Finally! A useful article….

Back in winter of 2021, my son ended up with back-to-back strep throat infections…. That weren’t treated as quickly or as well as they could have been.


To my mind? Back then and still today?

Because of the running mass hysteria of COVID-19.

Yes, I was mad at the time and it still frustrates me…. for ever so long, it’s felt like ‘if it ain’t COVID, no one cares, and no slack is cut for you, other than, test, test, test, and pressure to get vaccine, a booster, etc., and if you can’t or haven’t yet?

Who cares? You deserve whatever you get.

Now, lest you believe me to be totally cynical or delusional, let me share my personal take on the COVID topic:

  • I do not believe it is a hoax – I have no doubt it’s real
  • Been reading concerns from little known researchers & historians for YEARS that we are, and have been, for some time, overdue for a pandemic
  • Warmer winters & drier conditions in my neck of the woods means ‘more bad stuff that affects humans and animals is lurking all around us – it’s not getting killed off as it does in the ‘winter cold/snowpack’ lower soil temps for more days in a row, as in the past….
  • Healthcare professionals have dealt with low wages, long shifts and crazy responsibilities for one person, short staff, for the better part of 15 years to my observations over time – OF course our healthcare system and its workers are overwhelmed – they were on the verge of being overwhelmed BEFORE this hit – why is anyone surprised (and yes, perhaps I will blog the hospital staff story for that 2007 Easter Weekend I spent staying by my mother’s hospital bed, and what I observed of the staff and their struggles – or what I observed of staff in 2008 when my son was in ICU before he died….wasn’t pretty for them back then, and nothing in my world indicates their working conditions improved before 2020…if anything, their wages and conditions worsened….EVEN BEFORE COVID!!
  • I’ve watched for nearly 3 decades ’employee benefits’ via ‘sick time/paid time off’ be slashed – given and taken away at a whim – touted as a benefit but one is punished if they dare actually use the benefit – so COVID just stretched the crap one must deal with in employee/work force realms….
  • EVERY season, there will be colds, flu, strep throat, viral pneumonia (RSV?), etc. And a portion of the population dies from those things, too…. and/or they get very ill and it takes a long time to recover – I know – I had swine flu in 2009, which quickly moved into pneumonia, and then moved into pleurisy and I spent a good 2-3 years fully recovering from lung damage, cracked ribs and a torn sternum area ligaments, ripped apart by uncontrollable coughing while I tried to ‘solider on’.

So, while I GET it, on many fronts, I also DON’T get it on other fronts….

Last winter of cold, flu and other nasties, including COVID, season??

My son was going on nearly a full year of working weekly overtime – because he works in the ‘package delivery’ industry – which means – he became ‘essential’ in early 2020 so many, many others, could survive lockdown/stay at home orders/needs.

If he wasn’t feeling well, and/or running a temp, he was sent home and couldn’t return to work until COVID test results were delivered to his boss – on the other hand, if he was SICK, but not COVID? His time off was taken out of paid time off account – even if test sites were overwhelmed and dropped the ball and his boss didn’t get the results until nearly 10 working days later –

No one cared he had strep last winter – not Covid? He needed to return to work, even though he only had a day or two of antibiotics in him when the negative COVID results arrived…

Coughing up blood on the warehouse floor from raw throat?? OMG! Haz mat team needed! Get your COVID test….not covid? Get back to work and we need to discuss you taking so much sick time….” was their take on the matter.

Him? Scared the bajeezus out of him and he called 911 cuz he freaked and he paid out-of-network/pocket for the place they referred him to – even though THAT place did the strep test and sent him home with stuff for treatment, AND did a better job of relaying COVID test results….

So…um….all ya gotta do is pay $800+ and you actually get treated/get test results in a timely manner?

Well, then… If only we had known such things exist – now to just earn the funds to pay for that kind of quality healthcare…. (yes, that’s my cynicism showing up)

The Hypocrisy Shown in such things, just kept adding up, to my mind…

One week, he had 2 sick days on the ‘time sheet’ and yet, the 4 days he did work, covered his 40 hours needed for full week, plus overtime –

Payroll logged it all as:

  • ‘Unpaid time off/in the hole (2 days/15 hours) because PTO exhausted…and then
  • Paid him OT over the 40 hours he worked (memory serves he did 56 hours in those 4 days)

Why do I have a problem with that?

Because it was logged as “16 hours unpaid sick time- break time” and then “40 hours regular” and then 16 hours OT, on his payroll records – and his bosses up the line?

All they looked at is “someone has depleted their paid time off (PTO) and is taking more – problem employee and we must talk to/discipline, threaten”

Over which, I got so damn mad, this Mama Bear was ready to go into the place of business herself and have a CTJ meeting with top management/leadership…

“CTJ” (aka ‘Comin’ Ta Jesus’ meeting – in other words? All Fire and Passion via a Hell’s Fire is waiting for you” arse-chewing out from Mama Bear…. 😀

Only my adult son, laughing at me when laughing made his throat hurt, stopped me from going on about what I wanted to do, was going to do, and had me stepping back and telling myself, “sick or not, he’s an adult and you need to butt out….”

I just got mad over and over on many fronts, the hysteria and subsequent increasing failure of many systems that seemed to ignore everything except things as they related to COVID.


Finally, in a small way, a return to ‘oh, there are other things in the world except COVID – what else is going around this year?’ article.

You can read it here at CPR:

Which I still need to read the included RSV link – and research on it if I can find it-

Because I remember, back in August, some medical/research folks were concerned over the fact we are ‘overdue’ of a total failure of ‘guessing the dominant strain of seasonal flu’ for the flu vaccine this year, too – happens about every 10 years – so they say –

Last one that was bad?

2009 – the same year I managed to get that damn Swine flu from being within talking distance contact with a customer, who had traveled abroad, while I was still floundering through deep grieving and, myself, had been working 14 hour days 5-6 days a week – at the the time…. 😀

Thus? He wasn’t at his best and neither was I – and Ta-Da! I got a vacation from work via being sick.

A LONG one – a vacation that extended into finally going on Retreat – the following summer – during which, I healed in many things, but mostly? Healed my grieving heart. For the first time in nearly 3 years –

The past many months remind me of that time, over and over

Since Winter of 2020, many in my circle have had major surgery, or minor illnesses, or diagnosed with chronic illness, or chronic illnesses are trucking on to worse, have gotten older, are hit by their own losses, their own griefs, their own stresses, the demands others put on them, through bullying and fear….

And so, for just this coming winter season, including the holidays?

  • I hope, if you are grieving, you find healing –
  • If you’ve been working your arse off for way too long, you get some down time
  • If you’ve been running off stress and adrenaline for longer time than you can remember? You get some moments of joy, grace and respite, to recover.

And for the love of all that is holy, do not let the care professional ONLY test for COVID!

Don’t wait for 3 test visits before you finally draw from the ‘available pool’ someone who says, “oh, maybe we should test for strep….too….”

And if it’s strep? Stay home and heal – don’t go rushing back just because those you work for say, “not covid? no excuse to be out sick…”

Because you know – that Strep can kill ya too…

I Celebrate Kwanzaa

I just do – since long ago when I first was introduced to it AND was blessed with ‘permission of participation’ rights from an African-American woman who didn’t care I was a White American Woman, and who I asked permission of, or at least, asked what ‘Da Rules’ were

( I have so many northern European genealogy & cultural/religious/nation state inheritances, I often confuse even myself – I come from long line of immigrant stock that got over their prejudices on who to marry/raise children with over many, many decades… thus, here and there, I do question and ask permission of many who are of more ‘purity of lines inherited folks on various fronts – cuz what do I really know? Or what did my ancestors or I get confused on/mishmashed several into one fronts? Who knows for sure?)

She shared with me the concepts of this tradition – mainly because we both cared about Shop Local and Support Small Business and Eating as Close to Source of Real food as you can fronts –

We had that in common and was how we first met

I invited her and her partner to my Christmas Eve shindig – she told me about Kwanza – I asked if I was ‘allowed’ to celebrate Kwanza – being white and all –

Even back then (nearly 20 years ago, now!) I was sensitive to ‘there are things I can admire and celebrate, but am not allowed to publicly participate in, simply because of who I am…”

She was one of the toughest, strongest, articulate during debate, folks I had in my circle at the time – no BS, ever, even when she was calling me on my own BS –

She hurt my feelings all the damn time – but oh, how I loved having her in my ‘inner circle”

Her name was Kayan – in my mind? I think of her and see ‘cayenne’ as her name –

She was spicy and could burn ya if not approached with caution, but overall, so good for one’s overall mental & soul health.

She was also a damn fine chef, so anything she fixed was good for ease of digestion, too….

I still miss her….

As far as I’m concerned? IF Kayan said I was allowed to participate?

I could and do – I don’t care who else says what – since that long ago day… when she answered “Yes” and then proceeded to lambast me for my cowardice and timidity that I might possibly ‘offend’ others – ???

Which, I still find funny – I offend folks all the time, in my well known circles – and she was giving me crap about not living my path for fear of offending those I really, have no clue about their inherited and current experiences – and knew I didn’t, thus, wasn’t sure what, exactly, was a true offense or not –

In my own sphere of knowns? I may KNOW the offenses better, but at least if I charge through to do, I know what I’m risking/doing – her life/experience/inheritances?

Me? No-true- clue – Not really – thus, for me?

BIG Danger Zone that I might do something I would forever regret, later, simply through carelessness and/or pure ignorance.

She was smart and a warrior in Life – and yet, I never felt unsafe while she delivered her ‘lectures’ –

She never made me feel less than – only instilled in me a desire to ‘grow into next better version of me.”

I guess, because, at the end of the day?

I knew we had stuff in common and I knew we had other perspectives not in common, but I also KNEW and TRUSTED – if she didn’t love me? Like me? just for me being who I was, just then??

She would simply disappear from my life.

She didn’t suffer fools lightly and she didn’t waste her time on folks she felt weren’t worth the effort – She didn’t do vengeance or guilt trips or manipulation – she just spoke her piece, and then let me ponder on it awhile – and kept taking my calls or hanging out together even when I wasn’t certain which path I was going to take – for sure….

Thus, she was a safe place to ask questions, learn more and grow more –

The Principals of Kwanzaa:

  • Umoja (Unity)
  • Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
  • Ujamaa (Cooperative economics)
  • Nia (Purpose)
  • Kuumba (Creativity)
  • Imani (Faith)

When to Celebrate it – Officially….

December 26- January 1st.

That said, it is a celebration of Family, Community and Culture – and the 7 tenets? Can be practiced and celebrated year round (and, to my mind, should be! But that’s just my personal opinion)

So I’m sharing with you – just because, I didn’t inherit it, had no reason from my own environment to even know about it – until I focused on food & nutrition, and then?

Ta-Da! I was blessed to have her, show up in my Life network; to ask questions of and get real answers from.

And ocassionally, she was vastly interested in my personal religion – ya know the one that weaves more isms, Ben Franklin, historical quotes together in with things deemed ‘new age’ or witchcraft of ye olde world’ than most faithful to their religion folks can stomach –

I was over 40 years old before I learned “God Helps those who Help themselves” is nowhere to be found in the KJV of the Bible – it is a Poor richards Almanac saying…. just FYI

She listened to it all when she would blast out at me,

“Why on EARTH are you worried about that decision to make???”

Kayan was also a lesbian – her partner was a white woman from New Zealand – they were the first ones I knew who were kind about answering my 101 questions to understand better, as a heterosexual – to understand how many points of law and insurance and such they were disenfranchised from, simply because of who they loved and were building a life/business together with…

Cuz ya know, an Unjust law is no Law at all, to my mind….

Needless to say, the combo of all that Kayan was and her loved ones put together, made so many in my family/friends circle really nervous, and worried about how to ‘act/behave’ were she and her partner attending a get together I was hosting?

Some flat out refused to attend any get together including them….for one reason or another – and dependent upon their response/reasons why? Well, some of them, just didn’t get invited anymore.

Others? Were honest with themselves and me: – “Um, I struggle with that, we’ll come see you another day, if that’s okay???”

And, well – I didn’t just cut everyone off at the knees – we all grow at our own pace – and facing up to one’s own prejudices or biases, no matter why held, isn’t an easy journey to take – I know – I dive into mine all the time…

I’m still trying to figure out how to resolve my prejudice against prejudiced folks – even though a whole bunch of liberals,progressives and new agers have informed me I’m fully allowed to have my preferences….

(as long as my prefs line up with what their preferences are… sort of like conservatives and fundamental religious folks believe in my right of freedom of speech, as long as I’m saying what they agree with… See? My Cynicism is not just ‘peeking’ out after the past few years of – ARGGH! on social levels – 😀

Life Education for free…

I learned ever so much on so many topics, from Kayan –

They moved to New Zealand to care for ailing family member/save the family farm well before I moved back to the plains, had a stroke and we lost connection via correspondence fronts, completely….possibly, forever.

The two friends who introduced us? Died before 2013.

The network may be re-established, some day, but I’m not holding out hopes. I just think of her and give thanks for the brief time our Life paths crossed and we walked together through life for awhile.

So this Kwanzaa official holiday time of year?

I am remembering fondly, Kayan, her gifts to my life and yes, I regressed and asked permission to participate in Kwanzaa from a black women in a group I was in, a few years back, to be polite and understanding – turns out she was raised in strict fundamental Christian foster home and was excited to learn about Kwanzaa – and forgave me for ‘assuming’ based on her color of skin/what I had gathered from our conversations on culture, justice, music, etc…..

But I don’t ask permission anymore since my interaction from another tough but loving, strong black lesbian woman. She was the ONLY one who noticed the group meeting day, I wasn’t myself. Came to the kitchen to ‘offer help’ with refreshments and finally said, she who I had never offered a hug too, who I figured wasn’t a huggy person,

She said, “Do you need a hug? What is going on?” and then hugged me when I started crying and told her a classmate/childhood friend had died that morning from brain cancer and I found out just before the meeting and was struggling to put my ‘game face’ on.

She is still in my circle of contacts and probably wouldn’t appreciate me bandying her name about in current blog posts – thus, she is dubbed, “Ms. Singer Extraordinaire who is Also an Engineer” in fiber optic stuff.

Nope, I no longer ask permission – I just celebrate it and invite others to celebrate it, too.

Up to them if they want to or not.


As Kayan would say,

“You have only to choose for you – if no one chooses to walk the path with you? Maybe you are wrong, maybe you are right – you only need ask if you are strong enough to walk by yourself for awhile, while you assess just how right or wrong you may be…”

Kayan (paraphrased and not quoted!)

Or at least, that’s what I learned from her – The above paraphrase is pure fiction for sake of some brevity in this post – LOL

P.S. – Artwork found, that matched Kayan’s personality (which I felt as sunlight shone onto topics many around me at the time, ignored or hid on purpose by others, even when she wasn’t ‘sunny’ herself, ever) was found at pixabay – it has the candles and Yellow in it – forgive me, Kayan, if not truly representative – but I trust you’ll know my heart – 😀

Miss you! ❤ ❤

Photo courtesy Image by ooceey from Pixabay

It’s that Time of Year…

The time of year I often dub, “Moon of the Walking Wounded” or “Moon of the Walking Dead”.


It’s the holidays – mass hysteria runs rampant on woulda, coulda, shoulda, ought too, etc.

Losses, old unhealed hurts, family dysfunctions, etc., seem to often back up on many. And yet, there is often the prevailing ‘thought’ of those who would rather just ‘skip it’ who pressure themselves more than I ever would….

“Well…it IS family…I SHOuLD….but I really am dreading it.”

Sigh – so hard for folks who find themselves in that place – for one reason or many others.

This year, many folks in my circle of ‘know ’em, love ’em’ are grieving recent losses and the holidays just highlight what used to be there that no longer is.

They don’t feel in the mood – but then feel bad about themselves for ‘not making the effort’ but not bad enough to actually put in the energy to make the effort – either.

Here’s a Thought

Do one thing that is easy for you to say yes too…..

And then, I toss out a possibility that is easy for me to do for them – ‘hey, how about we do [such and such…do you still like…?] or, “You’re invited, no pressure, you don’t have to do nothing but be here at this time, or be ready for me to pick ya up at this time, no food to cook, no gift to buy, no nothing, all ya gotta do is show up and let me know if you want to leave early – we’ll leave.”

And if they say no?

That’s okay too. Nothing makes it worse than it already feels like, when someone says, “snap out of it! Quit being a downer! quit feeling sorry for yourself.”

True, maybe you are, but in the moment when you can’t find the reason to get up and put your smiley face on so others around you feel good? None of the above bullying is going to achieve much but shoving ya further into the hole – –

I know – I’ve been there.

Yearning for something to enjoy/be passionate about when all I felt was numb.

Knowing I had so little to offer, that any invite felt like an embarrassment and it was just easier to stay home.

Thus, I’m reminded of a post I did long ago, when someone walked me through assessing whether I was really dead or not, in my soul, that STILL felt frozen and numb from the period of Life Events that finally, just kept coming until I didn’t really want to get up and try once more…

I wasn’t dead, not really – it just felt like it at the time.

I found a beautiful, new-to-me picture, to illustrate the same feeling tonight, I felt back when I wrote The Garden Within.

One that illustrates what I see both in those who are struggling and the vast light and expanse of awesome they are surrounded by, but may not be feeling, just now.

The things that come more quickly and easily to me NOW than such awareness came through my total numbness, back then…

And I’m sharing it with those who might stumble across this –

Who might need to hear someone say,

“I know it feels like you’re disappearing, but I SEE you! And I’m telling ya, you’re in temporary hibernation, not dead. And we are waiting for you when you’re ready to poke your head out of the cave! We are Right in Front of You! Don’t rush on our account, but we are just a step away when you’re ready for that first step…”

I will close by quoting meself, the last line, from that long ago post, that has come to my mind many times this season so far, as I listen to those who are struggling to find passion again in their life that has been so radically changed through loss this past year….who have old losses and traumas getting triggered mightily this year…..

“Blessings to all whose gardens may look dead, but are not. May you discover your thrive!”

me, myself and I

May your Holidays find you with the space & grace to find some joy as you may.

Note* The gorgeous Featured Image is courtesy of Evgeni Tcherkasski from Pixabay – and yes, I hit the ‘coffee’ button to donate, because creatives who provide the perfect pic for my thoughts deserve to make a living too, especially when they offer it for free – – – 😀

Sort of Silent Sunday….

What I felt this morning, while viewing, then belatedly trying to capture a picture of the early pre-dawn, dawn, day breaking?

Words are inadequate to share what I experienced inside – in every cell of my being.

I tried over and over to write the words – to express them.

And then realized – the words strung together by me, somehow only degrade, or limit, constrain, oppress the true voice I heard this morning of All that Is.

I still have work to do on writing and photography skills and yet – I did wish to share some small portion of the Profound that Blessed my life this early morning, long before I tried to snap a pic, or put 1,000+ words to it…

May this Day find your Life Touched by the Profound and Beautiful.

Old, Deciduous Stalwarts – Standing strong As the Wisps of Above Race By
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