Saturday, February 26, 2011

Truth Day 21~Your Best Friend...

and you got into a fight an hour before she had a car accident. What would you do?  PRAY and then keep on praying. I bet I would feel guilty and sorry, but what I could do to add some power to the situation is to ask God to intervene. I would then go to the hospital and see if there was anything I could do. I would contact her family and see if they needed anything. That's about it.

Friday, February 25, 2011

American Indian Roots

photo, mabel mckay - Google Search
      I just finished the story, Mabel McKay, WEAVING THE DREAM~by Greg Sarris. This book was such a page turner for me because it is about the American Indian history of much of  Northern and Central California, including: Santa Rosa (where I lived for about 12 years), Sonoma, Lake, Yolo and Mendocino counties, Ukiah, Sacramento, Rumsey, Nice. Colussa, Cortia, Potter Valley, et all. Not only that, but it is the unique story of the last woman of the Lolsel Cache Creek Pomo or more commonly Wintun/Pomo tribe as told to the author, who in the process of telling her story discovers his own Indian roots and family history. Mabel is so inspiring as a craftswoman, medicine woman, mother, grandmother, sister, Auntie, friend and neighbor, that I wish I had Indian roots to check into. What I've gotten so far is half Hungarian, (I definitely am in touch with my inner Gypsy) Polish and (from my grandma on my mother's side) nebulous ancestors whom she claimed came over on the Mayflower. As far back as I've gotten with my genealogy is great great grandparents and that's not going back far enough to get Mayflower info. I would not be surprised to discover some Indian heritage crossing over because of my great grandparents, the Wilsons. I am more motivated than ever to do that research now.

     Getting back to Mabel's story, the author has a hard time getting her to tell it in "white people's order"; eventually he gives up and the piece emerges as beautifully as one of her baskets: hand picked, gathered and woven together. "It's more. My life. It's not only one thing. It's many. You have to listen. You have to know me to know what I'm talking about". 

      I feel I got to know her very well indeed. I was fascinated by her craft, doctoring and how much she moved and traveled around usually with no transportation of her own. She worked hard for her money at the old apple cannery in Sebastopol, in the fields, housekeeping and washing clothes for white people, down by the river with her Grandma Sarah (who raised her). She danced and sang for hours, sucking the disease out of the people she doctored. When she married she let her husband know in no uncertain terms not to follow her or impede her from her work, which kept her traveling and away from home often. Charlie McKay was a gentle hardworking soul in charge of raising their adopted son, Marshall. In later years she would be adopted herself as a sister to Essie Parrish of the Kayshayah Pomo tribe; in the old Indian ways they were closer than blood being linked together through their Dreams experienced both awake and asleep, where the Spirit told them how to lead their lives and sometimes even what to expect in the future.

     This story is a must read for anyone interested in memoir writing at it's finest as well as those curious about the Indian culture of old and their history. I can't recommend it highly enough.***** b. 1907-d. 1993

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Alcohol and Drugs~Truth Day 20

     My prayer/dream is that all alcoholics and drugs addicts would face today that they are addicts and get into a recovery program voluntarily. In my younger days I partied too hard, but have never believed I had a problem with either substance. I feel blessed to be an occasional social drinker, because I particularly enjoy good wine with a special dinner. I am not into any street drugs at all nor am I in favor of  those who enjoy getting high on prescription drugs. Most people must realize that combining drugs and alcohol can cause death yet those who are addicts just plain don't care; they seem not to value their own life nor anyone else' life.

     Drunk drivers should be punished under the full extent of the law, because too many innocent people are killed and injured. Forced recovery is better than none, but it is much harder if the addict does not choose to be in recovery. Even one person killed by a drunk driver is too many! I don't know the statistics, but I'm sure they are depressing. If you enjoy partying please be responsible; how would you feel if you were responsible for a life--possibly someone on their way to store for milk or bread? Remember that your instincts and reflex responses are impaired even when you "feel fine". For younger people the thought, "that could never happen to me" is just mistaken denial. I know this world is tough and people cope however they can at times. It is to these people that I plead with to give the support of a recovery group a chance.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Religion & Politics~Truth Day 19

     In past posts I've made my position clear on religion. I think (in particular) that traditional Christian religion is dangerous and harmful when it is so often used as a way of oppressing people and causing them to fear God (and not just in a reverent way) and to not accept/love themselves and their neighbors. This is the first Commandment after loving and serving God that we love and accept ourselves and each other. It's very clear to me that Jesus would have it no other way. I recently got email from a woman who is convinced that all pastors/priests are child molesters. Although extreme, as a gay person she is completely turned off to any kind of religion whether or not they are open/accepting of all people, she like so many gay folks can't trust even a hint of it all. Gee, I wonder why? It could have something to do with all the so-called Christians that use the Bible to tell gay people that they are a sick abomination, unloved and unaccepted by Jesus or anyone's idea of God or Holy Spirit.

      Moving right along to politics...It will be a surprise to no one that I'm a left of center Democrat. I consider myself to be more moderate than liberal, because I just don't want to be grouped with the ideas people have about liberals. I grew up in a Democratic family; my Grandfather served in the Ct State House of Representatives for 14 years. He served on the then "Mental Retardation, Welfare and Labor" Committees; he was appointed by then Governor Ribicoff (about 1960) to help in the placement of Hungarian refugees. In his own traditional way, my grandpa worked to attempt to right some of our society's wrongs. Undoubtedly I am so proud of his service to our country via politics and also through the Army in WWI. In later years he was Chairman of the Town Democratic Committee and Registrar of Voters. I never forgot all the years I hung out with him at the polls on voting days and those trips to the state capital building, which to a little girl appeared to be a palace! In my view Democrats are, with very few exceptions, more progressive thinkers than Republicans and care more about injustice and the poor. Lately every time I write one of these "truth" entries I think about how unpopular I most likely am. Good thing I'm not running for any office; I'm just me! ;-)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Marriage Equality~Truth Day 18

If I could write in rainbows colors I would! If you've ever read my blog before you know what ground I firmly stand on regarding this issue. This is perhaps the most important controversial issue of our time; sadly it divides so many even among Christians. I believe this is the new civil rights movement and I pray I live to see marriage equality become legal and accepted world-wide. However, I am in contact with reality and the chances of the whole world flying the rainbow flag in my lifetime are slim to none. Just here in the US is enough of a challenge, but I do believe I will live to see the bill pass in California. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'll simply say that all people have the right to love who they love regardless of anything else! I 'm not politically active on this issue, but I sure respect those who are doing that work. I look forward to participating in Gay Pride celebrations in Philadelphia with Drexel Hill Baptist Church this summer. I have not been to such a celebration in many years...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Truth Day 17~An Influential Book

Steps to Recovery From Bible Abuse, by Dr. Rembert Truluck, has truly changed my life. I now have a solid foundation to believe that God is good with being gay; in fact God is good with anyone under any circumstances who has pledged his/her life to Him. All books I have read were not convincing enough; always lurking was the fear instilled by traditional prejudiced and judgmental religion that being gay was "unclean" and "unworthy". After all the Bible clobberers love to point to passages claiming "abomination"; every day for three years two Fundamentalists best friends had drilled into me that gay equals sin and my eternal destination was without a doubt, hell. as long as I gave my support to such a cause. I am well aware that there are huge numbers behind their way of thinking and that I am in the minority. Yet there's nothing new with that; ever since I learned to think for myself as a teen I've been in the minority. Still as I write this I'm thinking I will not win friends and influence I'm still a bit afraid of rejection, no matter how much courage and bravado I throw out there. My purpose is to be real so I will just have to deal with my vulnerability.

In my model of recovery it's a process that is self-determined and holistic where growing and learning never end. Dr. Truluck illustrates steps to recovery based on the AA models of 12-stepping; it's a time proven useful model to help people in recovery. His beliefs and insights are always backed up with clear examples from scripture in the Bible and especially the four gospels of Jesus. Since Jesus is our role model as Christians for who we most aspire to emulate, it makes perfect since to take your cues from His time on earth as recorded in Matthew. Mark. Luke and John. The rest of the Bible is not ignored nor thrown out, but the gospels are emphasized. Here is a list of the steps:

1.  Admit You Have Been Hurt by Religion
2.  Turn to God for Help
3.  Examine Your Faith
4.  Face and Deal with your Anger
5.  Avoid Negative People and Churches
6.  Confront the Scripture Used Against You
7.  Find Positive Supportive Scripture
 (Note:  No, it is not invented it is found in the Bible in its' own words.)
8.  Read and Study the Gospels
9.  Come Out and Accept yourself
10.  Develop Your Support System
11.  Learn to Share Your Faith
12  Become a Freedom Missionary
13. Give Yourself Time to Heal and Recover, Let Go and Live!

Included is information about how Jesus faced religious bigots in His time, how Jesus handled anger, how Jesus defined family. how He wants Christians to live free from fear and full of His love and hope.There's a lot to absorb here so it is recommended that you join or form a small study group to work these steps and discuss this book and the correct Bible correlations. I plan to start such a group in Philadelphia. Meet-Up groups already exist especially within Metropolitan Community Churches; I specifically found one in Sacramento, CA.

Love, faith and hope on your journey,

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

100 Things I Can Live Without

I've gotten inspired by Emily Suess' love of 100 things lists so here goes...

1. war
2. anger
3. fear
4. depression
5. most psychiatrists
6. bad drivers
7. Philadelphia driving
8. active alcoholics
9. active drug users
10. idiots
11. closed and condemning Christians
12. most TV
13. housework
14. bad attitudes
15. judgements 
16. judgemental people
17. snakes
18. flies
19. misquitos
20. oil spills
21. tarrot cards
22. psychics
23. constant cell phone users
24. people who text while driving
25. drunks
26. rude lane cutoffs
27. flambouant gay men
28. cross dressers
29. elitists
30. people who find money most important in life
31. the devil and demons
32. comedians who are not funny
33. nosiy neighbors
34. dysfunctional loud neighbors
35. bad areas in Chester
35. bullies
36. gangs
37. extreme macho behavior
38. traditional religions
39. "airy fairy" personalities
40. bad parents
41. abuse
42. sex offenders (never let them out)
43. criminals
44. guns
45. republicans in general
46. slow computers
47. editing
48. snow
49. ice
50. temps below 60
51. racism
52. KKK (should all be shot)
53. rednecks
54. did I mention closed minds?
55. people who think they have the only "truth"
56. people who believe they're always right
57. untamed dogs who jump up
58. clutter
59. dirty houses
60. call waiting
61. Maury Povich
62  popes
63. illiteracy
64. violence
65. rap music
66. opera
67. stepping in poo
68. people using eff word constantly
69. disrespect
70. did I say hate yet?
71. memory loss
72. complainers
73. BO
74. crowded airports
75. tiny airline seats with no space
76. long car rides/drives
77. televangleists
78. the word "homosexuality"
79. homophobia
80. laziness
81. dishonesty
82. people who won't/can't/don't listen
83. hard core loud rock and roll
84. most country/western music
85. over or under cooked food
86. canned salmon
87. greasy chinese take out
88. guys who spit on sidewalk
89. gossipers
90. cheaters
91. back-stabbers
92. "Christians" not practicing what they preach
94. bigots
95. poverty
96. Georges Bushes
97. Sarah Palin
98. tea party politicians
99. loud cell phone talkers
100. worry

Phew! I'm done. That took longer than I thought it would, but was fun! If I've offended you I'm sorry; I hope no one takes my list personally.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Truth Day 16~Could Live Without

...freezing cold winter weather and snow. Yes, as lovely as a new snow looks, I aim to live eventually in Sonoma County, CA where winter is very seldom below 40 and never below 30! I have to admit I like snowy days more than drab grey rainy days, I just don't want to deal with the consequences of snow, such as: shoveling, digging out my car, scraping off my car, cancellations due to bad weather, all the extra layers of clothing, real possibility of taking a digger on the ice, etc. I'm sure many who even choose to live in the snow hate some of these things. Or do you live in the snow not by choice, but because it's where you're settled, where your job and family are? I guess I've always been one open to a move, but it's not easy. I've had to leave behind family in both CT and CA to live in PA. It was/is very hard for me to miss out on huge chunks of my family's lives in CT as well as to have Dylan see so little of them.Then there's the expense of visiting from one coast to the other--yikes! But would I do it all over again--yes. What surprises me lately is how much I am enjoying living in PA despite the winter weather; you've gotta take the winter to get the beauty of spring flowers and the fall spectrum of colors. Now in summer I can certainly live without the humidity as most of us can! (There's little of that in CA too.) The bottom line is that I can put up with any weather for love. Have I mentioned that I am working on how much I romanticize my love relationships? I'm growing up now and I like who I'm becoming as well as I accept who I've been. How about you?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Truth Day 15~Can't Live Without

This one is a no brainer for me; I can't live without Jesus and I have certainly tried. Truthfully I have seen one miracle right after another since I've begun to really focus on making sure serving Jesus is first in my life. Recently I was offered a job teaching infant/toddlers when I wasn't even looking. When I was singing in praise(I so rarely do this that the cat ran in to check me out!) at my desk the phone rang. I got the good news that I didn't have to continue with my appeal for the proper medication amount since the insurance company decided to approve it the day before the hearing! These are not small nor coincidental happenings in my life.
I grew up in a Catholic home, attended church regularly and prayed real hard  to be the best I could be, but that was never quite good enough. In high school when Jesus Christ Superstar came out I was mesmerized; I had quit going to church regularly, but that musical sure got my undivided attention. For years I didn't identify as anything but Spiritual. I took Recovery seriously (mostly Al-Anon); I never stopped believing in God, praying and working on myself.

I first accepted Jesus as my personal Savior on Easter seven years ago. I had a very hard time getting into the Bible and I was baffled as to what my problem was. I had positive experiences when I went to church, in terms of feeling His spirit, but when alone and depressed I couldn't feel Him and therefore I couldn't hold on to believing. Yet I did still keep trying once my mood shifted out of the pit. So briefly what happened is that I never was able to understand the Bible until I started to attend an open and accepting Christian church. I didn't identify as gay or straight; I was always uniquely just me, but it became very important that I give my support to all people as Jesus did when he was on this earth. Ever since I found Drexel Hill Baptist Church my life has been transformed. Believe me it's like no other Baptist church traditionally experienced in many ways, but loving and living as Jesus lived is front and center.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Truth Day 14~My HERO

who let me down is Nelson Mandela. I still think you're fabulous Mr. Mandela, but your autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, is boring me to tears! I have not given up yet because I hold you in such high esteem; perhaps a different mood will allow me to get into it...

Jesus Christ (forever my superstar) MLK Jr., the Kennedy brothers (all assassinated--horrible!) and my grandfather, Joseph J. Zambo Sr., are high on my list. 

I used to be more in touch with my women heroes: Amelia Earhart, Maya Angelou, Rosie the Riveter, Hillary Clinton, (to  some extent) Stevie Nicks, (as you found out yesterday) Dr. Jeri Williams and Larry Williams, (Pastors at the incredible Drexel Hill Baptist Church) Mother Teresa, Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Angela Davis, Harriet Tubman, Patricia Fletcher (best therapist on earth)....I'm sure I'm forgetting many, but it's a start.

I also have animal heroes: Teddy Bear (dog love of my life), Dustin (mellow boy white cat), Pumpkin (queen Tortie  kitty of Dylan's boyhood) Jessie (Collie I grew up with), Angel (my very first kitty~Calico), Guido, (Dylan & Sandra's dignified boy cat) , Elli (huge black dog I liked more than boyfriend, Phil) and Dancer (only Pit Bull I'll ever love). Dancer passed recently; she was very brave, sensitive and resilient---may all my fallen heroes both human and animal R.I.P.

You're all "the wind beneath my wings"! (Thanks Bette Midler)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Truth Day 13~My Famous Special Someone

Dear Stevie Nicks,

Your ethereal music, words and dress style have been inspiring and enchanting me since your early days with Fleetwood Mac. To say that I can't wait to see you again in April is an understatement! I look forward to the ecstasy I naturally feel when I start hearing all your beloved familiar songs. There's no one else like you, Stevie; I'm sure all your fans would agree. I must admit I'd rather hear you with Tom Petty, but Rod Stuart is no one to complain about. I wonder if you and Tom are still friendly and did you see him for his big 6-0? Congratulations on your new album; you should be pleased with yourself for putting out new creations at "our age"! I'm sure I will have more profound things to say after the concert so I promise to write you again. Wonder what you'll be wearing? I'll be that speck up in the high rows with the binoculars...


Saturday, February 5, 2011

No Compliments

Something that I never get compliments on is ??? my trim figure! I've lost  somewhere around 50 pounds, but I'm sure not trim nor have I ever been! I wasn't even trying to loose weight last summer when this began, but I was so sick and having various side effects from medications (including extreme nausea) so my appetite was down to nothing for a few months. When I began to feel better I decided to keep loosing weight for the sake of my health. I've been eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains while watching my carbs and sugar especially. It seems like I've been almost allergic to any kind of exercise long term and would do anything to avoid it, but now I'm even walking about every other day. It's a start! I have to admit that it feels really good to wear smaller sizes. It's all good for my physical and mental health, but a boost to my self esteem as well. ;-) True confession: caffeine is my biggest vice, but I'm giving "Energy" Vitamin Water a shot as it's supposed to have natural caffeine. That sounds like a contradiction in terms so I'm still keeping my Diet Coke and Chai tea close by!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Compliments/Truth Day 11

Something I have always gotten compliments on is my writing. It started when I wrote an article for the school paper in third grade, "My Baby Sister, Terry" (OMG she's pushing 50 now ;-) ) Teachers would often compliment my essays and reports. One year I got honorable mention for the annual Lincoln Day essay contest at my grade school; I remember feeling a little guilty because Mom really helped me a lot on that project! I've always kept a journal for as long as I can remember. One whole bookshelf directly to my left is full of them from age 20 to now. So here I am blogging again, which is good, but there's something even better: I've started working again on the exercises to develop the memoir that I've always dreamed of publishing. I figure there's no time like the present to make my dream a reality. I feel so good about working on it again, because it's very cathartic and the words are pouring out onto paper like someone just removed my plug! Friends throughout my life have encouraged me to keep at it; more recently my chief supporters are: my Mom, my son and my friend, Patti. Their reminders are finally paying off; winter is the perfect time to dive into this project. I'll keep you posted on my progress. If you pray, pray for me that I really finish it this time around! Thanks and God bless~

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Finishing Letting Go

To finish up on letting go...I'm just not ready to dredge up all the memories of who made my life hell! It wouldn't be healthy for me at this point. About someone I'd like to let go~there was Kristin; for about a year I obsessed on how much I wished I could get rid of her! I finally did, but it took some time because I needed her to give me rides to Philadelphia to the Depression Research Center. Kristin was my "case manager", but really she was more of a "case" than I was! Her specialties were talking on her cell phone, texting while driving,  grooving to her loud music, filling out endless paperwork documenting nothing and total apathy regarding how severe my depression illness was. Finally I decided taking the train into Philadelphia was better than riding with her. I managed to find a private psychiatrist that my insurance covered (small miracle) and no longer needed to go to the horrible mental health clinic that she worked for. 

As far as someone who I drifted apart from, I've got nothing that qualifies. My sister and I drifted some over the years, but there were reasons for it. I had a hard time forgiving her for not attending my son's wedding, I was jealous that Dad loved and approved of her and not me and I was envious that she graduated college and landed a decent career while I floundered around in depression. Happily this is all behind us now; we are closer than we have been since she used to visit me in California when Dylan was young. On my last visit to CT she took me shopping for my Christmas gift and to a hair salon; earlier we took the dogs to the beach for a rejuvenating November walk! Surprisingly the beach in Old Lyme has a decent view of Long Island, a light house and paths through woods leading to driftwood and shells galore!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I just lost my entire post. Somehow I didn't save it in time. The possibilities for things I need to let go of, running the gamut from significant issues to daily annoyances, seem endless...I wasn't real attached to what I wrote so that helps. Bedtime will be much earlier tonight than usual.It's good to know when your body needs rest. Yesterday I substituted at my church's daycare for tots; forgot how tiring nine children under 18 months in one space can be!