Poetry

The Night Thoughts~

Just Wondering~

What Happens in the Tree~

I ‘ve had the strange sensation,
thoughts swirling in my head,
Like “Where do fireflies go at dawn?”,
“Where do they go to bed?”

“What do owls dream about,”
,”while sleeping in their tree?”
“Do they dream about their night- flights,
“, and where the mice might be?”

“What fancies do the small bats see, ”
“what memories do they keep?”
“I’d like to listen to their thoughts,”
“when they are fast asleep. ”

Where might we all travel?
Which places would we be?
If we could know the night -one’s thoughts,
while dreaming in the tree.

Ruby Jeanette

About Me~

Make It Short. Please?~

Since the subjects on my blog lately have seemed to revolve around the medical industry, pharmaceutical industry, or healthcare, I decided that today would be a good day to dedicate the post to what friends and family, could, should, or in some cases shouldn’t do when a loved one is ill.
Now , before I start, please know this. I have been a chronically ill person for almost half my life. I ‘ve been in , out, around, up and down with the whole medical business. I also have a habit of saying things without thinking about it first. So, for this post please, please, please try not to be offended if I come across as rude, or unthinking. Believe it or not, I have some experience with this particular subject. Now, rocket science, or alternative music, I will leave to the experts on those particular subjects! Now, onward and upward!

Things That Are Nice~
1. Short , “Hope you are okay , phone calls”
I love to talk. But when I am sick, and tired, phone calls can be draining . I am glad that you thought of me! But having to do more than string two thoughts together can be exhausting , I’m sorry! 🙂
2. Asking “Could I do anything for you? If so, let me know.”
You don’t have to offer money , or flowers. You don’t even have to offer housecleaning. But it is nice to offer. One thing, though? Don’ t offer if you DON’T really plan on doing anything if I call on you.
3. Saying “I’m praying for you. ”
And leaving it at that.

Things THAT ARE NOT SO NICE~
1. Long , protracted phone calls.
I am sick. I just got out of the hospital. Please understand. I love you. I really do. But , my brain hurts.
2. Showing up unannounced.
See first answer.
3. Asking overly nosy questions as to what happened.
I have lupus. It is not going to go away. I will be tired. I will be sick. I probably even will be in and out of the hospital from now on. This is NOT being negative, just realistic. I know it is very hard for people to understand how I could be only 33 years old, and feel 93. They must think , “Well, geez. It couldn’t be THAT bad. ” Well. It is. So, deal with it. I am.

And I do want to add , less this makes me sound like an ogre, I have wonderful friends. I have fantastic family. I am blessed beyond imagining to even wake up every day. But, certain ones have asked, “How could I make your life, or journey with this pain easier?” . Well, these are some of the ways you could!
Think about the fact that if I seemed reluctant to have you come visit, that perhaps I have an embarrassing lupus rash. Or my house is dirty because I wasn’t able to get up. Or maybe I haven’t even felt like combing my hair yet today, and feel “ugly”.
Maybe if I seemed unkind on the phone, I had just taken some of my many meds and my mood is not what I would have wished.
Maybe if I didn’t remember to call you when I got admitted to the hospital, it was because I hurt so badly that my caregiver had their hands full with just getting the nurses to make sure I was getting pain relief, and phone calls were far from their mind.
I said all that to say this, “You weren’t unthought of!” “I love my friends and am so appreciative of them!” and remember that my only goal some days is to make it through to the next one. So, please if you felt slighted in any way by my actions, or lack thereof, it was nothing personal. I’m fighting for my life, here, for lack of a better way to put it. I hope this helps make it a little easier to understand. Thanks for listening!

About Me~

When All Else Fails, Smile!

It’s a beautiful day outside my window today! I am SO, SO, SO grateful to be seeing the sun from my own window, and not that of the hospital. I was very lucky this particular hospital visit, too, because every single person I came in contact with was nice. Seriously! They were all enjoying their jobs, and happy to be at work helping people. Let me tell ya, that’s not always the case. I have an idea. I think hospitals should use the same criteria for hiring that customer service rep companies do. Such as,” Are you a people person?” , “Do you enjoy working with the public?” , “Are you interested in making some one else’s day better while they are here?” GREAT! This job is for you!! But I HAVE had hospital experiences where I do believe I have never seen so many grouchy people in my life! Everywhere I went there people were angry, aggravated, annoyed, alarmed or something. Now, granted, I know these are tough times. Times are tight, and money’s even tighter. It’s not fun to HAVE to work. Long hours, and low pay suck. And I ‘m sure that nursing must be a VERY difficult and emotionally trying job. But, I am beginning to wonder if people have forgotten where we live. I mean, it’s still America, right? Land of the free, home of the brave , and all that that implies? Sure, we’re having tough times, but we’ve still got more freedoms than just about any other place I know of. You can get up in the morning and go to work, or not. You can buy macaroni, or filet mignon, if you wanna, (and can afford it!). You can wear a striped shirt, some dotted pants, and a pink bow in your purple hair. You might get some looks, but no one will tell you , you can’t do that.(Well, I mean your mother might, but it isn’t illegal.) You can drive your car, go home to your house, of whatever size , and pretty much feel safe. These are all good things right? And I know everyone is entitled to have a bad day. But , you are not entitled to take your bad day out on someone else. Especially when that person is the one IN the hospital bed. I mean, compared to that , your life’s lookin’ pretty good , don’t ya think? So, I swear the next time I get admitted to the ER or the hospital and smile at someone, and they snarl at me……I may just have to get angry, aggravated, annoyed, alarmed or something!

Seriously…..life is good …..so SMILE! it freaks people out!~ Ruby Jeanette

About Me~, Poetry

In This Moment~

Death. It has a funny way of making us think of the past , present, and future, all at the same time. The should haves, the I’m going tos , and the what -could- have beens.
Death is a difficult topic. People don’t like to think about it. We humans are funny that way. We do that whole ostrich thing. You know the one I mean , “If can’t see IT then maybe that means it can’t see ME, and will go away.” Of course we all know that this doesn’t actually work for us any better than it does for the ostrich, but it helps us deal sometimes, I guess. The process of death and burial also comes with a whole host of familial and financial obligations as well. I think of the plans each person should make before they die. Not just the spiritual side of things, because that, obviously is the most important, but the physical side. Now, what I am about to say is my own opinion, please take it as that, and NOT a comment on the way any one else feels. This is JUST me. I don’t want a funeral. I don’t go to funerals. I am not afraid of death or dying, that is not the reason. I just want to remember the people I knew as they were when they were living, and not remember them in a casket. I’m sure I will receive a lot of flak for this opinion, as some of my own family think I am sacrilegous. I know I am not alone in my view of this , though, as my husband feels the same. He does not wish for people to say words over his dead body. I know death and dying is a very sensitive subject for some people, but really it is a part of life, and will eventually come to us all. I say this not to be a Negative Nelly, but to provoke thought. I guess the best way to say it is to leave you with the words of my Grandpa. “Give me my roses while I still live. Everybody who cares about me, REALLY cares about me, comes to see me now. If you don’t come to see me while I’m livin’ , don’t bother to come to my funeral.” Here is a poem I wrote after Grandpa told me that. I may have this printed as my obituary in the paper.
——————————————————————————————————
In This Moment~

Give me my roses , while I yet live,
Don’t leave them on my tomb.
Bring me the flowers, to share with you,
When I still can smell the blooms.
For a visit now, is worth much more,
Than one when I am gone,
So give me my roses , while I still live,
Don’t place them on my stone.

————————————————————————————————————————

I hope I haven’t offended anyone, as this was not my intent. This is after all an opinion forum, and the opinions here are my own, and not meant to harm. I only wish to help people remember, death is really not far away for any of us. Please let the people you care about , know now how you feel, and don’t wait until you stand over a cold stone to say the words we that we all most long to hear,
I LOVE YOU.

Uncategorized

Snake Oil Salesmen~

After my recent hospital stay, I thought it would be fun to repost something I shared last year. I know that we all wish for more truth in advertising. Especially from the pharmaceutical industry. There is not much truth in their advertising these days. I know there are many , many doctors and nurses who genuinely have compassion and care for their patients. I have had the good fortune to be treated by some of them. But I’m not so sure about the big-pharma companies. I think that the majority of them are still snake oil salesmen, profiting from other people’s suffering. In November of 1905 one of these patent medicine men sent a certain Mr. Mark Twain a letter including his advertising leaflet for his medicine “The Elixir of Life”, which claimed to , among other things, cure meningitis, which killed Twain’s daughter in 1896, and diptheria, which killed his 19 month old son. Following here is his letter to that salesman. Read it and laugh, and then read it again, and say as I did, “Hooray, Mr. Twain! Hooray! ”

Nov.20,1905

J.H. Todd
1212 Webster Street
San Francisco, Cal

Dear Sir,
Your letter is an insoluble puzzle to me. The handwriting is good, and exhibits considerable character, and there are even traces of intelligence in what you say, yet the letter and the accompanying advertisements profess to be the work of the same hand. The person who wrote the advertisements is without doubt the most ignorant person now alive on the planet; also without doubt he is an idiot, an idiot of the 33rd degree, and scion of an ancestral procession of idiots , stretching back to the Missing Link. It puzzles me to make out how the same hand could have constructed your letter and your advertisements. Puzzles fret me, puzzles annoy me, puzzles exasperate me, and always for a moment , they arouse in me an unkind state of mind toward the person who has puzzled me. A few moments from now my resentment will have faded and passed and I shall probably even be praying for you; but while there is yet time I hasten to wish that you may take a dose of your own poison by mistake , and enter swiftly into the damnation which you and all other patent medicine assassins have so remorselessly earned and do so richly deserve.

Adieu! Adieu! Adeiu!

Mark Twain

About Me~

How Much Blood Did You Say You Needed?~

Well, I just arrived home from my most recent “luxury hotel stay” (aka. hospital stay. Hey, if the price fits…..) I guess I should start from the beginning, or at least give you the general idea. I have lupus. I have been diagnosed with it since I was 19. I’m 33. So, I’ve had my share of hospital, ER , and doctor visits. It becomes a regular part of your life, whether you want it to, or not. Lupus of any kind , is not fun. It turns your life into the worst kind of rollercoaster of physical , emotional, and spiritual proportions. And not only a roller coaster , but a roller coaster ride for a terribly motion sick person, who’s afraid of heights and fast moving vehicles.
Lupus can come in all kinds of forms. It can affect you anywhere in your body at any time. I have a particularly tricky kind, called systemic lupus erythemotous. With organ involvement. Mine particulary seems to have taken a shine to my heart, which is wear the trouble started this weekend.
I had my gallbladder taken out about a month ago, (completely un-related to lupus) , THEN I got the stomach flu, and THEN I got dehydrated. Of course, I was also exhausted , ( wonder why? 😉 ) and apparently your heart doesn’t operate at it’s best under those conditions. And if you already have a weakened heart, well…..fill in the blanks. So Saturday after another round of heaving my dinner up, I experienced the WORST chest pain I have ever felt. You know it’s bad when the EMS guys say rate your pain on a scale of 1-10 and you just know you would kick the guy if you could find the strength. We’re talking 18 wheeler rollin’ over ya’, ride to the top of the world G- force sized pain. And the vertigo and nausea?!? Fuhgeddaboutit. Like eating 2 dozen donuts, a whole bag of pink cotton candy, drinking a blue slushie and then deciding to go on the tilt- a – whirl. So, off for the ambulance ride, I went , to the local hospital, 10 miles away, so they can be sure I can make the 60 mile ambulance ride to the “big” hospital.
Well, after a day and a half of enjoying the hospital’s hospitality , (and thinking to myself multiple times, “How MUCH blood did you say you needed?!?”) 2 CT scans, 6 X rays, 2 Gamma scans ( different from an X ray, not sure how) , 1 chemically induced stress test, 2 stomach injections, one upper glute ( rear- end for us unsophisticated types) injection, 6 blood draws, 2 attempted IV tries , 1 successful, 6 doctors, a whole slew of nurses, techs, and people whose titles I may never know, I am home.
It was decided it all amounted to lupus. See , lupus can give you a bad time when you’re feeling comparatively healthy. But , when your immune system gets down from other factors, it just takes the reins and runs with it. And pretty much all you can do is just hang on, medicate yourself as the doctors order , and wait for it play out.
So anywho, despite all that, I think I ‘m on the mend, or getting there anyway. Well, at least I left with my sense of humor intact because when the doctors recommended that I take a little better care of myself, and maybe try to rest more, and do less, I just kind of looked at them cross-eyed, and said , “Uh, you DO know I have children, right?”

About Me~

Hanging Out ~

(Oh, and the reason why there is no photo posted with this is that I could not merit posting an actual photo of the behaviors that I am railing about! 🙂
Well, it is soapbox jumping time again! I would say I promise not to get back up on it this week, but that might be a lie. So without further ado, I will jump right in.

I ‘m a fairly modern girl. I ‘m not what you would describe as a prude. I like clothes that fit my body, and are stylish. Before I had stretch marks, and the “mommy” tummy, I even wore a bikini . (I was younger, much younger than I am now!) But , I just have to mention, I am tired of taking my 13 and 11 year olds to town, and everywhere they go, women have their body parts hanging out. And it’s not just the women.
I’ve seen this with men too. Now, I’m not a mean person, and I know some people cannot afford new or even used clothes. But , these are not the people I’m talking about. I’m talking about the women who are carrying hundred-dollar handbags, and shoes that cost more than my husband makes in a week. But, somehow, with all that money , they couldn’t afford to buy a whole shirt. And I swear sometimes, it’s like these men are buying a certain brand of underwear just so they can show it off when their pants are down around their knees. I guess I just don’t understand. These teenage girls? Their parents let them leave the house looking like that? If I had tried to wear some of the things that I’ve seen on girls lately, my dad would have locked me up and thrown away the key. He always told me, “You don’t advertise what ain’t for sale.” Period. And really it is the parents who should be saying something. If your daughter is 12 , she does not need to try to look 21. And if your son is 12, his hind-end should not be hanging out where people can gawk at it. I might be paranoid, but I don’t want my sons to draw some child predator’s attention, by dressing inappropriately. I’m sure there are people who don’t agree with me, and that’s ok , too. To each their own. But I just had to say something! I obviously would never tell another parent how to raise their children, but I’m saying now, if you ever see mine in town with their heinies hanging out, you have my permission to snatch their pants back up to where they belong.

About Me~

Spread Thin~

In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict be fair and generous. In governing, don’t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present. ~ Tao te Ching
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I think this is a really powerful saying. I especially love the parts about dwelling and family life. In dwelling, live close to the ground. In this day and age, it is very difficult to live close to the ground. We are VERY far removed from the sources of our food, in most cases, we don’t know where it comes from, or what they put in it. The majority of us don’t farm, or grow our own food. Most of us don’t have the time, or the inclination to worry with it. Even as recently as 100 years ago, most people grew the majority of their own food. They went to bed with the chickens and got up with them, because they didn’t have the luxury of electric lights. They worked with their own hands, and lived close to the ground. This goes hand in hand with the last part of this saying. In family life, be completely present. We have so many things pulling us so many different directions these days, that in most cases we can never BE completely present anywhere, much less with our families. School, work, sports, activities, shopping, movies, tv, events, etc. , etc., the list goes on and on. We don’t eat dinner together, or have an afternoon at home where everyone is together. Usually , if you have more than one child, you are probably going in TWO separate directions for TWO different events, or sports. We stay up way into the night, and sometimes sleep way past sunrise. We eat fast food, pre – prepared, pre-packaged, and pre- medicated. We’ve just got to have that bigger house, newer car, and better clothes. And because of all this, we don’t have the time or the energy to be COMPLETELY present at ANY of these activities! We want to do it all, have it all, and be it all, and our lives end up LESS fulfilling as a result. Maybe it ‘s time we re- evaluate and see if some of these things could be let go, in order that we might live a little closer to the ground, and be completely present in our family life. I’m going to try to measure my priorities all week, and see how I can be more present , in all areas of my life!

About Me~

Snail Mail~

When was the last time you got a letter via snail mail? (AKA the postal service.) I love to get real cards and letters in my physical mailbox. There is just something about it that makes my day. The surprise of opening the door of the box and there being a nice thick envelope with a greeting card. Or a long thin one with a couple of sheets of stationery in it, covered with elegant cursive. Or even just a small square envelope with a notecard in it.
I know everyone is totally into email, e-cards, e-newsletters and FaceBook, and these are fun tools. But I still send most of my correspondence through snail mail. I guess my thought is most people are used to just getting junk mail anymore. Unwanted sales flyers, catalogs for items they don’t need , and of course, bills, bills, and more bills! It’s a great feeling when you open it and see somethig unexpected like a note from a friend. Especially if it’s a note sent for no reason other than “just because”.
I still send all my Christmas cards by post , too. And I know it might seem like a lot of extra effort, but I hand write a different message for each card, instead of a generic, “from our family to yours” type thing. I know it’s probably not gaining me any extra “karma” points or anything like that, it just seems like it’s important to me to do that. Maybe it’s partly the fact that it is becoming a lost art, that it appeals to me. One of these days all our communication may be electronic, and I’ll be outdated. But I hope to hold off that time a little while longer!

P.S. Next time you want to brighten someone’s day, send them a card via snail mail. Bet it’ll make ’em smile!

Previous Answer

About Me~

Baked, Broiled, Grilled, and Slathered~

It’s coming around to spring and summer again. Bathing suit and tanning weather. I’ve seen a few people posting lately about going to get tanned, or starting their diets, and I thought it would be interesting to research beauty rituals , past and future.
Tanning was really the ideal in the 60’s and 70’s beach culture, with bronze gods and goddesses reigning on the top of the beauty tower. People oiled themselves up with cooking oil, and baby oil, and literally cooked themselves in the sun. In the hey-dey of the 1700’s and into the 1800’s pale for women was the epitome of beauty. If you had that buttermilk complexion, you were the cream of the crop, so to speak. Of course in the early 1600’s men AND women painted their faces with lead to produce a completely white complexion, which actually caused the wearer to succumb to lead poisoning. Of course, there have been different degrees of tattooing , body modification, piercings, and all manner of crazy things people have done to “increase” their physical beauty over the years. In the 1800’s when a 13 inch waist was ideal , women had their lower two ribs removed in order to “whittle” the waist. Japanese women used bird poop facials to get the “geisha” look. People in certain parts of the world drink placenta milkshakes to prolong their youth. I don’t know about you, but that ‘s a little far out even for me, lol. I guess what I’m really trying to say is that the fads change so fast, I’m not sure anyone could ever really keep up with what is the “standard” for beauty anymore. And if you think about it, all the really beautiful people that we remember , the classics, they don’t really look like the “normal” fad going around anyway! Cher, Elizabeth Taylor, even the Mona Lisa, they are not typical looking women. Barbara Streisand , with her classic profile, that’s not the “normal” idea of beauty. Or think of Clark Gable , with his over-sized ears. Not what most people today would consider a sex symbol. So really, I kind of think all this pressure is over rated. We bake, pull, pluck, shave, pierce, starve, paint and fry our bodies, and hair in all manner of stuff, in order to look “beautiful”. I think sometimes we’d be better off , if we just left it the way God had it to start with. Am I super thin? Am I tan and firm? Am I wearing the latest hairstyle, and the latest outfit? Nope. But you know what? I still think I look pretty good, and isn’t that what matters?