July 15, 2010


True Ghost Stories and Paranormal Articles

True Ghost Tales

Most people know of at least one ghost story that has been told as being true ... of ghost stories and for those of you who like to interact with others who are ... Ghosts have been known to move things around, or even to hide objects. ...


I reference this site since I have experienced weird stuff.  My experiences are  mostly physical, feeling and hearing.  I don't often see things.  I call these experiences  'resonances' but I am not sure whether this is the correct term.  I am only a novice in this field after all. 

The only two times I can remember 'seeing' ghosts were when the family ghost (doesn't every family have one? Just saying....) reached down for me as I reached the top of the stairs at my house. I was five at the time. He seemed sad but kind.  The really interesting part of this tale is that when I reported this to my family they said that many of the family who had lived in the house had met ghosts in it.  My father said he'd met a woman who appeared upstairs in the back bedroom I shared with my sister and that my great grandmother had also met this ghost.

I  felt things in this house -- fear of the bathroom and the hallway leading to it which had an opening to the back stairs.  I also heard steps coming up the backstairs and through the common room  each night.  I learned to read early and often to try to stay occupied while this was happening.  I'd even put a chair under the doorknob at night.  My folks soon put a stop to that.   My poor sister had to put up with me asking her to tie herself to me with shoelaces so that when the monsters under the bed tried to take me, he/she/it would also get her.  My theory was that we would be together.  Bless her heart, she only put up with this a couple of days. 

At 12,  I had several memorable experiences in the kitchen with a poltergeist bouncing  pots full of boiling water off of the stove and onto the floor while the family was in the kitchen preparing dinner.  Thankfully none of us  were burned though we all saw it happen.

When I was at university,  my dad always knew when I was coming home from university because his bed would jump up and down. My dad weighed over 200 pounds at that point adding more heft to the usual weight of the bed, mattress, headboard and covers.

At 17, my sister went to college and I was left alone.  I started hearing breathing from her empty bed which came to a crest at 2 am on Easter Monday.  That night  started with breathing in my sister's bed, only much louder and gruffer than usual,  then the usual footsteps up the back stairs started and continued through the common area to the front of the bedroom I shared with my sister. By the way, my parents slept downstairs so I was all alone upstairs. Two women appeared at the end of the bed when the footsteps stopped.  They said, "let us help" and there I was, frozen in fear. Literally.  I rallied and sat up, waved my arm towards the door and tried to tell them to get away because I thought they wanted to force me to kill myself.  A fearful thought.  Then the breathing in the bed next to me started to get louder and louder at which point I ran through the two figures at the end of my bed and went downstairs to my parents' bedroom. They were already awake because of the noises upstairs and came immediately to my aid. My dad went up the backstairs with his service revolver and my mom and I went up the front stairs to corner whatever was making the noise. Nothing was there but the sounds. I stayed the rest of the night in my parents' bedroom listening to more footsteps throughout the night.

Later we learned that there had been a double suicide in the 1890's in the house of two women who were cheated out of the house by what they called a 'tombstone skinning lawyer.'  A volunteer at an local art gallery where my mom also volunteered told her about these ladies and about the attorney and brought her to the deed/will where the words appear.  I need to verify that the attorney was working in the town at that point and that he had access to the womens' legacy and took over the house when they died. But whatever these forces were, they lessened when my folks updated the kitchen (the oldest part of the house) and later updated the upstairs area. The upstairs bathroom still gives me the creeps, though, so whatever was there continues to this day.

Two other episodes happened in January 2000. My mother died and I knew it and woke up before the phone call. Later in the month, when I took my girls to my mom's memorial service at the church we attended, my youngest was skipping down the aisle on the way from the service and had her feet hauled out from under her, causing her to land flat on her back in the passageway. The family was all around her and several of them commented that this was the doing of my grandmother who was interred at the church in the columbarium. I tend to believe that.

Later on in 2002, I was checking my girls' rooms in the late night when I made a wrong turn and fell down the stairs in the dark. I karoomed into the wall on the far side of the stair rail and 'felt' a hand support me as I bumped down to the front hall. I only cracked a bone in my wrist. Hurt like the dickens but then again, I was alive for it to hurt. So I take the good with the bad.   I always knew  the house had angry resonances of other people who had lived on the land there.   But this energy was different from the background resonance I usually felt.  It was a gentle energy and not an angry force.

After my mom-in-law died in 2008, she was unhappy with me and hauled me off my feet in my new rental where I lived.  I know it was her because I had just returned exhausted from sitting shiva in Baltimore.  As I had 'cleared' the rental  of any prior  resonances,  I know it wasn't anyone else.  I took my bruised ribs and back to the doctors who appreciated the damage but were unsure of why I fell. Their hypothesis was that I was exhausted by her death and the stresses of sitting shiva with some of the most hostile people I'd ever met who came to sit with us in Baltimore.   All Very True. But still ....

So how do we protect ourselves from angry or sad  resonances???  I know, for me, that I absolutely have to recognize when I am picking up anger from those around me and learn various ways to shed the anger through meditation and writing about it.

 I pick up lots of feelings from others -- don't we all?  And often I act angry  not realizing that the anger is not mine but someone else's.  My advice?  Stay focused when you drive because drivers' express their anger in how they drive and anger is a powerful force.  Also realize that the corporate telephone systems we use when calling to ask for help -- the dreaded phone system of pressing 1, 2, 3 or 4 to access a human -- are tailor made to make callers furious.  Please recognize that and put the anger aside if at all possible.  Just don't carry the anger of others around with you.  Anger weighs more than than you think it does.

June 17, 2010

The Tale of the Mouse

As everyone who reads this blog knows, I rescue animals.  Ok, ok, perhaps not cockroaches when they march inside my place but very close to everything else.  I accept no excuses for not rescuing animals...not even when it comes to excusing my reckless endangering of backyard wildlife.

So today a lesson learned and my humble apologies to scaring a field mouse almost to bits.  I left the door open when the cats & I went out  to play and a mouse came in uninvited. When I back in with the cats, they had a marvelous time trying to find the mouse but he stayed away until this evening.   And tonight it was a one sided battle with the cats winning paws down.  My big cat Rory (seen above) caught the mouse and paraded in front of me with his jaws full of mouse.  The mouse got lucky because I threw a blanket over both of them and got the mouse (that I thought was dead) away from the cat.

I even got the mouse back into the wild (well, the front yard actually) after I found him trying to get out of the kitchen trash can where I had stashed him away from the cat.  He seems unhurt and hopefully will find his way to the backyard from the azalea bush.

All safe for now in this corner of the world.


Rachel Maddow's faux Oval Office statement tonight -- pure genius. 

April 25, 2010

faith and cats

Kindergarten never taught me anything.  What I have learned about life -- really learned -- has come from working with animals.  Newfoundland dogs first and now cats -- lots of cats.  I herded cats for 2 years at the FOHA facility, rescued dogs from kill shelters for Truck-N-Paws  for 2 years and now live -- as the servant to 3 cats.  Like I said, Kindergarten taught me nothing -- but cats and dogs have taught me everything.  From letting go to persistence in going after a goal to the zen concept of holding with an open hand.  The basics to the degree program of life.

My latest goal -- integrating, socializing and regifting with faith -- is my first cat.  She is still very shy and creeps about when she is unsure but today she got into the backyard on her own.  No harness, no leash, no collar.  Really scary for me because I wasn't sure if she knew where her safe place was.  I have trained my other two cats to know that inside the house is safe and outside is not.  And they have faith in me on that -- at least my SUV big cat does.  My mid-size cat knows but doesn't want to admit it.  And my small smartcar size cat is beginning to understand that she can trust the inside as well.

For me today the lesson of life is trust.  Trust in knowing the cats well enough to let them experiment being outside together.

April 23, 2010

Karma is a funny thing

I got to do my favorite thing today...find information in courthouses.  Perhaps I like courthouses because my dad had an office in one when I was growing up so the smell of linoleum and concrete is familiar.  Or maybe it is the smell of legal papers.  It was just nice to be back in a courthouse today.  And it was a beautiful spring day.  Lilacs were starting to bloom and people were just outside reading briefs or eating lunch. 

Yesterday we had a change of luck and people actually reached out to help us set up the office properly after 6 weeks of feeling like we were invisible.  So today it was my time to get helped personally at the first courthouse I got to.  As readers of this blog know, I get lost easily.  I looked lost when I was walking over to the courthouse and two women went out of their way to find out where I was going and make sure I got there.  Sweet people.  Then later I was able to return the favor with a different woman at a different courthouse who was lost and needed help.  An all around feel good kind of day.  

Is it karma that works or is it just a beautiful spring day that brings out the best in people?  I suspect karma is in the eye of the beholder.  I am just grateful for it today.  My karma box was getting kind of empty after the last 6 weeks. 

So when kindness happens to you, pass it on.

Very Cool

Just discovered a service that can turn this blog into a book.  Yay!!!  And it is offered by google!!!!


Actually, I do recall the last time when people came together as individuals (and strangers to one another) and helped.  It was 9/11 and I was driving home after the Pentagon attack in D.C.  I turned onto the wrong road and had to backtrack to get out of the city.  I had gotten lost on the access point to the Teddy Roosevelt Bridge which is usually relentlessly difficult to navigate.  So normally this is a suicidal tactic.  Streets come so fast and drivers come so quick that accidents happen fast because no one driver has the patience and kindness to look beyond themselves while they are on the road.  But that day was a light in time that continues to shine in to the present.  Other drivers stopped and let me get turned around.  So here is a shoutout to those that helped.  I know that now I give other drivers plenty of room to get in, get around and try not to get upset when I get cut off.  I have a bumper sticker that keeps me from getting upset at people who are honking at others...this really used to tick me off.  My sticker says "Honk If You Don't Exist."

It helps me take a moment before getting upset to wonder whether they are honking in a friendly, geewhiz I get like the bumper sticker or whether they are honking because they are idiots.

Just food for thought

Hmmm, why is it easier...

Actually this experience with the office move has been food for thought.  Why is it easier for people acting in groups to become callous and cold towards those they are (supposedly) helping?  Why does belonging to an institution make people act afraid of acting with kindness towards others?

I used to see this behavior in cats at the Shelter.  New rescues would come in and after the obligatory period in isolation would go into the main cattery area.  Resident cats are an iffy lot when it comes to meeting new cats.  Standoffish doesn't begin to describe it.

All I know is that I am eternally grateful to the people who eventually reached out to help fix the problems caused by the incompetence of others.

Thank you for restoring my faith in the best of individuals reaching to help.

A Shirley Temple View of Life--The Little Princess

Oh, if I could just have the sense of faith that Shirley Temple has in this movie.  The entire experience of managing an office move, fighting with the phone/computer companies and finding out that an honest broker is not to be found in today's world has shaken me.  I believe the best of experience was meeting people who could and did step out of their institutional roles to help.  People who rise up and help make things better are more heroic than is given credit.  Perhaps because of the last two days when they stepped up to step in have been a lesson for me in the value of persistence and belief in myself.  And perhaps a better belief in the heroism of peopl when they act individually instead of collectively.

April 14, 2010

Daniel Jonah Goldhagen | Worse Than War

Daniel Jonah Goldhagen | Worse Than War

My god, this is the most powerful view of genocide I have ever watched. And believe me, I have watched plenty of programs on holocausts. But Goldhagen is different. He is the first one to link all genocides together. From Pol Pot, Hitler, Tutsie, Armenian, Bosnia and others, he weaves a compelling case for genocide being an integral part of the human experience. He then goes further an explores ways to stop them since the countries of the world consider status quo more important than intervention in the internal affairs of a country--even when massive numbers of humans are being exterminated. He has done the research, he has talked with mass murderers to hear their side, he is the more thorough historian and activist I have seen so far. May he inspire many more!

March 31, 2010

Campus visits

We're off to see the campuses of 3 universities this week. Eeeeeek!  From checking to make sure the cats will be ok while we are gone -- thank you, Ana!!  to getting the car filled up and the windows washed for the long drive to printing up campus maps, direction maps and creating folders, it is a campaign worthy of Napoleon's assault on Mother Russia.  So eeeeeeek!!!

Happy Passover everyone and Happy Easter to everyone else.

March 3, 2010

February 27, 2010

Job Searh Websites - Apply for Multiple Jobs Automatically - Finding a Job - Fanpop

Job Searh Websites - Apply for Multiple Jobs Automatically - Finding a Job - Fanpop

Ok, just turned this up on an encore.com job help website. Apparently, it applies to multiple job listings all at the same time. Has anyone tried this yet?

Another Shock from Fox

As if Fox is not the most shocking thing about this morning, Bill Bennett was on as a 'commentator'? I like Bill Bennett. He has not been on my radar since the Reagan presidency but he is so right about the stupidity of both political parties. I am an independent these days because of the failures of representatives who are supposedly representing me. I will watch Bennett more often

Surprised by Wakefulness

Woke up at 3 am this morning and tuned into Fox Channel. First surprise. Next surprise was the 8.8 quake in Chile. What is it with quakes this year? Is it caused by the lightening of the snowpacks at the poles changing the weight on the crust of the sea bottoms? I think so but no one has confirmed that so far. USGS where are you? It is entirely predictable that this would happen. Look at the lake bottom of Lake Erie for an example.

Health Care Summit

Not a snooze. Not a fun thing to watch but good politics.

February 21, 2010

Style of Writing

Poetry, haiku, fiction, non-fiction and all the sub-genres of those styles.  Read everything you can.  Haunt your local library, bookstores, grocery shelves and drugstore books. The more you read, the more you will know what you like.  Start writing.  If line paper is too much to write on or blank screens too intimidating, then writing on the backs of envelopes, on drawing paper, on those pesky notepads we keep lists on for shopping.  Writing is just another way of organizing lists.  Writing connects your hands with two important pieces...your guts and your head.

Yours in Style

Then Again and Until Then

Then again, checking the web is one of the best ways to find out if other people are interested in what you are thinking.  Google is an amazing research aide.  And your mind and common sense are your best friends in the search for your next best job.  Take photos of pictures you like, take photos of snails, snow, ice formations, cats, dogs, birds and store them on your computer as a slide show.  That way the computer remembers them and will flash them up on the screen whenever you are ... waiting ... for the next thing to do.

Until then

February 15, 2010

finding jobs at the local level

Looking for a job is tough in the best of times. Now is impossible. Keep looking through all the lists though. You may find postings that didn't interest you before but which are still looking for jobs. Maybe redefine goals, game change, resume change needs doing. Gah! Keep spirits up though.

February 12, 2010


Passive voice plagues me in real life too.  I talk using active verbs but in every other aspect of my life -- from finding jobs or making critical decisions about money -- I go absolutely passive.  That's not a solution.  It is a mess.  Does anyone else have that problem?  Perhaps we all need a 12 step support group to haul ourselves out of the habit of going limp.....

Comments anyone?

Just asking and putting passive voice issues out there

I have a real problem with passive voice writing.  Ghost writing (perhaps with real ghosts) would be easier.  Passive voice (for those who want to know) is using non-active verbs.  If there is anyone out there who can help me, just write in the comment section.  I struggle with this every time I write.  Maybe other people do too but I don't know them (or you) and would like an idea of how you fixed the problem.  One of the best books I have read about a writer with writers' block (and including ghosts) is "Golems of Gotham" by Thane Rosenbaum.  Terrific, funny, dark book with perhaps (in my own opinion) a need for editing out some of the thumping on a theme to make sure we 'get' what the author means.  But I let it slide since Rosenbaum is a lawyer and humanist and his training is making sure his audience understands what he is saying (even if he is repeating himself).  But other than that it is a terrific book.  Really wonderful.

At least he avoids my passive voice issue and for that alone is worth reading.

Until then, peace

February 11, 2010

Not my cat but found online. Priceless

Gotta love that face

Scanning-word of the day

Scanning...what is it exactly? Here is a link to the dictionary definition
www.merriam-webster.com/netdict/scan But scanning for me is all inclusive...from scanning a page while reading directions (and missing something critical) to setting up a printer and wondering why it won't work when I have forgotten to plug it into the computer. Seeing the surface of things is really good if I am hunting for a bird but actual living with technology is a little tougher... Printers don't tend to hop from branch to brand and instructions for running machines don't scurry off into bushes. Sigh. I wish they did...

Wait, then again, maybe not.  Hopping Printers would be much worse than cave crickets.  See what I mean

And they HOP.  At least they are small even though they are icky to see when they hop.  Imaging Hopping Printers now.....Yikes!!

February 10, 2010

Snow storms and Serenity

Snow-Maggedon, no....Winter cyclone is a better description.    We have 3 feet on the ground now and tonight we should be getting another 20 inches of the white stuff.  Plus we are getting winds with the current storm.  Oh ouch.  I love snow -- just not this much.  Here is a snapshot of my last few days:  Clean off my car, Dig out my space, help neighbors dig through the ice berg the snow plow left that blocked all of our cars and go to bed and then wake up to do it all over again the next day.  Good exercise but wow.

Hang in there all you snow shovellers and meanwhile read up on these winter cyclones from The Weather Channel.  I promise you they are pretty interesting.

Hunting winter storms: NOAA dispatches aircraft used for ... - RestoreJan 19, 2010 ... Listen live to Atlanta's breaking news, severe weather, ... to help forecast winter cyclones - Kirk Mellish's Weather Commentary .... Join Channel 2 Action News anchors John Pruitt and Monica Pearson at 5, 6, and 11pm. ...

wsbradio.com/...weather.../hunting-winter-storms-noaa-dis.html - Cached -

Cheap Thrills Not Available this Week for Teens

This week was a stretch for all of us.  I think is was worse for drivers since there were no roads cleared enough to drive on.

February 9, 2010

What I learned today

This is a link to a serious problem for the Sioux Tribe.  The harsh weather crashed their electricity weeks ago but no one fixed it yet.  No news paid attention until I heard Keith Oberman discuss it in tonight's Countdown.  Go to the link above and check this out.  Help

Online Skills Tests are a Hoot

You know your job search is going off the rails when the job discovery online test you says your best job match is 'coroner.'  See http://www.careerpath.com/career-tests/jobdiscovery.aspx to find out what you are best suited for.  I know I like quiet places but generally I like warm quiet places with cats.  Egads, not cold quiet places intermittently filled with the noise of knives slicing into corpses.  Not my idea of a good match.  Yet that is what the test said after I entered what I have studied and my general skill set.  Brrr.  Maybe change my skills?

January 28, 2010

Getting a Flashlight

One of my cats is addicted to flashlight flicker games. She stalks the spot of light wherever it goes and tries to catch it -- but never does. This never seems to frustrate her, though. I don't believe it is because she is just a cat. I believe it is because she is wiser than humans and knows that something as ineffable as light (hope, faith, belief) can never be caught. It can just be accepted. That is something we humans haven't caught onto yet. We keep chasing those fireflies of ambition...
Until we stop, may we know peace


We all walk tightropes -- invisible ones. With faith, we can see the glimmering outlines of what holds us up.

Sad though

Looking at pictures of the World Trade Center back in the early 1970s...how little we knew. How beautiful it is that we have this documentary to remind us to seize each day, each moment, each tightrope.

Man on a Wire -- SunDance Channel

Man on Wire (2008)
Directed by James Marsh. With Philippe Petit, Jean Fran?ois Heckel, Jean-Louis Blondeau. A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, ...
This is a truly haunting and joyful documentary of the tightrope dancer who walked between the Twin Towers. Exquisite. Amazing cinematography. Plot Summary - Soundtrack listing - User comments - Awards
www.imdb.com/title/tt1155592/ - 11 hours ago - Cached - Similar -

January 22, 2010

Oh, the humanity

MPS (myofascial pain syndrome) and fibromyalgia suck.  The exhaustion and low grade pain rises before and during bad weather.  Ask me anything but don't expect me to be able to do it at times like those.  It is like watching a silent movie in my mind when the film breaks.  I look on line but all I find are articles about dementia when I search blankness.   When I search pain, I find cognitive impairment that is a subset of mps and fibro.  No doubt about it, MPS and fibro suck big time.

Soul Light or Why the Supremes Should Not Engage in Politics

It seems that decisions today are made by those heavy with money but light on souls.  How else to interpret the recent Supreme Court decision?  Corporations are not real people.  But, yes, Virginia, money talks.  Supreme Court, Corporations, Congress, Wall Street, Banks, Health Insurance and Credit Card Companies all know that.  So when the Supreme Court makes a decision that overthrows the Constitution and common sense what is the average citizen to do?  I wish I knew.

Until term limits are placed upon Supreme Court justices we will be stuck with bad law and judges who are not neutral.

Rupturing Democracy Using Pilpulism

I am a disaffected Kennedy democrat.  I am not pleased with the direction the democrats have taken in becoming more and more like the republicans.  It is tough to tell the difference between either party.  And as for the politicians?  Really disgraceful. All the senators and congressmen do is debate, filibuster and stall making decisions.  You cannot run a country by placating those who don't agree.  It is a rupture of the public faith.

Life after Corporations Can Make Direct Political Donations

We live in interesting times.  Way too interesting.


I like the idea of having hearings on the Supreme Court decision to allow corporations to directly donate to political campaigns.  This has to be the worst decision ever.  I want to know whether the Court was influenced in its decision.    Follow the Money needs to be done now more than ever.

Tax Political Donations...Now

This ruling is going to radicalize the electorate if no one listens to us.  I liked one person's CSpan idea in taxing donations over $100.00 to cut the national debt.  That is actually a good idea. 


The word of the day is disenfranchised.  A second word of the day is disaffected.  A third word of the day is betrayal.  And the final word of the day is ennui.  I will start the discussion with the final.  Ennui is a generalized feeling of disconnectness resulting death like boredom.  Disenfranchised is the taking away of a citizen's rights.  Disaffected is a turning away from life.  Betrayal (such as the ruling of the Supreme Court in the Citizens Union case) is why voters in this country have given up.  The ruling only makes the individual's loss of power official.  We didn't have it before.  We now no longer have it at all. 

January 21, 2010

What Next

So what is next with the new senator from Massachusetts tipping the balance of the chicken little democrats in the Senate. Clearly not much. The leaders of that forum are backing and filling as fast as they can. What they don't realize it to let the process unfold. Let the debates come. The repubs don't have enough to veto -- only enough to continue in their current work as the party of no. Let them actually step up on the floor to filibuster and the voters will see that the repubs are a toothless party filled with fringe types. And the voters will be able to identify the fringe types and vote them out of office at the next election. Just let the process of debate weed the nopes out of office.

January 20, 2010

This is an opportunity that is ours to lose

Rebuilding Haiti could be a small scale project to show us how to rebuilt our own country.  I think it is important to look carefully at this.   Frankly while I am truly pleased with the way the administration has responded to Haiti it makes me sad that for whatever reason help for main street (and for those of us 55 and older who were displaced by the firms we counted on to retire from) has been slow to arrive.  Sigh.  But perhaps Haiti will re-ignite the way ...

An even cheaper idea for the modest proposal

An even cheaper idea for Haiti would be to fund container architectural designers to use the containers that are sure to pile up in Haiti with all the supplies being sent into the country to help.  If an architect could design the interior to hook it to the electricity, sewage and water then these units could be created cheaply and brought into the country with supplies inside and with local workers in Haiti being taught how to install the final changes in the design to hook them into the system. 

Meanwhile, many manufacturers would be able to open or reopen their plants.  Tax on those organizations could be waived so that jobs could be brought back from overseas and then tax on the profits that investors could be waived as well which would also help the charitable investor market as well.

Modest Proposal

A modest proposal concerning the death toll and infrastructure rebuilding needed in Haiti would be to create a jobs program for all the construction people who are out of work on the mainland.  Why not deputize them and pay for a jobs program to bring them down to Haiti to rebuild roads and other infrastructure like plumbing and water and electricity for the area.  Then hire architects to design buildings like those in Europe that are created in factories and then shipped to the site for hooking up to the water, sewage and electricity systems.  This would do several things.  I believe it would employ a lot of unemployed people.  It would create investment opportunities with good will included.  It would be able to develop further than the European model by creating "doc in a box" rooms that would contain beds, operating rooms, mortuary acjuncts and rooms for giving shots and doing emergency work.  This would go far in the field of medicine by stockpiling rooms like this ready to deploy as needed in disaster situations.

Sure Things

Senator Kennedy's seat in the Senate was the democrats sure thing.  As with all sure things, there axiom is that there are no sure things ever.  The last 'sure thing' was that throwing money at the biggest organizations that caused the financial meltdown.  Wall Street was supposed to settle their finances and free up credit to joe consumer.  So, how did that work for you?  It didn't work for me.  The credit card companies immediately jacked up my interest rate, dropped my credit limit and ruined my credit score.

Nice work for a 'sure thing'

January 18, 2010


Ok.  Doc and I believe that cushioning the palm might help with the pain and swelling.  It could be a ganglion.  (doctor's thought)  Or it could be a trigger point which is one of the main characteristics of myofascial pain syndrome.  (my thought)   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigger_point  Trigger points develop wherever there is stress in the body.

Oh, joy.  Given the years of typing, the years of driving long miles, the past two years of writing y hand binstead of using a computer, it is no wonder my hands have been stressed.  So I will learn to cushion my hands and treat them as gently as I can.  And more,  I need to develop new ways of typing so that I can log into websites easier and being as careful as possible when I draft documents to make sure I don't make mistakes.  Thank goodness for the portable hand heaters.  Those are the best thing I have found so far for the pain.

To repeat the title, Arrrggh

In good hands, freedom and myofascial pain

The phrase 'you're in good hands' resonate with me.  I go today to my doctor.  I have been having trouble typing  passwords over the past year.  If I can see, then I can make changes.  But if I can't see them, I am unaware that I erred.  As a typist and as a websurfer, this is a career changer for me.  And it is unexpected.  So I go to the doctor today to ask them why the flesh at the bottom of my ring finger is spasming and why my hands are so very weak.  I will tell them that the reason I am coming is because I felt a lump at the bottom of each ring finger.  When I rubbed the lump, I felt that bone beneath the skin was loose and incredibly painful.

Since I have to drive to get to my job, I had a hunch that might be the problem so I logged onto google.  The most useful link is http://www.rsiclinics.co.uk/ and www.myofascialreleaseclinic.com/rsi.htm.  The clinic is in the United Kingdom and describes exactly what I am experiencing currently.  Sadly the cure scares me.  It involves release massage therapy that concentrates on the trigger point where the pain originates.  That trigger point for my hands is on my back and the referred pain is what is causing the ring finger and middle finger to feel like they are wrapped together.   I have heard how painful the treatment itself is and that keeps me away from treatment.  So my balance today rests upon pain or freedom.  It is something to think about Martin Luther King Day.  Freedom....or....Pain

Until then, peace

Phrases that Caught Me Today

From 'kneehigh to a duck' to a spoonerism I can't remember right now that involved the word 'thursday' it is a good day for cool phrases.  Now if I can only remember them.

January 17, 2010


Seeing that family move yesterday amidst all the foreclosure signs here is unnerving.  I see plenty of people in fancy cars at Walmart these days.  I see even more people in fancy cars going to but at the cut rate food and clothing places.  Spare change lost on the pavement?  Forget it about it.

Making miracles happen

Making miracles happen ... Haiti is just the tip of the iceberg.  Organizations move into Haiti to bring in food but finding the place to store it, how to get it into the country, making the credit card companies not charge a fee so that all the monies donated actually go to the organizations they were supposed to go, getting a place to land the supplies and then the security on the ground are big issues that slow the process down.  But what I want to write about is creating personal miracles for yourself.  That's is just as difficult and logistic as the rescue of Haiti. And less well publicized.  Oh sure, there are plenty of authors who tell you that miracles are there and they are right.  We all are surrounded by them every day we wake up on the right side of the lawn.  But beyond that how do you (or I for that matter) make a miracle of a plain grey day filled with self doubt and fear of the future.

I wish I had that answer.  I would be a published author by now, I would have my dreams.  But perhaps my dreams are not the ones for me.  Perhaps my dreams are the steps I take along the way to get to my dreams.  A thought for my own day.

And certainly it may well be that.  Affirmations haven't worked for me, going to counselors hasn't help me either and certainly being laid off by my firm hasn't helped me do that either.  Most of what I have read is popular pablum.  Some authors say work on writing.  Ok, I have done that.  Some authors say identify the sort of person you are.  Ok, I have done that.  Some authors say to just make lists and then check them off.  Ok, I have done that.  None of it has worked for me.

What has worked is goes against what I have read.  Whenever I really need to do something important, see a doctor, pay a bill, go to the post box near my house, I find my pathway to doing those chores is to unclutter and rearrange the furniture.  In activity that is comforting and mindless, I find that interior space for solving problems my mind creates.

I am working on those issues.  I hope to be able to find an answer on how to do that soon.

Until then, peace

January 16, 2010

Picture of cat

This is a picture of a cat.  It looks a lot like an abandoned cat I just found when some problem neighbors left today.  Hopefully, it didn't belong to them and is just a stray.  I sure hope so.   I am only guessing the cat that was wandering by my backyard was theirs since I'd never seen it before.  So to investigate I knocked on my next door neighbor to see if they knew whether these folks had a pet.  They didn't know.  I will continue to watch for it.  Given our area, the cat could just be a stray.  If so, perhaps Buffy (my freeloader outdoor cat) will take the stray under his paw.

Musings on contact, on Shakespeare, on Haiti, on rescue, on life

Musing on watching Henry V with Sir Laurence Olivier...the charge of the English and French reminds me of that breathe of space between action and contact.  We never know how our actions will affect another until we reach that contact phase.  Truly, as individuals, we dance with one another in the sharing of ideas.  We need feedback to know how we affect others.  Personally, I never really thought I would influence others with my own personal efforts in rescue and yet...  A dog was rescued due to my talking about my efforts.  If we can change one person at a time through this effort then it is a change worth making.  Haiti is just the same way.  There are so many who doubt that change can be made by throwing money at the problem.  I agree with that situation but I have to disagree with the doubters since the caring helps, the people who are on the ground helping, those who have been there with the huge numbers of NGOs help.  Time takes time.  We expect so much in a couple of weeks and if it doesn't change, we throw up our hands and say, 'see?'  But it took Haiti over 100 years to get into this situation.  I don't think it will take 100 years to change the situation but surely it cannot be done in 100 days or less...

January 13, 2010

Thought of the Day

I have an idea that I haven't heard anyone mention throughout this Great Recession.  It is even simple.  Change the tax code to allow those over 55 who were laid off to use their 401K.  Presently, the tax laws treat any withdrawal as taxable income. So those of us who can't find jobs due to the invisible age discrimination that exists would be able to survive.  

January 12, 2010

Spots in Life

I am in love with the word 'spot.'  I have named a dog 'spot,' and now have a cat named 'freckles,' for the very same reason -- a spot on his nose.  And logging into the blog tonight the address reached out and touched me.  There is a spot in that name as well.

So, I have to ask, what is it with recurring things in life?  You know the ones.  Those times when you are thinking of someone and he/she calls you right then.  Those times when you know (just know) that you have seen something before and spoken the same words before.  And, particularly, those time when you stand on the precipice of the present and know (just know) something is about to happen.

Those are the kind of spots in my life.  And it does no good to say, as Lady MacBeth did...'out, out, damn spot.'  The spots don't listen.  The spots are eternal, stubborn and alternately cruel and benevolent.

May the spots be with you....

January 8, 2010

Just say ho

Fashion is hopelessly stuck on styles that existed 200 years ago. Baby doll smocks and faux empire looking fashions for teens were popular in the Empire era. Only then, pregnancy was to be expected and hence the looser waistlines. We were literally (at least over here) building a nation, citizen by citizen.

But the fashion is inappropriate for today.  It sends a mixed message.  Look pregnant but don't be pregnant.  What is a kid to think?

Be Water -- Bruce Lee Quotes

Above is a link to quotes from Bruce Lee. They help me get through the week when it is tough to let go of anger. He is a balancing point and shames me to write better.


Whether wikipedia is valid or not, I am using it today simply because it is a quick and easy definition of the gifts and curses which in my world are just flip sides of one another.

Muse on Save

Save... It is an option on this webposting account. Either Publish Post or Save Now are the options. Bu the word save makes me muse on philogy and philosophy. The book I am reading, "Wrestling with Democracy," is wonderful. Well written, strong views expressed clearly and very thought provoking.  In 2008,  I listened to a story on C-Span or perhaps it was Democracy Now! about saving survivors of Nargis in Myamar (also known as Burma).  I will never know how bad conditions were in Myamar.  None of us will since news media were never allowed to come into the country to report.  That is not the situation in Haiti today.  We have reports from those literally on or under the ground....text messages, i-reports, videos sent from cell phones.  It is just another example of how we have changed.  For the good.

The pain, the discomfort, the sickness are what they are. We can always cope with the way life moves and changes. The mind of an enlightened human being is flexible and adaptable. The mind of the ignorant person is conditioned and fixed.-Ajahn Sumedho, “Seeing the Way” From "365 Buddha: Daily Meditations," edited by Jeff Schmidt. Reprinted by arrangement with Tarcher/Putnam, a division of Penguin Putnam Inc.
This is where I am today. If I focus on the soft tissue pain, the neck pain, the lower back pain, I am pain. If I focus on others, on rescue, on writing, on scheduling, on work, I am. I just am.....

Unemployment figures

Nationwide unemployment is at 10% but that is a statistical average.  Detroit has massive unemployment -- far above 10%.  And huge segments of our populations have 20% to 30% unemployment.  And no help in sight as yet.  The media could be covering this but they are not.  They could be focusing our attention upon starvation in America, but they are not.  We all know people who are homeless.  We all know that but for the grace of grace we could be those people who are homeless.  But the media gets hung up on issues of irrelevancy -- like the mis-spoken words of Harry Reid or what Bill Clinton said to Ted Kennedy.  Quotes that like sell books but don't feed the self esteem or bellies of those who have lost their jobs in this Great Recession.  We all of people who gave up hunting for jobs because there were no jobs to found or they were too old for the jobs that were around.  We know those people.  We do.  And does the mainstream media say a word about it?  No.  And I don't know why that is.  I truly don't.  The skeptic in me says 'oh, sure, the reporters don't know what to say and are afraid that they will be next to be let go since the news media as we know it is changing.  So the reporters are playing it safe.'  But I don't want to believe that.  I want to know that there are more people out there like Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! who are ready and able to talk about the unemployment figures in a meaningful way.

NPR had an interview today with Jesse Jackson where he kept being asked what he thought about the quotes I mentioned above.  And he was great at redirecting the conversation back to the main point.  It is the jobs, stupid.  The jobs

This one is for Dan

The reason I started this blog was to deal with the grief from the unexpected death of my brother-in-law. And the anger. And the fury at the cancer that killed him. Thank god he had health insurance but in his case it wasn't very helpful. The blog helped me remember Dan in my own way which was limited by the distance we lived apart. One of us in Boston, one of us almost inside the beltway in DC. Joined by a passion for my sister and politics and words and cats and justice. Justice says a lot about Dan. He was incensed by the local newspapers being bought up by conglomerates which never reported local news in depth. And never gave full facts. He took us to one of the historic villages in Massachusetts that made clothe in the 1840s. Humbling experience. I'd read about this town but seeing it was a revelation. How can people say we don't need unions or a voice for the workers when they look at places like that village. Here is the link to the town itself,

History of Lowell, Massachusetts - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lowell, Massachusetts is considered the Cradle of the American Industrial Revolution, as it was the first large-scale factory town in America. ... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Lowell,_Massachusetts - 71k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
I just wish I'd had more time to get to know him better. To talk with him about the election. To rage at the outrages of the politicians. May your apple grove be filled with blossoms and your fruit be sweet, Dan, where you are now. Amen

Taking the Long View

The current financial crisis (and the hurry-hurry of the world in general) bothers me. Everyone wants to have luck immediately. Everyone wants to be rich as soon as possible. The word "wants" is operative here. We all want stuff. I want my own home and not be bugged about how many cats I can have. I want to be a published writer of serenity tales and humorous drawings and not have to do mundane things like work full time to pay the rent. I want, I want, I want.....

Hah!  However, what I need is completely different. For a long time I have been confused about what is a want and what is a need. But I have figured it out.  My cats and I need food, a roof over our heads, and other things like clothes, catnip and grooming supplies. I need a car to carry around the cats and me on trips to the vet and a car to help get FOHA animals to the vet and do the at home checks prior to adoption.  I need a car to get to my consulting jobs.  I don't need much but I want the world.

May 2010 be the year that my needs truly become my wants....
Until then

The History of Coffee

Here is a book I need to look for. It is the calendar, "History of Coffee." I listened to an interview with the creator. Things I never knew...coffee was funded by Lloyds coffeehouse patrons who also funded the ship masters who bought slaves in Africa and took them to coffee plantations. The creator said a phrase that has additional meaning ... 'taking the bitter with the sweet.' And isn't that a tale of just what life is about.

Catching Fire

Such an evocative phrase...catching fire. It is unpredictable though. Fire, I mean. Trying to start a fire with wet wood, a closed flue, a faulty draught is hard. My father taught me to light fires when I was eight years old. In those prehistoric days, it was common practice to take paper trash outside to the big stone open pit and burn them. We did the same thing with leaves and dead wood.

Starting a fire like that now would require so many permission slips and county allowances that the paper for one fire would be more than I used to burn each week. I wonder where I was when all these rules were passed to 'protect' me. I certainly wasn't paying attention.

I am a late bloomer. I caught fire late in life with the economic turndown. Just in time to appreciate the irony of being 58 and to young to collect from my IRA without severe penalties.  It just sucks that the administration didn't shift the rules to allow those of us who were let go in stealth 'let's get rid of the employees over 55' attitude that business has taken during this Great Recession.  It really does!

It seems a shame that we cannot get rid of the deadwood in Congress who refuse to realize this fact.

Thank God for YouTube

Watch this....
Take two laughs and call your representative in the morning

January 7, 2010

Things I never thought I'd say

I have just finished hearing the state of the state messages from California, New York and Massachusetts.  I can't wait for Virginia to weigh in.  All of these states are basically broke.  They have staggerly large budget deficits.  And in this kind of economic environment, the logical thing would be to cut back where possible.  So why is the government getting ready to pass out more foreign aid?  I don't understand.  I mean in good times I can understand giving money to countries who are less well off.  I truly can understand it.  But given the fact that much of the foreign aid never reaches the people it is meant to reach, it is not cost effective.  The Peace Corp is effective.  Working alongside people and teaching them how to grow better crops, how to survive in environments where water is scarce.  Those are useful endeavors.

So never thought I would say this.  I am against foreign aid.  I am against it until we are economically recovered.

Holding our Breathe

Since 9/11, I believe we all have held our breathe waiting for the next shoe to drop. Or for underwear to blow up.  Truly this is an irony my mom would appreciate.  She always said wear clean underwear since you never know when you may have to be taken to a hospital.  A collective asthma of fear grips us instead of the humor of the situation, though.

Personally, I believe that our security organizations are justifying their existence by coming up with new and expensive ways of checking people in.  New names for old things.  Hand pats are so much better and so much cheaper.  But we opt for new technologies that are expensive and fail us -- thus costing even more when people die.  And the organizations created to protect us?  Hah!  They continue to claim that the vertical stack of each organization is why they could not pass information along in a timely manner.  They haven't changed that whopper since 9/11.

If grassroot groups like animal rescue can set up and create successful animal rescue runs by posting them online and requesting drivers, then surely there can be no excuse for governmental agencies claiming that they cannot do the same thing.  So why don't these groups set up inter-intra-communications?  Because the process of sharing requires something secret keepers cannot do.  They cannot admit weakness.  And they view laterally reaching out as failure.  Put simply reaching out scares the hell out of these groups.  I have to ask, since when have we become so scared of our own fellow Americans who also have sworn oaths to uphold the United States of America?

And this asthma of fear on the governmental level is intolerable.  Surely, with the economic failures of the past year and the failure of the Bush or current administration to address it properly, there are plenty of people who are angry and frustrated.  This is not a good situation.  It certainly creates an environment friendly to those who would recruit suicide bombers.  It won't take long before we find attentat actions and anarchism in the country.  The hell with the foreign terrorism.  The U.S. has a long history of taking action for itself.  The killing of President Garfield?  A disgruntled favor seeker.  The blowing up of the Murrah building in Oklahoma City?  A disgruntled vet protesting the Waco incident.

It seems to me that progress is just renaming of things to sound new.  The writer of Ecclesiastes had it right.  See this link to the full quote as printed in Bartelby's  http://www.bartleby.com/108/21/1.html  This is wisdom literature that we, sadly, lack in this time of 24/7 news bites.  Nothing can be learned in this environment.  But perhaps we can change in 2010.  I pray that is so.

Happy New Year folks and may peace rain down softly upon us.

until then

January 5, 2010

Rescue Thoughts

It is hard to know who rescues
Whom when I care for my three
rescued cats.  Them or me...
Comfort food for the soul.

Gifts of Grace

Rescue Daily

I stop and pat my shy cat
She stops, purrs,  turns
and starts to eat

Comfort Food

January 3, 2010

Wish I May, Wish I Might have Sweet Dreams

Dreams...tricky things.  Currently I am on a medication that intensifies dreams while allowing me to be anxiety free while I am awake.  Still not too sure if it is a good thing to be dream-ambushed by anxieties I have chemically repressed during the day.  I feel much better than before but there is a lot to be said for the way I was before -- twitchy, perhaps -- but not a dream I could remember in the morning.

That is not to say that my sleep was that good before.  Now I sleep much better, even with the dreams and all the cats trying to wake me up in the middle of the night.

So be careful what you wish for and
sweet dreams

Until next time,

Not being too ....

Not being too scattered this year.  Heck, it's only day 3.  It stands to reason I will be scattered one day soon but for now I am, thankfully, focused and looking into new kinds of work.  One of those is narrating audio books.  I need to find out what sort of equipment one needs to do this and record a sample to send places.  It is a cut-throat business -- more so than the regular publishing but with print books and newsprint on the decline, it may be the only avenue.  I always loved listening to Boris Karloff read the "Reluctant Dragon" when I was young.  I began reading for audiences 'way back in high school but got more interested in it when my kids were born.  And I got hooked on reading out loud after I heard the first audio tapes of children's stories back in the 1990s.  Wondrous stuff.  Truly made an impression on my reading style.

My current victims--ahem--listeners, are my cats.  They get pretty cranky some nights and reading really mellows them out.  So I will explore this and find out more.  Stay tuned.  Or as the radio announcer used to say on Laugh In...oh heck, what was it he used to say?  I will report on that later.

Until then

Bird count so far

Fascinating year so far.  The first bird I saw was one low flying goose which is really odd since our area is chock full of crows and mourning doves.  Geese normally fly in squadrons to and from the area lakes.  So this one-fer was unusual.

The second bird was a low flying red tailed hawk.  At least I think it was a hawk.  It is sort of hard to ask them to identify themselves.