I’ll Never Say His Name Again

Life is good when you find the perfect campsite. Stayed last night in the Sawtooth National Forest. I had my own private spot by a babbling brook surrounded by quacking Aspens. Not cell or internet. The smoke is here now though.

Woke up in the night and couldn’t stop thinking of the 45th’s comments about war veterans who died or came back injured. I’ll say this to him:
My father served this country. Two uncles died in war, one was a POW and came back pretty messed up. My brother was sergeant in Vietnam. His friend, Mr. Green Jeans, was killed right before his eyes. He saw things we don’t talk about it.
You call these men losers and suckers! I will never say your name again.

Out of the smoke and into the hot springs

I had planned to drive back to Montana to get a few more items, leaving earlier this week. However, I had to wait and have the van windshield repaired, plus get some bodywork for my back.
Luckily, a friend told me about Crystal Crane Hot springs, https://www.cranehotsprings.com/ in eastern Oregon. Yesterday, I got all camping gear situated and made my way east. It was just the ticket. A new route for me to drive to Montana, seeing new sites. The hot springs helped my back and made for a great night’s sleep. The first overnight in my new, used Toyota Sienna van. Figuring out how to arrange things, so it’s convenient and comfortable. I’ve got some ideas, nothing elaborate, keep it simple. A platform for my inflatable sleeping pad, with space for drawers underneath will be the first project.
I’ll be in Montana until the first week in October. I’ve got no obligations until then. It’s beautiful this time of year in Montana.
Sienna van and I will get in some camping. ūüŹē
Also, I love my physical therapist in Missoula. Thinking she might work one of her miracles on this back issue.
Next stop will be somewhere in the Sawtooth Mountains, going through Sun Valley, (I’ve never been in this area) all the while watching the fire maps and possible road closures.
See you soon Montana.
Prayers for fire evacuees.

I am safe in my little home with water and electricity.
I am crying because some are not.
I was going to drive along the McKenzie Hwy, maybe take some flowers to a friend who lost her mom last week Now, she may have lost her home and the McKenzie Hwy is closed as fires move swiftly through the area razing homes and small towns.

My back is killing me, with moments of relief. I call a recommended chiropractor. He is concerned for my back pain, concerned that he is unable to see me. He was evacuated from his home last night at midnight. “Screw my back” I want to say, we need to be concerned for you. He is on the other line looking up the number of someone he recommends.

The windshield repairman came to my home to replace my car’s windshield that was busted out due to a break in. There was a rash of break ins and theft in the neighborhood. People gotta fund their meth habit somehow. The repairman was cheerful as he masked up, replacing the glass as a shower of ash fell from the sky. Have a nice day, he said handing me the bill. I gave him a tip.

I see online, another friend’s home was spared (near Ashland), while all the homes around her are black rubble.

I am comfortable in my little home, but I am crying.

Toddlers, goats, chickens and a puppy!

Before the pandemic, I was part time nannying for twin two year boys. One with straight hair and cowlick, other one all curls. I am going to starting helping out with them again. Yesterday was good medicine taking care of these energetic, curious, precious boys, playing in their garden, chasing them around their property to pick blackberries, grapes and tomatoes, hanging out in the pen with the goats and chickens. Then back inside to throw some legos around, then back out for water play. All the while making sure no one needed to sit on the potty, doling out snacks and assuring they were safe at all times. They didn’t want to stay in any one place for too long.

One thing is clear, I need to start doing pilates and other forms of strength building exercises. By the end of my time with them, it was hard to get up and down. I’ve been on the heating pad, alternating with ice packs since yesterday afternoon. Today is probably all about rest, some stretching, and an acupuncture appointment. I did get to go by a friend’s yesterday evening to meet a new female corgi puppy. I can not wait to pet sit for her! So glad I meet her, I almost turned around while driving over to get back on the heating pad, it was painful. I’m new to back pain. Thank you friends who loaned out your heating pad and gave me arnica gel. We get by with a little help from our friends. Keep your core strong.

What I Got For You Today

This is what I got for you today, two writers from Mississippi, each had a piece published recently in Vanity Fair. This strange Southern land, rich in culture, strife, and story is still producing writers that will go down in history.

On Witness and Respair: A personal tragedy followed by pandemic

Mississippi: A Poem, In Days

Keeping it simple, WordPress has changed up it’s format. I’m learning but not very fast. It’s doesn’t feel conducive to writing. Stay tuned. Hope you read both of the recommended readings for today. ¬†

Word of the day, zhuzh

Today’s word of the day is zhuzh, brought to you by¬†Dictionary.com

verb: to make (something) more lively and interesting, stylish, or appealing, as by a small change or addition (usually followed by up): These colorful throw pillows are an easy way to zhuzh up your living room.

 
Sounds fun, finding ways to zhuzh up your home, your yard, your car, your outfit, your hair, the list goes on. I find myself looking for snazzy face masks. Gotta wear em, might as well zhuzh it up. A friend gifted me one that says “justice”. I love it. It makes me excited to wear a mask.
Speaking of masks, I’ve been thinking of the benefits of wearing one. If you have bad breath people probably can’t smell it, if you have something in your teeth, it will go unnoticed. Heaven forbid, you have a bugger in your nose, no problem. Forgot ¬†your lipstick, just put on your mask. I think my mask, masks my double chin, no need for plastic surgery any more. Your mask is your friend. It’s your friend’s friend. You are saving lives by wearing it. ūüė∑

 
So zhuzh it up.
 
Put a little zhuzh in your day.
 
Yesterday at the store two men were discussing the appeal of their face mask. One gentleman was so tickled that he had a reversible one with different colors on each side to change up depending on his mood or outfit!
 

Happy sobriety birthday to me

Happy three year sobriety birthday to me. To what do I owe this sobriety? As they say, definitely something bigger that me,¬†AA, dear friends (it doesn’t hurt when one of your best friends has been sober for 20 something years), lots of ¬†therapy, and¬†Neurofeedback.
My father was an alcoholic, went to treatment maybe five times. A couple of times he went to¬†Hazelden. ¬†When I was around ten years old, my three older siblings and I attended a family week at Hazelden. I loved it and learned a lot. I really got that alcoholism is a disease, it’s not the person. It can be treated as most medical conditions can. Any idea I had that I could get my daddy to quit drinking went away. I learned that was not in my control.
I began drinking in high school. Drinking was kinda a social norm in the group I ran with. It was definitely a social norm for my parents and their friends. Drinking was our fun time, ha. Water skiing with Gar and snakes on the Pearl River was the other fun time.  I drank to excess. Not daily. I did have some blackouts. Attending the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss, a derogatory name that should not be used) was like going to the country club, it was one big party. My boyfriend, Tayloe, was a Pike, a Pi Kappa Alpha. I was initiated as a Pike little sister. It may have been the number one party fraternity on campus. I hardly remember attending classes. Passing grades would show that I did though.
When my high school, college sweetheart, Tayloe and I broke up, I moved to Missoula, MT where my brother taught at the University. I finished college there. Excited to actually be studying. But yes, continuing with the party mode, finding the right friends to continue that habit with. That’s how I met my daughter’s father, partying. I got pregnant, we married. We moved to the east coast with no stability in our relationship, jobs, etc. That didn’t last long. The final straw was when my then husband, went out to a party with friends and volunteered me to stay at home with their kid and ours. My reaction helped fuel the premise he liked to claim about me, that I was crazy.
My two year old daughter and I went back to Mississippi. I realized my drinking was problem. My parents agreed to take care of my daughter while I went to rehab at the Mississippi hospital program right in Jackson where we lived. It was a really good program. When I got out, AA was my life. My daddy and I shared some good talks and of course he was supportive. Truthfully, I can’t remember when I started drinking again. It was sometime when I was working at¬†Lemuria Bookstore¬†and met ¬†my next husband to be. He was a good drinker, charming and a good dad to my daughter. Later, I discovered what it’s like to be married to someone who is passive aggressive. That made for a good reason to drink during our marriage! No one “makes” you drink, but as an alcoholic without good coping skills, it was easy to give in to drinking. After 11 years together, we divorced. I was blamed for asking for the divorce and breaking up our family. His love affairs outside our marriage and lack of taking responsibility for anything that might make him look anything less than a nice guy had nothing to do with our failed marriage! He did a great job of playing my daughter against me. All this was even more reason to drink and to attempt suicide. Hence, my second period of recovery and abstinence. I was sober for many years. Started to drink again, and again don’t remember exactly when or why. This go around, I drank alone, not all the time. When sadness struck, such as a failed attempt for my daughter and I to enjoy each other, it would send me to the bottle. That would be a wine bottle or two. Many didn’t realize I drank, some were probably highly suspect that I did. Once my daughter cut me off completely and I lost contact with my grandchildren, the sadness came often. After a night of drinking, alone, I impulsively poured a bottle of Xanax down my throat and woke up to a handsome paramedic standing over me.
That was three years ago. That’s my story as they say in AA.
I honestly, think and feel that sobriety is going to stick. I say this while remaining humble. However, there is nothing in me that wants a drink. The physical craving is not there as it was before. I think that is a benefit of the neurofeedback. Emotionally, I’ve come a long way, have greater insights and tools. And last but not least, I have ¬†surrounded myself with the people who love me and I love them. Many have been there through the thick and thin with me. Thank you, may I be there for you in times of joy and trouble.

Today happens to be Tayloe’s “birth” birthday as well. He is deceased, I think of him often. That’s another story.

Really, thanks for reading.

Prom night
Tayloe and I at prom night, drink in hand. My best friend, Elaine, far right, alcoholic, now deceased.

Reclaim Our Vote

Need a project? Here you go: Reclaim our vote
Sign up to write and send postcards or make phone calls. For postcards, you will pay for postcards and postage. Not a bad investment.

Ongoing voter suppression and voter list purging have been disenfranchising millions of eligible voters — especially voters of color. ¬†Reclaim Our Vote works in those voter suppression states. ¬†Our volunteers inform and mobilize voters of color to make sure they are registered and they know how to get a ballot and vote. ¬†It is a nonpartisan campaign of the nonprofit 501(c)3 Center for Common Ground.
Our goals for 2020 are substantially higher — and we need your help! ¬†We are focusing on Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. We have made more than 450,000 phone calls and sent more than 3.8 million postcards so far in 2020.

 Reclaim Our Vote on facebook

Thanks Deborah for the prompt!

I finally watched the movie, Harriet. What a woman, what a spirit. White people can be such motherf*cking assholes.

Thanks for reading.

 

People to follow, books to read, etc

I have suggestions for people to follow, books to read, etc for you.

If you don’t follow,¬†Heather Cox Richardson, political historian and author, I highly suggest you do. (Thanks Wendy for suggesting her to me!) She gives a daily summary of the day’s news and weekly informative videos. It’s crossed my mind, she could be a part of online curriculum for high school, college kids. I’m learning history from her. If you aren’t on facebook, you may still be able to access her, give a try.
I have listened to her interview with Bill Moyers yet, but will: Bill Moyers and Heather

This week, I attended a webinar put on by¬†Books Are Magic.¬†Michele Filgate,¬†Kiese Laymon¬†(who I seem to follow where ever he goes)¬†Nayomi Munaweera¬†and¬†Brian Gresko¬†all spoke in celebration of the paperback version of¬†What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About. I can not wait to read this book of essays after listening to each writer. Gleaned some inspiration and writing tips from this webinar.

So much to read, so much to write about and fight for. Life is busy for the foreseeable future. I’ve got house/pet sitting the next few weekends. I’m cleaning for a family while they are out of town. Before the pandemic, I was nanny for their three year old twin boys. They feel like family. I’m having too much fun cleaning for them!
Could write more, but gotta get busy. It’s gunna be a hot one this weekend. Great time to clean out the frig to stay cool.

Don’t forget to stock up on stamps and send things to people you care about via USPS!

All writers, events, books are clickable links. Thanks for reading.

Protect the Postal Service

Today let’s protect our vote and our postal service.

Sign a petition to remove Louis DeJoy from Board of Governors, USPS Petition to remove Louis DeJoy

Write a good old fashioned letter, a thank you note or send a care package to someone via the post office. You’ll get to make someone happy and give a little financial support to USPS. Buy stamps,¬†USPS stamps. If you’re sending holiday cards this year, go ahead and stock up on stamps.

Like the post once you’ve done one of the above, comment once you’ve done both!

Easy and fun.
Thank you!