Finding Ephemera, and Joy In the Morning?

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I have been trolling about online for 19th century ads for patent medicine and other assorted ephemera as well as car ads for vintage Toyotas, and I might consider some 1970s era ads for hygiene products and/or clothing (because that shit is hilarious) and various other weird things to transform into wall art for my house.

It’s my house. I’m the only one who lives there.  So my décor is entirely up to me. If I wanted to paint every wall in the house hot pink that is my prerogative.  I haven’t done that, mostly because a.) I don’t have time, and b.) hot pink would look weird on paneling.  This being said, eclectic is the only word I have to describe what I want.  If I like it, it goes up.

68toyotacoronacoupe                                   (but they didn’t synchronize reverse until the 2000’s)

There might be some that think I am being heartless or a bit callous in the transitions I’m making in my life.  The precious only male child is more than a little incensed that I have had the truck detailed (and that I am letting a friend in need borrow the truck for awhile) yet he never claimed that he wanted it or cared what I did with it before.  I know everyone handles grief differently, but why he would want me to let the truck sit in the garage and rot (and reek of old cigarettes and various food wrappers) is beyond me.

The difficult thing is that I have been waiting for years to be able to “get on with my life-” to be able to go have a good time if I feel like it, and to participate at church and in other activities.  No, it’s not about partying like a rock star (way too old) or anything debauched, just being able to do what I want, when I want, within reason.  I feel sort of bad because Mom and Dad both think that because I live back in town and I live alone that I am going to want to spend all my time away from work with them.  The idea here is not to ignore them, but I do have people I want to be around, and things I would like to do that don’t involve them.

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It has felt good to be able to go have dinner with a friend, to go out to malls and such, or to sit and watch old Journey concerts on You Tube.  And I am not going to feign being the “grieving widow” because I’m not feeling it. I spent too many years dealing with Jerry and his tirades and demands.  I am prone to depression, and if I really wanted to fall into that mess I probably could, but I’ve spent too much time there already.  Life is short, and I’ve already wasted enough of it being used and worn out and depressed.

And to be frank about it, 12 years of involuntary chastity was not exactly what I signed up for either.  I am certainly not easy or a slut (otherwise, I don’t see going 12 years without, married or not) but should the right opportunity (and I emphasize the word right) arise to remedy that situation, I am not going to refuse.  I am a free woman now.

Deplorably Yours, Levity, and Solemnity

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I admit that at the beginning of the Presidential campaign season I wondered about Donald Trump and his motives for wanting to run.  Here’s a guy who doesn’t need to do anything other than count his money and golf, or whatever it is rich old guys enjoy.  So why on earth would a guy like this blow a boatload of scratch on a Presidential campaign?

So was the Trump bid for President a power trip?  A bucket list thing?  I was looking for motive, and I generally don’t see the best in people until it’s blatantly obvious.  I am cynical by nature. I figured it was one of those celebrity prank type things for the longest time.

As time went on and I listened to Mr. Trump, he made sense.  What he was saying and his proposed vision for America struck a chord with me.  After eight years of Obama and his complete ineptitude, it was refreshing to hear a Reaganesque voice amid the defeatist, globalist noise.

Needless to say I am thrilled at the prospect of a fundamental change of direction in American government- a rejection of globalism, a return of national identity, and dare I think it, a return to American hegemony on the world stage.

I don’t really see any need for being a graceless winner.  I think it’s blatantly obvious that the anti-American agenda has been rejected.  No reason to rub it in.

 

Grief, a Primer, and We All Need New Frontiers

dream after dream

I haven’t been here in awhile.  Between moving (still can’t find most of my winter clothes) and tending to the dying, I am surprised I am still relatively calm and sane. Even so my absence here is ironic, because I’ve certainly had the need for catharsis and venting and a place to sort out all the conflicting emotions (there’s that dirty word – emotions– again) that have been rolling about in my head.  I’ve just been scattered so far and wide that I’ve not had the time.

Unfortunately I was right about Jerry in his illness, that he would not survive long once he couldn’t work any more.  He was deemed permanently disabled July 8th.  He died October 21st.  It was a hellish ride, and slowly suffocating to death is a cruel and shitty way to die.   Pulmonary fibrosis finally won out, and I emphasize, it is a very shitty way to die.

I am thankful that he didn’t die like his Dad did (also of pulmonary fibrosis)- after a week of poking, prodding and fruitless and painful interventions in intensive care.  Jerry was fortunate enough to die at home, I think, if only because of his determination to stay out of hospitals.  After witnessing his Dad’s horrible death in the hospital a only a week earlier, yeah, I’d want to stay the freak out of that mess too.  Especially when you have a terminal illness and death is the inevitable outcome.  Nothing that hospital could do was going to make him any better or move him toward any kind of recovery.

I am not going to pretend that our marriage was loving or happy.  Most of the time, with some brief exceptions, it wasn’t either one. Most of the time it was barely tolerable.  For me it was upholding a choice to do what I said I would, even if the decision I made was an ill-advised one.  Marry in haste, repent in leisure. Got it.

funny-bad-decisions

This isn’t to say that I didn’t love him or care, but that I’ve been worn down by many years of dealing with his alcoholism and weathering the emotional and verbal abuse that is part of that.   I can’t say that I was perfect or blameless either, and hindsight being 20/20 I still wonder if it would have been more admirable or noble for me to have left him quietly long ago.  Even though it came about in a fashion I would not wish on anyone, twenty one years later, that obligation is over.

This is the hard part that my family (as well as his family and some of our mutual friends)is having a hard time understanding.  I’ve been mourning for a very long time already.  I’ve been mourning the fact that I spent 20+ years of my life in a difficult and troubled marriage.  I’ve been mourning the reality of living with an alcoholic and riding that rollercoaster ride. I’ve been mourning witnessing someone I once loved suffering and dying in a most horrible way.  Mourning has been a way of life for me for way too long.

mourning-black

Even so, I’m not dead yet. I’m not getting any younger, either.  Excuse me if I want to live. I am not prostrate in grief.  Yes, I am sad that he suffered the way he did, and I miss him in some ways, but in most ways I’m relieved.  Relieved that his suffering is over, and that I am free to pursue my own life, whatever that might mean.

By the grace of God new frontiers are right in front of me, and in ways I couldn’t have imagined a year ago.  I’m living an ending and a beginning at the same time.  As truly bizarre as it might sound, I can’t help to stand back and feel blessed and in awe.

 

 

Damn the Torpedoes, Full Steam Ahead, and Let the Pundits Be Wrong

 

reagan-greatI have said before that I’ve not been as excited about a presidential candidate – meaning Donald Trump- since Reagan in 1980.  For you math wizards out there, I was 11 years old in 1980, and more than aware of how President Carter’s flawed policies (especially his mishandling of the coal strikes and the mollycoddling of unions that led to millions of jobs going overseas) contributed to the destruction of my home town.  I watched my friends and schoolmates move away as I was growing up.  I watched as our town turned into a poverty stricken ghost town.  My family at times was reduced to “pay the mortgage and utilities” or “get groceries.” More than once we survived on canned tuna, off brand mac & cheese, and Cream of Wheat.  .

Yes, in spite of what the pundits try to say- that people in my demographic, i.e. middle aged, white professional women, can’t possibly support a “racist” or “woman-hater” like Donald Trump, I beg to strongly disagree.

donald-trump-businessjunkee

Trump is giving people like me, yes even women, a voice.  He’s saying all the things the establishment drones are too afraid (or too beholden to their donors) to say.  He is saying what many of us have been thinking and hoping for, and that we’ve been denied all these years.  We voted for establishment Republicans hoping to get away from the failed and dangerous policies of the dreadful socialist/globalist/terrorist supporting Democrats- and the people we voted for to fight those failed policies just go right along with them instead of listening to the people who voted for them.

Newsflash: the media won’t tell you this, but fly over country is PISSED.

burqa

I am tired of seeing my country being invaded by foreigners who refuse to contribute to the greater society because they subscribe to a medieval death cult (i.e. Islam,) that teaches that people like me should be dead, or at the very least objectified and forced into servitude.  Yet, between Obama and his buddy Kasich (who is supposedly a Republican) they moved in 41,000 Somalian invaders (91% of them are on welfare) into north Columbus (not far from where I live.)  The long and the short of that is I am paying to support people who want me dead, and I can’t do anything about it.  Nobody asked me- or anyone else in central Ohio- if they wanted these moochers planted here.  Do we really want little Mogadishu in the middle of Ohio? I know I sure as hell don’t. They destroyed their own country, and sure as night follows day they will mooch and pillage and destroy ours as well.

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This isn’t Detroit…yet.

I don’t know if Trump will be able to “fix” what’s wrong in this country but he is at least naming and addressing the problems, which Obama and Hillary, all their sycophants, and even the establishment RINOs refuse to do.

obama-napolitano-profiling-terrorist

I don’t have a problem with American hegemony.  I really don’t.  Perhaps it was the way I was raised- that the world doesn’t owe one a living, that excellence is its own reward, and that it is inherently wrong to mooch from others.

Trump is right in that it is time for Americans to put America first.  It is past time to stop the Islamic terrorists and drug cartels who are taking advantage of our open borders and asinine immigration policies.  It is past time to establish fair trade practices, and to end the welfare dependency class. It’s not a matter of xenophobia or racism but of sheer survival.  Unless we take drastic steps to end the destruction Obama and his failed policies have brought upon us, America will go the way of Europe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Death, Life, Mourning and Dancing

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It’s been a month and I’ve just gotten to where I can talk about it.  Yes, Clara was a dog, but there are some dogs who are more than dogs. Even now, just remembering her big, soft ears and deep brown eyes, and the way she would lean on me so hard she almost knocked me down at times, brings me to tears.  I know that the love of dogs has a price- their lives are far too short.

Everything I had learned of the Malinois breed indicated they are noted for health and longevity. Most of the 12 years she lived in our home she was happy, healthy and robust.  In spite of Clara’s difficult start as a rescued dog with a laundry list of physical and emotional issues, she healed and blossomed with us.  She mentored our other dogs.  She visited the nursing home when my Grandma was there, and offered comfort to many of the residents. Clara was a gentle, intuitive dog, who even took care to mentor Brutus, her final protégé, who she had a month to teach, until she got ill.  He has many of the same beautiful, intuitive traits Clara had.  His gentleness reminds me of her.

Brutus

I am thankful her final illness was brief.  It took only a week from the time I noticed she was getting a bit melancholy and slow, then she stopped eating, and by then she was displaying all the classic signs of congestive heart failure.  We took her, and for the first and only time, I had to lift her in and out of the truck- to our long time family vet.  I hoped the vet would have a different answer than what I knew to be inevitable.

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Our vet knew the labored breathing and heavy plodding of a dying dog all too well though. One look at a dog who used to be vibrant and alert and active, but now was struggling just to breathe and move a few steps, was enough for the vet to conclude that given her age, and the signs of heart and probably multiple organ failure, that Clara was, indeed, dying. We agreed that letting Clara go in peace without pain would be far more humane than heroics that may or may not buy a week or two. I held her in my arms as she passed, so she would know how much she was loved. We buried her near the gate she used to guard.

Clara 14 small

Clara was 14.  I was blessed to have her for a little more than 12 of those years.

Unfortunately there is more impending death around me, and it will cut even deeper than losing Clara.  Jerry is getting more and more ill from the pulmonary fibrosis.  He keeps getting put on more meds. He tires easily and is spending more and more time on the oxygen box.  The only hope for him to improve- and hopefully not die right away- is to get him on track for a lung transplant.  He will have to go on disability to do that, which will be at most optimistic, the very least a month or two away.

To add more to the chaos in my life, we will be moving as we are buying my grandmother’s old house.  Dad is selling it to us, and I am glad to get the strangers he’s been renting it to gone. They are supposed to be out tomorrow, then I can assess what needs to be done before we can move in.  I will have a lot longer drive to work for me, but it will get him into a quiet neighborhood out of the city.  The house is small but the yard is huge and there will (soon) be a large fence so the dogs can go out safely.

clarawindow1

Talk about the psychological maelstrom that I am trying to navigate.  I want Jerry to stay healthy enough for a lung transplant but the reality is that I may lose him too.  Yes, he is difficult and high maintenance, and he takes out his frustration on his health issues on me, but contrary to logic and reason, I am in this regardless.  Death, life, mourning or dancing- it’s all part of the drama of life.

I am looking forward to moving if only because it feels like I’m going home.  I will finally be able to be in a home I will own, that nobody can arbitrarily throw me out of, and my grandparents’ house will stay in the family. I’ll also be closer to my parents, my son and my granddaughter.

 

I Refuse to Stay Behind With the Rest of the Class, and More Passive-Aggressive Revenge

bizarrechildhood
The dirty birds of political correctness and feel-good leftism have come home to roost, and the results are grim as well as predictable.

I was fortunate enough in some ways to grow up in a sort of cultural backwater.  In the 1970s and 1980s the leftist devolution of American society hadn’t really taken hold in the tiny towns.  It was still OK to pray in school.  The whole town was scandalized when it became permissible for girls to wear pants to school if they chose (this was the late 1970s.)

icky plaid pants
Given the dreadful thick, itchy, badly patterned, hot polyester that was popular in the 1970s, it was almost better to wear a dress, but then you had to wear tights, which were almost as bad as these pants- they were hot, itchy, and didn’t stay up, so the crotch would be at your knees by the end of the day no matter what you did to try to keep them up.

tights

When I was in elementary school, kids were expected to say the Pledge in the morning, unless their parents sent them a note excusing them from it.  I remember one poor Jehovah’s Witness kid who had to sit out the Pledge in the hall, which made no sense because the principal always had a student of the day read it over the PA system for the whole school, including the halls, to hear. I don’t think he understood his parents’ objection to the Pledge any more than he enjoyed being teased for having to sit it out.

Now the kids in public schools have to endure the dreadful Common Core curriculum that teaches to standardized tests (forget about critical or analytical thinking, learning at one’s own pace, or learning subject matter that isn’t included in the pre-fabbed one-size-fits-none test box) and to the religion (and yes, it is a religion of sorts) of secular humanism.

religion

Even atheism, in its tenacious and oft irrational hanging onto a belief that there can be no God, is its own religion. Living under the assertion that there is no God may be a poor belief system, but it’s a belief system nonetheless.

I remember in third grade I was told to “stay behind with the rest of the class,” and I resent that directive to this day.  I absolutely hated it when the teacher would have the kids read a paragraph at a time out loud in class.  I’m hyperlexic, which means (among other things) that I speed read.  Constantly. Compulsively.  It is very difficult for me to stay awake– forget staying focused- when other people are reading aloud, painfully slowly, in a monotone voice.  By the time my turn would roll around I was usually three or four chapters ahead.

Usually I was a good enough multitasker to flip right back to the paragraph the class was currently reading in time to read my assigned lines without being noticed, but this particular day I was more scattered than normal, and the kids reading before me were even more tedious and hesitating and monotone than normal.  It took me a few seconds to scan back to the paragraph the teacher expected me to read, which didn’t sit well with her.

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I think elementary school teachers really hated me for a number of reasons.  I didn’t fit into the box.  I didn’t adhere to the normal template of child development that they learned in college.  I freaked them out with my vocabulary. I alienated them with my avoidance of eye contact and repulsed them with my intense reactions to fear- but more than that, I simply didn’t follow the paradigm.  I couldn’t identify the paradigm, let alone follow it, and even at 47 I struggle with keeping up the semblance of “normal.”

When you’re a kid, autism kind of sucks- because you haven’t had a chance to learn the scripts that can help you navigate through the world  of “normal.”  Those scripts come naturally for most, but people like me have to learn and memorize and practice those social scripts until they become habit.  You know you’re different, they know you’re different, and until you learn how to play the social game to your advantage, you pay (dearly) for that nonconformity.

Of course at first, doing things differently than other people wasn’t a conscious choice.  I speed read. I have my own road map.  I am extremely pragmatic and rational in the way I approach life. There’s nothing I can (or want to) do about the way I’m wired, and I have come to the conclusion that staying behind is just not a viable option for me.

What is disturbing to me about collective education is that teaching to a group discourages individual excellence.  I understand that teaching to a norm is going to reach the greatest percentage of kids, but what about those that deviate from the mean?  Much has been done- in fact too much- to address those who can’t or won’t meet the basic standards.  Lowering the standard is not a good answer, although for funding and other reasons, lower standards seem to make politicians happier.

The kids who are capable of excellence generally do what I did.  I coasted.  I partied, though very clandestinely.  I multitasked, and I read a lot of Mad magazines as well as Stephen King novels, history and scientific non-fiction, and not a few books that would have been porn had they been illustrated.  I read a lot of extra curricular material in study halls as well as in class.  I was quiet and did well on tests, so I was pretty much left alone, even though some days- I admit it, I was stoned or hung over or both.  By that time the teachers had better things to worry about than the weird loner in the corner who aces tests but doesn’t talk much.

Even with my somewhat laissez-faire approach in high school, I graduated with a 4.1 average, thanks to taking some weighted courses to offset my rather average mathematical aptitude.  For the life of me, higher math, or at least the way it was taught, simply didn’t make much sense.

 

 

 

 

 

Now Is Not the Time for “Civility,” and the Eloquence of Stating the Obvious

captain obvious

It’s sad that in this politically correct world, that young adults are encouraged to cling neurotically to “safe spaces” where they won’t be hurt by cruel (though often true) words.  It’s bad enough that these poor kids grew up believing that everyone gets a trophy, but to believe that everything is OK just because you can’t or won’t face reality is simply cowardice and stupidity.

Ignoring the present Muslim invasion is ignoring history.  Of course, history isn’t taught as it should be, for if it were, the Western world would  not have forgotten the lessons of the past.  One would think that the relatively recent rise and fall of Nazism and the end of Soviet Communism would serve as stout warnings against totalitarian and/or collectivist movements, but apparently stupidity dies hard.  Islam, in spite of being a false and counterfeit religion, has been around much longer than either Nazism or Communism.  It’s been in the death and deceit business a very long time.

Radical Islam vs_ the west

 

As the world has witnessed over the past few decades of so-called Arab liberation, Islam is anything but peaceful. Islam does not seek to co-exist with other value systems, nor does it seek for its adherents to hold hands and sing about living in harmony with everyone.   It is more of a brutal and archaic socioeconomic system than it is a religion, even though in its barbarity it hides behind the worship of an ancient Arabic moon-god idol.  Islam deifies a false god that is most certainly NOT the One True God that Jews and Christians worship.  At best, Islam should be considered a nihilistic death cult that should be shunned and condemned by the civilized world.  Until just the past few decades, this was the position of the Western world.  Why we have felt the need to defend or protect those who belong to value systems that want anyone outside of that value system dead is beyond me.

I never want any female relative or descendant of mine to have to be enslaved by Islam- hidden behind a burqa, and beholden to the whims of “men” who think it perfectly acceptable to behead anyone they disagree with, and to fornicate with anything that has a hole in it.  Unless perhaps that something is a pig or a dog?  In a way I find it interesting that Islamic law considers dogs unclean.  There’s something about calling something good evil that smacks of irony here.

Clara 14 small

Clara is actually very clean for a dog.  And she doesn’t wipe her ass with her bare hand.

I can’t help but see a very clear lesson from the past.  Neville Chamberlain thought that if he appeased Hitler that appeasement would bring peace.  Nothing could have been further from the truth.  Ann Coulter has her usual catty and spot on insight on this here.

Obama (and with far less noble aims than Chamberlain) either thinks that he can buy peace from radical Islam by allowing their invaders to settle here freely, or he knows full well that he is opening the door to a foreign and hostile army by settling “refugees” in this country.  Considering Obama’s actions and affiliations in the past, he is most likely aiding and abetting Islamic terror with full purpose and intent.  Either of those above choices is a bad choice, because there is no brokering peace with an ideology hell bent upon war.  Inviting them in only makes the war all the more inevitable.  One does not appease alligators by feeding them.  Feeding alligators only makes them stronger and hungrier, as we should have learned from Hitler.

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This is not the time for civility.  It is the time for blunt honesty no matter who gets butt hurt about it.  There are people who follow an ideology- Islam-  that calls for the death of everyone outside of that system.  Even though this ideology hides behind the façade of religion, in truth, we ignore the evil of radical Islam to our peril.