2018/09/11

September 11 — 17 Years On

Da Goddess @ 02:30

This is from 2015, but I have been thinking about this particular post for the past week and there’s no better time to revisit it.

And can we just take a moment to reflect on the fact it’s been SEVENTEEN YEARS??! It seems much more recent.

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When we think of this day, we often focus on the loss and the pain. It’s very natural for us to do so because it was a very painful time for our country. So many people lost so very much. But a lot of good has risen from the ashes of that dark day. Here’s a story from Bob Dotson:

He no longer put off anything that brought them joy. “If we’re lying on the floor and all of a sudden Victoria says, ‘Daddy, I want to go to the park,’ I’m like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to go to the park.’ That’s what I’m thinking, but I say, ‘Let’s go. We’re going to the park.’ ”

Robert shouted “Hang on, guys!” as the kids squealed with laughter. They were riding in a grocery cart, careening across the lot toward dad’s big SUV. “Why should I deprive my children from going shopping?” Robert said. “I see all the other mothers going shopping with their kids. Why can’t I do it?”

He raced alongside the grocery cart, jumped on its rear axle and pushed with a powerful leg. The children exploded with laughter again. “When my kids smile, the terrorists lose,” Robert said with a grin. “The people who killed Janet wanted to destroy our happy lives. They lost. We won.”

In his book American Story, Dotson also tells of a Newfoundland town that took in stranded passengers from several planes that were forced to land. It’s a beautiful story. The entire book is full of them. To say I recommend this book highly is an understatement. It’s what every American should read. Most particularly today. Go get yourself a copy and let each story remind you why America is so special, why we triumph even when faced with horrifying tragedy like September 11, 2001.

Today, while I remember the lives lost and those impacted by the the actions of hateful people, I will also remember the goodness and strength we found along the road to recovery. Neighbor helping neighbor. Children leading their parents. Strangers holding hands and offering whatever they could to ease another’s burdens. We have triumphed because that’s what America is all about.

Yes, I still remember and I still grieve, but I also see the promise of America through the veil of tears.

Always remember, and always hope.

2018/08/20

Monday Musings

Da Goddess @ 00:01

We all judge ourselves by what we deem effortless by other people. It’s terribly unfair to ourselves and terribly unfair to those whose work or lives we admire.

Chris Addison wrote the best post about this very subject and I can’t think of a single thing to add to it. It’s brilliant as is.

Another thought: if you admire what someone else has created, let them know. Even if they never get your message, be it spoken or written or whatever, your thoughts add to the power and energy of goodness in the universe. We need that more and more every day.

2018/08/16

Thursday Thoughts

Da Goddess @ 00:01

“Every popsicle is a race against time” ~ Lin-Manuel Miranda

Ain’t that the truth?

From the same Twitter thread:

“Live each day like it’s a popsicle in summer” ~ Blake Severson

I’m telling you, Twitter has been a life-saver this year.

2018/08/02

Threefer Thursday: ELO

Da Goddess @ 00:01

ELO will always be a special band for me. When I was in 5th grade, my friend’s mom was dying and I got “Out of the Blue” for Christmas. She and I listened to the album over and over again that day as our parents talked grown-up talk. We continued to listen to it over the coming months as her mom’s condition deteriorated. We had all the lyrics memorized, knew every lick, knew the album forward and backward. We could name any tune in one note (a nod to her dad, who’d appeared on Name That Tune). It was our refuge during the darkest days. We listened to other albums, other artists, but when we were together it had to be ELO and “Out of the Blue”.

Don’t get me wrong! Just about any ELO album will make me happy. It’s just that I have a place in my heart for one in particular.

The first video is from “On the Third Day” and is probably the best rocker from any of their albums. I love it for that reason and I don’t think I need another, do you?

The second video is for a song I once knew so well I had every note, nuanced phrasing, and timing down pat. Also not from “Out of the Blue”, but still so worthy of being sung loud enough for all to hear.

This last one is a favored song for a couple reasons, one of which is because Zach Galifianakis used it for a bit on the penultimate episode of his late night show. And, if not for Zach, I’d never have started blogging.

2018/07/04

The Spirit of America on Independence Day

Da Goddess @ 00:01

Flag Day 2009

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

~ The Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776

Be safe, have fun, and remember that Freedom is tentative and we must be vigilant, that we must defend it. We cannot take it for granted. Nor can we take for granted those who protect our freedoms.

God bless our troops! God bless America!

And, God, please don’t let these fools playing with fireworks set the whole of Southern California ablaze. Thanks!

2018/05/27

Memorial Day Weekend 2018

Da Goddess @ 11:59

I still very much miss the days when Little Dude and I walked Ft. Rosecrans, placing flags before the graves of those who served our country, be they military or military dependents. I miss the sight of all the scouts who were swarming the cemetery doing the same thing. I miss the time LD and I had after everyone else had left, time we used to explore, learn, remember, and revere those who not only answered the call to serve but gave all.

There is nothing as sobering as the sight of waves of headstones upon the sea of grass too vivid for the somber reflection taking place. But, perhaps, the grass really should be that green so there’s no mistaking the pale, bleached bone-white gravemarkers. Azure skies, searing green hills, white-as-bone gardens of stone. It’s haunting and humbling.

One could easily forget Memorial Day is more than a long weekend of BBQ, friends, and relaxation. Many do. I don’t. I know you, dear reader, don’t. Even so, I still need to post a reminder — as much for myself as for others. I need to remember. I WANT to remember. Those who gave themselves for this notion of freedom, of democracy, deserve our attention. It’s the simplest manner of honoring what they did and what we have.

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Another reminder of that for which our military fought, two stories of the realities of war. We were fortunate here in the US that our parents and grandparents weren’t evacuated, didn’t have to endure bombings as happened in England and Europe. They did, however, fear it could happen. So, read the two links above and join me in a moment of silence as I thank our military for fighting so hard to keep the war from our shores during WWII.

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Memorial Day Ft. Rosecrans, San Diego

ON ROSECRANS HILL
by Jeffrey T. Naas

On Rosecrans hill the grasses grow
Between the headstones row on row
That mark our place as in the sky
The gulls, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard against the surf below

We are the dead. Not long ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunsets glow
We chose for freedom’s cause to die
And now upon this hill we lie
As grasses green above us grow

We knew the price we had to pay
To keep the enemy at bay
We gave our all, we fought the fight
To keep aglow sweet freedom’s light
Remember this, we ask today

One thing we ask of those not slain
Will you fight on for freedom’s reign?
If war returns, as it well might
Will you take up the gallant fight?
Yes, answer us! You who remain

And so we lie here, asking still
If you, our sons, will have the will
To sacrifice as we did then
That your sons, too, may live free men
As we wait still, on Rosecrans hill

2018/05/16

(bitter) Sweet Sixteen

Da Goddess @ 00:01

As of today, I’ve been blogging for 16 years.

There have always been rough patches during this time, but this year takes the cake with my dad dying. And yet… when I posted about it here I got texts, emails, phone calls, and comments. They’ve been instrumental in helping me get through the grief and helped me see there’s more left to learn from Dad than could be taught during his lifetime. Thank you, my friends. Without this blog, I’d have never met you and you’ve all made my life richer, Fuller, and definitely more interesting.

Thanks for sticking around, for coming back, for just being your unique selves!

16…that’s, like 50 in human years, isn’t it?

2018/04/08

Kalo Pascha — Christos Anesti

Da Goddess @ 00:01

Christos Anesti! ~ “Christ is risen!”

Alithos Anesti! ~ “Truly He is risen!”

Christos Anesti 2015

This year Orthodox Pascha is celebrated one week after the celebration of the Western Easter. The Orthodox date for Easter is based on a decree of the Council of Nicaea, Asia Minor, held in 325 A.D. According to this decree, Easter must be celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon of the vernal equinox but always after the Hebrew Passover to maintain the Biblical sequence of events of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. The Orthodox Christian churches have adhered strictly to this formula.

“Christos anesti ek nekron
thanato thanaton patisas
kai tois en tois mnimisi
zoen charisamenos”

2017/11/22

Ya Like Apples?

Da Goddess @ 01:20

Lamaur’s Apple Pectin shampoo used to be one of my favorite shampoos back in the day.

I was recently reminded of it when King Arthur bought a green apple scented hand soap at the 99¢ store. (Seriously, if you’re buying hand soap anywhere else, you’re wasting money!)

Then scent of the soap instantly had me swept away to the 80s. Maybe even the late 70s. It was a long time ago, so don’t ask me to be specific or accurate.

I can easily recall popping open the bottle for the first time. That smell! It was heavenly. It was springtime! It was autumn! It was everything! It filled my head with visions running through an orchard, holding hands with the boy of my dreams. I was wearing a flowing dress, long hair streaming behind me, the golden sun filling the world with its happy, hopeful Ray’s of delight! Yeah, I was a dreamer then, too.

Apparently, apple pectin shampoo is still around (kinda), but I don’t really need it as long as I have my hand soap from the 99¢ store.

Yeah, I like apples.

2017/10/03

Happy Birthday, LD!

Da Goddess @ 03:25

My beautiful boy is 21 years old today.

He is a gift to all who know and love him.

What an amazing young man my Little Dude has grown up to be.

Happy birthday, kiddo! I love you so much!

2017/09/18

This Much I Know is True

Da Goddess @ 10:41

Chronic pain, chronic illness, depression, isolation… All of these things can make life unbearable. It happens to many people. For some, medication helps. For others, medication only barely gets them from one moment to the next. There’s no ONE answer for everyone collectively.

For one man, he found hope in a Broadway musical based on a hit movie. Groundhog Day the Musical. I happened upon his post and it not only touched me, it spoke deeply to the broken parts of me and the life in which I find myself.

Life is difficult for me these days. I’ve been without ads here, which means I have absolutely ZERO income. True, the revenue generated by the ads I did have was miniscule, but it was just enough to help with 1) paying a bill or two, 2) help buy the kids a gift for birthdays/Christmas, and 3) gave me a sense of security that at least there was *that*.

Aside from the ads, my back and neck have grown even more painful, leaving me wondering how that’s even possible. It weighs on me more each passing day, each passing year. I find myself asking, “is this really how I want to spend my life? Is this who I really want to be?”

Because this was an injury that occurred on the job, I’ve been at the mercy of a system that favors the insurance company, not the patient. I’m stuck in an endless cycle of praying an adjuster will approve my medications or a treatment the doctors feel will help me get control of the pain. Time after time, though, my hopes are dashed and it takes a toll on every part of my being.

Twelve and a half years of living this way has left me more cynical and dejected than I’ve ever been in my life. Despite the medications, my pain has become what identifies me, what defines me. I don’t like it: I don’t want to this person!

Because of the treatment I’ve received from the insurance company, my life has become a roller coaster without a safety bar or seatbelt…that goes underwater and I have no air tank.

I’ve spent the last month without the majority of my meds. Where some patients simply pay for them out of pocket and then submit receipts for reimbursement, I don’t have that luxury. With a VERY deep discount the pharmacist gave me, my monthly tab for my meds would be over $700. That’s WITH the discount! King Arthur and I just can’t afford to pay it. I don’t know anyone who could. So I’ve tried to make do with the bare minimum, which doesn’t do much of anything other than keep me from crying 24/7. I cry, but not ALL DAY LONG.

My attorney drove up here Friday and handed me $500 to help pay for the medications. I was gobsmacked. What lawyer does that? Yes, it’ll need to be repaid, but still, what lawyer does that, I ask you. I’m as grateful as I am stunned. And even with his generous loan, I’ve had to adjust my prescription order so that I get the most bang for the buck. I won’t be getting full prescriptions of several drugs, though I will be able to get the meds that are vital for me to function as your basic bitch.

While my lawyer was here, I signed a new retainer agreement because he’s filing a lawsuit against the insurance company. This is not the norm for a work comp case. However, because they’ve continually played fast and loose with my care it’s our only real option. My brilliant attorney has also filed a formal complaint against the insurance company with the state.

We’re in uncharted waters here. In my attorney’s almost 50 years of practice, he’s never had to do this. He’s never come up against a company that’s so reckless with a claimant.

I doubt there will be a big payout from the lawsuit. I doubt they’ll be run out of the state. But at least we’re DOING SOMETHING! It’s my little glimmer of hope. My only glimmer of hope.

And this is why a total stranger’s post about a musical has given me pause. I’m lucky enough to see a new day, to still be breathing, to fight for my rights to adequate healthcare as the law dictates for injured workers. Maybe my case will save someone else from my nightmare. That thought is enough to make me keep looking at the horizon, hoping to see the first rays of sunshine each day.

All of this… all of it comes down to a Broadway musical I haven’t seen, but whose very message has had a ripple effect on the lives of enough people that its message has been spread far and wide.

I’m off to look for my sun today and tomorrow and the next day and the next and on and on.

2017/09/10

The Lump in My Throat

Da Goddess @ 23:50

Tomorrow is a difficult day for me. For many of us. I always feel a tightness in my throat and my chest this time of year. But this year we have so much happening that makes everything more… agitated and frantic feeling.

I’m talking about these damned hurricanes!

Harvey sucked big donkey balls and put dear Joni in danger. She assured me she was okay and that made my heart stop racing so much. But then that bitch, Irma, had to get in the game. Now Pam and her hubby, as well as other friends, are in harm’s way.

WHY?!!? Isn’t it enough to have a few million people in dire straits? We have to have more? I’m talking to you, weather gods! I’m pointing my finger at you!

And there are the wildfires across the western part of the United States. And an earthquake in Mexico.

I think we’ve had it. The very fabric of our souls have creases from all the worry and frowning.

Those in the midst of these horrifying events needs a break. A really big break.

I’m not asking for a miracle, but I am asking for a respite from disaster for those who’ve been slammed, battered, sizzled, and shaken.

Please.

My prayers and thoughts are with everyone stuck in the middle of all this mess (these messes).

2017/09/07

Random Facts: The Echidna

Da Goddess @ 16:31

Today’s random fact is meant to distract you from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and the currently destructive Hurricane Irma, as well as the many fires burning across the western part of the U.S. Also a reason to NOT think about politics (because I have reached my absolute).

I say with great confidence that this lil bit of information WILL distract because HOW CAN IT NOT? You’ll see what I mean.

The echidna is one of the most extraordinary creatures on the planet. A monotreme, this mammal lays eggs and then nurses its young. There are only two (if you’re not counting TYPES of echidnae) monotremes: the platypus and the echidna (of which there are four kinds). Monotremes are, of course, found in Australia and New Guinea, because where else would one find such odd and fascinating animals?

So, without further ado, here’s the random fact: echidnae have a four-pronged penis. Let that sink in for a moment: four…prongs. FOUR. Three more than humans. However, the female echidna only accommodates two. This, when mating, only two of these prongs are engaged, with the other two retracted.

Still not distracted enough? Think about the research that went into discovering this knowledge!

Just follow the link above and get back to me afterwards.

I got your mind off all the worries of the day for a couple minutes, didn’t I? Don’t thank me. I knew you needed that. It’s just one of the things I’m happy to do for you.

Now, to cleanse the palate, I direct you to view this adorable puggle (which is what you call a baby echidna). I promise you’ll feel better after the video.

NOW you may thank me. And you’re welcome.

2017/06/30

Sometimes…

Da Goddess @ 10:19

Sometimes, for fun, I will spend a couple hours editing trivia over at IMDB. Most of the edits are to correct spelling or to clarify the sentence/paragraph because they often read as though they were written by someone using a translation app.

Occasionally, I will submit trivia. I have a lot of it floating around in my brain. It’s almost always useful for nothing other than IMDB.

2017/06/16

This Is How You Do It: Body Positive Message

Da Goddess @ 02:57

A mom on Instagram had this discussion with her kids after her daughter called her fat:

My daughter called me fat today. She was upset I made them get out of the pool and she told her brother that mama is fat. I told her to meet me upstairs so we could chat. Me: “what did you say about me?” Her: “I said you were fat, mama, im sorry” Me: “let’s talk about it. The truth is, I am not fat. No one IS fat. It’s not something you can BE. But I do HAVE fat. We ALL have fat. It protects our muscles and our bones and keeps our bodies going by providing us energy. Do you have fat?” Her: “yes! I have some here on my tummy” Me: “that’s right! So do I and so does your brother!” Her brother: “I don’t have any fat, I’m the skinniest, I just have muscles” Me: “actually everyone, every single person in the world has fat. But each of us has different amounts.” Her brother: “oh right! I have some to protect my big muscles! But you have more than me” Me: “Yes, that’s true. Some people have a lot, and others don’t have very much. But that doesn’t mean that one person is better than the other, do you both understand? Both: “yes, mama” Me: “so can you repeat what I said” Them: “yes! I shouldn’t say someone is fat because you can’t be just fat, but everyone HAS fat and it’s okay to have different fat” Me: “exactly right!” Them: “can we go back to the pool now?” Me: no.

Each moment these topics come up I have to choose how I’m going to handle them. Fat is not a bad word in our house. If I shame my children for saying it then I am proving that it is an insulting word and I continue the stigma that being fat is unworthy, gross, comical and undesirable. Since we don’t call people fat as an insult in my household, I have to assume she internalized this idea from somewhere or someone else. Our children are fed ideas from every angle, you have to understand that that WILL happen: at a friends house whose parents have different values, watching a tv show or movie, overhearing someone at school — ideas about body image are already filtering through their minds. It is our job to continue to be the loudest, most accepting, positive and CONSISTENT voice they hear. So that it can rise above the rest. Give me a (high five) if this resonated w u! Just do you! Xoxo Allie

When we stop allowing media or other people define beauty for ourselves, when we consistently teach and remind our children that true beauty comes from within, we will have stronger, more well-developed kids who’ll spread that message, who’ll grow up avoiding fad diets and unhealthy practices, who’ll grow up with stronger, healthier senses of self, and who will be advocates for body positivity.

God created each of us to be unique and that’s what we are. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Beauty comes from within. It’s something we all have innately. But we forget. We allow media to dictate the definition of beauty and that must stop. We don’t need to have people who have long forgotten that beauty is about the light and love we have within us rather than some airbrushed image they paste on the cover of their magazines. We are more than what someone who’s never met us tells us we are or should be!

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! WE ARE BEAUTIFUL. Just as we are. Remember that. And help others believe that.

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