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I’m sharing this personal story because I don’t want others to go through what I’ve gone through.
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You see, well when I was a child my parents warned me not to play with my pancreas. “Lori, if you keep playing with your pancreas you’ll get pancreatitis,” they’d say. Did I listen? Of course not! It was the 70’s and parents said we would get some kind of “itis” form just about everything.
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Okay, that never actually happened. But it was a good story. I’m not sure how others have gone about getting pancreatitis, and I’m still learning about it so I haven’t quite figured how I went about getting it.
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As usual, when the pain was just too long and too much it was a Friday night. Meaning, the ER was the only cool place to hang out at for an emergency, and any follow-up doctors appointments would have to wait till the weekend was over.
So, chatting with my doc about it hasn’t happened yet. I am, however, very cleaned out at the moment, a liquid diet will do that to ya. I have IBS so most often I’m not hanging onto any old used up crap anyway.
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I’ve also been reading tidbits about the pancreas and pancreatitis now and then, here and there. It’s rather redundant so diving into the study of that rather clandestine glandular organ isn’t something I want to dedicate large portions of my time to.
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The ER doctor was considering hospitalizing me but instead released me with instructions. One, go on a clear fluid diet for several days. Two, make a follow-up appointment with my doctor. Three, well three was just a prescription for pain and four would be a doctors excuse for not going to work note that I plan to hand in when I go to work. I did leave early on Thursday due to upper stomach pain and I called early Friday to let them know I needed to stay home.
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Well shoot, this isn’t a first. While writing the last sentence I got a bit fuzzy on the sequence of days. Turnes out I went to the ER on Thursday night. Soooo, I could have made a follow-up doctors appointment. Oops!  Have you met me? Cause if you haven’t, well, this isn’t an uncommon occurrence. Because of that sort of woolgathering, no, more like distractedness, I have a “mom’s” calendar made especially for folks just like me, a “mom’s” style daily planner that I carry with me almost everywhere, and alarms set on my phone for various things I need to remember throughout the day.
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Back to my indisposition, Pan Creat(e) itis, I’m working on remembering the spelling of this silent but organ of great caliber.
It’s a little bugger. I wonder how long it’s actually been acting up shrouded by other organs allowing them to take the blame while it peered out astern from the more mainstream organ we call the stomach.
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The pancreas, which I think should include a ‘u’ in its spelling, is known for all kinds of issues when it’s not happy. Alcohol abuse is the main reason for most peoples pancreatitis. Rules me out on that one. I rarely drink and when I do it’s Dos Equis, lol, no jk, but I do like Dos Equis. But really, occasionally I’ll add a fourth of a cup or less of wine to my juice. If I’m getting really wild I might have a wine cooler. whoo hoo!! But I don’t really crave alcohol, I just talk big. There are many other causes, feel free to look it up. In other words, I haven’t had any solid food in three days and I don’t feel like going on about all the potential causes.
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I guess we’ll just see what happens next, what I learn next, and if my spelling gets any better, and so on.
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Thanks for reading my blog about pancreatitis, oops, auto correct caught the ‘u’ I put in it again. Darn it! I hope this helps to motivate and inspire you to care for your most paramount pancreas. (Yes, I have trouble not putting a ‘u’ in the word pancreas too.) Having a pancreas removed results in dependency on insulin shots cause your natural insulin dealer is your pancreas. Safeguard that baby, but, take my parents warning, don’t play with it.
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Felicia sleeping

Pancreas’ are ugly so here’s a picture of my cat. 

 

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My rebuttal to Matt Clarks 7 Reasons Why Atheism Makes No Sense To Me

My rebuttal to Matt Clarks

7 Reasons Why Atheism Makes No Sense To Me 

 

You can find this article at:

http://www.walkingtheshoreline.com/7-reasons-why-atheism-makes-no-sense-to-me/

 

greek-pantheon-of-the-gods

 

 

I have copied his numbered points and then wrote my response below them. Also, please remember this blog is reactive to his so if you are not reading his, some things may seem rather random.

 

#1: Because its practitioners don’t believe insignificance but still look for it
And
#4: Because it leaves truth up to individuals

 

I find that many religious folks forget about this thing called a conscience, and they tend to believe that a person who doesn’t believe in a god does not have ethics and morals.

 

If you’re not a full-fledged psychopath, then you have one and it keeps you on a moral and ethical path. That and your family, community, and environment over time add to it.  

As time passes some people stop paying attention to different aspects of their conscience. There’s also those folks who like to add to it and may even insist others do the same. Regardless, all these kinds of deviations are found in every religious and nonreligious people group.  Funny thing about this, atheist make up the least amount of people in prisons. If they didn’t have a conscience, morals, ethics, and a vision of their future, there would be way more.

 

I often describe myself as a science-based atheist cause your right, there are some that get stuck on a glitch and keep repeating the same thing over and over and don’t move on. It’s annoying when religious, atheists, and really anyone does this.

 

The science behind evolution and the big bang have been validated, but what was before all that?  Scientists are still searching. They are gonna make mistakes and their peers are gonna point it out proudly causing them to go back to the drawing board. This is a good thing. 

 

The human mind stays healthy when it’s learning and just like we have instincts to do things to keep ourselves alive and to keep our species alive, our mind is no different. Gods or no gods, a mentally healthy person will do what they can to stay alive and to enjoy life because of instinct.

 

I’m not saying that it’s this way for everyone. Some folks need more than just instinct for various reasons. Saying it’s low IQ or mental illness is not realistic, it’s really a variety, just like anything. Besides our intelligence and mental state, there’s also the environment we were raised in and are currently living in.  


Personally, I’m not looking to disprove deities.

 

When I left Christianity I still believed in the supernatural and the possibility of gods and goddesses. The “there’s only one god” thing didn’t really make any sense anymore. I won’t say there are no gods cause you can’t prove something invisible isn’t there. I just don’t believe there are any gods. However, if there ever happened to be proof of a god or gods I would believe, but, I would not worship it or them.

 

Btw, as a Christian of 38 years, I never saw so clearly how arrogant American Christians are until I left that way of thinking. Well, not all of them are arrogant, but a lot are. And yes, I was too. Thinking that your religion is the correct religion and all other religions are incorrect, and that your god is the only god and all other gods are not only false gods but are demonic in nature, and to add insult to injury by preaching that anyone who doesn’t believe in your religion and obeys its rules and “loves” it’s one god will go to hell and burn for eternity, well, that is some solid arrogance.

 

Truth, in some ways, is relative. There are folks who want to pin it down, make it black and white. But life isn’t that way. In some ways that could be considered easier and I’m sure that’s why some folks want it to be that way. Others want it that way because they can use it to control people.

 

In most cases, besides one’s own conscience, a person’s family and their community decide what is right and what is wrong, what is and what isn’t.

 

Everyone is wrong at many points in their life. We often learn better by mistakes. It’s when we keep repeating those mistakes that there’s a problem that needs to be addressed. But making a mistake isn’t a call to stop believing in oneself, it’s a call to learn, adjust, and move forward. If it’s a repetitive mistake, well, that’s a sign one may need outside help. Whether it be family, a sibling, a friend, a therapist, a doctor, a spiritual leader, a trusted community member, a hotline, AAA meetings, and so on, whatever it be, it’s important to get help overcoming the obstacles you can’t seem to conquer.

 

There are things to me that I can never accept. I know in the back of my head that in some cultures they are accepted, but because I know they cause human suffering, I can not, nor will I ever accept them.

 

#2: Because it still requires faith somewhere

 

About the “belittling of faith”, I find it distasteful when people do this. However, I understand that in some settings, like in settings where there are no people that would have their feelings hurt, making jokes about faith can help some people let loose and release some of the pinned up tension they’ve been holding inside. This can also include lots of other things besides faith, like anything causing mental tension.

 

There are some atheists that are founded on faith, but for most of the atheist I know, this is not the case. I’ve seen too many reasons not to believe in Christianity, so if I were to find a reason to believe in deities, the Christian god wouldn’t be one of them. Still, I haven’t found any reason to believe in any god type being. And as I said before, if I did find a reason, if I did find undeniable proof, I would believe but I wouldn’t worship it. Many of the atheists I know feel the same way or at least part of the same way. A more scientific outlook kind of way. We aren’t actually believing there is not an Easter Bunny that lays eggs by faith, just like we aren’t believing there isn’t an all powerful, all seeing, … god by faith. Faith isn’t applicable. 

 

#3: Because it often poses questions that it doesn’t seem to want to answer

 

I agree with some of what you said. Some atheists are philosophical and enjoy the questioning and not necessarily the answers.  I’ve seen that with some humans in general, not just atheists.

 

And I also agree about being able to question. When I was religious, we could question to a point. However, if someone kept at it they were rebuked and shut down. At the time it seemed fair because they were quite annoying. But now that it’s been years and I can ponder this as an outsider, I realize the reason they wouldn’t quit was that they didn’t receive a good answer, and that’s all they wanted. I’ve also met folks both atheist and pagan who in the past were told to leave their Christian church because they had taboo questions. One of them was a child at the time. Their questions were genuine and even now I could easily answer from a Christian perspective, but their pastor/Sunday school teacher felt threatened.

 

I do understand that some people ask questions in a circle, as in circular reasoning. No matter what belief or non-belief, that’s annoying and not worth engaging in.

 

Most atheist I know have studied and researched before making any decision to believe or not believe. When I come across one that hasn’t and is outspoken I kinda cringe cause it’s very obvious and it isn’t pretty.

 

About Epicurus creed, I get it, it makes sense to me. I don’t blame god for all the people starving in third world nations, for the mother trying to suckle their babies but they have no milk so they watch their infants die in their arms. I don’t blame god for taking my dad’s life in such a horribly painful way, I don’t blame god for the suicide bombings and school shootings taking loved ones away from each other. I don’t blame god for the carnage done to women and children around the world. I don’t blame god because I don’t believe there is a god. I wouldn’t blame a fairy tale character or a mythological Titan, and to me, the modern gods are no different.  However, since most people in the world believe in deities, I have to face the issue of god, or no god, and if there is a god then what kind of god.  And that is why Epicurus creed is so relevant.

I’ll repost it from Matt’s blog. Here it is;

 

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?

Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing?

Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing?

Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able nor willing?

Then why call him God?

 

#5: Because it’s inconsistent with our beliefs about everything else

 

Good point! Maybe it was Michelangelo, or maybe Steve Jobs.

But really, just because we don’t know how or what or who set everything into motion doesn’t mean the things our ancestors made up out of a lack of information and out of superstition is true. While it may seem obvious to some that a male god created everything, it’s obvious to others that were part of a computer program, thus making the programmers the creators or gods. There are many other ideas out there. You can pick one if you want to, but not picking one shouldn’t be looked down on and condemning those who don’t pick your belief of choice isn’t cool and in my opinion, it’s unethical. Personally, while some ideas may seem fun, I’m not convinced of any of them. And not knowing is okay. I enjoy learning and bettering myself and being an inspiration for others. If I have it all figured out, or at least pretend to, I won’t be able to learn, so that’s not happenin.

Btw, for those who don’t know, here’s the definition of the anthropic principle according to Merriam Webster online dictionary.

: either of two principles in cosmology:

a : conditions that are observed in the universe must allow the observer to exist — called also weak anthropic principle

b : the universe must have properties that make inevitable the existence of intelligent life —called also strong anthropic principle

 

#6: Because it’s usually birthed in a bad religious experience

 

Again, I agree, well, at least in the US.

 

I’ve noticed three types of Atheists, though I’m sure there’s many more, on this subject, this is what I’ve noticed thus far.

 

One is the people born into it or may have had religious parents but were not indoctrinated and had a decent past. They are usually pretty level headed and content. Which makes sense because they haven’t lost their community and loved ones because of making the drastic choice of not following the religion they were born into.
The people born into it that had rocky and difficult upbringings are like anyone in their shoes, some get bitter, some turn to religion, some use it to make them a better person, and so on.  

 

Two is the people who were hurt and are reactive. They’re like little balls of fire ready to explode at any time anywhere. Or if they aren’t the type to explode then they may be easily offended, run, or some other extreme reaction. Often these are the folks who “blame God” or “hate God.” They haven’t healed. A lot of them return to their previous religion.

 

Three, these types have taken their time and didn’t give up their religious notions easily. They studied and researched. Most of these folks can engage in conversation with a spiritual person respectfully and are often open not just to share their experiences and ideas, but also to listen and learn from others. Not that they don’t get exasperated by hearing the same arguments from people who seem to think it’s the first time they’ve heard it. But really most people would be annoyed by that.

 

Some of the folks in the third category cross between two and three because of the way they have been treated by religious folks. They started off nice and understanding and open to learning, but being barraged with circular reasoning, extreme cognitive dissonance, proud ignorance, and bullies has caused them to put up a shield and for some to become offensive.

 

#7: Because of my personal experience

 

While I again agree for the most part, naturally there are exceptions.

I, for one, worked to keep myself from ascribing to a belief system or even non-belief as a reaction to my own personal experience. I won’t say I’ve been perfect with it, but it’s something I check from time to time. I believe part of this may be part of my personality, but I also believe it’s from that time in my life when I was thirty-eight and had a giant rude awakening. I didn’t just wake up to the realization that I was in a cult, I also work up to basically my whole life and that I was lied to about almost everything I was taught. Once I was ready to start rebuilding my life I decided I wanted to have a foundation of truth even if the truth was unpleasant. This is why I didn’t jump at the opportunity to become an atheist. It was several years before I realized that I no longer believed deities existed. I do my best to take a scientific stance, and science is an ever learning field.

 

No one can claim that something they can’t see, feel or touch doesn’t exist. They can personally not believe in it, but they can’t disprove it. That’s why the burden of proof is on the claimer/believer. If someone told me that there are invisible, untouchable, flying unicorn horses shooting rainbows out their butts, I can choose to believe or not believe. However, if I don’t believe, it’s not my job to prove such creatures don’t actually exist. That job would belong to the claimer. It’s really quite simple.

 

I was a firm believer and dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ for the first 38 years of my life. I was immersed in the Bible and I took my “relationship” with Jesus very seriously. Over the years I too witnessed and had miracles, saw people hear from the Lord speak from a prophet, pastor and lay people, and be point-on. I’ve felt the presence of the Holy Ghost and so on. For all those years besides all the indoctrination, I also had a solid background of things that added up in my mind. What I was lacking was an education. I’m not saying religious folks aren’t educated, but I was one that wasn’t. I was taught that a person who is truly saved doesn’t get depressed and that meds for mental issues like depression open one’s mind up to demonic oppression and possibly possession. I was taught that psychologist, psychiatrists, therapist, and counselors, including Christian ones, were bad. That people who went to college were in danger of being fooled and believing lies and losing their soul. Not that we didn’t know folks who were educated and active Christians, they were exceptions I guess. So, although I studied and researched back then because my material was influenced by the religious community, I was quite ignorant.

 

I believe that my parents were afraid that if I pursued a college education I would get smart and start seeing the lies they and others had been feeding me. I believe this is a common fear in many religious communities. Even back then I would have found it silly. Personally, I wasn’t afraid of going to college. If something is solidly true, why the fear?

 

I learned over the years little by little that the things I saw as miracles and words from the Lord were basically the same as a magic show, slight of hand, a trick of the eye, and psychological games. For all those amazing testimonies of healing I heard from others, I have to admit my gullibility which many people just won’t do. Those folks were likely lying or misinformed. By misinformed, I mean that when we don’t have an answer for how something happened we tend to label it a miracle when in fact there likely is a scientific reason we just don’t know about. For folks who say they saw this miracle and that miracle and there was no way it was caused by any outside force other than god, I’d like to remind you of your modern appliances and home equipment. For instance your TV and computer. If you walk outside you will not see a big projector shining into your window causing the image to appear on your screen. We know it’s not a miracle because we grew up being told what it really was whether we remember and whether we understand it or not, we just know it’s a science thing that’s true. Many things people see as miracles and supernatural, from a person trained in that field, there is a logical explanation. But when you really want to believe it’s a miracle or that you’re hearing from the Lord, it’s easy to dismiss the science behind it and ignore it even when it’s presented to you.  I’ve personally seen people get angry over this. Our desires are strong and we guard them often ferociously and often subconsciously. Hearing from god, prophets and so on was a big one for me. My ex-cult leader was considered a prophet. I saw him tell folks about themselves that he never met before and knew nothing about. It was amazing and exciting to see the Lord at work. Now I understand that there are people that are very good at reading people. The little things like a slight expression change and body stance add up and all mean something to a person who notices it and comprehends what it means. I do believe there are people who are inclined to have this ability more naturally that don’t realize they have it. In that case, I can understand why they think they are hearing from a god or spirit. There’s also a lot of liars. I know I keep saying this, but, it’s true. People fib… often, they even lie to themselves. Many, over time, end up believing their own lies. It’s a psychological thing. This is a major plus for religion.

 

So, yeah, I held on to beliefs for as long as I could but one by one I learned the truth behind the illusions wither I liked it or not. Sure, there are still many things I don’t know about or understand, and that’s actually pretty cool cause that means I get to keep learning and discovering. I’m also okay with being wrong. Once I learn I am wrong about something it gives me a better opportunity to learn more truth.  

Back to psychology, many so-called miracles can be explained by how our brain works and thinks. While it may be disappointing to some when a miracle bubble is burst, I think learning how our brains work is just as fascinating. This explains why people all over the world with very different beliefs experience the same exact miracles, healings, words from the supernatural, that amazing feeling, and so on. It’s not because all beliefs are correct, that wouldn’t actually work for quite a few of them, but it does add up when you start learning how amazing our very own brain actually is and how what we know is small compared to the knowledge that has been gathered by humans and that is small compared to what we will learn in the future. Life is still very exciting without the aid of deities.

 

As far as folks getting “saved” often, I keep telling people that it’s in style to be a Christian in the US at this time. Actually, if one is an atheist or Muslim, they are often looked down on. They may even lose their job and friends or can’t make friends because of it. It certainly is quite difficult to get elected if you don’t claim to be a Christian. I really can’t blame people for lying about being a Christian just to get voted for in politics and other national and local voting things. I don’t think I could lie about it, I don’t think it’s necessarily right, but I understand it.  There are some places in the US where this doesn’t apply. But as a whole, Christianity at this time in history is being used to dominate and even bully its way not just into everything, but into being in charge and having the last say in everything. It seems like every reality show I watch on TV, like the news and reality shows and so on, someone brings up being a Christian and how important their faith in Jesus is. Their words are always met by the loudest applause of the night and often met with praise later on in some way. It’s one thing to be proud of your beliefs, but it’s another to push them on to others.  

 

About Matt’s ending remarks.

I appreciate this invitation to share beliefs and reasonings in a respectful manner. Although I am an atheist, being a science-based atheist I know that I don’t and will never know everything. Just because someone may be a Christian or Muslim, Hindu or Pagan, Mormon or Satanist, etcetera, doesn’t mean they do not have an intelligent brain and that they have nothing to bring to the table. Being divided is a great way to halt progress. I’m pro progress and I believe in coexisting. I will ask you to please understand that those who have been hurt by religion need time to heal at their own pace and coexisting may sound horrible to them. That’s is perfectly understandable. Laying judgmental thoughts aside and giving people room is important. Like Matt said, “We’re all people on a journey trying to discover the truth in our own lives.”

define atheist

 
Written on 6/30/18 & 7/4/18.

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So, a friend posted this picture and it triggered a recent memory.

First off, here’s the pic;

friend hording

Now the memory!

I was gonna write what I was gonna write in the “about” area of the pic when sharing it on Facebook, but, I’m pretty sure I know what would likely have happened and I wanted to avoid it. So I didn’t share the pic and my thoughts on Facebook after all. Yet.

While there may be a few folks who read what I have to say, there would likely have been more that responded in the comments area telling me how much they care about me.  And, maybe one person telling me to buck up and stop feeling sorry for myself.

In other words, my reason for sharing would be mostly unnoticed, and “sorry for me ” notions or “stop feeling sorry for yourself” notions would just be annoying.

But I still wanted to write about what I was thinkin about. And that brings us to the here and now and this blog.

I wanna talk about hoarding. Just give me a moment and you’ll see how this applies. In my head anyway.

The TV shows about hoarders are fascinating to me for various reasons. Things like that also make me investigate myself. “Am I a hoarder?” Can I even spell hoarder without spellcheck? Um, well, there was the issue of forgetting the “a” in that word. lol

hoarding meaning

There are the obvious things like the stacks of papers I keep meaning to go through and sort and file and put away or throw out. Stuff that never seems to get done and keeps piling up. Some may consider me a bit of a book hoarder. I don’t. And there are the things I went without most of my life that I’ve collected even though I didn’t need to. I’ve challenged myself over the years as I come to realize that I have an unnecessary attachment. Dehoarding your life not only takes time due to getting your mind in a state that you can deal with it and make the necessary changes, it also takes time because you may not realize you’re hoarding this or that.

 

Hoarding usually stems from fear. And that’s what shone a light on some hoarding I have been doing for a long time. It’s people. I’ve been hoarding people. Not physically, but mentally and cyberlly. (I made the word cyberlly up. YW)

Growing up my family moved often which made keeping friends difficult. Some of them I’d stay in touch by exchanging letters. But after a while, even those disappeared into the mist of time and were gone. The depression that comes with losing one’s friends on a regular basis was most obvious in my sister. She’s three years older than me and back then she was the people person, I wasn’t. So it didn’t appear to take a toll on me, but deep inside it kept secretly adding up. Not just a secret to others, but also to myself.

Then there was San Diego. The last port we lived on the sailboat in. This time it wasn’t us moving away, it was partly our friends because most of them were in the military. We’d get close, like family, even when they were overseas, but when they went home the friendship usually died. To add insult to injury, my mom didn’t listen and obey the pastor of the church we were attending that all our friends were in. Not listening and not obeying can be both a good or a bad thing. In the case of my mom, it was mixed. We ended up getting kicked out of the church and ostracized. Talk about painful, this was heart-wrenching for all of us.

A similar thing happened with the next church, only we didn’t get kicked out. Again, all our friends were in the same church, the pastor had controlling issues, my mom not only wouldn’t obey him, she actually left and started learning from someone else. How dare she! Our family left along with her gradually. Again, we lost all our friends due to this. The pastor would let everyone know that we or anyone else, who left his church had backslidden and were living in sin.

While I call those two churches borderline cults, the next one we because a part of was a bonified fully fledged cult. Anyone who didn’t eventually join the “church” also lost friendship with us. I didn’t see it that way. I never wanted to lose friends and I did what I could to keep them but I was uneducated in so many ways, I had no idea of what I was doing. So, the cult kept me from making any real friends outside of the group. I did try, but the leadership always found a way to”fix” that.

And then there’s the post-cult effect. At first, I lost all my friends, again. Partly because they were being fed a load of crap about me and pulled away and partly because it wasn’t just the cult leader who duped me, it was also several of the members. So, I didn’t trust any of them.

I made some fair-weather friends during that time. There were some good folks, and, well, some not so good folks.

And this brings me to the beginning of my people hoarding.

It started with Myspace. I could actually make friends and keep them through Myspace. Then Facebook came into play. And that’s where the serious hoarding became a thing. I found some old friends and I made new friends and I was able to keep most of them through social media. It was awesome!!!

people in a world map

But then there was the heart ripping painful times. When people would remove me from their friend’s list. I knew it shouldn’t hurt me like that, after all, it was usually people I only met once or not at all and a few I had known but were not really good friends in the first place. Still, I couldn’t stand losing anyone. Losing a social media “friend” was like being virtually stabbed in the heard. I knew this wasn’t realistic, but I didn’t know how to make those feelings go away.

There were even times I believe I came a bit too close to stocking. I didn’t do anything illegal, but I would do what I could online, which wasn’t much, to learn about this person or that guy, wishing I could meet them in person or at least not lose them as an online friend. I definitely got too attached to people I barely knew wither I met them in person or not.

Time has taken me further and further from that behavior that was actually harmful to myself. The obsessing and the people collecting has faded over the years.

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It’s been recent that I realized I really didn’t care all that much if people who didn’t see a reason to be my social media friend removed me from their friend’s list. Sure, there’s been a few that I was a tad hurt by, but I got over it. The ol’ “they don’t deserve you” attitude only worked for, well, no seconds, lol. But now while I may entertain that notion for a bit, I understand that I don’t need everyone, and everyone doesn’t need me. I have a few good friends I can count on. Wither they are near me or far away, I value them.

 

I’m actually okay and sometimes even glad when I don’t connect on social media with everyone I come across. Sure, I enjoy making new friends but it’s not a point of great disappointment and sorrow when I don’t. And for the record, I don’t have any plans to remove anyone from my friend’s list. While there may be a lot, and I believe I haven’t met most of them in person, I still appreciate the connection and community and the different ways of thinking and living. I can still be connected without being obsessive about it by letting fear guide me.

Another train of thought I’ve had to adjust is the notion that people who remove me from their friend’s list or don’t want to add me are being small minded. That they don’t see the big picture and they don’t know that there may come a day they wished they hadn’t turned down my friendship. Why, that’s not at all arrogant. lol! Okay, it was. But I thought it wasn’t cause I felt the same way about them, I may someday need them. While bridge burners may be way out of balance, I overdid it and was way out of balance the opposite direction.

Whatever it be, I am who I am and the way I think is mine. I shouldn’t expect others to think like I do and act and respond the way I do. We’re all different with different strengths and weaknesses and characteristics and ways of thinking. I don’t like it when others project their ideas on others or myself, so I shouldn’t do it either.

Hoarding is so much more than collecting and even more than just fear. It can be complicated and intertwined and tangled with other issues. Like straightening anything out, prodding and pulling and agitating only makes it worse. Changing without understanding the root cause doesn’t usually last. In order to up weed our fears, we need to understand where they came from and what’s been feeding them. And it’s there that we can begin our healing journey.

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Specious:  having a false look of truth or genuineness
                :  falsely appearing to be fair, just, or right
               

When I was still new to United Fellowship House of Praise, aka the cult, and still in the San Diego area, I recall one evening being at Monica’s house with my mom, Elder Turner, aka cult leader, and possibly some others. I was excusing myself because I had an arrangement to meet up with my dad to go see a movie. Elder Turner had a stern talk with me about how the word of God is more important and should be priority over anything else, even one’s own appointment with their dad.

 

It hurt to call my dad and tell him I wouldn’t be meeting up with him. It hurt even more when I heard the disappointment in his voice.

 

Though I’d been raised since I could remember to put the work of the Lord above all else and though pleasing God was my top priority it wasn’t the only reason I canceled the father daughter date. The other reason was because I was a gutless wonder. Elder Turner had God on his side, so to speak, so he had the upper hand and I really didn’t know how to stand up to him. I totally wimped out. I have no doubt Howard Turner, his first name isn’t Elder, knew exactly what he was doing and fed off intimidating people.

 

But was it entirely all my fault? Maybe not. Maybe my dad was actually getting a taste of his own medicine. Not something I would ever want to dish out, but it happened. My dad had applied the same pressure Elder Turner did on many occasions. I grew up with this type of life, I was conditioned by my dad and mom, and also by my sister. They each had their own twist to using manipulation. When in the past I tested the waters of standing up for myself I would get knocked down so hard with no room to try again. The same thing happened in the cult. Except in my family I don’t really recall them telling me to stand up for myself and to speak up and all. But, the cult did, I was told to do those things but when I did I was rebuked harshly and used as an example for months afterward.

 

And here’s the thing about people gettin it back, how often do they actually realize that’s what happened. I’m pretty sure when I talked with my dad that night on the phone the times he used his “god given” status to control me in a situation most likely didn’t come to mind. We joke and say, “Karma’s a bitch,” but if we really think about it, the jokes on us because when what goes around comes around, the person getting what they dished out usually has no idea, they don’t connect the dots and they are the down and out victim.

 

Sure, I still wish I had told Elder Turner to suck it, walked out the door, watched the movie with my dad, married Ray, moved to the Midwest and lived happily ever after. (Okay, I was going way back there to pre Turner times.) But, that’s not what happens to people who are conditioned to be the low down servant who does as she’s told and will be put in her place wither she ever left that place or not. Oh, and to add insult to injury, any potential relationships were scared off by my parents and later by my pastor. Well, that is until one came along that the pastor was able to manipulate. There wasn’t mental freedom for people like me, and in many cases there isn’t physical freedom either. 

 

I also wish I could still go see movies with my dad, and be able to tell him that I disagree about a lot of things, but that I love him and respect him no matter what.

 

You see, that’s the thing about cults that you can never really get over. It’s the things that were stolen from you. The precious treasures, the little moments of time, or even big moments of time, taken, gone, unrecoverable, and no amount of religion is gonna fix it, because it’s gone. Things that didn’t actually have to be, but were. Things that should have been, but weren’t.  

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Pity, prayer, this god or that saviour, positive thinking, etcetera, those things may provide some comfort for some people temporarily, but the painful memories caused by being in a cult and then getting out come in waves. Once a person gets through the initial shock and all luggage that attaches itself to them, the mental pain comes and goes. Over time the pain can become less intense. Though there may be times it gets stronger. What really helps is being in touch with people who are going through the same thing. Unless they have reattached themselves and are trying to get others to attach to their old or new cult. But understanding that like the waves of the sea, the feeling will come and go. It’s just nice to know even that, as simple as it sounds. It also helps to understand that it’s okay to get mental and medical help. I was taught that therapists were bad, even Christian ones, and that meds for depression would open one’s mind up to demonic oppression and possession. Even though a person my know that those things are not true they still may have a mental block and need help facing it.

waves hawaii oahu lorenakoran

 

There’s more, but I’ll stop for now, because I could go on for pages and pages and….

 

If you are in need of a non judgmental ear, or you know someone who is in need, I recommend contacting Recovering From Religion (RR).  It’s a hotline for folks who are questioning their beliefs, and have other issues about one’s faith or lack thereof and need a non bias person to talk to. They are not there to talk you out of your beliefs, they are just there to listen and be supportive and understanding. The hotline number is 1-844-368-2848.

 

Also, I know of quite a few groups and I may be able to help you find a meetup group or a support type group online if you need it. I certainly would try anyway.

Here is the web page for RR with the hotline phone number, email and other information and resources.
https://www.recoveringfromreligion.org/#rfr-welcome

 

recovering from religion

844-368-2848

 

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If you’ve read my blog you already know I’ve had to deal with chronic sleep paralysis for a large portion of my life. For those who haven’t I’ll give you a brief history.

 

It started when I was under the age of nine. I don’t actually know how young I was but I was old enough to remember it. Of course it was traumatic so it’s no wonder I remember. That first episode took place while we still lived in the house in Orange County. I don’t recall having any more episodes there but it’s possible I forgot. I do remember them being what I call chronic sometime after moving on the boat.

My dad said he had them as a child as well along with vivid nightmares that he sometimes would end up sleepwalking with. So, I’m not sure it was actually sleep paralysis for him or not. But I do know sleep paralysis can lead to very vivid nightmares. I was also a sleep walker but that was not attached to the sleep paralysis episodes for me.

Through out my teens I had the most episodes of sleep paralysis. My mother discovered that it often happened after she and my sister had a fight, which was often. So she suggested the two of them make up before going to sleep so I wouldn’t have the “attack”. And when I say attack, I mean “demonic attack” because that is what she believed it was. She thought that because I was being targeted because I was the youngest and most vulnerable.

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So, most my life I dealt with sleep paralysis as though it were demonic attacks. And as you’ve likely figured out already, that idea makes them so much worse.

 

For those who don’t know what sleep paralysis is, I’ll explain real quick. It’s when the chemical in you body that causes you to not act out your dreams doesn’t recede in time so you wake while it’s still present which means you are temporarily paralyzed until it finished receding. The best way I know of to handle it is to relax and let it finish receding. It’s a time you can use to just chill or even play with it. While in that state you can also lucid dream. Since you are still in a dream like state you can fly, jump high, and do whatever amazing thing you like cause there are no laws of gravity and so on to stop you. Fighting it wears you out, it’s better to relax.

When you’ve had years and years of dealing with it as demonic oppression it takes more than a notion to just relax and enjoy the ride. I’ve had to have talks with myself and help myself get out of the nightmare and not fight and take it easy and maybe have some fun.

By the way, I didn’t know the science behind it till a few years ago. Although I stopped believing it was demonic attacks, I really had no idea what was happening so it was still pretty scary.

 

As a Christian who believed in demons and believed it was demonic attacks , naturally I dealt with it from a “spiritual” aspect. I used my beliefs in Jesus to “overcome” it. Although I was harmfully misinformed I did learn a great deal from these terrifying episodes. Some of the lessons were actually very helpful in real life. But, like I mentioned before, I’ve written about this before and this blog is about my latest experience.

In my twenties and thirties I rarely had sleep paralysis but I did experience it from time to time. After leaving Christianity I still automatically reverted to my religious way of dealing with it. It was a life time habit. Those things don’t just go away. When I have several not far apart from each other I stop dealing with them religiously and do what I know is better and  more effective. I don’t really enjoy it most of the time though. There’s been some exceptions. When I don’t have it for long periods of time I revert to my default settings of fighting it with religious ideas. However, my brain always has a conversation with me about it in the dream state and reminds me that I no longer believe in such myths. It’s actually always quite an interesting conversation I have with myself. Lol! Once I do fully wake up I find it very interesting and entertaining, and I usually learn something new.

Okay! So, here’s my latest sleep paralysis experience.

It happened about three nights ago. I was dreaming about something and in the dream I laid down to rest. While laying there I felt a presence start to lay on top of me, a freaky scary presence. This is a common start to sleep paralysis for many people, btw. Even folks who are not spiritual.

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My automated system came online so I called out to Jesus to help me. Then I heard a voice challenge me by reminding me that I didn’t believe in Jesus. I playfully challenged back, “Yeah, but he was a nice guy!” Not that I believe in him, I was having fun challenging the voice back. Of course the voice was my own, and I do challenge myself awake, so it’s no surprise that I would do it in my sleep state as well. Than Satan was brought up. I shrugged and said I didn’t believe in Satan. I than started singing a fun church song. I was challenged about that as well but I ignored the challenge. I decided that as long as it made me feel better it didn’t matter. Singing has always helped me deal with fear. It gives me courage and helps me think things through.

And thinking is exactly what I did. I thought about hypnotism and how people use the “one, two, three, wake up” method to bring people out of it. I wondered if that would work for me. I decided to give it a try and right away started the count. While counting my mind reminded me that one had to be told to do it first in order for it to work. Not that I’m an expert, I’m far from that… Or am I? Lol!  But I was already in the count so I finished it with the “wake up”. When I finished I felt a jolt on my right side by my eye area as if that area had dislodged from the paralysis. I’m not saying it did, just that that’s how it felt.  So, this time I told myself that when I counted to three and said “wake up”I was to wake up. I counted, I said “wake up,” and immediately my eyes opened and I was fully awake.

Yeah, I was actually shocked. But happy. It was just so strange yet cool. The science behind it? Well, I’m sure there is some but I don’t know what it is yet. The brain is so very interesting. It’s possible anything would have worked because maybe the paralysis chemical had already receded. Or, maybe not and there more to it. Even if it did receded already, waking one self from the dream state can still be difficult. Possibly the hypnosis thing worked for that.  I’d love to know! I’m sure there are folks that will still try to attach something spiritual to this. To them I will “smile and wave” and keep learning the real facts instead of the alternative “facts” .

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I don’t look forward to trying it again. I don’t look forward to having sleep paralysis period. Though I know one can have fun with it, I have too much baggage, lol. It’s more than just dealing with it, it’s also dealing with my past which makes it tasking. But, I do enjoy the stuff I learn and experience when they are over. It’s really quite interesting.

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I thought this pic was funny. And funny thing about it, after mentioning to my daughter that I had a sleep paralysis episode she said it was likely due to the cat sleeping on me. The cat didn’t actually do that, but it’s still funny.

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Blog started Sunday 3/12/17.
There’s a lot of abused folks out there. Even the ones that have healed and are doing fine often still have triggers. PTSD isn’t just a military thing.
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Religion is a common cause of stress disorders. While it provides hope for some it causes both mental and physical harm for others. Well meaning people often make the matter worse. They think they are reaching out to people offering them hope, and while this may help some, it actually does the opposite for others
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When you “share” how great your god is and all he’s doing for you and those around you with people who have been abused with religion, you are not helping them, you are hurting them. You are pushing the trigger button over and over. Then, you wonder why they are so angry. Anyone who’s “buttons” are pushed over and over and over again will most likely “blow up” or as folks like to use on atheists, become angry.
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Normally I’m all about coexisting. I understand there are a lot of folks out there who hold onto their religion for cultural reason and community reasons and many who feel they need it. I’m fine with all that as long as it’s not causing any harm to anyone. However, this evening if religion were a person I would have murdered it.
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Blog continued Thursday 3/16/17.
Although I’m over it and back to my version of normal, I haven’t forgotten. I can still feel the frustration. I’m just not angry right now. But the issue is still an issue.
Although I suspected the kids and I likely have PTSD, I never really faced the issue. That is until Levis psychiatrist let me know, with out me ever mentioning it to him, that the kids and I have it. I was surprised at my reaction, after all I should have been prepared for that. But I wasn’t. I think I was actually avoiding it and he made me face it. It didn’t feel good. I even cried. Later I laughed. Talk about a slew of emotions. Even after laughing I wasn’t happy about it, I was frustrated. It just felt so unfair. Not just for me but more so for my kids.
I do know from experience that as difficult as it can be to be diagnosed, it has the great potential of having more benefits than not. Once you understand why you or your family members or friends act and react a certain way you can move on and learn how to work with what you or they have and improve and use the talents that may come with it and help others and get the help you need from services and such. The big benefit is understanding why you do, feel, and think the way you do. Understanding yourself really makes a big difference in healing and improving.
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So, this Sunday the acknowledgement of the PTSD did help me understand my emotional reaction to the previous days. From Friday all the way through Sunday I was affected by other peoples religion. One was a friends Catholicism and the other was my moms United Pentecostal type way of being.  Neither of them meant me any harm and I love both people. One was just trying to please her parents by being where they wanted her to be cause they were out of town. Going to mass and or church can be more superstitious than going because you need encouragement, community and wisdom.
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As far as my mom, she attempted to leave me texts about what god was doing through her. I may be wrong, but I felt intent, not just sharing and conversing. Like maybe she read or saw something I posted and wanted to try to “fix” me. I had posted a few atheist meme’s on my Facebook wall, so that could be it.  When she learned that only one of her text went through she decided to just tell me all about it on a phone call. It was a very long dialog about how god was using her and speaking through her and answering her prayers. The result? Hallelujah! I’m now magically “saved.” Thank you Jesus! I now know, again, that everyone else in the world that believes and has the any “evidence” and hope and “proof” and all from their god(s) is wrong. Us European type people are the only right people on earth. Our religion is correct and every one else is wrong. Our god is superior and everyone else is a myth. Yep, it doesn’t matter that everything in the Bible was taken from different religions, nope, it’s all true cause a bunch of white men said they were empowered by the holy ghost and so it’s true even when it’s proven not to be. So, praise the Lort! I’m just gonna throw common sense and being awake and aware out the window and trade it in for the shackles and nonsensical rules and regulations of a god who can do anything and every thing and knows all but won’t feed the masses of starving people, not even the starving babies in their mothers arms who are so malnourished their bodies can’t produce any milk. Now there’s a good idea! I mean, after all, it’s clear in Genesis that we are not supposed to know  “the knowledge of good and evil”, cause if we did we would realize that man made gods, not the other way around.
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Let me set this straight, in case you are getting my drift incorrectly. I Was Not Mad At God. I can’t be made at him/her/them. Why? Because I don’t believe him/she/they exist. Who was I mad at? People and their superstitions! And the poisonous ideas they shove down your throat, nose, ears and even up your butt, thinking they are helping you.
Folks, it’s not helping, it’s hurting. You hurt people with your religion and then you wonder why they are angry when you are responsible for triggering them. But no, it can’t be your fault, you were just sharing the love of Jesus. It’s got to be them, if they only would listen and give their lives over to your god then they would be set free from the things oppressing them. Dude! Stop, you are the one oppressing them. You want to help them? Than stop with the religious vomit!
I want people to heal too. I want them to recover and lose their “buttons” over time.  I am aware that pushing their buttons over and over doesn’t make the buttons go away, it makes them worse and adds to them. Maybe there are some exceptions, but the majority of people will not get better this way. Become aware of the fact that a person may have been religiously abused and back off with trying to feed them your beliefs. You can be friends with people with PTSD. You can love them and you can help them. I am not writing this blog about how to help them at this time, I’m just writing to wake folks up to the possibility that their religious “help” may be doing more harm than good.  There are a lot of good online articles out there about how to help people without using religion.
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So, back to last weekend. By Sunday night I was angry. I get frustrated and depressed at times, but anger isn’t something I usually feel for prolonged periods of time. So I was curious about myself and why I felt so angry. I realized it was a PTSD reaction, that my buttons had been repeatedly pushed, the PTSD had been triggered. So I let myself let it out. Not on anyone, but alone, in my car. I had a good couple hollers while driving. No one could hear me so no police were called, lol! I just had to release some tension. I didn’t feel awesome after that, but I do think that’s when I started to recover from it all. The next day I was grateful that I didn’t have to work. I felt like crap till late afternoon. I think the stress of the previous days physically took a toll. But like I mentioned, I felt better as the day progressed. By the evening I felt fine so on Tuesday I was ready and good to go for work.
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I know my mom loves me. I also know she gets caught up in her head, we all do at one time or another. I don’t mind hearing an occasional tale of how “god” has done this or that. It brings her happiness and I’m glad for her. But to go on and on and think it’s gonna convert me is just plain annoying and when I’ve already had a tasking couple of days, it’s harmful. My mom isn’t alone in this way of thinking and acting, not by a long shot. Which is why I am writing this, maybe someone will care and understand and make the changes because it not only makes sense, but because it’s love.
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I would like to add that how I felt doesn’t describe how others with PTSD may feel. How it affects people can differ. Even our own reactions and feelings can be different for different circumstances. And some folks do find comfort in religion and religious ideas. It’s just good to not assume or think cause it helps you or you’re told it does that you should use it to “help” others.  Be careful and don’t assume. This blog barely touches on what PTSD is and what religious induced PTSD is. (Also known as Religious Trauma Syndrome (RTS).)It would be kind of you to research and learn more about it. Most likely you have and will have friends, family and associates that have it.
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If you or someone you know is suffering from religious trauma or maybe just needs someone nonjudgmental to talk to, here’s a web site to a hot line that has people ready to listen. Just click here-
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The burning man!

I used to think of two things when I heard those words. One was the movie called The Wicker Man with Nicholas Cage and it’s strange sequel, and the other the giant event that takes place in the desert.

wicker-man

Now I can add another image, myself!

This is the second time I’ve had an ablation procedure. Last time was several years ago while I lived in Spring Field, MO. I had an atrial ablation procedure. They burned 13 areas of my heart. That one I had to be awake and aware for with very little pain killers. They simulated a heart attack over and over again till they found all the areas that needed fixing. Those areas they burned. Music got me through that ordeal. Thankfully, last minute, a nurse informed me I could take my MP3 player in with me. The music helped distract me and keep me calm. Both of which made a huge difference and made the experience not as bad as it sounds. I think without music it would have made for a terrible memory. The worst part of that memory was the medical bill.

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So this time, as in last Thursday, I had an endometrial ablation procedure.

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I’ve been living just above the line of anemia for quite a while now. During my periods my blood levels have gotten quite low. I’ve had to use a pad and a tampon at the same time and there have been days I used two tampons as well. Often I’ve had issues with the pads and tampons irritating my skin. Then there’s the money it takes to keep the pads and tampons in stalk. Being anemic or on the verge of it all this time explains why I have had low energy, problems with memory, and a craving for raw beef. I have also had a great understanding of how vampires must feel, lol!

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Mostly my periods were on a schedule but on occasion they would last for a month or two.  This happened last summer. I got so anemic that my arms ached and I would get random pains in my muscles in random places. Sleeping was difficult because of my arms aching. I still can’t completely understand why I didn’t see a doctor. By the time I did I was already on the mend from that. However, regardless of already being better, my blood test caused my doctors office to call twice, the first time telling me to take an iron supplement and the second time telling me to take two iron supplements. Later when a different doctor checked my blood levels history he was shocked at how low it had been and I wasn’t hospitalized. Not cool on my old physicians part.

I think maybe I didn’t go in earlier cause I was dealing with my youngest sons extreme behavior. He was having bad reactions to being on the wrong meds. It was a very difficult time and I was just trying to get through each day. It’s crazy to think of now, I remember not having energy to even get out of bed but still making myself function. I would just lay down in between everything I did. I’ve pretty much always desired a romantic type relationship but during that time I gave that idea up. I just didn’t have the energy for anything more than just surviving and taking care of my kids. It’s so strange how we can adapt to things we shouldn’t even adapt to. It became normal so I just dealt with it with out taking care of it. I do regret not taking care of myself and seeing a doctor. It was stupid of me. So much worse could have happened.

Although I haven’t had a extended period since than and my periods had gotten on schedule I not only have had the over bleeding problem but I have also been aware that any period could end up one of the extend ones. It was just a matter of time.

I was glad my new doctor was on board with helping me figure this out and fix the situation. He also had me see a OBGYN that is just wonderful. It was the OBGYN that came up with options and we chose what seemed like the best one, endometrial ablation. I didn’t need to be “fixed”, which is what a lot of folks think of when bringing up such a subject. Last year I had an Essure put in which permanently seals off the  fallopian tubes, but doesn’t stop the PMS. I just needed to control or stop the excessive blood flow.  So endometrial ablation seemed like the best option. Basically a device is inserted into the vagina and the lining is burned. Thankfully I got to be put under for the event.

I am not sure if this will fix my being on the edge of anemia all the time or not. The doctor thinks it will. If not than we’ll have to investigate further.

The procedure went well and at this time I’m on the mend and doing my best to take it easy. That meant instructing my youngest that if he was to stay this weekend he had to be on his best behavior and get things for mommy instead of the other way around. He was really good the last weekend he was here but he has been known to do that every so often and not do that in between those times. So I also let him know that if he wasn’t well behaved I’d have his dad come get him. I didn’t include that his dad wouldn’t likely actually do that due to the weather. Kyle arrived a day early due to there being no school Friday. And so far, so good! He even made me breakfast Friday morning.The only issue so far has been a few sibling spats and that both boys think they need to sleep with mommy.

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I mostly feel good but I am making myself chill so I don’t set my healing back. I have work to return to and I really can’t afford to not return to it. It is kinda nice to have an excuse not to ferry my kids around all over the place this weekend. And, I’m actually getting some writing done! I do have some cramping feeling which if needed Ibuprofen helps. And I will need to wear a small pad for a while.

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I was very happy and surprised that some friends at work helped me get to the hospital and back. Hannah and I had planned to use the metro system. She’s eighteen so she was allowed to be my “person”. But neither of us really liked the idea of using the buss to get there and back.

I’m not superstitious but I do enjoy the different zodiac’s and such. They are fun to identify with and use like one would use their months birthstone. Funny thing about my “element” is that it’s fire.

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But don’t think I’m okay with getting burned in general, I am so not okay with that! Lol! Hannah and I were joking around about it last night. I don’t think “burning woman” sounds as cool as “burning man”. It just doesn’t have the right ring to it. Maybe “smoldering woman”. Lol! Or, “Mom on fire,” and than I could dress like Katness.

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“The burning times” refers to when people were accused of being witches and burned at the stake. So, I can’t use that one. My burning was to help me, not kill me, or ruin my reputation and take my property.

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Although what I’ve been through is on the serious side I do enjoy finding humor in it regardless. Humor get us through so many things.

 

I would still love to one day go to the Burning Man event. It’s on my bucket list. I would also love try fire breathing someday as well.

Burning Man: Art on Fire

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The boys shoveled most of the side walk a moment ago. I didn’t want to get fined for not doing it. It took them a while to get going but I’m glad they did it after all.

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Now for some just for fun pics and videos!

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