Wanderlust Wednesday

A day to reflect on where I’ve been and want to return. What I want to show Will, since he’s flown over most of it. I got to show him a fraction when we drove North to Oregon and the Avenue of the Giants. It was so awesome.

Next, I have so show him stuff like this:

Untitled-b65 And, sadly, some of my pictures are scanned from negatives and this is the effect.

It kinda sucks, but why I need to show Will and take new pictures. This is a West Cost trek I did in 1995 with my ex Kevin. And since my tagged photos are on my old hard drive and ALL were in individual floders with the trip name –  this was save to Dropbox. But, Will and I have plans to explore. Yay!

I think this is Umpqua Lighthouse. I’m probably wrong.


This is Scotia? Oregon? It could be the Columbia Gorge? I know it’s 1995. At least that came over in Dropbox. But when I see this, my wanderlust comes forth and wants to Be.


Redwoods forest in Norther California, by Crescent City? Lots of ferns up there. It is beautiful. I wish Will and I had more time. Untitled-49

And here’s my proof it was 1995. Fen as a puppy. He was so cute and sweet and precious. He was still smaller than Andy is now as a full-grown dog. Here, Fen is about 10 lbs of puppy fluff and small paws. He would be 75 lbs fully grown and his paws were the size of my fists. He still thought he was a lap dog. I miss my cuddly, live teddy bear. Untitled-b16 We were a happy pack. The elkies didn’t travel with us regrettably.  I wish I had taken my camera when Heidi and I were wandering. What we saw!


Kevin in front of the Montero. Oh, the places we went!  This is definitely Northern California with the mystery of Bigfoot. Redwood Country.

But speaking of wondrous sites – this is from a trip to Yosemite….

Yosemite and Railroad Museum May 15th and 16th 2004 003

And this is what I love to record. May 2004.

Or this one from the same trip. My ode to Ansel Adams.

Yosemite and Railroad Museum May 15th and 16th 2004 025 edited The Tunnel View. Ansel is an inspiration for me.

Well, this was a wandering post. I didn’t want anything heavy today. Just a nice post for January 2nd. Whatever WordPress says.

Happy New Year everyone!

Soul Moment

I thought I should try an ongoing-theme-day. Doing Soul reflections/moments, seemed like a good one.

 Heidi and I Spring 1990

This picture was taken in early summer 1990 in Lake Elsinore and I am holding my 6 month old fur baby Heidi. My furry shadow. She was with me through 2 husbands, my father’s death, years of travel and aching loss. We saw the Sunset from the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon while exploring the Southwest, and we experienced snow in Idaho. For 16 years, she was my quiet companion. Often, my copilot in the Montero.

Heidi in Idaho

My little wolf. She was an amazing soul. She went through so much training and she was so friendly and accomodating. She would have been a wonderful Service Dog. She sensed my moods, knew and protected me when I had migraines, or just put our other dog – Fen – in his place when he was being a noisy boy. And she was trained in track, trail and search. We did search and rescue a few times in North Orange County and Heidi found children easily enough. Adults, not as quickly. You told her to “find the baby”, gave her the scent and she was off like a rocket! When I moved to NorCal, she had been with Dad for a year before I could come and get her. No more trail or rescue for her.

Cuddling 1200

Heidi was as much Dad’s as my dog. He named her – with the name Gunn had intended for me! LOL Good one, Dad! Dad was Grandpa, Gravy Man (he made special gravy for her kibble since she was a very finicky eater), and Mr. Walkies. This was the last Christmas he was able to come to our house and he loved having Heidi close. The next winter, She (Gunn) had “convinced” him that he didn’t need blood thinners with a pacemaker and he wasn’t taking them by Thanksgiving and by Christmas he was throwing mini blood clots that led to multiple strokes and Congestive Heart Failure by New Years and his death by March.

We came and were with Dad for his last Christmas. I spoke to him on the 22nd, 2001, Gunn’s birthday, and we were in Las Vega having a family get together with Kevin’s Family. Cut that short and headed home to NorCal to get the dogs and headed to SoCal and their house. Gunn was paranoid about the dogs ruining her house. Well, Heidi had been an indoor dog when Gunn wasn’t around or when I moved her to NorCal – and she NEVER pee’d in a house. Gunn had area rugs all over the place she had bought at Walmart – no doubt with Dad in tow and suffering. Dad’s cardiologist had an absolute fit when he found out and had Dad’s Primary Care Doctor forced into Retirement due to his Alzheimer’s while treating patients.

But, Heidi did bring Dad comfort and serenity being there with him. I wish I had brought her again to be with him before he died. But Gunn. She flatly refused to accept he was dying due to her “care”. Why his cardiologist said there was no action we could take against his Primary Care doctor. I didn’t put two and two together until after I had had my stroke, and realized my infarcts wouldn’t have started if she hadn’t thrown out “that junk I was taking everyday” because she knew more than a doctor?! That bullshit about her being a registered nurse was annoying, but not life threatening. I thought.

Narcissist+Sociopath+Dementia=People Will Die That Don’t “Listen” To Her.

I wish I had had Heidi when I had my stroke. I wish I had brought Heidi to comfort Dad when he had his. Fuck Gunn and her stupid rules. I have these wonderful memories of and with Heidi and what she DID for others.

My beautiful girl. I still miss you,furry shadow. I’ll see you someday on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge. Be a good girl for Dad, kick Fen’s butt and be nice to your predecessors. Rocky, Bonnie, Shasta and Trapper all like to run and sniff and do the stuff you would like to do. You’ll be in good company. Warning – Bonnia cracks a beer every once in a while. That is, if Dad can get Coors. She was Dad’s BBQing buddy before you.


Happy Holidays for Some

It is Black Friday and absolutely nuts here. There are Prime Outlets within 5 miles of my current location, and people are meeting up at Starbucks before they head out. Geez. Spending money is a group activity? Who knew! SMH

We are not spending money, because we have none until Social Security comes through or Will’s General Assistance. No Christmas Tree, little Christmas Cheer. Freezing to death, but my $10 sleeping bag has been handy as all out. It was 34F this morning with ice on the car. Reminiscent of my trips to Idaho during Thanksgiving. I miss those trips and the people I shared my holiday with. And when my 120 lbs of fur babies were still alive.

The shopping gluttony is  mind-boggling.  I stopped trying to understand it years ago, because I was guilty of it too when Dad was still alive. Put yourself into debt until March or April with the plastic was typical. I stopped when he died. It’ll be 20 years soon. Christmas is difficult for me as he was sick and I didn’t do anything. Gunn was in control by then and took “care” of him. That haunts me. How she complained that she had no one to take care of her as she had done to him. She gets me fired from my job, I physically move to her house to “take care of her” and she can’t stop bitching how much I suck at it and I’m inconveniencing her because I have the audacity to live in her house. Why can’t I move in next door? Buy a house and work close by? BECAUSE YOU CALL ME EVERY 10 MINUTES WHEN I AM NOT IN YOUR VISUAL RANGE!! Ungrateful bitch.

So much for honoring my adopted parents. I promised Dad I would take care of her. Pity there wasn’t a stipulation on her trying to kill us, or succeeding at it. It just took years, and her throwing out my meds, for me to accept what she had done to you Papa. I just couldn’t accept that her malignant narcissism and her belief in her medical knowledge would go so far as to put our lives in danger.

I will reconstruct a dialog that happened when I was 12:

Gunn: She doesn’t need glasses. No one in my family needs them. She eats carrots.

Optometrist: Carrots won’t improve her vision. She has steep corneas and is very near-sighted.

Gunn: She spends too much time reading and doing needlework. She is ruining her eyes! 

Optometrist: She is a student and reading is very good at here age. She will do good in school!

Gunn: She is not getting glasses! You are wrong!

We exit (angrily stomp) out to the car and I tell Dad.

Me: Dad! Mom won’t let me get glasses!

Dad: What? The doctor said your vision is bad and your legally blind! Gunn! What are you up to?

Gunn: She doesn’t need glasses. No one in my family wears them! She needs to stop reading so much and do all the those crafts! Her eyes would be fine. And I feed her carrots every day!

Dad: I’ll take her to get what she needs! And you wear glasses but you don’t want too because you’re so vane! You’re not going to put your issues on our daughter!

And Dad and I went back in and I picked out a pair of glasses I could live with. Gunn would harangue me about the reading and knitting and needlework – unless it was something I was making for them – for the rest of my life, but my contact lenses helped. She’d start in on me when I was wearing my glasses. And she stabbed me with my embroidery scissors when her shows weren’t on TV, but that’s a tale for another time. h

A day in the life with Gunn. I thank the Lord every day that she is gone from my life. I return her ashes to her family and my last connection with her is gone. One more thing  on my list when I have money again. Dad’s ashes have to go home to. To be with his parents and siblings in his home town. The honor she refused him because she hated his family so much. I didn’t know how much until he died and realized how much of his “history” she had thrown out. At least I had taken his ships and maritime logs years before. And his pictures. If I hadn’t taken those decades before, Gunn would have tossed them.  The medals and awards she kept. She could use them to promote their wonderful marriage. The awards and medals preceded you, hag. You had no part in Dad’s service, but you took all that you could get, including his military pension.

As a reminder for the holidays, https://www.gofundme.com/f/life4wng20?teamInvite=zwFy5EWAGSludrnkCZ9nBW6TpHJfA8I5YvaDJ67Bhi8fNwXnHH6M2OYJcXZSgemz

Please consider our plight. God Bless you.



Open Letter to Dad on his 99th Birthday

Hey Pop –

You tolerated that name, but you preferred Papa. You were Papa when we were alone or in Norwegian mode, but you were always Dad regardless, even Daddy. A pretty awesome Dad too. I just wish you had been truthful. I wouldn’t have stopped loving you. Mom on the other hand…….

I still miss you, especially today. I enjoyed this day more than my birthday! You figured that out, I know. Dad’s special day and Mom couldn’t screw with it. Ever. She did enough in every other aspect of your life, didn’t she? Hell, she took your life, even if she had dementia. She had to lie about everything with anyone just to get her way. She had to be right, even if it harmed others. Or herself. She almost finished me twice. She got you, though, with help from your PCP who had dementia. You listened to him since your cardiologist was on his sabbatical which he had delayed for your surgery and recovery? You listened to him and Mom instead of the man who assured you at least another 10 years of life? What he couldn’t do for his own father, and you threw that away because Mom didn’t want you addicted to drugs like coumaden? Since when had Mom gone to medical school and become a cardiologist? Or become an actual nurse, not just a CNA? What the fuck did she know? I almost died from a penicillin reaction, because no one in her family had that allergy. She was a malignant narcissist. It cost you your life! But, you warned me, she wasn’t well. No, you knew she had the first stages of Alzheimer’s Dementia and she would need me. Why? Because you knew without the coumaden your heart might stop? An exit plan because you couldn’t deal with anymore of her bullshit and keeping things private, even from medical professionals? When was she locked up in a psychiatric facility? She kept harping “they” wouldn’t lock her up AGAIN. That wasn’t during my lifetime, but sometime  before. Before you? Uncle John knew, didn’t he? Took that to the grave with him. He bailed his little sister out of too much shit, especially when she lived in Denmark. She left home when she was 19 and never went back if she could avoid it. Her family didn’t know her either. Not like we did.

You always said there was nothing we could do to change her, but why live with that year after year? Was she THAT good. She told me stories when you were gone. Sick shit a daughter should never hear out of her mother’s mouth. Can’t bleach my brain! I should be so lucky to have a caring and attentive man like you! Bleh!

God she was sick and disgusting. Even blamed me for trying to steal you. Uhuh. Yeah, that sick fucking Bitch. I did take care of her, just as you feared. Even with 25+ years warning, it was worse than you figured. And you left! That was where she went. Dying was leaving. How could you do that?! Honestly? What took you so long?

Yes, I know she was sick. You warned me, not just the Narcissism, but she got Alzheimer’s and that nasty crap she always did ramped up like she was on steroids. But, her family just did the typical crap. Now some of them bitch because I’m speaking ill of the dead. As if we could have said anything and if she had found out? Hell hath no fury than a narcissist having her reality restored to actual time. They didn’t know her like we did. She left them before she became the heartless, self serving malicious narcissist we knew and had to love. But your family knew her. Thank God she wasn’t Karstan’s stepmother. Poor guy wouldn’t have made it out if his teens before she ruined his life, and fighting her on two fronts would have killed you sooner. I doubt you would have made it to 70.

Remember your birthday when we went on the MSV Hawaiian Chieftain? That was so cool, Or that time we went on the USS Jeremiah O’Brien and we all got a lesson on calls from the Bridge to the Engine Room. Even the Docent thought you should be one, you knew more than he did. Or that Harbor Cruise and Mom stayed below deck so her hair wouldn’t get icky. Just like ’85 on the way to Halsa. We relived that moment. And we had a good laugh again. Didn’t get the same reaction from the crew the 2nd time, but I still recall the dignity and respect they showed a Captain. You always had the bearing, even when the Bars were retired. She put the kabash on that, didn’t she.

Being on ships with you, that was always the best. Being near or in the water holds so many memories. Not with Mom, just you. All those days at the beach or going to the docks or walking on the decks of the Hawaiian Chieftain or the Christian Radich, I’m speechless, though my heart and mind are full with happiness.  Your moments of peace were here haranguing had no effect.

I’m sorry Daddy that I couldn’t help you in the end. I knew she was sick, I just didn’t realize how bad. You enabled that for too many years. Hell, she stabbed me with my own scissors! Called the Cops because I was so sick of it. But, her lousy doctors wouldn’t believe she was as bad as I tried to tell them BECAUSE SHE DENIED IT of course. She assumed her “I don’t speak English so good, I’m a foreigner” bullshit and it still gave her what she wanted. Didn’t tolerate it in my teens and I was sick to death of it after 30 years. No, it was funny how stupid people were! Yeah, haha. I fucking hated that shit. And in self preservation mode, she disowned me and said I wasn’t her daughter. She tore up the adoption papers, she said, when she realized I wasn’t “right”! She also hit the nurses when they wouldn’t get her a taxi she could jump out of when they got to the freeway  and were going fast. She had a urinary tract infection and we were at the ER. Oh, what a fun Saturday night that was! Not like tonight 4 years ago (only 4?) when she grabbed the wheel and tried to crash us into oncoming traffic coming home from Hemet and a good steak dinner and remembrances of you. She’d forgotten and that was my fault. Worthy of the death penalty in her mind.

Being clueless on the language didn’t work in Norway, did it? Couldn’t fake an English accent or be so dumb she forgot her native language. She forgot enough on the phone though.

I didn’t mean to yack so much about her. I detest what she did to you and your family and her family said nothing! Did nothing. Can’t even get it through their thick Northern Brains what it did to us. Why did we come back after 6 months. Most expensive vacation EVER. Mom lived her episode of the Rich & Famous. You never recovered financially, did you? Mom had access to shopping malls again. How vapid did she have to become before you’d leave her?

She did know what she was doing Dad. I told you that for years. No, no, you would tell me, she’s not that bad, just difficult. Difficult? Really? She fucked up your life, made you stop taking the one drug your cardiologist said you couldn’t stop or die, hell, she threw out my meds and I started having my own mini-strokes! I just didn’t notice until I had the big one that pretty much stole my life. She was gone then. Figures. I was busy taking a care of her, I didn’t have any time left for me.

You should have let me stay here in ’85, Dad. I would have made it. Your pipe dream of returning home and regaining the dignity she stripped from you cost too much and I don’t mean just your pension. Jesus, you were 68! You should have been able to retire, but keeping her stocked in trips to the store cost too much. Shit, you died broke and I had to take care of her! Never stopped until she died, and that stupid punk Freddie (that apple didn’t fall far from the tree and it was just as rotten) claimed I stole from Mom.

We’ve put up with too much over the year’s for the sake of her family. I’m talking to the Anderson’s again Dad. Arvid still remembers your stories from when he was young. And I’ve gotten to know Karstan, at least what we can through the Internet. Times are different. You could keep your secrets – in the 1890’s. I got a Christmas Card from Roar. Your sister hasn’t been well. Boy, does Karstan take after you! It’s a little scary. Why was it so important that we not know each other? Just because of Mom? Why the fuck was she so special that we didn’t matter at all? It couldn’t have been that good. You still had to deal with her attitude. Or her emotional breakdowns fabricated from whole cloth for your benefit and to get what she had to have.

I can never forgive Mom for how she treated your family. She wanted me to treat Kevin’s family the same way, but I refused to ever act like her. Besides, I loved Sharon like the mother I never had. I would never dismiss her just because she wasn’t “family”, but an in-law. You were dead and we weren’t notifying your family because they didn’t care about you? I knew that was as fake as her blonde hair dye re-applied every 6 weeks since 1965. That still eats at me, she threw out all your correspondence during Hospice, your notebooks, your phone numbers and addresses of relatives, but I was just lucky to have you and Karstan didn’t because of her and her reality. She felt threatened by your ex-wife and son. How pathetic is that? That made her a real woman? Yeah, a whorish home-wrecker. Bow-chicka-bow.

I know you two had a daughter in 1963. Is that when you all concocted this scenario? You were too old to adopt in Norway, so you came here? It was easy to find a cute little kid here, a war veteran and a ship’s captain wanting to console his wife after the death of your daughter and your wife’s unfortunate history of miscarriages or stillbirths? She’s listed as a housewife on the revised birth certificate. If she was a trained nurse, why not list that? She claimed the education and standing consistently.

She had a DNC in 69? I can’t forget Mom’s trip to the hospital. She used “DNC” as the procedure she had to get. Could a 4 year old remember that? She remembers your homecoming after you last trip as Captain! You looked pretty sharp in your regular uniform, dropping your duffle just inside the door and giving Mom a huge hug. I remember laughing and you swinging me up so I could hug you as well. I don’t recall the dress uniform, but I’ve still got the bars from that coat. That was 1968, right? Mom had that DNC at Kaiser and that was before I broke my leg at 5. Amazing what we remember from childhood. And that was before Rocky, my first Elkie. He was such a sweet dog. Why I got Heidi and Fen. Some memories need repeating.

I’m not doing so good Dad. You’d be disappointed and I hate that. I still excel at beating myself up. I’ve almost given up, Dad. It’s been too much for too damn long. I should have walked away when you died, but I stayed because I promised you I would. I would take care of her and I did for another 13 years though it ruined my life and left me with nothing. She was fine with that. After all, she took care of you when you and you left, she had no one to take care of her – even though I moved almost 400 miles and divorced my husband to take care of her, but why did I have to live with her? Why not live next door? When she needed something, she could have me take her where she needed to go and of course I would work, but close by so she wouldn’t have to wait while in pain/confusion/heat/bored/annoyance. You know, not like last time when they wouldn’t interrupt a meeting to let me know she was on the phone. The last straw and the first to go on the layoff. Yay! She never respected my work or me. I was there to do her bidding, to be seen and heard as directed at her convenience, regardless of the time or weather. Did you know I had the ability to change the weather? I could have been rich!

Fuck her. You weren’t there anymore. The beatings started back up again. 1992 to 2012 – a decent run with no violence. We shared a roof again so I had no rights, no privacy, no say-so what-so-ever. But I was older and had dealt with enough assholes over the years, she didn’t intimidate me anymore. At least I can say I never hit her – oh I was tempted, but I feared being unable to stop. I grabbed her forearms, just as I had in 82. Pushed her up against the wall and yelled in her face she WOULD NOT DO THAT AGAIN! You saw one episode when she beat me on the head and kept slapping my face, and you just about lost your shit completely. And that was before the headon collision. You were so pissed at her! OMG the argument you guys had! And she thought I would go with her? Man, she believed her own lies that completely. You fucking beat your daughter and call an 11 year old a whore because she was 10 minutes late by your estimation getting home from school because her teacher asked her to stop by before classroom heading home and she had a note for you, and she will go with you because you’re the better parent? Since when?

Dad, why didn’t you divorce her crazy ass? It would’ve been #3, so? We could’ve been happier and you could have lived a few more years doing things you enjoyed – not just taking her out to eat and shop for Lancome shit, shoes at Nordstrom, or go to Hallmark for the upteenth time. Shit, you could have had some money in the bank and no credit card debt. I took care of that, refinanced the house, paid off the car and set her up with a savings plan and put her on a Goddamned budget and made her stick to it, just like you did with me. She did know how to pay the bills, thank you for listening to me and getting her to do that. She did like her plastic though. Visa her friend in any weather or mood.

I don’t know why I’m doing this. I miss our talks so much. That was the hardest part when I moved up here, no more breakfasts while Mom got her hair done every Saturday morning. I could tell you anything- well almost. You were still Dad after all. I could talk to you about almost anything. You were so different than Mom, it always came back to her and how I disappointed her, failed to do it her way. You never did that. A raised eyebrow (they needed more regular trimming BTW), my name grumbled under your breadth, a query if Chris had anything to do with it, the usual stuff. What I’d read over the last week. Any new music I liked. What I thought about the latest political headline. What were the voting issues and had I been paying attention. The usual stuff for us with a ManU update. I had that with you, never Mom. A hug when I didn’t do as well as I wanted on a test. Or when I had a bad day at work. Or when Mom was on my ass for some made up thing – you gave me the “Look” and I smiled. We had that. Just a knowing look could bring a smile to my face over anything. You may have adopted me, but I was your daughter, body, soul and spirit. You said I had the heart of a Viking and I’m still trying to….

but I’m failing Dad. I can’t work. The stroke stripped my ability to do math like we did. Who needs a calculator? We have our brains! Not so much anymore. I can’t add like we used to. You’d beat me if we went to the liquor store, because that grocery bill addition would have me in a puddle of tears on aisle 6. Subtraction makes me so confused. And percentages? Forget about it. I was beating my head the other day trying to figure out 20% of 20. I had to do grade school math and come at it two ways before I got to 4. Explanation shorter than the time it took to do the actual math. I was a Finance Professional, not anymore.

The one who counseled other’s in how to get a job, can’t get one herself because she doesn’t remember how it’s done. Her writing is shit. She can’t sign her full name without making a mistake. She can’t write numbers down without transposing some. Her former eloquence when speaking has taken flight through the nearest window, and her diction isn’t too hot either. Can’t get a job at Barnes & Noble, or remember story arcs of my favorite books, all of them. That workaholic I used to be is gone and I can barely read for an hour without having to take a break to give my brain a rest. It gets tried really fast. And I still don’t have an answer in what is wrong and how much of my brain died. I’ll see a specialist though, once the paperwork has incubated for a month. Well, they can book an appointment on after Sept. 1st.

I want to fight. Not let THEM win. I’m just so tired, Dad, and what’s the point anyway? I don’t have anyone. Kevin didn’t steal from me as Mom routinely asked every 3 months, just 20 years of my life, and any lasting hope for kids though he can have them now, I paid for the wedding and divorce, though he left me because I treated him badly. Huh? I paid the entrance and exit fee (can’t remember who paid for the license in Reno, I handled every other thing as his Administrative Assistant – God that got old), but he left me? We won’t revisit the Antoine thing, but when she accused me of running him off because I disappointed him, I could have ripped her head off. And I shouldn’t ever marry again because I have nothing to offer and I’m barren. I wasn’t when I was young, just didn’t have a man willing to tell a doctor “hey, I think there’s something wrong with my plumbing! Let me show you!” Fuck, if you pee like you’re 80 when you’re half of that, take him by the hand and go to a restroom and demonstrate. Then you’re hale and hearty, but “it” doesn’t feel the same, can’t risk getting the wife pregnant because she’s too old and forget about adoption because you never know what you’re gonna get. Well, your in-laws didn’t do so bad. You married what they got, dumb fuck. She still hasn’t forgotten she was 3rd or 4th on your priority list and she wasnt sexually attractive to you. It just gets better and better. I won’t mention the porn he downloaded on the computers and they had viruses. 70’s porn.

Sorry. Still do tangents. Some habits never die, like smoking cigarettes. They really pissed Mom off. LOL Can’t imagine what she did to you when you smoked. Kevin tried guilt tripping me about being old and him pushing me in a wheelchair because I had emphysema. He wouldn’t stay home with me when I slept walked my head into the vanity and had to get 13 stitches at 2:00 in the morning. Remember that? Weeks later, you guys came for a visit and the bruising recovery of two black eyes were now puce green and trailing down to my neck. The brace has been removed from my left leg. I couldn’t see or walk that morning, but he went to work because there was an attendance competition – which he lost because of me and calling in late for that morning. Darn he lost a free vacation day! I lost 3 sick days because my Boss sent me home because I looked like I was a car accident victim. And I was to think he’d push a wheelchair? As long as there was nothing going on that he had an interest in, sure. Maybe.

Remember all the visits to the ER? You were with me when they cut off my cast on my left leg. I thought that guy was going to cut off my leg and how I screamed! You calmed me down. Or when Bill called you at work and told you about that penicillinlreaction and how Mom didn’t handle it. Another time you threatened to leave and take me with you. Or did you want her to leave? One way or the other, she wouldn’t be our problem anymore.

Lack of sleep has brought some clarity. If I concentrate really hard, I can still hear your voice in my head. Your chuckle. Your rich baritone singing Bing or some old Irish favorite. I can’t remember the lullabies you sang to me. The stroke stole those. I could never recall what Mom sang. I’m sure she did, but all I remember is her tucking me in so securely I couldn’t move.

She had me recite the Lord’s Prayer in Norwegian. The only Norwegian she taught me, and it was pretty much repeat these noises. You translated and then sang. You taught me. You always did.

I could keep writing, but you know, I’ve gotta wrap this up. Happy birthday Dad. I’ll raise one to you as usual with supper. Skol!

When Childhood Isn’t Fun or Easy

I was adopted. It happens, thankfully, for children whose biological parents can’t “be” there for various reasons. People aren’t perfect, but some intentionally try to be and screw everything up for everyone else.

At least that’s how I view it given my situation.

My father – my adopted father – was awesome. The best. I wasn’t aware of his personal costs, but they were his decisions, influenced by his role as enabler and peace maker. My “mother” was another matter entirely. I’ll refer to her as Gunn. It’s an abbreviation of her first name. She made our lives hell and she enjoyed it, because that was what she was entitled to. At least in her mind. There were a ton of issues when it came to what was appropriate in “her mind”. And that changed based on things she had read (paper or National Enquirer), seen (TV or the news), and heard (neighbors, her few friends, commercials). Gunn wasn’t a Rhodes Scholar – not even close. More like a country bumpkin with a narrow uneducated world view. She claimed to be a nurse, but she was little more than a nurse’s assistant. Until her dying day, she claimed to be  nurse. I knew plenty and why that was a lie. She had proved throughout my life she was anything BUT a nurse.

Children can tell when people lie, even their “parents”, and she told some big ones until Alzheimer’s Dementia took a strong hold of her. She still kept it up in order to “save” herself. Dad was dead by then and she was responsible for that. I am to blame too, because I knew she was capable of anything except death. How wrong I was. How naive.

I still thought well of her. Even loved my “mom”. She didn’t deserve that emotion. What she craved was pity and to always be “right”. Loyalty and deference. She wasn’t a queen and I certainly wasn’t her servant. She would have preferred that. To have complete reign over me. Dad was different and showed me how insidious her rules were and how to be independent and morally correct. How NOT to be like her. One of the last things he told me was that she was “sick”. He warned me, even though it was too late for him. It took a few years to understand what he meant by “sick”. I was powerless against the narcissistic succubi she would fully become.

Childhood should be remembered for the family vacations, excursions, summer breaks and family get-togethers. Not arguments, fights, beatings. Those aren’t “memories” a person should have. Certainly not the type of relationship between a mother and daughter. Certainly not the type of memories a daughter should have well into her 40’s and 50’s. And certainly not the hatred and lies taken as fact by her family who lived 7,500 miles away. A cousin named Freddy becomes a craven and despicable being with written words and he is lauded for writing it so well by her youngest sister. If being a desperate liar is a family trait, he is the king of this generation. Long live the King! Gunn’s reign continues, craven and Godless. I doubt Grandpa would have liked this, as he was a Godly man.

Having been adopted by a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder – untreated, undiagnosed and unmedicated, sucks donkey balls. There is no polite way of saying it. She was also paranoid, which didn’t help anything. It just made it harder living a normal life around her. Everything was her private business, even Dad’s death. She wasn’t going to bother contacting his family due to them not caring about him in her opinion. She hated in-laws, the theory of in-laws, and most specifically any family connected to her by marriage to anyone she wasn’t directly biologically connected to. I heard this and saw it for years. With her in-laws and sadly my ex-husbands family. She did not accept them as “family”. Better to lie about how she felt when confronted. The thing is, actions speak louder than words especially with a barely educated “know-everything” like her.

Reminds me of Trump and his “base”, the new “Know Nothing” party. Turn a blind eye and march to his tune. Gunn would have loved him! Besides, he’s rich and famous!  Champagne wishes and caviar dreams in the words of Robin Leach. God, Gunn loved that show! Ivanka and Trump were on that show quite a bit back then, before his affair and Tiffany. How things haven’t changed. He’s 71 and his son Baron is 11. Melania is getting kinda long in the tooth and may not be a “10” on his list anymore. Who would want to marry him, except for his money and “fame”. Old fart. Like you know anything that hasn’t been spoon feed via TV, or specifically Fox News. Or Putin. #PutinsPuppet

My apologies for going off on a tangent. Narcissists do that to me. Or martyrs. If you’ve ever been in a relationship with one, you will realize it’s almost as bad a being with a narcissist. They are still self-involved, just not as poisonous. But if they preach their religion as a reason, yet they don’t follow the tenants of the faith, it feels almost the same. Same self-indulgent bullshit.

The memories are hard to take most of the time. They are all mostly shaded by words and actions that often repulsed me, left me wondering how can anyone go through life with so much discontent, so much hatred or lack of empathy or refusal to accept how other humans are. It is often that I think back to how Gunn was, how Dad’s dealt with it realistically or logically. Logic was that one thing we shared most. A foreign thing to Gunn, along with reality. Empathy was the one thing my Ex lacked in spades. Gunn just blamed.

She blamed her sister-in-law for her brother’s death. He was supposedly “healthy” when he married her. She bore him 3 children, whom he loved very much. I doubt he planned for his death when he died, but he only had one lung due to tuberculosis he contracted in the Nazi work camps of WWII. It probably was in the back of his mind when he married, but he desired a normal life. He was happy and had his own family to love. He had a good life and saw to his children’s future. She was in her late 30’s when he died and found another man to love, which she married and gave him 2 sons. He was happy too. Lucky woman to have 2 men who loved her so much and gave her children. Gunn said lots of crap about her. Always putting forth the fact that her sister-in-law had killed her brother. Two-faced bitch. Welcomed her with open arms and spoke ill of her as soon as she was gone.

Another sister who had lost her young husband at a young age with 3 small sons. Inoperable brain tumor stole his life. She eventually fell in love with and married again and had another son. That husband was a rake. My Dad took him to task for his words and actions, especially with me and Gunn there having to listen to that man’s blather, slurs and misogyny. I’m sorry to say, that was Freddy’s father, but the apple didn’t fall far from that tree. Being a bully who assumes he’s right, well, because it’s him, Dad would have an issue with the son as well if he spoke of women as the father did. Dad was an Officer and a Gentleman in the Navy fashion. Gutorm was a sailor with a lady in every port, at least that’s how he spoke. Wink wink, nudge nudge. Dad didn’t like that, especially such talk in front of his wife and young daughter. Reality is hard to accept Freddy, especially when you’re wrong and it sucks.

Or her own younger brother and his alcoholism. An addiction and, very sadly for everyone, a disease. Gunn thought he was weak, a shame upon his parents and to his own wife and children. Gunn blamed his wife, her sister-in-law, when she left him and returned to her parents home with her kids. She left because of his drinking and it’s impact on his family. That without them, he would realize they were more important than the alcohol. She was right. She did what she had to to save her family. Gunn never understood this, blamed her sister-in-law for her brother’s drinking. Because no one in the family could be addicted to something! Alcohol, cigarettes, nasal spray. They were better than that! Yeah, I call bullshit on that Gunn! Addiction has nothing to do with heredity. Has nothing to do with how you were raised. Heredity can play a part, but there is no guarantee. Kind of like the last and most insidious belief. How did that nasal spray treat you? Ate your nasal passages? You couldn’t use it anymore per the doctor? Your habit had permanently harmed you? As a nurse, wouldn’t you have questioned that? Oh yeah, the doctor didn’t know what he was taking about. He learned nothing in medical school. You learned everything. Wear was that again? Hmmm, did you say something? No? Just silence and withering looks? How typical.

I have a cousin, the only child of Gunn’s older sister. I wanted  her to be my mother. She was good and loving and taught me so much, including how to cook! I still use some of the recipes she taught me. None were written, just fond memories that I could duplicate with a lot of trail and error and ultimate success.  She was such a good soul, and her husband. Salt of the earth, so to speak. She loved her son, his wife, and their two boys I fondly remembered from our trips to see the family. Two very good boys. Still are. I was proud to call them all cousins – Dad and Mom and the boys. The father, Gunn’s nephew, even tried to help me learn Norwegian. I still have the books he gave me by Knut Hamsun. I have read them in sections over the years. A cherished part of my library.

Gunn didn’t read books, even to me as a child. Reading ruined your eyes, and made you dumb as a post as well when avoided due to vanity. She hated how much I read, the amount of time I took in bookstores, the amount of money I spent on books as opposed to makeup and clothes. I wanted to enrich my mind, not catch a guy who had but one thing on his mind. We were as different as a cool alpine lake and a raging forest fire driven by gasoline and dry tinder. Guess which one was me?

My cousin had a good job and was well educated. His wife was as well, but she developed lung cancer and had to have a lung removed. On a weekend getaway, she caught a chill and developed pneumonia. Their sons weren’t that old when she passed. It saddened me so much to realize she was gone. I felt so raw for my cousin. He had loved her so much. And those poor boys! It affected all of us.

My cousins oldest son was a little different from the rest of us. He was more like an uncle of his mother’s. I didn’t see it as anything to discuss or make a big deal out of. He was just being him. Gunn’s family, her sister’s, had another view. At least what I heard from her. Her sister still loved her grandson, even if he was Gay. My first thought was, cool, let that rainbow flag fly! Gunn’s opinion was an old one and vile. It was wrong, that was it. It was against God and not normal and how could her shame his father and grandmother that way. Really, Mom?  Like it’s a freakin’ choice? Who the Hell are you to sit in judgement? It’s that Uncle, he turned the boy. There’s a secret handshake? There is initiation? It’s so exclusive and special that only certain people can join? They make a choice to be set aside? Explain this to me? It’s just wrong. How could he do that to his grandmother?

Gunn’s feelings on the topic of homosexuality was from the dark ages. AIDs was a God given curse for their unnatural acts. Gunn had patients at the convalescent home she worked for, the husband was a hemophiliac and had gotten AIDs through a blood transfusion and had infected his wife. They were both in the home because they were both dying. Gunn was scared that she would get it. It was still early on in the AIDs epidemic, but enough was known that you couldn’t get it through casual contact.  She was an ignorant bitch who didn’t pay attention to real news reports from real hospitals and organizations that knew what they were reporting. Like the CDC, or medical journals. No, the National Enquirer wrote the truth! Bah!! That man had sex with another man and killed his wife. Way to go, Gunn! Make a victim feel even more guilty for having a medical issue that shouldn’t have had anything to do with his wife if they had only tested the blood for AIDs. They started doing that within a year of hemophiliacs contracting AIDs, or anyone needing a blood transfusion. She often just made me physically ill with her hatred of things she wouldn’t understand.

Or when my friend Damon became Hostess with the Mostest at my Dad’s memorial service and all the little old ladies fell in love with him as he freshened their coffee or removed their plates. How Gunn gushed over him, even forgot for a short time he was one of “them”. Dad had gotten over it, because he was my friend and he knew how much I hated their comments, especially Gunn’s in general.

I had a brother-in-law through my first marriage who was gay, exiled from Kuwait due to his AIDs status, escorted by armed guards to the airport and placed on a plane bound for London with nothing, all his interests and money confiscated by the authorities for “endangering” the public. Me and Ex#1 acquired AZT and sent it through a family member who worked for an international airline so Eli could hopefully live a little longer. Eli died on October 31, 1988. A part of me died with him and my hatred for the religious bigots here in the US started burning brightly. Every time I defended the rights of LGBTQ, I did it for Eli. I walked in the first AIDs walk in L.A. because of him, and every time I walk in San Francisco his face still shines brightly with each step I take. He and his partner Danny. Your brother was an asshole, Eli, and I wish  you were still alive. The wrong brother left too soon.

Gunn was worried that I would “get it”. She worried when their sister Gladys came to visit us with her daughter. She never understood that illness, never wanted to. It just happened to Gay people because they were wrong, they were deviants. She still thought that when the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. I was in the Castro celebrating with thousands of strangers. It felt like such a wrong had finally been righted! Love who you want. Be who you are. Enjoy life and all it’s up’s and down’s. Get married and eventually get divorced. Have kids and screw them up. Try to be perfect and fail miserably.  Join the rest of society!

I fear what will happen under the Trump regime. It doesn’t look good – for LGBTQ or women or anyone not rich or simply blue collar. He’s screwing the country with chaos and lies.

Sorry – bad juju again.

Damon got married after that. I went to their wedding with my soon to be ex – I was the estranged wife. Such a happy day with so many smiling faces. Eli would have loved to experience that. My 2nd cousin is in a relationship and I believe he is happy. His partner seems to be a good match. I am happy for him. I am still saddened by what his great aunt’s and grandmother thought of his “lifestyle”. Granted, I just heard what Gunn said, but even if some is partially true – well, fuck them old bitches. Who the fuck are they? And if I hear one more person claim they weren’t around it and aren’t used to it, get over yourself. The folks who are just trying to live don’t owe you anything and aren’t impacting your daily existence, ok? Stop making them the reason for your issues. You’re just scapegoating your own irritation with a life that didn’t turn out like your 12-year old plan had laid out. Oops, sorry loser.

Adoption doesn’t always turn out all that bad, but if you insist on lying and denying the truth, not telling the child he/she was chosen above all others, when they find out it won’t be pretty. What were you ashamed of? What did the child do wrong? What had her/his biological parents done that was so wrong? There are many questions that shouldn’t be part of the story of their lives. Honesty, though it may hurt or be uncomfortable, is best. Facing reality is best. Not ostracizing family, especially a son, because  he’s the result of a prior marriage you were instrumental in ending, definitely not! Getting your family to “back you up” on everything, even lying about the adoption, fuck y’all. If she lied to you, welcome to the club, but saying I’m speaking ill of the dead and not telling you EVERY INSTANCE SHE WAS FUCKING CRAZY THROUGHOUT MY LIFE, we didn’t have the kind of relationship, did we?

We didn’t have that kind of relationship on anything. Did you know I miscarried a child? Did you know that Husband #1 took pictures of you sunbathing braless on the patio when you were here for our wedding? Did Gunn tell you I filed for divorce twice and PAID FOR BOTH OF THEM? Or did she tell you that they left me? They used me? That the first one was still sleeping with that skank of an ex-wife and gave me chlamydia? “Poor Venke. She can’t keep a husband!” She told me I shouldn’t marry again because I don’t know how to treat a man like he wants. Hell, she accused me of trying to “steal” Dad sexually.  She was sick as fuck! I moved to Northern California to get away from her and her sickness! And I dealt with her crap for 49 years. I should have left in my 20’s and never looked back, but I couldn’t because of Dad. I never regretted my decision until after he died and she expected too much from me for nothing.  I took care of her crazy ass for 15 years and did you all ever help? Fuck no. I didn’t tell you? She fucking beat me if she even thought I had possibly mentioned her a little unfavorably. I didn’t want her stabbing me with a knife while I slept. She stabbed me with scissors just because her “programs” weren’t on. I couldn’t just leave her and not be criminally charged with abusing a senior. She fucked me over.

I learned not to trust men because of what Dad taught me, not the articles you so carefully cut out from the newspapers when I was 13. I learned not to trust an open can or bottle from tales he told me, not the articles or rants on how I was whorish Gunn. He  instilled the thought of losing control, or having my personal control taken away from me.  It happened once over a Diet Coke can on a bright, sunny afternoon with a crew that I had come to know, and one person realized I was alone and could be taken advantage of, and he did. I was raped and he ended up beaten nearly to death by that same crew when he became boastful and they figured out what he had done. Did I tell you Gunn? Of course not. You would have said I deserved what had happened. I was a whore and that’s what happens. You had told me often enough, since I was 13. You weren’t a mother. You were barely human. You sniffed me every time I came home, for weed, for alcohol, for sex. You were a mental case and I had to put up with it because I couldn’t get a job that would pay me sufficiently to support my living on my own. And you never wanted that, did you? I hated you, but I still took care of you to honor Dad. You had to have a keeper, and you were stuck with me.

Having a child to take care of you when you get old is the wrong reason to have a child. Or a science experiment to see what your DNA would look like when mixed together. Even just joking about it is wrong. I’m bitter for a good reason. Being married to someone shooting blanks and didn’t have corrective surgery until he’s 42 (and I’m a year older than him) and then denying any hope of adopting because he’s worried we’ll get a “defective” child is so self-serving and selfish, is it any wonder I filed for divorce? Hell, I paid for the wedding, the rings, nearly everything we owned worth anything, why not pay for the wedding so he couldn’t claim he couldn’t afford it? It isn’t like he put up a whisper of a protest. Maybe tithing for his temple, or group, or whatever you call it, would be impacted. I couldn’t have cared less. His religion was more important than our marriage. I hope they are very happy together.

As children, we have hopes and dreams what our life will be like. I just wanted a life without Gunn. I have it now, with so much bitterness brought on by her. The reason for my stroke was lack of medical care due to taking care of her and being cut off after my divorce. Riverside County screwed up my MediCal and dropped me. I have no one to blame. It was my responsibility. She did throw out my medications, but I was going home and could get a job and have insurance again and if I kept to my diet plan, could keep the diabetes under control.  It was a good plan for a year, but I was burning the candle at both ends and occasionally ignoring the Plan. That hypertension thing became an issue, and so it happened. I wasn’t paying close attention to my health. Other people depended on me and I didn’t want to let them down. Stupid me had the stroke and it was intentional in one person’s fractured mind. I was stealing her glory. Well…..fuck you Amanda. It wasn’t about you, but that’s what you claimed. Heartless bitch. You ended up being like Gunn. Go figure.

Childhood should be fun and easy. I want it back so I can try again. Just without Gunn. I’ll take Dad. He was the best part of my childhood. Him and the dogs. And that sense of love with every look, every word, every action. I don’t have such memories of Gunn. Just all the times I got hit and accused of wrong doing. I wasn’t Miss Goody Two-shoes, but I wasn’t the whore she accused me of being either. She was just to damn stupid to understand there is a difference.





Adoption – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I was adopted. A fact, but I was never told. Spoiler! I knew. My adopted mother, a malignant narcissist, was a lousy liar. I knew when I was 11, because she was so lousy. Who gets mad when a child asks where they came from? Yeah, she had a cesarean scar, but no pictures of her pregnant? No pictures of me at the hospital? Coming home? Dad was a closet photographer. He took pictures of everything. Polaroid was his best friend in the 60’s. He took pictures of everything! And he had a 35mm camera that Mom hated. They didn’t know the camera didn’t have film. Really? For a year? Seriously. How stupid did she think I was?

She was the one who didn’t read books. I read War & Peace when I was 13 because I felt like it. People was her speed. Or the National Enquirer. She was as dumb as plywood, and as much fun. OMG she was dense.

Dad was awesome. He always rooted for me, stood up for me, and taught me I was never less than a boy and shouldn’t ever be treated like I was. Not too bad for a man born in 1919. He got that from his Dad who was born in 1882. Different mindset, and he was a renaissance man. After two wars, the introduction of air planes, cars, electricity and phones, Grandpa had lived through a lot.  He told me, when I was very young, when you stopped learning, you stopped growing and started dying. He died at 96, he knew something. I am very fortunate to have had these two men as role models in my life, and they were excellent role models for me as I grew up. I still remember what they told me, and I have lived better than half a century and have experienced my own amazement’s contrived by humanity.  Got my own cool stuff Grandpa. And I showed Dad how to use a computer. Dad learned from me.

My childhood was perfect with Dad. I will never have a bad word for how he raised and educated me. Prepared me for adulthood. He had his flaws which I didn’t know until after he died. But ONE huge mistake he made was staying married to my “mother”. A malignant narcissist is a pain in the ass to have as a parent. Destruction much? She would just laugh at other’s misery. Dad bitched at her enough about that, but he was stuck with her. Leaving was not an option. She wouldn’t have been satisfied unless she destroyed him. She nearly did more than once. Maybe even why he died when her did. I know I hate her. That says too much.

Anyway…adoption. It is normally the wisest decision, especially for a young girl with few options. Say a 15 year old in the mid-60’s with a Scandinavian mom, because they will put an end to a “problem”, especially when it reflects badly on the “mature” mother. Negativity must be avoided at all costs. That’s the Scandahoovian way. To borrow a phrase I came to know well – Uff Da!  (or Dang! That’s cold, yo.)

Times are easier, abortions are an option, it’s not just slutty whores that get pregnant. ( Mom thought that for-e-var. Why being called a whore by her was poisonous.) My Bio-Mom didn’t have an abortion, they weren’t legal then. I’m kinda thankful for that.

The decision to give up a child must be gut-wrenching. I cannot begin to imagine. You will wonder if they had a good life. If you made the right decision. If they are ok. Endless questions and never expecting an answer. Well, the child thinks the same thing. Are they ok? Did she make the right decision? I didn’t turn out that bad, because I had a good adopted Dad who did the right thing by me.

And I’ve got friends older than her. That makes me giggle. Feisty females every one. Would I call her Mom? I don’t think so. It would be weird. I’m still to locked into my 20-year old mind. Ewww? Ick? Just no. She’s too young. Maybe when I’m 60? Nah, it would still be weird. I’m not planning on aging myself  ahead of time. She’ll be 75 when I’m 60. Nah. Still weird. I could pass for younger? Nope. Too much vanity a la adopted Mom. Yuck. No way!

Not being truthful hurts the child, even when she’s an adult. Blaming that child for perceived “mistakes” her biological mother made is just evil. Hanging that over the child’s head is sick. The biological mother did nothing wrong. The child did nothing wrong. It’s a circle of love and the realization of that love that is the blessing.

A child should always know the truth, because adoption is the act of choosing a child to love and nurture. Saying that child is physically yours makes the truth that much harder to accept and handle, like medical issues. Say the child’s vision isn’t great when they are 12. Just because no one in your half (Mom) of the family doesn’t wear glasses, doesn’t work in reality. Or when that child is in her 30’s and is diagnosed with Diabetes. Because no one in Mom’s family has it would mean nothing anyway. It’s just cruel and saying it’s all my fault, or the doctor’s are lying. Not speaking the truth is a twisted mind trip. I’ve lived with that since I was 8. When I figured out “Mom” wasn’t that smart and lied when it was convenient for her.  Truth is the best choice. You don’t need to dance around it. Not everyone can do a jig. Especially with a hip replacement and scoliosis.

Guilt is a prison we construct for ourselves. I’ve had a lifetime’s worth and I’m not done living. More to regret for the rest of my days. I’m trying to find things to beat back that regret. Right wrongs I had nothing to do with. Spread the cause of hope. All of us are born with hope and dreams. No one should diminish that. Especially one who claims to be a parent but doesn’t act like one.

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.



Lost and alone

I am alone in this world. I have friends close by and very far away, but I have little family. I was adopted and they were Norwegian. From Norway, where their family still is, comfortable in their homes and their lives, but only a very few give me any thought. That has been made abundantly clear.

I am here in the Unitrd States, where I was born and my biological parents were born. They were still children when I was conceived. They were in High School and they weren’t Seniors. My mother was 15 when I was born. My grandmother encouraged her to give me up for adoption a few months after my birth, probably for the best.

I have had a good life. My adopted Dad was the best, even though he married a narcissist. She ruined a lot over the years, even denying him a well paid career as a Ship’s Captain. They argued often, but I never heard him complain or blame her. I wasn’t aware until I was 20 that she was a consummate liar and conniving bitch. I knew I waas adopted, because her lies were that bad, but I didn’t fully comprehend how far back her lies went, or the depth. She made sure Dad wouldn’t be a father to his own biological son. I didn’t know about him until I was 51, both my parents were dead and a cousin found me on Facebook. Mom’s family just dismissed it, just like she had. He had a different mother, her predecessors. Dad’s 2nd wife. That was the other shock. Dad had been married 3 times.

So much to process for me. Alone.

I was with my ex-husband for 30 years. We were married for 15 yeas by the time the divorce was final. I paid for the wedding so why not pay for the divorce? I tried, even though my former best friend thinks I didn’t. We tried therapy, j\his choice, and that was a sex therapist and couple counselor. My ex lacked empathy. Real, actual intimacy. Empathy plays a huge role in that, and he couldn’t. He could show empathy for the loss in someone else’s life, but not in his intimate sphere. He couldn’t show any towards me if there was something else, like work or his Buddhist practice.

There was a day, a few months after my Dad died, that he was donating time on a sgift at the Community Center and he assured me he would be home right after. He would be home between 1-3 pm. I asked him if he was sure, he wouldn’t take an hour or two to chat with others? No, he would come home right away. Promise. My car was dead in the driveway, so we had only his car. I would be stuck at home until he was back. I had errands to run, a sewing machine to pick up after servicing, and they had specific hours including being closed on Sundays. He got home after 4, they closed at 4 and were 1/2 an hour away. I was pissed. He hadn’t used his cell phone to call me. He saw someone he knew and hadn’t seen for a while and time got away from him. Again.

He made at offhand comment, once, that my boobs were drooping. I wasn’t a young woman by then. I was in my late 30’s and I never had “big boobs”. I wore a B cup and was self conscious over their size. I made an offhand comment, once, that he his chest was nearly concave, probably because he was so thin and did exercise to keep “thin”. He lamenmted constantly his waist kept expanding. Like 29″ x 34″on a 5’10” frame was so sexy for a man hitting 40 who wouldn’t eat meet because they were mammals. I had a B12 deficiency and using monthly injections so I woudln’t have seizures because my brain was deprived of a needed nutrient, and I was diabetic and hypertensive. I just needed to exercise and I would be fine is his eyes.

We were driving home after grocery shopping one day, and I asked him where I was on his priority list. I was 3, maybe 4. His Faith was first, work was second and then me. Not in the Buddhist list of priorities. Another time we were talking, the fact I hadn’t converted reflected badly on him. What? He knew what I beleived in. Had known before we started dating. Now, more than a decade plus later, it was my fault that his hours of chanting didn’t make his world perfect? Maybe I had read enough about his choice of Buddhist faith that I knew the basics and pretty much was “that”, that I knew I supported him and did enough Buddhist practice to know he was a Buddhist by perceived actions only. There is a difference, kind of like an agnostic and a Christian. It is how you treat every human, not just those that you think are worthy.

I wanted children. He knew that. It wasn’t the right time for years. We didn’t have enough money, we didn’t live in the right house, and then I was too old. We found out when we were in our early 40’s he couldn’t produce sperm. He could ejaculate, but it was without sperm. He had taken a hard hit on the bar of a girls’ bike as a child. That caused a stricture on his urethra blocking their escape. That stricture had been a problem for years when he urinated, but he had been to the doctor and they couldn’t find anything. I told him, “Take the doctor with you to the bathroom and SHOW HIM.’ That did the trick. He eventually had to have surgery so his bladder wouldn’t explode. And that sperm thing was identified. Sex didn’t feel the same for him, what sex we had that didn’t involve pornos – on his own or actually including me. Damn, the amount of crap I had to delete he got through Napster. That shit kills networks if you don’t monitor, which he didn’t. That was my job, and cooking, and laundry, and making sure all the bills got paid and being the primary wage-earner. So many hats I had.

After his surgery, I proposed adoption. No, we couldn’t risk it. You never know what you will get. What? I was adopted you heartless bastard! I didn’t say that. I was too hurt, too devastated.

I brought it up in counseling.  I cried, because it still hurt so much. He stared at a spot above the therapist’s head. He had to ask my ex to hand me the tissue that were next to him. He did so soundlessly  and without emotion. The therapist asked him how he felt hearing this from me? I can’t remember what K said, but it was along what I had heard over the years. He was a loser with no marketable skills, etc. That loser mentality, the Martyr, was his constant go to.

What he wanted from the therapist was a quick fix. A pill or hypnotherapy. I spoke to the therapist separately on the last time I went to him. He said I had given him more insight to K than K had said himself or had shown interest or awareness to improve. He told me I was his crutch as much as Buddhism. There was nothing I could do if he didn’t want to change or be aware of his failings. He said, which he hardly ever did, to divorce K.  To do that for me, because I wasn’t on his radar. Nothing would change if I stayed, and if I left he would just go on and see to his own needs. Just like he had before he met me.

My Mom had Alzheimer’s. When she fell and pulled out her hip implant, he blamed her for her lack of understanding. For causing him not to get a full nights sleep because he had to take me to the airport. When my Dad was dying back in 2001, he never went with me on those drives to So. California. He saw dad at Christmas before the strokes, never during the weeks of hospice when I went every other weekend. He complaned about the hours I worked, but as a Contractor, of I didn’t work I didn’t get paid. That was a theme for us, repeated when Mom got sick or did something or had a carcinoma tumor that had to be removed on an emergency basis.  She was needy and difficult. She was old and I was her only family. Excuse me for caring, Mr. 180lbs of Dead Weight. No empathy. No compassion. No humanness.

There was one night where I had had a night-terror and my knee collapsed due to stepping on the dog and me forehead connected with a dresser and I was bleeding all over the place and freaking out. He did take me to the ER. They wouldn’t let him in the room because he might have been the cause. I told them,”It was me. Only me. “I sleep walk on rare occasion and the dog was in the way. I fucked myself up!” As if he could. I got 14 stitches and a brace for my leg and was sent home. I was warned I’d have two shiners, probably. A few hours later, he got up to go to work. I indeed did walk up with two black eyes swollen shut. He arrived before Noon, but those few hours put him out of race for perfect attendance and he lost a free vacation day. My fault, because he took me to the hospital. IT was 3 days before I could return to work. My Boss told me to stay home until I didn’t look like a war casualty anymore. I can back after the weekend looking the walking wounded. That happened before we were married. Should have seen the writing on the wall like graffiti on a train car.

I have been alone for years, but I found the strength to move one, move beyond it. That was usually through work. But I don’t know what to do now, because this brain injury has locked out the access to what I did. I have to relearn it. And I am screwed. I am running out of time.

I am technically homeless.  I am housesitting, but that ends next weekend. I have no money to move, but I have too much to qualify for help through the County. I will die if I have to live in my car. My health is in a delicate balance that could go south very quickly.

I have retinopthy. That became a forefront issue again this morning. A vein in my right eye failed or exploded this morning, causing visual obstruction in the field of vision in my right eye. Nothing will correct it overnight or in a few days. Just monthly injections for months. I just concluded nearly a year of injections for my left eye. It’s hard to explain what it’s like. If I close my eye, I can see the outline of an animal face. The sketch. When I open my eye, it a pattern of swirls and lots of pinprick debris. It’s messy, but I can see through it. I’m not blind. Yet.

And I have to find a job dealing with this now. What else, God? How much more before you’re done testing me? How much more do you think I can take? I’m done. I can’t take anymore. I am defeated. I have no pride. no ego, nothing. There is nothing left. No one’s listening.

I have a GoFundMe page. I linked it here in posts frp=om the last two days. I had a stroke, but I didn’t loose my home in a fire. I am struggling with a brain injury, but I don’t have a family member with a life threatening emergency. I am alive and I grieve for all those who died due to violence. I am alive but failing. I didn’t get the care I needed for over a year, but I have it now so I’m fine? I am not and I have no idea when I will be. People just exect me to be because I can write. That hasn’t been lost, it just took a while to come back. I need a chance to come back.


Days of Old

Tonight was the induction for the 2018 Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Nina Simone, the Cars, Dire Straights, Moody Blues and Bon Jovi were inducted. I wasn’t that familiar with Nina Simone, though I had heard of her and her contribution, but the rest? Most definitely. Especially one.

The rest – soundtrack to my life. But one was the soundtrack to my soul. I know every song,every lyric, every riff. From the first time I heard them, bought their album, I was hooked. In 1983, my friends, high school Seniors and others, questioned my taste for “hair bands”. I enjoyed others – Rush, Queen, AC/DC, Journey, but they weren’t “right” for their tastes. I said “Wait and see – they will be famous someday.” And now they are part of the Hall of Fame.

And Jon Bongiovi was HOT! I was a teenager. What would you expect? My heart ran away with Runaway. With each subsequent album, my love and dedication just grew. I have a “playlist”on my iPod. It’s every Bon Jovi song recorded, by the band and Jon individually Even Richie.

I have seen them just twice on tour. I have seen Springsteen et al 4 times. I regret having to admit I have seen Weird Al more than 5 times and I don’t want to remember how many. My Ex was a big fan. Though I enjoyed going to see him, I saw him too much. Springsteen I would love to see him and the Band again, even without Clarence. But Bon Jovi? Yes please! I feel 20 again.

Watching the show tonight. and hearing those tunes, made me reminisce, take a walk down memory lane. Bon Jovi was the last inductee tonight and closed the show. Never crazy forr Howard Stern, but he was funny tonight. He’s crass, kinda like the Prez. As the band setup to play, Jon told the audience to get up and I did, just as I would at a concert. It brought back memories. I part was missing, reminded me of who I am now, the past year and a half. I have sung these songs joyfully and word for word. I could belt them out in harmony. Not anymore. I tried though. And shed more tears. I’ve done a lot of crying. My singing voice is something I still have to recover. But I still tried and it was awful.

The amount of smiles and joy I have received every time I heard a Bon Jovi song – countless, millions. Congratulations, guys. Job well done. We will continue to Keep the Faith.




May the Fourth be With You

A simple phrase meant to bring smiles and remind you of a fantastical story that means so much to decades of people. That is one of hope and strength of will and courage. Or just the belief for a better future if you take the necessary steps in avoiding a disastrous result.

It may mean something completely different to you, but I choose to beleive in Hope. It is an acheivable goal.

This day means something else now, for me. One I choose not to think about much or often. Today is the 3rd anniversary of my adopted mother’s death. Technically, my day of freedom. I’ll speak of that on another day.

May the Force be With You, every moment you need it, even every day. And that Force is Good. May it be with you always.