Tag Archive | family

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 continued

Yep, I missed a week. Actually, I missed a couple of weeks. I felt guilty at first, for all of those who read this, that I was letting you down but I had to take some time for me. I didn’t get on social media or meet with any friends. I really needed to reassess my life because I was ready to end it. Yep, I said it. I was ready for the big D.

Friends, let me tell you, when you are down, vulnerable and exposed, there are souls who will come into your life disguised as kind people who want to be your friend and then take you to the cleaners. I must have sucker written across my forehead because I got scammed a couple times and the timing couldn’t be worse. So I needed time to lick my wounds and heal my soul. It’s still not healed but I feel stronger than I have…until today.

Madison’s four month post-op was today so she had to have x-rays done two weeks ago for her surgeon to see. Of course I took pictures and I’ll admit, I didn’t think they looked very good. I showed them to her physical therapist who agreed, they just didn’t seem right. Large lumps and stalactite looking bone formations surrounded her surgical breaks but nothing was filling in at the actual breaks. In another image, it appeared she had a fracture going through the center of some of her new bone growth. Again, not good. So the imagination takes over and you begin to wonder if she is going to have to have surgeries again, or if her bones never heal, would she have to endure grafts? It goes on and on. These were all questions we wanted her surgeon to answer. The least of our concerns were how her ankles turned in when she walked. Worry and stress about the x-rays were on the forefront of our hearts and minds. The appointment today couldn’t come fast enough.

So now we are an hour past her appointment and I have a migraine from the information I’ve received. We were completely wrong about her x-rays, which is WONDERFUL news. Everything is healing perfectly and she is on track. She was even released to start riding her horse again. Best news ever! Then he addressed the ankles. With the extreme inversion, we need to start with orthotics to see if that straightens her ankle/knee and hip alignment. If it doesn’t, she would need to go in for surgeries that are more extensive and complicated than the surgeries she just endured. He said they are way worse than her femoral rotations and he will do them if she needs them…but only as a last resort.

I’d like to end this on a happy note but today I can’t. I’m kind of over everything, if that makes sense. I’m over scammers, I’m over fake friends, I’m over doctors who should listen to parents when they bring their child in YEAR AFTER YEAR saying that something is wrong with their child when they walk/sit. I know I’m the only one who can get out of this funk and I will. I have two incredible girls who deserve to have the best mother possible. I just need to take the time for ME (away from the family so they don’t see my tears) and figure out HOW to get my big girl panties back up and be the Momma Bear next to my little warrior. Actually both of them because my Ashlie girl has been right there alongside every step of the way. What amazing girls I have.

So if your child is walking/sitting wrong and the doctor says it’s normal or they will “grow out of it” or they are just flexible or “double-jointed”, do you and your child a favor. Go get another opinion. Preferably from a professional from Children’s Hospital because the home-town docs I’ve experienced have too much of a God complex to give parents any credit. Take care of you and your family first, screw their feelings because they sure don’t care after the fact of what you and your child will have to endure.

Peace out and many blessings until the next time.

Femoral rotations and Post-Op Week Results

Yikes, I missed last week and I sincerely apologize. It’s been a tough week and I’m not going to sugar-coat it. Our trip to Children’s Hospital went anyway but smooth and the results weren’t what we had hoped or even anticipated. I’ve also been sick with the stomach flu and/or stress this past week so yeah, everything BUT Madison went on the back burner.

Our trip down was insane. The reservations we had at Extended Stay America got messed up, the guest clerk couldn’t care less that we didn’t have a place to stay and turned us back out onto the street. Despite all of that we went to the hospital sure that her post-op would be amazing. How wrong we were.

The doctor wasn’t there, which we knew before coming down. We were to see the PA. She had new x-rays taken of Madison’s legs. She wanted Madison to be off of her crutches by the time school starts in 5 weeks and wanted her walking better. This was all disappointing news because we thought she was doing great, including her physical therapist. Granted this was the first time we had ever me the PA, so I’m not sure if she is just gruff normally but she wasn’t encouraging at all and kind of crushed Madison’s pride. Madison thought she was doing great, as we all had.

Then the news from her x-rays. She has very aggressive bone growth around the breaks in her femurs. Some of the bone is lumpy and you can feel it on the outside of her thigh. If you look closely in the x-rays, you can see where it starts quite a few inches above the break, curves out (thickens) and then goes back down. Some is to be expected because her legs are healing but hers is “aggressive” and can cause problems if it continues. So we have to have more x-rays done in 6 weeks. At this point we don’t know if the severe pain she’s experiencing while walking and on her feet is just normal, bone-healing pain or if it’s the extra bone. Time will tell.

And on a last bummer note, while her feet are finally facing forward, she is walking towards the inside which is twisting her ankles. Her physical therapist is placing a call into her doctor to see if we can get orthotics to build up the inside of the bottom of her foot. If left as is, it can cause deterioration of her knees, hips and back.

On a good note, she was so determined after the comments from the PA that she ditched the wheelchair the day we got back home. She is only using crutches and trying so hard to walk without them even but she still has no balance. I see my daughter fighting so hard to get back to normal and I refuse to tell her she’s not doing enough. She’s a fighter and I won’t dampen that beautiful spirit of hers.

Until next week, I hope you take every day as a blessing and if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out. I’ll help anyway I can, as I’m learning as I go! Peace, blessings and here’s to healing legs!

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!

Femoral Leg Rotations and Parents Part 2

PART TWO

I didn’t want to leave anyone hanging over the weekend so I’m posting today. Today has been a super rough day. She had physical therapy first thing this morning and had difficulty even moving her legs off of the bed to get up. My vibrant, bouncy daughter is shuffling along like she’s ninety years old. Through the tears she smiles, never wanting anyone to feel uncomfortable around her. She is truly amazing.

So how is she walking with two broken legs? Because of the steel rods they inserted down through the center of her femurs, it allows her to relearn how to walk without having to wait for the bones to heal. She was up and walking the day after surgery, albeit it was only a couple of steps but pretty impressive.

What to expect if your child has to go through the surgery or surgeries. Physical therapy!! Get your child into physical therapy at least six weeks before they have their surgery done. Muscle, tendons and ligaments will need to stretch with this rotation, regardless of the degree of rotation so if they are flexible and limber before the surgery, the less damage is possible. It also helps rebound quicker after the surgery. Nerve endings. We were told that nerve endings do not stretch. They don’t have play in them and if they are stretched too far they snap, which can result in temporary or even permanent nerve damage. Madison’s rotations were a huge 25-degree rotation on each leg, five percent more than what they had anticipated. She has ZERO nerve damage. Doctors swear that the physical therapy couldn’t help that part but I don’t believe them. They don’t know everything, as we’ve already learned. I’m a huge advocate for the physical therapy before and of course, after.

Things you are going to need. A walker, a wheelchair, a potty chair for over the toilet, a shower chair and a bedroom with no stairs. They will tell you that your child will be getting up and walking right after surgery but it’s only a couple of shuffling steps. Madison struggled just standing up from the hospital bed, let alone walking very far. One of the other things we got was a belt. It’s specifically made to go around their chest and under their arms. It is wonderful for helping them stand since their balance is non-existent. I recommend gathering these things and bringing them home before the surgery. We drive a Nissan Rogue and live five hours away from Children’s Hospital. We were set up at the Ronald McDonald house just a mile from the hospital (though this momma slept on the pull-out sleeper in Madison’s room) and if there are any donators out there, please consider donating to the Ronald McDonald houses. They are truly a blessing for families.

Anywho, I digress. The four of us drove down for Madison’s surgeries and they had her equipment there for us to take home. There was so much that my husband had to rent a truck and he and our youngest daughter had to take half of it home with them. There was no way we were going to fit the equipment, luggage and bodies into that SUV of ours.

Also stock up on lots of things for them to do in bed. Madison spent a good amount of time playing her games online with her friends but even that gets old. She received a care package from a sweet friend that had crossword puzzles, thread to make friendship bracelets, spirograph and other fun goodies like that. I also bought her some modeling clay to make some sculptures.

I know I will have more tips and ideas to offer. Things that you think about after this is already done so if I can help you before the surgeries, then I’ll be a happy camper.

One other thing that I’d like to point out. You are going to go through a lot of emotions regardless if you’re a man or a woman. My husband wasn’t freaking out over the surgeries themselves but over the healing and pain afterwards. I was freaking out over the surgeries (what if something went wrong and she didn’t come out of anesthesia, lost her legs, lost feelings, etc. Mom brains are crazy) so it was great when we talked about our fears and concerns with each other because it allowed us to be strong during the times when the other person felt weak. So definitely lean on each other. You may not understand why the other person is freaking out over what you consider fine but the same may go for your partner. Just understand that you have different fears and concerns and you can be strong together.

Have a fantastic weekend and we will talk to you next week!

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

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.

Society of black, white and extremes

I Facebook it, I Tweet, I’m beginning to Musical.ly, I see the world through cyber eyes. And the more I see, the more I realize that we are becoming a black or white society. If you hate this, then there is NO way there is anything good about it. If you like that, then there is NO way there is anything is bad about it. Whatever happened to the grays in life?

I live in a coal mining community. Have for the past 8 years. We moved from a tree hugger community. When we first moved up here, I informed my husband (yeah, never inform anyone ANYTHING because that will guarantee that they are going to do it!) that I NEVER wanted to be a coal miner’s wife. I knew nothing about coal mining except it was dangerous. Well I have been a coal miner’s wife for 5 years now. They are NOT a bunch of inbred, uneducated hicks like many believe. They are dedicated, hard-working, family and community minded souls. They are risking their lives every single day so that we have electricity, heat, power, your Xboxes and PlayStations. So when I hear about people bashing coal industry and how much it RUINS the land and how amazing solar power is, I get frustrated. So I posted on my Facebook page pictures of a surface mining operation in progress, the reclaimed land a few years later of that SAME mine and then one of a solar panel field, in which ALL life was decimated. My entire point was there is good AND bad aspects to EVERYTHING.

Another thing I read, I believe it was on MSN, is a group who is complaining about our youth. Our youth is self entitled, lazy, disrespectful and it’s ALL because parents coddled them as babies, spoiled them, never let them cry in their cribs. As a mother of two beautiful young ladies, I call bullshit on that. I NEVER let my girls cry in their cribs. When they needed me I was there. They didn’t have to cry themselves to sleep. My girls have everything they need, and quite a bit of what they want. The difference is my girls know that they need to work for things and continue working. They have A’s and B’s in school, volunteer when needed, will help a fellow friend who is down and is right out there repairing fencing and plow trucks in the cold and mud with the adults. Hhhmmmm, okay, so that theory was blown to hell.

Now the thing that is blowing up our Internet and news are the presidential candidates. Everything is black and white. IF you like this candidate, then you MUST be a terrorist, or capitalist, or extremist or …..it goes on. No one is willing to admit that there can be good AND bad in each candidate (heck, they are all politicians so we KNOW the bad is there, now to find the good) and society is quick to jump on the lynching bandwagon if you mention anything you MIGHT or MIGHT NOT like about a situation. I choose not to discuss politics. My founding fathers gave me my right to vote quietly, discreetly and peacefully, following my heart and soul, without having to be socially flogged or berated for my beliefs. I know that whoever is elected, there is going to be good AND bad and I pray that the good will outweigh the bad. I have my daughter’s futures to worry about.

How I’m going to handle things is TRY to practice tolerance. The big T word that so many people talk, preach and post about but so little actually act on. I’m different, unique, as are we all, so why am I going to jump on a judgmental bandwagon that only knows extremes? I’m not. JMO.

Remember, Life is meant to be fun; Enjoy the journey!