The CLEAN Effect!

      Yessssssss….Deep inhale….Yessssss….

.  There is often some bright speck, a teeny-weeny glint, in the midst of devastation. Often this tiny glimmer of good goes unseen for years, decades, even centuries. I’m sure there have been major disasters where no bright side was ever found, the loss being only that. A loss. Losses. Deaths. Dying.

.  We could only see that, if we got tunnel vision with this Covid Pandemic. Only the disease, the fear, the grief, the bodies stacked up like cord wood. It could just open it’s huge great-white-shark-sized mouth with it’s blood-covered-razor-sharp giant teeth and swallow us whole. Then our lives will have ended, with a dark shroud of sadness enveloping our memory. Is this how you are feeling? Are you frightened?

.         It certainly is a normal reaction to this situation. But there IS a silver lining… Have you heard about the animals? They are coming out of the woods, out of the forests, out of the bushes, out of the darkest recesses and back into the sunlight! With humans staying quiet, staying out of their cars, letting the Earth rest from it’s gasping, the animals are out!!! It thrills me, it brings joy to my weary heart to see images of river otters playing in a grassy median, rolling and romping, and laughing!(I’m sure they are laughing, they have to be!)

My Izzy, 2005-2017

.  I see cardinals again , and osprey flying low. I hear owls, and see ‘coons and possum. Oh, I know, I’m talking about “less desirable”wildlife, but let me tell you, it fills my heart near to bursting. As a child I would read “Born Free”and Miss Anderson’s Cheetah stories, gobbling up the word images of animals running free across African Savannahs. I dreamed nightly about my wild Stallion that I would ride someday, and about Bambi becoming a Stag.WIN_20191128_03_49_42_Pro (2)

.  My Mom’s Bible Study books had images of happy people hugging lions and petting tigers, and I physically yearned for those images to come true. As I learned about God and thought about His love in creating puppies and kittens, I found Bible passages that promised a paradise one day. And as the years have past my faith has become brighter, and the day for me to hug a white tiger, or play with a wolf pup has gotten closer ,too.Picture 005

.  Yes, there is much sadness, sickness and death. There is injustice and corruption and pollution. And , sadly, there are worse things to come in the future, no matter where you live on this planet. But it all is bringing us closer each day to God’s fulfilled promises, such as the end of wickedness, pain, crime and hatred. To days of joyful work for humans, building houses, planting gardens. Many people think that God is causing this horrible pandemic, and that He is a God who throws people into Firey Hell.

.  I have studied the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses for many years, and was baptized in 2003…but I had many things that I changed, only with God’s help. I was a  full blown drug addict and alcoholic for 23 years, beginning at age 13. I only knew abusive and violent relationships, having my nose broken twice, being tied to a tree, stabbed and shot at, being choked unconscious more than once, and more. All this by my own husband. By the time I was 33, I looked like a 50 year old, and I felt 100. I had so many health problems, pain was my constant companion and still is. I smoked Crack, Pot, snorted coke, meth and used drugs intravenously for years. I drank my first beer most days by 9am, and lit my first cigarette before my eyes were open in the morning. I now have PTSD, and COPD. I had Hep C . I was dying and wished I was dead. Finally, before my husband killed me, he was arrested by the ATF and was convicted as a habitual offender, 15 years to life.Picture 419

.  Oh, how I cried. I thought my world had ended. I really went wild. He wanted me to work with the law to get his sentence reduced, I thought ATF agents were behind every tree. I refused to work with the Feds, because I thought I was smarter than them. I hooked up with a member of a MC club, and planned to tell the FBI about it… After all the humiliation and abuse they told me they would never use any info I gave them…I wanted to die… But I didn’t.

.  I called my Mom, and begged to come home. She let me. I was the proverbial daughter. Near death and bankrupt in every way I moved back to my parent’s house.

Lots of things happened that I could go on about. Bad things. And worse things.

.  But there was a glimmer, a glint of good in all that mire I was in…

.  I got on my knees before I took the last step to suicide, and I begged, pleaded, beseeched, cried and screamed my anguish and remorse out to God.

.  He heard. And He helped.

. I was able to get clean and sober, 21 years ago this September. I quit smoking the next year. And then, after calling God my “Higher Power”in AA for another year I learned that God , Jehovah God, could and would and did forgive me.

.  Yesssssss….deep inhale…..Yessssss!!!

.    You can feel this forgiveness too. I hope you do. Then I can meet you, in paradise on earth when all this badness is finished, for good.

(if you want to learn like I did, is where to go… You’ll  be able to read and study the Bible, watch videos and learn precious truths…and you will learn how God sent His Son, Jesus to sacrifice his life for ALL humans…yep, me…and YOU TOO !!!)

We Are Going To Make It

Is anyone out there as old as I am? I grew up to the Mary Tyler Moore show, on every week as I recall. When I was 10 or so, she was beautiful to me, not just as a pretty woman (which she was and is, if she is still alive, is she?…)but as a woman in “the workplace”. I was too young to understand the dynamics of discrimination against women, I was buying into the whole “be a good girl, speak when you are spoken to” misogynist mantra.

That is where the slogan “We’re going to make it after all” first made me feel warm and fuzzy. My folks both worked long, hard hours to feed my brother and I. We saw them briefly each morning. Mom on her way to bed after all night at a local “old folks” hospital, and Dad on his way to the Speciality  Steel Mill. The only thing “special” about the steel mill that I could see was the fact that Dad was “‘specially”angry when he got home.

.  We didn’t want for anything that I ever knew, except that I never got designer jeans like my best friend, with the rich dad. No, my belly was full, and I was as happy as a chubby pre-teen with thick glasses and a mouth full of braces could be in the late 70’s. The only thing lacking was joy, any kind of joy, at home. Even “The Holidays”, when I still celebrated them, were joyless, because there was always disappointment lurking under the tree. Family gatherings were nice before I got old enough to feel the undercurrents of dislike and tension that flowed thru the affairs, like the lambrusco in the fancy glasses.

.  We are going to make it. After all.

.  I’m in the ” after all” phase of life now. And I have made it, thus far . All the family drama is distant history, now that my parents are dead they don’t fight as much.(chuckle). I have learned to live without them here, and I have gleefully learned to live without my abusive ex and now deceased husband. (No, I’m not gleeful at his being deceased.)

.  I have lived on my own for 4 years now, Dad died on 3/7/16, and Mom on 3/21/10. The grief did not stab me like a bayonet to the stomach this year, no, it was a dull, ongoing ache that I thought I didn’t feel, until this very moment. A heaviness inside my heart, a gray, damp blanket on my view. But I have made it, after all…

.  I want to share happy tidings, tho’, not the fear mongering that is flying all around the internet and all the airwaves. Yes, this Pandemic is a very, very bad thing. Many of our loved ones, friends and neighbors will get very sick, and many will die. More people will die than usually do in a “regular” time period. It will be very difficult to work, to shop, to meet with friends and family. However, we must endure these difficulties with a hopeful demeanor, and share our hope with  Everyone we can!!! We All need to support our fellow humans, and we CAN!!!!!

You may ask why, and I understand how hard it is not to have a pity party when one has no access to TP or Oreos. I am not immune to this situation, especially the Oreo thing. But as a person who has lived with chronic intractable pain all over my body for the last 20years, I do have experience with the power of positivity shared. This will be a HUGE HELP TO ALL OF US: BE UPBEAT AND POSITIVE WHEN SPEAKING TO OTHERS! DO NOT BOG OTHERS DOWN BY SHARING NEGATIVITY SUCH AS WHAT WE CAN’T DO, BUT FOCUS ON STEPS WE CAN TAKE. 

One thing we must do to help is STAY POSITIVE when we talk to others. Just as you would not talk to a Child about negative outcomes of a storm, we all, ALL need comfort from our fellow humans right now. Just as we would not want our Mom to be overly anxious about a situation, think of your friends and neighbors who are anxious also!

.   We want to help the people we love, and hopefully we want to help our fellow man who we don’t even know. I am going to work on this, and I already know it helps, because people who cared for me when I was incapacitated did it for me. And I made it thru to better days. Picture 346

. I hope you are doing well, that you can see the sky today, wherever you are. One thing that helps me so much is prayer because I know God is close to me when I pray to him in his Son, Jesus name. Reading the Bible books of Psalms and brings me peace, and talking on the phone to others about God’s promises soon to be fulfilled.  If I can just smile at someone, it lifts my mood and hopefully theirs as well. I send out my warm hugs and smiles to all of you.

.  We’re going to make it, after all!

Jehovah created a paradise...


Today has been a day of reflection. I spent it mostly in my garden, praying and planting.Picture 210 I like to sing songs I make up, kind of like musical prayers, thanking God for all the beauty in the flowers and trees, butterflies and sky. Did I tell you about planting all the milkweed plants last year, and purchasing a kit plus six Monarch caterpillars to raise? Well, all but one cat died after I agonized over them for 2 weeks. I carried the little net butterfly “castle” into the house and out to the yard 2 and 3 times a day, thinking they needed fresh air, warm air, no air, more plants to eat, fresh water, distilled water, less humidity and on, and on…. I tried to perform caterpillar ressussitation  on them as they died agonizingly slow butterfly baby deaths. Picture 213

The Monarch place should not sell these kits to people with OCD and Bipolar disorder! I don’t think I slept for a solid month- dreaming when I dozed about great huge butterflys with machetes trying to break down the door!! Then ( finally!) one of the cats made it to chrysalis stage, and I chewed my fingers off waiting for her to come out! It was the longest 2 weeks of my life, and then there she was one morning, hanging upside down on a branch of milkweed, drying her little wings! Picture 207

Did I say little wings? Because they seemed awfully little to me, and if I stared really hard at her it seemed like one little wing was little-er than the other! And it was wrinkled!! aaargh! The Butterfly guys were getting tired of my phone calls, they kept referring me to their butterfly wing repair video, I finally realized the guy probably didn’t even know a butterfly from his butt cheek.

It turned out that the wings do start out small and wrinkled, and after an hour or so as she dried, her wings filled with tiny butterfly blood until they worked almost perfectly!

Yup, almost.

By now I was close to cursing the day I ever read the story of how the Monarch population had nearly been wiped out through farmer’s using pesticides to kill the milkweed that intermingled with their field edges, And about the freeze that hit their migration spot in Mexico a year back, wiping out nearly all of the Monarchs that wintered there. But I was still so moved by their plight, and so in love with my little survivor, that I was more determined than ever to see this endeavor through!!!IMG_20140507_114054



So I treasured my baby Monarch with her amazingly delicate wings. I helped her learn to fly, and we took little test runs in my room , getting ready for the big day! It was a very cold January here in South Florida, and she would get very sluggish in the cold. Oh, and the wind- it was ferocious! A cutting, icy wind from the frozen north, not the balmy spring breeze she needed to flourish. While I fretted about her release date I learned more about her amazing species. How they migrate each year, from as far away as Canada, all the way to Mexico! And then, miraculously, they fly all the way back to where they were born! A butterfly on a thousand mile journey. And if my Mable would make it, then her offspring would forever call this home, coming back year after year to my little field of milkweed! Her caterpillars would eat this milkweed down to nubs, because it is their “host” plant- the only one the finicky cats will eat… the only.

I remembered that back in 1984, when I moved here, Monarch butterflies used to come to a specific place in a neighboring town, using it as a smaller, closer migration destination. That is until a huge housing development took over the entire tract of land, even having to outrageous audacity to use the majestic Monarch butterfly as it’s logo. Twelve foot tall stucco butterflies adorn all their exterior retaining walls, like using  Native American’s tribal symbols on lands they owned and were expelled from.

What are we doing? What are we thinking?

I finally released my little Mable, on a blue-sky day when the wind didn’t bite as much. She wobbled and wavered to finally light on one of the milkweed plants in the garden, while I ran inside and hid, too worried to watch her leave home. I went out to rescue her and hour later, sure that it was the wrong day to send her out on her own, but there was no trace of her. I cried.IMG_20140522_083211IMG_20140522_094040

Days, and then a couple months went by with no sign of any Monarchs, but my little plants were big now, all full of bright, happy orange and red flowers. Then one day I happened to see a Monarch flitting about near the milkweed garden, and I dashed in the house to drag Dad out to see. We caught a glimpse of her as she flew on her circuitous path over the garden fence, and we came in the house joyful. I was so happy.

Weeks went by, and I gave it no more thought. The weather started to warm, and I had many stresses and worries in my life. my garden was pushed to the back burner. One day a month ago, I managed to take a break, and went out under my giant oak to clear my head and pray. I slowly wandered over to look at the flowers, and was furious when I saw that my milkweed were nearly destroyed by insects! Angrily, I marched to get the hose and flush the pests away.  Aphids, most likely, or those rotten grasshoppers! I turned the hose on full blast and dragged it back to the garden. I bent down to see which plant was the worst when- Oh, my GOODNESS!!! more self portraits 024the fall at arby's,con't 132

There was a beautiful yellow and black Monarch caterpillar!! And look! Another! And Another!!

All told, I found eight monarch caterpillars feasting on my milkweed. Or rather, their milkweed! As I have watched lovingly they have grown and flourished, and although I did not see their amazing metamorphosis, I know it happened.How is that you ask?

Every single day, for the past week we have seen Monarch Butterflies visiting our garden! The family here is happy and growing everyday, and I am so grateful to the Creator of it all!my new hair, and stuff to sell 022my new hair, and stuff to sell 025