Miss Maya and the Missing Link

One of my favorite felines, Maya Angelou, has come so incredibly far in her quest to find herself. I am a firm believer in the notion that animals have souls, and like Angelou she is a fearsome lioness, a freedom fighter-a survivor.

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Born 8 years ago, the last of my longhairs (I kept the entire litter, four cats in all)she was petrified of her own shadow. The runt of the litter, she was always last to get nursed, last to be bathed, pushed aside like so much dander. She immediately found a hidey hole, up in the rafters of our bedroom. Incredibly tiny, I often feared she would fade away. It was because of her frailty that I put off having her fixed- rather than take her to the Humane Society clinic for thirty five dollars, as I did with each and every other cat before-I had her spayed by our family vet, who charged me over four hundred. I know. I know. This made my husband cringe and carry on-one of the reasons Maya hides to begin with. Dwain has a strong and deep voice-he frightens all of our cats; yet Maya would run upstairs and jump to her happy place-not to be seen for days.

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We have cared for a myriad of cats over the years. Living out in the country, desperate people have done desperate things, like drop their cats and kittens off at a stranger’s home: but I look at it this way-they were meant to be with me. I have my favorites (current cat population:17)and thirteen of them live outside. They have a really groovy pad under the giant pine out back, and a covered cat home beneath our deck. We feed them, nurse and vaccinate each and every cat, thanks to the generosity and passion of Nobody’s Cat Foundation. They neutered/spayed fifteen cats, giving them vaccinations as well, at no cost to myself. I will be sending them something at Christmas, for as long as they are up and running.

She doesn’t hide any longer. She lives in our bedroom, proud and precious, content in the world she has created. She likes her pillows just so and her catnip must be placed to the right of her toy mouse. I feed her can food once a day, and as long as her needs are met? She purrs at warp volume, she kills me with kitty kisses and blinks her undying affection.12311171_932332183509072_157103928902352993_n

Fresh out of the shower, and feeling a bit more positive, I played with Miss Thang in her sun spot. She has put on weight, and her coat is like mink. And then it all came together in this supernatural way. I could see it in her cat eyes, the strength, courage and love-emanating from a cat who was at one time so depressed she pulled her hair out, in clumps.

WE HAVE BOTH WON OUR BATTLE OVER VICTIMHOOD. WE ARE SURVIVORS. WE ARE LOVED UNCONDITIONALLY BY A GOD WHO SENT HIS ONLY SON TO PAY FOR OUR SINS, SO THAT WE MAY SPEND ETERNITY WITH OUR LORD AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST.

Me and Maya?

We got it licked.

Rabbit on the Run

This song takes me back to King of Prussia and our local ice skating rink. I can smell the ice, taste the poignancy of the moment-now lost to time. Lately, as I’ve looked back upon my fifty seven years; I am amazed that I have such a propensity of good memories-you would think quite the opposite. The facts are I was pretty darn happy until anorexia. My closeness to my father had not yet threatened my mother to the point of narcissistic abuse-although Mary Lou died young? She became a loving and generous mother, whom I have completely forgiven. I seethed in rage for years and years, like any addict; popping any pill I could to change my reality-to just feel better for a moment or two. I pushed down my rage and grief, and the end result almost killed me.

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The anger had to come out some way: windows were broken, suitcases packed-even physical restraint because I had become violent from drinking. This all happened after mom died. You see, rather than dealing with the emotion, or addressing a concern with a family member-I took everything out on myself. Somehow, some way along the line, someone had taught me I deserved to be punished. That I was so unworthy that to this day I have to keep my reality in check.

If I was furious with Dwain? I drank myself to sleep. Smoked two packs of cigarettes. If I thought no one loved me? I would cut my skin, as if to say “of course, no one loves you because you are unlovable…,” the pain from the self harming soothed me, pouring over me like so much manna-in essence, the pain transcended the emotional trauma, serving to distract my shattered heart.

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One day an epiphany: I am not the predator. I don’t purposely hurt others. I had love and joy in my heart, Christ in my very being. Why were so many people, those whose job was simply to love me; why was I constantly in emotional pain? More importantly-why was I allowing them the opportunity? It took years of trusting, loving and following Jesus; before I could trust Him enough to realize the truth of the matter. I am a sensitive Empath who bleeds openly for others, especially animals as their nature is pure. I can’t sit through an SPCA commercial, for crying out loud. I am opinionated. I have made a few more enemies than I would prefer, but when I believe in something; when the Holy Spirit is telling me I am right on the mark? Well, then I am a rabid dog, biting at the chance to right the wrong. I don’t like authority, ignorance, condescension or bullies. It takes me an hour to get ready in the morning and I am high maintenance; meaning I carry seltzer, gum and mace wherever I go-it drives my husband crazy, especially on Sundays: I always oversleep, which means I have to bring my coffee and makeup along as well.

Through faith, and because I cling to His robes for dear life-I have learned that people who treat you with disrespect, violence or apathy; well, they don’t belong in your life. You are a beloved child of God. You deserve to be loved, respected and treated as others would like to be treated by you! It isn’t easy to end a friendship, but I have had to end my familial relationships, and if that doesn’t make you tough as nails, well, I don’t know what will.

And once you start treating yourself with love, dignity and reverence-others won’t even try messing with your heart. They’ll know you won’t put up with it; they’ll know that you are somebody.

Checkpoint Charlie

 

 

I attended the funeral of a sister to a dear friend this morning.  The service was held in Kleinfeltersville, my home town.  As we entered the parking lot, we took note that it was a full house, and I smiled, sadly-remembering 15 years ago-when we buried my best friend, Barbie.  Today was about celebrating the life of Fran Compenhaver, who also happened to be Barbie’s sister.  I had never met her, but I am rather close to her family, in a myriad of ways.

Inspecting my latest tick bite, I shook my head, disgusted.   I cried out to God-what now?  I cannot continue on these antibiotics-they aren’t good for our kidneys and extended use can be extremely dangerous.  I had literally just finished the Doxycycline, and the fatigue, migraine and fever all screamed their bloody heads off-telling me that I had to do something different-after five years of going round and round with Lyme disease?  I knew I had to get truly serious and begin some research.

As I read, my mouth remained open to the point that saliva slid from the corner of my lips.  I couldn’t believe what I was reading:

From a Lyme disease specialist:  …so, antibiotics simply do not work in killing the spirochete that causes the disease itself.

“Craptastic,” I mutter, as my anxiety mounts to the point of near hysteria.

The article went on to say that even extended doses of doxy do not cure the disease: they kill the bacteria, yes, causing symptoms to recede, if not vanish completely.  Yet the spirochete remains, causing reoccurring and chronic Lyme.

ok, what the shit am I going to do?

I had made an appointment with a rheumatologist for October.  My physician may mean well, but he didn’t diagnose (let alone look  at my tender and swollen Lymph node) me.  I diagnosed myself six months later, when my husband and I burst into the practice the day after Christmas, 2013.  Luckily, I didn’t see my regular physician, this time a woman; a compassionate, understanding, well educated woman.

“I believe I have Lyme disease (I was drenching in sweat, wearing my tattered bathrobe-hadn’t even tried to comb my hair, and as the good doctor took note, was white as a ghost) please give me 30 days of Doxycycline and we’re done here.”  I ended up having to go for an ultrasound-the lymph node was now the size of a grapefruit; then a uterine biopsy, and then two years of normalcy, energy and strength.

Back to this morning.  My mouth was slack jaw because of the next few words:

In short, Stevia cures Lyme by killing the spirochete.  Here is the link to the article:

STEVIA?  Why, I had a Stevia plant in my garden.  I promptly ran out and picked the biggest leaf I could find, and swallowed the sweetness…and here’s where it gets good.  I had been feeling absolutely awful for a week.  As I sat in Dwain’s truck I did inventory.  I wasn’t stuffed up, my headache abated, lost energy returned and my mood improved dramatically…and the best part?  Seven days.  A leaf of Stevia for seven days.

This is how Jesus leads us, but we need to pray for ourselves as well.

Ask and you shall receive.

As we left the service, in which we reunited with dozens of friends we hadn’t seen since my recovery.  We were the partiers, the click, the druggies and the hippies.  We rocked Kleinfeltersville, shook it up a bit, got ourselves some reputations.  And here we were, together again-but this time complaining about aches and pains, sharing doctor’s numbers and hearing about other losses of which we had not a clue.

And as the crowd prepared to descend on the K-ville Hotel (our collective bar of choice) Dwain took my hand.  We walked in the other direction, somewhat stoic, older and wiser.

In loving memory

Barbie, you were with us today, and I know that with every fiber of my being~

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Barbara Ann Shipper

Please don’t take one another for granted, not even for a second.

Only God knows for whom the bell tolls.

 

 

Spoon Man

 

Did you know that God has an amazing sense of humor?  Well, He does-and I share that with Him; however, the joke is almost always at my expense, and today?  Well today was no different.

It’s about one hundred degrees in the shade, and muggy as hell.  I detest this weather, however, the dog needs to be walked-and I am a glutton for punishment.  Been that way since I was a wee toddler, asking questions that had no answer, (Mary Lou did not take kindly to my constant questioning of everything) packing my Barbie suitcase in defiance-I would run to the Teany’s house-hey, they had one of those pianos that plays by itself, and their home was SO cozy-usually because my real mom was locked in the linen closet.

As a child, I was convinced that Marilyn Monroe was my real mother.  When mom got cranky?  I told myself that Marilyn would come and find me one day-and then she’d pay, oh yes, my mother would pay the price for causing me discomfort.  🙂

So, I’d run to the neighbor’s house, beg for cookies, unpack my suitcase (various crayons and doll heads, no body, just heads) and revel in my independence for the entire ten minutes it took for me to be retrieved-I cried every time Mrs. Teany called mom-I wouldn’t get my cookies, and needless to say?  Mom was not the happiest camper when finding herself interrupted by her freakishly brazen daughter.  I was four, for Pete’s sake.marilyn monroe

Back to our :  I drove down to the lake, thinking it would be cooler, and parked.  The fishing guy was there, of course, as he was every morning -grumbling about the lack of bites; ornery but sweet as they come.

I haven’t been down here in awhile.  Last time I saw a snake!!!”

And indeed I had.  The rat bastard hid under a bush, just waiting for some dumbass to come along-then he’s make his move.   That’s right-and I ran like a cartoon character, as fast as my legs would carry me.  I run from twigs that look like snakes as well, and, praise GOD, people don’t usually hear my screaming-a bit like a Tourette’s patient on crack- I have a really big mouth.

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Okay…I always have to pee on our hikes.  I have no problem with modesty (who hasn’t seen a naked hiny?????) but try to plan my spot strategically, avoiding any embarrassment, for the poor fool who finds me squatting.  I came to the perfect tree that would bear my weight, and got down to business.  The only problem?

The fucking mosquitoes saw that gimongous bullseye and went for it-right in between my ass cheeks, they held a bar mitzvah and talked amongst themselves.  Only I didn’t notice until I had resumed hiking.  I tried, like hell, to itch my buttocks-but my shorts were too tight.  That didn’t stop me from repeatedly pinching the area, looking for relief from the painful itch.  I tried to move faster, but it was an entire process folks.

And then it hit me.  This is a job for….SPOON MAN.  Why those words?  I have not one clue, but I can tell you that the picture in my head of some dude dressed up as a spoon, running through the trails of Middlecreek, well, that cracked my ass up-literally.

The laughter took my mind off of the direness; the problem at hand.  I had mace in my front pocket and my phone in my back, leaving not one iota of space in my jean shorts to, well, relieve myself, if you will.

By the time we returned?  The itching had ceased.

But Spoon Man?  He tickles my funny bone, this imagined super hero.

And for that I am incredibly grateful.

 

 

Q Anon=JFK, Jr.

 

What if I were to tell you that John F. Kennedy, Jr. is alive?  And what would you think if I told you he had faked his own death in 1999?  That is correct, they pulled a mannequin out of the murky waters of Nantucket, and he trusted one man with his plan-that man would be:  Donald J. Trump.

Would you or would you not believe me?

When I came upon this news, yesterday, whilst sitting in my sweaty gym clothes-preparing to write-I was filled with a knowing, the discernment that comes from Jesus.  This video caught me dead in my tracks.  On a search for the truth, which will indeed set us free, I began researching the phenomena that is our POTUS.  In doing so, I learned of things no one should ever have to know.  It is a grueling, nerve wracking journey-and every single minute up until this revelation?  It’s been worth it.  You see, knowing the TRUTH enables you to pray for the right people, keep yourself safe-your head above water.  Since my CPTSD diagnoses, I have a wicked fear inside of me.  I don’t want anyone or anything to sneak up on me.  Now that I have the gist of this, I can write, and please know that I wouldn’t be saying this if I hadn’t done hours and hours of research.

Why would JFK, Jr. fake his own death?  To avenge the death of his father and uncle.

Was his magazine George named after Washington, as most believe, or could it be named after the man who is responsible for his father’s death?

George Bush, Sr.

Watch the video, if you would like.  There are more like it out there, but hard to find.  What are your thoughts?

The air is sweeter, the stars shine brighter, my heart is at peace.

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith, be courageous and strong.” – QAnon

 

 

Joy and Peace

 

Two years ago, right before our 24th wedding anniversary and subsequent trip up to the cabin in Potter County-a man I called friend, shot his ex-girlfriend at point blank range:  in broad daylight, with children everywhere, at the Jigger Shop in scenic Mount Gretna.  Patrick then put the gun in his mouth and ended his mental anguish forever.  His ex died on site, and she left two heartbroken children behind.

I met Patrick and his brother Mitch when first dating my husband.  They were dear, uproariously funny and rebellious.  I left the Philadelphia area to get away from drugs, namely-cocaine.  Working at a Houlihan’s in the King of Prussia mall, I had developed a habit, and I had just shaken an addiction to methamphetamine months before.  Coke was the perfect substitute, and it was very, very easy to score.  When my then fiancée asked me to move with him to Pennsylvania Dutch Country, I jumped at the chance.  It wasn’t long before I met my current man, who, unfortunately, had a behemoth of an addiction himself.

Patrick and his brother, Mitch, were the local suppliers.  Patrick and his wife were the first friends I made out here-it wasn’t long before the midnight phone calls began-Liz, out of her mind frightened, as Patrick would come home drunk and ready to rumble-waking his wife and infant, smashing Christmas trees, and yes-he hit her.  More than once.   I would come and talk him down.  But I began to loathe him-domestic violence is no joke-I have been a victim of both emotional and physical abuse.  I stuck with Liz, but Patrick faded away.

At one point I heard he was doing jail time, for beating the crud out of his new bride, who just happened to be an attorney.  But nothing stuck, and his actions-combined with the mentality of local police and judges alike-would be dismissed out of hand.  Thus the murder-suicide.  Tragedy is an understatement, this rocked our collective worlds.

At that time, my sister was also creating in me a downward mental spiral.  I hadn’t even heard of Narcissistic Abuse; it was on this vacation that I found information that would, two years later, set me free.  Yet my state of mind when we arrived at the cabin?  I believe I was in shock, grieving and mentally/physically at my limit.

As we entered the cabin, Dwain went to turn on the water, heat and other appliances.  I went for the bottle of Tequila, and sipped slowly as I read the news from home.  I mixed the liquor with Juicy Juice, so my husband wouldn’t suspect anything.  I had been sober for the past nine years, but I made the deliberate choice to drown my sorrows,  I didn’t get drunk on this vacation, but it was enough to remind me how booze can take away the pain.  A reminder I didn’t need at the time.

Standing in the kitchen, just a few days ago, my husband asked a question which led to my confession.  The only person I had told, previous to this conversation was my friend Joyce, a fellow recovering addict.  In the rooms, we are told to make amends, absolutely, but not if the process would leave the person hurt.  I had thought of coming clean many a time over the last few months and years; I just couldn’t do it to Dwain-and no, it wasn’t an excuse.  I was afraid he wouldn’t take me to the beloved cottage in the woods of Potter County.  I was in fear of the truth marring his memories of our anniversary.  To tell him would be cruel, not?

I answered his question, then turned my face in his direction.  I confessed.  And it hurt him, very much so.  He screamed he couldn’t trust me, I screamed back.  I cried big, fat, ugly tears that evening-angry with myself, angry with my addictions and yes, even angry with my loving husband-who doesn’t deserve the likes of me, and never did.

The moral of the story is this:  yes, we want to be truthful, as Christians-it’s a pretty serious matter.  But the past is the past.

Keep it there.  Ask Abba for forgiveness.  And swear an oath of secrecy to Jesus, to yourself.  The past is just that, but the future awaits us-like a diamond in the rust.  Polish that stone often.  Don’t look back, for you are a child of God-and your remorse and repentance is more than enough.

 

I Am Warrior….

 

I dropped off Jesse at the groomer this morning.  The groomer is my gal pal Sherry, and her husband Scott.  I was privileged  to work for them six years ago, and even though they live less than a mile away?  I hadn’t really known them until I became one of their dog walkers.

Scott has been given six months to live.  He had oral cancer sixteen years ago, and the miracle is that he is still among the living.  At 60, he is not willing to have any treatments; his body has been through enough.  I have wept a million tears over this, but the good news is he is now using CBD oil, and I am asking for as many prayers as you can give:  we want a miracle, and I believe in the power of prayer.

After the initial cancer diagnoses, after the treatments (his face is unrecognizable to some, but to me, it’s the only face I have known) he became a born again Christian.  He drove around the tri-county area, stopping in with people he felt he owed an apology.  He began loving everyone and every minute of life he was granted.  He is as strong as they come, physically and mentally.  I don’t want him to go, I can’t lose another friend.  And my heart absolutely aches for his wife.

The good news is that he is trying a round of CBD oil, just recently prescribed.  Sadly, it took months to go through, and his first attempt wasn’t very pleasant.  He took a small dose the first night, then for reasons only know to him, he tripled the dose.  Too stoned to move, he lay in bed for two days.  He swore it off, but God had other plans and he is back on the small dose.

Life is so precariously short-I try my best to put aside petty differences, and forgive quite easily-I want my father in Heaven to forgive me, and the hardest thing I have ever done is forgive my sister.  But here’s the thing: we have a God to go to, our Lord and Savior-Jesus.  But what about those who don’t have the faith?  Well, our prayers mean everything.  I am living proof of that.  He is mighty and loving and all seeing.

And I am his warrior, from now until eternity.