The R word vs. the F word

This blog started when a friend of mine through Facebook posted the ‘word’ of the day and wanted her friends to use it in a sentence. Now, I will admit, I wasn’t feeling all that well. Actually the term I think I used was “snarky”, which is a fairly accurate term for my mood. The word that she used, most would find offensive but for me suddenly, my comment, my snarkiness, cause me to have a deep morale discussion.

While growing up, and in my feeble attempts to be an author, I understand the value and importance of words. A single word could make or break the picture and which we are trying to describe and capture our reader’s attention with.  A simple misinterpretation of a simple syllable could ruin everything! Example, once in middle school, one of my peers was asked to read the simple text talking about micro organism… Well instead of saying “organism” she uttered “orgasm” and caused a riot of laughter.

As a society, we have felt the need to shield our kids from bad words. I had a list of them growing up. And even when I heard my gray hair granny say “shit” for the first time, my poor little bubble of a world was shattered when I tried to correct her and say “we call it crap, granny.” And she looked at me and said “It is shit, and that is what it is. I am not going to try and fancy it up. Because quite frankly, it is shit.”

The word in question that has me worked up a bit is a four letter word that we feel the need to bleep out. Four letters, put together… three consonants and a vowel. You know the word. F U C K. I looked up the meaning of the word. It means to have an act to copulate, which means to have sexual intercourse with a willing partner. The animalistic course of merging two bodies together in a hot steamy pile of ecstasy. Something that EVERY ADULT ENJOYS!!! Married, or not, parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle. Admit it, we have all fucked in one way or another. It is normal people! Even the term “fucked up” is in reference to the point of orgasm in which the person has no higher function in their brain!

Now onto the point of this blog. We bleep out something that is normal, that we all do. The words are blotted over, and for the most part people pretend not to hear it. But what about the word Rape? You heard me! R A P E. This word is uttered on the news, on radio, tv stations, music… you name it, it is there. Whether I like it or not, my kids will hear the word rape, but will it be treated like the word fuck? NO! We won’t have people trying to cover the ears of our children as a reporter discuss a college woman who was recently raped. And Rape is something far worse than Fuck ever was. Quiet simply, is any act of sexual intercourse that is force upon another being.

So, you are telling me, that the word Fuck, which is just passionate willful sex, is something that must be bleeped out of society, but Rape, forcing someone to have sex, should not? Maybe we really are fucked up after all. I think Rape, is the worst swear word of all. Period.

Advertisements

Friendships

Over this weekend I had an interesting discussion with one of my friends. This person I have known for over 9, almost 10 years. And the only way to explain it is to write out the discussion, and to start with, I will set the scene. I had just gotten into another issue in which, the person that I had called friend, decided, that even with differing opinions, that we would no longer be friends. I didn’t do anything, really, that should have upset them, expect for expressing my opinion, and this had warranted the friendship to become null and void, at least in their eyes. Nothing illegal occurred, nor was there any blatant name calling. I don’t even think there was any jealousy, because I felt none for them, although I can not say the same for them. I was still in shock that expressing my opinion would cause this matter. I felt I had done nothing to lose their trust, but apparently this opinion of mine was one worthy of their dismissal.

Me: “They say be true to yourself, and that you should express your opinion and be free, but if you do and the opinion differs from theirs, then they will drop you quicker than a bag of rotten tomatoes. I just don’t get it. I have lost a lot of friends recently because of this! What is up with that?”

Friend: “Well, making friends is like dating. You have the first encounter where you are instantly attracted to a person, that connection, if you will.”

Me: (giggling) “But I am not homosexual, and married… We are talking about moms here.”

Friend: “Doesn’t make them any less attractive, you are a prime example of this. They are still human, and can still be attractive. You, yourself, are a mom, and are quiet attractive.” (This, of course, caused an eye roll from me, but they continued) “You had to date a lot of folks in order to find your spouse. Same thing, it takes time, and trial and error. That’s what I am trying to say. Don’t be so hard on yourself.”

It irritated me, but they were right. I was lucky with the whole marriage, dating part of my life. In less then a month after meeting my boyfriend, we were engaged, and then two months later, married. And we have been together ever since. Now, I am not saying that as a brag. No way. We have our issues, ALL THE TIME!! But we HAVE to forgive, compiled with a huge serving of humble pie and such. For the sake of our marriage, and the children that we have. If I was required to face these people whom I have been having issues with, and that we were forced to work together, I bet the outcome would have been different. I like to hope that would be the case anyway.

So maybe this sounds terrible, but I have my spouse, so I must wait a while longer to find a friend. That must be the issue. Friendships that I do have, I cherish. Maybe I need to learn a few lessons from my father “If you want to be my friend, you must make the effort… And I have enough friends, it isn’t worth the effort.”

Friendships are wonderful, yes, but forgiveness and humility are key parts of it. On both ends. Mine especially. And in the end, they may still not like me, but it isn’t worth changing who I am, to lose myself to make myself ‘attractive’ to another person. I am funny, helpful, and one who has a ‘bleeding heart’. That’s just part of who I am. Nothing will change that! 🙂 So if you can handle a stubborn, sarcastic woman, who loves cheesecake and ice cream, then it might be worth your time to befriend me!

January 2014

If you are looking for a post about resolutions, don’t look here. If you are looking for a how-to, keep moving on. I am not very eloquent about those matters, and usually am the kid in the back of the classroom begging for help as I have somehow managed to glue the container of glue to my forehead and notebook…

But if you are looking for something raw, inspirational, and hopefully beautiful, then keep reading. A few years ago I had my dream job. Most people who think that spending all night with someone who was in a comma as a painful job, but I loved it. Don’t misunderstand me, and think that this was an easy job, were I watched TV all night. How sadly mistaken you would be. Not only was a parent/guardian in the house, but a lot of noise would tend to upset the client. And plus there was the whole ‘medically fragile’, and inability to function without assistance that kept me, their aide on my toes.  But on an off chance that they were sleeping, (so I didn’t read to them) I would pass the time with crocheting. This was a simple thing that once on a summer day my bored mother thought she would try and teach me how. Needless to say, I did, and still do (although other medical issues make this difficult now).

Well, about a year at this job my husband informed me of an impending doom. We were moving, and at this point I was almost finished with the blanket I was making for my client. It was soft, and had the browns and green that my little house did. And composed mainly of granny squares and other weird stitches that I thought he would like. The square with white was especially difficult for me as I made it while we waited for M to return from the ER after a nasty bout of pneumonia. It was amazing that I had finished it so quickly, but I couldn’t stop pacing as I nervously waited in his room for him to return.  I hadn’t completed this blanket and none of the stores had the ‘right’ color to finish the border.

A year passed, and although I didn’t finish the blanket, the family, and client that I had gotten attached to was still incredibly close to my heart. I still had that promise that I would finish M’s blanket and he would enjoy it! He just had to… I had put so much effort into it, that I knew it would be just as much of a reminder of our time together for me as it was for him. Plus I knew he would be proud of me, which was equally as important.

Tragedy struck. M died. It broke me apart. He wasn’t my child, my brother, but he was. He inspired me… His parents taught me everything. Compassion, understanding, and even the grace of holding one’s tongue when all you really want to do is yell at them (not his parents but other individuals).

Today, while in search of winter clothing for this amazing cold snap, I found it. I found M’s unfinished gift from me. I allow the hollowness and shame to envelope me as I think back on the last two years with emptiness. Have I done things that I should be proud of? Yes. Have I had adventures? Yes. But have I finished the gift? No. Maybe it is some sick sadistic reason, but I still can not find the right color yarn. And I may never will. But as I wrap the incomplete blanket, I accept it’s warmth, I wonder if there is a lesson here that M is trying to teach me. That just because it doesn’t have a border like I imagine doesn’t mean it can’t provide me with comfort. Maybe this is his way of saying accept my faults, learn from them, and wrap myself in the growth they provide.

Or it could be that it is so cold that the lack of blood to my brain and fingers are making me all mushy.

Where ever you are M, I know you are looking out for me, and I will forever keep you in my heart.

What wood would you get? ‘Barking’ up the wrong tree.

When you have been with someone in a committed relationship, you quickly learn what things push their buttons, irritate them beyond belief. And sadly, I have discovered my partner’s. Ironically it is the same thing with me. But why would one item irritate the both of us?

To add some background to this puzzlement, I have to begin with where we have lived in this world. And the biggest, (the best) have been the great state of Alaska. Around September, October we would get together with many of the local youth of our church, and go gather firewood at state parks. They would cut down a bunch of trees, and we would, with their permission, chop it up into rounds, and then quarter it, giving it to families who were in need. We, of course, would take a portion of it for ourselves. This was usually several weekends to get enough wood to last the winter, but I loved having a fresh hot fire burning in a wood stove. There is something so comforting, powerful even of having a fire in your home. Then on one of our spare weekends, we would go down to the local beaches and harvest lumps of coal into the bed of our truck. It was finger numbing work, but the radiant heat coal gave off was incredible. It had the most unique smell, something I won’t ever forget. The smell of seaweed combine with burning salt will forever warm me up. 

So when we left Alaska, my husband thought that this need of a fire in the fireplace was over with. But how wrong he was. We didn’t have the raw resources that we did in Alaska, so I was at a lost. We got an apartment with a fireplace but I had no access to wood. Where was I going to get firewood? He had a few connections at work, and would maybe get me a handful every year of uncut limbs. And I was grateful for it, but that would only have enough to make a fire for two days, tops. And plus, I didn’t have a chainsaw, so I had no way of cutting the limbs, and ended up breaking my husband’s hack saw in order to get workable pieces for a fire. And this did cause a lot of blisters on my own hands and splinters as well.

I couldn’t hold out anymore. Why should I wait so long for a fire, when everyone in our family would enjoy it? Although my husband said otherwise, I knew he enjoyed a fire as much as I did! He would snuggle up to it, and claim that it wasn’t a ‘true’ fire unless you had three windows opened, and a door.

I am distraught. Over the last two years, I have gone to the local grocery store and have spent (in small trips) over 100 dollars, if not more, buying and smuggling in wood. I felt like this was a terrible thing, but it wasn’t illegal drugs, it wasn’t anything terrible. It was wood for goodness sake! Matches, lighters, and a bit of tinder for lighting it all smuggled in among the eggs and milk. 

Well, it started to bug my husband. Anytime I would go into the grocery store, he would look into the trunk, see the wood, and groan. He didn’t want me spending money on a pack of firewood. He thought that it was a waste of money. But there is nothing in the world that can beat the feel of radiant heat from a fire. It is comfort, happiness, and love all mixed into the air around you.

So here we are, on Nov 7th, and I finally bought my first bundle of wood. I guess that every winter I need to face fact, that no reason other than I have been with this person so long, he will become irate about the idea of having a fire. He loves me, and I love him, but who knew that the chemical reaction of heat, wood, and air would cause friction between to water based humanoids? In his defense, yes, where we live currently, there really isn’t snow like there was in AK, but still, if you have a fireplace, make a fire! It is just logical, right? Trees bring hope, and warmth to our lives, we should partake in it as well! 

Image

 

Miracles

I don’t want to fight… That’s the last thing I want. I know that there are many on the internet who ‘troll’ and like to fight on a person’s blog, regardless of the quality of a person or the blog that was written. I don’t know why, but the anonymity of the internet has allowed for bullying that hasn’t been seen in several years. With this disclaimer, do not do that on this post. You have been warned.

I am the oldest daughter of 10 children. I have a whooping 6 brothers and 3 sisters… I know, mind blowing. Especially when you realize that my oldest kids are the same age as my younger siblings… wow, right? But you would think with so many kids I would be close to my family. Sadly no, it is complicated as most families are.

When I was 8 my life went from constantly being sick, to suddenly better, I had my tonsils removed. Now, this is no shocker, but I had it during the same time as my younger brother, Ben. Now, Ben was about 4 years younger than me. But I loved him more than I did myself. He was inventive, and a hilarious 3 year old. Most 3 year old are. Well, I remembered that due to the lack of other family members nearby and the size of our family, my father was the one who was deemed to stay in the hospital with us as we recovered from the removal of our tonsils. It is hard to say that this was a miracle, a lot of people would disclaim that, but a miracle did occur. That much I believe. My father was sleeping in Ben’s hospital room, when Ben affixiated on blood, and suffocated. He was pronounced dead for 2 minutes, I believe. My father awoke and began performing CPR, and tried to revive him. And he lived! I am happy to say that he was alive! It was a miracle. But the affects of this moment would be felt throughout the remainder of Ben’s life. He would be slower, and unable to perform certain task that most people are expected to do on their own. In many ways I would say (when asked about it), that Albert Einstein didn’t brush his hair, why should my Brother Ben?

He never knew he was different. We didn’t treat him so, but when we went back into public school, quickly I noticed how terrible the other children were. Why would they say what they say? Who were they?! Why push him like that? And tease him how he ran?

It wasn’t until a pediatrician noticed that he wore cowboy boots a lot, that it was affecting his running and walking capabilities. When they fixed that one problem, he was still just like any other person. Yes, personal space was an issue for him, but he was the kind of person, that if a kid harassed him, he would go out of his way and make them cookies. He would talk to everyone regardless of how mean they were to him. He was the most pleasant person around. Think of the most happiest person you know and triple it, had a scoop of goofiness, and full cup of hope, and there is Ben. The most forgiving and helpful person you would know.

Well, this past weekend, tragedy has happened. I can’t even phantom it.  He lives in the ridiculous Large but wanna be small town of Logan UT. If you go anywhere in the city, you know what I mean. It is the only city that I know of that has a stop light at every block, but lacks any sidewalks or bike lanes. Heck, I lived in the remote town of Homer, AK, and they were capable of maintaining and having a bike lane, why can’t this major city? Even in MO they have Bike lanes! AND sidewalks!!! But Logan UT does not. If they do have an emergency lane, it is usually only on one side of the street. As you can see, this city is terrible, but my brother lives there to be close to family.

Due to family issues, of no fault of Ben’s, Ben gave up his car to my parents to help out. He lend it to them, saying he could get to where he needed to be by way of bike, he had a head lamp, and would be ok. 

At 8:10 p.m. a ‘distracted’ driver entered into the emergency lane and ran over my Brother Ben on his bicycle. As much as the news likes to blame Ben, http://m.ksl.com/index/story/sid/27367350, it wasn’t his fault. They even cited the girl for her ‘distracted driving’ and when asked to see her cell phone, she had promptly deleted all the texts/phone calls in and out of her phone before the cops could see. So, I know this sounds terrible, but I have advised my brother to seek legal help. Right now, they believe with 3-6 months of physical therapy he will be able to walk again. But has this driver even notified her insurance company of the accident? No. My sister who lives with Ben had to notify the insurance company. And will she pay for anything? No. I don’t know when the laws changed, but I believe that ‘pedestrians have the right of way’ includes bicyclist. When asked if he did win anything with this, Ben stated that he wanted to take the money and put in bike lanes, sidewalks, to ensure others do not meet the same fate as he did, or worse.

To end this on a good note, I have never known a bigger miracle than that of my brother Ben. He continues to inspire me, and teach me how to be more humane than anything else that I have ever experienced… ever. His compassion reaches no end. I honestly believe that there is something incredible that he will do with his life, although the remaining of it will be carried on with a limp, he is alive. He is still happy. Not many people can say that they were ran over by a car and lived to walk away, but my Brother Ben can say one thing more… He got ran over by a car, and it didn’t break him, it didn’t destroy his spirit. Makes you reevaluated your life, doesn’t it? It sure does mine.

Happy Birthday, my Darling.

Many times in life we are faced with birthdays. Most of the time, people, especially women, look on birthdays with disdain. Is it because we aren’t as ‘young as we used to be’? I don’t know. Maybe it was my upbringing, but I look at each birthday as an accomplishment. I survived the odds and have lived another year. I didn’t die, I was able for 365 days capable of breathing, eating and growing. It may not all be physical, but I grew and learned for one more year.

Well, a few years ago I had children. Shock and awe, but I did. And everything that I thought I knew was put upside down. This is difficult for me to say especially since I knew I had all the answers. I honestly believed in my life plan, and knew EVERYTHING that I was going to do. And no one was going to stop me. Now, a lot of people would say that the idea of children would stop them in their tracts, but in all honesty, they have inspired, irritated, and taught me how to be a more gracious, hopeful, and helpful human being. Not to take anything for granted, because you don’t know if you will have it tomorrow. Something as simple as even your health may be gone in a instant.

Without getting too personal about 6 years ago I went in for invasive surgery. I had found that even though I was using a device that prevented pregnancy I had become so. And the result was the lost of not one, not two but three embryos.  Although I was okay with that, not happy, but not sad. I had already had two fairly healthy twins, so I found a silver lining in all. But the doctor then warned me about the hazard of becoming pregnant again. It wasn’t deemed impossible, but it was strongly advised against.

It seems when we are told not to do something that we do it, regardless of the complications. I didn’t want her, but I ended up having her. My darling, now 5 year old. She keeps me on my toes, and teaches me more than I could learn in a university any day, although probably the same price. She has a better sense of humor than most paid comedians, and is a 1/4 of their age. But most importantly, the knowledge that she possesses at such a tender age amazes me. She has taught me more about humanity than any right’s advocate has. Simply put, she has taught me, regardless what their age is, what their race, what their economic status, everyone wants to feel accepted, and loved. That doesn’t mean spending millions of dollars, but that does mean, compassion, hope and happiness. And those are free.

So today, I want to say, thank you to my darling. I love you and I hope to learn more from you in the next 5, 10, 50 years. I hope that you will forever hold my hand while we walk to school, and forever call me “Mom”.

I have had an interview!!!

So I know a lot of folks are probably finding this humurous, but I have had an interview, and it is posted live here http://allisoncassatta.blogspot.com/2013/07/2013-summer-author-blitz-giveaway.html. I am completely in Awe of Allison who did this for me as well as Belle. They are both incredible women who took time out of their day to make it happen for me. If you want to enter the giveaway, please do, you will get signed copy of Behind the Lace from me! Have a great Thursday everyone!