Archive | January 20, 2012

ALL- Around Wonderful Blogger Award.~ Seriously?

All-Around Wonderful Blogger

Once again I have been touched beyond anything that I am able to express in words. I know! Me not having any words to say about something.
Yet this award has taken me from feeling a bit blue (only because I am not feeling 100%) to putting me on top of my mountain again. Just a paragraph or two from this most amazing woman did this. It should be bottled. Kindness is something that for many just comes first nature, Kate from her blog ” Believe Anyway” @ is one these types of women. She speaks to the gentle nature of my own soul in writing style and her expressions of life. I found her blog quite by accident, but then really it is never about accidents is it? There is a “purpose, a rhyme, and reason for every season.”
Whether it is because of a purpose, a rhyme (riddle), or a reason Kate’s & mine’s paths crossed I don’t ask. There is no need to know because just knowing her is enough.. Trusting that she came into my world is enough.

I will accept this award today despite the blush on my face. I am truly quite puzzled by this attention to my voice. I am not someone who thinks of herself as anything special so this kind of attention, recognition feels awkward.

I write because it’s who I am. When what I say reaches and touches someone in any way I am humbled. This journey in life has and will take me down many bumpy roads, fast lanes, and hills with inclines that possible may break me. This is what I believe life is about. At least this is what my journey in my life is about.

Writing helps me navigate those roads, lanes, hills as if writing is my built-in GPS. It takes helps me map out the journey sometimes, and other times it helps me log in the miles for future deductions. As I believe that life is about the journey, not the destination traveling with goals and expectations can cause some discomfort. Yet the pillow comfort of writing helps soften the bumps and lets me put a balm on what hurts.

It delights me to no end that others like Kate find that what I share has some value in her own journey.
I thank her here for the recognition and faith in me that this is something blogging road is one I should continue following.




From the Hug Awards Website:

“Hope is an expectant desire; a confidence in a future event; a ground for trust and confidence; to think; to look forward to with trust and expectant desire.”

The HUG Award© is for people with an expectant desire for the world, for which they

Hope for Love………..Hope for Freedom………..Hope for Peace

Hope for Equality………..Hope for Unity……….Hope for Joy and Happiness

Hope for Compassion and Mercy……….Hope for Faith

Hope for Wholeness and Wellness……….Hope for Prosperity

Hope for Ecological Preservation……….Hope for Oneness

©tjhelser 2012

Newt’s Nemisis. & His House trouble

Newt Gingrich - Caricature

Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

So I am wondering why with all the negatives in the press about Newt Gingrich why the former House Speaker‘s time of discipline during his reign is not being discussed? That in 1997 Newt Gingrich was sanctioned by his peers $300,00o . Then, in the 208 year old history of the House of Senates something like this had never been done. This was (& still should be) an embarrassment to Republicans.  And still is an embarrassment to this country.

Could this possibly be why we are not hearing about this when all his other skeletons are being dragged out? Are the republicans ashamed?

Yet through all the mud slinging not one mention of this. Not even from the Democrats.

“Newt has done some things that have embarrassed House Republicans and embarrassed the House,” said Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.). “If [the voters] see more of that, they will question our judgment.” as reported in The Washington Post January 22, 1997

It was reported then and obviously was enough proof for the House to vote to censure him.  That Gingrich had admitted that he brought discredit to the House and broke its rules by failing to ensure that financing for two projects would not violate federal tax law and by giving the House ethics committee false information is enough for me to know that this is not my candidate choice.

Ironically in the same Post article:  “the ethics case and its resolution leave Gingrich with little leeway for future personal controversies, House Republicans said”

I am confused. Is this the same House, the same Ginrich, the same republicans?  Things that make you want to go Hmmm….Did Newt turn over a new leaf?  Religion maybe?  Really?

“The 395 to 28 vote [closed] a tumultuous chapter that began Sept. 7, 1994, when former representative Ben Jones (D-Ga.), then running against Gingrich, filed an ethics complaint against the then GOP whip. The complaint took on greater significance when the Republicans took control of the House for the first time in four decades, propelling Gingrich into the speaker’s chair.”

Not surprisingly many democrats felt the fine was not stiff enough, and that it should have been paid out of his personal monies and not campaign funds or legal coffers. I wonder how and if the fine was ever paid. Another day of research in order?  Maybe someone who is reading this knows, or will be challenged to find the answer.

For Gingrich, it was another humbling event in a remarkable series of peaks and valleys since 1994. That year, he led his party to the promised land of control of the House and Senate, only to threaten it when he was blamed for two partial government shutdowns during the battle over the budget, making him seem reckless.

And this is who our people believe should have the unmistakably most difficult job of running our country’s budget?  If it had been proven that I in prior jobs to be inept and disruptive to the manner of running the business in a fiscal sense would I be hired for the same position again? Or one with even more responsibility? Would make no sense to hire me and jeopardize the integrity of the business.  Why not just set the business up to lose money and possibly bankrupt?

Gingrich also complained about his treatment on a long flight aboard Air Force One, making him seem petty. The GOP narrowly retained its House majority that November in 1997, giving him a brief reprieve. The next month, he admitted to the charges brought by the ethics subcommittee.

So trust is an issue too?  If he could bold face lie or deny any wrong doing then, so openly and brazenly behaving unethically then what stop him from feeling so privileged as our country’s leader? I am afraid to ask. Not only that I am fearful of allowing him that power,but also that freedom.

During the sanction Gingrich stuck his head in the sand so to speak. In addition The Washington Post reported back then in 1997:

“The speaker was barely visible yesterday, staying away from the House floor during the 90-minute debate and vote on his punishment. He was in his office and did not watch the proceedings on television, according to spokeswoman Lauren Maddox. Gingrich left late yesterday afternoon for a two-day GOP House leadership retreat at Airlie Farm and Confere He smiled broadly and said “yes.

House Democrats had considered trying to force a vote then on reconsidering Gingrich’s Jan. 7 reelection as speaker — the first for a Republican in 68 years — but decided against it, fearing it would distract from the harsh punishment being meted out. In addition, Democrats believe enough damaging information has been presented to tarnish the speaker, Democratic leadership aides said.”

Apparently special counsel James M. Cole concluded that Gingrich had violated tax law and lied to the investigating panel, but the subcommittee would not go that far. In exchange for the subcommittee agreeing to modify the charges against him, Gingrich agreed to the penalty Dec. 20 as part of a deal in which he admitted guilt.

And this is someone we should consider? I wonder why none of this is being discussed during his campaign and while the country’s primary’s are happening. Instead the media is focusing on such minor things as to whether he did or did not ask his ask ex-wife to join him in an open marriage? Seriously.  While although what our president does and behaves in his private life is a concern I believe that discussing or questioning Gingrich on the events that unfolded in 1997 and before is much more relevant to our country’s current needs That this behaviors  he would bring to the White house has more urgent need of exposing.

Whether he would lie, try to avoid tax laws, or deny any kind of wrong doing trumps whether or not he believed in open marriages in another time of his life in 1999.

The whole issue comes down to trust with me. And to be honest I’d rather not have a documented liar  & cheat in the White House leading my country.

And that my friends is how I feel. Gee, are you not glad you did not ask me to tell you how I really feel?

©tjhelser 2012





Finding That Loving Feeling


(Through Peter Yarrow and Winter Storm Warning’s).

It’s been a few weeks since I have had the creative wings to soar. Somehow I have lost my mojo and creating anything has left me high and dry.

I’ve started a canvas for a new collage, yet it just has a coat of white gesso and a light layer of Sunnyside Up yellow. That’s it. I have of course the slight out line in my head, but once I start working with other mediums the goal I am working towards starts guiding me to it’s end.
But where is my creative mojo? The voice that lets me express myself through my hands and some kind of medium.
Where is that loving feeling?

Although I crave being creative, and have to work with my hands, this latest block is one of mega proportions.

Here it is again.

Ultimate frustration with myself. With this body that is just a vessel for my soul. Yet it is one that I need at its full capacity  and when it does not live up to my expectations I get flustered, embarrassed, angry, and very frustrated.

I knew the weather was doing a number on me and as hard as I tried to head it off I  should have remembered I was done in before I started.
This is called chronic illness. No matter what the illness some of the symptoms are universal to chronic illnesses. There are those  symptoms that can be different, associated only with a particular illness. And then there is the difference in our bodies, how we individually respond and react to things.

I’m not certain which one is involved when the barometer is at work on my tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints, I just know from pattern watching that I am most certainly affected by when the barometer drops. I have written before about how my body can tell. I’m certain to some I may sound very like a nut. And that’s okay. I understand. I used to think my grandma was missing something very key. I wish I knew then what I know now.

How many times will I say that since the wise elder women in my family have all passed.? I wonder if my grandma had some way that she prepared herself. And that being questioned, I wonder if and how it impaired her life. Because it was certain that letting on to any of her family that anything was wrong, or was hurting, was just not going to happen. It was her way. It was the way of her time. Old School yes, but very old school even by my generation’s terms.
Sharing things like being in physical pain was just not done. And there is a lot to be said about that is many ways. But there is also a lot to be said about being stoic that can be harmful to your mental health, not to mention your physical health.

I wonder still (before I continue to digress) what kind of activities or forms of mindfulness my grandma used to help stave off the effects of the barometric pressure changing and the effects on her body. I need to know.

This last few days while the pressure kept plummeting I started getting more fatigued and pain symptoms began spiking. It happens every time. Long before it was suggested to me to keep a pain journal I had no idea what would trigger spikes. I cannot control all of the spikes in symptoms but there are things I now know that I can do that often make a difference in length and intensity.
This is how I discovered that barometric pressure changes affect my some of my symptoms.

There is plenty of documentation concerning this. THE WEATHER CHANNEL has a complete link dedicated to how the weather can affect your Aches & Pains.  A Forecast.  Really!

It’s pretty cool. Kind of like the one for the pollen count. And I did not even know about this tool, if you will, until I began searching for facts about this topic. Some even have a name for this phenom:  Human Barometers, I discovered. While I will not go as far as saying this, I was happy to discover there was actual literature, studies and anecdotal stories about this.

This winter storm and the ensuing ones according to the national &  local meteorologist’s are exacerbating the fatigue in my chronic fatigued body, and spiking the pain in a body that deals with chronic pain daily. So it’s not that any of this is new.

Yet the timing of these winter storms really blow. No pun intended.  We have a concert to see Saturday night which means the artist, Peter Yarrow must be able to arrive at our small airport. Albeit the airport is always ready for the worst weather there is no control over incoming flights when the ground cannot be landed on for what ever reasons due to in-climate weather. It happens a lot here, but we thought by January we’d be so full into the season that another snow storm would be just another day. OOPS! Not when the first storm of the season does not happen until mid January. We are a resort town, we rely on snow for our city’s largest source of revenue. Summer & Winter our town rocks.
But the first snow storms of the season always take everyone off guard.  Gee, I wonder if they could use a human barometer?

Still wondering then if Peter Yarrow…  yes folks!  Of  THE Peter Paul & Mary,…still wondering if his flight will make to the high desert for his concert in our humble small city. This is to be the start of a very luxurious week for the man in my life & I. We have a date week planned. Peter Yarrow Saturday night, the next morning a trek over the mountain passes  (more indulgence into the Winter Storm Warning) into our states largest city for the night. Then up the next morning, lazy start to the day and another couple of hours  trek over the coastal mountains to the beach we go. For a well awaited & deserved week in a condo right on the beach. This beach is one we both grew up going to every chance our families got.  In fact my husband’s parents moved right near this coastal town when he finished high school. We raised our daughters going every time we could get away from the valley. This is  our beach town. Small, quiet, and not the tourist trap so many are. We rarely share this gem with anyone just for those reasons.

This time away is necessary and we’d go more often if I traveled better. Which is why we are breaking up a  normally 5 hour drive into two days. Spending the night part way is so by the time we get there I am able to enjoy the week. Surrounded by a handful of pillows I make the trek over as comfortable as I can.

I am wondering and looking at my own inventory to see if there is any truth to the idea that this last few week’s lack of mojo is about all of this. Did my creative energy start to wane when the reservations were being searched out? Has my creative mojo flown south when I began the process of getting this vessel called my body ready to head west?
That the idea of prepping myself for a week away from my normal routines which I know from prior experiences can exacerbate my symptoms, that this could be adding stress I am not able to recognize? I don’t know. It sure does not seem like it yet there are pointers here I need to look at closer.

First the slack in any kind of creative energy for me is weird. I am the kind of creative entity that doodles when I’m on the phone, read art books in the loo. Any free time I have I spend using my hands to make something. Even cooking is a creative process for me.
Yet weeks ago my energy began dipping. No art, no card making, no needlework, food that was barely called meals. Then this week I can barely write. What usually would take a few hours to complete what I call a days work now is taking many days. Emails that are really pen pal letters and that usually take the form of short stories have been short and to the point. My enjoyment is not any less. Just that my body will not last with the burning energy I need to express myself in ways that are necessary for my healthy self. My expressive self.

This should have been a sign but even old baroness’s can be taught new tricks. And living with a chronic illness is all about tricks.

For my next trick to add to my arsenal of tricks that help me cope will be adding this need to be more aware. Aware when my body is preparing for something big.  Something big like a Winter Storm Warning which sends the barometric pressure downward, and is a sign that my small world will change for a time. And something big like an evening concert with my biggest folk artist hero Peter Yarrow. Yet not to be out done by the week in the condo at the beach with my best friend forever. My husband.

Learning to listen to ones self is really hard. Learning to listen to ones body is almost a constant struggle. Quieting down the mind-the chatter that we all fill our selves up with is key. Quieting down the heart long enough to have heart for one’s self is loving, not selfish. These are lessons I am still working on.

Maybe one day these kinds of things will not be such a big deal to my life.

But then again… just maybe these kinds of things should remain huge in one’s life. If not they could become small everyday things that  no longer excite the body, the mind and the heart.

Maybe that would be more of a shame.

©tjhelser 2012