Going to Die Because I don’t Matter Anymore

Not a great subject, but nonetheless true.

My fundraiser on Facebook has $204 and I can’t figure out how to transfer that to me.  More time wasted in the Internet and phone calls to useless people who don’t know the complete answer. It worked in February with the same information, but that was February.  Facebook has changed. It had to.

My bank account is  in the negative. I have $30 dollars left on my EBT (Food stamps) until it’s reloaded on  7/5. I have no money for gas, my car insurance, my cell phone or my storage rent. In less than a month, I really won’t matter anymore.

This will be in reverse chronological order, accept for the last three days. It’s easier for my brain and I will try to be brief, because some of it is painful to remember. I will be updating. When I am finished, I will type so. First names only will be used, or an initial for a last name, to protect many from derision and hatred, others due to their generosity and kindness. The reader can be left to decide as they see fit. I live with the truth. No lies from me. I had plenty of those throughout my life. I hate liars, especially one very dead liar.

Yesterday, I spent hours on the phone, called so many agencies I lost track. My frustration and blood pressure just rising, I concluded that round until Tuesday. I had to request to transfer to Alameda County from Contra Costa County because CCC did nothing except administer my food stamps (Cal Fresh) and MediCal, which was a joke. Changed appointments because the doctor wasn’t doing clinic that day or other thing that was convenient for them and inconvenient for me. Or change an appointment booked months in advance and didn’t tell me there was a difference in entry after 5 pm. I missed that appointment. It wouldn’t have mattered. That doctor was cold and wooden. I have depression and we need to deal with that. Had she looked at my endless list of prescriptions, she would have seen I take one daily.

Let’s just drug her up until she’s unable to protest. Why diagnosis her, or what’s wrong with her brain? She isn’t smart enough to understand those complicated medical terms. What a waste of my time. That needy cretin on the government dole. Where does she think she is? Canada? Blah! Socialism. My mind comes up with doom and gloom a lot lately. Depression or blatant dismissal? I walked out on her. First time I’ve  time I have ever done that. I have always had a deep respect for doctors. She was a robot. There was no respect, just dealing with another appointment. That was Wednesday. I saw my therapist a least. We talk about my depression. Why wouldn’t I be? No one ever wants to find out what is wrong with my brain.

After that depressing instance with that destroyer of hope, I decided to search out another source recommended I by my friend Wy, a place called Axis. It’s part of Alliance (Alameda health group) I found out. I couldn’t get an appointment until after the 4th. Pleth. I would go to the emergency room, but not Contra Costa. ValleyCare in Pleasanton was the closest choice on Garmin so I took myself there

The nurse I encountered after check in was another disbelieving, but the doctor was not! Dr. Sabin, I think, or close enough. She listened, what a change. She heard me, my pain and confusion and the loss I was feeling. Depression is part of stroke, but she went through my box of pills and saw the mood stabilizer I was on and every other prescription and commented I was taking a lot. I know. I have to swallow them all and not choke or have one end up in a lung. How I eat about a meal a day out of necessity because I have no appetite or sense of thirst. She asked me if I produce saliva. No one has asked me that. I do, but I can go for hours, 16 so far, without drinking anything. But, I have to take pills and they don’t go down without water. Too dry, they’ll get stuck in my throat. I know when I need to drink, my mouth is dry and gummy and needs re-wetting. Something new I figured out today. No one has thought to ask me before.

That doctor caused me to think about a lot of things and what has and hasn’t happened. I need a professionals help and knowledge and it wasn’t something I was getting for the stroke, just everything else sort of. She ordered a CT scan of my head and neck, my neck hasn’t been considered in years, though it was important with the stroke. A key player, if you will. And I discovered that this was a Stanford University Medical Facility. Thank God, an organization that strives to provide patients with good resources so they can thrive and survive. I had a measure more in hope for the first time in almost 19 months. Good health care does make a difference.

After 7 hours I was released to return “home”. I saw a Social Worker who gave me numbers and information for housing. I was given the name of a neurologist Dr. Sabin had met and thought would be a good match. I was given a prescription for Aspirin and advised to have my medications reviewed due to chronic conditions, not stroke recovery. The CT scan was “clear” for anything new, but that would be discussed with a neurologist. But to return if anything changed or I became worse. I had the feeling they cared. That was amazing and what I needed.

I slept well Thursday night and without melatonin, my sleep aide since the stroke. Woke up early, at 8, and started my day. I decided to take my friends Wy’s advice and make a few phone calls. First, to a Social Security Advocate. Lordy, but that was interesting.il

I had come across a group in Minnesota who would help you file for Social Security. They did, but not much more. Wy had told me when she hired an Advocate, they coordinated her doctor’s appointments, got the correct paperwork directly from the medical providers to insure Social Security had a proper file to make an educated decision.  These people in Minnesota did nothing but send me stuff that needed to be completed like a Medical Source Screening or something. I had given them all the providers names and addresses, but I still had to get hem completed properly. Yeah, Contra Costa didn’t do that and this firm PDSL knew that, but did they say anything? Of course not. They couldn’t even keep track if whether they had called me or I had called them and when. For the record, I called them three times as much as they called me.

I wanted to fire them, but this woman I spoke with Friday told me how to do that and what they would do if I decided to hire them. What any advocate would do. I have to request they exit my case and send me the paperwork. That way, I can hire another attorney and they can take their place with no loss of time or position for me. Now we’re cooking with gas!

Their number has been saved in my contacts. I know who to call.

I then called PDSL and after being transferred to a few different people, I told them I wanted to exit out of our agreement, I wanted a letter and my file and how long would it take? I stayed on message, even with the questions. I repeatedly asked her when I would receive the exit letter, by email and regular mail. Within 5 business days? Yes to both? She was sure, otherwise I would report them to the appropriate authorities and write anyone who would be interested in the story.  Companies do hate bad press. She stuck with her assurances. I backed it up with an email.

Next – Contra Costa County and MediCal. That took longer by 4 hours.

The menu of choices and the voice prompts are endless and take 6:41 minutes to get through before you get to the right department. I sat on hold for a while, decided against that and left a request for a call back since I was 23rd in line. I went to fill the aspirin prescription, waited while it was filled, and they still hadn’t called back. It has been an hour. I called again, went through the prompts and was back on hold and I got disconnected. Call again, but I ended up with Spanish speaking, so I called back again and sat and waited in my car with the phone plugged into the charger. This time I was 32nd in line. I waited listened to every interruption that my call was important and they would get to me an quickly as possible. Uh-huh.

Contra Costa Health Plan person finally comes on the line. I inform her I want my coverage to be transferred to Alameda. Why? Oh honey. Why did you ask? For the first time since the stroke, my eloquent poison tongue came back to me. For any who know me, I politely and pointedly cut a grown man down without profanity or a voice of scorn until he was crying. A top producer who had called one of my loan processors a “cunt”. She didn’t deserve that, and either did this employee deserve the same disgust I had for him but it was close, especially when she gave me offices in Solano County. “I’m sorry, I may not have said it distinctly enough for you to understand. I said I was in Liv-er-more, not Fair-field. I can understand the confusion.” Oops, I’m sorry, I thought I heard Solano. Yeah, that sounds just like Alameda.

You know what else? They’re behind in their paperwork. I found that out when I asked how long take. 2 months. What! It’s one electronically, and it takes two months? Have they restarted the Pony Express via Alaska? That’s when I was told about their delay in paperwork. How does Contra Costa get anything done? Do they need to hire competent, educated workers for the jobs? Not by what I have experienced.

On Tuesday, I have an Ombudsman for Social Services I have to call. To make sure she did it and I can use services in Alameda. She did something in the system to make it known that I have a mailbox in Brentwood BECAUSE I AM HOMELESS. Something I couldn’t get anyone else to do. It’s factually correct and why would I want that?


I went to bed at 1 am something, slept fitfully, went to the bathroom 3 times and on the 4th trip pee’d myself, drank less than 8 oz. of water throughout my 14 hour sleep journey, had nightmares and finally got up at 5 pm to take my med’s and eat something  – a banana and 2 Keebler Elfwiches. Hey, it’s food and my blood sugar was at 89. It got me thinking on my little smoke excursion. Yes, I smoke. Used a credit card yesterday to charge 2 packs.

I have CalFresh/Food stamps/ EBT a month and that affords me $6.15 a day in 31-day month of food. When you are homeless, and you can’t buy prepared food or a microwave meal, that means going to the grocery store everyday to get fresh food. Fruit will last a few days if it’s not too hot, bread won’t mold that quickly unless it’s hot – like a car, cheese, yogurt, luncheon meat – a few days if it’s cold, but not cold enough so you die. And a diabetic trying to maintain her blood sugar? Hardly.

You could use Ramen – not exactly a nutritious source of calories. You need water and a microwave and just ignore the sodium and carbohydrates. All food that is bad for you is cheap. Does Panera or ToGo’s take EBT? Not that I’ve seen. Either does Dominoes or Jack in the Box, so I guess they’re equally bad.

And because my friend didn’t want to see me homeless, I have a place to sleep, use a bathroom and prepare food. I even get to partake in meals. Gee, what a concept. Breaking bread with a less fortunate. Where is a food kitchen? Does a homeless shelter provide more than one meal at a specific hour? If you couldn’t sleep, do you still have to leave at a certain time? So many questions and so few answers and I can’t handle all that. A person can barely handle it without part of their brain being dead. I’m thinking of it now, and I have  no pressure on me, someone asking questions and requiring short, concise answers. I end up crying in frustration and they end up frustrated and ignoring me since I’m taking so long and it must not be that important to me if   I’m just going to be emotional and wanting pity. You know that look when you’ve seen it enough times. I’ve seen it too much, and heard the requests to calm down with it.

I don’t know what else to do and I’m loosing everything. I want to live but that’s getting harder to do without accepting I will have nothing but my miserable life such as it is.

I propose the same question I did in a Facebook post from March – I would rather wrap my car around an isolated light pole than be harassed in my car, raped or killed because someone thinks I have something they want. At least it is my choice and no one else is harmed. No one should suffer because of me.


Why Stroke is a Death Sentence

I have always tried to be an optimistic person. Hell, I had to be with to be with the Reaper’s Apprentice as my adopted mother. Anything I have told people about my life with her was “G” rated. I could never tell the whole truth, because who would believe me?

My friend Chris said she was Bat-Shit Crazy when we were 16. That became the easiest, and shortest, explanation I used the rest or her life. I even told her that when I was frustrated. She always said, “I’m not crazy. You are!” Yeah, well, I wasn’t a narcissist nor was I Bi-Polar nor did I refuse all medical help and I didn’t lie and say I had medical training, but she did. And I don’t care if I can’t prove it or have tests to back it up, but she was directly responsible for Dad’s death. She wanted me dead. To maintain her supremacy in her universe, all detractors had to be silenced.. Because she was going to live forever! Psycho-bitch. And men wanted to her at 85. She was sooo sexy! They would kill a fat piece of shit like me to get to her. A mother’s love. How warm and fuzzy.

Dad had a stroke. 1000’s of brain aneurysms over a few days because she insisted to his Alzheimer’s riddled PCP that he didn’t need it his blood thinning medication – his coumadin. His cardiologist said he had to take it for the rest of his life because of the pace maker, but he was on sabbatical (Doctors without Borders) and Mom didn’t like him because he had challenged her medical “credentials”, so out of site and out of reach  and she could get her way. And she did.

When I ended up living with her, she took all my medication and threw t hem out. Flushed down the toilet, threw it in the city trash can, nothing recoverable. My ex-husband and I were going through a divorce and my doctors were in Northern California. I was in Southern California because that is where the Sea Witch lived. She hated the sea, so not sea witch. She was more like a destructive dust storm, or an emotional vampire.  Technically, she was a succubus draining joy and happiness from everyone. Succubus hits more notes for me. I was “drug addicted” so she had to correct that. Drugs for Diabetes and Hypertension are so bad for you and are gateway drugs to Coke and Heroin after all.  See? Bat Shit Crazy Succubi.

So Dad had had the stroke. I walked in his shoes, in his shadow. I drove myself to the hospital, because those fuckers are expensive, not because I didn’t want to bring unwanted neighbor attention like Mom.  Besides, no one was home and I was alone as usual.

Those first few days after Dad’s stroke, the first few days after my own, I knew too well how he felt, what he thought, what he knew he was facing – his imminent death. Mom wasn’t around anymore and couldn’t do anything to halt my recovery, but his? She did everything to make sure the Hospice workers did nothing to help him, to help him towards recovery. I saw this for weeks. A week there, back to work and home for 10 days and back to SoCal to be with him. To watch over him. To talk with him and keep Mom from hovering and screaming at him to be normal. Never to help him, just to make sure no one did. For nearly 4 months. She insured he would die because she was bat shit crazy and he knew that. He told me  shortly before his stroke, “Mom isn’t well”. The code phrase I knew so well from hearing it over the years that there was something very wrong. He knew she had dementia. And he knew I would have to take care of her just as he had for over 40 years. She would be my burden now, just as he had warned me when I was 19.

Though he was in hospice, a death watch, she was convinced he would miraculously recover. They were going home to Norway! He promised! She wouldn’t allow the Hospice workers to perform therapy. Dad had difficulty swallowing, yet she made him food as if nothing had happened. He had to get up to go to the bathroom, yet he needed two people to get him out of his bed and to the small and narrow “water closet” type room that had the toilet. Dad would be “embarrassed” if he wet the bed. Any adult would. I know from personal experience. His stroke was right hemisphere too. Like father, like daughter.

Dad was in constant pain. His muscles were atrophying, shortening. The Hospice supervisor got a prescription for Morphine. Mom had a fit. No! They weren’t going to make him an addict! I was there that weekend. Dad and I could communicate, just as we had for years under her evil gaze. It was all in the eyes and facial expressions, which Dad could still manage with half a working face. So, as I sat there, holding his hand, I asked him, “Do you want me to put an end to this?” A very deep and solemn nod.

Mom was railing at the hospice supervisor in the Living Room and I went to put a stop to it. I went out there and said, “Dad has something he wants to convey. He wants his decisions to be understood.” Of course, Mom was shocked. “He won’t speak! You’re lying!” He did have difficulty speaking, but he could still think and communicate. Mom just never took the time to figure out how. She never did with either of us.

The woman came in and spoke directly to Dad, asked him if was comfortable. He gave “meh” lift to his shoulders, a lift to the corner of his mouth. But his eyes. They showed his pain, his thorough fatigue. He was physically and mentally done. He had been summarily tortured for 3 months. He managed to choke out a few words. My name and decision. I said, “Dad, do you mean me and I decide for you?” An emphatic deep nod of yes. He jerked his head right and said “NO!” Meaning, Mom couldn’t speak for him, that’s what the Supervisor asked. He kept shaking his head and repeating “no”. It broke my heart, made me cry, I hated her in that moment. It would worsen over time, but this was about Dad and I would protect him if I could – against her. She denied his wishes, saying he had no right. That I didn’t care. That I wanted him dead. No. I wanted him to know peace, something he had been denied for years.

I had to leave later that day, but Dad would receive care in unison with his condition. I had arranged over the weeks for a hospital bed, a portable commode, a walker, an oxygen machine, a humidifier. Whatever made it easier for him. We chatted, I often walked him to his car with the succubi perched in the only window with a front view. Remember “Bewitched? Gladys Kravitz? That was Mom’s nickname. I gave her that when I was a kid. Dad would chuckle, shake his head, and mutter an agreement. Admonish her when she would yell at me. “Gunn? You can’t take a joke? So he’s got a point. You’re nosey.” Not as much nosey as a menace. That’s another story for another time, but let’s just say, the police told Dad to control his wife. Ha!

I spoke to the cardiologist. He even came by to check on Dad, much to Mom’s consternation. When I asked told him I was going to file wrongly, death charges against Dad’d PCP, he looked sad and put his hands on my shoulders and said, “I will do all that I can, but you can’t do that because of your Mom.” At the time, I took it as concern for her. Now I know different. He knew the truth – the whole truth. She should have been locked away, like Manson. She was psychotic. Her family had no idea and didn’t want to know. Big Sis was happy in America! Yeah, she was happy.

I left latter that afternoon, sat with Dad for a few more minutes, quietly chatting. Dad had tinnitus, he wasn’t deaf.  If you spoke slowly and distinctly, he could understand you. Mom yelled. He couldn’t understand even then, I would translate in my quiet tone, looking at him directly, holding his gaze. I had done that for years. Even modulating my voice, making it deeper and easier for him to understand. That’s how I got my 3-octave range.  My stroke took that. I can’t sing anymore. But, I spoke to Dad. I told him I would be back in a few days, forour at most. I knew he was fading. He shook his head, said no. “I won’t be here”, he choked out. “Daddy, don’t say that. You can’t leave me yet!”, I cried.  He just shook his head, muttering no.  Then, he said, “I love you, Venke. Always.” I sobbed. I kissed his cheek, rested my head next to his, the closest I could do to a hug. Such moments were rare between he and I. Mom would get jealous, make noises, saying it was “improper”, commenting to me about it later. She was wrong. Always.

Those would the last words I would ever hear him say.

I had the long drive home, I managed it in about 7 hours. I got a call from the Hospice supervisor around 7:30 pm that night, Dad was in a lot of pain and really restless, would it be ok to give him a dose of morphine? If his doctor recommended it, of course. She would prescribe it at the doctor’s direction. Mom was interfering again.

I got home shortly before midnight, unpacked the car quietly as Kevin was asleep and hated to be woken up. I sank into bed and passed out.I was so tired and I had to be at work at 9 am.

At around 2 am, the house phone rang. I didn’t run to get it, voicemail would. I knew. That was Mom. I didn’t want to talk to her. I went to the house phone after a few minutes, dialed into voicemail, a hysterical Mom sobbing Dad was dead. He had died in his sleep. I had to come right away.

I called her back, told her I would drive back. She was still sobbing, telling me she couldn’t do this alone. I had to take care of everything. She didn’t know what to do. Yeah, I know.

I woke Kevin and told him. He gave me a hug, told me he would be done in a few days, but “work”. Yeah, I know. With barely 2 hours sleep, I hit the road. That is when the 5 became my trail of tears. I drove, finally watching the sun come up over the Basin. By the time I got to the house, the first time I came home and Dad wasn’t there for a quick hug and an air kiss, the coroner had been there and all the rented equipment had been removed. He had been cleared out, as if never there.

He was cremated. I still have his ashes. The final bill came from the hospital and we owed nothing.  Dad’s cardiologist had insured that Dad’s PCP retired, wouldn’t see patients again, his diagnosis made public.  He did more than I had hoped for.

A stroke is a death sentence when you are alone. Even more so when you have never had anyone who stood beside you when you couldn’t stand on your own. Just a hand reaching out to help you to your feet so you can take the first few steps back to the land of the living. I did that for Dad. Mom didn’t know how. She never let me morn him. He left her, after all, and he lived with that betrayal the rest of her life and blamed me for trying to steal him. I wasn’t really his daughter. I was a woman who wanted him – a man 46 years older than me. She was more than just cray-cray. She was evil incarnate.

That is what I live with everyday, every minute, every second. Living with the impact of a rare stroke and not getting the medical help I am entitled to has left me bitter and angry and so profoundly disillusioned. Especially after today. The LLC I contracted to help me get Social Security, I’m just a number they will earn 25% of what SS grants me when they give me the lump sum from the original application date to the approval date. What are they doing? Filing forms they legally need to as proof they were “working” and deserve that 25%. They do nothing else. I don’t have a person assigned to me. I just talk to whoever answers the call. They listen and say nothing until I sufficiently get it out of my system. They offer no advice, no words of encouragement. I could be talking to a robot. There is no difference.

I was told Social Security is taking 20 months for appeal hearings. Almost 2 years. Kinda like Contra Costa and Section 8 housing, but their waiting list is two years old just to be added. To put it simply – I’m screwed.

I’ve used that phrase a lot lately.

20 months until a hearing for SS to decide whether I’m disabled or not. The claims I’ve filed with the Medical and Nursing Board will have been investigated and may well be decided by then, because that shit is computer recorded and in ink -and blatant. But 20 months with just food stamps. No money for gas, no insurance for the car because no money, can’t take a bus because no money, so how do I get to the store?

I have a safe place to lay my head, shower, brush my teeth, use a toilet. It’s a home, but not mine. I am but a humble and very appreciative guest. They are not family. I explained this to the legal LLC, but I’m not homeless. I don’t qualify for an expeditious hearing. This is an accepted practice now? Expected? This is inhumane. A farce. A blot on our “system” of government. We’re not a shining city on a hill. We’re the trash heap behind those trees lining that exclusive golf club. And it’s in Palm Springs in August. Mmmmm. smells like something large and furry died.  Decomp is so memorable.  Ever driven by a skunk roadkill? Yeah, that smell, but so much worse.

That is what my life is like right now in a way any one can imagine. Dead skunk on steroids.

20 months I am supposed to live and exist in a borrowed space while my things are rotting and corroding? When I get SS, what happens? I get an apartment buy my furniture is rotted or moldy or unusable, so I have to buy new stuff. Where? Goodwill? Salvation Army? St. Vincent de Paul’s? Cruise curb dumps for decent finds? Dumpster dive?

I’ll be dead, because why would I want to live through that just to live? With nothing? Over a stroke that I shouldn’t have survived? Some care enough to step up and help me, but I know plenty of people who will become an obnoxious nuisance if you use illegal alien instead of undocumented resident. Get bent out of shape and use insulting tones, even inferring you’re ignorant and deserved to be dismissed. They take on that righteous cause, but use their voice, their soapbox, to help another human being they know and spent time with? Too busy or not important enough to pause their knitting or spinning or bitching about some other topic that is important and has bent their pique? Cry me a river, darlin’. Ignorant snowflake.

I have known selfish people. and some very beautiful selfless people. I have been honored to be friends with the selfless ones. Knowing them enforces my belief that kindness and respect  are the only human traits that we can share that prove we are the same and equal.

20 months. It could be 2 years – 2020 – before I see a possible resolution and I can access a system I worked and had money put into since I was 16. I had the stroke on November 29, 2016 and it won’t be adjudicated until June 2020 at the earliest? And I can’t qualify for a home because I can’t work and SS hasn’t determined I am disabled? Why live?

This is a lonely existence. It’s been that way for years. I can’t do it anymore.

I leave the link again, because I can’t believe my life has no meaning. If nothing else, I am a voice for all those who have no voice, who are ill and homeless and have no one.  I’m one of them. It needs to change. The United States should never treat their citizens like this. Not when we’ve lived here our whole lives, born on this soil under this Flag, pledging our allegiance to a failing and toxic political process.




Just When You Think It Can’t Worse

On January 24, 2018, I had an appointment with my PCP, a Nurse Practitioner. It would have been  a typical appointment but for her reaction.

It started pleasantly enough, but I hadn’t seen her in a while. Christmas, her vacation, her scheduling, her assigned Nurse team leader’s attitude, failure to issue refills for prescriptions, a colossal cluster fuck on attending to her patient’s health and scheduling accordingly had been an “issue”, but I soldiered on and treated her respectively while refraining to say “What the fuck, lady?” Hadn’t seen her since November, but I was thankful to see her now.

During the appointment, we were reviewing my list of needs (I had emailed her – her nurse complained I used more than 5 sentences). We were reviewing my referrals to therapy – Physical, Occupational and Speech, and to a neurologist. When she asked what else, I became upset and confused, as I am apt to, and said “I don’t know!” I have asked repeatedly for a neurology referral and been consistently denied because they wouldn’t refer me to specialty doctors over any little ‘problem’ I had. They were busy people and had to deal with serious medical issues. I feared this excuse again.

I was using my cane that day and seated several feet away from her as she was standing behind the computer. I rapped my cane once against the floor, showing my frustration. I couldn’t come up with a word that wasn’t vulgar, so I used my cane instead of hitting my thighs with my fists. She screamed and ran from the room, yelling for security and the police. I was stunned. I didn’t know what was happening. Something I would continue to think for many more hours to come.

I didn’t leave the room. I should have, but I did nothing wrong. The door was open. I heard yelling and exclamations. Even “Get her the fuck out of here!” and something about hitting. I was more confused and could only think I didn’t do anything. A Ranger,  a security guard, came and barred me from leaving. A psychologist came and talked to me. She never brought up what had just happened. I have met her before. I thought she was nice. Hah! I prattled like I do know. Effectively, my personal version of “RainMan”. I feel like Dustin Hoffman too often.

We spoke for a while, I even told her about the process I went through with MENSA in my 20’s and how boring I found the people I met. I was 20-something and they were old to me then. We kept talking, how things were so frustrating for me now, until the female police officer showed up. She asked questions. Kept asking so many questions repeatedly. No one ever said why they were asking questions or gave any indication as to why or what I had done. I was standing the, hugging the wall and avoiding them. The police officer asked me to sit down. More questions. Then the paramedics came and after a few minutes, she asked me to stand. Then she and the Ranger took me into custody.

Having my forearms grabbed, double-handed, set off my memory. A repeated memory of my Mom grabbing my left forearm and beating me for decades. I stood up to her once when I was 18. I fought her off and grabbed her forearms and pinned her to the wall and screamed in her face “You don’t ever hit me again or I will do the same thing to you!”  She stopped for a few years. Slapping continued, but no forearm grabbing and hitting my head and neck until I was in the fetal position until I was 48 and she was old as fuck and if I raised a hand to her I’d seriously hurt her. That’s why she stabbed me instead. Good thing it was a pair of embroidery scissors. I feared a knife. Nightly. But I tried to pull away, thereby resisting.

They kept a hold of me until I was on the gurney and strapped down. I was crying. That’s what happens to me when I am frustrated. My anger causes emotional distress that manifests as crying. A new level of personal hell.

I was taken to the County Psyche ER. Great. I was drug tested when they finally released me. I really needed to pee! The leakage pad wouldn’t have made it and  would have been pantless. It has happened. The stroke screwed up my central nervous system. I asked for water and was given some. I don’y suffer from thirst, but my mouth gets dry. That’s how I know I need water.

A psychologist talked to me. I still didn’t know what I had done and told him that. He said I had hit Ms. B (I have filed a complaint against that bitch with the Nurses Board – she’s gonna pay), and the site Psychologist said I was delusional and grandiose. He had figured out it was a farce for me to be 5150’d, and I should know what had been said. I was there for 4 hours and they got me a cab to get back to my car that was 20 miles away. Was there anyone they could call? No, I have no one.

They provided me a sandwich for dinner. It was late and I hadn’t eaten since that morning. My appointment with Ms. B was at 4pm and by the time I got back to my car, it was 10pm. I still had to drive to Alameda where I was staying.

Before the appointment, I had gone to the home I had stayed in for over a year and summarily  dismissed from and packed some stuff in preparation for that weekend to move the rest to storage. It was a “challenging” afternoon before I went to the appointment. That had started at 1pm. I moved what I could alone with steps. Got it to the storage unit. I was mentally drained then. Oh, was I wrong.

I drove back to Alameda, parked at the garage, and started unpacking. I managed to get most of it out of the car, but the next morning, my friend D found the garage door open, my keys of the roof of the car, the car door open and me passed out in the bedroom. I must have laid done at one point. I don’t remember. That scared me half to death. None of my stuff, or my car, were stolen. But it shook me. Unnerved me. I had never done that before. Maybe this was the cause for her evicting me after the garage door was left open and I never touched the garage door opener after 4pm and it was closed which she knew.

I opened some mail that I had packed when M&GG were coming home. A letter from the CCC Fire District could wait. It was probably fund rising stuff. Nope. It was a bill for that ambulance trip to County on 1/24/18. They were charging me because CCHP (my healthplan) refused to pay it.

Ms. B made a claim that resulted in me being 5150’d to County – a lie – and I have to pay for $3800 for her not getting a letter in her file for professionalism, medical malfeasance and ongoing malpractice?

That “report” to the police came back and bit me in the ass on March 4th. I posted on Facebook a post that there algorithm took as a suicide threat and reported it to Alameda PD, and because of a “violent 5150” I was taken into custody, handcuffed and searched, and prep walked to a waiting ambulance and transported to a Psych ER in San Leandro. I was there for 10 hours and given a taxi cab to take me “home”. The two female officer neglected to get my prescription glasses, just a pair of readers and even read the post supporting my GoFundMe Campaign. I was upset, emotional, after an 11:45pm visit from the police. I couldn’t say “I don’t want to commit suicide” unemotionally enough for them, so I deserved to be handcuffed? I told them I had a stroke. Supposedly so. Arrest the disabled. Why not.

I wonder when I’ll get that bill.

I fear getting “picked up” and serving jail time. I have so many fears now. My life is in ruins and impacted so disastrously by others who were supposed to “help” me. It isn’t help. It is shortening my time on this earth.

If I have struck a nerve with any of you, ’cause I ain’t sharing on Facebook anymore. Fucking insidious bastards, share this. I still am hoping to raise money through GoFundMe so I can live and make those nitwits pay. No one deserved to experience what I have. No one should. Ever.

One good thing that came out of that last little trip because I am a “psyche case”, I researched my drugs.  My system was almost 48 hours clear of Metoprolol, an angina medication for a heart condition. I don’t have a heart condition and the side effects make my stroke related issues worse, like confusion. Hmmmm, could that have made me worse? It wouldn’t have changed who I have been historically or make me violent, but it caused severe brain fog. And Berg didn’t renew my Amolodipine prescription. I need  that for my blood pressure. Dr. N, my new PCP, gave me a new prescription for that. My ER Doctor when I had the stroke put me back on that. I had taken it for years, until Mom threw out all of them because I was “addicted”. Dealing with dementia is a bitch when it’s not you and you’re a live-in caretaker.

I research. The Internet doesn’t lie, only shitty sites do. You know who you have to trust because of their history and mission.








If wishes were fishes, we could all walk on water

You know, I want to write a happy post. A positive one. I just don’t have it in me.

I am typically positive, at least uplifting in a cynical way. “It’s not so bad – it could always be worse!” Yeah, THAT came back and bit me in the butt.

I have so many thoughts running through my head. Too many and too fast to try to type, never to be spoken as I am now.  At least I can see typo’s because I type so slow. Most of the time. That brain thing is so fucked up. My speech pathologist mentioned Friday that how I built my knowledge base may make it more difficult for me to use generic rehabilitation tools. For instance, I usually type the word any as “amy”. I don’t see it until the 3rd or 4th time I reread what I’ve written. But pathology or neurology is ok, because I have to think about the keys to type. I see immediately that I missed a key. My lexicon. The Spelling Bee Champ still handles the more complicated words, but easy throw-away words, they are hard. I couldn’t remember definite the other day and it still haunts me. That is why me reading slowed and non-fiction appeals to me now. Non-fiction teaches and I am desperate for education.

I can read fiction much faster I found, but I don’t remember what I have read. Fractions and snippets, but a non-fiction? I know thoughts, cadence, obscure points, a jaunty retort. I remember and speak of them. With fiction? It’s s good book. I like that author. And that’s the thing. I remember the previous stories by that author. I remember the story arc and the connections. A reason why I have reread only 2 books ever. Your perception changes as you grow older. There are many books I want to reread now that I’ve had a stroke. War & Peace is one of them. Call of the Wild, The Stand (number 3 if that happens), even Lord of the Rings. The Classics, Shakespeare Wordsworth, Longfellow, Byron, Dickens, even the drivel of the Bronte sisters when not zombified.  Hey,  read both versions. I have read so much. I miss summer breaks. I put that time to good use. I expanded my brain. Thank goodness I did. The stroke was devastating, but at least I used more than average, so I had more to work with that had already been trained. That became more important than I would have initially thought. My brainiac persona paid off in the most basic sense.

I still have resources, but I can’t access much of it as it pertains to work. My memories are still there, but how I accomplished all that I have to relearn. How I did that is missing. Not lost, but I can’t reach it yet, if ever. I don’t know. and I don’t have a doctor to advise me. I have a new neurologist, but she has to meet me, diagnose and make decisions based on my baseline. That will take months. Months I lost due to incompetent previous doctors who never referred me to a brain doctor for a brain injury

I have filed complaints with the medical board and they will research my care records and see what I lacked, what the Stroke Foundation recommends for recovery and rehabilitation for stroke survivors. Please visit stroke.org and educate yourself so when someone, or you, have one you are somewhat prepared. Please improve your life and never stop learning. It will help you when you least expect it. Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death. 20% of those who suffer a stroke die.

Yippee. I didn’t die. It will happen, and it may be quickly and by my own will, because I will have no other recourse.

I managed a positive thought! That is part of my being and something that just comes naturally. Thank God, I haven’t lost that. I hope I never do. I consider it one of my best qualities, part of my morality. Along with seeing all humans as equal and the same, regardless of heritage or language of status in life. We are all the same. Pity it isn’t a shared thought by the majority of individuals, especially the man who holds the highest office in our land. And it is an “Office”, not a dictatorship. He does not own it and it isn’t something you make money from, even if you also own golden towers or acres of manicured lawns that you whack a little white round ball on for enjoyment or pleasure. I heard  those places have a hefty membership fee.

On the 6th we will have an anniversary of sorts. It will be the 50th Anniversary of Robert Kennedy’s assignation.  I was alive, but only 3 years old. Well, almost 3; 14 days shy. I remember my Mom crying in front of the TV. I remember her sadness and I didn’t know why. It was a rare show of humanity on her part. It was another great loss for our Country. He would have accomplished great things.  But he was stopped. We need to remember those we have lost. The good ones, and the bad so we don’t repeat those mistakes. We learn from history. We are doomed to repeat it if we don’t. You want another Hitler? The rise of hatred, White Power, Fascism will bring another wave of hate that will destroy our world and do we want millions die? For what? To Make America Great Again? How did we become Not Great? Because we had a Black President of 8 years? The current President is unilaterally dismantling everything that the previous President fostered in a belief that he was improving our nation. Obama tried, but too many saw his changes as detrimental to the Nation’s status quo. It was progress. But that “root” must be extinguished due to “progressives”  being ungodly heathens. Tell me, what have Republicans done to improve poverty. making medical care affordable for all, making medications affordable and accessible to children, seniors or disabled, fighting for women’s rights over their own bodies or safety or against harassment without fear of dismissal, defamation or outrage for actually speak truth. Let’s elect a twice-divorced misogynist as President who uses “locker-room” talk and vulgar comments when referring to women he doesn’t like, can’t have or isn’t attracted to.  Or has an affair while his 3rd wife is pregnant with his youngest legitimate child. Men are no different, because that pathetic grade school bully attacks them to.

Can you tell I am not impressed or supportive of our President. Oops, sorry. If I loose readership – bye bye! I’m not being vulgar, or like him. It’s still a free country and we still have the 1st Amendment, and He doesn’t like that. Sad. Did I just hear a bowl clearing splash? Someone just dropped a load.

My cynicism flag is waving proudly…and loudly. Oh, and I’m a proud defender of LGQBT, even before my Brother-in-Law died from AIDs. I have believed in equality since I was a kid. Equality for all regardless of color, religion, political belief or opinion. I like battling wits with the morally insufficient, or “challenged”. My first bumper sticker read “I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person”. It fit. I wish I still had it.

Now you know more about me. Should I die? I’m waging my war against time and my survival. There is so much to write. One tiny soapbox in a large noisy world. This little soapbox doesn’t want to be silenced.

As a remnder https://www.gofundme.com/wants-to-live










Discovery: there is a new Rock Bottom

I thought I had hit rock bottom before. I thought I have spent several years looking up at rock bottom being far above me. I was wrong. I found a new one.

This will be very personal, I warn you. This has been traumatic, devastating, physically, mentally, emotionally draining. I’m alive, barely, and hope looks like a fleeting thing that just flies out of reach and in my site, such as it is.

I’m in a motel, and not Motel 6. I found a place I don’t have to worry about being assaulted, robbed or harassed with no all-night parties for a $100 a night. The GoFundMe money is being used, though I think of every penny that could be used to keep me paying my bills and keep me alive until Social Security comes through, whenever that is. This is something I have always worried about that if god-forbid something happened I could survive. I planned, but not well enough and I never thought this would be something that happened to me. I thought of going to see a movie this weekend. That’s long gone. I need that money for food because I’m out of food stamps and my food is at someone’s house.

That rare stroke I had should have killed me. I wish it had. It would have been better and not torturous with losing friends and no one truly understanding what I am now. Even medical providers who didn’t care or do their job. Living in a county that has Section 8 and housing assistant that has a 2 year waiting list that has been closed to any new people for over a year. Homelessness is a real problem.

When you see me, you assume I’m fine. I look normal, I talk slower, I limp sometimes, but otherwise I’m fine. I am not. And sheer will or “getting over it” isn’t something I can do. Part of my brain is dead. My neurological system has taken a definite hit. Hell, I even have to say a word into my phone if spellcheck doesn’t find it when I misspell. Spelling Bee champ can’t spell definite without looking it up. I can barely spell any without using an “m”. Never a great typist, I type as I think -hunt and peck.

This week – back to the topic at hand. Last Thursday, the people I was house-sitting for came home. No Social Security hearing, even though the appeal was filed in February. Government shit takes forever because they deal with thousands and I had medical people who didn’t do shit. They committed malpractice and I have filed with the appropriate Boards and that drags on. I had 2 doctor’s appointments this week. I had to cancel both. Because I had to leave where I was staying. NOW. So I did yesterday. Last night.

I was supposed to have an eye treatment yesterday. Cancelled that. At least my right eye got treatment last week. My left eye, pressure readings were high again and the optic nerve is swelling again. The right eye had an aneurysm a few weeks ago.  MediCal pre-approved treatment just in case. Dr. Daniels was surprised and pleased. He’s been a doctor I have been able to trust because he is a professional and has shown respect. And he showed his sense of humor last week. He hummed Disney tunes. It put me at ease and gave me warm fuzzies. That’s rare.

But life gets in the way, so my health is on the back burner again, just like when Mom was alive. I was alone in that, doctor’s knew she had Alzheimer’s, but could I get any help? No. Not even a written diagnosis. She had to stay autonomous. Screw me, even if she was violent. That was my problem.  I don’t have that “excuse” now. I just need to buck it up, buttercup.

I packed as much as I could by last Thursday, a weak ago today. I couldn’t get everything. I had collected more there then I thought. I told D I would have to go back and get the rest, pack it and take it to storage. I knew she had a problem when she said I’d bought out Macy’s. I’ve bought almost nothing for 3 years. A couple of bra’s and a t-shirt. Must needs, because 5+ year old bra’s are stretched out, and I’ve gained weight and needed a shirt that didn’t cling like skin.

I spent Saturday packing boxes and drove to one of my storage units, moved a ton of stuff and repacked it. That unit is full. I went to another and added more to it, and unless I repack it, nothing more will fit. The 3rd unit is full, was full after the departure from the last “friend’s” place I was in. I have to get another unit, a small one, because I don’t have the strength to move anymore. And I need climate control for this one. I have to put my tower/computer in storage. It gets too hot out there. And storage ain’t cheap and there is nothing else I can do because I am homeless.

I’m paying $632, not counting insurance which I doubt will cover anything now, because storage unit insurance is so much. That stuff isn’t worth anything, unless you’re me or a storage unit buyer. They will make money off your crap. And I have enough things that aren’t crap. Probably $50,000 in books, not counting the comics that are signed. Or the Wedgwood China, the silver, crystal and pewter. Yeah, there is money in those units. I can sell some of it, but how? How do I get to it and try? I’m weak as a baby now. I feared having another stroke this past weekend.

I had the garage remote and D was on a tear after the clothes. I put the remote back on the kitchen counter Saturday night. Somehow, the garage door opened and since I had the remote, I did it. I left at 4 and got back at 7 pm. The door was closed when I left. I watched it close before I drove off. I never went back out there. She wanted to hear nothing. I left it open and that was it. I had to go. I woke up to her screaming. I got texts blaming me for taking advantage of our friendship, a 20 year friendship, that I endangered their safety and had brought chaos and had to go.

Since she refused to talk, I had obviously triggered something, I said I would I just needed some time, a few days. We passed each other, there were few words, she screamed and yelled, stating her house wasn’t a storage unit and I had to LEAVE. I packed more, got some totes from Home Depot, texted her and asked if I could retrieve my towels from her room. The response – Yes, but leave the door closed and LEAVE.

I packed the car. I mean PACKED the car. I missed the Montero yesterday. She’s gone. The Cutlass can fit bodies in the trunk, but boxes? Long skinny boxes. I fit all I could restricting my vision for driving. Slow lane for me and no changing lanes to the right.

I got the car packed, barely, forgot two coats and all food that didn’t fit in my small cooler, gave the other roommate my key, since D had put a note on the cooler to leave them when I did, and he closed the door behind me. Before pulling away from the curb, I sent D a text stating I would have to contact her in the next couple of days to arrange to come back and get the rest. I wanted to text her because I don’t trust what anyone says anymore when they torch that bridge, and she nuked it.

I drove to this place, unpacked for over an hour, settled in and went in search of food at 10 at night. Safeway was open. The motel now had a no vacancy sign in the window. Got a few things and went back to the room. I walked. My back needed it, and I was freezing. The wind was cold last night. That’s how I realized I’d left my coats, at least my Vikings fleece jacket that I wore on knights like this. Not the Tahoe down coat I used when it was cold and rainy. Need to get those. I will try on Saturday. I have texted the folks I was house sitting for. They have spoken to D and told me to advise them when I would be by to make sure it is ok for them. They are D’s friends, they have her interests at heart.

D has cancer. I know this. We both have a death sentence locked on our existence. I want was is best for her, but I have to think of me and my immediate existence. She has had too much taken from her with a huge struggle for survival. I want to avoid those dark paths, dead ends, road closures. I know what she has been through and how pride kept her from seeking help. I would have, had I known. But she didn’t reach out. Didn’t ask me for help. We are too much alike in too many ways. The difference – I can be vulnerable and grudgingly accept help, put my pride in a box and bury it. Appreciate the help I receive and try to pay it forward. I still want to do this. When I can, I will. That’s why I haven’t killed myself. I have to pay back many people, and I have to see justice from those that caused so much chaos in my life because they felt they could. If it happened to me, how many others have they done that too? How many of those couldn’t speak up? How many didn’t have the strength to continue? How many just gave up? If it’s just one, that’s too many. Someone else than me. I found a fight I am willing to take on. They did that to Mom. I learned enough to deal with it effectively this time.

No one deserves to be dismissed just because someone thinks it is “ok”.

I have cried so much this past week. D feels that it’s just self pity. It’s a result of the stroke. A neurological disorder called Pseudo-Bulbar Affect, PBA. They have a pill for it. I had a neurologist extensively note it in my file in March. He retired in May. I see the new one next week. Maybe it’ll be addressed then. But, I can’t help that I cry when I’m frustrated, or upset, or thoroughly confused – which I easily become because part of my brain is dead. Confusion is my constant companion. I battle that every minute of every day and I can’t just “get over it” like D thinks. She knows I had a stroke, but I can train myself to be normal, supposedly. At least normal enough for her. I don’t know. How can I when I don’t know what has been lost for good or what has been lost for now and may come back someday? I just don’t know and I hate that. I hate not knowing something so important about me. And I have to learn to live with that and be patient. Patience is a virtue that I used up a long time ago.

I unpacked enough here. Finally found my spare test stripes so I can test my blood sugar. I ran out this morning, before I finally took a shower. That was the longest I have ever gone without a shower. And I pee’d myself twice the last three days. My bladder nerves are messed up. If I feel the need, it’s probably too late. I wear leakage pads now for when I sneeze or cough. Yeah, in making it down the stairs, I started peeing before I made it to the bathroom. Overflowed the pad, soaked my underwear and pants. Even socks. I had sanitary towelettes, so I could clean myself and change when I got back to the bedroom. Laundry is piling up.  The washer and dryer here are broken. At least there’s a sign on them to that effect.

One of my knitting bags, the one that had my current project is missing. A bag of shoes is missing with my Merrill’s and walking shoes isn’t in my trunk, or were in the house. I looked thoroughly. Probably lost. My usable black shoes. At least I have the brown one’s. $120 to replace. I can’t remember what was in the knitting bag, except a Norwegian embroidery that I’ve had for 15 years and can’t replace. The instructions and yarn were in the bag. The fabric and my first stitches were not. I have that. I barely started. I have no way to finish it, or even know what it’s supposed to look like when a portion is complete. I think it was supposed to be a pillow. Who knows.

My writing is disjointed, like me. I’m going to add a video I did earlier today, before the shower, and a link to my GoFundMe page.

My friend M has told me I can have a place to lay my head, but she’s incurred a death in the family and family is at her house through the weekend. I am a burden, but I don’t have to be a jackass, so I’m at a motel. Thank God for GFM and a generous donation by a mutual friend. Stitcher’s have hearts of gold.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for donating if you do. I am not too proud to ask. I can’t afford not to. I’m pathetic and I hate myself. I’ll cry about it later when I try to sleep.








Memories in reflectiom

I have led a good life.Adherence to the Golden Rule and a promise to live up to my Dad’s standard to be the epitome of standing behind your words. He was an excellent standard for that. Not just from his military history. As a human in the world.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s from every kid that you had, touched or live you impacted. A mother’s compassion knows no bounds. I came to realize that through the years even as an adult.

I won’t speak too much of my own mother. There is too much influence by my adopted mother’s stuff I won’t mention on this day that we honor those women who accepted their children for what they were and would become. Who wanted the best for their children, not imposing their twisted sense of right and wrong, or the “mistakes” of biological history as teenagers.

I am a fiber addict. No, not edible fiber – string. From floss to yarn, I am addicted to it all. I have enough of this delightful fun to fill a room (and have). To learn, to create to hold in my hands an object of beauty that I created – there is nothing that comes close to that moment of personal satisfaction.   Ribbons and awards just reinforce it. I have had many over the years.  Even for beading and “scrapbooking” (expensive but not as expensive as silk embroidery, and not as lengthy to complete).

My mother taught me basic knitting. Very basic, not socks and sweater, just cast on, cast off, knit and purl. Basic. Vogue Knitting, in 1983, taught be all of that. And Interweave. I was in it’s thrall, happily. My friend Joann taught me crochet and granny squares became an afghan gateway drug. Mom also bought me my first stamped piece of embroidery and a basic book and some DMC floss (another gateway drug, still addicted). That first surface embroidery was finished when I was 9.   9! With no adult help! I did it and moved on to cross stitch. I had fabric and so many colors and symmetric stitching was easy. Kind of like the pillows created by my Grandmother or the endless doilies. My grandmother sent me a kit for Christmas, a Scandinavian needlepoint. Rows and rows of block stitching in wool. It looks loomed when it’s done. But I had a taste of needlepoint.

Dad encouraged my “hobby”.  His mother was an expert needlewoman. He knew what that meant. Dad bought me Sunset kits and Dimensions and more books on how to do it. Dad was my “dealer” and he loved it. It brought Dad so much pleasure to see me do it, it made him so proud. Seeing him smile was all I needed to go on.

Before my parent’s 20th Anniversary, I wanted to give them a gift together that I knew they would appreciate. Dad and I were at a Hoke Depot like store that had embroidery kits (something for the wived to look at while the husbands got their supplies), when I found a Sunset kit of a bouquet of yellow roses. I found the perfect gift! At least in my 14  year old mind. Dad? Can I get this please? He smiled and said yes, with no questions. Mom wasn’t there, thankfully. He never saw me work on it. I took it to school.

I was attending a Christian private school (reasons. Ack!).  They believed, and taught, what roles boys and girls , so I had domestic skills. such as cooking and sewing. I did learn sewing, and Dad bought a sewing machine and I taught Mom (haha). A skill that paid off in latter years, but I took my Sunset kit to class and did my own thing (and Mrs, Singer of the perfect name, approved. I completed the stitching, even framing, in time for their Anniversary.  Still have it. It hung in the or bedroom, over the bed, until they were both gone. It still holding up, though it was never under glass.

I have done Tish canvases. I miss her and grieved when she died because she was a heart-sister. I met her once before she died and she helped me pull the colors for 3 canvases.   I treasure every canvass I have completed since her death which was far too soon. Nora Corbett and her mother Marilyn Levitt – how many designs I have completed or will. Nora’s Fairy Idyll, one of my best and awarded “complete” got me though a year of isolation and despair. She is my totem for victory. Debbie Patrick and her love of the San Francisco character and skyline – so many houses stitched, loved and shared. Nancy Spruance and her San Francis Scenes designs. A go-to for gifts and pure enjoyment. Barbara & Cheryl and their beautiful designs of beautiful houses, especially in the South. Countess others like Silver Lining with their roses and lighthouses. Good Shepherd and the multitudes of designs for yearssss.  And all the others I cant remember with my broken brain, but gave my itch a good scratch for over 30 years, or 40 if I’m honest.

But one person – one woman I met, took a class from, inspired me to try something new, and “tiny”, you revived my passion for creating again. Maureen Apppleton. You creativity, passion for the art, committing them to paper for others to create. You are exceptional! From Violets [in (or scissor fob) to Bird of Paradise Scissor Fob. through all the rest that have given me hours of stitching joy, and nearly drained my checking account, I have enjoyed each and every one. You brought me my Heart’s Content. Even if they were tiny designs on 32- or 40-count silk. My visions has gotten more challenging, no thanks to Retinopathy and it bitch slapping me again with a new aneurysm in my right eye this time. When I get my hands on my stash in storage, I will pull out one of my WIPs and get to it, however slowly. I can do it! You showed me how.

Then there are the knitters. Hundreds of designers. Some I have met and had the honor of meeting, or the honor of enjoying with fellow knitters. A few stand out – sock knitters specifically.  Ann Budd, Nancy Bush and Stephanie Pear-McPhee. I was the sock-queen in my knitting group, having completed over 150 pairs since 2005. I am a sock yarn addict, fed by Ms. V. of Lime & Violet. At least my name starts with a “V” Eliza. At least in English. And the span of pod-casters that renewed my knitting life. Knitting gave me a complete community that I didn’t have before (Ravelry: solslett). Just as EGA gave me a close family of women and friends who loved embroidery.

Fiber has been a constant in my life, it built my life and became part of me, part of my identity. It takes a village to support a portion of humanity, because we con’t do it on our own as individuals. Not day in and day out through good, bad and near devastation. That is what craft has taught me. Crafting is still seen favorably, but it depends where you are. Here, needle craft is seen as a hobby, something that takes no skill and makes no money. I beg to differ. Think of it’s history throughout the world? It is viewed differently in Scandinavia, but they still have National Costumes requiring an expert hand to recreate. An expert to design and create clothing to be worn after expert hands take the time to knit them. We don’t have that here, we don’t “need” it. How much have we lost through modernization,  machines and technology. Seeing a woman knit brings us joy and awe, especially if she’s older. Just awe, or shock, when she’s not.  I can’t tell you how many weird looks I got when I would knit a sock with 5 needles on the commuter train! It gives a chance for conversation and sharing your love, but now much to change minds.

Think about it the next time you see a stitcher, a crocheter, a knitter or someone else sharing their love in public.  Happy Mother’s Day. There are plenty of them who know what I talking about.



Facebook love, not FB but my peeps

Listen up FB people. This is more about you and what you have meant to me. My beloved people.

First and most recently, though we go back a few years, Tammy L., an angel and may I saw my guardian angel. You gave me information and a path to follow towards my goal of independence.  The Oaks is a beautiful complex, one where I could be safe and happy with my own pile of useful crap. Thank you. Thank you so much. I know now what I need to do. The calls have been made to get me to that goal. It’s sure hell of a lot better than a shelter in Richmond. I’m the wrong color and I drive an old car, but it doesn’t look like it. Dad would be proud but a gang would see a white woman driving that? She gotta have money. I lived in Oakland. I know what to expect and I don’t have “protection” anymore from one of the head’s of one of the rings through a family association. West Oakland was a rough area then, especially if you were white. I learned that through my friend JJ. Beautiful Creole woman from Louisiana, hell of a good Southern Cook, who gave me appreciation for how the other half lived in the Flats.  Who gave me the appreciation and the lesson we are all human beings first, regardless of the skin color we are born with. I loved her as much as I love you. Good people have been blessings in my life that I will never forget or fail to appreciate.

Melissa H. – Flicka! My Bakersfield bomb, in attitude only. You have been there for me through good and bad, and with your family, a Godsend on more than one occasion. Pack you knives in your hair and have my back during month-end or moving boxes (and storage units and all packing troubles and attitudes). You are one of my Bestie’s regardless of anything or anyone. You have kept doing your thing, even when I failed to appreciate it as much as I should have. And then there is the mixologist extraordinaire Tim, or your workhorse of a son Nic, even your little doppelganger Tori (she is, that mouth!). For all they have done over the last few years – you have my gratitude always and I will have your back whenever and however you need me. Parts of my brain are dead, but not the parts who remember what you have been for me.

To my other friends who encouraged and helped me, were there to remind me I wasn’t forgotten -thank you each and every one of you. I may of had a stroke, but I didn’t become different, I didn’t change, I didn’t stop being a good person thinking of others always before what was best, or desirable, for me.

But there is someone else I need to give kudos to. My friend, my mentor, my salvation – Diana CaXXX or ChXX or whatever last name you are using. You are still Diana, even with a brain injury, even after everything you have been through. You have taught me so much, again, how to be a personal success. How to not let defeat stop me. You are still a New Yorker, it’s easy to remember you drove a Taxi while in College stored a piece under the seat for your protection, how tough you still are. Everything you have done, I wouldn’t know how to cope with life if it weren’t for you. Though we are more equal than in our past lives, I will never fail you again and I feel like I did. Nothing you can say can change that, That’s just me. I regret I wasn’t there for you when I could have been. I won’t let that happen again if I have the ability to prevent it. You saved me.

Those years at Pac Bell, even that “experience” with AllRadio (if only we hadn’t had such “difficult” partners to work with), through all the experiences and jobs, you were and are my mentor. Everything I learn from you has brought me success, even just living now. You have filled me with joy, with strength, with indelible ink written to my soul. You are awesome in every way. And that trouble within your lung? You’ve got this, and you are not alone. I am not going any where, just a few miles further away. Still got the ride and I travel. xoxox

That’s it for now, but I had to say what these folks have meant to me, especially the last 2 years. I have to appreciate those who recognized. by word and deed, their actions to keep me in balance. I’m not forgetting the other’s. You know who you are and thank you every single one.