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.

2017/08/15

Golden Girls Meets the Crocodile Hunter

Da Goddess @ 08:10

So much excitement here this morning!

I’m out on the porch just enjoying the cool, overcast morning. It’s been far too long since we’ve had a morning like this and it’s beyond glorious.

Suddenly, I’m staring down into the eyes of a beautiful coyote. He/she is not afraid of me in the least. I ‘ssssttttt’ and shoo the coyote and off it jogs. About three seconds later, there’s another one! Again, I make noise (while simultaneously admiring the animals) and this second coyote walks away quite casually.

Thirty seconds later, two of our neighbors walk up and I give them the coyote warning. They tell me there are actually three coyotes out and about and they’ve been keeping an eye on them.

Following not too far behind the couple is another resident who asks which way the animals have gone. As she’s asking, one coyote makes another appearance. This lady starts yelling her loudest and chasing it away. She yells to various neighbors to keep their dogs inside, all while flailing her arms about and yelling at the coyotes.

As soon as everyone disappears around various corners, one coyote walks into the middle of the street, looks at me as if to ask, “what the hell?” And then quickly disappears between homes.

I think the drama is coming to an end when our friendly little spectacular hummingbird pops up right in front of my face, hovering as it often does. Then it zips away, zips back, hovers, lather, rinse, repeat a dozen times. It’s telling me it does NOT approve of how our ficus was trimmed yesterday (hacked low and tight).

Here’s the thing about the tree: it housed dozens of birds each night. Just as dusk would begin to fall, birds of all kinds would come to the tree and settle in for the night. There was this cacophony of birdly conversation that was, at times, deafening. Hummingbirds, finches, mockingbirds, wrens, etc., would gather and do their thing. And then, quiet. Occasionally, there’d be rustling and chirpy murmurs, but then absolute silence.

But the one hummingbird let us know right away — as soon as the tree trimmer was gone — that it was not pleased. There was no place for it to hide any longer! How dare we!

So this morning, it continues with its complaints. And then another one joins in. Right up in my face.

Between the birds and coyotes, it’s as if nature is sparking its revolution right here and now.

And one of the Golden Girls has gone Croc Hunter on the coyotes.

What a way to start the day! The only bad/regretable thing is that I’m not down there in the fray. (Grumble, grumble, my damn body, grumble, grumble.)

2014/05/25

Memorial Day 2014

Da Goddess @ 23:24

Gardens of Stone - Fort Rosecrans

Gardens of Stone sit in stillness
The lives of those buried here are mostly forgotten
They whisper to us, but rarely do we listen
And yet they speak volumes

In Gardens of Stone there reside
Those who served, at home and on the front
The wind scatters leaves and secrets
Speaking volumes of those who can no longer speak for themselves

In Gardens of Stone names are carefully etched
For family and friends to visit for a while
After many years, the visits taper off
Speaking volumes of our commitment to those who have died

In Gardens of Stone some of us wander
Searching for clues
Honoring the dead
Praying for their souls

In Gardens of Stone on this weekend
Everywhere you turn
You will see flags and flowers
Speaking volumes that we still care

In Gardens of Stone we pray
For those who continue the tradition
The sacred honor of protecting our way of life
We pray their service speaks volumes that war may
Someday be unnecessary

Until that time, we walk in Gardens of Stone
We gather to remember for those who cannot
For those who will not
Because the next to lie here will someday be just
Another name etched carefully in granite

In Gardens of Stone we are never alone
In Gardens of Stone we must continue
To pray and remember and learn
So that someday there may be smaller Gardens of Stone

__________________________________

For every name upon a stone that might ring familiar, there thousands more which we may not recognize nor find in any book. Their names, if we look long enough, become familiar to us, become part of our extended family. For they are the ones who secured our freedoms and allowed us the rights we enjoy today. The protesters on the street can do so because of these men and women. Those who cry out for freedom from religion (we’re guaranteed freedom of religion — to worship [or not] as we so choose) can do so because of these men and women. Those who demand this and demand that are able to do so because of these men and women. We can stand up and publicly deride our leaders because of these men and women. We are free to speak in English or any other language we chose because of those who lie in the Gardens of Stone.

Most will never have monuments. Most will never have books written about them. We can, however, take the time to remember, even if in general terms.

___________________________________

Memorial Day is not just about hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, the gatherings of friends and family, the drinks passed around the campfire. We’re free to do so, yes, but it is due to the sacrifices made by people whose names we’ll likely never know.

Please take a moment this weekend to give thanks to those who have served, to those who continue to serve, and honor them with a moment of silence. That’s the least we can do for them.

Gardens of Stone - Fort Rosecrans

2014/05/16

Terpsichorean

Da Goddess @ 23:45

I threw that word out to King Arthur earlier this evening as we were gazing up at the clouds in the sky. There was one in particular that was wispy and evoked movement, like that of dance. In other words, it was terpsichorean in nature.

Why does this word — or any word, for that matter — stick in one’s brain? I’m not sure. All I know is that it was there and it was deployed. It was our word of the day.

I do so enjoy pulling out a word from my databank and applying it aptly to whatever the moment calls for. I do so enjoy sitting on the front porch, watching the clouds — alone or with KA. I love when nature gifts us with the glory God has infused in it. To me, that’s about as close as you can get to heaven while still alive on this earth. That and using the talents God gave us to identify those moments and the scenes around us.

As a bit of a non-footnote:

terpsichorean terp·si·cho·re·an

/ˌtərpsikəˈrēən,-ˈkôrēən/
___________________________

adjective
formal / humorous

adjective: terpsichorean

1. of or relating to dancing.

noun
formal / humorous

noun: terpsichorean; plural noun: terpsichoreans
1. a dancer.

Again, there you have it: your word for the day. Er, rather, your word for the weekend.

2013/12/19

We Try.

Da Goddess @ 10:31

I found this quote over on Marmalade Bleue and fell in love with it.

From the book Quitter by Jon Acuff. (If you’re not reading his blog, start. It’s one of the nicest gifts you can give yourself.)

“We know how to talk ourselves out of or into things better than anyone on the planet. Think about a time when you made a horrible mistake and someone said, ‘What were you thinking?’

Usually you weren’t doing it because you thought it would be a horrible mistake. You thought it would be great. And you talked yourself into it. Because no one can convince us like we can convince us.”

We humans are so very complicated, aren’t we? And we are also quite simple. The thing that struck me most was the part about talking ourselves out of things. We fear failure. We want to avoid looking or feeling foolish if something doesn’t turn out the way we planned. But without taking any risks, our lives are nothing. Nothing. We cannot love, we cannot grow, and we cannot teach if we never TRY. We try because otherwise we’re just getting by. And that’s not LIVING. That’s existing. LIVING comes from the flavor we add to our lives by trying new things.

As babies, we look around and begin to focus on things further and further away. Then we begin reacting to the world around us and smile or cry in response. We start to reach for things that catch our eye. A baby doesn’t just lie around month after month. A baby learns to roll over, to sit up, to crawl, and to walk and talk. Babies would do this even if we didn’t cheer them on. As they learn to walk, they fall a lot. But they don’t stop trying. They get up and try again.

And so do we.

So, if something doesn’t work the first time, don’t give up. Try it again. Maybe it’s just a matter of building the proper muscles (physically, mentally, creatively) to get it right. Every step we take, literally or figuratively, is an exercise that helps build those muscles. Exercise…from taking a chance.

Sure, it takes less effort to stand in your own way, but then you don’t get to brag about all that exercise you’re getting if you’re out there giving it a go.

Kind of makes you feel a little better when you think about it that way, doesn’t it?

The Dyson vacuum cleaner was the result of 5,127 prototypes over 15 years.

I’m no longer calling my mistakes “mistakes”, they’re now just prototypes for what I will eventually accomplish.

2013/12/08

Oh, Muse!

Da Goddess @ 16:03

Why is it that I can write an entire short story in my head while I’m in the shower, but the minute I sit down at the computer, I got NOTHING?!

My muse is a cruel, cruel wench.

2012/11/28

Proofreaders Are An Asset

Da Goddess @ 04:00

Professional company sends me an email asking me to purchase their products. Email is rife with errors.

Said email starts off nicely enough:

At *Company X*, we think creativity has an endless shelf life. If you agree, enter to win an Amazon® Kindle Fire™ or Amazon® Kindle™ and $250 USD worth of *Company X* books of the winner’s choice (Total value: $450)!
How’s that for a happy holiday season!

We won’t even quibble about the need for a question mark at the end of the last sentence. Basically, the company wants you to be so excited about winning a Kindle or Kindle Fire that you’ll get caught up in their amazing products and make a purchase or two for the photographer/creative in your life. Nothing wrong with that. Except…except when each book you then list has a “sneak peak” available.

Obviously, I’m completely bent by: sneak PEAK.

It’s a damn sneak PEEK, people!

A peak is something you see. A peek is something you do or “take”. Either way, “peek” is a verb. “Peak” is a noun.

Are we clear on this? Would you like to hire me to proof your copy? (I’m also available for tattoo consultation before the inking begins. Another essential skill/gift.)

P.S. Any errors in this post are the direct result of my unmitigated ire at lack of command of the English language by those in charge of marketing. Shouldn’t “proficient in the English language” be a required job skill for anyone in the business of writing copy?
Yes, these are jobs I should have.

2012/11/17

Autobiography Title

Da Goddess @ 04:00

Mine will be “Dirty Nogoodnik”

Heard a local reporter say it on air the other night. It wasn’t the first time I’d ever heard the phrase, but it was certainly the first time I’d heard a reporter say it during a newscast. I laughed. And then I had to ask my dad if I’d heard correctly.

Sigh.

An alternate title will be “The Car Killer” as I’ve now had car problems twice since I’ve been back. With my dad’s car. First time was the front left axle breaking. Not my fault. It just happened while I was in the car. On the freeway. In the rain. Stuck in the middle of the freakin’ freeway in the rain in a car that can’t move isn’t my favorite place to be. Then last night, LD and I got in the car to run to the store for my dad and it wouldn’t start. Battery was dead. DEAD. Not even a whistle*. The nice guy who fixed my dad’s broken axle, which was caused by a bad motor mount (long story) stopped by the house and got us up and running. We ran to my sister’s house, grabbed laundry, and other stuff, left the car running the whole time. Then off to the grocery store, left motor running again. Got home, thinking the car had likely recharged the battery enough and turned the car off. Tried to restart it again. Not even a whistle*.

* begins at 1:41 and goes until 4:02

My alternate alternate title will be “I Don’t Suffer Bastards and So Are You!”

2012/10/27

Honesty, Is Such a Lonely Word

Da Goddess @ 03:00

Uncle Shelby said it best:

“Tell my I’m clever,
Tell me I’m kind,
Tell me I’m talented,
Tell me I’m cute,
Tell me I’m sensitive,
Graceful and Wise
Tell me I’m perfect–
But tell me the TRUTH.”

Yep. That’s what I need to hear. Right about…NOW!

2012/10/26

Free Halloween Download — Full James Thurber Book!!

Da Goddess @ 02:20

You can download James Thurber’s My Life and Hard Times free of charge. It’s a great read Halloween night if you’re the one stuck at home handing out candy.

It’s the greatest treat you’ll get all night! And you can share it with others.

2012/10/25

How Much Love?

Da Goddess @ 04:00

“How many slams in an old screen door?
Depends how loud you shut it.

How many slices in a bread?
Depends how thin you cut it.

How much good inside a day?
Depends how good you live ‘em.

How much love inside a friend?
Depends how much you give ‘em.”

Shel Silverstein

2012/10/23

Taking Time to Listen

Da Goddess @ 04:00

…Listening matters.

The Little Boy and the Old Man by Shel Silverstein
Said the little boy, “Sometimes I drop my spoon.”
Said the old man, “I do that too.”
The little boy whispered, “I wet my pants.”
“I do that too,” laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, “I often cry.”
The old man nodded, “So do I.”
“But worst of all,” said the boy, “it seems
Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.”
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
“I know what you mean,” said the little old man

Shel Silverstein at his absolute best.

2012/10/22

Thurber on Wine

Da Goddess @ 04:00

It’s a naïve domestic Burgundy without any breeding, but I think you’ll be amused by its presumption.

James Thurber ~ Cartoon caption in New Yorker (March 27, 1937).

2012/10/21

Who’s That Knockin’ On My Door?

Da Goddess @ 01:39

The Meehoo with an Exactlywatt by Shel Silverstein

Knock knock!
Who’s there?
Me!
Me who?

That’s right!
What’s right?
Meehoo!
That’s what I want to know!
What’s what you want to know?

Me, WHO?
Yes, exactly!
Exactly what?
Yes, I have an Exactlywatt on a chain!
Exactly what on a chain?

Yes!
Yes what?
No, Exactlywatt!

That’s what I want to know!
I told you – Exactlywatt!
Exactly WHAT?
Yes!
Yes what?

Yes, it’s with me!
What’s with you?
Exactlywatt – that’s what’s with me.
Me who?
Yes!

GO AWAY!

Knock knock…

2012/10/19

Standing

Da Goddess @ 04:00

Again, Shel Silverstein to the rescue!

Standing on my elbow
With my finger in my ear,
Biting on a dandelion
And humming kind of queer
While I watched a yellow caterpillar
Creeping up my wrist,
I leaned on a tree
And I said to me,
“Why am I doing this?”

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