not many people ever come into someone else’s life and tell them that they love them and will wait for them as long as it takes because their happiness is the most important thing in the world. I want you to be happy and I want you want me in your life because it is what YOU want … not what you need. I want to share your world, not a piece of you. I want to be the person who puts you first and takes good care of you. I want to give you the world and watch you grow into the amazing person that I know you are.  I know the things you want for your future and your life and I am prepared and able to give you all those things. All you have to do is make up your mind to be happy once and for all. In the time being, I’ll be here, waiting and not going anywhere. There…I wrote something just for you. Might not be what you expected but it was what I needed to say.

Jess

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New Humanitarian Blog

To all my loyal readers and fans, I’m pleased to announce that I am also blogging at another site right now. Butch Ramblings is and always will be the place that I connect with people and share my innermost feelings about living in the world as the person I am. Have no fear, it isn’t going anywhere.

That said, I’ve decided to start a more newsworthy site for things that touch the world and the people who live in it, from all walks of life. This blog will be about social/political/economic issues both here and abroad. Please, check it out at http://thehumanitarianblog.blogspot.com .

I don’t have a donation button up yet, but please keep in mind that the advertising on the blog is the only help I get financially. There is a lot of research going into those blogs, as I am sure that you will see. There are posts already scheduled for each day this week, thru Friday. I hope that you will take the time to check it out and possibly even subscribe!

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