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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!

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.

AC – The final chapter

I have done loads of work, it seems to me, on this AC unit with the ultimate goal of having cool air flowing over my fevered brow as I write. Whether it is here, or writing copy borderline clickbait, my little office has a huge window that makes it uncomfortably warm. Added to which I have accepted a research assignment that keeps me for long hours in front of a computer screen. Ok, it just gets frigging HOT up in here. So I did all this work, a bit at a time, as I could afford it, to get the AC running. And now I know a fair bit about AC maintenance. All that remained was to put a vacuum on it, and then hopefully load that sucker up with freon.

So my buddy-who-actually-owns-a-vacuum-pump-and-gauges comes over at the beginning of the week. He HAD to come, because when I called to see about renting the vacuum pump and gauges, the guy scared the doggy doo out of me, and had me convinced that if the AC worked, I could make it not work beyond all repair. Which serves me right for listening to a parts jockey at Auto Zone. Oh, and they no longer rent gauges. So, see? He had to come. And he did, with all his AC accoutrements and the big moment is HERE!!!!! I could already feel that cold air circulating through my sweltering house, turning my tiny office into an tiny icebox office…   …   …   …   …   …

Only, not. Have you figured it out, yet? No? Ok, well the anticlimactic ending to the AC repair saga was that it wouldn’t hold a vacuum. If it won’t hold a vacuum, it won’t hold freon. And just like that, my dreams of writing and chill, Netflix and chill, bathing and chill, ANYTHING and chill evaporated into an overheated puff of steam. So maybe by this time next year I will have saved enough money to replace the AC. But for this year, Graceless under fire is melting gracelessly under the heat.

This Air Conditioner is Killing Me

Ok, so if you’ve been following along, you are familiar with the saga of the AC repair. This freaking AC is gonna kill me, or I’m going to kill it. One or the other. Where did I leave off? Oh yeah. The contactor. The verdict was that I needed a contactor. Like everything else on this damned unit, it wasn’t the easiest thing to find. I went to Mayer Electrical Supply. Very nice folks, truly, but they didn’t have what I needed. The told me to check over at Grainger, so that’s what I did. Again, very nice helpful people. And again, they didn’t have what I needed. Well SHIT. Another customer told me to go over and try Wittichen Supply. He assured me they would have what I needed. Well, why not? I’m already driving all over Birmingham, so I may as well, right? Wonders never cease, they had it! I was so excited I might have had an orgasm. Maybe. That’s sort of what it felt like, if memory serves. I go tearing home, ready to slap this baby in and finally have central AC. Cold freaking air throughout my house.  By the way, whoever installed this unit needs a foot up their butt. Seriously. The access panel is on the back corner, with about 1 foot of clearance between it, the fence and the house. Who the hell does that?? Asshole.

So contortionist act in full swing, I get the cover off, the old contactor out, and the new one in.  I turn on the disconnect, run inside and turn on the AC. It. Blew. That. Fucking. 3 Amp. Fuse. AGAIN! I fully admit that being a girl, I sat in the floor of the hallway and had a brief but intense girly moment. Every woman out there will understand, I wasn’t sad, I wasn’t hurt, I wasn’t defeated. I was PISSED. I mean seriously, knife throwing, gun toting PISSED OFF. There was no way this thing was going to beat my ass. Wasn’t happening. So I thought about it, and circled back around to the thermostat wire. So, it made perfect sense to just cut it and see what happened.  It worked. There was a click and suddenly air was rushing out the vents, and the fuse wasn’t blowing. Well hell YEAH! It wasn’t cold air, but it was air. To my way of thinking, if the thermostat wasn’t actually hooked up, the AC didn’t know I wanted cold air. I ran down to the neighborhood hardware store, Richardson’s (they don’t have a website or I would link it) and bought 50 feet of 18/2 thermostat wire.  My plan was simple. I’d tie it to the wire I cut inside, then go out to the unit and pull it through and hook it up. Well, of course it didn’t happen that way. I can’t be sure, but I think they must’ve stapled it to the floor joists, or gorilla glued it or something, because it wasn’t pulling. At all. Now I will do a lot in the name of home improvement, but I won’t crawl underneath a house for love or money. Just NOPE. But that’s ok. I had a Plan B.

Back inside I go, to grab that roll of wire. I ran that crap around the corner, behind the sofa, and right out the living room window. I redneckified the hell out of it, but I got both ends of the wire where they needed to be. I’ll worry about looks later. I wired up the thermostat,  turned everything back on, and BAM! It was RUNNING!! Sort of. Guess what?

The compressor is just kind of laying there buzzing like a cheap vibrator. I swear to God. I can’t make this up. I have a sneaking suspicion this unit wasn’t serviced regularly. Ever. So, once the Noah’s Ark type rain clears out later this week, I’ll replace the capacitor. And get my buddy to check the Freon. And go from there. Jeez.