art, Poetry, Uncategorized, world affairs, Writing



“Do androids dream of electric sheep?”

What would we know of the secrets they keep?

An altered carbon,  a perfected sleeve. 

Would there be random fragments of code, 

those ghosts in the machine?

If you weren’t real, how would you know?

Your programming would not tell you so.

In simulation it would all seem to  turn,

streams of   data, digital burn. 



Beauty and flaws. 

Asimov, Morgan, 

Turing, Three Laws. 



About Me~, art, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing


The purple creeps 

up from blackened trees, 

turning into the hazed, then suddenly  gilded flashbulb of dawn. 

I should still sleep

under heavy duvets,

turning thoughts from daytime images,   into panoramic  dreams. 

But rest did not keep

me overlong , as it is wont to do,

turning my slumber into a grey -tinged negative. 

Of photos yet developed. 

R. Jeanette Woods ~ February 2


About Me~, art, chronic illness, humor, inspirational, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

The Things We Carry ~



We’ve all seen them.

There are all these quotes on FaceBook,



and Twitter.

They seem so bold, inspiring, liberating……freeing.

Things like , “Leave the woman you were , in the past, because the future is bright. ”

And Lord knows, I’ve been guilty of sharing some of them.  They seem good.

But I was suddenly struck by a bolt from the blue , yesterday.

You see it was my 39th birthday .

15 years past the date when they said, I should not live.

And it dawned on me , as though the universe itself had spoken to me ,

in a moment so clear I could almost have sworn everyone around me had heard it.

Saying, “You do not have to leave the woman you were, in the past.

You do not have to leave the person you were as a child, as a teenager, or as a young adult.

We do not leave those people behind somewhere in the ether of the universe.

We carry them with us. Not as a weight, or a burden.  Not with hurt, or pain; but we carry them with us ,as knowledge.

Knowledge that lets us reach others. And wisdom to see that although there was hurt,

we grew tall and strong in spirit anyway.

We carry them as teachers, reminders that who we were then , is still valuable in the journeys we take today. We wear them as deeply as if they were  sewn on badges , celebrations  that we survived.

So I will not leave behind the child I was, the gangly teenager I grew into, or even the much -scarred woman I have become.

I will be all of those people , all at once; the child, the youngster, the woman.

And walk through this world with the quiet  knowledge

That in spite of it all,

I made it. 

About Me~, inspirational, Uncategorized, world affairs, Writing

It Wasn’t On the List ~



The sun is rising up over the trees of my hollow , painting the pines, the maples and the oaks with a magic that only God himself can bestow. The dark sentinels recognize that day is starting and gives way to the light.  It is quiet.  The kind of quiet that can only be found when we still ourselves.  No television. No cars.  Only the quiet of the reality that , no matter where we go, possessions don’t matter.  Outside in the forest packages tied up in bows , really have no value .

I’m sitting here in my little frame house, warmed by the fire ,of the wood -stacked by my husband (before he headed off to his job) , a handmade afghan on my feet ,  a tiny , furry dog making snuffling noises as she settles her way ever deeper into the cocoon she has made for herself.

It’s that time of the year again.  Where people seem to turn into frantic genetically engineered  gerbils stuck on a giant wheel that spins ever faster. I am often agog at the speed they are able to manage, and wait in a kind of  morbid fascination wondering if the wheel will fly off into some other galaxy at the current rate they are going. The stores are jammed packed with those who carry those sacred  lists ;   as though those pieces of paper somehow carry the keys to true happiness, or even the map to Ponce’ de’ Leon’ s fabled fountain.  Gripped so tightly , and conversing to some unseen person (  themselves?) , that I can’t help but ponder  if a trip to Bedlam might needs be in order.

I know they are doing their best , to make the ones who made those lists happy. That “perfect” gift . The end goal being , to see the lights in their eyes shine so brightly that all of the effort was worth it, thus granting them Le’ons  immortality. and that ever elusive JOY.  But…………….temporary.  Because those toys are  tossed aside by next month’s end, as the next “it” thing is discussed, in terms of  , “Well, NEXT year I am going to ask for ………………!” Bigger , better, more expensive. So back on the gerbil wheel the givers go.
Til suddenly their legs, finances, stresses, and sanity ;  give way, and the wheel comes to a grinding halt.  It is an unsustainable momentum……… the mythic fountain just out of reach.

For what has been obscured in the misty fog of store lights, faux snowdrifts, bedazzled costumes and the street hawkers is this :  immortality , the fountain of a memory of youth is not hidden in any of those things.  It’s hidden in the decisions you’ve made every day , of every season.  Summer; in laughing with those you love over some ridiculous joke . Fall; in feeling that full crisp air hit you while you walk down the street having a conversation that will never be remembered, but the moment will. Spring; in the first flower spotted by someone and you realize that Winter is truly over; and Winter ; all of Winter, when the weather forces you indoors to sit together talking about “Remember the time , we?”  and “I will never forget the day that we ……….”

Those are gifts. Not in department store boxes, not in bags, or in the ubiquitous gift cards of our era. THOSE. 

May we never become so jaded that we forget that THOSE are the  gifts worth remembering.


About Me~, art, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

Zero -Sum ~



Whole hog,

or none at all.

To feel like the Princess,

or be thrown off the wall?

Only extremes in your world.

Am I your archenemy ,

or your favorite girl?



nowhere in time.

You  have   to  set the rules,

Can’t  have the rhyme.



upside down.

You got the boat,

and left me to drown.

Ruby J. Woods ~ 2017


About Me~, chronic illness, humor, Uncategorized, Writing

“Anybody Know the Number for “911”?

“Why would you even say that?”

“I don’t find that funny. “

“You shouldn’t laugh about chronic illness.”

“If you do that , people won’t take our issues seriously.”

“You really offended me by making that comment. “

These are all things I have have said to me, by people WITH chronic illness and even people WITHOUT.  Apparently, if you suffer from a disease, you get your “humor card” taken from you , and it is now NOT okay for you to be a happy person, or find any kind of joy in life.

So , I’ll start this next paragraph by saying, lest you think I have no right to speak on this matter, that my diagnoses in order are, Systemic lupus , heart failure,  Sjogren’s, Raynaud’s, POTs, dysautonomia, and EDS. So trust me, I have been around the medical merry-go-round. I many times have  pain that would put most people on the floor, have had so many surgeries, that they don’t give me enough lines on the medical forms, and so many allergies that they no longer even put them on the ER bracelets. I just get a big red one, that says, “See List”.  I have been sick since I was about 7 ( I was so sickly that my Grandpa called me P. , short for PeeWee) , and VERY ILL since I was 14. I didn’t get diagnosed until I was 19, so I had five years of basically every doctor saying to my parents, “She’s just lazy. ” and “She’s just wanting attention. ” So you develop a thick skin, and I developed  a sense of humor from the craziness of it all.  Sort of like OR doctors, ER doctors, etc. That gallows  humor.  I CAN and DO find the funny in just about any situation.

I’ve learned over the years that there are two types of people, when they find this out about me. They either “totally” get it, and love that I make a joke of it, or they are so offended they can’t take it.

But my question to them has always been. “Well what SHOULD I do? Should I be this joyless, soulless person, who is angry about things I can’t change or control?  Should I rail against the Doctors, the nurses, the techs and even God?” If your answer is “Yes!”, then my reply would be, “And what would that help?”

Rather , isn’t it better to find joy where you can? To laugh over the quite frankly ridiculous things that become necessary when you’re stuck with a lifetime illness?  Isn’t it better to be positive?

I am sorry if you think it’s wrong somehow , that even though I have more issues than you can shake a stick at, that I am happy anyway.  I am sorry if you find it strange that I am able to laugh , not BECAUSE of how things are, but IN SPITE of them.  And to be quite frank, and  I am sorry that even though things are hard, that you have no way to smile.

But I am NOT sorry that I AM able to find joy. I will not  apologize for coping with the circus that is my life , with humor.  ( P.S. Below, find an attached article about the effects of gallows humor and how it helps us cope in stressful situations. )

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About Me~, chronic illness, humor, inspirational, Uncategorized, Writing

Are the Odds Even, or the Even Odds?



Pain is a funny thing. No, not funny “haha”, but  funny “intriguing” .  Pain is our body’s unconscious reflex to avoid something injurious, or to an injury or illness.  In theory, (  scientifically-speaking) it can only be felt in organisms with higher brain function. (Although how they would just that I don’t really know, might not WANT to know. )

Most people bless them, and their good fortune, have only known physical pain  from the standpoint of accident, injury, normal illness etc. They remember these things, but it isn’t an everpresent thought, or ongoing mental conversation they have to have.

But what would you do if you just woke up one day, and the pain never went away? EVER.  Some one once asked me what having my condition was like. I told them, “It’s like your body’s pain function is an old FM radio, with knobs that can be turned up or down. Most people , their knobs function like they should, being able to be set a certain way , pretty much most of the time. But my radio, the knobs are not only non-functional, they’ve been knocked off completely. So I have no way of even adjusting any of it.  It is set permanently at full volume. ” Yeah, fun times.

So pain HAS made me the “odd one out”. When you are 19 and are such an odd medical “rarity” that the doctors bring their students around to “observe” you.  When you are 21 and spending more time in hospitals , than your peers do in clubs.  When you are 25, and the doctor asks, “Where did you go to medical school ? “, (in all seriousness) , because you have more medical knowledge than his interns.

But it’s made me the odd one out in other ways as well. When you are 19, and can empathize with any elderly person, because you have so many medications.  When you are 21 and are able to help another person get a diagnosis, and help them realize, “I’m NOT crazy . This wasn’t all in my head!” , and when you are 25 and are able to educate others about many , many aspects of life-long illness.

You adjust. But you do NOT “get used to it”.  Trust me. Mind-numbing, bone -deep, “Oh  God kill me now.”, pain is NOT something anyone EVER gets used to.

So don’t be fooled by the smile you see  someone wearing. You have no idea what it is costing them.