Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cleaning to danger point, Anne Boleyn beheaded in Tudors, worship of higher power on Sunday

I cleaned Doc's bathroom today until I was frightened into quitting by fatigue. Later Doc and I made a video on the increasingly decrepit state of the aging. Then we finished watching the second season of the Tudors which ended with the beheading of Anne Boleyn. This sobering event which seemed to go on for hours caused me to contemplate the need man has always had to square himself with a higher power so that his actions won't reach the degree of savagery that was demonstrated by Henry VIII in this rash of decapitations that included virtually murdering the queen he now wanted to get rid of. I was so mad at him for setting Cromwell to work torturing people to find out the real truth about the queen. Gee, torturing people until you get the answer out of them that you want to hear. Those were savage times in the development of man, I must say. Who could possibly have faith in the spiritual power of the Reformation when such savage deeds defined Henry the 8th's reign? Why couldn't he see the weakness in his reasoning powers, this monarch who wanted England to see the authority of God in him rather than in the Pope?
I am thinking of how badly both the Republican and Democratic parties need to restore a respect for a higher power to the laws of the land. I have long thought that it is as convenient for the Republicans not to fight legalized abortion as it is for the Democrats to maintain that legalized abortion is progress and we can't get along without it. Just as the new Reformation was headed by a king who said that torture to incriminate and beheading to punish was necessary to cleanse the kingdom of evil.
I thought that the Reformation was necessary to fight the torture and burning of heretics for not believing. So where was reformation in King Henry's savagery? Proves that he did not reason well about what he was doing. And not many were willing to argue with the king. The price might be too high it is plain to see.
In order to return spirituality to our country we once had, in my view we have to accept the wrong doing of killing as a solution for population control or any other human problem. We need to have more faith in the power of man to find a way without killing. But to value and hang on to spirituality in an increasingly populated world is asking for even more control by man, more determination, more strength. By putting killing policies into place we are saying man is not up to it. He will in the end return to savagery which is necessary for him to survive. Yet we cannot make progress with savagery.
I say it is better to reach for the stars than to return to the bestial ways. The idea of a nobler man has always seemed out of reach to man striving to evolve, but those who have sacrificed even their lives to help man to elevate his own actions to another level are our heroes. And in my view make life worth living. So that is why I keep striving to promote a reality of laws that protect life rather than take it.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A promised cleaning takes place! Family patterns conducive to quarreling

I surprised Doc by cleaning up his kitchen. I had not done that for months, but he inspired me by starting with his stove. He did such a good job I decided I could do the rest. It needed to be cleaned for pest control on Monday. I had not felt good enough to do any cleaning for him for months. Jack was a major enough character around this complex that his meltdown which started nearly a year ago was very affecting for a lot of people. It is amazing how important the stability of others can be in you maintaining yours. We can never underestimate how important the effort to control substance abuse is. I have tried to understand what undermined Jack's considerable efforts to remain sober. But have failed to pinpoint many significant causes so will just move on. We don't always know all the reasons why a person's strength fails, because we have not known them for a life time.

My recent conflict with my sister was more serious than I have indicated. I do not anticipate this relationship being fixed in my lifetime because the battles were such a big part of our relationship from the beginning. We always quarreled. Most of the time parents will see a pattern developing and will work with the children to try to get them beyond such conflicts, but my parents' marriage was so troubled and my mother was so bitterly unhappy she would lash out even at her own children in her frustration. She and I my father quarreled far more than my sister and I did. We enjoyed each other and had fun, and I rarely saw my parents talk pleasantly to one another.
Since I thought Mother had justification for being so unhappy I was able to forgive her for the most part, but our relationship was not fixed either in our life time. She had spanked me unmercifully up until I was about 5 years old and managed to grow up enough to do what would make her leave me alone. But my relationship with my sister just younger had been set in a quarreling pattern that would never change. She became another instrument of punishment that I don't think my mother realized she was fostering.
None of us ever dared disagree with our mother in any way, but since I was always set to look after my younger sister, I was like the surrogate mother she could fight with, who would not punish her with a hard spanking for sassing her. I grew up feeling half mother to all my younger sisters, as I was very alarmed at how much Mother contrived to be away from home paying no attention to her children. I feared they would get in serious trouble.
Mother was finally able to divorce my father which to my mind he had deserved for a long time, but when she did we hardly saw her for twenty years. She went to Hawaii and stayed so far out of reach we could not visit her or call her either. I would write her long letters describing family problems and when she wrote back, it was as though she had never even received those letters! She simply did not answer them. She never commented on anything I wrote to her. It was quite amazing. It was as though she had made up her mind never to deal with her family stateside again and she didn't. Her hated husband's children.
Of course it did not help for her to have divorced him, settling for little of property and assets, and then have him die only two years later! She was so bitter she used to tell people for years that I had caused her to sign away a million dollars, all her rights to the money. This story was not true. At one time before their divorce he wanted to set up a trust of $20,000 for each daughter they would received outright on his death. He also agreed to give her $20,000 in the trust, too. He reasoned that it might be possible for her to spend all the money, so at least we would get that. I had always thought my dad would die long before my mother and she often talked about what she would do with the property and assets when he was gone. So I urged her to sign this paper because my father had gone insane with anger because she wouldn't. I came into the fight with her hitting him with a broom and him picking up a chair. I remember saying, act like a mother instead of instigating a fight like this, a fight that had kept me awake so many days I collapsed at work and lost my job. They lived right next door. Once in the middle of the night I screamed at them from my bedroom and pounded on the wall for them to shut their mouths. So she grabbed the paper and signed which now became a million dollars she had signed away, a story she maintained was true for many years. I thought she was a trifle insane for exaggerating the facts so much to better incriminate her own daughter, which I am sure you will excuse me for thinking.
They were married 35 years so we daughters did not give much thought to inheritance since my mother often stated she would not divorce without at least a $200,000 settlement.
But she fell in love, and to my dad's surprise and ours she suddenly decided to divorce, and seemed to think she might lose her chance to marry this man, so they both apparently agreed she would take a small settlement. And they married a week after the divorce was granted!
Things just before the divorce got extremely critical with my dad. Mother thought he was plotting to kill her so the guns had been taken out of the house. There had been such scenes of violence between them that we thought only separation might insure her safety. He had held the rifle on her now removed for 30 minutes once threatening her death.
We did not think of her as necessarily losing her settlement by leaving. She was going to need to leave and stay away if she was to get through a divorce. She might even need to hide out if she went for a $200,000 settlement. How could she get a divorce while still living with him?
I thought neither one of them ever acted too sane. So it is no wonder that the aftermath of such a troubled marriage was troubled relationships among the sisters. Just from not having the best examples before us of how to get along.
So it has always been a struggle for sisters to rise above the quarreling pattern of our parents and resolve not to quarrel and to talk to each other more gently. That would be an ideal, but not always possible to realize. I thought my sisters who were around my parents' quarrels more took the fights into their very blood stream. I left home at 13. I would escape into books. I would do everything possible to escape listening to their endless quarrels.
I thought we did the best we could. We will probably be struggling to leave behind our parents' behavior patterns until we die. For the most part I think the sisters have done well in getting along with each other. Perfection is not going to happen. We do have flawed relationships, and they will continue to give us trouble and pain, at times, as long as we live, I am sure.

Friday, January 29, 2010

On the State of the Union address and health care abortion funding

We can see from our President's State of the Union address that it is a lot easier to imagine the benefits of say health care without thinking about where the money is to come from. The prospect of ever increasing government debt is very disturbing to politicians not in power, whereas good reason is usually found for the president's increase of the national debt, no matter from what party. We saw President Bush raise the national debt with two wars and now we see President Obama proposing to raise it for his agenda, health care for all and an expanded war in Afganistan, etc.
I objected to health care that would fund abortion. This aspect is viewed as an important addition by democrats who promote it. They refuse to think that possibly this insistence on including it has aroused the ire of republicans. The democrats that support it are not going to concede that legalized abortion is that big of moral problem. It is impossible for me to think that millions of deaths a year through legalized abortion should be regarded as a necessity. We can't afford to encourage the birth of these babies because of all the public health services they might consume, but we can raise the national debt limit to wage war, increase homeland security, and other large expenses.
I saw President Obama successfully presenting himself as a smart politician, a good thinker, especially when it comes to the specifics of the government he impacts. I think he is still lacking when it comes to issues like legalized abortion, but he may see the failure of his health care plan tied to this issue. That won't be acknowledged by either party, but this issue is so divisive that it is bound to be a big problem when democrats propose to have abortion funding signed into law and therefore a good deal more 'untouchable.' Obama and Pelosi and others trying so hard to get health care passed may see their agenda fail just because they have refused to alter their goals on legalized abortion.
Had they been willing to leave it out of the agenda and still agreed to be governed by the Hyde amendment that does not allow medicaid, government employee health insurance, etc, to fund abortion, the health care plan might not have run into such opposition. As it is, trying to push legalized abortion through just when it is starting to get more opposition has created a big problem in my view. I am for health care. I think the poor need it as well as the seniors and disabled. It is time to treat the working poor as as valuable as those who do not work. That only makes sense. So even if it costs the government more money I think it should be done, but democrats who are so passionately for it have also proved to be very passionate about legalized abortion. Now that passion seems suspect. How can you care so much about health care while being determined to provide abortion funding, a very unhealthy prospect for the unborn. Does not make sense. I think the logic is seriously flawed so as long as the democrats won't give an inch on legalized abortion I expect the health care plan to be stalled.
America should strive to be number one in the world in humanitarian consideration for all, and for this reason, they need to lead the way back to limiting abortion. Legalized abortion targets the innocent and as a great nation, I believe that we can find another better way to help women than make sure abortion is always available. To me that is a barbaric solution, as is any solution involving violence, blood shed, and death.

Think of a hereafter composed of legions of these innocent sent to their deaths and answering them as to why this was necessary. It is quite plain to see that those who believe in abortion don't necessarily believe in God or an afterlife, but they cannot prove the afterlife to be totally fantasy and wishful thinking either. Many many times man has been confounded to discover that what he believed did not exist was there all the time. He just did not have 'eyes' to see it.
It stands to reason that we cannot murder without consequence. That the innocent who are killed through no fault of their own will not still have their day in court through divine justice. People who support legalized abortion obviously do not think they will have to 'pay' for these deaths, but if they die and choose eternal life they will have to pay. It may be harder than they think to consign their own human spirits to oblivion. It is very hard to wrap the mind around the idea of oblivion, but those without faith do not want to be fooled by an imaginary hereafter.
Who knows but what the imagination is the source of life. In the imagined we might 'see' the reality that can become.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I talk to my upset sister on the phone

I am sure many would not write such a memoir but in my case my conclusions involved molestation by one of the men I thought my dad was having an affair with in an already stress filled childhood. I see this childhood of trauma as having caused the chronic fatigue symptoms that eventually nearly culminated in my death at 20 and subsequently crippled me. It took until I was 58 years old even to tell the family what I believed about my dad because I knew this would cause them extreme upset.
I still think however that we as a society should steel ourselves to get to the consequences of molestation. I believe my dad to have developed the split in his sexual feelings not through being born that way but through molestation just as I experienced as a child, only more prolonged, more a way of life among boys on certain ranches and in certain towns where this possible problem was not detected and the dangers addressed.
My nurse sister I talked to recently on the phone was cooperating with law enforcement as a public nurse many years ago to try to get a known child molester apprehended in the town where my father went to elementary school. They did not succeed. So she knows how difficult it is to get anyone to testify against child molesters. I believe my father could have encountered molesters such as this man was in that town and on his father's ranch where transients such as the man who molested me were often hired. My dad grew up camping out with the hired men. I think his parents did not protect him enough as he did not protect me enough. My father also drank alcohol when he was very young which is another known way molesters get at the young, by buying them alcohol and offering them sex of another kind at the same time. This was how the molester my sister knew operated. So she knows these crimes exist, but when such matters touch too close to home she is upset.
I am bogged down almost before I begin to write this memoir for publication by upset in the family about certain aspects of this story. The first version is already in my archives which I migrated from AOL. But now I am thinking of publishing it in book form before I die, but opposition and hostility are stymieing my will to rewrite it as I must do before publishing.
I was upset by the hostility I perceived in my sister, but what happened to me she says has also upset her for years, one being my incarceration in a mental ward while she also was attending the University of Utah along with me. She says she took a dangerous job in a mental hospital later just so she could study mental hospitals and try to figure out what could have happened to me in one I claimed was so crippling.
Actually I think my childhood and the damage I sustained was going to culminate in a life threatening illness sooner or later. I am not sorry the psychiatrist thought I needed treatment, but I am sorry the psychiatrists had the right to shock me against my will, requiring only the psychiatrist's incarceration and my parents' permission. What did they know? I told the psychiatrists something was wrong with me and electric shock therapy might kill me. They didn't believe me, but soon found out something was terribly wrong with me which kicked in before they could shock me. This would not have happened had they not had the right to shock me against my will. I would not have been so severely damaged, and they knew it, which was why they hastened to prepare a paper for me to sign saying I volunteered to go into the hospital. That was done obviously to cover their liability in case someone decided to sue.
Who was going to sue them? I was far too ill to sue anyone. I still had months of recovery ahead from the illness caused by the violence of the incarceration and the threat to shock me. Actually, for me incarceration under armed guard was just another assault, another attack that in all its ramifications proved to be life threatening. And I could not talk to my father at all about any of it. He would just scream and shout. I gather he had finally been told about the molestation and feared what all I would say if he did not shut me up.
My father was certainly not blameless in the early molestation just because he was committed to a life of lies and secrets, but I understand why it was so difficult, almost impossible for him to be honest about homosexual feelings in that society. In some places, coming out with gay feelings has been made so difficult nobody does it. Anybody who has these feelings lies. We have not made very much progress in many places with how we handle homosexuality.
Many homosexuals fight their whole lives to be able to say they have gay sexual feelings without being condemned by people who have not walked in their shoes and do not know how they feel.
I have always felt that it was necessary to be fair to my dad if I was going to talk about this, which I fully intend to be. My sisters are at a disadvantage because they had never looked at my dad in this light as I had done for 50 years. They could not come to any conclusion without more years to think about it, but the main thing I don't want to do is to die without having ever addressed these issues that so impacted my life. I don't have forever to write this memoir now, so I feel I have to try to clear away the obstacles from my path if I am going to do it. Hence I talked to my sister, but do not know if anything was gained by it. That remains to be seen.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A visit paid by my ex husband Dean from the spirit world over family upset

Dean has paid me a visit or two the last little while since our son Raymond went on the road with his one man show, Bohemian Cowboy, about his disappearance in the desert and apparently from life. Here he is again after a family upset involving the 'estate' he left behind, an old truck and trailer and an accumulating bank account from his social security because no trace of him has ever been found and so he cannot be declared dead for 7 years.
DEAN: I have made a mess of things haven't I by not making it clear if and where I died.
GERRY: We will try to manage.
DEAN: I guess you will have to since nobody can find my remains. Pole (his cousin and my sister Margie's ex husband who has passed also) said, 'Shurtz, if I had known you were going to create such a stir with your disappearing act, I would have tried to disappear, too, so people could look for me.' But I had no idea that my damned old truck would cause such a problem, too.
GERRY: Anything can be something to fight over if people are inclined. What does Pole say about my sister Margie saying that I was totally responsible for her marrying him?
DEAN: We both know our wives did not care for us much. Any of them, and that brings me to why I am here. I have been trying to do restitution for my bad behavior, you know all the mean things I said and did while on earth. I have been trying not to lose my temper when things happen that upset me. I am trying to be philosophical and think well, it will all work out. I was surprised when Raymond fixed up my old trailer so it was livable again. It will probably do for whatever time he spends in Boulder in the future. My sister can't last much longer and will soon be coming here and then we can settle our differences with our mother present so we won't lose our tempers. She does not want us to fight.
GERRY: How does it feel to be around your mother again after all these years?
DEAN: Good. She is a nice woman. I like her. Now my dad I don't see much of. Old grudges die hard.
GERRY: I am sure you were very happy to see your grandmother. I always liked her.
DEAN: She was a great woman. We both had very loving grandmothers. Mine was especially important to me since she was basically the only loving parent I had from the time I was 4 years old. She was old and worn out, too, but she did the best she could for me. But I want you to know that I am traveling with Raymond. I will be staying in Austin with him as long as he is there. I was in the habit of wintering with him, and now is no different. Your sister LaRae has come to Austin several times and brought people to see the show. She is a good woman. She gets along with everybody.
GERRY: Are you singing?
DEAN: Yes, Pole is here, too. We are singing as much as we can. Trying to inspire Raymond. I have been singing with the band. I sing harmony with Pole, but I want you to know I am singing now as I never did in life, like you always wanted me to do.
GERRY: You have a great voice, a unique voice. You should have been singing all along.
DEAN: Cousin Sterling sings and plays with the band some nights. He is happy as he can be here in Austin. You know every great musical city like Austin has a lot of spirit singers and musicians around. It was like I was ready to step up and start singing in public a lot sooner than I expected to do. There were so many good singers among our relatives.
GERRY: Your relatives not mine.
DEAN: Everybody is so happy about Raymond tackling Austin. It's rare on earth to come even as close as he has to fame and fortune with his gifts. He has got more nerve than I had. You should have been famous, too, with your plays and novels.
GERRY: I am getting pretty old to make it now.
DEAN: I promise you that if you ever give me another part, I will do a lot better job than I did in Aunt Santhea.
GERRY: You were a hit in your hometown.
DEAN: They have theaters here, too, a lot going on just like they do with singing. These guys you wrote plays about are here. They talk about the plays. You are more famous here than you are there. They will say I know she will have a good time doing her plays when she gets here. It won't be so hard for you here as there. You have already established a reputation. People will say it is too bad she did not get to do those plays on earth, but she needed more appreciation.
GERRY: I guess I can look forward to that. I don't see much chance of getting any of them done here now. It's sad, but right now theater is on the wane. It will come back, it always does, but look what a hard time Raymond is having to get audiences for his. He's got the stamina to go out on the road. I don't.
DEAN: Without you to spur him on he never could have done it. He'd never have become a playwright if he hadn't been raised with you writing plays. He heard about yours so much he knew more about plays than he did anything else.
GERRY: I guess you and I were meant to pave the way, you with your singing, me with my plays, and then it was for him to put a play and a song together and go out on the road with a show.
DEAN: He took it all one step further. I am there cheering him on with every new song he writes. Raymond's a showman. He didn't have my voice but he had nerve that took him a lot further. He will find his voice. It's great to see a star being born when he is your son.
GERRY: Is that what you came to tell me.
DEAN: Yes, he is going to be a star, a lot bigger star than either you or he imagines, because he is a playwright, too. He is a song writer. And he can perform. He has got what it takes to be a star. You are a star, too, but you always had to shine through some dark clouds. The clouds are going to part for him. That's what everybody is excited and happy about. You might think it isn't going to happen. It might take more time, but I have brought you the message from those who know, they have seen it in his destiny. He is fortune's child.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Doc and I watch the Tudors and talk about the Reformation

Connie sent me this header today, so I couldn't wait to see how it looked, as Doc plays the cowboy so well in costume and play, even though he was only on a horse twice in his life and said the horse did not like him either time!
He and I just finished the first year of the series the Tudors in which both of us took a deep interest. He was raised in a profoundly religious Lutheran community which he left at the age of 25 or so when his marriage to a Lutheran minister's daughter caused him so much upset. So when Martin Luther started his break from Catholicism and King Henry the VIII began to hear about it in England and take an interest, Doc is gripped by the past. I am also taking a tremendous interest in a story about how a King went from devotion to the church to the reformation in England during his reign. A woman, Anne Boleyn, was instrumental in bringing to his attention the writings that had been printed departing from the idea that Kings should bow to the Pope. We have not yet seen the second year of the series which will no doubt cover the King's eventual turning away from Anne Boleyn which lead to her dreadful beheading, a historical act that has always filled me with dread because it seems like the ultimate in punishment for a woman who was perhaps too ambitious for her own safety.
Since I was raised in a state, Utah, where the Mormon Church is so dominating, I have seen first hand how a church can stifle the examining of certain issues that had meaning for me. I can see that it does take centuries for change to come, sometimes. So in an odd sense the Reformation in England gives me hope that wrongs in the name of religion could be addressed by men powerful enough to do it. The Catholic priest Henry placed in command to take the place of Cardinal Wolsey who had fallen from grace has just finished burning a man responsible for printing a reformation interpretation of the laws of God. He would not recant. The King has not found out about it yet, but I am sure he will. Then this man he has elevated to the most powerful Catholic official in England will come under fire for burning a man writing the very defiant ideas the King is now taking such an interest in, as inspired by the books Anne Boleyn has shown him.
What drama! This burning of the heretics had to be stopped by powerful men as well. I am very curious to see what will happen next.
It has been a long time since I have been so interested in a drama on TV or in the movies as in this one. Henry is shown in all his faults and extremes. In a series the conflicts can be examined in more detail than in a movie. This series is certainly doing justice to one of the most powerful dramas every played out in history. Doc has been a very interesting companion to watch this with.
I see him as having such serious flaws along with such a powerful intellect, like Henry, like these religious figures. I just can't understand why he committed himself to self destruction. I wonder if anything can touch him. Or if he is just going to keep on, inexorably, until he dies of alcoholism. So I am studying him, the former Lutheran, as I watch. He went through his own rebellion when he left the church and refused to think about reforming himself again. He is in defiance of Luther. I wonder what Martin Luther would say to a man like Doc.
The women battle the men, Queen Katherine who would not abandon her marriage because divorce was regarded as a mortal sin. Henry keeps trying to explain to her but she does not get the point that he simply does not love her any more and thinks he should be able to leave her if he is unhappy and dissatisfied. As a young man, he could only marry royalty, and she was his older brother's wife who would have been the King had he lived. His older brother was in poor health and the marriage was not consummated, so the Queen is not willing to accept Henry's reasons for wanting an annulment or divorce, anything that will allow him to marry his new love, Anne Boleyn.
He is trying to say to Queen Katherine who was from Spanish royalty that there is no sense being King if he can't have what he wants in this regard. I tend to agree with him there, so he was going to figure out a way to continue to be King and marry for love. I remember when the Prince of Wales abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson. He lost the love of the people by abdicating I thought, instead of fighting to marry a commoner who was divorced. For if Kings with all their power won't fight for what they want, who else can we expect to do it?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Talking to the spirits again to prepare for departure

I seem to be taking lessons now on a regular basis on how to adjust to the hereafter when I go. I have no doubt there is one. My Grandmother King who I am writing about now for my contribution to a book about Boulder women for the festival gave me one of the strongest testimonies there is a hereafter I have ever received, this was in a dream following my incarceration and almost fatal illness in a psych ward at 20. Incarceration was not of course meant to threaten my life but it did because I already had had manifestations of chronic fatigue which results in extreme weakness and constant fatigue when it surfaces. The last thing that should have been my course of treatment when I started to fall ill with it was electric shock. But I happened to be in a mental ward where serious physical illnesses do not normally surface, except when I went in my room mate was terminally ill with cancer. She had requested she be transferred to the mental ward because she said she needed to talk about her impending death to someone. I am not sure she received any satisfaction, but she was in terrible pain. The second night I was there she died in our room, but not before she told me with some satisfaction that she was the only one not receiving electric shock treatment because she was too sick.
I must have seen my one way out. I was not sure I would survive electric shock therapy I was so weak by then then, but if I died before hand I might be able to come back, and so I accepted my fate and began to die. I remember a voice from within guiding me through it.
I really did not discuss this event with my family when I got out. They were already frightened enough. And were having a difficult enough time understanding what had happened. I did not understand the illness myself, nor that it could be life threatening until I had a couple of more bad bouts with it. In the mental ward, it was suggested that I manifested a form of an extreme mental disorder called catatonic seizure To this day I don't know if I caught the virus as a child which has now been discovered to cause chronic fatigue symptoms in some cases. I have not been tested, but I did have a mysterious virus when I was 10, during the school year, that no one else got, and I attributed the symptoms of what I thought might be leukemia the following summer to this mystery virus. I thought it was serious and might kill me.
My Grandmother had died when I was 14, but I knew she was very worried about the stress my father's suicidal drinking was having on the family. She had still been alive when I probably manifested chronic fatigue at the age of 12 when my father nearly died from drinking a bottle of rubbing alcohol. My symptoms were serious enough that my aunts were consulted and it was decided I must be removed from my home the very next year, instead of waiting until I went away to high school. My aunt Nethella intervened with the teachers and they consented to give all three of us in my grade a double promotion since we had all done well in school.
I was certainly able to do the work of students ahead of me, but socially I was always behind.
My beloved grandmother died the second year I lived to my aunts, many miles from home, and it was decided I needed to stay in school rather than traveling across the state of Utah to attend her funeral. My aunt, who was her daughter, went, but she stayed two weeks before she returned to resume teaching school. I remember feeling so sad because I could not say a last goodbye at her graveside.

Years later, I was having a nightmarish time when I came home from the hospital dealing with the perception among many that I had lost my mind while attending the University and would probably never recover it. They did not see me as having a tough time physically because mental illness was not considered life threatening. I would get a little better and then some stressful thing would occur and I would have a set back. My future looked extremely bleak because I did not see how I would be able to hold a job let alone have a career in anything.
One night I had this vivid dream. My Grandmother King I thought came to visit me and she said, "You know after I came here I had to spend several years in a place that is similar to a mental hospital. I just got out not long ago." I was very surprised and said, "Why would you have to go into a mental hospital when you were good enough to go to heaven?" She said simply, "Because I did not understand why all these tragedies happened to my sons."
I understood perfectly when she said that. She had lost her youngest son Max at the age of 21 from a fall from a horse in a rodeo. He had been raised on horses. It had been conceded he had been too drunk even to reach out his hand to break his fall and keep his head from hitting a stone. Her oldest son Glen was found at the age of 49 under circumstances that suggested suicide after his wife left him because of his violence when drinking and other unacceptable behaviors. Her son Reed had joined her in death three years later after he contacted TB in the mental hospital at the age of 45 where he had been kept because of his diagnosis of the dreaded dementia praecox, probably advanced schizophrenia in our time. My own father had escaped death too many times to count from his own suicidal drinking.
How indeed could she have been cursed with so many serious problems among her sons? I attributed my own emotional and physical crippling to my father's emotional problems as well.
I knew then that my courageous grandmother had gone on in another world to try to understand problems too serious for her to grasp in this one. She had not given up. Life did go on, I thought, with a reawakening of hope. I did not see much chance of my father receiving adequate help with his problems in this world, but perhaps he, too, could go to a mental hospital and be helped in some other realm.
My Grandmother had reached across an unfathomable distance to give me inspiration to live, even if crippled.
I was not the only child in the family to be affected. I believe my sister LaRae's death at the age of 51 had something to do with the stress we all lived in for so many years. I was worried about its effects on her even when she was a small child. She was plagued by nightly nightmares. Every single night we would have to wake her up from crying and talking what sounded like pitiful gibberish in her sleep and try to soothe her. I remember thinking if a child of mine was doing this I would take her to a psychiatrist. I thought my sister was super sensitive, and unlike me, she did not escape from this environment at the age of 13 as I did. She stayed there until she was 18.
She is the one who comes now to give me lessons. She says as when the quake occurred in Haiti that we never know the hour of our departure, so we should prepare for it so as not to be taken by surprise.

Last night for the first time in years I was able to speak to my Grandmother King. I am a playwright. Receiving such dialogues from spirits has been a preoccupation for years. I filled many journals with dialogues with the spirits. This was how I survived my crippling. I knew I could hardly have any kind of success at all, because success comes with stress, and stress would always surface the symptoms. If I wanted to live I had to live a life as stress free as possible. I could not even act on the stage because that was too stressful. When I first came home from the hospital I would have a too stress filled day and would start to die in my sleep. A voice would shout in my ear, wake up, wake up, you are dying! I would come to and try to think what the stress had been so I could relieve it as quickly as possible. The nearest I can come to explaining it was that stress would cause my damaged nervous system to spasm and I would start going numb. In the mental hospital this numbness deepened until I quit breathing. In another episode the next morning, the numbness advanced until I could only feel my bones and teeth. It was hard not to think I was dying when that happened. Only a rapid relieving of whatever stress was causing the reaction could stop it.
It was very difficult to find enough people to talk to in such a limited existence, hence the dialogues with the spirits.
There continued to be a lot of stress in my environment. You simply cannot change your environment enough especially when you are crippled to escape stress. So I had to learn how to deal with it. How to relieve it. Life was still filled with ups and downs and some illnesses I was unable to prevent.
But how happy I am I was able to have children and to stay alive to be with them to this age. I do think that learning to watch stress levels actually made me stronger in my old age than others in the family who had taken their physical strength for granted and taxed themselves beyond their strength. Everybody has to learn what their own limitations are when they begin to manifest weaknesses.

Last night my Grandmother took me through the family members who are there with her to say how they are doing. A beloved grandson of her youth has just joined her at the age of 79. She had taken care of him and his older brother a great deal as they were her first grandchildren. This grandson had been a Mormon Bishop for many years and when he saw that he had landed with one of his cousins who had rejected the church, he said why was he not in Mormon heaven, but with the skeptics? It was hard to explain to him that the separation of family through their church affiliation may have been one of the problems creating mental illness in the rebelling members.
I knew my Grandmother and my sister LaRae both were up to the job of discussing this with him, as my sister had rebelled against her church membership as fiercely as anyone I have ever seen. She demanded that she be excommunicated, and now here was one of her most devout Mormon cousins to welcome into heaven.
LaRae was best friends with Max, her cousin closest to her age who was Uncle Reed's youngest living daughters. Max became such a rebel that she could not hear the words church and God without breaking into a rant. Marion, her only other surviving sister became as devoted to the Mormon Church as Homer, the Mormon Bishop.
The battle between the two sisters became legendary as though one were the black sheep and the other the white. They could hardly visit. They could hardly be friends, because neither would give an inch, but I happened to know that Max the youngest had been severely abused by her alcoholic stepfather, probably the beginning of an intense resentment and rebellion against her mother's and older sister's religious beliefs.
Yet, as my Grandmother King said, both of her granddaughters must be loved and their needs met. I know she loved Max and Marion equally, as she loved all her grandchildren and children, religious or not. She had a deep mother's love for every child and grandchild. I always knew my Grandmother King would love me if no one else did.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Old photographs and the Tudors

I had a lot of fun scanning some old photos my kids mentioned wanting up on FB when I could not sleep last night. So I will show you what I scanned as I whiled away the hours until I finally fell asleep at 5 am this morning. I am not too swift today, so hope writing a blog entry proves to be a good idea. Here is the one Ronda wanted me to scan of her in her beloved white go go boots and a pink mini dress on I think it was her 4th birthday in Phoenix.

I doctored one on my scanner but for some reason that one would not take. This is the original, not quite so good. She was tickled and made it her profile picture.
Then I went down to Doc's and watched an episode of the Tudors before I went to the Farmer's Market on my regular Saturday jaunt. I had just read quite a detailed history of Henry VIII, so I am enjoying this showtime English made series based on the outrageous behavior of the King known for beheading a wife whose daughter became one of England's greatest queens, Elizabeth. Thank god they don't behead us cast off wives anymore. Things have gotten a little better, but I find all this scheming and plotting to try to get a divorce or an annulment as they used to do in the old days with Catholic control of the world intriguing but disturbing. King Henry has plotted and schemed about all he can. Now he is going to do away with the Catholic church's domination in England. That will take some doing, but this strong willed but not always wise King is up to it.
I love costume drama based on history so I love this series despite the grim realities of life and love in those days.
After I came home with my usual purchase of turnips and tomatoes, plus some baking potatoes and tamales, I came upstairs to nap a while. Aside from not enough sleep, it has been a relatively nice Saturday.
PS. Here is another cute photo of Ronda and her cousins, Mala and Stuart, in outfits my sister Ann made them. They always had to wear them together.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Talking to Raymond in Austin and record snow in Boulder, Utah

I talked to Raymond in Austin who had not yet seen photos of a record snow fall in Boulder, Utah, his summer country abode as well as my hometown. Everybody is digging out and checking on their cattle. They may have to get hay to them if they are out on the winter ranges. One year they had to fly in hay by helicopter to keep the cows from starving. His cousin Cheryl was going to go check on Raymond's trailer. Might have to push some off the roof, as people have been doing all over town. I could not believe the big piles of snow they were digging out from under. I am sure they are a little stunned, too. If you want to read an amusing account of her first winter in Boulder 'consumed by the weather' and digging out from under a record snow fall, read my niece Cheryl's blog, Directions 4 Retirement. (google it)
Our paper today said another '2 to 4' feet is expected in Flagstaff, Arizona tonight and through the weekend. Students were already walking through waist high snow paths. And I don't even have a snow photo to show you. We don't think snow in Phoenix.
Raymond made me laugh by saying, "And I am meeting a lot of beautiful women in Austin!" He said that his dog Baby is a magnet and he has met more people this way. He says this is a dog town with three dog parks where the owners just let as high as 50 dogs run! Baby must be in dog heaven. Oh yes, it was so funny, he took Baby into the theater last night he said, and he plans to teach Baby to be a show dog and he thinks within 6 months he can put her in the show! Well, why not, I said, as he spent years teaching kids gymnastic tricks as well as acting ones. He used to practice juggling for hours. And walking on his hands. If anybody can teach Baby to be a theater dog he can. He says she is very smart, she will be a good learner. Like border collies do, she already thinks he is her job.

Here is a young Baby with McKye in case you have forgotten what she looks like. This one shows her distinctive ears.
Raymond says the festival sales tickets are down 35% due to the bad economy everywhere. He brought most of the audience in himself, so he has to hustle every moment to try to make these festival dates count. He has got a challenging task but he is happy doing it.

My vision is improving every day. Raymond was excited to hear I am seeing well enough to go without my glasses. Never did I expect to be able to do that. I just have to remember my reading glasses now to take with me if I expect to be reading!

P.S. Connie just sent me this header to celebrate my new eyes. I appreciate how sharply all the flowers stand out now.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Why do women fall in love with their eye surgeons? Am I a serial flirt?

I do hope you won't be afraid to look at my latest videos with such titles, but I just wanted to celebrate my new eyes after cataract surgery as well as discuss the nature of women when it comes to love, especially ones like me with excessive natures, somehow, that end up splitting their feelings their whole lives between more than one man. There are many reasons for this. I was such a theater lover, aspiring to be a playwright, and so fond of books, I was incompatible with many men who did not have these interests even though they were attractive. I became disabled at an early age so could not locate to places that might have had more people I could relate to, which is common for literary people to do. So I had to compromise and ran into a lot more trouble with incompatibility.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Eye surgery all done!

Doc took the above photo this afternoon. If you look closely you can see that my left eye is still quite dilated. The surgery went well and when I went back for my post op appt. I could see all the lines this time with my right eye, so think what I will be able to do when my left eye has healed! My daughter Ronda bought me a cute pair of reading glasses and I can read just great with those. I see I have been seeing quite dim while my cataracts were growing.
My daughter Ronda took me to the outpatient surgery at the center and while I was getting my eye done, she picked up my son Dan and we all went to lunch after the operation to a cafe close by. We had a great visit and she dropped him off and picked me up again to go to my post op appt. I told Ronda I felt in such good hands with this doctor. And Ronda was a jewel all day long, even taking me to get my meds which were ready. Doc was relieved I did not have to rely on him and the taxis, and so was I. Although he did take me and get me taxied home the first operation. You do need to be accompanied and stay off our mainstay, the bus.
My friend in the complex told me everyone she knew who needed this done weren't putting it off any longer in case benefits were cut. I know I have felt this operation hanging over me for about 6 years now while waiting for them to 'ripen.'
A guy in this complex was waiting for years and after he finally got it done and could see so well he had to have an operation to get his lids lifted as they interfered with his vision. So they operated and told him exactly what to do after the surgery. I saw him and both eyes were black but I was assured this was normal. He seemed to be doing very well.
About three days later I asked how he was and they said he was on life support not expected to live! He had done everything the doctors told him not to including get down on the floor and try to fix someone's computer! He found out the hard way the doctors meant what they said. I was so shocked when I heard the bad news I just screamed. We tried to find him to say goodbye, a good friend of his and I, and for the life of us we could not find the hospital where he was.
So I thought of Bob today and was glad my operation was simple enough it would be hard to screw it up. In fact the doctor said it was all right to go ahead with normal activities. I am sure Bob is looking down from heaven and is happy for me.
We do hear of these sad mishaps with cosmetic surgery, so guess I won't be having any. I feel happy and relieved I have gotten by this milestone in old age. The doctor says we will all grow cataracts if we live long enough!
But in the hands of a skilled surgeon this operation seems like a miracle one. So Doc and I celebrated as well when I got home. He announced he would have to sober up at least 2 weeks before he has his operation as they are 'ready'. I am going to urge him to do it as that might be the only way to get him to sober up two weeks! He doesn't dare have it drinking as he does. That might be one sure way to screw up a cataract operation.
They were very careful to monitor my blood pressure which was much lower than last time. I was nervous the first time I guess. They even took my blood sugar which was 111-109, lower, too.
Good luck with your operation when that time comes. Paula from Country Tales says she will probably need one by next year. My sister Ann said hers were growing but not ripe yet.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Other cataract Surgery tomorrow, the 20th!

The doctor said I was healed enough to do the other eye, so my daughter Ronda will accompany me this time to the eye clinic. The photo above is how I have been able to go about with only one surgery done. Now my problem is forgetting my glasses that I need to read with. I can't go down to Doc's in the morning to have coffee, breakfast, and read the paper without those. After my surgery I won't be able to see to read until I get new glasses! The glasses I am wearing now will just be a blur! I think. Maybe the bifocal part will work. I will have to see.
It is quite fascinating to experience what eye surgeons can do now. When my dad had his cataract surgery over 45 years ago, he had to wear contact lenses for about a year. If that wasn't a pain. He would head one for his eye on the end of his finger but it could land anywhere. He would ask us daughters to put them in, his grandkids, even the waitresses in cafes. Once he could not find his contact in his eye and it wasn't on the right place. He called me and I looked all over in his eye for it. Usually it would have slid down somewhere in there, but no! I looked on the floor. It was not to be found. Finally I spotted it on the tip of his nose.
Old guys like him were not good candidates to wear contact lenses! My sister Linda wrote a funny poem about him saying to everybody, "Won't you please put in my eye?"
Surgery had improved when Mom had her cataracts removed 20 years later. She didn't have to wear contacts as the lens was put right in the eye immediately like mine are being done.
I see that my doctor does the laser surgery on younger people who do not want to wear glasses. Two of my nieces had that done. Anyway, I feel I am in skilled hands with this surgeon! I was able to get going very soon after the last surgery so I don't expect to be slowed up much. I have gotten so I hate putting in the eye drops 4 times a day, but that's really nothing.

For those of you who have been following my troubles with an unstable neighbor, he now comes and goes at night, and I have not seen him at all, but he is still there. He is not going to feel too safe after such behavior. Another younger woman I had never seen before has knocked on my door looking for him. I think how dangerous it is for any woman to jump into an involvement after barely meeting someone. You could be going to bed with a maniac.
I was reckless a few times after I got my tubes tied and contemplated how many years I had had to be so cautious because of my compromised health. A pregnancy at the wrong time would have been dangerous. I was playing pool one night over on the west side in a pool bar that featured live bands and was tempted to stay after dark which I rarely did. A very attractive man in there offered to give me a ride home. I had talked to him and played pool with him, but as soon as I got in his car and started home with him, I realized he was a very dangerous man and that I had better make up my mind to have sex with him and like it, because if I resisted he was going to rape me. He was attractive enough that we managed to have a lot of laughs and enjoy ourselves, but I knew I had to get rid of him. He liked me well enough he kept coming back, and then he started suggesting he take my 15 year old daughter to go meet his 15 year old son!! That sent a cold chill through me. I learned through his remark he was actually staying with his ex-wife and their kids as he was just back in town, he said after working in Colorado. I told him I did not go with married men, so was able to terminate our relationship that way.
I had known his brother for a long time in the pool bar where I generally played after I came home from Revlon after work sometimes. He announced to the bar one day that his handsome brother Joe had been arrested for rape, that he had already served 5 years in prison for rape, and they would throw the book at him!
One night, a knock came on my door, and it was Joe. I didn't want to let him in, but he said he wanted to tell me what happened. He knew I was writing all the time and he had been wanting me to write his story. He came in and said that I probably knew by now he had been in prison for rape, which was where he had been instead of in Colorado working. He said he dated a beautiful young white girl after our encounters (he was Hispanic) and she resisted toward the end and he raped her. When she got out of the car, she yelled at him, "I will get you." She charged him with rape. He said he would not run. He probably belonged in prison maybe for his malady and he knew it.
But I will never forget how I knew almost instantly by how he moved that he was a violent man. That encounter was enough to make me a good deal more cautious about going with a guy so fast I met in a bar even though I loved to dance and loved to play pool. Still going to bars was always a risk and I finally gave it up. It wasn't worth the risks even though I had practiced a lot to become a good pool player.
My daughter has belonged to a dance club for 15 years where no alcohol is served. She takes classes and constantly tries to improve her skills for competitions, but women who love to dance are often at high risk who do not find such outlets.
In here I know that younger women often despair about ever meeting anyone, especially when disabled, and so are tempted by a handsome Casanova who moves in, like my neighbor.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Thousands to meet Friday, January 22, at Washington Mall to protest abortion health care plan funding

This is the 37th anniversary of the Roe vs Wade decision by the Supreme Court that legalized abortion, and thousands of pro life supporters will meet again to try to stop the finalizing of a health bill that supports abortion funding. The abortion mandate coalition sent me an e-mail saying that pro life protesters are being helped to go to Washington. I got all stirred up, wishing I could go, but am having cataract surgery this Wednesday. How I wish I could attend such a rally and hear the heartfelt testimonies of those who have been working so long for this cause.
Reports are coming in now that 100,000 might be dead in the earthquake in Haiti. When you think of the dead, think of over a MILLION of the unborn killed every year in this country by legalized abortion. And everyone of those children had a corpse however small to be disposed of by a million dollar abortion industry which is lobbying in congress as we speak for a big boost of numbers, because abortion clinics have even had to close possibly due to a bad economy and no money for abortions. Government funding is bound to cause the deaths to bound back to even higher numbers than before. Do the people of America want more bloodshed by supporting such policies, for we all play a part in these deaths if we do not resist such philosophies.
I am terrified the supporters of abortion will win which includes many pro choice democrats and the President. Like him or not Bush fought against abortion. That is one good thing he did. Confusedly, let us admit, since he also went to war in two countries. He always seemed like a confused president and even a panicked one after 9/11. Democrats don't like to remember they voted to go to war in Iraq, too.
I believe that President Obama is confused, too, in his reasoning or he would not be supporting abortion. He has to be fought if supporting abortion was the price he had to pay to be a candidate. I do not think he understands that if you support such a policy in your presidency, some of the blood shed will be on your hands. Death as a solution is never a good idea. We got along without legalized abortion in this country until 1973, so what happened?
China and Russia is what happened with communist thinking, and believe it or not, some in this country joined the communist party and endorsed legalized abortion as necessary for an 'enlightened' society to progress. I was reading the other day that it is predicted China will have millions of young men who cannot find a woman to marry by 2020 due to their one baby policy, and it is against the law to have any more. They must be aborted by law if pregnancy occurs. In Russia I have read it is common for a woman to have had 17 abortions.
We call those who support abortion so ferociously left wing. When I think left wing I think communist. I used to read a lot of those left wing underground newspapers when I was living in Los Angeles back before Roe vs Wade, thinkers who had been to Northern Viet Nam, who in the early years did not see Stalin's death camps and idealized the revolution saying it was for the common people's good. So many times an ideal society is enforced with brutal zeal by people in a hurry. To me, that is how legalized abortion came about. It's a fast brutal solution to a hardship pregnancy that may haunt the dreams of those who use it, for a life time.

Blogger ranks thin as we writers keep searching for connection

Raymond, I know, had to move this weekend as well as start preparing for the festival coming up in another theater in which Bohemian Cowboy is scheduled for four performances. He is now hoping to spend more of the winter months in Austin as he forms connections and receives enough support to make that possible. In the meantime, DB of Vagabond Journeys has tapped Raymond and 3 more actors to write about the moments of transcendence they have experienced while performing in theater. I returned to his blog several times to see if he was getting readers for this outstanding piece and found that only five have responded with comments so far, including myself.
I have e-mailed DB about getting enough comment from readers of your blog that you do not feel you are talking to yourself. Even if my sitemeter says there are readers unless they comment once in a while signaling to me they are there, I tend not to be comforted by the thundering silence. I am one who absolutely believes in reciprocation. In other words I owe you the reader a return to your blog to see what you have to say, if you are a blogger. And I also have a great deal of faith in the survival of the blogger as writer, but I expect there to be definite ups and downs in blog writing. I think we bloggers who migrated here from AOL have just been learning how to survive as bloggers.
I see great possibilities in some of the natural born writers who have taken to blogging, like DB. Others are not as literary as he is but are vigorous and entertaining as writers. And they are trying all sorts of things. I now am on Facebook and I enjoy that mainly because my kids are on Facebook and are always posting some interesting photos I love to see. I have also gotten the chance to make several albums of photos for them and other Facebook relatives.
I have also been writing on our family site now for six or seven years! Certain relatives are regular contributers with commentary, updates, and photos. We just had a photo shoot of a new baby born to my grand niece and the grandma put the overflow on Facebook, too, so that worked, especially for those who love photos as I do. We also do book reviews on there and pass books around we think others might like, so that's been another popular feature.
But I am always thinking about how to strengthen the blogging world which seems at times to be fading. Mind you, I don't think it will ever expire, however, there are too many bloggers who actually love to write. We just have to be able to chart the ebb and flow and figure out how to expand this world until we feel it is quite healthy.
So now I go to write an e-mail to the Arizona Republic's theater critic after spending my energies a week ago writing to and about the New Times theater critic. The subject to the Republic's will be on theater companies taking more of an interest in in their cities by doing plays each year by local playwrights reflecting the problems. Tonys and Pulitzers are fine, but they should always make room for new stuff that might be more pertinent to the people they serve.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I got up at 3 am to read Other Voices posted this weekend by DB in Vagabond Journeys

This entry is well worth your time to read as it is composed of several pieces from actors, including DB and my son, Raymond, about great transcending moments in theater from the performer's point of view.
As an aspiring playwright I was always thinking of how I could write some of those transcending moments that would inspire an actor to want to do the role. As I wrote to DB, I saw Julian Beck's and Judith Malina's 'living theater' in Los Angeles and decided I would develop the living theater idea in life, living the drama and then recording it in play form. I felt I had already been doing that once I decided I had to tell the truth at all times to become a good writer. Out of trying to live up to this concept, I found that moving drama would come. Sometimes I did not know if I would be able to survive where living up to this concept took me such as incarceration in a mental hospital brought about entirely by deciding to write the truth as I saw it in all my classes at the University of Utah where I first decided to become a playwright. I did not realize how much I had been feeding my teachers what they wanted to hear so as not to jeopardize my "A" in the class. I had never risked my "A"s before in a commitment to the truth. I did not realize that A's and the truth were not always compatible.
My father did not welcome this commitment to the truth rather than to A's I will tell you. Now everyone started questioning my version of truth and still are! Ha.
I hope DB will come up with more great ideas for a special entry like this one. Be sure to read Other Voices in Vagabond Journeys this weekend. You will be inspired.

P.S. Header is a pic Doc took of me with my new look without glasses!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Old ladies fighting crime

After spending 25 years in public housing, 13 years of it on the west side in an extremely violence ridden complex for woman and children, I have a few ideas to write about in my plays about what people have to do to survive such places. I have ideas about what can be done to improve them which is appeal to the gneral populace to take more of an interest, persuade theater companies to do plays about their own city's problems instead of always thinking about risk free theater fare when the city its self is not safe for many people. Talk theater critics into supporting local playwrights 'amateur' efforts to make theater a force against crime. Talk newspaper publishers into expanding their own coverage beyond their favorite whipping boys like the Sheriff. He probably loves all the publicity by now. There are more problems in Arizona than Arpaio!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The news is good from my sister Linda in San Francisco!

I have to smile at my sister Linda in San Francisco sounding so happy because she has found a new boyfriend. She described him to me and he does sound well yummy. No wonder we have not heard from her lately. But she is also very busy with activities with the poets. How do you like that? She arranged to sculpture last year's San Francisco poet laureate Jack Hirshman at the famed Beat Museum. Jack, Linda, and I are pictured in the above photo at the Cafe Trieste, where poets meet each day. This photo was taken on my trip with Linda to San Francisco a few months before she moved there. In the header we are at the Beat Museum. They are giving her space to sculpture on site since she already has several sculptured busts of poets on display there. She is lucky she is getting this chance to sculpture such a busy man. She is also attending the weekly poets' meeting they have in North Beach. What luxury to be able to meet with poets each week. She says the talk is very fast and literary and at first she hardly dared open her mouth, but now she is getting a little more used to them.
She is also excited because relatives from Utah are coming to San Francisco today to see their college basketball player son play ball at two colleges in the Bay area. Linda has been eager to attend one of Andy's games and now she will get to see it with Karen and Rick, the mom and dad, who are invited to stay to her daughter Rissy's. Rissy just bought a big house with plenty of room for visiting relation!
I hope they all have a fun weekend.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The extremely difficult problem of illegal drug activity in public housing

This is one of the worst problems residents have to deal with because violent reactions can so easily be the response if you say anything about what you see or hear, either to that person or anyone else. But what do you do when a resident living so close to you, opposite your door, appears to be in the throes of a drug addiction, hearing noises, working himself up to the point of pounding on your door and shouting your name? Leaving irrational threatening notes on your door. I have been the victim of men in an alcoholic psychosis, but do not have very much experience with drug addicts hallucinating this close up.
I have gone and talked to the new chairman of the Tenants' Organization. She ran last year and lost so she is already the veteran of a lot of fights. She said my neighbor has left a number of abusive notes on her door because she told him he had not been a resident here long enough to run as chairman. I know he took great offense to this. She also alarmed me by telling me he had been involved with 17 women in here since he moved in here, some of whom claimed rape. I did not know about the claims of rape, but it figures that once he got in the door he would not leave until his mission was accomplished. He may not have thought it was rape, but if they did that is enough for me. He used to talk about his conquests and I was perturbed because these were generally all from the ranks of the mentally ill. I felt he was acting like this was the happy hunting grounds. I said as much as I could to him about this being excessive behavior on his part. Well, it seems I have made him angry, and he has been brooding about it for several months, and so was striking back. In fact another woman told me today he got mad at me for having the nerve to ask him if he was on drugs. He said, everybody in here is on drugs. She said she said, "I am not. I know a lot of people in here who are not." She pointed to scars on her forehead saying to me, "Crack cocaine did this to me." A guy on crack cocaine beat her with a baseball club and she was in a coma for 3 weeks. That is why she is disabled and in here. She also said Scott was verballyabusive to her after she dated him. I saw him be cruel to her. He said she was a nut case and he didn't want any more to do with her. This is pretty much what he has said about all the ones he loved and left and talked about. This was when we were 'friends.' But I still thought he was a southern gentleman then. But that was before I think he found a drug connection.
He asked me to let him check his e-mails on my computer once when the video library one for tenants was down, and after he asked me twice, I let him, but did not like how he acted in my apartment, sort of I don't know too silent and unnatural acting, so I said to him that the library offered these services and made up my mind to deny him access to mine if he asked me again. It is no wonder I don't let these young guys or hardly any other resident in my apartment I hardly let Doc because he can't drink here. My apartment is my safe refuge, and now it doesn't seem too safe.
But on the other hand if residents I think are drug dealers are running up and down outside my door knocking on his, I am probably going to say something to make somebody mad. The way he is acting now is just why I don't want any resident in here selling drugs. These drug dealing residents are irresponsible and breaking the law, and it looks like old ladies have to get involved in stopping them whether they want to or not. Just to protect the environment where they live before every public housing complex including this one goes to hell.
When I was on the west side we residents met the police to try to clean up that HUD complex and the one next to it which was privately owned. A new owner had agreed to cooperate and started to evict the gangs. Men with machine guns were going up and down my stairs. I was scared to death when I saw them. We complained to management and she said to document and to turn in reports if we wanted the resident who they were seeing evicted. A week or so later the guys with the machine guns shot 5 people to a party, killing 2 of them. When the shooter was finally caught he committed suicide in front of the arresting cop.
When our reports got the violent woman evicted upstairs, she screamed that she would come back and shoot us all in a drive by. A big gun battle erupted one night right in front of my apartment and I saw a guy shot and fall down. The woman around in front had her windows shot in two different places. On the weekends that place was like I imagine a city like Beirut must be. There was always gun fire and we called the police constantly and would go to the hallway and sit down on the floor when the shooting started.
I saw another gun battle where 32 shells were found in the side street out in front of my apartment alone. Cops were all over the place. This was two gangs fighting. I could tell you stories of other shootings and murders, mostly over drugs.
This complex I live in now is the least violent I have lived in, but my income did not cover rent and utilities. I got a very low disability. My two youngest kids and I had to live in public housing for women and kids, which are ironically some of the most violent in the nation I believe.
The first one I lived in was even more frightening. I fled it in two months and went to Utah for a while, but had to come back to Arizona eventually to try to find work when I recovered enough I thought I could hold down a job. I had been disabled with a bout of chronic fatigue for 3 years. I was only able to work 4 more years before becoming too disabled to hold a job.
Public housing gets rife with illegal drug activity unless management and residents are alert and fight it. We had a notorious woman drug dealer living in the complex where I lived 13 years most of the time. She went to Mexico for drugs, and once she did not go and her ex husband who always went with her was murdered, so she hid out for quite a while. When she started coming out in public again, a guy walked up to the guy she was talking to in a bar and shot him in cold blood. I had known her and all her kids for years. My grandchild I tended played with her grandchild.
We always had to think about what to do about illegal drug activity and the violence it engenders. How to fight it. How to keep our complex safe to live in at all.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

On a lighter note


Isnt this a beautiful graphic Connie made for Bohemian Cowboy. I am celebrating because the kindness of strangers and willing patrons have made it possible for Raymond to stay in Austin, Texas another month and possibly more. He will be able to put his one man show into the festival at another theater, so his sojourn in Texas is turning into a happy, productive one. He and Baby have made many friends. See his latest entry in his blog Cowboys and Bohemians called "Death, where is thy sting?"

As for me, I was rushing off to a post op eye doctor appt. just as both elevators broke down. I walked down 6 flights of stairs, and downtown to fast transit which goes faster, and barely made it in time. I walked 3 blocks to and fro to his office. I came from there and walked down to Jack in the Box for lunch, so I was tired when I got home. Doc had the camera set up and I made a video which turned out pretty good. More of a light touch. So I was glad of that. You don't need to be afraid to watch it! Ha.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I think of meditation as the means to calm in times of trouble as well as the stairway to eternity

The above graphic always makes me feel calm when I look at it. I have returned to meditation this evening after a tumultuous day. I had a comforting message from Raymond that he had received financial help to get him through another month in Texas at least. I am so happy he will have the chance to do his one man show in a festival at another theater four more dates this month. We have been e-mailing each other and even did text messaging on gmail. He said he was feeling the power of God in this answer to a prayer. He was coming down with a bad cold, so will probably not be able to blog about it today.
I go to the eye doctor tomorrow for another post op check and received in the mail my date to have my other cataract surgery on the 20th. My daughter Ronda has reported that she will be available to drive me home and back later in the day for a post op visit to the doctor and home again.
When I told her about my neighbor she asked me if I did not think another HUD complex wouldn't be better with less younger people with problems. I thought of moving to the Silvercrest down the street last summer when I split with Doc, and if anything happened to him I would think very seriously of moving over there. As it is I can go down to Doc's part of the day and we are still doing videos together. He has never been threatening at all, even though I get tired of his drinking, but I doubt he will change much. I enjoy him more than anyone I know in the morning after he has had a good night's sleep. We are so compatible in our interests. I am afraid I would be very lonely somewhere else without him as he has proved to be quite an intellectual companion for me. I naturally wish he did not drink so much, but I wish I did not eat so much. It is hard for an overweight person to get too indignant about some other person's excesses. Especially when I have such a hard time losing. Even when I want to.
But I am going to continue to meditate on these addiction problems to see if I can find the key to more control.
Nothing much else has happened today. Management has not responded to any incident reports that may have been filed. This afternoon my neighbor was served with restraining order papers, and according to two uniformed men who were at his door when I came home, he has to appear in court this week. I think he called them. He and the other person, a woman, seem to be calling the police on each other.
Old ladies and young men with behavior problems do not seem too good of mix in a housing complex, but I was here first, so we will see. Doc would never move over to the Silvercrest. It is Salvation Army, and that is too 'religious' for him. I would not be able to do the things I do with him or breakfast with him every day as I do if we did not live in the same complex.
I just pray for more peace in here. There are a lot of troubled people in here and I try to spread calm whenever I can. Nikita, the new chair person of the tenants' organization and the other officers just opened the newly remodeled, painted, and cleaned up video room which is now a big spacious room to hold our collection of videos and will also feature a computer online for residents to tap their e-mails. I was glad to see what a good job they have done. That will help cheer up the residents and give them more to do. It also features a big wide screen and two flat screens for exercise tapes, etc.
So now I am getting ready to meditate and to pray for oil over troubled waters.

Dealing with the dysfunctional

I have been thinking all night that I am going to have to go file an incident report on my neighbor for pounding on my door early in the morning a few days ago and then hollering at me. I didn't answer the door since he sounded very hostile. I felt I had done nothing to him so I did not know what this was about. When I went out he had left a note on my door written on an incident report paper which was about me, except I don't think he filed it, I just think he left it on my door to make me think he filed it. The note included a line that says "I want the bitch out of my life." Meaning me! The more I think about it the more I think this man is becoming dangerously delusional. I live directly across the hall from him at the end of a long walk from the elevator down one of the branches in this building. I am apt to see him all the time as we face each other when we come out of our apartments.
Also the day my daughter was here with me when I had my cataract surgery last Wednesday, we came out of my apartment talking and walked down the hall to the elevator. We got in and before it could close S who had apparently come out of his apartment and ran down there caused it to open and said something to us about talking too loud outside his door! My daughter wanted to know what that was all about and was he dangerous. I said well so far he had not said anything nasty to me, but that was before this note a couple of days later. Up to then he had acted like a southern gentleman. I even told him that I had told my daughter he had always acted like a southern gentleman to me, and he said, "Always."
Now two days later he has called me a bitch and in this long rambling report he says I am a busybody and am entirely too interested in his comings and going at night! That is a very fast change of tune. He is the one who talked to me about his comings and goings one night. I was not perturbed by them nor did I say anything to him about them. He seemed to be trying to explain them, but I told him I did not hear too well and had not heard what he said he did, people going up and down the stairs, people overhead making a noise, pounding, etc.
I also said to him that he seemed to have very keen hearing (much keener than mine) expressing annoyance at my daughter and me talking outside his door. I explained to him that I had just had cataract surgery that day and might not have been as quiet as I should have been, since I was a little strained. Hardly anyone visits me in my apartment. I always meet them outside and go somewhere with them. She had not visited me in my apartment for months, and now this. If she knew what S has written on this note since I know she would be alarmed as she saw him and how he was acting. I don't want to upset her, but I have told my son Raymond. He said he does sound like he is on drugs and for me to be very careful interacting with him.
Despite my telling him I was in the process of cataract surgery he puts this incident report note on my door, hollers at me, and pounds on my door two days later! He also says in the report note some woman he also named is telling everyone he is on drugs.
After thinking it over I have decided he is losing it and I had better report this incident since I have heard nothing about him filing it with management. I am pretty sure they would find his language in the note inappropriate to be leaving on my door. The whole purpose of an incident report is to go through management rather than trying to interact with the offender yourself. He should not have left that on my door with that kind of language in it. That is not the behavior of a southern gentleman!
I will take the note down and show the HUD coordinator as I can't make a copy of it. It seems that I inadvertently told my son Dan I did not know what Agfa Snap Scan was and he deleted means to use it. I did not realize that was my scanner since I was not looking at the word, so now we will have to go on line probably as the guy in here had to do who sold it me. Oh it's great to be old. I just hope I am not thinking too far out of reality.
I think my neighbor has already done quite a lot of disturbing things since he moved in here six or eight months ago. Believe me he is accumulating a history. If someone tells me someone is on drugs, I do not report it as that is hearsay. I try not to get involved in catching people on drugs. I feel that has to be someone's job besides mine.
I didn't say anything about the woman I was told sold Jack her heavy painkiller for months before he started drinking and had a complete meltdown. If you sell drugs illegally to a bad alcoholic trying to stay sober, you may help kill him. This same woman was looking for S a few weeks ago, so I wondered then if he was not looking for a connection. Also another woman long reputed to sell drugs was looking for him, too, the very same day. This was when I was talking to him quite a bit out in the patio and he was acting more normal. I told him these women were reputed drug dealers, and impulsively asked him if he was on drugs. He must have decided he better not be having them knocking on his door, as I have not seen them but once or twice knocking on his door since. I did not mean to ask him anything about whether he was taking drugs but I was still recovering from my upset over Jack's complete meltdown and finding out he was taking drugs as well as drinking. At that time I didn't know if he was alive or dead. He has completely disappeared again so I don't know now if he is alive or dead. When you see someone every day for years and he is succeeding for a long time in staying sober, and suddenly he is gone due to substance abuse, it really makes you sad. I think taking drugs was the fatal trigger to his drinking. He had been told he would die if he drank and he nearly died before he was evicted.
Anyway, S must have been holding that remark against me, asking him if he was on drugs, and since this other woman is now telling everyone he is on drugs he was maybe taking some of his upset with her out on me. He had volunteered the information to me some days ago that some woman was calling him day and night and knocking on his door and he had a restraining order against her! It might be the same one. So you can see he is not too stable and has a far more active love life in a place like this than might be prudent.
After I explained to him why my daughter and I might have been talking too loud, he said she was cute, was she married?
Actually I have not even sat down and talked to S since it got cold. I have just confined my remarks to him in passing him in the hall.
He also told me last summer another mentally ill woman in here had cut herself because she said he did not love her. I saw her limping around out in the patio with bandages on her legs and arms. I knew he was involved with her for a short time. I knew all this action with the women in here was probably going to unhinge his mind if nothing else did. I have done my best not to get involved in all his drama but it seems I have not succeeded. S has got me a lot more involved than I really am. He is quite a good looking guy, about 39, so I know some women would chase him no matter if he was a complete paranoid schizophrenic!
But he is 40 years younger than I am, and I do not allow myself to think romantically about such young guys. So his thinking I am taking such a great interest in his comings and goings is not true. I have three sons, both older and younger than S. I know better than to say too much to them about their romances, too. But I am not afraid of them either, if I think they need to be talked to about some of their behavior. I mention their drinking to them as often as I think it will do any good. If you become afraid of your own kids, you just as well hang it up as a mother.
I feel really sorry for some of these mothers whose sons have become mentally ill and maybe dangerously delusional. Some parents do have to live in fear and have to think like their kids are the enemy if they are to survive them, sometimes. There have been other guys living in here who I think were dangerous. So there is always that development to think about, too. I am not sure how dangerous S is becoming.
I think however that a guy like him can become even more dangerous if he is just ignored and we all scurry around like frightened rabbits in here afraid to say boo. Doc told me I should never have talked to him at all in the first place. I said I am not going to let a guy like you who holes up in his apartment all the time so he can stay drunk tell me what to do. You are not a good example! Why, I am probably down right foolish to be associating with you, too. He said that was probably true, too. Besides I would probably go crazy if I could not talk to anybody. My choices in here are not the best. As a lot of the mentally ill who are considered not dangerous are housed here. So your guess is probably as good as HUD's as to how dangerous they really might be. Some people are safe as long as they dont abuse substances. Substance abuse may bring out the worst in them, which is why drinking and drug taking in a neighbor is a concern.
Well, I have vented to you as I pace the floor. That's probably safer. I will let you know how things go. These younger guys try to intimidate you and scare you, but such behavior tends to get my ire up. I don't think it is ever a good idea to allow ones self to be intimidated into not reporting inappropriate behavior.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Change in plans about where to write memoirs

I decided after my son Dan cleaned up my computer so beautifully, restoring it to a state where it has not been for months, that I needed to do my memoirs on it rather than on Doc's so I can write any time I want to including in the middle of the night. As long as I am going to ban my grandson Dante from loading it up with his stuff after he brought it to a complete halt, I just as well as well keep it off limits to him. Teenagers can go wild on somebody's computer as long as they don't have to pay the bill to fix it. I am sure his dad will agree the time has come to severely curtail his freedom on Grandma's computer after he had to make a trip over to my house to work on it.
I am calling my sister, my son, and others about what I need to do to start my memoirs with the intent of publishing them. With that idea in mine I posted this photo of me when I am about 3 or 4 years old in the header. I am going to end this volume of memoirs at the age of 20, just before my marriage, so as not to get into any more difficulties than I already have with people objecting to my version of one parent at least. I am covering such a difficult subject that I can only get into more trouble as I go along. More people to object. I think my sisters will quell their objections but I can't see people outside the family being as tractable. I do think that everything that happened to me connected to the molesting, including incarceration in a psych ward and development of the chronic fatigue symptoms that have plagued me ever since, would be of interest to the general public. So I am looking into trying to find a publisher for the first volume, or publishing it myself but trying to sell it to the general public via Amazon or something. There is a lot to study and think about in connection with that.
I will also get my sons and daughter to thinking about it, too, as the proceeds from such a book, if there should be any after my death, would be their inheritance. I also have novels and plays they might think of trying to publish.
In fact, I think all the sisters have written books that could potentially make money for their kids after they are gone. I think our sons and daughters should all be studying the best way to go with publication, too. I plan to talk about that to my son Dan the next time he comes over.
Raymond has already started a book of memoirs about his theater years which I think could be another source of income for him. He is going to need to be thinking about the best way to publish that memoir, too. Linda has still got her book about her life with Bukowski to publish. She is thinking of including her story of a nervous breakdown and incarceration in a hospital in her memoir. So she has a big job before her if she is to write her memoir from birth. My sister Margie has a rough copy of her career in nursing written to include in her memoirs. We have all been very busy writing these things for years, and now we are under the gun because if we don't hurry up and get these books done, we might die first!
I wont be able to set up my writing program until I get one which is going to take me a few days. But I have been writing in my mind. I already have struggled through the first writing, so the rewrite should come easier. Talley ho! To work we go! The family writing brigade.


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