On the Way to Serendipity

Okay. So, finally I’m losing the “sludge factor” on my road to wherever.

Not in any fast track turbo kind of way, just in a gradual “Oh, that crap’s not here in my way anymore. Huh, cool!”

Not saying it’s a clean and polished road, but I think I’m finally getting a handle on how to get out of my own way. Of course, this is just an experiment. Isn’t life always just that? But it’s good to see things getting simpler instead of harder, solvable instead of insurmountable. Not sure what this post is about except to acknowledge my change in perception about how to move ahead in my life and accomplish the things I feel important to do.

As grateful as I am for this, there’s still the current sludge factor in the general populace with elections coming due. Still my wish that we all can be on the same team of honoring humanity, and acknowledging that we are just inhabitants here. The hierarchy of Creation is not our job, just our mission to make it all work synergistically, unconditionally to the greater good of all ‘cuz that’s what was decided when it all came into being many, many millions of millenia ago.

Glad to be a part of it. Will not stand down from the right of everyone on the planet to exist as they were born to be. Not my place or anyone else’s to diminish others or exalt myself or anyone else as more entitled and/or worthy.

Wishing everyone the peace and prosperity of discovering how we’re all the same – until the Lord comes back or we all get a clue it’s about the frat house mentality running the planet that keeps making life less than it could be for everyone.

My thoughts for today! Later.

 

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Aging As A Work In Progress

It’s just a hat to some. But on a birthday – the big 7-0 – it’s a lifestyle reminder that age is way more than just a number!

It’s the collective accumulation of how you embrace your life and your days and share them with others or maybe not so much. Depends, ya know?

I’ve spent the first half of my birthday in my car writing posts across the street from my granddaughter’s place.  Sometimes one must improvise a reclusive space for creativity.

We’ll be sharing me shortly, but I’ve not been on my best writing behavior for most of this year, and I’m in the process of committing to better, more regular posts and other content in the short term.

So, anyway, improvising in adversity or just random circumstances has always been my strong suit. So much so that I’m not sure I can ever turn it off. Not in a PTSD kind of way, necessarily. But in a “ready when needed, no big deal” kind of way. A “life as improv” kind of way – which we all do. But I guess I feel more in the flow with that mindset than most. It’s been brought to my attention before.

And that is definitely part of successful aging. Regardless of resources, living situation, job or no job, level of engagement with others, if you can manage to embrace your moments in spite of your own or other’s attitudes, and seize at least part of every day, you’ll someday behold your own self-made work of art that is now you.

The beauty of art? It’s in the eye of the beholder. Critics don’t make art. Well, maybe the internal one but again, you wouldn’t be here in all your artful glory if you weren’t doing something amazing within.

So, celebrate your age! It’s a gift that you’ve worked for and gotten to in spite of EVERY force and adversary you’ve survived, thrived and come up against!

So, yay, you and WAAAY yay, me!

And whew!

P.S. Just as I’m posting this at sunset by the Coronado Bay, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” came on a nearby shop’s speaker. Pivotal, serendipitous moment in time getting a replayed reminder in the now. Wow! It HAS been a long and arduous journey to artistic realization – so far.

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Those Lesser Christian Moments

Ever have one of those lesser Christian moments?

You know the ones.

Like when you thank God you’re not yet the homeless persons asleep on the sidewalk or steps in front of your church on Sunday morning? And you join the other parishioners heading inside, averting direct engagement or even acknowledgement of their presence – or the missed opportunity to be a resource of kindness, concern and maybe an item or two of food if not cash or clothing? You know, like Jesus would do if he had been there.

Maybe there’s some brief discussion among yourselves to say what an unfortunate situation the homeless guys are in as everyone finds their pew, and settles in for the sermon that will deliver them from the past week’s trials and shortcomings. And reinforce your gratitude or sense of entitlement that at least you’re not living on the streets like the ones you dismissed on the way in to refuel your higher selves.

Maybe you and others wonder silently or aloud what is up with all these seemingly lazy, disenfranchised people who’d rather live on the street at the mercy of circumstance and lean means rather than work and support the profiteers who are decimating our humanity, one financial carrot at a time, here and anywhere else where financial carrots are honored.

Hey, nothing wrong with wanting your share of “carrots”. I mean, everyone loves and wants and, most of the time, works to have abundance – and carrots! Maybe your Man or Woman of God is one of those who embrace the God-given right to own and expect abundance, even at the  unfortunate expense to others.

And spiritually, this is okay – until you stop walking your faith, and settle for talking a good game of Christianity instead of delivering and acting and demonstrating your beliefs that humanity and kindness come before “carrots” and climbing social, economic and political ladders instead.

So, quick recap: You saw some homeless guys asleep on the sidewalk or steps of your church. They saw yet another example of a church full of people who cared more about social correctness than what Jesus would do – or would hope they might do. C’mon, people! It’s Sunday, after all. What’s to figure out?

Just sayin’.

 

P.S. Forgot to mention the nearby 7-11 where a passerby knew what Jesus would do and just went and did it. Like breathing, ya know?

 

 

 

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The Optioneer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Settled in for the short haul.

Contemplating the content of this, my next post. No feathers flying, no wings in motion, just pure concentration on what’s to be next.

It’s good to be focused even if it is more boring than deciding which action to take and taking it. Which might still be boring but it’s more exciting than sitting still deciding.

So, I’m not winging out just yet, but . . .

Anybody see the lunar eclipse that won’t happen again for millenia? Forgot and slept through it. Actually, I was intermittently awake throughout the night so I might’ve been able to see it if I’d remembered. Maybe it’s on YouTube.

Yup. Two hours if I had watched it in person. Saved about an hour and 45 minutes. Would’ve been fun being able to say I watched it in person though

I was so wound up earlier in the week about several things in the news. Now not so much.

And I was all ready to launch a cool Instagram of my “Great Falls, Virginia!” book but I got advised against it since protocol is to have a few other pieces of marketing in place first – like an actual, not random, marketing plan. SIGGGHHHH! For what it’s worth, here it is anyway:

It. won’t. download! AAGGGHHHH!! “Great Falls, Virginia!” The true fiction account of  my 20’s back in the 70’s. Only $4 for the Kindle version on Amazon.

Back to my pigeon pic, I guess!

So, that’s the update for now. But please stay tuned.

As we know, I. don’t. quit. I just have trouble sitting still.

Later!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Been A While

Well, who knew it’d be a little more than a year for this post from April 2017 to become a factual reality and not just my seemingly surreal, unprovable document sighting from two decades ago?

I am not gloating or dancing by any means. I prayed it would not come true and was just some alt-right or fringe group’s hoax. Now here we are and we’ve been played BIG TIME!

Please read this post not as an invitation to capitulation or aggression but as a call to take decisive action to reclaim our country and hold accountable all representatives who stood pat and/or facilitated Trump, Putin and all those who thought Americans would just keep turning the channel instead of taking a stand.

Believe in us – ALL of us – in saving our country!

kristiswords

Been a little busy phasing out of my Texas mode, gearing up for California.

Yep, we’re leaving the land of Trumpsters and alt-gender oppression; headed back to the land of political incorrectness and proud of it. No apologies, no piety pretense, and believing for as few Trumpsters as Democratically possible.

Been interesting living in a red state. I totally loved Anne Richards before I’d lived in Texas, but now – however did she manage to win and govern Texas? I’m even more inspired and in awe of her now than before.

This is not to write off Texas as all negative. It is not. But in the realm of using politics and religion as an excuse for social and economic coercion and suppression, those more inclusively inclined Texans have their work more than cut out for them. As does the entire nation with Trump and others in charge.

As the pendulum of…

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Anatomy of a Stalkish Moment

20180312_145248 (1)

 

I meant well. I really did.

My intent was to follow the photography studio manager’s instruction to just call before I came to show my photos, and be interviewed for any potential openings.

I complied but in a semi-weird way. Well, I probably should’ve waited till Monday – even though the manager said she wouldn’t be there next week.

I weighed my dwindling options: show up in front of the photography studio ten minutes before closing on a Friday just to align with what I was requested to do, or wait till next week and maybe have the manager think I was avoiding her to meet with the studio owner instead.

As usual, I went into “overthink” mode which started its sucking sound of time and my brain as I grabbed my pile of photo samples, employment application, and keys then headed to my car in the driveway.

It could’ve worked out deftly. I’d pulled off such last minute coups before. But instead of arriving prior to the manager’s exit, I arrive AS she’s exiting. Mind you, this is as I’m calling the receptionist inside who has just seen me pull up into their parking lot by the studio’s front window.

Bonus: the studio’s OWNER was also getting into HIS car and it appeared he was now being summoned back inside by the receptionist so the manager could “safely” drive away.

Eye contact between me and a confused but wary-looking owner occurred. He went inside. I let the receptionist know I’d just call them next week (insert slight “cricket” pause here), then drove to the convenience store at the next corner.

Lo and behold! A guy looking very much like the owner in a very similar car also pulled into the convenience store lot. Not trusting my visual acuity or potential to stay calm under social suspicion (which HE seemed to exhibit), I ignored the possibility of salvaging the impression I’d potentially already made.

As I stood behind the owner while he bought his beer, I decided to write this piece to at least make clear for him, his staff and anyone else on medium to high alert that seemingly stalkish moments can and do happen with little to no intent on my part.

It’s just what sometimes happens when someone who can sometimes be socially impaired fumbles her own momentum.

It happens, ya know?

 

Update: 

I had my meeting the following week. It’s all good. They’ll talk to me again a                         little closer to the start of school when they send out teams to do student                               portraits. Maybe we can explore introducing a pet portraits option too! I’m good                 at those!

Little Man sleeping pic

 

 

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ROAR UP!

I say it’s time for our country to ‘roar up’.

Time for us to become a nation of lions. Not liars. Lions!

Not assholes with guns. Not vigilantes with agendas. Not religious fools fooling ourselves and others that mistreating and allowing the mistreatment of others somehow serves and is pleasing and/or sanctioned by God. Or that it’s what Jesus would do!!??

Let’s all decide as a nation that we are done with feeling powerless to change the direction our leaders have taken us in their blatant, covert as well as right out loud pursuit and abuse of power at the expense of our, our childrens’ and our childrens’ childrens’ futures.

This is the moment in which we choose whether we use our free will to save humanity, or kick back and change the channel, hoping someone else – like Robert Mueller or Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren – will figure it all out, and dare nearly single-handedly to change the direction of our nation’s story.

Yeah. Free will.

God’s gift to humanity.

Guess why?

So we can keep allowing the evil to happen? So we can discern and single out the bad guys in a news story, or collectively shake our heads and point at a leader or leaders who betray “We the People” under the guise of democratic governance?

News flash: We are the evil! (See photo above)

Collectively, when we stand in recognition of the wrong being done, whether to the environment; immigrants and their children; the environment and all our natural resources not just now but in perpetuity; classes of our own citizenry being made into criminals due to skin color, economic level, mental health issues or genetic sexual orientation; asserting our military dominance for profit at the expense of citizens in other countries; environment being sold out from under us, and we do NOTHING to change our outcome or hold our leaders accountable, then we are the evil through complicity and non-action.

Yeah, we can wait for God to come back and fix it. After all, it’s been foretold for millennia!

Anybody ever consider that we got Revelation spelled out chapter and verse so we could maybe read the “road signs” and FIX IT OURSELVES?!

Free will. Just because it didnt come with a laundry list of instructions or conditions or “drop dead” date, doesn’t diminish or change our accountability for what we do – or don’t do – with it.

If it was all about waiting for God to fix everything by End Time, why give us free will to fix it ourselves? To make choices that honor His Creation and who we’ve become within it, and what we’ll allow to happen to it and all the nations and peoples He’s deigned to populate it with?

This is the best we can do? Really?! How embarrassing!

We’re given the keys to His House – not just a house, God’s House! – and we hang out in it, keep it looking okay for a number of millenia till our wants, desires and “smart” capabilities take over and nearly decimate the planet and its peoples.

All of a sudden, it’s all about competing social and political agendas, and who’s got the best and most profitable edge on technology and spyware, or the most entitled skin color or social class – or the biggest nuke.

Who’s gonna clean up the mess we made? Guess we’ll make it the Homeowner’s job!!!

Really, guys?! That’s the best God made us to be? Just a bunch of frat house, finger-pointing losers who were all in till it was time for the cleanup?

One more point on this topic of “all in”.

Our mission is to love all – period! Even those who would dismantle, destroy and dishonor His work for their own private gain and delusion of being gods themselves.

That doesn’t mean we continue to let those in leadership positions use and abuse us or God’s Creation.

It does mean that we all owe it to the Universe to call on our “inner lions” – ALL of us! – and stand against the current relentless level of assault on humanity – ALL humanity, not just the parts or tribes we approve of.

Reporting it isn’t enough! READING, WATCHING AND UNDERSTANDING THE NEWS ABOUT IT ISN’T ENOUGH! LETTING THE BRAVE FEW STAND FOR THE UNCOMMITTED MANY ISN’T ENOUGH!

ALL OF US NEED TO BE LIONS! TO ROAR AND BE HEARD TILL ALL INHUMANE ACTIONS AND AGENDAS CEASE. TILL ALL WORLD LEADERS HONOR THOSE THEY WERE APPOINTED TO SERVE WITH CHOICES THAT RESPECT AND PROTECT ALL OF GOD’S CREATION, NOT JUST THE “POPULAR” OR ALLEGED “RELIGIOUSLY APPROVED OF” PARTS.

Maybe it’ll still take till the Lord comes back to get things right again.

I say better to be in “cleanup mode” than standing around, pointing at the sky and comparing Biblical notes on if it’s End Time yet! Ya know?

C’mon, everybody. Let’s ROARRRRRRR already!

 

 

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“Recycling” Spirit

Ever dust off an old memory and decide it’s too special to be locked away forever?

This card is one of those moments – again.

This is where where you’ve been and where you are now put an arm around your shoulder and say “Whew! Long road. But we’re still here!”

And even if “here” – where you are now -is not where you were aiming for or where you’re planning to stay, it’s a reminder that this moment will most likely be a keepsake of its own someday even further up your road.

So, don’t forget to save some kind of reminder – even if you’re currently at odds with this moment and don’t feel you’ll want a future reminder – you might want to create a “whew!” to look back on and behold.

This card is one of those “mixed bag” “whew!” moments from the past. I drew it for a Christmas in the late 70’s when my daughter Heather was six or seven. This particular copy of the card contained a message I’d written a few years later when Heather was 11, and I had been struggling financially after the ending of my long-term relationship with her stepdad. The message shared with her – well, here

Flash forward. At this particular time, my family and I are caregiving to my mother after her stroke in June, so this card from the “whew!” moment of yore serves as a great reminder that what seems challenging in the moment only serves to prepare you for those new challeges up ahead.

And, however long and/or challenging your road is or becomes, seeing where you’ve been is a great affirmation of the spirit it took to get you to your “now”._

Merry Christmas, everyone! Love you all!

Kristi

P.S. And Happy 2018 to us all!! DEEP “Whew!” on 2017,  yes? Talk about building spirit!!

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Copy God?

Woke up in a quizzical state. Did I really just dream that?

The image lingered in my mind’s eye. A Volkswagen-sized car had been parked in front of me with the words “Copy God” on the side.

I remembered in the dream, wondering if that was a good idea – to copy God. Kind of a new spin on WWJD, only with more authority and chutzpah.

And what about God should we copy? Unconditional love? Universal acceptance? Mobile message boards?

On the surface, it had the potential to be something amazing if followed with humility, grace and sensitivity. But conferring God-like activities and missions on just anyone runs the risk of people’s egos and senses of entitlement taking over the moment and the outcome.

Copy God? I’m all for it but with a little more info and guidance. There’s already too many believers professing to know what God wants or has deemed as Humanity’s destiny.

I say let’s quit pointing to the sky and looking at our watches, waiting for God to “fix” the mess our free will has brought upon His creation.

Let’s do copy God and honor the Creation we’ve been given, and correct what we’ve gotten wrong. Let’s see and perceive and honor Humanity’s multitudes through His inclusive prism, and accept the wonder of it all with His level of generosity and faith in us.

And let’s not forget to say “thank you” that we’re all still here with one more day and chance to get it right this time – the way God did when He started this whole show – prior to the “free will” portion that we still have in spite of ourselves, and our “win some, lose some” choices and attitudes.

I mean how much more patience can we expect Him to have, ya know?!

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Angels of Mercy or Mercenary?

Stark, dark and surreal.

Not the family member’s stroke that brought you post haste to the hospital in under 30 minutes’ time. No, this would be the Orwellian moment when your ER doctor and his team of nurses, CNAs, etc. deliver a proviso you hadn’t counted on:

“Well, she is 96.”

Yes, before anything had been done to treat my mother, before any x-rays, MRIs or blood pressure checks had been done – or the life-altering post-stroke t-PA vaccine withheld – the ER team had already decided my mother’s fate would be based on her age.

Sure, they looked at the form we filled out giving Mother’s most recent medical issues. Included in the description were her dementia diagnosis and her being wheelchair bound due to arthritis in her knees. Of course, what the form did not provide space for were the qualifiers that would’ve prompted a less dismissive prognosis for her treatment and recovery.

Like, instead of deciding for us that it was potentially too dangerous to give my mother the t-PA shot most stroke patients receive upon arriving in the ER, the team could’ve let us make the decision. Clearly, when 50/50 is the best odds you can have, why not go for the best outcome available?

Plus, the team was not good at listening. My daughter and I each told them several times that a) Mother had DORMANT Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, not Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which could have potentially increased bleeding. So she could’ve received the shot, especially after it was determined that her stroke had been ischemic (clot-based) and not the more dangerous bleeding type of stroke.

As for the ‘dementia’ card, the team filled in the blanks themselves on Mother’s level of cognitive decline without ever having a conversation with us about it. We could’ve told them her level of function was limited only by her arthritic knees and now the stroke that had impacted the left side of her body. Yet she could still talk and answer questions while waiting for them to get all the testing done.

Waiting. Lots of it. Even though waiting is the last thing you want to happen post-stroke. There we were, waiting for the doctor and his crew to make a call on what would be next. MRI? No, later. Room for her? None ready. Anything? BPI and temperature and a CT scan.

Too much waiting so I’ll cut to the chase of what came next. Eventually – and after my daughter and I had to ask for it – Mother was given an MRI. Yes, she’d had a stroke, a massive one. Not likely she would recover. Well, not NOW!

What followed was four days of monitoring Mother’s vitals, giving her oxygen when it was needed (which wasn’t that often) and waiting. Four days with no food for Mother. My daughter and I had been slow learners to this point, believing all that could be done had been done. Then I realized what was actually going on. They were waiting for Mother to pass on without further treatment. We were at the end of Day 4 with no plans listed to connect her to a feeding source. I intervened.

The charge nurse that night assured me that the following day they would be hooking her up to a feeding tube. I told her four days was long enough, and I wanted it fixed now. One might argue the point of doing a feeding tube after business hours, but I had no reason to think the following day would bring food any more quickly. I asked the charge nurse what she would want done for her family member if she was me. She picked up the phone and called down to the department that could place a feeding tube in Mother using an imaging machine from radiology. This was after the initial attempt without the screen had failed.

Mother was now successfully hooked up to an NG tube that provided liquefied nourishment into her stomach. This did not sit well with the hospital’s doctors on staff the next day. It was about quality of life for them. We explained that we were about life as opposed to ‘assisted suicide’ and we would not continue to withhold nourishment from my mother. We withdrew DNR permission based on their overt willingness to dismiss Mother’s existence solely on age. Of course, when we learned CPR efforts could potentially break her rib cage and other bones, we reverted to an ‘intubation’ (oxygen) permission only.

Physical therapy and speech therapy became moot points since Mother was not sufficiently responsive on command. Basically, the doctor on call would walk in, say ‘Good morning’ to Mother and if she didn’t open her eyes and answer back, the doctor would move on to his other patients. No active therapy indicated.

During the next several weeks, we were counseled on Mother’s lack of positive prognosis. We reminded the medical team, case managers, social workers and end of life cheerleaders that, except for a feeding tube, Mother was there by virtue of her own will. We were not running her show, she was. Oh, and hey – she’s 96. Maybe someone should take into account her will to still be there in spite of all the discouragement and distancing from protocols to keep her here and functioning.

I mean, there were volunteers in their 80’s who came by to give us the antidote of encouragement that we so needed to keep going. The one guy had taken two months to cognitively snap back after his stroke, and he said it was a good while after that before he got the use of his left side again.

Mother was in the hospital for the better part of two months, finally stabilizing enough to be transported to a care facility. Our choice was limited to two facilities, the only two that accommodated patients with feeding tubes.

When the first facility failed in being able to replace the NG tube, Mother was transported back to the hospital for yet another replacement of her NG tube. She had managed to pull the tube loose on a couple of other occasions while hospitalized previously.

After being returned to the facility then again disrupting the tube and adding an infection, we placed her in the other facility.

The second facility also fell short on Mother’s feeding tube care which resulted in a very mild case of pneumonia that quickly subsided after a few days back at the bospital.

There’s no easy answer or protocol for a post-stroke patient of any age. Could Mother’s age be complicating or negating her recovery? Sure. But what has complicated the situation even more is having a medical community that discourages family members from even considering giving an elderly or near elderly family member the chance to overcome the challenges of having had a stroke; and to withhold and diminish the standard of care they’re eligible to receive.

What once was an honorable profession has become the shadowy hollow of its former self so it can disallow tbose patients creating too much drag on the bottom line, and eliminate those patients taking too much time to recover by encouraging family members to end their lives for them.

After having heard many stories of others who had pressure to end a family member’s life through withholding lifesaving measures such as feeding tubes, I just think we all need to be aware that our medical angels of mercy have an alternative, corporately obedient persona geared to serve the mercenary side.

Forewarned, ya know?

P.S. Score one more for “Ms. 96 and Still Counting”!

After her current care facility decided to discontinue all physical, occupational and speech therapy sessions, Mother started withdrawing again.

Her reconnection through talking and opening her eyes, and small hand gestures as a direct result of the therapies she’d been given became almost non-existent once those efforts ceased.

As we passed the two-week mark of no therapy, I called one of her doctors and related what was happening: that Mother was aware and withdrawing due to the lack of cognitive and physical stimulation.

What had been explained to us as an insurance issue when the therapies ended became just a matter of the doctor being advised of my mother’s level of connection and awareness that she was being discontinued in her efforts to thrive and survive.

So, we’re on therapy again! It’s only been a day since she’s been back on therapy, but her hand wasn’t as stiff when I checked on her yesterday. Though she may not regain all her physical abilities, she’s at least able to connect with what is possible for her while she’s still here with us.

And that’s the latest on ‘Ms.96 and Counting’ vs. the bottom line feeders. Put a number on that one, guys!

 

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