Tag Archive | Colorado

Another Era Coming to an End

The days are getting shorter, the end of another decade is less than 25 days away and time doesn’t stand still, for anyone. If you want to survive and thrive, you have to be open and embrace change. I have to say that I’m thankful for my girls to help me do that.

Blogging is on the way out and vlogging is in. I won’t lie, it is a lot easier to vlog than it is to blog. At least for this ADHD momma of two teenagers. We are always on the go, always doing something and when I sit down at my laptop it’s to get a novel or a story done. So I’ve gone to the dark-side. I now have TikTok (so stinking addictive, won’t lie) Instagram and yep, I even have my own YouTube account. I only have two subscribers at the moment but it’s so much easier to catch everyone up while I’m riding one of my ponies than to sit at my computer. Multi-tasking my Lovelies, multi-tasking.

So while I’ll still be keeping everyone updated on the femoral rotations, the physical therapy, the surgeries (yep, she has more planned) I’ll just be doing it from YouTube. I’ll also be doing some other fun things like promoting my books because if I can’t toot my own horn, who will? Being a horse owner of 4.25 horses and also so many other life issues that I think we ALL need to talk about and express in a safe environment.

I’m not saying goodbye here because let’s face it, life changes so fast and we could be reviving the typed word again, so it’s just so long for now and hopefully I’ll see you on YouTube! My channel is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC91IfIMt4acbgduOpdObjmA?view_as=subscriber

Femoral Rotations November

Yeah, the weekly thing just isn’t going to work. Kids are in school activities, Madison still has physical therapy 2-3 days per week and I’m still having to get my work done.

We spent the last couple of weeks getting fencing fixed so the horses had access to the barn and we had hay delivered. We still don’t have firewood in for winter but the truck broke down and was pretty costly to fix it. Will need to sell it before getting the half a cow in the freezer and wood in for winter.

Tomorrow marks the long awaited day for meeting with the ortho specialist coming in from Grand Junction. He will be the one who basically decides if he can make something for her to correct the rotation in her ankles. All of my hopes and prayers are on his saying yes. I’m trying to have faith that this doctor is as open and receptive as Dr. Rhodes has been.

There’s been lots of struggles and ups and downs. She has a popping in her bad hip but we aren’t having X-rays done at this time. Dr. Rhodes believes it’s an IT band that is rubbing and slipping off of her hip bone caused by the screw. She has to wait until May before they can remove the screws and the rods so basically she just has to deal with the pain. That’s super frustrating for me because it happens whenever she walks, goes up stairs, sleeps, moves, anything. She was finally released to ride her horse and we joyfully went out to our ponies and rode bareback; best way to get back in shape and core built up. I recorded it, of course, bawling with how wonderful it was to see her back on her beloved Chewbacca (the video is on my Facebook page) only to have the joy come to an abrupt end. The way her hips sit on her horse causes the screw to push into her hip bone which causes pain. A goal she had worked so hard for became something she can’t enjoy doing. We are going to try different saddles and hope that with the adjustment of her hips and the way she’s sitting, it will allow her to ride without so much pain.

New things that we found out. Sitting cross-legged is actually comfortable for her now. I was mortified and instantly pissed off when I found out that some elementary teachers tried to FORCE her to sit “criss-cross-applesauce” despite her saying it didn’t feel good. PEOPLE, FRIGGING LISTEN TO THE KIDS WHEN THEY SAY SOMETHING DOESN’T FEEL GOOD. I’m SO sick of adults MICRO-MANAGING KIDS! If they are sitting in a W shape and it’s comfortable to them then let them do it! YOU are NOT a doctor and there could be something majorly wrong! The more I’m researching this deformity the more common I’m finding it is. SO many kids having to go through this bullshit. Venting over.

I will say I’m grateful for all of my friends and support. For those of you going through this, hang in there. I know exactly how exhausting it is. Everyone on the outside looking in sees your child getting better, doing better but they aren’t there 24/7 when the swelling or the pain hits. The frustration your child feels when they can’t do something they used to do. New thing we just found out about. You know how Madison literally had to learn how to walk again? Her brain had to learn how to communicate with her new thigh muscles? Well guess what, it has to relearn how to run too. You would think the brain would click and go, “Oh yeah, I just opened up the communication lines to these new muscles to walk so it must be the same line for running.” NOPE. 5 months after surgery and she’s just now starting to learn to run. Her muscles on the outside of her thighs are trying to fire, not her new front thigh muscles. Can you imagine how frustrating that is? And all I can do is hold her when she cries.

So please hang in there. Be gentle with yourself, be super gentle with your kiddo. Lots of love, forgiveness and patience is needed. Love you all and peace out till the next time.

Femural Rotations, New Setbacks, Learning Grace

They say be careful what you wish for. I used to compliment how well some of my friends handle challenging or painful situations. I’m learning my grace through my daughter with her incredible recovery. We’ve had a second week of not-so-great news. While her surgeries were a success with rotating her legs into proper alignment, her feet are now causing issues. I’ll have a video posted on my Facebook page (seriously thinking of getting all of this on YouTube) but I took pictures for you to see.

When she walks, they angle in excessively. It’s so severe that it’s causing misalignment in her knees, hips and back. We are waiting to see if she can get lifts in her shoes or if it’s another skeletal issue. I’m hoping it’s a muscle issue and with strengthening, can re-align properly. Of course if this goes on too long, it can also cause damage to her knees, hips and spine. So we are going to address this next week.

On a good note, she’s been swimming with me and her younger sister three days a week in addition to her physical therapy. It’s allowing her to use and strengthen those new muscles without the pain of her body weight on her leg breaks. She’s absolutely thrilled to be active for HOURS without the excessive pain. The memebership at the Recreation Center in our town has honestly been a blessings and side win is it’s helping me get back in shape too! Win/win!

She’s camping out in our front yard with her friend and sister tonight. She missed Mountain Man Rendezvous this year so they are creating a little one for her tonight. God bless wonderful souls that have the hearts of mountains.

I hope you have a blessed weekend and thanks for listening!

Femoral Rotation Surgeries POST-OP WEEK!!

POST-OP WEEK!

We are leaving Friday to head back to Children’s Hospital! It will be the first time her surgeons have seen her since her surgeries. She has been working so very hard and I know she is going to blow them away with her progress.

As her mom, I’m a little nervous about the trip. As you remember from my first post, we had NO idea how to get her to the restroom and her comfort for the five-six-hour drive. Granted, she is so much farther along and we have the belt that the Gunnison ER nurse gave us but still a little nervous.

It’s going to be a quick trip. We are driving down the morning of her appointment, staying the night and then heading back home the very next day. No playing around on this one, though I had hoped we could have visited the zoo or something. Maybe next time.

This post is going to be a little all over the place as the few things I’m going to bring up won’t take up a full post, so I’m going to combine them. The first thing I’m going to “suggest” is that if you do find out that your child has to go through this type of surgery, you might want to consider keeping that information close to your chest. I’ve always been the type of person to wear my heart on my sleeve. I will try and give you the shirt off of my back if I think it will help you more than it will help me and for some silly reason, I think everyone I come in contact with thinks the same way. Yes, a little naïve but there it is. So when we found out about Madison and what it all entailed, I reached out to everyone. I needed help and was hoping that I would get back what I had put out there. I needed help both emotionally and physically. We had a 37-acre horse boarding ranch we were having to shut down just as we were building it up. I loved each of my boarders, spent the past two years caring for their horses, getting our name out there and now we were closing our doors. Not only were we losing almost two-hundred thousand dollars we had invested and spent on the ranch but I was losing my dream. Something I had wanted my entire life. I was dealing with a lot of guilt. Letting my boarders down, moving my family again, losing that monthly income, feeling like a failure. It’s a lot to take on alone.

Thankfully I had a week’s worth of vacation saved up from my outside employer so I took the entire week off so that we could move our household. Our landlords at the ranch had asked us to get out as soon as possible so that they could list the ranch again (we had been in a lease/purchase agreement with them but obviously couldn’t purchase the ranch with everything going on) and I wanted to honor their wishes. It would also give me a chance to unpack before going back to work and getting into a new routine.

Unfortunately, the morning I came back to work, they pulled me in the office and let me go. One week before my 1-year anniversary. I was told I wasn’t being fired, that things weren’t working out at that particular time and that “down the road, I should feel free to re-apply”. Since I’m not an idiot, I put two and two together and knew it was because of the time I was going to miss for Madison’s surgeries.

So in a matter of four weeks, we closed our business, I lost my job which included our health insurance, and moved to a rental house south of town. To add injury to insult, our landlords only gave us half of our deposit back stating that we hadn’t left the ranch in the condition we received it, which is an absolute lie. I was thankful that I had video recorded the property and the house and had proof that it was actually in better condition than when we moved in and was prepared to take them to court. But a very dear friend of mine sat me down at lunch and made some excellent points. Yes, we would win in court if I pursued that route BUT there was no guarantee that I would ever get our money back. I would have to pay the court fees to take them to court and attorney fees. Just because we got a win doesn’t mean that they would pay, so then there would be collection fees to go after them that way. I would be throwing good money after bad. Then I am still dealing with preparing for Madison’s upcoming surgeries, getting the house organized and ready for her disabilities and running her back and forth to physical therapy. There was so much on our plate that we decided to let it go.

Looking back on all of it now, we are grateful that everything happened the way it did. There was no way I could have closed the ranch down, settled our horses in their new place, got the house unpacked and prepped and had Madison to all of her physical therapy appointments had I still been

working for my outside employer and had taken our ex-landlords to court. I don’t think I could have handled Madison’s surgeries emotionally if I had invested in those other things either. Keeping it together during the hours we waited anxiously in the hospital took everything I had and let’s face it; my daughter is SO much more important than those other things. Those other things made me stronger, humbler and more grateful for the true blessings I have in my life.

I’m hoping that you don’t have people who try and take advantage of you during this difficult time. I hope your friends and family rally behind you and lift you up instead of tearing you down. I had an amazing network of friends and family who supported me and my beautiful family. I’m forever grateful to them and believe me, I plan on showing them as things settle into our new routine. For now, I’m focusing on this incredible child and the milestones she is leaping over. Blessings to you and keep on staying strong!!

Femoral Leg Rotations & Parents part 4

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!

Yes, we celebrate our independence and our beautiful red, white and blue flags here! We are hoping you are enjoying this holiday too and staying safe. Madison was able to stand long enough on her crutches to go visit her horse, who came running up to see her. It was a beautiful sight!

It’s been a tough week here at the Hadley household. While Madison has been doing great, she isn’t healed enough to go to her rendezvous camp-out in two weeks. Her father and I figured she wouldn’t be able to but she still had the goal in her heart and we didn’t want to crush it. We head for Children’s Hospital next week for her six-week post op. New X-rays and examination to see what’s going on.

We do know at this point that as her swelling goes down, one of the screws in her hip/femur is starting to catch on the muscle and tendons, making it difficult to do certain physical therapy activities. At this stage, we don’t know if they will have to remove it, put a smaller one in or leave it until the hardware comes out at nine months. Lots of questions for next Friday. I will let you know after next week, definitely.

What I wanted to talk to you about today is expectations and other people’s perceptions. For the most part, people in public are great and very kind but prepare yourself, physically and emotionally, for the jerks. We’ve had a little old woman glare at us and give us the stink eye when I didn’t get the handicapped tag up fast enough in my rearview mirror of my car. I’ve had more than one person run their shopping cart into my daughter’s wheelchair at the grocery store and not even bat an eye or apologize. I’ve had people who have sped their vehicles up to make it through the crosswalk so that they didn’t have to wait for her to cross and others back out of parking spaces without even looking for shorter objects.

I’m not bringing this up to point out that there are douchebags in the world, we all know that there are. I’m bringing this to your attention so that you can protect your child. When you walk, walk so that your body is protecting the wheelchair and child. Driver’s usually aren’t looking down when they are backing up or driving. They are looking for other cars, other upright pedestrians and open parking spaces. If you are there, they will see you first, the wheelchair second.

In the grocery store people are less likely to run their carts into your child if you are standing right there. Some people don’t mean to hit the chair but others just don’t care. You need to be there to try and prevent it because jarring hits like that can be very painful, especially if it’s right after their surgeries.

I also want you to prepare emotionally. It won’t do anyone any good if you are in jail for assault (let’s face it, we are all protective mommas and daddies when it comes to our kiddos) So you need to learn to be able to walk away without causing any bodily damage to someone else. Dealing with douchebags will have to wait for another time and remember, for every douchebag that’s out there, there are ten more souls who are willing to do anything to help you and your child. Recognize, focus and be thankful for those positive people. They are out there and they exist, it’s OKAY to lean on them. We are all here for each other.

Now go grill something, have some fun with your family and watch those beautiful fireworks!

Femoral Leg Rotations and Parent’s cont.

PART THREE

I know it’s Thursday, almost towards the end of the week but I warned you in the beginning that sometimes my blog might be once a week or several times a week. It might just be this one.

This week has been wonderful, she’s doing leaps and bounds in therapy but we are having to get our things together and prepare for our 6-week post op trip back to Children’s Hospital. In the mix of all of that, I have a novel due next month, throwing my hat into the ring as a first-time publisher and working with some amazing authors from all over the world. I’ve been a little busy.

One of the things I forgot to tell you to bring for the hospital is clothing. We thought of only buying super soft shorts because we figured she wouldn’t want to have anything on her legs but nobody told us that the swelling in her hips and thighs would be so massive that her sizes wouldn’t fit. She’s normally a size 9 womens but she could only fit into my size 18 shorts. Yes, the swelling will be that severe. She went down to her normal size within 2 weeks but she couldn’t fit into her regular sized clothing until then. Thrift store, baby. You can buy some super soft shorts, sweats or even sun dresses for cheap since your kiddo will only be wearing them for less than half a month. Save your money for nice shorts in their size because that’s all they will be able to wear during physical therapy.

The other thing is to bring something that they are close to, that comforts them. Even though she’s fifteen years old now, she wanted her stuffed black horse, Midnight. The entire situation is so scary for them. Heck, it’s scary for us and we aren’t the ones having our legs broken and rotated.

Smart phones, tablets and pads are fantastic! There’s Wi-Fi in the hospital so Madison could watch her Netflix or Hulu while I emailed family and friends or watched my own shows. Believe me, the days are long when your child can’t walk very far. The surgeon had told us that she might be there for three days if everything went well but to prepare for five, just in case. Her knee gave our three times on the Wednesday we thought we were going to be released so they kept us until Friday. By the end of the week, Amazon Prime video was my best friend.

I’m sorry this one is short. I’ve got to get supper done and the girls to bed early. Madison has therapy in the morning, early, so sleep is our friend. I know it’s 4th of July celebration next week but I promise, I will still more information!

Keep the love flowing, keep the positive thoughts open and have a very blessed weekend!

My Circus

It’s amazing how fast things can change. If you blink, you might miss it. Or you might be too focused on other’s issues and situations that you miss something miraculous in your own life.
I used to get caught up in other’s problems and focus on the negative but after my brush with death last year I’m really learning to put things in perspective. I’m focusing more on what is going on in my immediate life and less on my peripheral life. Surprisingly my stress is less and blessings are becoming more abundant.
We are becoming a world of changing our focus on more important things, like ourselves, and focusing more on other people’s lives. Whether it’s jealousy, trying to fix someone else’s problems, curiosity, anger, a sense of superiority over others, it tends to lead us down the wrong road and off of our path of blessings and abundance. It’s so easy to jump to the defense of the victim or weaker person but what we haven’t learned is that things that you read, watch and see on television and the internet is edited, twisted and filtered. All people have an agenda. All of us do and it’s not a bad thing. It’s how we use our agendas that can cause problems or do harm to others.
I won’t lie; it was super easy to get caught up in all of the drama that the media has been trumping up the past few years. I became angry at everyone and everything that didn’t agree with me. I jumped to conclusions and mentally tried and condemned those whose agendas didn’t line up with mine. Low and behold, my anger took over my life, I looked at everyone suspiciously and wondered what they truly wanted and my blessings and miracles started disappearing. My family noticed the change in my personality and I knew I was unhappy all of the time. Change had to happen and it started with me.
I stopped watching and reading the news, I eliminated quite a few people off of my social media pages; I began to meditate on the beautiful things in my life instead of watching everyone else’s lives. I created tunnel vision goggles and what I focused on had rainbows and unicorns. The blessings and miracles began to appear again and I am much happier than what I was.
Do I slip? Heck yes. Different worldly situations come up that I don’t agree with and recently I had someone who I considered a friend hurt me very badly. I was filled with anger and hurt and I wallowed and focused on that for a couple of days. Low and behold my rainbows disappeared. I pulled my big girl panties up, let the situation go and concentrated back on my own life, my own circus, my own monkeys. My rainbows are coming back and my unicorns are grazing happily in my field.
It’s interesting to note that the happier I am, the less misery I see and am exposed to. I’m able to smile at strangers more and spread kindness just outside my bubble. The happier I am, the larger my bubble grows and the more I’m able to spread the kindness. Go figure.
Remember, life is meant to be fun; enjoy the journey…YOUR journey and don’t worry the path another is taking.IMG_3604

Essential Oils, Life Experience and Almost Dying

My life has really taken some interesting turns this past year. First and foremost I’d like to say that I’m so grateful to be here typing this as last December, my husband and I both believed that I wouldn’t be.
My close friends, family and fans knew that last April, we moved into my dream ranch to start a horse boarding facility. My writing was put on the back burner and my publishers knew I needed some time to get our ranch up and going. We worked from sun up to sundown. I’m happy to say that the ranch took off and the business was growing rapidly.
As fall approached, I knew I would need to get an outside job to help pay for expanding the ranch and feeding the numerous horses over the winter. I took a secretary position at one of the elementary schools and began planning expansion for the ranch. I loved the teachers and staff that I worked with and adored the principal. She was smart, decisive and very open minded. I was grateful when she allowed me to diffuse my essential oils to ward off any illnesses. Witchcraft is what my husband often teased me with.
Towards the end of September I developed a horrific ear infection. My girls often got them but I hadn’t had them for years. I figured because we had moved to a new town, being exposed to new germs (especially an elementary school) I was bound to get something. I started to sanitize everything, diligently diffused my oils and drank lots of orange juice for my vitamin C.
I knew I needed to find a doctor to start going to but the time was never right. I worked 7:30 to 4:00 pm then had to pick up my own girls after school. September turned to October and my ear infection developed into a severe sinus infection. I started taking oregano pills for my antibiotics, diffused my oils at school and started diffusing them at home while I slept. I was going to lick this but October has always been my celebration month. It’s my birthday month and the month I got married. My mother always comes down in October so my husband and I can escape and be kids for a few days. My illness would have to take a backseat. We decided to stay locally since I wasn’t feeling the best and stayed the night in a local hotel near a restaurant and bar that we could walk to. Our usual playful self was hindered by the keen awareness that I sounded like a pack-a-day smoker.
Still I pushed on. We had horses that had to be fed in the mornings, and again after school and stalls to clean. Plus Halloween was coming up, my most favorite holiday. The sinus infection had moved down into my chest but I just knew it was going to clear up. I’d behave better once Halloween night and trick-or-treating was done. So out and about we went for Halloween night. I should have known I would pay the price.
The next week I was barely able to speak and the pain in my chest from coughing was unbearable. I began to miss work and began to lose my strength. The day before Thanksgiving I spent three hours in Urgent Care being treated for bronchitis. Nebulizer treatments, steroid injections, antibiotics, cough suppressant, I was given it all to try and get my illness under control. After the break my principal pulled me into her office and we discussed what my plan should be.
I knew I was missing too much work and putting her in a tough situation but she never brought that up. Instead her concern was for my health and well being. She believed I was burning the candle and both ends and my physical health was in jeopardy. We agreed that my position at the school was probably not the best at this time and that I needed to get on top of my health. It was bittersweet saying goodbye to everyone I was starting to care for but I was truly scared that I was not getting better.
By the beginning of December, I had full blown pneumonia and I was told that I needed to be hospitalized or risk dying. Because I no longer had insurance through the school, I chose to pass at home. My husband quit his job to take care of the ranch, me and our beautiful girls. Neither one of us wanted them to find my body and there were many nights he didn’t sleep at all because he just knew I was going to take my last breath. I had no energy for anything other than what little sleep I could get. Every breath was excruciating and never deep enough. I felt like I had cracked every rib in my body. Light and noise hurt me on every level of my being. I would often lie there crying thinking of everything I was going to miss out on with my girls. Their first prom dance, graduation, when they graduated from college, getting married, having their first child. I grieved for my husband, knowing I was his best friend as he was mine. I prayed he would find love again.
Christmas came and went as did New Years. Every day was a struggle but as the days got a little longer, I began feeling a little stronger. I finally had enough strength to find a doctor and began seeing her for my pneumonia. She was amazing and we took baby steps with me seeing her every week. She made sure I had a nebulizer at home with instructions that I needed to use it 4-6 times a day. I had an inhaler, antibiotics, steroids and a cough suppressant at night that honestly kicked my ass and allowed me to get sleep. As I began to get healthier she began to run tests to try and see what may have caused me to get so sick. Heart monitors, chest x-rays, blood work, breathing tests, head CT’s, she ran them all to find out what exactly happened. Everything came back healthy and perfect and we were left scratching our heads. Stress. We decided the stress of the ranch, working, writing, taking too much on was the cause of my illness. We began to take baby steps to get me back 100%. In March I was strong enough to get another job, this one with the County of Montrose.
All summer I have gotten stronger, healthier and thrilled that I never did die. It’s hurt us financially and we will deal with the repercussions of it but I can hug my children and kiss my husband and that in itself is a blessing. As the one year anniversary approached I’ll admit that I became leery and worrisome. What if I got sick again? I don’t think that I could survive that this time. I warned the guys in my office that I was going to diffuse my oils early to start to ward off any illnesses. My girls were starting school again and bringing home all of those lovely germs. I hoped that they wouldn’t mind if I did. Being guys, they said they didn’t care and I knew they meant it. Hahahaha.
The next week I brought in my diffuser and began diffusing my beloved OnGuard, faithfully starting it each morning. I took my multivitamin every day and drank my emergenC as my doctor had instructed me. I felt the panic in my gut as I started getting sinus pressure and tightness in my chest. By the second week of September I had to use my inhaler. It was all happening again.
The guys began to tease me that my diffuser wasn’t doing its job and my husband made a comment that maybe it was my witches brew, that I shouldn’t be diffusing the oils anymore. I knew he had been terrified about losing me last winter but there was no way it could be my oils. It wasn’t until my co-worker pulled me aside and made a comment that everything hit home. He told me, “In all of the months you have worked here, not once have I seen you have to use your inhaler. You’ve been diffusing for one week and I’ve seen you use it more in the past couple of days than the past couple of months. I don’t think it’s good for you.”
Normally I would argue with them and I’ll admit I was a little defensive. I LOVE my essential oils. My owie blends, my face creams, my sleep and stress blends, they are my go-to. But I still remember the feeling of not wanting to go to sleep because I just knew I wasn’t going to wake up. I agreed that I would give it a week of no diffusing to see if I got better. So I cleaned out my machine and for a week, didn’t diffuse a drop.
The second day my lungs had loosened up and I only needed to use my inhaler once. By day three, I wasn’t using my inhaler at all and my sinus infection was gone. By the end of the week I had zero symptoms of any illness. I packed up my diffuser and brought it home.
NOW before all of the naysayers and defenders of essential oils jump all over this, I am NOT saying that you shouldn’t diffuse your oils. The only thing that I am saying is that for ME, for some reason, I had a reaction to them. Were they the reason I stayed so sick and almost died? I don’t know. I will never know because I’m never taking that risk again. It could have been JUST the pneumonia, it could have been a combination of the pneumonia AND the essential oils, it could have been JUST the oils. We will never know for me because I looked death in the face and while I won the war on it, it won the battle because I have never been so scared in my life.
I still use my oils. I have my topicals that I will probably ALWAYS use but I will never diffuse anything again unless it’s something my doctor prescribes. And maybe, just maybe, if you or a kiddo or someone you love has a respitory infection and they are NOT getting better, stop diffusing for a week, JUST TO SEE and rule out that those oils aren’t contributing towards it. Please.
Peace out and I’m so glad I’m still here! Love you all my Lovelies!

Perspective

I’ve been mulling this conversation over in my head for the past year. And what a year it’s been. But the subjects are building and if I wait any longer, it will turn into a novel and nobody will want to read it.

I’m reading so many posts anti-Trump/anti-Obama, women’s march/anti-women’s march, politically correct/anti-politically correct. I can go on. The subjects are endless and it seems like people are searching for anything to argue about. The one thing that I’ve noticed as I’ve sat back (well, most of the time) is that these subjects are black and white, defined lines. Nothing is monochrome or blurry. Is that accurate or true? I’m here to say in my opinion that I don’t think it is.

My entire life when I have encountered a person who has done a kindness on another, I have always told them, “Bless your heart.” And I’ve meant it. I have wished miracles and blessings upon them and their heart because they were so kind to another. As I’ve found out recently, that term doesn’t mean the same to me as it does to others. For awhile I struggled with not saying it because I didn’t want to offend anyone. Then I realized that how I say and mean it makes a huge difference. I say it with love, kindness and sincerity. It is never misconstrued as an insult. So I am back to blessing a kind person’s heart and soul. It feels good and right to me. But I never post it in a text or social media because without hearing the words, it could easily be twisted and taken completely out of context.

This presidential thing. Oy vey, are we in a mess. Again, black or white. I’d like to point out the monochrome I mentioned earlier. As a human being, I respect Obama and absolutely adore Michelle. She is graceful and classy. As a president, no, I didn’t like Obama. I didn’t respect the decisions he made as a president that affected the town I lived in, my husband’s job and healthcare. We lived in fear for eight years, wondering when we were going to lose everything.

I also don’t believe that everyone should enjoy the same benefits in life. My entire working life, which started at a very young life, I have struggled. I’ve put in 14-16 hour days, sometimes two or three jobs to get where I am at today. I’m still not where I want to be but I’m getting there. Why should I help pay someone else’s way, who is not my family, to live a lifestyle similar to mine while they choose to stay at home and do nothing? If you want cell phones, cars, eating at restaurants, a nice roof over your head then work for it. If you physically can’t (legitimately, not some excuse) then there are programs out there but they shouldn’t be paying for your Escalade, cell phones and designer sunglasses.

While Trump scares the bejimminies out of me, I also agree that there needs to be a change. We were not all created equal, hard work is a reality, life isn’t fair is truth. Things happen. Destroying property that isn’t your own shows how far the pendulum has swung in the direction of immaturity. Our laws have become so slack that you can break the law and not worry about being punished. Heck, with the right attorney you won’t even get a slap on the wrist. What happened to being held accountable for your actions?  Those who are breaking the law are blaming their actions on others. I didn’t realize we had raised a bunch of puppets. I have no problem with protesting. It’s how things get done, attention brought to the wrongs in our society. But when it’s done with hatred, violence and disrespect for others, I won’t participate. Even if I agree with you. Respect used to be earned, now it’s expected. If you can’t respect another person’s point of view and beliefs, how can they respect yours? You expect me to listen to your pain, your hurt but you won’t listen to mine? Life doesn’t work that way.

Which brings me to the latest women’s march. This was a tough one for me and I’ll admit, I didn’t handle it the best on my social media page. I “shared” a post which I mostly agreed with but I didn’t change it to share my tone/personality. This morning I saw another post attacking the post I and many other women had shared. I saw this woman’s point of view because she “spoke” with some respect. I deleted my post but I haven’t changed my opinion on the march. Since this is my blog, I can take the time to remove the emotion from my “voice” and try to explain my position respectfully.

Why I didn’t support the march. This other blogger summarized that the reason “I” (generalizing women who didn’t support this movement) is because we didn’t grow up with hardships, we didn’t struggle or suffer so we needed to be put in our place and have compassion for those who have. That is the post that at first, infuriated me but instead of lashing out on my social media page, I decided it was time to stop, calm myself and post on my own blog.

I am the epitome of everything this woman was talking about in her blog. I grew up in a household where verbal and physical abuse occurred. Money was a very precious commodity. Just yesterday I came across a letter from the Governor of Colorado and the Colorado Ambassadors of Music congratulating me on being chosen as a participant in an All-Colorado performance tour of Europe. My band teacher, Ms. Stork, had recommended me to the board and I had been chosen. 25 days traveling Europe and I couldn’t go because my parents couldn’t afford the airfare. This letter was dated Sept. 16, 1985. That’s how much I wanted to go and how painful it was that I couldn’t. I was so proud of myself.

I was also legally emancipated by sixteen. At fifteen I had been kicked out of my house and lived a short time with my best friend. I still call her parents Mom and Dad. I didn’t graduate high school. I dropped out four months before graduation because I was not only working full-time, but I was fighting with my mother, bouncing from friend’s house to friend’s house for a roof over my head. I didn’t graduate with my classmates and it’s the reason I refuse to go to class reunions. They earned it, I did not. I got my GED and continued struggling in life.

After working minimum wage jobs for five years, I decided I wanted a better life. I chose automotive. I took out student loans and was accepted into a technical college. What the hell was I thinking? A high school drop-out, a woman, going into a male dominated field. Talk about asking for torture. And I did suffer. I was discriminated from the get-go. And do you know the comment that made me the angriest came from a woman? At graduation after I walked across the stage to accept my diploma, a woman came up to me while I was with my family and stated; “You don’t look like a mechanic.” I turned and smiled sweetly and asked, “Well, what is an automotive mechanic supposed to look like?” The discrimination came from both sides but it hurt the most coming from other women. I dealt with women who wanted to talk to a man because they knew about cars. Of course I had the men who wanted to talk to a man because, well, they knew about engines.

Discrimination came from higher up too. I was told by one dealership owner that I would never become the service manager because I was a woman. He kept me as an assistant service manager for over a year, enjoying the benefits of the customer service awards I won for his dealership. And the ultimate discrimination? How about getting fired for having a baby. It wasn’t sugar coated, glossed over, put nicely. I was told straight up that I was fired because I took maternity leave. And in the state of Colorado, any business with less than twenty employees can let you go for any reason, legally. So yes, I’ve dealt with the discrimination and difference in pay for over fifteen years.

The great thing about America is I can choose a different path, a different life. So I did. I murdered my boss who fired me for taking maternity leave. Well, metaphorically I did. I took all of that anger and hatred and I wrote a book and killed him. Damn, it felt good too. And I decided I wouldn’t work in a repair facility anymore. I taught automotive classes at Colorado State University, gave lectures, wrote newspaper articles. I called out repair shops who tried to take advantage of women. I worked and created the kind of life I wanted to live.

I’ve also experienced rape. A horrific, life-altering experience to be sure. It’s the reason my husband and I make our girls take Tae Kwon Do, why they learned gun safety at a young age and taught to listen to their instincts. You never honestly know what’s in a person’s soul.

Now I could take all of these terrible experiences and blame my childhood, blame society, talk about how awful life is but I will be the last person who will do that. My life is wonderful and I am blessed beyond belief. There are times I break down in tears, grateful for the life I have. I refuse to dwell on the negatives. I look for the window that opens when the door shuts. If I can’t find the window, I break down the wall and make my own escape. I can do anything in this life that I want to because I believe it and I work for it. If I have to put in a twenty-hour day, I will do it. I don’t look outside of myself to make things happen because I know I have the power to do it.

The older I get, the more I realize that those who handle themselves with grace and respect get heard the most. To have an intelligent debate, showing respect for the other person’s experiences and opinions, will have greater weight than words spewed in hate and anger. While I will admit I have “lost it” sometimes on social media, giving into my strong emotions, I will often delete my comments or apologize. I am human, I do make mistakes.

I have worked and fought so hard to be where I am at. I have incredible friends, a husband who honestly respects and honors who I am, daughters who look up to me, ask my opinion, value my teachings. So I refuse to act in a manner that is disrespectful. Putting on vagina hats, spewing hateful words and then trashing the streets with signs and litter is not the way to be heard or taken seriously. My children asked why all of the women were wearing clown hats and because I’m honest with my girls, I explained to them what was happening and what those hats really were. Their words; “that’s stupid.”

So the entire purpose of this protest was lost on many who would’ve taken it seriously, believed in the same cause, experienced the same things. I want to be taken seriously. I did not feel that this was the way to accomplish that.

So to the blogger who tried to label me, tried to box me, I respectfully argue with your position. Life is not black or white. It’s filled with different shades of color. It’s what makes us unique, special. Please don’t speak for me because you haven’t walked my path, nor I you. I won’t tell the world who you are, I won’t paint you black or white. I won’t put a label on you because I have respect for you as a fellow human being. I would appreciate the same respect.

Children, Animals, Kryptonite and Antibiotics

Since my last blog, I’ve received quite a few comments and questions as to whether or not I am alright. It seems that my normally friendly, sensitive nature took a vacation and my blunt, less than kind comments really concerned a few people. So I’ve taken the past week to really reflect on what is going on.

I have always been an animal lover. Anyone who knew my in my childhood can attest to that and my current friends also are aware of my passion. It’s one of the reasons we have so many critters on our little ranch. Since I’ve had my own two, beautiful little girls, I’ve become aware of the wrongs done to children and in turn, become very passionate to their rights. Children and animals have no rights, are often treated as objects and with social media bringing it to the front, it’s hard for me to ignore it. So my blood boils and I become physically sick when I see abuse, blatant or otherwise. What fired me up that day was a person who was trying to argue as to why they had allowed the abuse to continue. For over four years! I don’t care if you felt sad, lost, waiting for God to make that decision. You were the adult, this soul depended on you to protect and take care of it. By allowing the abuse to continue, you allowed that soul to suffer. It honestly broke my heart and I publicly lashed out. My bad.

Along with this dangerous combination is the fact I have been very, very sick for the past two months. The amount of prescribed medication is mind-blowing and my days are scheduled around when I have to take pills. This is not an excuse, it’s a fact, but I do need to hold myself accountable for how it reacts with my body. As my family has told me, I am a crabby person on this medicine. This is noted and I will not forget.

I have been struggling with what is proper, how to get back to the kindness, how to fight for those who have no voices. I have heard that everyone has an opinion so you just need to keep yours to yourself because your children are watching and will model yours. Well, guess what. I don’t want my children to keep quiet. They were born to be heard, just as I was. I want them to stand up to injustices and abuse. I want them to say, “Oh, heck no! You cannot do that to me! It is not acceptable!” I want them to know that sometimes you have to make a stand. But I do agree that there are respectful ways to do it. Calling other people stupid is probably not a good way to do it. So while I will not apologize for feeling pain and hurt for a soul who was lost to something as horrid as abuse, I will promise to try to take a breath, go for a walk and think out my blog before I post it. I will try.
Have a blessed weekend and remember; Life is meant to be fun, enjoy the journey!