OFF SEASON BLUES – OR OUCHIES?

I love the winter season.  It gives me time to reflect, plan, and craft.  The last is my issue for this post.  When I get crafting, I get totally into it.  I get so involved in whatever craft I am working on that I can get a bit careless.  Well, it happened on this last Sunday.

I bought myself a new hot glue gun.  My old one is ok, but it does not have a fine tip.  The new one does.  What I was not prepared for was the more intense heat that was required to get glue through that fine time.  Working away on a fall project and my fingers slipped (yes, I blamed it on my half finger again – grr) and this:

Yep, that is a very unwelcome hot wax burn.  The white is actually dead skin now.  It’s not infected, just dead.  Can you say -IDIOT?  I had been working for years with the other glue gun and had no problem with a bit of hot glue on my fingers.

(Notice the different tip sizes)

Normally I would simply say “ouch” rub it a bit and move on.  Yes, it was hot but not that hot.  Well, not so easy with the finer tip.

I was working with dried flowers from a couple of years ago.  We tried an experiment in the greenhouse (before tornado era) to see if companion flowers would keep down some of the pests.  That experiment started four years ago, and due to the nature of the flowers we chose, we ended up with flowers everywhere.  Part of what we were experimenting on was for the purpose of drying.  Strawflowers were our first choice and proved to be our best choice.

dried straw flowers

They hold a perfect shape, have stellar colors (especially for fall crafts), and were interesting.  They actually fold down to create the above-pictured shape.  The other end is just left-over seed hairs.  Stupid me did not know that you need to remove those seed hairs BEFORE you try to glue them to your project.  That was my downfall.  I put the glue on the hairs, tried to stick them down, and that was when they fell out and got my finger.

I have gotten different types of burns before, but I must say this was one of my award-winning jobs.  I finally got brave and cut off the dead skin yesterday.  Funny how much better it felt with that removed?

Moral of my story dear children – WATCH WHAT YOU ARE DOING WITH THE STUPID HOT GLUE GUN, you idiot!

goofy cartoon

You can also check me out at:  www.lifelessonslived.com for all the fun things I have learned in life.

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What Would You Find Most Important?

My blog post on Life Lessons Lived yesterday got me thinking about what I would find most important to have, or rebuild should something ugly happen.  By ugly, I’m talking about some type of major life-changing event:

  • Plague
  • Meteor strike
  • Major volcano explosion.
  • Zombie apocalypse

I don’t think the zombie apocalypse is a real thing, but I do love watching The Walking Dead series on AMC.  Not for the zombies (too realisticly gross), even though I love the special effects makeup jobs.  We watch for the human nature aspect of it.

Thinking on that path, what would you find most important to have around when a major disaster hits?  Much of the U.S. is still struggling from our last violent Mother Nature outbreaks.  The things I find common in all of them are these:

  • Clean water
  • Food
  • People to help with clean up
  • People to help with rebuilding
  • Good organizational skills.

We have ways on our farm to pull out clean water.  If it is not real clean, we have splurged on the bottle filtering systems.

People may be in short supply if it all goes at once.  So, we have opted for some outstanding friends and family.  We would all pull together and help to clean up and rebuild.  My other thought on that one is tiny houses.  After the Texas mess, I have been looking up all sizes and types of tiny houses.  Denver even showed their tiny house village set up specifically to help the homeless.  We have enough space that if we could figure out water and sewer, we could do it here.  At least it would house our buds until we get around to their individual spaces.

I am O.C.D. when it comes to organizing.  I MUST HAVE MY DUCKS IN A ROW AT ALL TIMES!  Yes, I am a bit nuts about this:

  • My craft room is separated into different craft projects: card crafting sorted by holidays and seasons etc.
  • My knitting is separated into the type of yarn:
    • Thick or thin, solid or self-striping colors, and then by colors: reds, greens, etc.
    • If it will only be used for Halloween or Christmas, it goes into different containers.
    • Current projects I am working on (yes, project”S” – as I can never have just one going on.  It is usually 4 or 5 at one time).
  • My beading and jewelry making is in an area close to my knitting as some of my pieces are a combination of the two. All the beads are sorted by size, type, and/or color.

This goes on, but you get the picture.  I have to know where all my stuff is or I go a bit nuts.  My grandson has ADHD/Autism and also goes a bit nuts when he cannot find something.   His room is a disaster, so I don’t go off on him, I Just remind him that if he put it back where he found it, he would now find it.  Then I help him look.

All that just left me with food.

I started to wonder.  If all the normal stuff was gone, how many people would, or could, grow their own food?  How many people could kill a chicken?  If you did kill it, would you know how to process it?  Well, while I was researching all this I came across something from my childhood I had completely forgotten and was ashamed so.

Do you know who Paul Harvey was?  Have you ever heard any of his The Rest Of The Story broadcasts?  Mom used to listen to them faithfully.  When we were home, we had the privilege of listening in along with her.  The one that I came across while searching, for me, was one of his best:

GOD MADE A FARMER

If you have never heard, or heard of, Paul Harvey; please take a moment to click the above link and allow a few minutes of peace to enter your ears.

His voice is monumental.

The story is epic.

The moral is to be followed.

We have a neighbor who has a field that runs the side of the highway on your way to Denver from Nebraska on I76.  I don’t remember exactly when he put up the sign, but I know it is still there today:

IF YOU ATE TODAY, THANK A FARMER.

Short, to the point, and true.

Just a few simple thoughts for the Thanksgiving month.

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You can also check me out on:  www.lifelessonslived.com for all the fun things I have learned in life.

PLOWSHARE THURSDAY – PREVENTION GEAR!

Hi, guys!  Sorry, I have not been keeping up with things, but if you read my last post, you know why.  This Plow Share is to tell you more about my new favorite best friend in the garden – the head cover.

bug net cover (This one is from Amazon – under $5)

I originally found these things years ago and purchased them through a sporting goods website.  Oh, silly me!  I guess at the time the only reason for one was when you went fishing.  It kept all the water bugs off your face while you fished.

Well, times have changes sister, and we need these everywhere!

At first, it was just the tiny gnats that were bothering me while watering.  Then came the black flies and their nasty bites as the weather warmed.  Of course, we cannot forget the mosquito and all its plagues.

If you read my last post, then you know (and saw) the reasons why this is now my new best garden friend!  I have gotten bit or stung on several parts of my body (mainly arms and legs but there has been the occasional buttox when I bend over) with very little reaction.  I was even bitten by a Brown Recluse which has left a nasty scar, but my great immune system held it at bay.  I have never had a severe allergic reaction to anything until now.  The funny part is that it was the cure and not the cause that had the bad reaction.

brown recluse    (FYI you are supposed to spot the “fiddle” on its back?!)

I consider myself very lucky in the fact that it never affected my lungs.  My breathing throughout all of this remained normal, as did my blood pressure – go figure?!  My doctors and I boiled it down to the fact that the sting was on my face (never happened with a wasp before – or a bee).  Apparently, the thin skin (who would have thought I have “thin” anything – ha ha), gave the poison a perfect reaction area.

So, my share this week is to also warn – GET YOUR GEAR ON!  I do not use bug spray on my head area (a weird thing I have about chemicals and my face), but this head screen gear is a Godsend to gardeners!  It may have been created just for fish folks – but herbivore’s like it too!

HOW LONG SHOULD A PROJECT TAKE?

I don’t think there is any single easy answer to this question.  Then again, maybe it’s just me because I have so many things going on at the same time.

  1. Knitting
    1. More hats for my Etsy shop (also scarves and jewelry)
    2. Personal requests – shawls, throws, and the occasional baby things.
    3. My creations:

4-17-17 my entralac creation

  1. Gardening
    1. Cleaning and prepping plots inside and out of the greenhouse.
    2. Keeping chickens from ripping out my new transplants and seeds.

dancing chickens

(Yes – my birds do the chicken dance every time they tear up a plot-grrr!)

  1. Writing
    1. Helberg farm stories blog
    2. Etsy shop – Rachellenacreations – blog and shop updates
    3. Rlh Creative Virtual Assistant – Yep, new job for me so more time to squeeze in a day (can you say IDIOT?? – but you have to say it really loud!)
    4. Other creative writing jobs – copywriter, author, nut-bag in a pen addiction (this one is the worst to keep up with…it’s all those wild ideas floating around in my head.).

When is a body to find time for the standard day-to-day projects?

  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Shopping
  • Farm chores
  • Extra seasonal farm chores
  • Specialty projects (like setting up new plots)

They are all never ending.  So my question goes out to all of you – How long should a project take?

When I have the help of my co-farmer/sister; a simple project can be done in a day or a weekend.  When my Grandson is preoccupied, I can get minor projects done (cooking, cleaning – at least a little, etc.).

nathan hiding

I have a yarn addiction that must feed, or it gets ugly!

cat n yarn

The gardens cannot be left attended for a day without the weeds full-on assault on all my hard work.

scary weed

Where does one project end and the next begin?  Is it the same for everyone?  Am I the only whack-job that has to have several things going on at the same time, all the time?

Do not even start that “list” thingy with me!  I have tried every list and method out there.  Read the blogs.  Listen to the podcasts, and watched the webinars – bah humbug!  You can’t tell me that the people that create all that “helpful list stuff” are completely in control and on top of all their projects?  They must have some help, or they live in a box.  Some days I think it would be great to live in a Tiny House just to have my own quiet little space to thing…and of course, work on a project.

tiny home

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TIME TO CRY, WE SOLD THE FARM!

There are times in life that you just cannot take anymore!  One of my mother’s favorite expressions was “God never gives you anymore than you can handle.”  WHAT A CROCK!

DSCF4878

Three years of the worst drought Colorado had seen in more than 100 years.  That was our first 3 years on the farm.

A goat herd going from 75 down to 42 in one spook by a coyote and dive into a train.  Most of what the train took out was the babies – broke my heart the first time.

A new batch of 12-week old chicks just moved from the porch to their own space in the chicken barn.  We just knew it was secure – wrong.  The mama fox and her kits snuck in from the older chicken side and went on a frenzy.  When it was all said, and done, the fox carried off just one older hen, and all but two of the one hundred babies were dead.  I opened the door and dropped to the ground when I saw the carnage.

Purchased the greenhouse kit when we moved in, August 2000.  Spent over three years arguing with the company over a stupid finally shipping/admin fee.  We won the war but lost the battle.  The delay cost us our savings for that project and it took till 2011 to finally get to it. As of this post it is still not complete, but it is workable.

Then in 2007 we were in the storm path.  The old farmers around here say you can tell how you will do with the first good spring storm.  They are right.  If you are hit hard on the first, you will be hit by everyone that year, and we were.  Our outside gardens – tomatoes, peppers, cucs, everything were in full fruit mode in July.  One Saturday storm evening and everything was stripped to a single stalk.  This also shredded our roof and window frames.  It was not large hail, just the sheer force of it did the damage.

In 2014, we had the fire.  April 20, Easter Sunday.  It was a beautiful day.  By 8pm that night our world was gone!  It is very true that you never know what you have till it’s gone. A 4-year old grandson, fifty plus years of memories, pictures, tools, personal art and craft works including several things by our mother, now deceased.

Well it is 2017.  AND I HAVE FINALLY HAD ENOUGH!

APRIL FOOLS! 

OH, who am I kidding, they are gonna have to bury me on this place!  A person like me does not fight so hard for something to simply give up – not gonna happen!

So, for all of you that maybe fighting your own fights and contemplating quitting – don’t!  Here’s a bit of advice from an old expert at it:

  1. Take a deep breath, hold it to the count of 10 and exhale.
  2. Step completely away from whatever the bad thing is that is making you think these thoughts. I mean COMPLETELY AWAY – stay at a friend, a night in a hotel, a nice country drive, anything to clear your head.
  3. First thing you do when you get back to your issue – start thinking of the good things you still have:
  4. A new home.
  5. Another flock of birds.
  6. The other Grandson is still with us.
  7. We are fairly healthy (just fair – not perfect – LOL)
  8. The sun came out yesterday (not today) and spring is in the air.
  9. And, Thank God I still have my sense of humor!!!  Couldn’t make it through anything without it!

HAPPY APRIL FOOLS DAY EVERYONE!!

20130719_144913

(No, we are not selling the farm- this is where my littlest pirate watches over us all!)

Did I get you?

 

FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT CARE, this is worth the read!

(A thought-provoking note for the first day of spring!)

It may just be because we grow naturally and love Mother Earth.

It may be just because I have an eight-year-old grandson that I would love to see grow up happy and healthy.

Then again, it may be just because!

We do not like to use pesticides.  We encourage good bugs.  Use companion planting.  Pull weeks and maintain our gardens by hand – inside and out!  It never bothered me to get down into the dirt (The ugly part is trying to get back up with fake knees – LOL), up close and personal with our plants.  I really enjoy it – yes, even pulling weeds.

Roughly 20 years ago, our local PBS station ran a program called: My Father’s Farm…this was eye-opening to me.  It was narrated by a woman recalling her childhood on the farm.  She shared how her father got sick and died early due to the pesticides (remember, the childhood was the 40’s – 60’s eras) used back then.  I remember growing up on a farm with animals and equipment to maintain the 80 acres we had.  I remember Dad mixing up stuff to go put on the fields to chase off the bugs and weeds, but I never thought twice about it because it was just what farmers did. (Note: I have tried in vain to find the old documentary – if I should come across it, I will share because it is worth watching!)  My father died at age 54 of cancer.

Now I am not blaming everything toxic for my father’s cancer.  He smoked like a chimney since he was a young teenager.  But I am sure the pesticides did not help.

PBS ran a similar story in 1996 called: My Father’s Garden…this is similar, but not as scary as the “farm” one.  It talks more about changes in farming and gardening.

Those of you that read me also know that I receive the MNN (Mother Nature Network) newsletter.  I just received this little beauty:  Roundup weed killer deemed a carcinogen, at least in California by Jenn Savedge

I am a fast reader, so it only took me about 15 minutes to read this article – however – I also had to swing out and check out the facts they list, which took me much longer.  Pretty scary findings from my point of view.  Just one more reason for my sister and I to choose no chemicals on our little piece of Earth.  Besides, I am pretty sure if our chickens went mutant, they would learn how to open doors, get into my bedroom at night, and scare the snot out of me!

scary mutant chicken  (This is sooo not right!!)

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DO HOW-TO BOOKS COUNT AS READING?

I have never cared for romance novels.  Their stories always seemed too unrealistic or predictable.  My love life has NEVER been that way.  I have tried reading sci-fi because I love sci-fi movies, however, with a mind that wanders as much as mine does, I could not follow their plots.  I do have a passion for all kinds of how-to books.  Maybe it goes beyond passion to obsession.

pinterest-pic-3

I was sitting alone after one of my surgeries and after the fire.  We were living in a trailer that was placed on our farm to use while the house was being redone.  It was a cooler, rainy summer day and the crew had the day off.  I wanted to try to crochet or knit something.  One of our many friends gave me some alpaca yarn to begin to replace all that I had lost.  The problem was that I had no patterns – 50 years of collecting, all gone.  I began to cry.

Here I sat, alone, hand all wrapped up, half my major yarn-holding finger gone, yarn – my passion- in hand and no ideas in my head.  Then, almost as if someone said “she deserves a break,”  I remembered: Knitting Daily TV is on the internet!  (Now they are connected with Interweave.com) They have free patterns, books, and even DVD’s all on “how-to” different knit and crochet things.  They did not have any free patterns, so I went digging!

pinterest-pic-5

I found this: http://www.beginner-crochet-patterns.com/ – thank you, God!  I then found out through doing just the beginning basics; this was not going to be as easy as I thought!  The ½ finger was my yarn guide finger.  I saved several how-to patterns on my laptop.  I was feeling life again!

One of my goals this year is to read at least one book per week.  Now I know that some of you do not consider how-to’s in the “book” category, but I have and always will.  They saved my sanity!  Losing as much as I did in such a fast, and short time was more devastating than I had realized.  Crying on that couch woke me up to that reality.

Decades I had surrounded myself with yarn crafting.  Whenever things were bad or tough (had a lot of those), I could count on my yarn, a project, and someone in mind to give the finished product to as a means of moving forward.  To wake up one moment and realize that my “constant” in life was in a dumpster filled with ash broke me.

*The home was gone.

*Grandson is gone.

* Passions gone.

*Life forever changed.

I learned, at that single moment, just how strong I was – mentally.  I knew what would bring me back to the land of the living again, and it worked!  It took my sister a couple of years to find herself again.  My daughter is still struggling and has not figured it out for herself yet.  Time does not always heal all wounds, at least not for us.  Purpose does!

pinterest-pic-1

I now have a pretty good sized library of how-to’s now.  Everything from yarn workings, to wood working, to furniture restoration, to a multitude of crafting ideas.  I am hooked on several blogs that deliver shared ideas every couple of days on how-to do something or another.  My cousin, bless her agricultural soul, has sent us a ton of ag how-to books, magazines, and hooked me into Pinterest (here is my site: https://www.pinterest.com/gardenglows/)  for millions more great ideas.

I believe that how-to books are real books and I will continue to push on to completing at least one per week.  (Truth be told, I have about 4 or 5 going at any given time and get excited when I actually get to the end of one!  Tricks me into thinking I know what I am talking about on that subject – LMAO!)

pinterest-pic-2        pinterest-pic-4

woodburn-mushroom-2017

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HAPPINESS IS WHERE YOU FIND IT – NOT!

You can look till you are blue in the face and you will not find it – you have to choose to make it!
I can say this because this is what I do, I choose to be happy. I will gladly share with you examples of this work of attitude adjustment.

skeleton-parts(PARTS IS PARTS)

I had to have half my left index finger amputated just one month after our house fire took everything (including my 4-year old grandson, but that’s for another time.). I will admit when the Doctor first announced this I was shocked. Started crying hysterically. Thank goodness my younger sister was with me so she could get me back to reality.
I was expecting him to tell me I would need pins or something, but I never thought of lopping it off. Well, after the initial shock subsided, I planted my feet firmly on the ground and started to think about the things that I would have to change to accommodate this circumstance. I am a yarnie and crafter by nature. If you know anything about knitting and crochet, you know your fingers hold the yarn. As I am a right hander, and as I was taught to carry the yarn in my left hand – the major player was now going to be absent forever. Now, this was my first thought.
My sister, on the other hand, looked me straight in the eye and said:
“How are you going to pick your nose now?”
That poor Doctor! He left the room with a woman shocked and hysterical over the news he had just delivered. Now he walked into a room with a couple of dizzy broads laughing so hard; humor leakage was all over the place. Then my sister states:
“Where’s the bathroom, I have to pee?” and bolted out.
There are some times in life that you just do not think to take a picture at the moment. This was one of them. This poor young Doctor was beside himself, and it was obvious that he had no clue what to say.
The amputation was done in June 2014 and went off without a hitch. It took several weeks to get through recovery and therapy. During the process of this, the Doctor noticed I was having difficulty raising my right arm. He ordered x-rays and found that there was no ball left in my socket (let me know when you stop laughing. It’s ok because I still get teased by family and friends on this one – no ball in my socket- ha ha!).
He proceeded to order more x-rays and tests which told us all that I have osteoarthritis (arthritis in my joints – oh lucky me!). To lighten this up a bit, I went on to have six major surgeries within 12 months. I was also handling all of the fire cleanup, remodeling, insurance, investigators, etc., etc., etc.

8-4-14-right-shoulder-replacement-001(my new right shoulder – full reverse replacement)

It just so happens that Halloween fell in the midst of all these surgeries. I consider myself extremely lucky to have had some fantastic doctors with great funny bones. My first (they guy that took ½ my finger) also did my shoulders. Those of you that have been lucky enough not to have it done, you end up with your arm in a sling for about three months. This sling provided a perfect hiding spot!
I had to purchase all new things for our home – this included holiday decorations. The first were to be for Halloween. Then it hit me – skeletons. I also purchased a package of those rubber tips you put on the end of your fingers to help turn pages of paper. My sister had to help me from here. She cut a small slit in the tip of one of the rubber tips. Then cut off the little finger from the skeleton. Shoved the fake bone through the slit and glued it to keep it in place. Then she painted the rubber a skin tone which left the white bone sticking out of it. It fit perfectly onto my new Ms. Stubly.
We’re off to see my doctor, the wonderful doctor of osteo…(yes, you have to sing this to the tune of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz). As with any doctor office, the nurse assisted us into the room first. She had not seen our Halloween surprise because it was hiding in my sling. My doctor came in, set my file on the counter as he was asking so naively: “How are things going?”
“Fine,” I said, “But I have a few concerns about my finger, should it look like this?” “It does make it easier for me to knit now.”
It took all my sister, and I had to stop giggling until he turned around and saw my Ms. Stubly with the fake bone sticking out from the end. He burst out laughing at us – now that’s a doctor! Then he went out and told the nurse, who told a couple of others, and before long we had several people in the room. It was all great fun.
When things calmed a bit, we then noticed his attire for the day – plaids and stripes? My sister very nicely asked him if his wife knew he left the house looking like this today? Once again, we could not stop laughing. I swear, from that visit on he made sure his wife helped him pick out his clothes – at least on the days he knew he would see me.
This is part of how I teach myself to create my own happiness. I have many more stories to share, so I hope you will tag along and have some fun!

finger-before         finger-after         half-finger-hand

(Yes, that is a bone sticking out – but not the fake skeleton one we used-LOL!)

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I WILL BE HAPPY – I WILL BE HAPPY – I WILL BE HAPPY??

This is my third draft of this blog.  The first was fear and shock.  The second was major anger.  Then, after I ranted on for over an hour (and over 15 pages – eek), I looked back at my first blog this year.  My promise to myself was to have more fun, a happier new year so here goes:

·         I am 57 years old.  Disabled single mother of a disabled daughter. (strikes one and two – disabled and female)

·         I have worked since I was 12 years old and even sold sweet corn for an elderly farmer in upper Wisconsin. (You never forget your first real job!)  If you count the chores growing up on a farm, then I have worked forever (started young with the responsibility of feeding the barn cats and farm dog). (One for the plus side – low-income worker)

·         I remember when Kennedy was shot.  Martin Luther King was shot.  Nixon did not go to jail for Watergate but got a full pardon from his VP turned President.  Carter, Regan, 2 Bushes, Clinton, Obama but none of them actually scared me – this one does! (strike three – believing in the good in everything idea.)

·         I/we own a gun and believe in our right to bear arms – pretty sure we are going to need it now. (oh, ouch, strike four – believing there will be a war on US soil within the next four years).

·         I believe in my right to voice my opinion, and not to follow any Hitler-type brainwashing scams. (Oh now I did it – strike five, compared to evil from the past.)

Now that I have struck out under the new regime, here are my goals for my/our future:

·         I believe in stocking up our pantry to the point of overflowing.

·         I believe in getting alternative energy on our farm immediately.  This may require starting small – but any start is a good start.

·         I believe in protecting all that we have worked so hard to obtain from any that will try to take it from us.

·         I believe in keeping myself and my loved ones as healthy as possible because the idea of any medical help is now gone.  This will include learning more natural methods and growing more of our own herbs and plants to assist in this.

·         I believe in getting to work on an underground root cellar (or bomb shelter) as soon as possible to store more things for family and friends.

Maybe the resurgence of TV shows depicting the way life was before the 1960’s is an omen.  Women and minorities have just lost all of their battles for at least the last five decades.  The big corporations are going to get bigger, worse, and do more harm than they have already done.  The small business does not stand a chance.  And, of course, Congress will be Congress.

The happy side to all this:

·         Hmmm, let me think on this a bit OH, I HAVE IT – THE ZOMBIE APPOCALYPS IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER, AND I BELIEVE THAT RICK, DARRYL AND CAROL WILL SAVE US ALL!

 

zombie

zombie      zombie

IT SHOULD START WITH ME – SHOULDN’T IT?

“It all trickles down from the top.”   “All Politicians are self-centered liars.”

“The bigger the company is, the less it cares about its employees.”

Sound familiar?  All too familiar for me.  I used to say all of that and more.  There was always someone or something else to blame for things that were happening to me.

Then, when I was about 30 years old, I realized something.  Something that really happened in my life which proved that all of this was wrong.

The man that caused me to lose my job, right after my disable daughter was born, got fired – and I was nowhere near him when it happened.  The truth gets even better:

My daughter was born with spina bifida and two clubfeet – they were both turned into her ankle and up toward her knees.

baby-w-club-feet

I worked as the Accounts Receivable Clerk for an automotive firm – great owner, rotten Office Manager.  The owner happened to be gone when I came back to work after giving birth.  I had made the following arrangements with a specialist to begin work on my daughter.

  • Every Tuesday morning, I would get up early, soak and remove her little casts (I used a steak knife to cut them off. I used to stick my finger between the cast and her leg to get it cut open – usually ran out of bandaids – ha ha).
  • The Doctor then agreed to take us in at 7:30 a.m. (not regular office hours) and edge/twist the feet down a bit more and recast.
  • This whole process meant that I was going to be about 30 minutes late for work every Tuesday.
  • I calculated that I could compensate for this by not taking a lunch break on those days.

The Office Manager (taking advantage of the fact that the owner was on vacation) told me “This is unacceptable, either you need to have someone else take care of your daughter, or we will have to replace your position.”  He knew I was a single mom and this was my only source of income. (I WILL NEVER FORGET THOSE WORDS!)

I looked him straight in the eyes, said “screw you” and walked out!

You can pull whatever you want with me, but NEVER USE MY CHILD to try to get at me.  The owner came back, called me in and asked me to come back.  We discussed many things (he was, by-the-way, an excellent family man), but I boiled it down to this: “Can you guarantee that the first time I have to call in sick to work because my child is sick, he will not try to pull this again?” He said no.  We both cried (yep – a real boss that cared about his employees!), and I left.

Postpartum kicked in, and I felt sorry for myself for about a week.  Then I found another job.  Through my mother got connected with Shriners for Children (what a Godsend they are!) to work with my daughter’s condition (I had no insurance, no money – all I had was great family support – sometimes that is all a person needs!), and got on with my life.

I had several very close friends that I left at that business, but they stayed in touch.  One was the Shop Manager.  One day, out of the blue, I received a call from him: “Want a job?”

He went on to tell me they finally found that the Office Manager had been embezzling from the company.  (I did leave a hint with him and the owner that it was unusual for an Office Manager not to have books up to date – this guy was ALWAYS 3-6 months behind…now there’s a hint!?!)  He was jailed, found guilty, lost his CPA license, had HUGE fines and reimbursements to pay, and last heard – was driving a cement truck.

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The lesson that I learned that day was “EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON, ” and I live by this every day.  I did not cause the Jerk’s downfall; he did it to himself.  I was just lucky enough to hear about it from much loved friends.  Karma is a bitch!

Why am I telling you all of this?  Because of our wonderful 2016 election here in the USA.

I do not discuss politics or religion with family or friends because I love them.  Everyone is allowed their own opinions and just because I do not see eye-to-eye with you, should never mean that I do not like you!  This election is the worst I can ever remember regarding divisions.

I am on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest and have seen some awful mud-slinging going on in those social sites.  This, to me, is wrong!  I understand the following things:

  • We The People do not speak up enough on our level. We expect our elected local officials to carry our voices to Washington DC, yet somewhere along the way it gets lost.  Lobbyists, big corporations, or their own personal agendas override our voice.
  • ALL Politicians are in it for the money. Their golden parachute.  Do you know that they get to retire with the same income that they resign from the office with?  I did not know that great little factoid until I became a government worker – now that’s sad! (Note: I had a lower pee-on type government job so no parachute for me, not even a cloth one boo hoo!)
  • Few to no Politicians build their platforms on the good that they have done, and the good that they will do for we the people. Instead, they find all the faults in their opponents or feed you what you want to hear.  No intention of actually doing it.
  • The biggest reality – this all starts with “me!”

So this year I chose to be happy, to bring more joy into my life and the lives of those around me.  I chose to find more humor in everything that I can.  I did not remember this was an election year when I made this choice, but I’m glad I am trying.  This is my plan:

  1. Don’t believe any Politician ever again!
  2. Don’t simply sit back and let them bully me/us/we the people to get what “they” want.
  3. Take a stand every chance I get (right now it is the pipeline through the Indian Land in North Dakota ) Maybe “I” alone cannot do much, but bunches of “I’s” can do something together!
  4. Start at my local level to create change! We have issues with fracking waste water that they are trying to dump in our county – not on my watch!
  5. Push even harder to bring joy and laughter into every day.

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So, what do you think of my 5-step plan? Are you laughing with/at me yet?  Sorry, I got a bit long in this one my wonderful Readers, but today is the day for “we” or at least “me” to start making changes. Stop blaming everyone and everything else and start taking the steps toward something better.

I think one of my long-term goals will be to find an honest attorney (ya, I know – is there such a creature?) that is willing to try to push a bill to get the “golden parachutes” stopped.  It will require the politicians to get a real job after they leave the government one, and retire the same way the rest of the nation has to – the same rate of income, same ups-and-downs connected to the stock market, and same medical insurance. (Now there’s the kicker!)  Wish me luck – or at least happy times while doing it!

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