Monthly Archives: March 2011

Smart Kid, Heart Attacks and Faking It

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My daughter (6) has been absolutely amazing me lately. Ever since she could speak I have felt she has a VERYYY strong intuition. She has said things in the past which were unexplainable. But now I am also noticing how smart she is…I mean, I know every mother says that about her kid…but I really mean it ūüôā

I bought my husband a few things from Kohl’s¬†last week. And like almost every time I buy him something…I had to return it. Apparently I have horrible taste…which doesn’t say much for HIM does it?? Haha. Anyway, my daughter kept making a big deal about it. She kept repeating, “Dad!! She spent 30 bucks on you and you are going to just make her take it back??!!” Now, when I purchased these items, I was alone. And I had NO idea what I spent on him because I bought other things, had a coupon, had Kohl’s cash AND everything was marked down. So I really had no clue.

After returning the items the cashier says, “Oh look at that – 30 even!”

Just weird.

Then another day she says – out of the blue – you know (she had a complex, thinking look on her face), 3 goes into 12 because 3 and 3 make 6 and 6 and 6 make 12.

Division. In kindergarten?! I was impressed.

She just says the damnedest things. Of course, she can also be quite the bratty tat tat. Last night I said to her, “Cassidy, do you EVER listen to me when I talk?”

Her response very matter of factly, “No. Your voice is boring.”

Hmm. Time for bed.

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It had been awhile since I’ve had an appointment with my shrink. About two months. So when I saw her on Tuesday, I asked her how her vacation was (she was to be going to Africa during those two months…like Africa Africa…safaris, jungles and shit). Then she says something to the affect¬†‘Oh you don’t know?’. Ugh, oh no. That can’t be good. “I had a heart attack two days before I was suppose to leave.” I was overwhelmed and began to tear up. I could tell she was expecting my reaction.

For those of you who are new here or do not know me very well…I have quite the insane history of health anxiety. And the focus was always heart attacks, strokes, aneurysms…things like that. Things which just HIT a person from out of nowhere. This hypochondria was brought on by an undiagnosed and untreated heart condition which caused symptoms for over a decade. It is a fairly benign condition and I now take medication which keeps it in check. But for all of those years, I felt irregular and VERY fast heart beats and everyone would just tell me they were just panic attacks. Eventually, I really DID develop panic disorder and health anxiety. Added to this was the fact that my dad had a quad bypass in his thirties and died at 46. His father also died in his 40s. So, yea…though I am a bagillion times better now, it was really bad for a long time. Two medications and I very rarely feel any heart or anxiety/panic symptoms.

Another thing which contributes to this mess in my head is this weird OCD (not technically OCD, but there really isn’t a better way to describe it…I have the O but not the C) and my extreme need for control. One can attempt to control many aspects of life. Job, marriage, kids, home…you can convince yourself you have some control – even though you truly never do. But one thing you cannot remotely convince yourself of is control over the possibility of sudden death. Sure, you can make sure you are vigilant about your health…eat right, exercise, take vitamins, check ups…but that means nothing when you are aware of so many cases involving perfectly healthy individuals dropping dead for no “good” reason. This was the case of my therapist.

She is a healthy person. She practices yoga, eats well and had been completely symptom free. Yet one day she was with a patient when she felt pain in her upper back and eventually in her chest. She said it was tremendous pressure – not like a sharp, identifiable pain – but like an elephant sitting on her chest. She was in denial and took some Tums. Eventually her and her staff realized this wasn’t right so she called her Dr. who directed her to the ER immediately.

One artery was completely blocked and two others were 90% blocked. She indeed had a heart attack. They put in 8 stents and she was ready to go back to work in 2 weeks. These are moments when it definitely helps to have the knowledge of a therapist. She is able to analyze her fears and worries and keep them in check by remaining rational and not constantly fighting against which she cannot control. I told her that I was jealous of her ability to reconcile all of that and keep so calm. She said, “This is why you need to listen to me, Heather. I know what I am talking about.” I laughed. It is so true. And I know this cognitively, it just hasn’t sunk in all the way yet.

Anyway, her tragedy turned into a session about my reaction to her tragedy and now I feel like a narcissistic asshole. I am really truly amazed and inspired by her strength and peace about  it all. I have to send a card and tell her so. I am so glad she is okay. But it is going to take me a while to get this out of my head and stop thinking every pain means imminent danger.

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These writing gigs are pretty cool. It isn’t a ton of money…one is on a volunteer basis…but that really isn’t the point. With Patch¬†I write two columns a week. Knowsy¬†Neighbor (every Tuesday)¬†– I interview someone who either lives or works in Mount Pleasant or Sturtevant. It is a profile piece, a get-to-know-ya sort of thing. So I get to ‘meet’ a lot of interesting people and learn about topics of which I never had a clue. And starting tomorrow I will have an editorial column (every Friday). I still do not have a title yet. I will list some suggestions below and maybe you can help me decide??? ūüôā I would also love suggestions for interviewees for the Knowsy piece!!

Here are my title suggestions so far:

Rayne’s World

When it Raynes

Just Sayin’

Box of Soap

Just Thinkin’

How I See It

Just a Thought

Please send my your ideas!!!

The other writing job is a volunteer position through The Volunteer Center of Racine. I work specifically with the RSVP organization. RSVP organizes volunteers and opportunities for those over 55. So, what I do is get assigned a person, interview them about their life and volunteer experiences and then write an article. I do one a month and it is printed in The Racine Journal Times.

Yesterday I interviewed my first RSVP volunteer. I was so nervous. These interviews will primarily be done face to face…where the others can typically be done by email/phone. I didn’t know what to expect. The man who I was profiling was a man in his 70s who has been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He is very open about it, which is why I am mentioning it here. Anyway, I spent about two hours with him and his wife just talking. It was such a relief and made for a good morning.

So, both of these jobs afford me the opportunity to meet so many interesting people all with stories to tell. We all have a story. I was worried because for all of these years I have had my bat and ball, but no field in which to play. I have been fearful that I now have a field and no equipment. I thought there was no way I will be able to come up with ideas. and even if I did…I don’t have a writing education. I have no professional writing experience. I mean, what a fraud, right?? I knew I would have to fake it for a while. So far, the act is going okay…lets hope it lasts! But it is nice to know that the area is not short of people with a story.

Alrighty…time to clean up and play a Wii game before putting my daughter to bed.

Talk at ya soon!

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The Pope and Scott Walker

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A friend just emailed me this joke and I just had to share…I just LOVE it…

 

The Pope and Gov Walker are on the same stage in Miller Park in front of a huge crowd.

The Pope leans towards Mr. Walker and said, “Do you know that with one little wave of my hand I can make every person in this crowd go wild with joy?

This joy will not be a momentary display, but will go deep into their hearts and they’ll forever speak of this day and rejoice!”

Walker replied,

“I seriously doubt that ~ with one little wave of your hand? ¬†Show me!”

So the Pope backhanded him and knocked him off the stage.

Get to Know Denise Valente-McGee (latest Patch article)

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This is the first piece for my Knowsy Neighbor column…

‚ÄúDon’t make me a role model,‚ÄĚ said Denise Valente-McGee when asked what advice she would give to those who look up to her. ‚ÄúFind what you are good at and passionate about and go for it! Don’t listen to anyone who tells you it can’t work. If you know it in your heart, it has been placed there for a reason.‚ÄĚ

So poignantly put by this Mount Pleasant resident and business owner….

HERE is the link to my latest article on Patch ūüôā

Dubuque Dubuque…dadadadadada Dubuque Dubuque

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So. We desperately need to get away. Politics, relationships, family, jobs…we need OUTTA HERE!! So we finally pressured my mom into watching Cassidy for two days so we can take a weekend out of town. I didn’t want a far drive since we don’t have much time. And Charlie didn’t have any suggestions…so I randomly picked a nice hotel in Dubuque. All we really need is some peace and quite, a hot tub, cable, good food¬†and a comfy bed. However, neither of us have ever been there…so Ihaven’tt made the reservations yet.

Have you ever been to the Dubuque, IA area?? What did you think? Any suggestions or warnings? Any better ideas?? Let me know!! Please ūüėČ

Prosser Gives Hypocritical and Racially Insensitive Speech

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The following is video taken at this year’s GOP Lincoln Day Dinner in Rock County. Justice Prosser is speaking. And I am FLOORED. He is going on and on about how the courts should not be politicized. At. A. GOP. Dinner. Seriously?? He is a speaker at a Republican fundraising dinner and preaching about the court’s responsibility to be non-partisan?? How can anyone reconcile this BULLSHIT in a way that makes any sense whatsoever????

Not only that but he goes on to mock and make fun of Rev. Jesse Jackson. And he does¬†so with noticeable racial undertones. The whole thing is just sickening. We MUST elect Joanne Kloppenberg next Tuesday – that’s right…in ONE WEEK. There is no excuse not to vote. None.

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Sympathy for the Devil

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By now, everyone and their dead grandmother has heard about the terrible news regarding Curt Johnson of the Johnson Wax fortune. If not, read HERE.

There isn’t more to add as it has already been all over the National news. I think the whole story is extremely sad. But I read something over the weekend which also disturbed me. There was an article in the paper about how local businessmen are showing sympathy toward Johnsons. That they feel bad for him. He has been getting away with abusing his young step daughter FOR YEARS…yet he is gaining sympathy. Would these people be sympathizing with some Joe Shmo down the street who was caught doing the same thing? No. But because this man has more money than God he not only gains sympathy but also special treatment in the press and in the courtroom. The courts agreed to protect him by keeping the records sealed. The paper isn’t allowing reader comments on any of his stories even though they do not disable them for others with similar charges.

I don’t get it. I mean, I am not naive. I know that money talks. But for it to be so blatant is astonishing to me. We are talking about the life of a little girl here. This isn’t something that happens and has an ending. There is no conclusion to this for her. Ever. It will remain with her and effect her life until the day she dies. With professional help, a comforting and authentic environment and supportive people in her life, hopefully the damage can be a minimal as possible. But this will always be with her.

When this story first came out, many people said that the girl is probably lying to gain money. These kind of statements make me sick. And this is coming from a person who WAS falsely accused and charged!! I do not support the forming of virtual lynch mob. I think that guilt should not be automatically assumed by merely a charge as I know all too well how that can happen to anyone. ANYONE can be charged with ANYTHING. Trust me on that one. HOWEVER, he admitted it. And I can tell you that the percentage of young¬†children who would wrongly accuse a family member of such heinous acts is VERY low. If a young child is brave enough to come forward despite the pain it would cause, the consequences that may come…YOU BELIEVE THEM!!!

She is the only one I feel sorry for. I could say I feel sorry for the mom, but I do not know how long she was looking the other way. It was her job to protect her. And too often mothers in these situations Рprobably even more so with the rich and powerful Рgo into denial mode to keep the peace. Rock the boat and the money might go bye bye. confront and she may risk being alone. So, I do commend the mom from pressing charges. But I cannot bring myself to feel sorry for her when I believe she should have known and stopped it LONG before now.

Lincoln Day Dinner Protest – Patch Article w/Pics

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HERE¬†is the link to the story and pictures on Patch. I wish I would have written more (and better)…but I honestly didn’t know they would run it as an actual story…thought it was just going to be pics and quotes. But it is still way better than TJT. If you look at the picture on the article, there is a blue link (kinda hard to see) that says ‘View Gallery’…click that to see more pics. And I will post more on here later today.

This morning I was livid reading the story on The Journal Times. This is what I wrote in their comment section:

I too was at the protest and am not a union member. I can see the path this state and country has taken since the Tea Party brain washing takeover. And FYI – no one was hitting cars. I will link you to plenty of pictures showing how man cops there were in the area…ON FOOT right where the attendees drove in. If they were hitting cars – it would have been reported. Duh.

You’ll have to excuse me because I am livid reading this story. I have defended TJT over the years as I thought they tried to be balanced. Well that is out the window.

Journal Times runs a story about fur coat wearing money bags eating steaks. One sentence about the 500+ people outside in the cold fighting for their rights and the rights of others. No mention of Scooter not showing up. I am furious and so sick of the lack of and biased media coverage during this whole movement. FURIOUS.

TJT unfortunately has the monopoly on the news in Racine. It is all people read and depend on…A LOT of people do not have minds of their own and those are the people voting for these freaks who are destroying any and all freedoms. They used the guise of fiscal redemption to get elected but now they are pushing their religions agenda. Now there is an Alaskan Tea Partier who wants to make sex before marriage illegal. I mean COME ON!! I am sick.

TJT has reached a new low. Not to mention their handling of the Johnson story…ugh. If you don’t have tons of cash you mean nothing in this world.

Protest at the Racine GOP Lincoln Day Dinner (Marriott) – Videos

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These are videos from the Protest today at Racine Marriott before and during the Racine GOP¬†Lincoln Day Dinner. Most are estimating around 500 people, though I have no idea. I was pretty proud of Racine tonight. I get so discouraged and embarrassed when I read the local blogs or see the Facebook wall comments. But I need to remember that those people are not representative of the majority. Political or otherwise. These are a handful of people whose minds will never change even if the truth was shoved up their asses. 500 people coming out in 20 something degree weather, wicked blowing winds and snow…on a Friday night…in lil ole Racine. Now THAT says way more than any troll online ever could. So lesson learned today…I’d rather be a thug than a troll.

But, yea. The turn out was fantastic. I will write more tomorrow. I sent some stuff over to Patch and I will see what they publish. Everything else I will write about here (and I will link the rest to Patch).

I do want to say one more thing…I will never get over how nice people are. Everyone is so polite. Almost Fargo-esque…and I mean that in the best way ever!! I just love that about my home. Wisconsin has the nicest friggin’ thugs EVER!!

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Curtis Johnson Admits Inappropriate Behavior

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Curtis Johnson of Caledonia and the Johnson Wax family fortune has admitted to having inappropriate contact with a child over the span of several years. See story HERE.

So far I see no other news outlets besides Patch reporting his admission. I also find it “funny” that The Racine Journal Times (which no doubt has been spooning with the family for years) has decided to disable the discussion feature on their website for this story. Tons of other similar stories and they let the free for all cage match explode in the virtual boxing ring. But not this one.

When I was falsely accused and charged with child abuse, the discussion board went crazy. I was not named, THANK GOD. But people who knew of us wrote personal and terrible things on there which would have made it easier to identify me. And the comments from the others were nothing short of a lynch mob. The threats, name calling, accusations, lies…it was torture. I was suicidal that evening. Never in my life have I felt that dark.

So, because of my own experience, I think those boards are dangerous and unhealthy. I admit to getting caught up in them from time to time. But in sensitive cases like this…yea, there probably should be no discussion on that site. Too much viciousness. BUT if they are going to do that, they need to do it across the board. They cannot treat the billionaire any differently than the school janitor. All or none. Period.

What I do know about this case – even that which isn’t currently printed – makes me literally sick. I know people who have gone through similar experiences. I can only say that I genuinely commend the adult who came forward, pressed charges or did whatever was done to bring this man to justice and protect that child from further abuse. I will also say that more than anything, my heart goes out to the girl. I hope she is allowed to heal in an authentic and honest environment.

Actually, I do want to say one more thing. These people are everywhere. They are fathers, grandfathers, uncles, friends, babysitters, billionaires, musicians, athletes, mayors, priests…they are almost always people whom you’d never expect. Teach your children to be aware, to be comfortable coming to you with anything, teach them modesty and about their personal space…give them the tools they one day may need to prevent something from happening. And if a child comes to you…you damn well believe them!!

Looking For Planned Parenthood Patients (past or present)!!

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I am writing a story for Patch about Planned Parenthood and its loss of funding.

I am in search of anyone who has used the services of Planned Parenthood at any time in their lives for any reason. If this fits you and you live or have ever lived in Mount Pleasant, Sturtevant or Caledonia PLEASE contact me asap. I would truly be grateful!! And if you choose to be anonymous Рthat is fine too.

cheers44@hotmail.com

Thank you so much!!! And please pass this on to anyone you may know who fits the bill ūüôā