Imprison the Inconvenient Women

In these tumultuous times, I think it is important for women not to forget their history.  It hasn’t been that long since a man could have a female family member committed to an asylum for most anything, including a perceived display of female sexuality.  Being a pregnant single woman would be one of many reasons you could end up at the asylum.

This post, Sex and the Asylum: Imprisoning Inconvenient Women , at dirtysexyhistory is a must read, if you are interested in history, feminism or women’s rights.

Daydreams

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I’ve been a daydreamer all of my life.  I used my imagination to get me through the through the day.  When I was a kid I would daydream about a happier life when our family bickered about this or that .  I would daydream during class, walking home or a car trip.   Growing up in the pre-internet era sometimes all you had was your imagination to keep you company. Getting lost in my own head was often preferable to reality.

I would daydream about most anything, books, travel or even the boy in math class.  Sometimes my daydreams were pure fiction, sometimes about something I hoped would happen….what I would get for my birthday or who might ask me to dance at the eighth grade dance.

As a kid, my daydreams were often about things happening to me, someone getting me the perfect birthday present or having a peaceful Thanksgiving.  As an adult, some of my daydreams are about me making things happen.  I spend a lot of daydreaming about my garden.  Some of my ideas I acted upon.  When it comes to a garden, Mother Nature usually has a say in how your dreams play out.

Once in a while I step out of my somewhat cautious personality and act on an idea to do something wacky, like paint the bathroom orange.

I still daydream from time to time. I daydream about sometime owning a house by the water.  I daydream about getting a cute red car.  I daydream about living a long life with my husband, long enough to see grandchildren.

Another Summer Fades Away

This time of year is always bittersweet.  Summer always goes by so fast, and then the kids are back in school.  My daughter went back to college, and my son in back in high school.

I always have dreams about what we will do as a family in summer.  The kids are older now and doing their own thing so family time is precious.

Trips to see my mother and assist her also compete for my time.  I don’t know if this stage is temporary, but right now my mother’s memory problems seem to make her more relaxed and more pleasant of personality than what she normally is.

At this time of year I often think about how I’d once thought about homeschooling my kids.  I wonder what homeschooling families do when mom gets sick.  I have been slogging through some medical issues since spring and this thought just crossed my mind.  My mom didn’t home school us, but she wasn’t “allowed” to be sick.  When we were old enough my sister and I could help with various chores.  Probably at a certain point we were too clueless to offer help.  My dad would have never thought to vacuum or load the dishwasher or deal with school issues.  What happens to home school when mom is sick?  My dad would have been qualified to teach some high school math and most college math I am sure, but he would have never made the day to day commitment to do so.  He did help us from time to time, but often his answer was along the lines of “You can use calculus to solve this in a matter of seconds”, but since we didn’t know calculus we remained puzzled.

This year my son is taking chemistry and will be reading some Hispanic literature as it was written in the original Spanish.  Two things that are certainly far above my pay grade.  I did take some high school and college chemistry, but most of what I learned is stuck in a locked compartment in my brain, and I don’t have the key anymore.  Reading literature written in Spanish….not in my skill set at all.  I could attempt some French literature, I suppose, but my brain is rusty there as well.  I’m grateful that my son has school and sports to keep him stimulated.

The bloom of summer is fading for me, just as it is for the world.  Time for the next season.

Not All In My Head

I’ve spent a good part of the year not feeling 100%.  It started out with vague GI symptoms.  Many times it was just that burning feeling I’d had a million times before in the pit of my stomach I thought was just caused by anxiety.  The pain in my stomach then started to become vomiting for no reason.  I started taking medication for the pain in my stomach and have as needed medication on hand should I feel nauseous.  Along with the GI problems I felt tired and unmotivated.  Lots of naps.  I am supposed to have more diagnostic testing soon, but there was a long wait to see a gastroenterologist.

I’ve also had some back pain and crampy female type pain, like a very uncomfortable period.  It is a kind of pain I would normally take ibuprofen for, but the ibuprofen would make my stomach discomfort worse.

Once I started having some odd bleeding and the continued crampy pain, my mind went wild wondering if the crampy pain and the GI pain were caused by the same thing.  I made an appointment with a gynecologist, found out I have endometrial cancer, and I will be having a hysterectomy soon.

I’ve feel tired and painful and haven’t had the energy to get done everything I feel I should be doing.  Is it my history of depression influencing how I feel?  I’ve been taking many naps.  Sometimes you read stories about people being diagnosed with cancer who are motivated to do something grand.  A little voice in my head says I should feel this way, but the urge to take a nap and lie down wins out instead.

I feel hopeful about my prognosis with my endometrial cancer and upcoming surgery.  I am just waiting to get everything done.  People I know are supportive for the most part.  One person I know who is more of an “essential oils cure everything” type of person asked me if I had carefully researched what I was about to do.  She thinks I am a poor lost little sheep both for having worked in traditional healthcare environments and receiving care in the same sort of environment.  She’s also worried that I am ruining my lady parts for my husband by undergoing surgery.  I walked away from her and refused to even address any of her ignorance.  I honestly really wanted to laugh at her though.  Are you really that stupid that you think getting a hysterectomy for cancer is that controversial?

I’ve been cranky and impatient.  On one of my last days of work I told my supervisor how I *really* feel about changes they have made that make communication and work flow much less efficient.  If I had not felt so bad I probably would have not said anything at all, because it won’t change anything.  God forbid I as a nurse should want to spend less time with bureaucratic red tape and more time with the people I am supposed to care for.  I am sure I “sacrificed something” by expressing my opinion when it is time for my next raise.  The ultimate irony of all this is that several months ago my employer spent thousands of extra dollars to educate us on communication issues and workplace inefficiency.  I guess my supervisors weren’t paying attention.  Perhaps we need Michael Scott and Dwight Shrute from the TV show The Office to become our new managers….things couldn’t possibly get any more absurd.

Sacrifice Something

The internet moves at light speed from one topic to another. Everyone must pick a side, and of course their side is always right.

I’ve been thinking about Colin Kaepernick for a while. Now I am thinking about Colin Kaepernick and Nike. Maybe what bothers me is that it just another talking point in someone’s Twitter feed or Facebook.

Where I live no one admits they voted for Trump. We pat ourselves on the back talking about how fabulously progressive we are. We voted for Obama! We’ll probably never ever stop talking about that.

Our town has a dirty little secret though. Instead of talking about what we could do for the disadvantaged, our school district worried about placating people of privilege who didn’t want their children exposed to gangbangers, the illiterate and people of color. They couldn’t entirely avoid the undesirables of course. The big point of contention was that the special people had to have a new high school built for their little precious angels. They were going to tell the school district how big the school could be and who could attend it.  For reals. They couldn’t take a chance on having their kids go to school on our side of town. My husband and I aren’t University professors! We have no books in our house. People on our side of town engage in gunfights as the children get off the school bus.

Of course all these allegations were ludicrous. These parents were very careful in official channels about how they delivered their message, since by and large they were highly educated registered Democrats speaking to a school board of mostly the same type of people. It was fun at times to watch a few of these people struggle to deliver their coded messages at school board meetings while they sweat, sputtered and spit.

Our school board spent YEARS on this issue, worrying about catering to the elite.

What is my point?  Instead of these sorts of hypocrites laughing at the Trump supporters who would burn their Nikes, maybe they should go SACRIFICE something. They could attend local government meetings and advocate for the disadvantaged.

My son’s football team played the new precious high school’s team and our team won.  I am sure the parents of the precious were fuming.

Somehow though as Friday Night Lights turns into College Football Saturday in our town, I doubt I will see anyone newly motivated to sacrifice something. The best and the brightest in our town will be getting drunk, pissing and vomiting on private property as they trudge toward the stadium. Students and grown ass folks alike.

This is my little corner of America. Yours may be different. If you think “sacrifice everything” is the ultimate message , make it a message of action not just a talking point.

What Would Dad Say?

My dad has been gone for a long time.  I often wonder what he would say about certain events.  He died previously to September 11, 2001, and that was one of the first times I’d had that thought.

My dad had been a lifelong Republican, but I don’t think he would recognize the party as it is today.

I was talking to my mom on the phone the other day.  My mom is beginning to have some memory problems but she still watches the news.  She was talking about all of Trump’s criminal associates but stumbled to remember their names.  I supplied the names as I could, Manafort and Cohen.

After our converation ended, there was a notification on my phone that John McCain had passed away.  My dad, like McCain, was a Navy man.  My dad of course did not graduate from Annapolis, he was an enlisted man.

A few years ago, when Trump questioned whether McCain was a war hero or not, because he’d been captured, I felt my dad roll over in his grave.  What would my dad have said about Trump’s remarks.  What would he have said about such a man who would  mock a veteran?

What would he say about Trump, a sitting President, whose behavior has been so egregious, he has not been invited to the funeral of Senator John McCain.

What would he say when it was other politicians across the aisle who would come to the defense of John McCain.

I don’t think my dad could imagine such disgraceful behavior.  For the people that still support Trump, how do you reconcile yourself with such disgraceful behavior.

 

Mollie Tibbetts

Mollie Tibbetts body was found just two days ago.  Mollie had been jogging on July 18th, and was reported missing on July 19. Her cause of death has been reported as multiple sharp injuries. I hate that people have taken to Twitter etc to make this a political debate. I just can’t imagine being a parent and seeing your child die before you, and in such a horrific, senseless way.  I can’t imagine being her parents and trying to grieve while everyone is arguing about their political take on the issue.  Can’t her family have just a little bit of quiet?  Times like this, I think our society would do better without social media.  Such a sad sad situation for her family.

Throwback Thursday…Renewed Strength

At work this weekend I met a man that melted my heart.  He was an elderly man with cancer which had begun metastasizing.  Though he was still undergoing treatment to fight the cancer, he was beginning to think that death was nearer than he would like.

Despite his circumstances he was incredibly gracious, more gracious than I would imagine myself to be in those circumstances.  We only spent an hour together.  My role was to help him, but it was he who provided me with awe and wonder. Though the subject of our conversations mostly were on the serious side, at the end of my shift I had a renewed strength in why I had pursued nursing as a career.  Even though there are many above me who dictate what I should do as a nurse and make more money, it is I who provide the hands on care, that receives the real gifts.

I’m not sure if I will see him again, I won’t forget him though.

Throwback Thursday…Big Hair and Bright Pink Lipstick

Waiting, in a daze.

She hears a song.

Wistful about times gone by.

a moody eyelinered man sings about love, and love lost on a mix tape now discarded.

Music beams her back.

Permed hair, lots of hairspray.

Bright pink lipstick.

A skirt that swirls just a bit, tanned legs

Dancing, feeling weightless, no pain.

Her eyes are closed, feeling happy and tranquil.

Lost in memories of friends and good times.

Then, “ma’am, MA’AM, its your turn”.

Nothing like being called ma’am

to jolt one back to harsh reality.

Not much to say about this one, except that I confess to having big hair at one time.  In summer the bright pink lipstick usually went with a tan, in the days when I didn’t worry about aging or skin cancer.

Throwback Tuesday…..Tears Never Cried

The words she never said

were like tears never cried

Tears invisible to the world

Still they remained with her

The world wanted her quiet

just to smile

Once she thought she was strong

to control the tears

she was wrong

the tears inside

the unspoken words

turned to stone inside her

a burden still to be carried.

Published one year ago.  Still true.  My issue, I suppose, because people expect me to be how I am most days, but aren’t sure what to do when I crack.