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We work together just fine!

***This is a guest post from the Head Honcho at BetheRain about what it’s like to work with me, how we deal with world views and differences, and a fix for societal plights we face today. Awesome read, I highly recommend it! GW***

Grace Winterwood has been tasked with looking at life, and the inevitable politics that enslave it, as are the rest of us. I am not here to comment on my colleague’s personal views nor whether I agree or disagree with her opinions. The point of this writing is how we co-exist as intelligent human beings with differing viewpoints in our close-knit work environment.

Daily issues consume us all. No matter where you reside, American politics affect you one way or another. This is our destiny or plight- depending on your outlook. There is no escape, no matter how hard one may try. The United States of America has decided they are the go-to resource for the world’s problems. But do we create more problems than we solve?

In our instant case (to borrow the legal term) we are mainly concerned with localized viewpoints. Even as outspoken advocates for the rights of others, our viewpoints do not always synch. This is a problem not only for us as collaborative people but us as a society. Or is it?

We, as a country, are deeply divided. This fact has been apparent since the hanging chads and the highly-contested elections of some member of the Bush family. I’m not here to bore you with my opinion on those elections or administrations.

The issues we keep coming back to (as a writing team) are essentially non-political. Yes, Trump installed Jeff Sessions (an admitted racist) as Attorney General. Yes, Trump wanted, at one time to build a wall. We, as humans, are forced to react and we do so in real time. It’s not as easy as it looks, there is a process of vetting articles. There is also the fact that we try to veer away from politics on our collaborative website: www.betherain.org.

World views and issues arise daily. None of us has any control of that process. What we DO have control of is the way we intake and let any new information guide our individual mantras. For example, the issues in North Korea are universal. Everyone agrees this is an aggressive State with issues that need to be addressed.

Our own election process has been called into question and proof is emerging that Russia was indeed involved to “some extent” in the 2016 US election.

Personally, I have as much distaste for Hillary Clinton as I do Donald Trump. This is not a political commentary, however. Grace has been a lighthouse in the storm. The country has been torn and remains torn over issues we have not seen raised since the 60’s. Grace is a conservative. I am a liberal. At least this is the quick label we would need at a corporate or national event.

We work together for one reason. We want to help people. In doing so it makes no sense to let individual viewpoints or political views to enter the conversation. I challenge other workplaces to adopt our open discussion policy. We have actually figured out the solution to racism if anyone cares to listen…

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Singing the Blues

The reporting-got-me-crazy-new-puppy-got-me-sleepy blues. For the past, what, 2 months or so I have been up to my eyeballs in coverage for a journal I write for. It’s a really cool place to write, and we generate some hella good articles (BetheRain). I’m a conservative, the head honcho is…not. Not sure what he is exactly, an independative, maybe. And then there’s a British guy. Which can lead to some funny as hell conversations at times. Anyway, I’ve been covering the #freedanielholtzclaw thing, and I’m totally absorbed. It seems like I can barely come up for air, much less sleep. Things are, well, things around here. So naturally I thought it would be a brilliant idea to add a puppy to the mix.

An adorable, lovable, warm, fuzzy 4 month old puppy. Named Annabelle. You know about that possessed Raggedy Anne doll named Annabelle, right? Yeah. So on day one, she made the trip from Georgia, she was shy and reserved and worn out from all the new experiences. Day 2 she discovered that when she potties outside she gets a treat. This led to a record number of potty trips. She’d go make the peepees, come inside and 20 minutes later, go make the poopies. All day long. Needless to say, on Day 3 the upset tummy hit. Then it was a solid 24 hours of making the poopies every 20 minutes regardless. Treats were withheld at this time. And food. And sitting on the furniture. And sleep

I’m happy to report that the upset tummy is resolved, treats are strictly regulated, and I now have a toddler in her terrible two’s running around on 4 legs. This, this, this animal gets into everything. Ev.Er.Y.Thing. Nothing is sacred. She destroys remote controls, shoes, brooms, mops, furniture, fireplaces, plastic bags, bras, and panties with equal joyous abandon. And this little shit is lightning fast when she wants to be. If she’s got a remote, you can’t catch her. You just have to stalk her until she tires out, and hope for the best. She is also fond of dragging the outside to the inside. I have swept up enough grass, leaves, pecans, twigs and rocks to make my own forest. And she has a foot fetish. She doesn’t care if you wear shoes or not, your feet are fair game to her. In an effort to not step on her head, I twisted my foot this morning, and now it’s very Shrek-looking and Shrek-feeling. Just when you are ready to lose your mind, she crawls onto your lap and bathes you in cute puppy kisses and head butts. How can you stay mad at that?

By fishing the damn toilet paper out of her mouth while she’s doing it, that’s how. She rouses me bright and early every morning to go make the peepees and the poopies. I’m grateful for that, because cleaning up peepees and poopies is not my favorite thing. But once she is up, she’s UP for a good 5 or 6 hours, jetting around like she’s got a rocket up her butt, daring you to catch up. ***SPOILER ALERT*** You never do. Finally around lunch time, I give in to stress and put her in her kennel for an hour or two, so I can get some peace. She barks and whines for 3 minutes like she’s dying, then lays down and takes a nap. God, what a FABULOUS idea. I think I will too.

The house is quiet, the demon spawn is quiet, and I am just about asleep. It’s at this precise time that my cell phone develops a life of it’s own. I’ve got messages flooding in, calls flooding in, Twitter decides to update my feed, and Facebook sends me every message I have gotten. Ever. This goes on for an hour or two. Then, oddly, as I release the demon spawn Annabelle from captivity, my phone goes quiet. This is now what my days ae like. Every day. ***SPOILER ALERT*** This is also the bedtime routine. So I am back to stalking the dog, while trying to research and/or write without killing myself or Annabelle. Have you ever tried to talk to an attorney while prying a puppy off your foot? I have. The man thinks I’m an idiot now, and possibly mildly retarded. But here she comes again with kisses and head butts. And toilet paper. God Bless It, Annabelle, where the FUCK are you getting all this toilet paper from, you little shit? Pardon me, I have to run, trip, go…I have to find the toilet paper source. Have a great day!

Solar Eclipse Wait

While I am sitting here waiting on the eclipse, I decided to wow you with more of my droll writing abilities and insights. Actually, I woke up this morning with ancient civilizations on my brain. Can you imagine the fear and awe they must have felt during a solar eclipse? The sky going dark in the middle of the day must have just been terrifying. How many spiritual men called it an omen from the gods? It makes me thankful that we have the science to understand it now, because at the moment, STATUES. So if we didn’t understand the science of the eclipse, could you imagine the effect it would have on societal change now?

On the other hand, I wonder if it would change the awe I feel when I witness an event like this. I guarantee you a bunch of witches reputations were MADE during an eclipse in ancient times. Think about it. It’s a normal day, it starts getting dark, and the local witch starts doing witchy stuff to restore it. BOOM! Suddenly, she’s (or he’s) a miracle worker, and she’s got it made for the rest of her life. Unless she’s accused of causing the eclipse to start with. Then she may wind up dead, but with serious street cred.

Ok, well the partial totality is over here in Alabama, and even though it didn’t get dark, it was still pretty awesome to witness. The bugs were all convinced it was dusk, as the mosquito bites all over my legs will attest. Plus they all got noisy and started singing like mad. They are still going, but getting quieter since it is slowly getting brighter outside again. The best I can describe it is that the sunlight got very weak looking. There were long shadows from the trees and the sky looked sort of wavery, if you know what I mean. The pictures I took show the sky going from a bright blue to a muddy grey color. I was just grateful the clouds cooperated for us here. And thanks to technology I was able to watch totality on television, and herself got to see the corona of the sun. I don’t know why getting to see it in real time is different than seeing pictures, but it is somehow.

I think I am going to choose to see it as a good omen. Lord knows we could use some goodness in the world today.

Stricter Idiot Control

Some jackwagon decided to piss me off last night. I have just started working for another news aggregation service, and I was struggling through my first article for them. The article itself wasn’t a struggle, but learning their platform was trying my patience. Not to mention, the article was about Daniel Holtzclaw and I was trying to make sure it didn’t wind up buried as a useless op-ed piece that nobody would read. So take note…go learn about Daniel Holtzclaw. But then, come back and finish reading this. Actually, you know what? I’ll post some links to information about Daniel Holtzclaw at the end of this post. Two birds, one post.

So anyway, I had been battling WordPress on this article, then battling AP Images, then Pixlr. It was not a great night for me, and I just wanted to get it published and go to bed. Finally, I hit publish, minus any tags, and apparently with image issues that my editor hit me with at the crack of dawn this morning. I shut everything down, and stretched out on my bed. My daughter came in to say goodnight and went to her room. And then we were hit with stupidity.
It sounded like something heavy had fallen over in the house. That’s what it sounded like. What it was though, was some idiot shooting into the house. Yes, with a real gun, and real bullets. Causing real big holes. It didn’t even remotely sound like a gunshot. Or several, because according to my neighbors, they heard several. Just a loud crash. Well, now I know what a .45 sounds like when it punches a hole through 2 walls.

My initial reaction was messed up, too. I was seriously pissed because it shredded the blinds and got glass everywhere. I still get pissed looking at the blinds, because it looks trashy.  Like I’ve got a rabid cat, or mad coked out ferret running loose in here. I have neither of those things, by the way. The “holy hell that could have killed someone” reaction didn’t hit for a couple of hours.  It was definitely there by about 2 in the morning, though, when I heard every single noise for a 4 block radius. By 3 a.m. my mind was playing tricks on me and I was hearing crap that wasn’t there. I finally dozed off about 6 this morning, and my alarm went off at 7 so I could get the trash out for pick up.

I’m a strong advocate for the right to bear arms. I’m also a strong advocate of being educated in firearm safety and use. The general consensus is that it was some teenage gangsta-wannabe, who had no idea what he was actually doing. His parents need to be punched in the neck for not educating him, and not keeping up with what kind of crap he’s doing, if that’s the case. In the light of day, it’s a simple matter to be pissed off. Once it gets dark and quiet again, I expect the fear to come. I felt safe in my home before this. I don’t feel safe now, I feel violated. Whoever shot that gun took that from me. Nobody should have to live this way. Stricter gun control will not fix that. We need stricter idiot control. Because that gun wasn’t randomly going down the road shooting; there was an idiot behind it, pulling the trigger. Last time I checked, criminals and idiots don’t pay much attention to the law anyway, so stricter gun control wouldn’t really affect them.

And now, as promised, links to learn about Daniel Holtzclaw;

http://www.holtzclawtrial.com/

Recent Article

http://justicefordanielholtzclaw.com/

http://michellemalkin.com/2016/12/02/exclusive-what-if-the-convicted-serial-rapist-cop-is-innocent/

 

Hot Egg Farts In My Hair, Day 2

Well, after the scary orange-turned funky ombre hair thing, I used One ‘n Only Color Fix on my hair yesterday to try and find a happy medium between scary orange and funky ombre. What I found was tan. It levelled out my hair to a uniform tan. I’ve never seen tan hair before yesterday. It was kind of interesting. It did make the silver grey roots less noticeable. But tan is a hair color for coloring books in kindergarten, so I knew I wasn’t done. The lady at Sally beauty supply told me to do the second treatment, that it could conceivably remove the remaining color. So here I sit, my head wrapped in a plastic bag of ass, trying to get rid of the tan.

A few things to note, if you are trying this yourself. The instructions call for 20 minutes. I left it in for about an hour. And rinsing, dear GOD at the rinsing. I think I rinsed and washed and rinsed again about as long as I left it in my hair. How long do you rinse? Until you can’t feel, or smell the stuff in your hair anymore, plus 20 minutes. I rinsed until my hair squeaked, then I washed in Head and Shoulders shampoo, rinsed until squeaky again, washed with a purple shampoo for tone, rinsed until squeaky again, piled on gobs of conditioner, rinsed until squeaky again, and finally put in a leave-in conditioner. I did not use the third bottle in the box, as I wasn’t sure I had gotten it all out. If you don’t rinse it all out, bottle #3 will re-oxidize your hair color and make it dark again. Or something like that. Anyway, I didn’t use it. I also didn’t even towel dry my hair, as it was very moisture starved by this point. I sat around and dripped for a good 30-45 minutes. And gloried in my tan hair for the rest of the evening.

Today, it’s been in my hair and stinking up my house for 32 minutes so far. I’ll check it in  another half hour and go from there.  Yep, I’m taking the risk so you don’t have to! But I draw the line at pictures or videos, sorry.

Orange Hair is NOT Amusing

So, among other quirky things about my house you didn’t know, is the fact that the hose pipe in the back yard connects off of my water heater. I don’t know why it does, but it does. There’s a reason I am telling you this. It’s because of the orange hair. Yes, you heard me. Orange hair. ORANGE. Not soft orange, not naturally occurring in nature orange, not attractive orange. ORANGE, like creepy clown in the sewer orange. Are we all on the same page now?

I have grey and silver hair. I have a lot of grey and silver hair. I usually dye it back to my youthful dark brown, but guys, I’ve been dyeing my hair for over 30 years, and I am sick of doing it. Since silver and grey hair is all the rage right now, I figured it would be a good time to embrace my granny hair and escape the dye trap. I wanted to do it yesterday while herself was still in the hospital because to strip color off of your hair is a smelly process. In fact, it smells like egg farts and fireplace matches.  I figured she didn’t need the aromatherapy, so with a plan in place, I left the hospital and headed for the beauty supply, where I picked up a box of maximum strength egg farts Color Oops. I bet you’re trying to figure out what this has to do with the hose pipe, huh? I’m getting to that.

So color lifter in hand, I strip to my unmentionables, and get to work on my mass of hair.  I read the directions three times to make sure I knew what I was doing. I put the stuff in my hair, put the bag on my head, and waited the requisite 20 minutes. As I was stripping out of even my unmentionables, I heard a lawn mower roar to life, but thought nothing of it, as I live in a tidy neighborhood where someone is always mowing their lawn. Rinse hair in warm water for 20 minutes, it said. Then wash it with additional 5 minute rinses for a total of 3 washes and 4 rinses. In warm water. Warm water is apparently pretty damned important. I’m 7 minutes into my first rinse when the water pressure sort of drops. O-kaaaaaay. Roughly 60 seconds later I have zero hot water. None. I stick my head out of my shower long enough to realize it’s my lawn being mowed. Well crap. It’s my friend’s very well-intentioned mother, having my yard done for me. Which includes watering my plants. With the hose pipe out back, the very one connected to my water heater.

I turn off all the cold water, hoping to persevere, and call said friend on my cell. “Tell whoever is out there to turn off the hose,” I screech. “I’m in the shower with color lifter on my hair and I have to have hot water!” Now, to be fair, I’d probably laugh a bit if I was on the receiving end of that call, but I was on the sending end, and I was NOT laughing. To give her credit, she tried. She failed, but she tried. So did I. I made it to the second wash and rinse in thoroughly cold water before just giving up. I step out of the shower, look in the mirror, and start crying. My hair is as orange as it can possibly be.  How can I go out in public like this? It’s like Sun-In gone horribly wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong. A fact that provided my friend loads of amusement. The more she laughed the more the tears came. I was a wreck. I was also trapped, as I had no idea who was in my yard and I had open blinds and a towel. I ended up sitting in my closet until they left so I could get dressed.

The good thing about Color Oops is that if you don’t follow the directions to a tee, it doesn’t work. As my hair dried, it oxidized, getting darker as time went by. I ended up with a copper color on top, with a sort of an hombre down to dark brown on the ends. It’s not great, but at least it’s not orange any more. And I am very appreciative of having my yard done. But herself is home now, and so she will be on hose duty tomorrow while I try to do something to fix this. She has my permission to shoot people in the face with a bazooka if they go near the hose pipe until I am done. I’ll just put a clothes pin on her nose to deal with the smell.

I think I strained my whatchamacallit

When I bought my house, I was gifted a nifty 1970’s desk that has real potential. Yes, I like kitsch. So anyway, I set up the spare bedroom as my office, a thing I have wanted since the beginning of time. A mom cave; my own space to do my writing, surfing, kibbitzing, and daydreaming. It was awesome! I had the desk, a couple of cute chairs and an occasional table, even a smallish grandfather clock. There’s a nice size window that lets in the morning sun, limiting my need for the kinda crappy overhead light. Of course, it was still springlike outside when I did this and I was filled with joy. Until summer hit and I discovered that my central AC is central non-AC. Let’s be realistic here. I just bought a house. I don’t have a spare 5 grand laying around to replace the AC. What I have is 2 small window units and a portable AC unit that has seen better days, but only cost me $40 at the local deal-n-dash. I tried, really really tried, to tough it out in my new mom cave. That window with the morning sun made that little room hotter than the 7th circle of hell by 10 a.m. I was hot, sweaty, and stuck to everything I came in contact with. It was a miserable experience. Keeping the office intact, I took my handy dandy lablet first to the living room, and ultimately to my room. No it’s not a typo. I said lablet. It’s a Surface Pro; a little more than a tablet, but not quite a laptop. Lablet. Deal with it.

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I’m not a young woman anymore. I’m not old, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen my 20’s. Sitting on my bed trying to use my lablet became an exercise in constant hip and knee joint pain, not to mention the joyful feeling it gave my lower back. And since I am now doing the writing gig full time, I spend a lot of hours in front of a keyboard. Like on the order of 8-10 hours a day, depending on what I am working on. I sat on my bed because it was what there was to sit on, and it put me in close proximity of the portable AC. My entire bedroom is currently arranged around the beast, a trade off I made to avoid heat stroke on any given deep-south summer day. Not to mention the fact that it’s a lablet. It’s got a cute little purple keyboard, and a cute little kickstand, neither of which are designed to sit on the bed for hours on end to write article after article.

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At any rate, it was starting to affect my productivity. I was waiting until late at night to work, and rising before the sun to work, so that I could whine about my back, hips, and knees throughout the heat of the day. When you write for a news aggregation service, you can’t always do that. So this morning, I bit the bullet and decided to move the desk into my room. Holy God, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. I had forgotten how awkward and heavy that damn desk is. I swear I think it is actually made out of cleverly disguised cast iron. It is definitely a solid piece of office furniture, unlike my current desk chair, which is, yes, a lawn IMG_20170723_134411chair with a cushion and a throw I crocheted while darling daughter was in the hospital. Hey, don’t judge. It works. Being the perky little go-getter than I am (stop LAUGHING!) I rearranged my bedroom and pushed, pulled, shoved, and drug the damn desk in here. It’s where I now sit, writing this post. The jury is out on if it’s cooler and more comfortable, though. With all the moving, I think I pulled something. Something vital. My whatchamacallit. That thing. Plus I’m hot and sweaty from the rearranging. So, for today, I won’t judge. If I can actually move tomorrow, we’ll see how it works.