hot plate kate

rants and ramblings freshly served

Prodigal Daughter — February 18, 2017

Prodigal Daughter

There she is, my sister, whatever she does she consumes my mother’s attention.

Somehow it is silly, isn’t it, to think my mom could change her ways for just a day, and perhaps see that her other daughter might need her mom in some way.

I’m a grown woman.  I should know better by now.  I’ve been caught off guard by a difficult situation.  I need someone to talk to.  Why though at this point should I feel an ache that this person should be my mother?

All of my mom’s energy is yet caught up again in my sister’s addiction.  In a conversation the other day I gave my mom an inch and she took a mile.  A mile to talk about my sister.

I wish my mom’s mind could slow down for just a minute to see past the world of my sister’s life.


Love — February 14, 2017


Life can often be a struggle.  Out of that struggle though we can learn many lessons. I think each day we aspire to be a better person.  Sometimes it easy, other times not so much.

I recently had a reminder of why the golden rule is so important.  I told myself I would start acting from a place of love when I deal with my fellow human beings. Not that I was a giant meanie before, but I knew I could use some improvement. For someone who can be a misanthrope, that is a challenge.

I’m trying really hard to figure out what the best way to love my alcoholic sister is, and trying to fight the urge to shut the door on our relationship.  I’m trying harder to be compassionate toward my mother because surely being the mother of an alcoholic is harder than being the sister of one.

I’m trying to assume the best of my coworkers, based on a recent incident I had at work. One of my coworkers essentially sees the people we supervise as without value.  Well it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out if you assume the worst about someone, that is how they will perform.

On Valentine’s Day we often think about our sweeties.  I love my husband dearly, nothing will change that.  Wouldn’t today also be a great day to think about how we could spread just a little love and kindness into the world.

I’m trying to be kinder and less impatient when out in the world.  I’m trying not to let the slow old ladies clogging up the grocery store aisles bother me.  When I was at the store recently, I realized that would be me sooner than later, and I would hope people would treat me with patience.

Every day, when I get out of bed, I’m going to remind myself to do just a little but better and act from a place of love.



Musings from the peanut gallery — February 7, 2017
Carrying on the momentum of the march….education would be a good place to start — February 3, 2017

Carrying on the momentum of the march….education would be a good place to start

I’ve heard a lot of messages come out of the Womens’ March.  I wonder which, if any of them, will gain any sort of momentum, and result in real change and better lives for the most marginalized in our society.  I believe education would be a great place to start.

I have to say though, I’m skeptical.  I live in a progressive, liberal university town.  No Republicans need run for local office.  That doesn’t stop property developers from trying to run a small scale Trump empire though.  Said property developers, might vote liberally, but they still have the ethics of Trump.  Our city council bends over backwards to make it easy for them to do business here.  Oh wait that it isn’t about education, I digress.

As someone who attended Catholic school for 12 years, I assumed the public school system offered a noble ideal of equality of opportunity for all.  The reality, this simply isn’t so.

There is a notion being floated in the aftermath of the march that feminist means you are free of prejudice toward others.  Or perhaps feminists are equating themselves as a group who deeply care about those less fortunate than they are. I don’t see it play out like that in my community though.   The racism and classism might be more covert, but it is there.   The liberal white university employed mother often lobbies for a system where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  I don’t mean that just in terms of money when I speak about rich and poor.

What to do to improve education?  I don’t have the answer.  It probably won’t be glamorous. It might mean hard work. It might mean writing to elected officials. Elected officials that might not answer back. It might mean going to school board meetings to offer commentary.  If you have deep pockets you could donate to arts and sports programs at struggling schools. Or you could use those deep pockets to purchase band and orchestra instruments  for those who cannot afford them. If you know a lot about science, perhaps you could be involved in the curriculum review committee the next time the school district is looking to purchase textbooks.  The suggestions of what any one individual could do to help improve education are probably endless.

This is a post I wrote about how I see education in my little part of the United States.  It might not be the most well written post, but I stand behind the message.  After the election in 2016, I reposted my thoughts with additional commentary.  My thoughts were inspired by going to my son’s basketball game.  As I watch my son and his peers, some of whom he has known since kindergarten, I wonder what the world holds in store for him. While these kids were all little boys once upon a time, and now are teens, many of whom are taller than me now…this still amazes me…despite their size, we still need to look after them.   We can do better, for our daughters, sons, and all the children in out country.

No Thank You Necessary — February 1, 2017

No Thank You Necessary

This is a follow up to Written on Your Face, a post about caring for a woman with a neurological disease whose life is fading away.  The last post was a composite of the many families I have met in my journey as a nurse.  Families who are all about love, a love so palpable you can feel it in the room.

We love the roses you sent us

Truly though they were not necessary.

We have already received our gift,

having been allowed to care for your mother,

knowing your family.

The only gift we needed.

Oh, darling dog — January 30, 2017

Oh, darling dog

I do love you so

But you know I just don’t wake up as easily as you

It was 5:30 AM I thought you were having a bathroom emergency

with your insistence I wake up, even though  your bladder works better than mine.

You are smarter than I give you credit for,  you really didn’t have to go pee.

You knew there was freshly fallen snow outside, what else would a being want to do at 5:30 AM but go romp  in the snow.

I wish I could have your joie de vivre at this cruel hour of the day.  Really.

But it is time to come in from the white stuff, mama wants to get back under the covers.

Two Socially Awkward Women at Work–what to do — January 27, 2017

Two Socially Awkward Women at Work–what to do

As a kid I was painfully shy.  Growing up, some of this shyness has went away.  Sometimes though having difficult conversations can be hard though.  That side of me that I try to keep under wraps-the socially awkward side-makes me freeze up in conflict. I want to do some problem solving but also tell someone at work to f* off, but in a way that won’t get me in trouble. I’m trying to figure out how to have this conversation so my words don’t come out in an awkward mess.  As I write this I picture myself eye rolling, ending the conversation abruptly and stomping away.  Don’t get the wrong idea, this isn’t frequent behavior for me, but I know the potential is there.

The coworker  is also socially awkward, and comes off as disrespectful to a lot of the people I supervise.  She is one to constantly pick out the faults of others, but not able to see her own faults or the big picture of what we are trying to accomplish.

I don’t know if you have ever watched M*A*S*H.  I picture my coworker as Frank Burns.  I would be Charles Winchester.  Both characters were jerks in their own way and foils for Hawkeye and other cast members.  Though these characters weren’t on the show at the same time, they often had trouble getting along with others.  Frank Burns’ character on the show was frequently trying to find fault with others. Charles Winchester was sort of pompous, but I feel underneath he had more redeeming qualities than Frank Burns.While I think I mostly get along with others pretty well, I feel disconnected at trying to problem solve with this woman.

I’m going to give myself a night to sleep on it an hope to have more wisdom in the morning.


Keep Your Hands Off My Antidepressants — January 26, 2017

Keep Your Hands Off My Antidepressants

I’m sure I have written these sentiments before, but I feel it is time to do it again.

I am the one that has struggled with depression for most of my adult life.

I don’t need you to tell me your rapid fire method depression cure.  Exercise is not a wonder cure.  I am happy if it is for you.  I can tell you when I was younger and more physically active, I was very deeply depressed.  Although my circumstances in those times were that I sometimes walked miles a day, there was no endorphin high.  Even as a teen, the times that I likely got hours of hard exercise,  I was probably depressed but didn’t recognize it as such.

Don’t tell me pills are harmful.  You don’t know what is best for me.  I’ll assume the risk.

Don’t tell me about your herbal remedy.  Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t.  Herbal doesn’t mean safe.  Herbal doesn’t mean our bodies clap and cheer when we ingest something natural, and recognize a pill as something  as something inferior.  After all, cocaine and heroin come from natural sources.

You think I am weak, and if I just put my mind to it, I could power through it.  Well that approach has yet to work.  Believe me I have tried many times.

For now I need the help a pill can give, something to boost me out of the fog and darkness. I am sorry if you don’t understand.

If I had marched… — January 25, 2017

If I had marched…

Why would I have marched…..

To see the development of a real health care plan that could lend a hand to my sister with both issues of addiction and mental health.  The ACA provided her with a very high deductible health care plan.  It is hard to get help if the first several thousand dollars come out of your pocket…several thousand she doesn’t have.  I don’t understand how people think the ACA benefits someone like her, or a man in her same situation.

To call out the so called Christians who have an opinion about how each gender behaves and should function.  To the greasy unkempt guy who thinks himself a marriage expert and likes to perpetuate harmful stereotypes that he believes are divinely inspired.  Oh, and stop being the modesty police, and breathlessly talking about how the women folk are causing the brothers to stumble if they show a hint of cleavage. The little women who stand behind these preacher men, you don’t do women any favors. Oh, Emerson Eggerichs and Shaunti Feldhahn, you can stop with your gender stereotypes as well.  I can’t imagine my work being centered on this kind of nonsense.

To eliminate subtle but harmful gender expectations in the workplace.  Outright misogyny or misandry should not be tolerated.

For the parents out there that let their kids listen to music where every other word is ho or bitch, well I don’t know what to say.  You probably don’t give a fuck what I have to say.  I met one of your little teenaged darlings recently….to his mom who doesn’t care she is raising a little misogynist…stay klassy lady.

To make sure that we are doing right by kids from disadvantaged backgrounds when it comes to education.  I see everyone is an uproar about Betsy DeVos.  But can anyone tell me what Arne  Duncan has done the last 8 years to improve education, at the classroom level?

For the people in my life who just stood there and did nothing to call out injustice to women or perpetuated harmful stereotypes…screw you.  Yes that includes people close to me.

Before we all go making an idol of Planned Parenthood, ensure they are providing quality care….in the case of my sister, they did not.

To make sure the condition of women doesn’t slide backwards to some sort of old world antiquated notion where women were barely human.

To nurture a system where the average Josephine has a voice,  and to have journalists who will give her a voice.  I could really care less about what any celebrity has to say.

To nurture a system where there is an abundance of highly qualified candidates for public office.

Thoughts on the Women’s March — January 23, 2017

Thoughts on the Women’s March

Just a bunch of random unconnected thoughts and observations.

My boss left on Friday to attend the march in Washington.  No way would one of the peons been given the time off of work to attend.  On Saturday, I worked part of the day.  Later in the day I helped schlep a neighbor’s kid around, his mom attending the statewide march.

As I understand it there were no arrests in Washington as a result of the women’s march. That is  a lot to ponder.  I generally don’t trust the words peaceful protest because, well there is always the potential for one person to fly off the handle, but a group of mostly women managed to pull it off.

Is there one universal group of issues these women represent?  Are these the issues most important to me?  I’m not really sure.

People say women’s rights are human rights?  As a mother is there space for me to articulate what I see as important issues for my son and his peers? Do mothers who have only daughters see these things differently? Where do those issues fall into the category of human rights?

Do celebrities like Madonna have concerns for the issues their sons might face, not just their daughters.  Honestly, if there is another women’s march, let real people speak about their struggles.  I am so tired of celebrities and their opinions.

Would I have attended the statewide march even if I had the day off…I don’t know.  Are the women I know that attended either the statewide march or the one in Washington interested in hearing opinions that might be different than their’s..I’m not sure.

As you can tell, I’m not really sure what side of the fence I fall on.  I can say though that having a son made my thought process more complex.