Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Help in the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

Usually, disabled people are pretty much shut out of disaster relief.  It seems that this time those of us effected by hurricane Sandy will be included along with everyone else.

More areas may have been designated as "disaster areas" as a result of power outages from feet of snow.  Please check with your county's officials, if you need to find out.

I hope everyone is safe!

Disability Rights Office/CGB Offers Communication Guidance to Persons with Disabilities
in Aftermath of Hurricane
The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau offers the following information to
individuals with disabilities seeking information and assistance during the aftermath
of Hurricane Sandy:
Phone Calls
·        According to an October 30, 2012 FEMA news release, the President declared
major disasters for New York and New Jersey, making disaster assistance available
to those in the heaviest hit areas affected by the storm.
Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties in
New York and New Jersey can begin
 the disaster application process
 by registering online at
, by web enabled mobile device at
 or by calling
isaster assistance applicants who have a hearing or speech disability and use TTYs
should call
 directly.  If you do not use a TTY and are calling through any relay service or
by voice, you can also access the following voice telephone number:
These toll-free telephone numbers (provided by FEMA) will operate from 7 a.m. to
10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
·        If you have a hearing or speech disability, you also can use telecommunications
relay services to make calls for assistance.  In your local area, dial 711 to access
these services by TTY or by voice.  Alternatively, you can access IP Relay, IP Captioned
Telephone or video relay services on line.
·        If you are trying to send someone a text message and it is not going through,
wait 10 seconds before redialing a call.  On many wireless handsets, to re-dial a
number, you simply push "send" after you've ended a call to redial the previous number.
If you do this too quickly, the data from the handset to the cell sites do not have
enough time to clear before you've resent the same data.  This contributes to a clogged
·        If you do not have electric power in your home, consider using your vehicle
to charge cell phones or listen to news alerts on the car radio.  But don’t try to
reach your car if it is not safe to do so, and remain vigilant about carbon monoxide
emissions from your car if it is a closed space, such as a garage.
Television, Radio and the Internet
·        Tune-in to television, radio and the Internet (via your desktop or laptop
computer, tablet or mobile phone) for important news alerts.
·        FCC rules require audio information about emergencies provided on television
to be accompanied by visual information for persons with hearing disabilities.  This
is typically provided through closed captions, so please make sure you have your
captions turned on.
·        If you have a visual disability, emergency information provided during televised
news programming must be provided in an audio format along with its visual format.
If you are watching regularly scheduled (non-news) programming and hear tones or
beeps, this signifies that emergency information is being provided.  Turn on your
radio or call someone to get up-to-date information about the emergency that is occurring.
·        T
he Commission will continue to monitor closely complaints alleging violations of
our laws requiring access to emergency information on television, and will review
for possible enforcement action.  If you have a complaint regarding the lack of emergency
information being presented in an accessible format, you may contact your video programming
distributor directly for quick resolution of the problem (you can locate VPD contact
information by searching the VPD Registry located on the FCC’s webpage at:
) or you may file a complaint with the FCC.
If you decide to complain directly to the FCC, your complaint should include:
The name of the VPD (e.g.,
 broadcast station, cable company, satellite TV provider, local telephone company)
against whom the complaint is alleged;
The date and time of the transmission of emergency information that was in a format
not accessible to persons with disabilities; and
The type of emergency.
You can file your complaint with the FCC using the on-line complaint Form 2000C found
.  You also may contact the FCC by letter, facsimile transmission, telephone (voice/TRS/TTY),
Internet e-mail, audio-cassette recording, Braille, or any other method that would
best accommodate your disability.  Send your complaint to:
Federal Communications Commission
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554
Phone: 1-888-225-5322 (voice); 1-888-835-5322 (TTY)
Fax:  866-418-0232
Fact sheets summarizing the closed captioning and access to emergency information
rules are available at the FCC’s Web site at
Find more information at
, or

Monday, October 29, 2012

Prayers for Your Safety

For most of you who are kind enough to read some or all of what I have written I don't know where you live.  But your safety is in my hopes and prayers!  Sanndy is supposed to make landfall earlier than expected.  Closer to 8:30 tonight than to the earlier predicted time of midnight.  Please do all you can to protect yourselves!

Philly Collector, I know Pa. is under a state of emergency.  I wish I knew what to do that could help.  If it is needed, I will be sending relief after the storm.  I pray that none of you will need it!

Had an interesting experience today.  On the NPR Program "Talk of the Nation" there was a segment where they were asking people from the warned area to call in and say how bad it was.  I called in because I wanted the answer to a question.  What preparations have been made to evacuate people without cars?  People with cars will be taking their family members and pets with them to safety.  But what about those whose Normal modes of transport are bicycles, busses, subways, etc.?  My call was not allowed on air because it didn't fit the question asked.  I hope Each of you and those you love has a car!  Thoese without cars were many of the people caught in huricane Katrina.  May you all find shelter!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Personal Note, then Doll Bummer

No, no one had to correct me.  I read my post After publishing it. (That was my mistake, at least the Second one.) 
  What I said about Russell Means and AIM still stands.

But my whining about the changes in my looks Didn't belong anywhere but in my head, and only there for a short time.  This was my First mistake, whining to Anyone else.  Again, I apologize. 

I checked on the "Hearts for Heaarts 14 inch vinyl doll Mosi, (supposed to look Navajo or Din`e,) not coming out until next year although advertised for this year.  Also read a Phily Collector's post about the signature "Prettie Dolls" next year again.  Don't have the bucks right now anyway.  Tried to check out website for "Magical Monster" dolls and it was Totally inaccessible, no speech, no Braille.

Does anyone else get the "Wants its" when they are most broke?  I do.

Maybe the silver lining is that When these dolls come out I will have more money.

I would also like some brunette guy action figures, I like the "Power Team" guys and wish now that I had snapped up some of those fire fighter and police rescue dolls after Sept. 11, 2001.  But I wasn't thinking of dolls then, can you believe it?

Between 911 itself and chemo. I was kind of occupied.  Which guides me to the thought that I am Very Thankful Not to be listening to and praying for those effected by 911 Or in chemo.  I still pray for people I don't know elsewhere.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Indiana Hoosherwomen, Missourians who've been "shown", Pensylvania, Look Sharp!

Sorry, Pensylvania, I don't know either what nickname or state motto you have.

But this honestly worries me for all of us.  Remember Mo. Federal Senate candidate?  Well it seems he has company when it comes to views on rape.

I think some prejudiced and ignorant Dr. truly May have told Mr. Akin that women can't get pregnant from his definition of "ligitimate rape.  And the fact that Mr. Akin still believes this says to me that his own ignorance is too great to Allow him to epresent Me in Washington or anywhere else!

I have already voted absentee and I voted for a local Republican candidate.  He ran the County Heealth Dept. during the 1980's when AIDS was first hitting this area.  He handled it very well, without humiliating people and trained his staff to do likewise.  I am not anti-Republican.

I Am anti-ignorant representatives who Say they speak in my name.  Not only are the statements from Your Senators as bad as Mr. Akin's, from My state, they are Dangerous.  Rape can traumatize a person for life.  It Very often breaks up relationships and marriages.  Tghis makes it a People's Issue, not just a Women's Issue.  We all have sisters, nieces, aunts, mothers, and/or grandmothers who may be young enough to become pregnant if attacked.

Please don't vote for ignorance?

Indiana Republican Senate candidate, Richard Mourdock made another offensive comment
about rape last night. But Mitt Romney and top Republicans aren't pulling their support.
Enough is enough. Can you tell Mitt Romney and Republicans that if they want women's
votes they need to stop playing politics with rape?
click here
Click Here

Just. Stop. It.
Last night, ANOTHER Republican candidate for office made ANOTHER offensive comment
about rape. This time it was Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock saying pregnancies
resulting from rape are what God intended.
 This is on the heels of Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin's comments that women
don't get pregnant from "legitimate" rape,
 Pennsylvania Senate candidate Tom Smith saying that having children out of wedlock
is basically the same thing as rape,
 and Rep. Steve King saying he has never heard of anyone getting pregnant from statutory
Add it all up and we have a very serious, disturbing problem when it comes to Republican
men running for office and how they view women.
But something about Mourdock's comment is even more disturbing:  Mitt Romney just
released an ad endorsing him
. While he's tepidly tried to distance himself from Mourdock today, he hasn't pulled
his endorsement and the ad is still on the air.
 And Senator John Cornyn, head of the National Republican Senate Campaign Committee,
is **defending** Mourdock.
Can you send a clear message to Mitt Romney and the Republicans about how you feel
about these comments as a voter?
 If they want women's votes, they need to stop supporting candidates with extreme
views on rape. Mitt Romney must withdraw his endorsement of Mourdock and Republican
campaign committees must stop supporting him right away.
Add your name to the petition.
There are just 2 weeks before the election and campaign committees are really susceptible
to public pressure right now. If enough of us speak out quickly and loudly, we can
make a difference here. And we can make it clear to members of both parties that
playing politics with rape is just flat out wrong.
This isn't just an issue that upsets progressive women--it upsets all women.
Even Christine Todd Whitman, former Republican Governor of New Jersey and Bush EPA
Administrator, is appalled and calling on Romney to strongly reject Mourdock.
Rape is rape. It is not a political game. And we, women and men alike, deserve better
from candidates of any political party.
Add your name to the petition.
Thanks for speaking out,
--Nita, Shaunna, Kat, and Karin, the UltraViolet team
"Meet The Mourdocks: The Other Republicans Pushing To Block Abortions For Rape Victims,"
 ThinkProgress, October 24, 2012
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid.
5. "
DNC slams Romney's Mourdock endorsement,"
 Politico, October 24, 2012
"NRSC chief Cornyn defends Mourdock after abortion comments,"
 The Hill, October 24, 2012
"Former N.J. Gov. Christine Todd Whitman,"
 Politico, October 24, 2012
You can unsubscribe from this mailing list at any time.

Apology for Whining and Slug Traps

First, I have something serious to do which is to say I Am sorry for whining at those of you who face discrimination each day.  I know, I "pass" as white.  The discrimination I face is due to my disability of blindness, (unemployment rate is about 70 to 80 percent for working age blind) and my hearing impairment in addition.  Shit is shit, but it's Not the same Kind of shit, at least sometimes.

Also I want to say I'm sorry for whining to those of you, black and white, who have more Native blood than me but no trace of it that is recognized. You also suffer.

I am sorry for whining.

New subject:
More than 141,000 people -- including you -- signed Rabbi Moishe Feiglin's petition
calling on the Brooklyn District Attorney to drop charges against Ehud Halevy, the
homeless youth whose beating by NYPD officers was caught on video.
Amazing news: Because of you, all of the charges against Ehud, including the charge
for trespassing in the Jewish youth center where he actually had permission to sleep,
have been dropped.
Rabbi Feiglin is the director of the center where the beating took place, and he
wants everyone who signed his petition to know how grateful he is that you stood
up for Ehud.
"Thank you to everyone who signed our petition on," he says.
"I hope this sends a message that we should continue increasing our acts of goodness,
kindness and justice."
It took only three days for Rabbi Feiglin to win his campaign -- what would you change
if 141,000 people had your back?
Click here to start your own petition on now.
Thanks for being a change-maker,
- Emilia and the team
This email was sent by to
Start a petition

I wish the case of Martin Traevon had been settled so quickly.  I wish Leonard Peltier was free, long with many others who don't deserve to be where they are.

New Gross subject:  I had to set out beer for slugs which have infested my garden.  Now I know I can use any kind of shallow container, filled with beer, and a hole cut out of the top.  I don't enjoy killing anything, even slugs.  But to come upon one I didn't know was there by touching it Freaks me out.  And to step on one triggers almost an automatic "slug dance."  Step with clean foot, then slide slugged foot forward, trying to scrape it on the grass and yell "shit!"  Ann, who had to wear shoes, didn't really mind slugs, which she could also see Before she grabbed them.  She used to get hysterical watching me go into automatic freak.  Then one day my younger sister stepped on a slug and did Exactly the same thing.  I cracked up!  It Is funny to hear.  I know they're only snails without shells, but I always have a wish to hurl when I touch them.  Just hope they die happy with little slug smiles on their faces.

You can bet I'll throw those traps away by bicking them up when full with a plastic bag PRE-CHECKED for any holes. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Modern Native Doll Found and Question for Kind Reader

Modern Native doll Found, and a Question for Kind Reader

For anyone interested in 18 inch dolls, there is a Great Canadian site called Maplelea.They offer a doll representing each province of Canada.  There is a blonde with brown eyes, a blonde with  blue eyesbrown haired dolls, I think two dolls of color.  And One of them is from the Province of Nunavat.  She is Native American, or as they say in Canada, a "First Nations" girl.  And she's wearing Native footware with JEANS and a T-shirt! 

Barbie made an improvement with the Northwest Coast Native American doll.  Her box said dinner could be seal meat or pizza.  But the doll, of course, was taller and proportioned differently than any of the people pictured on the box.

But the Canadian girl, Saila (pronounced Sigh-lah) looks like a Human!  One BIG problem, she costs about $100, have to try and save up for her and hope she's still there by the time I do.

Someone kind enough to read a part of what I have posted wans to know more about a blog from August entitled, "Personal Notes and Home Healthcare Aides".  The article accompanying my "personal notes" is not written by me, only my comments before it are written by me.  What would you like to know?  I will share info., if I have it.  And thank you all for reading!

Sorry I cannot put labels in for these blog posts.  Since Blogger changed it's format I can post, thank heavens, but can't put in labels without using a rodent (mouse) which is not an option for a blind or deaf-blind person.  Or maybe it's this newer computer which is drivving me CRAZY.  Yes, that Was a scream you heard, with a lot of expletives you missed!  Its "verbositty" settings are wrong, so it reads Every dash, number, letter, and symbol, (less than, greater than, punctuation mark) on the screen.  Takes Forever for me to get anything Done.  It also likes to freeze up and lock.  Manual shut-downs are bad for it, but sometimes nothing else works.  I defrag. daily, at Least once.  Going back to the much older tower tonight when a sighted friend, "Tech. Savvy Wendi" is coming to switch them out.

Then I will get back my sound cues, when I'm getting a new E-mail, when the computer turns on or shuts off.  Right now I must sit with my hands on computer tower and Braille display to make sure machine is turning off.

But I'm glad blogger gives me the chance to gripe, though I'm sorry kind readers are the ones who may skim through my complaints.  Every blind or deaf-blind person I know goes through this Regularly, so I don't have it harder than any of them.  And as of tonight I'll have No More Computer whining, promise.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Tray Stays!

Oh yah, whatever I do with my hair, some of the gray Stays!  My days as "That little blind girl" (to be felt sorry for, pitied from a superior height, or treated like a child at 40) are GONE!

Russell Means and Self-Perception

Russell Means, formerly of the American Indian Movement (AIM) and a fighter at Wounded Knee SD. in 1973, died today.  A report is available at listing what are considered his good points and failings.  I'm in no position to judge.

But I remember listening to him and to other AIM members throughout the 1970's.

I was still in high school and was deeply impressed by some of the things I learned from his speeches.  1.  Neither capitalism nor communism have respect for the Earth as a living being without whom we either never would have been on this world or we would all be dead.  They both see the Earth as a non-living resource to exploit.  Neither Democrats nor Republicans understand this.  The major difference is how many pieces the economic pie is divided into.

2.  Communal action is usually Deliberately broken up by the US. Government, especially if it is economic in nature.  Union busting, anti-WTO demonstrations when they were allowed to take place, the African American civil rights movement, these are examples of what he was saying.  But his own example was simpler.  Stores at the reservation boundary had a relatively captive audience, as the people had no money to drive long distances for groceries.  So a group went to merchants and asked for lower prices if it could be guaranteed that at least 250 Native families a month would shop at the store.  A merchant agreed, but in came officialdom, calling it "communism" and saying it was not legal as it violated the Free Enterprise System.  Its "communism" for families to shop together to better feed their children but the largest of the Wallstreet banks can manipulate interest rates with lies and That doesn't violate the "free?" Enterprise system?  Monopolies are cool, even if we DO have to bail them out with tax payer money, but families making a deal with a grocery supplier are Wrong?

Russell Means was a fine orator, with a sense of humor and timing.  He was a person who included all kinds and colors of people in his worldview.  I never met him but he was one of my teachers.  I am sad he is gone and I wish him and his people well!

Books about the American Indian Movement were one of the things I looked for and "The Life and Death of Anna May Aquash" by Johanna Brand was one of the creepiest books I have ever read.

One Lakota contemporary of Mr. Means said today that without him there would have been no Rigoberta Menchu winning a Nobel Peace Prize, and no President Morales, the first Native American President of Bolivia.  Others such as authors  Leslie Marmon Silko, Vine DeLoria, Jr.,  poet Joy Harjo, singer and musician  John Two Hawks, and many, many more helped.  But the American Indian Movement was another new beginning for Native American Nations.

Personal:  When I was a kid we lived so far out in the sticks that we could run around in just our underwear during the day.  Youcould hear a car coming from a long way off.  One day I remember my mother, in an odd mixture of approval and disgust saying, "You're as brown as a tree!"  Was she envious, mad, pleased, I couldn't figure it out.

Until I had cancer my hair was always brown-black, Summer gave me a tan, and my hair was nearly straight. 

After my first round of cancer surgeries and chemotherapy I got a Gorgeous Afro of very black hair which I would love to have kept.  Once I sprayed it dark gold to cheer up someone in the hospital and Ann said I looked like someone from Central America, a mix.

But as my hair grew out it gradually straightened and the sun returned it to brack.  After my second round of cancer surgeries and chemo. I got wispy gray straw which I shaved off.  Then the brack returned.

But the chemo. did something to my skin.  I became alergic to many things, Very alergic, which had never bothered me before.  For a few years if I sweated much in the sun I'd break out in a rash wherever I was sweating, including arms, face, etc.  So I learned to stay oyut of the sun.  I got paler.  Ann said after my second chemo. I began looking almost Irish, dark hair and eyes and pale skin.  I am mostly white, European American.  But always before people have thought I might be Latina, Eastern European, etc. 

Finally this Summer my hair has changed to very dark brown with red highlights where the sun always touches it.  And I have made an embarrassing discovery.  I am vain.  I don't wear make up, don't bother with jewelry around the house and garden, dress like a clean bum around here. I don't shave my legs, but DO take showers, (what a relief!)  When I go somewhere I dress between casual and dressy, depending on where I'm going. I have always been about 20 to 25 pounds too heavy, since I quit using speed during college.  If I maintain my weight and don't gain more, I'm fine with that.

But I do miss my old looks, brack hair, a tan.  That is vanity and insecurity on my part.  My older relatives didn't always like my looks and got upset if I braided my hair, even in the Summer I heard "squaw" a few times from them and from strangers.  I was mad, not hurt by this as the relatives who called me this, or the few strangers, were not people I cared about pleasing.

Now there are warnings about being out in the Sun too much.  When I knew I would lose all of my hair I went and had it all cut off at once.  It was surprisingly unemotional for me, humm, my hair or my life, which do I Really want?  The second time was the same.

But without Ann around I'm not sure what I'd choose now, not my hair, certainly, but maybe not chemo. either.  I thank ALL who have helped me remain cancer free since 2005!

Guess I won't be going to a tanning booth, not after two rounds with cancer.  And if I dye my hair darker I'll have to ask someone I trust what my more pale coloring can tollerate, dark brown, which it mostly still is, or soft black, brown-black?  Vanity.  I have to laugh at myself.  And to feel sad.  I grew up being told I was stupid, lazy, fat, ugly, ungrateful, you get the picture.  But I always Liked my hair.  It was the One thing nobody found fault with, even if I was pulled backwards down the street by it, etc. 

In light of the death of Russell Means and what he meant to the Native peoples of the Americas, along with many other leaders and writers of the '70's, my recollections are foolish.  And yet, because I am the only blind person in my family and because I was, even beyond this, always Different, I was glad there was a physical sign of my difference, to some people anyway..  In St. Louis I looked Italian American, in Fort Wayne, Ind. I just looked Different, to other European Americans.  In Oklahoma I looked part Indian.

And it was there that my land lady thought I was drunk when I sprained my ankle too badly to stand and sat on a curb with my white cane calling for help.  That and a few ignorant remarks are all I've had to put up with, nothing in comparison to a person who Always looks out of place (is made to feel this by residents) in a white community.

So maybe it's just a personal thing, I want to look different because I Feel so alienated from society's "mainstream" whatever that is, and so isolated.

Sorry to bore you with more than Anyone would want to know about a stranger.  I began a blog to deal with Ann's loss and at times it's still the only way I have of expressing my feelings.

Homeless Jewish Man Beaten While he Slept in Synagogue With Rabi's Permission?

If reported accurately, just as repulsive as the Rodney King beating.
NY District Attorney: Drop charges against Ehud Halevi, who was beaten by police while sleeping in his synagogue
Sign Rabbi Feglin's Petition

On October 8, 21-year-old Ehud Halevi was sleeping in a youth center run by the New
York synagogue where he's a member. Ehud is homeless, so his Rabbi -- who runs programs
for at-risk youth like Ehud -- had told him back in September he could sleep there.
In a video that's now gone viral on the internet, two New York police officers are
shown waking Ehud in the early morning. Even though Ehud explains to them that he
has permission to sleep at the center, they try to arrest him. Then,
the officers beat Ehud for almost 5 minutes straight
 -- even after Ehud can be seen lying down.
And despite the NYPD's beating,
it's Ehud who's being charged with assault
, and he faces 5 years in prison.
Rabbi Moishe Feiglin feels terrible. This happened at his synagogue’s center and
to one of his congregants -- and he just wants Ehud's nightmare to end.
Rabbi Feiglin started a petition on calling for the Brooklyn District Attorney to drop all charges against Ehud.
So far, the NYPD officer who was most involved in Ehud's beating has only been minimally
disciplined -- his gun has been taken away and he's been placed on desk duty -- but
the other officer hasn't been disciplined at all. Rabbi Feiglin says this is unacceptable.
Ehud was eventually arrested and charged with trespassing and assaulting an officer,
even though the video shows he didn't fight back.
In the past several months, several tapes of NYPD officers engaged in disproportional
and violent exchanges have drawn heat to the department.
With pressure rising, Rabbi Feiglin thinks that the support of thousands of people
behind Ehud now can get the charges against him dropped.
Click here to sign Rabbi Feiglin's petition calling on the Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes to drop charges against homeless youth Ehud Halevi, who wasbeaten by police.
Thanks for being a change-maker,
- Emilia and the team
This email was sent by to

Good News!

Except for Union Carbide, which has Never fully cleaned up the toxic spill which killed thousands in Bupal, India, or compensated disabled victims, Wal-Mart Is one of the world's biggest corporate bullies.  That makes this good news.

These photos are why exists.

This is why exists.
After warehouse workers in Walmart’s supply chain risked everything by going on strike,
nearly 100,000 members of the community stood up with them
calling for Walmart to work with suppliers to improve working conditions and not
retaliate against striking workers. Then workers at a Chicago-area distribution center
delivered your signatures to Walmart managers, and
the next day the workers were told they could return to work with no retaliation
 and receive full back-pay for their time on strike.
When those same workers descended on Bentonville, Arkansas -- home to Walmart’s global
headquarters -- to make their demands directly to top management, 912 of us chipped
in what we could, and
 we bought nearly every ad in the home newspapers of Walmart’s top executives
 in an effort to help amplify the workers’ voices. Here’s what we heard about the
impact of the ads from Eddie Iny, a Director of Making Change at Walmart, who was
on the ground with the workers:
The ads you all did in Bentonville were fantastic.  I heard from a number of folks
that everyone saw the ads -- including a cop during our flash mob who asked if we
were the ones blanketing the town with ads to Rob Walton!  Nice work!
Even the ad representative from the papers told us that the ads were the talk of
the town. No way could the executives -- or their neighbors, friends or baristas
-- miss the workers’ message.
Then when warehouse workers delivered our petition to Walmart HQ, something totally
unprecedented happened:
 the warehouse workers were met by Walmart executive Thomas Mars
, who listened to their stories about conditions in Walmart’s warehouses for 2 hours.
Walmart still hasn’t committed to taking responsibility for cleaning up working conditions
in its suppliers' warehouses, but just getting a meeting with an executive was a
huge first step!
And then, the story got even bigger, as
Walmart retail workers in 12 cities also went on strike
 against unfair employment practices. Tens of thousands of us have signed
a statement of solidarity
 with these workers.
It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks, and what’s most exciting is that
momentum is still building as Walmart workers threaten to go on strike again on Black
, the biggest shopping day in the U.S., unless management promises to stop retaliating
against workers who have been organizing for better conditions.
Now more than ever we need to stand with workers to show Walmart that it can’t ignore
workers in the name of profit anymore, and that when corporations try to trample
on workers’ rights, we’ll come together to hold them accountable.
Thanks for being one of us,
Kaytee, Rob, and the rest of us
P.S. Walmart is one of the world’s largest corporations, and has inexhaustible resources
to keep fighting against its workers and customers. But we have a kind of people
power that Walmart doesn’t.  We know that the fight to improve working conditions
in Walmart’s supply chain is going to take lots more work, and frankly lots more
Can you chip in $4, or whatever you can afford, so we can keep pushing for the biggest retail bully in the world to treat its workers fairly?
Donate now
 SumOfUs is a world-wide movement of people like you, working together to hold corporations
accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy.
You can follow us on
, and like us on

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Haloween Indians

How would you feel if every Haloween there were costumes for white men with handfuls of $100 bills coming out of every pocket and little signs covering each pocket opening saying things like, "Gated Community"  "I got mine, what's WRONG with YOU?"  "Medical Care is for those who can AFFORD the best!?"  or "I'm free, white, and 21, what's Your Problem?"  A few stereotypes of ALL white men in there?

Well how about turning a white child, via a Haloween costume into a comical black "pic-a ninny?"  Yea, I'd be protesting with you.

There could be a blonde costume with a flirty face, and a sign, "Stupidity grants my finest wishes."  Sexist?

A redhead costume with a snarling face, and a shirt saying, "Get outa my way you ----" and "It should have happened Yesterday, damn it!"  A stereotype?

I could unfortunately go on forever.  But every Haloween I find myself getting ticked off at the "Little Indian" costumes.

Haloween is a scary or fake scary time.  Most of the Indian costumes are for males with bloody tomohawks.  Message, Native men are scary blood thirsty savages.  Yes, there are a few "Indian Princess" costumes, although among most North American tribes royalty Still had to Work.

I was abused by a male relative with a white mentally ill mother and a Native American father.  So who abused me, the white half of that particular relative or the Native half?  How about, just my Relative?

I know mant girls And boys abused by white people. 

So Why the Persistence of Indian costumes for Haloween?  If this were done to any other racial group, all hell would break lose.

When I dress up for Haloween I try to use what I already have, or create my own costume.  One year I did dress in an Extreme punk costume, but I did not act stupid or impolite.  I went into a store that day and the sales lady was in a Big Hurry to be rid of me.  When I went back later dressed in my usual clothes she was sweet as pie.

I have a "Lady Insecta" costume, a wolf costume a fake Dr.'s costume with spiders crawling up the medical staff, and my best ever was a parrot with the end of a broken, cleaned, yellow-orange traffic cone for a beak, and blown up and tied yellow dishwashing gloves on my feet, yellow ones.  I've been a creepy alien, with my head covered, except for a blue circle in the center of my forehead, where a plastic eye was taped.

This year I'm an old time trapper, with a gnarly tree branch staff, spiky hair coming out from under my "deer stalker" csap, a pair of borrowed boots too large for climbing, grungy overalls and shirt, a fake beard, and a roll of animal skins on my back.  The early trappers often did look something like this.  And I'm not trying to impersonate anyone in particular.

I'm sure Someone will be offended, there Is always someone.  Doubtless, that is what people will say of my being offended by bloody tomohawked little Indians running around. 

In Canada, it might be different.  But in most of the U.S. we have destroyed our ecology so much that very few people can make a living by trapping and trading.  I am Not glorifying the slaughter of animals, just for there skins!  That is scary, not funny. 

Sorry if you consider this a rant, it's just something I've learned to keep my mouth shut about for Years.

I like best to become an animal in the most convincing way I know how.  Maybe I'll try being a plant next year, any ideas on how?

I already did Bacus  with ivy (fake) and green hair.

One of my favorite dolls truly looks like the witch in "The Wizzard of Oz."  Her green skin is set off beautifully by a Barbie "Mexican" dress with ricrack of differing colors.  I named her Babayaga, and Ann helped me pick out her dress.  She leads a camp of mostly women and girls and is training an apprentice, who is just a bit bigger than a Kelly sized doll.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Blindness and Deafness

I have found what Helen Keller said long ago to be true.  She said, "Blindness separates you from things."  I may not share her position on what a "thing" is.  For instance, blindness separates me from knowing what anything looks like to a sighted person.  The view of a Whole face, a Whole tree, a Whole animal, these are quite different from touching something or someone, and then assembling component parts together in my mind to try and for a coherent idea of What it is like.  The sense of touch tells me completely different things than the sense of sight.  For example, most sighted people like the look of porcelain dolls, because their skin Looks more real.  I do Not like the Feel of porcelain dolls at all, to me they feel rougher than skin and ugly.  I have never been able to construct a whole human face in my mind, (never having seen one) which probably accounts for the fascination I have with the human face on dolls, except that I really have to Search for any variety.  Paint jobs don't do it.

Helen Keller also said, "but deafness separates you from people."  If I were sighted and deaf this might not be so true.  But for me, as for Helen Keller, it Is true.  If I were Latina there would be a large group of people with whom I had a common language.  But the number of deaf or seriously hearing impaired people in any rural area or small city is limited.  And the number of deaf people willing to allow me to follow their hands (slowing down their ability to express themselves quickly) is also limited.  I am not Christian, so "Deaf Church" isn't truly an option.  And like LBGT people, deaf people often meet in bars.  As a blind person I do not drink with people I don't know, meaning I will not become intoxicated around them, it isn't safe.  This applies to All people.  So isolation is a painful reality.  Without Ann here, their is at present only one persom I see reggularly to whom I can talk about nearly anything.  It's a sadness, a lonliness, I must live with.

The "Occupy Movement" Where do You Stand?

I find myself halfway in and halfway out of the "Occupy Wallstreet" (and other places) movement.  They include the homeless and the mentally ill in their ranks.  Among my friends and acquaintances are people with psychiatric diagnoses, and many of us have been or still are on the verge of homelessness. 

They say bank with Credit Unions, Not big banks.  In this way, it is said, that the money is likely to go back into rebuilding your local community.  I bank at a bank which, to the best of my knowledge, has branches in three states, including Mo. 

They say buy "Fair Trade" and I simply don't have the money to do this on a regular basis.  But I do try to buy luxury items, coffee, chocolate, gifts for others, "Fair Trade."  Also if something is personally meaningful to me, the basket which held Ann's ashes after her cremation, for example, I also try to buy "fair Trade."

But I have a lot of vinyl dolls and most collectors won't buy "Fair Trade" dolls, made of cloth, wood, natural materials.

They say it doesn't matter if you vote.  I agree that large multi-national corporations have more to do with many issues in our country than elected officials.  That is why I belong to organizations which pressure Mostly corporations.  However, as a person living on Disability, I vote to try and protect myself and those poorer than me.  Who will harm the most vulnerable least?  That's how I vote, or I do my best.

I hate seeing Wal-Mart chasing out all of the local businesses.  We would pay slightly higher prices, a hardship, but someone would be more Responsive to the needs of their workers And customers, if they had to live in and share the community with their customers and workers.

So my sympathies and when possible my pocket book agree with the "occupiers".  But my pocket book also dictates that I must buy goods from chain stores and multi-nationals for daily use.

I get Truly tired of people who trash the 1960's, and blame that decade and the early '70's for all of our country's ills.  For me the 1960's were like any other period in history, both harmful and VERY beneficial.  African American people began defining themselves For themselves.  So did Native Americans, gay and lesbian people, and the population began rebelling against a war they increasingly saw as unnecessary.  Do you Really want to go back to the "Good old Days" before any of this happened?  I do not.  And women began getting control over our own bodies.  Eventually, child abuse and domestic abuse became uncool and punishable as crimes instead of a societally accepted part of "normal" life.  I have no wish to reverse these changes.
And thanks largely to wounded veterans of the Vietnam War, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ada) was passed.
In the same way, I get sick of people who classify all of the "occupiers" as "lazy bums who cause trouble and Won't get a job." 

Some of the people the occupy movement has embraced Cannot get or hold jobs.  Some stand for what they believe in in the cold, the rain, the extreme heat, and the snow.  Public facilities should be available to them, whether we agree with their opinions or not.  Then no one would have "they just go to the bathroom wherever they are" or "they Won't take showers" to say.  Homeless people often have this same problem.

Where do you stand with regard to the "Occupy" movement?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Still Supressing Voters of Color? Tell them NO!

I've been doing my best to ignore the phone calls, junk mail, Unsolicited E-mails and even the News around this election.  But some lies are too obscene to ignore.  How about, you can be Prosecuted for voting?

Apparently, media giant Clear Channel thinks it's a-okay to use its billboards to
intimidate voters in an effort to
keep people of color from voting.
Last week, an anonymous group started plastering Black and Latino neighborhoods in
Ohio and Wisconsin with billboards implying that people can be prosecuted for trying
to vote. Despite widespread protests,
Clear Channel has refused to take the billboards down
, claiming that they aren’t responsible for the content.
Our allies at Color of Change think that ramping up pressure on Clear Channel now,
while the media spotlight is shining, could be what it takes to get these billboards
pulled before they cause even more harm.
Tell Clear Channel to stop profiting from voter intimidation -- take the billboards down NOW!
Of course,
Clear Channel has refused to put up political billboards before
 -- in fact, just a few months ago, they refused to let us put up a billboard calling
out the corporate funders of climate change denialists The Heartland Institute, with
the reasoning “you can’t criticize a corporation.”
These billboards are part of the right-wing strategy to suppress voting in communities
of color. State governments have tried to purge voter rolls, made registering to
vote more difficult, and curbed early and absentee voting -- often at the behest
of corporate-friendly lobbying groups like ALEC. Right-wing politicians say that
these measures are meant to curb voter fraud, but so far,
no one has found a single instance of voter fraud
 that these policies would have stopped.
The real point of these laws is to make voting harder
 for poor people, students, and people of color.
Now Clear Channel -- which, surprise, surprise, is owned by Bain Capital -- is getting
in on the action and making a quick buck off of voter intimidation. Of course, the
bar has to be high for us to advocate removing a billboard, but voter intimidation
rises to that level.
It's ridiculous that Clear Channel would stop members from denouncing
corporate-sponsored climate change denial and then let some anonymous organization
intimidate Black and Latino voters. Let's stand together and hold them accountable.
Tell Clear Channel to take down these intimidating billboards.
Rob, Kaytee, and the team at
Further reading:
Ohio voter fraud billboard accused of intimidating black voters
," The Grio, 10-05-12.
Does Romney's Bain Capital Support Voter Suppression
," Daily Kos, 10-10-12.
The Myth of Voter Fraud
," Washington Post, 03-29-07.
 SumOfUs is a world-wide movement of people like you, working together to hold corporations
accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy.
You can follow us on
, and like us on

Monday, October 15, 2012

No Mercy

As a cancer survivor I find this reprehensible!  If I die of cancer I hope to be allowed to do so withOut this kind of pressure, and With some dignity!  I believe that change happens one person at a time, one person reaching out to one other person, whom they may or may not know.
Wells Fargo: Stop the foreclosure on my friend Cindi -- a stage 4 cancer victim's -- home.
Sign Kate's Petition
Cindi Davis is a close friend of mine, and has been for five years. She is one of
the most generous people I know, having taken in seven special needs pets over the
Pretty amazing for someone who is also fighting late stage breast cancer.
My friend Cindi and her husband Kirk have struggled to cover the cost of her cancer
treatment and keep up with their mortgage over the years.
But when they could no longer make full mortgage payments, Wells Fargo moved foreclosed
on their home instead of working with them to adjust their loan.
I've heard of other homeowners successfully saving their homes from foreclosure by
starting petitions -- and now I've started my own to help Cindi.
Click here to sign my petition asking Wells Fargo to stop the foreclosure of Cindi and Kirk's home.
Cindi and her husband work hard to pay for their mortgage and medical treatments.
Together with Cindi and Kirk and many of our friends, we've all chipped in to help
cover their bills, treatments, and medications. Cindi's sold some of her quilting
work, and friends and neighbors have chipped in by organizing yard sales, raffles,
and even selling candy bars.
Cindi says she explained her situation to Wells Fargo, and a bank representative
said they would consider a solution -- but the next she heard from the bank was a
foreclosure notice. Wells Fargo has even refused to accept partial payments, and
they've added fees and more penalties. They don't know how to keep up.
Click here to sign my petition asking Wells Fargo to work with Cindi and Kirk and modify their mortgage so they can stay in their home.
Thank you for your support,
Kate Livingston
Chaparral, NM
This email was sent by to
Start a petition

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I'm Not a Bank!

Ok, this is time 2 for trying this post.  And I Still haven't figured out How to put labels on a post Without dragging up every Old label I have Ever used!  Can anyone help?

Everyday for the last month my inbox has received 7 or 8 E-mails from some Democrat or Democrat organization.  It's always semi-hysterical in tone "This is Serious"  or "What would You do If..." something like that.  I made the mistake of giving $20 early in the campaign and this was my repayment, but it gets "better". 

First, because I KNOW this is serious, "No sh-- Sherlock" I have sent money by check to Obama 2012 and to a local state rep. running against Mr. Tod Akin, who appears in a past post.  I only got Medicaid by Two Senate votes last Summer, do I maybe Think this election is Serious?

Because I am Not a bank I tried replying, "Where Can I send a check?"  No answer, no surprise.

Then I clicked on the link to donate and found it, yep, INACCESSIBLE.  Since my efforts to Unsubscribe from this mess were ignored I finally sent a message saying, "Either make your donation process Accessible to speech and Braille output computers or Please get out of my inbox."  I signed it "Obama voter."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Angry! Vice-Presidential Debates

Do all candidates for president and vice-president assume the poor don't vote and therefore don't count?  Or in this election cycle are they assuming all poor voters will vote for President Obama?  If so, they're idiots.I will vote for President Obaama, most of the people I know won't.

I miss Rev. Sharpton, at Least he asked some Relevant questions!  I am sorry if I misspelled his name.

All they Ever talk about is the "middle class".  No one has answered the question, (and they almost never do) "How will you help those living at or below the poverty level who want jobs and a chance for healthcare, decent food, education, etc.?"  I guess Those people ar in Governor Romney's 47% that it's not His responsibility to care for.  But what about President Obama?  Does he take my vote for granted?  Probably.

Beef number 2.  Is all human life sacred or not?  I had a friend who used to ask, "What happens to "Jerry's kids" when they grow up?"  She had muscular distrophy and due to a number of circumstances, ended up committing suicide. 

Ann considered both suicide and deliberately blinding herself, Very Seriously, because if she was totally blind she would get a bit more money to live on. 

I am FOR a woman's Right to choose an abortion if her child will be born with disabilities she and/or her partner, (male or female) are not willing to handle.  This doesn't mean I think all of us with disabilities deserve to be killed.

But disabled children are at least twice as likely to be abused.  Many of us Never find work.  After my college graduation I went to three states looking for work and quit counting job app.s after 150.  I was too disabled to sell lightbulbs, by the way.

Finally I was hired as a Rehabilitation Teacher for the newly blind.  I began having trouble understanding some of my clients and lost that job two years before the ADA was passed.

I worked as best I could with hearing aids selling subscriptions for Public TV, but was fired because I wouldn't harrass people to give.  Also, I wouldn't lie to them about taking their suggestions for future programming and passing them along.  Those suggestions went into the circular file.  And last, I was told just to hang up on old people with quavery sounding voices.  They didn't have much money but at that time they contributed their ten or fifteen dollars in large numbers.  I thought this policy was wrong.

I have employed myself since in trying to heal and in taking care of others.

Bottom line:  You Shouldn't be able to have it Both ways!  Only the embryo is sacred but the disabled child and adult is not?  Who am I to tell a woman she Must bear a child with disabilities when she or others may torture the child, abandon it, or  allow it to live in poverty and pain throughout its life?  Why does this never come up?  We know we are more vulnerable to being killed as adults by people who don't believe what we say.  When I was last in the hospital (years ago, Thankfully,) a nurse was planning to give me a psychotropic drug.  Luckily she named it and I said it was Not a drug prescribed for me.  When I  asked what it was for the answer was "It'll just help you sleep."  I said I was already on pain killers from my surgery and didn't need help sleeping.  I stated that they should check my prescription list because they wouldn't find it there.  I owe her Much for Listening and checking both the Dr.'s orders and my medication list.  Some nurses would have just sneaked it in without telling me and possibly killed me.  Yes, this could have happened to anyone.  But it is More likely to happen to those of us with disabilities Because people without disabilities tend to think if something is wrong with our bodies, then something is also wrong with our Minds.

What if I become deaf and the nurse won't bother to get an interpreter?  Another dear friend of mine was violently abused as a child, then accidentally killed by a medical professional giving her the wrong medication dosage.  She took a number of medications and did not know she was being overdosed at least for the week before her death.

A friend of mine who worked at a state institution housing mentally disabled people said "We just learn not to ask when we see the bruises."  It Happens!

When I vote I try to vote for the person I think is most likely to do the Least damage to the Most Vulnerable, including people, and the Earth and all of Her children.  I vote this way whether I like many of the things that candidate has done or not.  Sometimes it sucks as a choice, but what else can I do?

Every largely pro-life church should be made responsible for supporting at Least One local family which adopts America's unwanted children.  Every pro-life person should spend time with a Severely disabled adult before deciding he or she has the right to tell a pregnant woman What she Must do.

I'm way beyone Sick of this hypocracy!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Surprising Canary and a Chance to Protect Women Being Tracked via Cell Phone by Their Abusers

I heard the most surprising thing today from OJ, the canary.  I bought a fake bird to put in his dead buddy's cage.  It's a bright, sunny day, which cheers up all canaries.  So I tried playing a bird tape he's heard before.  First I thought I was hallucinating, then I wondered if the spirit of Rafi, the finch who died, was hanging around OJ's cage.  Finally I realized they had been together so long that my canary had learned to shout at the tape, sounding just like Rafi and himself.  He was shouting for both of them, in two Completely differing bird voices.  Maybe he'll be all right, I Hope so.

On a Serious Note, The organization below won their struggle to make Verizon sensitive to the needs of fleeing victims of abuse.  Now . . .
Verizon will no longer punish victims of domestic violence with cancellation fees. Now Sprint should do the same.
Sign Jane's Petition

My name is not Jane.
 I need to keep my real name secret because the man who abused me can't know where
I am -- I fear for my safety.
But when I was leaving him and needed to get him off the cell phone contract we shared,
Sprint put my safety at risk.
The man who abused me is the father of my son. When our baby was just four months
old, he watched as his father strangled me and threatened to stomp on my head with
steel-toed boots. I left and got a restraining order the next day.
But at a time when I had no job, no steady place to live, and feared for my life
and the life of my little one,
Sprint refused to let me get my abuser off my cell phone contract unless I paid them
-- even though the contract was in my name.
I had no money, and the man who threatened to kill me could track exactly who I was
calling and when.
I was inspired when I saw that another woman started a petition on asking Verizon to end contract cancellation fees for victims of domestic violence --  and she won . So I started my own petition asking Sprint to do the same. Click here to add your name.
When I signed the petition asking Verizon to drop cancellation fees for victims of
domestic violence, I was shocked how many other people who signed shared awful stories
about Sprint.
One woman wrote about how Sprint made her meet her abusive ex-boyfriend
in person at the Sprint store before they'd let her cancel her contract.
As for me, I'm still so afraid of my abuser that I can't even use my real name. But
this issue is so important for women like me fighting for their lives, I knew I had
to do something.
Cindy's petition to Verizon made me realize that I am not alone.
If she can get Verizon to change its policies to prioritize the safety of victims
of domestic violence, there's no reason Sprint can't do the same.
 I know that if enough people sign my petition, Sprint will do the right thing, too.
Click here to sign my petition demanding that Sprint follow in Verizon's footsteps and end cancellation fees for victims of domestic violence.
Thank you,
Jane Doe

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Animal Friends, Human Friends

I hope this turns out readable, but I can't guarantee it.  I wrote it in Word 2007, but my computer is acting strangely.

Once long ago I heard Russell Means of the American Indian Movement, (AIM) say his Lakota people weren't sure if the "reason" we have was a blessing or a curse.  I have often wondered this myself.  Without the fear of death, did Rafi's suffering have more or less meaning?

Animal Friends

Last night I was feeling particularly lonely and tired of my life.  When I asked myself why the answer was that I am blessed with friends, but I felt like no one loved me.  Most of my current friends were made either just before or after Ann’s death.  They don’t even really know who I am.

I really dislike it when people who grew up in a culture where the word “love” is thrown around loosely, will tell anyone who is or tries to be kind that they “love” them.  To me, love is based on understanding and understanding takes time.  So I don’t believe it when someone says they love me because I’ve done a kind act toward them.  They may feel warm and thankful, which is fine.  I am glad.  But love is not an easy thing.

Having been raised in an atmosphere of unpredictability, being controlled by others, and violence, it took my having cancer and Ann’s going to each 8 hour chemo. Session with me, at the cost of great pain to herself, for me to understand what love can do.  I was not trying to be deliberately mistrustful, I just Was that afraid of all people.

I washed Ann’s robe last week.  It is needed by people who are cold and I was ready to let go of it, finally.

As I’ve said before, each human has their own particular smell.  It’s why a perfume might smell great on my sister and dreadful on me.  I’m not talking about a bad smell, just an individual smell.  It is made up of each person’s scent, the soap, lotion, shampoo and conditioner or hair oil they use, combined with smoke or other smells from their workplace. 

So Ann, like all people, had an individual smell.  I’m not talking about sex, which is everyone’s first conclusion.  Ann’s individual smell or scent was in her robe.  It’s a very thick terrycloth robe which she wore anytime she was cold in the evening.  I had a hard time washing her robe because it washed out Ann’s personal scent. 

There are very few personal items of Ann’s which I kept.  But her robe was one of them.

So what does all of this have to do with animals?  Well last night when I was getting ready for bed I found my/our dog camping on the bed.  This isn’t unusual when it’s cold.  What was unusual is How he was camped out.  This is a 45 pound Basset mix.  He had chosen the exact spot I sleep in and put his head, perfecly centered, on my pillow. 

I’m picky about my pillow and try to always keep it covered when I’m not using it.  I have no wish to inhale dog or cat fur while sleeping.  But somehow the pillow was uncovered.

The dog was laying there, so sweet and innocent I cracked up.  If I were sighted I’d have taken a picture.  I can’t describe it accurately so you can see it.  He was just peacefully snoozing with his floppy-eared head on my pillow.  Usually he sleeps on the foot of the bed.  Last night we slept back to back, me under the covers and him on top.  Yes, I did evict him from the pillow.  But his warmth was comforting.

The cat climed onto my other side and crashed with us.  I decided the dog, at least, did love me.  After being horribly mistreated he had learned that neither Ann nor I wanted to hurt him.  We got rid of all of his infections, cleaned him up, and taught him consistent good behavior for which he was rewarded.  Over years he learned we weren’t giving him away, dumping him, or beating him one day for the thing he was praised for the day before.  He also learned slowly to be buddies with one of the men in our Sangha or Buddhist group.  He stopped being terrified of other dogs and of boys between 9 and 14 or 15.

Trust is a necessary component of love and my dog does trust me now.  As much as a cat with cattitude can, the cat also wants to be my baby, on his terms, of course.

Today I found the finch Ann picked out about 14 or 15 years ago dead in his cage.  Yesterday I noticed he was too quiet.  I checked the floor of the cage, which is where sick birds usually rest, no bird.  Then he beeped at me (his call was like a beep or small bell repeating the same note) and I decided he must be busy watching the birds outside at the feeder.  He and his canary friend loved to do that.  It was a cold, damp, gloomy day and birds are more quiet on such days anyway.  So I replaced his food, made sure he had plenty of water, and left.

This morning he was quiet again.  As soon as I “tuned in” and began to pray for him I felt his absence, I knew he was gone.

So I reached into the cage to find his body.  I have never seen a bird do this exact thing before, but there are tiny bent hooks in many bird cages, connecting the side parts to the top.  Rafi had somehow gotten a leg caught in one of these and been stuck.  That meant he was stuck Yesterday when he only beeped once.

I will never know if I could have freed him if I had been able to see his problem.  The legbones of finches are Tiny and hollow, except for marrow.  Rafi was usually a fighter and a biter.  He was one Tough Bird!  I have heard of animals holding still when one approaches them in peace, with the intention of helping.  Would Rafi have held still or broken his leg trying to fly away from me?  It was Extremely hard to extricate his tiny leg this morning without breaking it.  In an effort to free one leg he put the other in Exactly the same Tiny hole.  But I removed it in one piece, with great care.

I apologized to his spirit for my failure to see his suffering and to try and help him yesterday.  I brought him to my altar and held him up to the Buddhas to see and prayed that he would never have to suffer so again. 

When Ann and I lived in a place where we felt we would be staying a while we always dug very deep holes in the yard and buried our pets.  But even though I like this house a lot it doesn’t feel permanent.  The utility bills are higher here than the huge house Annn and I shared, which was large enough for her to turn her power wheelchair around.  I may have to go because of this.

Also, to be honest, it is cold outside and I already have some damage in my hands and feet from cold.  So I placed incense with him as a mark of respect, then put the incense and his little body into a bag and lowered it into my outdoor dumpster.  I  lowered him as far as I can reach.

I am afraid Rafi did suffer and do not know if I could have saved him or hastened his death.  I will miss his special rain song, which was nothing like his normal beep.  He is the last of Ann’s birds.

I have an ill canary left.  When he dies, I will not get more birds.  I must keep the temperature at 69 or 70 for tropical birds.  Also, in a smaller house, it is difficult to keep the cat out of the bird room and I must.

Most people think that small birds live by instinct alone.  But I have seen some amazing things in the years we have had pet birds.  I have seen cross species friendships so close that when a partner died, the other followed swiftly.  Rafi reassured my canary, who is partially blind, just as my canary reassured his girlfriend who was partially blind.  Rafi was a “white-headed nun” or in his case, monk.  He kept OJ company and made sure OJ knew when there were birds outside to shout at.  I don’t know how long OJ will live without him.

I have seen birds of differing species “scrunch” together to sleep and canaries allow smaller finches snuggle under their bodies for warm sleep.

Always, I feel uprooted when these changes happen, I can’t know what’s ahead, but it doesn’t feel like things will become easier.  Still, I’m fine for now and now is all we can know for sure.  I try not to think of a future of increasing deafness with no bird sounds in it.  I love birds.  I’ve walked right into object I knew were there, because I was listening to outdoor birds or trying to figure out what kind of bird made That noise. 

The weird thing is that I have a veterinary appointment tomorrow for Both birds to get there toenails trimmed, I knew it must be about time.  Now I will send my remaining bird.

Usually, the small birds we had leave their bodies Very quickly.  But I think Rafi didn’t.  He was amazingly tough!  Of course this also means that he suffered longer.

I won’t get anymore birds after OJ dies, whenever that is.  It will be easier to heat the house without having to keep small tropical bird needs in mind.  But I will miss them.

I Love canaries, they are the Labradors of the small  pet bird world.  They love their food, are each unique, and often do goofy things. They have males only “sing offs”,  (which is how they attract girlfriends), and except during breeding season males get along together, as do females.  But the prices for canaries have shot through the roof.

I still remember the names of all or most all of the birds who have passed through my life.  I’m trying to read Alice Walker’s “Chicken Chronicles.”  I have never had a chicken for a friend, but it is obvious that Ms. Walker’s chickens Are her friends.

For me a sad thing is that I can’t tell what any of our birds looked like until they have died.  Only one canary, Sanghe and two tiny doves, Thich and Thay,  ever gave me the treasured memory of eating from my hand so I could feel there incredibly soft feathers while they munched.  It’s a memory which always makes me smile!

I have NO idea What is wrong with this computer.  But everywhere there is a space the wretched thing says “bullet” and the Braille read-out is strung together with the word “bullet,” too.  I can’t correct my spelling for all of the damned “bullets”.  Sorrry!


Friday, October 5, 2012

What We Women Need to Know

It's one thing to have personal and religious views about birth control, the morning after pill, and under what circumstances, if any, a woman may have an abortion.

I think we all pretty much know where President Obama stands on these issues.

But I Sincerely hope that in the next Presidential debate Presidential Candidate Romney is asked some of these questions.  Does he believe he has the right to impose his views on the entire female population of the U.S.?  Will he impose the views of his Church on all of us?  Will he allow employers to deny women employees reproductive health coverage on religious grounds?  I need to know and so do all women.  There is a petition at Ultra Violet asking the moderator of the next debate to ask these questions of both candidates.  I signed it.  My ovarian cancer was detected in a routine pap smear.  I would be dead without this kind of health coverage.  The places which offer birth control (like Planned Parenthood) are Also the Same places where women, especially Poor women go for cancer screenings. 

If you care about this issue, please sign the Ultra Violet petition.  We All, not just women, need to know where the candidates stand on these issues.  Does Presidential Candidate Romney agree with Mr. Tod Akin of Mo. that in a "ligitimate rape" a woman can't become pregnant?  I am not a man hater and I do know that some women claim to have been raped when it is not true.  But all I have to do is listen to women in war zones who become pregnant as a result of rape to know that I do not have the right and neither does Any politician, to decide what is a "ligitimate rape."  I want to know where the candidates stand.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Grumpy Today, Here's My ADA

Americans withh Disabilities Act is Over 20 years old.  And:  1. McDonalds has Removed Braille markers on drink lids so I can no longer hand out the right (diet or not) drinks to friends.  2.  Most restaurants Still don't even have One Braille menu.  As I lose hearing, it will take Forever for someone to go through a menu with me.  I will have to look up the place I'm going ahead of time and Hope for an online menu.  3.  I got this print book entitled "Medicare and You" from the Social Security Administration.  On the back, IN PRINT, it says I can order one in Braille.  Cute.  I called yesterday, waited half an hour to be told to call back in mid-October and Braille copies Should be available by then.  I asked when a person had to choose a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, if they were eligible.  Answer:  "Between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7."  Doesn't Oct. 15 sound kind of close to the "middle of October to you?  4.  I seem to be losing hearing in one ear, having harder time understanding people this week, Frustrating and frightening.  A friend who is deaf wonders why I don't participate in more activities, I can't flipping Drive!  Cab fare is Costly. Oops, that should have been 5.  So, 6.  Signs on elevators which say in Braille what floor I am on are Still not always in the same place.  Would you like to grope all over the frame and wall by an elevator to find out where you are with people watching?  Well neither do I!  The Same problem applies to bathroom doors, is it "men's" or "ladies?"  If signs were always put in the same place I might know.

Enough for now.  I'm going to Deaf Chat in a new location, The mall in Springfield.  Going with a sighted hearing friend who helped me look up and review words in ASL on the computer.  We will probably stay a couple of hours, this week has been Long.

I heard about a book on NPR called "Cursing Mommy" and think I might want to read it, yes, Totally unBuddhist of me.  It's probably not in audio anyway.

I can't figure out how to work with Blogger labels.  Speech of my computer keeps asking about "all labels?"  I do not understand what it means so sometimes am not sure whether to try typing in labels or not.

But credit where credit is due; I don't know if it's the newer computer I'm working with or Blogger.  But it is Much easier to write now and for this I am Thankful!

Who Is Our Government?

Well, the computer froze last night after my post about what U.S. Bank was doing.  Now for another view from Burma, where American companies have been encouraged to invest.

Don't know if I can screen out name, etc. with periodically freezing computer.

Tell the Department of State to impose stronger reporting requirements on American
companies investing in Burma
We need your help to ensure that the Department of State makes protecting human rights
their top priority in Burma.
Right now we have the opportunity and the responsibility to tell the Department of
State to impose stronger reporting requirements on American companies.
 In July, President Obama announced American companies would be permitted to investment
in Burma
with one important caveat: they would be required to report on their land acquisition
and human rights policies for their activities in Burma.
Right now you have the opportunity to advise the Obama Administration to strengthen the reporting requirements for American companies doing business in Burma.
Strong, transparent reporting on their activities is vital to protecting and empowering
communities throughout Burma.
The business environment in Burma has not changed for the better.  Rule of law is
 human rights violations and armed conflicts
 continue in resource rich regions.
An increase in foreign investment in the extractive industries will exacerbate the
situation. The
 fragility of ceasefire and peace agreements does not yet guarantee safety for the
civilians, particularly in the ethnic nationality areas. Significant amounts of extortion
land confiscation
 have occurred in both central Burma as well as in the ethnic communities without
, much of it done to pave the way for foreign investment.
What can you do to help? We need you, our human rights supporters,
to take action on our website
. Be sure to
send an email
 that will be sent directly to the U.S. Department of State and let the U.S. government
know that you want to impose stronger reporting requirements for American companies
investing in Burma.
In solidarity,
USCB team

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Who's Really in the Driver's Seat?

I had hoped to put two different posts together to make my point.  However, I'm working with a new computer and can't get to saved Word documents with name, etc. removed by the keyboard commands I used to use.  So I will have to make two posts, sorry.
U.S. Bank won't consider our offer to buy our own home until after they evict us. Help us ask them to negotiate with us before Nov 5th.
Sign my Petition

After my husband's business went under, it broke my heart when we couldn't pay the
mortgage on our family farm, where we've lived for nineteen years and where my seven
children grew up.
But we turned things around --
we've pulled together the money we need to buy our farm and family home in cash.
 Yet we can't, because our bank won't let us.
U.S. Bank won't even consider an offer from us to buy our home until
after they evict us
 on November 5th.
 I can't let this happen to my family.
I started a petition on asking U.S. Bank to accept our offer to purchase our own home -- before we're evicted on November 5th.
Click here to sign my petition.
We've been trying to work with the bank for months so we can keep our home, but every
time we call we're forwarded along from representative to representative, and all
of them just say they can't negotiate with us.
I'm hoping that this petition will make a difference in helping my family keep our
home. We all have been so humbled by all the love and support from everyone. I can
barely read the comments people leave on my petition each night through the tears.
Will you add your name too?
Click here to sign my petition to U.S. Bank, and help our family keep the farm.
Thank you so much for your help.
- Jeannette Gearing.