photo by Sheri Dixon

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Some People Just Set An Alarm Clock

So we're minding our own business, enjoying "Up With Chris Hayes" this morning and I cannot fail to notice that Chris isn't there. Also that in the background was some sort of cartoon character looking in the imaginary window behind the faux-host.

OK, maybe I had just woken up and was still a little fuzzy.

A lot fuzzy.

My POINT is that one of the guests was someone from the Tea Party Express. Unlike (Name any show on FOX. Any of 'em.) "Up With Chris Hayes" is a round table discussion with both or all sides of an issue involved and they actually, yanno, listen to the opposing side with respect and politeness.

Weird. I know.

Almost like it's an actual discussion of ideas and not just a big ol' circle-jerk "lets show those dummies who don't think like us a thing or two and then kick 'em off the air when they start making sense".


They had a spokesperson there from the Tea Party Express.


For realsies.

The topic was the fiscal cliff debacle.

Her assertion was that we need to address the deficit, and that we need to do it not by just discretionary spending cuts but that we need to also look at 'entitlements'.
And that one of the biggest most dangerous entitlements out there will be the implementation of 'Obamacare'.

Those on the TV round table were respectful and though they didn't agree with her, they didn't verbally smack her upside the head.

The woman in our bed, barely not even out from under the covers, was not so kind. Ward has gotten used to weekend morning tirades (muffled a bit by quilts and flannel sheets) issuing forth from my side of the bed before, "Good morning, Gomez...I need coffee".

"Yes. Lets look at entitlements- lets start with the tax breaks for the very wealthy, move onto huge sums of cash thrown at already-obscenely bloated corporations and banks and then lets look at the goddamn military budget and finish up by TAXING THE CHURCHES!!! DEFICIT SOLVED!!!"

*Commercial break*

Generally, the commercial break is when I have a chance to catch my breath, do a little more waking up and the dogs are able to unclench their paws from terror and settle back onto the pillows and into that nice warm spot in the bend of my legs.

Not today.

Some financial company's idea of an excellent marketing strategy was to show a man (sort of a hispanic-looking man, but we will overlook that for now) on his first day at a restaurant. As a bus boy.

It states that this man goes from his first paycheck (as a BUS BOY, remember) to a financial consultant and sets up a plan for his future.

It shows pretty cleverly, by changing his hats and clothing and background around him while he remains standing in one place his rise from bus boy, to waiter, to chef, to restaurant owner to retired comfortably well-off old guy.

On accounta his wise investment choices from all those years.

As if all anyone needs to do is follow point A to point B and so on and everything will work out OK.

And juxtaposed next to the Tea Party Express chick talking about "entitlements" just hit me all kinds of wrong.

Because here's what she's saying and what the commercial is saying and what I've been hearing from the conservative side for damn ever now-

"If you 'just' follow the right course and do the right things, you will succeed. This is America- if you do not succeed it's your own damn fault and you must be lazy and therefore do not deserve any help."

Except that's bullshit.

Does that reasoning take into account any of the million or so things that happen to a family over the course of a lifetime? Things like abuse, divorce, cancer, job loss through company closure, car accidents, ANYTHING LIKE THAT?

No. It does not.

Life is not simple or straightforward.

People who go through it with no bumps in the road are not blessed, or have not chosen any more wisely than anyone else. They've just been damn lucky.

Nothing more and nothing less.

It's a crap shoot.

And that's the reason a civil society SHOULD be set up to care for those who need it, instead of shaming them into disappearing off of the radar in despair and hopelessness.

Because in a world of odds, the odds are much greater of needing help someday than being what our sick, twisted society calls 'a winner'.

The dogs skittered back to the far reaches of the king sized bed again in reaction to the muffled cursing coming out from under the covers.

I threw back the quilt, kissed Ward on the head, said, "Good morning, Gomez...I need coffee" and headed first to pee, then to get my coffee cup.

Ahhh....another day begins.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Danger- Parts Not Securely Attached

I'm getting old.

I think I've mentioned that before, but I can't remember.

Because I'm getting old.

Yanno, I don't really mind most of it. Most of it is actually pretty cool.

I don't mind the wrinkles- they remind me of the smile lines around my grandmother's eyes.

I'm making peace with the fact that I'll never weigh 125 pounds again, and am shooting for 130 135 140 and will call it good.

I ache and pain and move slower than I used to. It sort of sucks that I can't leap out of bed in a single bound and I'm not as...limber as I used to be.

I don't despair at the gray hair. My Youthful Hair wasn't any color to write home about.

But I'm pretty sure I've already discussed all this here.

Pretty sure.

Here's what I'm (almost) positive I haven't shared, but have been goaded into action by the bravery of a fellow blogger discussing some personal yet apparently universal shit on her own blog.

The one thing I cannot abide about getting old is the crap that gravity has done.

Here's why I'm gonna share this. Not because it's time for a TMI moment, although it'll clearly be TMI for most readers.

*No- I'm not posting a photo of my kidney stone...again.

Back about a decade ago, shit started falling out.

I'd never heard of such a thing.

They did some surgery that tucked back in and tacked up front and back innards and removed my uterus...since I wasn't using it anymore anyhow.

While they were in there they scraped out (most of) the endometriosis that had become bothersome, if the definition of 'bothersome' is "severe pain every month from the bleeding into the abdominal cavity" that was going on. I haven't looked it up, but I'm pretty sure that's what Webster says it is.

This all took about 6 hours and 2 doctors and the recovery was grueling as hell and long as winter. At my 6 week check up I was still in jammies and my entire abdomen was so bruised it was black. It was 3 years before I could wear blue jeans again.

Unfortunately, other than the uterus, all that shit is once again falling out.

I was told it was on accounta gravity.

I was told it was because I actually, yanno...DO STUFF like lifting and so forth.

The doctor asked if I was going to continue hauling 50# feed sacks and wrestling goats and I said, "Hell, yes."

He said, "Well, then I'm not going to re-do the surgery because you'll just ruin it again".

I told him that's not a problem because there's no FUCKING WAY I was letting him near me with a scalpel again no-how.

But here's what I wonder.

My great-grandmothers all worked their asses off. They all lived to be within sight of or went beyond having 100 candles on their birthday cakes.

And they all died with their parts still inside 'em.

More and more women I talk to of my age (and remember, my age was early 40's when this all happened) are complaining of having their parts falling out and needing surgery.

What the hell happened?

Are human beings made with cheaper parts than they used to be?

Here's the only thing I can think of.

Women of my generation grew up in the "Drink a shit-load of milk for good health, kids!" marketing of America's dairy industry.

The cows were being given hormones to increase milk production.

Any woman who has breastfed an infant and tried feeding a few hours after consuming broccoli, or onions, or Mexican food will assure you that everything ingested by the mother will be transferred via breastmilk to the baby. That's why they have that big warning sign in the ladies room in every restaurant that serves alcohol. Although by the time you need to pee, you've already consumed alcohol.

Cow's udders are big mammalian breasts and human children who consume that milk are drinking everything that cow has eaten or has been fed (or injected with). That's why if you're worming or medicating a dairy animal it says in big letters how long to withhold the milk for consumption, meaning, "Dump it out and don't let anything drink this because it's full of the shit you just medicated the cow with and that might be...bad for something else".

I think my generation of women have falling parts because our mothers (unknowingly) gave us whopping constant daily doses of hormones while we were growing up.

But I'm just a crazy old lady, what the hell do I know?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Of Politics and Powdered Sugar

I love sugar cookies. Hate making 'em. Love eating 'em.

Lest you have visions of perfectly decorated wonders of baked confectionary, lemme put your mind at ease.

We don't have cookie cutters. I use a juice glass to cut out circles. No stars, no Santa's, no bells and no reindeer with ridiculous skinny antlers and legs that always burn before the body is baked.

They get baked, frosted and sprinkled.

My kids have always done the sprinkling.

On accounta they think it's fun and I don't wanna do it. it's a touching holiday tradition that everyone will always remember fondly.

So Alec's been sprinkling cookies since he was about 3.

From age 3 through about age 7, the sprinkles are tapped onto a plate and the cookies placed face-down in them for a second. Otherwise, all the sprinkles are gone after that first cookie.

Yesterday was my designated baking day. I started at 10:30am and finished up about midnight, with a few breaks to feed critters and ourselves interspersed.

I baked pumpkin cake bars, chocolate chip cookie bars, turtle bars...see a pattern here? I love smearing dough into a pan, sticking it in the oven and being DONE in one fell swoop.

About 8pm I could no longer put it off. The sugar cookies awaited.

Valiantly I decided to get out the star shaped cutter...just for fun. I cut out the stars, arranged them on the cookie sheet and popped 'em in the oven.

7 minutes later I took out...what resembled a herd of free-floating amoebas.

I tossed the cookie cutter into the sink and got out the juice glass.

I only burned one batch beyond recognition. I'm pretty sure that's a record for me.

They were all baked and cooled- about 7 dozen of 'em by 11pm.

Rationally, I would've waited till this morning to frost 'em. Realistically, my almost 13 year old son was awake and alert at 11pm. The same would not have been true this morning.

So we decorated.

I frosted and passed 'em to Alec.

I glanced over at him taking great care with the first cookie. Carefully, gently, precisely he placed ONE sugar sprinkle in the center of the cookie.

"Son? What the hell is that???"

"It's minimalist."


(Can you hear the carols in the background?)

A few dozen in, I noticed a cookie with red sprinkles on one side and blue on the other. *sigh*


"It's an ideological statement of the American political cookie form".

This is the same kid who opened his Wednesday night frozen dinner because mom goes to watch a movie with Joe thusly-

"HEY! There used to be 2 enchiladas in these dinners! Now there's only 1! That goddamn Obama!"

He is definitely Ward's son.

Wishing all of you a Christmas filled with weird-ass moments that you can use against your offspring for years to come.

Because that's the Magic of Family.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Anti-Regulation Americans, My Fellow Americans

Yanno what would really be a big help to our country right now?

It would be a big help if every time the phrase "gun legislation" comes up you wouldn't start foaming at the mouth and screaming "NO ONE IS TAKING MY GUNS!"

Because honestly? Very, very few people want all yer damn guns- even in the wake of such a horrific tragedy.

I would consider it a tremendous favor if you could stop hollering "GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE- PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE!"

Especially when your leader gets up in front of god and everybody and says "Violent video games and movies killed those children". (I can't remember if that was before or after the douchebag-supremo comment about "You know who stops bad guys with guns? Good guys with guns" and offering the illegal as hell, vigilante services of his own private militia to protect our children. No thanks, asshole.)

It would be great if you didn't read or listen to someone who gives 'street cred' to their comments in favor of regulations of firearms- credentials like being members of the NRA, or being current or former active duty military, or being current or former law officers, or just having grown up hunting with their dads and granddads- things that show they DON'T hate guns...but since they utter ONE word in favor of tightening gun ownership regulations you scream, "HE'S NOT A 'GUN GUY'- HE'S A TOOL FOR THE LIBERAL AGENDA".

It would be awesome if you didn't insist that the MAIN REASON for the un-registered and un-traceable armaments you've got stored up secretly is so you- the Armed Citizens- can band together and overthrow a tyrannical government and its nefarious plans.


When ya'll gonna start???

When Wall St. tanks the economy?

When Monsanto poisons all of us??

When foreign companies take American land for a pipeline that won't do a damn thing for America???

Oh, wait- TOO FUCKING LATE on all counts!!!

And when American citizens- hundreds of thousands of 'em- mothers, fathers, veterans, children and grandparents, took to the streets to protest those very-real dangers to everyone's life, liberty and justice ya'll sat on yer guns and growled, "Damn dirty hippies- they need to take a shower and get a job".

Leaving me to deduce that the only tyranny MOST 'gun guys' are worried about is from SOMEONE THREATENING TO TAKE THEIR DAMN GUNS.

It pisses me (an American citizen, remember) way the hell off when I can't have a rational discussion about the 2nd Amendment and its INTERPRETATION- because the anti-regulation people will NOT listen to anything but how THEIR interpretation is correct and everyone else can get fucked.

On accounta it's sort of in MY constitution as well.

It REALLY pisses me off (still being an American citizen) when I'm told "IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE CONSTITUTION- GET THE HELL OUT OF AMERICA".

Because I do like the constitution just fine, thank you. And I happen to love America (again- MY country, too) and it angers me to see it turn into a dangerous third world shit-hole (you know- like you say the rest of the world is...but it's not).

And just like the bible is interpreted in many different ways, so is the US Constitution. By Americans.

Like me.

Who live in America and love it just as deeply and strongly as you do.


We live in a democracy. That means that

-NO, we will NOT use the holy bible as our book of law- that would be a THEOCRACY


-NO, we will NOT allow your perceived "Right" to own an un-registered weapon that's sole purpose is to kill a lot of people in a short amount of time to stand in the way of, I dunno- my right to NOT BE KILLED BY YOUR DAMN GUN or one just like it. Because thinking that THAT is freedom is not democracy, either. It's lunacy.

No other civilized country in the world has such lax regulations on firearms- none. And yet not a one of them has a fraction of the crime, the violence, the incarceration rate that we do. It's not because they're oppressed and their freedoms are stifled. It's because they don't have the same weapons fetish the NRA has foisted on the American gun culture since the mid '70's.

Before then, the NRA was PRO-regulation. It was a hunter support and training organization. You won't see a single mention of the 2nd Amendment in their monthly magazine till then.

Yes. 50 years. Not 200 years. That's how long Americans have screamed "2ND AMENDMENT RIGHTS- TAKE MY GUNS OUT OF MY COLD DEAD HAND!" It's a marketing ploy.

Just like "In God We Trust" and "One Nation Under God" was added to our currency and Pledge in the '50's. During the Red Scare. Not 200 years ago.

And it's worked fabulously. We have a nation of apparently amnesia-ridden religious zealot, heavily armed gun fanatics. Hooray.

I refuse to get into a semantics pissing match about how "when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns" because see above about NO ONE WANTS ALL YOUR DAMN GUNS.

I'm sorry, really sorry that you feel like your personal arsenal will someday wing the USA to freedom, that somehow you've fought tooth and nail to preserve what you feel is a god-given right (funny, because god's not in the constitution, either).

IF the 2nd Amendment guarantees citizens to own the same weapons as the military (which it doesn't) then we all need drones and missile launchers and tanks. Because no way anything you got will be able to stand against the wimpiest thing the US military can toss your way.

Just ask (fill in the blank with the name of any nation we've bombed the shit out of for no good reason).

IF there's really a conspiracy to get the entire planet on a one-world order ticket to slavery and submission, whatever you got will not stop it. I suggest that you've been feeding that beast by buying up all those weapons and ammo since most of the gun manufacturers are owned by just one or two corporations.

They're LETTING you have them. They're encouraging you to buy them and pocketing your money. When it's no longer profitable for you to have them, they'll come and take them. With the flick of a switch, America can be without fuel, power, internet, water. How are you going to fight THAT?

IF there's really a conspiracy so that "every time gun legislation comes up there just 'happens' to be a mass shooting and isn't that strange?" I've got horrible and chilling news for you. Who profits most from such a tragedy? The liberals? The gun control lobby? Or whoever gets all the cash from the run on all guns and ammo when the call goes out to "GET IT WHILE YOU STILL CAN!!!"?

Stop feeding the beast.

Stop feeding the main beast who is not the NRA, not the government, not the CIA and not the goddamn liberal patchouli-smelling hippies.

The main beast is fear.

Fear breeds division, hatred, suspicion, insanity. We're there, in case you haven't noticed.

You are my fellow Americans. I am your fellow American.

This is OUR country.

Don't listen to the man behind the curtain who hisses, "ANY REGULATION IS THE BEGINNING OF THE SLIPPERY SLOPE INTO SLAVERY! LIVE FREE OR DIE!"

We're a democracy. Looks to me like a whole lot of us want to be at least as civilized as the rest of the world...and this is OUR country, too.


OUR side is not telling YOUR side to hand us all your guns. We're not. Listen to US and not FOX News, not World Net Daily, not the NRA and for gawd's sake not that ridiculous Alex Jones. That way madmen lie and madness lies.

Our original Pledge of Allegiance was a thing of beauty, and it's what I personally recite when people all around me at some event put their hands over their hearts and stare at the flag. It was written by a Baptist minister, who PURPOSELY left out any mention of god. It's simple, and powerful, and perfect

I pledge allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
And To the republic
For which it stands
One nation
With liberty and justice for all.

We're divided, ya'll. It's only taken 60 years or so to crush this nation from within. God and Guns.

Those two clarion calls those on the Right hold so dear are flat NOT supposed to be what they are right now.

They were NOT what they are right now when the founding fathers penned the constitution.

We are living the collapse the founders feared.

And we're being told that it's from a lack of the very things that will be our destruction.

Put down the bible. Lay down the gun. Stand up for America.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

...Till the End of Time

Which is tomorrow, if our Mayan friends are to be believed.

Of course, not really. The actual translation is "end of the age" meaning a NEW age is coming.

But lets just consider the alternative for a sec.

Because a lot of folks are actually preparing for the End of the World, be it financial collapse, terrorist attack, EMP, meteor, zombies...whatever.

All very serious stuff (except the zombies- that's just stoopid) and so the SERIOUS preppers tend to be really...serious.


They hoard the food and dig the shelters and plan for a really lackluster grueling existence after _________________________ happens. I guess their theory is at least they'll still be alive.

Here's what I think, and what I was thinking about over a glorious weekend in October.

We were at a 'homesteaders' reunion- some 15 or so of us from all over the country. A small group, to be sure. Cozy, if you will.

The surroundings were idyllic, the weather perfection.

Ah, but the company.

Every one of us knows how to grow stuff, how to cook stuff over a fire. Most of us know how to kill and prepare meat. We're all frugal as all get-out and generous to a fault. No knowledge is secret and the more who know how to do shit the better it is for everyone.

We're all more than passable campers not as a test of how tough we are, but because it's a way to be closer to Mother Nature.

Not a one of us is too good to pee in an outhouse.

Some do not own weapons, some own and use guns and some are adept at all sorts of scary shit...yet I trust the life of my family with each and every one of them.

We have several honeybee whisperers.

More than a few are really gifted vintners.

There was music being played on guitars, banjos and dulcimers, a belt-busting array of homemade from scratch food (not an MRE in sight), and absolutely never-ending laughter.

Not because of the wine, or because we're all blooming idiots who have no idea how horrifyingly dangerous the world is or how genuinely fucked up society is.

But because we know. We're not God's golden children. I'd wager that every single one of us has been kicked in the teeth by life more than a few times- some pretty severely.

We know that just the act of being alive isn't enough.

That it's not bravery to sequester yourself away from everyone and everything in some desperate attempt at security.

The truly brave don't push away because they might get hurt or worse.

The truly brave face the world and welcome it in.

They don't hide behind God, or fear, or prejudice.

This is OUR world, and we will not be afraid in it.

In my mind I hear the music, and the birds, feel the soft autumn breeze, smell the coffee and the breakfast being made, can see each truly beloved face on the long wooden porch, mentally add the rest of my family and every single homesteader we've met from Canada to Mexico and LA to DC (it's a REALLY big porch- for real) and I know-

These are the people I want to spend the end of the world with.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dante's Inferno? A Day at the Damn Park

What will it take?

I can't get the sound of crying out of my ears- my own.

I can't get the shards of sanity to re-knit, my own and my country's.

I can't.

What will it take?

It's too soon to talk, too soon to decide, the edges of our reason are too sharp, too volatile.

It's too late to talk, too late to act, too hideously horrifyingly fucking late.

Why? The word, three little letters explode from my brain and pummel my consciousness over and over and over again.

Why not? A tiny cold and fatigued answer echoes in my head.

Why not?

Babies die every day, every where, every place deaths just as awful (as if the death of babies is ever not...awful).

We are a violent society, a sick society, we're acting out in very unnatural ways to a very unnatural life that we've embraced en masse, welcoming the cancer of our twisted visions of progress and rejoicing in the smothering of our spirits.

FIX IT! every fiber in my motherly being screams.

Fix it. Make it stop. Let me stop thinking about mothers who will never hold their children again, not just here and now but all those before and all who will come after. Let me stop thinking.

Let me never forget. The moments I stop thinking about it are followed by tidal waves of nauseous reminders, survivors' guilt, shame.

How? Another tiny word oozes like blood down my brow, gets in my eyes, burns and burns.

How did it happen? How did 'they' let it happen? Every person involved from the moment of that young man's birth-

How did our society fail him? How did we WE WE not see, not recognize how sick we are and how we contaminate everything and everyone with the sickness of us.

How did we fail his mother? How?


How do we make sure it never happens again? Any where to any one. Ever.

Cold as ice the answer comes, hard as steel and sharp as glass...we can't.

Life is not pre-ordained or orderly. It's a messy, terrible, wonderful brilliant crap shoot. We are all tiny fragile specks whirling together alone on a microscopic rock plummeting through space.

So we can't.

But we CAN look at every aspect of this thing we call 'civilization' and figure out why the hell it's everything EXCEPT civil.

How the hell did we get here? What were we thinking? Why did we lose our humanity so eagerly, lemmings over a cliff we fall and fall.

It's a daunting and grueling proposition, and will mean everyone everywhere will have to be willing to listen more than talk, to give more than take, to offer much and demand nothing

Not "life as *I* want it" but "life with liberty and justice for ALL".

It involves so much more than placing a lethal yoke on all the teachers in the country, in the world, the same tools of death used to kill babies in an insane gesture of false safety.

More than collecting all the guns and destroying them- we are sick and the illness itself needs to be cured or we're just masking the symptoms.

More than re-evaluating everything from our unofficial but very real caste system, our stifling and violent religious dogmas, our brain-numbing technology, our family-destroying schedules in our quest to be 'successful people'.

More than the foods we eat and the air we breathe, the medicines we take to make us better when we're not ill, we're just human but our society no longer values that in a person.

We must, as an entire planet, STOP.

We must call in 'human' and not participate anymore in the madness.

Since Friday morning I've had chest pains. I go to bed early and rise late and rise exhausted and every muscle stiff and sore from not relaxing them even in fitful slumber.

I'm afraid.

I'm afraid that we can't do it.

I'm afraid of what would happen if we did do it.

Think of the societal breakdown, the people who would resist- cling to their old ways and ideals and beliefs, clutching their fiery totems ever closer as the flames engulfed them.

But we're already there- our culture gangrenous and rotting around us and we either do something NOW or die.

There are people (many people) who will say I'm overreacting. I'm upset. I'm over-wrought. This has been a trying few days, but...


Exactly what will it take before We the People of the Planet Earth demand our humanity back?

Exactly how many children lying dead all over the world will it take?

We're soaked in their blood. All of us, soaked in their blood. And it burns.

More strength. Less force.

The time to be human is now.

Friday, December 14, 2012

All I know

All I know is that we are sick
We're sick with fear
Sick with worry
Sick with fatigue

Sick to death.

Our children drugged
To make them manageable
Then schooled
To "just say no".

Our old people
In "homes"
After being dragged
From their own.

Everyone fed
Food that's been poisoned
For safety.

We're overweight
We're overworked

We're afraid
So afraid
Of each other.

We blame the weak
Defend the strong
And never think
We're all weak

Hate anyone different
But we're all different
To someone.

The answer is more family
Less peer pressure

More real food
Less fast food

More love
Less hate

More humanity
Less religion

More community
For everyone
Less segregation
For any reason

More nurturing
Less violence

Until we learn that
No amount of gasoline
Will extinguish a fire

We'll burn
And burn

You don't fight fire
With fire
More water
Less gasoline

Hold your loved ones tight
Tonight as their shield
And work for a tomorrow
Where shields are

More strength
Less force

More strength
Less force

More strength
Less force

The cure for violence
Is not more weapons

More healing
Less sickness

I'm sick to death
With how sick we are

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Difference Between Price and Cost

Saw on the news that yet again, some idiot bought himself a gun- a 9mm something or other handgun, very manly and all- to 'protect his family', went to put it in the glove box of his car (which is a really stupid place to keep it, btw- kinda like a woman keeping hers in her purse) and it went off

killing his 7 year old son.

I am beyond sad, beyond pissed, beyond infuriated at this shit.

How many lives will need to be lost FUCKING NEEDLESSLY in the name of "freedom and protection of the 2nd Amendment"???

No one want to take away the guns. Just like no one wants to take away cars.

But in order to have a car, you must register it and it must be inspected for safety- because it's going to be on the road with a mess of other cars and to protect everyone else and yourself, you need to show that your car works right and will not cause any wrecks.

In order to drive a car, you need to get a damn driver's license to show that you can work the thing correctly because it's a huge chunk of metal filled with gasoline on wheels and it could hurt someone if you don't know how.

What the fuck?

In order to HUNT- you need a license, or you're a poacher and the NRA hates those.

If you are under 18 and want a license, you have to take Hunter Safety courses to be sure you know how to use your gun without killing your father or friends out in the woods.

What the fuck?

The same crowd who screams that it's A-OK to make people have voter ID's to cast a ballot because "even to rent a video you need to show proper ID" have a damn apoplectic fit if you say one word about registering guns and requiring people to show proficiency in using an item whose ONLY purpose is to put a hole in something/someone and make it dead.

What the fuck?

It's not a slippery slope to anywhere, you dumbasses.

What kind of pit is that father now in, never to be able to crawl out of?

It's not "freedom" to be able to walk into Walmart or a sporting goods store, prove that you've been clever enough to avoid being convicted of a felony, and walk out with a gun you have no fucking idea how to use.

It's lunacy.

Don't give me that crap about "Guns don't kill people, people kill people".

Because yes- a gun did just kill a 7 year old boy. And thousands of other people just in this country every damn year.

What the hell would it hurt for everyone to have to complete the same course now required to carry concealed before purchasing a gun?

What the hell would it hurt for everyone getting a hunting license to complete a hunter safety course?

Would people still get killed accidentally? Yep. But not nearly as many, I guarandamntee it.

Would the bad guys still be able to get guns? Of course they would. They always will. But what the hell would it hurt to make sure law-abiding citizens were not more dangerous to be around than the bad guys? Seriously.

Americans' ease in obtaining and owning weapons is NOT making us safer- it's not.

We have a hugely violent society, a horrifying amount of gun deaths both accidental and with intent and the largest percentage of our population incarcerated of any 1st world nation on the planet.

Yes, on the news you see every morning in the big cities- how many dead overnight, and people are afraid. What you don't hear is that 99.9% of those are not random acts of violence. That doesn't excuse the violence, but it does bring it into balance. Joe or Jane Average does NOT need to be armed to be safe.

Without proper training, Joe or Jane Average stands a huge possibility of
a) being shot with their own weapon by Billy Bad Guy who takes it from them
or much more likely
b) killing little Dick and Susie Average- their own children.

I have guns. They're tools. So I'm not anti-gun.

I'm anti-"any fucking idiot with cash at a gun show can buy whatever the hell he/she wants to from a private party without any background check whatsoever".

I'm anti-"NO regulations because that's the first step to disarming us".

I've worked in the veterinary field for most of my life and the first thing I learned was you can't reverse dead.

It happens in a heartbeat and cannot be un-done.

Americans are killing each other every fucking day out of fear and ignorance- killing neighbors and children and all sorts of people who should not have to die, who DON'T have to die.

That's not the price of Freedom.

It's the cost of stupidity.

Monday, December 10, 2012

300th Post

What the hell have I managed to talk about for 300 posts?

Politics, family, religion, recipes, books I've read and books I've written, home and traveling, hospitals and doctors, wildlife and pets loved and lost.

Love. Always love.

I started this as an exercise. I wanted to see if I could write something even remotely worthwhile twice or ideally thrice weekly.

I failed.

I succeeded.

Sometimes simultaneously.

I've railed about politics because it matters a whole lot that the government works for the people- real people who get sick and old and lose jobs and spouses. Government doesn't need to help corporations or really wealthy people because...think about it. Seriously.

Family is uppermost and more important than anything. Family- MY family, the whole weird related by blood or absorbed by love lot of us. Every one precious and irreplaceable. Every one brilliant and funny in their own way. Every single one.

Religion annoys me. Religion is NOT of any god, anywhere- they are rules and stories made up by men with one purpose- to control a population. The whole concept of religion- calling the followers 'children', referring to the god as 'father'- all screams at keeping humans from thinking for themselves, from growing up, from evolving.

Recipes relay love in the form of food. There's a very sensual aspect to preparing food, then presenting it to loved ones- "Here- this is from me- to nourish and comfort you."

Ahhh, books. Magical things they are. Twenty six letters all arranged and rearranged over and over again to build one by one a story, an idea, a concept deciphered by the brain and stored in the heart. Books are magic.

Books I've read become part of me.

Books I've written become part of other people.

And round and round and round.

Home IS where my heart is. This home, this place, is 'it'. Everyone has somewhere they feel more at home than anywhere else in the world, and this place is mine. And I never take that for granted, not for a single solitary second. I will breathe my last breath thanking the Universe for allowing me to inhabit this place for a blink of Time's eye.

The opportunity to travel, even though we don't globe-trot, is vital to not only our son's education, but our own as well. As much as we love Home, it's very important to go out, see, meet others in other places, immerse ourselves in something other than the familiar, for only by doing that will be not be afraid of things that are different...will we be able to accept the strange and unknown as merely that- strange and unknown but not inherently evil.

The whole medical issue- hospitals, doctors, appointments, tests, stress, and all that goes along with it are necessary evils. After over a decade mired in it, I still get frustrated, still get blindsided by things I should've thought of until I remember that it's NOT MY JOB to think of it- it's someone else's and because of the number of doctors and departments involved shit gets overlooked every damn time we try to do the simplest thing.

My frustration and anger is not only for ourselves. I know that for every bullheaded nit-picker like myself there are a thousand people who say, "Well, he's the doctor- what he says must be true and how we need to proceed". How many people die because of this? Too damn many.

I do not check and double check and question every little thing because I assume they'll do the wrong thing.

But I do want to make damn sure they do the right thing.

Nature surrounds me at Home and I try to surround myself with as much Nature as I can wherever I go. Not because I'm an old hippiechick treehugger (although that's true enough) but because when I'm surrounded by natural things, I can much more easily remember my place in the Universe. It's very tiny, very fleeting, and very simple.

In the Grand Scheme of Things, I'll only be here for an instant, then I'll be recycled into something or someone else. That's Nature's Truth whether or not you believe in a god or reincarnation or nothing at all- your physical being will be absorbed back into the earth and those atoms and particles will weave themselves into another living thing. And that's better than OK. It's a Miracle.

The furry friends I've had and have remind me about the important stuff. They don't know and don't care about bills and schedules. They love me. A minute spent with me is all they ask, ever. Their attitude towards life is a shining example for me to reach for in my interactions with other humans not only in my own family, but everywhere.

I strive every day to be the person I see reflected in the eyes of my animals and family.

Which brings us back to love.

So many definitions, so many meanings, so many misunderstandings and bastardizations of one little word.

When nothing else matters but another's well-being, AND when that same feeling is reciprocated truly and without stipulations, there is love.

If it takes and takes and leaves you empty, it's not love.
If you can use it as a weapon, it's not love.
If it walks hand in hand with anxiety and jealousy, it's not love.

I have love. I do love. And I never, ever take that for granted, either.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Is the Tea Party Over?

This question has been posed ever since the election, usually with the assumption that the answer is, "YES- The Tea Party is toast, over, done, obliterated, kaput".

Well, I don't think it's quite that straightforward.

On the surface (and pretty much anywhere people aren't neck-deep in a Red State), the election seemed a huge victory for anything non-Tea Party. Not only the "big one", the victory of President Obama by a clear majority of the people and a truly overwhelming majority of the electoral votes, but almost more importantly- everywhere else.

Everywhere else.

Women gained huge inroads- the New Hampshire top slots are all female right now- governor, congresspeople and senators- all women for the first time in our history. Even Texas elected a female supreme court justice- TEXAS.

Minorities of every type won elections everywhere, and our representatives are for the very first time in our history much more...representative of America.

That's astounding.

And a very good thing.

Unless you're a Tea Partier. (I won't call them "Teabaggers" because I try not to sink to the same level of those who call our president a Kenyan Muslim Imposter Nigger in the White House)

If you're a member of the Tea Party, what happened is not a good thing, it's a very real threat. Even though every single newly-elected official who is NOT an old rich white dude has roughly 250% more in common with your average Tea Partier than any old rich white dude, that's not the point.

The POINT is that the Tea Party, which streamed into DC in '10 thinking they were the Mongol Horde and Knights on White Horses all rolled into one, was unceremoniously kicked to the curb.

Which is humiliating.

Lets re-examine the Tea Party- 100% white folks who believe that 'others' are stealing America and ruining it. Welfare mamas (who are always black in the images even though 61% of those on 'the welfare' are white), Mexicans, Gays, A-rabs, ATHEISTS are purposely ruining America and it's time to TAKE IT BACK.

That every one of the above heinous groups of people ARE AMERICAN CITIZENS is apparently immaterial.

They're big on the 2nd Amendment (their own interpretation of it, anyway) and tend to be heavily and aggressively armed (the whole "You can pry my gun out of my cold dead hands" group).

They're not so big on the 1st Amendment which states quite clearly that our country does not and never should have a national religion...meaning that at no time should our country be run under Sharia Law of Islam OR BIBLICAL LAW OF CHRISTIANITY.

They sincerely, honestly, rabidly want to "take the country back" to protect their guns and their God.

They sincerely, honestly, rabidly are happily armed and willing to wage a Righteous War in order to do so.

There's a word for's right on the tip of my tongue...oh, ya-


The Tea Party has suffered humiliation and is licking its wounds. But it's far from gone.

Remember "Blazing Saddles"? The character Mongo? Remember Gene Wilder screaming, "Don't shoot him- you'll just piss him off!"?

We've just shot Mongo.

The Tea Party is now more sure than ever that America needs them.

The Tea Party was humiliated and is pissed off and where before they were merely intent on "taking back America" from the godless, liberal, commie, socialist, niggers, spics, feminists, fags and anyone else who isn't them

NOW they need to also avenge the humiliation.

And here's the really funny part.

The Tea Party was and is funded by the very corporations that are oppressing and raping them. *I know we all know that, but apparently they still don't.

Guess who else was humiliated and amazed by the election results?

You can bet your bottom dollar that the Tea Party will have ample, unlimited funds to wreak whatever havoc they want to on the rest of us.

It started the very minute the election tipped in the direction of Obama- FOX News started hyperventilating and having goddamn seizures about "the end of traditional America". You mean the America where women and minorities are treated like shit and the big corporations call all the shots? FANFUCKINGTASTIC! About damn time!

Of course they see it a little differently.

Is the Tea Party Over?

Shit, no. They are more fanatical and dangerous than ever, and they're being prodded, goaded, wheedled and cajoled into even bigger throes of hatred.

And with the new look of the elected officials, who represent all of us while inadvertently standing for everything the Tea Partiers are willing to die and kill for, I guess their new motto will be

"Death to America".

Oh, wait.

That's been used.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Dreaded Annual Holiday Letter


Happy Holidays from sunny, warm Texas- I put up the Christmas decorations today in bare feet and a tank top- it was almost 80 and picture perfect! You’d think after growing up in Wisconsin I’d feel all nostalgic about decorating in the ice cold or freezing rain, but yanno, not really at all.

We actually had a pretty laid back year for once and that’s A-OK. No big vacations, no stressful trips to MD Anderson.

Ward’s doing great- his teeth are giving him trouble now from the radiation he had at the beginning of this whole cancer-thing, but the dental department at MD Anderson is formulating a plan to fix him right up without endangering that very precious and hard-won graft.

Alec is participating in Friday Homeschool Co-op classes in Denton, which is 6 hours of driving for 4 hours of class, but it’s well worth it. He’s taking acoustic guitar lessons and is on the Athens community center swim team, as well as still taking art class every Wednesday afternoon. He’s going to be THIRTEEN in February and has some sort of fur on his upper lip. I can barely see it since he’s several inches taller than I am now.

Erika and her husband Dave celebrated their one year anniversary and she’s still working on The Hill as a Legislative Director. After recovering from a running injury, she’s faster than ever.

Son Dave and his beautiful girlfriend Kristin got engaged…date to be determined.

Joe didn’t make his annual trip to Montana this summer because Edna got pneumonia in August, but he’s already planning for next summer. He’s started writing adventure stories and posting them on Kindle- he sells over 1,000 per month and is listed as a top #100 adventure author right along with the “big guys” whose books make the NYTimes Bestseller’s List.

Edna turned 93. She got a touch of pneumonia, checked herself out of the hospital AMA and 3 days later was sitting at her kitchen table eating pizza and drinking a beer. Her garden kept us in okra and tomatoes for months, and her roses are just beautiful.

Nothing new for me, just in deeper with all the old stuff- I’m simultaneously furthering my managerial training and implementing a lot of improvements at the clinic and working towards both marketing my existing books (now available from Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble online, eBay, and at least 20 other online bookstores in a dozen countries worldwide) as well as starting new writing projects. It’s all right here-

We took a few mini-trips- to Missouri for the annual fall Gathering (and had the spring gathering here at our farm), to NASA for our aspiring aeronautics engineer, and to Galveston for me. Ahhh…Galveston.

The farm ebbs and flows; we lost our old cat Oz at almost 18 years old, 2 of our older goats and our newest but beloved Beau, a gorgeous guardian dog who died of congenital kidney failure at only 3 years old. But we have new kittyboys Fred and Leopold, 2 new nanny goats and a new guard dog- Dixiedawg the pyr, who helps Sugarbearmarshmallowdog and Wendy the beagle keep the monsters away. Shar the Arabian mare turned 20 this spring, and we’re babysitting our ‘adopted’ son Jordan’s dog Sissy while he’s overseas. The guinea pigs continue unabated.

Wishing all of you a very happy Holiday, and a New Year filled with love and happiness!

The Dixons

Saturday, December 1, 2012

If It's Important, Write it Down So You Don't Forget It

The windows are open, outside is in, and inside is out.

A soft warm breeze wanders from the east, meanders through the room leaving a trail of cricket songs and then out the other side, gently jostling the cedar berries.

On the creek bank, the holly berries punctuate the landscape, becoming the focal point now that the autumn leaves are falling, drifting, floating away down the creek.

Leaves golden and scarlet, rusty orange and dusty brown carpet the ground, the porch, the bridge; muffling footsteps, paws, chicken feet, hooves.

Grasses of many kinds and many shapes and many heights bob and wave, tassles and pods beckon cardinals and sparrows, mice and rabbits- finless denizons of a waterless ocean.

The coyotes are silent tonight, and the dogs are suspicious. Warning barks drift back and forth from opposite corners of the meadow, deep and authoritarian. They're out there, somewhere.

Most nights the coyotes pull the sun down, luring it closer to earth softly crooning, their calls rising to a fevered pitch as it falls below the horizon and into their midst.

Yipping, snarling, howling and chortling the north pack and the south pack echo each other and fall quiet, over and over again as if by design. Are they challenging or informing? Friend or foe? Or just making noise?

From a distance the ear strains to hear them, longs to hear them. From across the creek and in the woods every individual voice is distinct, conversational. Traveling the creek bed half a stone's throw from the house, sound bounces off the steep banks, the trees, the walls and windows and the heart beats a little faster, eyes shifting hither and yon, expecting them to be circling the sofa.

The hummingbird feeder hangs empty outside the window, and I miss the little guys. They'll be back in the spring, tiny jeweled fighter planes swooping, hovering and chasing each other- sometimes colliding in anger, the 'poof' of feathered assault blending with the menacing buzzing of their wings.

The moon rises, lighting the clouds one by one, streetlights in the forest.

The trees dance in the moonlight and the wind picks up, rustling the leaves stubbornly refusing to fall.

A lone car passes on the unseen road, tires hissing on the pavement, then across the bridges ka-thump ka-thump, ka-thump ka-thump and it's gone, the night closing in behind it seamlessly.

Family is all where they are supposed to be, safe and sound.

The list of things to do tomorrow drifts in and out of my head- Christmas decorations to be put up, house to be cleaned, writing to be done, cooking and baking to do, animals to be tended, the list goes on and on and on and never ends.

Before it all I will head to my favorite spot to renew, recharge, relax, listen, see, breathe, feel. To center myself and re-adjust how I fit just right into this Universe, a tiny and worn microscopic cog in a perfect machine. To remind myself that being human is allowed...even for me.

But right now I'm thinking cocoa and bed, little dogs of uncertain heritage pressed firmly against me, sweet old dog on her bed snoring quietly, husband next to me, always next to me, we are where we want to be, where we need to be.

The windows are open, outside is in, and inside is out.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving is Sharing- Eat Off of Your Neighbor's Plate

So I went shopping at Ross yesterday.

I love Ross.

I got 2 bed pillows, 2 sets of sheets (1 sateen and 1 FLEECE. Yes. Fleece sheets. I'm officially in love), 1 thermal blanket, 2 autumn dish towels, 3 purple porcelain salad bowls, 4 assorted ceramic Portugese baking dishes (1 green small, 1 orange medium, 1 gold medium and 1 black extra humongous), 1 fabulous multi-color Mexican serving bowl, and 1 each shampoo, body lotion and shower gel.


I love Ross.

But that's not all that was in my cart. I also had 3 dinner plates that sort of matched the fall ones I have, since there will be 7 of us for dinner and I only have 4 pretty leaf pattern plates.

*Nothing in our house matches...on purpose. Dishes, glasses, even our dining table chairs- all different. Mainly because I love the way that looks, but also because when (not if) something breaks, it's easy peasy to get a replacement. Because nothing in our house matches.

The dinner plates didn't have a price on them, but I thought, "Huh. Guess they'll have to figure it out at the checkout".

At the checkout they called the supervisor, who announced to me, the cashier and the closest 100 people that those plates were part of a SET and not to be sold by themselves. I explained that they were, in fact, in the rack with all the other "buy by the each" plates and assured her I didn't rip open a box to get three dinner plates.

She said there's no way they could sell me those plates unless I wanted to buy the entire set. So I set them aside.

The supervisor left.

The cashier (and the cashier next to her) said, "I don't think that's right- I'm so sorry you can't get the plates. *I* would've let you buy the plates- it wasn't YOUR fault". She apologized to me THREE times and finally I said

"Honey? It's OK. Really. If not being able to buy those plates is the worst thing that happens to me today, it'll be a pretty good day".

And we all smiled.

I am thankful for family and friends, home and employment. And that yesterday, the worst thing that happened to me is that I was denied the dinner plates.

I haven't shared a recipe for a while, and since tomorrow is turkey day, here's how I make my turkey. In 34 years I've never had a dry one, either.

Thanksgiving Guest of Honor

Thaw out the turkey.
Make your dressing and put it in the crock pot, not the turkey. It'll be fine.
Trust me.

Preheat the oven to 325.

Wash out the turkey after taking out the little wax paper bag of innards and taking off the S&M looking metal thing holding its legs together.

Do what you want to with the neck and innards. We're talking just the turkey right now.

Place the turkey upside down in a foil lined roasting pan- mine is one of those speckled blue ones and I LOVE it.

Yes. I said upside down- breast down. It won't sit quite straight and it's not going to come out of the oven Hallmark card presentation-ready, but it'll be delicious and that's what we're going for, right? If you just want a pretty turkey to set on the table, the hobby store has some realistic looking plastic ones...

Why upside down?

Because Gravity, that's why.

While the turkey is roasting, it gets all juicy and squishy inside. If the turkey is 'right' side up (breast side up) all that lovely juice sinks down into the thighs, which, like most of us, are already plenty squishy enough. Turning the turkey upside down will assure that the juices settle in the breast meat. See? Tender and juicy.

To further hydrate your bird, after washing and drying and setting it in the roaster upside down, quarter an apple and an onion. Stuff 'em into the big hole where the stuffing would be going if you wanted to give your entire family salmonella.

Rub the bird with olive oil and cover with either the roasting pan lid or tin foil.

Place into the pre-heated oven and baste with additional olive oil every 30 minutes.

Cook the turkey till it's done. Since it's upside down, you won't be able to see the little popper outer thingie, but do not panic- it's easy enough to tell when the bird is finished- a fork inserted into it will produce clear juices and the legs/wings will start looking like they want to disengage from the rest of the body.

Once the turkey is finished, take it out and let it rest for about 20 minutes before carving it up and serving it sliced on a lovely platter to your family, who will not care one tiny bit that no one precariously carried a 325 degree, 15 pound dead headless featherless bird to the table for dissection.

I promise.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fine. I'll Give It a Shot

The other day I was lamenting how my book sales were going in spite of all the marketing, advertising, social networking steps I've been taking within the confines of my non-existent budget for anything not food or rent related.

And I said at one point

"I almost feel like if I want to actually make money writing I'm gonna have to do a series of vampire Christian romance mystery porn survivalist books."

So guess what?

I've started. I can't think of it being a series, because that scares the crap out of me. Actually, the whole 'book' thing scares the crap out of me.

How can that be? There are FOUR books advertised with my name as the author

<----------- right over here

How can I possibly be askeerd of writing a book?


CancerDance- a love story is a journal. I wrote it while the events were happening day by day, month by month, and lord have mercy year by year. There are a few chapters at the beginning that sort of set up the book by introducing the main characters and giving an idea of what makes us "us" and what makes us tick.

Easterchicks Gone Bad is a compilation of the first 31 articles I wrote one by one for Neil on

Almost Invisible- a different kind of survival story was my first attempt at anything book-like from the ground up and the only way I could do it was to imagine each chapter as a stand-alone story on its own, then lace 'em together. Even then, it's definitely a 'can be read in one sitting if you sit long enough' sort of thing.

And A Reincarnationist's Guide to Graceful Living- over and over and over again was frankly something I did to see what all I could do with the Blurb software since the rest are text only and Blurb sort of prides itself on its quality photo books. While I was there I inserted the spiritual stuff that makes sense to me so it would all be in one place.

I'm not afraid of words, or even of being wordy. But here's my training (both formal and self-imposed).

High school newspaper and yearbook.

Actual city newspaper.

Writing for


All venues that REQUIRE the writer to see the Big Picture, walk around all sides of it and examine it top to bottom, then rip the meat out of it and convey it to the reader using a limited amount of very precisely chosen and placed words.

So I'll admit and confess right here that yesterday I started a writing project very different from what I'm used to on several different levels.

Will I finish it?

Hell, I have no idea.

Will it be good?

Beats the shit outta me.

But I figured I'd announce it out loud so I have to go forward with it and not just hit 'delete' and pretend it never happened.

I know ya'll are waiting with bated breath.

In the meantime, Christmas is coming and books are always a good present.
See my website for an idea or three.

They're also

<--------- right over here

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What If?

So Ward needs surgery. Again. "Just" oral surgery, but it'll be done at MD Anderson with their oral surgeons under general anesthesia and with our plastic surgeon on stand-by just in case something weird and unforeseen happens and yanking out all the roots that belonged to the teeth that broke out due to the aftereffects of radiation makes the graft that's sitting RIGHT THERE unhappy.

Now, we also need a good 5 days lead-time before surgery because he's on coumadin and has to be offa that because blood-thinner + yanking out tooth roots = "we're out of gauze- bring in the transfusion kit".

Last Friday we thought maybe by this Friday (as in tomorrow) he would be on the other side of that surgery.

But he's not. They haven't even scheduled it yet. Because everyone waits on everyone else for parts of the pre-surgical puzzle to be assembled and everyone passes the blame for how damn long it's taking to schedule an EMERGENCY surgery to everyone else.


Last Friday I had an Intensified Awareness Day.

These happen every so often in life.

It happens the first time your baby gets sick and the thought goes through your head over and over again in the dark bleakness of night while you're walking your infant around the silent house- "People die every day- and a lot of them are babies". Clutching your child just that much closer, you imprint everything about him into your soul- heft of his little body, aroma of the top of his head, the very sound of his breath.

It happens when you're assaulted with the incomprehensible beauty of something- be it an endless vista, a piece of artwork, a haunting melody or the flawless arrangement of letters forming an exquisite perfection of words. Whatever it is,you consciously press it into your memory as though flowers in a book, tiny palms into clay.

Last Friday I looked at Ward. Looked. At. Ward. While Alec was in co-op classes, we had lunch, and took a walk. We talked and held hands. Just like any other Friday.

And I realized how precious he is. How precious every minute and second with him is.

A lot of people's "what ifs" seem to revolve around daydreaming of things we think of as better than what we've got now-

"What if we won the lottery?"

"What if my book sells a million copies?"

"What if?"

Because of our actual history and my basic temperament, my "What ifs" are a little different.

Specifically, last Friday when I thought THIS Friday we'd be on the other side of yet another surgery.

"What if this is my last Friday with Ward?"

I was simultaneously terrified to abstraction and insane with the remembering of every detail. It was exhausting.

Since then we've talked about it, and as always he's reassured me that he's not going anywhere.

Because we've got so much to do yet and a boy to raise up yet and he promised me he's not going anywhere.

And I believe him.

Because no matter what it looks like from the outside, the one with endless massive strength and courage in the couple who is Us is not me.

Thanks for sticking around, Gomez. I love you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

If You Don't Play by My Rules, I'm Setting Fire to the Game Board

Alright. I've just about had it.

I get that when you believe in and vote for someone for President and they don't win, it's disappointing. Upsetting. Perhaps even a little bit crazy-making for a day or three. But when on earth did it become acceptable adult behavior to pull a Cartman (Southpark reference) and announce to the world, "Screw you guys....I'm going home" and leave the entire country?

Citizens in 15 states have filed petitions to secede (peacefully, how horribly magnanimous of them)from the rest of the nation since last Tuesday's election.

Now, not politicians, or huge contingents- Louisiana has the most signatures- over 7,000 and Texas follows with over 3,000 and all the way down to NEW YORK with a whopping 169 signatures. All in all just under 20,000 total Americans want to take their whole state (what a surprise to the millions of OTHER PEOPLE in those states) flat dab out of the Union.

On accounta they're pissed off because Obama is still THEIR president.

Yanno what this liberal squishy treehugging ol' hippiechick has to say about that?

Boo fucking hoo.

When a Democrat gets defeated, we pull ourselves together and still fight for what we think is right WITHIN the system and WITH the elected officials in office, and look ahead to the next election because that's kinda sorta how this country (and life in general) work.

You win some, you lose some. You're not going to get your way all the time, and just because people who look differently from you and go to a different church than you (or no church at all) are elected into office it does not mean they're coming to round up all the white people and all the Christians will have to go underground.

It does not mean the end of the world that we now have a bigger diversity in DC than ever before- far as a lot of people are concerned, this is the beginning. Finally.

I read a piece by Dr. Rima Abunasser that stated it so very clearly and calmly-
" Whiteness, conservatism, and Christianity are not under attack. They are, however, being forced to scooch over and make room for the rest of us. That's how this here Republic should work, no?"

See? Nothing scary here. Peel yerselves offa the ceiling, pick yerselves up offa the ash heap and dry your little tears of Limbaugh/Hannity/Beck/O'Reilly/Robertson-induced insanity and grow the hell up.

How by any stretch of the imagination is it patriotic and what kind of love does it show for Country when your reaction to, "Sorry- the other guy won with a LANDSLIDE of the electoral votes and a solid percentage of the popular vote", is a resounding bellow of hatred and disbelief and much wailing and gnashing of teeth (biblical reference), followed by a petulant announcement that you're going to SECEDE FROM THE UNITED STATES.

Because nothing shows how much you love your country and will fight to keep it from falling into the hands of those who you swear want to ruin it and tear it apart using commie socialist divisive tactics like BREAKING UP THE UNION. ON PURPOSE. YOUR OWN SELVES.

Scooch. Over.

That's it. No one anywhere is pulling the bench out from under you and beating you to death with it.

Yes, the American people have been represented in DC by mainly old white guys for over 200 years. But that's not a fair representation of how America looks now, or has looked for a long time. Like ever.

But there was that whole Women's Sufferage thing and that whole Civil Rights thing that had to be fought for before women and minorities could even VOTE much less think about holding office.

That was then. This is now.

Now the representation is looking more like America. That's a good thing for EVERYONE- old white guys included.

We don't hate old white guys.

Just scooch the hell over.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Have a Cookie and Settle the Hell Down

To all my conservative friends and family-

Yes. Romney lost and Obama is OUR president for another term. And yanno what?

The sun came up this morning.

As it would've come up if Romney had won.

Last night I went to bed at 1:30. AM. As of that time, there wasn't a peep on either the Romney page or from any of my right-wing Facebook friends (other than admonishing each other to "PRAY HARDER")

Now, of course, the horrible news is settling in and it's everywhere- "Today we are still free to worship Jesus and buy guns and ammo, but not for long". (That's the RATIONAL one- it goes downhill from there).

I'm sorry. I am not religious and do not attend church, but I will fight for your right to worship freely and express your Faith- just as I fight for that right for everyone, because that's what it says in the First Amendment. This administration has passed ZERO laws limiting the expression of Faith. What you refer to as 'persecution' has to do with the expression of YOUR Faith in venues that are not exclusively attended (or funded) by people of that same Faith. Also trying to make YOUR Faith's morals the laws of our land, which is expressly FORBIDDEN by the same Founding Fathers who wrote all those amendment thingies.

If your main reason to oppose Obama was "He's a Muslim"- you are yourself persecuting someone of another Faith (Even though he's not. He's a Christian. But if he WERE). Think about it. But have some coffee first.

Speaking of amendments, this administration has also passed ZERO laws limiting our freedom to own, buy and sell guns and ammo. I said "our" because I'm a gun owner. Not a gun ENTHUSIAST or a gun NUT, I own 2 guns that are tools.

If your main reason to oppose Obama was "He's fixin' to make a gun grab right after the election- the NRA says the fact that he's passed NO GUN CONTROL LAWS is proof", you need more coffee. Seriously. Maybe a little Zoloft as well.

To my progressive friends and family-

I know you think we caved to the anesthetizing cauldron of corporate propaganda and fascist machine of never-ending slavery by walking into the voting booth. I know you feel strongly that we should've opted out- that voting for the lesser of 2 evils is still voting for evil.

I'm sorry. Women before me were beaten and jailed, ridiculed and spat on for fighting for the right to vote and I refuse to disrespect them.

Also- the fact that there were many races won by liberal progressives- REAL liberal progressives like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Alan Grayson and Sherrod Brown means it DID matter- A LOT, to step into the voting booth. Just as the Tea Party wins of '10 caused a (horrific and embarrassing) shift in Washington, so too will the election of these people- but in a good way.

Because here's the thing-

Just because the election is over does not mean I and people like me will sit back and wait on our government checks and free cell phones (that's a joke, conservatives- have another cookie).

I and people like me will remain vigilant, will consider this a BEGINNING that needs to be tended and watched and will apply non-violent pressure when things seem to be going off-course. Things like Social Security, the ACA, women's rights, LGBT rights, veteran's rights- all must be preserved while at the same time getting OUT of wars we don't need to be in, doing a better job of getting away from fossil fuels and into not only clean and renewable energy sources but educating a nation in changing how we live so we don't USE so much- we are a very wasteful nation and that's not something to be proud of.

Because here's where the Tea Party Congressmen went wrong. They swept into DC and instead of pushing their stated agendas of fiscal responsibility and small, accountable government they got swept up in Mitch McConnell's "Our number one priority is to make Barack Obama a one term president" and knee-jerk voted against anything that could've helped themselves and their constituents just because it had his signature on it. Everything. Jobs. Economy. Everything. For two damn years.

They instead glommed onto anything Fundamentally Christian- limiting women's freedom by restricting access to health care- not just abortion (which isn't funded by taxpayers or the government- just reminding ya'll) but also access to ANY birth control. By trying to re-define rape- what the fuck is THAT about??? By making sure that In God We Trust is still our national motto (ya- since the '50's and McCarthy, not George Washington, but whatever) and that "Sharia Law will not become the law of the Land" (of course BIBLICAL Law is fine. Think. About. It.)

They did nothing to fix the economy or produce jobs and everything to make government BIGGER, MORE intrusive and MORE restrictive. Well, not for the guys who crashed the economy in '08, just for the rest of us. Especially if we're female, brown, young, old or disabled.

I believe the people I named above- who are now headed into office, WILL stay focused on the tasks at hand, not because they're liberals or progressives or college professors, but because they're not riding a tide of anger born of fear and mis-information, they're continuing to fight for what they believe in and doing what they've been doing for years- mostly out of sight and under the radar of the corporate-owned media. This will not be a sparkly new adventure to "storm the castle"- it's a new and important venue for their already-instilled personal goals for America.

I said before the election that voting 3rd party right now for president would not be a good idea, that what we needed is to fill some seats in Congress and the Senate with progressives who will then show America that they are NOT scary communists who want to take everyone's money and give it to those who don't deserve it. Only when America is shown that this will NOT cause the End of Ages and the coming of the Zombie Apocalypse will enough people seriously consider a 3rd party for the highest office of the land...and that there will be enough support in the other branches of the government to allow that person to function without constant and crippling opposition of the punitive kind (cough *Tea Party* cough).


I understand that if Romney had won, it would've been very difficult for him to do all the bullshit things he promised "On Day One". Things that would've caused my own family irreparable harm and the nation to go into absolute bankruptcy and chaos (not my opinion, that of many economists of all stripes- NO ONE could get his tax plan to add up, NO ONE).

And in two years you would've been very unhappy with how little of his grand promises he would've accomplished and been just as disillusioned and dis-satisfied with him and his WonderKid Paul Ryan as you are with Obama. Really. Trust me.

Because that's the way our government is set up- to sort of ensure that we don't have a dictatorship takeover. The way around that, of course, is to own all the media and skew the information to allow it to happen.

Yesterday, all around the country Americans stood in long lines, some in the freezing cold, for hours. I was so proud of them. They did not give up, they did not say, "Geez, this is gonna take FOREVER- screw this, I'm going home". They stood in line. They made sure their ballot recorded correctly and they made damn sure they voted.

I don't even care who they voted for.

They voted.

Today I have hope that there will be change. And it ain't anyone's motto I'm quoting.

Now. Lets all get to work, PULL TOGETHER- acknowledge OUR president and OUR government and lets fix this shit.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Dear Romney Voter,

If your argument against Obama starts with "He's a Muslim" you need to grow a pair and just say "I'm not voting for the nigger"."

Your ignorance of the Constitution (which states that religion DOESN'T MATTER, is to have NO bearing on writing the laws of our land and that even if he IS Muslim- it's not against any freaking law- NONE) and your cowardice in stating your real reasons are equally unappealing.

Give me real, accurate reasons you prefer Romney over Obama to be the leader of our nation based on real, accurate facts or shut the fuck up.

To say, "He promised to fix the economy in 3 years and hasn't" is to completely disavow Romney stating, "No one can fix the economy in 4 years, but I can do it in 8 to 10 years".

To say, "He's all about class warfare" is to completely ignore Romney's "47% of America will never take responsibility for their own lives" comment.

Continuing to use the Muslim/Kenyan/Socialist/Marxist line is infantile and you're just really embarrassing yourselves.

So, yes. Please stop saying, "I'm not racist- this has nothing to do with him being black- some of my best friends are black", and just get your "Don't Re-Nig in 2012" bumper sticker and your "Put the White back into the White House" t-shirt and be done with it. Own your ignorance and your intolerance and your irrational fear-based hatred of anything different than yourselves and wear it proud so the rest of us can see you for what you are.

I'm not going to tell you to "GET OUT OF MY COUNTRY" if you don't believe the way I do- like most of your posts tell me when I calmly point out the inaccuracies of your statements, because it's your right to be infantile and embarrassing, and this is MY country, too- I know you hate being reminded of that.

Just as you hate being reminded that "Obamacare" is really just "Romneycare" and that's the real reason Republicans had nothing they'd replace it with- it's their own damn plan.

Just as you hate being reminded that the there are 2 main candidates running, only one is Christian, and it ain't Romney.

Just as you hate being reminded (and I hate acknowledging) that Obama's more of a warhawk than Bush was...oh. And that whole binLaden thing.

I DO have conservative friends and family who have thought things through and believe that Romney is the best choice based on what they think is important, and I respect that.

I respect without agreeing when faced with a thoughtful and intelligent argument for Romney. Oddly enough, not ONE of these people has ever once hollered "SHOW US THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE". They all believe that our current president is an American, and a Christian, and loves his country- and he's not in any way Hitler or Stalin. They don't think he's turning America into a 3rd world country or a communist hellhole. They just like their guy's ideas of what we need to do next better. Period.

Come Wednesday, if Romney is the winner I will NEVER EVER say "He's not MY president" because he will be.

The most I'll do if things take a turn for the worse due to Romney-nomics and you lament how badly your life is going, will be to remind you that you should not blame ME- I didn't vote for Romney.

I will continue to fight hard for the things I hold dear- healthcare, women's rights, gay rights, rights of veterans, senior citizens and children. No matter who sits in the White House I will continue to fight for all of these, because only by raising our voices will those in power even know we're here...and that we care...and are, in fact paying very close attention.

No matter who MY president is, this is MY country- as it is your country.

Our country is more divided now than it's been in my memory- will we be able to come together after this election to work towards something that even remotely resembles a country of the people, by the people and for the people? ALL the people? Even American citizens who worship, look and live differently than you do? Really?

I think 2 things will have to happen for this to become a reality.

Please, turn off FOX News. It's not news. It's propaganda meant for the express purpose of scaring you and diverting you with bullshit conspiracy theories.
I'm sorry.

Rush Limbaugh? Hannity? Beck? Need to be medicated heavily. They're all stark raving insane power-hungry pieces of pathetic humanity who are paid royally by their keepers to get you all worked up and voting exactly opposite of your best interests.
I'm sorry.

You see, Romney Voter- I have faith in you. I know you love America. I know you're not stupid. I know you work hard and are afraid that everything and everyone you're working to support and sustain will be snatched away from you.

I know you think I'm a soft squishy treehugging socialist patchouli-smelling hippie. You're right.

But I'm also angry. I'm angry at the corporations who own FOX News and those talk-show hosts who have so successfully mislead you into fearing our current president not because of anything real, but because of bullshit things like birth certificates and the proof that he's coming for all your guns being that he has enacted exactly ZERO gun control laws.

When you walk into the voting booth, think of the actual things you like about Mitt Romney- in detail. If the only reason you're voting for Mitt Romney is "because he's not Obama", I never want to hear you say it's not about race again.

24 hours. See you on the other side.


liberal, progressive, non-church-going AMERICAN

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Spoiler Alert- The Real Winner Will Be...

Two days.

We're down to two days before the elections and the only thing I know for sure is who will be the real winners.

I know it because of what I hear people around me saying. Because of what I read, and what I see.

I know it because this country is so fragmented, so divided, so absolutely and completely exhausted from working so hard, for so little, for so long while being pummeled from all sides with the frenetic activity of an election season- a thing that may start out in fairness and nobility but that ends up inevitably like a street fight-

both combatants weary from an interminable slog of following the rules of civil engagement and finally ending up down on the ground, jabbing thumbs into eyes and biting each other in an effort to just be the last one conscious- all illusions of a fair conflict followed by an honorable victory ground into the dust they're rolling in at the end, spitting curses at each other.

I cannot remember a time when fear and Faith have played such a big role in elections- and it's the Faith that's fanning the fear- bringing God into the political process when the Founding Fathers made it very clear that God is cool if that's what you want to believe...but not to determine the laws of OUR land- because not everyone believes in the same god you do, or has the same moral codes.

But that does not make those different from you second-rate Americans who don't love this country as passionately as you do. And it for damn sure doesn't mean that those who have a different Faith than yours (or no Faith at all) do not deserve the exact same representation in the government as you do.

And it's that very vocal, very opinionated, very suspicious-of-all-things-secular-governmental group of people who will pick the REAL winners come Tuesday night.

"If Romney wins, there will be rioting in the streets- every black neighborhood in the country is going to explode into a firestorm of rage. Make sure you're prepared- with FOOD and WATER in case of power outages and with GUNS and AMMO, of course."

"If Obama wins, he will immediately enforce martial law- rounding up Christians and putting them into concentration camps. Make sure you're prepared- with FOOD and WATER to bring with you into your secret hideout where you can avoid persecution and with GUNS and AMMO, of course".

It's a fact that the sale of all survival supplies, but most of all GUNS and AMMO went through the roof after Obama was elected in '08.

See where this is going?

Come Tuesday night, we'll either have a President Romney or a President Obama.

But the REAL winners will be the sellers of survivalist crap and GUNS and AMMO- those bottom feeders who make their livings off of encouraging and exploiting the fear of people.

The NRA never had a better friend than Barack Obama.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Just Wanted to Pass Along...

*We made it. And it didn't rain*

Even though the traffic was the worst we've ever encountered going to Galveston- BOTH WAYS

Even though this is the weekend of the Lone Star Biker's Rally and we shared the island with 400,000 bikers

-the state park was almost abandoned and marvelously peaceful

-Ward found a partial sand dollar (very special and unusual)

-I spent the day with 2 of the funniest, brilliantest, darlingest people on the planet walking my favorite stretch of beach in the world

And yanno what?

It was perfect.

*The Queen is pleased*

Friday, November 2, 2012

Because Having to Go to the Cancer Hospital Isn't Stressful Enough

I'm going to step out of character for just a bit here, and take a moment to rant.

*stop laughing*

Ward needs some pretty extensive dental work done and because of his many issues and the graft that we do NOT want to endanger by poking around and yanking shit out right there, his reconstructive surgeon and ourselves decided that the best place to have the surgery done was back at MD Anderson.

On accounta those guys in the dental department deal with nothing but "cancer teeth" all day long- and Ward's teeth are literally breaking off from the radiation they did 6 years ago. The radiation that did nothing to stop his cancer from growing back.

So our surgeon in the reconstructive surgery department called in a referral to dental for a consultation right away, and we waited.

Over a week later, I called to see what was up.

After the scheduler in reconstructive didn't get an answer from dental, she bounced the request back to the doctor, and he personally walked into the office of the head of the dental department and explained why Ward needed to be

So we went in for our consultation and they gave Ward "homework" of a prescription mouthwash and toothpaste for 3 weeks then return to see what his mouth looks like in its healthiest state.

He still needs 6 extractions in the regular operating room under general anesthesia.

The head of the dental department (who will be doing the surgery) said he'd have them schedule the IMPAC (pre-surgical appointment with the internist) for later that week or the next week at the latest. Later that week was last week and this week we're ending now is next week- the 'at the latest' part. They can't reserve the OR till after IMPAC. And he needs this done ASAP because
a) He's in constant pain
b) His teeth continue to break off
c) He can't eat well, nor does he want to because of his teeth

I thought it odd when the doctor said, "If you don't hear back with an appointment date in like 3 days, call and start bugging them".

I waited the 3 days.

Then I called and started bugging them.

I was told that "the order hasn't been placed for an IMPAC appointment".

I was told that "we haven't heard back from IMPAC".

I was told that "IMPAC can't schedule because there's an insurance issue".

See how that works? Everyone passes it along to someone else after the patient sits on hold and gets transferred over and over and over again while listening to the 'on hold' nauseatingly endless loop of

"Here at MD Anderson, we've put patient care as our first priority for over 60 years"

After 3 days, I made it to the final person in the Line of Blame- the lady in the business office in charge of insurance. I asked her what the problem was since he's had the same insurance for his last 2 surgeries and she sounded mildly surprised.

"There's no problem- they have it marked 'medical necessity' and insurance will take it automatically- all they need to do is get it scheduled".

So I worked my way back to the physician's assistant who told me she'd get right on it.

Several DAYS later, I called her again and was told that all the appointments would be made for this upcoming Friday and I said FABULOUS! There's a speaker Ward wants to see in Houston Friday night- we can drive down Thursday, do the hospital thing Friday, see AMY GOODMAN Friday night and drive home Saturday. Easy.

I asked her again- was she SURE about when the appointments would be? Because I had to make hotel reservations and work arrangements and all, plus order our non-refundable tickets.

She said, "Absolutely".

So I did.

I started watching for those appointments to show up on the handy MyMDAnderson website.


I waited a day.


I called again.

I was told, "Mr. Dixon doesn't have any appointments till February for his regularly scheduled cancer scans".

I made my way through the transfer/on hold gauntlet to be told, "They just haven't made it into the computer yet- should be today".

Yesterday (Wednesday) I started checking the website every 30 minutes or so.

FINALLY an appointment with the internist (but no lab-work) showed up...

...For Monday.

Troubled, I called again.

And was only able to make it through to voice mail.

I called the hotel and explained that we might NOT need to check in on Thursday after all, but that I would call for sure by the 24 hour in advance time limit to cancel. We love our hotel. We love the owners. Unfortunately, English is NOT their first language and he had a dickens of a time understanding what I was trying to say. When we completed the conversation I knew only that he had us down to check in Thursday, Friday, or not at all.

I waited.

Finally, the appointment with the oral surgeon showed up...

...For Tuesday.

VERY troubled now, I called again.

I left a message on voice mail stating my displeasure on now having to either choose NOT to attend our non-refundable event Friday night or to spend double the nights we'd been planning on in Houston, and missing double the time at work I'd been planning on.

Finally at 5:30 I called the hotel back to firm up our reservation- we're checking in tomorrow (Friday) and out on Tuesday.

When I got home, I told Ward the absolute clusterfuck of events and said, "There's no way they could've screwed this up more than they did- lookit this" and I pulled up the schedule on my computer.

Wait. I was wrong.

They COULD fuck it up worse.

There, brand new since 5:30pm, was a new appointment, not for lab-work, but with the oral surgeon AGAIN...


No shit.

12 hour notice. For a patient they know is 5 hours away.

At that point my head completely exploded.

I pressed the little "reschedule" button next to this morning's appointment and typed in-

What the hell?
Kimberly assured me yesterday that all Ward's appointments were being made for Friday- so I made hotel reservations accordingly and we paid for non-refundable tickets for something in Houston Friday night.
When I checked the schedule AFTER 5PM today there were only the Monday and Tuesday appointments (?), so I called the hotel and told them we'd be in Friday, not tomorrow, and we'd have to check out Tuesday, not Monday.
Now there's one for 8:30 TOMORROW MORNING???
We live 5 hours away and I HAVE to do payroll at work tomorrow. Even if I didn't, there's NO WAY you can schedule an appointment for someone who lives out of town with TWELVE HOURS NOTICE.
You are the 8th department we've had dealings with at MDA over the last 5 years, Ward hasn't even had surgery yet with ya'll, and this is by far the most messed up anything's ever been.
AND there's no lab work scheduled at all, which I'm assuming the internist will need BEFORE seeing Ward.
Here's what I need- I need ALL internist appointments on Monday. Leave Dr. Chambers on Tuesday.
Someone CALL ME tomorrow with our FIXED schedule- Ward's already stressed about this, we do NOT have money growing on a dang tree for extra nights away from home, I now need to tell my JOB that I'll be gone almost a week.
Seriously. I've never encountered quite this level of unprofessionalism. Ever.
The internist appointment was supposed to be scheduled for LAST week per Dr. Chamber's instructions and I called multiple times since I need to arrange so much here at home to be out of town and need LEAD TIME, was transferred innumerable times being told that it was "pending insurance" and when I finally got to Ms. Glover in the business office she told me that everything was fine- there were no insurance issues.
So this has been a frustration from day one.
It's very discouraging to have to deal with this sort of incompetency when my husband is in constant daily pain.
To be told over and over again how important my call and my husband are to MD Anderson while on hold really does nothing to help when being given the run-around.
Sheri Dixon

This morning *I* called THEM.

The scheduler had no idea how the 2nd appointment with the surgeon got there- claims she didn't do it since she'd been at home for several hours when that popped up.

She said she was very sorry about the whole Friday thing, but she had to work around the internist's schedule. I told her I understand that, but then the physician's assistant never should've told me EVERYTHING'S FINE FOR FRIDAY since now we're going to be out about $150 in extra hotel nights plus food.

I mentioned that I'd think the internist would want little things like BLOOD WORK and X RAYS before seeing Ward and she said, "Wow- you're right- good catch".

Here's what's so damn frustrating. This is not some little clinic- it's goddamn MD Anderson- one of the top 2 cancer hospitals in the WORLD. People come there from everywhere- most everyone there is NOT local- why the hell do they think they can give NO notice for appointments or change shit up without consideration of what that does to people's lives, work schedules, hotel reservations?

They've got an entire department of translators for every language from Spanish to Croatian for cryin' out loud- EVERYONE'S from out of town.

And it's not like this chick's got a million things to do- she's a scheduler. That's all she does. For like 2 doctors. Gimme a break.

When I'd finally picked up the pieces of my exploded head, I thought, "Fine. We haven't been to Galveston since before the last hurricane- we'll go there either Saturday or Sunday and there's always festivals and shit going on in Houston- we'll find stuff that's outside and free or mostly free to do on Saturday and Sunday.

I felt better.

Then I checked the weather forecast.

The only days there's a chance of rain in the next 14 days are...Saturday and Sunday.