photo by Sheri Dixon

Sunday, March 31, 2013

I Need a Better Pair of Sneakers

'Merica- I've got horrible news for you.

We're stranded. They've cut our feet out from under us and we're helpless. We've been cast adrift with no way to get to the grocery store, or work, or church, or school, or even the liquor store. Seriously, ya'll- we're in a World of Hurt.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I've been hearing a lot about places; poor, ignorant places- where guns have been banned. I mean, those people most of the time don't even KNOW how un-free they are. They walk around, day after day- immersed in things like universal health care and decent pay and fair employment practices and they don't even KNOW they're really just the walking dead- bodies without the Soul of Freedom sparking in their loins. Or something.

Below is a sampling of places where 'Merica does NOT want to be like on accounta they're really just shells of humanity. Really.

Canada. Yes, according to everyone who knows anything, our neighbors to the north are unarmed and helpless. Imagine the surprise of an actual Canadian after encountering that fact- he was utterly unaware of the ban on guns in Canada since he himself (and everyone he knows) have guns.

Great Britain If the graphic currently going around Facebook is to be believed (and why not? I mean, if it's not true, they certainly couldn't put it out there with an 'Merican flag on it, could they?) the British people are being absolutely MOWED down, helpless as little lambs. Except they're not, as the graphic used 2 sets of criteria to make the numbers work. Apparently statistics are statistics and can be compared across the board- numbers are numbers even if they have nothing to do with each other.

Australia Everyone knows that the Australians were the victims of a heinous government confiscation of their arms- yea verily the jack-booted thugs (probably union guys) broke down the doors of law-abiding Australians and forcibly wrenched their weapons from their trembling civilian hands. Awesome story- total bullshit. There was a a voluntary buy-back which was actually really popular. See that? The period at the end of the last sentence?

Russia Certainly no explanation is needed here. Especially since that one Russian dude penned that eloquent letter begging us not to become like Russia, where guns are totally outlawed.

Yes. Banned. All of the above countries- guns are BANNED. And we all know what that means, right?

Definition of BAN

transitive verb
archaic : curse
: to prohibit especially by legal means ; also : to prohibit the use, performance, or distribution of
: bar 3c
intransitive verb
archaic : to utter curses or maledictions
See ban defined for English-language learners »
See ban defined for kids »
Examples of BAN

The school banned that book for many years.
The city has banned smoking in all public buildings.
The drug was banned a decade ago.
The use of cell phones is banned in the restaurant.

So, see? All those poor countries above where firearms have been BANNED! The horror! The humanity! The...

Wait. What?

They CAN have firearms? Even in Russia?

Apparently so. (be sure to read the comments on this one- they're a scream)

Wait- I've got it-

NAZI GERMANY Everyone knows that "Hitler disarmed the citizens- just like Obama is doing. Therefore Hitler = Obama"

OK OK OK So we as 'Mericans don't really know what's going on in the rest of the world except through the interwebs and as seen on TV. How about closer to home, right here in the US of A- yea verily in the HeartLand of 'Merica-

CHICAGO Yes the Windy City where citizens are completely unarmed! Absolutely and completely helpless against the billions of criminals within the city limits who are having their way with the law-abiding citizens therein.


Chicago requires that all firearms be registered with the police department.[23] Gun owners are required to have a Chicago Firearm Permit.[24] The city has banned the possession of certain semi-automatic firearms that it defines as assault weapons, as well as magazines that can hold more than 12 rounds of ammunition.[25] Chicago residents must "immediately" report a firearm that is stolen or lost, and must report the transfer of a firearm at least 48 hours in advance.[26] Chicago also prohibits the sale of firearms within city limits.[27]

I know what's coming next.

"But lookit the limitations, the restrictions of those laws in those other countries and Chicago! They may as well be banned!!!"

Ah. There's the difference.

They're not banned. They're restricted.

Because they're, yanno...deadly weapons.

And don't gimme the, "You can do just as much harm with a baseball bat as a gun- should we ban THOSE?" bullshit.

Because shut up. You can't. Oh, sure you could beat ONE person into a bloody pulp with a baseball bat. It would take a while. You could NOT kill almost 30 people in a matter of minutes with a baseball bat, even if you were Chuck Norris. Or Ted Nugent.

But apparently the word "banned" here in 'Merica now means "there are restrictions on the ownership of..."

Which brings us back to my first paragraph.

Here in 'Merica, we have cars. A shitload of cars. Everyone has a car, some people have several. In order to have and operate our car(s) we must

-register said car
-obtain a driver's licence
-prove that our car is in good working condition via an annual inspection

We must also

-follow the speed limits and laws of the road

We may NOT

-drive a non-street-legal vehicle on the road. So even if a race car driver LOVES his race car and knows how to drive it safely, he may NOT take his car in amongst the other commuters on the freeway. He can't. Just like a farmer cannot drive his combine on the interstate either.

So we have limitations. Restrictions. On what we can drive and where we may drive and how we may drive.



...I need to make a Facebook graphic...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Think of the Children

So, back a few weeks we were treated to this little tidbit-

Basically, it's about a German family who emigrated to the United States EIGHT YEARS AGO seeking asylum because they want to home school their children and that's not allowed in Germany. The first judge temporarily granted said asylum.

Since then, what have they done? Nothing but use up tax dollars and time whining about how they should be able to stay because they're CHRISTIAN home schoolers and they'll be persecuted back home, hell- they may even take the kids if they refuse to enroll them.

And all the fundamental Christian home schoolers are up in arms- claiming (of course and falsely) that "millions of Mexicans can stay but this one WHITE CHRISTIAN family has to go" and "this is a slippery slope into denying Americans the right to home school".

One of my friends went so far as to say something like "Hey- if YOU don't care that social service will come get your son that's your business- I CARE about my kids".

For the love of Pete.

First of all, shut up.

Second of all- lets look at this poor sad family. Faced with prison, torture, death penalty- all for home schooling.

Wait. What?

The WORST thing that will happen (if they have a lick of sense and don't force the damn issue, losing the kids to foster care) is that their kids will (whisper this now- it's so horrible) HAVE TO GO TO SCHOOL.

Are the German schools dangerous? Gangs roaming the halls? Lone gunmen coming in to mow down entire classes of first graders? Old and ill-funded with teachers who are not respected and paid poorly?

Nope- that's here.

German public schools are among the best in the world. They teach science and not religious doctrine. How freaking horrifying.

The parents may teach all the Christianity they want to- at home and at church. No problemo.

Third of all, they've been here for eight damn years- why the hell haven't they taken the citizenship test in all that time? I mean..."We don't care if the illegals wanna be 'Mericans- EVERYBODY wants to be an 'Merican- but they need to go through the proper steps to become citizens" Right? RIGHT?? RIGHT???

What's this political asylum shit? Political asylum is for people whose actual lives are in danger if they stay in their country. If you could claim political asylum for not being able to home school, all those illegal Haitians everyone hollers about? Good as gold, baby.

They're HOME SCHOOLERS- make "Becoming a US Citizen" one of the subjects ya'll study.

Fourth of all- it's not like America is the only beacon of home schooling options they had- pretty much every country that shares borders with Germany, and the countries who share THOSE borders, allows home schooling. It would be like us moving to Arkansas.

Actually- if they ARE forced to leave our shores, they can always go south to another home school friendly nation- Mexico. I hear all the Mexicans live here now- should be plenty of room for their quiver-full of Christian soldiers.

But here's the thing, I'm told- IF we allow our courts to kick this poor trembling family back into Nazi Germany (seriously ya'll- did you READ the freaking article???) that could start a (wait for it...the gun folks know what's coming!)


Yes. Because what the court decides about a family of GERMAN citizens will directly affect American citizens. Because SECOND AMENDMENT.

Sorry, wrong fanatics.

Lets just for a second humor that line of thinking.

With a straight face.

Court's decision on political asylum for illegal German family WILL escalate to no home schooling in America.

Because it directly affects the freedom of a family to choose how to raise and educate its children.

And the family is the most sacred unit there is.

Children need to be safe.

In a family. Which is 2 loving parents. Married parents.

If that's the case- if this whole deal is really about the quality and security of family life for children, then I wanna see everyone rooting for the asylum of that illegal German family also picketing the Supreme Court- fighting for the rights of gay couples to be a family and be recognized as married people.

Because otherwise...'s a SLIPPERY SLOPE into the Supreme Court forbidding EVERYONE to marry.

Especially those Christian home schoolers.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Missing In Action

Where have I been for a week?

Well, kids. I've been missing.

Missing work, missing home, missing the birth of most of the baby goats this year, missing whatever passes for normal in this life of mine.

We've been in Houston.

Ward had surgery- not cancer surgery or heart surgery although the damage done to his teeth and gums is a direct product of the radiation they gave him for cancer and his heart issues made this the 2nd attempt for this surgery in a month after over 6 months of planning for it.

It was the first time that they wheeled him away from us (and kept him there- last month they aborted the surgery while anesthetizing him) since the first week of April 2010.

That was a routine yet frustrating three-peat of the same graft replacement surgery he'd had twice before right there at MD Anderson. The other two were a week in the hospital and home.

The third time turned into a 6 week long nightmare that he almost didn't wake up from.

So we were all a little twitchy, yes.

I've been twitchy it seems for probably that entire 6 months leading up to this- from the first, "Yes, we'll need to do some oral surgery to fix this"

to the many mishaps with reading his records,

to organizing surgery for when the multiple doctors were all in attendance,

to the aborted attempt last month because of heart issues

to the perky little anesthesiologist coming into the pre-op ward and saying she was intending on giving him the exact same drug that almost killed him last time at that exact same hospital

till the surgeon came out telling us he was fine. He IS fine.

I had a little exhaustion attack the day after surgery, before we drove home.

Today I woke up with a migraine the likes of which I haven't seen in over a decade. Almost sixteen hours later and it's still there, sitting on my eyeballs, pushing down on my brain. But at least I'm not throwing up anymore.

And I finally verbalized to Ward what I haven't before.

I was terrified. For the last 6 months I've been terrified. Oh, once you become a Cancer Family, a Cancer Couple, there's always an awareness of just how precious every moment is- even when I'm lashing out from frustration or exhaustion or fear...always from fear- there's no one I'd rather be married to, be spending life with, than Ward.

There's a strange sort of pushing/pulling mentality that goes with being the organizer for a critical care person.

Everything in me is focused on getting him the help and treatment that he needs as quickly as possible.

Everything in me is fighting putting him through any more pain, which comes with the above.

And for his part, I know he goes through the same sort of conflict. Knowing what he needs to do, dreading the pain and recovery, hating what he sees it doing to his wife and son.

So we snap at each other. We snipe and glower.

He thinks I'm angry at him when I'm angry at myself for not being able to fix everything, make everything better and right. Angry that I push my way through life till I collapse and my patient (in both ways) husband cares for ME instead of the other way around.

I think he's angry at me when he goes silent and out of reach when he's angry at himself for being sick, for requiring vast amounts of our time and our money be thrown at the doctors and hospitals.

But it never lasts.

Chronic illness kills many relationships. And I can see why. It's a grinding, gnawing, worry that never ever goes away.

But our anger never lasts.

Ward's my hero, my knight in shining armor. Alec is his dad's son- his humor and brilliance and stork legs.

We're a family.

Ward's pain is tolerable and his mouth is healing where they dug out 5 teeth and roots, 'smoothed the bone' and stitched them up.

My head is slowly becoming part of me again instead of something I'd rather yank off of my neck for the pain.

In just a little bit we'll go to bed- both on our pain meds, Smidgeon the schnoodle up against Ward's legs after being evicted from the pillow between our heads and Fizzgig the miniature wild-haired terrier curled firmly against my tummy.

Just a normal night.

And I cherish each and every one.

Monday, March 18, 2013

False Security

I've had it. I've had it with people getting up and telling us we need to be armed. Women need to be armed because then we won't get hurt or raped. That is the biggest load of bullshit I've ever heard- and I've heard many times my weight in bullshit over the years.

I understand that sometimes a woman is just walking along, minding her own business, and BANG- out of the bushes or lurking unknown inside her darkened house or car- a man leaps out, a strange man whose only intent is to hurt a woman.

Sometimes that happens.

More often, what happens is a woman is being abused by her intimate partner. Domestic abuse.

A woman is attacked by her date. Date rape.

A woman is assaulted by someone she knows at least a little bit.

What then, assholes?

What happens when you are facing someone you know, someone you trust, someone you love?

Do you shoot?

Or do you hesitate, just for an instant?

Of course you do.

Lemme clear up a little something about rape for those who live under a rock and think it's anything to do with sex.

It's not.

Rape is all about dominance, control, humiliation, rage, hatred and disdain.

I'm not parroting shit I've heard on the "liberal lamestream media".

I'm a survivor of domestic abuse. I've been told on a daily basis that I'm a terrible mother, wife, lover, person.

I've had a gun held to my head by a husband. I've been battered by a husband.

I have never been physically hurt by a stranger- only men I loved. Men I trusted.

I've been raped. By a man in authority, who should've been trustworthy. He was a church deacon and had kids my own age.

Should've been.

But wasn't.

I kept that inside for over 30 years- the pain and humiliation, so sure no one would believe me, that somehow it was MY FAULT. For the next eight years only two others knew.

But I've had it, and it's time to speak out.

Marketing guns to women for protection against rape is heinously deceiving.

Your attacker doesn't want sex as in "Oooh baby, you look so fine". He wants to punish you.

He's pissed and wants to hurt you.

A woman armed, especially if she knows her attacker, WILL hesitate- and give her attacker the means to shoot her instead of (or in addition to) raping her.

A woman armed will present as being defiant- that's one of the main reasons your attacker is angry at women in the first place.

Am I afraid of men? Nope. Am I afraid to go out, be alone, live my life? Nope.

Because I know that sort of behaviour is NOT normal, NOT common, NOT a guarantee.

Because to live in fear means the bastards win.

Why do we continue to place the onus on the victim?

"Don't go out after dark"
"Don't wear 'revealing' clothing"
"Only travel in groups"

"She was drunk"
"She was teasing me"
"She has a reputation"
"I'm the husband and I have needs"


The ONLY thing that will change things is for MEN to be held accountable for their actions.

Hitting a woman is NEVER OK.

Rape is NEVER excusable.

"She made me so angry"
"Boys will be boys"

Telling women to arm themselves is one more blame we can conveniently transfer.

I saw just a snippet of one of the hearings on gun control- a weeping young woman said "If only I had had a gun I could've protected myself".

I'm sorry, dear- but you don't know that. You don't know if you could've pulled the trigger or even gotten your gun out in time.

If you had had a gun it's very likely you wouldn't be here to testify.

Stop blaming the victims.

Stop giving them the false security that simply being armed = not getting hurt.

Just having that magical piece of metal will not do shit to protect a woman who will not be looking a crazed stranger in the face but her husband, boyfriend, neighbor, co-worker, teacher, relative.

Like every other bogeyman gun lobby ALL CAPS PASS ALONG TO ALL CONCERNED ARMED CITIZENS alarm, this is one more reason to GO OUT AND BUY GUNS.

It's fear-induced marketing.

It really has jack shit to do with keeping women safe.

If it WAS about keeping women safe, we wouldn't have this little dynamic going on-

If we spent half the time and money on teaching men NOT TO RAPE AND ABUSE as we do teaching women HOW TO AVOID BEING RAPED AND ABUSED we'd have a better society, a healthier society, a safer society.

But then the gun manufacturers would be very sad.

And our country cannot allow that.

The gun lobby owns a huge amount of politicians and policy makers. They aren't out there "defending YOUR 2nd Amendment rights"- they already OWN the government; they want you to BUY GUNS.

The government doesn't want your guns.

The government wants their owners to be happy.

And that means as many guns flying off the shelves as possible.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

One Big Happy Family

"We MUST get control of the federal deficit! There's no way MY family could get away with doing things this way!"

Don't you love this type of statement? Aren't you in awe of the many little comparisons and graphics and whatnot that show even the most simpleminded of liberals that, "SEE? We would LOVE to give everyone health care and food and a puppy, but it's just not feasible, dear- just like a family budget, you can't spend what you don't have don't you see?"

Other than the gabazillion ways a federal government's budget is not in any way, shape or form even remotely comparable to a family budget, as pointed out by lots of many a shitload of ALL economists, lets just pretend for a second that the federal government's budget is EXACTLY like a family budget.

In our hypothetical family, we have a really big house (like the country) and a diverse amount of people in the family (see where I'm going with this?)

We have Mom and Dad, who are middle aged, college educated and who work full time with benefits. They are on salary and are bringing in a pretty good chunk of money.

There is a college student living at home while going to school, and 3 younger children in public school.

There is a set of grandparents also living there who are retired and drawing social security.

There's an elderly great-uncle who has decided not to waste money on paying for his own house, but wants to live with the rest of the family. Actually, up in the attic because the rest of the family is too damn noisy. He's not destitute, in fact he's got stocks and bonds and savings accounts and IRA's and all sorts of financial assets from an inheritance from HIS parents. He's never done a hard day of work in his life. He buys his own food, so figures he doesn't need to spend a dime on the rest of the family, since he's not TAKING anything.

Out in the back yard lives a second-cousin twice removed (once by restraining order). He has a lot of guns and ammo but is convinced that he doesn't have NEAR enough. He's terminally unemployed. Something about every boss he's ever worked for being an unreasonable asshole. He gets a small check from the VA for his service years ago, which he spends entirely on...more guns and ammo.

OK. Those are the characters. Strictly fictional.

So the income is Mom and Dad's salary, grandma and grandpa's social security.

The expenses are the mortgage payment, utilities, insurances, groceries, college tuition.

One day dad comes home from work early. He's been downsized.

He applies for unemployment and gets it, but of course it's a fraction of what he was making. He looks for work every single day, but he's in his mid-50's and over-qualified for almost everything available. No one wants to hire him.

So the family needs to make some hard decisions.

Mom is already putting all her money into the family fund. So are grandma and grandpa.

If they can't figure something out, the oldest child will have to quit college and the younger kids won't be able to be on any school teams or do any outside activities like music lessons. They'll be eating beans and cornbread every day and the house may be in jeopardy. No one will be able to get health care.

They go to the great-uncle and explain the situation. While he's very concerned for their troubles, he feels strongly that it's not HIS problem and they should've tried harder to save money along the way...while raising 4 kids and helping the grandparents and the cousin in the back yard. His money is HIS money- no matter that the utilities he uses and the attic he's living in is because of their gracious generosity, it's still HIS money.

They go to the cousin in the back yard, who is more sympathetic but can do nothing to help- he's heard that things are going to get REALLY bad out there and he cannot stop spending money on guns and ammo. He's very sorry but he just can't.


In a REAL family, this is where Mom and Dad say to the great-uncle, "Listen, you selfish bastard- we are your family and we need your help right now. You've been living in OUR attic and using OUR utilities all these years- one of the reasons you HAVE so much money is because of US letting you live here. Now cough it up so our children can get a good education and everyone in the family can continue to eat and have a roof over our heads".

Then they'd go out back and smack the cousin upside the head and say, "Stop being such a dick. You have more guns and ammo than you'll ever need right now- in fact you could sell half of it and STILL be set for life. We've put up with your bullshit for years- time to help us out because it's the right thing to do".

The great-uncle would write a big fat hairy check and the crazy cousin would sell some guns and ammo and give half of his VA check to them and everyone would be fed, and cared for, and they'd all keep their happy home.



So, all of you "Just think of the federal budget like a family budget" folks, here's what needs to be done-

We need to go to the great-uncle in the attic (also known as Corporate America) and tell them to stop mooching off of the rest of us and pay into the society they are benefiting from.

We need to go to our crazy twitchy cousin in the back yard (the military) and tell them to sell half of their crap and stop beating the shit out of countries who are not endangering us in any possible way.

Then all our young people can go to college and our old people can be cared for and everyone can have health care.

Wow! That DOES work!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sometimes They Just Do That

So I did a whole post on why it's wrong to assume that just because something or someone 'can' do the wrong/evil thing, that given the free rein of no threat of punishment, they 'will' do it. My reasoning, which I still stand with 99.9% of the time is "Why WOULD they?"

We got home last night from a trip of a few days and Alec was overjoyed at being reunited with his computer devoted companion animals Sirius the Ancient and Aaron the Freakishly Understanding.

After feeding and petting up Sirius (a black and white elderly cat of peculiar distinction) and running the nervous energy out of Aaron (a canine who is a cross between a terrier and a muppet on meth), he settled in for a nice chat with the interwebs.

He noticed a fairly large and impressive stag beetle on his wall, and did what he always does- he ignored it. The boy is loathe to kill anything just because it happens to be in the 'wrong' place and if it's not poisonous he just leaves it alone.

That's my boy.

He figured the stag beetle would just continue whatever errand it was on because why would it do anything different?

Suddenly and without warning, Mr. Beetle leaped off of the wall and landed squarely and apparently with intent on Alec's shoulder.

Alec's shirt-free shoulder.

You can only imagine.

Then 'up' it about 7,000 notches.

Once Mr. Beetle was given triage to make sure his crash landing onto the cement floor had done no permanent damage, Ward and Alec deposited him outside and Alec returned to his computer after gathering the bits and parts that had plummeted to the floor in the micro-second of panic/shuddering/cursing that accompanied the beetle off of Alec's shoulder and onto the cement below.

Not much later, Aaron had to go outside (it had been a very exciting few minutes).

Alec opened the door out of his room to the back porch and a big wood rat ran in.


I shit you not.

You can only imagine.

Then 'up' it about 7,000,000 notches.

The wood rat ran under a dresser, and was cornered there by Aaron, Sirius and the herd of dust bunnies that already live under the dresser.

We harnessed Sirius and Aaron, re-opened the door and shoo-ed the rat out with a broom.

Here's the point.

The beetle had no good reason to leap 50 times its own body length to land on Alec's nekkid and outlandishly ticklish shoulder.


The wood rat had no good reason to run into the house from an outside that clearly is both better stocked with food and has a billion times more protection- yea verily to run almost literally into the maws of both a terrier AND a cat.

But sometimes they just do that.

That's why I tempered my remarks with "I stay alert just in case of the unexpected".

On the way home in the car I turned on talk radio- I was lucky enough to find a show called "Gun Talk".

After the first few minutes Alec said, "Mom- you're yelling at the radio. Just turn it off if it's upsetting you", and I told him that's EXACTLY why it was on- to keep me awake. He told me to carry on, then but forbade me to actually call in.

He's so unreasonable.

The show's host was saying how he was totally in favor of not just teachers being armed in school, but EVERY adult there- and he named them all- teachers, office staff, janitors, parents, visitors. All armed. To protect the children.

We missed the previous caller, who was a teacher and who had said (I gathered) something like, "I'm a teacher and I'm not being paid to be a guard. I teach. It's someone else's job to be a guard".

You can only imagine.

Of course he wasn't on the phone anymore so the host and subsequent callers had plenty of time and leisure to basically crucify the teacher.

Said he was a coward, he didn't care about the kids, he was a perfect example of people expecting the Nanny State to do what they themselves should be doing for themselves.

(Interjecting that these are the same people who scream that teachers currently get paid too much, work too little and who want to gut the teacher's unions and take away their benefits...the ones they pay for themselves. The same people who scoff derisively when teachers lament that they don't have time to actually teach things like social skills and critical thinking- because of stringent laws tying school funding to test results they spend half of their time 'teaching to the test' and the other half in plain old crowd control because of insane overcrowding in the classrooms. But linear thinking isn't the strong suit of this demographic no way, no how).

Then the host said that, "We don't always have fires in schools, but there are still fire extinguishers. We don't wait unguarded and say 'we have the fire department if there's a fire- we don't need fire extinguishers'. So why do we say 'we don't need to be prepared to defend the children- that's what the police department is for'. That's stupid."

No, dear rabidly deluded "Gun Talk" host.

You are saying Fire + fire extinguisher = safety therefore Guns + more guns = safety

To make a damn bit of cohesive sense Guns + more guns = safety therefore Fire + flame throwers= safety


I understand that what we DON'T want is for an armed crazy person to walk into a school and slaughter a bunch of people. But I don't think you've thought this through.

Who do you want armed? Teachers, office staff, janitors. So instead of having A lone gunman roaming the school during a chaotic and terrifying interlude, now we have what? Fifty armed people? A hundred? Are they all wearing some sort of Team T-shirt so the police can tell which ARMED ADULT is the 'bad guy' in all the confusion?

But wait- he wants more. Every parent and visitor on campus.

Ever see those kids on milk cartons? Hear an Amber Alert? The majority of those kids are not snatched by a stranger- they're non-custodial parents. And where do they snatch 'em from? School.

Yes. Arm those non-custodial parents so now we can have a shoot-out between Disgruntled Dad and Phyllis the school secretary.

Visitors? Like the kid who just slaughtered all those children? HE was a visitor. He was clean-cut and quiet and could've signed himself into the school with no problem.

In Van, two little towns north of us, a janitor was shot in the leg DURING CONCEALED CARRY FOR SCHOOL EMPLOYEES TRAINING. He's hospitalized in fair condition. Not good. Fair.

Kids are clever. And curious. How can purposely bringing dozens or more loaded weapons onto school property possibly not lead to MORE injuries, more deaths?

Because you know the weapons have to be loaded and ready for that sudden attack. They can't be locked up somewhere unloaded.

We need more security, not more armaments.

Those are two absolutely different things, no matter what the gun manufacturers and their minions tell you.

In other places they are petitioning for college students to be able to conceal carry on campus.

Yes. Give an entire demographic of already stressed-out, drama-prone, party-hard young adults loaded guns.

That's a fucking awesome idea.

Most beetles and wood rats will not behave in the manner of the ones who made Alec sleepless and twitchy the rest of the night;
there will always be deviant behaviour among living organisms.

Every once in a while a horse will spook when you least expect it and a dog will bite unprovoked and a human will hurt an astounding amount of other people in a terrifyingly short amount of time.

We keep our windows and doors closed to keep out the majority of insects and rodents, and stay alert whenever around even the most docile horse or dog. We do not poison ALL insects and rodents and we do not beat the shit out of horses and dogs pre-emptively 'just in case'. And even though he owns 2 guns his own self, Alec did not sleep with them under his pillow after an evening with sociopathic insects and rodents.

Because he knows that sometimes they just do that. Not often, and not generally all at once. Sometimes.

Making sure every adult who comes into contact with our children every day always has the capability of killing them(even accidentally- because an accidental death is still...death) is NOT the answer to guarding against a random and rare attack.

It's a guarantee of much more tragedy.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Someday I'm Gonna Be Old

And when I am, I hope the people around me are patient and kind.

Because I'm gonna be cranky and forgetful and sometimes hard to live with.

Yes- VERY different from how I am now. Shut up.

So Joe's mom Edna wanted to go see her brother Grady, since he's getting old and may die soon (her words) Grady is a few years YOUNGER than Edna. I had told Edna that when she moved here I would take her back to Oklahoma whenever she wanted to see family and friends. Last year we attended her baby sister's funeral.

So I thought we'd leave last Monday, drive to Lawton where Grady is, see Grady, stay the night in Lawton, drive to OKC to see her niece, her old neighbor and her best friend, stay in OKC Tuesday night and then come home Wednesday. Everything she wanted to accomplish and in a time frame that wouldn't kill us both.

Edna didn't want to stay two nights away from home. She said all she really wanted was to see Grady, stay one night and come home.

The day I was gonna make the reservations I double checked with Edna. Yes. One night.


As long as we were up there, we could see Pam, Billie and Edna (Yep- Edna's best friend is also Edna. I will be referring to her hereafter as E2).

So I made reservations for OKC for Tuesday night.

We left on Tuesday morning and it was farther to Lawton than I remembered. We didn't get to the VA Home till almost 5pm. Grady was wonderfully surprised and happy to see us. We stayed about an hour and then headed to OKC; just under 2 hours NE of Lawton.

Tuesday night we tried contacting Pam, Billie and E2- an exercise we'd been participating in for several days with no success. Where the hell could these people be? Pam works and Billie and E2 are almost as old as Edna and just as car-less.

Edna resigned herself to not seeing Pam (the niece) but still wanted to see Billie and E2.

Billie was easy. I KNOW where Edna used to live, so finding her neighbor was a piece of cake.

While Edna was getting dressed I had a brainstorm- in my briefcase I still had her current phone bill- that would have E2's phone number on it!

But only if she had called E2 during the last month, which she hadn't.

Then I had a brainsprinkle (smaller and less impressive than a storm)- Edna had her phone and address book with her- that's where all the non-answered numbers were. I could simply punch in E2's address and the magic i-phone would bring us right there.

"Edna- you have E2's address, right?"
"Yes. At home".

Frustrated but still patient and calm I asked Edna how we were supposed to find E2 with no address. "She's my best friend- of course I know where she lives".

OK. Fine. I asked her where she lives.

"I don't know- she just moved last year- when you took me to visit her after Wanda's funeral that was the first time I'd been there. Don't YOU remember how to get there?"

No. No I didn't remember how to get to a place I'd been once before a year ago. Sue me.

Digging as deep as I could into my moth-infested memory banks, I remembered that we took RT 66 into Yukon and went through downtown before turning left. The only thing I remembered after that was E2 lives across the street from the school and said all that out loud.

"No, she doesn't".

"Edna? I sat in the car and called in my work order last time and watched the kids come out of school. Yes, she does."

"Well, she's my best friend- I should know what her house is across the street from".

We saw Billie without incident. She has a new phone number, so that's why we couldn't get a hold of her.

I told Edna we would drive around Yukon looking for E2 for a little while, but if it got too late we needed to just go home. She agreed.

So we drove down Rt. 66 into Yukon, through downtown and then I turned left. Randomly. Drove around and around block after block and had just decided that we needed to head home when I turned a corner and said, "There's E2's house".


"Right there- across the street from the school and I'm 100% sure it's her house".


"Because E2 is standing on the porch".


E2 was just getting home from a few days at her daughter's, so that's why we couldn't get a hold of HER.

So they had a great visit and we headed home, getting there 36 hours and just shy of 800 miles after when we left the day before.

I love Edna. She's funny and smart and great company. She's had some terrible times and some great times, and is both optimistic and pragmatic about everything up to and including death.

My life is much richer for having her in it.

I stopped to see Edna Thursday- the day after we got home.

She was a little confused (she gets that way when she's tired, but screw it- so do I) and said, "I remember we stayed in OKC for a night but where did we stay the second night in Anadarko?" (Anadarko is between Lawton and OKC and where she grew up).

I went back through our itinerary- we left Tuesday. "Yes."

Drove to see Grady and then on to OKC where we stayed in the hotel Tuesday night. "Yes."

Saw Billie and E2 Wednesday morning. "Yes."

Drove home Wednesday afternoon/evening. "Yes".


"So we did all that in only one night?"



"Well, no wonder I feel like shit! I don't know why we didn't stay two nights- you usually plan things better than that."

When I get old I wanna be just like Edna.

And I hope the people around me are patient and kind.

Edna and Grady

Monday, March 4, 2013

American Evolution- Adolescence of a Nation

*The following was written the day I put up the PREVIEW of this book- it hadn't even become available yet. I thought of taking it down because I sound almost as snarky as the detractors, but figured what the hell. Even an ol' treehugging hippiechick has the right to be pissed off every once in a while.

Just sorta chapped my hiney that because I say, "Yanno, maybe we should focus less on how handy our armaments will be and how many 'pieces of trash' we can blow away and more on things like large-scale hunger, and health issues, and poverty- all things that will rapidly get worse if there's a big societal shift, and realizing that being alive is much more than just avoiding being dead (and more likely at the hands of some trigger-happy fear-filled bozo than an actual 'bad guy')", and then lay out a fictitious story projecting some of those thoughts that a shit-storm ensues.

And then gets worse because I didn't fall down and whimper and bat my eyelashes at the sheer manliness of the onslaught of 'survivalist credentials' barrage given to justify the attack.


So I'm leaving it up. Because I believe that while there are some people 'on the left' who are truly passive and would really rather be mowed down or give up all their stuff than stand up to some bastards who think they can take it from those 'stupid hippies'

for most of us, they'll be unpleasantly surprised.

I guess what really pisses me off the most is that a mindset of "something bad is coming and we all need to pull together NOW to make a better society" is seen as silly and naive, but "I gotta get me some more ammo, cuz the zombies are coming- screw the world, I'm protecting myself and my own" is somehow brilliant and brave.

That pisses me off because it impedes any hope for humanity progressing, and almost ensures that we all suffer longer and worse for the short-sighted selfishness of that kind of attitude.

Anyhoo- it's available now from Amazon at the link below (Kindle and in paperback) and from my website (click on the cover of the book on the left side of this page) for a signed copy. I promise not to sign it with any cuss words unless specifically asked to. :)

Happy Apocalypse, ya'll.

I'm not sure why I'm already getting a mess of crap about this from people who haven't even read it.

First of all- it's FICTION, you twitchy defensive dumb-asses.

Secondly- you don't know me or my history and haven't even read the book.

Honestly, it's way more depressing and death-filled than a lot of the Mad Max zombie stories...but only because it has to do with real life and how things are much more likely go in the event of a societal collapse. Ya. You're more likely to get bad diarrhea and skin rashes from no soap and water than come across a roving band of zombies. Fix THAT with your AK.

I just read an email going around- written by a man who was in one of the Twin Towers on 9/11. He wrote it right after he got out of there so it was fresh in his mind. He wrote of the compassion of people, the kindness, the strength and the courage.

You can see it here-

Not panic. Not selfishness. Not savagery.

I can't think of a more stressful and sudden situation than that one was and yet people behaved BETTER than expected, not worse.

So take that and shove it up your ass, Zombie Survivalists.

Peace, love and kitten kisses.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sneak Peek

"Files in Review"...stay tuned.

So there's a horrible dearth of liberal survivalist books out there (as in...ZERO).

And who better to fix that than your local ray of sunshine pointy little liberal, yours truly?

(from the blurb)

An 'End of America' story for those whose rose-colored glasses have been shattered, but who refuse to hide behind the barrel of a gun.

If you realize that the coming collapse will be more about pulling together and community than everyone becoming zombie road warriors, this is your story.

If you know that the world can be a dangerous place and that people can do awful things to each other, but believe that good people do NOT become bad people under stress, but are more likely to become heroes, this is your story.

If you've been smacked down by abuse, poverty, discrimination, addiction, violence of all nature and have come out the other side stronger but not callous, even more compassionate than before, this is your story.

If you believe in a better America for everyone- not just the powerful and mighty, but also the small and insignificant, and that this can be accomplished by ordinary people who are willing to fight without violence and be courageous in the face of adversity, this is the story I've written.

And I've written it for you.

(teeny tiny excerpt)

"They drove as night fell and the evening fog rolled in, as it did every day. Both seemed suddenly of a menacing and unnatural nature.

The air smelled metallic, felt electrical. The fog burned their eyes and froze on their eyelashes. Both Griffin and Eliza had grown up in the polluted atmosphere, but somehow it had been cushioned and masked by the constant vibration and hum of their mechanized world.

Eliza started to cry, tears freezing on her cheeks even though it was not winter. They’d been so close.

So close to bringing the world around to a better future, not just for the very wealthy, but for everyone. They had been sure that their child would be born into the new world, and they were right.

And heartbreakingly wrong."

It'll be available in paperback and on Kindle within the week- I'll let you know exactly when.

I just couldn't resist a little pre-production promo :)

(book cover paste-up)