Thursday, December 31, 2015

A pork chop cult descendent.

Dancing naked in the middle of the day is gauche. Dancing naked in the moonlight is more reasonable.

If you dance in the middle of a forest with shoes on and no one around. Have a blanket on the ground or better yet a chair.

It's New Year's Eve.

I'm learning from sites like to be provocative. Titles like, "Beautiful actresses without make-up" have you clicking a link for 583 slowly loading slides of inane pictures and a few other ad sites of slowly loading commercial videos all to see some really creepy pictures. You exit the site before you get anywhere near checking out number 11.

Lucky for you, I will summarize those slide shows. It's a waste of your time!

Back to dancing naked, it would need to be an unseasonably warm night. We are having those with monsoon rains. A bar of soap and shampoo and you would be fresh and clean. I imagine it would be like taking a cold shower. Have some heated towels handy, you know that refreshing breeze will chill to the bone when you are wet.

It's going to take some coordination to get towels straight from the dryer to dry yourself when you happen to find yourself dancing naked in the rain in the moonlight. Your family and friends may not be a great support system.

Now I haven't done this, yet. Who knows. It may be the fashion in a few years to dance naked in the rain on an unseasonably warm night after Christmas. There are stranger things that have happened during my life.

There have been a lot of changes during my lifetime.

I remember segregation. I grew up in a military town and Eisenhower desegregated the military in 1956 and I was born in 1956. Brown versus Board of Education Topeka, Kansas ruled "separate but equal schools" unconstitutional in 1954. What seemed like a pivotal moment for African Americans was but one in a succession of fights to acquire basic American rights.

Our schools were integrated in 1969. It was a wonderful year to be an 8th grader. I had that ennui of a 13 year old and they were constantly canceling school to work out kinks. Ironically, the bulk of black students did not want to come to our school. I can't blame them. They had their traditions. Freedom of Choice was the prior policy and a few black students had integrated the schools. A tentative one person in my sixth grade year.

 Rumble absorbed the Robins Air Force Base students, and African American students with a parent in the military went to school there. There were several black students in seventh and eighth grade. My junior high, Tabor was a more practical school in distance for many. I remember the kids from Pearl Stephens entering in the middle of eighth grade. You could hear their steps in the hallway as they entered school for their first day. Their morning started with a get acquainted with your new school.

Different school systems had different problems. Some school systems like Fayette County was one big happy family. Our system had mild problems. A private school sprung up which is in existence today. Established private schools did not accept students mid-year. They were already integrated.  Affluent African Americans sent their children to private schools. The Catholic schools were offended by people wanting to flee to them.

A commenter on a local newspaper article cited the problem with a town in Georgia being a old sundown town. I looked it up. Few sundown towns existed in the South. There was too large an African American population for this to be practical. The wealthy homes had alleys that ran between them where modest homes stood. African Americans lived in these homes.

I remember the movie "The Help" showing maids in uniforms leaving an African American neighborhood. It seemed unusual in that "The Help" usually lived close by. If you had a maid, you gave them a ride from their house to yours.

There were neighborhoods of black people and small rural communities of black people. I remember my dad showing us homes that rented for large sums of money and were shacks. No one likes for someone to be treated unfairly.

There were many black and white men who depended on each other in rural areas. These partnerships made the difference in survival. Life was much more modest for many. This is why you would hear people complain about outsiders coming in and causing problems. There was a big differences in the classes in Georgia. You had the gentry, folks who aimed to be the gentry, poor whites and white trash.

I remember when I first heard the description of white trash in college. I knew some and they weren't that bad. I remember when I was around ten and realized my grandmother was poor. It was similar to when I went to Cherokee, North Carolina when I was fourteen. I learned the people there were poor and weren't doing that well. An old man was dressed as a Plains Indian and would allow you to have your picture taken with him for a quarter.

Where racial discrimination was sharpest were white people who were unfair. They took the opportunity to feel their power. If you live long enough, you encounter someone like this. I met two who were really vicious and worked together. Actually I have met more than two.

There were customs that were observed. Whites weren't to go in black areas after nightfall. If they did and something bad happened to them nothing was done. I remember my family getting lost in a black neighborhood after nightfall as a child. My dad was scared. A black policeman pulled him over. My dad tells him we were lost. He gave my dad directions to the main road. I guess a Rambler station wagon full of a wife and children yells sincerity.

Other ways of discrimination were black police officers could not handle crime or problems committed by whites. Black people had to shop at different times, come to back doors for restaurant take out versus sitting inside the restaurant. There were and are some people who blame their misery on blacks and hate blacks. Heck there are blacks who hate whites. This list is endless of the unfairness of Jim Crow.

In retrospect, segregation of schools hurt the white and black school systems. There was little money to operate one much less two. Some counties were completely owned by two or three families and they exerted their control over property taxes to the point that public schools were in miserable shape.

This is why I am not keen about people like the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson having so much control. They want to make more money and have the biggest tax breaks they can. This is understandable. I just remember the South before the 1970's. Reconstruction did not occur until after World War II. It was not that idyllic if you were a have-not.

Sure there are other ways to be wealthy, and I grew up very wealthy that way. It is just being broke stinks. I know people who are wealthy have more opportunity and education but not always more wisdom. The Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson do not know all.

I know I should pick on someone else. They just make themselves vulnerable by exerting so much control. I am so grateful they are all so old. In ten years or so, they will not be able to maintain their control. Their children may have a different point of view.  I wonder if St. Peter can be bribed?

There are so many good changes that have occurred in my lifetime that I never thought would have happened. Improved opportunity for people of color, better work and economic conditions for all of us are two that are great among many.

But dancing naked in the moonlight may never be one of them. Not that I care. I don't think I can dance that long anyway. I like my central heat and air and a 50 gallon hot water tank. I would love a hot tub. I just can't keep what I got maintained and clean. I don't think a hot tub is self cleaning. I know my self cleaning oven is not. I wiped out the worst crud the other evening.

We gonna be roasting a fresh ham New Year's Day. I'm putting that thing in the oven around 5 am. It will melt in everyone's mouth by dinnertime at 1 PM. We all belong to a pork chop cult which my grandmother proudly passed down to all of us. She had a son in law who would not eat pork because he was a Seventh Day Adventist.

My aunt and him moved out within the first year. Grandma Ada could not think of a day without pork. And you damn well did not talk about dancing naked in the moonlight. 

Happy New Year's folks. What has changed in your life you did not think would happen.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Tempes Fugit

I never start with a title.

But with 2015 coming to an end, it is fitting.

It's been a good year. I liked the ring of 2015. It seemed so bright. I looked at my car payment book and the last payment is in 2020. So far away but it will be here too soon. I've done this before. Phil McGraw's quote, "This ain't my first rodeo."sounds a lot more exciting than car payments.

Then I thought, wonder how long I will live. Will I die in the twenties, thirties or forties? Embracing the onslaught of senior citizenhood is not as exciting as turning 21 and being able to buy liquor and not as dangerous.

My older brother no longer has high blood pressure since he retired. He is also very thin. That is a hazy goal. I'm working on my weight this year. I understand if you lose a gram of fat in your pancreas, it will cure you of type 2 diabetes. It will also be easier on my joints.

So I am not making New Year's Resolutions. I'm just taking stock and thinking about what I want to accomplish this year.

This is probably creepier than my talking about dying. I like to exercise. I love getting on the elliptical at the gym as I listen to music. One of my favorite exercise tunes is Running through the Jungle by John Fogerty. He wrote the song to discuss the over proliferation of guns in the early seventies in the United States and not the Vietnam War.

Pawn shops and gun shops run continuous ads in Georgia warning they are going to take away your guns to increase sales here in Georgia. For a bunch of folks who are scared of losing their right to buy and sale guns a lot of gun shops have opened in Central Georgia. I was disappointed to learn Georgia was in the top five states for gun violence. I thought maybe our gun culture protected us from gun foolishness. Oh well, another blog post for the far distant future.

I'm obviously not stopping my habit of thinking too much.

I've made a list of projects I want to finish. I resurrecting some of my great tomes of science. I wanted to create a science workbook on grade level subject matter with the appropriate grade on the cover for EMH students. They hate using workbooks that say first and second grade and I can't blame them. You know how grown you are at eleven. No money in the project but some happy youngsters are great.

I also want to finish something I have written or worked on. I don't care which one, just one.

And Christmas is over. Just as soon as I finish the four fruitcakes marked down at Kroger, no more high calorie food. Technically fruitcake is healthy. It's made with fruit. The real reason the kid at the cash register told me she would never taste fruitcake. I did not tell her that. I just told her when she reached 60, she would get a strange hankering for it.

So I am embracing 2016. Hopefully, I can raise hell every day of this New Year which believe me is much better than giving hell. Ciao baby.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Just a preachin'

I had a terribly rough time at work from two co-workers about twenty years ago.

The situation changed me. At the end of the school year, one of the young teachers on our team thanked me for not allowing it to become a big "stink". How could I drag them into a conflict, and they had no tenure. I spent the year doing what I felt was right.

It was just one of those things in life. The stink was based on how I handled special education students. We had one who truly underperformed. My method of dealing with him was to give him space. There is an emotional aspect for students with learning disabilities. They have been so frustrated in regular classrooms. Sometimes, they don't know how to start. You have to work with them.

When students do not do homework, it is a home life problem. I always told students their parents could write a note to excuse their not doing homework. I told parents this. I never got a note.

The two teachers I had a clash with felt like we should beat the kid down. Another factor at play was my popularity with students. These two teachers were going to bully me into doing what they wanted. I didn't. I did speak to one of the assistant principals. She did not take it serious.

I stopped eating lunch with them and sat with a friend. I transferred to the evening high school the next year. The principal at the school offered me a move to the seventh grade. It may have been better in the seventh grade but I was ready for the night school which I did enjoy working at.

Several years later, I heard that the two teachers who had made it so difficult for me turned on one another. One of them did the other incredibly dirty. I did not get the details. I did get the satisfaction of hearing one of the teacher saying she should have known there was a problem because I had said that we needed to be careful with the other teacher. I had never said that but this is where the thought counted.

The two young teachers with no tenure first agreed with the other two teachers. However, they understood the philosophy I had been taught long ago. My job as a teacher was to move a student ahead by what they were capable. I was the one invited to both of their weddings. The young man became the athletic director for the Catholic high school that opened in the county we worked.

I make myself sound like a wonderful teacher and to some children I was. There are some students I had that hated me. I'm sure my name is still an anathema to them and of course their parents. I told a teacher one time that I liked some people but they would never like me because they did not agree with how I handled their child. She understood. She would never like one of her children's teachers.

The humble pie I have eaten would choke a horse. You would think my sensitivity for students with learning disabilities would be because of my two siblings who are handicapped. I got my sensitivity from a former student working in the meat department at a grocery store. He said he was doing well and was sorry for being so stupid when I taught him. It cut me to the bone; I was so young, dumb and inept when he was in my classroom. I could not undo how bad of a teacher I was for him. I made a commitment to do better.

You may wonder how I got on this topic. I read a preachy blog that quoted the Bible to impart God's wisdom. For Protestants in the South, we all got the urge for that sort of yammer. I get the urge to preach too. That's how I know it is something cultural. I read several blogs that work toward inspiring people and I appreciate their thoughts.

My father said the Bible was a "book of wisdom". Some of it may have never happened or did not happen as it was written in the Bible. I know that is scandalous for someone to say in the Bible Belt.

So as a twig is bent, so a tree is inclined. This proverb was coined by Alexander Pope who is the second most quoted behind Shakespeare in the English language. My dad used to get tickled with people quoting Shakespeare and think it was the Bible. Wisdom comes from many sources.

We all have to define ourselves. We may not agree with one another. However, defining ourselves determines how we react when under pressure. I've never regretted the choice I made. After I left, several science teachers were put with those two ladies. Each got themselves moved, one to another grade and the other to another school.

I would be terribly surprised if that student became any sort of scholar. I have had several former students with severe learning disabilities do well in college. What I do know is school prepares us for life. I was lucky to work with a good principal in the beginning of my career who understood this.

I remember thinking she could handle people because she was a big shot and wealthy. In time, I learned she had guts and defined herself. I've never had the guts she had. But she did teach me well, and I have my moments.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Sending Good Christmas Wishes Your Way

It's Christmas eve. Words are quiet and slow.

I've been to the Flint river and it is out of it's banks. I've known we needed a new roof. We have a leak. Hopefully some of the rain will slow over the holiday season while I make plans for roof repair and/or replacement.

We were supposed to have a horrible storm this morning and it bypassed us. It looks like the same will be true this afternoon. I hope the after Christmas sale sirens sing weakly and my mother and sister don't want to do a ton of shopping. For my mother, it is frustrating. Eating dinner out is very tiring. However, when she is fired up from reading the sale ads, the only thing that will calm her is the actual going. Then the sadness from not having the energy emerges.

I need to contact a roofer by Monday and get something scheduled. Meanwhile the wind and thunder have arrived for a short, heavy downpour. Maybe this will be the last round. The rivers are high enough. The county was clearing the culvert that runs under the road in front of my house to the Flint. I hope the boom, boom, booms tonight will not be trees falling from the saturated ground.

So, I am dreaming of a dry Christmas with highs close to 80. Not the first warm Christmas I've experienced. I enjoy the six weeks of winter with heavy frost in the morning. So far, it has been a maudlin, miserable two days of the designated forty-two. Oh well, the temps are supposed to drop January 2nd. There is always the New Year. Red leaves on the backyard pear trees will finally fall.

It's been a wonderful peaceful day. I wish you the best this Christmas season. Cheers.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Rap, rap, rapping on heaven's door, Opps wrong genre.

I've been listening to a rap station. Well one time, but I plan to do it some more. I'm an adventurer whose big adventure sometimes is listening to a rap station. No I do not like rap. But it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

The new car has Sirius radio. I get the six month free trial. It is great. Almost as great as having a cellphone. When I first got a cellphone, I thought I was wasting my money on something I would never use. I had a friend who told me wide eyed that I would not know what I did before I had it.

Within a month, I bought my dad a cell phone for father's day. My dad chewed my butt out about it. I just got him a bill to pay. I told him, I had paid for it. He would not be getting a bill. Within a month, he was a cellphone addict. One time I called him. He said, talk away. What a queasy feeling to know he was driving.

Unfortunately, my dad passed away the next December. When my mom moved in with me, I transferred her home telephone number to the cellphone.

I drive the older car when it is just me. I wait in a parking lot waiting on my brother's bus. I like driving an older car to not attract attention. The bulldog in the backseat does not hurt. She doesn't care what is on the radio. I like pop music. I just get tired of the constant replay of the same tunes. I like country music. Next year are the elections and the Republican party obviously own the country music stations.

The commercials are bad but the commentators are worse. I truly am an independent. If someone is guaranteed your vote or business, you are dependent on them to give good customer service. I vote Democrat now because the Republican party has no reasonable leader. They all say the same thing regardless of what they believe. They have a hard core base that get them elected in the off years.

The only Republican political candidate of any value in my opinion is Chris Christie. He's a politician but at least you get the feeling he will do what he needs to for the country.  Politicians know their first job is to be elected and they say what will get them elected.

I can't support Republicans. Climate change is real and needs to be dealt with.

This is why I listen to NPR. It can be really interesting. But sometimes you have that intellectual "foo foo" discussing how a hangnail can be devastating if you happen to spend the year thinking about the tragedy of sitting in a Burmese prison while you are on holiday in Thailand.

So that Sirius is some good stuff. However my mom hates the radio playing. The new car is for hauling her around, so me and the dogs jive a little when we wait in the car during grocery shopping. I've noticed my sister finishing early to return to the car.

My mom loves to grocery shop. Looking at all the containers of sundry foods, etc. takes about two to three hours for each store. I accidently got a second store on the list by stopping for a few things a few years ago. My mom wants to add a third one so badly. They have motorized scooters with a grocery basket that mom uses. She dresses up and wears her jangly jewelry. People like to help her in the stores.

 I hope she can shop her entire life. Meanwhile, I deliberately spend twenty to thirty minutes in the car reading and listening to the radio before going in.

I plan to hook up the phone that is part of the car's OnStar package. The first 300 minutes are only $10. They know if I use it a little, I'll be hooked.

I hope this does not happen with Rap music. I plan to listen to more. Stretch my old fogeyness so that I can make a film that resonates with this upcoming generation. Elements of rap are in all genres of music and each decade has it's own style. I love following Battle of the Bands with a few blogs. These guys know tunes, styles and artist I am totally unfamiliar with.

Meanwhile, it will be a while before I find myself rap, rap, rapping on heaven's doors. Edgar Allen Poe and Bob Dylan are served notice, I am using my poetic license.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

You better watch out, Christmas time is near.

You know we all want to do it. The Christmas letter with all the dark details. Cynicism and reality to shock the goodie-goodie out of all of us.

Today, I looked up a student I taught in the mid nineties. I had taught difficult students but not one in this category. I worked with a man whose ego would not allow him to say he had a problem. He had a problem. I worked with a guidance counselor who had an attachment to the child from elementary school. There was nothing wrong with her affection. Not dealing with the problem was wrong.

Home life was weird. Mom had mental health issues in addition to multiple schlerosis. One time she walked down a road buck naked. Dad was stable. Older sister was stable. Dad had a modest, functioning business. When a child has a problem, it can be dealt with much earlier more easily. You let the situation stand until it gets out of hand, it is usually too late to do much. This was a train wreck.

I did come across an arrest in 2005. He would have been about 23. So I tried the Inmate Search for the state of Georgia. I found him. He is scheduled for release in 2019. I looked at the face, another mentally ill prisoner maybe. Such a disappointment to learn. I was worried he was dead. I had thought he might have been working for his dad doing quite well. You need not be a good student to turn into a well functioning adult. But it does help.

Reality bites.

I had heard he had dropped out of school and was involved with some drug use. What I imagined was a little pot smoking.

For those of us with schizophrenia in our families, a little pot smoking is not good. It can cause someone with the disposition for schizophrenia to have a full blown psychosis.  Schizophrenia has a hereditary component but like Lou Gehrig's disease, the bulk of sufferers have a sudden manifestation in the family.

Schizophrenia has been associated with the Irish as a hereditary problem much like Cystic Fibrosis in people of Northern European ancestry or Sickle Cell for those with ancestors from the world's Malarial Belt. More research reveals that the disease is more evenly distributed world wide.

I was reading an Asian American's angry response to The Forest in Japan's story being whitewashed by Hollywood. What was relevant for me is that The Forest is known for the incredibly high rate of suicides that occur there. Japan does a poor job culturally of allowing people to get treatment for depression.

So, I don't know what sort of Christmas everyone is having out there. But I do know that Christmas can be disappointing. We think of Christmas with a healthy family, big plump turkeys on the table, tasty Christmas cookies, and presents under the tree.

Mine will be getting up early taking care of my dogs. We will probably make Chicken and Dressing. I have thought of making a cake. Being diabetics, maybe I will not make the cake. We don't exchange presents. We have enough things as it is. It would seem like a sad holiday but it is not. We have a comfortable home. We have so much love. Anyone who owns a dog would understand. We are all doing well. It's not Norman Rockwell but it is real.

So I hope everyone enjoys their Christmas. Write down what you have to be thankful for. A lottery ticket costs a dollar. The dream of what you would do is almost worth the dollar. I don't buy lottery tickets very often but I remember when I have for large jackpots.

If Christmas gets tough, reach out for help. You should not tough it out. Get help. Help is not always medical but sometimes it is. For me, I won the genetic lottery and do not have a problem with depression and other mental illnesses.

I do have situational depression. Sometimes I don't have an answer for what life throws my way. I have to stand back and wait for the situation to resolve itself and accept what I cannot change. This is a hard place to get to at times. Faced with divorce, job loss, death, you may need to talk this out with a pastor, counselor, attorney, friend or relative. Getting plenty of rest and occupying your mind with something you enjoy helps. Smoking, drinking, drugging or binge eating do not help. 

I write because it allows me to have a dream much like winning the lottery. I see an elderly man who picks up trash on the side of the highway. I think about keeping a trash can maintained near the boat ramp of the Flint River. I may tie a trash can to a tree and keep a black trash liner in it. I could stop once a week and collect the garbage and put a new bag in.

We all have to step back and look at our situation. It is not what we have that determines our happiness. It is how we look at the world. If you are unable to have hope or be satisfied, you may need medical intervention. Depression was seen as a weakness when there was no treatment. There is treatment today.

I have a friend who sends a cheery Christmas letter every year that I thoroughly enjoy. So much good comes into her life year after year. She was a co-worker of mine and was such a great teacher. I would be jealous, but she is such a great friend. She battles clinical depression and takes medication. Now is a good time in her life. She has found a medication that works.

This Christmas, I hope you are so busy cooking, unwrapping presents, watching sentimental movies and whooping it up during the day. But if you eat a can of sardines with your cat and never get dressed, I know your Christmas can feel as bright.

As Christmas Day approaches, it is important to remember the reason for the season. Christmas is about the "good news" brought to man with the birth of Jesus Christ. For friends of mine who are not Christians, I wish you happiness during the holidays. I believe in a God of love and understanding.

And yeah, I'm working on a hellacious Year in Review for a character of mine. If it turns out well, I'll post it close to the New Years.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

When life gives you lemons, make soap.

I had a boyfriend in college who said his life was sort of like inertia. He just moved from one thing to another.

Inertia, fate, happenstance, it all runs together. I am a believer in you make your own luck. It's important to manage your spending to your income. A big one is preparing for retirement.

There is a price for everything including being practical.

There are things out of your control such as health, wealth, opportunity, love. So maybe you don't make all of your luck.

So I believe you make the best of what you have.

You'll be happier.

My cousin Kim recently turned 50. She has become physically fit and taken up rock climbing. She goes caving most weekends with pals. She divorced about a year ago. Their kids left the nest, and they turned around and had nothing in common. I was prepared to talk trash about his girlfriend; but, my cousin was interested in having an amical divorce. She did not see the need to argue it out.

Kim is a remarkable person in that she can sell almost anything. Where she lives, tourism is a big part of the economy. She has had antique and used item stores. One big maxim is that objects that sell need to fit in a car of a vacationer.

She has been making home-made soap and now has a store selling her products. She also sells soaping supplies to people who love to make soap. My mom has made soap which people liked. It is great for those with skin problems because the soap truly was chemical free.

Kim also has a YouTube channel with many soaping instructions and tips. You'll need to look it over to get an idea what you are interested in. There is more than soap-making discussed.

Kim's YouTube Channel          Kim's website that sells soaps and some supplies for making soap

Surprised at the activity in the soaping world, I am proud of her efforts. But I don't want to do any rock climbing or crawling through any caves.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Willie Maude Flies Again

It has been a crazy week. Doctor's appointments galore, I bought a new car, grocery shopping, etc. I know you all want to know about the clean-up on aisle nine at the local Kroger.

What! How did one of my 484 1/2 pictures of my new car get here?

I feel a mixture of pride and sheer terror in getting it paid for. Being able to travel without fear of breaking down is wonderful.

My sister picked the dark blue color of our new vehicle. My dad had a dark blue 1941 Ford he called Willie Maude when he was dating my mother and they first married. The car was lost in a head-on collision with a drunk driver in 1954.

The drunk driver had purchased a brand new car and was celebrating with passengers in the vehicle. The driver was killed instantly. I don't know the fate of the others. My grandmother was killed in my dad's car. My dad was hospitalized and recovered.

Dad had a lot of regret and depression over the tragedy throughout his life. One time, he started to talk about you have guilt when you get older. He stopped immediately. He smiled his jovial smile and said I was too young to hear that. I was about 18. It didn't make sense to me. He was not at fault. Now I know when something bad happens. It is as hard to stop replaying in your mind how things could have happened and avoided the tragedy.

For years I thought my family had contributed to my sister's confused thinking and schizophrenia. I know now we did not understand the problem or the disease. Education has helped us. The weakest link in her health care is her psychiatric treatment. She has Medicare and we use the public facility because they are actually better than private care.

No criticism is intended. Her disease is complicated in that medical treatment was not that great when she was diagnosed in 1983. Medication has improved by leaps and bounds but there is still a long way to go. There is prejudice toward mental illness that many sufferers and their families hide as much as a consequence. We do it too. If there was more of a push toward diagnosis and treatment, there would be much better treatment today. So many would live much more productive lives.

This past week, my sister went to her scheduled appointment. There was a new office worker who told her that she had no appointment and her name was not in the system. My sister's reaction was reasonable. She says, "What about my medicine?" The office worker had the look, I don't care. I knew that it would be a waste to discuss it with her.

I tell my sister, "It's OK, we'll go to the Warner Robins office." She talks to the psychiatrist remotely with a computer screen at the Fort Valley office. I always felt an in person meeting would be better. Besides if we hurry to Warner Robins, we would be on time for the appointment there.

In Warner Robins, we had to wait about thirty minutes. They told me that she was not dropped and to just call Fort Valley to get a new appointment.

It wasn't that easy. I spoke to the same person who said the appointment was canceled and she said she could do nothing for us. We would have to apply for services. I asked to speak to someone above her. I spoke to the office manager. She repeated the same thing. I asked about the medicine refills. She said, she didn't understand why that was a problem.

She started to detour with it was not her fault. I tell her I know it is not her fault. I know better than let the problem become a battle of personalities. She repeats the blank response that she did not know why my sister not seeing the psychiatrist could cause her medicine not be refilled until after she sees a psychiatrist would be a problem. She also tells me that my sister can not see a psychiatrist until late January or early February.

She also tells me that my sister was dropped because she did not return within 90 days of her May 14 appointment. The doctor had given her a six month gap for her next appointment. The earliest they could schedule the appointment was December 11th. I told her we had no control. They made the appointments. If we had been told, we would have come in before 90 days were over.

She does tell me we can come at 8 am and they can possibly work us in to allow her to sign up for services and speak with a therapist. In my mind I am thinking we have to take whatever. My sister's primary care physician would hopefully not let her down. He would understand that coming off her medicine would be difficult for her and these medicines do not always work when you take them, stop and then resume taking them later.

Yes I did rattle the rickety sabre that we will contact an attorney. We are desperate but know one harsh word and we will be kicked out or hung up on.

We are also lucky in that our primary care physician Dr. Michael Early Jr and his nurse practitioner Christina Johnson are true heroes in this world. They are good at what they do and they do take good care of their patients.

We arrive at 7:45 am with photocopies of the original appointment. I give a copy to the receptionist when we apply for services. She gives us a stack of forms to fill out which we do. After turning the forms in, we wait about 15 minutes for their one electronic question recorders. We sit together and fill that out. About 9 or 9:30, we see the therapist.

The therapist gets information from my sister to create a treatment plan.  She is kind enough to say the facility made a mistake. She arranges for my sister to meet with the nurse following her appointment. The nurse does her job.

The facility has the best of people working there. Some policies and the people that enforce them make health care very difficult for very fragile people. I read a notice that if someone is 10 minutes late for an appointment, the appointment is canceled and has to be remade. It is a problem when people are late. However, do they see people promptly. We have sat waiting for several hours.

The nurse directs the receptionist to make an appointment for my sister. The receptionist tells her she can't because she does not have a photocopy of my sister's social security card. The nurse directs her to make it anyway. For the record, she has a photocopy of my sister's driver's license, health insurance card and the actual social security number. We got an appointment for December 31st at 8:30 am in Warner Robins. You could tell she was glad we weren't going to be back there.

The irony is we had not been rude. I did threaten to let an attorney advocate for my sister. I did tell her it was not her we were after, we wanted reasonable, prompt treatment for my sister. This is what the big tragedy for people suffering mental illness. These individuals are blamed or treated as if they did not matter.

This receptionist makes maybe $10 an hours. She is probably happy to have the job and it's benefits. She earns her money. She does not have the personal skills or experience to show some compassion. She has been directed to tell people to leave without appointments.

Insurance does not always address a patient's needs. My mother and I supplement my sister's treatments. My dad paid a $4000 hospital bill in 1983. My mom's rehab for a broken hip was twice as long in the hospital in 2004 and cost $6700 for insurance.

I can't complain in that a mistake was made and there is an attempt to have the problem fixed. When I returned with the social security card at 3:50 PM, there was a sign saying they were closed on that day for a meeting in Warner Robins. I was not told they would leave before the normal 5 PM close time. They do have a lunch time where no one works the reception area.

There is a nervousness the appointment will not happen. I go to the nurse practitioner on Thursday for my own healthcare. I'll mention the problem about Julia to her. We have extra medicine. We get her medications filled as soon as we can and deliberately accumulate extra for situations like this.

My sister and I got back in the car at 10:46 and decided to go home to eat lunch before picking up the new vehicle then deliver the social security card. My brother was thrilled when we picked him up with the new vehicle. He is the first to comment that it looks like the Willie Maude. He loves antique cars and motorcycles.

When we return home, a hawk flies in view of our driveway. I laugh and say that that is dad. He must like the new car. We talk about the Willie Maude. I suggest we should call this car the Willie Mae. My mom says, We should call it the Willie Maude too!

So the Willie Maude flies again. We all got regret, things we wish could have been done over, things we wish never happened. If we are lucky, we get up and go.

For everyone who suffers mental illness, it is important to recognize that so many do not get treatment because it is difficult to get. Legally in the United States, we have healthcare facilities that are supposed to deliver services on demand. But having to fill out all those forms and following a set of rules that are demanding for someone like me who has post graduate college degrees may be why that person that scares you is speaking to an imaginary person and not working.

The longer a person is psychotic or in a confused state, the more difficult the person's recovery is. There are more than 80,000 people diagnosed with schizophrenia and 150,000 people diagnosed with Bi-Polar in the state of Georgia.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Dreams are good

Topics seem scarce for me. I'm not depressed. The troubles of the world hover too close. 

I read a title to a blogpost that disappointed me. At first I was not going to read it. I live amongst too many folks who can have those opinions. Humbly, I say they can't see past their nose. I decided to read the post because I like the blogger. I was delighted he did not have the opinion of the post title.

You have to be careful about hopping to conclusions. Sometimes you are wrong, sometimes you need to understand why a person feels the way they do. I used to assume people did or thought things because of what had happened to them. I no longer feel that is always the case. Sometimes people are mentally ill, evil or careless.

A friend posted this

Supposedly you have a chance to win a month's stay in a castle in France. Meanwhile you market the dreams and a money maker for a young couple, smart kids.

Dreams are good.

As an American, I don't know what our attraction is for castles and knights and the round table of King Arthur. As a woman, I would be jealous of Queen Guinevere. To be ordinary is a lot to be thankful for but not enough for all the attention someone so beautiful, so witty, so charming would hold.

I think of writing a play around a hot Queen Guinevere who is rude, crude and sometimes a little rode hard and put up wet. That would put my Prince Earl Eugene in his place. Oh man, he would still have the hots for her and brag how he likes a woman with sass. Then I would have a subplot where I deal with women need to be on the roundtable. A group of only men is for fairy tales only.

This is my perception of Europe. I admire how smart they are. I don't like them noticing how stupid we can be. I know they are not always right. I like the idea of my roots being European. Then I realize that we are descended from the malcontents, poor, disaffected, prisoners and religious fanatics. Then there is a whole another category of ancestors coming from Africa, Asia or Indigenous to North or South America.

But Americans are all cool with castles and Kingdoms where Justice and Mercy were always fair and plentiful. A little hazy history is good for us all. It rates right up there with the romanticism of so much in the past that never existed. I would make a list but you probably have your own.

My big question would be "Is it haunted?". I would like the haints to be friendly. I do scare easily. However, what is the use of an old castle if you don't have the past busy talking to the present. The castle is in France. Why did folks put the French flag on their Facebook profile? We love the French.

And for those who don't love the French. Just fancy I win the free stay. I will spend October brushing up on my high school French. Being a senior citizen, you can just imagine the misery of being polite to this senior American speaking horribly unintelligible French with too damn much to say. Who knew I had the potential to be a leading Volgan poet.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Chilling with the Duke

I'm getting too much help with the theme of my novel. I'm writing about guilt, resolution and evil. I don't even have to go to outer space or a dystopian future. It's here and now.

I've been thinking about meme's for those of us who don't want to hear the political bile come 2016. They need to be funny. Unfortunately, I've chosen a team. This is why in the primaries, I think everyone should vote for the democrat and republican nominees so we get a little more mainstream.

I have read about people unfriending people on Facebook about politics. How can you unfriend someone you sat in a history class with 40 years ago in school or knew your cousin Sue or thought they knew you or you made a friend request accidently when snooping their page and they approved.

Just saying.

BoDuke on the lookout
My sister worked by a woman who was very fearful of demons and demonic entities attacking her. I am the religious sort. I certainly would not want her problem. I have always felt God was more powerful. Besides, I have always felt the biggest devils we would face in our lives would be other people.

And Deputy BoDuke agrees,  he is always on the lookout for

Chair Hogs

Love Hogs.
Potato Chip Hogs

It's hard to find time to smell the roses.

Or Watch Nature
This old dog knows no shame.

With all the rascally dogs, good order needs to be maintained.


He absolutely detests baggy, saggy britches.

Having worn a few pair of panty hose with bad elastic in the waist, I feel like those dudes and a few dudettes are getting their just due.

I tell him to just chill. He's a good boy.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Have a better day tomorrow.

The air is laden with the calmness of rain. It did rain this morning.  Early this morning it drizzled getting into the car and out of the car at each stop of grocery shopping. When I got the last bag of groceries out, it stopped. So much for the heavy rains we were trying to avoid.

Yesterday, the clouds were fabulous. You had the fair weather cumulus puffs and high cirrus clouds warning rain. Then the dark clouds intermingled creating some serious sky artistry. There was everything imaginable in the sky from lovers to animals frolicking to cherubs on watch with somber eyes as the heavens transformed into rolling waves of dark clouds.

Anyway, tomorrow is going to be glorious. The late, mild freezes and frequent rains have delayed the leaves turning in masse. But tomorrow, the green, golds, reds, purples of autumn are going to be in their glory. I did not get a picture of the whiffs of smoky clouds on the horizon following the path of the Flint River. I've seen them numerous times but they burn off quickly.

Look hard over the center - Smoke over the Flint.
President Truman would not put air conditioning in his home in Independence, Missouri. He said God made the weather and he was not going to complain. I was late to using an air conditioner. Once you use it, you never want to stop. I contemplate solar panels for my house so I can have air conditioning if electricity gets too expensive.

Fall, winter and spring are my favorite seasons. I like the summer but the heat makes me lazy. That is my excuse. I've purchased my all access pass for the Macon Film Festival which happens in July.

The news is pretty rough. We had a mass shooting in Savannah Georgia in addition to the tragedy in San Bernardino. Three men were wounded and one woman was killed. I don't know the details. I wonder if we didn't broadcast the news of these events it might cause one of these people to not commit the atrocity. We will never know.

Why would a young couple with everything before them and a 6 month old baby girl do what they did? Didn't they want to care for their child and see her grow up. He would have been insane to think he could have gotten away with it. His wife may not have spoken English or had any means to get away from him. This is why you educate girls. If a mother reads, the likelihood of her child becoming a suicide bomber is very low in Pakistan and the Middle East.

Tomorrow is another day. I hope we all get better news. I'm not afraid of Muslims. They do have different beliefs. But the couple who committed these murders aren't Muslims no more than Mr. Dear who shot up the Planned Parenthood is a Christian. They may have the beliefs but their interpretation is skewed tragically.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Thickly Sliced Baloney From China

Who knew they made baloney in China. This originated from a NetEase email address. is one of the largest email providers in China.
I got the following in my spam folder. I know, spam is a waste in addition to comments after newspaper articles. My comments will be in Green and Red. I just can't control myself.
Mrs. Dominica Debbra Sounds like an English name on a planet far far away <> BMW LOTTERY DEPARTMENT 5070 WILSHIRE BLVD LOS ANGELES. CA 90036  I googled the address, it is a BMW dealership. I'll forward them the email as well as  NEIGHORHOOD: MID WILSHIRE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Dear Winner This is to inform you that you have been selected for a prize of a brand Could this be too good to be true. I haven't entered any contests. I haven't purchased anything.


 Zephyr is a soft, peaceful breeze. And I thought it had to be an imaginary animal. For many of you, we will not meet again until the next A...