Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sunday, June 1, 2014


A week before I turned 12 my older sister left home because my dad was attemping to or had been molesting her.  I was devastated as my mom had been in a prescription drug induced state since I was four and I had no one else that I was close to and trusted.  My sis was like a mom to me. She had been my companion, caretaker and best friend so I cried for days when she left. But no one knew as I clammed up when my dad came home from work each day.  I think there was improper touching with all three of us older children when we were younger. At almost 58 years old I find that I am still ashamed to say it out loud. I had a very turbulent childhood , adolescence and early adulthood. But I should be dead or drug  or alcohol addled so I am better off than I should have been. I have a 34 year old girl who is the light of my life and she is doing better all the time.I have been divorced from her dad for 29 years. I still love him and I understand him so much better now than when I was younger.  I did not have the knowledge and skills to have a successful relationship when we were married. Sometimes I think I do now but I may never know.  I have grown and learned and struggled as an adult to become more than I was destined to be but the one thing that still eludes me is a relationship with a man.  I grew up afraid of my father as his temper grew horrible after my mom had the first nervous breakdown (as they called it then). His rage and frustration grew as he struggled to take care of what became 6 children, work a job and live a life with a wife who never came back from the illness that stole her life and changed her family's lives forever. She sat at the kitchen table drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and talking to people who weren't there. And he took  care of us all but grew sick himself as time wore on. He had no normal life, few friends - no one came to the house because he was ashamed. His perversion grew over time and he came to his children for his sexual satisfaction. I have no specific memories but I got up every night during my ninth year and threw up alone in the bathroom. I told no one as there was no one to tell. My sister knew but she could do nothing so she watched as I climbed back into my bed. Yes, I did type 'bead' the first time. lol

It seems that about every year my mom was in the state hospital for 3 months for treatment and each of us was farmed out to relatives who cared for us during those times. That was no picnic either.  We were cared for but no one spoke about what was happening so we had no way to process all the things that scared us and made us insecure. Our bodies were taken care of but our minds and spirits were on their own. We never learned proper social interaction and I was so shy from being beaten down by my dad verbally that I didn't learn to make small talk until in my mid 20's when I needed to learn office behavior for jobs. It was a slow and painful process as I had many inhibitions and poor self image but I struggled to grow.

The neighborhood children that we went to school with picked on my family as we were the weak link in the area. School was a nightmare as the kids taunted us and rejected us so that we did not fit in anywhere.

Over time a deep deep sorrow grew in my heart and mind as nothing improved or changed. Then things became worse as my dad's perversion started. I think he was reading books that lead him there. What else I do not know.

After my sister and only friend left home I began running away from home as the pain of my haunted childhood was too much to bear alone. That is another whole story in itself and I may write on that later.

But to this day I still have some fear of men and have never learned to interact in a healthy way to make a long term relationship work. I also think that due to a poor self image I attracted the wrong type of men to make that happen . it has been a  long, painful and hard uphill battle all of my life. I have gotten to the point that I have a pretty happy life which I realized long ago was critical for my daughter's happiness. But that one thing still eludes me. A happy relationship with a loving man. I am tired of all the struggle and growing and now just want to settle in and enjoy my hobbies for the rest of my life. I grow flowers and vegetables. I love my dogs and make glass beads, work metal and design jewelry. But how sweet it would be to share that with a nice man. :o)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Still Time to Order Online

You can still order online to get Christmas delivery. I would use Priority mail to be safe. Most Etsy stores use first class but add the option to get Priority mail. That is what I do so you will have the option if you need it.
 I still have my 30% off Christmas sale going for you if you need last minute gifts. I have a bunch of jewelry: necklaces, bracelets and earrings that are ready to ship. All on sale and ready to go. I also have added gift boxes in my shop with a pretty holiday ribbon. ;o)
Let me know if I can help you with anything.  Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Workman's Comp at the Post Office

I work at the post office sorting and then delivering mail and packages. I do a lot of heavy lifting , a lot of collecting mail around the station and carrying it back to my mail case to sort then sorting and loading heavy parcels.

I have a history of a hip/back injury from a fall 5 years ago and it flared up again 2 weeks ago as I was lifting a heavy 3 feet wide tray of mail out of the bottom of a large canvas gurney used for rolling the mail and parcels around to where we need them to be.

I lifted the tray out and turned with the weight in my hands and my hip started screaming with pain. I had an Express mail with me that had to be delivered my noon and it was 11:30 already. It had to be delivered by noon or I would be disciplined.

I was hoping if I kept moving it would ease up which it sometimes will but it did not. I got the Express delivered on time and went back to the beginning of my route to begin delivery. It took me longer than usual to deliver my route due to the pain I was in but I kept at it to get it finished.
When I got back to the station I put away my empty equipment and mail trays and went to tell the boss I had hurt my self again. I saw both of my supervisors as I returned so I had no idea they were going anywhere but they had both gone to do another duty by the time I went to find them. We are supposed to report injuries immediately but I was afraid to.

When I filled out the paperwork the next morning first thing I stated that the reason I had not reported the problem immediately which is required is that neither supervisor was there and I was in pain I did not want to wait for them to return.
My supervisor got very angry and threatened me with an investigative interview for not reporting  it immediately. I was questioned about the circumstances around the specifics of what happened and if I saw my supers when I returned and why did I not speak immediately.
There is such a atmosphere of hostility about work injuries at the post office that it made me reluctant to say anything at all. People who are injured on the job and report it are treated like thieves and liars at the post office. I have had two doctors who told me at my appointments with them that they were going to refuse further service to the post office workman's comp office after my treatment was finished. They told me they were having everything they wrote questioned by the usps comp office and they were  sorry but they could not continue to treat me. They did not stop doing Workman's Comp claims for other companies - only for the post office. It is very hard to find doctors who are willing to even work with the post office workman's comp office because everything they say is questioned...twice!  So, I was quite a bit intimidated about reporting the recurrence of the problem. People in the post office work for years with injuries because they afraid and not willing to got through the hassling they will get when an injury is reported for treatment.

I told my super that I did not report it at once because I was hoping it would ease off because they get mad at us if we report injuries. He stopped questioning at that point.

There is a pervasive attitude of anger and distrust toward people who report injuries at the post office. You are treated with hostility. you can see their face change right in front of your eyes. I am sure some people have lied ( although I don't know how they can get a doctor to verify that they have an actual injury) and gotten benefits from work when they were not injured but my tests (mri) have proven I am not lying. I am still treated like the red headed step child at work. I was told post office comp in Nashville was hemming and hawing about accepting my case. It still remains up in the air.

It causes so much stress on top of the injury to go through the process of being treated that with mistrust. I have worked with a torn rotator cuff, a labral tear and acute tendinitis in my right shoulder for 10 years without complaining. And now a bone spur has developed because of it. That is the post office comp office's fault for intimidating people about seeking treatment for work related injuries. I do not blame to woman who runs the comp office. I blame post office management higher up. I know where the attitude comes from.S**t  flows downhill and the post office is pervasive with it.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Andrew C. Revkin on Human Impact on environment

Andrew C. Revkin began exploring the human impact on the environment nearly 30 years ago. An early stop was Papeete, Tahiti. This narrated slide show describes his extensive travels.
This is a short video by him.
A Planet in Flux
Read more posts here: 

this is a recent New York Times article by him sharing what his future holds.

My Second Half

12:48 p.m. | Updated In this video snippet from a recent talk in Portland, Oregon, I explain some of my thinking on moving from full-time journalism to a focus on making information matter:
Today is my last day as a staff reporter for The New York Times. After spending more than a quarter of a century writing about science and the environment, more than half of that time here, I am switching gears for the second half of my professional life. I’ll be continuing to blog, write and work with video. And I’ll certainly keep contributing to this remarkable newspaper as it works to sustain a reliable view of the fast-changing planet while straddling the uncertain interface between the front page and home page.
But my prime focus now will be education and a broader exploration of new ways to make information work – to give ideas the best chance of getting where they are needed to help advance our relationships to the environment and each other. I’m taking a position as senior fellow for environmental understanding at Pace University, situated in the school’s young Academy for Applied Environmental Studies. There’s more background on my plans in theColumbia Journalism Review, the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media and CEJournal. I’ll also be working on two books, one for middle school kids on resilience to disasters and another, for adults, on ways to navigate the next 50 years with the fewest regrets.
I’m convinced that there is vast untapped potential to use the Web and other means to build global awareness and meaningful relationships. Here’s some evidence. While giving a talk at Linfield College in Oregon in September, I learned of a professor of U.S.-Russian relations at another school who, on his own and with no extra budget or bureaucracy, recently linked his course through Web video with another course in U.S.-Russian relations in St. Petersburg, Russia. The same could be done for courses in climate policy, linking North and South, and even within schools. Imagine parallel deconstructions of climate legislation by, say, political science students and climate science students, using an online document dissector — essentially a more sophisticated, layered variant of the speech and document annotationsdone here on Dot Earth. (Please let me know if tools like this already exist out there.)
Another hint of what’s possible came in November, while I was in Istanbul to report a forthcoming story. I visited a poor neighborhood called Bagcilar. As I interviewed residents at a community center that had a dozen heavily used computers, several kids ran up to me, checking out my camcorder and pad. A common greeting of theirs was, “Facebook? Facebook?” Some are Facebook friends of mine now.
A couple of days after that incident, I suddenly had a thought (not a new thought, I’m sure). There’s no need for a universal language like Esperanto when a translation algorithm might break down the Babel barrier. I know that connectedness can work for ill as well as good. But I can’t see a bad outcome from having a way for residents of Bagcilar and Buffalo to learn about, and from, each other through a computer screen.
My thirst for such experimentation is what pushed me to create Dot Earth two years and nearly 850 posts ago. The blogroll here is an incomplete directory of relevant sites. But I want to build a much more usable “tool kit” for people or groups working on these issues. There are lots of efforts percolating around the world, but I haven’t seen a “go to” portal where they are compiled and examined. (Just one example, with a different focus, is the “Do Tank” of the New York School of Law).
I’ll keep blogging, of course. Frankly, I consider it an unavoidable responsibility of communicators. It has not been easy to blog, particularly while synchronizing that effort with ongoing print work. Through moderating tens of thousands of comments, I’ve had to deal with some angry people not interested in learning, but far more individuals with a thirst for community and understanding and a willingness to encounter contrary views as part of that quest.
In many ways, this kind of two-way communication is well suited to the implicit complexities and uncertainty attending life on a crowding planet that is showing signs of strain from the blazingly fast expansion of this human experiment. When I was 12, in 1968, there were about 3.5 billion of us. We’ve nearly doubled since then and will approach triple that number around mid-century. And our appetite for energy and other resources has grown even faster. So far, technological and social innovations have enabled our species to burst through predicted walls. Can we keep that up? This remains an open question, to my mind.
Lately, I’ve been describing the kind of inquiry I do on Dot Earth as providing a service akin to that of a mountain guide after an avalanche. Follow me and I can guarantee an honest search for a safe path. This is a big contrast from the dominant journalism paradigm of the last century, crystallized in Walter Cronkite’s “That’s the way it is” signoff.
The core of my work at Pace will be the creation of a classroom and online course that, in essence, is an expansion of Dot Earth. As is the case here, the prime framing question explored each year by students will be: 9 Billion People + 1 Planet = ? This course will use mechanisms I tried in a seminar I taught a few years ago at the Bard Graduate Center for Environmental Policy. At Bard, for certain core assignments, students were divided into groups taking the approaches of different stakeholders in the drama of human development on a finite planet.
At Pace, I envision teams of students taking on the stance of techno-optimists and libertarians on one side and proponents of steady-state economics and growth limits on the other. Depending on the issue, they could be the Global North and South, or “Guardians of the Future” versus interests of today. For discussions of the science, they would critically examine the role of “real” skepticism and the perils of oversimplification and advocacy when science meets the media and politics. I’d love to think that each year this course could produce a Web-based wiki-style product and/or printable book memorializing the journey.
Who knows, I may build a “Second Life” course to go with the real one. I was fascinated when the University of Delaware made it possible for a lecture of mine there to appear “live” in that parallel world:
You can probably understand by now why I no longer see journalism, on its own, as the single best use of my remaining days. Among other goals, I want to help make scientists and scientific institutions into better, more committed, more creative communicators. In a world of shrinking specialized journalism, direct outreach will be more vital than ever.
I plan to do this by helping design a curriculum component, or Web-based training portal, that could be used to help ensure that students bound for careers in science learn how to navigate the interface between their domain and the outside world. Part of this would probably link schools of journalism and communication with science departments on the same campuses. Communication should be a central component of a science education, not seen as an inconvenient obligation.
Finally (this is more than enough for the rest of a lifetime), I want to help build networks of journalists and communicators in rich and poor places so that good ideas can be efficiently shared and flawed ones modified. The Earth Journalism Network is one example. Developing Radio Partners is another. When writing my book on the Amazon, I learned about the power of radio (which was an organizing tool for the rubber tappers seeking to gain land rights). But this potential goes way beyond radio. What happens to all those “one laptop per child” machines? Are they simply dropped off, or are the recipients cultivated as a network?
My charge to my students will be simple: Let’s find out.
Andrew C. Revkin began exploring the human impact on the environment nearly 30 years ago. An early stop was Papeete, Tahiti. This narrated slide show describes his extensive travels.
This is a short video by him.
A Planet in Flux

Sunday, July 21, 2013

It Was Another Life

 This is taken from a blog that I visited on my jewelry blog hopping one day. It is like my own childhood when there were no days that everything was ok. 

'I don't talk about my childhood a great deal. There are not a lot of good memories. My home was not a happy place.
I came from a large family where I was not wanted or liked by anyone. I tried to make sense of the world the best I could under those circumstances.

I have an early memory of hiding behind  a living room chair. I can still see the ugly upholstery. It was colonial themed, gold with pineapples and eagles holding arrows in their talons. I was hiding there because my mother  unpredictable and dangerous, was  having an episode of  fury, directing it at anyone in her path. I knew if she could not see me I would be safe. 

There was a woman who lived 2 houses down our street. She was a single mother to three grown children. Her name was Helen. 
She thought my sisters and I were adorable little kids. 
I attached myself to her, as she was the only person I knew  who actually liked me and I could trust. She had a big tabby cat named Junior. He had quite an attitude but I was fond of him and he tolerated me.
I would wait for her to come home from work. She would invite me in and give me cookies. She never spoke down to me, she  didn't judge me. She opened her home to me and never turned me away. I never felt like I had to hide in her house.  
As I grew older I would go to her house  after dinner and watch TV. She would make tea and we would talk about current events, talk about things like what her grown children were up to, or she would tell me stories about growing up as a  Chippewa girl  in the upper peninsula of Michigan.  
I don't know if she was aware of what went on in my house. It was never mentioned, but I have to believe  she had an idea of the chaos that happened there.But I don't know if she really knew how important  she was to me, how she  taught me the value of kindness and gentleness and love. 
When I graduated from high school she gave me a  card with some money. I sent her a thank you note and I told her that she had made a difference in my life. She died from cancer a few years later.  
She was the first person in my life that believed in me. She took a fragile child and showed her that life didn't have to be unhappy. 
When I think of her now, I remember how the smallest kindness can give a child hope.

 The house I grew up in Webster, NY was always in upheaval before I turned the age of four. Although I hid under the bed as close to the wall as I could get. 
I have to admit that my good memories consist of running out the door on summer's days and running wildly down beaten paths through the pristine wooded paradise behind the house.  There was a perfect clean stream running , meandering through the middle of the wood and it provided life to all sorts of creatures - frogs, salamanders and me. I would sit on the bank or lay on a tree that grew bent over the flowing water and find peace in the sound and movement of the water.  

' I go to nature to be soothed and healed - to have my senses put back in order.'  quoted from unknown author

I still do find some peace from nature out in my garden. But there is a part of me that longs for that pristine wood to wander through as I  get older.

and I still find that I cannot go to this place emotionally  very often. It is exhausting and takes me out of the reality that I have today and have worked so hard for.