Sage and Sass

Sage and sassy wanderings of a curious mind.

Same sex marriage??? The hell you say! May 10, 2012

Filed under: Gripes...Yipes! — Sage and Sass @ 9:16 am
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I tried to avoid this subject, I really did.  I pressed “LIKE” on the posts that were poignant and non-committal on Facebook.  I respected my pentecostal friends opinions and did not voice my own.  I noted in my head who agreed and disagreed.  I laid in bed last night and felt ashamed.  I mentioned it to my husband while quietly stewing in bed.  And then I woke up this morning.

The first thing my daughter said to me was “Mom, you gotta look at this post.”  What she showed me was a post a very dear teenage friend of ours had written.  It was a simple message about President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage.  His respect for him has risen because of it.  This young man is a normal teen, he get’s into trouble like any other, he spouts off nonsense and gives his fair share of grief.  However, he is well versed in his politics.  He does not take things lightly and he goes looking for factual answers when he has a question.  He does not make decisions lightly.  In the three years I have been away from him I have watched him grow from a boy into a well-rounded, intelligent young man via Facebook.  His mother is like a sister to me.  She has done a wonderful job, often alone, of raising her children.  Today is living proof of that.  As I read his post my daughter answered the question in my head.  Why was she so shocked by his post?

“Now read what his dad wrote.”  She said obviously shocked and distraught.

So I did.  I was appalled by the venom in this man’s posts.  You can imagine.  Every slur he could think of was thrown at his son.  Along with the threat that if he did not stop his nonsense he would disown him as his son.  He felt his son was shaming his name by spouting “this kind of bulls**t”.  When the son asked him “what gave him the right to tell another how to live their life just because he didn’t agree”, the posts became more direct.  He told his son that if he wanted to listen to rap music, that was ok.  If he wanted to shoot guns and ride dirt bikes that was ok, but if he wanted to be a “faggit” (his spelling) then he would dis-own his arrogant little ass in less than a second.  No seed of his was gonna be or support this cause.

At this point the son’s sister asked a question about him disowning his son over it.  She was told “not to start her s**t”.  And this is where I became proud, well more proud, of my young friend.  He very calmly and respectfully told his dad that although he is not gay, he does support the cause and he will not back down.  He said his dad could disown him if he liked but that he would still carry on his name, like it or not.  He said his kids would learn tolerance, how to love their neighbors and be the best people they could be.  He said he was working on this now himself, learning to be a man and not a bigot, racist or homophobe.

The response he got?  “This s**t is not funny at all—and if any of my children were to be gay, they would no longer be my children,,,they would just be another fag”.  My friend tried again.  He said all he was doing was asking people to be kind to each other.  He made references to Jesus and His commandments to treat each other fairly no matter our differences.  That we are here to help each other and learn compassion.  He did express sorrow at his dads narrow-mindedness, but really at this point who could blame him? His dad responded with a whole slew of his perceived ills in the world that were caused by people being broad-minded. Among them were the collapse of the Garden of Eden and Rome, “napollians” reign, and the United States as we know it now.  Are you as confused as I am?  He claimed his was not a racist opinion, it was cold hard truth and he better realize this because it would vastly affect not only my friends future but also his children’s future.  Dear God, let’s hope so!  And thank you for not letting this fathers opinion not sway his own children.

Now you would think this would be enough wouldn’t you?  It wasn’t.  In response to my friends argument for being more like Jesus and spreading tolerance the father then made an extremely crude remark regarding Jesus and the homosexual act that was highly inappropriate and really has nothing to do with the original argument.  This prompted his daughter to post what I was thinking in a milder form.

She said, “I hope I don’t turn out like you as a parent.”

Amen to that sista.  When someone commented on how calm my friend stayed, his reply was priceless.

He said, “He’s still my dad though, and I love him.  No matter the different opinions.”

And so you should my friend, so you should.

So here I am writing about an issue that has been weighing heavy on my heart and mind.  Up until now I have straddled the fence.  Loving and supporting my gay friends and family but not loudly.  In my heart I am in, one hundred percent because I feel it is God’s place, not mine to judge and honestly I don’t see the difference.  And before my religious friends try to convince me I am committing some great sin in saying this, please stop and think.  I am not a person who comes to decisions lightly.  I weigh them heavily, I pray, I meditate.  I have a very close relationship with my God.  It may not fit your criteria but it doesn’t have to.  I don’t answer to you.  I don’t feel the need to agree with all of your opinions or expect you to agree with mine.  So love me, pray for me, disown me if you must.  I will still love you.

I believe that every person on the planet should have the same rights, including the right to marry and live in open harmony with their chosen mate.  I believe in Separation of Church and State.  I believe if there is no separation then no ones rights are safe.  If you give permission to make laws based on one persons religion then you are subject to that same fate if someone of a different religion comes into power.  Remember that the next time you want to withhold a right from someone.  I also believe that if everyone followed the basic commandments of the bible, they would not have time to be making this an issue.

To my young friend, you know who you are…thank you for having the courage to stand up for your beliefs.  It gave me the courage to stand up for mine.  I love you.

Slainte’,

~Sam

PS – In the aftermath of this post you would expect this young friend would be on other threads talking about it to his friends, possibly saying all the things he really wanted to say right?  Want to know what he is really doing?  Researching the history of marriage so he can better understand.  We need more people like this.  That is the world I want to live in.

 

Medical marijuana versus recreational marijuana or “just trust God”. January 27, 2012


Hi, my name is Sam, and I smoke weed…legally.  Does this statement infuriate you?  Does it call into question my relationship with God?  Does it make it my fault that you have loved ones who have abused drugs?  Apparently, there are some people who would say yes to those statements.

I don’t even really know where to begin with this one.  It all started with a Facebook post.  A young friend made a comment about the medical marijuana bill being brought up in Kansas.  Her statement was, in my opinion, confusing the issue of legalizing marijuana across the board and the issue of making it legal medicinally.  I made a comment imploring her to really study the issue and educate herself before voting down something that has had such an impact on my life.  I did not try to force her to change her thinking to mirror mine.  I simply asked her to research the issue and offered to answer any questions regarding my experience.  I think, regardless of anyones personal opinion, that this is a valid request.  We have a responsibility to know every possible benefit/detriment to the votes we cast before we cast them.

The ensuing posts were disturbing to me.  One person who disagreed with my post, and keep in mind, I am completely open to people disagreeing with me, simply could not separate the two issues.  I am fairly convinced due to his responses that he is coming from a place of hurt and disappointment.  I can relate to that, I can understand that but I do not understand the need to attack the person who has a different opinion and place question about their faith in God because of it.

My question to him after his argument, was I thought, well thought out, reasonable and deserved to be answered.  This person has a son with type I Diabetes, just like me.  I asked him if his son were in the same situation I was (which is possible since mine is a side effect of type I Diabetes) and had gone four years trying everything modern medicine had to offer with little relief and debilitating side effects and the suggestion of medicinal marijuana were made and proved to be an answer to the problem and gave his son back his life, would he deny him that treatment?  He did not answer this question, he did not do any research, he used his personal experience with people who use illegal drugs recreationally to justify his reasoning.

He referred to humans being able to justify anything.  I have nothing to justify, the facts speak for themselves.  I went thru every possible solution with no relief.  Medicinal marijuana fixed the problem and gave me my life back, legally.  How is that justifying illegal drug use?  He cited his sister as having died from a long life of pot and prescription  drug use.  Well which one killed her?  Either way I am betting there were other mitigating factors and abuse of the drugs in question.  How does my using it in a responsible and medicinal way in any way justify her choices?  He compared his son who is using pot illegally and recreationally as having the same belief about it as I do.  I find that offensive, I in no way shape or form endorsed illegal drugs, be it pot or any other, so how can you compare my beliefs to his?  He ended by saying “so no excuses please.  You believe what you want.  I would seek God for the truth.”  Previously in the thread he had said that “as for chronic pain, they should be looking to what is causing it.  Something we are doing to ourselves is the cause of the pain.  God is our healer anyway.”  What does that mean exactly?  That I did something to cause my type I Diabetes?  Something I am doing is causing the debilitating flare-ups?  God is punishing me?  What does that mean?

There are so many things I could say about this.  I am struggling to keep emotion out of it because I believe in facts, I believe in experience, I believe God gives us the means to help ourselves.  I believe sitting around just waiting for God to heal you is contradictory to the bible.  I believe in healing, I believe in prayer, I believe in God.  I believe that before you judge me on whether or not I am following God regarding my health that you should know what I went thru, what I go thru on a daily basis.  I believe you should know how much time I spent on my knees in prayer regarding whether or not to try the medical marijuana.  I believe you should know that what God has planned for you may not be what he has planned for me.  I believe placing me in the same category as people who use marijuana illegally is ignorant.

Here’s the thing, I have a hard time believing God has a problem with marijuana, seeing as how He created it, we have receptors in our brain for it, it is most beneficial in its natural form and it has so many medical benefits that are being scientifically documented as we speak.  Obviously the laws are not working or the person in question’s son would not be smoking pot illegally right?  But again, that is not the issue at hand.  Medical Marijuana laws and legalizing pot across the board are two different issues.

All I am asking is that the people of Kansas or any other state that has the issue coming up for election, do the research.  Be rational and open-minded to the facts and research.  Do some studying on the history of marijuana, why it is illegal, what the ramifications of medical marijuana being available or denied are.  Make up your mind from an open and educated place.  Not from ignorance or personal experience with a pothead who is irresponsible.  Please.  Would you vote to make alcohol illegal because your uncle was a drunk who beat his wife?  Probably not.  I would hope you would make that decision based on a broader experience than that.  Would you vote to outlaw prescription narcotics because your aunt abused them and sold them on the black market?  Probably not, right?  Well then why would you vote down medical marijuana for those same reasons?  Just because it was improperly classified during a time not so long ago, 1937, of political, racial and personal agendas.  Do the research.  You will be surprised.  I was.  That is all I am asking.  If you do the research and still disagree with voting yes for medical marijuana, then bravo for you and your choice.  Just please keep in mind that a vote is something that affects everyone and you have to put yourself in a variety of situations theoretically speaking to make conscious choices.  That is all I am asking.  Is that too much?  I really hope not.

I am also more than willing to share any and all information regarding my experience with becoming a medical marijuana patient.  I will answer any question.  Really, even the ones I disagree with.  😉

Slainte’

~Sam

 

What just happened? or customer service, what customer service? January 23, 2012


I am a green minded person, I try to recycle, upcycle, shop local and all that jazz but I have to voice my displeasure and pass on what happened to me at Speedway Thrift Shop today. Actually, it all started Friday. I decided that the purses I craft are gonna be earth friendly also.  I came up with the idea to recycle good quality hardware from thrift store purses. I found several at Speedway Thrift that would work great. I also found this amazing belt that had conchos that slid onto the belt that would have been perfect for using as the sliders on the straps of my purses. It was tagged at $4.98. It was a fair price and would give me sliders for eight purses.  Awesome!

I made my way to the register. As I was putting everything on the counter to pay I accidentally ripped the tag off the belt by catching it on the counter. The cashier saw it happen. She then tells me she can’t sell it to me. Apparently they cannot sell anything without the tag attached. Sounded silly to me since it happened right there at the register but I say “ok, so what do we do now?” Four people later they were still telling  me I cannot buy the belt until Monday and if I want it that is the only way. I was miffed and thinking , that is a really stupid policy. The one who seemed the most in charge said if I came in early she would make sure I got it.
So this morning I set out to go in there and get the belt.  I look on the rack, no belt.   I looked for and found the girl who told me to come back and she says, “sure I’ll go look.” But not before she makes a few purchases of her own, works the register and helps 2 other people. She finally goes into the back and finds the belt and says it hasn’t been retagged yet. I give her the hairy eyeball and she says, “I’ll go back and ask her to tag it now.” 45 minutes later, I am not exaggerating, she comes back with the tagged belt. She says, “you are not gonna like this.”  That was an understatement.  The tag says $24.95. I amazingly did not yell but said very calmly, “are you kidding me?” She replied, “I know right, she looked it up online and said it is a Brighton and never should have been priced that low.” I answered, “I don’t care if it’s Armani, the tag said $4.98 on Friday and I am only paying $4.98. It is not my fault that it was tagged too low, it was torn off at the register in front of your employee and now I feel like your manager is taking advantage of the fact that I came back to buy it. Your employee made the mistake in tagging it wrong and I made a second trip down here, I want to speak to the manager.”  She says ok and disappears behind the door again.

10 minutes later she comes back and says, “she will only come down to $15.”  I said, “I want to speak to the manager, now, this is wrong.” She said, “I know, you are right, but she is not gonna budge.”  I again tell her I want to speak to the manager.  She heads into the back again and another 10 minutes goes by.  When she returns, she says,  “She will not go lower than $15.  She looked it up online to show me how expensive it is and she said to tell you she is on the phone with the owner and will not be out for a very long time.”  Now I was pissed. I told her I did not appreciate being taken advantage of and wasting an hour and a half of my time to do so.  And I would not be shopping there ever again.  She just kept nodding and agreeing with me.  All she could do I suppose.

What kind of business is that?  It is a thrift shop I realize but don’t fair business practices sort of flow over into all kinds of business?  They should anyway.  I will not be shopping there ever again and if any of you do I caution you to make sure the tag doesn’t fall off of anything you really want to buy there. Sheesh! Grrrr…

Ok, I feel better now, thanks for listening.  I will now follow my own personal mantra of , everything happens for a reason.  The purses will be better off without them and there are plenty of other thrift shops out there that will treat me fairly.  Take that you mean old thrift store!  LOL

Slainte’

Sam 😉

 

Gift for a dear friend or, hmmm I could sell these… January 10, 2012


I am a knitter from way back.  My grandmother taught me when I was five.  That is forty years of experience right there.  That is a lot of experience.  I got to thinking about this recently when I decided to go back to doing my crafts as a business.  I have done this many times in the past, all with relative success, but my knitting has always just kind of been for me.  Plenty of fabulous gifts have been passed to my loved ones but I never really thought of it as a money-maker.  I have made jewelry, done sewing, painting and chalk portraits all as supplemental income, but never my knitting.  I have even crocheted things to sell, but not knitting.

I was thinking of this very thing recently while plotting out a present for one of my oldest and dearest friends.  I have been playing around with the idea of starting up a new craft business to supplement our income.  The thought of looking for a job while being a medical marijuana patient is daunting at best.  So of course my mind went in the direction of using my talent for profit.  Do what I love, stay home, make money?  Win, win, win.  First, let me explain just what kind of knitter I am.  AVID, and I don’t mean I just really like it, I mean I knit morning, noon and night.  I knit while working the table at the swap meet for my dad.  I knit while waiting in long lines.  I knit in church.  I always have a project in my purse and several going at home.  I knit while watching tv.  I can knit with my eyes closed, literally.  I live and breathe knitting.  So while deciding on a gift for this dear friend of mine I thought, hmmm, I should knit a purse.  So I did and here it is…

I had been playing around with the idea for a while, creating the perfect purse.  I am always on the lookout for the perfect purse.  One with a spot for my knitting, my iPad, my keys.  All organized and comfy, and of course, cute!  So I shopped for the perfect yarn for her taste and spent a bit of time thinking of her and her style.  And then I began knitting.  I actually took the time to sketch out a basic design which is new for me.  I usually follow a written pattern or just fly by the seat of my pants.  This time I actually designed the pattern myself with fore thought.  It was daunting, and challenging.  I had to consider design elements that would be beautiful as well as sturdy and functional.  I started out with a few basic elements I knew had to be there.  First I wanted the purse to lay flat against the body for comfort.  This friend has a spirit of adventure.  I wanted her to be able to lengthen the strap to wear cross body for long days out perusing festivals and such.  So I used hardware that allows the strap to go from short for wearing on the shoulder to a full 46 inches for across the body safety and comfort.  I also had to choose the right stitch to use for the strap to make sure it was sturdy enough to hold up.

For the basic shape I wanted it to be flat on the back side, again for comfort when wearing cross body and to accommodate a book or other flat object with ease but a full front to hold whatever needed to be held.  Easily done with some increase and decrease knitting.  I was quite pleased with the visual effect this gave as well.  I knitted and attached two pockets.  One went on the inside to hold little things that get lost like chapstick and the other on the outside back panel for easy access to things like a cell phone.  I used a magnetic clasp to hold the flap closed.  And for decoration and to bring the whole thing together I used a pendant of a peacock which I thought tied in nicely with the gorgeous colors of the yarn.

I used Lion Brand Yarn “Amazing” in the color Glacier Bay.  I knitted the entire purse except the pockets using two strands of the yarn held together throughout.  The yarn truly is amazing.  The pictures do not do it justice.  I used several design elements such as cables on the front where the flap lies so that when you lift the flap you get this surprise little touch of beauty that cables offer.  I also added a swivel clasp on the inside to hold keys or anything else you want quick access to.  I used the strap to put the front and back together to add stability and strength to the whole design.  So far feedback has been  wonderful.  Can’t wait to give it to her and get some usage feedback.

Don’t get me wrong, this was an incredibly challenging project that required lot’s of frogging.  For those of you who do not knit, frogging is a very serious and technical term.  Frogging is when you have to rip it, rip it, rip it out and start again.  LOL  But I think you will agree, it was worth every stitch.  I am already planning mine with the gorgeous Amazing yarn I got for Christmas, called Rainforest.  I can’t wait to go searching for some celtic hardware to use on it.  Happy knitting!

Slainte’

~Sam  😉

 

Happy New Year or what now… January 2, 2012


Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a lovely and safe one.  We did.  It was family oriented fun that ended peacefully snuggling with my honey.  A great way to start I’d say. I like peacefulness and with two teenagers in the house that is hard to come by these days.

I am not one to make new years resolutions.  I don’t get it really.  I guess I am more of a Carpe Diem type.  I mean, if you want to change something, what does the New Year have to do with it?  If you can’t follow thru with it on June 2nd then what makes you think January 1st is gonna help?

However, 2011 was a very difficult year for me.  Health wise it was probably my most difficult year yet.  Even though I conquered a few things with my health, thanks to medical marijuana, it still felt like I really just took two steps backwards all year.

So while I am not making any resolutions, I am thinking of taking a “clean slate approach” that happens to coincide with the New Year.  LOL  I intend to start a business, continue losing weight, and be religious about my diabetes care.

Hopefully I can be diligent and this year will prove to be healthier and more productive than the last.  Ok, so I guess that means that I do get the whole resolution business.  But I still think you shouldn’t wait until the New Year to change things you are unhappy with.  😉

So here is to a healthy, productive and happy 2012!

Slainte’,

~Sam

 

Welcome Back…or it really is good to be alive. November 10, 2011


Well, it has been awhile. I missed you dear blog o’mine. For anyone who has loyally followed my blog, I apologize for the lapse. Been a rough road the last few months. It began with a move across town. This was a good move, into our own place. As you know if you have followed along, I am a type I diabetic. 25+ yrs now. What you may not know is this. Diabetes sucks. Well ok, so you may know that but did you know it can go all wonky even if you are under perfect control, eat right, exercise and test your glucose faithfully? I have struggled with this the entire time I have been diabetic. It is exhausting, truly. Full time job. And here is the kicker, you can still become life threateningly ill, even when you do it all right. That is why it is so hard to stay on top of it, you feel like you get nowhere. Like it is “all for nawt” as me English Usband says. So I have, as you can imagine being the sassy girl I am, not always taken good care of it.
That has not been the case in the last year or so. Been on the wagon so to speak. Doing it all, pricking my finger 5 times a day. Eating my fruits and veggies, counting my carbs. Programming all the info into my insulin pump like a good little girl. And what happens? I wake up one morning with DKA. Are you freaking kidding me???
For those of you who are unfamiliar with DKA, click on the red DKA above and it will take you to the link. This is what happened. Apparently I had an infection of some sort, possibly sinus. Ironically, the one other time I had DKA, when I was 6 months pregnant with my first child, I also had a sinus infection.  Things that make you go hmm.  I went to bed with a slightly elevated glucose of 161. I dosed accordingly on my pump and went to bed. Sometime during the night my cannula, the filament that stays inside your body to deliver the insulin, became kinked. Therefore, no insulin was being administered to my body. This is not good.
When I woke up it was to vomiting bile, urgent urination and loose stools. All at the same time. I was a little loopy and had trouble figuring out what was going on. I thought originally that maybe I had food poisoning as I am prone to that, especially living in Az. Then, the 3 lovely symptoms continued every 20 minutes so I really had no time to clear my head and focus. Not that I really could by that time. I was pretty gone, logically speaking, shortly after waking. I am really not sure how I made it to the bathroom for each bout of puking. But I did my bumbling best. I checked glucose several times. Changed the cannula and even tried an injection, all while clutching the trash can tightly. Glucose would not come down. It was too late. So by the time my girls got home from school I was just laying down, getting up, puking, laying back down. Just sort of on auto pilot. I remember thinking, “don’t puke on the floor, it will suck to have to clean that up”. Weird where you’re brain goes in a crisis.  And also weird how many colors bile comes in.  Who knew?
So, then the girls came home and my brain shifted to, “I am ok, can’t freak out the girls”. Well luckily I have trained them well in all matters diabetic. I managed to fool them for awhile, not that I wanted to fool them mind you, I just was incapable of thinking clearly. Survival instincts really boil down to a basic level when your body is in DKA. Another problem is that I maintain a “normal” appearance even when I am deathly ill or in this case functioning with a glucose level in the high 400’s. Everyone said I was speaking clearly and acting fine. I have no recollection of this. Fortunately, the girl’s figured it out and called my dad and husband. By the time they arrived I was just coherent enough to know I could not go in a car to the ER and paramedics were called. It was a good call and may have made a huge difference in the outcome. So I spent 3 days and 2 nights at the lovely (it really is) University Hospital while they brought me back down safely. I did have a relapse of the puking a few days after being released but it was just some fall out and edema left over that was taken care of by a day of IV fluids. The entire experience was excruciatingly painful. There are a entire days I do not remember and some I wish I could forget.
Here is what I do remember. A panic like no panic I have ever felt before. It sounds so cheesy to say but I really did almost die. My husband got rather testy with me when I tried to laugh that off. And here’s the truth, I felt it. I knew I was on the edge of not being around anymore and it scared the hell out of me. I am not a fearful person. So this came as quite a shock. The thing is, I was not afraid of dying. I will gladly walk on over when it is my time. I was afraid of what would happen if I were to die right then.
I know this is not so strange a concept but it really put me in a loop I am having trouble getting out of. I clearly remember a burning desire to beg my husband and father to make sure the girls stayed put and continued on their awesome lives without me. Luckily I never said those things out loud to them, I do not like to upset people by freaking out. But it was such a strong need.
It lit a fire under me arse to get things in order for sure but it also shook some things loose in me. The problem is I am not sure what they are, where they come from or how to deal with them. I don’t seem to be able to leave the house without an enormous amount of anxiety and tears. I am not, or I should say I never was, much of a crier. Suck it up and breathe is my personal motto. Thing is, I can’t. I am also extremely proactive, I am the fix it person. I can’t. I have tried. Why is this happening? I don’t know. Mulled it over, talked about it, prayed, meditated, screamed, taken it apart with the husband and looked under the hood. Nothing. A big fat nothing.  I have decided to take action in the form of counseling. Waiting for the referral as we speak.
So what’s the point of all this? I just want you to see the importance of being prepared. Don’t put off those seriously important things like living wills, directives, saying I love you, hugs even at awkward times. The importance of truly living.  Go on that trip you’ve always wanted to go on. Take that class. Play with your children, goof off with your friends, steal away with your honey. Do it, do it all. Do it now. You never know…you just never know.
BTW, I am so appreciative of my life and all that is in it. There are no words expressive enough. Thank you God for the extra time. I promise to use it wisely.

Slainte’
~Sam

 

OMG is that a tattoo? or I mean, wow, that’s really pretty! July 15, 2011

Filed under: Show & Tell — Sage and Sass @ 2:20 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Recently a friend made a comment on Facebook about loving the reaction she get’s from people who find out she has a tattoo.  It got me thinking about how I react when I see one.  Everyone who knows me knows I am the poster child for “do not judge a book by it’s cover.”  I look like a normal, average wife and mother, whatever that means, but I live life out loud.  What does normal mean…oh never mind.  Anyway, back to the tattoos.  I, personally love them and am likely to accost people to question them about theirs.  I currently have three and a fourth on the drawing table.  I designed my first three.  The first being simply footprints that represent my babies on my ankle.  Green footprints for Tyler Jade and pink, slightly smaller ones following behind the green ones for my Jordie Rose.  A few years back I had reddish paw prints added for my beloved red heeler, Micka.  When I got the first one at the ripe old age of 32 mind you, my mother freaked.  I would have expected no less from my genteel, southern, pentecostal Mama.  She eventually got over it.  I think?               

The second one was a present from my new Usband on our first Valentines day together.   Matching tats.  I designed a circle of gaelic words and a claddagh that mirrors our wedding bands.  A sentiment that reflects both of our mind sets regarding love and therefore not breaking the taboo of never get a name or something you will regret if that relationship goes south.  I am wild and creative, not stupid.  Even though I am certain this man is mine for the rest of my days.  Usband got his on his chest and I got mine in the location of the oh so popular tramp stamp.  Lower back area for those of you not in the know.  My reply to a friend who attempted to tease me in regards to this location?  “It can only be a tramp stamp if it is actually stamped on a tramp.”  So there.

My third, is a drawing I had played around with for years that sort of represents my own spirit.  It’s a celtic seahorse.  If you haven’t guessed by now, I am of Irish decent and feel a very strong pull to all things celtic.  Since my first tat was representing my babies and the second one my love, I thought it was time I got one that represented me.  I am a Pisces and my Celtic sign is seahorse.  This one is on the back of my neck.  My mother has about a 50/50 track record of stopping herself from making her opinion known whenever she happens to see it.  I am proud of her effort! 

I am always surprised when people are surprised by my body art.  I realize I have perfected the whole chameleon way of life.  I am good at fitting in.  I am comfortable in my own skin and curious about the whole world so I usually do not stop to think about whether or not I will fit in somewhere, I just “travel” where I please.  And for the most part it works out more than it doesn’t.  I am equally comfortable in a conversation with church ladies as I am with the two young men I had an interesting conversation with at Borders last week.  I asked them if that was the new issue of High Times they were snickering over and if it was could they pass me one.  They did rather slowly and with their mouths agape.  A lively conversation about marijuana laws ensued.  Up until now my tats have been fairly modest and carefully placed.  But still, I am so used to my quirky and diverse nature that I think it should somehow be immediately obvious to all who meet me.

So what, you may ask, is this fourth one going to be about?  Well, I am back to square one I guess.  I have been pondering the whole empty nest thing, even though it is a few years away.  Time does fly you know.  And my bubby is 10 years old now, that’s getting up there for a heeler.  My girls, who are not babies anymore will be central as will my little shadow walker Micka.  A celtic tree of life is in there.  It is coming together nicely, will be rather large and the location is going to be my right thigh.  This one will not be as discreet as the others.  I have decided I enjoy the artwork I wear and am not so concerned with covering it up at this stage in my life.  I am 45 afterall, that is considered adult isn’t it?  I live in the desert, shorts and swimsuits guarantee it will be obvious.

So what do you think?  Will you think differently of me when you see it?  Oh dear…poor Mama…

Slainte’

~Sam

 

To weed or not to weed…or you’re thinking of doing what??? June 30, 2011


  I suffer from chronic pain.  It sucks.  It really sucks.  I have known many others that suffered but until it happens to you personally, you really have absolutely no comprehension whatsoever what it is like.  I admit it, I am guilty, in the past, of thinking, “OMG when do you not feel bad?”, upon slipping up and asking one of them how they are doing.  That doesn’t make me a bad person, it is is just so hard to understand what chronic really means.  When you are relatively healthy your experience with pain or sickness is fleeting.  You get an injury or the flu and you bide your time or take drugs that knock out the pain and before you know it you are up and running again.  That is your reality so you tend to think it is everyone else’s also. 

  And how bout those drugs?  Ah the wonderful world of prescription painkillers.  I hear people talk about them in various degrees of awe.  There’s the typical younger response of,  “Dude, I twisted my ankle but I got some killer painkillers.”  Then there’s the middle aged, “the doc gave me some pretty heavy duty pain killers but I will only take them if I have to.”  My personal mind boggling favorite, “I’ve been on them for years, couldn’t get thru the day without them, they are prescription so they are safe.”  Really???  Ummm, newsflash, no they aren’t.  Not knocking them, just saying…wise up.  If you can take them and they help you, awesome for you but do not presume that because a doctor writes you a prescription they are without consequence.

   I, personally, cannot take pain killers.  I have allergic reactions to 90% of everything docs prescribe for me.  Not exaggerating.  New docs will say, “oh no problem, everyone can take this one and we’ll start you on a low dose.  You won’t even know you are taking them.”  And then I spend 3 weeks having side effects that make me sicker than the original condition.  And the docs are always so shocked by this.  “But, EVERYONE can take this!”  Apparently not.   I absolutely love my current doc, BTW.

insulin pump

What neuropathy does

What is my condition?  I have type I or juvenile diabetes.  I am on an insulin pump.  Been on insulin over half my life and now suffer from peripheral, autonomic and poly neuropathy.  The pain can be annoying or excruciating with varying degrees in between.  But there is never a day without pain.  I have suffered several setbacks along my diabetes path, some pretty scary and painful but I always beat them.  I won, I came out on top and I never let it get me down for long.  Until about 3 yrs ago when my body just started going all willy nilly on me.  Without going into a bunch of detail you don’t want to hear I will hit the highlights.  It began with nausea that led to about 6 months of not being able to keep food down or blood sugars stable.  Around this time I also started having what they call “no symptom hypoglycemia”, pretty technical term there isn’t it?  I have always been very fortunate in that I always had strong symptoms when I was dropping too low.  I would even wake up if I dropped in the middle of the night.  Not so anymore.  Scary?  You betcha.  All of this led to having my gall bladder removed.  Which may not have been necessary.  Too late now. 

Having my gallbladder out did stop the nausea for a while.  But then about two years ago a whole new round of symptoms started kicking my butt.  Excruciating bouts of pain that would start with my whole body burning, then sensitivity to touch or clothing and then stabbing pain and then back to the sensitivity and burning and then back to normal.  These flare ups as I call them would last anywhere from 3 to 6 days and then I would have about 10 days before the next one hit.  Working was out of the question, I never knew when they would hit or how long they would last.  God bless my dear Usband!  Long story short, I now take Cymbalta to control the flare ups, which it does to a certain point.  While I no longer have the flare ups that completely grounded me, what I have instead is a constant version of it that never lets up.  Don’t get me wrong it is preferrable to the flare ups.  Oh and did I mention I have to take another med to protect my kidneys from the Cymbalta? 

  So this constant or chronic pain is what brings me to the title of this blog.  I can’t deal with this pain anymore.  I need some relief.  I need to be my old self or at least an older version of it.  I am not a cranky, miserable person.  I am a happy, spunky, pro-active, git her done person.  I am a hugger dammit!  Now I am limited to touching only when it will not cause me to shriek in pain.  And I am tired of it.  I am doing all I can do to correct, control and live with this and it is not enough.  I need relief.  I have tried everything recommended for the pain and nothing has helped.  And then I remembered…

  Once, in my early twenty’s I was having a pretty painful bout of pancreatitis.  It was bad.  The very dear friend whose couch I was crashing on at the time of this bout got sick of watching my suffering and all but forced me to smoke some weed.  I had no insurance at the time and no money, so I was screwed.  She convinced me to do it, didn’t take much convincing to be honest and much to my surprise and relief, the pain let up enough to let me sleep and go back to work the next day.  It was a miracle.  All was right in my world again.

  Now personally, I have always thought it was insane that pot is illegal when alcohol which is much more destructive, is not.  But that’s just me.  I am not getting into the debate over legalizing marijuana here.  I will state my opinion, it is natural, it is beneficial, I think it should be legal.  Read the history, it might surprise you.  However, I come from a very conservative, religious background.  And I believe in following the law.  When in Rome and all that.  So when the memory of the relief I got all those years ago popped back into my head recently, most likely due to the fact that Az is now a medical marijuana state, you can imagine I was torn. 

  To weed or not to weed?  That was the question.  The answer?  Weed, definitely.  It didn’t really take much thought.  It is legal in Az. now and my condition makes me a candidate.  Yea, yea there’s the whole federal issue still but, I want my life back.  So I talked it over with my Usband and our girl’s.  They were very supportive and on board with anything that would give me some relief.  Then I turned my attention to my folks.  I brought it up first just as a discussion, you know, “how bout that medical marijuana issue.”  Surprisingly my mom and dad didn’t have much of an opinion on it.  So I let them know I was considering it.  My mom laughed it off and said whatever works, I know you need something.  Dad was overly concerned with the controversy and possibility of being arrested federally.  I told him I was willing to risk it.  He didn’t like that. 

  Anyway I took the plunge, I got my medical records and went to a recommending doc.  I got my recommendation and now I am waiting for my card.  Now, since Arizona has the dispensaries on hold, I must decide whether to grow my own or use a “caregiver”.  I would like to grow my own just to ensure the organic part of it and all that but, I do not have a green thumb.  I kill weeds on accident, no pun intended.  Hmmmm, what to do, what to do…I am sure there will be more on this subject.  In the meantime, what is your opinion and or experience on this subject??? 

Inquiring minds want to know!

Slainte’   ~Sam        BTW, I really do recommend educating yourself.  No matter what your views.  Do not let a doctor or any health care person make decisions for you.  Know what you are taking, know the alternatives and be a responsible health care patient.  It’s important!

 

There is nothing wrong with your daughter, may I suggest a parenting class? June 25, 2011


In regards to the title of this blog, yes, I actually heard these words…more than once. These were not words I was expecting to hear, ever, in my lifetime. Not that I am opposed to parenting classes. I am a big believer in bettering yourself in all areas of life in whatever way you can find to do it. I also was not particularly offended…at first. The person delivering this advice was the third psychiatrist we were referred to by my 5 yr old daughter’s pediatrician. Yes, I really said 5 yr old.


I should go back a bit. My first pregnancy was incredibly difficult. I am a type I diabetic who decided to have children against my OB-GYN‘s advice. Being pregnant was a full-time job. Morning sickness was an under statement, I could not keep food down. Had to go on medication just to eat. I often wonder if this could be the source of my girl’s problems. But that is a subject for another day. My little bundle of joy arrived after 24 hours of labor, 3 of it with her head out. It was not a good scenario and we both came close to not surviving it. Another possible cause? “Was the child a result of a difficult pregnancy or childbirth” is one of the first question asked on a child’s psychiatric evaluation. Did you know that? I didn’t.

Anyway, we did survive, she was gorgeous and angelic. She slept through the night at 2 weeks old and I could not be happier. For exactly 4 months. At the end of that 4 months, it was like someone switched babies in the night. My quiet, delightful baby suddenly turned into a screaming, fit throwing, stubborn little being that I did not recognize. I know what you’re thinking, “welcome to parenthood, get over it.” But this was truly different. Still, I thought maybe I was over reacting so I consulted our pediatrician, a woman I will hold in high esteem for the rest of my life. She was sympathetic and really listened without belittling me. Not wanting to be quick to arrive at the wrong conclusion, she stayed in close contact with me and we began a diary of sorts to document changes and growth. This is, btw, an awesome tool for all new parents regardless of your child’s health.

Life continued in this way for quite sometime. I noted all the difficult things such as her refusal to sleep in a crib or playpen or anything even remotely confining except the snuggly that kept her plastered to me. I also noted  the amazing things such as pulling herself up to a standing position at 4 months old and walking at 9 months. My OB-Gyn’s response to this? “What do you expect when you give birth to a toddler?” She was 9 pounds, 8 ounces a month early and wore 9 month old clothes home from the hospital. This was another note of interest to the psychiatric world as well as the fact that she used her left hand and only her left hand from day one.  She was brilliant. She didn’t speak in baby talk. Didn’t speak at all until she could speak in sentences as a matter of fact, preferred pens to crayons and held a fork, not a spoon, in her hand and ate with it like an adult from the minute she could hold one. She was scary smart and we just thought that was so awesome. Turns out, it comes with it’s own set of problems.

The first time the pediatrician spoke the words, “I believe there is a problem with Tylie”, she was about 18 months old.   This proclamation came after a phone call made in desperation to the doc after hours. She had advised she thought Ty had behavioral problems and we should try to squelch them now rather than later. This was done with exercises like putting her in the crib and letting her cry it out until she learned and accepted that was where sleep was happening. My child was not having it, none of it. Now I am not a wimpy parent. I believe it is my job, not a friendship and I take it seriously. This does not mean I do not adore, spoil and cherish my kids (yes I had another one much to the chagrin of my OB-GYN. He swears all his grey hair is my fault). It means I am capable of any and all discipline required to give my child the best possible life they can have.

Here comes the kicker, I did what the doc said. I put her in the crib. I loved her up, kissed her goodnight and told her to lay down and sleep. She looked at me as if I had lost my mind, shook her head “no’ and giggled. I am not kidding. I walked out of the room. It took her approximately 10 seconds to decide her course of action. She then threw her sippy cup out the door and began screaming. I was prepared for this. This was the routine. I was determined, encouraged by the doc that I could do this, that she would get tired and fall asleep. Really? She didn’t. Two hours later, remember, I was desperate by this time to stop the fits, she was still going strong. I was not. I was a tear soaked (mine not hers, she didn’t have many at all) nervous mess. I called the doc, held the phone out and said between hiccups,” ?!?”  She listened to the screaming for what seemed an eternity.  The first thing she said was “put the phone down and go get her so you can both calm down, I’ll wait on the line.” Then she delivered the words that would forever change our lives. The ones no parent ever wants to hear, my child had a problem and it wasn’t gonna be simple to fix.

My heart did all kinds of flips. The round of emotions was so vast. Fear, anxiety, relief. I didn’t know how to react. However, I am nothing if not proactive. I am a fixer. I high tailed it straight on to the path of knowledge. Thus began our journey that led to the words in the title. The first time I heard these words, I knew there was some sort of mistake.  They were missing something.  This had nothing to do with my parenting, did it?  I was so tired, and weary I did everything they asked, short of the actual class, because by this time, Ty was 4 and instead of lessening, her fits had gotten worse.  She ate only organic healthy food, she was on a regular schedule, she had equal amounts of discipline and freedom.  But no amount of discipline, giving in or loving could stop this child once she was upset about something.  It was exhausting trying to be the “perfect” parent.  Which is why, by the time she was 5, the 3rd psychiatrist to tell me that I was the problem got an earful of colorful words describing what he could do with his parenting class and his degree.  It was not one of my finer moments.

Even my parents thought I was losing it.  You see, Tyler was the most amazing, charming, and beautiful child I have ever laid eyes on.  I am not the only one who thought so either.  Did you see the photos above???  She charmed everyone.  The bottom line, lest this turn into a book instead of a blog is this…there was a problem with my daughter.  She is bi-polar.  That is not what she was diagnosed with back then.  We had to go through many trials and labels before getting down to the nitty gritty.  Actually she just had to be older.  Instead of having one label she had to carry 3 around.  OCD, ODD and Anxiety.  Back in the early 2000’s doctors were unwilling to diagnose young children with anything remotely like bi-polar.  I had seen my bi-polar niece go through enough bad times to know that if something like that was the problem with my child, then by God I was gonna get a handle on it sooner than later.

                 

I am pleased to say that my stubborn nature as well as Tyler’s, paid off.  As a result of plodding on until we found the right combination of counselor and psychiatrist and many heart breaking situations and yes, even medications, we conquered the problems.  Are they gone completely?  No.  Will she have to battle the condition the rest of her life?  Yes.  But here’s the deal, she does battle it, every day, she does it.  We help her, but she is ultimately the one responsible now that she is older, for keeping it under control and managing it.  And she does a fantastic job.  I am so in awe of her every day.  People who meet her today cannot tell at all that she deals with a life altering condition every day.  She is amazing.

Oh and the psychiatric world is now considering the possibility that treating younger children showing symptoms early may even be a good thing.  Huh, really?  I like to think we had a part in that.  I also like to think I am partly responsible for the way Ty handles herself.  She is ultimately the one who deserves the praise though, she inspires me daily.  So what’s the moral of this story?  Never give up on something you know with every fiber of your being…no matter who is telling you that you are wrong.  Sometimes we parents, or patients depending on the situation, DO know a thing or two.  Maybe even three.  Oh, did you know that bi-polar is hereditary?  Me neither…

I love you bug!  Keep up the good work!  I am so proud of you!  And to all of you reading this…didn’t I tell ya she was gorgeous?

Slainte’  ~Sam

 

Purple hair, piercings and all things punk, or “yeah, that’s my daughter, what about it?” June 4, 2011


I would like to take a moment to implore everyone everywhere to open your minds. Just a little, not enough to damage your delicate sensibilities but just enough to see another side to things.  Come along with me if you will to an experience I have had the misfortune to encounter many times in the last few years…

My little clan and I were treating ourselves to a much anticipated dinner out.  Chinese I believe it was…nom nom nom.  We were all in good spirits, not unusual for us, but we were especially enjoying each others company on this evening.  We rock!  We headed into one of our fave places, placed our order and chose our seats.

I am a bit claustrophobic when it comes to seating.  My family is fabulously accommodating in this area, so they all waited for me to choose my seat and then they settled in theirs.  Naturally I chose to sit in an outside row of the place, giving me a birdseye view of any stealth attacks coming my way.  Those of you who suffer from this ailment know exactly what I mean and those of you who don’t…well, just be thankful and keep reading.

My little Doobie, my 13 yr old, was seated across from me.  She is a gem.  Straight A student, polite, compassionate, funny, talented.  Oh so talented, she is currently writing a couple of books, writes songs and poems in nothing flat, is an excellent artist and has style and moxy oozing from her pores.  She makes the world a better place and anyone who has the chance to spend any time at all talking with her comes away awed and smiling.  I am not exaggerating.  Ask anyone who knows her.

Now, I was an extremely creative teenager myself.  I liked to express myself in my clothing.  Doesn’t everyone?  I mean you wear high heels because of how they feel or maybe you are a jeans and converse type cuz they show off your casualness and athletic ability.  The point is, most people dress according to their own personal style and personality right?  I however grew up in a very different time and was not allowed to fully express my inner creativity outwardly.  As a result, I am pretty lenient when it comes to my kids wardrobes and style.  I have rules, no indecent showing of the assets above or below, must look as close to their age as possible, and no offensive clothing.

And this is where society and myself come to the parting of the minds.  Apparently I am not as easily offended and the rest of the world is.  LOL  C’mon people, purple hair, fishnets, combat boots and piercings are not offensive.  You do not have to like them, my daughter is not looking for your approval.  Nor is she attacking you or society as a whole when she steps out as her punky self.  She is merely putting on her personality, strutting her stuff, living out loud.  I applaud her for it.  I even like most of what she wears.  When I look at her all dressed to go, I just see little bits of her personality rising to the top so to speak.  I can tell how sassy she feels or how tired or sulky, all depending on how she presents herself.  If you take a minute to look around you, you might find you can do this with the people you know as well.

On this particular outing she was feeling very sassy and was wearing maroon combat boots, ripped up fishnets, long cut off shorts, a cut up t-shirt, metal studded suspenders hanging down and a lip ring.  I believe her hair was purple then and growing out from a faux hawk.  She may have had bows with skulls in her hair as well.  See picture for a visual of her fishnets complete with roller derby pins holding them together.

We are laughing and joking and having a good time when I notice for the fourth or fifth time a woman across the restaurant looking at us in a disgusted manner and gesturing in our direction while making obviously derogatory comments to the gentleman she was sitting with.

At this point I am getting annoyed.  I tried to imagine I was imagining it.  I tried ignoring it.  I tried telling myself she was just ignorant.  Enough already, I looked in her direction and gave her what I hoped was a look that said, do you mind?”  Apparently she didn’t.  She stared right back in a most defiant manner.  Really???  I shook my head and focused back on our little party.  I must insert here that Doobie, handles this much better than I do.  She just laughs it off.  The Usband is getting annoyed but is better at ignoring things than I am.  In the interest of not wasting anymore family time on a rude woman I don’t know, I simply gave her one more look and smiled my biggest smile at her and waved.  She was not impressed.  They left and we had a great evening.

Here’s my question.  We are all guilty of judging people, even those of us that try really hard not to and that includes me.  But could we not try to limit those judgements to something worthy of judgement like, oh I don’t know, actions, or words maybe?  Certainly we can all look past a lip ring can’t we?  Doobie’s is fake BTW, I told you I had rules.  😉  Honestly, look at the two pictures below and tell me what is really the difference between these two girls?

  The one on the left is a straight A student, well loved by her teachers and family.  Trusted by all who know her.  Compassionate and loving.  She is talented and smart and loves animals.  She is funny and loves Jesus.  And guess what?  So does this one…–>>>

So really…what’s the big deal???I like them both, they are both my Doob and I wouldn’t have her any other way!

Slainte’  ~Sam