Sunday, November 10, 2013

Florida Keys Cloud Studies

When I stumbled upon this news article(below) it reminded me of a story my mother told me about how the military was caught doing 'pandemic studies' on the Keys when we lived there. As far as I know no one has reported what exactly was in the spray used back in the early 1980's. This next episode of spraying made headlines.

I have to wonder about certain people they interviewed for the article, though. "I don't begrudge them that they have to do this kind of thing, but at least give us a choice to not be here.''

Why the hell would ANYONE want to be anywhere near a government spraying spores on an open population?! 
"Army and Environmental Protection Agency researchers were trying to determine whether civilian Doppler and drug interdiction radars can tell the difference between a raincloud carrying moisture and a cloud carrying something more ominous."
What do they think is going to be in a cloud more ominous than what they're already putting there with HAARP?  And don't tell me hail because I'll laugh til I cry. The Florida Keys get about two inches inches of golf ball sized hail every year. Seriously. Cross my heart and hope to croak. We're talking about tropical islands, folks... If you think THAT's crazy then you ain't seen nothing yet.


Army Aerial Spraying Tests Panic,
Anger Florida Keys Residents

Jennifer Babson
Miami Herald Miami.com
4-22-2

BOCA CHICA KEY - They worry about allergies and immune system difficulties and ailments yet to be diagnosed.
 
A few bolted for points north; others shuttered windows and stayed inside.
 
Word that the U.S. Army was conducting biological and chemical detection tests off Key West last week -- using a crop duster to spray what it says are benign substances over a small swath of the Gulf -- set alarm bells ringing for some on this island chain.
 
''Monday I had my house closed up all day and the air conditioner running because I was concerned and I couldn't find out what was going on. The newspaper didn't say exactly where they were dropping,'' said Bill Eardley, a retiree who lives on Sugarloaf Key. "If I had known in advance, and I was concerned, I would have jumped in a car or plane and gotten out of here.''
 
Using a small plane to release egg white powder, clay dust, ethanol, irradiated vegetable spores and a chemical compound commonly found in drugstore cosmetics -- all designed to simulate more ominous compounds -- Army and Environmental Protection Agency researchers were trying to determine whether civilian Doppler and drug interdiction radars can tell the difference between a raincloud carrying moisture and a cloud carrying something more ominous.
 
The experiments -- concluded last week -- were deemed a success, though the Army still says it needs to conduct an additional $15 million to $20 million worth of testing in the U.S.
 
Researchers are hoping software could be attached to civilian radars like those used by the National Weather Service to alert military and civilian authorities to unusual chemical or biological events or attacks.
 
But some locals greeted the tests themselves as a kind of preliminary attack.
 
''The weirdest thing I heard from a couple of people was that spores can travel 1,300 miles. They said that there was a spore release in Texas that arrived in Florida,'' said Mickey Morales, an Army spokesman who was on hand for the drill. ``Some people have told me they have left the area or they have recommended to people that they leave the area.''
 
It probably didn't help matters locally that the Pentagon went public with details of the tests less than a week before they began.
 
AN EXPOSE
 
A few days earlier, a free Key West newspaper carried a front-page exposé on suspicious, Keys-photographed contrails that sources -- including an unnamed wife of a Navy service member -- insisted were actually ''chemtrails'' that could be the results of secret military experiments.
 
Some worried residents contacted the Army, the media, municipal officials, the EPA and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson with their concerns -- prompting Nelson's Washington office to inquire about the nature of the tests, Morales said.
 
Last week, it was Morales' job to make the words ''military experiment'' seem palatable.
 
It was a challenge in some quarters.
 
''A lot of people have claimed they have read X, Y, and Z on the Internet,'' Morales said. ``Somebody called me on his cell phone and wanted to know if it was OK to go boating.''
 
Liz Holloway's neighbor on Sugarloaf Key ''evacuated'' to a place north of the Everglades when she heard the tests were imminent.
 
''She has chronic fatigue syndrome and thought it might exacerbate her condition,'' Holloway said. ``Am I worried I am going to get sick 15 years >from now? Maybe. But who knows?''
 
LITTLE NOTICE
 
Holloway said she would have liked more advanced notice.
 
''My major problem was that I read the stuff in the newspaper and I called the agencies that were supposed to be responsible for the activity, and even their public information officers had no clue what was going on,'' she said. ``I don't begrudge them that they have to do this kind of thing, but at least give us a choice to not be here.''
 
Some in the Pentagon considered forgoing the public information campaign altogether, said Col. Stephen V. Reeves, program executive officer for the Chemical and Biological Defense program. Reeves was in the Keys Thursday to monitor testing.
 
'I received [a recommendation] from counsel, `Maybe we should just go ahead,' '' Reeves said. ``I decided not to do that. If we had been quiet about it and somebody had suddenly discovered it, it would have confirmed everybody's worst suspicions.''
 
The decision on how to publicize the tests apparently went all the way up the chain of command to Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld's office.
 
And so, last week, a steady parade of Keys residents was escorted to a blue tent pitched next to a government RV across U.S. 1 from the entrance to the Boca Chica Naval Air Field.
 
In an effort to allay local fears, Morales made a run to a local grocery, picking up an angelfood cake, Visine eyedrops and a mud mask of the kind used to combat acne -- all of which he said contained test ingredients.
 
''You can go to the supermarket and buy this stuff basically, except for the dead spores,'' he explained.
 
NOT SATISFIED
 
The explanation didn't entirely satisfy Debora Edholm, the wife of local Navy employee who says she has seen and photographed hundreds of ''chemtrails'' of dubious origin.
 
Thursday afternoon, Edholm and a friend were escorted down a winding and wooded path, past a fence that's usually chained and beyond the sharp cries of a mother hawk to the blue tent where researchers were communicating by radio with pilots and radar operators involved in the testing.
 
Next to radio consoles, maps and computer equipment were jars containing examples of the compounds the Army dispersed in the tests.
 
''I have done a lot of research on what vitamin supplements to take to combat the chemtrails. I get exhausted,'' Edholm explained. ``A lot of people down here are sick, you know. A lot of people think they are doing this to take out weak people. It's population control.''
 
 
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/living/community/states/florida/counties/ By  (This link is no longer working but it was included with the article.)

You Put Your Arms Around Me And I'm Home

This song by Christina Perri, "Arms," is yet another artistic reminder of how pleroma touches artists so frequently. Listen to the lyrics. It could be a love song to any one in particular but to me it sounds like it's to pleroma directly, thanking him for not letting us go. Beautiful.


Seeing Forever

From the Ballerina Project. Beautiful isn't it? What do you seen in the distance? 

 


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Schools Taken For a Ride and our Kids Pay the Toll

Another very informative lecture about Common Core and the application process taken by the states.




After learning about the UNCRC(United Nations Conventions for the Rights of the Child) I wasn't so terribly shocked to then learn that UNESCO (the UN, essentially) is writing the kids' curriculum now under Common Core.

The SAT's and ACT's are Common Core now. This makes me truly angry since my thirteen year old is such an ambitious little fellow. I don't know when he'll be taking his SAT's(probably in two years) or what college he'll attend but as I keep telling him, "Man, you live in interesting times."

She mentions the Earth Charter which is adored by Common Core proponents(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Charter) and wow, doesn't it sound a lot like the Georgia Guidestones??? Especially #4(that would be the UN taking over national parks, which they've already done), #5(Agenda 21/Regionalism/Sustainable Development), #6(precautionary as in 'let's spread barium aluminum mixture all over the skies to protect our current climate meanwhile ignoring the obvious problems associated with it'), and #7(planned parenthood and eugenics).

A screenshot of some info in the lecture:


That's about the Math. The LA was just as bad if not worse, saying that 'college ready' by Common Core standards would be at about the 7th grade level.

I learned something quite surprising in the video which I don't know why it didn't occur to me before now to make the connection what with all the pay-for-grades, but the kids in our virtual school(FLVS) are constantly asked to evaluate and grade their teachers' performance and skills. This is done through The Tripod Project. It is a distinctive part of Common Core which is supposed to motivate the teachers to do better but the fact of the matter is, if a kid is pissed at their teacher, what do you THINK they're going to say??! They're KIDS for cryin' outloud! This is just about as ridiculous a thing to ask a kid to do as anything in the CC curriculum so far. Actually, it's the worst thing. Why? Because why should the children be asked to grade their teacher? The child is not qualified in any way to judge such a thing no matter how you word the questions. Children are emotional and fickle little beasties and with the psychologists writing the questionnaires you can bet they're formulated to have a certain bent to them in the end. It's psychological tuning. They can make the results say whatever they want in order to justify pulling a teacher's pay down.

http://stopcommoncore.com/ StopCommonCore is being added to the Human Rights Sites and Organizations area on this blog as of tonight. I encourage you to visit and spread the word. 

Here is a fantastic list of documents which spell out what Common Core is and is not. 
http://stopcommoncore.com/show-me-the-evidence-toc/evidence-standards/

Here is a long list of state initiatives to stop Common Core and links to their sites: 
http://stopcommoncore.com/get-connected/

 


Saturday, November 2, 2013

MRI's for the classroom? Common Core Chaos

Common Core bypassed Congress entirely. It even bypassed the education boards because the states wanted the money so badly they raced to put in their applications. It was attached to the stimulus bill in 2008. And then grades dropped even more. hmmm... 

I think that Glenn Beck's breakdown of the entire political situation is absolutely spot on. Please watch.  

Thankfully, he dug deep on the funding of Common Core and listed a few of the big ones like GE and the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation. ahhh smell the stench of rotting, over-vaccinated brains in the classroom yet? 



Here are examples of Common Core, looking directly at textbooks, both LA and Math and contrasting them with 'old school' textbooks. I grew up with the old school texts and this 'new math' that my twelve year old was being taught the past two years was making him absolutely miserable until I taught him the way I originally learned and we started using outside sources(NON Common Core!) like Khan Academy to study and practice those concepts. I don't even understand the new math, honestly. They take a two digit multiplication problem and turn it into some convoluted rocket science disaster of a mess. It's driving kids crazy. They don't understand simple things because it's so severely overcomplicated in how they're being taught now.



I had enough of the language arts my twelve year old was being taught. I pulled him out and am currently teaching him myself. We're reading all sorts of wonderful books now and he's writing funny short stories using his spelling words. He's discovering he has a talent to write scary stories. Would he have ever found this talent if I hadn't stepped in? I really don't believe so. His poor brain was overwhelmed with useless nonsense they were trying to cram down his throat.

Regionalism??



Regionalism AKA Agenda 21. 

They've renamed this monstrosity of an excuse for genocide quite a few times now the past few years.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pleroma Playing Tag


Yes, this is how it feels. A nudge, a tap, and then Ha HA! I call it mental glomping. It's like being pounced on. He does it just to get your attention. Sometimes it can be for something serious and other times it's just because he's in a playful mood. 



No matter how many times I watch this I always laugh myself silly.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Common Core and Throwing Money at Schools

My local newspaper is toeing the line regarding the county commissioner of education's exciting New Plan to pull our "C" rated schools up to "A" level within a few years. Fantastic. What is this plan?

The article is quoted as stating that "increasing staff learning and growth and providing support and resources to students and staff" will get the ball rolling in the right direction. Oh, and throwing more money at everyone. 

Uh huh. Right. I'm no dummy. I can read exactly what's there. See all these 'improvements' they're talking about for Polk County really only mean one thing: money in the pockets of certain people who handle the money it's going to involve to supposedly implement these 'improvements.'
I'm not jaded. I just woke the hell up. It's just a money game; creating jobs for themselves especially. Our economy is crap and they're off trying to create jobs which AREN'T GOING TO HELP THE KIDS!!!!!!!! You can't fix something if you haven't got a clue about what's WRONG!!!


This is a load of crap. Don't throw more money at the problem and don't implement Common Core. Get back to the BASICS.

My (now)home schooled kids were pulled out during fourth and fifth grade due to the ridiculousness going on in class. Always catering to the lowest denominator and babyfying the kids all across the board.

We brought them home and now they have excelled far beyond our wildest dreams. One is doing college at the age of thirteen and the other is not far behind his big brother.

Here are the three biggest reasons why public school is the cesspool it is:

1) Apathy
2) ... which is spawned by 'busy work'
3) and not being realistic about which kids are college bound or not.

Now this doesn't mean that some kids won't spontaneously bloom and suddenly jump onto the path of the college bound, but I don't think that keeping the entire class on the same pace is realistic. It bores the interested kids and keeps everyone dumbed down. And then you wonder why more kids aren't 'college ready.' hmm...

Also, let's be honest here, shall we, about college? The new high school diploma is a bachelor's degree. Colleges are simply money making operations right now, only in it for themselves, since the industries they're accredited to give degrees in don't have enough positions to fill in this country.

Our jobs are being outsourced but college is still being pushed as a great idea for EVERYONE!

WAKE UP!!! This is not sustainable in our society.

Kids need to learn basic skills(through 10th grade) and then go into the college track if they're willing and able. Otherwise they can go into vocational/trade schools and get a good job. The last two years of high school really only exist for those kids who are on the college track. Look at the curriculum and prove me wrong.

I don't know the last time I've seen a cashier or bank teller use Pre-Calculus or Chemistry.


Also, the previous article about this topic in the newspaper online and everyone's comments were deleted. Here's today's article. Let's see what happens to it.

Actions speak louder than words and in this case I think the Ledger spoke volumes about their agenda to protect the money makers at all cost.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A New Road Less Terrifying

"And the new man reigns by love, by faith, by perfection, by patience, and by wisdom. Yet his king is the light mind, who is king of all. He reigns over it as he wishes." 

~Manichaean Literature

Quite a bit happened over the past few days with my youngest(12yo) boy with school and it's led me to make decisions I never thought I'd be strong enough to make. I'm brave. I'm fearless. I have taken on the responsibility of teaching this boy 8th grade US History for the rest of the school year. Yes, yes, REAL home school. He was virtual schooling up until now, curriculum and teachers provided by the county. 

Emotionally, as of Friday I was a wrecking ball of nerves after fighting with the county administration for virtual schooling over his Final Exams for 7th grade Civics. (He's worked ahead and is going into 8th now.) Long story short, there is no such thing as letting a child fail anymore. No Sir. Nope. Now, you either make a 60% or above on your Mid Term Exams and your Final Exams(apiece) or you fail the entire course and have to retake it. OR you can retake the Exam itself. Well, when a teacher resets the exam before even talking to the parents it kinda takes the whole 'choice' out of everyone's hands, don't you think? That's precisely what happened on Friday.

As a rule, we do not allow do-overs or resubmissions. We've always let our kids suck it up and take the failing grade so they learn from it. And until now we've never run into this 60% policy of this virtual school. With the elder boy(13yo) being such an overachiever the lowest grade he's ever made on a midterm or final was a C. John is not his brother. John has problems memorizing facts and dates and definitions. History is BORING!!!! Ergo, his grades in that class have always been on a slippery slope. I get it. I totally do. I was the same way in history classes all my life.

His teacher held the password for the last part(there were three parts) of the Final hostage until he retook the second part. He did better on the second part by a good twenty points. GREAT! Not that it's any real indication of learning since quite a few of the questions were the same the second time around and the night before I made sure he looked in his lessons and found the correct answers to figure out what happened on the test. Of course he did better the second time around! He had access to some of the same questions and had time to look up the correct answer. This is kind of a no-brainer to me.

Anyway, hubby and I were not happy and vented to every administrator you can think of with the county and the main company itself which provides the curriculum the county contracts from on a yearly basis. It's a respect issue, I feel. I think it's disrespectful to expect a kid to be happy about retaking a test because he didn't get the information the first time around and then letting it all be about the company's numbers during auditing. And that is exactly what it's about. (K12.com has a minimum of 80% by the way. On EVERY assignment, not just the tests. Imagine the stress being in school there!) Life doesn't give you do-overs and neither should school. It's a bad way to practice for 'real life' after high school. My kids totally get our philosophy and happily abide by it because they understand its worth. It helps them push harder to do better in the future.

So I decided to take the high road and home school John in 8th grade US History. We'll get a signature from a teacher at the end of the year and submit it to the county and that will be that. This is an adventure that is quite a bit less terrifying since it'll only be one class but still, when I went to the library this afternoon to find a starting point I was looking at four shelves of books for the main core topics and could only guestimate what would be best based on the time frame of the topic. 

Monday is a long way away still in my mind. I have some work to do and some decisions to make about how to make this more digestible for my boy. I want to do some old school kind of learning to help him with reading and vocabulary and writing but still teaching him the subject. I came home with five books dealing with and leading up to the Colonial era and I guess that's where we'll start. We'll compile a bibliography for his homeschool portfolio as required. Read, write essays, research using the Library of Congress for students, find things he's interested in learning about on his own and he can report it however he wants.... I'd like to make it more easy going than the cyber pressure he's been feeling in school. Not sure how successful I'll be or if I'll turn into a raving beast when confronted with his bad spelling. I don't want everything to be graded. I'd rather have an 'unschooling' approach to the final result but have structure because of John's lack of enthusiasm about the subject. 

Who knows, maybe he'll bloom within the new freedom and find that History isn't such a dry thing after all? 

I am breathing deep and finding that calm inside myself to understand that perhaps this is what this child needs right now. So what if we spend a month doing absolutely nothing but reading cool historical books and figuring things out, right?!! Oh well. We'll have fun reading and talking about the books and anything cool he discovers. Then maybe we can get a timeline going up on his cork board and put things into perspective in a more logical way for him visually. 

I'd love to do the same thing with him in English but fear I'd be biting off more than I can chew at the moment. As it is, the second semester of his LA class can't be opened yet because the curriculum hasn't been published yet. Why? Common Core is about to crash and burn in the state of Florida and the school can't figure out what to do. I know, right? It's insane!! He should be done with the second semester of this year's LA in six weeks and instead, we're still waiting for the school to retract it's head from it's sphincter and take a look at reality. People don't want Common Core. Competition is a good thing, keeping everyone on the same level is BAD. It pulls everyone down.

This momma is ready to learn whatever the journey is willing to teach. Hopefully a little boy is willing to go out and find the lessons he wants to learn best. 

 "He breaks off from his teacher and the brothers. He always wants to go in and come out alone, a solitary man. He will always walk alone. It is a sign that the closeness of his brothers does not persuade him." 

~Manichaean Literature

And this is the way of gnosis, entirely. It is a solitary pursuit when it's all said and done. We take cues from the world around us which are available but we must apply it to our heart and sort out the gold from the chaff.

Cat's Eye Nebula, Hubble telescope


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Flora

It's nearing that time of year again....

Can anyone name this related flowering plant? It only blooms when in the perfect environment in perfect conditions.



These are pictures of my mother's plant. When she moves it to the other side of her porch it refuses to flower. Talk about picky!!

Vedic Meditation and Star Bodies

I've added a link to the Blogging for Freedom section. It's to Jeff Kober's Meditation page. He's also on Facebook here.  I'm really enjoying the Daily Thoughts he posts. The pics and essays are fantastic. I follow him on Facebook and also get daily emails from the site itself. Go check it out!!!

Meditation's not really my thing, to be brutally honest. I tend to fly off into the ether, connect with pleroma, sit there for a while and have some laughs or get a few hugs, and then wander off. Or fall asleep. I get overwhelmed with the Mind Cramming he does in such a short amount of time and then know I have to come back down. I can't stay for long. But the contemplative type of mini-meditations.... I can do that. Jeff makes it fun. Relevant. He's also got a great book suggestion list he mentions from time to time.


Well, here's my little inspirational pic for the day. The Eagle Nebula. The depth of this phenomenon is just amazing to me. Think about how far it must be from one side to the other. Between stars, even. This doesn't make me feel small, it makes me feel larger than I am in my own skin. Why? Because THIS is pleroma! This is the 'rest' of our own body. 

Now don't you feel beautiful?


And this is the 'back of the Horsehead galaxy' according to the people with Hubble. Not sure how we managed to get around behind this thing to take a picture of it, but it's very lovely.



Sunday, October 13, 2013

Just one more hug, please?

This is the connection gnosis grants us with the All. 

 




Thursday, October 10, 2013

Playfulness




Oh come on now, let that laugh out. You know you want to. 
This guy has a sense of humor!

Mainstream Media Chemtrails



They're trying SO hard to make this seem normal. It's not. Normal. Or entertaining. Or even remotely humane. I've seen stuff like this more and more in movies and shows nowadays. They point to a plane or refer to it in some way and yup, it's got chemtrails spewing out of it near the engines. There are dispensing canisters located beside the engines. Or you see a few streaks of chemtrails across the sky and it all just seems normal. It's NOT! Go back to any television or movie production pre-1960 and you will NOT see any of these streaks or intersecting lines in the skylines! They didn't exist back then.

While I'm thankful the geoengineering idea isn't so hush hush now, it still appears that we need to wake up more of our friends to the reality of what this means. The UN has blatantly announced that without geoengineering like weather modification(available at weathermodification.com company for instance) then we're in for another Ice Age. It's not a theory. It's a conspiracy. All the higher ups have known about it for sixty+ years and have been doing all sorts of research on us like we're lab rats.

I want to get off the wheel now. 

I've had enough. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Raise Your Glass, brightspark!



This song jumped out at me today and gnostically speaking- it kicks ass, baby, YEAH! 

Pink is telling us not to be so hard on ourselves, stop comparing our own 'coolness' with everyone else's 'coolness' and just generally live life to the fullest no matter what mistakes you make along the way. Live and learn, baby, but live it!!

Her waking up with the nun made me laugh.

What do you guys think? Does this message make you happy and upbeat or does it make you feel like grabbing a bottle of tequila and chasing the worm?

He spoke to me through joy- Manichaean writings


"Beloved! beauty of my bright nature!
From filth and corrosion I will cleanse you through perfect light.
You are my beloved, the love in my limbs, 
and I am the light of your whole structure, your soul and base of being."


And on an even BRIGHTER note!



Yes, I am an Ironman fan. That poor dog...(not mine!)




Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fog and Coughs and Looky Looky!

I think that 'fog' in the wee morning hours in an hourly weather report is code for 'they're spraying the shit out of you' in Chemtrail-ese.

The past few times there's been 'fog' in the forecast I've woken up to hacking and coughing and lots of itching on my arms and upper body. Yesterday I didn't even send the boys outside to play it was so bad.



Then, today at 8:10am I took these photos just right outside my front door. Literally, I walked out my front door and looked up. Please note, I made these pictures extra-large so you could see them well without having to click on them. I know they run over into the right-hand column.













I know how this chemical sludge makes my body feel when it's drizzling down from that height and lemme tell ya-- it's not good! It's not a warm fuzzy feeling. It's an agitated, itchy, coughing miserable feeling. I'm going to be drinking pots of nettle and turmeric tea AGAIN today. Worse, I HAVE to go grocery shopping today. Can't get around it.

On a happier note, my cat's not dead. I thought she was yesterday. No. She was just snoozing. It really looked like her neck was broken. She had her mouth open and her eyes were glazed. Damn. Must've been some catnap!


Friday, September 6, 2013

Fighting Fluorosis One Comment At A Time

Here's an article to a local newspaper talking about their ... fluoride problem... This hits too close to home. I had to get involved.

I've been busy this morning combating the loonies.

I have a personal stake in this, damn it! Since moving back down to Florida my teeth have been RUINED!! I can trace it back directly to our tap water. So can my dentist. I have proof in my X-Rays and in his examination notes. Also, of course, when I look in the mirror.

Here's some food for thought.

http://poisonfluoride.com/pfpc/html/thyroid_history.html

Every nasty study done on fluoride since 1854. Well, probably not every study. But there's a ton of them listed here(including international studies) for you to peruse and learn about just how corrupt the FDA is. They're only now in the past few years beginning to bend their stance on fluoride because cities have ripped out the tanks themselves after learning the truth. If we don't do it ourselves the government won't. It's not in their best interest. Fluoride is like a slow drip of Xanax for us every single day. Apathy? Yup. And that's just how they like us.

It's only a matter of time before all the major cities revolt on this issue. It'll happen. I just wish it'd happen here in my own city a lot sooner. I can't afford a $500 water filtration system to get rid of this poison in my water. If you pick up any bottled water(or bottled water product like soda/tea, etc)on the shelves today it's fluoridated unless it states otherwise. Good luck finding them. I certainly can't.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Too damned bummed to write. But here I am.

Yeah, I know. How many months has it been?? My cat went blind, the kids left for summer break up to their birthmother's place, I began to enjoy summer break, and ... I lost the will to write entirely. My heart just felt like it died.

Can't really explain what happened, but Merry, I finally answered your comments! When I logged in to Blogger today it was really backed up. That's how depressed I was. I hadn't logged in for months. Sorry, guys. But I did finally get caught up today with replying to comments.

I think I'm in a funk for a number of reasons. My kids are growing up and needing me less, I'm trying to do more around the house and burning myself out, I don't have time for myself,..... Christmas is coming up and my project plans aren't looking like they're going to come together. I'm just stressed I guess.

Let's see what I have planned for tomorrow... I have to go up to the store and buy a bulk box(5 dozen) of eggs, have to come home and spend three+ hours pickling them because my two pubescent sons are eating us out of house and home and we decided to give them free reign on the eggs any time they want. They just finished up the last jar TODAY. So I have to make some more. Jesus. They eat like grown men.

I also have to shave one of the cats, shampoo, and do a vinegar dip. Finish doing the diatomaceous earth application to the carpets which didn't get finished today because a certain little boy neglected to vacuum the living room like he was supposed to, and then I've got to work some more on a painting my sister wants for Christmas. Turpentine gave me a migraine last time so hopefully it'll be cool tomorrow so I can open the house up. I don't know if it's going to happen or not. We'll see.

At least all the laundry got done yesterday and today. That's a load off my back.

All this with fibromyalgia, chronic migraines and back pain, whiplash, and a few other things. I just... damn it. I'm just really fucking tired.

I don't want to end this post with that negativity so I'll tell you something a bit funny and quirky. Did you know that cats like eating stinging nettles? Herb/weed, whatever you wanna call it, this plant is pretty amazing. I've started drinking a few gulps of the tea a few times a day to help with some symptoms I have. Well, I saw a video a while back of cat chowing down on a plate of cooked steaming nettles and thought, holy cow! I gotta look into this stuff! Too weird, ya know? My big tuxedo, Killer Kitty, LOVES grass but is now allergic to it. So he grazes on stray carpet fibers and it upsets him even more. Doofus. Ok, so this Kitty Momma had to be smarter than him, obviously, to get him what he needed, which was fiber.

He likes eating half a raw egg(he shares it with Big Mouth) three times a week already. LOVES it. I mean, he begs for it. He knows what it sounds like when I open the egg carton and rams into my ankles to get me to drop it on the floor. Brat. Anyway, I thought that egg would be the perfect cover for me to slip in a few more goodies to bulk up the vitamin content of those meals.

So in a little ramekin(fancy word for an itty bitty souffle dish)  I mixed the following: a few tablespoons of boiling water, one teaspoon of dried stinging nettles, one teaspoon of milled flax seed, and a pinch of turmeric spice. Mixed it up, covered it, and let it turn into sludge. After about five minutes I halved it and mixed it into the cat's dry food really well and then put their raw egg portion on top.

Worked like a charm! They both ate it up.

Just goes to show- cats will eat almost any vegetable if you use a bit of trickery and patience. Big Mouth will eat tomatoes and lettuce out of my husband's hand. And she's doing a lot better, by the way. She rarely gets herself caught behind doors and into other kinds of trouble now; she's coping well with losing her sight.

Now I'm anxious to grow some stinging nettle from pots next year. I want fresh tisane, not have to constantly buy the 'tea' bags of herb. With as much as they're spraying overhead though I don't know how that's going to be safely possible. I don't want chemicals on my herbs.

And just because I love lolcats...




Sunday, May 26, 2013

On Blindness and Kindness

My seventeen year old Siamese, Little Big Mouth, is blind as of a week ago.

On this topic of blindness and kindness today I'd like to reach out to those people who maybe have a pet who is facing the same situation or maybe they're even thinking of adopting a blind pet and not sure of what they're in for. I'd like to tell you first hand. 

It happened slowly the first few months; we thought maybe she was just getting a little senile. Then five days ago she suddenly became almost mute overnight. For an excitable and verbose cat like her this was alarming. She began pacing the house, round and round the perimeter, using the walls as her guide. Not eating as much. Then clingy as all get out. Wouldn't leave my side or my husband's. If she wasn't laying on us or next to us with her body pressed to ours she was busy pacing. We also noticed that her pupils were not decreasing in size like they used to in different lighting. She has the most beautiful blue eyes but now you can barely see any blue at all, just black pupil.

Today we finally took her to the vet because she was pacing beside a particular wall with her face pressed against it and wouldn't leave it alone. Then I watched her nearly fall head first off my son's bed. The vet confirmed the blindness and called it SARDS(Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome) Thankfully, he confirmed that she still had her hearing. So all those exasperated calls to her from us to get her moving in our direction that she ignored was really just her being a cat and not a sign of hearing loss. That was good news! She still has all her other senses.

Many people in our situation would have put their cat to sleep. They would think that having a visually impaired pet would be too difficult to deal with. We've learned a lot about ourselves as a family and her as a family member these past few days and one thing I can definitively say for sure is that having a suddenly impaired pet is difficult! It's heart wrenching. It's prone to make you burst into tears at the slightest provocation, especially while watching them struggle over something which used to be second nature to them. This is a member of your family who suddenly discovers that a big part of their world is gone to them forever. They are going to be depressed. YOU are going to be depressed. This change in their abilities requires quite a bit of patience and attention from the humans in their life. They can't do it all on their own and some things do have to change in the house for them to be safer. This takes time to learn as well as trial and error.

Animals are able to adapt more quickly to losing a sense than humans. I implore you to give the animal a chance to prove it to themselves and for them to have the opportunity to exhibit their instincts to you before you lose hope for their future. Don't give up on them. They have the same interest in their own happiness as you do for yourself and want to be as self sufficient as possible. This is really embarrassing for them to have to relearn certain things.  Trust me when I say that they do feel embarrassment and shame, and a great deal of fear at least in the beginning. But they'll find a way to be self sufficient and they'll surprise you when they do!! They learn so fast.

Watching this particular family member of ours adapt to her new situation has been an awe inspiring spectacle. I wish I could tell you all the little things I've seen her do the past few days that made me cheer for her. I can think of a dozen things from just this morning alone, but then this post would be a mile long and I don't think anyone has the patience for that. I'll just highlight a few and tell you what we've learned so far.

Her clingy behavior from a few days ago was due to total petrification on her part. She was literally too scared to move from the security of where she knew where she was to an open void which would swallow her up in her mind.

After she gave up being scared, Big Mouth's endless wandering all over the house had a purpose and we just weren't smart enough to figure it out until now. She was remapping the entire house in her head, not pacing because she was ill or dying or becoming senile. It had a purpose! Very smart kitty. Granted, it was tiring on her part and very frustrating, but she instinctively knew that she had to do it.

She's learned to lead with her nose and stretch her neck a tiny bit, giving her a small extension in reach so that she can stop before crashing into something. I imagine her nose is quite sore from the past few days.


We also learned.....


  • We must be decisive about doors. Either have the doors completely open or completely closed. No inbetween. She'll get herself caught behind the doors otherwise and just sit staring at the door jam until you get her out. Her whiskers brush wall-like structures either way she turns whichever way she turns so she's confused and doesn't know how to get out. She panics and so just just sits down.
  • Don't move around furniture without 'showing' her the changes and letting her explore it. Statistically speaking, that is going to be the very next thing she runs into face first.
  • Don't leave toys(kids or cats) out on the floor, at least until she gets her bearings. 
  • Overhanging/drooping things are a menace-- don't let cords droop down from one thing to another and loop down to the floor, she'll trip across it or rope her neck into it. Hanging things can be mistaken for large solid objects and this can cause a lot of confusion in how to maneuver around them.
  • The most important thing I think we've all learned is the value of independence on her part. Don't do anything really obvious for her! Guide her through something and let her feel it out every step but don't actually do it for her. The best example I can give of this is when she got the nerve to finally jump up onto the couch yesterday(YAY!!!) and then tried to get back down after a few minutes. She hovered on the edge and squirmed out of fear; she couldn't figure out how far down it was from sighted-memory. So I wrapped my hands around her chest and guided her front paws down to the floor and left her hind paws up on the couch so she could deduce for herself about how far down it was from her own body mass. Worked like a charm. Now she's up on the couch all the time of her own volition.
  • Don't just scoop her up, cuddle her or walk around with her, and then plop her back down again somewhere else. A blind animal needs guide posts to figure out where they wind up. Place the animal beside something they know very well and if there is a sound in the room they can use to figure out where they are then that's even better.
  • Don't call her by her name and expect her to come to you. Rub the carpet or pat the floor so she knows that you want her to go toward the sound, especially if you're trying to lead her out of a difficult situation she's gotten herself into. I've found myself having to do this a few times the past three days and as she's learning so am I, just what works and what doesn't. She's let us know that tapping on the wall doesn't do it for her. I guess the sound travels down the wall too far or it echoes and it confuses her. So now we stick to the method of rubbing or lightly tapping on the floor surface she's on.
  • Use a glass waterbowl so you can tap the side of it to let her know where it is. Otherwise she'll faceplant into the water and then you're left with an extremely embarrased cat with a dripping face who is so peeved she'll walk off rather than deal with the situation(her thirst).
  • Use a mat under the water and food bowl for spills. The one we have is wonderful in that is it literally like a dining room table placemat- big enough to fit everything on it with a bit of room so spare. We learned that she appreciate the way the mat has a softly downward curving ridge around the outer edge. When her paw bumps into it then she knows that she's arrived where she wants to be because the material and curved ridge is unique in the house and then uses her nose to hunt around for what she wants.  
  • Don't shave the fur off a blind animal before they can accept their new reality. Fur is a sensory tool. Our little girl was already shaved three weeks before this downward spiral with her eye sight began but we realized that we have to let her fur grow out some more, no matter how hot she is, before shaving her again. Maybe in two or three weeks she can be shaved again. Fur isn't just a sensory tool for them to figure out where they are, it's also a tool to sense who is around them. It terrified her to have someone just randomly pet her without her realizing they were there. Touching fur first is better than touching peachfuzz and sensitive skin.

Big Mouth is still taking her sweet time opening that loud mouth of hers again and wailing to the world that she Wants Her Daddy NOW or Can You Pay Attention To ME Please, I Am The Princess?! but we have high hopes that one day really soon she'll be living up to her name once again. It may be as soon as next week for all we know. With what I've seen from her the past few days absolutely nothing would surprise me any longer.

I look at her now and her forever fully expanded pupils and it tears at my heart. I have cried so much the past week. It kills me inside. I can't stand to think that I'll never see her looking directly into my eyes again with that imperious glare that is distinctly Siamese. She'll never wink at me again. She'll never say "I love you" with her eyes again. She looks in my general direction but never directly at me. This knowledge hurts. I have to remind myself continually that she is interested in me although she cannot see me. It's ego on my part and quite a bit of selfishness. We're both being forced to adapt and reevaluate things.

She'll probably always walk into certain walls in the house. And then again some of these occurrences are not accidents and never will be. Like blind humans, she uses particular things as guide posts. She'll graze a corner here and curve around something there and then she knows where she is. She gets turned around quite easily still. It's like standing in the woods and no matter where you look all the trees look identical. How do you go about finding your way when you can't even see the sun overhead?

But still like the old Big Mouth, she does show her love and interest in other ways. She still curls up on my lap while watching TV. We watch now and she listens. She may not be able to see the blood and gore she loved so much but she can still hear the screams. She still drools on my clothes while sleeping on me and she still licks my husband's knee raw with her raspy tongue while sitting on him. She treats him like a salt lick. We've never been sure why. 

She still find comfort in the same few blankies, one of which is The Pink Fluffy(AKA my old housecoat which she cuddled with so much it is now nearly an unwashable brown instead of pink). This was one of the first items she recognized positively after losing her sight and it helps her to relax at night with us.

She's becoming a little more sure of herself, and although I cringe when I see her walk into things over and over again, now I jump a foot into the air at times because she's learned to use her stealthy cat senses to scare the living shit out of us. She used to make some sort of noise when walking across a room. Not anymore. Big Mouth carefully places each foot on the floor to judge where she is in the house(carpet, linoleum, tile, or cement) and to keep her balance. In return for this new careful grace she now has the creeping ability of the quietest panther. You turn around and there she is right where you next wanted to place your foot. And so we are now perpetually in Watch Out For The Blind Cat alert mode. She is too stealthy. 

I'll be glad when she starts being more vocal again, then we can always figure out where she is. She never used to shut up. Now the quiet makes us look around for her frantically, in fear that she's gotten herself backed up behind the trashcan yet again or even behind the refrigerator. She used to get lost in our closet even when she had eyesight and now?...egads. We had to start keep our closet door closed now. There is nothing more pitiful than searching the house for your cat only to find her inside your closet and sitting, staring at the back of the closet door. Of course she's not really staring at anything but it is disturbing to watch her just sit there because she feels like she's stuck.

This girl has bumped her face into things more times than I can count the past week but early today when I saw her walk directly out of the room she was in, turn right then left and then right again straight down the hallway without a hitch I nearly had a heart attack. What was she doing, counting her steps? How did she do it? What was she using as a guide? Not the wall. She was walking down the very middle of the hallway. 

It's surreal watching her learn to exist without this sense she lost only a few days ago. The desire to persevere, the persistence, the adaptability of a creature who truly wants to continue to live is a tremendous validation of the strength of her character. She's an old lady who no doubt feels a few aches and pains some days. But otherwise she's healthy as a horse  and she refused to lie down and mope about it longer than she had to. We can learn a lot about intestinal fortitude from such fine examples.

My big male cat, Killer Kitty, doesn't understand yet that she's blind. She walks directly into his side at least a half a dozen times a day and at least a few times he swats at her. It doesn't take much to annoy him, though. He's my little Grumpy Man. But he'll learn through watching her and she'll learn by getting swatted at that when her whiskers graze against another cat's fur she needs to veer off instead of continuing to walk forward until her head butts against him. Live and learn. Adapt. Grow through experience which leads to knowledge. Gnosis.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

"Ai Weiwei- Never Sorry"

I encourage everyone to learn about and follow the works of an amazing artist-activist in China. Ai Weiwei. On YouTube you can find a snippets of the documentary about him called, "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry." To watch the whole thing you'll have to go to Netflix or some other movie house. It's a perfect example of the kind of action which is desperately needed here in the States!!! Here's a condensed bit of info plus shots from the movie. 

Ai Weiwei's parents were protesters, themselves. His father was a poet who earned himself and his wife more than a few years in a labor camp. Ai spent a few years there, as well. He became an artist which did not graduate from the 'acceptable' academy in China and so his art is known as outsider art. It's all inflammatory, all real, and always relevant. The Chinese government passionately hates him and his international stardom. Trying to rein him in only makes his retaliatory acts more daring.

In 2008 he designed "The Birdsnest" stadium structure for the Olympics. It all went downhill from there because he was finally woken up to what kind of protest was necessary to promote change in China. It's been a battle staying alive since then. 

This  picture below shows the installation art ("Remembering") he created entirely from 9,000 children's backpacks in the wake of the devastating 2008 earthquuake which killed so many thousands. The pictures Ai saw after the incident of backpacks strewn everywhere around these schools haunted him.


"She lived happily for seven years in this world," which was a quote from the parent of one of the victim's mother. This is what the Chinese characters spell out in the installation art. 

Ai and his company were protesting the fact that the Chinese government didn't have an accurate tally of dead and injured. They didn't seem to care at all. The majority of the children killed were in very shoddy government built schools when they collapsed on them. Any time people tried to do compilations of names in these towns the government officials harassed them; obviously something stinky was afoot.

As another form of protest he and his company compiled a list of every child they could find out about. By April of 2009 they had compiled a list totaling 5,385 verifiable names. After he posted their names online the government ripped his blog down. So he had other people post the names to get the word out!! 

Ai is an avid Twitter fanatic. His blog got ripped down a few times by the government so he gave up.  I went to the site and sure enough, it's just a blanket page with a link about the government suing him and a few links. But on Twitter he is a chatterbox.

Here he is eating outside a cafe with a dozen anonymous friends who sat down to eat with him. That act alone was defiance on their part. The police showed up and tried to harass him to leave. He didn't. Everyone finished their meals. The police could only watch and glare at them.




The Chinese government finally got tired of his antics and....




Ai was detained at Beijing airport by police when he was trying to board a plane to Hong Kong. Protests and rallies have helped spread the word of what Chinese officials have done.



They held Ai Weiwei for eighty-one days in an undisclosed location and interrogated him about his 'unlawful activities' within his art. They were interested in his publicity interviews and online activities. They detained him under the guise of investigating his company's finances. He was released after admitting to 'tax evasion(which he later lost in court but is refusing to pay out) and put on probation which prohibited him from speaking to reporters, blogging or tweeting, or leaving the city of Beijing.

The sign above is one which was at a protest rally in China at a police station. Sorry about the movie control area graying out a portion of it. It says, "China Set Them Free!" That is a list of the number of writers, lawyers, artists, teachers, and other intellectuals who were all systematically rounded up around the same time as Ai. 


The artist reappeared over two months later, shaken, and wouldn't talk to anyone for quite some time. He said that he was out on bail and couldn't access his Twitter account or talk about anything that happened. It didn't stop him for long, though. Within weeks he was back at it.



In 2011 the government demolished his art studio which had just been completed. Ai invited people to an outdoor barbecue to celebrate but he couldn't attend the party himself because he was placed on house arrest. Celebrate what, you ask? Friendship!!! Camaraderie! Harmony! The joy of being alive. Later that day the building they celebrated in was demolished by government workers. The party was the only act of defiance they could really make. 

One of his most notable recent works was a short film featuring Ai writing in Chinese characters on a white background and then several people coming to stand before they camera and saying, "Fuck you, motherland," in their native tongue and then walking away from the camera's view. Ai was last. The international art community, along with Human Rights Watch, collectively felt their jaws hit the floor. This was one of his most provocative works. No one could be sure what would happen to him now.

In April of 2012, Ai set up several cameras to monitor him at his house and linked the feed online. His reason was that the Chinese government already had a dozen cameras on him already, 24/7, so what's four more? Forty-six hours after his cameras went live the government demanded he removed them. They received over five million views before being disconnected.  

I'd like everyone reading this to pause for a moment to consider the implications here. The government can watch your every move and it's ok. But if you hook up a live feed to the internet and allow the rest of the world to watch you-- it's NOT ok?  

I know at this point it's not just an act of defiance on his part, it's for his own personal safety.  Still, it is an artist's statement which deserves to be analyzed on a global scale. What would happen if you tried to do the same thing??

And so now we watch and wait to see what happens to this brave man. 

Here is a link to his Twitter account. It's in Chinese.  Does anyone know how I can translate that whole page to English??