Marley’s ghost, from Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. With Illustrations by John Leech. London: Chapman & Hall, 1843. First edition. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Growing up in an active military family tends to foster a certain mindset or at least it did in my family. My parents taught my sister and I that if we saw a wrong in the world that we had the means to destroy or help destroy we should. Most of the men in my family were military. Several of the women were victims of child abuse. I HATE child abusers. I get up everyday and go about my day thankful that the kids I know are safe. The sad and terrifying truth is is that are close to 2 million children are circulated between the US and different countries as part of an underground sex trade. This is not acceptable. The hands of the US and other governments are often tied because there are no US statute being violated. Sometimes the children are in countries who do not have the resources to get them out. Enter Operation Underground Railroad, a group of former FBI, CIA, Green Beerets and Navy SEALs. I am not nor have I ever been a Christian but I believe that as you sow so shall you reap. I believe in avenging angels and I believe in making humanity my business.. My disability means I couldn’t be a soldier, but I can be what my parents raised me to be a warrior who defends those who can’t defend themselves. If you know me personally I would ask that you take the money you might have spent on a Christmas gift and donate to Operation Underground Railroad instead.
Giant pink ribbon on the corner of 5th and Market, downtown Louisville, KY (10-5-06) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
October is breast cancer awareness month and the 31st is Halloween the time of year when lots of people go out of their way to scare themselves and others so maybe it;s apt that this month was chosen as the month to raise awareness for breast cancer awareness, because as the daughter of a woman who underwent a partial mastectomy because of it I think it one one of the scariest things anyone can deal with. I didn’t say the scariest thing a woman can deal with because it is entirely possible for guys to be diagnosed with breast cancer. That’s right it’s not a”girl thing” guys turn up with it as well. Male nreast cancer is only 1% of diagnosed breast cancer in 2010 but that’s still 1,970 men who are someone’s son and could be a brother, father or uncle. Screening should be provided to anyone who requests it, especially this month, My mom was diagnosed four years ago and since her surgery there hasn’t been a single sign of cancer, and next year, (fingers crossed) she will officially declared cancer free. October is the time of year when you supposed to be able to scare yourself for fun, if you think you might be sick please please get screened no matter what sex you are ….trust me you don’t want to play with this.
Autism spectrum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I am a disabled woman who kids kids eventually. Even though my disability isn’t caused but a birth or genetic defect but rather by a simple case of bad timing (I was two months and ten days early) and a lack of oxygen to the brain the fact that I am disables makes any pregnancy of mine high risk which in turn increases the chance that my child(ren) could have a disability. This scares me a lot. To be honest the idea of a physical disability doesn’t scare me half as much as the thought of raising a Downs Syndrome or Autistic Spectrum child does If however the universe decides to send me such a child I will love him her or them just as much as an able bodied or neurotypical child. The fact that there are some parents who feel overwhelmed by their chuld’s disability that they would murder that child is sad but can not and should not be seen as justification for doing so
Yes parenting a special needs child is different and in lots of ways more difficult than parenting a typical able bodied child but I believe that when you make the decision to become a parent you accept the possibility that things might not go exactly as you hoped. Murder is never the answer and being born with a disability isn’t a crime If you’re feeling overwhelmed talk to somebody call CPS anything is better than harming a child or adult who had no control over the fact they were born disabled.
Kilroy was here (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Writing is a funny, thing you start wth one thing in mind and buy thr time you pause for break be somewhere else entirely. When I started the blog I never expected followers I just wanted space that was “mine” something that is somewhat hard to find when your physically dependent on caregivers (some paid some not) for some level of help fur nearly everything. I started writing the blog with no grander then to leave scratches on the wall of the universe that amount to “Rachel was here.” I never expected people, much less strangers to leave comments but they have and what started as an inner monologue of sorts and as a way to get through the bouts of writer’s block has over time become,much to my great surprise, a conversation of sorts. I don’t get comments on everything I write obviously but I think of those post as akin to the times of comfortable silences in between conversation. Though it is and probably always will be a quiet, unassuming blog with no real theme other then being a chronicle of my life I’m amazed at how much it has evolved almost without me realizing it.
Maleficent in Disneyland Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bill Cosby once said, “My children love my mother and I tell my children, “That is NOT the same woman I grew up with, that is an old woman trying to get into heaven now.”
I remember my great grandmother as a soft spoken lady who always ate the strawberry portion of the Neapolitan ice cream that was kept in the freezer for when the kids in family came to visit. I also knew that my mom had described her grandmother as being formidable with a no nonsense tone that was similar to Maleficent the villain in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. It wasn’t until after she passed that I realized that the person I remembered and the intimidating relative my mother had told me about were actually the same person. At some point before I was born she had two heart attacks which mellowed her a lit. Who knew?
I am a name nerd. I’ve had a fascination with names since grade school. My mom is a name nerd too, it just might be genetic. I have only one sibling but you’d never guess that if the only thing you saw were the number of name books on our shelves. In all of my the time I lived with my folks I can count on both hands the number of times we gave an animal a pet or animal something you’d expect to hear. I remember one spring when all the new baby goats had the names of ice cream flavors.. One year I named a pair of boy/girl goat twins FDR and Elanor. I have had dogs named Travis, Portia( when we named her I was thinking of the Shakespeare character however almost anybody outside of my family who hears her name assumes we meant to name her for a car) Lola, Rosie(female terrier mix) Roosevelt (male lab mix) Honey, Spice, Buster Caylee and Nora. My current dog a Golden Retriever is named Gideon. Yes I know Gideon is a biblical name but in my case its a pop culture reference to Criminal Minds. It was a coin toss between Gideon and Reid
I’m also a fiction writer and so I use name books and websites to name characters. Nameberry.com has lists upon lists of names. You can search name by gender meaning, sound, popularity or any combination thereof. The site also has a forum for writers to brainstorm possible character names. It is definitely worth a look around., especially if your characters are anything like mine and makr you guess their names like Rumpelstiltskin.
Description unavailable (Photo credit: zeropuntosedici) I WILL have her job!
I used to think that if I wished hard enough that was enough….it isn’y at twenty six I decided to change the game. Most of the people I know probably thought I’d live with my folks for most of my life..I moved out of state a week before my last birthday. I’m scared but I’m here. When I was fifteen I said I was going to write a book and ten years later the book still isn’t in print , I refuse to let another year pass without progress. I didn’t get a college the first time around because I didn’t care about what a degree meant, because most of the people who seemed to be pushing a degree on me never never quite got it. I don’t care if I personally have to eat Ramen noodles every day for the rest of my life fine If the world is made better by the dash in between the dates on my marker or memorial then that is enough, money was never the point.
I think I was born a crusader. Even if I wasn’t born one, my parents raised one. I’ve had this one dream over and over the past several years.. I’m running barefoot, chasing something. I was running barefoot, tripping and falling and bleeding and bruised because even in this dream the disability is still there. I run and fall and bleed and get back up. I’ve woke up with sore muscles sore, eyes stinging. I sed to think the work behind a college degree was a waste for me because I hadn’t found what I wanted. So what if it means extra classes and computer programming classes? So what? I beat my demons once before, I will do again. I’ll lose sleep to learn the math and the programming and the two or three or five or six languages it takes to put me ahead of the able bodied person who it would be easier for them to hire.
All these things I’ve listed will probably push me to tears and past that but I will succeed because Ir refuse to accept the assistance of a reality in which I could fail;
swearing in cartoon Suomi: Kiroileva sarjakuvahahmo Nederlands: Schelden en vloeken in strips 粵語: 粗口 中文: 罵髒話 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
My parents taught me to swear, sort of. To be completely accurate they taught me the more or less appropriate times to swear. I say more or less because in my grandmother’s opinion there is absolutely no situations in which cursing or swearing (pick whichever word works for you) is appropriate. However I was taught a slightly different definitions of “bad words” them a lot of kids. My sister and I were not allowed to use any form of racial slur. I remember asking mom what somebody meant when they used the term faggot, she told me that it was an ugly slang term used for homosexuals and that the non slang meaning was kindling for a fire. I was confused as to how a word that meant firewood could have anything to do with a gay person. She went on to explain that when burning at the stake was an acceptable form of the death penalty for crimes such as heresy and witchcraft men who were guilty of homosexuality were tied to wood stacked around the state of the convicted witch or heretic and burned with them. I think I was seven or eight years old when I was told that. I have never used that word to mean anything other than firewood in my whole life.
We were never allowed to swear gratuitously and our everyday speech didn’t contain them but we were allowed to swear in extraordinary circumstance. For example my parents never blinked or chastised me when I swore because the anesthetic from a surgery caused me to throw up or because of pain associated with surgery. Also when a very good family friend was murdered while eating in a restaurant when I was nine and I screamed and cursed a blue streak at the universe for several hours.
My parents taught me that words are much like firearms and knives. Words are tools which can have just as much impact as a gum or knife , to not only use my words but choose them careful because you never know what lasting effect they have.
Shadows in the late afternoon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Some call grief a process but that word implies that grieving is finite and has a definitive end. In my experience grief (specifically from the death of a close friend or family member) tends to behave more like a shadow. Some days it is bigger and more noticeable than others but once felt it is always there. It is that song on the radio that you either can’t stand to hear or almost break the speakers listening to as loud as possible. It is the book that goes unread on the shelf but woe unto the person who suggests giving it away. It is the quirky things you insist on doing or knowing that surprise other people. For instance I lost a good friend to leukemia, he wore a hat constantly to hide the damage chemotherapy had done to his hair. Now whenever my hair is long enough I don’t get a professional hair cut and donate my hair to a charity that makes wigs for cancer patients. Recently a friend of mine who had a long list of food allergies died (from something totally unrelated). Since I met him I noticed that I became more likely to remember if people around me had an allergy of any sort. Also if I know someone is going camping etc.: I always make sure they are aware of the warning signs which herald Lyme disease. If I can’t make the shadows that follow me go away I can at least make them smaller.
Woman-power symbol (clenched fist in Venus sign). עברית: כוח נשים (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I don’t think my parents have ever been considered middle-class, the one plausible exception being the time period in which my mother was enlisted in the Army, but I’m not even sure of that. When people talk about feminism lately it all seems to come back to their annoyance with white, middle-class, heterosexual women and how they seem to ignore the experiences of women who do not fall into some or all of the categories they do. I think it’s time to stop putting labels on things every time we turn around, but in case you’re interested in my labels here the list. I am a white woman born to parents who have probably been classified as working poor for most, if not all of, my life. I’m a person living with a disability acquired at birth. What this means for me is that I require either a motorized wheelchair or a manual one to get around. I have gone to college but had to leave because of insurance cutbacks reducing the amount of assistance I was allowed to proceed. I am also bisexual and even though I don’t think that should matter a hill of beans to anyone who isn’t living with me apparently some people will make a big deal out of anything.
As you can probably tell I represent a minority of some form two or three times over. That being said I believe that all this focus on categories and labels is doing more harm than good for the concept of feminism. All women are unique and all our life’s variances are unique to us as individuals, because of that we all have important things contribute to the conversation. My younger sister spent 18 years in the same house with me and my parents but her childhood was different from mine, her school and work experiences are different from mine and therefore her perspective while it might be similar to mine is still completely unique to her.
Feminism shouldn’t be about which group of women have the most difficulties. We all have problems, some of the more unique to our particular circumstances than others. Instead of everyone claiming that they have it harder maybe we should all agree to stop shouting and listen to one another like reasonable adults. This means listening to man as well. Recently I’ve noticed that women are shying away from using the word feminism, in part due to the mandating connotations it acquired somewhere along the way. I think it is time to redefine and reclaim that word, even as we work to do the same for ourselves.