The Emperor’s New Clothes- and the NWO’s New “Great Plague”

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Most of us learned the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen when we were children. (For those unfamiliar with the story, it is available on Amazon Kindle at a very affordable price.)  The moral of the story is that people (including the emperor himself) were deceived by an out and out lie.  The emperor was supposedly wearing the most lavish and expensive and beautiful clothing- but only the very intelligent and learned would be able to see them.  The ruse went on, with the people as well as the emperor pretending that the emperor was wearing the finest of finery because no one wanted to admit that they weren’t intelligent and enlightened enough to see his “clothes.”  That is, until a child on the emperor’s parade route screams out, “He’s NAKED!”

So what does the naked emperor have to do with the current COVID-19 hysteria?

The moral of the story of course.  The people, as well as their public servants, are letting themselves be held captive to an out and out lie.  Our government does not want to admit that they crashed the economy and put millions of people out of work out of fear of a disease that will be proven to be less lethal than the seasonal flu that hits every year. We accept that the seasonal flu that kills thousands of the ill and frail every year is normal, just like we accept traffic deaths and suicides and the greatest holocaust of our time, the gratuitous killing of millions of unborn human beings in the name of “choice.”

The COVID crisis is a “plandemic,” if I may borrow a new word, put in place by various consortiums of world governments.  I’m not the garden variety conspiracy theorist but the behavior of the American far left (i.e. the Democratic party, which has been overrun with socialists, globalists and Marxists) is anything but in favor of American hegemony or the best interest of individual American citizens.  They are getting progressively more dishonest and progressively more anti-American and anti-Constitution by the moment.

So here’s the globalist far left game plan: Let’s take a disease that is less lethal than seasonal flu and turn it into an excuse for global panic and isolation.  Let’s shut down the economy and show those capitalists that the people really want a nanny state and need a one world government to protect them from all this “evil.” 

It’s a page from Saul Alinsky’s wonderful (insert sarcasm here) tome “Rules for Radicals” – Never let a good crisis go to waste. And if you have to manufacture the crisis, oh, well.  Marxism was never about telling the truth.

This current plandemic doesn’t smell right on many levels.  Why is Walmart “safe” but church isn’t?  If this disease were so horrid and deadly, millions of Walmart shoppers would be dead and dying.

Why are our First, Fourth and Tenth Amendment rights being steamrollered for this?

For those who weren’t taught the Constitution in school (I am showing my advancing age here) the First Amendment violations I speak of are censorship of free speech, forbidding peaceable assembly, and forbidding the freedom to worship.  The Fourth Amendment is violated when shop owners are forbidden to use their skills or property to earn their living- their livelihoods are being effectively seized and shut down by governmental decree. Restaurants and hair dressers will lose their licenses to operate should they try to do business amidst the COVID frenzy. The Tenth Amendment is being violated as states interfere with the First and Fourth Amendment rights, which is beyond their authority to do.  States cannot make laws that violate the Federal Constitution.

There are some who argue that reopening commerce and public spaces will allow this virus to spread.  Funny how states are not demanding antibody testing to support their claims of how deadly COVID is.  There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence that suggests that COVID made its rounds through much of the US in January 2020, long before the hype began. It would not be surprising that the demand for antibody testing is being suppressed, for if the truth comes out that the disease was widespread, was minor in almost all cases, and has run its course, the excuse for hobbling the economy and destroying people’s businesses and livelihoods evaporates.

The emperor is naked, folks.  We are killing ourselves and running people into poverty and ruin because nobody in positions of power is willing to admit they were wrong.  The models were skewed from the beginning and based on bogus data. The data is still being falsified, even down to hospitals claiming every death is COVID even if it is a car accident or a beheading, so they can get the extra cash.  And if we blithely go along with the ones who hold the reins of power, we are pretending to see clothes on a naked emperor too.  It’s all about governmental overreach and certain people lining their pockets.  As always, follow the money.

I do have a few side notes I will add to my opinion here. For the past 40+ years, since I had rheumatic fever in 1979, I am extremely vulnerable to strep infections. I have a far greater statistical risk of contracting strep throat, getting rheumatic fever again, and dying from it than I do of dying from COVID.  I have always been a bit hyper aware of keeping my hands washed and keeping away from people who are known to be carrying illness for that reason, but that is just common sense.

I cannot lock myself away in quarantine my entire life, even though contracting any kind of strep infection is a serious and a very real risk for me. I have to go out and live and wander about in the common sea of contagion. And the reality of life is that we all do.

Granted I have some small recourse, if I know I have been exposed to strep at home or work I can get a course of penicillin that should keep the strep at bay.  In the past 40 years I have had to do this about five times.  However, with the heart valve and joint damage I already have, I am very aware that a second round of rheumatic fever can kill me.

The bottom line is that life has risks.  The average person has a greater risk of falling in the shower and dying than dying from COVID. The average person has a far greater risk of dying in a car accident than dying from COVID. But are we banning showering or driving (and for God’s sake, don’t give the Marxists ideas!)?

The COVID crisis has given us a good warning of the dangers of poor hygiene, overcrowding and poor sanitation. Its prevalence in the prison population definitely gives credence to the spread of contagious disease and overcrowding.   Public places have long since been filthy and havens of disease.  Schools are a great example of this. As soon as kids are in school in the fall, the contagious disease and parasite fair begins.  It’s not just schools, though. Public restrooms are not always kept clean, and individual people are absolutely filthy in leaving their trash, urine and feces where they do not belong.

If there could be one good takeaway from COVID, it should be a renewed awareness of personal hygiene and cleanliness in public places as well as the detrimental effects of overcrowding.  Packing office workers into cubby farms in poorly ventilated rooms with no windows is not a hygienic practice- one person gets sick, the whole room gets sick. Some degree of social distancing is a healthy thing all the time.  Ventilation, natural light, and space need to be part of everyone’s work environment as much as possible.

While greater sanitation and less crowding will help reduce the spread of ALL contagious diseases and parasites, COVID is proving out to not be the Great New Plague that the far left wanted.  It certainly has caused certain state and local governments to use the Constitution as toilet paper yet again, but the far left has been working toward undermining our Constitutional rights for years. Yes, we should be more aware of sanitation, hygiene and avoiding overcrowding, but we should have been doing that all along. The response to COVID has been akin to taking a machine gun to kill a fly. The fly goes on blissfully unharmed, but the collateral damage inflicted is catastrophic.

Let’s be aware of contagious disease because it has been and will always be all around us, but let’s also keep ourselves and our environments clean, avoid overcrowding, and get back to work!

The Dark Macabre Month of February, Trying Not to Discuss Theology or Politics, and More Ephemera

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Time and age have done me no favors.  I feel this ancient and just about this dead. Of course it’s February, and February is the suckiest month of the year.

Yes, central Ohio is usually colder in January than in February.  Even so, it is still cold in February, and always dark in February, and that is worse than the cold.

February always reminds me of the quote from Dante’s Inferno: All hope abandon, ye who enter here. I don’t necessarily agree with Dante’s categorizations of hell (the Divine Comedy borrows heavily on Roman Catholic theology and their belief in purgatory- Dante was very much a loyalist and Papist- ) but I have to admire the imagery he evokes.  Especially in Canto 32 (the Ninth Circle of Hell) where he encounters “the bottom of the universe”- in which is housed the very worst of traitors, those who have betrayed family and country.  This is pretty much hell frozen over- a frozen lake in which the heads of the damned are sticking out of the ice.

stepping on sinner's heads

 

This does not look to be a fun time. Then again, in my mind, betrayal is the most cruel pain that one can inflict on another. That’s why I try not to invest much emotional currency in relationships.  My circle is very small for a reason.

Here is an entertaining thought: if Dante’s portrayals of the circles of hell were to be correct, this is where Obama would end up, along with 99% of Hollywood and 99% of the Democratic Party, but I digress.

I have promised not to get stuck on theological or political themes today.  That’s difficult for me to do, but I can troll about for some ephemera.  There are some good ones I found from Marion County in the late 19th to mid 20th century that are fascinating.

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The Sawyer Sanitorium is not in the greatest shape, but it is still there today.

sawyer sanitorium today

Most of the really cool architecture that survives in Marion County is not in the greatest of repair.  The weather does it no favors, and the general poverty of the property owners doesn’t help either.  It’s hard to maintain Victorian architecture even if you have plenty of cash.  Poor folk usually have to resort to redneck ingenuity, which is somewhat functional, but usually not aesthetically pleasing.

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The cigar store- I can still smell the heady, thick, sweet smell of a hundred years’ worth of tobacco products emanating from this place and everything that was purchased there. I can still see the vintage ads for Newports and Marlboros and the tins of pipe tobacco.  The wooden plank floors were uneven and well worn and stained with the dirt and wear of thousands of pairs of boots and shoes.  The windows were perennially stained with a film of dirt, condensation and the yellow smoker’s haze that clings to glass in places where people smoke. In 1982 it was still socially permissible to smoke in public places, even in restaurants and stores.

Every time I went in there I felt like Orwell’s character Winston (from the book 1984) in the curio store.  I knew I wasn’t supposed to be there, but unlike the store keep Winston encountered, nobody there would have remembered or cared that I was there (even though admission and patronage was supposed to be restricted to those 18 and older) or that I was buying contraband.  Otherwise they wouldn’t have been selling this stuff to a 13 year old kid.

The incarnation of the cigar store in the first pic was many years before I went there to buy risqué literature less the outer covers for $1.35 each. This second pic (below) is more what it looked like when I did my business there.

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It is still there, however, it is in the process of being renovated and turned into a corner market. I don’t have a current pic of that renovation, and what it will be transformed into remains to be seen.  Even so, feeding my clandestine dirty book habit was probably a better use of my lunch money than buying school food.  The Freshman Building was notorious for not only having cockroaches everywhere, but also for the cafeteria food being burnt on the outside, frozen on the inside. The cook stoves and ovens were probably from 1915 just like the rest of the building.  I don’t think thermostats or temperature controls were a thing pre WWI.

freshman building

Sadly the Freshman Building was torn down in the mid 1980s- 1985 I think.  It was sad.  Especially because I loved the library.  The entire third floor of the east wing. It was a magical place. I can still see the huge oak tables and chairs- nice, heavy, turn of the 20th century, real hand-crafted wooden furniture, well worn hard wood floors and expansive windows facing the east, and rows and rows of well-worn books.  I spent many study halls there, blessedly left alone in my own universe that was condensed to music played through a cheap and somewhat contraband (though the teachers never bothered me about it) battery powered cassette player and headphones, and whatever literature I was currently perusing. That library was a portal to serenity that I have failed to find again anywhere or at any time in my adult life.

I did not love the HVAC in that building though.  It was steam heat, which encouraged the proliferation of the roaches.  Some of the registers would spout off and spray any nearby occupants with boiling water.  Others did not work at all, so one could go from a room 100 degrees or more into another room where one could see one’s breath.  There was no air conditioning to be had, (refrigeration technology being rather non-existent in 1915)  and to make that sad fact even more fun, certain windows would fall out when opened, so opening windows was not always an option.

Even so, there was something about the soul of the place that was comforting but disturbing at the same time.  It was larger than life with its high ceilings and massive windows, (the rooms were designed to take advantage of natural light) and ornate fine craftsmanship that shined through, even though by 1982-3 the building was dirty, poorly maintained and never upgraded.  I am sure the writers of today’s OSHA and building inspection codes would have been appalled by the sheets of ancient lead paint that continually peeled and fell off the ceilings and fixtures.

scioto river bridge

It seems that I’ve gotten old enough that all the places I’d really like to visit again no longer exist, or at least they don’t exist in their previous form.  The library, the cigar store, the old railroad trestle bridge over the Scioto River where I once spent a sunny, warm Good Friday afternoon sitting on the bridge watching the dirty river water flow under the bridge and simply savoring the sun and the breeze and wishing that time would stop forever, are all long gone.

The phrase “mid-life crisis” is not expansive enough to describe the cognitive dissonance that comes about when the things that once were accepted as being permanent and central are revealed to be temporary and transient. Barring some miraculous medical intervention that comes to pass in the very near future, I’ll be fortunate to have maybe another 25 years on this planet.  My life is two thirds of the way over if statistics prove correct- in 1969 the average life expectancy for a white female in the United States was 75.5 years. Considering I was born in a rural, poor part of the country and have a number of medical issues, in practical application, 75.5 years is probably pushing the envelope.

“Midlife” for me- if I take the gracious prognostication of the actuarial chart from 1969- would have been 15 years ago. Sobering shit.

Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed for anyone, I get that, but just knowing that time remaining is a lot less than time elapsed is a little disturbing.

marion night 1958

This was  downtown Marion in 1958- 11 years before I was born.

Marion_Ohio 2018

Sixty years later it’s not as bad as it once was (the 70s through the early 2000s, it was almost completely abandoned and left to crumble) but there is room for improvement. Some of the old late 19th century buildings have been converted into apartment lofts and such.

The lofts are kind of cool in that I love the vintage architecture, the huge windows, and the high ceilings.  I would be concerned about the HVAC challenges involved, and the logistical challenge of living on an upper floor without elevators, with dogs, would not be pleasant.  The view and the ambience could be worth it though.

February will be over eventually.  Until then, memories of a stolen sunny April afternoon sitting on a long gone railroad trestle watching the river go by, or of study halls reading old books and listening to 80s music on cheap cassette tapes in a long ago library will have to do.

 

 

 

 

 

Uh, Hell No. Truth is Still Truth. Just Ask the Prophets of B’aal.

Imagine my surprise upon receiving this e-mail:

Pakistan

In a perverse way it is pleasantly refreshing to discover that someone was paying attention to what someone from fly-over country BFE has to say about the abomination that is Islam.  That my obscure, though pithy, observations would arouse the scrutiny and the ire of the Islamic Internet patrol is sort of flattering in a way.  Truth-telling has a way of pissing people off.  I get it.  But it’s still the truth, and still my right and obligation to point it out.

So let’s just pick this attempt at censorship apart with facts.

  1. I am an American, which means the First Amendment applies to me. Pakistani law does NOT apply to me.  I still have the freedom to speak the truth, especially the truth that is Christianity, because that is the one truth that really matters.  If the three Internet subscribers from a third world hole who are sadly deceived into believing in a false god want to attempt to block my free speech, frankly, I don’t give a rat’s ass.  I am sad for those in Pakistan who need to hear the truth about Islam that their nanny state sees fit to cut them off from the One True God in favor of their idol that cannot save and their governmental system that brings death and destruction to everything it touches. History proves the utter failure and moral bankruptcy of Islamic governance as well as the failure of other fascist states.
  2. My only question regarding that excessive defensiveness, is that if your false god is really true, then why are you so butt-hurt?  I am reminded of when Elijah confronted the false prophets of B’aal. This account is found in 1 Kings 18:20-40, which can be found in the Bible, which is the inerrant word of God.  If your god is real, then he should be able to defend himself against “blasphemy” by “infidels.” Hint: The fate of the prophets of B’aal should stand as a warning.
  3. Everything I said in my post from March 2016 about the false religion of Islam, and how it is really fascism hiding behind an idol, is still 100% true, whether or not someone in Pakistan doesn’t like it. Truth doesn’t change just because it may be unpopular.
  4. Truth is not relative.  Obfuscating, legislating against, or actively opposing the truth does not make it any less true.  Case in point: Even if I would choose to “identify” as Shaquille O’Neal does not make me Shaquille O’Neal, nor does it equip me to substitute for Shaquille O’Neal.  The reality (which is factual and not relative) is, I am 5’4″, female, horribly nearsighted, deathly clumsy, a breathing definition of a WASP (as in White Anglo-Saxon Protestant), and I have absolutely no aptitude or ability to play basketball.

AP SHAQ RETIRES S BKN FILE USA PA

No, I am clearly NOT Shaq.  I like his Icy-Hot commercials though.

It would be nice if verifying truth claims were as simple as observing the clear fact that I am not Shaq, and could not be Shaq even if I claimed to “identify” as Shaq.

I find it most interesting that the “prophet” of Islam advocated spreading that abomination at the end of a sword.  By contrast, the real God-Man, Jesus, taught:

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?  So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”- Matthew 7:15-20 (ESV)

What are the fruits of Islam?  Death, destruction, slavery and oppression.

I am not saying that the history of Christianity has been spotless.  We have had our share of apostasy, exploitation and abuses committed by those claiming the name of Christ.  Yet true Christianity does not teach conversion at the end of a sword.  True Christianity does teach that faith in the One True God comes by hearing (Romans 10:17)- ironically the very thing that the Islamofascists are trying to prevent- and not by force.

If Islam is so great and true, then why is the sword necessary?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dismality of February, and This Will All Thaw Someday

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Oh, the dismality of February yet again.  There is a reason why February only has 28 days (at least for three out of four years,) and that’s to put a lid on the number of people who die in February.  If February were 30 or 31 days, half the damn population would die in February, and that would just be weird.  We have to spread the death throughout the year better.  Not that everyone should die from heat stroke in July, but jeez.  I can understand losing the will to live when it is 90° and 100% humidity if there’s no air conditioning, perhaps a bit more than most, because I am not at all equipped for high temperatures.  I can abide cold a far sight better than extreme heat.

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But at least in July there is sunlight, and Ohio winters are notoriously dark and sunless. I can go all week without seeing sunlight save for maybe a ray or two on the weekend-  unless there is a damned blizzard going on.  And even if the damned blizzard is going on and it’s 4° below, Target still has nothing but bathing suits, tank tops, sandals and sleeveless dresses on display.  If I need a parka, I will have to wait until July when they put them back out.

Here in central Ohio we have been enduring a rather harsher than normal winter.  Oh, yippee skippy, because I just adore driving in ice and snow.  I’m all about those below zero temperatures too.  There is simply nothing like one’s ass freezing to the toilet seat unless I break down and turn on the space heater in the bathroom.

“Spring” will arrive someday. Probably sometime in May there will come a day when my back yard will transform from frozen tundra into Dog Shit Lake overnight.  Oh, the smell of Spring in the air.  Temperatures will go from -4° to 90° and 100% humidity within the span of about 12 hours.  There is really no Spring in Ohio. There is just arctic cold and wind, followed by stygian heat, usually accompanied by torrential rain.

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This is Brutus, the Catahoula^ (Catahoula Bed Hog Dog)

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This was Clara^ (God rest her sweet soul) the Malinois

Note to self: the 80# Catahoula shits according to his size.  For those unaccustomed to dogs, for an example, a 65# Malinois has the strength to overpower a 300# man.  The 65# Malinois consumes, and disposes of about the same number of calories as a 300# man every day. Imagine that kind of waste load deposited in your back yard every day for six months from October until the May Thaw arrives.

In all fairness, since a Malinois is an ultra high energy, high metabolism dog, a 65# Malinois and an 80# Catahoula are pretty much identical in strength, energy consumed, and waste put down.  My paradigms have been pretty much the same for awhile.

There’s going to be a lot of dog shit to deal with.

A Tired Theme: The End of The World for the Thousandth (or More) Time!

everythingsuckingPragmatism is my way of life.  It keeps me from having too much faith in humankind.  I may not be a Calvinist as far as my theology, but I go along with Calvin 100% regarding the Total Depravity of Man. Even though I intentionally try to avoid the news, because as far as I’m concerned mainstream news is nothing but proof that Orwell was right, I do have to go out and deal with people in places like Walmart.  Devolution has been going on ever since the Fall, and there isn’t enough chlorine to fix the human gene pool.

Let’s face it, most people suck.  If people didn’t suck, God wouldn’t have to tell us to be nice to them.  Being nice to other people takes work because they suck. I suck as well.  We all suck, which is why we are so crappy to each other. There are plenty of things in this world that completely suck too. Buck up, buttercup, and deal. I can buck the natural progression in subtle ways, but I can’t change the parameters humanity has been given.  As long as we are in these bodies, on this planet, things are going to suck.

I am wildly amused by date setters- people who think they have nailed the date and the time of the End of the World (even though Jesus tells us not to, and you don’t have to be a fantastic theologian to figure it out, just read Matthew 24:24-36 .)  Nobody knows when the world’s going to end.  I don’t particularly want to know, any more than I want to know when I will drop dead.  The surprise is part of the fun.

I am not afraid of death.  I just hope it’s a matter of going to bed and waking up dead.  Jerry was fortunate that way in that’s how he went.  He wanted to stay out of the hospital (especially after watching the hospital completely ignore his Dad’s Living Will and DNR orders) and he managed to do that.  Pain is what I am most afraid of- a long, suffering lingering death.  Pain and suffocation. I’ve always had a thing about suffocation especially because that was one of the torments my sisters loved to engage in when I was a little kid.  Just sit on your younger sibling until she turns blue and stops moving, and/or Dad thinks it’s getting too quiet, so he gets off the couch to investigate, sees that one of his offspring is losing consciousness, and makes you get up off of her.  What a fun game!

If I am given a choice I just want to go to bed and wake up dead. But that’s not for me to decide.

Our friend David Meade claims the world’s going to end tomorrow.  If that’s true then I shouldn’t have bought that pack of new underwear or bothered to stock up my fridge for next week.

I think I might just chill to the REM song End of the World as We Know It a few more times.

 

 

 

The End of the World, Not So Much, and Where to From Here?

biteme

I haven’t been here in awhile.  I have posted on my other sites that are mostly on things theological but as far as my personal life and the transitions I’m going through, I haven’t commented much.  It’s been a lot to process, and continues to be a lot to process, so I really haven’t put the words together yet.

My silence might sound strange given the rather cynical nature of my commentary here, and also a bit critical because there really is no compartment of life called a “spiritual life.” Spirituality is everywhere- from the sacred to the profane and everywhere between, so why can I write about spiritual things but not so much on others?  I am well aware that while by the grace of God I may be a saint, but I am most certainly still a sinner too.   Given that, I realize that what I write here may or may not be spiritually edifying to others even though it may be a.) funny and b.) cathartic for me.  Perhaps I have needed a bit less catharsis than usual, which is probably not a bad thing.

As far as living in my grandmother’s old house, I have never felt more at home.  Possibly it’s because I can (within budget and reason) do whatever I want with décor as well as with my time and- this is key- who I spend my time with.  I am almost afraid to even mention that someone has found me (because trust me, I was NOT looking) and suffice to say life is different.  Interesting.  Purposeful.  Alive.

prettykitty

I never bought into the princess stories as a child.  I knew I wasn’t the princess.  I was the leftover, the consolation prize, the last choice, the one who shovels the shit when the parade is over.  I still don’t buy into fairy tales.  But it is a gift and a welcome comfort to have someone in my life now who doesn’t see me as a whipping post, or as a built in maid, or as interactive furniture.  It is a welcome change to be a part of at least a symbiotic relationship, but dare I admit- it is much more than that.

Of course being one of those once bitten, twice shy people I am moving with caution.  I don’t need a man.  I certainly do not need to be a substitute mommy for anyone.  I’ve never been in this position before and I’m 48 years old- where I want to be with someone simply because it feels good and right when we’re together.  And that’s all I want to say publicly for now.

As to the macabre business of dealing with dead people’s stuff, that’s not so pleasant.  Just a couple of weeks ago I finally boxed up the rest of Jerry’s old stuff- clothes and various kitsch- and gave it to the Salvation Army.  I kept the tools and a few momento type things, but not much.

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I wanted to make the spare room nice for my granddaughter when she spends the night, so she can have her own special place. There is no sense in keeping old crap around that’s not being used and taking up space when someone in need might get some use out of it.

I am still going through the shit of getting his truck title and bank accounts released to me through the court.  Not that any of that stuff is horribly valuable, but I have been pursuing it since October.  I don’t know if it’s the lawyer’s office that is pokey as hell or the court itself.  Probably both.

I don’t know how common it is when someone who survives a person who was terminally ill actually feels more relieved than grieved when his or her spouse dies.  Maybe it’s normal in some circumstances.  He’s been dead since October and I really can’t say I’ve ever been the classic grieving widow.  Granted, our marriage was never a terribly happy one, to put it mildly. It was pretty much defined by Jerry’s alcoholism and gambling, and then the pulmonary fibrosis.  Maybe that’s why the primary emotion I’ve been feeling is relief, as if a huge weight has been lifted off of me.  That’s not to say I am completely heartless.  There are things I miss about him, but on the whole I have a better life.  I am no longer making a game out of how many times he can call me a bitch between 5 and 6 AM as I’m getting ready for work.  I certainly do not miss that. Should I feel like a total shit because I am no longer being bitched at and browbeaten every time I turn around?  At least I am being honest, and that should count for something.

I am not sure exactly what my life is going to look like moving forward.  I know my boundaries a lot better.  I know I enjoy quiet, a simple existence, a tidy home, autonomy and my dogs.

laxative action

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

The Reality of Canine Longevity, Denial, and a Catahoula Cur

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Brutus, my 1 year old male Catahoula Cur

I might as well begin with the Catahoula Cur.  I had been half-heartedly looking for a dog for Miss Clara to mentor for awhile before her time with me is through.  We got Clara as a two year old- when our Kayla was 14.  It was a great arrangement in that Kayla had some time to work with Clara, who was a rescue with a laundry list of issues. Now she is well-adjusted, a fine protection dog, and has had many good years of happiness and health.

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Clara (left- 2 years old) Kayla (right- 14 years old)

I admit I am still in denial that now Clara is 14 years old, and she is slowly fading. I know, and lament, the limited lifespan of dogs, especially when I consider Clara, who is very precious to me.  Lilo is 13. She is also dear to my heart, and a good protection dog as well. Lilo has been Clara’s shadow since she came to us, and will probably not outlive Clara by long.  They are only eight months apart in age.

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Lilo (left- 2 years old) Clara (right- 3 years old)

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Lilo- 3 years old

Even though my mind understands the limitations of canine longevity, in my denial I wasn’t looking very hard to find Clara a protégé.  I was thinking either I would save up some money and try to get either a GSD pup from someone reputable, or that the Hand of Fate would somehow place another Malinois in my path.

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Lucy – 1 year old, being good, but only because she was sleeping.

For me the thought of living without at least one protection dog is not a pleasant one.  Lucy (the Bulldog X Beagle) is only three years old, but at only 40# and with dim wits (love the dog, she’s very sweet, but she’s as thick as a post) she’s not a protection dog.  So I faced the prospect of not having a protection dog at all, and then trying to educate a green dog without the help of a seasoned dog.  Lucy is not a role model.  If anything, as far as canine behavior goes, she serves as a primer on how not to act.

clarawindow1Clara used to get up in the window to watch the world go ’round, but not much any more.

Oddly enough, Providence doesn’t necessarily share my aesthetic, my timing, or my professed desires.  Let’s just say that instead of a young female Malinois or GSD… I ended up with a young male Catahoula Cur.

One of my son’s friends had come back to Ohio from Texas (don’t know all the background info, don’t really need to) and couldn’t keep his dog.  My son- and only male children have a surprising amount of sway on their old decrepit mothers- implored me to come meet this dog before he was consigned to the dog pound, which, given his looks, could lead to a probable nasty fate at the hands of local dog fighters.  So, even though he is not a GSD or Malinois, I agreed to meet the dog.  And I fell in love. Let’s just say I’ve gotten Mr. Brutus his rabies tag and dog license, and he’s loving having a three-girl-dog harem.

Brutus LucyBrutus and Lucy

I’d never even heard of a Catahoula Cur (or more properly, Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog) before last week, and I am pretty aware of dog breeds.  I thought he was a very large (1 year old and 65#) and strangely marked Pit Bull.  But Catahoulas are not Pit Bulls.  Their bodies are longer and a bit leaner, their feet are larger, and the webbing on their feet goes all the way out to the ends of the toes.  They are larger (males are 65-95#) than Pit Bulls, and are known for the leopard patterns in their coats. Many, like Brutus, have blue eyes.

Catahoulas are used to hunt wild boar in Louisiana and Texas, and they likely have Pit Bull in their lineage, along with Mastiff, and various sight hounds.  Even though Brutus and Clara look nothing alike, they have eerily similar mentalities.  Both dogs are infinitely aware of their surroundings, and both are intuitive.  He will learn well, and it is good to have a young protection dog again.

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Clara, age 14

I know that I will grieve down to my very soul when Clara and Lilo pass.  They have been most excellent dogs,  but that is the condition of loving a dog- that their life spans are quite finite and all we can do is love them well in the time we have.

I could talk about and dote upon my dogs forever, and that’s a great thing because they are positive.  Not everything in life is so good.  Jerry is failing at an even faster rate than Miss Clara, and that is not a good thing.  He has gotten the oxygen concentrators he needs to help him breathe.  Life is finite.  Do what you can with what you have.

Sex, Death, Rock-n-Roll- and It’s Eternity In There

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I never really made it a point to contemplate the paradox of sex and death.  Perhaps someone ten years (and more, sadly) removed from the enjoyment of carnal pleasure isn’t qualified to comment, but I still live, breathe and dream. I have desires whether I can act on them or not.

The French have a way of making things that can sound vulgar in English a little more mysterious and exotic. A ménage a trois doesn’t sound as bad as a threesome, even though it means exactly the same thing.  So while calling an orgasm la petite mort (the little death) can seem a bit melodramatic and bordering on morbid, it is certainly apropos.

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These things usually hit me when I least expect it, if not in unbidden memories, then in dreams.

Old Dr. Freud would be having a heyday with my dreams.  The things I find myself embroiled in (in dreams, that is) that would leave me shocked and mortified in the waking world are beyond the pale.  Which may be why they are safely relegated to dreams. The things I imagine are just too impossible for reality, and I will not attempt to chronicle them here.

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Yes, Dream. After Dream (the Journey album) is awesome.  My dreams are just bizarre.  And rated X.

Many years ago, Stephen King wrote a short story called The Jaunt. It was about a scientist who discovered a virtually cost-free way to teleport people through time and space.  The only problem is that living things would die shortly after being “jaunted”- unless they were put under anesthetic.  At the end of the story, the man telling the story to his children awakes in horror as his son went through the Jaunt awake- and the son had aged by decades and decades and gone quite mad, before he dropped dead.

Before the son dropped dead his last words were, “It’s eternity in there.”

Of course The Jaunt’s version of eternity isn’t a positive one, so it’s probably not the best illustration of that moment where time stands still and the universe is simply two, but it’s a similar concept.  There is a dimension beyond time, for good or ill.

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When I was growing up I was given the impression that sex was The Ultimate Sin and the only thing worse than utilitarian procreational-only married sex is murder. It didn’t help that Mom is old-school Catholic (and I mean pre-Vatican II) and Dad is more or less a lapsed Regular Baptist. Both of their traditions will drill it in your head that you are better off dead than to have sex and enjoy it.

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Yes, Christians are hypocrites, just like everyone else.

Good “Christian soldiers” are allowed to have sex only if they are married to each other, the lights are out, the only position is man-on-top missionary style, they only do it because they’re trying to make a baby, and they aren’t allowed to enjoy it.

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We did what?  For that? Why?

Since I never really had a desire to go out and kill people, (at least not a desire to kill anyone that overrides my fear of arrest and inevitable incarceration) then for me, sex was the only “mortal sin” that had any allure to it.  And it had a LOT of allure to it when I was younger.  I freely admit it. I just had a really hard time finding suitable, complicit males.  That was probably a blessing in disguise, and nature’s way of chlorinating the gene pool to some extent.

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I’m not into carpooling, because I’d rather “ride with Hitler” than with the friendly neighborhood serial killer. I like having my car all to myself.

My son doesn’t get the sex=mortal sin concept because I made a conscious effort not to represent it to him that way.  My mother may have given me the “dirty duty” speech, but I didn’t pass that along, except for comedic effect, when he was much, much older.

The more a parent makes a “forbidden fruit” sound absolutely vile and horrible, the more likely the offspring are to run right out and try it to see if it’s as horrible as Mom and Dad contend.  As much as possible, I tried to give him the rational approach to life, as in yes, sex is good, but with certain boundaries.  Such as “try not to bang ex-strippers,” “wrap that rascal,” and “avoid venereal diseases.”

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So where did they get it?  The dance hall?

There is good reason for caution in the pursuit of all things amorous. The 1980s taught us that the anti-sex crowd had a point: sex with the wrong partner can kill you.

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I guess once they give you AIDS, retribution is sort of pointless.

For centuries humanity has known the fear and shame of venereal diseases, and the possibility of a lifetime of pain or even an untimely death for a moment of pleasure are quite real.

Even given the potential risks involved with sexual congress, I don’t think I can agree with the lights-out missionary-position sex-for-procreation-only crowd.  I do believe in caution in guarding one’s body as well as one’s heart and spirit, but not in total denial.

There is a certain distasteful and soul-killing element in the “friends with benefits” mentality, just as there is a distasteful and soul-killing element in the outright rejection of something that is a gift and a blessing in the proper context.

When the person and the moment is right, surrender to that universe of two.  Savor, enjoy, revel, and live, and thank God for that rare opportunity.

It’s eternity in there.