Posted in Blog challenge, Cee's Share Your World, Humor, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life

A Bit More About Boring Me ~~ 2014 Week 29

Hello people! I haven’t been around much lately I know. Did anyone miss me? No? Eh, well.

Let me tell you a bit about what’s been going on with me and why I haven’t been around or writing much this month. First, I hurt my right knee earlier this month. How I did it, I have no idea, but hurt it, I did and it swells up by the end of the day. I get shooting pains in it when it’s not throbbing like a bad toothache. Yeah, fun times. So when I walk too much, my ankles swell up and it just makes for a shitty time.

Then my muse, the fickle witch, left me and went on holidays and I don’t even get a postcard.

Yesterday, I was trying to take something off a shelf and accidentally knocked a can of tomatoes off the shelf and it landed on my forehead. So I ended up with a bruise and a headache to match the knee. Fun times here folks. But, the fun keeps coming!

At 2:30 am, I woke myself up because I was in a cold sweat, shaking like a leaf and couldn’t catch my breath. Well, I know that feeling! It doesn’t happen too often, but my blood sugars dropped too much. Went down to 2, which is dangerously low. I managed to take my glucose test and yeah, it was that low. So I managed to make it to the kitchen for juice and peanut butter. An hour later, I’m back to normal and go back to bed. I just feel tired, drained and cranky. Yes, I said cranky! Like an old lady!

Anyway, that’s why I haven’t been around much. After I finish this, I will disappear once again, maybe go take a nap. I sure need one.

Cee from Cee’s Photography has posted another Share Your World set of questions. I’ll answer them as best I can. Why not go pay her a visit and  join us?

 

 

Have you ever been in a submarine?  If you haven’t, would you want to?

No and no! I’m a bit claustrophobic. So I wouldn’t go in a submarine if I didn’t have to. It gives me the creeps to think I’m in an enclosed space under the water. No thanks.

keith-kimberlin-a-true-friend-is-always-there-to-listen_i-G-41-4170-Z19UF00Z

Are you a listener or talker?

I’ve always been a listener. Sometimes I think truly listening to someone is becoming a lost art. It seems people listen with half an ear, just waiting for an opening to top the story of the other person, or talk about themselves. No one seems to listen! They are too interested in only themselves. Which is a shame. There are a lot of people out there that would feel better if someone just listened to them. I like to listen to people, well people with something to say anyway. Everyone has a story. I’ve never been much of a talker, too shy for that. Unless I know you well. Then I could probably talk you to death LOL.

Do you prefer crunchy peanut butter or smooth peanut butter?   Anything with your peanut butter?

Smooth peanut butter. For me it tastes better. Sometimes if I eat peanut butter I will put a little strawberry jam with it, or honey. Yummy. I don’t eat it too often because it raises my blood sugars too much, but as a special treat, it’s the best!

Have you ever been drunk?

Oh yes. But not for years now. I remember the very first time I got drunk. I was 16, but it was a safe environment as my Dad got me drunk! We used to go to a bar that was being run by a cousin. I think it’s still standing too! Oh wow, that was a lot of years ago. It was in Carter, Wisconsin. My mom grew up there and my grandmother used to work as the cook there when I was really young. It’s been around for as long as I remember. I had just turned 16 and my parents, sister and I were up there for the weekend or something. It was about 4 hours north from home. The guy behind the bar asked my dad if I could have a drink. My dad said it was ok, I think it was a rum and coke or something like that. Then it got to be 2 drinks, then 3 drinks and so on. My dad thought it was funny. I remember after about the 6th drink, I had to go to the bathroom and to get there I had to walk around the pool table. I barely made it! My dad thought it was the funniest thing he ever saw! I also remember we went to the summer home afterwards and my dad helped me walk and then kind of poured me in bed, clothes and all! LOL

The next morning he asked me how I felt. He thought I would have one hell of a hangover, but I felt fine. I never got hangovers. I think he was a bit disappointed. Haha! Of course, there were a few more times in my life I got drunk. But I stopped drinking all together years ago, even before a became diabetic. It just wasn’t my thing. I also never got drunk enough that I lost control of what I was doing or blacked out. I hated losing control. Still do.

This is how cool I thought I looked drinking. LOL
This is how cool I thought I looked drinking. LOL

 

Posted in Blogging, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, stories, Stories of my life, writing

My Story of Dad

I posted this story last year in honor of my Dad on Father’s Day. I liked it enough that I am posting it again this year. 

Happy Father’s Day to all those who celebrate it today!

 

 

My Dad was a man of mixed impressions. He could be quick to anger and yet he loved animals of all kinds. He was soft-spoken yet when he did speak it was with authority and conviction. He was a meticulous man, very neat in his appearance and surroundings. Everything had a place and it better be in it kind of man.

He wasn’t particularly mechanical. He wasn’t the kind of man to tinker with cars. His passion was gardening. I think my dad could grow anything. I remember the time he and I had a contest with each other. Who could grow a certain kind of plant the best. We gave each other a month. I had a room upstairs and was growing plants, he had a room downstairs where he grew his. He won of course. The man just had a special touch with growing things. It was a fun contest though with lots of laughs and good times.

My Dad, Russ.
My Dad, Russ.

 

My dad died of prostate cancer years ago. He died on Father’s day weekend that year. He held on for as long as he could because he always took care of my mom. He was afraid of leaving her alone. In the three months he was in a hospice dying slowly day by day my mom never missed a day visiting him. Through all sorts of weather, my mom would be there as soon as visiting hours started till they kicked her out at night. Every day my dad would tell her things that she needed to do around the house. He would tell her what bills she needed to pay. Who to talk to about insurance when he passed. He tried to ready her for when she would be on her own.

That’s the kind of man he was. When he died, I was 1500 miles away and not on speaking terms with my mother. Unfortunately, I didn’t find out my father had passed till sometime in September of that year. It broke my heart in more ways than one.

My dad was the kind of man you could count on. He was reliable, thrifty, and smart. I don’t think he ever saw himself as smart. But he was. He was always reading something. Granted, most of those books were westerns.  His favorite author was Lois L’Amour. But he had a small library on organic gardening also. He was organic before it was ‘cool’. He was always trying new natural ways to keep pests out. He didn’t like chemicals in his garden.

My dad and I had a lot in common. Or I should say I took after my dad in many ways. I too love to read. I always feel more comfortable inside a book than socializing. That was Dad too. I’m on the quiet side, until I get to know you. My friends may be laughing about this one, but it’s true! I also unfortunately have a quick temper like my dad. I flare up, burn out and never hold grudges. Like Dad. I have my eyes and hair from my dad too. He was 100% German. I got his coloring and not my Native American mothers.

I used to love having discussions with Dad. We could talk about anything. From discussions about God or no God. Discussions on having sex before marriage (for the record, he was all for it… ha-ha). Nothing was taboo. I loved that about him. I miss that about him.

Him and I could be in the car together going someplace and not say a single word. It was okay. We didn’t have to say anything. It was a comfortable silence. Him and I communicated when we needed to and were all right with that.

I know I disappointed my Dad too many times in my life. But, I also think he knew I tried the best I could. I don’t think he was disappointed in me as a person, just some of my personal choices. Like my ex. Oh boy, my dad did NOT like my ex! He never said anything to me though. It was all in HOW the quiet in him was, his body language. It was different when he was disapproving, then when he was just his usual self. I remember when I finally decided to divorce the ex. I went home for a while with my parents. To sort my thinking out. To get away from the ex. My dad never said anything but this,

“You have to do what is right for you, even if others don’t understand.”

I never told my dad about the abuse I suffered from my ex. I never told my family much of it at all. He would have been so hurt by it and I wouldn’t do that to dad. I loved him too much. My dad was a firm believer in that a real man never hits a womanno matter what! He lived by that rule. I remember when my sister, then I, turned 13. My dad told us that we were young ladies now and that ladies didn’t get hit. After that we never so much as got a swat on the butt if we were bad. Believe me, his disappointment was enough punishment! That and his yelling. hahaha

Today is the day for Dads. If my dad was still alive, I would have called him this morning. And if I was lucky he would have talked to me on the phone, at least long enough to tell him “Happy Father’s Day!” My dad hated talking on the phone. Today would have been a good day for both of us.

I love you Dad.

 

Posted in Blog challenge, Daily Prompt, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, Stories of my life, writing

DAILY PROMPT Antique Antics

Daily Prompt: Antique Antics

What’s the oldest thing you own? (Toys, clothing, twinkies, Grecian urns: anything’s fair game.) Recount its history — from the object’s point of view.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

grandmasckbk

 

Ah, I remember the day I left my sister cookbooks and was mailed off to my new owner. Such a glorious day that was. I was new, fresh, smelled like newly printed paper. I was so excited to be whisked off to my new home. I just knew I would be put to good use.

Inside of my shiny new covers was one thousand recipes, tested and proved at the Priscilla Proving Plant. I was even a special edition! I was so proud! Class of 1928.

Now 86 years later, I’m still going strong. A lot older, yellowed with age, lots of brown spots. My binding might be weak, loose, but I still have all my pages. I have a few handwritten notes on some pages in different handwriting. I’m into my third generation of owners, all from the same family.

I started with the grandmother. She was so happy to receive me in the mail. She was a young mother then with six children, two more would be born after I arrived. She had a hard life, poor, with a stern husband. She ordered me through a catalog in the hopes of finding new dishes to please her young and growing family. Always an excellent cook had been Martha, always wanting to improve. She used the recipes in me for many years. Her youngest son Russell, would be my next owner.

Russell received me after my beloved first owner died. He too had a young family to feed. He loved his mother very much and wanted the one thing that was so special to her. Me! So there I was, in a new house sitting in a cupboard, bored, neglected. The man was so distraught over losing his mother it took him years before he would even look at me again. I stuck around, waited, patient, for his grieving to end. He enjoyed cooking and baking, so I knew if I was patient, I would be used once more.

Then one day it happened. The cupboard opened and he took me in hand! Oh my that was an exciting day for me. He wanted a bread recipe. He knew his mother used a recipe in me that was simple yet so good. He felt like baking. So I was used again and it felt wonderful!

For many years this family used the recipes inside my covers to make satisfying meals for their family. I opened up to find new cookie recipes, new casserole recipes. It was during those years that many new stains were left on my pages. New comments were written in my margins. I was happy and fulfilled my duty well.

Then the man died. He fought a great fight against cancer for years, but just grew tired. The cancer spread and took the mans life and I was once more put in a cupboard and forgotten. Or so I thought I was forgotten.

One day the cupboard door was opened once more and the widow took me out of the dark. I was packed into a box with many other mementos of the family’s life. I was being shipped away from the family! I was so scared. Where would I go? Who would cook my recipes now? It was such a sad, dark time for me. Till I arrived at the door of my new owner.

She is the youngest daughter of the man. I was still in the family, but a long ways from home. I was even in another country! Canada is where I ended up. I remember the woman taking me out of the big dark box. She lovingly opened my covers and looked at all the favorite recipes that her grandmother and father used to cook. I remember the tears that fell upon my pages, the soft caress as she saw her father’s handwriting.

She made me famous as she blogged about me. She used recipes out of me just as her father and grandmother had done. I might be old, yellowed, a bit brittle with age. I have a few new stains, like the tear drops that fell on me those few years ago. But I am in the same family, being used once again.

And truly, a cookbook cannot ask for more.

 

 

 

Posted in Blog challenge, Cee's Challenges, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life

Sharing a Bit About Me ~~ (Week 18)

After the terrible start of this week, I’m trying to get back to something more steady. My friend rara would want that I’m sure. If you would like to help me help a great friend, please read this post on rara’s story and donate if you can. Please!

So here is my answers to Cee’s questions with Share Your World. Cee asks us 4 questions every week and we answer them in an attempt to get to know fellow bloggers a bit better. Feel free to join in!

share-your-world2

 

What object do you always have with you when traveling and why?

Besides the obvious? Like meds, drivers license, stuff like that? The only thing that comes to mind is two business size cards my dad gave to me when I was about, 15 or 16. I can’t really remember, it’s been too many years ago now. I might have been younger than that, but not by much. They aren’t regular business cards though. I will try to scan them and add them to this post. They are joke cards. My dad (who passed away 10 years ago) had a great sense of humor. He would tell off-color jokes to see if he could get me to blush. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. But it gave him a laugh. I sure miss that.

My dad had a good sense of humor.
My dad had a good sense of humor.

 

Anyway, no matter where I travel I have these 2 cards in my wallet. They seem to be good luck pieces to me. A piece of my dad with me in all my travels, watching over me. I don’t travel anywhere without them. Ever.

What subject would you like to study in depth, if given the time to do so?

Creative writing, or a foreign language. Spanish or French would be nice.

Which would you prefer:  a wild, turbulent life filled with joy, sorrow, passion, and adventure–intoxicating successes and stunning setbacks; or a contented bordering on happy, secure, predictable life surrounded by friends and family without such wide swings of fortune and mood?

Give me the wild, turbulent life, please. That’s what I’ve been living with so far and man it’s been a wild ride! No regrets. Wilds highs, and lowest lows. I don’t want to just settle. I want to live life to its fullest. Feel every emotion, do things that will bring me great memories. That’s the ride in life I love. I’m not finished either, more adventures await me, more life filled with great joy, passion and love! Wouldn’t want it any other way.

What are your favorite spices?

Cumin, chili’s, garlic, thyme, really any spice. I love experimenting with spices. So I’ll try just about anything. I can be adventurous in my cooking. Don’t know what you might like till you try.

 

 

Posted in Blog challenge, Blogging, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, poetry, Uncategorized, writing

Weekly Writing Challenge: Object

Objects are evocative; they hold stories. The writing challenge this week is to begin with an object. Take something small, and concrete — a thing, a noun — and use that as a starting point.

I began thinking what I could use as an object for my challenge. I looked all over my home office, nothing came to mind. I sat and thought and thought and thought, nothing came to mind. I decided to do some other things to clear my mind of everything.  Start with a blank canvas so to speak. It usually works for me and sure enough, it did again.

I had the object I wanted to write about. It was perfect. It meant a lot to me. It held great meaning. It was a simple object, yet with so many emotions attached to it. Below is that object.

 

Dad's coffee cup (c) JLPhillips 2014
Dad’s coffee cup (c) JLPhillips 2014

 

It usually sits in a glass cupboard with other things I value. So it’s a bit dusty, a bit dirty, but means so much.

It was my Dad’s favorite coffee cup according to my mom. My dad died a little over ten years ago from prostate cancer. I loved my dad. So this coffee cup holds lots of memories and love.

Sometimes I take it out of the cupboard and just hold it in my hands and think of him. I talk to him and tell him I miss him and I wish I could see him one more time. I tell him that I would have been there as he passed to tell him I loved him if I could have.

But I wasn’t there. That makes me so sad sometimes.

My mother sent me this cup several years after Dad died. You see, the time of his death is doubly sad as I wasn’t on speaking terms with my family at the time. No one told me he had died till several months after the fact. I never got my chance to say I loved him, I never got my chance to say good-bye.

I believe he knew I loved him. My dad and I could communicate silently. We did it most of our lives. He was a quiet man, kept to himself a lot. But, I always could talk to him. He was always honest with me. I appreciated that fact.

So even though this cup never gets filled with coffee anymore, it’s filled with other things. Memories, love, forgiveness, and peace.

 

It’s just a cheap glass coffee cup

But inside, it’s not empty

as memories fill it to the brim

Memories of quiet talks when no one else was around

of flower beds and growing things

that surrounded you

of black coffee with just a touch of sugar

and a doughnut on the side

This cup isn’t empty at all

as my love fills it up to be drank by the ghosts

of the past

Long fingers on strong hands grasping

the handle with care

This may look like an old cheap glass coffee cup

but to me it’s much more

It’s you Dad, I love you

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Posted in Blogging, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life, writing

Happy Birthday to my Dad

I wasn’t going to do a post today. I’ve been a bit blue and thought the hell with it. I just wanted to have a small all day pity party for myself. But, that’s not usually me. The few times I get down, I usually don’t let myself stay there. Too dangerous to slowly slip into that black hole. Been there, I didn’t like it. Not going there again.

Most people who read my blog know a few things. One, I don’t usually post depressing stuff, especially if it’s personal. Two, I don’t post a whole lot of personal stuff to begin with. Why am I down today? I’ll tell you.

Today is my Dad’s birthday (same day as Elvis, I know). He was born in 1929, so would have been 85 today, if he lived. He died a little over 10 years ago from prostate cancer. He fought a good battle and kept it at bay for a few years, then it just spread too far too fast. He died without me being able to say good-bye, or that I loved him.

And I did love him. He wasn’t perfect. Who is? He had a fast temper and took it out on us kids growing up. He did the best he could, I think. I never held the spankings or slaps or even the occasional kick against him. It didn’t kill us kids, but it sure made us respect him and sometimes even fear him. Which isn’t always such a bad thing. We had manners and we used them. My Dad was never afraid to take us kids with when they went somewhere because we knew not to act up or make a scene. We learned to respect people and people’s things.

Other times, though he was the most loving of fathers. He had a great sense of humor and loved to tell dirty jokes when he had a beer or two. He was always trying to embarrass me with them. Didn’t usually work though. I would just laugh and then ask him questions about parts of the joke. Just to show him he didn’t embarrass me, even if sometimes he did. It was a game we played.

My Dad, Russ.
My Dad, Russ.

My dad loved to play card games. Mostly cribbage. He was an excellent cribbage player and taught me how to play. I even beat him a few times. I have 3 siblings and all of us were terrified of my dad when we were young. Mostly because he wasn’t around much, he worked nights, so when he was up we were in school. When we got home, he was all ready gone to work.

He was the disciplinarian in the family, not that my mother didn’t discipline us, my father was the ultimate threat to us though and it worked every time. If any of my siblings wanted to know something from my dad, or wanted their allowance, they would have me go ask him. They said he never said ‘no’ to me. Looking back, they must be right, because I don’t ever remember him saying ‘no’ to me. The others, yes, me never. I never thought about it till my younger brother confronted me after dad died and told me I had been dad’s favorite.

My dad was referee between my mother and me. My mom and me have a long history of not getting along. Dad would step in when mom got too out of hand with me. I always appreciated that.

After he died, I learned that Dad always bragged to people about me. You see I paint, I love to paint pictures of animals, scenery, old barns, things like that. I’m completely self-taught and used to send Dad the odd little painting. I never knew how he liked them, as he wasn’t a very demonstrative man. Then I learn he bragged to all his friends that I was an artist and would show them my small gifts. Sometimes though I wish he would have told his daughter the same things.

Dad was a quiet man who loved to read westerns or books on gardening. He loved to garden and could grow just about anything. He loved animals and I share that trait with him. I also am the only one in the family that shared his love of reading and books. I suppose I am a lot like my dad and that couldn’t make me prouder.

I miss him. I miss talking to him, I miss his jokes, I miss his mannerisms. His off-color jokes, his wicked laugh and the twinkle in his blue eyes. I miss his quietness, his debates with me on whether there was a God or not (he was an atheist, I’m just me). I miss our card games on a winter afternoon. I miss seeing him use his hands when he talked (he was German). I even miss the arguments we had a few times. No one ever won, and we both would say we were sorry. I miss asking his advice on things (as long as it wasn’t mechanical we were good).

My dad loved ice cream, rare steaks, beer and dirty jokes. He enjoyed baking and cooking and was very good at it. He also loved my mom more than anyone in the world.

And I loved my dad.

Have a wonderful birthday Daddy, where ever you are.

Your daughter.

 

Posted in Blog challenge, Blogging, Daily Prompt, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life, writing

Daily Prompt: Blogger With a Cause

Daily Prompt: Blogger With a Cause

If your day to day responsibilities were taken care of and you could throw yourself completely behind a cause, what would it be?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today’s daily prompt tied in nicely with what I wanted to write for this post today. Warning: I am going to get serious on this one.

I usually stay away from controversy on my blog. Not that I’m afraid of a little debate, I’m not. I want this blog to be about positive things. Good stories, good friends, good times.

Something happened this past weekend that made me sad and worried. It’s something that I’ve thought about on and off, but never seriously, till now. I have to admit I never thought seriously about it because it never hit home before. This past holiday weekend it did. In a major way.

This issue is becoming an epidemic in Canada, United States and elsewhere. Elder abuse.

http://www.clker.com/
http://www.clker.com/

Elder abuse is a growing issue and it looks like it is growing more and more each year. I know it is  for a fact because I’ve seen it in action. I wish I could say this was a fiction piece I was working on. It’s not. It’s real and it’s damn scary.

From what I’ve read on the internet elder abuse can happen in various forms. I saw it personally in the form of threats of violence. A son threatened physical harm to his father. Here is the story. I will just use initials for names to protect the innocent and myself.

There was a group of us that got together over the holiday to have a few drinks, talk and have a good time. We were in the backyard just enjoying the day.

The homeowner’s son showed up on his motorcycle with his girlfriend. Now this son is 40 years old, works in the oil field and makes damn good money. He came over uninvited. He also came over looking for a fight. Why? Only he knows.

Now *R (the father) is 60 and crippled up with arthritis and emphysema. He is certainly no threat to anyone. He hadn’t seen his son *J in about a month because he was working way up north on an oil rig. R was happy to see J.

Everyone there could see J was angry about something the minute he showed up. He was on his phone trying to get hold of a buddy he was angry with. It just so happened this buddy of J owed R some money. The buddy bought something months ago from R and never paid him. R just innocently asked J to ask his buddy when he could expect payment for the item.

J went off on his father spoiling for a fight. R just looked at J in surprise and told him “I just asked a question.”

That’s when things got out of control for no good reason. J looked at his father in the meanest way and told him, “I don’t give a f*** what you asked. Maybe I should just go over there and smash your face in with my fist!”

The rest of us just stood or sat in shock! Believe me J meant it, you could see it in his face. J issued a few other threats and when a few of us stood up to get between R and J, he decided he better leave. Afterward we still were shocked that R’s son threatened him in the first place and we all believed he would have done it!

Now I know for a fact R has only been good to J. He has bought him stuff and I know he has borrowed money to J lots of times. J likes to party, a lot. He comes home on his days off and it’s one big party. By the time he has to go back to work he is on the phone to R, borrowing a couple hundred for gas to get back to work. It’s crazy! R is on a fixed income because he is no longer able to work. J makes a lot of money every month, but is continuously broke.

I know J has been totally disrespectful to R for months. R talks to me about it. Now threats of physical violence. It’s scary to think what might have happened if the crowd of friends had not been there.

The more I thought about what happened the more I wish I could have helped in some way. Elder abuse doesn’t get the attention it deserves in our news. We are focused on women and child abuse. Believe me I think those issues are very important! Don’t get me wrong. I hate it when I hear stories of women, children or animals being abused. Nothing gets me angrier faster.

The world’s population is getting older. Soon the elderly will be the majority. We need to address this issue soon, before it really gets out of control!

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

I looked up a few statistics.

Violent Crimes Against Seniors on the Rise (from: http://www.carp.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Elder-Abuse-Brief-Jan-2012.pdf)
• Up 14%: Data from a sub-set of police services in
Canada show that the rate of family violence
against seniors has increased by 14% since 2004.
• 7,900 seniors were victims of violent crime alone
between 2009 and 2011 (not including financial,
emotional, psychological abuse and neglect).
• Perpetrators are Mostly Family, Friends: Of the
7,900 reported acts of violence, the perpetrators
were likely to be family, friends, or a stranger, a
trend the CARP Poll™ confirms to be true for most
cases of elder abuse.

I also found an interesting statistic page. It shows that most abusers of the elderly are repeat abusers and they are white. Take a look for yourself. I think you will be surprised. You can find it here:

http://statisticbrain.com/elderly-abuse-statistics/

This is research done by  the National Center on Elder Abuse, Bureau of Justice Statistics in the United States, dated: Research Date: 6.18.2013

I’ll post some of the statistics found, if you want to read the full report go to the link above.

  • Number of elderly abuse cases in 2010    5,961,568
  • Percent of elderly population abused in 2010    9.5%
  • Percent of white victims     66.4%
  • Percent of black victims      18.7%
  • Percent of Hispanic victims 10.4%

Aging Statistics (USA)

The older population–persons 65 years or older–numbered 39.6 million in 2009 (the latest year for which data is available). They represented 12.9% of the U.S. population, about one in every eight Americans. By 2030, there will be about 72.1 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2000. People 65+ represented 12.4% of the population in the year 2000 but are expected to grow to be 19% of the population by 2030. The information in this section of the AoA website brings together a wide variety of statistical information about this growing population

You can read more here: http://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/Aging_Statistics/index.aspx

Canada

The Canadian population is aging. In 2011, the median age in Canada was 39.9 years, meaning that half of the population was older than that and half was younger. In 1971, the median age was 26.2 years.[1]

Seniors make up the fastest-growing age group. This trend is expected to continue for the next several decades due mainly to a below replacement fertility rate (i.e. average number of children per woman), an increase in life expectancy, and the aging of the baby boom generation. In 2011, an estimated 5.0 million Canadians were 65 years of age or older, a number that is expected to double in the next 25 years to reach 10.4 million seniors by 2036. By 2051, about one in four Canadians is expected to be 65 or over.

You can read more here: http://www4.hrsdc.gc.ca/.3ndic.1t.4r@-eng.jsp?iid=33

 

We as a people need to start addressing the issue of Elder Abuse now before it gets out of control. I’ve seen it and it’s ugly people. I want to do what I can to help in any way I can. After all I am a baby boomer and will be considered a part of this group soon enough.

I’m scared.

 

 

Posted in Blog challenge, Blogging, Fiction, Friday Fictioneers, postaday, stories, Uncategorized, writing

Friday Fictioneers ~ Jan 18

Another Friday is here and so another Friday Fictioneers! It’s a fun challenge and well worth trying. It’s great practice to your writing. Give it a try! Go ahead. Click on the link and see what you can do! The people are great and helpful. No need for fear. It’s fun!

THE CHALLENGE:

Write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle and end. (No one will be ostracized for going over or under the word count.)

THE KEY:

Make every word count.

Copyright-Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Copyright-Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

 

Ethel watched her son draw with his Crayolas.  He looked just like his grandfather, a bit stern.

She picked up the ringing phone and heard the faint voice of her mother on the other end. She needed to come home. Father was dying.  The war made it hard so she hadn’t been home since her marriage. She had gas rations saved up, thank goodness.  She packed, bundled her son into the old Ford and hoped she got home in time.

She loved him. She felt the tears fill her eyes. She glanced back at her sleeping son. He looked just like his grandfather.

Posted in Blogging, Mi Vida Loca, postaday, stories, Stories of my life, writing

My Favorite Christmas Memory

When I was around ten years old I decided to write to Santa.  I was always the ‘strange’ child in the family. I have two brothers and one sister and I’m not like any of them. I either had my head stuck in a book, or was writing. At that age I was into poetry. I wasn’t any good at it, but that never stopped me from writing.

Now, I knew that my parents were this mysterious “Santa Claus”.  That was okay with me though. About the week before Christmas that year I thought I would play a game with my Dad. My Dad usually worked the night shift, because it paid more. When you are trying to feed a family of 4 kids and 2 adults you needed all the money you could get.

Anyway, I think I got the idea from watching  a tv Christmas show. Not sure on that one though. The first time I wrote to Santa I got my older sister and my younger brother involved. We each wrote something and asked our Mom how we could get it to Santa. She said Santa was magical and if we left the notes on the kitchen table with some cookies, Santa was sure to get them. So that’s what we did!

My Dad, Russ.
My Dad, Russ.

The next morning I was so excited when I woke up! I got up and flew to the kitchen, and sure enough the cookies were gone! I grabbed our note and saw Santa had actually written back! I got my sister and brother and we read the first note from Santa.

The three of us kids told Santa what we wanted for Christmas. I mean, we were kids, so of course we wanted toys! Santa (Dad) wrote back  and said  that if we did our chores like our Mom wanted us to do he would make sure we got something that we each wanted. We were  thrilled! My little brother still believed in Santa, my sister and I knew better, but we didn’t say anything to disillusion my baby brother because it was fun watching my brother get so excited.

I decided that night to write to Santa again to see if he would answer. Now, knowing it was my Dad who was doing this was for me more thrilling than if Santa wrote me. If you knew my Dad, you would understand why. My Dad was for the most part a quiet man. He also hated to write anything. His handwriting would rival a doctors in how bad it was. I never had a problem reading it though and knowing my father just never put himself out there, it was so wonderful when he actually played along with me!

So I wrote him again and thanked him for the note and asked if he liked the cookies. He wrote back that night that he loved the cookies!  He also said that I needed to stop fighting with my sister  and be good or he would give me coal for Christmas. My sister and I shared a bedroom and usually fought over stuff. Siblings, gotta love em.

I wrote Santa Dad every night that week and every night he would answer. It has always been one of my most treasured memories of Dad. I think he had as much fun as I did that year. Years later I found out that Dad  used to go to work and tell his buddies there all about the Santa notes. He got a huge kick out of it. I’m glad he did.

My Dad died in 2003 of prostate cancer. I never got to tell him goodbye, or I  love you.  My mother and I were not on speaking terms during that time, so unfortunately I didn’t know he had died till months afterward. I hope he knew how much I loved him. I miss him every day, but I enjoy my memories of him, especially this one at this time of year.

Merry Christmas Dad!

 

 

 

Posted in Blogging, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life, Uncategorized, writing

Cancer, Death, and Movember

If anyone visited either of my blogs the last few days you might have noticed this rather dashing button I have on my sidebar.

 

 

I got it when I joined “Bloggers for Movember” . What is this you might ask? Well, let me tell you about it! The wonderful blog A Clown on Fire  (or better known as Le Clown) has set up Bloggers for Movember to raise awareness and money for prostate cancer and mental illness. A very noble and great cause! If you go to this link Le Clown will tell you all about it much better then I ever could! So please, let your click lead you there!

http://clownonfire.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/movember/

Now the main reason I joined is because cancer has struck my family too many times. Also, my father died of prostate cancer about eight years ago. After fighting it for years and going into remission twice, the third time is what sealed his fate. The cancer spread throughout his body until he just had no strength left to fight. He gave a valiant effort, but it spread faster than the doctors and my dad could fight it. It made his bones so weak that they would snap at the slightest pressure. My mother tried to take care of him at home, but it got to be too much for her. But she took care of him almost till the end. He was in a hospice for 56 days.

For every one of those 56 days my mother would drive 95 miles one way to visit him. She would get there when visiting hours started and would not leave till she was kicked out after visiting hours. She told me in all those days my father only complained once to her. And that was for his room-mate! He whispered to my mother that he had heard the night nurse slap the man in the bed next to him! She slapped a dying man!! My mother (small dragon that she is!) marched over to the nurses station and demanded to talk to the head nurse. My mom told her what Dad had and said and that nurse was fired the same day! Yeah Mom and Dad!

That’s the kind of man my dad was. My mom told me all the nurses loved him, because no matter how much pain he was in he always had a smile or a joke for them. I miss him so very much!

My mother has also had her battle with cancer. Several times. She has had colon cancer twice. The second time was at the same time my Dad was diagnosed with cancer for the third time. They were both fighting it at the same time! My mom is a fighter. Both times she had beaten the big “C”. She kicked its butt! But can you imagine trying to take care of a sick husband and being sick yourself? They are strong people and their love for one another was stronger. They had been married over 50 years when my Dad died. I make sure I call my mom every August the 19th, the day of their anniversary. Mom gets a bit depressed that day, she misses him too.

My grandmother died of breast cancer. I myself beat cancer when I was in my late  20’s. I went to a doctor about a spot under my chin that would not go away, a small sore that just wouldn’t heal. He took a biopsy, sent it off, and I learned two weeks later I had cancer. It was a rare form of lung cancer. The doctor told me that with this kind of lung cancer the spots very rarely show up outside the skin. When they do it is usually so far advanced that the patient doesn’t have long to live. You know what I said?

*uck that! (excuse my language) I was too damn young to die! And I wasn’t going to!! That day I learned I had cancer and the likely outcome, I went home and cried for hours. Then I got mad. I didn’t and wouldn’t let myself think of dying. Because I wasn’t going to! I think what made it doubly hard on me was that my marriage was pretty much over with and I hadn’t talked to any of my family for literally years. I was alone. But I still never considered dying to be an option. And as you can see it wasn’t. Because here I am! Alive, kickin’, and writing. Ahhh no matter how bad things get, LIFE IS GOOD!

So please! I’m asking you nicely, almost begging. Join the Bloggers for Movember! It’s a great thing and join me and many others in celebrating life while we do what we can to kick cancer out the door!

Posted in Blogging, Humor, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life, writing

I’m Working on It

Ugh! I do have a story I am working on right now, but I don’t think it’s going to be done for a posting today. Hopefully tomorrow. I have promised myself that I would post something everyday this month! And I’m not breaking that promise!! I guess it would be cheating if I re-post something from a previous post huh? 😉

Okay, okay, something short and sweet! (like me!) haha!

My Dad died about 8 years ago. But there was always one thing that made me laugh that he used to say. We lived in Wisconsin, and it gets pretty cold there in the winter. This  particular winter it was really cold. My dad went out to do something, (I can’t remember why he was outside),  but he came in and hung his coat up. He was rubbing his hands together to warm them back up. I was sitting at the kitchen table  reading a magazine. He comes in  to get a hot cup of coffee. And he smiles this devilish smile at me and says…..(Please do NOT read further if certain words bother you 😉  )

“It’s colder than a witches tit out there!”

I of course have to put  my two cents in. “How do you know how cold a witches tit is?”

“I’m married to your mother remember!” And we both bust out laughing! Even mom used to laugh, then she’d say “Russell! You better watch it or you won’t ever know what it feels like again!”

It was a running joke with them. My mom took it in good grace. And my dad never tired of saying that every winter. I was his “straight guy” for his  jokes. My dad had a wicked sense of humor. But he never was mean-spirited.

I sure miss his laugh and his crazy jokes.

Posted in Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, Stories of my life, writing

My First Brush With Death – Conclusion

This is the conclusion of My First Brush With Death post from yesterday. You can read it here. It’s a true story. A small slice of my life. Please read on.

I went to work that day exhausted and worried about Lynn. The night before was surreal. I remember I tried not to think how close I came to dying. I went about my work, tried calling Lynn’s parents house at lunch time and got no answer. That really bothered me. Were they at the doctors? At a hospital? Or worse?

After work I went to Lynn’s parents. I was frightened. But I had to find out what happened. Everything seemed all right. They were  sitting watching tv when I walked in. The huge pile of clothes were  gone. I didn’t see Lynn. When I walked in I remember Lynn’s dad turning off the tv. He told me to sit down. I sat. Then he proceeded to tell me what happened after I left that morning.

He said he called Lynn’s doctor and told him some of the things that were happening and asked if the pills he subscribed could somehow be at fault. Maybe she was allergic? The doctor told him in no uncertain terms that the pills were NOT at fault and to get Lynn to a hospital for tests. They wanted to check if she had a tumor on the brain, or something else to explain the hallucinations and strange behavior.

He told me when he tried to get Lynn to go out to the car so he could take her to the hospital, she became distraught and agitated. She said she couldn’t leave. That the clown was in the basement and wanted her to stay there. When he tried to force her out the door she became highly upset and fought him. She told him she was going to kill  him. He called 911. I remember the deep sadness in the man’s eyes as he told me that when the police arrived she fought them. They had to call in backup and an ambulance. It took 10 men to control her. She was put in a straight jacket and taken to the state mental hospital.

I remember that I sat and cried. My heart was so heavy, my mind picturing the scene. This was not my best friend. This was not the funny, goofy, fun-loving, kind woman I knew. He offered to let me stay with them that night. But, I declined. I went back to my apartment, but it wasn’t the same. The apartment felt lonely and somehow forbidding. But, I was determined to stay. I never did sleep that night.

The next morning was a Saturday. No work. I cleaned the apartment and waited for a phone call. Lynn’s dad said he would call me when he found out more about  her condition.  When the phone finally rang I felt dread. I knew instinctively that it was not going to be good news. It wasn’t.

Instead of Lynn’s dad on the phone it was her oldest sister. She explained that they just got back from the State Mental Hospital. Lynn had been medicated and seemed to be much calmer that morning. Janet explained that because Lynn was over 21 her parents could not have Lynn committed for more than 48 hours. Lynn would have to voluntarily commit herself for a longer stay. They were trying to talk her into it. Without much luck. So they had another day to try to convince her that she needed to stay and get help.

I asked her to keep me informed and she promised she would. I never thought I would be more involved then a phone call now and then. I was never so wrong. In fact it started that night. My further involvement. In another bizarre twist I was asked to come to the hospital and talk to Lynn and her doctor. Janet called me that night. She said  the doctor called them and asked who Jackie was. They explained to them that I was Lynn’s best friend and roommate.

He told them that Lynn kept insisting she had to talk to me. That she refused to take her meds and she was becoming “disruptive”. She threatened to walk out of the hospital if she couldn’t talk to me! Janet asked if I was willing to go and talk to Lynn. I said of course! She was my best friend, how could I turn her down? That was the beginning of a twisted trail of weirdness that should have been fiction!

Have you ever been inside a State run mental hospital? You know those horror movies from long ago? It shows all these strange people talking to themselves and rocking in place? Well, that’s what I walked into with my first visit to the Mental hospital.

That visit has been imprinted on my soul. I will never forget it. Janet picked me up, and as we drove to the hospital she explained that usually only family members were allowed to visit a patient the first 48 hours. But because of Lynn’s adamant demands to see me, her doctor waived that rule in my case. She explained that we would talk with Lynn first. Then  her doctor wanted talk to me. Me? How strange I thought.

We walked through the hospital doors and via the elevator went all the up to the top floor. I was nervous. I never did like hospitals. We came up to the nurses station first. We had to check in. Then a few feet down there were 2 heavy metal doors with small windows. They had to unlock the doors to let us in. To this day I can remember how hesitant I was to walk through those doors. I wanted to turn and run and never look back! Instead I took a deep breath and followed Janet inside. I followed her inside to hell.

The first thing that hit me was the noise. There were moans and groans. Some people were walking around talking to themselves. Some were just sitting staring at nothing. One older man off to the side was yelling at a guy dressed as a nurse. He was walked out of the room. I saw a woman towards the back of the room clutching a sweater and rocking back and forth. The room was large, about 10 tables with chairs pushed haphazard around them. There were a few tall windows with wire mesh in front of  them. I suppose so  patients wouldn’t try to break the windows. But, the mesh made the room darker. The overhead fluorescent lights were not helping much.

I finally spotted Lynn sitting at one of the tables. She was staring right at me. Janet was sitting at the table saying something to her, but she was focused on me. I could not believe  my eyes. It was amazing how much she had changed in 24 hours! She was pale, her brown eyes were huge, the pupils large black pools of darkness. Her hands were clenched  on the table. Her short dark hair was ruffled and uncombed. She wore her pajamas and robe. Someone had given her slippers that looked like two cute little brown puppies. I suppose in an effort to cheer her up. Her face was a complete blank though. No emotion showed at all. That’s what bothered me the most. She watched me walk to the table with a complete absence of emotion. It was unnerving.

I sat down and smiled at her. I asked her how she was feeling. She never said a word. Just that deep empty stare. I wanted to cry, to wail, to scream! This was not Lynn!! My heart broke a little more. Finally after about 10 minutes, she turned to me and said, “I love you, but I hate you too.” Janet grabbed her hand and asked her why she would say she hated me. I just sat there numb. I didn’t know what to say. She didn’t say anything more after that. She just stared straight ahead. Finally Janet and I got up and left. Just as I was turning to leave Lynn looked at me, and she said very quietly. “I’m sorry.”

Janet and I met the doctor outside that room. He introduced himself to me and we followed him to his office down the hall. He told me that the reason he asked to meet me was because Lynn kept talking about me. She kept telling him that “Jackie would be upset, I can’t upset Jackie.” So he of course wanted to know my relationship to Lynn. I explained to him that we were best friends. We shared an apartment, we worked together, we did almost everything together like best friends do.

He explained to us the for whatever reason, Lynn’s mind just snapped. They had run many tests and there was no tumor, no bleeding in the brain. They could see nothing wrong. So his explanation was, sometimes a person’s brain just snaps, it breaks. I asked him if she was going to get better. He said with the right medication, the right treatment, yes he had every reason to believe she would get better. Today, I look back at that conversation and I think that doctor was full of BS. Because Lynn never got better. She was never “Lynn” again.

The following six months or so are a bit of a blur. I had to give up the apartment and go back to living with my parents. I couldn’t afford the apartment on my own. Lynn’s parents had to go to court to declare Lynn incompetent so they could get her the treatment she needed. Some days Lynn wanted to see me and she was almost like her old self. We were able  to talk. Some days were rougher, because she would tell me she hated me and refused to talk. Her doctor suggested I keep coming to visit because Lynn seemed actually calmer after I did. I lost about 40 pounds in those six months, even my mother became concerned about me. I wanted to stop seeing Lynn, but felt so guilty, I couldn’t stop.

One Sunday afternoon, my sister called. She said that I needed to come over right away. Apparently Lynn escaped the hospital and made it all the way across Milwaukee to my sister’s house. She demanded to see me. My sister was upset and didn’t know who else to call. Lynn was not being threatening. She told my sister that she didn’t know where I lived and she needed to talk to me. My  mom and I went to my sisters.

I had tried calling Janet before I left but there was no answer. I didn’t want to call the hospital or  police just yet. My sister wasn’t  scared, she was just upset a little. So I made the decision to talk to Lynn and see if I could convince her to go back to the hospital. When we got there Lynn was calmly sitting at the kitchen table.  I sat next to her and asked her why she left the hospital. She said she had to talk to me. Okay I stated, what do you need to talk about? She said she had forgotten. She looked tired and confused. I knew it must have taken her hours to get to my sister’s house. She walked the whole way! She  didn’t have any money of course, so she just walked!

It was amazing and a little frightening. She was one determined woman! I had finally gotten hold of Janet and she came and picked Lynn up and took her back to the hospital. The next day I received a message at work from Lynn’s doctor. He wanted me to call him at my earliest possible time. On my lunch hour I called him. When he finally came on the phone he explained that he didn’t think it was a good idea for me to see Lynn any longer. He explained that after Lynn got back to the hospital she became very upset.  So upset that they had to medicate her and tie her to her bed so she wouldn’t escape again.

It seems they caught her trying to escape again late that night. When he talked to her and asked her where she wanted to go, she stated to him that she needed to see me. That the clown was back, and that he told her I was going to hurt her and that she needed to kill me. In Lynn’s mind I was the reason she was locked up. I was the reason she couldn’t do what she wanted. I was the reason the clown was yelling at her again. She had to get rid of me. The doctor feared for my life. He thought it would be best if I didn’t see Lynn again. That somehow she had made me into the one and only reason she was locked away.

I was devastated. Shocked and scared. I agreed to stay away. Privately I prayed she never escaped again. She did. Just two weeks later I received another frantic phone call from my sister. She said Lynn was  there again. And this time she was scared. She said she wouldn’t let Lynn in the house. She had a baby to think of. She and her baby son were the only ones home. I called Janet again. According to Janet the hospital knew Lynn was gone this time. How she escaped no one knew. Janet would go and pick her up, and take her back, again.

According to Janet, Lynn was supposed to have been getting better.  The doctor told her family that he changed some of her meds and she seemed to responding well. She was more lucid. She was beginning to understand she was sick and needed her meds. And she would not talk about me anymore. She never mentioned me again. Ever. So the hospital let their guard down. And she escaped. She headed straight for  me, through the only way she knew how. My sister.

That led to another 3 months of lock down for Lynn. As far as I know she didn’t escape again. In that time my sister and her small family moved to upper Wisconsin to be  closer to her husbands elderly parents. My younger brother moved to Texas and asked me to  move there also. So I did. It was years before I heard from Lynn again. My older brother saw her one day at a flea market. Said she was with some man. He also said in his tactful way, that she still looked crazy as hell.

The next time I heard from Lynn herself was years later. Me and my then husband moved from Texas to Wisconsin. We lived there for about a year and half. (A whole other story here) One day the phone rang and it was  Lynn! I was floored! She said it took her a long time to find me. That she finally found  my phone number. That she had been married to a drug addict for a while. She wasn’t with him any more. Her parents had died. And she kept looking for me when she got out of the hospital but couldn’t find me. She never would tell me how she found me, or how she got my phone number. I later found out my good ol’ big brother thought it would be funny to give her my phone number when he saw her in Milwaukee at a farmer’s market. I always did dislike my older brother.

She wanted to know exactly where I lived. She said she would take a bus from Milwaukee and come visit me. I hemmed and hawed, but never did tell her where I was. Thank god she never called again, that I know of. And she never came to visit! That was the last time I heard from or of her. I still remember the girl I was best friends with so many years ago. I don’t like to think of what she became. I always wished her well. I will always wonder what became of her. I always loved my friend Lynn.

But I will always be grateful I survived her.