thoughts and a message of hope…from england

I have been watching less and less of the news. It’s a repeating loop of Coronavirus on steroids. Often we are not learning anything new, it is just a constant repeating of the horror the world is going through. But I think the biggest problem I have with this whole global pandemic and how it affects us here in the U.S. is what comes out of the White House.

That man we call President is not Presidential. I was even reminded of that last night when I watched a PBS special on the Roosevelts.

A couple of weeks ago I called my mother and she shooed me off the phone almost immediately. “The President is speaking . I can’t talk now.” But honestly, what is he saying? He spent weeks not really taking this whole #COVID-19 thing seriously. Then all of a sudden he says it’s a pandemic and he thought so all along. Then he works something in about campaigns and his administration. Then everything will be open by Easter, then everyone wear masks but he won’t. Then he talks about how many people are going to die from this virus. Then he talks over the medical experts at his press conferences annoyed that people are asking the actual medical professionals questions. “Didn’t I just answer that question?” (paraphrased) he angrily shot at a reporter who had recently directed a question to Dr. Anthony Fauci at a press conference.

We need a national leader about now. Trump isn’t leading. He’s an angry man child embodiment of chronic contradictions and a stunning lack of compassion and that brings no comfort. It makes me anxious. At first I was trying to watch the news conferences from Washington to look for information and leadership in a time of crisis. Coronavirus-time IS like war-time and we need a leader who gets it, who gets us as Americans. Not a quasi-dictatorial narcissistic man child who still blows up Twitter daily with his petty bulltwaddle and spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors. Dude all of your Tweeting is bad for America.

Good thing there are people in this country like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. He leads, he is authentic, and he is living this right along with everyone. That is actually comforting to me because my sister and her family as well as my stepbrother live in New York City. I have to tell you closer to home, I find the Philadelphia and surrounding counties news conferences and New Jersey’s news conferences make more sense.

And then there are people with their Marie Antoinette attitudes of let them eat cake. Like the guy in North Jersey who defied stay at home and social distancing orders and threw a giant Coronavirus booze fest party. He’s apparently now being charged for doing so. Good. And don’t forget the kids in the Pittsburgh area who had to have a giant blowout and where are their parents?

It’s like all of those whom suddenly define themselves as “constitutionalists” and why is government telling us what to do? That is simple: if we would all just stay the hell home they wouldn’t be telling us what to do. It’s like those who are all up in arms because churches are closed. Large gatherings spread viruses. Hello? The actual history of the 1918 influenza pandemic as an example? God does not expect us to die for him from coronavirus. Many churches are live-streaming and isn’t God or whomever you may believe in all around us? Ok maybe a theological conversation is too much for most on a Monday so we will leave this right there.

But it is because of all of this swirling crap that I have taken to tuning out the news and staying put and working in the garden more. Whether we want to or not, the fates have decided we are slowing down. (Apparently I am not the only one gardening article about victory gardens in The Philadelphia Inquirer today.)

But there is one leader who may God bless and keep her who is truly leading. Queen Elizabeth II of England. She gave her subjects comfort and hope in a time of crisis. She also gave the rest of the world comfort and hope. No angry tweeting about fake news and newspapers that have done her wrong. Talking to the people and offering support and comfort.

BBC News: Coronavirus: The Queen’s message seen by 24 million

About 24 million TV viewers watched the Queen’s broadcast to the nation on Sunday, according to overnight figures.
In a rare speech, the monarch thanked people for following government rules to stay at home and praised those “coming together to help others”.
The message was seen by 23.97 million viewers, making it the second most-watched broadcast this year….It was only the fifth time the Queen has given such a speech in her 68-year reign.
Her most recent Christmas Day message drew a combined overnight audience of 7.85 million.
In her speech on Sunday, the Queen said the UK “will succeed” in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
She thanked people for following government rules to stay inside and paid tribute to key workers for their efforts.
Speaking from Windsor Castle, the Queen said the pandemic was a “different” challenge compared to what the nation had faced before.
The message ended with the words “we will meet again” – an apparent reference to Dame Vera Lynn’s bolstering war anthem We’ll Meet Again.
The Queen’s four other special addresses were given in 1991, 1997, 2002 and 2012.

It was truly a beautiful thing to listen to her speak in this time. Say what you want about her and sometimes people criticize Queen Elizabeth but she knows how to lead in times of crisis. And it was just so good to hear a message that was realistic yet not full of gloom and doom. It was also good to hear a message that wasn’t all about them.

We will get through this. And it will take its toll. I hope we all get through unscathed but really it’s beyond our control at this point. We can only do our part and stay home. And if you have extra supplies to donate to first responders contact your local firehouse or hospital.

This weird time is giving us time to meaningfully connect with each other if we can stop and see the good in that. I also know it’s frustrating and scary. It makes you nervous. Trust me, I have felt all of those things. Especially because of the bombardment of so much news and the contradictory behavior coming out of Washington D.C.

One day at a time I think is the only way to handle the hot mess of Coronavirus. Yes much like a 12 step program, one day at a time. I will close with a quote from Teddy Roosevelt:

Rhetoric is a poor substitute for action, and we have trusted only to rhetoric. If we are really to be a great nation, we must not merely talk; we must act big.

#StayHome

more endings and beginnings

The other day I wrote a post called “whisper down the lane“. It wasn’t about me personally, it was more like life observations.

And yesterday, literally yesterday, a very dear friend told me something I did not want to hear, but had to. Someone else I considered a friend that I would like to say I was a good friend to and happy to know even when I did not agree with some of their behavior, had apparently had quite a bit to say about me that was quite unpleasant.

“They are not your friend”

You never want to hear that. Ever.

At the end of the day, it wasn’t the question of what was said, but that anything was said. Women always spill he proverbial tea. It’s the whole concept of a lack of loyalty to someone who was a decent friend, helped you out with some stuff here and there, and was someone who listened to you over the years when you needed someone to talk to…and who always kept what you said to myself. And in spite of what has transpired, I will continue to keep what was discussed to myself because that is what an actual friend does.

Women are bitchy. No other way to describe it. And when we should be supportive, truly supportive of one and other, we are instead tearing each other down. Living in the land of women needs constant translation and is like a field of land mines.

I am not perfect. I don’t pretend to be. But don’t ask me for an honest opinion on something and then kind of flip out on me when I tell you probably what you didn’t want to hear me say.

That was a year ago give or take with this person, but I just went on about my life afterwards. Why wouldn’t I? They asked me for my opinion after they asked me to listen to what was going on, I responded, they didn’t like it, and I put it out of my head. Not my monkeys, not my circus. Realistically, I figured things were maybe fading at that point. Which I also put out of my head probably subconsciously because I liked this person. The whole theory of reason, season, and lifetime where people in your life are concerned once again. It bothered me a little, but I figured whatever would happen would eventually happen.

Sadly, what happened is this. The whiff of friend betrayal and passive aggressive nastiness is slightly unsavory and unwarranted. And it’s mingled with a good dose of disappointment in a person that I initially thought was better than this, or at least more intelligent than this.

Sometimes people like to climb over others on that mythical race to the “top”. I always find that sad. I don’t judge my friends by their designer handbags and shoes or the size of their house or the make of their car or what they can do for me. It’s do I like them? Do I think they are good people? Do I enjoy having a conversation with them or hanging out with them? Do they pay it forward in this world? Are they interesting?

And the thing about “society” in any area of the country or world is you really do have to be invited in. If you are hungry about being accepted, or should I be kinder and say “motivated to be accepted”, careful on your climb. Why? Because this kind of behavior is what people remember. And eventually the fall can be hard and really hurt.

A dog that brings and carries the bone is kind of human nature but I find increasingly that people take issue with those who cannot display an iota of loyalty. Or kindness. Especially when they have been shown it. Again, not perfect, but I don’t betray friends or those who have shown me kindness. Essentially the Golden Rule or “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matt. 7:12)

So could I be miserable back? Sure. But why? When women do this to other women, generally speaking, they sadly already have enough issues or insecurities of their own. So I wish them well as I bid our friendship adieu. I am seeking to take the high road, so here’s hoping they find other things to talk about, or learn not to do this to others in general.

Humans are unnecessarily unkind to one and other so often . I hope this person got what she needed by putting me down. I hope they find what they need in life. I appreciate the time they were in my life except for this.

Tiens. Life goes on.

greetings from post op

Knee surgery is done. The reason I am writing a slightly loopy post-op post is because I just wanted to say how awesome Chester County Hospital is.

The nurses are simply put, amazing. And so is everyone else I encountered today.

The pain is somewhat fantastical right now but I just wanted to say thank you to this amazing hospital.

Thank you Chester County Hospital and Penn Medicine.

fake cancer fundraisers piss me off.

cancer faker

I was diagnosed with breast cancer a little over 8 years ago.  I had surgery, I went through treatment, and have been lucky so far to survive. Other friends have not been so lucky with breast and other cancers.

I was also lucky that  although honestly it took me a few years to pay off my treatment bills, that I was able to do it.  Cancer is expensive. I was lucky, but it also was not easy every month making payments until the debt was finally gone.

I have donated to cancer fundraisers on occasion. Not every one that crosses my path, but when I know someone does need help, I try to pay it forward.  I did it recently for a woman who is not a friend, but I knew she went through an actual hideous double mastectomy at a hospital I wouldn’t have a hangnail in, and her husband has had a recent surgery and they have kids and actually need the help.

But this item that broke in the news? HOLY CRAP! ANOTHER CANCER FAKER!

Woman Accused of Lying About Cancer to Scam GoFundMe and Facebook Donors Out of More Than $10K
Jessica Cornell Smith, 32, of Uwchlan Township, was arrested Monday and charged with theft by deception-false impression and receiving stolen property
NBC10 Philadelphia By David Chang and Deanna Durante
Published Nov 4, 2019 at 5:24 PM | Updated 2 hours ago

A Chester County, Pennsylvania, woman is accused of pretending to have cancer, impersonating a doctor and nurse and lying about her own father dying in an elaborate scheme to steal thousands of dollars from donors on GoFundMe and Facebook.

Jessica Cornell Smith, 32, of Uwchlan Township, was arrested Monday and charged with theft by deception-false impression and receiving stolen property.

Earlier in the year, Smith created a GoFundMe and Facebook page claiming she was diagnosed with Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC) and was receiving treatment from oncology specialists at the “Abraham Cancer Center” at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The actual name of the facility is the Abramson Cancer Center.

Through her pages, Smith claimed she was facing tremendous medical bills, travel costs and other payments related to child care and missed work. She also said her insurance coverage held a $15,000 deductible.

I mean freaking for real???

I went and pulled the deactivated Go Fund Me  Love the Galmour Kitty fake cancer photos:

fake 3

Despicable.

Utterly despicable.

I want to know who helped her fake the chemo lounge photos?

fake 1fake

Now I want to give a shout out to citizen journalists from The Ever Evolving Truth.  Because given what I am checking out, they helped expose this.

These True Crime citizen journalists have podcast after podcast on this grifter.

But this is a story that will keep all media and citizen journalists busy for a while. Because what about the stuff covered by Brian Hickey in Philly Voice? Astounding:

MARCH 11, 2019 (ARTICLE 1) Her mission: convince more women to give powerlifting a try
After countless health issues, a male-dominated sport helped Jessica Smith get and stay in shape
BY BRIAN HICKEY
PhillyVoice Contributor

AUGUST 20, 2019 (ARTICLE 2) WMMR calls powerlifting contest billed as Campout for Hunger fundraiser a ‘fraud’
Organizer under fire after radio station and Xfinity Live deny any knowledge of canceled event as she refuses to give refunds
BY BRIAN HICKEY
PhillyVoice Contributor

And OMG this:

scaniety

I am appalled.  Not sure if the photo of the MRI machine is from Penn Medicine at Exton is real or not but Penn Medicine in Exton? I go there sometimes for scans, MRIs, and mammograms.  If she was there how did she fake it? As someone who is alive because of Penn Medicine, trust me their forms have forms. And you have to show ID and all sorts of stuff all of the time.

Jesus.  How do people do things like this? And she has kids? How do people get this way? Do they just suddenly wake up with the idea of scamming people?

Here is the Inquirer with some other details of this cancer grifter/scammer:

Philadelphia Inquirer: Chester County woman charged with faking cancer in $10K fund-raising scam
by Aubrey Whelan, Updated: November 5, 2019- 12:43 PM

A Chester Springs woman has been charged with netting more than $10,000 in a fund-raising scam in which she falsely claimed she had cancer and needed money.

In a criminal complaint, Uwchlan Township Police detectives laid out a months-long investigation of increasingly escalating lies that ended in the arrest of Jessica Ann Smith, 31, who was arraigned Monday on charges of receiving stolen property and theft by deception….Smith’s husband, Robert Smith, filed his own report with Uwchlan police, according to the criminal complaint. He told police that his wife was raising money online for help with a cancer diagnosis that didn’t exist. The author of the GoFundMe page wrote that she was facing “tremendous medical bills, travel costs, paying for the care of her children and missed work,” according to the complaint….But Smith’s husband said he had no medical or insurance records showing that his wife had been treated for cancer. He did, however, tell police that he had overheard his wife on the phone with her employer, Marco Protection Systems in Downingtown, pretending to be a nurse at Penn Medicine calling to say she needed time off from work because she was recovering from cancer treatment.

The balls on this woman. There is a special place in hell for cancer fakers. And they have no idea what it is to truly fight cancer let alone go through treatment.  They have no idea how this disease affects the friends and family of those affected.

Sign me gobsmacked . Thank you to those chasing this story (especially the citizen journalists), which has now even made the Daily Mail a UK publication.

eet

 

the eve of july 4th: we hold these truths to be self evident

When is the last time any of you read the Declaration of Independence?

When is the last time you read the United States Constitution and brushed up on the First Amendment and the other ideals on which this country was founded contained within?

Why is it to be a good American or a good person these days you can’t express your opinion safely without fear of retribution, retaliation, verbal abuse, or more?

When did we as a nation become so ugly and regress a couple of centuries?

When did it become a crime to see something you find heinous and say so?

Sorry not sorry but on the eve of our nation’s birth do we all need reminding of what our forefathers fought, bled, and died for?

Want to see the ugliness in mankind? Share a major media outlet post about what amounts to inhumane human warehousing in border detention centers.

They did it in World War II as well – to Italian Americans and Japanese Americans.

It wasn’t OK then and it isn’t OK now.

You can read about it in the Smithsonian but I bet some of you will view our very inconvenient history as “fake news” too.

During World War II, the U.S. Saw Italian-Americans as a Threat to Homeland Security

The executive order that forced Japanese-Americans from their homes also put immigrants from Italy under the watchful eye of the government.

Smithsonian Magazine

By David A. Taylor

smithsonian.com

📌“The incarceration of Japanese-Americans is the best-known effect of Executive Order 9066, the rule signed by President Franklin Roosevelt on February 19, 1942. And for good reason. The suffering and punishment placed upon innocent Japanese-Americans was a dark chapter in American history. But the full extent of the government order is largely unknown.

In addition to forcibly evacuating 120,000 Americans of Japanese background from their homes on the West Coast to barbed-wire-encircled camps, EO 9066 called for the compulsory relocation of more than 10,000 Italian-Americans and restricted the movements of more than 600,000 Italian-Americans nationwide. Now, the order has resurfaced in the public conversation about immigration.”📌

This issue of detaining immigrants shouldn’t be about Democrat versus Republican, and I am shocked at how limited and ugly a lot of you are. This is an actual humanitarian crisis in my opinion and I am entitled to it.

I’m not saying that I think people should be in this country illegally, but sometimes there are extenuating circumstances and it has been proven that some of the people that are in these detention centers don’t actually belong there.

We are a nation of immigrants. We are also at one of the ugliest times in our history at present.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Yeah. Those words. Remember them?

The latest report on the state of border detection centers as I saw it on NBC News turned my stomach. Human warehousing and the images yes I did say reminded me of images of concentration camp victims behind barbed wire. That is my opinion because of how graphic the images were, and right or wrong, how they struck me.

It was my opinion. Not an assault on Jewish people or the Jewish religion. Mankind is capable of great atrocities.

One of my readers on my blog’s Facebook page went absolutely cuckoo for Coca Puffs.

I was stupid. I didn’t know what concentration camps were. I was uneducated. I was a bad person.

I bet they don’t know the complete history of those camps either. Like I bet they don’t know the multitudes of people other than Jews who were killed. Gays, gypsies, and those who could not sign onto their polices and ideologies. My grandmother who was Pennsylvania German of German descent talked about this when I was very little. Apparently there were family cousins of her family’s who were persecuted. I never got all of the details and when I was little and truth be told I did not know if I should believe her because no one talked about that. Then when I was older, I learned more in history classes. I learned what she had said all those years ago was true.

And this person did not stop. They actually started posting black and white photos of bodies stacked up in concentration camps in World War II.

On and on and on.

It went from having their say to being and feeling verbally abused and accosted. My opinion = ignorance (their exact words). That I was ignorant because I deleted the photos of dead bodies they kept posting. That I was stupid and ignorant and didn’t have the decency to blog under my complete name and “create a false sense of authority with my page title.” That I should “crawl” back under my rock because I was stupid and had no “clue” of reality. Again, their words.

It was a barrage of ugliness…from someone who actually knows who I am and who was fine with me when I defended their business because I felt someone had been unfair once upon a time. Someone I used to respect from what little I knew of them.

So I decided since they weren’t stopping, I had to make a decision. I removed their comments and them as well from the page. I didn’t want to, I don’t like to do that, but sometimes I have to.

There are plenty of people who post opinions contrary to mine. But they’re not abusive about it. When people get abusive I remove them. And it’s not when they are just abusive to me whose page it is. It’s when they are abusive to others on the page or just abusive in general. Or when they post things that are truly fake news. I removed someone else for that on this same topic.

All of this vitriol and ugliness for expressing my opinion. Many people have many different opinions on this topic of immigrant detention and the detention centers. But they discuss it without dripping hatred from every word.

I am a descendent of immigrants like the rest of us. I am descended from Germans, Italians, and the Irish. All three nationalities that have been discriminated against in this country at one period of time or another. And yes, my ancestors did come here legally. They came here for a better life. And I think they would be deeply saddened to see how this country has regressed.

When I was little I remember my Irish grandfather telling me of the signs in Philadelphia shop windows when he was a little boy that said “Irish need not apply.”

When I was little I remember tales of my Italian grandfather and his brothers having to change the name of their business during World War II to sound more “American.”

This was the same grandfather who got stuck with his mother in Italy during World War I as a small child. They had sailed back to the “old country” so that my great grandmother could introduce her relatives to her American born son. When he came back with his mother after the war, he was treated differently by even the kids in his neighborhood. They viewed him as non-American. He was born an American citizen.

I’m not talking about giving illegal immigrants health insurance cards and sending them on their way. I am talking about basic humane treatment pending the outcome of their cases. I am not talking about ignoring the poverty of Americans and problems that we already face in every nook and cranny of this country. I’m talking about what I feel is an actual humanitarian crisis. And I think in this country today we are faced with more than one humanitarian crisis.

Then someone else took me to task because they said this immigration debacle was happening under the prior administration at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Was it? I don’t know. And that’s not the point. I was talking about something that I find morally reprehensible that if it did occur in the past as in three or four years ago I still would’ve found it morally reprehensible.

And then there was the guy who said if I had a page for my blog, I should take the abuse. That I am overreacting. That I am a “coward” for not taking the verbal accosting. That I have a poor character and that I should be neither judge or jury.

Essentially I should shut my mouth like a good little woman and take the abuse and allow the vitriol to pollute yet another social media page.

Whether or not I am overreacting is NOT their decision. It’s my decision and not so unusual. I don’t have to tough it out or suck it up, I can choose to stop feeling harassed and harangued. I can choose to have others not feel harassed and harangued. I can choose to erase some of the ugliness.

This whole thing about detention centers and other ugly things going on in this country is something that is not (or should not be) about political parties. To me it’s about right and wrong. It’s about we did something similar as a country during World War II and why are we doing this now? It’s about how our soldiers have gone to war for centuries over similar behaviors to fight for our rights and the rights of others. It’s also about these family separation policies where little babies are literally ripped from their parents’ arms and how is that OK? Why are adults punishing the children who are not responsible for what their parents chose to do? And what about the people who have proper paperwork and green cards and/or are new citizens of this country who live in terror of ICE raids?

Again, I remind people we are a nation of immigrants, founded by immigrants.

When did we become so ugly a country? Do you hear yourselves? Do you think it’s OK to attack every person you know or may not know because their opinion is not a cookie-cutter samey-same opinion you share?

Do you seriously think law enforcement is not tracking these vitriol loaded comments?

Why are we are losing ourselves and what makes us Americans? Why are we allowing this? We can’t even have conversations anymore where people are on different sides of an issue no matter what the issue is.

You don’t have to like my opinion but I am entitled to it until they repeal the First Amendment.

A friend of mine said something I will close with:

The ugliness of history comes back to us in this form because we’ve never actually acknowledged that ugliness. And we all know that saying that says “if we don’t learn from the past, we are bound to repeat it.”

Well here we are repeating the ugliness of American history and the saddest part is that this is only one part of the ugliness. Many a trifling uglies are happening right now in the US because of history. And it’s all as sad and disturbing as separating kids from their parents and putting them in cages without the basic necessities And it hurts. It hurts to know that America elected people who would allow it. We are in…distress and no one can save us but us. US.

Happy Independence Day!

We can do better and be better Americans. All of this divisiveness has never done our country any good. Look at our very history. Look at the ugliness of things like the American Civil War.

I don’t know what it will take for us to come together as a country and unite. But maybe on this Independence Day we can as individuals reflect on how and why this country was founded.

United we stand, divided we fall. And right now this country is pretty damn divided and it just breaks your heart.

dear duracell, thanks for the exploding battery

Your eyes do not deceive you, that is indeed a partially melted down AAA battery by Duracell. It was taken out of a new pack of batteries recently purchased by my husband.

Sometimes I succumb to cooking gadgets and I had bought us a pair of electronic salt and pepper shakers. I had taken the housing apart on the salt and pepper shakers to insert the batteries. Each shaker takes six AAA batteries.

I had just put the batteries in one of the shakers and was going to close up the housing of the unit and I accidentally touched the side of the battery and burnt the side of my hand a little. It wasn’t a bad burn by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s not what you expect when you put fresh batteries into something. I am just grateful that the damn thing didn’t explode and get battery acid in my eyes.

Duracell likes to advertise they are the most trusted brand of battery. Not so much for me anymore.