A Little Learning Goes a Long Way

What we thought we knew . . .

Evolution of our planet seems to be happening at warp speed, and in a sense, it very likely is.

I was thinking back on my own life and the values people held vs. the values we hold today. People, families especially, seemed to be one of the most important values any of us had. We had just come out of one war, and would soon enter another one, and then still another one through my own lifetime.

I have been mourning the loss of what once seemed it would last forever. Those long summer nights when we children could play safely out in the neighborhood streets and parents never had to worry about where we were, or whether we might perhaps become victims of human trafficking. The thing we played with first and foremost was using our minds to create fantasies such pretend forts or capture of the enemies, or “Red Rover.” Then we had boxes, which played a multitude of roles. Bicycles and skates and going swimming in the summer were big thrilling activities. And at Christmas, we got such simple but yet such beloved gifts – a B B gun for boys, or perhaps a new collectible doll for a girl.

TV was new and it was a thing that was already changing the family sitting down together for dinnertime. Instead, people sat around with TV trays, ate TV dinners, and no one was sharing the events of the day. I remember the family sitting around the TV, entranced by the amazing wonder of the Test Pattern. Families had only black and white, and I think it was later in my life when color TV came into being.- It was the age of “things.”

Young people called Marijuana “Mary Jane,” and in our youth we avoided those people as bad people. Getting high meant taking an aspirin and swallowing it with Coca Cola, and then spinning around until we fell down. We went to school and had really healthy lunches, and no one had to be shamed if they did not have one. They just got in line with everyone else and got a filling lunch. Teachers could make us write something on the board 100 times if we were bad, or have us sit in the corner with a Dunce Hat, or chewing gum on our noses. And they could even hit our hands if we did something wrong (or use paddles on our bums). And if we did something unthinkable like throwing spitballs, we might get sent to the dreaded office. That meant our parents would be notified, and we might even get “grounded.”

But things were changing. Parents didn’t talk about marital problems such as domestic violence or abuse of children. No one went to a psychologist; it was the psychiatrists who dealt with problems based on strange theories that not many understood. Only society’s very well-to-do went to them. Women really did not talk to each other about things that were private to their families. Perhaps some families went to their priests or their pastors, but we never heard or read about those things.

Suddenly, people were going to Space, and just as suddenly, we were frightened of nuclear power. Families everywhere were building bomb shelters, and we endlessly practiced in school how to duck under our desks in the event of a bomb. Suddenly your next door neighbors you had known for years were suspicious of you and not open to having you see the insides of their bomb shelters. There were these people called Communists, and we did not exactly know who they were, but they were people to be feared. More and more people were identified as those horrible Communists, and then they had to face having hearings on TV, that place we had once thought something so simple and so fun. Now it was full of things no one really understood, and they spoke of those people in whispers within a family, but not shared outside. We really did not know WHO to trust anymore.

And today, here we sit, almost with the same amount of fear of things not seen, but believed. Things we cannot understand, so we fear those things. And suddenly we are grasping to hold onto things that make about as much sense as ducking under our desks or building bomb shelters.

Life is moving way too fast with way too many things going on all at once, bombarding our senses as they did before, but now with warp speed unseen in our lifetimes. One day we hear a scary word that none of us understand and the next day it is killing people all over the world. Should we hide under our desks, fear everyone anywhere near us, or perhaps even kill them because they have more of something they believe will save them than we do?

Will we ever see life as it once was again, or was it simply that we we never really learned anything of lasting value in the time we have been here? How far will a little learning take us?

Not All Viruses are the Bad Guys

Multi-colored Tulip Image Courtesy Pexels

We hear so many horror stories about viruses today, and every one of them are viewed as something terrible to take every precaution against. This is not to say that such things do not exist, but virus have been known to create genetic mutations in nature that have accounted for some pretty incredible things out in nature.

Tje tulip is one of those. Originally when tulips were first introduced, there were only solid colors and simple shapes we all recognize as everyday (not saying they are not beautiful too). But a virus caused them to mutate into these mixed types and then one of the most striking of all tulips came along – the Parrot Tulip. Below is an example of just one of the many forms.

Stunning springtime Flaming Parrot Tulip flowers against a white background.

In the day when these unique and beautiful tulips first were introduced, collectors sought them out and paid exhorbitant prices for just one of the bulbs. One bulb could bring a cost of four cows, or six pigs, or I think it was ten lbs. of butter, which was in high demand. Once the collectors got the bulbs, they would work with them in such interesting ways (you must read about it; it is fascinating). And so today we have thousands of types of tulips out there, thanks to the virus(es) what changed their DNA. Also, if you like to watch PBS, I watch things like NOVA all the time, and so perhaps I saw this on TV. However, you might find it on the Internet or in the literature of a plant nursery specializing in tulips.

I thought you all might be interested to know a tiny bit of my background to know why I would be looking for information about viruses to share with you. For a number of years in my younger life, I was a Regulatory Compliance Specialist (that is a fancy term for a specialized quality assurance auditor whose task it is to meet all the requirements of the FDA and other organizations that can get involved. Now this company happened to make plasma derivative products, which are used for things like AIDS, which is an acquired virus, or the thousands of other types of viruses that are auto-immune viruses, some rare that there are not enough cases to do proper research on them. Some of these viruses that still exist today are said to date back to Biblical times and to the twelve tribes. Many come from Eastern Europe.

Now in the medical world, things are classified according to their danger in their administration. At the top of the list of course are things like any heart implants, and that is pretty obvious. Plasma Derivatives are right up there at the top too because anything that goes straight into your bloodstream obviously will likely kill you faster than say a pill, but of course, as with everything, there are exceptions to every rule.

Well, when I was 64, I was among 400 of the employees who got laid off because the company was being sold to a firm in Spain, but something happened to which I am no longer privy, and so the company went out of business altogether. And so began another and most satisfying period of my life, becoming a substitute paraeducator (generally a one-on-one), a substitute aide, and a substitute teacher for special needs children (often with several issues all at the same time. I loved every moment of that, and though I could have been permanent (and was asked over the years on more than one occasion, I said no. I never wanted to do what most teachers do regularly, but to be able to work more directly with the children.

As a final note, I am recommending a book I am starting to read from my last visit to the thrift store: Robert Gallo, M.D., Virus Hunting Aids, Cancer, & the Human Retrovirus: A Story of Scientific Discovery. Once an M.D., and one of the most-cited authors of scientific literature in the world during the 1880’s, he served as Chief of the Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, and a two-time winner of the Albert Lasker prize, the highest honor in biomedical research.

I think a very healthy thing to do in these confusing and stressful times besides the obvious, is to use this time to educate yourself. You can get such books from places like Amazon, and I am sure you know others as well. It may well be available in E-book format. I wish you one and all the best of days, and ways to find something of beauty and joy every single day.

This is the Way the Earth Rolls

Who remembers this great album and movie?

Today with all the news bombarding us and politics getting more and more ugly, and everyone seeking to understand something that simply is, and perhaps we will never understand it even many, many years from now, this cartoon seems more true than ever.

I thought of a man writing about how he was so concerned for his three-year-old granddaughter because she had open heart surgery, and many, many health issues through her little life. And I wrote him and told him that instead of focusing on the ills from which the child is suffering, why not let her know what a great will she has to live, and how she is a hero, and he is going to be happy to be there when she graduates from high school, goes on to college, and becomes some great person in this world – a genuine hero! What would it hurt? Is it confirming she is going to die, or does he really want to see her live. Then affirm life, not death, and let her know every single day what a strong fighter she is, sort of like a Ninja warrior. It can’t hurt anything, and affirming life, even in these difficult times, rather than affirming death is the best thing for all of us. Do we really want to die?

I have been through cancer, and so many traumas when I came to close to dying, but I am a strong fighter and no matter how bad things got, I guess I wanted to live the most. So I found many ways to affirm life, and when I was in my worst days, I gave myself challenges to do, like looking for a good saying every day and pasting it into my little diary, or I did a sort of collaging of life images that expressed my feelings in any given time, and it helped me get through another rough spot in life. I created art, and I wrote poetry, or I experimented with other things like mixed media art, singing and dancing. Or perhaps I played with my dollhouses and colored in my coloring books, something I did not get to do in my childhood. It is never too late to be a child again or perhaps for the very first time. Just let go and be who you were meant to be or who you always wanted to be.

Never give up until they are shoveling dirt over you. When it is your time, you will leave this world, but nothing says it will be forever. We don’t know what lies on the other side, and all the souls have to go someplace, so why not think about it that way and forget the forever aspect of it all. The world is constantly evolving, and so I know that there is no true end to things; it only happens in our minds. Take this time to make things right in your life. Rebuild fences and be a true friend to everyone you know and love.

May every day you live be a true miracle. Peace and goodness to all of you. Anne always

We Are the World

Strength art quilt by Anne Copeland

There comes a time (Song by Michael Jackson)

When we hear a certain call

When the world

Must come together as One.

There are people dying

And its time

to lend a hand to life

The greatest gift of all.

We can’t go on

Pretending day by day

That someone, somewhere

Will make a change.

We are all a part of

God’s (change to whatever works for you) great big family

And the truth, you know

Love is all we need.

We are the world

We are the children

We are the ones

Who make a brighter day

So let’s start giving (change to living or keep both).

There’s a choice we are making

We’re saving our own lives

It’s true we’ll make a better day

Just you and me.

Send them your heart

So they’ll know that someone cares

And their lives

Will be stronger and free.

As God (again, replace with spiritual, or whomever you follow) has shown us

By turning stone to bread

So we must all lend

A helping hand.

We are the world

We are the children

We are the ones

Who make a brighter day

So let’s start giving (change to living or keep both).

Anne writing now:

It’s hard to believe that there have been other times in this world when people have died in great numbers, or when people have panicked by so many different things, and really lost their sense of values completely. What are we teaching our children by all of this panicking and hoarding, fighting, and even hurting others over things like toilet paper or hand sanitizer, etc.? What are we doing that is using our own minds and senses that can help us get through this as we have over centuries by not giving in to insanity?

The children of the world all need us to help show them the way to survive these periodic periods when governments and businesses are not necessarily doing the right things for the people. Don’t you find it strange that Senator Diane Feinstein (U.S.) sold off her stocks right before the announcements of everything shutting down? Remember Martha Stewart and what she did just before a big stock drop? What about states declaring Martial law and preventing people from going out of their homes? Remember what happened in Poland in WWII? Strange that in an election year, the American people have been so totally isolated and left in a state of panic and near insanity (if not total).

It is important that we do not give in to this panic. It is important that we stop fearing our neighbors and that we teach our children good values because it is what has made our country–and I am sure for those of you in other countries of the world who may happen to read this) that spirit we have called The Spirit of America. Thank you one and all so much, and today, see if you can each make one person you talk to on the phone feel appreciated and happy. When I talk business to folks, regardless of what it is on the phone, I always thank them very kindly for doing such a great job, and then I tell them to smile. I always let them know that I am 78, and have been through a great many things (which is true) and here I am still standing. Yesterday, a service lady told me when I told her these things that she had been having a horrible day and that it made her feel so much better. If we do nothing more than this with everyone we come in contact with, this will be good. Let people know that regardless of what others tell us, we are all in charge of our own world, and we have to not give in so easily. If we are going to get ill, so be it, but just using simple measures as we normally do in flu season is actually enough. Fear definitely makes everything else worse. We ARE the World; We ARE the Children, and WE can definitely make the world a better place for everyone. The power is within all of us.

Empowerment

Courtesy of Quotefancy

I was thinking this past week that I have always felt powerless in the presence of people who seem to have more power than I do. I know, this may sound silly, but when you grow up with people who have absolute control of your everyday life and not in healthy ways, it is easy to lose a sense of your own power.

In my case, Richard and I live in a senior mobile home park owned and run by the most evil people I have known for a long time, though I must admit they are not the first ones. In fact, every senior mobile home park I have lived in has been a senior’s worst nightmares. And yet, for many seniors it represents a place that may be affordable on a limited income, as well as having neighbors in your social and economic position. It may represent safety and well-being where there are people close all around you who will surely know if you are in danger or you are perhaps ill. And there is usually a “clubhouse,” where there are monthly activities – perhaps coffee and donuts on the day you pay your space rent, and potlucks at different times of the month. And with things such as we are going through now throughout the world, it can represent a kind of sanity when all else is failing us.

So how could anything like this not be a senior’s dream? But let’s take a good look at what happens with a great many parks, for sure the ones in my own town of Yucaipa, CA (in San Bernardino County within the Inland Empire of Southern California). Looking at the history of the parks here (and this is true in many places in the U.S.), one of the things we have here are people who come into the area, knowing very little if anything about the needs of seniors. It is a cheap investment by the standards of those who buy the parks. They skirt any rent control that might exist in an area, coming in intending to raise the rent “for improvements they are making or going to make.” The reality is that the City itself has very little control (and does not want the involvement with having to be saddled with making sure things are working right). They have other more important needs. The park owners are bringing money into their communities, and they don’t want to stop that development. They spend their energy creating more sophisticated and luxurious communities that bring more money into the community and they cannot be really blamed for that. All communities want to keep improving their communities; it is all about good business.

The first issue that mobile home residents have no say-so in is the hiring of park managers. There is no background check required, no real experience necessary (they are trained for a very short time).

Basically there are no requirements by the HCD (Housing and Community Development) which is part of the state government, supposedly charged with protecting the rights of mobile home residents including making sure that that those who purchase their homes and pay them off get their titles when that process is done. The reality is that this HCD has never been given proper legal authorization to make sure things go smoothly for the residents, and as a results, landlords such as the ones I have will wait until the home owners die while they still are trying to get their titles. And most seniors don’t know fully their rights or the way things work.

Most seniors are unwilling to do what they need to because of fear that the owners will take revenge on them or they are too ill or perhaps disabled to try to do anything. My home was sold to three other seniors before me, and all of them died without ever getting their titles. Of course I could not have known this when I purchased it, and the landlord did not tell me. Yet he had worked for this park for some 20+ years, so he fully was aware of the nature of the owners. But like many park managers or landlords, he does what they want him to do; it doesn’t matter if it is illegal or unethical. He wants to keep his cozy regular home in the park and get paid for doing nothing except collecting the rent each month and telling the people who are renting to clean up their own properties (which the park is supposed to do unless you own your place).

There are so many other areas of elder abuse I have seen and experienced with my own eyes in these parks, and I am one of them also now since I too have been unable to get my title for my home despite my many attempts to get it from the owners, and also having gone through every local level – the HCD, the City of Yucaipa, Legal Aid, Elder Abuse, Code Enforcement, and many others, all to no avail for some 1-1/2 years (or close to that). Two of my neighbors also have similar problems: one who has not had his for nine years, and the other one who is being expected to pay back taxes on the land to get his title when it has not been in his name at all. And that is the HCD saying he has to do that.

I became extremely depressed these last months. I want to get my significant other, Richard and myself out of this park and into a small home in Arizona with its own land. California is not a good place to live anymore. Frustration with feeling once again that I had absolutely no power was a truly a biggie for me.

Then one day when I was looking at many of the criminal justice publications I receive on the Internet, I came across a National Elder Fraud Number. Without waiting a second, I dialed the number, and for once, I began to get answers at a higher level of State and Federal places that can help. Also, the people who run this organization are mandated reporters, and this time the reports are not going under the shelves. I have been given the numbers of a lot of agencies at a much higher level from which I will be able to help. Also, the people at the National Elder Fraud are coming from another part of California to visit me and to make sure that everything is followed up.

For once, I felt empowered with my newly found knowledge. We can never have too much of that regardless of our training or our needs. And we should never give up just because someone says so. I trusted that landlord, and I gave him $4,000 up front down and paid the other $4,000 over the years $100 a month along with my monthly space rent and utilities. I never missed a payment, and I had to pay the insurance too for the home, not realizing I would not get much at all without that title. That might not be much for a lot of people, but for me, it was my last savings I had since I had to stop working because of the cancer and the PTSD.

Right now our country is in probably the worst situation we have had since WWII politically, health-wise, and education-wise. People are panicking and acting totally irrational and it is because they don’t know what to believe. They think they have no power to do anything about it. This is NEVER true. There is always a higher resource, and in this case, it might take us awhile to find it, but I think we can all empower ourselves by at least trying to find something else that can help this situation.

I know that I have read several articles by Steve Tanham, Sue Vincent, as well as Stuart France, founders of The Silent Eye Mystery School, and I have learned a lot of things I could not otherwise find on the Internet such as the very nature of viruses like that of the Corona Virus and bacteria since the beginning of time, and many really good articles related to the values we hold in this life.

I also want to acknowledge Patty Fletcher and Claire Plaisted for keeping things going for all of us bloggers and authors during this challenging time. Thank you one and all by giving us higher resources we can learn from and take back the care and maintenance of our own lives. Just as that money for my home is the last thing I own that can help me and my hubster move forward, so are your bodies, minds and souls the most critical things you have in this life. Take good care of them and treasure each and every moment with your loved ones that you can enjoy now.

I still think of my friend Sue Vincent and her amazing son, who was wounded severely enough to kill someone, but he has recovered slowly over the years, and there they were out planting flowers by their little pond, and Nick, her son, insisted on carrying some mulch for the garden for him mum. Take back your power; it is waiting for you.

Love of Four and Some Two-footed Friends

Poisonous Frog on Left, and Tiny Frog on Right

I have loved animals all my life, and I have to say that some of them are not necessarily things that others will find suitable, but I guess there is something about them to make me want them in my life, at least for as long as they can be.

When I was still a little girl, living in El Paso, TX, I used to hear what I thought was some sort of giant toad for its huge voice (Croak, CROAK, etc.) on and on thru the night. I would only hear them after a big rain. But when I discovered the source of those voices, I could hardly believe it. I was fascinated and laid down in the went dirt to watch the mud puddle nearby and the stream of life going on in it. It was marvelous, for there was activity going on everywhere in the small area of that puddle. I would go back day after day to watch it, until on the last day when the puddle was nearly dried up and there were just a couple of those tiny frogs (like the one on the right), so small one of them could sit on my smallest fingernail and not be overcrowded. I decided to “rescue the one or two that were left, believing that they were not going to get into the ground before it was totally dried up. So I took them in hand into the house, found a jar, and put some water in it for them, and believed I could find things to feed them and take good care of them.

Children mean well always, but they are often very naive about what is required to do some jobs well. This was the case with the frogs. I did not know that when they stopped mating and living in the puddle and went back into the earth, they entered a state of metamorphosis until the next rain. When they stopped making those huge croaks late at night, I could not understand what was going on. But the next day or so, I decided I needed to take them back out and pour the water back on the ground to make another tiny mud puddle or at least a little wet area there so that I help them to get back into the ground. It was near the evening, so I left them with the somewhat wet spot where they were, and went back into the house. I went out early in the next day and the spot was almost all gone, and the little frogs were definitely gone.

I will never forget that time. Over the years, I have loved and had other frogs for pets, and I would find them out in nature and enjoy them whenever i could. As I grew older, I learned not to take them out of their habitat, but just to watch and enjoy them. Much to my adult shame, I once ate some frog legs at a restaurant when I was older. I always felt as though I was betraying my friends, but those legs were pretty tasty. Would I eat one of my dogs or the cat? I seriously think nothing could induce me to eat them — even starvation. But I guess a lot of people have edible pets that they raise, knowing that someday they and/or their families will eat those creatures.

I look forward to reading about all of your pets over the years. These are only the start for me.

Fear in its Many Faces

Fear – Image courtesy of Pexels

In my younger years, it seemed the 1950’s when people began to build atomic bomb fallout shelters in their backyards, but apparently it was in the early 60’s and Kennedy was one of the people advising people in the U.S. to take precautions against an atomic bomb or equally devastating event. It quickly spread into other countries, and even Switzerland, known to be primarily neutral through everything, began to tell their people to build.

I so remember how people were so paranoid about their own neighbors and the possibility that if THEY did not have a bomb shelter, the neighbors might want to take refuge with their families in any existing ones. About the same time (and again, this is likely my poor memory thru 78 years of living), suddenly there was paranoia about people in the U.S. being Communists. The entertainment industry was under great suspicion, and many famous entertainers were suffering “under the gun.” I don’t believe anything came from any of it except to further harass and control human beings because of total paranoia about a potential belief that there was an existing threat.

I saw a little column today listing everything that has caused massive fear/paranoia over the entire globe each and every year. Isn’t it incredible that so many people live their lives in such fear? Is it our nature as human beings, or have we all been brainwashed over the centuries? Remember the Y2K scare that all the computers were going to fail? Many churches were preparing to take in hundreds, perhaps thousands of new members as the year approached. Some were giving all their money to churches in hopes of perhaps staving off the horrors.

The same thing is happening once again as people are rushing to the stores in utter panic over the so-called Corona Virus to buy supplies like bottled water and toilet paper to the point where they have depleted some stores’ supplies. Have people died? Certainly. People die every year even from common viruses. They die because their health is not great to begin with, or they are particularly susceptible in some other way, and this is true of every single virus (and there has been one almost every single year) that comes along.

As Churchill once said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Who are the true beneficiaries each year from these fear seasons? I venture to say that next year this fear of Corona Virus will be a fear of something else.

As for me, I have lived through every single horror a person can live through, and here I am still standing at 78. Thank you one and all. Make your days and years count. Don’t live in fear. When it is your time to leave this plane, you will, regardless of your age, gender, overall health, etc. Live life productively as we are meant to do. Study, learn, create, serve others. You will see how good life really is and what magnificent creatures we are.