On Being Self-ish Part Two of Two

45686418-vintage-slogan-with-motivation-vector-illustration
There is a saying,
“God only helps those who help themselves” and it is a saying that I try to live by. Often we think we are helping someone but we are actually enabling them. We can also be robbing that person of an opportunity to gain “strength thru adversity”.  When we overcome an obstacle or solve a problem, it gives us sense of pride and confidence as well as developing reasoning and problem solving skills. The very best things we can offer someone is encouragement and emotional support.

When I left my abusive ex and moved into my mother’s house, she told me that she was Family conflictin a position to financially support me but to do so would cripple me. It was one of the most loving things she could say to me.  What I heard was that she would not let me give up on life. I didn’t need her money but I did need a home even if temporarily and she needed  my help in recovering from a serious illness.

stock-photo-20604007-young-woman-looking-through-red-curtains-rear-viewI had always been independent but now I found myself emotionally broken with little confidence and it would have been too easy to disengage from life. Little by little, a network of supportive people stepped up with encouragement, assistance and helpful information many of whom had just come into my life. Not one of these people would take credit for what I accomplished because it was all done selflessly and with no enabling. I became stronger day by day, regained confidence and got my feet back on the ground. Every step of the way, my mother was in my balcony cheering me on along with many others who I met on the path to wholeness.6610590-Mother-and-teenage-daughter-relaxing-at-home-in-white-living-room-Stock-Photo

All this being said, as much as I would like to jump in with both feet to help this14296015-3d-render-of-a-person-helping-another-man-3d-illustration-of-human-character-people young woman, I would be tapping in to my past experience rather than her present. I am grateful to her for giving me an opportunity to see that I am still a work in progress. I need to come to terms with my abuse by doing my own work before I can become involved in helping someone else.

20638912-young-couple-arguing-in-the-kitchenBeing self-ish is not always easy because we have to put blinders on to others’ perception of who we should be and how we should live.  We will always be responsible for the outcome of our decisions and actions regardless of others’ opinions. Giving consideration to others’ opinions and suggestions can be helpful but in the end we have to do what is best for us and only we know what that is.

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On Being Self-ish Part One of Two

20612432-la-violencia-dom-stica-y-el-abuso-como-un-resumenAs a survivor of domestic violence, I have advocated not walking away from someone who is being abused but instead to do what you can to help. I have complained in my blog that the two people I turned to did not want to be involved. So now I find the shoe on the other foot and wonder if I should have done or should do more.

In order to help others through crisis situations, I have worked for and volunteered for popart-comic-retro-woman-talking-phone-vector-illustration-36967984Crisis Hotline. I am currently on hiatus from Crisis Textline in order to determine where I want to go from here. Assisting domestic violence victims via the Hotline and Textline was something I had the ability to do with no residual affect, becoming personally involved is not in my bag of tricks.

I recently met a young woman that I thought I might enjoy having lunch with from 5939322-a-portrait-of-a-happy-mother-and-daughter-drinking-coffee-outdoortime to time so we exchanged phone numbers and set up a lunch date. Upon arrival at the agreed upon restaurant, I found that she was not there.

 

 

I texted that I was at the restaurant and soon thereafter received an apologetic phone call from her telling me that she couldn’t make it. She said she didn’t want anyone to know but that she could gallery_1_4_8533tell me that her boyfriend had beat her up the night before and one side of her face was badly bruised. I felt a responsibility to offer emotional support so I offered my strength, hope and experience. When she said that she had never been beat before this badly, I asked if it was a pattern and she said it wasn’t. Yet, several times she repeated that she had never been beat like that before.

She also became confused about where her purse was and offering that she had several9610217-young-caucasian-woman-in-a-kitchen-weeps-while-on-the-phoneinstances of head trauma from sports and recreational accidents. She said she had PTSD from being raped as a child. In the beginning I asked if she wanted to accompany me on my errands but she claimed she was too embarrassed. I suggested that she might need her family’s support but she said she had disappointed them too many times. She said she might take her dog and go to a motel for the night and it didn’t occur to me that she might be hoping that I would offer to have her stay at my house. As the conversation proceeded, I saw more and more red flags warning me that I needed to distance myself. She suggested we could have lunch at a restaurant in her apartment complex and I pled off saying I didn’t know where it was though it wouldn’t have been hard to find since I knew where the complex was located. She questioned that I didn’t know where it was and I became exasperated and insisted that I didn’t.

Eventually, I said though I hated to I had to go because I needed to get my errands12363983-upset-mom-with-frustrated-daughter-over-green-backgroundcompleted and told her to call me later so I would know she was okay. She agreed insolently and we ended the call. I thought a lot about the situation and what I would do if I heard from her again. I knew in my heart that I did not want to get any more involved but on the flip side, I felt a responsibility to help. For the next few days I found that the situation was a trigger for me. I started having disturbing thoughts and feeling trapped.

I decided pretty quickly that I had to be honest and let her know that having 15817148-heart-and-brain-that-dance-concept-of-physical-wellbeingfriendship with her would not work for me. When I was in counseling for the domestic violence I was told that I needed to cut ties with my ex and any and all mutual ties through others. It was like they were a combination of hook and trigger. My trauma was triggered by this encounter to the point where I decided to go back into counseling.

Sleep Apnea (Part Three of Three)

My sister takes very good care of her health but has constant dark circles under her eyes and gets tired and sleepy along with other symptoms. My brother also has dark circles and so many symptoms that it is a no brainer. He recently had surgery and his condition deteriorated to the point where it appeared he wouldn’t live. Doctors could not understand what caused it because the surgery wasn’t major enough to bring it about. He has always been slow to heal but this was very serious. I’m no doctor but knowing what I know now, I would bet that it has to do with his sleep apnea. However, as I have written before there comes a point where you just have to let go and allow people make their own decisions and experience consequences.

I had a lady tell me that her husband has obvious Sleep Apnea but is too macho to use a CPAP machine. Using a machine for a minimum of four hours a night for the rest of your  life seems to be the main deterrent. Yet, many have become dependent on sleep medications that don’t last more than four hours and do not supply restful sleep. I thought I was sleeping good after we moved to Colorado from Texas but in actuality I was getting very little restful sleep. In my opinion, most of us don’t give enough credibility to how important sleep is to our overall health.

Once I overcame many of the obstacles to sleeping comfortably with the CPAP, I have come to truly enjoy using it. I love the feeling of fresh air blowing into my face and have added aromatherapy to keep my sinuses clear. I have had a need to have air blowing in my face for quite some time thinking it was helping me breathe and it was. It’s nice to no longer have to lie awake for 2 hours before getting to sleep or dread going to bed knowing that sleep won’t come easily.

I now fall asleep easily and pretty much sleep through the night. I previously would get up sometimes 10 times a night to empty my bladder. While I would go a little, it was not enough to justify getting up for most people. But I could not sleep because I was obsessed with the urge to go. The truth of the matter is that often I would worry that I would have to get up which triggered the power of suggestion.

Getting adjusted to using the CPAP is not a walk in the park for most people but the suppliers know this and have come up with products that make using it more tolerable. There are many, many people who are dependent on CPAP therapy and most experience or have experienced common issues. By sharing what works for each of us, we all benefit. There is even a forum for CPAP users.

I have found cushy covers to pad the straps and liners for my mask that keep me from having air leaks and increases comfort. I add aromatherapy to keep my sinuses clear negating the day to day sinus cleansing and I have a hose management aid. Medicare pays for new masks complete with headgear and filters every 3 months and per my doctor’s  prescribed that I be provided a mask of my choice and I have been through four before I found the one that is right for me. I no longer have the whooshing sound of the air coming in and out and don’t hear my breathing magnified. Being diligent in my therapy has improved my lie immensely after just four months.

Physically, mentally and emotionally I feel much more healthy. I have more energy and feel more alert, and I find it easier to manage my anxiety and impulse control. I still get sleepy during the day but it is getting better.

If you suspect or if someone suggests that you have sleep apnea, please at least get tested or suggest that they be tested. It is much more important than you might think.

 

In Defense of Truth and the Media

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake gave a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, delivering his message to President Trump that assaults on the media and freedom of speech have the potential to cause damage beyond America’s borders. The speech comes on the same day that Mr. Trump says he will announce a set of “Fake News Awards,” addressing what he sees as bias in the mainstream media.

The full transcript of Senator Flake’s comments, as prepared for delivery, appear below.  


Mr. President, near the beginning of the document that made us free, our Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote: “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” So, from our very beginnings, our freedom has been predicated on truth. The founders were visionary in this regard, understanding well that good faith and shared facts between the governed and the government would be the very basis of this ongoing idea of America.

As the distinguished former member of this body, Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, famously said: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” During the past year, I am alarmed to say that Senator Moynihan’s proposition has likely been tested more severely than at any time in our history.

It is for that reason that I rise today, to talk about the truth, and its relationship to democracy. For without truth, and a principled fidelity to truth and to shared facts, Mr. President, our democracy will not last.

2017 was a year which saw the truth – objective, empirical, evidence-based truth — more battered and abused than any other in the history of our country, at the hands of the most powerful figure in our government. It was a year which saw the White House enshrine “alternative facts” into the American lexicon, as justification for what used to be known simply as good old-fashioned falsehoods. It was the year in which an unrelenting daily assault on the constitutionally-protected free press was launched by that same White House, an assault that is as unprecedented as it is unwarranted. “The enemy of the people,” was what the president of the United States called the free press in 2017.

Mr. President, it is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase “enemy of the people,” that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of “annihilating such individuals” who disagreed with the supreme leader.

This alone should be a source of great shame for us in this body, especially for those of us in the president’s party. For they are shameful, repulsive statements. And, of course, the president has it precisely backward – despotism is the enemy of the people. The free press is the despot’s enemy, which makes the free press the guardian of democracy. When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn’t suit him “fake news,” it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press.

I dare say that anyone who has the privilege and awesome responsibility to serve in this chamber knows that these reflexive slurs of “fake news” are dubious, at best. Those of us who travel overseas, especially to war zones and other troubled areas around the globe, encounter members of U.S. based media who risk their lives, and sometimes lose their lives, reporting on the truth.  To dismiss their work as fake news is an affront to their commitment and their sacrifice.

According to the International Federation of Journalists, 80 journalists were killed in 2017, and a new report from the Committee to Protect Journalists documents that the number of journalists imprisoned around the world has reached 262, which is a new record. This total includes 21 reporters who are being held on “false news” charges.

Mr. President, so powerful is the presidency that the damage done by the sustained attack on the truth will not be confined to the president’s time in office.  Here in America, we do not pay obeisance to the powerful – in fact, we question the powerful most ardently – to do so is our birthright and a requirement of our citizenship — and so, we know well that no matter how powerful, no president will ever have dominion over objective reality.

No politician will ever get to tell us what the truth is and is not. And anyone who presumes to try to attack or manipulate the truth to his own purposes should be made to realize the mistake and be held to account. That is our job here. And that is just as Madison, Hamilton, and Jay would have it.

Of course, a major difference between politicians and the free press is that the press usually corrects itself when it gets something wrong. Politicians don’t.

No longer can we compound attacks on truth with our silent acquiescence. No longer can we turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to these assaults on our institutions.  And Mr. President, an American president who cannot take criticism – who must constantly deflect and distort and distract – who must find someone else to blame — is charting a very dangerous path. And a Congress that fails to act as a check on the president adds to the danger.

Now, we are told via twitter that today the president intends to announce his choice for the “most corrupt and dishonest” media awards. It beggars belief that an American president would engage in such a spectacle. But here we are.

And so, 2018 must be the year in which the truth takes a stand against power that would weaken it. In this effort, the choice is quite simple. And in this effort, the truth needs as many allies as possible. Together, my colleagues, we are powerful. Together, we have it within us to turn back these attacks, right these wrongs, repair this damage, restore reverence for our institutions, and prevent further moral vandalism.

Together, united in the purpose to do our jobs under the Constitution, without regard to party or party loyalty, let us resolve to be allies of the truth — and not partners in its destruction.

It is not my purpose here to inventory all of the official untruths of the past year. But a brief survey is in order. Some untruths are trivial – such as the bizarre contention regarding the crowd size at last year’s inaugural.

But many untruths are not at all trivial – such as the seminal untruth of the president’s political career – the oft-repeated conspiracy about the birthplace of President Obama. Also not trivial are the equally pernicious fantasies about rigged elections and massive voter fraud, which are as destructive as they are inaccurate – to the effort to undermine confidence in the federal courts, federal law enforcement, the intelligence community and the free press, to perhaps the most vexing untruth of all – the supposed “hoax” at the heart of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

To be very clear, to call the Russia matter a “hoax” – as the president has many times – is a falsehood. We know that the attacks orchestrated by the Russian government during the election were real and constitute a grave threat to both American sovereignty and to our national security.  It is in the interest of every American to get to the bottom of this matter, wherever the investigation leads.

Ignoring or denying the truth about hostile Russian intentions toward the United States leaves us vulnerable to further attacks. We are told by our intelligence agencies that those attacks are ongoing, yet it has recently been reported that there has not been a single cabinet-level meeting regarding Russian interference and how to defend America against these attacks. Not one. What might seem like a casual and routine untruth – so casual and routine that it has by now become the white noise of Washington – is in fact a serious lapse in the defense of our country.

Mr. President, let us be clear. The impulses underlying the dissemination of such untruths are not benign. They have the effect of eroding trust in our vital institutions and conditioning the public to no longer trust them. The destructive effect of this kind of behavior on our democracy cannot be overstated.

Mr. President, every word that a president utters projects American values around the world. The values of free expression and a reverence for the free press have been our global hallmark, for it is our ability to freely air the truth that keeps our government honest and keeps a people free. Between the mighty and the modest, truth is the great leveler. And so, respect for freedom of the press has always been one of our most important exports.

But a recent report published in our free press should raise an alarm. Reading from the story:

“In February…Syrian President Bashar Assad brushed off an Amnesty International report that some 13,000 people had been killed at one of his military prisons by saying, “You can forge anything these days, we are living in a fake news era.”

In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has complained of being “demonized” by “fake news.” Last month, the report continues, with our President, quote “laughing by his side” Duterte called reporters “spies.”

In July, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro complained to the Russian propaganda outlet, that the world media had “spread lots of false versions, lots of lies” about his country, adding, “This is what we call ‘fake news’ today, isn’t it?”

There are more:

“A state official in Myanmar recently said, “There is no such thing as Rohingya. It is fake news,” referring to the persecuted ethnic group.  

Leaders in Singapore, a country known for restricting free speech, have promised “fake news” legislation in the new year.”

And on and on. This feedback loop is disgraceful, Mr. President. Not only has the past year seen an American president borrow despotic language to refer to the free press, but it seems he has in turn inspired dictators and authoritarians with his own language. This is reprehensible.

We are not in a “fake news” era, as Bashar Assad says. We are, rather, in an era in which the authoritarian impulse is reasserting itself, to challenge free people and free societies, everywhere.

In our own country, from the trivial to the truly dangerous, it is the range and regularity of the untruths we see that should be cause for profound alarm, and spur to action. Add to that the by-now predictable habit of calling true things false, and false things true, and we have a recipe for disaster.  As George Orwell warned, “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.”

Any of us who have spent time in public life have endured news coverage we felt was jaded or unfair. But in our positions, to employ even idle threats to use laws or regulations to stifle criticism is corrosive to our democratic institutions. Simply put: it is the press’s obligation to uncover the truth about power. It is the people’s right to criticize their government. And it is our job to take it.

What is the goal of laying siege to the truth? President John F. Kennedy, in a stirring speech on the 20th anniversary of the Voice of America, was eloquent in answer to that question:

“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”

Mr. President, the question of why the truth is now under such assault may well be for historians to determine. But for those who cherish American constitutional democracy, what matters is the effect on America and her people and her standing in an increasingly unstable world — made all the more unstable by these very fabrications. What matters is the daily disassembling of our democratic institutions.

 We are a mature democracy – it is well past time that we stop excusing or ignoring – or worse, endorsing — these attacks on the truth. For if we compromise the truth for the sake of our politics, we are lost. 

 I sincerely thank my colleagues for their indulgence today. I will close by borrowing the words of an early adherent to my faith that I find has special resonance at this moment. His name was John Jacques, and as a young missionary in England he contemplated the question: “What is truth?” His search was expressed in poetry and ultimately in a hymn that I grew up with, titled “Oh Say, What is Truth.” It ends as follows:

“Then say, what is truth? ‘Tis the last and the first,

For the limits of time it steps o’er.

Tho the heavens depart and the earth’s fountains burst.

Truth, the sum of existence, will weather the worst,

Eternal… unchanged… evermore.”

Thank you, Mr. President. I yield the floor.

CBS NEWS

Sleep Apnea (Part Two of Three Parts)

When I told Dr. Washburn that I was sleeping well at night, he explained to me that my apneas (breathing stops) would cause my brain to shout, “Wake up, wake up and breathe” I would start breathing and be right back to sleep without even realizing that I woke up. There were times that I probably woke up without realizing why and thought I had to use the potty explaining why I would go up to 10 times a night.

Having the apnea documented in order for insurance to pay for the therapy is a hoop jumping process. I went through a regimen of tests which included x-rays and blood tests to rule out everything else, a home sleep study, a lab sleep study and four pulse Oximetry’s.

The first test was pulse oximetry I had that showed a significant drop in heart rate when I slept. I don’t recall the numbers but the pulmonologist explained that I woke up 94 times. I was in denial because I certainly didn’t remember waking that many times. He explained that when my heart rate dropped or I stopped breathing, my brain would alert me to wake up and start breathing. He said I wouldn’t be conscious of being awake for the periods of time it took to start breathing again because they were very short. A technician also explained to me that we can be awake without being conscious of it which explains my being awake for two hours without it seeming like it. As if that wasn’t scary enough, I did a home sleep study that showed that I stopped breathing 699 times in about 6 hours.

I was put on a trial 30 day CPAP (Constant Positive Airway Pressure) therapy. The CPAP provider monitors my sleep and breathing activity by transmissions from my machine directly to them and the provider keeps the Pulmonologist apprised.

I had to have an in-lab sleep study done after the 30 day trial period to show that the therapy was working. My apneas were greatly reduced though my heart rate still drops enough that the pulmonologist wanted to add oxygen titration to my machine. The study showed that it wasn’t much under the satisfactory minimum so Medicare said no. Heck, I was just happy to have them pay for the machine and supplies. I had been fortunate in that I had turned 65 right before the therapy was prescribed so I had to go on Medicare in addition to Blue Cross Blue Shield. Medicare has less stringent requirements than Blue Cross. I am sure I would have qualified even for Blue Cross since my tests showed the Sleep Apnea to be severe.

 

Denial

Up until I had a hysterectomy and got happy (yes at the same time), I was tiny, bitty.

11979633-young-business-women-arguingPeople would criticize and comment and ridicule and I would try to gain weight to the point of making myself sick. Be careful what you wish for because now people are “worried” because I am overweight and I have no idea what they say behind my back.

18465933-fish-dish--fried-fish-fillet-french-fries-with-vegetablesI don’t think I gained all this weight overnight and I’m sure eating whatever I wanted had something to do with it. You see, I had developed that habit when I was thin so it was a part of me. My mother tried to tell me when I was younger that I was developing bad eating habits that would catch up with me. To be fair, I was and am a vegetable eater though not exclusively. As the weight was added, I would tell myself that a little weight wouldn’t hurt and I avoided the mirror like the plague. I was happy to be able to buy adult clothes and liked my face being a little fuller.

3487178-dos-muchachas-j-venes-intimidaci-n-otra-ni-a-al-aire-libreThen I started to worry that people wouldn’t want to be around me or like me
because I’m fat. There were actually articles as I was growing up on not hanging out with the “fat” or “ugly” chick in order to be seen as successful. Have you ever noticed that almost any magazine you pick up has an article on weight loss? While I agree that it is important to stay healthy, some people’s body types can handle a little added weight, mine isn’t one of them.

16686055-female-skier-looking-at-the-camera-after-falling-down-on-mountain-slopeNot only does the weight make me look unbalanced, it has affected my health. Being 4’11” my BMI is ridiculous and I now have to take blood pressure medicine, reflux medication even after having reflux surgery, medicine for high cholesterol… Having moved to high altitude country, I am constantly out of breath and because I have all my weight in the lower front, I fear falling over when I do outdoor activities. I can get up but I fear that someday I won’t be able to.

Family conflictWhen I recently took a trip to Texas, my mother made comments about my weight that she tried to backtrack by telling me that to her I would always be beautiful. My family have no filters so I tried to dismiss it. When I got back home, I wrote mom a letter telling her to stop worrying about my weight and making all these bold excuses and explanations. Being the child of an alcoholic, I know denial when I see it and that letter was complete and utter denial.

Weight loss surgery had been suggested by a previous doctor but I am fearful about A_Black_and_White_Cartoon_Two_Children_Walking_To_School_Royalty_Free_Clipart_Picture_100713-145833-444053something that will change my life forever. I did my research, made an appointment with my new doctor and requested that my husband accompany me. I feel like whatever decision I make is going to affect both of us and also he knows medication. Another fear I have is becoming addicted to weight loss medication.

Danny and I had already discussed a new medication that has been successful in 9319250-two-young-business-people-talking-and-discussingaiding weight loss. He was familiar with it and knew that it had been helpful in weight loss with little to no side affects. It was decided in my doctor’s appointment that we would start with this medication called Contrave and go from there. The doctor said that her patients who had tried it had experienced success in losing and keeping it off. Thoughweight loss surgery would see faster results, getting insurance companies to pay for it is tricky. Even though I have most if not all the conditions that they take into account, they will still balk at paying. So we made a plan that I would come in monthly to be weighed and check in with her so we will have documentation to present to the insurance company as well as monitoring my progress.

I would like to tell you that I have seen huge changes at least in my eating habits but I 9052883-a-shopping-cart-full-of-fresh-colorful-products-illustrationtend to be a lightweight when it comes to some medications. The drug makes me extremely drowsy so I am only taking half doses at this time. I still have to surrender to the drowsiness but it’s manageable. I am noticing a small change in my eating but some of it is knowing that I can’t just rely on medication. Fake it till you make it!

Gaining and losing WeightMy take on dieting is that unless you keep it up for the rest of your life,
it becomes the yo-yo effect. I lose inches fairly easy but as soon as I get the compliments and see the results, I’m right back to where I started. Some people eat to live and I live to eat. I do use common sense when I cook and mostly when I eat though binging is not unheard of. Yes, I will have to add exercise to my regimen. I do like walking so I just need to get started.

I am hopeful that this journey will take me to better health and increased self acceptance. It’s time.

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Secrets – When You Hold and When You Receive

There is a saying that we are as sick as our deepest secret. What happens when we keep what we see as our most shameful or hurtful secret to ourselves?

stock-photo-20604007-young-woman-looking-through-red-curtains-rear-viewSecrets have a tendency to fester and grow until they consume us. They can infect our mental, physical and spiritual health and  because we don’t reach out to someone else for comfort, guidance, healing, or even a listening ear, we feel alone. The secret most often takes on a life of its own. It can double, triple and often quadruple in our minds. Are  we really objective about our own transgressions or do we minimize or maximize?

12363983-upset-mom-with-frustrated-daughter-over-green-backgroundIf we stay in our own heads, we are not exposed to reason or forgiveness of others or ourselves. Most often, when we hold secrets concerning our emotions, circumstances, incidents or missteps, the knowledge becomes like a splinter. It may start out like a splinter of  minor thought, action or event but it festers into a pus filled volcano of emotion that can no longer be contained. That emotion can take the form of anger, confusion or sadness. Have you ever exploded at someone in unreasonable circumstances and wondered, “Where did that come from?” We have shamed, blamed and punished ourselves for so long that the pressure has built up to a point where it can no longer be contained.

19287090-dice-un-secretoAm I suggesting that you open up to everyone you know? No way! Choosing who you tell is as important as the telling. Choose someone with whom you feel totally comfortable. Sometimes a total stranger can be that person because they can be unbiased and have nothing to gain by betraying your confidence. Trust is an important ingredient in choosing someone to whom you are willing to expose your vulnerability. I ask myself if the secret is just too juicy for them not to repeat?
Family conflictThere is often a worry that we are putting someone on the spot
by asking them to keep our secrets. When you are put into the position where you feel that the secret needs to be repeated, just remind yourself  that it is not your story to tell. If our confider wanted others to know, they would have told them. By repeating the secret, we are telling them that they were right not to confide in anyone and next time they won’t and are back to square one. Also, repeating the secret to someone who may be affected will inhibit the confider’s opportunity to work through the situation on their own. Confronting or admitting deep held secrets is an opportunity to grow and/or gain confidence.

Even the word “Secret” has taken on a bad word connotation as in: not being nice to keep secrets, secret life, secret meeting or secret bank account etc. I rarely have secrets that I have not confided in someone. Some think that I should not “tell on myself” but I choose to live happy, joyous and free and to me that means purging myself of my secrets and accepting forgiveness even if that forgiveness is only my own.

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Impeach Donald Trump Campaign

I recently signed a petition to Impeach Donald Trump. I am not advocating that anyone follow in my footsteps, I am just passing along information to anyone who might be interested.

Because I signed the petition on their website, I received the following about the latest development in the campaign to Impeach Donald Trump which reads as follows:

In a unanimous vote, the City Council of Richmond, California, approved our resolution to become the first city to call on Congress to launch an impeachment investigation of President Trump.

Last night, two more communities just approved our resolution.

The citizens of Alameda, California brought our resolution before their city council, which unanimously supported it. And in Charlotte, Vermont, Town Meeting members voted for our resolution. The momentum is growing, and we are counting on people like you to jumpstart this movement at the local level.

After we announced Richmond’s win, many of you emailed us asking for ways to bring this resolution to your city and state. To get you started, we added a new page to our website with resources and materials to pass a model resolution in your community.

Here’s a quick overview of what we posted to download and share:

A PDF of Our Model Resolution
A PDF of Our Guide for Local and State Resolutions in Support of Impeachment
A one-page flyer about our campaign
You can reach out directly to resolution@impeachdonaldtrumpnow.org
New videos sharing campaign news, here
We also shared materials provided by our allies working in Alameda, California. As this campaign continues to grow, we will add new tools for you to use in your own organizing. We are frequently updating our “News & Updates” section and our “Resources” page, so be sure to check back in. Please reach out to us with your progress and any questions you may have.

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P3

Our grandson, P3, is visiting for about a month and we are so enjoying his visit. He is five and so handsome and entertaining. We have been anxious for our grandchildren to experience all that is Colorado but with school and cost etc. it wasn’t happenin’. His dad drove him up here for a ski trip and we are convenient lodging. Danny, P3 and his dad went downhill skiing for a dad and pop pop day. He looked so cute in his ski bib, jacket and one of my hats. He wanted to stay home with NeNe but there was no way we were going to let him miss a ski adventure. He told his dad and pop pop that he was not going to ski. His pop pop said, “I’m going to ski.” to which he responded, “I’m going to ski too.”

His father went on a side trip to Denver and most likely will head back to Texas from there. We are making a trip to Texas at the end of March so we will have our little man until then. He is in Montessori School so we are amazed at the words and knowledge that he spouts. But he has always been an intelligent kid, after all his dad is an Anesthesiologist and his grandfather is a brilliant Pharmacist so he obviously inherited the genes.

When we talked to him on the phone, he kept asking if we built him a snowman and, of course, we fibbed and said, “Yes.” and told him it was in the freezer. Danny and I kept reminding each other that we needed to build a snowman before P3 got here but since we had no idea how to go about it, we never did. When he got here, we told him the snowman melted so he needed to build another one. Yesterday I reminded him that he needed to build a snowman and he asked if we had done the “L” word to him about our having built him one. Danny said to me in an aside, “Why did you bring it up?” I just shrugged my shoulders because I have learned that the best way out of lie is to tell the truth. So I told P3 that we really hadn’t built him a snowman, that we were just “joking” and that I was sorry that we had lied. That answer was a “Catch 22” for him because he is always telling fibs and when he is confronted says, “I was just joking.”

He sometimes gets his emotions confused apparently because when his pop pop was teasing him about not getting a toy, he kept saying, “Pop pop you embarrassed me.” Poor Danny Darlin’ didn’t know what to make of that.” but I got it. I corrected P3 by explaining the difference between “angry” and “embarrassed”. Of course, he spent the rest of our day trip telling his pop pop that he is angry with him. DD should be used to it though, he has nine grandchildren. It doesn’t help that P3 keeps telling his dad and his pop pop that he loves me more than them. Makes me feel good though cause he is the only one that favors me over their pop pop.

I got the privilege of taking him to buy a toy, one of my favorite things to do. We spent quite some time on the Leggo aisle. I kept pointing out this one and that one and he would reject them. Finally, I showed him a Star Wars kit that he liked but he would not give me credit. He and his pop  pop put it together last night and he continued to play with it by himself at the table even after we left the room. This morning he informed me that Hans Solo is dead. On an up note, he gave me credit for picking it out with one hand and then added that he actually saw it first. Whatever…

We don’t have kid channels on satellite TV and He keeps telling us that we have to go to the toy store because we have no toys. We had so many toys before we left Texas and what their parents didn’t want, we gave away. So he’s right but the good thing is that he’s not so focused on toys and television that we don’t get to enjoy introducing him to Colorado and spending quality time.

P3 is well mannered, loving, funny, intelligent and mischievous. Works for me!

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Yuck!

I was reading one of my favorite blogs – The Speckled Bean@Wordpress where Ally Bean delighted us with her post about biting into a piece of toast expecting orange marmalade only to find it is actually apricot preserves. I can identify as most of us can. It doesn’t matter whether we actually like Apricot preserves – darn it – we were expecting orange marmalade.47256738-orange-marmalade67234074-side-view-of-sugar-free-apricot-preserves-in-a-small-glass-bowl-atop-a-wood-table
The post brought back some shuddering reminders of OMG moments so I thought I would share a few:

When I was about 10, we were visiting in a family friend’s country home. As was the s-l225custom in the south, the ladies were in the kitchen preparing the meal and visiting so I was hanging around there too. I poured myself a glass of iced tea and took a mouthful. Upon discovering that it was actually apple cider vinegar, I spit it out on the floor. My mother was not only angry but totally embarrassed. She had no sympathy for my plight. You see, in the south, county folk would buy vinegar in gallon jars for pickling. When the jar was empty, they would use it to hold beverages such as punch or tea. I can still taste it.

Upon arrival at Garner State Park in Texas, my aunt and my mother decided that the kids should drink the milk before it spoiled. Okay. So 33405931-child-with-painful-expression-after-drinking-milkfirst of all, I didn’t and don’t drink white milk but I was going to be a good sport because the weather was extremely hot. I was the first to take a big mouthful and found that it was too late, the milk had already spoiled. Yep, I spit it out but at least it was outside so I didn’t get reprimanded.

61128949-vector-logo-big-jar-mayonnaise-conserved-container-with-white-pale-mayo-with-blue-cap-and-label-glasMayonnaise. I hate mayonnaise and I don’t care what you label it – Miracle Whip, mayonnaise, salad dressing – I will not eat it. It looks nasty, smells nasty and taste nasty. When I was young, I pretended to be allergic to it. It was kinda tough to explain when someone asked what in the mayo was I allergic to. Oil? Eggs? Lemon juice? My sister also hates mayonnaise as do her two daughters. I didn’t serve it to my grandkids so PBJ it was. I don’t cook with it and only make sandwiches or potato salad for others with it when forced  It is such an issue that when deviled eggs are served at family get-togethers, my ex-wife-in-law or my daughter make mine with mustard. I recently found out that Danny’s brother-in-law feels the same way about mayo so he has begun sharing my deviled eggs.

My mother used to make a yummy rich chocolate cake with mayo as an ingredient (made it super moist). The cake was a favorite for me and my sister. Once when mom was making the cake, we took a spoonful of the batter thinking we would no more taste the mayo in the batter than in the cake. Wrong again.

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As an adult, I have had occasion to put a food in my mouth not knowing that it contained mayo. Once I taste the mayo in it, I can’t spit it out in company so I have to smile and try to get through it. I usually swallow it as fast as possible and follow it with a chaser. However, I have been known to slip out of sight and spit it into a napkin for disposal. When family and friends want to punish me, they will say something like “a spoonful of mayonnaise” just to watch me shudder. I’m shuddering just thinking about it. Brussel sprouts, spinach, liver – bring it on but never, never mayonnaise.

 

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